27 December 2019

Year end reflections for 2019

Few more days to mark the end of year 2019. To sum it up for all of the long investors, it is a good bull run year and Santa Christmas very unlike last year's snow storm. For the nth time, market is unpredictable.

No fancy blog post title for this as usual, not too creative here. The purpose is just to compare my current self against my younger self. Am I a better person today than yesterday? 

There's no point in comparing our achievements to others' because each us have different starting points, end points and pace in our life journey.

15 December 2019

4 takeaways from Fake by Robert Kiyosaki

My takeaways from Fake

Image result for fake robert k

1) Fake money

Money is simply a medium of exchange. Fiat money are fake money as they can be manipulated by the central bank (so we have inflation, interest rate fluctuation all that sh*t). Gold and silver are God's money because they cannot be easily manipulated. If you want to be rich, buy and store gold. Cyptocurrency is possibly people's money because it also cannot be easily manipulated by central bank / governments either. [View this documentary on Bitcoin if you are interested to find out more.]

He also referred to Grunch (GRoss UNiversal Cash Heist) - the book by Fuller which talks about future of the global economy and how the wealth of the people of the world was being “stolen” — via a giant, invisible heist — by the uber rich who control the world via our governments, central banks, corporations, educational institutions, the military industrial complex and financial institutions.

"Grunch is impossible to see because Grunch is money, and money is everywhere, in everything - and invisible."

The poor are getting poorer and the rich are getting richer. Because the rich know where to 'invest' to get more of the so-called fake money.

You can't catch fish in clean water - "In the real world of business and investing, the word used for seeing in dirty water is transparency. In the real world of money, transparency is a very, very important word." Therefore, you need financial literacy to see what others can't see.

13 December 2019

Inspiring commencement speeches

Like what J.K Rowling said about herself, I too can't remember a single word from the speaker at my graduation ceremony more than a decade ago. High chance that I might have fallen asleep as what I always did during lectures. I figured that the speaker at my commencement must not have been half as entertaining as Oprah and Rowling. 

The commencement speeches below are true gems. Although it's well past the time that I should be listening to them, I still find them inspiring, timeless. 

Oprah Winfrey's commencement speech

JK Rowling's commencement speech

Common points that I have distilled from their seemingly different messages are:
  • We need to have a vision for ourselves - with that only can we pave our own path in life to success. (I like Oprah's case of her boyfriend asking her to go for a ride and she would ask 'to where?'.)
  • We need to know what we are capable of and learn to make good impacts to the world with this talent/ service of ours (know we can touch other people's lives).
  • Surround yourself with good people. People who are worthwhile to be with, who want the best for you and make you a better person.

The 2 lady speakers are outstanding in their own ways of delivering the intended messages, like the way they draw references and experiences to themselves. I guess owing in part to the extraordinary and undulant life stories that they had behind the glamour of success.

Indeed, if life is all calm, peaceful and rosy, what's there to strive for? 
"You might never fail on the scale I did, but some failure in life is inevitable. It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all – in which case, you fail by default." - J.K Rowling

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16 November 2019

Quick update - Nov

  • Using US portfolio to hedge against SG portfolio was a mistake. Because they are not perfectly correlated, both in their direction and magnitude. Over the last couple of months, US stocks have been on the run up like crazy and I have lost about USD500+ on VXX which bet against the rise of index. It was opened with the intention of hedging against a general market downturn (which happened around this time last year) but didn't happen - given the trade war fatigue (though no confirmed deal signed), no shocking world news and relatively stable economic condition in the US (relatively low unemployment and low interest rate). So people have been parking their cash in stocks and the stock market has been on a steady climb. I entered too late a position in Mastercard Inc so only have peanut gains so far (a good buy point was at $270). Lesson learnt is to wait for uncertainty in the market and certainty in price action before trying to "hedge". We can never catch the bottom-most nor the top-most price but worse is the middle - trying to bet in which direction it will go.

  • Crypto seems to be in the limelight again. Here's what I understand - blockchain is a form of technology, it enables the existence of cryptocurrency. What made me skeptical about doing crypto investment is mainly counter-party risk. The whatever so-called high return platforms for crypto are offering the so-called derivative products and I am not sure how they are being regulated or what they are being backed up by. 

    With the emergence of various cyptocurrencies these days, how are each of their value being determined? [Read: https://www.investopedia.com/tech/what-determines-value-1-bitcoin/]


    If we reverse the coin and deem crypto as the "real money" of tomorrow, then what would be the truly secure way to procure and store them without counter-party risks? Until there's a widespread utility for these by-products of the great technology and there are some means to determine each of their worth, I think trading in them is highly speculative and I will steer clear for now. Amidst all that price volatility, I am not sure what's driving their demand and supply. From what I see, crypto's "spot value" is just pegged to the currencies that the particular crypto is being traded in (is USD the standard?), not pegged to gold, assets, nor businesses. Maybe someone with better knowledge could enlighten?

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