Tuesday, January 31, 2012

S'poreans Hyperconsume Resources at "3 Earths"

Yhoo News SG published a startling article after i published my blogpost yesterday. 3 Earths. Shocking? Actually is not when you consider that shopping malls are sprouting up everywhere like weeds.

1 sinkie=33 africans. Yes, that's the ridiculous rate an average sinkie consume resources. Hyperconsumption is toxic to Mother Earth.

Sales sign are spammed in so many places in malls. Cheap, cheap, cheap they scream. Let's take an example to illustrate the temptation to overconsume: Dealextreme.com If you have bought stuff from dx i'm sure u can feel temptation to buy more since so cheap despite the quality is not as good for some products.

This whole climate crisis can essentially boil down to same temptation you feel at dx. When technology make something cheap like Henry Ford make cars easily affordable to masses-people consume like crazy. Even if we cut umbilical cord with fossil fuels which CO2 is the main source of the warming, newer & better tech which make things cheaper & better will not solve the problem. There can be no technology fix for flawed human values; we have to change the values. Core problem is flawed human habit/thinking on consuming non-renewable resources at unsustainable rate.

Until we adopt a new mindset & close the loop on wanton consumption & waste, the old problem will still resurface.

I'm been hammering these issues on living a simpler life, be frugal etc ever since this blog started. The yahoo news article below is a great ally in waking the sleeping masses up.

‘Engineering solutions won't help Singapore's flood problem’
By Fann Sim

Flash floods are going be the norm for Singapore & "no amount of brilliant engineering can resolve that problem," said Dr Chris Hails, chairman of World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) Singapore.

Hails said that the flash floods are here to stay due to climate changes happening around the world.

"If the (rain) is coming down too fast & the sea is rising, the water's got nowhere to go," said Hails, who was environment advisor to the Ministry of National Development (MND) in the 80s.

Hails was speaking on Monday at the launch of a new map showing the physical impacts in Southeast Asia if climate change leads to a temperature rise of 4 degree Celsius.

Possible impacts of climate change that Singapore is going to face includes increased frequency of flash floods, urban heat island effect & a greater risk of pollution-related health problems. These climate change consequences are non-exclusive & problems such as forest fires in Borneo & threatened rice yields in Thailand could very well affect Singapore drastically.

There is also a possibility of some parts of Singapore may be submerged by 2100, as sea-levels are predicted to rise by a knee-high 65cm, added Hails.

“Major issues are the change in the weather -- it's going to be warmer & wetter. Singapore is very close to sea level & as the planet warms, sea levels are going to rise due to the thermal expansion of sea water, also as polar ice caps melt,” he said.

“So you imagine, it's going to rain more, sea levels are going to rise & it's going to get hotter & it is squeezing Singapore,” he added.

1 way of improving the situation is to change how Singaporeans consume resources. Based on a WWF study, humans are consuming Earth's resources at the rate of 1.5 Earths. Singaporeans are at 3 Earths.

In terms of ecological footprint, a measure of human’s demand on nature, the footprint of an average Singaporean equates to 33 Africans.

On Monday, the Public Utilities Board (PUB) announced that it will carry out a $750-million plan to mitigate the flood problems. Over the next 5 years, the board plans to improve drainage capacity of 6 major canals & introduce a polymer lining to smoothen canal walls.

Government is also planning to build a 15km long stretch of beach to fight rising sea levels & high tides, reported Reuters last Friday.

Minister for the Environment & Water Resources Vivian Balakrishnan told Reuters that the government is keen to do its part in any global fight against climate change & that pushing for greater energy efficiency made sense anyway in a country with virtually no natural resources.

Balakrishnan added that, “What we want is a level playing field & unilateral moves are not feasible, not possible, for a small, tiny island state that actually is not going to make a real difference at a global level to greenhouse gases.”

While Singapore is a small island & could have little effect on improving the situation, Hails believes that Singapore could play an important diplomatic role there in brokering those deals on a global basis because it is going to impact Singapore.

Monday, January 30, 2012

1st Salvo of $750M War Fund To Combat Climate Crisis

Water Utilities Boaard is committing a war fund of $750M over 5 years to improve drainage in bid to slow down flooding(heavy rains) from collapsing & damaging property value. Such a humongous fund considering that the govt rejected the proposal to give the future stakeholders of S'pore (polytechnic & Uni students) student fares from the current adult fares. Reason? $28M in losses to govt owned transport companies. Is only when the blow strikes at the heart of the holdings of the economic elites that they will spend a whopping $750M.

News of this $750M war fund come 3 days after the traditional media announced that the govt is mandating all future land reclamations be 2.25m above the highest recorded high tide.

While the war fund of $750M will attempt to fix the flooding from higher intensity rains resulting from climate change we can expect bigger funding cause the Climate Crisis still got other cards like seawater rise(from melted polar ice) card to play.

What i'm encouraging on my blog- simpler life, less shopping & buying unnesscessary stuff is not something the masses like to hear. Until the masses wake up from a shock event, humanity will continue speeding toward the trigger point of climate change. Once past the trigger point by our wanton consumption & waste, Mother Nature will rid itself of mankind to heal herself.

We have 1 Earth. Earth can do without Men but Men cannot do without Earth.

Art Creation From 2 Approaches - Add & Subtract

Addition & subtraction methods:

- Artists ADD more paint to canvas/paper to create a painting.
- Scupltors SUBTRACT unwanted pieces of rock by chipping it away to create the sculpture.

Most of all have been conditioned to the ADD, ADD, ADD approach in our lives. One need not look further than the increasing amount of stuff we bought but seldom use & clogging up homes instead.

Instead of addition, perhaps people ought to use the subtraction method to simplify their lives so as to have less unnecessary stress.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Pressure Building Up for Property Market Collapse

Another sign S'pore's property market gonna collapse due to killer rents. News report that more & more people rent/buy bridal gowns online at 33-50% of traditional brick & mortar shop market price. Bridal shop biz dying is already apparent. In clementi a bridal shop with 3 shop lengths now left with 1 length. Just across the border at JB, Msia City Sq mall top floor's bridal shops cater mainly for sinkies. Doubt msians are their main customers since got other other bridal shops around pelangi area where rental are cheaper.

Other signs of crack are:
- Creepy feeling when Starbucks at clementi mall can't stand high rental when it rent open booth space instead of shopspace.

- Few months back Popular Bookstore at IMM is feeling the intense heat of killer rents. Shrank by closing rear entrance. Rear entrance space reconfigured into another shop.

More people are waking up to the fact that is frickin foolish to pay a large rental component in the goods & services they buy.

Meanwhile stay away from property related stocks & businesses deriving earnings mostly from property. Investors in REITS ought to wake up & sell before collapse cause the party won't go on forever.

More S'porean brides going online for wedding gowns
By Chng Kheng Leng

More brides-to-be in Singapore are going online for their wedding gowns, and online bridal businesses are growing with the demand.

The online service is a breeze for couples who do not want the conventional wedding package, nor a designer gown.

At half or even a third of the market price, renting or buying a gown online is proving to be a compelling option.

There are currently more than ten online bridal shops in Singapore. Some said they have been seeing sales grow steadily in the past 2 years, and are expecting it to grow even further as more couples tie the knot in the auspicious Year of the Dragon.

Ong Lee Kheng, the owner of Made For Princess, said: "Young people like to do online shopping, myself included. I guess that's the main reason why people do online shopping & now they're exploring the possibility of even buying a wedding dress online. I guess it's the Internet craze."

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Masses Being Chained into CPF Addiction

Is funny when i read people posting in a forum about the negatives of being self-employed (no cpf) & is better to get a regular job to enjoy CPF (retirement fund) contributions from employer.

While i do agree that certain self-employed professions like taxi drivers slog many hours with no cpf contributions by the employer i'm still of the opinion that being chained to the mindset of cpf is detrimental to one's financial health.

Current interest rate of 3.5% for the first $20,000 in ordinary account & 2.5% thereafter is barely keeping up with inflation. First $20,000 cannot be used for investment also, this ruling serve more as a mean to protect the vast numbers of financially illiterate from losing their retirement fund in ill-informed investment decisions.

Every employee contributes a significant chunk of their paycheck into cpf starting at 20%. If you are an above average investor it is stupid to have 20% deducted every month going into a 'prison fund' that spits out 2.5-3.5% annually. A prison fund that the govt uses for investing for higher returns & returns 2.5-3.5% back.

When one is self-employed one can simply set aside 20% & self invest it for higher returns using his/her financial acumen. I find that those people who are scared of losing out on the portion of cpf contribution by employer have been brainwashed. Employer's portion is part of their paycheck in the first place. At times i do wonder if the idea to have an employer contribution is to breed a 'be a compliant worker & work for boss for rest of life' mentality.

Afterall when one does not know how to invest for higher returns, one has to cling desperately to cpf as life support which is inadequate.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

66% of S'poreans save Less than 20% of monthly salary

A paycheck survey by a job related site is better than one from a financial institution which i doubt. Many people exchange their life for a paycheck so doesn't it make sense to save as much as comfortably possible for investment purposes so that the 'money tree' will take care of us in old age?

Survey has also confirm what is mentioned in a few personal finance books that spending rises with more income. In the end the % of income saved is still the same despite a bigger paycheck- a trap many fall into. To be ahead of the masses one has to increase the % of income saved with a bigger paycheck while maintaining or a slight increase in expenses.

Another reason is that people earning more has to keep up with appearances. Extra monies earned go into paying for these ongoing operating expenses so % of savings remain the same. Fine example i can think of are those sinkies buying a car for 'face' value in front of others once they got promoted/pay raise. How many would dare ride a bicycle to work compared to caucasians bicycling to work?

Saving >50% of my takehome paycheck is a norm for me. I simply hated the idea of not having enough reserves in case of unforseen circumstances. I also hated being constantly 'threatened' by those above me to do things that doesn't make sense. Perhaps this is one reason why schools don't teach financial education so that employers can have hordes of needy & desperate drones to do their bidding.

Source: http://community.jobscentral.com.sg/node/1934/
Only 1 in 3 Singaporeans save more than 20% of monthly salary

An online survey conducted by JobsCentral, from 19 Aug to 16 Sept 2011, revealed that researchers are among the thriftiest workers in Singapore. Nearly 60% of respondents who are in Research & Development (R&D) have pointed out that they would set aside more than 20% of their monthly income as savings.

Top 3 professions that are most concerned about saving are:

1. Research & Development - 56.7% in this line of work save more than 20% of monthly income
2. Consulting - 50% save more than 20% of monthly income
3. Business Development – 47.7% save more than 20% of monthly income

On other end of the spectrum, the worst 3 savers are in the fields of:

1. Events Management – 21.2% save more than 20% of monthly income
2. Public Relations – 21.2% save more than 20% of monthly income
3. Sales – 23.3% save more than 20% of monthly income

Only 1 in 3 Singaporeans save more than 20% of monthly salary. The survey, which garnered a total of 2,278 responses, also revealed that only 1 in 3 respondents (33.7%) save more than 20% of their monthly salary. Out of those who save less than 20% of their monthly income, approximately half of them (33% of total respondents) indicated saving less than 10% of their monthly income.

Higher monthly salary does not equate to higher percentage of income saved. Survey results presented a relatively consistent trend amongst the respondents with regards to their approach towards monthly savings. Regardless of monthly income, most would set aside about 10% to 20% of their income as savings.

When comparing those who made less than $1,000 a month & those who made above $10,000, it was found that the majority of respondents (35.3%) who made less than $1,000 & the majority of respondents (34.1%) who made above $10,000 have both indicated that they set aside 10-20% of their monthly income every month. Based on this finding, it can be inferred that although there is a huge difference between the absolute amount saved by these 2 groups, the fundamental mindset on proportion of income to save does not differ with varied income.

On average, S'pore workers save about $677 to $1,296 per month
On the other hand, respondents with monthly income of $10,000 & above had the greatest deviation in terms of saving habits. This group of respondents would save an average of between $4,212 to $8,673 per month. This results in a ratio of 2.1, when the maximum average saving is taken as a ratio of the minimum average saving.

Moonlighting is not a common trend
72.8% of the respondents indicated that they do not hold other sources of income, outside their primary jobs.

Of the respondents who said they do, these are the common sources of additional income:

1. Dividends from stocks/bonds (37.5%)
2. Freelance projects (28.5%)
3. Part-time jobs (25.3%)

Most would save up the bulk of their bonus
With regard to the disbursement of their bonus, the majority of respondents (44.1%) replied that they would save the bulk of their bonus.

Survey results also revealed that only 9% would put the bulk of their bonus into investments. A much smaller survey population, consisting of 0.5% of the respondents, would donate a large part of their bonus to charity.

At least one in three respondents (33.7%) agreed that they would spend their bonus on recreation, which include going on holidays (19.4%) and shopping (14.3%).

Survey Methodology
The survey was conducted online over a period of four weeks, from 19 August to 16 September 2011, and targeted Singapore residents aged between 16 and 65 years. Invitations to take part in the survey were broadcasted via e-mailers and online banners. The survey was also publicised via social media channels such as Facebook and Twitter.

A total of 2,278 respondents took part in the survey. Respondents consist of employed individuals coming from all levels of occupation, work industries and sectors of work.

Using a confidence level of 95% and sample size of 2,278, the results have a sampling error of +/- 2.05%. This means that for every 100 times the exact survey is conducted, the results obtained are conformable to a margin of error of 2.05%, 95% of the time. This also means that the results are highly significant. Sampling error for data from sub-samples varies.

Most are uncomfortable with sharing salary information with colleagues
Singapore workers are generally reserved about discussing the details of their salary with their co-workers. A large majority of respondents (75.7%) believe that salary-related information should be kept personal and prefer not to share it with their colleagues.

Top earners are more reluctant to share salary information
Respondents with higher gross monthly salaries are more tight-lipped about information concerning their salary as compared to those who earn less. Those who earn between $6,000 to $6,999 monthly are most unwilling to share their income information with their peers. This is is opposed to the smaller percentage of 64.7% received by voters earning less than $1,000 a month.


When people earn lesser they have nothing much to lose about sharing how much they earn with others. General trend is that fear rises with more income. What types of fear? Fear of car being scratched, fear of extra ingredients in their food & drinks, fear of how others view them etc.

If you are a good performer in your company & you truly believe you are underpaid, why not generously share your pay details with other colleagues? If your colleagues agree then the boss is screwed as he/she would soon face a mass exodus if nothing is done to placate the injustice.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Bicycles Beat Buses (17.8km/h avg spd) on Short Trips

Reality is in for those non-cyclists who give me a weird look when i ride around. Many have thoughts of how come so pathetic ride a bicycle as though i'm a poor peasant.

Despite introduction of bus-lanes, the traffic situation continues to worsen as the govt curbing measures such as COEs(bidding for permission to buy cars), Electronic Road Pricing are like opium for a $$ crazed govt. Easy $$ so just flood in more & more vehicles & people to keep the coffers piling.

Average bus speed now decreased to 17.8km/h. A relaxed ride of 20km/h (very easy to achieve) easily trouce buses. One does not need to walk to a bus-stop/terminal plus waiting. For short distances of less than 5km bicycles are a clear winner. From 5.01-10km bicycles & buses journey times can be close.

People complain about lack of time to exercise. Health Ministry even have to encourage people to climb stairs instead of taking the escalator or lifts. Why not ride & have a light workout over short-medium distances? Explore the sights around you too. Exercise your creativity in findling shortcuts to beat the road congestion. Why deplete your wallet to travel slower, get stuck in traffic & squeeze like sardines?

Look at the bridge(above) to the clementi's train station during rush hour. Infrastructure bursting at the seams due to the govt's opium addiction of flooding in more & more people to grow the gdp at all costs like cancer instead of raising productivity. Just increase the body count nevermind the congestion & degradation in quality of life.

Monday, January 16, 2012

1 Egg $1 -Ridiculous Price of Egg version of Char Kway Teow

Came across the obscene price of an egg in a forum thread started by Sen. He posted a few pics of food in the newly opened Msia Hawker Food Street at Spore's 1st casino.

Msia's Genting Group which owns the casino is sensible to bring local favor of Msian hawker food as attraction while S'pore incumbent govt has neglected hawker food by not building any hawker centres for more than 20years. Instead of hawker food we get more & more faceless spam such as kopitiam, koufu, MacDonalds, KFC, BK etc. Aren't you sick & tired of all these spam & spam businesses? Do tourists come here to savor these kind of food spam?

Char Kway Teow NO Egg $4
Char Kway Teow Got Egg $5

However i find the price of 1 egg absolutely ridiculous. What value is that in paying $1 for an egg?

With S$5 one can eat 3 plates(2 plates already stomach burst) of char kway teow by simplying crossing the causeway into JB where the real authentic stuff is. Thoughts of how much value i get just across the border puts me off many things in S'pore where one is simply paying a significant chunk in rentals.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Many reunion dinners going the zi char way - Why Never Ask Why Coffeeshops?

An article in the state propaganda papers today caught my attention. It reported more people are having their chinese new year reunion dinner at coffeeshops. Coffeeshops' zi char stalls business are booming. This state controlled paper is tilted to report news on bigger businesses like restaurants recommendations. How come focus is changed from restaurants to smaller businesses in the heartlands?

Again the fact is simple- Sporeans are increasingly cash-strapped & don't find value in paying for high rentals.

If you are brainwashed by the article & are inclined to join in like the masses i urge you to reconsider by reading what is nicely summed up by a critic of this overcommercialisation of reunion dinners whether it be in restaurants or coffeeshops:

"It is not unexpected as it is the worst day to organise dinner. The bosses who would have been running the restaurant are probably home having their own reunion with their families. The standard of supervision would have dropped. To pay staff for the OT on such day, they would have to recover cost & therefore had back to back bookings with no leeway.

Its the same with Xmas dinners in many places where the standard would drop predictably. You would find additonal tables & chairs & the ambience is gone.

I think that the concept of reunion is also lost if held in the presence of strangers & outside a home.

This is not an excuse for the bad service that you encountered but it should not have been a surprise.

If everyone stuck to the tradition of preparing meals at home, commercialisation wouldn't be possible in the first place. Businesses are doing nothing more than meeting a demand & high prices are simply a response to high demand from lazy good for nothing families.

Nobody has forced these idiots to eat out on the eve of CNY. Everything used to be CLOSED for 2½ days straight & I don't recall anyone starving to death."-sl

Many reunion dinners going the zi char way
By Poon Chian Hui

The humble zi char stall, with its homely Chinese offerings, has inched its way into the hearts of many Singaporeans - with many of them going as far as to hold their reunion dinners there this year.

Come this Chinese New Year's Eve, families will gather at coffee shops across the island to usher in the new year over traditional favourites such as cereal prawns, steamed fish & pork ribs.

Said Mr Guay Teck Seng, 52, whose zi char stall in Queenstown is already 70% booked for the night: 'It's nothing to holler about, but customers like the food we serve. I also try to come up with some special dishes every year.'

His set menus, which comprise 6 or 8 courses, range in price from $208 for 4 people to $488 for a table of 10. 9 other eateries contacted by The Sunday Times said bookings have been brisk this year, with 3 saying that business has exceeded last year's.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Tortise Vs Rabbit Race (Amazing Version) - Play to Your Strengths

Though the video emphasize the 4th race what caught my attention is the 3rd race where the turtle chose the location of the race to suit his strengths- inclusive of a river.

Why the 3rd race interest me? I related it to the educational system in S'pore. Darn educational system here stress on academics, academics & academics to the detriment of others. I'm sick of the news of the top scorers in primary & secondary schools to brainwash people. How come they never follow up with what happened with those top scorers years down the road? Let's face it. People's talents are like animals (analogy):

-some good at swimming
-some good at flying
-some good at crawling
-some good at tunneling

To stress academic performance is like stressing on being a rabbit winning the race. How's it like to force a person who is musically talented (turtle) to compete in a race circuit that favors the academically inclined 'rabbits'?

To those who are marginalized by the system remember the moral of the 3rd race. Don't be disheartened. Play to your strengths. Best example i can think of is what i've written earlier- How the Soviets neutralized the Enemy Strengths in Battle of Stalingrad. Didn't the turtle play to his strengths & neutralised the rabbit's advantage?

As i'm a critic of the educational system you may want to read my earlier postings if you haven't read them:
-Rich Son Poor Son
-Education System Churning Out Many Mindless Automatons

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

SPH is a Dangerous Bluechip Stock

SPH (S'pore Press Holdings) may be a bluechip stock currently being a monopoly of the traditional print media in S'pore as well as functioning as the current govt's propaganda mouthpiece. Like other traditional print media in other countries it also faces declining readership.

Its foray into property alarms me especially with its highest bid for the mall where i live. Its winning bid outmargin the 2nd highest by a big margin. Even Starbucks is feeling the heat from the frickin' killer rents which is the only outlet with a 'booth' like premises instead of a shop space that i'm aware of.

When this property speculation & property bubble bursts, this property aspect of its business would pull down the already battered print media business- is a no brainer what will happen to its stock price.

SPH reports net profit of $97 million for 1st quarter
SPH reports net profit of $97.5 million for the first quarter of 2012, which is $4.8 million or 4.7% lower compared to the first quarter of 2011.

Group recurring earnings rose by 4.2% to $121.2 million, compared to the corresponding quarter in 2011.

A strong showing from the property segment & improved performance from the Internet & exhibitions businesses cushioned the decline in the newspaper & magazine segment.

Investment income fell 90.3% year-on-year to $0.6 million as a result of unrealised foreign exchange losses on investments arising from volatility in the financial markets.

Monday, January 9, 2012

'Life' Sucked Out of People Who Bought Investment Linked Policies

I'm tilted towards investment for investment & insurance for insurance purposes ethos. Let the tools do what they are dedicated for. Buy term insurance & invest the rest yourself. Why buy a unit trust/mutual fund whereby the fund manager makes $$(management fees) regardless of whether your portfolio goes up or down? Heads they win, Tails they win too. Same goes for investment linked insurance policies (ILPs).

I'm astounded that ILPs can take away >40% of accumulated savings as pointed out by Tan Kin Lian who managed to get his letter published in the state controlled media.

ILPs run for many years. I doubt those who bought it are even aware of them working how many hours of their life just to pay for:
- commission to agent
- overriding commission to agency managers
- high marketing expenses, including sales contests & incentive trips

as pointed out by Tan Kin Lian. Is as good as slaving their asses off for a significant portion of a typical workday paying for something that's little value for $$.

If you think financial education is expensive, try ignorance.

2 comments from Robert Kiyosaki which i like:
"Many people seem to think that investing is simply turning it over to a total stranger & hoping that stranger or that company returns your money to you someday. Obviously that is not investing-it is gambling. But worse than gambling, it demonstrates a lack of respect for something most people have given a part of their life, their sweat, blood & time for. "

"Most people do not like working for abusive & cheap people or abusive & cheap companies. Yet when it comes to the money they invest, many people turn their money over to people & companies that seem to care more about their self-interest than the investor's interests. "

Written test won't address ethical issue insurance agents face

MR JIMMY Koh argued that the new test for insurance agents is necessary to equip them to advise their clients properly & fairly on investment-linked policies ('Don't give in to pressure against new insurance test'; Dec 27).

I am afraid that the advocates of this approach are barking up the wrong tree.

Most investment-linked policies have high charges that take away more than 40% of the accumulated savings from the consumers.

Although this is disclosed in the benefit illustration, how many consumers know about it?

How many insurance agents point this out to the consumer?

Even if the consumer asks about the high charges, also known as 'the effect of deduction', dishonest agents may explain them away as the cost of the life insurance protection, when the true cost is only a fraction of the total deduction.

In fact, a large part of the deduction goes to pay for the commission to the agent, the overriding commission to the agency managers, high marketing expenses, including the sales contests & incentive trips & the profit margin of the insurer.

It is hard for agents to offer proper advice when they face such a conflict of interest.

Do they look after the client's interest & forgo the attractive commission?

Such an ethical issue cannot be answered through a written test.

After trying to deal with a similar issue for a few decades, the regulatory authorities in Britain & Australia concluded that the only way to avoid the abuse caused by the conflict of interest was to ban the payment of commission for the sale of life insurance type of investment products.

I hope the Monetary Authority of Singapore will implement a similar approach, to safeguard the financial future of consumers.

Tan Kin Lian

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Why the Wealthy Doesn't Need CPF?

Badly battered CEO of SMRT(also known as cleopatra ceo) has resigned citing personal reasons but we know is due to the worst train disruption in S'pore history. Her left & right hand men (CFO & COO) both quitted early last year. It seem like smoke is belching from a 'hidden' fire before the fire got out of hand(train breakdowns).

At time of her cessation as CEO she still holds 1,084,100 ordinary shares of stock in the train company. With last dividend of 8.5cents/share she has a monthly passive income of $7679/mth. A rather comfortable amount for a near retirement person. What's more with fare increases be it buses, train or taxis the dividend will eventually go up as well to keep in pace with inflation.

Dividends are just the icing on the cake. No doubt the icing will get bigger with the fare increases. Cake itself are the shares she holds. Again with fare increases operating a near transport monopoly the cake itself will getter bigger in the future too(stock price increase).

Unlike the job which she just lost, the shares which she hold can be passed on to another person. What lesson does this tells us? Lesson is for ordinary folks like us to be frugal, accumulate $$ & buy assets. Our most important job is not our day job but our job of making $$ work hard for us.

Who needs cpf(forced retirement savings plan by govt) when real assets can feed a person? By the way cpf is woefully inadequate since the current govt has sucked much of the populace's retirement fund through manipulated housing prices which many are forced to pay with.

48.6km Delivery Exercise to Friend in Sengkang

A ride to pass some items to a friend. Ride took me 1.5hrs during the night while taking the mrt train would take me 56mins. Inclusive of wait & travelling to the station it'll take me around 1hr 15mins so difference is around 15mins.

Trip distance indicated on public transport website is 48.8km by train. What coincidence as the figure is close to my ride distance.

This again shows that commuting by bicycle is reasonable. It does take a while longer but just treat it as a form of exercise in our already hectic lives. Not forgetting the squeeze on the train & around $4 in fare prices saved which can be used to treat oneself to a hawker meal afterwards. Benefit the small business owner than a faceless big corporation.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Mad Rush to Return on New Year's Day

Countdown to New Year. Smooth flowing:

My anticipation is correct in that the masses will rush back on Sun, New Year's day although monday is a public holiday. For many parents, it is a new school year & of course a new calendar work year.

Monday(2nd Jan) sees the masses afflicted with the blues with the following day a working day & a dreaded 12 month wait for year end bonuses. Day of 'readying' for parents with kids & start of new year where morale is lowest with regards to year end bonuses. Look at the smooth flowing causeway during the day & night peak periods.