Sunday, May 30, 2021

The one with the Friends: The Reunion episode


There's a lot of serious material coming out from me on the Dr Wealth blog so I prefer to do something more frivolous for the weekend. Incidentally,  this week is also the launch of the Friends: The Reunion episode. I just want to share my thoughts about how the series shaped Generation X today. 

In case you are Gen Z and have no idea what Friends is all about. Friends is the most successful sitcom of all time having sustained itself for 10 years across 10 seasons. It revolves around the lives of six good-looking Gen-Xer as they navigate through that period of time just before they start their families. Sadly there is no real equivalent for Gen Z, because, in their mid-20s, Gen Z is still living in their parent's basement subscribing to OnlyFans and trading shitcoins to make their first million. Also, any show about six good-looking heterosexual whites adults would induce too much woke rage in society today.

I only have one point to make today about my philosophy of reunions - Reunions are about seeing how old our contemporaries are these days.

I love reunions because I hardly enough of them. 

I don't come from the elite schools that find ways to get alumni back for donation drives so I have to wait for someone charismatic to organise one for the cohort by tuning into my secondary school  Whatsapp group. I know that I'm not the only person who enjoys this - some of my forever alone friends love stalking the beautiful classmates of their secondary school days and derive a lot of joy at seeing how old and "chui" they are. 

Like the cast of Friends, Gen X is longer young and hip. If anyone is successful it would already be obvious when there is a reunion. 

So the central theme of every reunion to me is Schadenfreude

Questions like these abound:

  • Did the class scholar end up being forever alone? 
  • Did the school flower become an auntie? 
  • What power relationships form between males in a reunion, is the guy with the loudest mouth the wealthiest in the batch?
  • Do soccer hooligans stay soccer hooligans? (That would be a yes in my book. )
Because I was largely misunderstood as a (very cruel) jester, outcast and troll, I can take a detached perspective when I meet my classmates.

As such Friends: The Reunion allows a second-tier B-Grade Singaporean like me who cannot attend an old boys donation drive of RI, HC or ACS some measure of vicarious schadenfreude

Thanks to the miracle of aesthetic medicine, all the women look as young as before. I would say that I can't even see any change in Monica.  

But the true satisfaction for any Gen X pot-bellied uncle like me is to see Joey with a head full of grey hair and a middle-aged paunch. Another thing I enjoyed is that Chandler is no longer full of witty comebacks. Matthew Perry's just not that good without his script! For me, there is a certain sense of Karmic justice as Ross seems to have the most dignity when it comes to ageing. I used to get so mad because Ross gets bullied a lot despite being the smartest and well-educated guy in the clique. 

Some points I really like are the high-powered cameos and the show really exceeded my expectations in the graceful way a reference was made on Brad Pitt. 

Now all I hope is that my secondary school friends don't disinvite me to the next class reunion. 


Thursday, May 27, 2021

Why some engineers hate lifelong learning and end up driving Grab


I don't really understand my motivation to read Super Courses by Ken Bain. The courses are run and conducted by universities so may have limited application to my own programs. But what the heck, if I can find one useful nugget to improve my customer experience, the time and money spent on the book would break even immediately. 

Right off the bat, I saw an old NJC, NUS engineering faculty, and Raffles Hall mate, Manu Kapur, a brilliant Maths Olympiad student, featured as a thought leader in Learning and Education and I was hooked to the contents of the volume. 

( What the fuck am I doing with my life, right? )

One useful insight I gained from the book is that when universities conduct engineering courses there is too much focus on the technical details and too little on context. Because of this, engineers can't tie their work to greater business or societal goals. Because they've mostly taught math equations,  they can't appreciate the value of their beyond training cheaper foreign engineers to take over their jobs, they graduate without much love for lifelong learning. Without knowledge upgrades, a technical career cannot be sustained so that's why a lot of engineers find alternative employment - driving Grab, giving financial advice and selling real estate. Becoming a project engineer is the beginning of the end for most technical careers.

I still use a lot of maths in my job as an investment trainer and enjoy transferring the mathematical concept to analyse legal cases and financial investments, but I have reason to believe that I did not have the same education as my peers. I spent four years doing public speaking with the Toastmasters in NUS, so I had quite a bit of experience working with folks from different faculties to meet organization objectives and sharpen communication skills. I did this so much, my engineering professors who meet me in the industry had forgotten the research awards I won but remembered me primarily as a public speaker. 

I think the central problem in modern education is the transfer problem. How do you transfer your knowledge across different domains. This has not been solved by Singapore yet. 

Here are few personal examples I cracked :

  • If you understand the secretary problem in Computer Science and give yourself 10 years to find a wife. Then the optimal behaviour is to spend between 3-4 years just dating casually and shopping around. After that, marry if you find someone better than all those in your dating history.
  • Legal cases are often resolved by sharing and apportioning the liability between two parties. It's easy to apportion straight assets but hidden options can be apportioned as well. In shipping cases, the underlying volatility of asset values can be so high, these options can explain contradictions in judicial decisions. The Black-Scholes equation is an important tool to analyse judicial decisions. ( eg. The Achilleas )
  • Recovery of Singapore markets can be improved with an understanding of epidemiology. The question of whether we're hitting another crash will be answered if we know the R0 of B1617 in a vaccinated population. Another related useful concept is forest fires which tend to spread when trees are close to each other. Mathematical models can be used to predict at which point Singapore will become safe based on our vaccination numbers.  This may actually justify a large leveraged bet in the future.
The rest of the book really tells us what we intuitively know as educators. Real problem solving is multidisciplinary. Students who take personal ownership of their learning learn a lot more than others. Grading leads to undesirable behaviours like "grade grubbing" and erodes the willingness for life-long learning. 
I can imagine a Singaporean reader, especially a teacher in MOE, will wind up being exceedingly cynical after reading the book. Most of the ideas behind Super Courses cannot be executed without going through the massive MOE bureaucracy. 
  • Do these interventions justify the investment by the taxpayer? 
  • Will the teacher be rewarded for innovation or punished for skirting MOE guidelines?
  • Do students and parents even appreciate this?
Even the book admits that societies view lecturers as arbitrators of whoever gets to be rewarded by a meritocratic society.  So teachers are not just moulders of student's lives. Teachers are judges whoe decide that the intelligent conscientious guys get into the upper-middle class of society and the loafer gets into existence of sporadic unemployment. Companies rely on universities to grade their students to decide who to employ. So I can imagine grading to remain even though it harms the intrinsic motivation of the student in question.

Lastly, as a private course provider, I am actually quite excited by some of the suggestions. There is no administrative service mandarin to stop me if I execute some of the crazier suggestions in the book. All I need to do is to justify that the course pays for itself and bring my partners more money.  

Hopefully, cynicism and unhappiness will not stop my teacher pals from reading this book. At least they know what can be imagined in their philosophy to create a better course in Singapore. 

Tuesday, May 25, 2021

Why you don't want to be one of the world's greatest investors


There's been a disturbing trend where authors interview extremely wealthy and successful people for generic self-help advice. These books sell very well because, in our modern society, it is difficult to disagree with wealthy people. 

Wealthy folks are more confident and they can back up everything they say with money. But that being said,  I'm not so willing to concede a point to someone who is wealthier than me. In fact, I would say that I derive meaning from my intensive wealth generation so that I don't have to kowtow to a wealthier guy. One approach is to become one of the 1%, then 99% of folks around you can't browbeat you because they are wealthier than you.

All this being said, Richer, Wiser, Happier by William Green is, when reading deeply, a fairly subversive piece of work. 

On the surface, it does its job deconstructing the successful traits of wealthy people by simplifying their thought processes for the layman reader. For example, Mohnish Pabrai is all about cloning other successful investors, and he does it so well that he can be construed as a fairly original guy. Charlie Munger is all about inversion and avoiding bad investments rather than looking for good ones. I guarantee that a reader of this blog will love this book.

If you read this as self-help fare, however, I think you will miss out on the real value of this book. 

Putting all the great investors together, there are very uncomfortable truths about becoming a great investor. 

Great investors are lonely. Almost all of them have troubles relating to others. To a much lesser extent, this resonated well with my own childhood experiences. I was an only child, I can't relate to others so I spend time on my books and role-playing. My secondary school classmates would create football league tables to compare school grades and they told me openly that I can't join their league unless I used only my Chinese grades. ( BTW, I'm not bitter, I was extremely flattered in those days )

Introversion allows a person to develop their thoughts in seclusion and this allows all great investors to take contrarian bets and do something different from other people. I tested a borderline extrovert, but my students in all my 20 batches have never tested extrovert in the history of my ERM program. I was forced into a world made up of my own involving a lot of mental models and D&D because I went to secondary school where I just could not make a lot of close friends. ( But it got better in NJC and NUS )

My latest Batch 20 is dominated by INTJs - a trait most conducive to FIRE.

The second thing that really jumps out is just how bad the best investors are at having families. 

Divorce is a constant theme around these investors with Warren Buffett as an exception. But Warren moved out of his house to live with his girlfriend while keeping relations friendly with his wife. I suspect you need to be really disagreeable to stick your guns in investing. This also makes you more competitive and want to win with stronger fund performance. A final hint to see how disagreeable a tribe is to count the number of law degrees in that tribe. If you self-select to study law, you definitely fall into the top quartile on disagreeableness. 

Therefore, it's not unreasonable to conclude that the greatest investors have extremely low EQ. There are really credible urban legends of Charlie Munger, the Abominable No Man, dissing his fans when he's in a bad mood in the book which is really fun to read. 

My final point is that ultimately this book is a great read not because of the surly investors featured, but by the author himself who is a very skilful writer. The author is a journalist who takes liberties peppering the book with ideas from philosophy to make the book accessible to the layman reader. 

You can review this blog article again after reading the book to see whether you agree with me.

Saturday, May 22, 2021

Letter to Batch 20 of the Early Retirement Masterclass


Dear Students of Batch 20,

It’s been a great honour and privilege to be able to conduct a 2-Day Early Retirement Workshop for you.

This class may have been the most challenging class to teach, thanks to the pandemic restrictions which came into existence just a week ago. Initially, there are no restrictions to conduct a face to face class. Still, regulations disallow the serving of bento boxes in classrooms, so I had to scramble to create a half-day course focused on portfolio creation for Batch 20. On top of these restrictions,  I was trying to juggle software demos and updating spreadsheets over Zoom, which is not something I look forward to doing again.

Nevertheless, we could have a better program with more class participation thanks to allowing alumni to participate in a Refresher class for a token fee. This improvement will not be felt until we meet face to face in July or August, where seniors can guide juniors in stock discussions and assist me in answering questions.

The portfolio for Batch 20 is exceptional because analysts reports have yet to factor in heightened restrictions due to the pandemic. The write-ups would be more optimistic than usual. However, we also employed a different approach to select our stocks, allowing voting to take place and picking only half of the stocks shortlisted by the financial model. The result is a very conservative mix of defensive investments that can tide us through a bad patch if we end up with another Circuit Breaker.

Our relationship is not over, and we will meet face to face when the restrictions are lifted. Meeting face to face will ensure that you can thoroughly revise the concepts taught in class and build a portfolio from scratch again the next time we meet.

Lastly, I hope that Batch 20 would participate actively in the FB group. Until we meet, the community and I would be happy to assist you in any queries.

Christopher Ng Wai Chung

Monday, May 17, 2021

Medical Misadventures

I was not fazed so much by the market crash last Friday nor the lockdown regulations that forced me to push this weekend's lesson online. I've had a spate of bad luck lately with my health.

It started a week ago when I had pain on the lower right side of my abdomen. My first visit to the GP was unable to detect any problems and I was given some painkillers. That cost me about $50.

Then after doing some googling of my own, I thought that I may be developing appendicitis. It was logical to me then because it was on the same side as my appendix. The pain was quite sharp at night so it was similar to what websites say. I became worried that a GP would not detect anything again so I went to a private hospital to eliminate the possibility that my appendix is about to explode. This was expensive. A consultation was $100 but the lower pelvic scan cost me $1,000 but Medisave will reimburse part of it. Strangely, the scan said I was just fine.

My pain persisted, and blisters started to appear on the right side of my belly so I went to the GP again to get a cream. At that time I thought they were insect bites.

Sadly for me, they were not insect bites. I developed shingles, something that normally happened to older men. My immune system became so weak, my chickenpox came back. Shingles treatment was not expensive. It was $80.

It's been 6 days since I was on antivirals so I've more or less recovered. 

An interesting point to note is that I'm in my 40s and my shingles came two weeks after my second vaccination jab. Medical reports say there is not causation but about six women in Israel developed shingles as well after their vaccinations. 

I don't see any moral in this. 

I regret my paranoia, I paid for a $1,000 test which came back negative. 

But do I really want the test to come back positive? 

Getting my appendix removed would cost me $18k and the loss of my revenues for this week's class. This was unthinkable given the number of man-hours of support my partners have put up to make the class a reality.

Maybe this is a taste of what is to come in my 50s where I have to juggle more medical mishaps as I get older. I would never forget the story that was told to me about finance guru Dennis Ng who died while conducting a class preview. That can happen to me as well.

It's a busy week ahead and my shingles have been so painful, I need some cheering up. 

This blog will resume next week after my class. 

( Pic was taken from the Internet, my case was very mild given that I threw so much money after it. )

Thursday, May 13, 2021

Sorry Singapore ! Harsh Dalal is not the saviour you're looking for.


One of the lessons I learned in Dune ( thanks to my now amped up English Literature skills ) is that saviours can be a bad idea. In the Dune series, the Fremen, a desert faring race of nomads, longed for the appearance of the Mahdi, a messianic saviour from outer space, who will save them and then launch a Crusade to take revenge for all the Fremen's perceived grievances on the rest of the Universe. The supposed saviour Paul Atreides eventually took a massive U-Turn and then tried to erase the faith which grew around his persona.

If you think about, Harsh Dalal, until recently "30 under 30 in Asia" lister of Forbes magazine, was the kind of saviour Singapore desperately needed. 

Almost everything about this guy ticks all the right boxes :
  • A student of Singapore Polytechnic, not the usual elitist scum from an elite JC.
  • Business Administration diploma - Non-tech running a tech company! 
  • Moved to Singapore at age six from India, but now a Singapore Permanent Resident about to serve NS, so local xenophobes can't keep going "CECA CECA CECA" over his success. He will serve NS.
  • $25M startup with 70,000 users in the Xenon platform.
  • Even has someone from MIT working for him
  • $9.8M series A funding from Grand Canyon Capital
When I first read about this guy, even I wanted to believe that this guy is the saviour that Singapore needs to bolster the tech startup sector and the non-degree route to success. 

But sadly, thanks to the recent CSI from Tech In Asia, a lot of Dalal's claims are not true and have been retracted. The juicy details can be found here on Reddit.

Fortunately for us, we still have Sim Wong Hoo, the real Saviour from over 30+ years ago. Sadly these days, I won't even admit Creative Technologies into the screen for tech stocks and it seems to do better in litigation. 

As Mr Sim becomes older, I think the search for the next big startup founder has become more desperate. I imagine journalists will leap into the fray whenever a Singaporean with a diploma starts to gain traction over a business preferable before age 25. For this story to work, the rising star should come from an HDB background and cannot have the safety net of successful professional parents. 

The Startup Hero's Journey must remain intact. 

So Singapore needs to keep searching...

Interestingly, Tech In Asia just found the Philosopher's Stone to produce compelling journalism that I hope the mainstream media should adopt under a new business model. 

Instead of selling us propaganda, why not use your investigative skills to unmask all the so-called saviours we have today?

The public wants to be entertained and ever since the Harsh Dalal exposes came out, I was tempted to pay for a subscription because I want more!

There are a few guys in a crypto space (whom I shall not name) that may be deserving of such CSI. 


Sunday, May 09, 2021

Direct your umbrage at the system, not the person

As I am somewhat anti-woke and pro-PAP, I find other PAP loyalists jumping to the defence of SPH CEO Ng Yat Chung. This is puzzling because Ng Yat Chung is not a politician. 

In fact, Min Shan has spoken somewhat against him. 

I will not describe the immense and consequential damage that was just inflicted on SPH shareholders as this is well documented by many bloggers. In fact, I will try to figure out why so much damage control was done over a few words of someone who is a non-politician. All I can say is that my ERM students were burned by SPH's foray in Orange Valley in the past and buying SPH counts as one of the poorest investment decisions we have ever made during the life of the entire program, second only to the disastrous position in Eagle Hospitality Trust for one batch of students.

From the point of view of someone who actually worked under a statutory board, the words uttered by the SPH CEO were mild. I had supervisors in the public sector who asked my Indian IT vendors whether took part in the Little India riots during a team meeting and loudly voiced concerns over female employees about the possibility that they will get pregnant and go on maternity leave ( the supervisor being a mother herself )

For me, if I want to direct my umbrage at something, it would be the amakudari system that parachutes top Admin officers into private sector roles that may ultimately damage the capital that belongs to us hapless shareholders. This is really something that we investors do not deserve. As brilliant as a top civil servant is, I liken their experience to twenty years as a goalkeeper for a soccer team. When their time runs out, they are forcefully put in a position of a striker. There is no way you can hone the kind of adaptive entrepreneurial thinking from a formal rules-driven bureaucratic mindset of the civil service sector. Some may succeed due to luck, but many will fail.

This is the kind of arrogance hinted at by many old-timer government officials. Just because someone has high general intelligence, they can thrive in any environment, even a highly competitive one like the business sector. 

I think the true damage done by SPH has nothing to do with losses shareholders suffered on Friday but the consequences it will have on amakudari moving forward. Voters should not be shy to pressure the PAP to revise this system. ( I will happily troll my new MP Mr. Edward Chia on this issue the next time I see him hanging around in Segar Road. )

I want to offer a cautionary note on our religious fetish for government scholars. This comes from an unlikely source. 

Two issues ago The Economist published an obituary of Bernard Madoff, the man who built the largest Ponzi scheme in the history of mankind.

If you peer into the mind of Bernard Madoff, you will find some fundamental truths belonging to all Humanity. Bernard Madoff had no need to enrich himself at the expense of his peers - he was financially independent before setting up his fund. Things began to fall apart when his fund underperformed slightly and I suspect Bernard has so many strings of personal successes, he was unable to cope with his first failure in life, so he doubled up using fraud to cover up his mistakes. 

Introduce failure to a person who has been successful all his life will induce cognitive dissonance and it takes a very strong mind to resist doing something underhanded to keep his self-esteem intact. 

I struggle with this on a daily basis as well - I have three degrees in Engineering, Finance and Law. I have passed almost all the major investment exams. But every day, I see a 20-something year old become a multi-millionaire by buying Dogecoins or staking their coins in a Liquidity pool. Fortunately, I have done much worse and faced my own demons on this blog on March 2020. 

Today failure is my best friend and I often have a drink with it. 

I suspect many Admin service officers, being the Apex Predators of Academic Hunger Games may also never experienced a major failure in their lives. This can lead to disastrous consequences as they try to rationalise or even scold their way to avoid personal accountability. 

To assist them in coping with failure, perhaps a Gen Z crypto bro should flash a Lambo at their scholar pal every now and then to teach them a bit of humility. 

Singaporeans should actively promote someone who has a humiliating failure in his resume. 

Therefore,  it comes as no surprise that my favourite PM candidate is Ong Ye Kung. I think the Aljunied elections in 2011 has shaped his character for the better. 

Direct your umbrage at amakudari and the CEP system. 

This can be something that unites both PAP and Anti-PAP supporters. 


Tuesday, May 04, 2021

Eternal trends and how to spot them


I always enjoyed reading books about the future. Future studies are the discipline about how to predict future trends and I'm gradually training my brain about how to think about prediction. Naturally, this can be a really inaccurate exercise and a lot of predictions turns out to be wrong, but imagine how much can be earned if somehow someone gets it right.

I'm still in the process of building a library of books on future studies, but this highly accessible book by Magus Lindkvist talks about a number of trends that are eternal for Mankind.

a) Wellness, health and convenience

We've always been trying to make ourselves live longer and easier lives. Many of the trends that affect us, such as eating in a healthier way, have been obsessed by even our ancestors. Someone will always be thinking about some form of exercise, diet or medication that can claim to result in better longevity. 

b) Self-expression

Everyone wants to be noticed and leave a mark one day.  Another parallel trend is the desire to belong to something.  Our ancestors have been using cave paintings to communicate their ideas, today they use social media. This is another trend that will not end, as an investor someone will produce the next Clubhouse or anything that allows folks to interact with each other and be heard by the larger community.

c) Sensory stimulation

People crave sensory stimulation so they will always be trying to experience new things. Ancient carnivals and theatre have evolved into the Disney Plus and Netflix channels of today. A parallel development is that new ways of grabbing someone's attention will always be in development. 

d) Technology

Enabling all the above eternal trends is mankind's ability to tame new materials and processes for his personal benefit. We're now right in the middle of the Information Age, the question is what kind of age will arise out of all the new internet technologies. 

Unfortunately, we might be quite far from Future studies becoming a serious discipline with its own methodologies. The book is also quite chaotic and disorganised. One wish list is that the author would look at these eternal trends and dedicate a chapter to the evolution of each trend and make a series of wild guesses on what to expect on the horizon.  

I'm personally betting that a Quantum Age is upon us soon enough that will make most information technologists obsolete. 


Saturday, May 01, 2021

Why policy makers may not plug the CPF Shielding Lifehack Abomination

Ok, this will be my last article on this issue as I've managed to get other bloggers chiming in on this issue and hopefully, the matter will take on greater prominence over time.

One interesting point to note is that matters will not have gone viral if I had not used the word "abomination". The inspiration behind this word was from the third book of the Dune series (Children of Dune) is this character called Alia who is a child savant witch-like character. Alia was imbued with the power of ancestors who lived before her. In the story, her conscious thoughts were like a battlefield where her good and evil ancestors fought to gain control over her mind. When the spirit of her evil grandfather Baron Vladimir Harkonnen took over her eventually, Alia became The Abomination and was the major villain of the third book of the Dune series.

In my opinion, the CPF Shielding issue belongs to the same class of problems known as "The Problem of Evil" that theologians and philosophers have to confront. 

  • If God was good, why does evil exist?
  • If government regulators were that good, why do commissioned FAs exist?
  • If the CPF was so good, why do Singaporeans need to resort to CPF Shielding?

CPF Shielding has been known for a number of years and nothing much has been done about it, I can speculate that authorities have not acted for the following reasons :

a) The impact of this hack was too small to warrant action

This seems to be the best reason for inaction. 

Very few Singaporeans have enough money in their CPF to need this hack urgently because their CPF-OA is normally exhausted by housing needs during their financial lives, so it easy to just shut off one eye and keep things status quo. In this sense, it's useful for us bloggers to keep driving awareness towards this issue so that more people may actively manage their CPF to be able to exploit this shield.

b) The government simply does not want you to get an extra 1.5%, so you need to work for it

Some folks argued that the government just wants to limit the number of folks who can max out their 4% so there was no incentive to make getting that 4% easier for citizens. 

This is less persuasive to me because they can cover up this hack entirely having all accounts flow to CPF-OA at age 55 before CPF-RA is constructed. But I think this will cost another GRC in the next elections for the PAP if carried out. 

c) The technical and operational change may be extensive

Changing the system to allow citizens to elect to top up of CPF-RA via CPF-OA first may require system changes. We really cannot tell whether the systems allow the priority to change. 

If someone hard-coded and compiled it years ago, the expense may not be justified. But it would be really dumb to hard-code the order money pours into CPF-RA from a software engineering perspective. 

d) The CPF Shield is a part of a complex system of compromises with the Finance Industry

This is a most interesting idea. 

If you think about it, allowing citizens to use up CPF-SA to buy select investment products is already quite a dangerous idea given that 4% riskless returns is rather high. CPF currently allows CPF-SA to be invested in balanced funds. From a risk-adjusted perspective, it's giving folks the option to trade off a product with a Sharpe ratio of infinity to maybe something with a Sharpe ratio of 0.4 - 0.6 in the best case. 

I'm totally fine if it's an option folks can refuse. But CPF also does not want to drive out the finance industry or trigger massive unemployment for FAs as well, many count on financial advice as a rare route to millionaire status without a degree. 

So maybe this hack is a series of compromises to keep some career paths open to Singaporeans. 

I like to think about compromise when I put myself in the shoes of a policymaker. There are a lot of things about financial advice that can be improved instantly for the good of most citizens, primarily ensuring that FAs have, at least, a relevant degree since financial planning is not a joke.

But this has not happened, so you've got a bunch of advisors claiming to be doing work as important as medical doctors as taught by their handlers but having no need to meet such standards.  

Sometimes I wonder if financial advice is really based on intelligence and knowledge, then how many Singaporeans will be out of a job if we reform the law to align with this reality?

In summary, I'm not trying to remove the freedom for Singaporeans to invest their monies. I just want the freedom to earn my 4% without resorting to third-party funds, hence I think giving Singaporeans a choice to populate CPF-RA from CPF-OA should be provided by the CPF Board itself. 

If a savvy FA can convince someone to invest their CPF-SA somewhere else, good for them. 

I see our role as financial educators to make sure that folks understand the price they pay when this happens.

CPF Shielding is merely the tip of the iceberg. There are plenty of reforms to the Financial Advisors Act that will benefit the people of Singapore and I hope one day I can convince an Opposition party to take up these issues one day.