Saturday, May 28, 2022

Terra USD - LUNA is like your penis, difficult to cut it off.


For those looking for a great article on Terra 2.0 which just dropped, you can refer to Dr Wealth's blog here. 

If you want to read something less wholesome, please continue.

My new LUNA token has finally arrived. At the moment, I have no idea how much they are worth, but some folks are estimating a ballpark value of about $5 each. When exchanges start seeing some transactions, it may sink very quickly because there doesn't seem to be any motivation to hold onto it.

I'm not selling mine. If the new LUNA crashes again, I might buy even more. 

With the new blockchain, the old LUNA classic blockchain is really starting to erode. I have a morbid fascination with the UST and LUNC tokens which really lost a lot of value, but I love playing them like monopoly money, I've got liquidity pools worth a couple of hundred bucks ( but millions of LUNC) spinning off $10 USD a day, but the websites no longer seem interested to interact with my wallet when it's on classic mode, so I can't even claim my tokens. 

It's always sad for a trainer to see a blockchain de a slow death erode this way, because even if the tokens have no value, the idea of using tokens to connect to a website and being able to get into a liquidity pool at a low fee can be a powerful educational tool. With $100, someone can get millions of LUNC and then get into a pool that gives 1000% p.a. 

My personal wish is that somehow the classic blockchain survives and attracts a kooky bunch of computer scientists who then proceeds to crafty really weird projects on it. 

For the new blockchain, I understand its sole purpose is to preserve some kind of developer ecosystem, but experts are saying without a stablecoin and 20% returns, there is little motivation for it to grow. 

So I will make a weird prediction here.

Some kind of stablecoin with high returns will come back to Terra 2. It might be disguised in a another form like a derivative or even a liquidity pool, it may be convoluted to execute, but the truth of the matter is that young men need the fantasy of a high yielding stablecoin to feel in control of their lives. 

Terra USD-LUNA dyad is really like your penis. 

You can't live without your penis. 

If you cut it off in the new blockchain, someone else will find a way for it to grow back. 

Would it be legal? Well, whoever reinvents it will not care. 

If you observe crypto bros when LUNA was in it's peak, it's like a penis member fully erect. Guys become a lot more confident when they date women and engage in a more edgier and risk-taking behavior. The reason is that women really do take economic resourcefulness as a primary consideration when selecting men. I may even venture to guess that UST-LUNA has a direct impact on levels of testosterone of significant male population when it is rising. 

Terra grew because it is an enabler. Why else do Ponzi schemes keep coming back in a different form?

The saddest thing about Terra is that the UST event is a massive castration event for thousands of young single men. It came at a time when other erect asset classes are witnessing their own castration like US Tech Stocks and China Tech stocks. 

These are, indeed, flaccid times.

Hopefully, some of the more clear-headed investors have taken note that those who invest locally in REITs, bluechips and business trusts are still doing ok at times like these. While dividends investors are not flashing their 12-inch erections at others, we've always been modest in most economic climates. 

After all, anything larger than a mouthful is a waste.

Wednesday, May 25, 2022

Previews cancelled this week due to nasty sore throat

I've been really unlucky. After a 3-hour wait in TTSH awaiting my specialist appointment, I developed a sore throat over the weekend. I've since been conducting ART tests every other day, but I have been negative so far.

While I'm feeling fine, I was unable to go ahead with my previews this week because I've developed a really nasty cough. This is disappointing as I've got a spotless absentee record so far for the past 3+ years and dividends investing has been gaining some interest probably at the expense of growth, tech and crypto investing as of late.

I'll probably get back to shooting videos next week, with at least two coming up. 

For now, I've got a new article out on retail bonds.

I'm going to take a rest and I hope to come up with something on this blog in about two-days time. 

It's probably good for me to lay off my work for a while and just focus on reading investment books for a change. 

Monday, May 23, 2022

Soul vs Structure - Singapore's Faustian bargain


One of the small tiny superstitions I subscribe to is that shit awaits someone once he or she says that "Singapore has no Soul". It's almost as if LKY is now some kind of Guardian Angel that will exact vengeance against anyone who says we have no soul.

Sharon Au said that when she moved to Paris years ago and recently her apartment in France got robbed and the robbers took everything except her pussy. Days later, she complained that French authorities were too busy to help her retrieve her property.

Even during my KL trip, my aunt complained that Singaporeans have no soul. Then, in the latest SEA Games, Malaysia's medal tally was so bad they ranked behind us - a country that has an insignificant population that does not even have an emphasis on sports. 

I'm going to now try to unpack and develop this idea further with a few mental models.

The first thing we're going to do, is to figure out what having a Soul trades off against. We have to give up our Soul for something right? 

Off the bat, I'm going to suggest that Soul trades off against Structure. 

So if you go by my logic, Singaporeans have no soul, but our traffic system works because of an oppressive ERP system and traffic rules that do get enforced. In KL, you can wait 3-5 minutes for the pedestrian lights to turn green only for 15 seconds. As a consequence of that, no one obeys traffic rules. My mum almost got knocked down over a zebra crossing that has faded stripes in KL Sentral.

The larger intellectual challenge is to show that Soul and Structure tradeoff against each other like inflation and unemployment. It is possible that they are not mutually exclusive. 

To deal with this, we will apply another mental model and examine who likes to complain that Singaporeans have no soul. 

I'm going to just guess that on the MBTI these folks belong to the FP or Feeling-Perception spectrum with a low score in Conscientiousness. It's largely their inability to deal with folks on the TJ or Thinking-Judgement spectrum who have high conscientiousness so the most convenient way to avoid cognitive dissonance is to just claim that they are soulless. 

At this juncture, do note that when TJ guys make a mistake, it's often buying the wrong stock and misjudging probabilities on investments going up. However, when FP folks make a mistake, it often involves venereal disease or large doses of heroin. Almost all Legends talked about by alumni group involve someone who is an FP. FPs lead a dramatic life full of ups and downs, but more downs as they get older and TJs start climbing the ladder.

Another reason to support the trade-off is that those places that emphasize soul would normally have serious issue arising from a dysfunctional structure. Parisian police are too overworked to deal with folks getting robbed. Malaysia cut their sports budget and headcount by half and still acted surprised when the SEA games results were so bad. 

So there you go. There is definitely a case that Singapore lacks a soul, surveys have shown that we exhibit the least amount of emotions in the world. 

But is that such a bad thing? 

We get a decent structure in return.

Our system works, we get decent healthcare, low taxes, and a great REIT regime that supports retirement planning. When the FP artistic types were hit by COVID-19, our structure provided them a $1,200 - $1,500 stipend so they can continue to complain that we have no soul instead of doing food delivery worker or a prostitute. 

Now let's see whether the structure we built up can deal with banned chicken imports from the North. 

I got pals celebrating because it means more decoupling in the future, but I'm looking forward to more vegetarian meals in June.



Saturday, May 21, 2022

Some financial lessons I learnt from my recent trip to KL.

I've got quite a lot to talk about my trip to KL, but I will wait a couple more days and instead just focus on the financial bits first. In a few moments, I need to examine what can be salvaged from the Terra blockchain implosion so folks can catch up with me on my next preview on Tuesday, which will be changed, once again, to reflect the realities of the crypto space today.

So one of the highlights of my trip was meeting my cousin's old secondary school classmates. I met some of them years ago and one or two have become regular readers of this blog. As alumni of the prestigious English College in JB, my cousin's pals are fairly high SES - you can imagine some kind of RI-ACS hybrid if you translate them to Singaporean terms. As adults they are super-qualified, cosmopolitan and globalized citizens and have a very interesting if somewhat un-Malaysian perspective about life. 

I think I picked up one novel or two lesson from them. 

One of the flaws about being Singaporean travelling to Malaysia is mentally dividing everything by three when we look at Malaysian prices.

As a consequence, everything we see in KL is cheap. 

The first leg of the trip we ate well, but the prices are cheap only relative to Singapore. Malaysian locals can't eat like we do every meal. ( The noodles I ate shown above cost $90 MYR, and standard has dropped greatly ). 

On my second leg where I went around with my mum, we ate what local workers ate and avoided expensive restaurants. The Chee Cheong Fun from Petaling street is $8 MYR, possible the second best in Chinatown as number 1 was either gone or not open on that day.  

Here's the insight. One of this blog's readers is my cousin's pal who works in a fairly prestigious startup in Singapore. His commute is tough - he lives in a hotel a couple of nights a week here before going back home to Malaysia. 

He's actually got a lot of respect for Singapore hawker culture, which if you think about it, would be unusual for Malaysians because they have to multiple the costs by 3 when they buy food here, and food at home seems almost always better in terms of quality and taste.

His reasoning is simple - Singapore has kept a lid on food prices relative to our salaries while Malaysian's spent a larger proportion of their earnings on food. 

$8 MYR for Chee Cheong Fun in KL is a steal for a Singaporean, but it's not a joke for locals who have to contend with these prices on a regular basis. 

One of my cousins's doctor pals told me that he spent $40 MYR on chicken rice. To be fair, he added char siew, roasted pork and more chicken into his rice and the price inflated to $40 MYR. My cousin's other pal even said that individual portions have gone up to $70 MYR for chai png when they were feeling really decadent and hungry.  

Finally, one of them asked me how to FIRE like that ?

As a loyal patriot, I have a simple answer :
  • These are the best of the best Malaysia has. So naturally, Singapore wants them too. So step one is find a job here.
  • Open a brokerage account here and buy our REITs to get about 6% dividend yield.
  • I think it's possible to open CIMB bank accounts in both SG and MY branches so dividends can be channeled across borders. My cousin is testing this technique. I'm still investigating this for my mum. 
  • Practice geo-arbitrage. Work and save in Singapore. Spend in Malaysia.
  • According to my ERM research on Malaysia Expat cost of living it is only $14,000 SGD a year. $240,000 SGD in Singapore REITs yielding 6% can sustain an expat lifestyle in KL. In Singapore, you will need $500,000 SGD to lead a basic subsistence.    
  • Just completely ignore your CPF contributions. You will get it back one day. No Malaysian ever regrets leaving his money in our CPF system given the way our currency is strengthening over the years.  
Of course, for such eligible professional Malaysians to work in Singapore, many things can happen to torpedo this plan. One possibility is that they can get entrapped by our women and live as slaves to money forever.

That's not entirely a bad thing for Singapore.

So to the elites of English College, please come and take our women !



Saturday, May 14, 2022

Yes, I am now in the Million LUNA Round Table or MLRT !


Before something goes really wrong for me, there will always be some kind of foreshadowing. 

A week ago, I gathered with my SMU JD classmates in one of their apartments and we updated each other on our career progress ( or lack of progress in my case ). I realised that none of them are really aware of what's happening in the crypto landscape and, just for fun, I decided to pitch the general idea behind the Terra blockchain to see if they will buy it, lawyers being pretty smart people.

The cut the long story short, I totally failed. 

My pals do not buy the 18+% Anchor protocol at all and every effort to explain how a central bank facility and the workings of the LUNA-UST pair was unable to convince them to accept that such an idea is feasible in any way. 

At that time I dismissed their concerns because I thought perhaps I was not convincing enough. After all I got a shit B grade for International Moots. It's not easy to get lawyers to buy into anything, and all of them rely on their salaries as their primary source of income.

The rest is history as my classmate's skepticism was proven right.

My damages were slight, so far I have lost about $16k. If I had conducted more classes on crypto, my Anchor holdings would have been higher and I would have lost more. It was sheer luck that my entry into crypto was less than 1% of my net worth at the moment Terra collapsed. Right now, the biggest source of damage is the effort I put into my course slides which need to be retooled away from the Terra blockchain which means a third of my material needs to be rewritten from scratch.

I just want to say something about Ponzi schemes as a skeptic, and a trainer who did lose money just in one :

So long as women continue to choose men based on his ability to obtain economic resources, guys will always look for the next best way to make money, juts to impress hot women. If you can find some purportedly riskless approach to make 20%, even folks who are aware and document the risks like me will put at least a token position to experience the thrill of winning, if only for a short while. Genting is a company that exists solely to provide this kind of entertainment. 

Prior to Anchor, I've been burnt by shipping trusts and Eagle Hospitality trust, in all these moments, I knew that something was wrong but I like the double-digit yields. I think the solution was never to avoid such schemes which are too good to be true, but to do position sizing so that a loss will not hurt you this much. 

So would I play 0.1% into Do Kwon's next project? I definitely would!

Anyway, I always believed that in great moments of chaos, anything can be a ladder.

At the moment, everyone is pounding on LUNA investors with "I told you so" kind of articles. I thought maybe I do a final "Hail Mary" manoeuvre on the Terra blockchain and mess with critics before it collapses for good.

So when the Terra blockchain was shutdown, FTX was the only exchange that was allowing trades on LUNA. 

I gathered all the referral coins I earned from my students from different platforms. ( I will not even touch my dividends for this Hail Mary attack)

About $150 USD worth, pumped it into FTX and bought for myself 5.45M of LUNA!

My entry price was around 0.000027+. One day earlier, I lost $2,000 buying LUNA at $1. I figure that the infrastructure and engineering talents in the Terra ecosystem cannot be worth so little so the least I can do is to donate to this engineering marvel.

So just like that, I ended my LUNAtic adventures a LUNA multi-millionaire.  

I am now an MLRT! 

Now anything can happen. 

At the moment, I have almost earned x8-10 of my investments, but to recoup my crypto losses it needs to go up another 10 times. 

I probably will not move this asset until it is large enough to offset my home mortgage so paper gains will just give me more bragging rights.

I'm going on a trip, this blog will be back next Friday !

Wednesday, May 11, 2022

A LUNAtic is born !


Yesterday morning, the other Dr Wealth Crypto trainer messaged me on FB and told me of the depegging event for UST. I checked Yahoo Finance, and yes indeed, the worst has come to pass in the Cryptocurrency landscape. 

One of the most viral stablecoins UST has lost it's peg to the USD !

This depegging of UST from one USD is possibly the biggest event in crypto as it proves that algorithmic stablecoins are not exactly stable over the long term. I assessed the damage to my holdings. I lost about $5k from the entire depegging process in my $30k cryptocurrency account. It's a drop in the ocean because I was only ready to hit 1% of my assets in Crypto by the end of the year, so I have little skin in the game as of now.  While most of these losses are in UST Anchor protocol, it was my liquidity pools which took most of the damage. 

But there are reasons to celebrate:
  • A 30% drop in stablecoin value is no big deal compared to what tech investors are experiencing as of late, as a product of Singapore's education system, I know it's not important how well you fare, but also how badly others do.  No point in choosing to be a millionaire surrounded by billionaires.
  • Amazingly, collateral-backed stablecoins like USDT and USDC remained stable these few days, so at least the strategy of diversifying across stablecoins worked to mitigate losses for my students. I even expect some students to miss out on Anchor protocol because setup is so complicated.  
  • The third reason is LUNA :
When I backtested LUNA, I did not like what I saw because it was highly volatile, so formally, I don't teach my students to buy LUNA. Even if they do, it will be part of a bespoke index I build using software tools involving the largest non-stable coins. None of the software tools would have supported a buy since my first course was run in April. 

But, at the back of my head, I witnessed LUNA turn pals into multimillionaires because they got in at the right time. LUNAtics are the Insane Clown Posse of the crypto world, the crazies who follow Immortan Joe in Mad Max. Not everyone likes them in the crypto world because they can be quite religious when it comes to investing. 

LUNA is now trading below $15 when it was close to $100 weeks ago, so this morning, I took the plunge to become a LUNAtic myself! Of course I did not hold the LUNA as LUNA per se, I invested it into a bLUNA-LUNA pool for 80+% a year and a even put in spare change for a LUNA-UST pool for 1,060% p.a.

Want to go retard, go full retard all the way!

I bought about $1,000 worth of LUNA. If LUNA drops further to $5, I will buy $5,000 more. Of course, I will only buy LUNA with my dividend payouts from my REITs, and I will not sacrifice earned blood money on this. My trainer revenues will only be put in a diversified stablecoin portfolio.

At the end of the day, the entire algorithmic-based stablecoin regime may end in a few days time. Maybe after this, no one will back an ecosystem like Terra anymore, but there is also a reason to believe that even a salted fish can resurrect itself. I have no idea how the UST peg will restore itself, or whether LUNA will even climb back to $20. 

If it happens, it happens, and I will possibly make a decent amount out of this.

My crypto course will conduct a preview tonight. I hope to have a fun discussion about my latest moves on UST and LUNA. 

Follow this link:





Monday, May 09, 2022

On Benz Hui, greater intelligence, and small intelligence.


Most folks in my generation grew up watching HK drama, so many Singaporeans are familiar with Benz Hui who is an accomplished HK actor who has settle down permanently in Singapore. Of late, Benz Hui has said some candid things about Singaporeans which I think deserve a good solid rebuttal. 

That being said, I'm a fan of this great guy, and I think we should be grateful that Benz feels comfortable criticizing us - if anything it means that he has found a new home. 

One of the things I was grateful for growing up was my exposure to HK D&D players which shaped the way I play RPGs today. HK players took me under their wing and presented a new play of playing Dungeons and Dragons. The style was pure mayhem, and channel HK comics like Dragon Tiger Gate rather than Western fantasy canon. 

Singaporeans were stickler for rules, so our gameplay was not inspiring. My paladin would just attack with his Holy Avenger round after round, not really inspiring.  My HK gamer senpais told me never to question what the rules allowed me to do, but to find actions that the rules never explicitly said no to. 

The result was hilarious. 

In one game, a cleric was told that to create an artifact he needed to place on an alter a vessel that can contain his deity's power. He declared that there was no better vessel than himself and turned himself into a living cleric-artifact. The DM allowed this to go on for the lolz. The cleric was able to develop artifact powers after the ritual. He infused his left had with the Heal spell and his right hand with the Harm spell and became almost invincible in combat.

My HK mentors also taught me a bit about life which I internalized to this very day. One lesson when I was in JC  was  to stop daydreaming and never waste time queuing for fast food, if a queue shortens, I should be ready switch queues. I extended it to includes tasks like preparing change before it was my turn to order.

But eventually, we all have to grow up as adults. I have to complete JC, get into the Army and eventually study for my degree. 

In that process, I stopped looking up to the HK mentors I had.

For one thing, D&D as a game improved it's writing and the rules became a lot clearer and the chaos mayhem style of HK players lost its favor. Instead, a close reading of the rules that allowed different rulesets to synergize with each other made our characters more powerful. Reading became more competitive and intense and you can be rewarded by a strong fundamental grounding of the ruleset.

In real life, HK gamers lost their cushy operator roles to IT engineers from India and had to return to HK. Their careers never recovered and some refused to meet my pals when they visited. I know that even those days, their chaotic attitudes to life also prevented them from making investments and I suspect may struggle financially to survive today.

In the grander scheme of things, how can a bunch of stoners Singaporeans, derogatively called "Po Zhai" and "Mm Seng Muk", become an economic powerhouse that can even eat the lunch of possibly the finest entrepreneurs and businessmen of the world ?

Hong Kongers focused on small intelligence, tiny improvements that are wise for that context, just for that moment. The dumber Singaporeans were more obedient and malleable, but we focused on greater intelligence, employing mental models to understand rent-seeking, investing and developing skills in artificial intelligence and blockchain programming. We were slow because we were united and saw multiple steps ahead. 

Plugging the trust ABSD loophole is a deliberate move NOT to become Hong Kong.

I doubt my HK mentors will like me a lot today as I pull rental payments out of thin air, engage in liquidity mining, juggle my three degrees, and only leave for work only when I feel like it. Few of my friends who knew me as a joker and a troll would like my current setup. 

It's not too different from Benz Hui. His best anecdote is that HK doctors fear Singaporean patients because we challenge their decisions all the time and we're too smart for our own good. 

For one thing, Singaporeans doctors are quite used to this. For another, there is actually an economic idea called adverse selection that explains why it's perfectly rational for Singaporeans to be that way.

At the end of the day, doctors may have some kind of oath, but they are also in the business of selling medication. As it turns out, doctors know a lot more about medication than their patients, so an information asymmetry arises. Maybe the doctor is selling a drug that is high margin or an operation was suggested to earn more profits. To understand whether a cheaper alternative exists, it makes sense to study every alternative and challenge the decision of medical practitioner. Bridge the information gap. 

Even our common law supports the idea that doctors should render advice like provide alternatives to each treatment ( Montgomery test ) - we're actually helping our doctors too!  

Even if we do give doctors a break, I strongly urge readers to spend time studying the products sold by insurance agents. If a commissioned salesman makes an aggressive recommendation, you will definitely profit by seeking alternatives. 

Finally, I don't think Singaporeans will stop studying and questioning just because Benz Hui says so, if anything, his grandchildren will be Singaporeans and will as kiasu and kiasi as we are. Similarly Singaporean D&D players will not go back to an older edition of a the game to play something that results in pure chaos like improv theatre.
That being said, we should open our doors wider for HKers to come down to teach us a bit about the small intelligence of starting businesses, developing grit and self-sufficiency, it will compliment our existing strengths very well.  

Thursday, May 05, 2022

Test trip to JB !


It's been two years since I travelled, so after the long public holiday, my brother in law drove me and my mum into JB to settle some banking matters which have been stuck for close to 30 months. We've collected rent for over two years and because of the old bank setup, the money was stuck for a long time and we had to endure the currency depreciation of the ringgit over the past 2 years. 

I just want to highlight some points of my trip so that readers can avoid the mistakes I experience today.  A lot of unpleasantness when resuming travel can be avoided if you read my blog.

a) PR's need to update re-entry permit.

Because I am not a PR and deal with matters for my mum online, I misunderstood how re-entry permits worked, I thought it's something that is based on dates and it just needs to be renewed. Today we had issues with ICA because while we have a recent re-entry permit, but it was keyed to the older passport and I did not transfer it to the new passport. ICA was very patient with us and let us through but I have to resolve that issue online after I came back. 

If you do not valid re-entry permit as a PR, the electronic gateways will not admit you and my mum was ping ponged a couple of times in Singapore customs, so please respect and follow the rules. Best thing is every time you renew your passport, just update the re-entry permit.

b) Touch and Go card.

Our troubles did not end there. Having a Touch and GO card is vital to get into Malaysia but we did not have a card with credits. We got stuck after our passport was cleared in Malaysia customs. Lucky, my plucky BIL managed to seek help from a customs officer and we were able to clear customs, but if you don't rely some some persuasion, I really would not know what would have happened to us.

This is, apparently, a major issue for drivers. 

Of course, my troubles did not end there.

c) Breakfast was good.

The only good thing that happened today was Storia Cafe, their mee siam and Otak is out of this world. Go google for details before your next trip. The boss has a reputation for being a damn nice guy and he rounded down the bill. In the end, I paid $3 SGD per head for a full breakfast !

I'm grateful to my BIL who researched that place thoroughly and it was his first meal there too.

d) ATM card fails after long absence

So all I wanted to do was some banking. We could not withdraw money because the ATM card expired and undoing it would mean an hour of wait. There are two manual forms to fill but lucky the staff we had was super steady. Bank was obviously understaffed even though they should expect hordes of Singaporeans to come down to make withdrawals. 

One poor Singaporean uncle I met actually could only complete his work on his second visit. It was just a long line of sad looking Singaporeans at the bank today because they can't withdraw their cash.

e) Bank probably cut into a new database, so may not have your records.

Oh it did not end there. My mum has been banking with the same branch for 30 over years and they claimed not to have my mother's PR status, so we had to fill more forms to update the database.

f) Strange questions asked during TT of cash to Singapore. 

The thing about TT to Singapore is that AML measures need to be taken, but this was not the first time we did this. We had our Singapore bank books, but staff wanted to confirm whether the joint account can be acted upon independently and this confused my mum and I could not recall what the right answer should be. I had to be there to answer some questions for the paperwork to clear.

For noob, make sure you copy down the SWIFT codes for the local bank and account number manually before you go and bring an account statement or bank book with you. I panicked because I had no data plan in Malaysia and had to use Wifi until I realized my mum had the Singapore bank book along. 

Naturally we did the paperwork successfully but it will take a few days to figure out whether we succeeded. 

I think there are probably a lot of savvier guys who can think of better ways to go about doing what I did. I'm largely constrained by the systems setup by my parents 3 decades ago and most of the paperwork is not under my name. This is not sustainable, so starting tomorrow, I will be actively trying to decouple my mum's current bank from our family's financial operations and building a better one that works online.  

Overall, the trip was worth it because it solved a lot of ongoing issues with family finances. Otherwise, it was really sad to see the devastation of City Square, MPH Bookstore is gone but fortunately, I got some really good Malaysian finance books in Popular bookstore. 

It's one thing to feel powerful because your dollar is worth more than three of your neighbors currency, but if there are only a few shops to buy stuff from, what is the point ?

City Square will probably heal in six months. I will take few more surgical trips to Malaysia on weekdays to visit other areas like Midvalley Southkey, but I think a bus trip to KL is in order.