The Investor’s dilemma
Disclaimer: You see, Grandpa is your untiring Singaporean, a regular joe who despite weathering more than a few storms in his life, believes that hard work and a never say die attitude will help him shape a bright future for himself and his loved ones. While you march towards your financial goal, grandpa is here to share his view post achievement.

Great things take time. I know you have probably heard this idea a zillion times. However, my story today isn’t trying to convince you of the power of compounding or why you “need to invest for the long term.” 
In my years of working in the corporate, one of the things I'll confess to people is I've gone into customer organizations and they pushed back, they said, you know what, don't come in here and just, you know, ask us about our pain and our dreams. We want you to give us an opinion.
Give us a perspective, we know it'll be 30 or 40% wrong but we will be much further ahead than we were before.
Here is Grandpa’s opinion on what's better, be it dividend investing, growth investing and trading, which investment strategy I find the safest and which strategy I find the most lucrative.
Noting that when I first saw this dividend investing probably over decades ago, I was a bit of a skeptic. All you have to do is to buy blue-chip stocks or big-name companies that pay a decent dividend per year.  On average, it's usually 4-5% per year. Of cos, we have companies that pay 8-10% but that is “riskier” in nature. This category is usually REITs or mutual funds and why I call it passive way of investing is because once you buy it, you can dollar cost average it, or wait till a comfortable price that you like and buy again and then you just hold forever. You just keep collecting dividends that you’re collecting, you just keep buying more of the same stock or you diversify into your next waiting list stock.
You can still monitor your watchlist every day when the market opens but you only action, when you have spare cash or price, becomes attractive. 

Based on the above, it will take 6 years to reach your 100k, 22 years to reach 500k and 33 years to reach the magical 1M. 2 broad ways to speed up the process is to put more savings into your dividend system and earn more money.
Now I know history is written by the victors, it is probably easy for me who has done it to come up with a story about how to get your 1st million than for you to earn YOUR wealth.  
It’s like shooting an arrow and then painting the bull’s eye.
In the real world, theory can only go so far because there are life events that can just rock your world from marriage, death, accidents and anything one can imagine.  The theory and its probabilities can only work 60-70%.  
For example, let’s say you save up $10,000 and put it into Frasers Centrepoint Trust with the promise of 5% annual return ($500). You blow it on your child 1st birthday party and spend your entire annual returns in 1 one afternoon and it’s gone. This is one of the most important and humbling lessons I have learned recently.  Some things you can teach with words and charts and some things you cannot.  Cold, hard facts and figures cannot substitute for direct experience. Or say if this piece of article is written 10 years back and you bought into 10% yield Hutchison Port Hldg Trust, probably you could be crying and cursing now. But this route IMO is the safest, least amount of work and truly passive if you have a ten year or more timeframe.

33 years is too long, I want instant gratification
What other options to speed up your “Financial Freedom” journey?
One fine day, you attended the Invest Fair 2019 and came across a booth known as InvestingNote. Wow, the big group of “friends” here introduce something known as swing/day trading which is typically short term and takes advantage of the fluctuations in the price. It uses a method known as technical analysis to look for stocks whose price movements have momentum -- signaling the best times to buy or sell. 
Now that’s great, your portfolio becomes your company and 6 wins out of 10 will give you a winning position (assuming losses are the same amt as wins). On average you can shoot for a few percentages points up to 20% and beyond.
Day traders open and close multiple positions within a single day, so they sell all the holdings before the stock market closes which means they do not hold any positions after hours. There are no overnight risks and economic news such as Fed Rates, Trump vs Xi and HK riots won’t hurt you as much. At the end of the day, they have cash and they repeat the next day, staying very liquid. If you possess all the traits, such as decisiveness, discipline, and diligence, you are all set to be the next Billionaire.
One trading style isn't better than the other; they just suit differing needs. One just needs to ensure you have more profitable days than you have losing days. Day Trading is the new “sexy” that gets a lot of hype.  There are lots of sites and platforms that claim to "get millions of dollars can be made just investing a few hours per day.”
My take is if you are an amateur, you may be playing with fire.  Your odds of success are as good as buying 4D (1 out of 10000 chance).  The professional day traders know their stuff and have an edge over you. First, they have all the latest tools for trading and the information on order flow and “stops” that are placed. Secondly, they could be investing their client's money and have all the people resources full time to work on it.
Put simply, by definition, if you are buying, someone else must be selling; The markets are a real-time thermometer; buying and selling, action and reaction.  If someone is making money, someone else is losing money.  You would have to join the crowd as the market is moving up/down and be smarter than that crowd to get out before they do if it starts to rise/fall.
Any system of betting is not designed so that the majority of people can beat it. If you are going to dabble in day trading, set aside some money that you can afford to lose, because chances are, you will.

Value Investing: What we misunderstood about Warren Buffett’s quotes
Warren Buffett wannabes favorite route, based on what they read and saw on YouTube, are capable of selecting quality stocks that are attractively priced. Buy low and sell high, easy peasy lemon squeezy. But I do have some practical questions to ask you before you start building your portfolio.
“Diversification is protection against ignorance. It makes little sense if you know what you are doing. The question is about diversification. If you are not a professional investor, if your goal is not to manage money in such a way as to get a significantly better return than the world, then I believe in extreme diversification. I believe 98 or 99%, maybe more than 99% of people who invest should extensively diversify and not trade.
When that leads them to an index fund type of decision with very lowcost, because all they're going to do is own a part of America, and they decided to own part of America's worthwhile.”  Warren Buffett


 “Bring intensity to the game and start evaluating the business.” Warren Buffett

Warren indeed has a highly concentrated portfolio of stocks and advocates focus investing approach as he devoted his life to investing and spends all his day reading. But he never suggested that you should follow his example unless you are willing to put in the same amount of hard work. Warren claims he sits in his office all day and read five to six hours a day. That’s how knowledge works. It builds up, like compound interest. The keyword here is INTENSITY, which is persistence and grit in my own words.  All of you can do it, but I guarantee not many of you will do it. The recipe is simple but not easy to follow. Be honest with yourself, do you enjoy reading 500-700 pages per annual reports for the last 5 years just for 1 company?

Understanding his thought process is easier than putting in the same amount of work.

The 2nd point that I want to bring out is, he only mentioned S&P500 in low costs Vanguard funds, the reason being it is near impossible for 500 companies to go kaput at one time, which leads to some people buying STI30 ETF. Maslow's hammer, popularly phrased as "if all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail"

My path
One of my favorite sayings is that it isn't what a man doesn't know that tends to get him in trouble, but what he knows for sure that isn't true. I too once indulged in self-delusion that I am the next Warren Buffett. Common, I am sure you felt the same, reading one free library book and that feeling of knowledge is power, pinky and the brain conquering the world.

Consider our research on the performance of five hypothetical long-term investors following very different investment strategies. Each received $2,000 at the beginning of every year for the 20 years ending in 2012 and left the money in the market, as represented by the S&P 500® Index.2 Check out how they fared:
Mr. Perfect was a perfect market timer. He had incredible skill (or luck) and was able to place his $2,000 into the market every year at the lowest monthly close. 
2nd place goes to Ms. Invest-Immediately who took a simple, consistent approach: Each year, once she received her cash, she invested her $2,000 in the market at the earliest possible moment.
The key takeaway is this, you do not have to be perfect, coming in 2nd place is also not too bad. Even though the data is a bit dated, I think it is still relevant and I am perfectly fine staying vested all the time and being labeled "average".
I also believe that creating a passive income stream through dividends is an achievable, intriguing and stimulating way to decrease your dependency on the salary income. This incredible journey has also allowed my wife to relax at home and shake leg, no longer a necessity to run the rat race. 

Closing thoughts
Time is an asset, the most valuable asset.
Think of it this way:  Each week you get 10,080 minutes to live your life If you sleep 8 hours a night that’s 3360 minutes or ~33% of your week.  If you work 40 hours, that’s another 24% gone. If you spend 2 hours every day just on reading annual reports, attending AGMs, going Investing Fairs, etc. I know that doesn’t sound like much for now, but when you consider the compounding effect, it’s amazing.
Some activities are time-sensitive.
Because you will never get a second more than what you already have.  
Imagine working extremely hard for years at the neglect of your family so you can earn more money.  Let’s say your plan works and you get that promotion you always craved.  but you can’t go back and see your children as children again.  You can’t attend your friend’s wedding or mourn your lost father twice.  The fact is that money will come and go in your life be it through luck (good and bad), opportunities and effort, but your time is only here now.
I am sure on your deathbed, you will not say “I wish I had buy YZJ when it was 78c” or “Can I buy one last counter?”.
You decide your path and your life. Meanwhile, I still need to trade time for money.

Until next time,



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Thank you for the sharing Grandpa! it's an enlightenment!
If you have the time, would you be able to write about how you ride through stock market crashes ? Thank you!


I recently watching dota 2 the invitationals 9,
33 million dollar prize pool!
16 to 22 year old kids win and huat
top 4 teams get a least 2 million

seems like the world is rapidly changing and there are new ways to make big money


Reply to @MasterLeong : You can teach Wing Chun, since you aspire to be tuition teacher. 🤣

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Very nice post from grandpa! Very applicable to all of us. I am a dividend investor and have stayed the course over the last 9 odd years. Overall, I consider myself pretty average, in terms of "investment skills". Still, I managed to beat inflation over these years with a real inflation adjusted return of at least 5-6%. You win some and lose some, but overall if you beat inflation, you have passed
Diversification is very essential for the SG market wherein, quality choices can be very limited .


I really LOL at "relax at home and shake leg" 😜
Some library books really advocate Dividend investing as one of the sound strategy for busy working people


Reply to @Allan : That is right! Regular investing and reinvesting dividends produces the "snow ball" effect


Interesting Read. Thank you !


I am sure on your deathbed, you will not say “I wish I had buy YZJ when it was 78c” or “Can I buy one last counter?”.

I like this best. It also serves as a reminder that wealth is a social construct, and only useful if it can be exchanged for time.


Have a safe trip and enjoy..😀


Money, money, money
Must be funny
In the rich man's world


Summary: Everyone buy YZJ now! 😆😆😆


Have a safe trip

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