Friday, December 8, 2017

CDG-Uber tie-up

It is confusing.

I cannot quite understand CDG JV with Uber. In the surface of it, it make sense, CDG has a app that works better and consumer can call for both cab or non-cab, and decide if they want surge charging with PHv or just plain peak surcharge. If that is the sole reason, they should just work with Grab and let the CDG drivers use their app. Definitely cheaper than buying Lioñ Rental 

But given CDG Pay so much for Lioñ rental, it would means CDG believe the future taxi business is one of PHV and perhaps some flag down opportunities for thos who dun use app. ( maybe tourists? )

It then can laterally transfer drivers, or for taxi drivers who wanted to become PHV drivers, to stay within the family. But this is a reduce bleeding strategy, not a growth strategy.

So how lucrative is the business ??

The aggregate cash consideration for the above acquisition is estimated at S$295 million and arrived at based on the net asset value of approximately S$642 million based on the value of about 12,450 vehicles. “

Each vechicle is worth about 45K. In the news media, it is said that Lioñ City Rental has a fleet of about 14k.  I think CDG has a good deal in the sense it assume about 90% of the fleet can be rented out at any time. 

45k can only pay for COE in recent years but we all know vechicles are depreciating assets. 

The rental rate of vechicle for Uber drivers is up to $58. If u renting for private consumption, it cause a bit higher. Let’s assume a rate of $50 for simplicity sake. 
A attrage is for rent at $47. 

Assume the car is rented out for 360 days in a year. 1 year of revenue is 18K. Assume CDG can achieve economic of scale and manage the fleet at low cost and achieve margin of  about 50%. It needs 5 years to break even. I think most cars will have a COE or at least 7-8 years since Lioñ Rental City is only started by Uber in 2015. 

Yield accretive but nothing to shout at. 

However, it does give it a immediate sizeble Market share of the PHV. From what I read, it’s range from 40k vechicles to 60K. At least 25% market share with a blink of an eye. 

Uber also has various incentive for drivers who clock a certain no. Of rides so I would think my calculation above is liberal and the margin lower. But Uber dun seem to be as aggressive in giving out promo code. 

It’s a good counter move by CDG strategically but if anyone wants to see fireworks in terms of earning, think they will be disappointed. 

Friday, December 1, 2017

Random thoughts: A book and a YouTube clip

Have wanted to blog about these.

This book is amazing.

 

I didn’t really believe it, but thought there is no harm reading and see if I can apply a skill or two into my teaching.

I am blown away. The methods actually work. My friend was teasing and challenging me  to memories 心經。I did within 3.5 hours. Some of you might think 3.5 hours is a long time and 心經 is not really long anyway.

But I did it with the TV on, and having conversation with my son and wife. If I focus, I am sure I can do it within 2 hours. I also never thought I can mermorize 心經 because it don’t makes a lot of sense to me.

The beauty is after I mermorize it, I can retrieve it at any point, I dun have to start at the beginning. I can retrieve that sentence and ponder over its meaning. 

As for video,  I really 2 which I saw. One about 9 life 
Lessons which I totally agree and have the same frequency with





The other is this. I was feeling a bit down at work, and this video perks me up. It’s not about the content but how the guy stays cool and sincere throughout his speech.



Friday, November 17, 2017

Random thoughts: Replying Myself

I wrote a post earlier, 6 months later, and being the last day of school, I read the "letter" again. How have I fare?

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1) Shift your department teachers' mindset away from teaching to the test and examination. Deep learning or meta-cognitive learning have higher retention rate, it should not affect the results adversely too much. How many teachers have you convinced with your words, deeds and values? Or have you yourself thrown in the towel?

I have not throw in the towel, although at times, I do struggle about drilling for more marks or teaching pupils how to learn. I think I did well with my low progress kids. This is the first time in my teaching career I receive unsolicited notes of thanks at the end of year and not teacher's day. 

How many teachers? Hmm, maybe 1? But if I struggle, I think she is lost.  


2) With the focus away from examinations and KPIs, you hope to see education as pupils actively pursuing knowledge and in whatever capacity, applying that knowledge. You have said that the following words stick in your head, let me remind you in case you forgotten. "The world economy no longer pays you for what you knows; Google knows everything...The world economy pays you for what you do with what you know." With the zero-sum pursuit of mindless competition of who produces more A pupils a National Trend, have you hold steadfast to your belief? Do you remember going to your MLS friend's school to teach for a trial lesson? They wear different uniforms from your pupils. With the bell curve effect, they doing well in PSLE mean the bell curve work against your own pupils. (Don't give me the shit that the new PSLE is standard referenced. It is just a static preset bell curve.) But you love them nonetheless, you think they are cute. You felt proud that Singapore provide good and decent education to pupils in the neighborhood. You suddenly felt that it is really meaningless and perhaps shallow to be upset about being "below National Average". Why should I be happy? The "national average" does not fluctuate that greatly, why should I derives so much happiness or sadness in beating fellow Singapore's Children? 

Surprising, I remembered that lesson and still talk about it. I have move even further away from ranking, and caught myself competing with my colleagues in terms of results produced. I decided to mindfully remind myself not to do it. They can do better than me, I should be happy and thankful of a strong team.

3) You wanted to prepare the pupils not just for the examinations, but also the future. You believe that joy in learning, is perhaps one of the ingredient for effective learning, and that pupils must be self-regulated learners. You realize that preparing pupils for examinations and the future in that sense, need not really be a zero-sum game, as the two are not mutually exclusive.

I did taught them how to be self-regulated learners. I do think pupils pick up some skills from me, but I think I am far from igniting joy in learning. I have however, think deeper about "joy" in learning. Joy, beside fun, is about self-discovery. I am going to move further in that direction.


4) Joy of learning is not about having fun doing activities, it is about making sure every pupils can progress and achieve. You seek to do this with Differentiation Instructions (DI). You have in the past, pursuit only the form and not the substance of DI. You have a better understanding of the whole DI approach by Tomlinson , you understand what it means and possibly how to differentiate the process/ content or product according to pupils readiness or if possible, also take into considerations pupils' interest and profile. You are no expert in this, but with Formative Assessment (FA) and DI in your mind when you did the 2 trial lessons in 2 different schools the last 2 days (6-7th April ), you genuinely felt different. I think I will cut you some slack for not able to prepare lessons as thoroughly as when you are on course. But, did you stop observing pupils' readiness? Have you stop asking yourself how to present your information more clearly and preparing for multiple content sources and process to cater for pupils who cannot follow your intended lesson? If you have been doing this at least once a week, I think you are already doing well. You also want to present your true self to your pupils, you realize you are generally a fun-loving person, so the humor in class should let pupils feel more at ease. But have you become so tired or pressured about the academic performance of your pupils that you have start reverting to becoming a team commander of soldiers in a war zone?

I did this with flying colors. I am like an ah beng in class, so much so that my pupil kept laughing at my antics to her mum. Lucky she is amused and not offended. However, i did get very firm with my pupils and not everyone appreciate my "true" self. I can see some are shocked more than entertained, and others most probably think I am very "boliao"

I change my way of presentation of information at least 3 times, I didn't track that it work for everyone, it stopped when it worked for some, and I didn't prepare multiple and customized notes for everyone, although I did try to track their proficiency in reading comprehension for my high progress pupils and I think they did improve 

5) Self-regulated learners are learners acutely aware of their own learning. During MLS, you have been reading a lot about how the brain works, about metacognitive strategies, and the easy essence of it are having
1) Compare and Contrast
2) Classification
3) Meaningful Transfer
4) Self-Monitoring
5) Mindful selection process
6) Gap filling either individual or in group

1) Done, through error detection exercises, not effective
2) Classification of difficult words, if it is considered as classification, yes
3) Done, from model answers to adapted answers, yes, from adapted answers to internalized understanding, nope
4) I did that after their exam, didn't observe impact
5) Yes, in composition, Oral, Vocab, presented in comic form, given pupils more options
6) Yes, useless

You have worked hard to try to figure out how everything can be applied from reading comprehension stage to speaking and writing. Did you continue to use these? Have you extend the activities and strategies? How many teachers beside your soulmate/ friend in your department have you gotten excited about all these teaching methods. I can't write the teachers' names here, but MS, SC, JAN, NF, YZ and SY are potential champions you have considered, are they really champions now? Have you not even started? Did you keep their interest burning, did you make them turn around and help you keep your own passion alive?

Project done, but interest? I do think they see value in the project we are doing, but I hardly think they are excited, because the schedule is too punishing, and their work too hectic. I am just glad I am still alive

6) You want to streamline working processes such that you can reduce at least 5% of teachers' workload. You had wanted more flexibility in weekly PDT, you wanted technology to help in discussion and some marking. You wanted to scale down some programmes. You understand a burnt-out teachers cannot really inspire pupils. This is one area that you felt is toughest to do, if you have actually found a path, you do yourself proud. One area you are looking at is purposeful reflections, as diagnostic data collection means and stimulus for discussion. Have you done anything about it. How did it fare?

Done, but felt it is a paper exercise. flexibility is given to teachers, but many are still burnt and tired. I have not read all their reflections, so maybe this part need to KIV

7) You have wanted a more systematic approach to integration of various learning objectives across levels with strong build-up of differentiated resources. One key success factor shared selflessly by your HOD friend about active selection of topic to drill in the final year is not a short cut, but a meticulous and calculated move(3 years prior to ensure maximum exposure and repetition), much like company prospecting in investing. Have you embarked on this journey? 

Kind of tried to do it for reading comprehension, did not turn out the way I envisioned, but there is some data and information to use

8) You have wanted the professional learning project to be of more rigor. You have bought books for teachers to engage in literature review, and the use of lesson study lesson plan template for discussion and planning. You wanted more informed and well-planned initiatives. How has those plans work out for you?

Na... 

9) You wanted to continue with the NIE library membership and spend at least 2 days in a year visiting the NIE to borrow some books to read.

Intend to

10) Finally, something less tangible. You said "Human First, then teacher, then a HOD to bring everyone along" How does this sound to you now?
Think I still believe it. 

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Seem like I didn't do too badly, but what have I done for my department...

LOL... I live by the day, perhaps its beyond my capacity. 

I do enjoy my lessons and teaching better, like my pupils, even if the feelings are not mutual. 

2018, lets hope the letter do not get lost or worse, forgotten

Monday, November 13, 2017

随心笔:潇洒

This is a comment I wanted to leave for CW.

Not sure why I cannot post it after multiple attempts. It’s about folding the cards. Sometime I wonder aloud with my circumstances, why don’t I just fold the cards too. 

——————————

Uncle CW,

Thumbs up. I also wondered how many fold the cards. I call that 瀟灑。

Have a great golden period:

曾经沧海,终究抖了抖衣袖,
潇潇洒洒,带不走的都留下。
因为拥有了一片蓝天,
够了。

回头看看风风雨雨,
此程也不枉了。

Sillyinvestor 谨启

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Random thoughts: 5 more Marks or joy of learning?

This is a question I asked myself, and some of my pupils and their parents.

What comes to your mind? If u think for a while, your answer will most probably be depends. Let me give my take.

My definition of joy, is not just fun having activities. It might be a tough slog, but a process of some guided self-discovery, and maybe some self-reflections. 

Hence, because it is contextualize according every pupils, their quality of answers will definitely differ and I cannot enforced the “right answer” even if I have a better answer (in terms of marks) in my mind. Otherwise, the mindset of pupils will be, “just show me the method” 

There are other more authentic ways of learning too, usually about creating a interesting scenario for pupils to work on something, but those activities are time
Consuming.

There are some fun ways of drilling, and I have already embrace that. So, let’s say if your child, is an obedient child, does all the teacher ask him to do, he could have get 80 marks if he do more drill and practices, will u let him get 75 if he have more opportunity at “fun learning” 

I knew my own answer. It is 75 and have more opportunity at fun. Some parents I ask are like me. But their children want the last 5 marks. These are the high achieving pupils. I know the answer for the weaker pupils. If u could have more fun and lose 5 marks they would.

But the context change when it is not a drop of 5 marks from 80 to 75. What happens if it is 50 to 45? A difference of pass and fail, a difference of A and B?

But, is there really a difference? 

After this informal fact finding exercise with my own brain ( I mind f**) and also with a few trusted parents and colleagues, I am more at peace with my approach and I think has become relative more 平常心with marks. I do not seek to influence my teachers though. 

When I drill, those that I drilled has a very high success rate. But I also realise the reverse is true, those that I not drilled have very high failure rate. 

In the end it’s a balance and I think I have found my own balance, a new balance. 

What about u? Under what circumstances would
U as a parent or a student, go for that 5 marks or joy? 

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Random thoughts: A old fashioned lesson that brought some satisfaction

Exam has ended.

To be very honest, I could get a bit loss with what to teach. It’s the time of the year that I tried out all sorts of funny ideas. 

Most in our fatenality will know the “egg” lesson. Ask the kids to bring an egg to school and carry it with them. Ask them how they feel about carrying it around the whole day. Link it to parental care etc.

I did it today. Ask them how they feel. Then either write a thank you Card or use software to design one. Many ask if they can thanks their friends. I said after your parents, u can design or write as many as you like. 

The cheap drill is a few pupils write to me. Ya, I know. I shameless.

Towards the end, I told them how I really felt it is important to be thankful of what we have. 

I told them about my brief brush with depression. I told them I got myself out because I think I am still thankful of whatever that have not gone wrong. 

I told them how I see someone I know slipping further and further into self-pity and misery. I told my kids they were once millionaire, intelligent and capable. But because they dun have a thankful heart, they blame the whole world for their predicament. Spend almost crazy amount of money on lottery and praying to god for them to strike. As if ... 

I told them I saw a bottomless pit of suffering which I dun think they can get out. I no bleeding heart. Though I did try to help, i did not really try hard. 

I told them a thankful heart is a self-defense mechanism. Not for others but themselves. It cannot be switch on when u need it. U need to keep practicing it. 

I think most pupils got my message. It made me satisfied. 

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Random musing: An unexpected turn of event in my class

I told my pupils who failed the exam and who passed. As usual, I gave some morale boasting talk and encouragement. A girl in my class start to cry. I ask the class to let her be, as we all need an outlet to vent. She dried her tears, and as I speak, start to sob again.

Towards the end of lesson, I ask if she is ok and why is she so sad...
She told me it is because she failed her Maths Exam!

I almost died! I ask her why she cried about failing her Maths Exam in my Chinese Class. She smiled. I asked if she is upset about failing my subject, she said she is ok.

Double Ouch!!

Talk about 触景伤情!

HAHAHA!

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Is silverlake axis acquisitions a good deal?

I might be suffering from confirmation biases here, but I think it is a fairly good deal.

Here is why?

For the Base Case Acquisition Cost (Profits of all 3 entities do not experience more than 25% earning growth yearly for the next 3 years till 2020 ), the acquisition will be done purely through the issue of new shares. Hence there is no strain on the cash of silverlake axis, neither will it need to takes on loan for this acquisition.

New shares issued is cents 71cents, a premium of about 17% over the last traded price of 60 cents.

The acquisition cost is 50 mio, and hence will result in a dilution of shares by less than 3%. If we assume zero profits growth, the 3 entities will add about 14% of 2017 NPAT. Hence it is yield acretive.

Even if profits collective is halved, it will still be acretive. However, 2017 is a low base for NPAT. If we assume 30% more profits as reversion to the mean, and the 3 entities' profits to halved, it would still be accretive.

With the exception of SDE, of current ratio of about 1.3, the other 2 entities have current ratio above 2.

Now, the confusing part is when Earn-Out consideration comes into the picture.

Maximum dilution is 25%. For that to happen, the NPAT will amount to about 110 mio (RM), that is about 70% of 2017 NPAT. (Operating, excluding sale of GIT)

The problem is the qualitative part.

The customers of SDE and SDS are also renowned banks around the world, just google them.

https://www.cbiuae.com/en/about-cbi/investor-relations/financial-information

http://www.peoplesbank.lk/downloads/FS_June_2017_PDF%20File.pdf

I gave just 2 examples here.

There is simply not enough information to calculate possible growth, although the news from the SDE website does show a rather high profile type of corporate actions, e.g. digital bank at sri lanka launched by PM.

http://www.silverlakegroup.com/news/#.Wets1JJ97IU

I do like the deal in general. How about you? Maybe we would know what Mr Market thinks come Monday. Personally, I think there is more good things to write about it by analysts than bad. Given that the US market is still on a roll, if Mr Market gives the deal a thumbdown, there is no excuse to blame it on market sentiments

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Random thoughts: Some uses of behavioral biases

I have been reading on behavioral  biases. 

This is just some musing, serious readers can stop now. I think these biases are bad for investing but good for family life, especially if u want to hitch a wife or girl.

Confirmation bias:

Confirmation bias give you perseverance. Everything she does or not do, you will interpret it as dropping hints, lol. She refuse a date, you think it's playing hard to get. LOL.

Illusion of control bias:

You think you can control her happiness and joy, because you think you are her center of universal and vice-versa.

Hindsight Bias:

Hello, if a courtship and/ or marriage is like" I don't what will happen tomorrow, past happiness is not any indication of tomorrow, then super ... zzzz

Of course, I think because I am happy with her today, I would be happily ever after right?

Anchoring 

Anchoring irrevalant data gives one hope. She used to be 32 23 32, be after she bears you a son, the numbers can messed up, but you believe those numbers will happen again. That's the right "value"

Framing Bias.

A marriage or courtship either ends in success or failure. It's binary. But we says we can enjoy the process too.

Availability Bias.

Wa, if we don't have this bias, then the world super chaotic. You do peer comparison and think wa her sister better !! 

Loss aversion Bias.

If we unhappy then cut loss... hmm... think we might be divorcing again and again. In fact, this could be what be keeping a lot of marriage intact.

Endowment Bias.

Hello, of corse la. If not, every time you go to those gatherings, u keep thinking  the grass greener on the other side... 

Ok. I know. I bo Liao. In conclusion, sometimes being too clear-headed is like having too much vitamin 

Saturday, October 14, 2017

What is my investment plan?

Warning: Incoherent post with main objective of thinking aloud

I think I have a plan until when I asked myself this question, then I realized I have many nagging questions and thoughts, so I thought I pen it down and hope it crystallize my thoughts. You can stop reading now if you are looking forward to a coherent post.

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My plan is simple, has enough cash to buy in bear and enough equity to sell in bull.

The % part is also simple. Assume STI historical peak of near 3800 is a peak where I would want to hold only 20% equity, then if it crash 50%, and STI is at 1900 I should have 80% equity. In between the two, it can be tiered, but  I feel there is no need to allocate a fix % to it.

The nagging question is with STI 3300 and 60% cash with the cash proportion increasing in a few months time, I don't think I am too far off from this rule, but I keep seeing companies that have already fallen close to 50%. such as CDG and SIA engineering (Close to 40%). I also realised I tend to pull the trigger when the fall is more than 30% from its peak. Sometimes too early, M1 and Raffles Medical are 2 examples, although 1 is sitting on loss and another on profits. So how to i reconcile individual companies with the broader market of STI of mainly banks and properties. (>50%).

There is this inherent dissonance within me. I know low tide cause all ships to sink somewhat, although high tide doesn't lift all boats. So should I really just wait for the Durian season to come? All in all, I have already missed 3 companies that turn out to be baggers. Although I have since came up with a rule of trailing gain. However, the wait for "durian" season nagging feeling is becoming a distraction and it seems clear to me I do not have a convincing investment plan. There are also days which I want to sell even more of my counters just to increase cash. This cannot be right.

Maybe the crux of the question should be the proportion of cash to be tiered according to STI or individual companies? Why should my cash be tiered according to STI since it is 50% on banks and properties. There are other sectors. Obviously this incoherence will affect my conviction.

If tired to individual companies, then there is another problem. There are tons of companies, how to allocate "cash level" then? If it is a hybrid of both broader market and individual companies, again it unclear which is which and each get into the other way. Look, if STI is marching upwards at 2700-2800, I seriously don't think I will sell my winning counters. It is precisely that they are 3100-3200 level, that I thought I should start lightening my equity weight and miss a lot of "profits"

Another possible alternative is to continue to with what I am doing and accept that 20-40%profit is acceptable. But hey, that doesn't seem coherent with let winners run, also how many good companies can you find in Singapore.

Maybe I should forget about cash level and buy as and when I see companies with potential growth in the next 1-2 years. But then again, that seems incoherent with risk management..

Thinking back, a rising market lift different boats, in this tide, banks and properties are sexy. But a falling tide (The most recent black monday), I remember seeing almost all companies falling, although banks have it worst. So I do think falling tide is more "evenly distributed" to most companies, and hence the risk management of cash allocation should stay.

Within the cash allocation, It is Ok to conduct guerilla tactics for companies that might have fallen perhaps more than 30% but with potential growth or turnaround stories. How then do I prevent myself from selling too early, if those guerilla hits happen to be correct?

Even if I accept the above preposition, I would have just settled on the buy and sell decision in a rising market. e.g. Buy when I see companies with growth in the near term but has been falling in price. Sell with a trailing stop when it hits above 20% gain.

Another question props into mind. I did saw the growth potential of MIT. (The new leases, etc)I even calculate the entry price of $1.7 would be fair and I even accepted that its OK to buy a few bids higher than that. Also, this is the first time I told myself its ok to buy more at higher price than my initial buying price of $1.48 to accumulate for future growth.

However, that growth in DPU that I calculate would happen also cause the price to keep going up. When it was 1.78, I thought well, it is coming soon. But it just went up, up and away.

Maybe it is ok to let good possible ideas pass if it didn't hit our target price? Ok, I answered this part of the question myself.

So, in a rising market, as long as cash is not stretched, it is OK to buy companies with growth, regardless if the companies has fallen from its peak of more than 30%. It is about growth. Either pure organic growth or turnaround stories with a mix of cyclical plays.

Let me see if I remember my own rules for cyclical plays. It should be alpha company, doing well, and the general market conditions to point at bottom conditions. Whatever I think should be entry price, take another 10% cut.

If I see recovery in earnings in the near term with reasonable valuation in terms of current dividends yield and conservative sustainable longer term yield, I also buy, regardless if the company's price has fallen or risen.

Yes, I should stick with the cash allocation call with the general STI as a risk management tool, since when the tide goes out, almost all boats fall and I am not superb in stock picking.

Now... The buy part in a rising or falling market is coherent

How about the sell part?

In a rising market, maybe slightly straight forward, allow a bigger margin when allocating advance orders either in the head or platforms. What happens if the price goes up together with the broader market? Assume STI march towards 3400 or even 3500. I think I will start to get nervous, if I am holding to 15-30% profits of recent guerrilla tactics of buy, such as silverlake and RMG, do I sell?

I think I am quite clear cut when the fundamental hypothesis of a company do not pend out as i planned, I sell quite ruthlessly. I sold Parkson, reduce Lee metals, Singpost etc when the numbers do not support the hypothesis I have in mind.

But it is not so clear-cut with RMG. I actually intent to average down slowly as I assume short term weakness in their expansion plans, although I seriously think they can manage their expansion costs. But now that the price has risen and the market is going up too, so I take profits so as to hold more cash? If I don't sell, the rule of less equity and more cash in a bull will not hold. Or should I just have a simple profit protected mechanism even if targeted profits is not hit in a rising market?? But if I sell simply because of cash conversation risk management, and the story unfolds according to my hypothesis, then I am also an idiot isn't it?

Selling is the tough part.

You see, when the numbers proved that I am wrong in my hypothesis, I have no problem selling, cut loss or taking profits. But I have been sitting on many unrealized losses during black Monday, although the hypothesis has NOT been proven wrong. I am glad I didn't sold ST engineering, A-Reit etc as the numbers did not show deteriorating numbers.

So i buy when market is falling, and hence the equity increase. But when numbers show, sometimes it is too late.

When the market is going up, you cannot have enough equity although I should have less, when the market is going down, you cannot have enough cash, although you should have less.

But It is damn scary buying in a down market. I know, I bought Sembcorp Industries with an average price of 3.8. You might think what is the big deal? It is... In practice, I told myself I should start accumulate at 2.5, I didn't even buy at 2.4. I dun have my balls. I sold half when it rebounded to $2.75 instead.

Theory works only when you have the guts to make it work. Had I av down at 2.4, I could be laughing now. SO I do think I need a more robust sell plan beside being shown in my face that the numbers are not working. To be fair to myself, the hypothesis of Sembmarine of zero profits is wrong, but when it is proven wrong, the price has plunge so much...

So should I have a circuit breaker? The what is the circuit breaker? 20% cut loss, regardless of numbers? Then I would have sold ST engineering, A-reit, MIT and many more for a song. 20% cut loss also contradict accumulation at bear, when things are supposed to be cheap.

Any company can fall. Just buy ETF? muahahhahahaha

Selling at profits is the easier part.

Selling to cut loss and buy back later? Then when buy back? The magic percentage is arbitrary, isn't it? Or sell on news of disruption? Maybe examples would include disruption of business. In a falling market, which sector is not disrupted?

I think I am getting something.

Sell when the qualitative hypothesis is not working or there are other risk considerations not taken into considerations, regardless of rising or falling market.

Cash ratio is about risk management in generally and thou should not based my buy and sell decisions on overall market conditions as long as the cash reserves is generally aligned to market conditions. With a rising market nearing to the peak, reduce the spread of advance order. With a falling market, buy only when "growth' can be calculated/projected and not simply because can "average down" le.

HAHAHAHA

Buy and sell based on analysis of growth or the lack of. Keep Cash proportion based on the general market, make sure the two ideas don't get mixed up and fudge.

So simple and I keep going round and round. If the market cause the price to plummet but operating numbers is still strong, wait for bigger MOS to average down.

It is clearer for myself now. If you are still reading, Please accept my sincere apologies.  



Friday, October 13, 2017

Random thoughts: Knowledge is hypothesis tested

During my course, I learn about several strategies for pupils to remember vocabulary taught. One that intrigued me is the Frayer model.

In short, it's a model that also highlight examples and non-examples as well as meaning etc for a deeper understanding of a word.

I tried it for both my higher progress and lower progress pupils. I have since discard both.

For the LP, it's straightforward, they can't even understand the meaning, no point going so deep into the concept.

As for the MP, I struggle for a while. The pupils seem bored when I am explaining the model. I think to myself, maybe it's the delivery problem. So I turn it into a game whereby pupils read the table and and take away 1-2 information and get their oppositing team to fill in the right answer. It's a kind of a way of "forced" reading. Reading by itself is quite neutral for "memory", so but playing this game, they did "search reading", then retrieval process and replacing the lost information. This will be followed by a final paper and pen test on the vocab. 

After doing these for 2 chapters and my old way of just "guess the picture" game and bingo game. And looking at the performance of the vocab test, there is no difference. But my older "method" is much faster. 

I am not saying the frayer method is not good. I am saying it has not yet become "knowledge" for me and hence it yet to be useful. It will stay as theory until I can find ways to exact value out of it.

The simple act of connecting a comic to words however work better. I ask my pupils what is the difference between 辩论 and 争辩?silence.

I ask when have we seen the word 辩论?
Silence.

I say Remember pikachu sitting in circle with other Pokémons deciding whether or no to continue battle in comic strip for chapter 15? Oh oh oh that! Debate! A few hands go up the air. 

Maybe we should not scoff at "simple" theory.

I told my boss my project with my department is about giving feedback. I can tell from her face although she didn't say it is why is it worth "Researching and testing". It is such a basic thing.

Well, buy low sell high also basic lei. 

I have seen so many presentations that is centered around how teachers give feedbacks. No one talk about changing the feedbacks according to circumstances and learning progress of pupils. 

We all heard about how to make money by investment legends. But I have not applied through different market conditions. So, perhaps the theory has yet become knowledge. 

However, there is nothing to scoff at. It's just our intelligence level to apply theory. There is nothing wrong with value investing, neither is there anything wrong with trading and stop loss. 

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Spying on the war between CDG and GRAB

I was looking around, wondering what counter measures CDG would do in the war against GRAB.

Seriously, I think CDG is not fighting a war. It is either too confident or too complacent.

I am thinking of the war online. The war on communication and propaganda. I search online Grab recruitment of drivers and CDG's. Here goes:

  

I saw incentives after incentives. Those who are newly signed-up and those who are already with them. This is not easy and I felt the sincerity or (aggressiveness) in getting driver's to cross over and stay. Please note that many promotion on bank deposits are only for new funds and the same with telecom contracts. 

So how is delgro doing ? 

 

Cold. How about the benefits?

 

Lack details. Hardly enticing. 

Next war front. Those of commuters:

This website show promotion from both Grab and Delgro. 

I saw dozens of promotion code, many as high as $10, with tie-up with SIA, UOB card etc.  There are also plenty of reward options with grab points. 

Look at Facebook:
 
 A complaint about wrong calculation of reward points in September was promptly attended to with request for PM and more information. 

Well, CDG also have promotion code with their master pass App. They have $1 $3 offer and the most generous of $15 with DBS pay lah. But...

Let's see:

 
 
 

I look at several newer posts and the issue of drivers unawareness of promotion, as well as the interface problem of master pay is obvious. 

There are also valid feedbacks about link of credit cards promotion etc but with no reply from management except one. You go check out their Facebook ba. 

Next: 攻心 (the war on the heart of driver's)

Grab encourage commuters to show appreciation to drivers and company will give free mooncake to them. Well, not a big deal. But it matters to me. 

There were plenty of "soft" campaigns. Child seat booster for example... 
 

CDG has a lot of news on road closure and a lucky winner of a grand draw. 

COLD....

I am not sure if CDG management just look at hard cold numbers and think that is all to their business. With such glaring difference, I am not surprised with the straits time news that 3000 drivers from CDG had jumped in the month of September.


Conclusion:

Battles might be won with weapons but war lost with words. 

In this case, it is lost in both hardware ($$) and software. 

Grab should be happy burning the 2 billion cash, and seeing the complaceny of CDG. 

骄兵必败

Thursday, October 5, 2017

随心笔:儿童节快乐

我就喜欢看着你们发神经,
到处乱跑,不要太拘束嘛。
很开心,你们走过来和我聊天。
说班上的男生好幼稚,哈哈哈哈!

童年嘛,两样东西别少了。
1)真
2)傻

是的,谁没傻过,
谁没犯过错。
别急着呈现完美,
世界并不完美,
完美是一种包装。

包装很重要!
不过,晚一点再学吧。
包装久了,
自己长什么都不记得了。

儿童节快乐,
和你们在一起,
觉得很温暖,觉得自己年轻。
我教过,没教过的,
喜欢我,讨厌我的学生,
世界很美,因为你们的笑容很灿烂,
笑得真,笑得傻里傻气的。

 

Friday, September 29, 2017

Random thoughts: Improving memory of your kids

Exams is around the corner.

I realise I share so much on investing but never on learning. So here goes. I was told my earlier post on education/ tuition create a storm at investing note. My apologies, I didn't read what is written there, I share what I know, u need not agree with me

The theory:
Memory is about input, working memory, retention and retrieval. To do well, all 4 links need to addressed. Just doing assessment after assessment without input is useless. Also, if u put your clothes is drawer 1, it is most easily retrieve in drawer 1. Our brain is powerful, it can be transferred and hence if you internalized what you learn, it became cloud, and u can retrieve it anywhere. But, the crux of it is, you need to know at which level is your child is, and hit it at the right spot. 

Area of concerns and assumptions:
1) My passion is always with the weakest pupils, so what I am sharing here is for those who fail their writing.

1) Framework. 

You need to know the compo is made up of Intro, body and ending. I understand many (i.e including tuition centers) spent  significant Amount of time is on mermorizing 回忆開頭,天氣開頭,and 人物開頭。But Personally, for me, I believe Intro doesn't yield marks. For my weak pupils I give it a miss. I think ending is more important. There are 2 parts to a ending. 

My last paragraph is call FATS.

Easy to remember. 

F for feeling 
A for analysis 
T for talk 
S for swear

"Bad ending" example.

我感到很慚愧,F
我不应该捉弄小丽,A
如果我没捉弄她,她就不会哭了。A
我难过地说:“对不起,小丽,我错了。我不是故意的,你原谅我好吗?” T

“经一事长一智”,从此,我再也没有重蹈覆辙。S

It seems simple, but trust me. It's not easy, for the weakest pupil to apply FATS

Remembering FATS is easy. The lines and the actual words  are the tough part.

S can be mermorize wholesale. Just understand the exceptions where it cannot be used. (Third person perspective of someone else in the wrong, etc)

Input stage.

1) Chunking and repetition.

After they understand what the sentence means, 

Read aloud in this way,

经一事,经一事长一智,经一事长一智,从此...
1,12,123,1234

If u are helping your son/ daughter. Cover different parts gradually with your hand, and challenge your kid to continue reading until everything is covered.

Cover everything, recall. Note that it is ok to not remember it. Please don't scold the poor kids. Those weaker pupils are miserable enough. Just ask them to skip and recall whatever they know. 

Now, ask them to look at the paragraph and identify the missing parts.

Recall again.

If still can't. Identify what is missing again.

In my experince, no matter how weak the pupils are, as long as they do it seriously, they will remember it by the second round.

Sound too good to be true? Well, we are just at input, we didn't go into rentention and also the writing of the words.

Rentention:

Simple, 2 rules. Humor and frequency.

Doing it everyday for 1-2 min is more effective than squeezing 2 hours before the exam.

Every time the pupils/ son try to recall, play with them.  Mermorize with them. Impress them with your memory power. If u fumbled, laugh with them.

As for difficult words like "覆辙”, break it into smaller words. 

Give a nonsensical story. The more rubbish it is, the better they remember it. Ask what the top look like? Look like 要,tell them girls 女never make mistakes, so you can remove it. But 复 means repeat. Weaker pupils catch no balls, but tell them nontheless. Tell them sun 日 is wearing a cap and a loose skirt. Bad mistake, cap surely get burnt. That's why is a mistake. 

U go get creative and say your nonsensical story. You can even draw the cap and the sarong skirt. 

Those who tried to learn, despite being the weakest lot of the whole level, can remember how to write the 4 words. 

Of course, rule of freq apply too. Everyday must practice writing these words. 

Wow! It's that easy? Hello. There is retrieval 

Retrieval:

A different picture means they forget what to write. So dun give them 1 picture. Give them a dozen pictures and ask them to choose 1 that can apply that particular ending.

The next day, ask them to choose another picture.

Put to them the subtle change of words in the FATs paragraph.

Ladies and gentlemen, this is just the last paragraph. 

I will post about the rest, the main body. What framework and tricks to help them remember.

Conclusion:

"Practice doesn't make perfect; it made permanent" (David Souza)

Dun ask them to write compo after compo without knowing what exactly to write. They hate it and it became a vicious cycle.







Sunday, September 24, 2017

Short update on Yangzijiang

http://splash247.com/worker-dies-crane-collapses-yangzijiang-yard/

YZJ's second worksite accident in 3 months. The key event is operations at Yangzi Yard is suspended. There is no update to SGX though.

Earlier, there is news that YZJ has retrench 2000 workers. However, it's yard are busy with orders stretching to 2019. Is there over-work.? It is it just a freck accident

This might be the first test for Ren's son as CEO. 

Not vested. 

I dun want to sound like sour grape. Because I sold earlier at a song. But personally, the risk reward profile at current levels is rather unattractive.


Thursday, September 21, 2017

Discussion on comfort delgro

This post is kind of triggered by B's blog post. There is an robust discussion over there. Some of the ideas throw out also appear in valuebuddies. 

I would just like to share my view on some of the thoughts and comments. I am only interested in the forward looking comments, that's where the fun comes in; as for past numbers, there can be little arguments.

Here goes: (B, no disrespect, come join and poke me too)

1) Grab business model is unsustainable. 

MHO:Yes, it is burning cash. But it can burn cash long enough to create a lot of pain to Comfort-Delgro.

Alibaba, burn cash for a long period of time. But Japan SoftBank dump billions and billions. Amazon laughed at it, since they don't collect fees for its platform and hence its "burning cash". We all know how the battle at China goes. 

Alibaba's Gem is alipay. Although it has now reach such scale that the platform by itself is profitable. When I read Amazon Annual reports, its profits is volatile. I can't the name of mother company of Lazanda (use to), food panda, Zalora. Those platforms are hardly profitable, their business plan is to gain scale to list as a IPO or sell the company (like lazada to Alibaba) it has a venture capitalist business model.

I know u will think that these e-commerce platforms are not actual comparables. I agree. My point is: we might be sure what game plan Uber,Grab has.

2) Comfort delgro business will survive.

IMO: I have no doubts about it. In fact, I think it might not even incur a loss. But I am not sure everyone investment in Confort Delgro will "survive" 

3) Comfort delgro alliance with Uber is a potential catalyst.

IMO: I agree too. However, my thoughts is this. It is just a case of lesser evil. There are several ways the alliance can work. The most logical partnership is uber tap on hardware and comfort tab on software.

Comfort delgro will win, because the idle fleet will reduce. Uber will gain, it will not need a big capital to buy vechicles. But will Confort delgro be able to rent out at attractive rates to Uber? I do think Comfort delgro is in a position of weakness. Remember, Confort used to charge cabbies $140 for newer vehicles. That is 10 years ago when I don't drive and I like to chat with cabbies. The norm is $130 and the better ones up to $140. Now, no one talks about $120 rental. 

Can Comfort bulk rent to Uber at good rates? Hardly. But it is defintely better have them idling, since vehicles  are depreciating assets of 7-8 years. 

And I  have not go into the handicap of comfort. I felt they are really shortchanged in this competition. They are like going into the boxing ring with both legs and hands chained. If I drive Uber, I can renew a 10 years old car for 10 years coe. If cabbies' info to me is accurate, taxis are up for scrap in 7 years. Max renewability is 9 years.

If I already have a car, I dun even have to rent and I can drive for Uber. Also, as mention in previous post, taxi is a full time job. Once u hire the car, u need to pay everyday. Drivers might not like this kind of rigid arrangement. I know a few friends who toogle between Grab and Uber to earn extra bucks depending on which have better incentive, during a particular period. 

If they are busy, or have a sub-contractor job or free-lance work, they just need to do nothing. Don't rent the car and no rent is required. So the competition is not on rates alone, if u know, u can say "quality of worklife"

4)  Regulation tightening is another catalyst 

Not a lot of people talk about this. As I have said, the competition is really unfair. Now all drivers need vocational liscenses. I believe Comfort Delgro will try its best to evolve its business plan as its tried to arm twist the regulators. 

For one, I believe Delgro is already making more fleasible rental arrangement. As for rates, it will also move towards more equilibrium, I will not bet it will happen anytime soon due to point no.1 

For various safety reasons, the cost of private hire could increase if the regulators start to set the conditions where cars can be used to private hire. The supply of drivers has actually increased tremendously (as a forummer in valuebuddies mention) because it has made freelance taxi-Ing sexy. Confort might be able to capture this "enlarged pie" when equilibrium happen, especially if they can come up with really flexible plans, and regulation start to clamp down on the "anyone also goes" 

5) Uber and Grab show their trump card earlier

IMO: Grab/ Uber is not a taxi company and neither is it interested in becoming one. I am not sure what it's game plan? IPO? Venture capitalist? Logistics ? 

When their trump card is out in the open. Delgro will fight a easier war

Conclusion:

Am I vested: No

Am I tempted: Yes 


Friday, September 15, 2017

Random thoughts: Of respect and happiness

Just my weekend musings:

There are 2 ways to happiness.

One is to accept current situation. 

Second, is to pursuit what u want.

My observation is there are many seemingly poor or "unfortunate" people who are happy, because they accept their bad set of cards. There are many energetic people with a goal in their life and passionate about their life. 

Respect, what do you respect? I didn't ask who.

1) Character- e.g. Resilence, wit etc
2) Money 
3) Power - Position of authority, etc

I will be honest, I respect all three to varying degree. I don't just respect character. Neither are they mutually exclusive.

Are u happy when people show u respect. I know I do. But while I am not rich nor powerful, I am also not poor or without any "position", so I use this as a reminder not to get it in my head. I know sooner or later, my "position" will be gone, I might be richer or poorer. 

But I know if I don't respect myself, I won't be happy. 

I can respect my achievement, the wealth I accumulate and my character. As I say, I respect all three to varying degree. But I know the three are not equal. 

If I don't have wealth, position, or character I can accept or pursuit/ develop.

2 sad situations.

1) You cannot accept but also don't pursuit. You play victim.

2) You pursuit and pursuit and realise the respect you gotten is not the highest yield of happiness 

Monday, September 11, 2017

Random thoughts: This just makes me happy, dun know why.

I have drawing plenty of comic strips for my pupils to help them remember vocab. During the holiday, I saw 1 pupil who drew very well.

I ask her if she is willing to draw for the class, I gave the storyline, she draw. She says ok. 

Guess which one is mine ? 
 

 

I ask another pupil, which one is nicer. Knowing the one with red ink is mine, he said "Both are nice" 

Got future, high EQ! But Liar .... LOL

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Random thoughts: Of Swordplay, Pedagogy and Investment

What does these have in similar? 

They have many forms, but at its core and substance, more will converge, and there is a return to basic.

One of my favourite swordplay movie, 《蕭十三郎的劍》,about 2 top martial art experts, sharing their essence of skill before duet. The essence of one is "flow and change" and the essence of the other is "basic" yet killing moves.

It's a fun and insightful show. The one with basic moves wins. I makes me think a lot about teaching. There is so many pedagogies, ICT-infused lesson, collaborative learning, inquiry-based learning, game-based learning etc. All flavors of the month before. 

Martial Art is to "kill" otherwise it becomes a performance. Pedagogies is to let people "learn better" otherwise it become a "show"

Different pedagogies has different requirements and different entry points and different resources required. But I realise when u go to the basic (pupil) and adapt according their needs (flow and change) a lot of things converge. The essence of ICT- infused lesson, collaborative learning, feedbacks etc, will converge. It is basic and yet effective. 

So where is the similarities to investment, and what should we be concerned with 

Friday, September 8, 2017

Bought Raffles Medical

Raffles Medical for 2 quarters, has lost it shine as a grower. Both revenue and Profits were flat.

Before this, it was a darling because of the below:


Very consistent, isn't it? 

Now, with earnings stagnating, it show the share price hit a 52-week low recently.

 
 

An almost 1/3 fall from its peak. 

If u read around, there are many reports that state how its business might worsen. Let me summarize (Parrot):

1) Holland V Medical is fully leased but there is no spike in revenue, that means the patient load is worse than expected.

2) China expansion will worsen earning for the next 3 years. Management guided that hospital will turn around after 3 years.

3) My simple and quick Google of cancer doctors, review or doctors show names thrown out mainly from parkway and mount Alvernia. But beside these 2 quarters, their revenue is still on a good uptrend, so I will give them the benefit of doubt that the tactic to go medical services aka clinic is a good one.

So, now it is not just a "non-grower" but also a falling knife.

The reason for buying is more qualitative than quantitive. I remember referring the international SOS for reference to hospital to visit if there is emergency, when bring pupils for overseas trip in Nanjing. I believe many people relied on international SOS for reference for medical treatment because China local hospitals are really quite different from those u find in Singapore outside Shanghai. 

Next, I saw the rapid expansion of medical services aka clinic network across Singapore. These will serve as fillers to send reference to hospital. Why is this still not happening in the 2 quarters no.? I am not sure, but many of these clinics are new. Lot 1 clinic has its crowd. 

I also like the fact that past year expansions did
Not strain the balance sheet. 

I am not sure if this price is cheap, honestly. I however, is willing to accept lower earnings (but not zero profits) as they expand, and accumulate as the price go lower. Singapore market must stay strong.

The money used to buy Raffles came from some liquidation of Silverlake axis. So my cash holding is still 60%. Silverlake is still my biggest holding. 


Thursday, September 7, 2017

Random thoughts: Where is your solace

This post is triggered by a post from AK. He noticed one of his reader might be at risk/ already in depression.

It reminded me of a period of difficulty, when I see only suffering. I was lucky, there was solace from home, although my spouse's family also meet with difficulty. Yup, it never rains but pour.

Ironically, the solace I seek then was work. Being with my pupils. I live by the day, waiting for the quiet of night to have some peace. 

I also know of someone who always talk about taking her life. I know of her difficulty and her unfortunate set of cards dealt to her. She did not manage to find solace, as far as I am concerned, it has been a year. 

I remember when I bantered Zen with my uni lecturer long ago, she was telling me philosophy and kindness is our defense mechanism. I didn't quite understand, she said when things happen, some people just lose it, some people has a defense. That "defense" is what I call solace.

I am a free thinker, but I do think that solace, or refuge or whatever, is built during our daily lives. It cannot be seek during crisis, it is invisible during peace time.

Finding meaning in work, is my solace. My son and my wife are my solace. My belief is the last solace. When crisis struck, it wears down the defense as time drags on. I remember operating at "zombie" mode, to avoid my mind from going wild. Believe in goodness, otherwise there is no "light"

I hope everyone try to live life to the max. U never know when life needs a withdrawal of not cash but your will reservoir. 

Even when things seem to come to a close, I am still operating at "crisis mode" for a long time, before I unwind and see light beside suffering. I cannot imagine those going through ordeals for years.

For those who are going through tough time.

1) Hang in there.
2) Don't think too much, focus on what u set to do, and just do it. Don't think of results or impact
3) Talk to people
4) Write, cry
5) Find solace, in your beliefs, in god or religion. 

Don't stop. Keep moving. Use full use of the short break, and recharge, then expends it again. 

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Random thoughts: Defensive stocks?

What come to your mind?

Names or numbers?

In the past, perhaps 1-2 years ago, you might name telcos, healthcare/ heathcare reit?

The 3 telecoms are suffering from investors' anxiety without real confontation from TPG. Having another player at the table has lead to some analysts to shout which company might be merged. Is Singapore market too small for a 4th Telco? Only time will tell, but if u tell someone on the street now that M1/ starhub is defensive, but for the dividends and its cash flow, I am
Not sure if u get the same reactions from 2 years ago. Note that I dun think they are bad investment, I am vested in M1. I am questioning defensive.

Healthcare is evergreen with the aging population in Singapore and command lofty valuation for a long time. (Anything above 30 is lofty in my opinion, if growth doesn't pan out) I think many think of health stocks as growth stocks instead of defensive stocks. It might have a slightly defensive business but it might not have a defensible market price. I got confused sometimes, but I have not touch healthcare stocks yet because the valuation made its defensive business somewhat indefensivable. Again, not to say it is not a good investment, if with poor sentiments you found a company that is falling and falling with its growth prospect still possibly intact. I am not telling which is in my radar. 

Wide-moat businesses used to refer to those with a commanding monopoly or market share. I would think that Telcos with the 4th Telcos is still a oligopoly, with data market set to become even bigger, but it's scaring the shit out of investors. I wonder aloud why comfortDelgro investors, like what BT columnist pointed out, are thinking it will fare better? I agree with columnist, it is going from market share leader with a few small fries to also perfect competition of car rental. Unless regulation increase the barrier of competition, even if the tie up with uber is successful, rental still has some room to fall. Renting a car is $60-80 when done privately, still a big 30-50% cheaper than what comfort is charging cabbies, and I have friends that drive grab or uber, that like it as a filler option, earning extras and managing their commitment , even with a relief hirer, a conventional taxi driver is like a full-time job. The competition is not just on price alone. 

How about SPH, SGX and Singpost which has a local monopoly yet to be broken? The defense of a monopoly moat is broken. I dun want to be a broken recorder on disruptive technology. Again, I am watching the above companies, they might not be poor investment. 

Is there really something defensive? How about Gold? I hold gold for a while, it seems like a good hedge for Tensions.

I would think 2 things are defensive. 1) Cash but zero returns.

2) Growth, and dividends paying companies. Companies that increase dividends sustainably is the best defense. Doesn't mean the price won't drop but u can sleep knowing that market will have to pay for that cash flow going back to investor hands. But the caveat is always make sure that the price you bought is defensible too. 

I would think leveraged instructments with sustainable yield of 7% is fair and attractive value. Anything better is a bonus or that you misjudge the "growth" that is - defense buffer.

As for net cash company that is still growing, I would think anything above 5% yield is attractive.

This is just sillyinvestor agar agar thinking, you can calculate all the % of growth and the DCF etc. 

But with market showing so much character ignoring Kim, think he is hopping mad if he has shorted the markets thinking his blasts will trigger a lasting sell-off. 

What is defensible to u?

Or perhaps you think of defensive like defensive actions and mind? 

But we must not kid ourselves lei. Let me test u. "Nimble" a term make famous by AK. It's a defensive tactic, test water. Water hot, run. Fighter another day.

If u have 20k,(e-book teaching people how to invest with first 20K)  how much u invest is consider nimble?? 1% 5% or 10%

Answer? 

Please la. 20K  how to nimble? 

Lol. If u say 1-2 % is nimble. U got 200-400 to play. The commission buy and sell will wipe 10-20% of your return le.

That is not to say we should not invest if we only have 20K. But we should call it as it is. We "hoot" to learn how to market works and pray.

LOL

Friday, September 1, 2017

Random thoughts: Myths of ways to academic achievements

Views are my own only. 

1) Tuitions must be given to children because everyone has it.

This is simply not true. In my experience with schools, I know there is no simple correlation between tuition and performance, especially if parents take the attitude of "dump money; solve problem" mentality. Children are not stupid. If u dun tell them or discuss with them the reasons for tuition, they will take their tutors as just. Answers machines. 

I know of children dying to take work home because it is so much easier to be a copier at home. I know, I have children dying to do compositions at home, because the tutor will help them with their homework. Even if a child is struggling with work, it is better for kids to ask the right questions to solve their problems instead of relying tutors for answers. In such an instant, tuition to more harm than good as it create reliance. I know of kids with tutors who just do their bidding. Parents should be mindful of what their children are getting on with their tutors.

To maimise the benefits of tutors (private or center), parents need to be sure what is the objective of having that extra help, and the kids must be aware of the intentions too. The intention of chasing that last mark to get a A* would be very different from someone trying to pass a subject. Similarly, if the parents' mentality is to get a "baby sitter" to kill time for kids, then dun expect fire-works. Also, just a bit of research would let you know what are the renowned centers out there. I have as a "spy" tried to get hold of their success formula, I must say their tactics centered a lot of "memory power" of kids. If your kid is bright, (I know politically incorrect, because every kid Are suppose to be bright and every school a good school, but in reality, there is such a thing as calibre), he/she should progress fine. If he is not academic inclined and lack motivation, memory of exam "answers" is not going to work. 

2) Let the child practice and practice.

David Souza of "how the brain works" said" practice dun make perfect, it make permanent". If there is no input, no point trying to force output. You are simply conditioning the. Child for the wrong method and leaving less space in the brain for the right methods. 

I have a personal example. My wife complained my son did very badly for his Chinese Tests. I looked at his papers and said"Ok, I know what to do for his score to improve"

On the night of revision, I was caught in jam from my dad's place. My wife trying to give them
Practice papers from other schools and going through corrections with them. 

I said "stop, let me take over. They are just listening to instructions and executing and not thinking" I know my son problem is in vocabulary and I know his school like to set questions that appear in the texts but not necessarily from the list of vocabulary stated in curriculum. So I ask them to read the texts, link up the vocabulary, retell the story. Then go on to another chapter and recall the previous. My son has a above average memory and it makes it a lot easier for
Me. His score jumped. Not excellent but good enough for me. He needs input, not more practices. The practices can increase the chance to hit 100% if done correctly, but I am not interested in drill and practice yet.

Now, my SIL keep harassing my wife to let our  kids do practice paper. Lucky my wife didn't like the idea and we decided that some practices might be ok torwards the end of the holiday but not everyday. She got my son books to read (input) which is way better.

3) We need to spend long hours and burn midnight oil to achieve the marks we want

I think frequency and clarity of learning objectives is more important. I told my weakest class, just promise me that They will revise 15 min everyday for their vocabulary and they will pass their Chinese paper and the score at section A will pull up the scores. Not everyone pass, but almost all show an improvement of marks and some pass for the first time for years. 

Having 15 min everyday with clarity of what is to be achieved is much better than having 3 hours once a week going through everything.

Conclusion:
 
I think the theme here is clarity and mindfulness. Never just dump your kids to practices or tuition centers and then scold them for not performing and ask them why are they wasting their money.

Also, there are others with the hadicap of no extra-help. They are not coping that well academically but I think I would do worse in their shoes. My kid told me she can't come for my remedial, I ask why? She told
Me mum dun allow, I call and ask why, she says she need to work and she need to take care of 3 years old brother. If only her brother older.

Looking at all my "underachieving friends" in school, (went to several wakes, unfortunate mean to meet up) all of themare street smart and doing reasonably well
In life. Dun be too disheartened if you kid dun do too well in school ok. Some of them might be miserable enough 


Friday, August 25, 2017

Random thoughts: POSB Smart Buddy Program

The buddy is a smart watch. 

My son has one. This is a cynical post. Be warned

I think it's not a bad product. And POSB marketing is brilliant! Get the parents to request school to implement it, and parents and child get a free watch. 

The thing is I felt offended IS that schools are like sheeps jumping over loops. Still let media trumpet their cashless initiative. Of course there is agenda, support government drive go cashless Ma.

But, why POSB over others? Does school
Monitoring the spending habits and balance of pocket money help kids develop better money habits? Magic ward still exists? Schools not supposed to endorse any product and services remember? Even healthy fresh milk. Now, POSB can get away with it and it's like they are doing everything a favor. Hello, u locking up these young kids with a saving account, and then the bank get to monitor the transactions, and the unspent money becomes "savings" locked up automatically. 

Puppet masters, and puppet. Puppet still so proud of it. 

Maybe it can be "win-win" for parents? They win big, parents take some crumbs. For others, they are sheeps slaughtered for wool and they are still neighing "Papa"

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Random thoughts: My Chinese Posts are doing better?!!

Warning: Bo Liao post

I am just very surprised when I took a look at the stats for my posts.

I should blog more in Chinese than in English or write about financial stuff.

You know what? Top country source is after Singapore is United States, Russia, and then Ukraine?

You mean so many of them read Chinese? Or there are more audiences in Singapore that read Chinese than I expected? The only Chinese majority country is no. 8 Hong Kong

My top posts for Company prospecting for the last 2 years (Have not been doing it recently) are for
Ascendas Reit, Accordia Trust and SIngpost. With pageviews of 1600 to 1800. The rest of my musings on investing is around 600-800? agar agar.

Chinese posts?

Top post is 2300; 随心笔:我的家-黄浦路, then around 1900 for 随心笔:无奈. Average views for these Chinese musings are around 1000-1400??

A bit weird right? LOL

I have my first post that cross 10k in my history of blogging.

Random thoughts: Overpaying by 400% for years


It is also not investment related.

I might need to change my blog name, and remove the word "investor"

Call it sillyheartlander







Friday, August 11, 2017

Lee Metals Q2 results sucks

Q2 results is out, it's profits fell almost 65% compared to a year ago, and 2017 is supposed to be a stronger year when demand for construction and hence steel is concerned.

In my earlier post:

"If we track BCA demand, 2015 is a bountiful year. Billing was 35 Billion. 2016 was 26 billion. 2017 minimum range is from 28 billion. The recent budget announcement has 700 mio public project brought forward. Of course, there is a possibility of demand falling short, but that is highly unlikely as these projects are local and mainly government projects (2/3 of projected demand) which will continue."

I also mention strong Steel price as a boon for Lee metals. I dun think I got the Macro picture wrong, as the management states as much as the higher revenue is due to higher steel price. The BCA website also mention the higher demand for construction is partly due to spillover effect of last work year delayed projects, so 1 H 2017 should show this demand.

Yet management says they are affected by competition and private residential slowdown. The fact that Lee metals is faring much better than BRC is not comfort to me, because at such EPS, 2 cents dividends a year is at risk. 

Operating numbers such as inventories, payables, receiveables, are also high as compare to previous years especially u consider the fact that steel
Merchandising arm is completely wound down. 

Yet the comments by management  is morbid.

"The company will have to continue to stay competitive to SURVIVE in this challenging conditions" 

I wonder if I have been looking at the wrong data, instead of Justine looking at construction demand, which didn't include the 700 mio from new town, biddari, if included would easily mean at least 10% more demand in 2018 in the worst case scenario.
 
I perhaps should look at the following 3:

 
 


 

I have not decide what I will do with my holding, to hold or cut loss. There is so much talk about property revival. Land sales figure show only very muted uptick

 

 

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Random thoughts: My first comic strip creation

Created to help my kids revise Chapter 11.

Feeling very proud of myself. LOL

 

 

 

 

 

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Random thoughts: 15 years dabbling with stocks

I remember my very first stock buy. It was SIA. My brokerage then was jassion? Can't remember the name now, it was acquired by UOB Kay Hian soon. 

It was a $7 stock when I bought it after September 11. I bought only 200 shares. SIA has SIA 200 then. It is a bagger. 

It turns out, it is is the only bagger. I knew nuts about shares then, but I had a bagger. Ironic, if u ask me. I knew nothing  about FCF, growth prospecting, DCF etc.

I didn't need to hold it for donkey years either. If I remember correctly, the holding period is slightly more than a year. 

15 years... 

I lost almost all my university savings in CAO fiasco. Stop investing for a while, and re-enter the market during march 2009, buying only 3 lots of STI ETF and some OCBC 4.2 % preference shares at 80 cents when Par is $1.

Then I got mesmerize by s-chips. I got 20% trading profits in contra, 50% profits from Gao Xian, and I thought I might be able to make a living off buying and selling shares. 

15 years, I thought it's a long time to be zen about the market. Although short of a real bull-bear cycle with full skins into the game. I thought I could at least gotten the mind equation ready. 

Not true. Ironic 

Remember I boast about selling Venture and YZJ at 40 and 30% profits? Well, both formally cross the 100% gain today. I miss 2 more naggers after cogent again.

Venture hurt particularly strongly because, I have think hard about my "trading disposition" will never net me a bagger. So I thought of using advance order or trailing stop. I now realise the advance order and trailing stop can be applied in the mind. 

Of course, the exercise taught me some thing about advance order and allow me to think through quite a few things which are beneficial. YZJ, it didn't hurt so much, because it was a decision to sell, although the execution is poor with the advance order too close to market price.

For Venture, I had actually cancelled the advance order  because I didn't want to sell anymore. Didn't know I had to cancel everyday if I had bought in an advance order lasting for a week. What a joke. It was a "costly mistake"

What really disappoint me is not the lost "profits" but that I am actually emotionally disturbed by it. Looking at the 2 counters flying everyday is "painful"

Of course, there are lessons learnt again. But for this lesson to bear fruits, there is a long cycle to wait.  

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Random thoughts: Heath, fitness and endurance

Are they the same? Or rather, having one means most properly u had the other. 

My logicial answer is yes, but my experience says no.

I have people who run marathons and winning local races but also on medical leaves. They get genuinely sick easily. They might have agility and hour glass figure but one of them tell me if she doesn't get 8 hours of sleep, she will fall sick. 

I know of seniors at least with 15 more years plouging on and on despite all the "fatigue" and "ills" written all over the body.

Health is free from sickness. Of the three, although I like a better hunky figure that comes with fitness, I will choose health, then endurance than fitness.

Monday, July 31, 2017

Random thoughts: Outsmart by pupils, LOL

Today, I did a revision of vocabulary through a game.

They all became Pokémon Trainer. They search for printed quizzes with a picture of Pokémon. They by solving the quiz, they will get code for them to key into a webpage containing the picture of a Pokémon. They then just do a screen shot to "catch" the Pokémon.

There are altogether 16 creatures (common errors in vocabulary) in 32 sheets for them to find and catch. I am surprised that my class could catch a majority in 30
Min. My previous experience with my class last year (higher ability - although the quiz is tougher) , is most can only solve 6-7 quizzes

Some told me there are 2 ways to do this. 1 way is to just find the words in the grid of vocabularies and key in the code without looking for the quiz. (Previous year cohort can't do this, as their quizzes contain tougher and multiple answers). Another person told me he "hacked" the system. He said he saw the similarities with the webpages ended with the word q1, q2 etc and he extrapolate it and found the rest.

Smart! I realise the second method while adding more quizzes yesterday, but thought the kids won't be so smart. I am happily wrong.

There is also another group of pupils who sobatage others by hiding the quizzes they found. I told them that is unethical and selfish. 

I also told the kids they might be quick to finish the task but miss the important point of revising of vocabulary for those who "hack" the system. 

Then, came the interesting part. I told them find the fastest way to get the whole group to have the same number of pokemons as the top catcher.

Many were frantically sharing answers. 2 groups
Just took photos of the best performer and got it done in minutes. Brilliant. I threw the same challenge to last year cohort and no one thought of that. Maybe they are too honest. LOL. Sorry, I know many in my fraternality will frown and say I am teaching them to cheat. It's ok. To me, it's important to think Out of the box and as long as u dun harm anyone, it might pays to be unique and think differently. 

I am not sure if this group is naturally more "streetsmart" or my focus on "thinking skills" are having a impact. LOL