Sunday, October 09, 2022

Strategic Retreat #3 : How I assess your man bun

The week has become more relaxed as I attempt to “study” for my next blood test by eating more strictly and going for more hikes. A pal wanted to do some networking with folks who understand a little bit more about Malaysian property, so I called in a few favours to get some Malaysians to show up to explain how to pick up cheap properties in JB and KL. I don’t think any opportunity can beat Singapore property, but Malaysian property can be a good lifestyle decision post-FIRE. 

The my pal asked me a question the next day.

He asked me what I think of his man bun.

I didn’t even know he has a man bun, much less act as an authority on it. For the past 30 years, I gave only one instruction to the barber which is “medium slope”, and even right up today, I have no idea what other kinds of slope instructions there are that can be given to barbers. I did try other styles like Armani, but like ILPs, Armanis are just a shit excuse for the barber to charge more and even I do look like Jacky Cheung, I can’t sing as well and it’s even rumoured that I might actually be better with money management.

I have no comment on man buns, I can only suggest that he ask the ladies what they think about it. ( Update : The aunties are not a huge fan, but lions do not care about the opinion of sheep. )

I think what’s more important is the passive income that comes with man bun. There was Chinese poem that says that as high as a mountain can be, you need the presence of an angel to bring it great esteem. Deep oceans are mediocre unless it’s graced by the presence of a Dragon. 

I think that this idea can be reapplied to man buns. My pal has a decent stream of passive income since the last time we met, which explains why the sudden desire for Malaysian women and landed property, I think that’s the clincher. 

Of course, he can’t sell his man buns for money more than I can shave my pubes to get more dividends every month.

I’ve concluded my strategic retreat. 

My objective is to secure enough cash for 2023 and maximise my tax deductibles. I have completed the following actions :

  • Set aside enough family expenses inclusive of mortgage payments until December 2023 in a separate bucket.
  • Place $15,300 into my SRS account, to reduce my assessable income
  • Set aside enough CPF voluntary contributions to ensure that I pay zero income taxes in 2023. 

The CPF move is particularly important as a contribution for a 48 year old will yield about 3.22% as it is spread between three accounts, tax benefits will bring it up further. More importantly, it should be noted that the CPF-SA is very much superior to a SSB purchase, as you get some creditor protection and interest rates can even be increased in the future as it is tied to yields of 10-year government bonds.

Finally, none of the proceeds are invested yet. I’m adopting a wait and see stance as I expect things to still get worse with better US jobs numbers. If on 13 Oct, we still don’t see a significant drop in inflation, we’ll likely see more money flee the equity markets. 

Be careful when read news on Yahoo Finance, a lot of fund management types are harbouring fantasies of the Fed easing their monetary tightening when the Fed is just getting started. In similar vein, you need to shut off your Real Estate agent pals who still think that this is a great time to buy more property.

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