Sunday, August 27, 2017

Review Openly - Value And Growth Investing Workshop

Yesterday morning, attended the Value / Growth Investing Workshop conducted by Terence (owner of T.U.B Investing) and John (owner of Simple Investor SG). This slightly more than 3-hours workshop focusing on their respective investment style/approach (Terence is on Value Investing and John is on Growth Investing). 

No, I didn't attended alone. I was being invited and went with two financial blogger/buddies, B (from A Path To Forever Financial Freedom) and Chris (from Growing Your Tree of Prosperity). You can read their respective posts on their blog links. 

The Workshop provided some fundamental concepts/differences between Value and Growth Investing and both of them managed to put across the key message : each approach has its own merits and no one if better than the other! So, it's up to the investors to choose which investment style/approach that they are attuned to. As the saying goes, all roads lead to Rome

Highlights of the workshop is the sneak peak of their upcoming brainchild project, Fundamental Scorecard. Basically, it comprises of two scorecards i.e.:

Ultimate Scorecard (by T.U.B Investing) -  Focusing on the Value Investing Criteria 
Full Analysis (by Simple Investor SG) - Focusing on the Growth Investing Criteria

As the name implied, this scorecard is a scoring system and will comb through the 700+ SGX stocks and rank them basing on their respective designated parameters/criteria. Currently, this Scorecard only focus on SGX stocks but they have plan to extend it to Hong Kong stocks in the future too.  

Think of it like a formulated pre-set stock screener which not only provide you with the results but also give you a score on each of the company. I think this tool will come in handy for retail investors who want to start investing but don't know where to start? It will provide you a list of potential stocks for you to dig further. 

Personally, I believed that every tool/software has it's own set of limitation, however, as long as it serves its main purpose, it's deemed as a useful tool (like MS Words is a great tool for preparing document). From the initial sneak peak, I think Fundamental Scorecard has potential to be a useful tool for retail investors. 

I believed more details about Fundamental Scorecard will be made available online soon, do check out their respective blog (T.U.B Investing and Simple Investor SG) for further update.


Saturday, August 19, 2017

Weekend Sharing - Recipe For Happiness and My Upcoming TUB experience (Investing Workshop)

Been quite slack with my blog ever since came back from my trip 2+ weeks ago. Work is getting busier but not complaining as at least I am still contributing.

This week has been plagued with negative news like regular massive train breakdowns during peak hours (locally) and never ending multiple terrorist related attacks (in Europe). Anyway, it's weekend once again, let's all have a well deserved rest and keep the positive energy flowing...

If you need some motivation to keep up with the positivity amidst the negativity and boost your happiness, check out the marvellous BBC News video (I called it "Recipe For Happiness") here:

The other thing that I am excited to share is about being invited by Terence (owner of the T.U.B Investing) to attend their very first Investing Workshop next Saturday (26th August 2017). It has been a while since I last attended such workshop, it's good for me to re-pickup my momentum and I am sure will be able to learn something new from them (I just get to know that TUB stands for The Unique Bunch and they are a team).

For more details about the workshop, you can check out their post here.

If any of you are happen to be there next Saturday, hope to say hi to you at the workshop :-)


Sunday, August 13, 2017

Who Do You Compete With?

Once, Netflix CEO, Reed Hastings was asked who the company's biggest competitor was, do you know what is his answer? 

Not, it's not Amazon, neither Youtube.

His answer is profoundly bold : SLEEP! 

Yes, from his perspective, his focus is not with any of his competitors but rather focusing on his own product(s) as well as the customers. I deduced from his answer that he is trying to deliver a product that the customers are willing to sacrifice their sleep with. 

I think same thing applies to our investing journey or our life as a whole too. 

Just take a moment to think through, who do you usually compete with? 

Your siblings? 
Your classmates? 
Your colleagues..?
Your peer retail investors? 

The list goes on but I do agree with Reed Hastings that the one worth competing with is ourselves! Of course, I am not saying that competition is no good or it's not important. In fact, to understand what our competitors do/has/provide is key to success as we just can't operate in silo, but the focus should always go back to ourselves i.e. 

What we have achieved so far? 
What have we done right?
What have we done wrong?
What can we do better (against our "old" self)? 


Friday, August 11, 2017

Is Blockchain The Web 3.0 That We Are Waiting For?

During my recent trip to Europe, I chanced upon an interesting article in the in-flight magazine (Business Life) of British Airways. The article is entitled "Blockchain Frenzy", I managed to complete the whole article during the flight (it is not that long anyway) and the technology is intriguing enough for me to explore further with the book (Blockchain Revolution) which is cited in the article.

The more I read about Blockchain, the more I find it amazing and has potential to be the next wave of revolutionary technology that has potential to truly dis-intermediate any financial or business transactions. 

Following is the definition of Blockchain by Don and Alex Tapscott, authors of Blockchain Revolution:

“The blockchain is an incorruptible digital ledger of economic transactions that can be programmed to record not just financial transactions but virtually everything of value.”

It is Web 3.0!

If internet is the backbone of the eCommerce, which dis-intermediate many businesses in many industries, blockchain will be the backbone of the Master Contracts which will dis-intermediate the online providers. For example, with Blockchain technology, it is powerful enough to bypass the like of Uber, Paypal or Airbnb from the transactions. It is a straight through transaction between two willing parties.

So what does it means?

It means any financial or business transaction can be done quicker (in the tune of minutes or seconds) and cheaper (or even free). Of course, Blockchain technology is still at its infancy and most of the time we will link it to cryptocurrency like bitcoin etc.., but it is much much more than that.

Give it 3 to 5 years, I foresee it will have a massive impact in our everyday life, just like what internet or social media did to us now!  

The next thing I will do is to complete the book and dig further on this seemingly too good to be true technology.. when eCommerce is just starting out years ago, there are many skeptics too.


Tuesday, August 8, 2017

6 Interesting Recommendations to Get a New Business off The Ground (Guest Post)

When it comes to starting a new business, the task is often full of risks and challenges. However, there are a few tips that can be followed to tip the scales in your favour.

Here are a few of these gems.

1. Making Monday Count

There is a consensus on Monday being the most unpopular day of the week. However, if you are really passionate about your new business and you enjoy what you do, your Mondays will become exciting, so much so, that the work does not feel like work. Need extra office space or a space to conduct your annual meetings? The Work Pod is where you can make a booking to get the space you need and drive your business on the road to success.

2. Sell what you would like to buy

While there are several techniques that allow you to test the market for the bestselling products, they can take a lot of your time without giving you any definite results. Therefore, we offer a better, cleaner, and a faster method to determine which product you should be offering. How about selling what you would like to buy yourself? If you love a product, chances are that others with similar tastes will love them too. For example, the gifts at are the kind that even the owner of Custom Gear would love to receive.

3. Be Enthusiastic

The world, including your own employees, customers, and especially the investors, will provide you with a number of reasons why your business would not work. According to Cruz and Co, a company that offers innovative solutions and expertise to small and medium business start-ups, the only way to win your way through all the negativity is to stick to your passion and be optimistic about it.

4. Product-Market Fit

A fatal mistake that any start-up owner makes is that they waste a lot of their time on administrative tasks, such as decorating the office or getting the payroll process in place. While these items should definitely be on the list, they are secondary importance when compared to figuring out the product- market fit for what you are planning to sell.

5. Satisfying the Customers

The success of a business is not determined by the price of the product being sold, but rather by how many long-term customers you have gained. This is where creating an emotional connection with your customers comes into the picture. Your start-up is bound to get off the ground if you successfully make customers for a lifetime as they will keep coming back to you for their needs.

6. Having Fun

Finally, the most important advice that comes from experience is to cultivate a work environment for the workers where they are motivated to work and feel satisfied. You can integrate happy hours, interesting corporate events, and fun filled outings, into their days. This will not only give them a well-earned break from their daily routine, but will also increase their productivity, which, at the end of the day, is your purpose after all.

Saturday, August 5, 2017

3 Money Related Tips I've Learnt From My Recent Trip

money tips
Time flies really fast, we are already in the month of August now! What? 

As I was just back from my free and easy trip to Europe (covering London, Sardinia and Paris, briefly) 2 days ago, that explains why I was MIA for the past 2 weeks :-)

This post is to share some of the money related tips (or lessons) that I've learnt personally during the trip and hopefully it is beneficial to you folks too, especially if you are planning for some upcoming free and easy trips (though some of these tips might not be new to you).   

Money Tips No. 1 - Uber:
When doing free and easy trip, transport cost is always one of the fluid cost that we need to take into consideration (or budget for it). Of course, with Uber coming into picture, it is more palatable as compared to the normal taxi/cab, especially in the European countries. 

Having said that, do take note that some smaller European city (like Sardinia, Italy that I've went to), Uber service is not available. So, you can either using their normal taxi service or public bus service. Lucky for us, their taxi service is not as expensive as in the big city like London or Paris. So, it is still palatable.   

When we were back to London and Paris, besides using the Underground (tube) service occasionally, most of the time we are using the Uber services. It is definitely a cheaper and more convenient option. Besides, I learnt that we can use Uber as a bargaining tool when negotiating with other similar private car services, especially those servicing the airport passengers. 

For my case, I managed to use the amount indicated in the Uber app and negotiate down with the driver from 80 Euros to 45 Euros (travelling from Charles de Gaulle Airport, Paris to our hotel).

Oh, by the way, if you are having a prepaid SIM card with new phone number, do remember to change the telephone number in your Uber App so that you are remained contactable by the Uber driver, when the needs arise. 

Money Tips No. 2 - Hotel Check-in Holding Amount:
Usually, for free and easy trip, we will need to arrange our accommodation prior to the trip. This tip is only applicable if you are arranging your accommodation at hotel i.e. Airbnb accommodation is not applicable. 

Most of the hotels in European countries will need you to produce your credit/debit card upon check-in for them to "hold" the room charges (plus extra 100 Euros/Pounds as deposit for other expenses). When you are checking-out, they will requires you to provide them the credit/debit card again for them to deduct the actual room charges (assuming you do not have any additional expenses during the stay, they will just charge the committed room charges i.e. without the 100 Euros/Pounds deposit) AND "release" the amount they hold upon check-in. 

Do take note that the amount they "released" is not instantaneous i.e. it depends on your credit/debit card provider's arrangement. For my case, I was using DBS Debit Card and I noticed that the "hold" amount has not been released upon my return to Singapore (even though the amount charged upon check-out already been deducted and shown in my online transaction history). 

Finding it odd, I made a call to DBS contact center to clarify and learnt that usually the bank will not automatically release the fund if the amount held is different from the amount successfully charged (remember the hold amount is 100 Euros/Pounds more?). So, with my call, they told me that they will help me to release the fund manually and even then, it is not immediate, it takes around 1 to 2 working days.

This tip has no savings or whatsoever but it is more for knowledge. 

Money Tips No. 3 - Check-in Luggage Allowance:
Similar to accommodation, usually, we would have settled our flight arrangement much earlier prior to our trip. The key here is to read carefully the check-in luggage allowance of the flight tickets that you are about to buy. 

For my case, I've bought the British Airways ticket from London to Paris, I thought since it is not a budget airline, I conveniently assume that the usual check-in luggage allowance (20 or 25 kg) will be included. 

I was wrong!  

Upon checking-in, I learnt that my ticket do not include check-in luggage allowance and since I need to check-in 1 luggage, I've got no choice but to buy it at the counter. The second shock is that the check-in luggage allowance fare is obscenely high if we were to get it at the counter, they charged me 65 Pounds, one way (as compared to 30 pounds if I were to get it online before check-in). Since I've already check-in prior to this shocking discovery, there goes the extra 35 pounds lol 

So, we learnt our mistake and bought the check-in luggage allowance online prior to checking-in for the return flight.  

In short, before hitting the confirm button when you are getting your air ticket, do counter check whether it covers the check-in luggage allowance, if "no", do remember to get it online prior to checking-in your flight, if you need one!

Last but not least, our 52nd National Day is just around the corner, wish everyone an early Happy National Day!


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