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Monday, 16 October 2017

7 reasons to get a car in Singapore

1.  To get girls.

2.  To get babes.

3.  To get "chio bu".

4.  To get sexy ladies.

5.  To get convent girls.

6.  To get gorgeous women.

7.  To get materialistic gold diggers.

Sunday, 15 October 2017

Why I don't...

Why I don't visit the barber? 

No hair. I'm bald. 

Why I don't date guys?

I love women!

Why I don't drive a car?

No licence. 

Why I don't ride a scooter when I got licence?

No baxxs. And its much more comfortable to go on dates in a cab.

Why I don't trade Options?

I don't understand the Greeks :(

Why I don't buy and hold?

Got raped by markets before...

Why I so stupid?

Yeah hor... Mom! Why I so stupid hah? Did you drop me when I were a baby? Don't lie!

Thursday, 12 October 2017

How to seduce customers to voluntarily pay their annual CC membership fees

Remember a time several years ago when financial bloggers and bleeding heart people were sharing in forums how to "save" money by calling your credit card companies and asking for waiver of the annual membership fess?

I guess the message was so successful that it was "understooded" no one pays our credit card annual membership fees. Those who do are either so rich they couldn't be bothered, or they are "bei kambings" who didn't know better...

Imagine if you were working in one of these credit card companies. How to turn this situation around as each dollar from these annual membership fees will go straight down to the bottomline.

We can't be throwing good margins away, can we?

Must give props to the marketing person who came up with "rewarding" customers with frequent flyer miles whenever they voluntarily pay up their credit card annual membership fees!

Of course the miles you get would not be enough to qualify for any free trips directly!

Having "paid" for these "free" miles, it would be a "waste" to let them expire worthless. What would any "sane" people do? Of course spend more to save more!

Now the credit card companies' vendors have vested interests to promote "free" miles too! You scratch my back; I scratch yours. Wink.

Of course for this Jedi trick to work, you first need to pay opinion leaders to write aspirational stories how they can have a jet-setting lifestyle, flying all around the world just with their - yes, repeat after me - "free" frequent flyer miles!

And then the wannebes will parrot on the same message down the line - this time really for free as they were not paid a single cent by the credit card companies.

Why they do it? Herding momentum mah! If other bloggers blog about it and you don't, you'll be left out! 

And their bei kambing followers will monkey see, monkey do.

I'll give you an example of these Jedi tricks we used during my snake-oil corporate days.

Recently, I booked a 5 days trip to Chiang Mai, Thailand for this coming January 2018.

Normally I would stay in a hostel as I like the mingling with strangers at the common area.

This time, despite being a dinosaur and all, I registered for the airbnb website to see what's it all about. 

Interesting. I can get an apartment room for $25 a night. So for 4 nights it would cost me $100 plus plus (booking charge and cleaning fee)

Amex and airbnb very fast!

Straight away I received my first junk email offering me a $50 discount for my first booking if I paid with Amex.

The fine print catch is I have to minimum spend $200.

I am sure some people out there will "upgrade" their apartment to $50 a night for 4 nights to qualify for this "$50 savings" from Amex.

Wait. You intend to spend $100. Now you've spent $150... Someone got Jedied! LOL!

Nah! I deleted the email.

This $50 off promotion would really be "free" if I had intended to stay 10 nights or I had intended to book a $50 per night apartment. 

Next time people try to convince you to spend more to save more, what would we do?

Sunday, 8 October 2017

How You Living? Power speech by Dr Rick Rigsby

Sometimes, different world, different culture, we discover values and ideas quite similar to ours...

Mark Twain - I never let my schooling interfere with my education.

I guessed I've led a similar path. 

It never fails to amaze me during my corporate days to find the number of graduates who stopped learning the moment they left school. And they wonder why we never put them on our list of "potentials"...

Same goes for our financial freedom community. Some think just reading 1 to 2 books, attend a few workshops, and they are ready.... If you think like that, just visit STE's blog and look at his private library. And CW mentioned he has almost read all the books on investment in our public libraries.

If you want to bring a knife to a gun fight, nobody stopping you!

Aim low and hit it.

On second thought...

I think I'll stop and let you fill in the blanks yourself.

How you living?

This is especially true for those in their 40s and above.

1/3 to 1/2 our lives are gone now...

Have you run out of excuses yet?

Thursday, 5 October 2017

Is this not Concentration Risk?

During my early investing days, one of the biggest corporate failure (and fraud) in the US was Enron.

Enron went into bankcruptcy late 2001.

One interesting but sad footnote was that quite a few Enron employees lost their life savings for they had invested heavily into Enron shares...

They exercised the stock options they were given and piled into their own company's stock when Enron was flying high during the bull market.

Now beside losing their life savings, they are out of a job when Enron collapsed... Double whammy!

This Enron example was used by many financial advisors to warn clients never to go all in with such a risky concentrated bet - buy stocks in the same company you worked for.

However, try telling that to the employees of Apple, Amazon, and Facebook who bought their company's stocks. Shouldn't they have an edge over outside minority retail investors? I mean the company you worked for, do well do bad, you don't know?

Its a dilemma isn't it?

Whether to be a Koala or Panda bear specialists who only buy nothing but Singapore stocks - live in Singapore, work in Singapore. What? Me worried?

We should have an advantage since we are Singapore born and breed right?

Homebase advantage! 

Or maybe we should diversify our stock investments at least regionally, if not globally?

I remember my insurance agent had left the industry for teaching just after the Asian Financial Crisis of 97, and the replacement agent for my orphan account met up with me and tried to "sell" me the wisdom in investing in an insurance-linked fund that invests in the US and Europe.

Of course he would, wouldn't he?

The old diversification mantra... See? If a Singaporean investor had invested in a global stocks fund, his losses for 97 AFC would be mitigated as US and Europe stocks were doing relatively OK.

No, I didn't bite. 

And thank goodness for that! 

2 years later, we had the Nasdaq crash of 2000...


Sunday, 1 October 2017

Peter Lynch's 6 Types of Stock Plays - as applied to SPH, ComfortDelgro, and Singpost

During my time "anyhow hantam" stocks from 1999 onwards, Peter Lynch's books were the rage. Everyone was Peter Lynch this, Peter Lynch that.

Retail investors were enamoured with the fabled 10 baggers.

Which makes sense. It was a time of outsized growth and multi-baggers in technology stocks! Tech is it!

No one were mentioning Warren Buffett... Warren Buffett who? 


Peter Lynch had a simple and quite useful classification of stock plays:

1.  Slow growers

2.  Fast growers

3.  Stalwarts

4.  Cyclicals

5.  Turnaround

6.  Asset plays

No, I'm not going to explain what those mean. You go read the book yourself!  

(Or read other blogs who love to provide summaries on summaries of a book. If you photocopy a photocopy of a photocopy of an original, what do you get?)

Its more fun to apply the above 6 stock classifications into real Singapore stocks which quite a lot of old timer Singaporean retail investors like to own.

Let's take SPH, ComfortDelgro, and SingPost.

10 or 15 years ago, these 3 stocks can be classified as either Slow growers or Stalwarts right?

Retail investors include them into their portfolios to add stability and enjoy the dividends as income. Even when there were big tsunami waves as in 1997 Asian Financial Crisis, 2000 Dot-com crash, and 2008 Lehman event, these 3 stocks will always bounce back.

I mean people still read the papers, take public transport, and send mails by post right?

But something interesting has happened.

Notice the overall market as in STI index is still in "bullish OK mode" but the above 3 stocks are down quite a lot. Some even close to bear market territory as in 20% down from their recent highs...

For those who own these 3 stocks, do you still classify them as Slow growers or Stalwarts?

Evidently you do from the way you are averaging down. If lower you would buy even more!

OK, for Stalwarts I still can accept the argument (grudingly); but for Slow growers?

I mean slow growth still means there must be some growth either in revenue, profit, cash flow, earnings per share, dividends per share right?

For the Stalwart fans, I have some "wu liao" (nonsensical) questions to ask you:

1.  Of course you stiil buy the papers in hard copy form. But do your children and grand children buy newspapers in hard copy?

2.  If you own a business or in charge of HR/marketing/advertising for a firm, what's you share of the advertising budget in print today compared to 10 years ago?

3.  Ask your younger family members, do they use Uber or Grab more than taking taxi recently? I not going to ask you. You cheepskate frugal giam kana - you walked.

4.  Just kidding! While we still are on the topic of saving money, when you shop online because you frugal you, how were your purchases from Qoo10 and Lazarda delivered to your house?

5.  Have you been receiving more e-statements from banks, brokerages, CPF, utilities, etc. Of course its to go green and save trees and all. But wait... If more corporations do that...

6.  How much to send a normal letter by mail these days? Hang on a minute! When was the last time you licked a stamp!?

If the reasons we buy into a stock is because of a Slow grower or Stalwart play were no longer valid... What do we do?

Lower we would buy more?


I mean if its an Asset play or Turnaround play, that's another story. 

But buying in as a Slower grower or Stalwart and hoping its an Asset or Turnaround story, that's making it up as you go along...

Using hope as a strategy is in the same arena as using voodoo, astrology, or feng shui for investing.

Can't say they don't work as they do work sometimes... But its like pissing in the snow on a dark winter's night out in the widerness. 

We know we are making a difference; its hard to tell though.


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