Investment knowledge cost – time or money

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The Money Bait

Anything worth working for probably doesn’t come easy. That’s something I’ve been telling myself…. and it stands true for most things in life.

For some reason(s) there seem to be an upward trend of Facebook ads constantly showing videos of people promising you of winning formula and strategy through their courses and stuff… anyone should know that you should be wary of these ads simply through using some logic.

There are both pros and cons to these courses I believe. They may truly believe that they are really helping people too, but here are the reasons why I am doubtful:

(1) Why would they share the secrets openly?

They also do address these questions too… that the ocean is far & wide, they can’t possibly have casted the nets so wide.

With some basic economics fundamentals  you would know that that is because the value the person derived from taking such a move is greater than the value that he would have derived if he had kept the secrets to himself. Well… if he has so much confidence in his own investment methods, why would he not take up debt loans and bank (no pun intended) on his knowledge to get superior ROI?

The more people knows about a specific investment strategy, the less effective it is for one to be profitable using the same method. The calender effect is a well-studied event that happens annually… It is really hard to make a return above normal with the same amount of effort had you put it elsewhere.

 

(2) Why do they always sound the same? When you can sense someone trying to convince you something badly to finish the deal.

For some people… it seems like you can tell that they are only truly bothered about improving their own revenues and income instead of thinking about how they can improve the quality of the services/products that they are providing.

I’m a firm believer that results will follow if the quality is improved. Don’t only be focus on casting a wider area of the net but focus on the quality of the net as well. What’s the point of casting a wider area if your net is full of holes… right???

I have never attended any of the courses before but I’ve heard enough about how some of the course preview is all about just pressuring a person to get into the course OR just up-selling other courses. This is from multiple source including one from my friend.

There are also sources that the things taught in the course are just stuff they already knew or could do without the help of the course. Technically speaking, these people did not do anything illegal… they promised you a course and delivered it. You really must wait to hear if anyone else PERSONALLY recommends you the course besides the person who can directly benefit from you joining the course as well.

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Of course, there must be good people out there right? Who truly wants to teach/help you… that’s what I’d like to believe. It’s just hard to discern them (really hard).

In fact, these people might truly be teaching you useful stuffs… I can never take confirmation. Whether you want to head down to take a look at it yourself/join it is entirely up to you. But what I suggests is that instead of investing money for a course that is supposedly helping you save time to understand and improve your knowledge (you still have to invest time actually)… why not invest time in yourself to just study the books that are available to you for free from the library? There are lots of good books out there where you can pick up or even download to teach yourself (A random walk down wall street… the intelligent investor, etc.)

I cannot show you track records to have you believe me; besides goodwill. As of now I am investing my time & money heavily in my own small e-retail. I think there’s a lot of risk but also returns (not just in terms of money but also knowledge). Either way, by buying into stocks, you are also buying a business… why not give myself a chance to learn right? If it didn’t work out then I’ll just treat it as a learning experience. It is only a failure if you learned nothing out of it.

You cannot guarantee yourself results because it’s not the technique you learn but how you execute the technique. There’s many different ways people can invest, you can explore and decides what’s best for your investing appetite (the appetite for risk).

Unlike a course, you will have all the time in the world to digest… understand… re-read… even join an investment forums and discuss any doubts. Consultations from people who are more experienced than yourself is always out there.

Don’t invest in things you don’t understand… what if it is a good opportunity? New opportunity always appear, don’t jump into a pit you don’t know about.

Seriously! If you do not want to spend time learning how to read a financial report then just buy index funds. Index funds has always been providing good returns in the long-term…. Other than Singapore’s STI index which only has like 30 companies and are heavily lop-sided on the banking sector so there’s not really a lot of diversification. I think most other index funds out there with more than a hundred companies will do just fine.

*After you have insured yourself and kept emergency funds for yourself* Investing should be a necessity but priority is not leaving your defenses down. You probably know friends who sell them but I’d say to choose and pick what you need and not just out of support for your friends.

I do have 4-6 friends who are in that industry but none of my insured plans came from them… that’s because I already had them since my mother was a financial planner herself and already had me covered. Also bought AVIVA’s from SAF just in case shit happens and I can give my family some uh…. remuneration. So to speak.

Remember… nothing worth fighting for comes easy. If it was easy? Eventually it wouldn’t because opportunities that are easy attracts competition.

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I have no idea why I suddenly wanted to make a post but I just did… just sharing my opinion perhaps just because I’m tired of seeing the same ads again and again.

 

 

 

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the positive side

Well, despite ranting about the costs and troubles of the various things I have to do… I think a good way of thinking about it is that I got them done with minimal procrastination. yay, for self-praise.

Although I always appreciate gifts and simple gestures, I don’t always express it… I think this is a good platform for me to try and do some compensation. Perhaps also to reverberate the good & positive things I have in life.

The Cologne is a gift from my sister. The watch from my aunt. The shirt from another aunt. The headset is a gift to myself.

Although the watch and shirt are not exactly from recent weeks, it has certainly helped shorten my to-buy list. Ahh yes…. and also…

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Just to show the small loot I got from IKEA… well… Hopefully I get some stuff up on Saturday and then get more stuff on Sunday for my room decor. That’s 3 wall mounted ‘box’ shelves and a small table to place stuff beside my bed. I will leave the details on a separate post some time within the month…. themes and whatnot.

As for my computer… I manage to fix all substantial issues. Upgraded to Windows 10… Cleared 100gb of trash… Got a good graphics card… defragmented hard drive and updated all drivers.

The only other significant investment I would have to make is an SSD which is only about 78$ for 250Gb. No rush for that as well since I am fine waiting for an extra minute for startup and launching games.

The quality of my write-up has really deteriorated… let me attribute some of the blame on the late hours (0350 in the morning) and insufficient sleep.

Ciaos (:

When it rains… it will pour.

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This is perhaps one of the worst possible time for my 4-year old PC to start a barrage of assault on my wallet bank account… Well before I explain what happened to it, I’ll explain why is it not a good time.

Well… I suppose people who bother to visit my blog are also people who are closer… therefore, YOU (yes, you) probably already know that I just recently finished my final exams for my degree (~99%, never ruling out something plausible). Hence, I went straight ahead to prepare for “working attire”. Two shirts and pants, a belt and pair of shoe… that amounted to 300$++… Got new batteries for 2 “working watches” for  +30$… Tailored 3 pants for +39$…

Well, these are kinda like sunk costs for a job so I’m fine with it? Well, and also… because I have been disconnected from the internet (my PC) in order to focus on my exams for the past 5 months ( January through to May), my only source of entertainment (besides exercising as a pastime) is using my phone. My phone bills were 150$ and 80$ for 2 of the months.

Weddings to attend… ahh…what else? Not giving tuition for the whole month of May, which is my only source of income. I didn’t ask for any allowance since leaving poly.

Ahh… and also my room decor plan. I spent 150$++ so far to get some stuff from IKEA and I think expenses will climb to upwards of 300$. Well, this deserves an entirely different blog post altogether.

I’m sorry how my points are jumping here and there… let’s just say I have broken the lowest amt. my bank has ever seen since I turned 20.

Maybe it will be good to just bulletpoint the problems which surfaced one after another slowly to REALLY REALLY push the throttle up on the torture scale.

  • CMOS battery spoil. Rectified.
  • GPU dead. Took me time to slowly figure out which hardware is causing the issue.
  • Faulty signal to left side of headset
  • CPU fan error.

I was feeling really optimistic about life after exams but my PC problems (not pubococcyx) really took them all away. I actually kind of gave up playing games (and I am willing to) to just focus on preparing for my career. But now it has to take away how I enjoy watching shows, movies and music as well? The annoyance of CPU fan ailment as a sign of its late lifespan… that anticipation of its death is just really pissing me off.

Suddenly it felt like these aren’t really worth ranting about after writing about it. I suppose it is a good therapy.

At least I am prepared to take on a career now… resume and cover letters checked.. attire checked… practice interview checked…Rid my room of dust and unwanted items… Got most of the room decor stuff… New passport coming in…

Alright, everything’s cool. Now I just have to DIY the shit out of my room and give it a fresh look :3 

Everything will be fine…

“Put yourself in their shoe”

Let’s try putting on our neighbor’s shoes.. today.

I don’t understand why my neighbor have so much to complain about…. I mean, my dog only shit in front of his door like once a week? It is not what I wanted…. it is nature! Why didn’t he thank me for the other 6 days when my dog don’t shit at his front door? 

I don’t think I can do this man…. How can the leaders of a country speak with such insolence?  To brush off our concerns in such spiteful manner. Other social animals (Dolphins for e.g.) with less cognitive ability would have greater empathy for another’s plight.

The firms are operating in your country (don’t mention to me about Singaporean/Malaysian investors)… Don’t you have rules & regulation? Law? To protect your own homeland.

With this level of competence, the country is not led by good leadership… a country blessed with resources and beautiful land deserves better. Because of poor management… the talent leaves.

That’s how I got to meet and make so much hardworking Indonesian friends. It is a vicious cycle…. a burden to their own nation and generations to come. That’s why in economics, we learnt that having a competent neighbor is also a positive externality (just Google this… I did mention in previous post before as well).

Life is in the little things

What Is The Meaning Of Life?

Life is in the little things because one day you’ll look back and realize that those were the important things.

Big things
-You come to this world
-Toil hard and get educated
-Get a good job/Make a career
-Get married
-Get settled
-Then you’ve kids
-You become a machine to handle stress & responsibilities
-When kids become self-sufficient, you start getting old
-Your kids goes independent
-You leave this world

LIFE IS
-When you come into the family
-Excitement of going to school for the first time
-Standing outside the class with friends for not doing homework
Teasing Threatening your friends about their crush
-Eating steamboat
-Did something you’re afraid of doing
-Celebrating failures of the past
-Decorating your room
-Shedding tears for your deceased idol (Steve Irwin)
-Getting extra for fooling around the army
-Being remembered for all the stupid things you did
-Sharing ghost stories with your friends
-Accompanying your cousin out for random impromptu sh!t
-Feeling proud when your student improves in result
-Completing a million games you downloaded long ago (Maybe Alien isolation next)
-…………
-……..
in the little things

About life and regrets.

Two sons were born beneath the old tree.
They grew together, both loved and free.

They traveled the fields, they roamed the hill.
They crossed the river, explored the mill.

They fought with dragons and giants tall.
Mighty warriors- They conquered all

At each day’s end, they slept safe at night.
A loving father tucked them in tight.

The father aged and then he died.
The eldest wept and the youngest cried.

The farm, of course, would be run alone.
So the youngest left, to find his own.

They looked into each other’s eyes.
Beneath the old tree, they said goodbyes.

The eldest tilled fields, beneath the sun.
With his sweat and work, the farm was run.

A wife soon came to his warm, safe home.
He was always loved, but would not roam.

Each day, he dreamt of his brother free.
Always regretting it was not he.

Years flew by, at last they met again.
Beneath the old tree stood two old men.

He told his brother of farming life:
No adventures- only work and strife.

Oh, how he dreamt of the open road
And how he felt trapped in his abode.

The brother told of the life he led,
Of the long and weary road, he said:

Many lonely nights in driving rain,
‘Twas a single thought that kept me sane:

That my brother was home, safe and warm.
A loving home, far from rain and storm.

Hard work I could stand, but this I swear:
The days alone were too much to bear

His heart grew sad as he bowed his head,
and to his brother, the elder said:

What a tragic tale then, for us two:
That you had not my place, and I you.

His brother sighed, then smiled wide,
Thought for a moment, before he replied:

You’ve missed the point of this little tale.
For I’ll tell you, brother, without fail:

Whoever would roam, whoever would stay,
We both would regret it, either way.

Zombie apocalypse

“Lungs burning he ran, splashing through the thick swamp water, dodging trees, roots and branches he ran.

In the far distance he could make out the lights of the camp. Behind him was … nothing. He stopped, breathing deeply to slow the pounding of blood in his ears, straining to listen to the sound of his pursuer.

The swamp was silent.

Maybe he had lost it? He had been running parallel to the camp, trying not to bring the monster to the camp, maybe it had worked?

He breathed deep, smiled and began to wade toward the camp when he stopped again. Looking at the camp he could make out the light, but no movement and no sound.”

This post was inspired by the movie 28 days later. It’s the second time I watched this; in the comforts of my friend’s hostel @ NUS. Writing this in the wee hours of 4am… I doubt it would be any good. Let’s have a go at it, nonetheless.

The plot depicts the breakdown of society following the accidental release of a highly contagious virus and focuses upon the struggle of four survivors to cope with the destruction of the life they once knew. The zombies here are not zombies per se… like the animated dead as we would associate with. More like zombies in the form of a mindless being. Well, basically they are just infected by virus which causes rage…. so I guess they are not zombies? Shit.

If you have watched the movie before… surely the thought of which friend you will bring during said event will cross your mind as some point. I’m not going to mention names but I sincerely believe there are essential and important skills/attributes/characteristics of people you would want to bring alone.

  1. Medical Knowledge
    That would come in handy… surely. Pharmacist… can discern the drugs to use. Medic, I suppose.
  2. Driving skill
    Drive safe & fast.Can fly helicopter/plane/boat even better, lol.
  3. Lock picking skill
  4. Running
    Yes, don’t be burden.
  5. Optimistic
    Okay, they don’t have to be optimistic… Just not too whiny and bothersome
  6. Outdoor skills
    Like… setting up fire, shelter… water purification.

The list could go on… but I guess it is not all that applicable in the context of Singapore. We are so densely populated that everyone would be a zombie in no time. Best way is to hide at home and ration the stock of food and wait till everyone dies of hunger.

Guess it’s time for me to stock up on dry rations. Good night, world.

VIP customer service

I believe PM Lee recently talked about customer service not being the best in Singapore… got quite a VIP treatment for a neighbourhood prata store recently. It’s not like plain good service… it’s like I paid him a premium. But I don’t think it happened by chance but rather an unfortunate scam.

I don’t think there is good reason to serve the prata one by one

  1. Waste of curry servings for each plate
  2. Waste of time to keep serving the dish one by one
  3. Waste of time to wash so many dishes ( I ordered like 4 different pratas not including my friend’s )
  4. Too courteous for comfort

My conjecture (because I do not really know) is that he assumed my friend and I are food bloggers. We were speaking in Mandarin about food blogging when he served the drinks… perhaps that’s why. Well, not wanting to disappoint him I did take some pictures (albeit bad) just to make him feel good about his effort. Not sure if I am feeding the loop of the wrong assumption actually, LOL.

To be fair the prata bom(?) was really good and the rest were way above average compared to the ones I have been having. Either the West side has really bad pratas or b/c I was really hungry at that point. I ordered 4 prata and fried noodle.

It gave me a tiny glimpse of what good life food bloggers actually have… or perhaps I am only seeing the positive. But it’s probably not easy to be one.

  1. The ability to discern between the qualities and taste and most importantly… the vocabulary to describe. I can only do: Cui, Bad, Average, Good, Very good. But I suppose I make things really clear-cut (:
  2. Good photography skills. You can see mine below.
  3. Willing to travel. This just happens to be one of those days I paid a visit to the other side of Singapore.
  4. Not afraid of calories. I can do that.

C360_2015-05-19-16-23-32-486   C360_2015-05-19-16-19-35-962    Fried Maggi                                                                           Mushroom?

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Banana?                                                                        No idea. My friend’s

I don’t even know the address! 😀 Ang Mo Kio… under some low-lying HDB block… OH, it’s opposite AMK swimming complex. Can try if you happen to be around. (Y) Let’s not disappoint the old man for his effort.

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Past 3 days

I didn’t know weekday lunch is 22$ for Kiseki (Fridays too), definitely more wu hua than Sakae’s buffet.

Verdict: Bo Hua
Unless you really into organic this and that. But seriously.. not worth.

Beats the Swee Choon and prata photo, right? Because it’s not mine.

2 more buffet tops for the month of May & June. Likely to be one with Edmund (my cousin) and some random Dim Sum buffet with other clique.

Oh shit, it’s 5am. Good night!

The cat & the dog

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What’s the name of my dog? Dog (Because I refuse to call him Baby like the rest of my family). But at least my whole family agrees to call my cat… Cat. No, we’re not very creative when it comes to naming our pets. Well, at least none of my sisters name my nephews Human.

For various reasons… I felt like my cat acts more like a dog. My mother liked to have  believe that our cat is the reincarnation of dog. Well… it does act like a dog in some way… Or maybe it’s just because we have a dog before a cat.

  • It likes to sit by the doorstep (is that normal for a cat?)
  • It welcomes my dad home (this is the complete opposite because my dog gets excited for the rest of the family only)… and for good reasons b/c my dad feeds her the most.
  • It always accompanies my dad downstairs for his smoking session.

Of course I do not believe in such stuff… But I can’t help but notice how they both liked sunbathing at the same spot. Must be quite a huat spot.

Having had both a cat and a dog at different stages of my life… I think that dogs offer more companionship and fun but entails more responsibility. I don’t recall having to do anything else but making sure you feed the cat. It always takes care of its business outside the house somewhere…. and you don’t have to worry that someone will steal your cat….

In that sense you can say it’s kind of like raising a son & a daughter. You just don’t worry as much if your cat decides to go on a hiatus as compared to your dog. Is that why we sometimes call a woman, bitch? D: D: D: Sorry I really have no idea what to write about.

Basically this very random blog post is made for a very random reason because of a random person…. Who insists that this is a challenge to my creativity. I probably could have written much more interesting topics like how to live like a cat and the likes…

Because if I had to talk about my cat… it will remind me of my dog. My dog is hands-down my best friend in this life thus far. It isn’t ridiculous to say that he has shaped my personality developments in one way or another. I probably shared so much more with him then I have done with any other person. Sometimes he ignore me (irritably)… and not that I could have done the same with my cat. With that ignorant face she wears all the time.

As a person who often has sleepless nights thinking about death… I decided to make my last possible thought (as much as plausible) to be my beloved dog.

When my cat first adopted us (YES it just decides to make this place home), I do my best to reject it b/c I felt guilty… as though I’m betraying dog. But it’s okay now… b/c I know he is irreplaceable.

Sometimes I wish there really is an afterlife and you are waiting on the other side. I have so much to share with you ):

Post-Exams thoughts & plans(?)

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So this is what I’ve started out with… right after exams. I think it is a well deserved one considering the inadequate meals I have been eating for the past 2 months. Inadequate grooming, poor meals… irregular sleep cycle.

Well I have much dilemma in choosing the time to study… Morning is generally well but I usually find it hard to get into the groove…. Early afternoon is rather noisy by virtue of living right beside a primary school ( the kids really love to hit the badminton pole and some weird clapping game ). In economics, an externality is the cost or benefit that affects a party who did not choose to incur that cost or benefit. This is the said negative externality I have learned in my course for Microeconomics. In the late afternoon my nephew really have every reason and rights to cry because he is a toddler… but that’s inevitable… I find night through till 3am really productive. Especially the wee hours when I can only hear my fan and my scribbling. I often felt lethargic though… having to wake up to the din of the primary kids everyday.

So I decided on that I would never buy my house just right beside a school if I had to. (maybe close… not opposite).

I have a better feeling about the exams this year although they are a notch up in difficulty? Not sure how that would translate into.. Or am I just more positive this year? Was really worried about Elements of Econometrics (EOE) as my FB friends would probably know. I don’t usually whine about courseworks or academically-related issues. This is the first ever time I felt at risk of failing a paper… so that results. Don’t think I would score well for it… but quite sure it will be a pass (hopefully). Macroeconomics and Microeconomics seems okay…? Feels like a B & A respectively, hopefully both As. E-business is hard to gauge as I’ve never done essay based papers since…. forever. Would really be disappointed if it is anything below a B though.

Well, all is over and done so I should look forward to what I’m going to do this short break.

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Great photo I know. Lol. Swee Choon Dim Sum Restaurant w some of my poly mates (oddly satisfying at the back alley). Then there’ll be 2 more buffets down this week… I foresee a small handful of meetups after neglecting so many people for the past 5 months. I will do best to see fit to the arrangements.

But rendezvous & gluttony isn’t the only thing I have in my mind for this holiday…

  1. Take my 한국어 skills up further. Don’t want to waste the money I spent learning for the basics only… Plenty ebooks and resources… now it’s up to dedication.
  2. Resume exercising… could have balanced exercise regime with studying but didn’t felt like it.
  3. MMR boosting time, yay.
  4. Take a bit more tuition assignments if available.
  5. At the recommendation of my friend, Marcus.. I should read about Options.  I already have a pretty good concept about how stocks and foreign exchange works but this looks really different.
  6. Won’t be in the real estate market… want to complete one book on it just b/c I feel like it.
  7. Ahh… of course. Don’t make this place too dusty.

Okay, it’s 2am… should start reverting my sleep cycle again. Ciao~