On Najib

Little Johnny stole a sweet from his papa. His papa said, “Come on, Johnny, own up. You stole my strawberry sweet, right?”

Little Johnny replied, “No, papa, I didn’t steal you sweet. I really don’t know where your sweet went.”

Papa said, “Johnny, come here. Open your mouth and stick out your tongue.” Johnny did so, and lo and behold, there was the fresh reddish stain on his tongue.

Papa retorted, “See? All the evidence. That red stain is obviously from the strawberry sweet. No other sweet gives off a stain like that. You took my sweet didn’t you?”

Little Johnny denied, “No, papa. The sweet that stained my tongue was actually a gift from a very kind alien who visited my room in a UFO last night. Don’t believe, ask my favourite bolster. He met the alien too and even spoke to it. In fact, you can ask all the toys in my room — my toy soldier, my toy train, my toy rabbit — they will tell you the same thing. The sweet was a reward to me for being such a good boy, obeying my parents, and not telling lies!”

Papa said, “Little Johnny, stop lying. You are making up one lie after another and trying to cover up with bigger and bigger lies. Why don’t you just admit that you stole my sweet and say you are sorry?”

Little Johnny said, “Papa, stop nagging. If not, I will disown you as my daddy and replace you with the neighbour Tim’s daddy”.

Papa was aghast. “You are saying you don’t want to have anything more to do with me? I’m going to call mama and all your brothers and sisters and the neighbours here as witnesses so that she can also hear what you said.”

Little Johnny replied, “You are all not allowed to come together like that. I will call out the big bad wolf from the Red Riding Hood storybook on the bookshelf to come alive to eat you all up. In fact, you should be thankful because you can’t find your sweet. Your teeth are all rotting, you have diabetes…. sweets are bad for an old man like you. You should be grateful to whoever it was who took your sweet. And it wasn’t me, OK?”

The 14 Stages of Trading Psychology

1. OPTIMISM – It all starts with a hunch or a positive outlook leading us to buy or sell.

2. EXCITEMENT – Things start moving our way and we get excited. We start to anticipate and hope that a possible success story is in the making.
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3. THRILL – The market continues to be favorable and we just can’t help but start to feel a little “Smart.”
At this point we have complete confidence in trading system.

4. EUPHORIA – This marks the point of maximum financial risk but also maximum financial gain. Our investments turn into quick and easy profits, so we begin to ignore the basic concept of risk and now start trading anything that we can get our hands on to make a quick buck.

5. ANXIETY – Oh no – it’s turning around! The markets start to show their first signs of taking your “hard earned” profits back. But having never seen this happen, we still remain ultra greedy and think the long-term trend is higher.

6. DENIAL – The markets don’t turn as quickly as we had hoped. There must be something wrong we think to ourselves. Our “long-term” view now shortens to a near-term hope of an improvement.

7. FEAR – Reality sets in that we are not as smart as we once thought. Instead of being confident in our trading we become confused. At this point we should get out with a small profitand move on but we don’t for some stupid reason.

8. DESPERATION – All gains have been lost at this point. We had our chance to profit and missed it. Not knowing how to act, we attempt to do anything that will bring our positions back into the black.

9. PANIC – The most emotional period by far. We are clueless and helpless. At this stage we feel like we are at the mercy of the market and have absolutely no control.

10. CAPITULATION – We have reached our breaking point and sell our positions at any price. So long as we can get out of the market to avoid bigger losses we are content.

11. DESPONDENCY – After exiting the markets we do not want to trade ever again. The markets are not for us and should be avoided like the plague. However, this rare point marks the point of maximum financial opportunity.

12. DEPRESSION – We drink, cry and/or pray. How could we have been so dumb we think to ourselves. Some start to correctly look back and analyze what went wrong. Real traders are born here, learning from past mistakes.

13. HOPE – We can still do this! Eventually we return come to the realization the market actually does have cycles. We begin to start analyzing new opportunities.

14. RELIEF – The markets are turning positive again and we see our prior investment come back around. We regain our faith (although small) in our ability to invest our money.

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.

Google Photos Compression

In case you had any doubts about the definition, Google Photos compresses photos if you select the ‘High Quality’ option, even for photos under 16 MP. What they mean is that photos above 16 MP will be visibly more blurry after compression than those under 16 MP. For photos under 16 MP, you will not be likely to notice the difference unless you zoom in using your computer or blow up the image to poster size.

In sum, if you do not want your photos to be touched at all, choose the Unlimited option. Google Photos do compress photos below 16 megapixels under the ‘High Quality’ mode.

Just an ordinary guy, living in an extraordinary world