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What A Hectic Investment and Educational Month For Me!

October 31st, 2008 by Wai Loong (6 Comments)

October 2008 has been a really exciting month for me!  In case you’re wondering why I have suddenly stopped writing for over a month- I haven’t been kept idle.  In fact, I’ve have been kept really busy, both professionally and also in my personal “work”.

Well, I don’t really call it “work”.  It’s quality time invested in boosting my financial intelligence, as well as equipping myself with sufficient knowledge to get started in the next phase of my life.  It hasn’t been my own philosophy to reveal secrets, but rather, share with some of my own findings over the month – a sort of intensive month growing professionally and investing personally.

Let me break things down by weeks (and sub-dates):

1st October 2008

While folks were busy celebrating Hari Raya Puasa, I had a secret meeting with a close friend discussing the possibilities of running our own automated partnership business.  It was a rather short 2hrs meeting, but I was quite convinced that a market downturn is the best time to get started when everything goes on sale and hiring and outsourcing jobs gets cheaper for same or better quality.

Don’t believe me?  That’s how Adam Khoo, a local entrepreneur, made most of his million dollar fortune in the previous two downturns (1997 and 2002).  In fact, the smart businessmen are now seeking to expand and takeovers in this financial crisis with all the spare cashes they have saved up during the good times (2004-2007).  Adam Khoo himself took advantage of the low flat interest rates to finance his property which he already bought at a huge bargain during the crisis!

9th October 2008

Secret Meeting with LR.  Can’t reveal much, but it got me quite excited just thinking about it.

11-12th October 2008

1. SMART Investment & International Property Expo at Suntec.

I was at the seminar twice to pick up some investment ideas.  Interestingly, I was stunned by Thomas Mathew’s presentation – “My Formula – Financial Planning for Lifetime Success”.  A retired professional with IPP Financial Advisers, he currently manages the portfolios of over 600 clients.

He is a darn frugal guy who doesn’t believe that he buys his own car, but rather takes the MRT.  I agree wholeheartedly with him, although most folks who are used to driving doesn’t think so.  I only consider driving one if it is sponsored, or that it comes around at a significant bargain.

Nanz Chong Komo’s (founder of ONE.99shop and author of ONE Business 99 Lessons) personal story to rebound from her own failure in business inspired me a lot.  Not only can she face her first business failure squarely, she turned her situation around her and gave to her children and to take time to plan her new business!  Of course, all these could not have been possible without her supportive husband.

Lesson learned: In life, your family and your friends (environment) will be one of the most important components to supporting your own financial success.

2. Secret meeting #2 with LR

I can’t reveal much, but the draft plan looks like a lot of details we have to fill in!

Planning to run a business is not as easy as it seemed!  It certainly requires a lot of research work in many areas that neither of us are aware of.  Also, I have no idea how things will turn out until we jump into it and get things started.

13th October 2008

An afternoon with Jim Rogers at NUS Culture Auditorium:

This is the first time I ever set my foot onto NUS (National University of Singapore).  Interestingly, it is my second time to see a billionaire (in person) life on stage.  The first time I saw a billionaire was last year – when Bill Gates was up on stage in San Francisco, California, USA, sharing probably one of his last keynote before he resigns from Microsoft and go full time into the foundations.

Jim Roger has an very deep understanding on the problems in China and he recommended that you have to make absolutely sure that your children learn the Chinese and English language very well.  This means a big NO-NO to Singlish and other Chinese dialect slang.  His toddler daughter, Happy, can now speak perfect Beijing Chinese accent under the excellent guidance of her nanny.

When it comes to investments, Jim rates the water problem in China to be the most immediate problem to handle.  In fact, his 100k+ mile across the world lead him to the conclusion that for China to move economically ahead, Water and Energy are two of the most important resources that are lacking (and pressing) at hand.

Smart investors can reap tremendous wealth by carefully analyzing his recommended Sino files, taking the actions and have a long investing time frame.

More information can be readily available from his latest book “A Bull In China“.

16th October 2008

My financial adviser was quite (sounded) excited when he texted me this morning out of the blue.  He was surprised to see me on the papers today, appearing in an advertisement to endorse a value investment course which I had completed more than a month back.  I thought it was a good idea to share the opportunity to learn about value investing which is literally unheard of in this part of the world.  However, he wanted me to give him the gits of it, without wanting to pay to attend.

I couldn’t of course and I believe any of our class can do that in a few SMS messages.

Frankly speaking, I have no intention to pursuade people to sign up for anything anymore.  I learned in the past that people who are curious enough will go and find out more themselves, for example, a preview seminar.  There is no longer an expectation that I used to carry in the past, whenever I got so excited in something I believe to be of great value, and wanted every of my valued friends know about it.

It was during one of my coaching lessons (more than 3 years ago) that I realized my invitation process literally turns people off when I got excited and became pushy.  It dawn on me that most people are just not trained to recognize opportunities, or are not ready for the good stuffs in life… so I have to learn to let go without further expectations.

It is lately that I discovered too, that most folks have strong egos in them which prevented them from opening up to new ideas, wisdom or whatever that will add a lot of value to their lives.  I have seen in my own eyes (in one of the preview seminar) that many old time investors (and by the way, they look really old!) are just too proud to let go and learn something new, or to take immediate actions and grab a rare opportunity when it slapped right onto their faces.

I guess there was nothing I could do really, but to maintain a compose and peaceful outlook in life.  🙂

17th October 2008

I came across a very interesting article “Market Crash or Opportunity?“, recommended by CY and it was (possibly) written by Adam Khoo.  I said possibly because he could have taken a ghost writer to do that on his behalf.  On a way, that article alone can drive a stake through your heart unless you are a long term investor.

Further reading reveals yet another useful article by Adam Khoo, “Why I love market crashes and you should too!

Wise investors are clearly aware of the huge opportunities now and take full advantage of this one-in-a-century financial tsunami that is now sweeping over Asia.  In fact, many rich people make their first bucket of gold in economy downturns in the past and this one can easily turn you in to one if you set your investment foresight right.  Everything is now tumbling to new lows, from the stock market to very soon to the property market.  In fact, savvy property investors now are eying to intercept foreclosures before banks take them onto the auction market.

Sure, a lot of folks are getting burned now by flipping stocks and properties when the time is good.  Speculators, like gamblers seldom win.  Many can make buck loads, and may loose them all due to one single ill judgment.  I hardly call this consistency!  In fact, I wonder how many of these folks are able to sleep soundly at night now.

As Adam Khoo already said, gigantic opportunities like this one now rarely come around.  Save as much as you can and make the best use of your time now to do your research and due diligence… and most importantly, act decisively!

The $1 commission opportunity:

I guess this isn’t any secret but in case you’re just getting started with the stock markets, CIMB-GK has an attractive deal that you can take advantage of right now.  When you sign up as a new customer between now and end of December 2008, you are give up to 8 trades commissioned at $1.  That to me is a huge savings in times like this, further taking advantage of the already undervalued and hugely discounted businesses that you will want to own over the next 5-10 years.

20th October 2008

I took a whole day leave in anticipation of a private forum with Mr Song Sung Wun, chief economist of CIMB-GK Singapore.  He someone which I believe, based on his extensive insights from the mountains of economic data he gathers, does point out where the economy may be heading in the next 2 years.

Interestingly, Singapore’s GDP may be revised downwards to 2% or less given the grim outlook that are not expected by the majority of Singaporeans.  When asked if STI will fall through 1,000 points this year, he gave a very optimistic view that we should not be that persmistic, while admitting that if that ever happens, he will probably be forced to return to China and become a farmer.

I don’t know if it ever happens, but anything is just about to be possible in this kind of once-in-a-century crisis like this one we’re all so fortunate today that we will be able to ride through, and rebound stronger than ever.

Later in the afternoon, I enjoyed an excellent afternoon at Marina Bay Food Court – all by myself!  It’s a real luxury for me really… slowly enjoying a nice big cup of ice coffee, in an air conditioned environment, gazing across the cool sea view outside, having the Esplanade and Singapore MerLion in the background, while doing one of my favorite activity – reading!

In fact, I did not realized that I had been sitting down there for more than 4 hours and actually finished reading the whole book, “A Bull In China” by Jim Rogers, all in one stroke!

Believe me, if you are an investor and you have not read this one book, you may be missing out one of the largest investment opportunities in your lifetime!

22nd October 2008

Light at the end of the tunnels for Lehman Mini-bond holders?

The ugly side of banking and financial professional had surfaced.  Local bankers are the main culprits who forced these professionals to meet monthly sales targets.  Pressures for survival caused irrational and desperate behaviors, ignoring risks and transfer these risk onto their customers.  How can professionals even recommend their clients to invest in financial derivative products they do not even understand in 30 minutes?

Interestingly, I found a friend who was also at one of my buddy’s wedding dinner (NTU final year project partner).  He related a horrible story when he almost bought it early this year:

Friend: “I saw this Ads on the papers early this year and wanted to go check out this safer investment.”

Me: “Really?  Why was it that I did not spotted it?” (Actually, I don’t even bother to because these deals are often not attractive to retail investors)

Friend: “Yeah, and guess what?  Luckily I didn’t plunge down 20k+!  Or I’ll $#%&  loose them all”.

Me: “What happened?  Was it some foresight you’ve gotten out from your research?” (I wondered…)

Friend: “When I reach the bank, a very nice banker came around me and gave me some sound advice…”

Banker: “You sure you want to buy this crap?  Let me show you something…” and he flipped down to over 100+ pages in the prospectus and pointed out a specific statement “Top 5 Reputable Banks… and 100+ B– rated financial banks in the list.   So if all these bad debt companies go belly up, 40% of you investment is guaranteed to disappear!”.

Friend: “Thanks man!” (You saved my a**!)

Imagine just how many security professionals saw that on the prospectus and I wonder even so, how many of those who read actually understand them, let alone giving sound recommendations to retired old man and ladies in their 60s.  Not even educated and financially trained professors are spared, or so that I’ve heard of one professor who got burnt in spite of his background in finance.

In my humble opinion, local professionals are not trained sufficiently in many areas, such as integrity, ethics and basic human morals.  Fresh and young graduates seeking to make a killing in financial industry should be carefully screened.  Bankers must do their due diligence and uphold their code of conduct, or prepare to be put behind bars.  As Warren Buffett ever mention before, unethical company management can easily rip of their shareholders in many creative ways, and this is what he called “Financial Crimes”.

If his standard were to be held strictly as of now, many financial professionals and even officials ought to be put behind bars by now.

23th October 2008

Today, the market forces tested the 1,800 technical support twice in the afternoon without breaking through.  I was quite excited again because this means either the market could go down further or rally a bit.  Either way, is this good news or bad news for value investors!  And Li Ka-Shing is throwing the towel in for a half-time.  Does that smell fishy?  I think so.

24th October 2008

The Asia market crash again!  Singapore STI slipped past 1,600 mark, breaking down all previous support life lines.  I will be planning to take a break soon.  🙂

26th October 2008

Alright!  I’ll be taking a break off the markets and let my energy focused on some important projects I have been working on so far.  Coincidentally, I was lucky enough to pick up T.Harvey Eker’s book, “Secrets of The Millionaire Mind” from the local library!

I felt extremely lucky to read this book in the nick of time before I attend his 3 days Millionaire Mind Intensive Seminar at Singapore Expo this coming November!  In fact, as of today, I have completed more than 70% of the amazing content embedded within.

I had to kick myself for not discovering this book earlier, reading and applying the simple formulas that only rich people understand.  I highly encourage anyone who aspires to build massive network for themselves and their loved ones, to read this essential book and start taking massive actions to apply the principles.  I can’t say anything than a big Wow for Harvey Eker for sharing so many valuable gems with respect to wealth building.

27th October 2008

Something mysterious happened to me today that got me very confused spiritually, but feeling joyous about that I had been longing for a long time.

I can’t reveal the details yet because I’m not sure how things will turn out for me, so I’m really keeping my fingers crossed, observe and react accordingly.  I guess I got to face it sooner or later anyway… so I have to let things take its natural course… and more importantly, to learn to let go as and when necessity comes…

31st October 2008

Today, I’m packing to run away from Singapore for a short while…

No No… don’t get me wrong!

I’m not running away from law enforcers, authorities, or anything of that sort.

I’m actually gone off to take half-time from my weekend to get involve in some of the company’s Annual Team-Building activities.  Sounds physical and stressful?  I don’t know… I’ll get to find that out real soon!

Well, it’s actually a good thing for me now since I’ve been too distracted by the recent volatile markets that that I pray I can cool off a bit off my emotional feel over the small loss from a bad investment I made – a useful and important lesson that is inevitable to newbie value investors like me.  As a matter of fact, getting away from the noise is a good way to focus my energy elsewhere, to relax, unwind from work and have fun!

Meanwhile, I still have a bit to touch up on this post, especially on some photos that I intend to include along with this post.  I’ll get them sorted out and keep you posted in the next 2 days.

Until then, keep your comments rolling in!

Stay hungry, stay foolish, and live a life with passion!

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6 Responses:

Yen Thim Wai on November 7th, 2008 at 9:08 am

They take advantage of ur email UserID. Naturally, it should be

Wai Loong on November 7th, 2008 at 10:08 pm

Sorry, I don’t understand your statement and how does it relates to my investment education?

Yen Thim Wai on November 10th, 2008 at 9:54 am

On the paper, it says DBS misleading people from investment. But the funny thing is everyone still put money in DBS Bank right. If you write DBS misleading, then why people still put money into DBS Bank?

Wai Loong on November 10th, 2008 at 11:32 pm

LOL! Since when did I ever write about DBS misleading anyone? Lehman Minibonds are offered by not just banks but financial institutes too. Maybe DBS is the biggest hit because their resolutions and relations with their customers are not too good and their customers do not trust them very much.

Speaking about reputation damaged!

CIMB-GK and UOB Kay Hian did a great job by buying them back from their customers, a gesture of goodwill and building long term relationships with their loyal customers. I haven’t been watching DBS and I don’t know what they have done so far.

Perhaps you can enlighten me on that one?

BTW, you seemed to have confused the whole issues altogether. Savings vs investment in derivatives like minibonds are different issues!

Does that mean you don’t put money in a bank that also sell financial products? Give me a break… let me know if you know of any bank who does not do that… and I can guarantee you that you’ve found yourself a loser if you put your money there!

TEA on November 17th, 2008 at 8:44 am

Hi Bro, quite impress that you can keep your thoughts for many days and write all in one blog! You have super memory man! Haha. Glad to read from you again. I was also following Adam Khoo’s story. 🙂 May your investment grow and be the next millionaire! Also good to befriend with another millionaire! 🙂

Wai Loong on November 17th, 2008 at 9:17 am

Hello Eng Peng Bro! Really glad to hear from you again!

I keep track of October 2008 closely because it’s one of the most exciting month for me this year! Not to forget the exciting panic selling for big scooping for value investors (you and me!). 🙂

LOL! Please do not associate me with super memory… I just happened to find the month interesting and archive it closely on my blog! 🙂

Yes, Adam is a very interesting and open fundamental investor (and momentum trader). I’m constantly learning from him, but I’m more of a long term investor so I’m pretty much shutting myself off from his momentum trades. 🙂

Haha! Not yet a millionaire yet, but slowly developing a millionaire mind (watch for my next post)!

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About Insights, Inspirations, Tranquility, Peace and Harmony

Ng Wai Loong

Wai Loong is an electronics engineer by profession. He currently resides in Singapore, a thriving hub at the heart of South-East Asia. When he is not so stress out on the computers or laboratory, he enjoys value reading, jogging at his own pace and blogging in his spare time. Other times, he likes to catch up with some close friends over a cup of latte or teh tarik. As a gift from this friend, you are invited to interact freely with him on his personal blog.

PS: May the person reading this blog transforms his/her businesses, finances, relationships and life for ALL to WIN!