Friday, February 25, 2022

Predictions in 2022

Time flies and we are in 2022.This comes a bit too late but well never too late as long as 2022 has not end.  Here are some of the predictions in 2022.

01     Pandemic to Endemic

Although there are further mutations of the virus, mankind is inventing vaccines and booster shots to produce immunity against the virus. No one knows when the viruses could be wiped out but one thing for sure is that the pandemic could become just like common cold for more developed countries with high vaccination rates. Countries will not enter endemic phase at the same time. The faster the country enters the endemic state, the faster it can get back to pre –covid standards. It will create a larger economic inequality between the richer and poorer countries. Richer countries will be able to allow travel much earlier and this will get the economy back up.

02     Future of Work

Due to the pandemic, people realised that they have the flexibility to choose their working hours. Employees prefer work life balance which they know that they can work more productive remotely. It is also a win win situation for the employers as they can scale down their office spaces for substantial savings. This might lead to more people resigning and reprioritizing their lives goals.

03     Inflation and Rise of Cypto

Inflation is running at a nearly four decade high in the United States and Singapore is not spared from rising inflation rates. Higher inflation erodes the value of money in your bank account. Gold has been used as a hedge against inflation however crypto has been gaining popularity in recent years. Non fungible tokens (NFTs) and the metaverse will continue to boom into 2022. Even Facebook is taking a claim in the metaverse. The blockchains and its impact is definitely a thing to note in 2022.

04     Travel worries

How many of us have not been travelling due to the pandemic, I think all of us are looking forward to being able to travel to far and exotic countries. However due to the impact of the lockdowns and travel bans, a lot of the travel related industries was impacted. Jobs are lost and reduced, time and money is required to attract the talents back into the related industries. Not only increased salaries, rising oil prices will cost travel fares to go up. Thus people will go and hunt for shorter trips within the countries or countries nearby instead.

05     Potential Business Opportunities

Online retail will continue to prosper, however due to the disruptions of the supply chain caused by the pandemic, there will be further delays in shipments, resulting in scarcity of resources and goods. This will give rise to the second hand economy.  Consumers do not mind using second hand goods to save some money and to wait for new products to reach the shopping racks. The rise of the second hand economy is also fuelled by the consensus to create a more sustainable future to deter the impacts of climate change.

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Friday, February 18, 2022

2 tips to make you spend money wisely


I don't know if you agree with this point of view. It is not easy to make money, and spending money is a form of knowledge. How to master the art of spending money? How to allocate expenses reasonably In the uncertainty of life?

Can you tell the difference between consumption and investment? For example, is buying a fitness membership an investment? Lottery tickets are irrational speculation, and why do so many people buy them? How to turn money into a valuable asset?

01     Distinguish three "wallets"

"Spending money smartly is as hard as earning it".

Regarding this point, there is actually a big misunderstanding in spending money. Most people think that spending money means saving money and buying cheap things. Living within your means, being diligent and thrifty are the ways to spend money.

However, to really utilise money, you must know how to distinguish between three wallets.

Each of us has three wallets, a consumption wallet, a speculative wallet and an investment wallet.

Consumption wallet: To satisfy own needs such as clothes, daily necessities, etc

Speculative wallet: To speculate and spend on items that involves some luck, such as lottery tickets art pieces, thinking that they may go up in value in the future

Investment wallet: To spend money on items that will go up in value in the future such as investment products, entrepreneurship, etc.

In general, spend more investment wallets, moderate consumption wallets, and avoiding speculative wallets are the first important things to remember about spending money.

02     Only buy things that will be worth more later

Since you want to spend more money in your investment wallet, how do you use it in real life? That's what we're going to talk about next: the principle of making more money.

This principle is: only buy things that will be more valuable later.

The question is: how can I know how much the things I buy will be worth in the future?

Probably the hardest part is estimating the values ​​and discounting them. In the eyes of economists, almost all items ​​can be converted into money for comparison.

For example, your job requires you to be fluent in Chinese, and once your Chinese proficiency improves, your monthly salary may increase.

Under such circumstances, it costs a few hundreds to sign up for a one-year training course, which seems to be a very cost-effective investment, because it can bring you more monetary returns in the future.

This is an estimate of what the purchase will be worth in the future and can help you decide whether to spend the money.

However, with regards to this estimate, there is a loophole. Because you ignore an important factor, and that is time. In other words, future money is not as valuable as present money.

Therefore, when you spend money and invest to calculate future income, you cannot directly compare the amount of money you may earn in the future with the amount you will spend now, but you have to give a discount to the future money. This discount is called in economics. Discount Rate.

This principle sounds simple, but most people are often disregard this problem.

If you understand the concept of discount rate, you will know that the sooner you get more money, the less discount you will lose. Not to mention that if you get the money in advance, you can make other investments and bring additional income.

In addition to considering the discount rate, another factor you need to consider is how long it will take to get the return, and at that point, whether the return you want will still mean as much to you.

If you tell a 20-year-old young man, "You give me 2 million now, and I will give you 10 million in 30 years", many young people will be willing, because for them, they will be 50 years old in 30 years, and still Lots of time to enjoy this money.

But if you say the same thing to an 80-year-old, he probably won't say yes, he thinks he may be running out of time and doesn't want to take the risk.

When people are young, they can appropriately allocate more stock assets, and their ability to withstand risk fluctuations will be relatively strong. Once there is a loss, they can also have the opportunity to use time and accumulated experience to "wait" the gains back.

02     Two strategies to reduce investment losses

When we invest, it is very likely that due to habit of judgment, the investment will fail. Is there any way to reduce the loss of investment?

In order to ensure stable investment and avoid risks, there are two strategies: one is a portfolio investment strategy and the other is an option strategy.

Portfolio investment strategy, to put it bluntly, is not to put all your eggs in one basket to avoid bankruptcy due to your misjudgment. You may already be familiar with this concept.

The second strategy is to use options. The essence of options is to pre-determine the right to spend a certain amount of money to buy a certain transaction within an agreed time.

For example, if you go to rent a house, you have to pay a deposit when you sign the contract. You may have to pay 10% of the rent. This deposit is actually an option.

If in the next month, you find a house with a cheaper rent, then you have the right to choose to abandon the transaction.

This is a right to backtrack that you buy yourself in the future when your investment may fail.

This idea can give us a good direction, that is, when you are not sure about the investment results, you can spend a little money first to buy the right to this investment opportunity.

After a period of time, if you feel that the investment opportunity is not good or there is a better opportunity, you can do not need this part of the deposit and pursue a better choice, then the risk of this investment in life will be greatly reduced.



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Friday, February 11, 2022

The company behind “All of us are dead” and “Squid Game”

Korean dramas “All of us are dead” and "Squid Game" have been top discussion topics on social media, and many people have followed this drama, and they have also given high ratings recently.

Why are those shows so popular? A closer look reveals that the producer behind it is Netflix.

When it comes to Netflix, everyone will think of a series of high-quality film and television dramas, such as "House of Cards", "The Queen's Gambit", "Black Mirror" and so on, many of which have been nominated for several Oscars.

If someone goes in depth into Netflix's history, they will find that its current business model is completely different from the original one.

So what did Netflix do in the first place? What exactly does it make money from?

01

Let’s take a brief look at how Netflix got its start.

Netflix first started as a DVD rental business. After the customer placed an order online, Netflix mailed the DVD to the customer's home.

This business model looks simple now, but in 1998, it was quite creative.

Because people at that time wanted to watch discs, they had to go to physical stores,  which was very inconvenient; and suddenly one fine day, they could rent discs without leaving home. Who could resist such a temptation?

Netflix's business is really hot. As its users continue to increase, Netflix has tried to launch a "monthly subscription" service, paying more than ten dollars a month and renting 4 movies at a time.

With the new model, Netflix's subscribers rose to 300,000, and the company's monthly revenue was several million dollars.

But we also know that with the advancement of technology, movies can also be seen on the Internet, and the DVD format has gradually been eliminated.

Netflix keenly observed this technological change and quickly transformed itself into an online video site. To put it bluntly, it is like an "online cinema", which buys film and television drama copyrights from film companies and puts them on the platform for users to watch.

But this model still has its shortcomings. If the upstream price increases sharply, or the movie copyright is not sold to you, the business may collapse immediately.

After thinking about it, Netflix finally decided to produce its own content and attract users through self-produced film and television dramas. But the threshold for filming and TV drama is so high, how to go about it?

In 2013, Netflix launched its first self-made drama "House of Cards", which was well received. Since then, it has embarked on a "point of no return" for self-made dramas.

Therefore, from the earliest paid DVD rentals to the current paid to watch homemade dramas, it seems that Netflix's business has changed, but the essence of providing users the content they are interested in has not changed.

02

When we look at Netflix's stock price over the past ten years, we can see that its development momentum is indeed relatively strong:

You may want to ask, how does this company make money? 

The answer is membership fees.

At present, Netflix has more than 200 million subscribers, and the monthly fee is 8.99 US dollars, and the annual revenue is more than 20 billion US dollars.

The membership fees charged by Netflix are indeed not cheap. But many people are willing to pay this money, one is for its many high-quality original dramas, and the other is that there are no advertisements on Netflix.

When we dived into Netflix's annual report, we found out that Netflix's revenue are mainly from 2 sources , 99% is membership fee, and 1% is DVD service:

Therefore, there is a conflict between the membership service and the advertising business itself. Netflix simply gave up the advertising business and attracted users by continuously outputting high-quality content + good experience.

03

According to the latest annual report, Netflix's annual profit is 2.7 billion US dollars.

Netflix uses big data algorithms and in-depth mining of user data to tailor films that meet the audience's interests, it can mass-produce high-quality original dramas; however, domestic video platforms usually require good scripts to be popular and self-made. The quality of the show can't always be that stable.

Therefore, Netflix has long understood that a video platform can only make money if it has the mindset of pumping lots of money to continue to produce high-quality content. Being able to gain insight into the development direction of the industry so early is the most remarkable thing about this company.


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Saturday, February 5, 2022

Gotten HRW over the CNY break

Covid 19 seems to be quite distanced from me until my brother got positive on CNY eve, what a start to the long CNY break . Then we scrambled to read up on the everchanging protocol in order to know what to do next. After he was confirmed positive with the ART as well as the PCR test at the clinic near our house, the rest of the family members were issued with a health risk warning (HRW) one day after.

We self isolated and submitted the results of our ART results immediately after gotten the SMS to test within 24 hours. We were to test daily for 7 days and we can go about doing our normal activities if tested negative. We minimized going out, only going out to get the ART test kits and to get the daily necessities. 

The CNY this year was certainly quite memorable, toned down reunion dinner, strictly no house visiting, maybe the only optimistic part was that the other family members are still fine at the moment.

Till today, my brother is still tested positive. I guess living with Covid 19 will be the norm in Singapore especially with the spike in the cases in this few days. 

Take good care, stay safe and be responsible, Cheers everyone.

Friday, February 4, 2022

How to plan Asset allocations for various life stages

 

As the saying goes: "Money is earned, not saved." It actually means that we need to earn AND manage money in order to grow it. Only when we have a clear financial management goal, can we better understand what kind of investment tools we will need, making financial planning more effective.

But before that, we should have a clear understanding of our financial values ​​in order to better "prescribe the right medicine." In a broad picture, people born after 1980 can be divided into the following 6 categories according to their financial values:

  1. Diligent Group: Choose to struggle first and then enjoy. Actively save, know how to increase income and reduce expenditure, live within their means, can quickly accumulate funds, and use funds for investment and financial management.

  2. Enjoy First Group: Enjoy first and then struggle, focus on the immediate enjoyment of life, have strong purchasing power and consumption power, spend as much as they earn, and basically have no savings.

  3. The hard-working Group: In the initial stage, the main goal is to purchase real estate. In addition to the long-term pressure of housing loans, they also need to prepare for their children's education expenses.

  4. Dink Group: Pay attention to personal development, do not have children after marriage, and prefer to live in the two-person world. It should be noted that when one of the parties has an accident or financial risk, it is easy to trigger a marital crisis.

  5. Non-married Group: Although there is no huge financial demand-buying real estate or preparing children's education funds, one should understand the indisputable fact that one will eventually grow old.

  6. NEET (Not in Employment, Education or Training) Group: One is mostly at home, does not start a business or work, and the living expenses are all provided by the parents. In addition to consuming social resources, it is also easy to cause adverse effects on society.

Specifically, the life cycle of a family can be roughly divided into four stages: the "formation period" from being single to the establishment of a family; the "growth period" when children grow up; the "maturity period" when the family and career develop together; and from retirement to the end-of-life "ageing period".

The following focuses on the three stages of "formation period", "growth period" and "maturity period", and provide corresponding asset allocation suggestions. I hope it will be helpful to everyone.

Formation period: quickly accumulate wealth

Our life is not long nor short, the earlier you plan for financial management, the more wealth you can accumulate. We can start with the following 4 basic financial management steps:

1. Keeping track of income and expenditure: It allows you to understand your own consumption behaviors and habits, and can better control your future economic budget by sorting out whether each item of living expenses is reasonable.

2. Income: work hard and make money, set up a dedicated financial account for investment, and choose suitable financial products for investment.

3. Expenditure: living within your means and controlling shopping desires, such as coming up a shopping list before shopping and purchasing strictly in accordance to the list.

4. Value-addition: From the perspective of long-term interests, we will need to understand and improve professional ability. For example, to obtain various skills certificates to prepare for future promotion.

From the perspective of asset allocation:

Investment advisors used to recommend a rule of thumb where the investor will subtract their age from 100 to know the allocation for stocks in their portfolio. However due to the higher life expectancy, recommended formulae is to subtract your age from 110 or 120 to be more aggressive in stocks. The rest can be in less risky financial products such as bonds, ETFs, etc.

Growth period: emphasis on asset preservation and appreciation

The age of 30 to 50 is a period of heavy responsibility for life. This age needs to bear multiple financial pressures. Therefore, the proportion of investment in core assets can be adjusted appropriately.

From the perspective of asset allocation, planning can be made from the following four aspects:

1. Reserve a family fund: generally 6-12 months of family living expenses, in case of emergency.

2. Repay various types of loans: such as car loans, housing loans and general consumer loans.

3. Prepare children's education funds: to support children from kindergarten to university, the tuition and miscellaneous fees and various living expenses during this period will require a lot of money.

4. Retirement planning: The sooner you prepare for retirement planning, the less economic pressure you will bear.

Maturity period: Stay conservative and avoid risks

During the period from the age of 50 to critical retirement, our funds should be invested in more conservative or prudent financial products.

From the perspective of asset allocation, there is basically no income from work in the elderly after retirement, and they can only rely on CPF to pay for various expenses that may be faced, including necessary expenses for maintaining life, medical or nursing expenses, etc.

At this stage, good health is as important as wealth. Therefore, investment and financial management should prioritize "stability" and choose low-risk financial products, focusing on fixed income.

Do a good job in investment and financial management to achieve financial freedom

Financial management is lifetime homework. The greatest achievement of investment guru Warren Buffett when conducting financial management in stages, he always stays sober, adheres to medium and long-term investments, and follows the principle of asset allocation that is, investing in familiar ones. Only invest in what you are familiar with.


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Tuesday, February 1, 2022

10 Rules to a Happy Life

 

At the end of the year and the beginning of the year, I always hear the wishes of "Happy New Year to you". Some people say that happiness is too difficult; maybe it Is because we often forget that happiness is a choice.


Learn these 10 rules of happy life, let's wave goodbye to sorrow and welcome the new year with great strides.

01     Stop thinking too much

Some people like to think too much, ponder too much on the trivialities of life repeatedly, and find fault with themselves, but in the end they just increase anxiety. Don't be overly restrained and sensitive, face life with a normal heart. When people are comfortable, they will feel much better.

02     Don’t pay too much attention to other people’s opinions

I have seen many people who care too much about other people's opinions and try to seek their own value in the other people’s evaluations. But in fact, life is our own; we each have our own light. Let go of paranoia, don't be distracted, and live the present moment, so that you can be more relaxed and comfortable.

03     Control bad mood, release good aura

As the saying goes: nine out of ten things don't go well in life. Those who are always happy are not without problems, but they all know how to control their emotions and are not affected by bad emotions or bad temper. Only by maintaining a good attitude can you control life and feel the beauty of life.

04     Find your comfort zone

Many people have a misunderstanding of the comfort zone, thinking that being in the comfort zone is about being content with the status quo and just living with it. In fact, finding a comfort zone does not mean not working hard, but being able to do what you want to do and be good at, and have a temporary shelter when you are sad.

05     Occasionally "muddled" once

Being forgetful, laugh when something happens, give yourself a time to buffer and relax occasionally, there is nothing wrong. Don't be too serious about things that are unplanned, you will be happier if you are a little muddled.

06     Learn to reject

Some people say: "When you are in your twenties, you feel that life is too long. In fact, sometimes, life is very short." Learn to reject other people's unreasonable demands and things that make you unhappy. Have more joy.

07     Develop Hobbies

Happiness is found by oneself. Cultivate one or two hobbies, such as reading, sports, cooking, growing flowers. Let go of the impetuous mood and experience the joy of life from simple little things, you will become more and more loving life.

08     Tidy up regularly

It has to be said that cleaning up the room seems to have a magical power. Playing your favorite music, tidying up the house, and sweeping away the bad emotions that have accumulated for a long time. The resultant is that the room is cleaner and your mood is brighter.

09     Exercise regularly

Many people have the experience that exercise can make people feel good. Exercise is also an excellent skin care product. People who insist on exercising are healthier in body and mind, and they are more confident. So, go to exercise when you have free time, there is no bad mood that can't be driven away by sweat.

10     Sufficient Sleep

A good night's sleep is probably the easiest way to relax. After a busy day, all the bad emotions were quietly healed in the warm bed at the moment of lying in bed. Tonight, remember to go to bed early and let good dreams heal your body and mind.

 

May you always keep a smile on your face and love for life in the new year.


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Ten years later, will you thank yourself today?

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