If you have as many contacts on social media who are financial advisors as I do, you’ve probably seen the following information in one form or another over the last week or so.

Credits: Seedly

What happened?

So what happened was that Singlife which provides a high-interest savings account revised their interest rates downwards for the first $10K deposited in each account.* You can read the details here. And in response to that, all the financial advisors that I know on my social media started posting stuff like:

“Oh no! They’ve done it again!” or “Earning less interest? What should you do?”

Of course they all followed up that line with something like “Let me know if you want to know how to increase your wealth” or something like that.

Much ado about nothing?

Now, this isn’t a review of high-interest savings accounts but when I saw those posts on social media, I replied to one of them saying:

“Isn’t this revision just a difference of a maximum of $50 a year? If you’re worried about making $50 less in interest a year, you’re focusing on the wrong thing.”**

Funny enough, after I posted that on my own social media, I didn’t get any one of those financial advisors correcting me or pointing out something else to consider.

What I did get were a couple of messages from other non-financial people asking me about the second part of my message – which is, what then should they be focusing on?

Pretty much anything else works better

I thought that worrying about $50 a year is a complete waste of time. Almost anything you do to improve your financial health should be worth more than $50 a year.

You could:

  • Cut back on one latte a week – $260 ($5 per latte x 52 weeks)
  • Cut back on one meal at a restaurant each week – $780 ($15 per meal x 52 weeks)
  • Go work a little more (one day a week) – $2600 ($50 a day x 52 weeks)
  • Save more – $520 ($10 a week x 52 weeks)
  • Cut back on one Grab ride a week – $520 ($10 per trip x 52 weeks)

I think many people on my social media were expecting me to come up with some fancy advice like “you need to invest in equities” or “invest in the S&P 500 better returns”.

But look at the list above.

Anything on the list is something the average person should know how to do or be prepared to do in order to get a little ahead financially. I’m not sure how is this rocket science? And I’m not even sure why financial advisors need to recommend getting a financial product in order to make up this difference?

Ok, that’s it for this post. See you next time.

Notes:
*Actually, you’ll notice that they’re still paying the old rates just that it’s now conditional on you spending $500 a month on their card.

**The difference is 0.5% on the first $10K. Interest on amounts above $10K remains the same. $10,000 x 0.005 = $50.

Ok, Biden’s officially POTUS. Let’s see what happens next.

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Chris Tan on ILPs, F.I.R.E and Finishing Life Well
(Investment Moats)

I am a fan of what Christopher Tan’s doing. ‘Nuff said.

How Lemonade Hijacked the “ESG Movement” to Pull Off the #1 Stock Promotion of 2020
(The Friendly Bear)

I will be tracking this story and how it turns out. If you go to YouTube, there are some channels that are essentially stock promotion outlets passing off as channels that teach investing. I can tell you that these guys are focused too much on how these companies can possibly disrupt older industries without focusing on whether the economics or finances make sense.

Elon Musk said it was ‘Not a Flamethrower’
(TechCrunch)

I really admire Elon Musk as an innovator. However, there are signs that Tesla is a religion rather than a company.

Will this religion succeed? Only time will tell.

In part one…(link here)

I looked at some of the observations that both the “it’s a bubble” and the “it’s the future” camps have made. In this part, I want to share some observations I’ve made in my personal sphere and while these are purely anecdotal observations, I believe they are instructive of whether it’s a bubble or not.

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New Blood

So in the last year, I’ve noticed a significant increase in the number of new participants to the market. Many of my former students who are now young adults have begun participating in the financial markets in one way or another.

Some of them have started work in financial institutions or banks as financial advisers to retail clients and almost always, I notice that their social media posts have an unhealthy focus on individuals stocks that have made huge gains. While some of the stocks are local counters, there has been more attention on posting the gains of US-listed “tech”* stocks that have seen huge increases in price. In their parlance, there have been a lot of “gains porn” posts.

On the other hand, there have also been a lot of students, particularly those still studying in university, who have become financial advisors. In case there are any overseas readers, in Singapore, the term “financial advisor” usually denotes someone who is really a representative of an insurance company and while some of the products offered by insurance companies have an element of investing to it, these aren’t your traditional stocks, bonds or ETFs. Very often, there is also an element of insurance tied to the product.

I digress, but the main point I wanted to make about these new entrants to the insurance industry is that they their social media posts also focus heavily on getting investment returns rather than the insurance industry’s traditional domain of protection. I even spoke to one of my former students who’s new to the industry and found that the reason for the recent focus on returns is simply because returns have been good. Many of these funds which track international markets have pretty much seen stellar gains which are in line with the run up in the US markets.

Lastly, my own brother, who had never invested a dime before 2020, has gotten into the markets and has seen spectacular gains from EV counters. I suspect even he knows that he has been more lucky than smart with these decisions.

It’s the economy, stupid!

Amidst all the gains in the stock market, certain segments of the economy has been absolutely decimated. Anything tourism-related has been killed and weaker players in competitive industries have been weeded out. Singapore also posted its worst ever quarterly decline in GDP in 2020 and the recovery looks likely to be muted and prolonged.

However, I believe the markets have already looked past COVID-19’s impact on the economy. Even with the drop in certain parts of the economy, private home sales were very strong in 2020. It’s pretty much a given that in time of economic distress, sales of big-ticket items take a beating. However, 2020 proved that the exception and my best guess is that it’s a reflection of how much cash there was waiting on the sidelines.

It also shows that no matter how bad the economic news was, it translated more to those with jobs rather than those with capital. The huge fiscal support from governments (the Singapore government was no exception) meant that many businesses and jobs were spared from the effects of the downturn.

Parallels

While I wasn’t old enough to witness what was happening in the financial markets during the late 90s, there is a sense of deja vu as I witness what is happening today and how things were like during the Global Financial Crisis.

During my final year in university, there was a general uptick in interest in the financial markets among the student crowd. Trading in warrants was quite common among the final year students that majored in economics. It was also then that I started to dip my toe in the financial markets after getting an introduction to markets the year before.

That was late 2007. And we all know what came next.

I can’t remember if it was also then or perhaps a few months later that the local newspapers started to report about how some local university students had made great returns in the market, convinced their parents to entrust them with their life savings, and proceeded to blow it all up in the markets.

I honestly think we are at the same stage where rookies are starting to see outsized gains by being lucky and I suppose in the near future, they will convince those with capital that they have unlocked the secrets to the markets. That will probably be when things also start to unravel that it may be then that these new blood either double down or swear off markets completely.

To be clear, I’m NOT saying that the market will crash within the next 6 months or a year. What I’m saying is that I see parallels in terms of the investor psychology and participant profile in the markets. In 2007, it also wasn’t clear that financial markets were going to crash imminently. In fact, the U.S. housing market already started to slow down in ’05-’06.

In 2007, everyone in the markets and the financial press knew that Mortgage-Backed Securities (MBS) that were tied to the U.S. housing market was floating around in many investors’ hands. It was pretty well known that I even remember doing a presentation on MBSs and the housing market in my Money & Banking II module. Despite all these publicly available information, markets ran higher until December of 2007 and it wasn’t until Bear Sterns and subsequently, Lehman Brothers, went under that the financial system cracked.

Today, I definitely don’t see the same signs of euphoria in the local markets. Instead, all the euphoria is in the U.S markets and mainly among the “tech” stocks. I suspect that’s where we’ll see the first signs of trouble – a slowdown in the IPO market or SPACs disappointing investors.

What I think will happen

Given what I’ve observed, I don’t think we will see a huge crash in the markets like we did during the GFC. While areas such as “tech” and bitcoin seem awfully bubblicious, I’m not sure if we can say the same of other parts of the market. For local markets, pretty much everything hinges on the large 3 banks. With the economy on the mend, I think the banks will get a boost in terms of more loans made as well as less issues with bad loans.

What worries me is how the current environment has made financial markets so attractive as a place to make easy money. The fact that I’ve seen so many young people (who were never interested when they were in school) suddenly take an interest in the markets just shows that 2020 was a year of easy money in the markets. People are always attracted to easy things.

What I the entry of new blood shows is that the upside for “tech” stocks is largely over. At these valuations, companies like Tesla basically have to put in record numbers for the next decade or more in order to justify its current price. Surely, more than a few of them are going to be in for a nasty surprise when they find that the markets that they’re competing in is less ripe for disruption than they think or that the incumbent there pushes back.

Couple that with a tightening of credit should inflation start to pick up and many of these stocks will easily come down from their lofty perches. It’s instructive for many to remember that Amazon’s stock basically crashed 90% from it’s dot-com highs and remained low for more than a decade before it became the behemoth that it is today. Stocks like TSLA, LMND, PLTR are just priced as if they are already giants when many of these companies are barely profitable or still loss-making.

When that happens, the high flyers of today will crash back down to the ground. Many of them won’t survive and the rest of the markets will probably see a wave of selling. Will it be as bad as the GFC? I don’t think so and I hope not.

However, I do know that when the time comes, I will be ready.

Notes:
I put the word “tech” in parentheses as I’m not sure if some of these stocks qualify more as technology stocks or otherwise. For example, is Lemonade a tech stock or an insurance company with a more appealing UI?

This post is a response to Christopher Ng’s post (link here).

In his post, Christopher mooted the idea of paying his children (in essence, a bribe) to do their A levels at a Junior College instead of getting a diploma from a polytechnic. I thought that as someone who is an insider, I should give him my 2 cents worth, especially in the areas where I thought he got the reasons behind his idea wrong. What’s below is my response which I’ve left as a comment on his blog post.

Hi Christopher, I have nothing against nudging or influencing your children’s behaviour especially if you believe that it’s for the best. Neither am I against doing the A levels or getting a diploma from the polytechnic. However, I thought that as someone who is intimately aware of both routes of education (full disclosure: I teach at a polytechnic), I should point out some things that you may not have considered or where I find the reasoning in your post to be flawed.

The points that you’ve raised are fairly common points that us lecturers at the polytechnic have heard year after year during our course counselling sessions at Open House or during the Joint Admissions Exercise.

First, let me say that I don’t believe that either option of doing your A levels or getting a diploma is inherently superior to one another. It really all depends on what your end goal is and which route is more suitable for your child.

Some kids are better suited to mug for a major exam (i.e. the A levels) that comes at the end of two years while others are much better at handling the back-to-back deadlines of written reports, projects and presentations which are hallmarks of most courses at a polytechnic.

Also, the end goal matters. If the end goal of your kid is to study law or medicine at a local university, the odds are much better if they came from a JC. However, even then, they would need to be the cream of the crop among their JC mates in order to qualify so there is some self-selection bias there in terms of the true odds.

However, if your kid is aiming for a course at the business schools of NUS, NTU, and SMU, there have been more places open to polytechnic graduates compared to when I was in school. A fair number of my own students go on to the local universities and I would say that the polytechnic route actually prepares them better for university because the assessment format is more similar compared to the A levels.

Next, to your point about going to JC because GP skills are important (point a), I think you overstate the importance of such skills and it’s a misnomer to suggest that getting a diploma doesn’t impart such skills. What is taught at the polytechnic is fairly fundamental and many of my students have gone on to industries or jobs that their education didn’t prepare them for. In short, I don’t think an education at the JC or Poly results in making a person more adaptable.

As to your second point (point b), I think you may be confusing the environment of a time past with the environment of the future. Furthermore, you ignore the fact that the A-level holder manager in your story was a ex-scholar (who presumably also went to university). That would possibly have given him a leg up in terms of attaining a managerial role. In all probability, that would have been down to his university education plus ex-scholar credentials. In short, his A-levels had nothing to do with it.

As to your final point (point c), I think, once again, like many other parents, you conflate the issue of education for knowledge and the issue of character building. Are they related? Sure. But does character building rely solely on the educational environment? I think not.

Furthermore, it doesn’t stand to mean that doing the A levels builds a “stronger” person. My own story is a case in point. I went through the A levels route. Throughout my JC education, I didn’t do well and yes, I was pretty much left on to my own devices. Fortunately, for me, I scrapped through and thanks to the protection accorded to the A level cohort at the time, I managed to get a place in the local university in a course that I could do well in. What I’m saying is that the description of your own A level experience doesn’t even come close to my own. And once again, from my own observation, competition at the Polytechnic can be pretty intense too.

Now, your post could possibly be a troll post but nonetheless, I hope my comments help you see that there is nothing intrinsically superior or inferior between the A levels and the polytechnic route. It’s all about which is more suitable for your kids.

As for character building and motivation, please don’t expect the education system to do that for you. To be honest, whether it’s at the JC or whether it’s at the Poly, you have both motivated kids and you also have kids who are content to coast. I’ve seen kids thrive due to competition and I’ve also seen kids wilt because of it.

Maybe instead of thinking about which system is better, perhaps you should know your kids better first.

Well, well, well…the short squeeze on Gamestop (GME) shorts was a highlight of the week. I’m also trying to get out part two of my ‘State of the Markets‘ post, so please look forward to that.

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Why immigration doesn’t reduce wages
(Noah Smith)

I don’t think too many Singaporeans will be too happy to hear studies like these. It’s a bugbear of mine but way too many of the opposition supporters in Singapore also tend to be very anti-immigration. And typically, it’s for reasons that don’t make sense.

For example: “Immigrants steal jobs”.
The counterpoint to this is usually: “Could you or would you be doing those jobs that they’re here to do?”

And in case I get someone who’s not going to read the link above but is going to leave a knee-jerk comment anyway, let me just say that immigration is not a one-way thing. It’s not like immigrants come here, steal jobs, cause prices to go higher and in general, just take from the economy.

That’s not how the economy works.

Just Take the Money
(Of Dollars and Data)

It’s an important topic given how many people have yolo-ed into very concentrated positions and have much of their net worth in a single position.

Lost Passwords Lock Millionaires Out of Their Bitcoin Fortunes
(The New York Times)

I joked with a friend that this is why Bitcoin jumped. Basically, you have a chunk of would-be sellers locked out of the market.

Jokes aside, it feels like a lot of institutional money is pushing for Bitcoin to become the next gold. Various groups are moving in this space. Incumbents aren’t going to go down so easily of course.

It’s a bubble! Or is it?

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In just the first trading week of the year, TSLA (Tesla’s ticker) is up almost 25%. This comes on the back of a 633% rise in 2020 and a 720-730% rise from it’s Mar 2020 lows. In other words, it has been insane. And this is even with a stock split of 5-to-1 that happened on 31 Aug 2020.

Other similar tech/growth stories have seen their stocks up many times over the last year. Take NIO, a Chinese EV company that’s also a darling of the EV and meme stocks community. The stock is up almost 1500% in the last year alone.

If you think I’m cherry picking examples, then let’s take a sectoral approach. In the past year, the ARK Invest ETFs, a bunch of actively managed ETFs that are essentially a bet on the industries of the future has turned its manager, Cathie Wood, into a celebrity. Just 5 years ago, she was managing $50m. According to this site, that portfolio is now worth $24b.

Plus, you have these mix of characters cheering these moonshot stories from the sidelines. On YouTube, I’ve seen plenty of channels of people who look like they have no business being in the investing business telling the skeptics how the skeptics don’t understand what the business behind what these ticker symbols represent – disruption, innovation, the future.

And the crazy thing is, right now, it seems like the markets believe these people.

Or perhaps, the markets are these people?

On the other hand

While tech and growth stocks have absolutely killed it over the last decade, Value has been decimated. Managers who look at fundamentals have been getting it wrong for many years now. Jim Chanos, known for short-sellers companies that he thinks are fraud, has been absolutely wrong on his Tesla shorts for some time now but of course, Chanos is a professional and his risk management is top-notch so his fund hasn’t been decimated by Tesla. You can hear his views on Tesla here.

Michael Burry, known for his short position on the housing market during the housing bubble, has also come out recently to publicly say that he has opened a short position on Tesla.

On a overall market valuation and psychology level, some seriously famous names are saying that things are getting out of hand. Namely, Charlie Munger in a recent interview, Carl Icahn in an interview and Jeremy Grantham in his letter.

The thing about these fund managers is that they’ve been around a long time. And I think that the current situation in the markets is a story that they’ve seen all too often before. bitcoin in 2017, 1999-2000, 2005-2007, the nifty 50, the Japanese bubble. If you dig through the history books, you’ll find the roaring 20s, the south sea bubble, tulip mania and many, many more.

So what gives? Are the boomers out of touch with the markets or will history rhyme?

What I See

To me, what I see is a classic disconnect between the people who understand innovation and the people who understand finance. The people who understand innovation are often optimists and believe that what they’re seeing is going to replace the technologies of old.

Electric Vehicles (EVs) are going to replace the Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) vehicles just like how ICE replaced the horse buggy/carriage; AI is going to replace the need for tedious coding scenarios and, with it, a bunch of fairly routine low-level jobs that is based on repetition. If there is a discernable pattern, the AI will sniff it out; the revolution in biotech and genomics also mean that instead of just living longer, we’ll live better lives as well.

Therein lies the innovators and optimists’ story – the removal of mundane tasks (like driving) and the (eventual) conquest of death and disease. When that is achieved, mankind will have reached utopia.

On the flip side, the finance people are realists. While they know that innovation and the progress of mankind is inevitable, this progress is prone to fit and starts. In the late 90s, the dot-com boom’s narrative was that the internet would change everything – from the way we shop to the way we live. Amazon would sell us not just books but everything that we could want or need. Other businesses also tapped into that narrative and sold that story to the investing public.

Thing about the above narrative is that the innovators weren’t wrong. Today, Amazon sells us everything. They’ve even gone beyond our imagination by offering 2-day shipping and other things that we could have never dreamed off in the year 2000.

The problem is that before Amazon made it to the current day, its share price crashed by 90% and remained well below the levels reached in 2000 for a decade. Furthermore, the reason why Amazon is doing well as a company today isn’t just because it’s a large online retailer, it’s mostly because of the fact that it’s a big player in the cloud computing space.

However, to get to where Amazon is today, it pretty much had to set the groundwork for decades. In 2000, the innovators weren’t wrong. They were just early. Meanwhile, the stories that they sold the investing public caused valuations to soar to levels too lofty. Just like Icarus trying to reach higher and higher, the high prices meant a lower margin of error. That also meant that once the credit cycle turned, many of these companies blew up. In short, they burned through cash faster than they could raise it.

Today, we’re definitely not seeing that. 2020 was a great year for IPOs. Furthermore, lots of liquidity remain on the sidelines. The FED hasn’t signalled that it will start pulling back on credit while a great number of SPACs remain waiting to invest in companies that show signs of promise. However, the SPACs won’t remain waiting for long. I suspect the modus operandi there is to strike while the iron is hot and by hot, I mean while the markets remain in a state of manic activity.

Where to next?

This post has gotten way too long. In the next part, I’ll share some more observations before I provide an opinion on what happens next.

How’s 2021 going for you?

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An early retirement plan for blue-collar workers?
(Growing your tree of prosperity)

It’s an intriguing read. But also given the set up of the scenario, I highly doubt that it’s achievable by many blue-collar workers. The implausibility comes from:
(1) many of them will not be able to earn that sort of wage for an extended period of time,
(2) even if they could, even fewer will be able to hit a savings rate of more 75% or more,
(3) 6% p.a. may be out of reach for many of them, especially in this low-interest rate environment

tl;dr The post rides on a scenario painted in a forum about how someone working in the gig economy might earn $6+ thousand a month, save/invest $5 thousand a month, earn a 6% rate of return on that investment and therefore be able to retire in 7 years. I think it’s highly unlikely it happens.

The CoAssets Situation Explained: Why Are Investors Filing Police Reports About The Company?
(Seedly blog)

Listed company? Check.
Run by so-called “investment expert”? Check.

Don’t be a sucker. If the investments could reliably return 10-15% p.a., Getty Goh should be running a hedge fund and not finding deals to offer to retail investors. Funny enough, I know of another company run by some Singaporeans with a business model that could be replicated by anyone, and it’s also listed on the ASX.

Not sure how that works or why it would be attractive.

First ‘Best Reads’ of 2021! May the year be good to you.

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5 Undeniable Long-Term Trends Shaping Society’s Future
(Visual Capitalist)

But first, hat-tip to The Big Picture where I saw first saw this. Point #4 was what caught me eye. Stocks have historically outperformed real estate in the U.S. Other markets around the world hasn’t been that different. I believe it was Shiller(?) that also showed that real estate appreciates at the rate of inflation in the long-run, yet many people in Singapore are obsessed with real estate.

If there’s one big prediction I would make for Singapore, short of a major change in immigration policy, the gains from real estate for the current home-buying generation will be much lower than the gains their parents and grandparents experienced.

Golden Age Thinking
(A Wealth of Common Sense)

This was an interesting one for me. I am prone to bouts of nostalgia but at the same time, I am under no illusions that life is better today than it was in the past.

‘Flash Boys’ Led Robinhood Founders to Hide How Firm Made Money
(Bloomberg)

I’m actually surprised how few of the people I know that follow the markets don’t know that zero-comm brokers are zero-comm for a reason. I’m pretty sure that almost everyone knows that the reason why Facebook and Google has so many great platforms available to the user for free is because we, the users, are the product.

So, similarly, if someone offers something to you for free, remember, YOU are the product.

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I think I say it for most people that we’re glad to say goodbye to the year 2020. And boy, what a year it has been. As a world, we’ve:

  • learnt to live with COVID-19 and safe distancing measures
  • become accustomed to Work-from-home
  • seen the financial markets become unhinged from the real economy
  • experienced quite a bit of turmoil, especially for those in the industries hit hardest by the decimation of the travel industry

My 2020

For me, 2020 hasn’t been all that bad.

I’ve heard of family and friends who have lost jobs due to the pandemic. Some have jobs but have seen diminished economic activity due to the effects of the battle against COVID-19. While the public service has its bonus measures tied to economic growth, the drop in bonuses has relatively little impact when you consider that we still have our jobs with no paycuts. Despite being in the private sector, my wife has also been fortunate that she’s been spared from any fallout due to the COVID-induced recession.

On the plus side, work-from-home has meant that we’ve spent more time together with our cats. We have also moved to a new place and I can’t imagine how handling the renovation and move would have been like had there been no work-from-home. Work-from-home basically introduced an element of flexibility into our schedules and that really helped with the move.

Another great thing that happened in 2020 was that we bought our new place at a great price and sold our previous place at a decent price too. I usually suck at trading but this came as close to a good trade as it gets. I have to admit, it has nothing to do with skill and we were purely lucky that we managed to fetch a decent price for our old place despite the ongoing economic recession. The price was even better than what a flat on a higher floor in the same block went for and had that seller not been desperate to sell, I suspect all our flats would have fetched a better price as the resale market started to heat up thanks to the delays in the construction of new flats.

However, I’m glad we sold when did because of the impending flood of resale flats hitting their Minimum Occupation Period (MOP) in 2021. If you haven’t read the news, there’s basically five times as many flats going to hit their MOP in 2021 as compared to the average year. Assuming the same proportion of people cash out of their BTO flat, that’s going to be five times the number of resale flats on the supply side compared to any given year.

The stock market has been kind to investors as well. Despite the swift and brutal drop in March, all major stock markets have more or less recovered and then some. I was expecting markets to fall for another six months or so but the fall in March was so brutal that I suppose it took all the wind out of the sails of the bear.

However, the bull has really come back with a vengeance. Young people who were too young to even remember the Global Financial Crisis have participated widely through apps like Robinhood that offer zero-commission and gamify the whole trading process*. And the thing about these kind of times is that when new blood enters the markets and start to make ridiculous returns without experiencing much pain, you know things are starting to get a little crazy.

Nevertheless, as I write this with 1.5 trading days left in the year, my portfolio looks fine. As long as you save and invest for the long-term, you should be fine. I’ve learned a big lesson in investing this year which is that it’s pretty much futile to time the market perfectly but having said that, it’s necessary to also have a sense of when markets are a little crazy and when they are at basement-bargain levels. In short, I think markets have been getting a little crazy of late.

Now, don’t get me wrong. 2020 hasn’t been all cheers. We lost a close family member on my wife’s side of family. The only consolation there was that the passing was peaceful and there wasn’t much suffering involved. Plus that family member has had a long and fulfilling life.

And that passing got me thinking. While we know the average life expectancy of someone in Singapore is in the low 80s, there’s also half a chance that someone in Singapore never makes it to that age. At the same time, there’s also half a chance that you’ll live past that age. In short, you gotta live each day thinking that it could be your last but at the same time, you can’t YOLO each day as odds are you’ll need resources for a long future.

Alright, I think this going to be a good place to end my post. 2020 was an eventful year. I hope 2021 will be kinder to the world and I hope it’s a year that will be good to you too.

Note:
*Notice I said trading and not investing.

Last ‘Best Reads’ of the year. And what a year it has been.

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Supercharging Your Financial Bullshit Detector
(Incognito Money Scribe)

Great post but the problem with advice that’s given in the post is that like all things in life, most people will fail to appreciate it.

Running Out of Time Before Running Out of Money
(Of Dollars and Data)

Something to think about. However, also remember that it’s not necessarily a bad thing to run out of time before you run out of money if you can plan for a way for that money to continue making a difference even after you’re gone.

Meet Bob, the World’s Worst Market Timer
(The Reformed Broker)

Great, great example on how time in the market can even overcome the worse possible entry timing in the market. However, it’ll be interesting to see what the results are in a market that went nowhere instead of a great big, bull market. In other words, how would this look like for someone invested in the Nikkei?

Animal Spirits: IPO Mania
(A Wealth of Common Sense)

A sign of the times? By the way, there was once when I tracked the number of IPOs on the SGX and there is a strong correlation between bull markets and the number of IPOs coming onto the market. I guess the point and narrative is obvious but don’t think that this can be used as a market timing signal.

At best, it means that much of the credit in the markets have been soaked up by these IPOs. As long as the demand for credit outweighs the supply of it, markets will continue to go up.

“A Social Experiment” – S’pore Influencers Clarify On Website Selling Their “Used Pillows”
(Vulcan Post)

From what I gather, “Social experiment” seems to be the term you use whenever you want to back out of the original intent you had. Anyway, I’m not sure which is worse – (a) the selling of used pillows to the kind of demographic it was targeted at, or (b) the selling of what are actually brand-new pillows when the customer was expecting a used one.

(a) is trashy but hey, you know, willing buyer, willing seller while (b) is clearly deception or false advertising.