Imagine a world where nobody knows how to pick stocks.
There are no investment books, no brokerages, and no annoying financial gurus trying to sell their stock-picking courses for $2,888.
Instead, people “invest” using a very simple method: Flipping a coin.
If your coin lands on Heads, you make money. If your coin lands on Tails, you lose money. Every year, you flip your coin and the outcome will determine whether you’re profitable or unprofitable. What would the results look like?
The Battle For The Top Half
Well, at the end of the first year, approximately half of the world’s investors would have flipped Heads and other half would have flipped Tails. So if we ranked all the investors by performance, around 50% of them would be in the top half at Year 1.
At the end of Year 2, everyone flips their coins again. Now, what’s the percentage of investors who remain in the top half after 2 consecutive years? The answer, of course, is 25%. The percentage of those who flipped Heads twice in a row would be 50% x 50% = 25%.
We repeat this in Year 3, Year 4, and Year 5. At the end of Year 5, how many of the …read more
It’s been a busy month here for us at BigFatPurse. We have just moved into our new office and minor renovations are underway. We have been furniture shopping and checking out appliances.
Just the other day, we were in the office and realized that we are running low on toilet paper. We were expecting visitors and it would be embarrassing to be caught without. I decided to pop out to the supermarket at Plaza Sing, hoping to do a grab and go. It won’t take more than a few minutes, I told myself.
And so I got to Cold Storage at basement 2 and located the toilet paper section. My game plan was rather simple. I have no specific preference or loyalty to a particular brand. As long as it doesn’t feel like sandpaper it will do just fine. I just needed to find one that is most value for money. Easy enough, I thought.
And here is where the fun starts.
Toilet Rolls vs Toilet Rolls
Toilet rolls are not merely toilet rolls. Some of them are lightly scented. Others are chlorine free. Some come with 12 in a pack, others 10. Some are printed with pretty dolphins, while others plain. And then there …read more
By Belinda Lim
Traveling is unpredictable, that’s why we love it. And that’s probably why we need travel insurance too. Getting off the plane at a foreign land, we can never be too sure what would happen next. Would your luggage arrive? Would you miss the connecting flight? Getting a travel insurance gives us a peace of mind, and minimize the considerable financial risks of traveling. However, does it really make financial sense?
What is Travel Insurance?
Travel Insurance can be bought for each trip or on an annual basis. It covers the bad stuff including overseas medical expenses, repatriation of remains, accident death or permanent disablement and more. What travel insurance stands out from the others is their coverage of the annoying stuff from loss/stolen/delayed/damage of personal property/baggage/ travel documents/ money, to trip cancellation or delay. Travel insurance that comes free with your flight purchase on the credit card probably has a limited coverage compared to taking out a travel insurance. Compare different travel insurance providers in Singapore and decide which one suits your travel needs best.
Where are you visiting?
The biggest financial risk we take is medical expenses occurred overseas, especially if it’s in a country with costly …read more
By Singapore Man of Leisure
A woman takes a lover during the day, while her husband is at work.
One day, her 9-year-old son hides in the closet during one of her romps. Her husband comes home unexpectedly, so she hides the lover in the closet.
The little boy says, “it’s dark in here.”
The man whispers, “yes, it is.”
“I have a baseball,” the boy responds.
“Want to buy it?”
“My dad’s outside.”
“Okay, how much?”
In the next few weeks, it happens again that the boy and the mom’s lover end up in the closet together.
“It’s dark in here,” the boy begins.
“Yes, it is.”
“I have a baseball glove.”
The man thinks about the last time they were in the closet together, and decided to cut to the chase — “How much?”
A few days later, the father says to the boy, “grab your ball and glove. Let’s go outside and play some catch!”
“I can’t. I sold them.”
“How much did you sell them for?”
“$1,000,” the boy replies, smilingly widely.
His father responds, “it’s terrible to overcharge your friends like that. That’s way more than those two things cost. I’m going to take you to church …read more
By Belinda Lim
Stepping into a supermarket is like a candy shop for many people. The onslaught of weekly specials, limited time promotion, rotisserie chicken roasting in the hot deli area and those purchase-with-purchase deals are all calling out to you. And while you queue in line to pay, you are surrounded by items targeting impulse buyers – candy bars, bottled drinks, chocolate bars and more.
Retailers put in a great deal of thought in getting you to spend the minute you step in. How the store smells, what do you first see when you step in and the location of certain items are not randomly decided by the store manager, these are strategies put into place meant to tempt you. Follow some of these tips we have to avoid impulse buying.
#1 – Shopping List is your Best Friend
Always make a list for all your shopping, be it groceries, tools, clothes or gifts. Writing this down will ensure you don’t get distracted and gives you a game plan to keep you focused. Don’t get swayed by the sales and stick to what you need.
#2 – Saying No to your Children
Taking your children shopping with you always runs the risk of conceding to their pleas …read more
By Alvin Chow
I used to visit Borders bookstores at Wheelock Place and Parkway Parade regularly until they closed down few years ago.
I always feel smart soaking in the atmosphere of knowledge.
I prefer Borders over the rest of the bookstores because
- Every book can be flipped. Some bookstores keep the books wrapped.
- Stores are huge and almost any titles can be found.
- Periodic discounts ranging from 15-50% when you join their email list.
- Ambience and the smell of books are awesome.
Sadly, they are gone today as Borders went bankrupt (a small Borders book store exist in Jurong East today and the brand was bought over by Popular).
Borders was not the only bookstore that suffered dwindling revenue and had to withdraw the entire business.
Remember the jagged bookshelves PageOne store has at Vivocity? Gone.
How about Prologue (by Popular) at Ion Orchard? Gone.
A book reader can finally empathise with an environmentalist – their habitats are endangering.
The bigger bookstores which are still standing are Kinokuniya, MPH, Popular (and Harris) and Times. Of course there are boutique book stores like Books Actually but they are not selling books actually. They are selling an experience that is very similar to the artisan cafe movement.
Are bookstores the thing …read more
By Belinda Lim
If wisdom comes with age, we should be making smarter money moves as we embrace each decade of life. Our money priorities change as we grow, from figuring how to pay off student loan debt to starting a family and saving to buy a home. And when you hit the big 4-0, things can get a bit more complicated. While there could be more work security and somewhat stable personal money habits by then, it’s not uncommon to also feel conflicted over financially supporting kids entering university and aging parents. That’s not all, this decade is also the crucial window to save enough before hitting retirement.
Here are five key financials moves to consider if you are in your 40s to help get you in tip-top fiscal shape before you reach those long-awaited golden years.
Money To-Do #1: Pumping up Retirement Savings
Being in your 40s, you should probably hit a good stride in your career which means some extra cash towards your retirement funds. This decade’s money goal should really be about pumping into your retirement funds. If you delay doing so, time wouldn’t be on your side to save enough when you hit retirement age.
Then it comes to sending your kid …read more
By Singapore Man of Leisure
The joy of blogging for me is the scintillating engagement with readers.
It’s a two way street.
When I wrote the above post, I was feeling quite smug until a girl with the cutest dimples put me in my place at another post months later:
“Without the verb, how do you get the adjective?”
Her comment showed she had a deeper understanding than me.
She is right. Without the action to verify, how do we make an assessment to derive the adjective?
When someone says “Stop speculation”, it’s a loaded statement based on bias. Which rendered it quite meaningless for its not advice but accusation…
As if investing is always the right thing to do? For all people? In all circumstances? Just ask those people we know who lost money “investing”.
Again it’s the adjective that matters – whether you are good at or lousy at what you do.
And that adjective comes from your past actions and track record.
If you are wondering should you continue what you are currently doing, who else better to remove the bell round your neck than the same person who tied it there in the first place?
By Belinda Lim
NEW ISSUE – HOUSING DEVELOPMENT BOARD 12Y SGD 3.22%
ISSUE: Housing and Development Board
FORMAT: Reg S Bearer / Off the Issuer’s SGD32 billion Multicurrency Medium Term Note Programme
STATUS: Fixed Rate, Senior Unsecured
ISSUE SIZE: SGD500 million (with SGD100M option to upsize)
TENOR: 12 Years
SETTLEMENT DATE: 1 December 2014
MATURITY DATE: 1 December 2026
COUPON DATES: 1 June and 1 December (First Pay: 1 June 2015)
ISSUE PRICE: 100.00
COUPON: 3.22% s/a, ACT/ACT, Following Business Day Conv
ISSUE SPREAD: SGD SOR (@ 2.56%) + 66bps
DETAILS: SGD250K x SGD250K / SGX-ST / Singapore Law
SELLING RESTRICTIONS: Sections 274/275 of the Singapore SFA
HDB makes it a point to issue 6 times a year, I noticed.
List of issues in past 2 years.
There is a certain frequency huh? Once every 2 months.