Another week’s come and gone. Lots of finance/investing related reads this week. Also, a good look at Tesla and the world’s plastics problem.

How I save >$150k before 28 – updated tips (Simple Budget, Simple Life)

I like how young people living in a country with one of the highest costs of living still manage to achieve such high net worths relative to their age. She offers some tips in this post and throughout the rest of the blog. It’s a good read for those who can’t get over the mental block of saving enough money so that you have six figures in your bank account.

Having said that, this is like clearing level 1 of the video game called ‘Financial Independence’. if you stick to the same tips that the blogger provides, you’ll find yourself trapped in the hell called “work-save-spend”. Plus, tracking budgets and comparing tiny differences in savings account deposit rates are not really the smarter way of doing things.

 

Ignore the Millionaire Mindset; Try the Billionaire Behavior Set Instead (The Big Picture)

An awesome post. I’m going to print this out and stick it on the wall of my cubicle. There’s a saying that goes something like this, “If you reach for the stars, even if you fail, at least you’ll land on the moon.” So, if you’re trying to get wealthy, aim higher and at least if you don’t get there, you might not be too far off.

That aside, those seven points are things ANYONE should follow. I don’t know if these were the things that made billionaires their billions but I think these seven points are critical ingredients for living a good life.

 

Price Is What You Pay; Value Is What You Get – Nifty Fifty Edition (Fortune Financial)

This won’t come as a surprise for anyone who’s trained in the ways of fundamental investing. Having said that, it’s always nice to come across case studies of how valuation matters. The Nifty Fifty is something many new investors are probably unaware of but it goes to show that unbridled optimism pushing valuations high is an ever-lasting feature of financial markets.

My only quibble would be whether using P/E alone is a good measure of value. Also, the table seems to show that having a long holding period (see the 30- and 40-year returns in the post) mitigates the dangers of buying at high valuations. I guess the main thing would be whether most investors have that long a time horizon.

 

Why is Elon Musk raging at “big media”? Because he’s finally being called on his tall tales. (Vox)

Speaking of high valuations, Tesla and Elon Musk have been in the spotlight recently. Compared to a few years ago, things aren’t so positive this time. When Tesla IPO-ed, I remember reading about some investors who were planning to keep buying Tesla stock for the foreseeable future as there was so much hype surrounding Elon Must and all his various ventures.

In case you haven’t realised, Elon Musk is no Jeff Bezos who’s trying to upend something as simple as retail. Musk’s ventures are as capital intensive as it gets and if you’ve read Jeremy Siegel’s “The Future for Investors“, you’ll know that most companies with high CAPEX don’t tend to produce very good returns.

During times where credit is loose and things are rosy, companies like Tesla won’t have problems raising cash and blowing it on big dreams as they’ve done. In fact, for the last couple of years, there’s been a lot of money raised by startups.

These companies then race against time to prove themselves. It’s either they succeed in producing the outsized returns with a viable product that becomes widely adopted or investors lose patience and credit starts to tighten.

Good read all around especially if you’re a fan of Tesla and Musk.

 

The global plastic problem is even bigger than you think (AXIOS)

I’m no expert on the environment but I think if you’re human, then you ought to care. Recently, there’s been this fad about buying metal straws so that we can replace plastic straws and while I’m skeptical about fads, I believe the excessive use of plastics is going to a problem. After all, if plastics end up in the stomachs of the seafood that we eat, then that plastic is surely going to end up in our stomachs as well.

Singapore is a land-scarce and oil-scarce country so it makes even more sense to reduce our use of plastics so that we don’t have to find land to bury our plastic waste or contribute to the global demand for oil.

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