Friday, 16 August 2019

Weekend brain food III

This week's reads (they are kind of random):

Cramer: Don’t break these rules if you want your stock portfolio to make money

1. Panic is not a strategy

2. There is always a better time to sell than into the maelstrom

3. Stay away from after-hours trading

4. Check your emotions at the door

5. Don’t sell all at once

Investors can hide out in domestic stocks from the China trade war

“What we are focusing on with our clients now... are companies that are more domestically facing in terms of the source of their revenue,” Goldman Sachs chief U.S. equity strategist David Kostin,

There's another article that advised investing in companies that generate revenue from services rather, which suffer less impact from the tariffs raise.

Definitive Guide to Dividend Withholding Tax in Stock & Passive Investing (by Investment Moat)

He did a wonderful write-up demystifying withholding tax and these are the areas covered:
- Tax When Money Flows out of the Country
- The Withholding Tax around the World (Data Tables)
- It is not Where it is Listed but Where the Company is Domiciled
- How do we tell where a Stock or Fund is Domiciled or Incorporated?
- What about Dual Taxation Treaties?
- Unpacking the Withholding Tax on Exchange Traded Funds and Unit Trust

Are fully franked ASX dividends better than unfranked dividends?

Applicable for only Australian stocks.

How Thailand Created A Multi-Billion-Dollar Blue Ocean in Medical Tourism and How It Just Might Create Another


The stock market is still riding up and down based on Trump's tweets and sentiments on the trade war progression. I hope my trading portfolio can stay afloat for 4 more months till year end to mark this trading year as a positive one.

I gotta kick myself for making rash trade moves at the start of this month. Need to be more MINDful!

Click here for resources on Trading Strategies.

YTD results

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Saturday, 10 August 2019

The reason to why we are suffering

This post is not related to finance or investments. 

I was reading this interview transcript (warning: it's loooong) by Tim Ferriss (the author of 4-hour work week) on Tony Robbins a couple of days ago and found the below highly enlightening. Worth a read if you are interested.

"The reason you’re suffering is you’re focused on yourself. You’re obsessing on yourself. People tell me, “I’m not suffering that way. I’m worrying about my kids. My kids are not what they need to be.” No, the reason they’re upset is they feel they failed their kids. It’s about them still. In fact, I began to uncover where all suffering comes from. I found the simplest little tools. I dug in. Suffering comes from three thought patterns: loss, less, never.

If you are in a situation where you believe that someone did something – the government, your friend, your co-worker, your kid, whoever, and because they did that you lost love or you lost an opportunity or you lost respect or you lost anything, the illusion of loss is the place we suffer. It is unconsciously, even when it’s not conscious, because we’re obsessing about ourselves. We’re having this illusion that something happened and now life as we expect it to be is not there. Our expectations are what are keeping us from feeling that happiness.

On the other hand, the other one is less. If you did something, I did something, you failed to do something as my friend, I failed to do something for you and as a result either of us starts thinking we have less respect, less love, less joy, less opportunity, less something, you’re going to suffer. You’re going to come up with those emotions that make you crazy. And the worst one is when you start thinking because you did this or I did this or you didn’t do that or I did that or the government or somebody did something, because of that, we will never have something again, then people get crazy inside.

The antidote to that suffering is appreciation."

To put in another word, suffering is all in our mind. Our mind put us into the state we want to be. Earlier on I have talked about "mindfulness" - how we could control our mind instead of letting it run around like a wild beast and do silly things.

The 3 thought pattern to suffering are loss, less, never. The notion of "less" would be making an inferiority of yourself by comparing with others who have "more". The last point which he didn't elaborate much was on 'never'. It's basically negative thoughts like "I will never be able to...", "I will never get...", "I can never...blah blah". 

These negative thoughts are what handicapped us from what we could achieve.

"I just think a lot of people say to me well, you know, God’s not really in my life. I don’t know there’s a God or an infinite energy or whatever you want to call what you think has created you. I always say to people, can you imagine if you were the creator and you come here to one of your creations and you say to this person, Joe, how do you like what I created for you? And he says, geez, God it’s hot as shit here. Couldn’t you have just kept it as 78 degrees? Why did you have to change all these temperatures and make it so tough? And man, you’ve got these stupid people I’ve got to deal with all the time. They’re always getting in my way and, you know, why do I have to work for a living?

Plus you’ve got these little red ants. They’re tiny little ants and they bite my ass and they hurt like hell. Why would you create these annoying ants? Now, if you’re a God, do you want to hang out with this person? And if you’re a human, do you want to hang out with him? And then if you’re God, you go to someone else and you say how’s it going? The creation I created for you? And the guy says, hey, man, God, this is so incredible. This is the most beautiful place I could ever imagine. The sky, the air, the water. Oh my God there’s so many different people that challenge me and help me to grow and learn and people I can love.

And oh my God you even created these red ants. I mean, these red ants are so tiny. I’m 1,000 times their size and they’re so courageous. They come even bite me. It’s cool what you’ve created here. Who do you want to hang with? So if he goes I don’t have God in my life, it’s probably because you whine and bitch too much to feel God’s presence, right? We have got to stop the suffering. I don’t know many people that don’t suffer regularly. They don’t call it suffering, but that’s what they do. And it’s something you can end. Not like one time. It’s like drawing the line in the sand and saying if I want to take the island, I’m going to burn the boats. I’m not going back.

And then committing yourself to it and not beating yourself up."

I find it a pretty funny excerpt, the way Robbins put it - a personification of God and how frustrated God might be at the 'complainers'. Don't kick me. I am a free-thinker, so I don't pray to any God. 

It is all in our perspective.

So let's ask ourselves...

Why do we see work as suffering?

Why do we think doing household chores or any chore that we have to lift a finger to do as suffering?

Why do we think being not married as suffering?

Why do we think having kids as suffering?

Why must we always 'win' and otherwise that's suffering?

I guess that's where depression stems from.

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Friday, 9 August 2019

How far from a 'new worse'?

Is this a phase of consolidation before coming to a waterfall?

This month did not start well with Trump's new tariff slap on China. Just as I was gloating over a 12% gain on my Capitaland's shares, the gain has quickly plummeted by more than half in the blink of an eye before I could react. 

Obviously I didn't learn my lesson too well.

My Equity portfolio on the whole is still afloat. Generally speaking, if one uses the war chest to buy good dividend stocks during sales (that's why I say market timing matters), one's portfolio would have a higher margin of safety to weather a market downturn.

Are we at a market downturn? Hmm we are probably nowhere near signs of waterfall yet... (although by the time we catch sight of it, it's often too late to react).

Let us take a brief glance at the highest to lowest points during STI plunges over the past 10 years.

3189 (07/2011) to 2646 (12/2011)  

3487 (04/2015) to 2539 (02/2016)  

3613 (04/2018) to 2979 (10/2018)  

(I did not do the exact calculation on that behemoth plunge for Lehman's crisis, but you can tell from the graph above that it is more than 50% for sure.)

Actually I would rather see a waterfall than a rapid. At least the buy or sell signal would be much clearer. When market goes one-tweet-up-one-tweet-down, I feel like a fool. And this trade war thing is probably going to be a slow-boiling thing which no one can predict its boil-over point.


My Related Posts

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Saturday, 3 August 2019

Weekend brain food II

Good readings are like old adage - they never go outdated but market news do. What I am reading this weekend:

"Over-reliance on flawed models has hurt people over and over and over again. Beware of geeks bearing formulas!"

"It's ironic that at the time time Neff published his book in 1999, one of the greatest investment bubbles in history was approaching its climactic end point. In the book's final chapter titled 'De Ja Vu', Neff noted the S&P500 was trading at 28 times offering just a 1% yield. And although, Neff could not see the typical warning signs he looked for, [capital expenditures, inventories and consumer debt] he recognized the risks..."

"The most important piece of information when buying a stock (or any asset) is — the price you pay. That’s right. Even with bad management, terrible growth, and bad profitability, there exists some price, possibly a negative price (i.e. I pay you to own it), at which every asset would be a good investment. All the other aspects of an investment will fail you if you pay the wrong price..."

"On a serious note, you can talk about cutting expenses all you want, but it’s income that builds wealth.  If you ever heard someone or some doctors say they saved 80% of their after-tax income and then you find out they made easily over $300k, their “sacrifice” is superficial..."

Luckin Coffee: A Bet On Dynamic Pricing In New Retail

"To improve its operating cost side, dynamic pricing can help transfer the delivery cost to its users through a smart order-rider matching based on location. On the other hand, to improve the revenue side, Luckin will be able to essentially pinpoint its highest-valued customers in terms of recurring spending during any particular marketing campaign, and to offer relevant loyalty deals or new products as a cross-sell opportunity..."


9 Ways to Be a Great Team Member

"...Energy Vampires sabotage teams and complaining is like vomiting. Afterwards you feel better but everyone around you feels sick."
"Create more positive interactions. Praise more. Encourage more. Appreciate more. Smile more. High-five more. Recognize more. Energize more..."

Stop Feeling Busy: 8 Tips to Manage Your Time and Get More Done

Unsuccessful People Focus On “The Gap.” Here’s What Successful People Focus On

"If you measure your current-self against your ideal, you’ll never be happy because there will always be a gap. If you measure your current-self against your previous-self — where you were when you set your goals (and even before) — you’ll experience happiness, satisfaction, and confidence..."


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Sunday, 28 July 2019

Sharing spirit

Couple of months back I was really upset when my laptop crashed and I could not retrieve the data in my presumably still workable HDD, as the HDD enclosure which I bought through Shopee came with a faulty cable. Upon reading Investmoatmoat's post, I came to know of the HDD adapter converter cable. So I bought it (also through Shopee for about SGD5) and tested it out today. To my pleasant surprise, it worked like a charm! The folders auto-popped up upon connection and I managed to retrieve all my precious saved photos and favourite links with only a few clicks. Phew!

Looks ugly but who cares as long as it works

Funny that it wasn't a financial post that got me fired up for this blog post. In that same instance of gratefulness, I was thinking how we may have taken for granted many valuable sharing from the blogosphere.


Pause for a moment...

Have you came across a post that saved your day?

Have you came across a post that changed one or more of your financial perspectives for the better?

Have you came across a post that has inspired you or perhaps gave you a new personal mantra?

Have you came across a post that made you find out more about what you have not known before?


Ever since I embarked on my blogging journey, I have came across many other blogs with 'selfless sharing' of wisdom and useful ideologies. I came to know of things that I didn't know, bookmarked many of the blog masterpieces that I never got sick of re-reading, internalized some of those great ideas and got inspired on some new ones.

Much of the time I am just a "free-loaders" and silent reader. Sometimes I would leave a message to distill more of the bloggers' thoughts or simply as a gesture of my appreciation for their effort.

The essence of blogosphere is the sharing spirit. It may be what's fueling us bloggers years after years.

We share, we learn, we muse.

Sharing is a mutually beneficial activity. Looking from a broader perspective, with the connectivity through internet and apps, it is possible (and very convenient) for many resources to be shared (material or not) and be saved as well. Eg. the more sharing, the less time spent on figuring things out on our own, the less money we spend on procurement, the less material wastes get generated, the more ideas get propagated... As long as we don't get lazy. (Erm, I am not talking communist here just in case you get mistaken.)

Ok back to the blogging community - the "dungeon masters" sharing on the other hand would be quite different (read what's dungeon masters here). I shall leave the elaboration for SMOL's further writing in his upcoming posts perhaps.

If you have came across any post that got you fired up (in any positive ways like mentioned above), do post the link in the comment below.
Share!  :)

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