This is my resource page.
This page structures what I written into various sections.
How do you use this?
Read one section then move on to another section. Or read one of each.
I will be adding more and more to this section.
If you have a friend or relative who you think needs to get started building wealth, you can point them to this section
Wealth Management – The most IMPORTANT points
You must be very lost how to begin wealth building after being bombarded with tons of information on Facebook, or you want to start investing in the stock market to compound your wealth. Hold your horses.
The first question to ask yourself is: What are some of the irrefutable truths about building wealth? What are the things that make the most impact?
In this section, I list out some of my posts that I would pass on to any newbie starting out or folks who want to build wealth the right way.
- I use this Wealthy Formula to build my Wealth. Now you can use it too: If some one asks me what I would tell myself when i was 18 how to become wealthy, this is what I will share with myself. What are the things that makes the biggest differences?
- The 7 Stages of Wealth: From being Dependent to Financially Free: How do you measure if a person or a family is truly wealthy? How do you know that you are progressing well on the path of financial freedom? Here is a good way to track your progress.
- Building your Wealth Fund and Wealth Machines in your Wealth System: What are Wealth Fund and Wealth Machines? In this article, I explained the important layer of wealth building that you should have in your head, before even embarking on the question what stocks and funds should I invest in
- My advice to young folks who wish to embark on a path to Financial Independence: I consolidate a list of what I learn from wealth building in my 20s and how it will be useful for young folks who wish to do it, and not make the mistakes that I made.
- Get Rich – How to pay yourself first: The important first step is to build up your savings. Without a stream of cash flow, you cannot conservatively get rich. Here is how you can build a habit out of it.
- How much Wealth do you need for Financial Independence: You may be closer to financial independence and you don’t know it. How do you determine if you are ready for it and how much is enough?
- $0 to $300,000 in 11 Years – How I put my Disposable Income into my Wealth Machine
- You make more at your job. Plan your Human Capital well: It is important to build wealth, but focusing on building a lucrative career while channeling enough to build wealth is just as important.
- Choosing your Wealth Building Muse: How would you build wealth? How passive and active do you want it to be? Things to think about when selecting how you choose to build wealth.
- When it is Smarter for you to focus on Saving versus focus on Investing: When your Wealth Fund is small, it makes more sense to focus on channeling more to Building Wealth, but when your Wealth Fund is substantial, it is important to learn to build wealth wisely
- Do not Dream out a Financial Independence Goal – Deconstruct Goal into Monthly Actions: There is the Dreamer wealth builder who gets inspired and wants a FI goal who never starts taking action, and then there is the Realistic wealth builder who is conservative but likely to translate to real actions
- Your Personal Cash Flow Statement – The Complete Guide: 2 documents tell you whether about the quality of how you operate yourself. One of them is your personal cash flow statement. It gives people a good idea if they should invest in yourself. To buy you as an asset. I explain why this document is important and why you should create it, and how I always have it when I need it.
- How to create a budget in 10 easy steps: Here is my guide with an overview of why you need a budget plan and how to plan for it.
- Focus on generating Cash Flow stream not your Net Worth: People keep talking about what they would do if they have $500,000 or $1 million. That’s not helpful. We will make you realize that focusing on cash flow is more productive
- How to budget your money well with FREE Mvelopes: Envelope budgeting is one of the best way to plan and control your finances. This is a detail guide how to carry this out.
- Another How To guide to Envelope Budgeting with Quicken: Here is how i carry out envelope budgeting with the very comprehensive Quicken.
- Saving Money – Divide up your savings: Many folks ignore the different horizons you will need your money but instead treat all saving as the same. Here’s showing you a better method.
- Saving Money – Save your increment: What if you want to maintain your standard of living but still want to save, a researcher may have a solution for you
- Saving Money – Your first $100k before 30: Many lament you cannot save 100k before 30 years old. A Straits Times article show you otherwise
- Saving Money – The Emergency Fund: A comprehensive guide : Why should everyone set up an emergency fund. I wrote a comprehensive guide on this.
- Saving Money – Why your budget fail and how to correct it: There will be times when you will realize budgeting doesn’t work. Do they? Perhaps it just needs some tweaking.
- Visualize what if you were paid 10 years of income today: Most of us plan with a 1 month income. How would your spending decisions changed if you know for sure you will earn your current income x 10?
- Paying off your mortgage: If you have saved a lump sum of money, should you use it to reduce or pay off your mortgage?
- Fulfillment Curve – How much is enough money for you: Does money buy happiness? Would acquiring more assets leads to higher fulfillment?
- Retirement Planning – Your one stop retirement planning resource: I have consolidate a large article talking about all you need to know about retirement planning
- Stock Investment Portfolio Tracker: Investment Moats very own Google Spreadsheet that helps you track your stock portfolio. Ideal to track your portfolio via transactions and caters for stock buy, sell, dividend declared and stock split.
- Wealthy Calculator: How much of your initial salary and your increment should you save to reach your financial goal? Find out using our Free Wealthy Calculator
- Cost of Car Ownership Calculator: A free online calculator to calculate the true cost of car ownership. Many do not factor in numerous criteria such as fines and improvements. This one does.
- Introduction to Annuities and their benefits: How do you ensure a consistent payout when you retire? One instrument is the annuity. What are its pros and cons?
- The Math behind being Financially Independent with 1 million by 40: How do you achieve an early comfortable situation where you can choose how to live your life later?
- How a couple of high earners can be Financially Independent in 10 years: I answer a reader’s question whether for a couple of sweet hearts earning a good starting, whether they can get out of the rat race within 10 years.
- Are HDB Flat better investments than stocks and bonds: Its always said that you cannot beat holding a property. My short analysis shows that stocks give as good returns, but you cannot leverage stocks.
- Why I felt 4 room HDB Flats are Better than 5 room Flats: An evaluation of the numerous pros of a 4 room flat over a 5 room flat
- Why You NEED to Understand Other Wealth Topics, Wealth Machines: While being focus on your one Wealth Machine is important, do not neglect what you can learn from other wealth building techniques
- 4 Strong Reasons to Draw and Pin Up a Wealth Map of where your Money is Going: Go through the process of drawing a map of where your wealth is going
Wealth Management – Wealth Psychology
Building wealth is not only about making X% returns in the market over time. Its not about finding the right and best opportunity to invest.
Behind the numbers, there are the behavioral, intangible feelings that prevents us from building great wealth.
We are human beings, and we are wired in such a way that we are influenced by friends, family, peers and society which waylaid us from our path to eventual wealth.
This section delves into these intangible aspect of your life that you need to make them right in order for you to build great wealth.
- Making a decision to build wealth: How ready are you to build wealth? Only when you make a pact with yourself and be willing to take it as a high priority project.
- Important ingredient to building successful wealth – WISDOM: You need to build wealth wisely, to do that, you need to know how to set up to acquire the wisdom to build wealth
- Putting a small amount to wealth builds your wealth building character: Its not the amount that matters sometimes. You earn more later by building that wealthy character through doing little things that compound over time
- You need to be a Wealthy person before you can get the wealth: We all wish to build the wealth and be financially independent. The ironic thing most failed to realize is that you need to BE a Wealthy Person before you can acquire that wealth
- Why you need to test out your Life Goals. 6 different Life Goals and how to test them: You do not want to yearn for something that you think it is good, worth to pursue, only to realize in reality it isn’t what you want. Test your Life Goals if possible before pursuing them!
- Put in the Upfront Hard Effort in your Wealth Building or Career to reap a Easier Future: Do you wish to have an easier and comfortable life next time? If so, are you willing to put in the hard effort now? Not many are willing to do so. Will you be the few who are stoic to go down this path?
- 3 Personalities that give Vague Money Promises: When is the last time you worry about a friend or a family member who doesn’t want to talk about money, but clearly has a problem?
- 12 Rigid Rules you May have made in Life that prevents you from building Wealth: We live by a set of rules and some rules make life great, yet have some rather negative wealth consequences.
- What if the Acceptable Savings Rate for you is 50% of your Disposable Income? : A lesson of why we look up standards, trying to conform to others’ values when we should be setting our very own when it comes to wealth building
- How do I define Success in Life: It is not about money. Its about something very simple that most of you can achieve.
- You need to test out your Dream Life: What you yearn for may not what you want eventually. A way to not yearn for something which eventually isn’t so is to WARGAME the scenario first.
Wealth Building – Wisdom from Data
Did you know that missing out on some of the best days and worse days can make your returns look remarkably different? Did you know that there is no one asset class that always give you the best returns. In this section, we give you some of these little wisdom from data that you never knew about.
Knowing them will make you look at the way that you invest very differently.
- Curate your Knowledge Sources – Myths, Misinterpretation and Doom Mongering: It is important to beware of our weakness in misinterpreting what we read daily in the news, and that there are times we take things on face value when there may be no links at all. Here is a HUGE VALUABLE resource i gather on a lot of misinterpretations.
- Missing out on the best X days in the stock market can make you missed out on a lot of the returns!
- If you systematic attempt to buy at market bottoms, your returns does not veered far from if you buy and hold
Dividend Income Investing
- Singapore Dividend Stock Tracker: Daily updated tracker that follows the most popular dividend income stocks in Singapore. Fundamental data on these stocks changes as the price changes daily. Recommended to bookmark.
- 5 Steps Guide to making Compounding work in Dividend Income Investing: How do we make compounding and time value of money work to build our wealth through dividend investing? This article explains a 5 step process to achieve that.
- The Dividend School: Beginning Investing – Understand business, market and making money: Before getting down and dirty to investing you need to know how the stock market work. Here is a consolidated resource of understanding it.
- The Dividend School: Long Term Track Record of Dividend Investing: What are the long term returns of dividend stocks, are they defensive? Will it be better if you invest in broad market index?
- The Dividend School: Profit, Income, Cash Flow and Dividend Analysis: How would you analyse a dividend stock? How do you use a company’s annual report to make sense whether dividend payout is sustainable?
- The Dividend School: How much dividend your stock pays and when: What is the best way to find out how much dividend a stock pays a year
- The Dividend School:Evaluating the dividend payout ratio: 2 stocks paying the same dividend are not always the same. How to tell which is paying out more and which have more latent potential?
- The Dividend School: When you overpay for a dividend stock: One problem for investors is to look at the yield as the be all end all. Overpaying for a dividend stock can have some severe impact.
- Total Return Matters: Do not get blindsided by high dividend yield or capital gains. Total return matters in this Noble Group example.
- Focus on earnings payout, good business model dividend income stocks: High yield is not always ideal. What matters more is the sustainability of dividends in the long run.
- Stock Valuation and Dividend Sensitivity Analysis: How does price and dividend affect each other: Market demands a certain yield and your stock’s price may change due to it.
- Identifying the Business Model of your Dividend Income Stock: Dividend stocks can be self- renewing or liquidating. It is important to know what you are buying into. This article explains why.
- Dividend Stocks with strong fundamentals likely to outperform after a crisis: Fund Manager talks about how a mix of dividend cows and dividend growers will do your portfolio well during both bull and bear.
- How a Fund Manager chooses his dividend stocks: Here is a good list of criteria a global dividend fund manager use in their dividend income stock selection.
- 6 metrics Roger Conrad use to evaluate income trusts: Utility Forecaster and Canadian Edge writer Conrad is a master at income investing and here are 6 metrics that he focus on when evaluating income trusts.
- An illustration of how Dividends and Spin-off hugely matters in overall returns: Here is a nice article to talk about how a stock ends up going nowhere but factoring dividends and spin-offs and their dividend, the returns are enormous.
- Beginner’s Guide – How to Buy and Sell Stocks, Bonds, REITs and ETFs in Singapore: The process of how you actually buy and sell shares, and how the stock exchange work in summary
- Investing Primer: Don’t know how the markets work? Here is a comprehensive resource to help you make sense of it
- Is it Better for You to Only Know One Way of Making Money? – A lot of people go on a spree of learning and taking in knowledge and get utterly confused. Deep dive into one way of building wealth first. Then learn other things.
- A great summary on Value Investing by Seth Klarman: One of the top hedge fund manager by net gains for 29 years, Seth Klarman wrote a book on margin of safety that is out of print and going for $1000. Here is a great summary of tidbits that will help novice investors that do bottoms up evaluation of stocks
- Is buying Blue Chip Stocks the way to go: Investors have a tendency to see blue chips as high quality issues and you can buy them regardless of price. This article sort of debunks it.
- Sustainable Stock Investing: Build the Daily Prospecting Habits Today: Here is how I show some of my daily, weekly habits that I use to prospect stocks, keep track of my stocks for long term consistent investing
- Economic Moats – Management Culture and Good Management: Does having good management means that the company have a lasting competitive advantage that protects it from competition? We analyse that in this article.
- Economic Moats – Great Capital Allocation (1): Finding a manager that consistently deploys capital well is an imperative advantage to have. Rights issue or debts? Dividends or buy backs? Or diworsify?
- Understand how Free Cash Flow works: The difference between free cash flow yield versus dividend and operating cash flow yield.
- Net Profit, EBITDA, Operating Cash Flow and Free Cash Flow in Dividend Investing: What is the difference between all these figures reflecting profitability?
- Debt and Taxes in Cash Flow Investing: debt when manage wrongly do not add shareholder value, but when done with shareholder value in mind might help a lot in minimizing taxes.
- Valuing Stocks (1): Companies grow at different growth rates, and have different characterisitics, how to go about valuing companies
- Valuing Stocks – Using Price Earnings Ratio (PE) explained by Kyith: PE ratio can be a quick and dirty way of valuing how cheap or expensive a business is, but a detailed appreciation of earnings will enable you to prospect businesses better.
- Comparing between different Investment Assets: This is my Framework for how I compare between different assets whether its stocks, bonds, houses, business and come to a conclusion whether to sell one asset to shift to another asset.
- Dividend Payout Ratio:Explaining why a low payout ratio is good
- XIRR and Yield valuation: How do you value a stock with predictable cash flow against another? Here we show you
- Are stock buy backs as good as dividends: Many companies do more buy backs instead of paying out dividends. Is this a good move for you the investor?
- All about Share Placements: How would you judge if a share placement is actually good for you as a shareholder?
- All about Perpetual Securities: How should a stock market investor look at your business if they issue perpetual securities?
- The secret behind stock splits: Are stock splits beneficial to investors?
- Analyzing airline stocks: Do airline stocks make good investment?
- Which stock market forecast model is the most accurate?: There are many models touted by investment gurus but which one really works best in the long run?
- Richard Russell’s Rich Man Poor Man: Well written rules Richard provided us investors that does not grow out of fashion
- Rate of Return Explained and How it impacts your Wealth: What is the difference between arithmetic returns and geometric returns? Which should you use and how does volatility changes everything?
- The Recurring Costs in Wealth Building Compounds. Critically Minimize these Costs: We know more that your returns compound over time. But they vary. Your costs also compound over time. The unfortunate thing is that they are fixed.
- I want to be rich but I don’t want to save too much!: There is an advantage to start investing and compounding your returns early. You get to save less but end up at the same place.
- The importance of asset allocation: Asset allocation determines a large part of your returns. This article compares different age old asset allocation strategies to determine the difference.
- My Mental Model for Comparing Investment Assets: I show in this article the black box model how I compare different stocks, bonds and property against one another to evaluate which is a better investment when these investment assets are so different
- Rebalancing your portfolio: Your portfolio at times will be over aggressive or too conservative. Rebalancing is a method to bring it back to parity.
- Advanced Wealth Building – Yield Potential: Instead of planning how much your portfolio can yield now, build your portfolio up with growth, but visualize the Potential Yield 10-15 years from now when you realistically need it.
- You should beg for a 66% fall in prices instead of a 200% rise: A big fall early in your investing life will help you immensely rather than a big rise in prices.
- My understanding of Risk, Volatility and My System to Live with Them: We all fear the outcome of accidents on the roads, no one wants that outcome, but it is the appreciation of risk and volatility and not having a system to plan for the situation that cause more Wealth Destruction than the event itself
- Waiting for the coast is clear before investing? Perhaps turmoil is your best friend: I often get asked whether it is good to invest now, is the coast clear. This chart over here will tell you otherwise.
- A Jedi Mind Trick to keep you invested while a bear is looming: Afraid of the big bad bear? Some times its in the brain. How to trick your brain to keep invested.
- Waiting for a market correction. What is your action plan?: Stock market corrections can feel frustrating to wait for but they will come around. Focus on your plan when it does.
- Distress Stock Buying. Your favorite stock plunges. What is your plan?: Your favourite stock plunges, when do you buy? How do you know that is the right price to buy?
- Correction or not, make sure your process is sound: The market can gyrate, and that you won’t know where the market goes, but what matters is a sound plan when both up and down happens. A good simple action plan by Morgan Housel as well
- Preparing for the Recession: Stocks and Asset class setup recommended by David Rosenberg that an investor can divert into to prepare for a recession.
- Sell first, buy back later is not an easy game: Here is the maths behind your ability to take losses and why its not easy to judge things based on price
- Behavioural – How it affects our returns: What we suffer as human being may be the highest “cost” compared to the cost we can calculate
- Behavioural – Psychology trumps Financial Literacy: You would think that a world where everyone is financially literate will make society prudent with money, but it seems psychology is more important than education
- Behavioral – Confirmation Bias & Mastermind Group: You frequent a chat group, forum to build up your wealth building competency, but in a way, you could only be selectively listening to the things you agree with, and that might be a big problem
- Behavioural – Outcome Bias: We may just be confusing 5 years of luck with having any skills in investing. Contains a good Credit Suisse paper
- Behavioural – Willful Blindness in Investing: We all succumb to the tendency to readily accept information that confirms our sense of ourselves and discredit data that doesn’t fit our dominant ideologies.
- Behavioural – Explaining Recency Bias: The tendency for human beings to feel more pain or take things that occur recently to be the norm.
For some people, they would prefer a way of simple capital appreciation, less active management to accumulate their savings to keep up with inflation.
They prefer to grow their money together with global economic progress and focus on doing better at their job, focusing on their family and life or other life goals.
A low cost portfolio + rebalancing strategy can be a no frills way for the majority of the people.
Here are some of my best articles that talk about this subject:
- Historical Returns of a World Index over 20, 15, 10 and 5 years: What kind of returns are you looking for if you invest in a passive stock world stock index? What are some of the risks that you will need to content with?
- Keep investing simple and portfolio rebalancing: Ritholtz, an active manager gives his rules how he thinks normal folks living life should manage their money.
- Will your Bond ETF lose money in a secular rising interest rate environment?: Rising interest rate have the media going crazy that you should not have bonds in your portfolio. Or there is an alternate truth to that?
- Why a simple passive portfolio is better in some cases: Here is a scenario that perhaps you have not thought about. What if you are managing an active portfolio but suddenly your spouse needs to take over?
- The permanent portfolio strategy – holy grail?: Investors are afraid of volatility and it introduces portfolio risk when human beings are subjected to -30% losses. Would a permanent portfolio be the solution?
- A case study of dollar cost averaging into an STI ETF at market top. We also study what if you lump sum invest at the market top 7.5 years later.: The STI ETF is a proxy to invest into a group of biggest Blue Chip in Singapore. What if you started investing $1000 per month at the market top, and after nearly 10 years, the price is still below the market top?
- Ray Dalio – your portfolio should stand the test of all situation: One of the hedge fund titans explains a portfolio that should be good in all situations.
- Cost – Behavioral Gap and Strategies to deal with it: Your fund may return 6% but you are likely to get much less because as humans, we harm our returns by doing irrational and impulsive things.Behavioral Gap could amount up to 2.5% in cost annually
- Find the Dividend Cash King among Singapore Telcos: Which Singapore telco generates the most stable dividend?
- Comparing telecoms around the world: How different are telcos around the world in terms of their ability to generate cash flow?
- A Guide to Investing in Singapore Telecom Shares: An introduction to telecom stocks in Singapore with in depth coverage of Singtel, M1 Limited and Starhub.
- Increasing Capital Expenditure Problem for Telecom Shares: With increase mobile data usage, the need to increase infrastructure spending becomes a problem for telecom stocks.
- Future of Telecom 2012: Tiered Price, Reduce Barriers, ID Management, Payment Service and Commoditization.
- Telecoms and monetizing mobile payments: The future of payment will be tied to smartphones. Will telecom company be able to monetize them?
Real Estate Investment Trusts (REIT)
- How to value REITs versus other REITs or Assets: Here I show how I typically compare REIT’s against other REITs and risk free assets to find out if it is cheap or not cheap.
- How will rising interest rates affect REITs: Rising interest rates have positive and negative efffects to REITs
- What you should know about Singapore REIT Fee and Management Structure: It is important to consider the decisions REIT managers make when they are buying and selling assets. Are they rewarding you or themselves?
- More insights to corporate governance and how it impacts your evaluation of REITs:
- Learn about REIT’s Land Lease Renewal or Extensions: The buildings in your REITs do not always go on generating cash forever. Learn more about them.
- Non Yield Accretive Acquisitions: Not all purchase by REITs result in higher dividend per share. In some cases as this article here, the dividend per share goes down.
Infrastructure and Business Trusts
- Dividend Yield Comparison of Infrastructure Assets: How does different types of utilities, ports and roads stack up against one another
- Pitfalls to note when investing in toll roads: Toll roads can generate good dividends, but they do have a set of bugbears. Invest with your eyes open
Examples of Good Economic Moats
Warren Buffett used to highlight a lot about companies operating with a good economic moat that allows them to earn a premium or a good return on investment for a long period of time.
What are economic moats? Here I highlight some examples
- Economic Moat – Broadband, Cable TV – John Malone Liberty Global Interview
- Mapletree Industrial’s new Equinix Data center
- Applied Materials moat in the volatile semi-conductor industry
- Amazon’s model
- Airbus, Boeing and Boustead’s ARGIS moat
- China Merchant Pacific – The toll road – high capex, government regulations and substitutes
Life Case Studies
Occasionally, we write about good case studies of great wealth management behaviors and the not so good ones. Do browse through them to see if they contrast to your current situations or family members. You might find some way to help them address
- How a Singaporean couple juggles a $2 mil retirement goal and letting a spouse stay at home: A reader shares his experience in planning and communicating with his spouse to juggle multiple goals in life, identifying where is the shortfall, what lifestyle changes need to be made. Recommended if you are bugged by your wife whether she can stay at home
- How a couple rented out all 3 HDB rooms, stayed in it and borrow to fund their downpayment: An interesting reader contribution, where you can learn how an agile wealth mind can work within the constraints to live, as well as earned a recurring rental income to fund their expenses.
- A 74 year old cleaner amassed $400k in savings over 60 years: The Sunday Times has an article where they chronicle how a 74 year old remarkably saved 400k in 60 years, doing odd jobs and got swindled. It will give you no excuses to not tweak your life if you really want to build wealth
- Earn $6000 yet broke at 35 years old: When a couple earns a combine $17k monthly, the last thing that you would have thought about is that they end up broke. This is how it happens.
- 33 year old earning $5680 spends $4000 servicing 10 years of debt: A white collar worker didn’t control his lifestyle and started accumulating credit card debts, he took 10 years to pay it back
- Tales of $100-200k weddings in Malaysia: You would have heard of weddings in Malaysia to be less costly than Singapore. Not true. We all suffer from the same family and peer pressures.
- Case Study of some cheap weddings: When you know what you value the most and are able to convince your family to align to the couple’s thinking, this is where you can have really value weddings
- Family tragically gotten SG$1mil but lost all of it in 2 years: When the husband of a Malaysian couple was killed in a tragic accident, the public donated a lot of money. Bad decisions result in the spouse and children losing the entire sum in less than 2 years. Hear the story.
- Celebrity Jazreel Low shares her finance journey how her $200k stock investment becomes $2k
- Girl Dumps Guy. Then she realize he is just frugal and financially independent: Who is in the wrong? The guy or the girl? Is the girl a gold digger?
- Adviser scams 61 year old English Illiterate Factory Worker into making him a joint account holder, taking cheque on her behalf
- The 8 Insights that you will realize when you do what Sean Cooper did in paying off $255,000 Mortgage debt in 3 years
- Is it wise for Permanent Residents to buy a HDB flat or rent?
- 50 year old Lady lives in Changi Airport for 8 years – What I learn from this