Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Personal Finance is Really Personal (CPF / Insurance/ Housing /Saving /Investing etc)


Personal finance is an interesting subject which is really Personal “ as there are many factors affecting a person or family’s finances – how much to keep as saving vs investing , to buy term or life insurance , to take up HDB loan or from private banks , to buy HBD or Condominium and of course the hottest topic of CPF ( to transfer our OA to SA or do a voluntary cash top up into SA account) ?

Recently , my friends & famous financial bloggers ( Chris from Growing your tree of prosperity , Uncle CW8888, SGBudgetBabe ) gathered together to give a talks about “ CPF Optimization for Retirement (here)”

You may find some of their thoughts and ideas ( here ) : as you may see , there were different opinions and views about the issue even from the speakers and of course the attendants.

Friday, 17 March 2017

How to Prepare for Rising Interest Rate

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So, it is final that FED increased interest rate by 25 basis points on last Wednesday and you could easily find news and comments on the impact of stocks and economy with this rate hike.  But at least the rate hike is seen as vote of confidence in US economy which has witness increasing inflation and job growth and of course market react positively on this.

Our immediate thinking will be, of course the cost of borrowing will increase as bank will price in higher loan rate, and this lead me to think further that will bank be benefited with higher loan cost eventually. Meantime ,some analyst are more cautious on that because our banks are facing loan crisis from O&G sector hence may not be so sanquine on bank’s future earning.

Thursday, 9 March 2017

Where have all the Manhattan tenants gone ?

I read therefore I write

This is an interesting article about increasing vacancies rate at high end shopping district at Downtown Manhattan in today's The Business Time.

Quoted from the article “ Dusty windows on Madison Avenue. Ghostly trace of sign on Columbus Avenue. Manhattan’s top retail strip, some of which are among the world’s most expensive shopping districts, appear to have seen better days.

Once packed street are being hit by completion from emerging neighborhoods, and deep discounting from online retailers. In February, the heart of Madison’s shopping district had 37 vacancies or stores for rent …….. “

Tuesday, 7 March 2017

Dividend Update : 1st Qtr 2017

All Roads Lead to Rome :

Dividend Income Investing may not suit everyone as it is more passive and slow way of investment strategy. Some may opt for more aggressive or growth type of investment as their core strategy but I think many ways or route to achieve the ultimate goal of financial independence.

As retiree  someone without active income , this might be the best strategy for me although I do understand that some may argue that holding so much of REITs and Biz Trust may not be good in term of asset diversification and also will be affected when interest rate start creeping up .

Thursday, 2 March 2017

DOW 21,000 : What’s Next and Its Valuation

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I think it is time for me to update the world major stock market’s valuation by “ Regression to the Mean   after DJ exceeded 21,000 mark in such a short period after hitting 20K level.

Always remembered that “ Reversion to mean “ is just a “statistical phenomena “ and it may take much longer time to “reverting to mean” if market is in bubble or irrational stage. 

As renowned economist John Maynard Keynes famously commented, The market can stay irrational longer than you can stay solvent.

Tuesday, 28 February 2017

How Much Luck in Investing Success? My Experience in 2008/09

We all know well that market are efficient (most of the time) and many active management fund outperform because of “luck “ and not skill.  You may find out more about this topic in my previous blog on 

 Success in Investing : Skill or Luck ?  (here ).

 As most of the investment professional think, it is hard to admit that luck plays as significant a role as skill in their investment success. That's not to say skill is unimportant but betting on continued success doesn't work well in investing as in other fields.

Friday, 24 February 2017

Saving : Monitoring your Expenses or Behavioral

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  Personal Cash Flow Management

I have seen many blogs written about monitoring the expenses and some some blogger's recommendation of apps which could monitor our expenses in detail .

Frankly, I didn’t monitor my expenses in such manner and I “ agak-agak”  know how much I spent monthly on those fix items and some major items yearly such as holidays & staycations , insurance , home appliance ( like recently changing my TV and refrigerator after using it for many years ) , no tax since no active income etc…

Tuesday, 21 February 2017

Stock Investing May Not be For Everyone

First of all , allow me to quote below from a legendary investor ( some may call him great speculators and some may not agree with that as the way he took his own life in 1940 ) : Jesse Livermore

The game of speculation is the most uniformly fascinating game in the world. But it is not a game for the stupid , the mentally lazy, the man of inferior emotion balance or for the get-rich quick adventurer. They will die poor .”

**remark: I don’t think the "stupid" is a proper word there as the “smart” investors also fail in most of investing or speculating ( like famous case of LTCM -click ).

I have two books about Jesse Livermore , one is " How To Trade in Stocks" written shortly before his death in 1940. How to Trade Stocks offered traders their first account of his famously tight-lipped operator's trading system. Another one is " Reminiscences of a Stock Operator by Edwin LeFevre written in 1923.

The book continue to be the most sought-after and most-loved book ever writeen on the subject of trading and speculation. In this novel, LeFevre brilliantly describes the life and times of the book's protagonist. Larry Livingston , a pseudonym for Jesse Livermore, one of the history's most famous traders. Livermore never considered himself as an investor; he was a speculator. He didn't mind being long or short, he just wanted to be correct. His approach was to figure out what the path of least resistance was and then go with the flow , he understand well about “market psychology “.

You may find more about him on below :

From Investopedia “The Greatest Investors: Jesse L. Livermore(here )

From Wikipedia “Jesse Lauriston Livermore (here)

Monday, 20 February 2017

Investment Using SRS fund - My Experience

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Many articles have been written on SRS Account and it’s pro and con. You may find few good blogs and summary as below :


Is the Supplementary Retirement Scheme a Waste of Your Time and Money? From Money$ (here)

Why it makes sense to contribute to the SRS account (to a certain extent) from (here )

While some may not agree on useful or merit of contributing money into SRS account on reason of “long lock-in “ period and others .

Why I Am Not Too Keen On The Supplementary Retirement Scheme from My 15 Hour Work Week (here)

And of course the famous AK on his blog on “ How AK uses his SRS money and why ? (here)

Monday, 13 February 2017

Housing Choice link to Retirement Comfort ! ( STE photos sharing )

MAS Urges Households To Stay Financially Prudent

Much been written about “Housing choice vs Retirement comfort “ , another types of Cs in our financial planning.

Life is full of “choices “ , one may choose to “stay single or marry “, to “have kids or be DINKs “ , to “climb the corporate ladder or be a freelancer” , to “save more or spend more “ , to “save or invest “ , to “buy a health insurance or take the risk ( bo chap)”……and the list goes on.

“In particular, households should consider their housing choices carefully, as retirement adequacy could be compromised should households overstretch their finances to purchase more expensive housing.”

Source: “Stay prudent, be cautious with property purchases, MAS tells Singaporeans”