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Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Why I Use Stop-Loss


One reason we keep a record of our trades is so we can make logical decisions based on real data - not our biases or what other people say.

You know what?

7 out of 10 trades I've made, if I stomach the unrealised losses and "cheat" as in wait-and-hope for weeks, months, and years (let a trade turned into an investment), these losing trades will eventually be money making ones.

So why do I still use stop-loss to realise the actual loss?



Its because I remember vividly those 3 out of 10 trades that almost killed me! 

I've let a small paper cut turned gangrenous...

Eventually having to chop off my fingers...

Better this than to lose a whole arm or leg right?

Some traders never do and let the poison reach their hearts. And they are heard no more...



So whether to use stop-loss or not for you is not through listening to others or reading books.

You have to experiment for yourself and let your track record tell you - based on hard data. 

Crash got sound.



If you are so good at stock-picking (just lousy at entries) and all your trades will eventually make money, why use stop-loss to protect yourself?

Or if you are skilled at finding 10 baggers to dilute out those occasional small losses like Peter Lynch, why use stop-loss indeed!



That's why whenever I'm in a new job, I prefer to ask for forgiveness than permission. This way, I can flush out the unwritten law of the land - when I still have my honeymoon period!

Crash got sound!

LOL!




Tuesday, 15 August 2017

The "Free" Trade/Hedge


Shorted the Simsci at 368 Thursday night.

Friday afternoon it closed in the money at 363.7 during the day session.

Weekend no armaggedon.

Monday morning got profit-stopped out at 367.7 during the first 30 minutes.


Well, that trade ended quickly... LOL!




When we returned from our overseas vacation safely, the travel insurance premium we paid is money flushed down the toilet.

Wouldn't it be nice if we can get our money back?




Review your investing diary or trading journal.

Have you noticed if your entry is good, better, best - your chances of getting out unharmed were greater?

It never was about market timing; its about risk management.


OK, not everyone trades with 10:1 leverage to appreciate the nuance I've just said.

Let's illustrate with an example:

If you have entered Keppel at $2, at the current price of $6 plus, it feels like a "free" investment. (If you let this position turn into a loss you have no one to blame but yourself)

Contrast it if you have bought Keppel at $10. 

Making less and losing money not even close to "same same".




Using dividends or entry price as panadols - your choice.






Friday, 11 August 2017

Which one hurts more?


Sillyinvestor, CW, and I were bantering which one hurts more?

1.  Sell too early and missed out on outsized profits? 

2.  Sell too late and left too much money on the table?


Just to clarify. 

Letting a winning position turn into a loss is just plain dumb.


Scenario 1

We bought stock A at $1.00.

Sell at $1.40 for a 40% gain; only to see it go all the way to $2.00 and missing a 2 bagger.


Scenario 2

We bought stock A at $1.00.

See it go all the way to $2.00 didn't sell; only to see it drop back down to $1.40.



How?

Don't talk theory. From your experience, which one hurts more?

You don't bluff!








Wednesday, 9 August 2017

SMOL's Pledge


I, the Singapore Man Of Leisure, pledge myself to strike on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday.

Regardless of ToTo, 4D, or Big Sweep. To buy hope and win extra. 

Based on quickpick, system 7 to 12, Big Sweep tickets, and 4D big/small.

So as to achieve car, cash, and condo.



Happy National Day!



Thursday, 3 August 2017

This Is Why Eating Healthy Is So Hard (So Is Investing!)






Investing is hard right?

Especially for those of you who have been investing for the past 10-20 years.

Remember those "advice" you thought were "gospel" when you started your journey but no longer "true" today?


For those just started recently, if you want to have a bit of fun, write down what you think will get you to the end of the rainbow - be it trading, investing, saving, buying Toto, marry into wealth, kick-ass career; etc.

Then put this paper into an envelop and toss it away in your drawer.

10 years later, open it up to see if the world then is a straight-line extrapolation of today. Wink.




Tuesday, 1 August 2017

Yield Hogs and Bird Brains


Dividend investing has several derogatory labels attached to it.

Like being called yield hog (its a pig if you don't speak american), or being sneered as an investment style more suitable for widows and orphans...

What?

Why you all looking at me?

Ar ber then?



How much money we need to live off dividends is quite simple to calculate.

If one just need $4,000 per month for retirement, then at 5% yield, we need minimum $2 million to sleep soundly at night.

What's with that "extra" $1 million?

Those who drive a car or ride a motorcycle would know why. Wink.


Now compare the "not greedy" dividend investor above to yield hogs who for the same $4,000 per month dividend income:

1.  Employ a 100% vested strategy of $1 million capital at 5% yield.

2.  Employ a 100% vested strategy of $500K capital at 10% yield.

3.  Employ margin so they can raise enough capital for point 1 or 2...



I've been through Nasdaq 2000 and Lehman 2007 as a retail investor.

I've also experienced the Asian Financial Crisis of 1997 - though not as an investor - but I believe this one caused a lot more damage to the real economy and actual jobs lost.

What more to say if we're already retired and living off dividends that were cut or reduced? And seeing our networth got decimated in parallel?

Without a buffer, you confident you won't lose your head like a headless chicken and sell in panic?

No, I don't believe a word of Janet Yellen when she said we won't see another crisis. Well, that's what Ben Bernake said in 2007 on sub-prime not affecting the US economy too...



Climbing down the mountain

If you already have the required capital (with buffer), you don't need to shoot for the moon when it comes to yield. Boring 4-5% is good enough. 

You understand high yield bonds that pay north of 8% are also known as "junk bonds". So high yielding equities that pay north of 8% meant there's no free lunch!

And if your dividend gets halved or cancelled completely, you won't starve. You still have some cash rotting around somewhere.

I remember my motocycle instructor sharing with us he not so fond of Honda cubs as they lack the "spare engine power" to get us out of trouble in an emergency...



Climbing up the mountain

If your personal expenses at retirement is $8,000 per month, or you want to provide for your significant other ($4K plus $4K), then how much capital you need may depend whether you like cruising with your tachometer straining at the red zone...

The focus is to grow and earn more capital.

The math is simple:

$1 million at 2% yield is more than $100,000 at 10% yield.


Of course taking on bigger risks is par for course when we are climbing up the mountain.

And that's the normal path.

When young, can take more risks. Our bones and skins recover faster. Time is on our side.

But when we use a strategy that's more suitable for climbing down the mountain to climb to the summit...

Perfectly OK if you love what you do and never have a need to use financial freedom to "escape" from work!




P.S.  Context and perspective is important.

$1 million at 2% yield is more than $100,000 at 10% yield.

The story changes if the person with $1 million is 100% vested at 2% yield in equities, while the person with $100K at 10% yield in equities is only 10% vested - he has the balance $900K in short term AAA rated bonds yielding practically nothing.

Additionally, the risk/reward changes depending whether one is climbing up or down the mountain.


That's the biggest blindspot "bei kambings" miss when they think all they need to do is blindly follow their favourite shepherd...






Monday, 24 July 2017

LPG, Newspaper, and TV


Liquified Petroleum Gas

At my current weekend sales gig, one of the home appliances that I help "promote" are hobs (stoves).

When we sell a hob, we need to ask the customer whether they are using piped PUB gas (aka Town Gas), or using those blue liquified petroleum gas (LPG) cylinders.

Of course the majority of customers are using PUB piped gas.

I've noticed the minority still using LPG are the elderly (60s and above). And learnt something I didn't know before - there are some ancient HDB flats that have no piped gas installed for the whole block!?

Really!


Yet, there are always exceptions. I'm quite bemused whenever I get customers who are in their late 20s or early 30s opting for LPG.

So I casually surveyed their rationale for doing so.


2 main reasons:

1.  They grew up in LPG families. They never thought of considering the "convenience" of piped PUB gas. What their parents did, they followed as adults. No questions asked. (Big daddy would love them)  

2.  Then there's the equivalent of "giam kana" (stingy thrifty) financial bloggers. They know every nickle and cents about the cost savings from using LPG over piped PUB gas. Very financially literate!

Yes, that type that foams at the mouth over one extra % in bank interests, free miles, and count in 2 decimal places. (What? Someone got to troll them right?)

So don't say got lobang (good deal) I never jio (recommend)!

If you are one of those penny pinchers who believed saving 10 dollars a month compounded by 30 years will lead to a big mountain, then do consider switching to LPG for your kitchen. Especially if you cook a lot! 

(Tip: I got this from a gas technician who uses piped PUB gas for the cooking convenience, but use LPG for his gas fired dryer. He saved extra $20 per month!)


For those of you that have moved recently to your BTO flat or condo, you may want to take a look how many of your neighbours have opted for LPG gas? During house-warming parties, take a peek at their kitchen hobs.

You may even notice the some have opted for the electrical induction hobs. Wink.

Somehow, I am reminded of how good Li Ka-shing was when he listed his HPH Trust.

Respect.


 
Newspaper

I prefer reading the dailies in print form (same goes for book reading). I'm an old dinosaur in this respect. 

Once upon a time, there were lots of job ads in the classified sections. Now? Drastic reduction right?

Come to think of it, my current weekend job was found through online job search websites. And my previous one was walk-in when I saw Howard Storage World's job ads outside the store while drinking kopi at Ya-Kun HabourFront...

Have you noticed sometimes there were full page colour ads on the front page of our dailies?

Snake-oils out there like me, we see it as a sign of weakness... An act of desperation... 

For those who are not in sales, think about it for a moment.

Would you walk around dressed in a chicken suit to earn that extra income?



TV

I noticed I don't watch TV anymore.

Yes, sometimes I'll join mom to watch the 6:30pm Channel 8 news. That's more to keep mom company.

Now I watch movies and documentaries on Youtube. 

And surf the web for what's going in the world.

Question. When was the last time you watched TV?


I have a naughty thought. 

Can you make a guess when big daddy would monetise their TV assets?

Would you bite?



 





Saturday, 22 July 2017

Satires, Pokes, and Bullshits







Have you rolled-eyes at some of the posts and articles that are out there in our financial blogosphere?








Wednesday, 19 July 2017

In This Corner Of The World - Can I Take Setbacks?


Yesterday, I went to Yishun GV to watch this anime movie:









After the movie, my mind dirfted to 2 incidents.



Imagine if we had achieved everything we wanted in life.

We have our own small business - could be a restaurant, cafe, or hostel.

A warm and loving family with children and living with our aged parents; 3 generations under one roof.

Family house fully paid for. No business debts.

Except we work and live in Fukushima...

If I am the only survivor - lost everyone that mattered to me - would I be able to pick myself up and start over?



Imagine now I live in Singapore. Financially free; no need to wok.

I bring my wife and children to Phuket for holiday.

Tsunami struck.

Only I managed to make it back to Singapore...

I still have all my financial networth undamaged; unlike the me in Fukushima.

Would I be less distraught?

Yes, being devastated in my own "castle" with no money concerns is not the same as being devastated in a make-shift shelter and penniless...

Yet...



Am I wealthy?

My siblings and I get along. Parents still "healthy". I am in reasonable "good" health; although the latest health check revealed I'm a diabetic risk if I don't control my weight (rich man's curse)...

You bet I'm wealthy!

Wait. I double-check. 

Yup. No money goals. 

So why do I get up in the morning?



Saturday, 15 July 2017

Wolves in our midst


Remember the 80s Scholl sandled touts with high waisted pants and permed hair outside of Lucky Plaza? (Millennials, sorry. You too young)

Well, we have them too in our financial blogosphere:






Thursday, 13 July 2017

Netlink Trust IPO - who benefits the most?


If you answered Singtel shareholders... Not bad. You close.


Big daddy lah!


Or to be precise, Temasek. 


Smart people.



Perspective from not bei kambing retail investor  

Those of us who have core holdings that we've owned for ages. Would you sell 75% of a stock that's still growing, performing, and giving you good dividends?

You only do so when the reasons you bought have changed.

Or the valuations have gotten a bit "rich". You take some money off the table... (risk management, re-balancing that sort of stuff)

Talking about risk management. If you have taken too much debt/leverage in your margin account, paying it down is prudent. But you don't sell your crown jewels, do you?

Anyway, if you are a yield hog, you wouldn't want to "share" away 75% of your future dividends right? Got fantastic dividend stock you want to keep 100% of the dividends right?

And if you super bullish on the dividend stock's future prospects, you even will forgo cash and opt for your dividends to be paid in scripts instead. You know, delayed gratification so you don't consume the golden eggs to compond dividends on dividends! You smarter than smart!



Perspective from retail speculative trader

Worth a punt. Maybe.

You stag the IPO.



Animal Farm

Yup, we have bulls, bears, hogs, and now stags. 

Oh! How can I forget bei kambings (little white lamb)?

Where you have lambs, you'll find wolves too.

Who are wolves?

If you don't know, you are bei kambing! (Don't get offended. That's how you tell mah!)





Tuesday, 11 July 2017

TIP - To Insure Performance


In general, most Singaporeans have lost the Art of Tipping. (Or to be precise, never knew it from the first place!)

We can see the fumblings some Singaporeans make when they travel to cities where its expected that you tip.



Many, many years ago, I was on a date to watch the musical Jesus Christ Superstar (she tricked me) at World Trade Centre Expo (now known as VivoCity; and yes, its that long ago). 

After the muscial, there were a long queue for taxis as we were walking towards the taxi stand along the sidewalk.

Right then, a taxi stopped beside us to alight his passengers.

I looked at the taxi driver expectantly.

He pointed to the taxi stand.

I took out a $10 dollar note. 

The taxi driver waved us in.



That's why some people get the best tables at restaurants. The best rooms with a view in hotels.

Many of my customers who are salespersons or business owners themselves will make an effort to look for me when they've decided to buy sofas (now home appliances) from me when they come back after their 2nd or 3rd visit.

They want me to get the sales commissions. 


I do the same when I do my shopping. 

I want the salesperson who treated me well to be rewarded. 

And if the service is exceptional, I'll write a compliment letter.

You should see the service I get next time I revisit the retail shop or restaurant. Wink.


Professional property investors don't do DIY property transactions themselves to save a few dollars. They treat their real estate agents well.

No surprise they get first hand information from these real estate agents when a buying or selling opportunity pops up.

The same for brokers when it comes to IPO allotments, price moving news, or best deals before the rest of the retail investors get wind of it through the media.

Anyone who gets their financial news from the media (or financial bloggers) knows they are at the bottom of the information food chain...



TIP - To Insure Performance

There is a fine line between tipping and giving a bribe. 

That's why I say some Singaporeans fumble at it.

No, they don't teach you in school for this. And please don't blame schools and big daddy for everything.

Do they teach you how to be a good parent in school? (See, drop literature lah!)

So don't say no one teach you financial literacy (hello, there's math), how to be entrepreneur (can teach meh), and how to tip others (watch successful people behave).


Those of you who attend prosperity churches may recognise tipping.

Law of increasing returns. Sound familiar?

The more you give; the more you'll receive.

But do note a MAJOR difference:


Tipping is the more you reward others; the more you'll receive in service back.

The other one is where the more you give; the more the shepherd will receive.

Not the same OK?


Shepherds tip.

Sheep give wool, milk, and meat.





Thursday, 6 July 2017

People Are Like Garbage Trucks






A few months back, an elderly tanned big brawny old man (in his late 60s?) with bad knee and a walking stick shouted at me at the top of his lungs... Everyone turned an looked at us.

He is like your neighbourhood "ah long" or contactor with permed hair, wearing thick gold chains around his stumb of a neck, and multiple "Lords of the Rings" gold rings around his leathery fingers...

All I did was to make a "joke" that if he wanted "free" delivery and installation for the home appliance, I just need to change the price tag to a $100 more...

99.99% of the other customers will get the sugar-coated poke that there's no such thing as "free" delivery and installation. Its either included in the price, or its not.


I am glad I had some "cultivation or training". Although I was caught off guard by this sudden outburst, I simply smiled at him.

Seeing I did not "bite", the old man continued his tirade against me and threatening to complain to management.

I continued smiling at him with full eye contact (its an animal and man thing). No malice, no anger, no condescending pity on him.

It was actually a sorrowful sight.

I imagined he could be a gang leader or someone important in his prime in the 1970s or 80s...

But now... Not in the best of health, wearing all that gold to "mask" his current lack of means... If money was not a problem, why get so worked up on a home appliance that only costs $300? 

Since I've been on the receiving end of patronising smiles before, I made sure my smile is the "stand tall I wish you well" variety - not the "I pity you" kind. 

For that would have made the situation worse.


The old man lumbered out of the showroom mumbling to himself...

It takes 2 hands to clap.





Monday, 3 July 2017

What will you do AFTER retirement?


People who ask such questions are frequently the same person who use "work" to avoid the unpleasant task of figuring out the reason why they get up in the morining (ikigai).

Its not "work" - if you enjoy what you do.

Why stop if its stil fun and giving you a sense of purpose and self actuallisation satisfaction?

Perhaps that's why Warren Buffett, Li Ka-shin, Lao Lee, never retired?

Eh, don't say Li Ka-shin will be retiring next year. "Retiring" at age 90 is not retirement OK?



No need to look up.

Just look around you.

Can you spot some plain vanilla seniors in their 70s and 80s loving what they do so much they still continue to do what they like despite the paycuts and job title demotions?

They are definitely not working because they "have to"; or using "work" as the perfect tool of denial (too busy to think mah!) that they haven't figure out why they get up in the moring...



You know why corporations have grey grey fuzzy fuzzy Visions and Misson Statements before more concrete and SMART business goals?

Concrete goal setting is like climbing a ladder - the rungs representing the various milestones before you reach the top of the ladder.

However, shit happens when you discover at the top and after reaching your goal, that your ladder has been leaning against the wrong wall...

Argh!!!

Maybe that's why we have mid-life crisis?

Some woke up one morning and realised they no longer wish to spend the rest of their lives with the woman or man sleeping next to them...

Some found out the same job that nourished and inspired them yesterday no longer motivates...



Want to have a bit of fun learning to read people?

Next time you see friends or bloggers with manifestos to be financially free by age 35, see if you can spot those who are trying to "escape", and who are seeking to "achieve"?



Tip: Those who seek to "achieve" are the ones who have figured out which wall to lean their ladder against first ;)








P.S.  If you need a listening ear to your ikigai questions, just jio me out for kopi.

As a man-whore, professional ethics dictate I won't spill the beans on you. Who dares go to a prostitute who sleep and tell on clients?

Many have asked precision questions like how much money they need to retire...

How many will spend time figuring out why they get up in the morning in the first place?

Any people wonder why after achieving their goals, and having loads of money, still do not make them happy...







Friday, 30 June 2017

It must be bad when brokers start lowering their commissions and interest rates!?


Look! I'm not complaining!

But something is not right when STI is above 3200, with so many new financial bloggers popping out, and so many new players/businesses offering seminars/workshops/trainings to help bring World Peace...

What gives?

No lah!

Cannot because of that cheapo platform that I shall not name.



ComfortDelgro got Uber and Grab as "disruptors".

Who or what you think is making our local brokers do what they do?

Look. No one will voluntarily take a pay-cut, would you?

As landlord, you wouldn't want to lower your asking rent unless no choice right?


Something to talk about over this weekend!

Let's brain-storm!




For the record, I'm not vested in SGX stock. 








Tuesday, 27 June 2017

June school holidays almost over liao!







To teacher friends out there... Hang in there! 

December school holidays only 5 months away. Hope springs eternal!



To parents out there...

Hello! MOE and school teachers not surrogate parents OK? 










Sunday, 25 June 2017

I'm bored. Say something leh!


Let's do something different for a change.

You start the conversation first!

Anything!





Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Look Good By Helping Your Employer Save Money!


Big daddy has quite a few initiatives to help retrenched and unemployed PMETs (Professionals, Managers, Executives, and Technicians).

If you are one, you may want to explore your options with e2i.


However, you are not the target audience for this post. I'm not a bleeding heart, remember?


If you are a small or medium sized business owner, work in HR, or a manager looking for new help, listen up!

I may have just saved you $42,000 over 18 months. Wink.


Quick test: Have you heard of the Career Support Programme for PMETs? And its enhancements since 1st April 2017?

I bet its a no.

(Hey you from NTUC, put your hand down, of course you know!)


If you hire a PMET Singapore citizen age 40 and above who has been actively looking for a job from more than 12 months, and you pay him/her at least $3,600 /month ($4K for non-SMEs), you can get 50% back from big daddy (cap at $3,500/month) for up to 6 months!

(Who says I can't write in CPF style england? I under why they write the way they do after my sentence above!)

Big daddy will continue to provide salary support to your business for the second 6 months and the third 6 months, but at a sliding lower percentage and salary cap.

You get less if the candidate has been actively looking for a job for less than 12 months, or the candidate is below age 40.

But hey! Its still "free" money from big daddy! Might as well take!

Don't take "white" don't take!


Check out this website if you are intrigued: Career Support Programme



I know. You not a business owner (why would business owner read my blog). And you not retrenched and unemployed PMET. Why should you care?

Karma.

If you are now looking to hire someone for your department, you may want to consider our brethren who is age 40 and above?

What goes around comes around. 

You never know when you reach 50 you'll be retrenched too...

Besides, helping your employer save up to $42,000 for 18 months will look good to you.


As a business owner, I only care who can help me EARN more or SAVE more. 

Everything else is just bullshit.



Sunday, 18 June 2017

Don't do everything for me


Yes. I am single, not married, and not a parent.

You win.


But I had a childhood.

You did too right?


Was it a memorable and fun one?

Did you have the space and freedom to explore and make your own mistakes?


Remember you had to scrimp and save your pocket allowance (if you ever had one) to buy that silly plastic toy you always wanted? 

Hey! Its probably still in your treasured collection now while the more expensive toys others gifted you were long forgotten and thrown away...


How did you feel when you've done a task all by yourself for the first time? 

Like assembling your first model aeroplane?

Completing your first colouring book?

No?

Your over eager parents often will intervene and finish them for you... No fun one...


What?

You promise you won't do that to your own children?

You won't take away their own sense of accomplishments...

You rather be their cheerleader; not nanny state.





Tuesday, 13 June 2017

That's what an Emergency fund is for!


I can empathise the frustrations of youth when they hear "emergency fund".

Often in our haste to reach financial freedom, we take short-cuts by pretending that our Opportunity fund is also our Emergency fund. You become grey.

Which is ironic as when it comes to other financial matters, you count in 2 decimal places and you swear by "SMART" goal setting precision... You are super black and white.


Buying a fire extinguisher and not using it may look like good money down the drain... Let's say I'm glad I have a fire extinguisher lying around that I can use right now!


Someone close to me has a financial emergency right now. Thankfully its not the medical kind!

I'm glad I can chip-in without liquidating my existing investments or dipping into my Opportunity fund.

I have an Emergency fund for a rainy day, and its raining now. So don't have to think twice. I can ACT.




I am reminded of my 5 year old post: Taking Care Of Ourselves First
 





Thursday, 8 June 2017

Call Levels - Free Price Monitoring Alerts


First of all, I use Stops, but that's because I am trading full time.

Amateurs Part time traders and retail "investors" use Price Alerts.

What?

Ah ber then?



Most brokers do provide FREE price alerts service for equity traders/investors.

Even that cheapo stocks platform also got price alert service - albeit they will charge you for each SMS sent...

Don't look surprised; its like flying budget airlines - they'll nickel and dime you for everything!



How about price alerts for forex, commodities, stock indices?

Don't have right?

Want to have it for FREE?



Don't say bo jio!

You may want to check out Call Levels.

This one power.

Can track 10,000 assets in forex, commodities, stocks, and indices! You win liao!

Also check out the co-founders. (Don't ogle too long; screen break oredi)

And their backers. (Love the Lippo building in HK with the cute cute Koala bears)



If you like it, you may want to upgrade to the paid version. (Hello, its a business; not a charity)





Tuesday, 6 June 2017

The Power of Commissions!


If the power of compounding is one of the great forces in this universe, then the power of commissions will come pretty close as the no. 2?

There's a reason why Robinsons during my time was one of the better premier department store with excellent service in Singapore - commissions and incentives.

Unlike most retailers who just paid a basic salary only, at Robinsons, there's a tiny tiny personal commission when we key-in the sales with our own staff code. Then there's a department incentive pool that's shared by us if we hit and exceed the departmental sales target.

That's why when you shop at some retailers, whether you buy don't buy the sales staff couldn't care less. You don't buy even better! Less work for them.

(I don't shop at Robinsons anymore - new owner, new management, not the same)



Without commissions, you think your private banker, property agent, remisier, insurance agent (I refuse to call them financial consultanst) will be so interested in your financial "well being"?

Give you "free" advice on how to increase your wealth?



How about long lost "friends" and relatives who never stayed in contact suddenly called to just "meet up"?

During my 20s and 30s, some of my friends who were insurance and property agents offered me $50 for every person I introduced to them that resulted in a sale. 

You think why tour guides and taxi-drivers bring tourists to certain restaurants and retail stores only? Wink.



OK, even if you've never worked in Sales before, there's some "activities" in your corporate life that will be "recognised" and receive more "brownie points" over others.

Have right?

The other "bei kambings" in your department work hard; you work smart. Shh...




For those who are easliy trapped by words, I think I better spell it out for their sake. I'm in a generous mood today!

Commission is just a word. It can easily be substituted with "kopi money", bribe, "I scratch your back you scratch mine", greed, lust, power (here's looking at you, politicians), and all the other biblical vices.



Without commissions, who wants to be Shepherd?

Wool, milk, meat - now that's commissions for you!







P.S.  All those of you young young male financial freedom seekers. You don't bluff! The reason why you seek financial freedom is never about the optionality of work. 

Its always about girls. 


And the same reason why women buy beauty products and "invest" hours at the gym or spa - you want to be financially free.



 


Saturday, 3 June 2017

Get Rich Fast Vehicles - A Trip Down Memory Lane


I will be hitting the big 50 end of this year.

Like all "uncles", I too like to reminisce about the good old days...


I see the community is currently enamoured with trading of Penny Stocks, CFDs, and Forex. Which makes sense as a little capital can win a lot - provided you don't bust your trading account first.

It wasn't so long ago (Oh shit! Its been 10 years already?) that Options were the rage... That's until the students sued their "shepherd" for being a charlatan... Options never did recover their mojo ever since. Its now been replaced by CFDs and Forex.

Before Options, it was Contra Trading. Now a dying art. How many young 20 somethings of today have traded Contra? You may never have head of it even!


When I started "investing" at 1999 during the dot.com boom, it was mainly Peter Lynch this, Peter Lynch that. Everyone was into "Growth Investing". That's the realm of 10 baggers! There was little mention of Warren Buffett - who was lagging and under-performing big time...

Then things took a sudden dive. And out of now where, everyone sort of became "Value Investor" reborn?

I find it ironic, even to the point of comical, that after a 8 year bull run since 2009, people are still parroting "value". Really? 


Of course, it would be remiss of me to not mention the growth and popularity of Low Cost Passive Indexing. Its not my cup of tea. And looking at the trading volumes of the two STI ETFs, its not for the majority either!

However, in the States, Low Cost Passive Indexing is gainig market share at the expense of Hedge Funds. I guess most Singaporean "investors" did not get the memo? Or maybe the majority of us think we're the next Warren Buffett?



That's the investing/trading vehicles of the decade side.

How about careers and jobs?

I remember when I started working during the end of 83, the classified papers have lots of advertisements promising you can be a millionaire by becoming an Insurance Agent. Remember those cowboy days?

Then MAS clamped down the excesses of the insurance industry.


Next came the property industry during the great property boom. Using the same trickery, they promised you'll be a millionaire if you join their agency! Workshops and seminars were recruiting platforms, "Come! Join me and I'll make you rich!"

MAS too clamped down on the property industry's hyperbole.


Like chopping off the head of a Hydra, two more will grow in its place.

Yup, multi-level marketing jumped in to fill the void. Norni juice this, anti-oxidant vitamins that. Anyone still buying vitamins from MLM setups today?  

Internet Marketing was the next one. This one I gotta laugh! It's so easy to spot the smarter students. These smarter students after taking the course will in turn offer their own Internet Marketing courses to others!!! Now that's how you make money off Internet Marketing! LOL!  


Now? I see less job advertisements that promises you a millionaire career. I suspect its because most Singaporeans are now better educated. If you are tertiary educated, why on earth do you need to do sales?

Since most people have a reasonably well paying job but its not something they enjoy, snake-oils have found its much easier to sell you "get rich schemes" than promise you a well paying career.

Hence the proliferation of scams like Gold Trading, Land Banking, Ostrich Farms, Binary Options and what not!


Totally legit, but still smell a bit "scammy", we have operators that promote overseas properties, forex, CFDs, and other derivatives that target "bei kambings" only. No way will they have courses that target advance investors/traders... Then the "bawu" will be obvious to all!!!

Now that's a red flag for you! Wink!





Thursday, 1 June 2017

Space Fillers and Fun Distractions


Doing trading full-time can get really boring especially for my style of trading.

If there's no wind, there's pretty much nothing I can do. So to pass time, I do play some intraday punts from time to time.

There was a period I hit a lucky patch where it was quite lucrative!

I had to consciously be mindful and tell myself not to be distracted by these small winnings.

Keep the focus on the main prize.



I had a Shanghai colleague who got promoted from company driver to IT admin.

You'll be surprised many of the receptionists at our China and Thailand offices were university graduates! They pay their dues for 1 - 2 years and when opportunity knocks, they'll be transferred to a job more in line with their qualifications.

This Shanghai colleague unfortunately got distracted with his gaming hobby... He was using company time and resources to maintain his network of Diablo gaming members - he was the Clan leader. 

My Romanian boss fired him. 



For more mature readers, during our younger days, we have done this to others or let others do this to us.

You know, while waiting for the right one to come along, we have a space filler for the time being...

Its all fun and games (although not something we want to boast about) provided we don't marry the space filler for the wrong reasons! Like out of guilt, sense of responsibility, shotgun accident, etc.



When we are clueless to what we want to do in life, a good space filler and distraction would be to jump on the financial freedom bandwagon like everyone else.

At least it gives cover or illusion that we have a goal in life!

But when questioned what you want to do after you have achieved your financial freedom, you realise you haven't seriously thought about it. You'll decide when you get there. 

And that's why people move the goal posts. To buy more time to figure things out... If they ever do.



When you see retirees playing jackpot mindlessly at those "members clubs" or at our "integrated resorts", understand that they need to find "fun distractions" to fill up the day.

The day can be excruciating long if you have nothing to do all day...

And that's not something you want to put yourself through when you've achieved financial freedom!





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