Category Archives: Finance

Robinhood Stock Trading in Singapore

After months of delays and procrastination, I finally got my Robinhood account approved and running. It was never my priority since I used SCB’s Online Trading platform which has pretty much negligible fees.

I started with $1000 and after a few minutes of using the app, I have to say I like the superior execution (because of their automatic 5%-better-than-market order fill) However, the charting features seem leave much to be desired. The huge equity number makes the app seem like a gambling app than a serious trading platform.

Exploring the API to see if I can make a bridge between Interactive Brokers and Robinhood, one for charting and the latter for execution.

Robinhood-Singapore

Credit Card Manufactured Spending in Singapore

The concept of manufactured spend, or churning, using credit cards is quite appealing to me. Simply put, you make a series of payments with your credit cards, then via a sometimes convoluted way, parlay that sum of money back to a bank account or dollar bills, which you can use to pay off the card. Rinse and repeat, and you get a never ending stream of cashback and miles.

When I was in the USA, it was pretty trivial to rack up miles following methods in FlyerTalk, my favourite being the Target Prepaid REDcard. It got me wondering though; what about Singapore? So, for the past year or so, I have been researching and testing ways to do manufactured spending on Singapore credit cards.

Here are the ways:

Qoo10

This was one of the easier ways to rack up points on my miles cards. I go here and purchase site credits called Qmoney. $1 = 1 Qmoney. You can buy 500 Qmoney in a single transaction. When you go to the checkout page, you will see the checkboxes for the Visa/Mastercard option grayed out. All you have to do is to take out the ‘disabled’ parameter when you ‘Inspect Element’ in Chrome. Do a quick web search to find out how to do this. After the transaction flow, it will take 1 or 2 minutes for the Qmoney to appear in your account. You can withdraw the 500 Qmoney over here. Of course, you might want to buy some stuff or withdraw different amounts so as not to arouse suspicion at having withdraw $500 again and again. This withdrawal is a GIRO transaction to your Singapore bank account, which is awesome since you can just use it to pay off your credit card balance. Overall, a nice method I have been using to get around 80k miles every month. I also use this to meet any minimum spending requirements on any new cards.

 

Amazon

This is a nice method though it is risky and YMMV. However, it is a pretty specific method hence I am not publicly disclosing it lest this method gets shut down. You cannot churn huge volumes with this one – it is probably good for 20-30k miles a month.

Conclusion

In sum, it really isn’t as easy to manufacture spending in Singapore, if you are looking to not pay anything at all. However, if you are willing to pay 1 or 2 percent in exchange for a bunch of miles, then there are actually plenty ways to churn it.

Mid-Year Recap – SG Stocks

Basket. Paper loss of 25% on Healthway. Luckily, the free IHC shares will more than make up for the loss >< HA.

Anyway, here is my pathetic stock holdings now:

MapletreeGCC – 1 lot @ 1.13

ShengSiong – 1 lot @ 0.63

Healthway – 20 lots @ 0.113, 19 lots @ 0.112

Will be looking to offload all my portfolio in the near future and transfer the funds to (managed) forex trading.

PayPal Limits Account Access

Dear Customer,

Thank you for choosing PayPal for your online payments. As our valued
customer, our priority is to keep you secure when transacting with us.

Our security measures are also in line with requirements from the Monetary
Authority of Singapore (MAS) to reduce risks of money laundering and
terrorist financing. The measures we’ve put in place include collecting and
confirming additional information about our customers before their PayPal
account reaches a total transaction value of SGD 7,500.

We noticed that you’re reaching this amount and would need you to provide
some documents so that you can continue using your PayPal account
uninterrupted. Don’t worry, we’ll keep your information secure and will not
share it with any third party.

Here are the documents we need:

• A legible copy of a government issued identification document such as
NRIC, Driving
Licence or Passport that is still valid

(Note: Name on identification document must match the name on your PayPal
account); and

• Proof of address document such as the back copy of your NRIC card, a copy
of a utility bill, bank or credit card statement in your name.

A few things to note:
– Name and address on your document must match those on your PayPal account
– If you choose to provide document such as a copy of a utility bill, bank
or credit card statement as your proof of address, the document must be
dated within the last 6 months

Here’s how to submit your documents…

Option 1:
• Log in to your PayPal account
• Go to Resolutions Centre and follow the instructions on how to upload
your documents

(Note: There is a 1.28 MB size limit for each document, and the maximum
size for all documents is 5 MB)

Option 2:
• Fax your documents to (65) 6510-4576 Attn: Compliance Department. Please
state your email address and case number on each fax sheet when faxing the
documents.

Please help us comply with this regulatory requirement and submit your
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can refer to our online FAQ for details. Alternatively, you may contact our
Customer Service agents at (65) 6510-4650 or email us at
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We appreciate your co-operation and thank you for your support.

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PayPal Compliance Department

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Working My Way

Fk yeah moola!

Other than putting a significant sum into Kiva, I’ve been hard at work doing investment work on weekends and lunch breaks. Last week, they interviewed Daniel Roberts who manages the Fidelity Global Dividend Fund. This is the list of stocks he likes, which I am putting under my radar.

Kimberly Clark – US
Sanofi – France
Astellas Pharma Inc – Japan
Shimano – Japan
HSBC – UK
Reed Elsevier – Netherlands
Wolters Kluwer – Netherlands
Novartis – Swiss
Mattel – US
Unilever – US
Microsoft – US
Scor – French
BB&T – US

Also, Jim Rogers who is based in Singapore, said in an article that he likes companies based in the business of water, agriculture, natural gas and China.

This is what I hope my income statement will look like. :D

No More Kiva Donations in Singapore

It sucks that PayPal users like me can’t use my funds to lend to people who need it more than I do.

Dear Brian,
We regret to inform you that as PayPal Pte Ltd does not have a remittance license, payments from PayPal users in Singapore to Non-Profit Organisations (NPOs) and charities registered outside of Singapore have been discontinued from 31 March 2013. As such, the payment that you’ve recently sent to Kiva has been reversed, and the money will be returned to your credit card or PayPal balance depending on your payment method.We would like to reassure you that PayPal users in Singapore will continue to be able to support locally-registered NPOs and charities. Our users in Singapore will still be able to use PayPal for faster, safer commercial transactions for purchases of goods and services online and on their mobile devices.
In light of the recent changes in our service to our users in Singapore, we have created a webpage to address concerns and questions you may have at: www.paypal.com.sg/charity. You can also contact our customer support team by logging into your PayPal account and clicking on ‘contact us’ at the bottom of the page.

We sincerely apologise for any inconvenience caused. We thank you for your ongoing support and will continue to enable secure commerce anytime, anywhere and any way.

Sincerely,
The PayPal Team

Here’s my Kiva progress thus far!
kiva
Not too shabby contribution towards the Carnegie Mellon Kiva team 😀 From 4th place to sitting pretty at 2nd now! 😀

A Quarter of the Year Has Cometh and Goeth

Looking back at the first 3 months of year, I can’t help but feel that this period counts as one of the most challenging and contemplative. I was way down in the dumps in January, felt better but still pained in February and miraculously, so very happy in mid-March. It was a time where I really struggled with my emotions and read stuff like this. I never thought I would need this so much, as well as some words of comfort from friends. It was a time when I cried more than what I ever had in the past few years. And I’m still doing so, unbelievably, typing these few sentences. I need a warm embrace.

Let’s get this over and done with.

Alex Goot, Kurt Schneider and Chrissy Costanza - Beauty and a Beat     

 

Money

I can’t help but talk about money first cos it’s the easiest thing to check off. I guess the least I can say is that things are looking not too shabby in terms of finances though there is a need to rein in my spending even further. Last year saw me impulsively buying an iPad, lots of stuff from Amazon and online stores and other junk now collecting dust in my cupboard.

As for monetary inflow, it is the same I guess. No more army pay but drawing internship allowance which is slightly better. I also offloaded 1000 shares of IHH at 1.39 (now 1.405) and 1000 shares of AscendasHT at 0.92 (now 1.o3) while buying 3000 shares of MapletreeGCC at 0.93 (now 1.04) in their IPO.

Forex trading activity was zilch but I am looking to trade actively again.

Future

This was supposed to be titled Career but that was too narrow. Future is so broad. Ahh well. I ORDed in March and am now working at CSIT doing security vulnerabilities research on web applications. I managed to tamper to a certain extent one of the largest e-commerce sites in Singapore. I am currently dabbling in quite serious stuff here, so I shall tread lightly.

End March was a week of disappointment and regret. Disappointment after being rejected by so many colleges; regret for not applying to the easier schools. And to think there are still people who are tearing their hairs out over which school to eventually go to. It’s nice to know that my path is set in stone so easily. Somehow.

Wellness

’nuff said. I’m trying my best. Just don’t say my best isn’t enough.

Love

I wish I could be more definite about the way I feel about her. It is this strange DMZ between lover and friend. I don’t regard her as a potential girlfriend/partner/wife, but at the same time I sometimes regard my want to just spend time with her, seeing her smile and hearing her chirpy voice as something other than platonic.

And it is terribly, terribly confusing.

I really need a heart-to-heart talk with her – something that I had chosen to chuck in the drawer during our past 2 dates for fear of hurting myself again. Stay close, don’t go.

Random

I think the next few months would be quite remarkable as I get my mind off love and on to serious, quite fun projects that I hope will be successful. And make my mark on the world woot!

Happy Easter.

SCB Money Market Fund – October

Ok I’m a little shocked that I all but earned a measly $0.16 for the initial capital outlay of $17k in my SCB fund. That’s like an underwhelming 0.00001% ROI.

I’m gonna call up and ask my CSO why this is so on Monday.

On an unrelated note, my stress level has gone down ever since I decided to skip EA and just apply Princeton RD. A huge decision ><

POSB Money Market Fund

Note to self: the POSB/DBS money market fund only offers 3.6% pa return on net spend only. Credits during the quarter will count against any spending made in said period.

I think I’ll prolly stick to the SCB ones from now. Review coming up on 2 or 3 Nov!