Thursday, December 25, 2014

A good video for us to ponder on our direction next year.

Merry Xmas and a Happy New Year!

Time to get motivated for planning what we want to achieve next year ! :)

Loved the speech so much.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Alternative stream of income..

Multiple streams of income has been preached to death in financial literature to boost your networth.

You can be a tutor on the side-lines, take free lance programming project, usher the audience in concerts, be a part-time property agent, insurance agent and also taxi-driver. The sky is the limit to what you can do.

Though I have to acknowledge those are unlikely to scale much as you are using time to exchange for money. It is good enough for paying your expenses while your earned income can be saved and invested.

Pouring your heart out into a business would be the most ideal as you could build it part-time till you feel you have enough traction to take the leap of faith and quit your paying job(the one that brings the bacon home) to run the business fulltime.

That is why the most interesting fascination I have currently is ONLINE MARKETING. The earned while you sleep dream painted by many online marketers. Your ability to generate content interesting to your target audience is the key to getting eyeballs. You don't need a large capital to start. All you need is a free blog like blogspot for a start and I am quite sure you will have a happy problem when you need to migrate out of blogspot (though i think it will take quite a lot of eyeballs to force blogspot to evict you). If you are a student without the capital to get monthly passive income from stocks, you will be surprised you can actually get $xxx monthly from setting up a blogspot, getting relevant content and setting up your ads and referrals links. Thus far, I am against the setting up of a website or sales landing page to promise people they can make $x,xxx or $xx,xxx monthly by selling high converting digital products (which usually ends up being another how to make $xx,xxxx online).

I have experimented with it and I am still not good with it thus far. Case in point, Google Ads and Amazon Ads brings me only the low $2xx combined monthly (it has been quite consistent the past one year). I am still unable to bring it to the next level as I have not committed enough effort into it. Taking it slow and easy and there's no hunger in me.. sob sob..

And being a cheapskate, I don't really want to pay thru' my noses for courses conducted in Singapore and I prefer to look for materials online by proven gurus who have shown their income to be consistent(based on good faith, there's no audited records of course).

It quite obvious after a while, everyone who seems successful are able to keep their website interesting with contents to be able to command a high eyeball traffic and then depend on the conversion rate to generate income thru' the sales of digital products, referrals fees, private product reviews/endorsement, etc etc. It's much like any other real world business where you have to do marketing and sales of  external/in-house product to reach your target audience and hopefully convert leads into sales.

A simpler but not easy way would be to do content aggregation like or a news reporting website like or ba-gua website like

Below are the three recommended ones I have been reading whom I believe are worth their salt.

I am still learning, this is based on my experience and I might be wrong. Please do share about your experience.

P/S : Another new HNW entrant to the blogosphere? Do check out his website as he is invovled in internet startups. How cool is that! Starting to read his 1st blog on January 2013. LOL.. loos like my weekend is filled up.

Monday, September 1, 2014

A normal path to retirement for most singaporeans

Is this possible? Food for thought...

Yes..  the steps to achieving financial freedom is this. Is this still applicable in the current economic climate and singapore have transformed into a developed nation.

1) 30yrs old , Get Married and get a New BTO/EC (No reslae, no DBSS!). - Congrats! You have bought a $1 item for $0.70-80cents. Upside min is 20% within 10yrs(Very high probability! if assume inflation at 2% avg). For property , downpayment is 20%, upside of 20% in 10yrs. So your $100k becomes $200k (100% return in 10yrs which is minimall roughly compounded annual rate of 7% pa (excluding your principal paid down).

2) By 5yrs time, most probably, you will save around $100k real cash(most people pay down bto using CPF) from working. Time to look for 2nd property valued at $500k (100k enough to pay 20% downpayment, exclude stamp duty and miscellany).

3) Work another 5yrs, your HDB should be fully paid off (for most couple with degrees. I know coz many of my friends married paid down theirs within 10yrs).

4) So by 40yrs, you should have 1 fully paid HDB you lived in. 1 rental condo you let out which is compounding the money.

5) by 45yrs old, your $500k condo you can also fully paid(assuming your salary stagnant and you pay down at same rate like your $500k HDB BTO).

6) Congrats.. you can retire officially at 45yrs old ...  But this is the most conservative strategy.. most people within that 15yrs span.. might have acquried another 1 or 2 more property depending on their earning power.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Long Term Position in AUD

The author states his view of why to choose AUD over other currencies for the SGD currency holder looking to park his money somewhere.

I've been doing the same since 2009 when the market crashed and recovered, that year I had allocated a portion of my portfolio to AUD currency, bonds and equities and they now make up roughly 30% of my portfolio. 40% is in SGD and the remainder is split between HK and US market.

I like his blog as it is quite relevant to singaporeans. Many times, we have news telling us AUD is overpriced and it's going to go down against the USD. But many times, most of us have the bulk of our money in SGD denominated assets. We should instead be focusing on what SGD USD(i believe our currency weighting is very heavily towards USD) is doing and then USD AUD is doing and then you will have your answer to the SGD AUD pair.

I hope our local banks start dishing out more SGD related analysis instead of echoing what the global banks are talking about(always in terms of USD).

So when friends ask me what to buy, guess what I say ?
Pretty brainless AAA bet even for Singaporeans – instant carry with massively higher yields. There is little reason for the SGD to out perform the AUD now that the RBA has little onshore reason to cut further after reading into RBA Governor Steven’s remarks last week.

Friday, August 22, 2014

How to clear your work and leave by 5.30pm every day.

This article is excellent imho. 
This was what I was doing when I was an employee in one of the telcos. My senior manager had a weekly monday morning meeting for any major event and updates by the team mates. We also had to submit weekly timetable (planned and actual) to track what we've been doing. The part about putting the tasks into the calendar and booking the time is what I do personally as well. There might be a lot of meetings going on which results in changes but we have to push the task to another date. The end result of all these is probably you will achieve more or less the major tasks you planned for the week. It's very productive for those who like to procrastinate. 
Unfortunately, I have not been planning forward and tracking my time nowadays , but I am still blocking time on my calendar for tasks i need to do. Maybe I should start doing the weekly timetable again.

Sum Up

Cal's five big tips:1. To-do lists are evil. Schedule everything.2. Assume you're going home at 5:30, then plan your day backwards.3. Make a plan for the entire week.4. Do very few things, but be awesome at them.5. Less shallow work, focus on the deep stuff.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Best Financial Tool for Singapore and global stocks.

I was using bloomberg and reuters financial website for most of my fundamental screening and analysis as well as holding my portfolio.

However, bloomberg have since modified their website to contain only the barest of financial summary while reuters still retain the most comprehensive financial statements and details one can find for free out there with a screener to boot.

Now, there is an even better option, I've been using Financial Times market portal for all my portfolio needs. I liked everything about it from their graphical illustrations of key financial figures and ratios(like shareinvestor). Comparative analysis of the company versus the index and sector. Their portfolio management tool is comprehensive with dividends tracking automatically.

Oh did i mentioned they have got the best screener available out there! and tons of other excellent stuff like economic calendar (of all countries). Fund screener, stock screener. Stock Alerts(without paying a subscription fee for it). Markit Short-selling activity...

Do go over and see what you are missing without paying of course. :) This is basically the poor man's bloomberg terminal.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Is the 1st wave of property correction beginning ?

This is the 1st time since 2009 I've seen so many mortgagee's sales (basically the whole list) in one auction.

There are some considerations if you are still interested in purchasing an investment property :-
1) Rental for residential cannot go up higher anymore unlike the last few years when it keep on increasing on the prospect of increasing demand
2) Interest rate cannot go down lower anymore unlike the last few years when FED and other Central banks are openly supporting the QE ,indirectly driving interest rate down
3) Prices cannot go up higher anymore if we have basically doubled from the 2009 low and effectively kept up with the money supply resulting from the global QEs.

Here is the three formula you need to know : 
i)   Property Yield = Rental / Purchase Price 
ii)  (+/-)Cashflow = Rental - Installment Payment(principal+interest) 
iii) ROIC (return on invested capital) = 
[ Gross Rental - Interest paid(exclude principal) - Misc Expenses)] / Downpayment   
(Often in the high 8% to double digit % if you are using max loan with 20% downpayment.)

So if you can hold for the long term and assuming rental yield never goes down, interest rate never goes up and property prices recover to your purchase price and beyond, you will actually be getting quite a good return annually at 8%++.

4) Singapore's Economic Restructuring and the impact to GDP?
5) Coming Election 2015/16 - Is it in the party's interest to have lower or higher property prices before election? The flood gates can of course be opened after election.
6) Supply > Demand? General observation there is more supply out there(unsold units or taking longer to clear new launches) and general tightening in demand thru' foreign workers/professional quota. I'm sure everyone knows the supply is built for the opening of the floodgate right after the election :) But in the meantime, Supply > Demand.

Attached is the list of mortgagee's sales.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

A good source of information from real property investors.

This discussion thread is for sharing good lobangs with the forumers here. Please feel free to contribute any good lobangs that you had come across.In the current low sale-volume climate, we foresee many developers' projects going to drop prices soon - especially for those unsold units that are near, or have even passed, their T.O.P dates. In fact, some have already dropped prices. I shall start by contributing here:
27 July 2014
1) Vermont on CairnhillCairnhill Rise (D09)FreeholdJust T.O.P.Many units went by more than half-million dollars discounts Results: 31 units out of the last 34 units were sold in 2 weeks upon the start of the discount program.Currently left with only 3 units of 3BR.From $2.691m, or $2016psf nett.

2) WhitehavenPasir Panjang Road (D05)FreeholdLast unit of 4BR DK ($1530psf) and 12 units of penthouses (from $1285psf)Developer opened to negotiation! 

3) The SkywoodsDairy Farm Road (D23) near Hillview MRT Station99-years LHPrices have dropped to $1,1xx to $1,3xx psf Results: 19 units sold in 2 weeks

4) The CrestPrince Charles Crescent (D03)99-years LHPrices are averagely $1,6xx psf to $1,9xx psf. Already cheaper than the neighbouring Echelon, yet buyers will enjoy additional ABSD rebates.

5) Hallmark ResidencesEwe Boon Road (D10) near Stevens MRTFreeholdT.O.P. coming soonPrices slashed by 10%. Average prices dropped from $2,3xx psf to $1,8xx psf (for 3BR from $2.8m, 4BR from $3.5m) to $1,9xx psf (for 2BR, from $1.89m).Results: 40% sold in 2weeks. For buyers looking for 4BR, there are only 2 units left.

6) The TrilinqJalan Lempeng (D05) near Clementi MRT99-yrs LHDeveloper opened to negotiation. But re-launch program coming soon. Stay tuned.

For those who are looking to buy property or intend to invest in property, it is always good to keep up with on the ground information and discussion provided by helpful local property investors.

I frequent this forum to take in the information and news and strategies of like-minded investors.

Do note, of course, there are perma-bulls and perma-bears in there and you need to take everything with a pinch of salt. Likewise, there will be successful property agents masquerading as investors(frequently they are too) but trying to sing up the market.

So here you go.. the link to a world of property knowledge..

One of the "luminaries" from the forum is PropertySoul. She was featured in Sunday Times recently. Check her out :

Saturday, July 19, 2014

How to be good at something after 20 hours.

Josh Kaufman explains the myth of requiring 10,000 hours which is equivalent to 5 years of working full-time to learn something. It is a rule of thumb for world class level performance. But to get  good(not competitive level pro) at something, you only required 20 hours as the learning curve is steep initially.

The way to do it is to :-
1) Deconstruct the skill (a bit similar to 4 hour chef) and break it down to little tasks or skillset.

2) Learn enough to self-correct - thru at least 3 different sources either thru the best books/courses/video available on the subject. Do not read too many books and move on to put what you learn from these 3 sources into practise. People usually procrastinate by saying "i will start doing once i read another 3 books and so on and so forth".

3) Remove practise barriers - Be focus on the subject and not be distracted by whatever gets you distracted daily.

4) Practise at least 20 hours - Pre-commit 20 hours to overcome the initial fustration barrier or fear of failure.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

The remaking of Singapore. It's time..

Looking back at all the policies tweak happening within the country, I cannot help but looked back at the person from within the establishment who might have probably started the ball rolling.

The articles are too long to summarise and would also do injustice to the person writing it.

Look thru' the articles and suggestions and you can see quite a few suggestion being implemented.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Don't be enamored by stock market making you rich.

Great article on why the stock market is probably not the best place to make anyone rich. Like with all things, the top 20% make most of the money and for the average folks, it is still better to concentrate on your own production capability or your own business where the payoff might be better. Imagine working 8 hours 5days work week will give you $x,xxx amount from someone but working with Mr Market under the same circumstances might not be a guaranteed.

Having said that, the stock market probably is still a good choice for people who can accept returns in the form of dividends to fund their lifestyle. Capital gains are a bonus. I have many stocks that have returned 30-100% over the last 3yrs. However, when I sell those, I have to look for something else to replace them and the new ones might or might not give me the same cashflow. If you eat away your capital gain, you are back to square one. So I still find dividends/coupons more suitable for funding retirement. Of course, I will still sell all my stocks if I feel the market bloodbath coming. I don't believe in buy and hold for stocks.

Oh here's the link to  Pragmatic Capitalism article.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

I just discovered my investing HOLY GRAIL

I am not a market timer..
I am a trend follower!

Remember this by HEART! Read it everyday out loud and sing the whiplash song national anthem if possible!

1) Ride Your Winners
2) Cut Your Losses
3) Manage Your Risk
4) Use Stops
5) Stick to the System
6) File the News

Friday, March 28, 2014

Why HNWs like to leverage on Bonds to earn the spread?

This is why a lot of HNWs are leveraging to buy bonds to earn the spread since 2009. But the priority banking customers are also getting into the act since 2012 (that's about the time i started hearing people in priority banking segment talk about leverage on bonds).

Best time to buy bonds is when there is some sort of crisis (these 4 years quite frequent) where the bonds prices will go down (ie yield goes up).

This is the example of carry-cost versus the coupon yield and the spread you getting (excluding any capital gain you might get from buying under-par bonds).

Remember to assess the company behind the bonds, the type of bonds offered and not to over-leverage. For safety sake, you can use 50% LTV instead of 80% or even 90%. But  the returns can be outsized(in the realm of 40% pa) if you take a 80% LTV, though i would advise carrying another 20% in cash in your portfolio to prevent margin call.

Again, try to buy bonds at PAR or preferably under-par (to get that capital gain component if it gets recalled). You can get equity-liked return without the pain of watching prices go on a roller-coastal ride if you find Fundamental good companies. Do not invest in junk bonds unless you are sure of what you are doing.

Some small/mid-cap companies in SGX are giving so little yield to compensate for the risk you are taking that you might be better off looking elsewhere. Corporate grade bonds in Australia (big four banks) and USA can give you 5% versus the risk you are taking(forex). Though forex risk can be minimized if you take a loan in their currency(for usd).

Also, you can see why banks like you to leverage? :) You take the risk of owning the bonds, they get the benefit of getting a steady stream of income from you.

Do consider everything from a portfolio allocation perspective. The percentage allocated to bonds, equities, cash and alternatives investment according to your risk profile.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Are we spending too much time doing active investing?

The More Important Game of LifeWhile the evidence is overwhelming that passive investing is the winning investment strategy, it's also the winning strategy in the far more important game of life. Here's why.
As a passive investor, when I come home from my busy day, I get to sit down with a glass of wine and ask my wife about her day and how my kids and grandchildren are doing. Because I didn't spend my time trying to beat the market, I also got to coach my youngest daughter's softball, soccer and basketball teams. I also read 50 to 70 books each year, do community service, play tennis, and focus on the other really important things in my life.
Investors following an active management strategy spend much of their precious leisure time watching the latest business news, studying the latest charts, reading financial trade publications, and so on. Even if they are among the few who are successful at the active management game of generating alpha (performance above risk-adjusted benchmarks), the "price" of success may have been that they lost the far more important game of life.
The question for you to consider is what are the important things in your life? Is it trying to generate extra returns through active management strategies that require you to "invest" large amounts of your time? Or are the important things in your life time spent with your loved ones, on your faith, your education, your dreams, a worthy cause, teaching or mentoring others? If you don't already know the answer, perhaps this story will help you find it.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Millionaires reveal 6 Habits for a lifetime of wealth.

  • “Read omnivorously. Use your money to create more money.” —
    Robert Smith
  • “Stay agile, and provide investors with evidence and vision.” — Paul LeJoy
  • “Buy used, not new.” — Marshall Brain
  • “Take a risk in search of wealth.” — Wendy Robbins
  • “Volunteer to help.” — Thomas J. Madden
  • “You can always save money.” — Tyler Drew

Thursday, January 23, 2014

2014 Portfolio - ASX listed companies

For 2014, I would be continuing my focus on ASX listed companies which I've been buying in 2012. ASX-listed companies have been giving a good and stable growth rate if you had invested in the index. Find out from your broker how you can buy ASX listed companies, Australia has a lot of good companies with good investment moat.

Image taken off

Some examples of them would be :-
1) Supermarket Monopolies : Woolworths & WesFarmers(more than supermarket actually)
2) The Four Pillars of Australia (NAB, CBA, WBC, ANZ)
3) The mining wonder : BHP & Rio Tinto
4) Telecom Duopoly : Telstra & Optus (have other telcos but these two are the most dominant)

 Do check them out for their delicious dividend yield and stable growth.

Also, if you are interested in bonds, their investment grade bonds actually are a good buy with great yields to boot! :) I'm vested in those too.

In terms of forex risk, I'm not too concerned as I do not believe AUSTRALIA will depreciate against SINGAPORE dollars much like what have been happening with Malaysia or US Dollars. Of course, that's just an opinion , not back up by facts. :)

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

OMFG! This 2014 C-class is definitely best of breed , at least to me! Looks damn good! It wins hands down over Audi, BMW at the moment in the same category.