Having once lived in the vicinity where the largest gold nugget in America (49.5kg) was found, I was taught a very important life lesson — only a lucky few get rich from mining for gold; the real money is from selling picks and shovels. Who are the pick and shovel merchants today? How am I being duped? And what does this have anything to do with life? The answer: more than you think. (more…)
It’s easy to think you wouldn’t fall for a scam. Until it happens to you. Unfortunately, the very thing that allowed us to advance as a species is also what makes us incredibly vulnerable — our trust in others. Here’s what you can do when that trust gets violated. (more…)
With the steady increase in the viewership for Frugal in Singapore, I’ve received an increasing number of requests for sponcon (sponsored content). Sponcon is basically where a company/marketing agency pays a blogger a fee for publishing a fake review or an advertorial (an advertisement giving information about a product/service masquerading as an objective journalistic article). As a blogger, how much can you make filling your site with sponcon and advertisements? Enough to make it your full-time job! (more…)
Of all the bad decisions I’ve made in my life, here are my top three: 1. I once stayed waaaay too long in a bad relationship. 2. I overpaid too much on my first home (16 years ago), and sold it at a huge loss. 3. At various moments in my life, I hold onto things I know I will never need or use in the future. What do all these have in common? They are examples of the sunk cost effect. (more…)
I recently attended a Singapore Investment Week seminar which included a talk on investing using Robo-Advisors. Their argument is a compelling one. Why use fund managers who are shown to underperform (over the long term), yet when they do poorly, you still pay them a fee regardless? Stocks go up and you pay their fee. They go down, and you also pay. And their fee can be very high. Robo-Advisors also have fees, but they’re typically about one-quarter of the fees for a mutual fund/unit trust. But there is another option that could be even better, one in which I personally use.
The first thing I ever bought at an auction was not property or a car. Nor was it jewellry, watches, or artwork. It was two giant bags of clothing that weighed at least 5kg each. But this spontaneous purchase, as it turned out, was one of the smartest buys and lessons in arbitrage. (more…)
When most people hear the word “auction”, they think “distressed sale”. In many other parts of the world, this is mostly true. Although I own a few things from distressed sales and have bid in quite a few auctions, I’m definitely still a novice when it comes to auctions in Singapore, particularly property auctions. They’re an entirely different animal. And here’s why.