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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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