Saturday, January 21, 2017

Money Is A Story....

Seth Godin
I am currently in the midst of reading a gigantic book called "Tools Of Titans" (from Tim Ferriss, the famous author that brought us 4-hour workweek in 2007).  Effectively, it is a compilation of key takeaways from his previous interviews/podcasts with the hundreds of successful heavyweights over the world, including Tony Robbins, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Seth Godin, Jamie Foxx, Peter Thiel and many many more... 

Tim cleverly categorized zillions of gems into three key segments : HEALTHY, WEALTHY and WISE. I am still at page 587 of 1,596 of the ebook and it just happens to be the interview of one of my favorite author : Seth Godin (he maintained a blog with daily nuggets of meaningful post, check it out here). So, the title of this blog post is not from me, it was actually from Seth Godin (under the WEALTHY segment). The complete sentence (extracted from the book, Tools Of Titans) is as follows:

"Money is a story... And it's better to tell a story about money you're happy with" 

I like it because it's kind of abstract (from the first sight) but when you think deeper, it's kind of true too. The way I interpret it is : money can be a friend or foe, depending on how we manage it (or it manages us in some situation), we should always aim to share an happy story about money (whatever it is to you).   

How do you interpret this...?


Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Infographic - All You Need To Know About HDB Loan And Bank Loan (Guest Post)

Buying a HDB flat for the first time can be an intimidating experience. It’s probably the first big ticket purchase in your life that will take the next couple of decades to pay off, so you’d definitely want to rake in as much savings as you can.

Perhaps you have not really thought about what kind of loan to take up. If you don’t already know, you have a choice between taking up a HDB or bank loan, as long as you are eligible for them.

You might want to hold on to your cash and pay off your home loans using your CPF, but did you know that taking up a bank loan allows you to pay less interest? This is because bank interest rates are lower as compared to the CPF Ordinary Account (OA) interest rate which home loans are pegged to.

And while the down payment required to take up a bank loan may be higher – at 20%, with at least 5% paid in cash as compared to 10% with a HDB loan, fully payable with your CPF –you get to enjoy greater flexibility in retaining your savings in your CPF OA. Conversely, upon the collection of keys to your new home, HDB will wipe out your CPF OA balance to reduce the loan quantum required for you to service.

In the following infographic, we run through the main factors to consider while taking up a home loan for your HDB flat, and the main differences between taking up a HDB loan and a bank loan.

To find out more about taking up a bank loan vs. a HDB loan, refer to our full guide at Ultimate Guide On Singapore Home Loan

This is a guest post from Redbrick Mortgage Advisory.

The team at Redbrick Mortgage Advisory has more than 60 years of banking experience and is proficient in structuring and sourcing for the best financing terms for both residential and commercial real estate in Singapore, Malaysia, USA, UK, Japan, Thailand and Australia.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

What This GHOST Tought Me About Investing?

No, I am not talking about the famous 1990 Ghost movie by Patrick Swayze and Demi Moore!

No, I am also not talking about any ghosts in the Ghostbusters movies.

In fact, I am not even talking about any ghost from any of the Hong Kong movies/series. 

What I am referring to is an old Korean TV drama series called Ghost (or Phantom). It was released in 2012 (5 years ago) and is not an horror genre. It is a detective drama revolved around a team of cyber unit (computer forensics unit) with intriguing and twisting plots. Personally, I am not a K-drama fan and in fact this is the only K-drama that I managed to complete the whole series.

So, what have I learnt from this K-drama series that I am trying to relate to investing (stock in general)?

Here we go.....

1. The way I chanced upon this K-drama series?
As I mentioned earlier, I am not a K-drama fan, so how did I chance upon this K-drama series and got hooked ever since? It all started with a fantastic and superbly acted horror movie called "The Wailing" (2016) which I watched on the New Year Day. The superb performance of the main actor (Kwak Do-Won) immediately caught my eyes and after a brief "research" on his previous works, it lead me to this gem (Ghost), of which he won the best supporting actor in one of the Korea Drama Awards. As they said, the rest is history.
The Wailing - If you are an horror movie fan, you got to watch this!!!
If you think about it, it kind of resemblance on how many retail investors chanced upon a gem stock (value buy) in the massive sea of stocks. Usually, it started with one company that lead us to yet another some-how related company(ies) that we found value in. For example, you might be invested in Company A and satisfied with its performance (value), after reading through their Annual Reports and related market news, it might leads you to dig deeper into its partners, suppliers or even key customers, of which, some of them might just be another gem.

So, keep digging (researching) as there are always gems waiting to be uncovered. 

2. The Plot
One of the reason that I managed to complete the whole series in (my) record time (20 episodes in 1.5 weeks) is because of its intriguing plots and twists. In one episode, you might thought that the Good is winning the "race", next, they are at wits' end (fighting for their lives). The key? Both are constantly digging out/uncovering the new (or hidden) trace of information and made quick and informed decision/action out of it. The good vs evils continue to outwit each others numerous times throughout the show.

Of course, at the end, the good wins but it is a hell of the ride.

Ain't stock market work the same? At one point, your counter(s) might be shooting up the roof with better-than-expected business results etc, next, they are tumbling down because of the weak micro-economic news (or whatever). The Ups and Downs will continue regardless of how hard you evaluate the counters. Having said that, it is important to constantly making use of the new set of information like the quarterly business results, pertinent micro-economic news etc.. to make decisive decision whether to continue to hold, add or release. 

Of course, we are not in the TV series setting whereby the good always win but with that momentum, I am sure we will have a better chance in winning. In any case, we can't win all the time!      

Have you seen any good movie/series recently that set you thinking?


Saturday, January 7, 2017

January Is A Busy Month For Me!

January, new year resolution
For the past few years, January seems to be my travelling month and there is no difference for this year. Will be heading to Eastern Europe during Chinese New Year period. So, yes, I will be away from the blogsphere during this period :-)

So, spending quite a fair bit of time sourcing for the right tour package since mid-December 2016 (finally decided to go with Chan Brothers), sourcing/buying the winter clothing (just attended the tour briefing yesterday, January will be the coldest month in Europe), sourcing for the travel insurance etc.. Talking about travel insurance, will be getting it from GoBear as I have good experience in buying much cheaper travel insurance from the site previously. 

So, yes, January will be a busy month for me to accumulate more life experience, I noticed that the more years I've lived (i.e. the more "senior" I am), I am more willing to spend [time and money] on new life experiences (like getting to know new friends, doing/learning something new, travelling etc...) than materials stuff (like new clothing, new gadgets etc...). 

Directly or indirectly, it also means that I will have low or no action in the stock market this month, it's not like I have plenty of action in other months, in the first place :-) For those who are deploying your cash recently, hope you have a huatful year, so far, it is a good start for most of the counters in the first week of 2017. 

Lastly, just like to end this post with the following inspirational quote (from web) : 
Inspirational Quote
Inspirational Quote (from web)

Monday, January 2, 2017

My "Rojak" Sharing #1 in 2017

Time fly, we are already at the second day of 2017, in less than one month's time, we will be celebrating the Chinese New Year (CNY), the Year Of Rooster. I will be travelling oversea during this year's CNY and looking forward to the upcoming group tour (it has been a while since our last group tour to US many years back). 

As I always said, life is not always about money or investment alone, so, I decided to start a regular sharing of anything under the sun that I chanced upon and find it interesting to share. I called it Rojak Sharing. Why rojak? Because it is really rojak (Malay word for mixture of stuff) :-) 

On high level, I will start my first Rojak serving (I means sharing) with the following "fruits" :

1. The Movie - Being a movie buff, how can I not share some good movie that I've just watched? Chinese there is a saying : 独乐乐不如众乐乐! (loosely translated into : instead of enjoying myself alone, it is better off to be enjoyed together with others) 

2. The Facebook Page - Facebook, being the hottest social media at the moment, there are plenty of good stuff (mostly informative and entertaining) we can get freely from there. So, why not?  

3. The Site - I will share any website or blog that I find worth my time and "got liao" (with good content).

4. The Kang Tao (Hokkien  word for hot tips) - Any tip that I can find online or offline...

The Movie :
Finally! I managed to watch one of the highly acclaimed Korean horror movie of 2016, The Wailing (哭声). It worth every second of my time.

It is suspenseful! It is intense! It did everything right for an horror movie. All the casts are excellence in their performance too.

It is a movie with most ambiguous ending but with a purpose. I am sure you will be cracking your head after the ending credits and trying to find clue to decipher the movie i.e. is he a good guy? Is there really ghost or demon? 

If you like Asian horror movie and missed this movie for whatever reason, don't miss it again!
The Wailing (Korean Movie)

The Facebook Page:
Many motivational or entrepreneur gurus like to ask his/her followers to THINK BIG! Today, I am going to share an Facebook Page called BIG THINK. There are regular sharing of insights by the popular/famous authors/entrepreneurs/thinkers..It will really open your mind...

The Site:
James Altucher, the author/podcaster/entrepreneur/investor that I get to know only recently, after a fellow blogger friend introduced a book by him to me, Choose Yourself. I've completed the book and continue to read his follow-up book entitled, Choose Yourself Guide To Wealth. His perspective is really out of the box and mostly sharing of his personal experience. You might not buy all his ideas but some of them like Ideas Machine, Idea Sex (nothing sexual) and Daily Practice are pretty cool!

The reason why I recommend his site (James Altucher) is because there are regular podcast series with the other famous authors/entrepreneurs like Dan Ariely (author of many popular books, like Predictably Irrational, The (Honest) Truth About Dishonesty), Scott Adams (creator of Dilbert comic) etc... lot's of insights again.

The Kang Tao:
I used to make monthly remittance to my Malaysia credit card via a remittance house and being charged $10 for the remittance fee. Recently, I got to know that they are no longer making remittance to Malaysia bank and hence I need to look for other sources. That's where I found DBS Remit service with $0 transfer fee to 9 countries (Malaysia is one of it! Yeay).

The best part is, I can make the transfer at the convenient of my home or office via the Internet Banking and the money is remitted on the same day. And the best best part is that for the time being, you can do it with $0 transfer fee (not sure how long the free transfer will last but I managed to take the opportunity and made the first transfer successfully).

For more details, you can check out DBS Remit here.

That's all from me today!

Hope you enjoy my rojak and wish all my readers have a great 2017 ahead!


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