Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Bigscribe mega event of the year: Investors Exchange 2017

Bigscribe is having a mega event, called Investors Exchange 2017, this July. Those who know Bigscribe and had attended their value for money talk would know that everyone takes away something of value from attending the talk, so this mega event is no difference. Here's the line up of the speakers and their topics:

Teh Hooi Ling - Strategies for successful equities investing

She is a former SPH journalist and author of the "Show me the Money" series. She has her own fund now, called Inclusif Value Fund. I read her books and loved her articles on straits times, and found her to be sensible and always a delight to read.

Xeo Lye - Identify market trends the George Soros way (writes on Xeolyenomics blog)

I know him as a great runner and the designer and founder of the financial/economics game Wongamania. He is a macro person and has very deep knowledge of economics and how to apply it to investing on an individual level.

Vina Ip - 7 Deadly sins of Singapore property buyers (writes on Propertysoul blog)

If you want to find out about properties, she is the default blog to go to. She has many years of experience and offers great advice on everything related to property. Can't go too wrong if you are interested to learn more about property.

Joel Sim - Master your mind, master the market (writes on mrfinancesavvy blog)

I know him as a equities broker and is a great trader. He will share with you about his craft as a professional trader and what are the things we should look out for. His years of experience in his field makes him someone that I will listen to.

Christopher Ng - 50 Shades of dividends investing (writes on Tree of prosperity blog)

What a sexy titillating title. He is very much himself over here and he shares actual experience with his status as a financial free man. Chris always do his research and shares it with folks who attends his talks. It can be controversial and unconventional, but I guarantee it will definitely set you thinking.

Kenny Loh - How to use the 3 musketeers of REITS to find strong REITS (writes on MystocksInvesting blog)

I read his blog for so many years now, and he runs a REIT investing course for a while. Here, he will share with you how to avoid common mistakes that REITS investors make and introduce a very simple and free tool to cut down your REIT research efforts.

Elvin Liang - The Art of Scuttlebutt (writes on epsilonluxe blog)

Ex-banker, current remisier. I think he is one of the few who applies both FA and TA to his investing. Here, he will share with you about scuttlebutt, a concept first introduced by Philip Fisher. If you want to know how he applies it to investing, you might want to hear what he has to say.

With this kind of line up, I think you don't come to the talk with just a cup of Starbucks. You come here with redbull laced coffee, a pen and notepad to write notes! The details of the event you can get by clicking on the picture below:

The key details are listed here:

Date: 29th July 2017 (Sat)
Time: 1pm to 5pm
Venue: DBS Auditorium, MBFC Tower 3, Level 3
Price: $65 (regular), $49 (early bird fee)

The early bird fee of $49 represents a near 25% discount from the regular price, and it will end in about a week on 8th July. So book your tickets fast. Don't just spend $49 on a good lunch; spend it on some mind food as well, lol

Sunday, June 18, 2017

My first Father's day

Today is my first Father's day. It's usually a quiet event, unlike Mother's day, but I like it because it's a quiet event. I don't need fancy roses or wild celebration or chocolate cakes; just a nod, an appreciation and a pat on the back is good enough. It's a team effort, where the glory is not for any individual parent but for the entire family, together as one.

I rehashed this old post, which I still think is very meaningful. Perhaps now, as a newly minted father, it's even more meaningful. I still get touched reading this. Happy father's day to all the daddies who might be earning the money for the family, or the chores they do to take care of the family.

Enjoy :)

My Father

When I was a kid at 5, I never liked my father. He wasn't there when I needed him, to teach me how to bike. Each night I want a kiss from him, before tucking me to bed. Wasn't there to comfort me, as I cry myself in bed. When I grow up as a man, I don't want to be like him.

When I was a teen at 15, I seldom see my father. He was sleeping when I leave at dawn, at work when I sleep at night. Two persons with the same surname, a stranger inside my home. When he took leave from work, stayed at home to rest, he'll often yell and shout at me. His work can't even earn enough, to buy the coolest gadgets, or bring me to exotic countries, that my friends had been since six.

Teenage years was over, and I just turned 25, but when I think about my father, I still hate him very much. When I graduated I didn't invite him - don't want others to know. I'm ashamed that he will arrive, with the smell and sweat of his toil. What's the point anyway? He'll just stand and not mingle. He'll be in a corner and not smile, maybe his time spent is not worthwhile. But I'll start work soon and earn my keep, I'll find a wife and have a kid.

When 20s flew past and I turned 35, I despise father very much. He retired with white hair and tired eyes, does nothing on a couch he sits all day. He keeps calling me to come home for dinner, but I'm too busy with life and has no more vigor. He asks often for more allowance, but I couldn't give him more than just a pittance. "How can I give you more", I said, "when I have my own family to care for?" Despite working all day and night, I just barely earn enough to get by. But that's okay cos my kid's the reason, for me to live and work hard till I too am beaten. I promise to teach him how to bike, and a kiss on the forehead before he sleeps at night. I know I've said that since yesterday, but work as always keeps me at bay. But I promise again my child one day, all the promises I've made I'll pay.

I was 45 when my father left, didn't attend his wake I must confess. Hardly had time to rest after work, but there's still a duty I cannot shirk. So I took leave and stayed at home, to make sure my kid is not alone. I may have raised my voice a little, but my love for him you cannot belittle. I know his friends travel, and their daddies buy them gifts, so that's why I've saved up a little, for a surprise on Christmas eve. I hope this savings won't be used up, to pay for emergencies. But sadly I'm ashamed to say, that it had always been that way.

With tired eyes and greying hair, I struggled at 55. I never thought I'll say this, but I think about father all night. Wasn't invited when my kid graduated, and I don't think I'll find out why. But I'm still proud of him and it's okay, as long as his future's bright. Besides I'm too tired from work to smile, I'll probably stand in a corner. A few more years I'll be retired, and then things will be all right.

I retired from work, aged 65, and there isn't much things to do. So I sit on a couch and wait all day, for the time my kid comes home. There is oft one pair of chopsticks, though I cook his favourite dish all day. I know why my allowance is so little - he's got his family to take care of. Sadly between his kid and his father, I know quietly I'm ranked down further. Father sometimes I'll think of you, calling me home to eat your stew. Father sometimes I miss you so, why didn't I call to say hello?

Now I lie bedridden all day, my age is 75.  What I really want to see, whenever I opened my eyes, my kid my grandson surrounding me, to tell me everything's alright. But the closest thing I'll get, is not the warmth of gentle hands, it's an old faded photo, trapped in a cold and sullen frame. How could things begin so right, in the end become so wrong? I can't stand, can't do anything, except to reflect and think what's wrong.

Kiddo, when I leave this world, don't ever be like me.

Daddy, you'll see when I join you soon, I grew up just like you.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

The 4 Seasons

There is a time and season to do certain things, and most things go about in their own cycles. It's the same for investing or trading. There's a time to sow the seeds, a time to wait, a time to harvest and a time to just lie in bed and do nothing. Today, we're going to talk about the seasons in my trading.

There are 4 seasons: Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter. Each defines a certain mood that characterizes both the change in climate as well as the activities that follows it.

Spring: A new hope, a new beginning. This signals a change from the cold harsh winter months. The first shoots breaks out from the soil to welcome the warmer climate.

Summer: Hot hot hot. Every one is coming out to play while the sun shines the brightest and longest. Full bloom of the flowers.

Autumn: Weather starts to turn a little cooler. The colourful bloom of flowers is all but over while the leaves shed to prepare for the winter months ahead.

Winter: Cold, dry and lifeless. Animals hibernate, humans hide in warmth together.

We can tell which season by looking at an oscillator like the MACD histogram. Just look at the slope and the direction of the histogram (is it above the x-axis or below?).

Spring: MACD slope is positive, histogram below x-axis
Summer: MACD slope is positive, histogram above x-axis
Autumn: MACD slope is negative, histogram above x-axis
Winter: MACD slope is negative, histogram below x-axis

So, do you buy during winter, spring, summer or autumn? It depends on your school of thought. I'm a counter-trend person, so I'm much more active during the coldest part of winter towards spring. I think most trend followers will be much more active during summer. No wrong or right, just preference and temperament. I'm long only, so I try to buy during winter and sell during summer, but I can imagine a short only person doing completely opposite of what I do i.e. sell during summer and buy back during winter.

Let's take a look at STI with regards to the 4 seasons. Below is the daily chart of STI.

First of all, it can be a complicated year with more than 4 seasons. Blame it on climate change lol! We see winter-spring-summer-autumn then followed by a complex winter-spring-winter-spring and finally summer season.

But let's zoom out and see the weekly chart. The weekly chart allows us to view the bigger picture, which is about 5 times more than the daily chart. Why 5 times? There are typically 5 trading days in a week, so each bar on the weekly chart represents 5 trading days worth of information. Hence, looking at the weekly chart allow us to see the macro view in a way that the daily chart can't allow us to see. It's like looking at the hour to hour weather vs day to day weather and month to month weather. As the time frame gets longer, you see the bigger picture at work.

What do you see? I see a summer and an autumn that is long gone since April. Not sure which season we're in right now, because it looks like a protracted autumn or an incoming winter. Or maybe the weather will change and we're back in summer? Who knows such things? (Those who are interested might look at the monthly STI to see another perspective of the situation we're in.)

I know since it's not the deepest winter yet, hence my watchlist is almost empty, I should make hay while the sun still shines. When the cold wind nearly dies down, and just before the robins and the first shoots are out, and while the bear is hibernating, I'll be there. In the meantime, Bully the bear will prepare for winter by eating more to put on enough body fats to make it through the winter LOL

Friday, June 02, 2017

My almost half year reflection

Time only gets faster and faster as we get older and older. It's the same for this year. Before I knew what happened, June is here and almost half a year is upon us. Let's have a review on what had happened in this year so far.

1. Greatest event of the year - birth of my son

My son continues to be the source of sleeplessness, frustration, joy and happiness for me. Life is a lot different compared to a few months back when me and my wife are still living as a couple. Now with the '3rd party', we effectively reduced our weekly trips out tremendously. It's a quick sneak out to get groceries, or to have a bit of dim sum, but that's pretty much it. It's baby - work - baby - sleep cycle for me. I'm not complaining, nor am I missing the life as a couple without kids, but I'm just noting down the differences.

2. Reading goal of 52 books a year - way off track

Can't do that. I realised in the first month of my son's birth that I can't hit my reading target. With a baby, everything comes to a standstill when he cries. I'm in my 11th book now, and it'll be a cause for celebration if I can hit 15 books in this year. But so be it. I'm changing my reading habit and reading deeper now (actually, I'm studying books now), so I welcome the change. I'm letting go of this target for now.

3. Savings 50k per year - on track

I'm working a little lesser this year because I need some time off for my family. It's the 5th month into the year and I've accumulated about $29k in savings, so I'm sure I can hit my target savings of 50k per year. This is a good achievement for me, because I know my spending had increased in some areas. As a result of lifestyle changes, some other areas had reduced spending as well. I'll give a few examples below:

My water & electrical bills shot up by 30% to $160 per month. Likely because of the overnight air-conditioning since the baby sleeps better. Cooking more often at home now too, so these two reasons are main cause of the increased bill size. Should see more increase in the latter half of the year as the unit charge of water and electricity goes up.

My restaurant bills went down from 66+%, from about $300 a month to about $100 or even lesser. That is because the frequency of restaurants trip decreases tremendously. I'm eating more at home as my mum came over to help us cook for meals. Hence the groceries bills also went up from $300 to about $800 per month, more than doubled.

I also bought quite a lot of stuff from qoo10 until I'm now a GOLD member. Bought stuff from Lazada and redmart too. Usually these are baby stuff but there are also home improvements things that need replacement due to wear and tear. Crazy year this is.

4. Relationship with mum - from average to strong

My mum is a great help. Besides bringing an experienced hand to help us and guide us in taking care of my son, she also cooks for me and my wife. Home cooked food is the best, seriously. I think my health went up a few notches after eating a few months of home cooked food. I also see how my mum handles the baby gently and never lost her patience. It must have been like that when I'm a baby in her arms too. I think the cycle has gone one full round. It's important to forgive whatever wrongs your parents had done to you (or not done for you) because we're all struggling as parents to give and love our kids the best we can do. I think because of the constant interaction with my mum, all of us, including my wife, had a stronger relationship with each other. That is the best side effect that happened when my son arrived.

5. Health goals - non-existent

No exercise, no pull ups, no jogging. Nothing. To be honest, even if I can muster the time, I might not have the energy to do so. Constant lack of sleep makes it hard to commit to anything. I think this situation will improve as the baby grows older and more independent, but as of this year, I doubt I can do anything about it. Not now. The only healthy thing is a diet based kind of system, not the exercising kind. Also stopped intermittent fasting because I keep getting hungry. Probably is the lack of sleep that causes the body to scream for more calories.

6. Starting Journalling - beginning of a new habit

I've been journalling these days. This meant that I write short notes on whatever happened to my mind along the day. I've purchased a google app for this purpose. I think it serves two purposes - first it helps me in my mind training to not judge anything and write down anything that crosses my mind stream. Secondly, it serves as a diary of sorts and helps me to colour my life. If I don't jot down the things that happened, I think each day will pass by even faster. I want to note down all the little things that happened in my daily lives so that I can look back a year later and see what happened. That should be interesting.

Such a drastic change to my lifestyle. Is it worth it? Yes, it's still a resounding yes.