Sunday 30 May 2021

What I use to track my crypto holdings

Hi guys, after I bought cryptocurrencies, I proceeded to purchase the Ledger Nano S to store some of them in cold storage and I continued to purchased through dollar cost averaging a small amount each month and leaving that on the exchange. With both sides, the exchange and cold wallet holding my cryptocurrencies, it is quite troublesome to check my total holding as I need to see 2 different places. So I wanted to have a central tracker where I can refer to and see the value of my total holdings, so today, I like to share with you on how you can use Blockfolio to track your crypto holdings. I am in no way sponsored by them.

Read more: Ledger Nano S Review, Set-up and Price | Why I got a cold wallet for my crypto

Setting it up

I like it because you do not need to create an account to track, Blockfolio offers other uses like buying cryptocurrencies but I mainly just use it to track like an excel so there is no need to create, log in, remember passwords and so on. It's basically like an excel sheet but it helps to calculate your total value and P&L. So first, you will have to download the app, with that you can then open it and with just the tracking feature which I am using, I do not need to create an account however with Blockfolio, you are also able to buy and sell cryptocurrencies though I am not sure of the process. So lets go straight to the tutorial of how you can track your cryptocurrencies.


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Friday 28 May 2021

Is STI ETF really not worth investing in?

I am writing more frequently nowadays considering that I am spending much more time at home. Weekends now kinda feels like a weekday as I find things to keep me occupied besides watching some dramas or movie. How have you been spending your days? Moving on to today's topic, there has been a huge amount of discussion on whether is it still worth it to put your money into STI ETFs considering it's slow growth and companies in it does not seem attractive enough. With STI ETFs recovering recently and going back to the $3 levels , today I like to explore on whether should we still be putting money into it. So first, definitely, let's talk about what STI ETF is:

Read more: Q1 2021 Portfolio Update | Crypto, Stock Holdings and Dividends

So we currently have 2 ETFs, namely the SPDR STI ETF and Nikko AM STI ETF that tracks the Straits Times Index. Both ETFs help investors buy into the diversified exposure of leading companies in Singapore.

As of 26 May 2021, the top 10 holdings of SPDR STI ETF and S&P 500 are:



I am sure most in people in Singapore are very familiar with the companies. The top 10 companies already account nearly 70% of the total assets. This is very much different from the S&P 500 where the top 10 companies only make up about 27 % of it's total assets. Of course, this is because there is only 30 companies in STI while there are 500 companies in S&P 500. Another huge difference is that most of the top 10 companies in STI have business that are in the region or in SG whereas the top 10 companies in S&P 500 provides to the world. What this also means is that you will need significant growth from the top 10 companies in stock prices to push the whole STI ETF. Similarly, if a company in the top 10 is affected, it could bring the STI down by quite a bit.

Why people go for different products

Definitely, the STI is great for those who prefer less fluctuation in their portfolio. Just like why people would prefer to put their money into different products for growth, the STI is also a different area that you can put your money in. I know that many people have build their wealth by investing in the SG stock market and I will be just stating my own experiences investing so far in it. I started investing in SG stock market in 2017 so far I have had stocks like SGX, OCBC and SPDR STI ETF which is in the green as I bought them at the right time when prices were relatively low compared to today. However, I have always my biggest losses from the SG market mainly because when I first started, I was very much absorbed into the idea of high yield and bought many stocks aimlessly like Design Studio which I have talked about in my previous video. STI ETFs are great to start investing first and slowly moving towards more volatile assets as the "base" would be there.

Read more: Building Up An Automation System and Full Breakdown of my Salary

Treat it as a "safer" or "stable" portion of your portfolio

*This is not a recommendation on how your portfolio should be structured and it is just as a opinion.

Singapore's STI ETFs does not fluctuate as much as US stocks and I am sure that's why some people prefer having their funds in the SG market. So then if you already have a portion of your money in any of the STI ETFs or if you are young, you can treat the STI ETF as the "safer" or "stable" portion although it will still fluctuate according to the direction of the US market or news.

My experience is that the price of the STI ETFs tend to be rather stable however it does not go up much and when it experiences a huge drop like when the pandemic strike, it took some time to recover back to it's current $3+ price but in terms of it's dividends, it is rather substantial. Of course, I would think that if you are investing in the US market or looking for larger capital growth, STI is really not what you will be looking at but it is a good diversification as part of your portfolio overall. There are definitely also stocks listed in the SGX that are attractive like iFast, Sheng Shiong and FLCT just to name a few.

My current holdings

As I have mentioned in my previous articles and videos, I do hold both SPDR STI ETF and Nikko AM STI ETF because I first invested in Singapore stock market before slowly moving over to the US market. I have to admit that my individual Singapore stocks (counters like Singtel and Design Studio) have given me huge losses but so far for my STI ETF holdings, dividends have been rather substantial and I like it that when refreshing my portfolio in the day time, it doesn't fluctuate as much as when I refresh it in the night. I would find STI ETF a good way to diversify your holdings otherwise if it really is too boring or doesn't garner the gains you like, I would say to give STI ETF a skip but do be prepared for the volatility in the US markets like what we have seen!

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Saturday 22 May 2021

Regulations for Cryptocurrencies causing Another Wave of Panic

Regulations for cryptocurrencies from governments will be very much in place soon. China announced just yesterday that they will have tighter measures to protect the financial system hence in their statement, they mentioned that it is necessary to “crack down on Bitcoin mining and trading behaviour, and resolutely prevent the transmission of individual risks to the social field.”


So I am sure you know what happened next, here we go again....Bitcoin tumbled and fell. It was only just recovering and now with this news, more selling is set to happen. I think there are quite a few factors involved in this. China has all along been in the process of creating their own digital yuan yet according to the Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance, roughly 70% of the hashrate for mining Bitcoin—that is, the processing power for verifying transactions on the blockchain’s ledger—is generated in China. Hence, it is quite ironic and with the government. With some banks in China like China Citic Bank barring customers from trading Bitcoin using their bank account, lots more regulation is going to be rolled out as China is aiming to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by at least 65 per cent by 2030, relative to 2005 levels, and then achieve carbon neutrality by 2060.

United States of America

The US Treasury is also rolling out stricter rules for cryptocurrency compliance where any transfer worth more than $10,000 needs to be reported to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). This is definitely a huge step, if individuals who bought Bitcoin earlier on, their holdings would definitely be worth much more than $10,000 and with each transfer of >$10,000, they will need to report it to the IRS to ensure taxes are paid.

I am not surprised by US move to have more regulations for cryptocurrencies as the recent Colonial Pipeline hack which was caused by a cyberattack and the company had to shut down approximately 5,500 miles of pipeline in the United States, crippling gas delivery systems in Southeastern states, Joe Biden had to declare a state of emergency and Joseph Blount, CEO of Colonial Pipeline paid the ransom to DarkSide which was 75 BTC payment (approximately $4.4 million at the time of the transaction). It was later discovered that DarkSide, the hacker group behind the Colonial ransomware attack, received $90 million in bitcoin ransom payments from 47 victims. It is huge, although the wallets were traceable and funds were drained from it where there were speculation that this bitcoin had been seized by the U.S. government although no one can be sure of it, this definitely further enforced the need for regulation of cryptocurrencies to the US government. Joe Biden has also signed an executive order to strengthen US cybersecurity defences after the Colonial Pipeline hack.

Thoughts on more regulation

The governments would definitely wish to regulate cryptocurrencies as the volatility it has brought about in 2020 and 2021 is worrying for them. The run-up of Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies has brought about attention to it as it sparks concerns of market manipulation and uninformed retail investments. However, I definitely think there are ways to avoid the regulations but we will have to see how the regulations advance from here. In the meantime, I will hold on to my holdings of both BTC and ETH while continuing to DCA with a small amount that I have monthly. I do not hold such a substantial amount of cryptocurrencies (So I guess I won't be a millionaire anytime soon 😉) as the volatility is really 10X of the stock market as it reacts fast to news. As of now (22 May, 8.53am SGT), BTC is at a price of USD37,645.95 and ETH at USD2,449.00. Both looking rather attractive. 💎 🙌

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Friday 21 May 2021

Age of inflation | How to fight against it?

Inflation is definitely a huge topic nowadays considering that the Fed has been printing lots of money coupled with natural disasters (Taiwan drought) and also the worsening pandemic situation in some parts of the world that helps produce many resources. I came across this article by A Pen Quotes on the warnings of inflation and I would think that definitely in the near future, prices are set to rise. Huge as well was at the annual Berkshire Hathaway shareholder meeting where Warren Buffett mentioned that, "We are seeing substantial inflation." He continues on to say, "We are raising prices. People are raising prices to us, and it's being accepted."

Pandemic in India causing prices to rise

The pandemic in India has been devastating as I watch media coverage on it particularly this coverage by Clarissa Ward from CNN. The amount of lives lost is atrocious and saddening. We all know that most of our items come from India or China as they are the powerhouse of manufacturing. With the pandemic raging through India which is one of the powerhouse of manufacturing, goods will be affected and crops will also be affected to a certain extent although certain parts of India are worse hit than others. Companies will have to raise prices as raw material increase in prices and these will be passed onto consumers.

How you can better prepare yourself for inflation

I came across this article on Yahoo! Finance on how you can cope with inflation and I found it rather informative. I will take the key points and elaborate using my own words.

  1. Increase your earning power 

    This is definitely the most effective way to combat inflation but it is a very privileged choice because if you are able to have opportunities to increase your earning power means that you either have access to resources or ability to change jobs and earn more.

    Just like how The Wokesalaryman always advocates, to check the industry that you are in whether it is a sunset industry and pick up new skills to be the supply to the demand so that you are able to command a higher salary. With a higher salary, you can then have more capital to work with. 

    Read more: Becoming wealthy opens up opportunities for you | Why the rich will get richer | Dogecoin Millionaire Example

  2. Start investing 

    I think in our current generation, many people are starting to invest at a young age as many interesting platforms and concepts besides the stock market is available for investing. Of course as always, you have to ensure that you are not investing with your short term funds. To get higher returns, individuals have been putting in more money to growth/tech stock and also cryptocurrencies. It is always to good to make sure you are able to stay the course in the long term and also build up good saving habits. Investing can be high or low risk and having a diversified portfolio or something suited to your risk profile is important to ensure that you are not panicking over any sudden drop or losses. 

    Read more: Importance of Building Up an Emergency Fund

  3. Reduce your expenses and debts 

    If you are not able to increase your earning power, you will need to instead ensure that your expenses are kept low and debt levels are manageable. For example, going for a more affordable HDB flat than a expensive one or even a condo. Managing your expenses is a huge step in ensuring that your money is not being spent recklessly and at the end of the month, you realised you are left with nothing much. 

    Read more: 5 Tips on How I Save More Money

    In terms of managing your expenses, it is always good to automate your salary segregation to ensure you spend after saving and putting a portion of your salary aside. Debt is all right o have but ensure that you do not take on too huge a debt that prevents you from saving and investing sufficiently in the long run.

Of course, the spike in prices might just be temporary but it is always good to be well-prepared. Working on your financial status can be a great first step to knowing whether inflation will eat up the value of your money and how you can ensure that the growth of it beats inflation.

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Sunday 16 May 2021

Stock Market Dip Portfolio Update | Let's see how low we can go!

Wow it’s been a crazy week and I think that’s what they meant when they said sell in May and go away. For me Tesla is a huge holding in my portfolio hence the recent drop in prices has really shaved off a substantial amount of gains in my portfolio. Before I start, do hit the like button and subscribe to my channel to keep up with the content that I release. So I just released an article recently on why cryptocurrencies are dropping, you can go over to my blog to read more about it. As all of you are aware, I did my Q1 portfolio review in March and was going to do my Q2 or half year review of it in June 2021 but this week has been interesting and I want to record it down for me to see it in 10 years or maybe 5 years down the road.

How the gains are holding up

So I had a high 4 digit gains since the beginning of the year and over the past few days, it has slowly dropped and with Singtel's recent announcement on their profit warning, my portfolio gains have dived down to a 3 digit gain. From my previous Q1 portfolio update, my stocks portfolio was at $40,129 and had a total return of 10.8% inclusive of dividends. As of current time, 14 May 2021, my portfolio is at $41,063 with a total return of 5% inclusive of dividends. Woah, all that numbers just being reduced, of course, they say you haven't lost anything as long as you don't cash out but the numbers are there and you can see it drop so definitely my emotions will be some what affected but I do believe in the companies I have purchased and will be holding them for the long term.

Even though my gains have dropped, the value of my portfolio is still similar to previous as I have injected some funds in (from RSP and some individual purchases). No one knows from here, will there be a recovery or the drop will continue on. In terms of my cryptocurrency, let's not talk about the total value of it as it will keep fluctuating due to the volatility of it. I currently only hold about 0.04 BTC and 1.19 ETH. BTC has been badly hit by reasons which I watched about on MeetKelvin's video where firstly, it did not act as a hedge against inflation when Yellen mentioned that inflation may cause interest rates to go up although she later retracted her statement and also of course Elon Musk's statement on Tesla no longer accepting payments in Bitcoin. The value of Bitcoin has been on a downward trend and it's pretty scary as ppl slowly start selling, as everyone knows, companies do hold a substantial amount of Bitcoin and if they were to also sell, we could see a drop in Bitcoin prices. So far, only MicroStrategy has announced that they added on their Bitcoin positions while the rest are holding on to it. In terms of crypto, I really put in a small portion of my money as the volatility would definitely keep me up in the night if I had a huge amount in it. So decide your risk profile and put in the appropriate amounts.

For me, besides being heavily in Tesla (about 35% of my portfolio is in Tesla), I have also been buying the World Stock Index ETF as part of the RSP with FSMone which hasn't suffered as bad a hit as tech and growth stocks. I like the stability it has provided to my portfolio.

Comparing Tesla to the VT, I am looking at the percent on the y-axis which is the percentage change scale based on the moving average for the chart's time scale. You can see the 1 day chart that Tesla returns are better than VT as the recovery of Tesla was quite substantial, of course you shouldn't be looking at the one day chart because we are looking at a long term horizon. In terms of the 1 month time period, VT has posted better returns as the recent drop of Tesla has been substantial. But if you further extend and look at the 1 year and 5 year performance of the Tesla VS VT, you can see that the Tesla has performed a lot better but at a huge volatility compared to VT. Of course, past performance is not indicative of future results but I believe that Tesla is an innovative company and will perform well in the long term. Let's visit back again in 5 years and see how the portfolio will look like. Although I will periodically be updating on my portfolio performance.

Managing the emotions that come with the market downturn

I guess moving away from constantly looking at prices does help. Also, if you had done prior research and know that the companies you have bought are profitable and going forward will be able to innovate and survive, tell yourself that it will survive! HAHA, all right, it's not easy but finding other things to do can help keep your mind off. With more restrictions taking place from 19 May 2021, we will be stuck at home more often than normal and it will be tough but we will weather through this together.

Some commentary on cryptocurrency news

Dogecoin has really become a huge and upcoming cryptocurrency that everyone is looking at. After Elon announced that Tesla will not be accepting payment by Bitcoin due to it's environmental issues, Bitcoin seems to dip with alt coins going up especially after he also mentioned that he would be providing developments with dogecoin added with the news that he has actually worked with the founders and developers of dogecoin since 2019. Mindblown, what a plot twist. Elon has been releasing explosive news one after another. What we can be sure of is that Tesla will still be holding on to their Bitcoin but in terms of accepting payments using cryptocurrencies, Tesla is definitely looking at other alternatives. Hope you guys enjoy today's video. Do hit the like button and subscribe to my channel.

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Thursday 13 May 2021

Cryptocurrency Dip | What caused it and how my portfolio is holding up

courtesy of
 I woke up today to news of Bitcoin dropping from USD54,000 to $46,000 before recovering back to the 50,000 levels. All these happening while I was deep in my sleep. Wow, what an exciting night for those who experienced through it all. Of course, when I woke up and opened twitter, I saw news of what had happened and my mum even forwarded a CNBC article to me.

So this was kinda what caused the dip:

Elon Musk have been pushing for Dogecoin which has driven up it's prices by tremendous amount and increased the wealth of many. But with the above tweet, he has also wiped off $365 billion off the cryptocurrency market as not just Bitcoin has been affected but other cryptocurrencies have also dropped in value.

I think it's important to still know fundamentally why you invested your money into Bitcoin or any other cryptocurrencies. I would say that the drop in price really was substantial and I was actually not looking at it and when I came to know about the news, the price had more less recovered to the $50,000 levels. As you can see from the charts, when it dropped to $46,000, there was huge buying which pushed it's price back to $50,000.

Besides the cryptocurrencies experiencing a drop, the stock market has been in the red as well this week with Tesla hitting a low of USD587. It is a time when the market test who will sell due to the pressure of gains being wiped out and seeing your portfolio value drop and drop. I havent been through a huge dip and this might be the time where the market will test if I can hodl onto my stocks and crypto holdings. The gains in my stock portfolio have dropped from 12% to about just 4.1%. Although overall, my portfolio is still in the green, lots of gains have been wiped off. I have added some positions to my portfolio due to the regular savings plan as well as individual purchases. My crypto portfolio is still holding out all right as my average buying prices are low for both ETH and BTC. I am planning to do a portfolio review soon to show how much my portfolio has dropped compared to my Q1 portfolio figures. Will provide an update again, in the meantime, HODL!

Monday 10 May 2021

Cathie Wood's interview with CNBC | What she thinks of the recent sell-off | Stocks that ARK is looking at

*Please do not take below write-up as a tip for any buy and sell. Information are mostly from CNBC's interview with Cathie Wood and are available for viewing to the general population. Please do your due diligence before investing.

Cathie Wood recently had an interview with CNBC on their show, "Closing Bell" on 7 May 2021. I actually chanced upon it as I saw that MeetKelvin was doing a live reaction to that interview which was about half an hour long. I have to say that it was pretty informative and I gained quite a lot of insights from it. I will have a rough summary below.

She loves the "set-up" of the current pullback as some rotation is seen from innovation stocks to energy and financial stocks.

To her, with a five-year time horizon, nothing has changed except for the price, the returns so far from the peak of the market in Feb 2021, they expected a compounded annual rate of return of 15% on average per year with their strategies. So with prices down right now, the expected compounded rate of return is expected to be around 25% to 30%. 

Read more: How my $700 per month will fare in 10 years

3D Printing ETF is a subset of the ARK Space Exploration and Innovation ETF (ARKX)

She mentions that because 3D printing helps with aerospace and including space hence they would be included into the Space ETF. There is no double charges to the clients. The newscaster also asked why companies like Netflix is in the Space ETF, she mentions that because the satellite radio and satellite TV is what they are aiming to expose the world to hence the next frontier is not space tourism but connecting people to internet. Hence the satellites being set up can connect everyone to Netflix. She also mentioned about Deere which is a very progressive company embracing technology for farming as seen in drones being used for various processes in agriculture.


She is grateful for the huge growth of ARK and have taken risk processes to ensure the ETFs do not hold too much of a single company. Definitely, she also talked about Tesla and it's autopilot. Some important information is that the autopilot will not involve radar but just rely on computer vision. About the recent autopilot controversy, Cathie mentioned that the opposite of autopilot is human driven travel which accounts for 80% of the fatality so autonomous will help with it. She is gauging that in the next 2 years there will be some surprising breakthrough in autonomous driving and Tesla will be at a larger scale than it's competitors for autonomous driving.

Read more: Buying Tesla Changed My Investment Strategy/Outlook


I think something really unique that she mentioned about Zoom is that it is really good inter-company software whereas Microsoft which ARK uses for video conferencing is great for intra-company which means within the company, great to use Microsoft but for external, Zoom has great potential.


She mention that Apple is a cash-like innovation stocks, as they are not supposed to hold any cash for the portfolio, they place the cash into stocks like these and then sell when they need the cash to buy pure play or early stage innovation companies.


Twitter is also another company that ARK has done an extensive analysis on and one analyst at ARK has done an in-depth research on Spaces which is a new way of having live audio conversations (think of something like clubhouse) and as well as tipping. She also mentions that Twitter is a platform where they push out their research and many people actually use Twitter to follow up on their analysis from there. Definitely one of their most productive network in engaging with their audience.

Bill Hwang of Archegos Capital Management provided seed funding for Ark ETFs

They met through Church in 2013 and Bill bought into Netflix which they both had huge conviction for. He also provided the seed for her first 4 ETF and he really helped them out as it was a time when most people was not interested in investing in an ETF. Cool backstory. If you would like to see the full interview, you can watch it here.

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Sunday 9 May 2021

Becoming wealthy opens up opportunities for you | Why the rich will get richer | Dogecoin Millionaire Example

Hi Guys, today I want to talk about how the wealthy is able to become richer due to some factors. As the SNL performance inches closer, many investor of dogecoin has huge expectations. Even Elon Musk have posted a photo about the guest starring with dogecoin being in it as well meaning that he will certainly be mentioning about it. 


So, on to today's topic on the rich becomes richer and the poor becomes poorer, this is something that has been amplified in the pandemic that has swept the world off it's feet since the start of 2020. As the rich is able to work from home and have the purchasing power to invest, their wealth has grown exponentially and the effects of the pandemic has not very much affected them except that there is an increase of zoom meetings and no travelling. On the other hand, jobs in the F&B services and airlines have been affected due to reduction in their services and with social distancing becoming a norm, many jobs are being automated if possible. Many people who used to live pay-check to pay-check suddenly loses their income which puts them on the brink of being homeless and relying on food banks.

This video is definitely not to talk about how life is so unfair but really to show the different opportunities that are available for you depending on your wealth status and also which city you are living in. I like to do a deep dive into how opportunities seem to come knocking on the door once you are able to attain a certain amount of wealth in your life.

Recently, I came across Andrei Jikh's video where he talked about a dogecoin millionaire named Glauber Contessoto who placed his life savings (What a courageous man!) into dogecoin when it was 4.5 cents, so once dogecoin rose and hit 45 cents, he became well over a millionaire in a matter of 2 months or 69 days. It is so crazy thinking about it. It could have been 0% if dogecoin crashed but well, he managed to X100 it. After he managed to X100 his money, he mentioned that he will be holding it all in dogecoin until the value reached 10 million (another courageous act from him). I won't go through on how he should be managing his money because well, I am not yet a millionaire but after he got his 1 million, many opportunities have come to him.

People want to know how you made your wealth

I guess you can see how many interviews or articles have been written about him. Many people are amazed at how he managed to become a millionaire within such a short period of time and most importantly, what went through his mind which made him smash all his life savings into Dogecoin. The thoughts that he was having and even now when he spoke of how he will be hodling until his portfolio becomes $10 million.

Even for other millionaires who got their wealth through a combination of their day job and investments, people are interested. Take for example TechLead which I love him for his humor and how he just causally produces his videos but has so much insightful points being presented. People are interested and they want to hear so then that brings me to my next point.

You are able to expand your network and work with other wealthy individuals

Andrei Jikh managed to connect with Glauber to find out more on how he did it and in a way after he became rich, so many influential individuals have reached out to him and in turn to share his experience, he has a Youtube channel now with almost 10,000 subscribers. It is growing pretty well since now he is known as the doge millionaire, even Google agrees. And he has been appearing on television as well as numerous interviews.

With this experience, being able to meet the various huge You-Tubers means that he will be able to connect with them and we can see this in Andrei Jikh latest video where he was introduced to Graham Stephan.

You have the capital to grow

Of course, most importantly, what makes the rich get richer is that they have the capital to build on whatever they are doing. For example, they can buy ads to promote their channel or even to organise giveaways to increase traffic flow. Definitely these are just a few but they can invest and grow with a larger capital, eg a 10% return on a $10,000 is only $1000 but a 10% return on one million is $100,000. Woah, huge difference right there. Building up your net worth is the first way to a million, there are many different ways to do it, dogecoin is one of it but how many can remain a millionaire in the long run or grow to be a billionaire, no one knows because the future is unknown. Look out for the SNL show in SG time as you can keep yourself updated through social media! To end it off, work on yourself and your present state, what will be yours in future will come. Hope you guys enjoy today's video, as usual smash the like button and subscribe to my channel for more content!

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Saturday 8 May 2021

Is cash really useless now?

"No one holds cash nowadays, it is either in the stock market or in cryptocurrencies" I feel this is what a lot of people think nowadays as I have seen numerous videos about the printing of money by the FED, putting their stimulus money into stock market and also of inflation. I think the overall notion is that since cash can be so easily printed, why hold on to it as it's value will fall over time.

Instead, we can use cash to buy assets or items that will be worth more in the future. That is also why people love buying real estate as well. Explaining as well on the overheated property market in Singapore.

A lot of my friends have been entering the stock market since late last year and previously I used to only be the one investing, with the entry of Tiger Brokers and MooMoo + stock market bull run, many of my friends have chosen to put their cash into the stock market.

Cash is still king?

For me, I feel secure holding at least 6 months of my salary and would like to build it up more over time. Cash is still king as long as it is still our medium of payment. However, in terms of value appreciation or growth, cash is definitely not king. For many of the older generations, cash is and will always be king because from a young age, cold hard cash was what paid their bills. I came across this video recently called "Are we ready for the next crisis?" by DW Documentary, in the video, many people are being asked how does cash come about. Most of them were not aware with some of them saying that it comes from the bank or when we work we receive it. In a way, they are right but how does cash really came about?

How cash/money came about and how it might change in the future

A rough overview is that in the early times, there was no money but things were exchanged for example, you grew vegetables and you could exchange it for some meat by sharing your crops. IOU was also issued if you were not able to pay where debt was also created. Next we moved on to a time where money was in the form of metal or pebbles where for example some form of common and unique characteristics was found for money to make it not easily replicated but at the same time, something that was easily recognisable.

Eventually, societies moved away from using precious metals to make money. Known as representative money, the new paper bills and coins made of non-precious metals represented certain values that everyone in those societies could agree upon. Governments or banks would promise to exchange representative money for a specific amount of silver or gold. Today, most modern currency is not backed by silver or gold. Instead, today's money is known as fiat money. Money has a certain value today because it was given that value by government fiat or decree. - Taken from

Money today has a certain value because the value is given by the government and I believe Bitcoin was created in 2008 in response to the Great Financial Crisis where Satoshi Nakamoto wanted to create a peer to peer payment system that did not require a third party confirmation. This means that banks would not be involved in this equation. It is a simple idea, to eliminate the middleman/third party to optimise the whole process of payment.

Many people who invested in cryptocurrencies early on understand that this concept is here to stay as it is something that made sense, to remove admin fees and yet have everything still be processed and have a transaction record through a blockchain.

Regulatory problems

“You’d have to shut down the Internet” to ban Bitcoin, says SEC’s Hester Peirce. Even though, the governments want to have a way to regulate cryptocurrencies, it really is quite difficult to do so when internet is readily available although the government can still implement policies to ban them. Like in India and Turkey where the Turkey’s central bank banned the use of cryptocurrencies and crypto assets for purchases citing possible “irreparable” damage and transaction risks.

The government might want to implement regulations for cryptocurrencies when they realise that more people are adopting it. Just recently, Turkey has been facing many controversies with cryptocurrencies exchanges where the owner escaped with people's money. This is definitely not due to the cryptocurrencies themselves but the people who are managing the exchanges. This can in turn make the governments really step in if needed

Why you should still have sufficient cash on hand

For now, cash is still king and important to a certain extent in our asset allocation because it is our main mode of exchange to obtain goods. We do not know in the near and far future on how cash will be redefined, the world is evolving at a rapid pace and everyone will have to adapt to the changes as it comes along. Just like how jobs could be made redundant in a matter of years, cash or our own currency might just change. Or maybe things will still remain the same for a long time. Building up cash is still the priority so always remember to have an emergency fund or buffer to make sure you do not have to liquidate your investments to make payments. Hope you guys enjoy today's video and as usual, do subscribe and hit the like button!

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Saturday 1 May 2021

Does the college you go to determine your future? And is a degree really needed?

Hi guys, welcome back to another article/episode from SingaporeanTalksMoney! I was having a chat with a friend recently. She is a diploma holder and have been working in her company for a substantial amount of years.

Her work environment has changed due to some restructuring and her workload has been increasing due to people leaving however it is really difficult for her to find a new job as it is an administrative position and it is so difficult to find another position where they will pay the same and provide good benefits.

I also watched a Netflix documentary called Operation Varsity Blues: The College Admissions Scandal where it explained how the rich and affluent use the "side door" to buy their children into prestigious school as having that prestige will help them fulfil what they could not do. So some of the parents, even though their child would be able to secure a spot if they were to put in an effort had to still use the "side door" to ensure a spot for their children. This is because being from a prestigious college increases your chance of working at big companies and also the opportunities that will be offered or even just the first impression and bragging rights.

Singapore definitely places a lot of emphasis on education hence having the local university and private university divide. And then even to the course that you study where top students usually go for medical or law degrees. Since it is so important to be studying at a good school, does it mean your future is ruined if you do not get in? Of course not! But let's explore some biases/impressions that have been formed.

Degree = Higher Salary?

Having a degree is really a norm now in Singapore, it seems to be the entry ticket to a job and it really seems so when you go through job postings as most of them would have a requirement "minimum a Bachelor's degree". I went the polytechnic route and to be honest halfway through, I already knew I wasn't going to make it to a local university. I actually thought of not going for a degree since I wasn't very studious and wasn't even sure what I wanted to do. Thats why I took a gap year and worked full-time in a job that was related to the field I studied.

After a year of working, I realised what I didn't want although I still wasn't sure what I wanted hence I went on to study a general degree because during my one year of working, I truly realised that your starting pay is pegged to your education or rather if you have a degree, you will have a "better" starting pay in some cases. And also because I felt that getting a degree was a necessity for my career. I know of many cases where a degree is not needed and with grit and performance, diploma holders can also command a relatively competitive salary.

It was also during this time when I was exposed to knowing that first-class honours could command a higher starting salary of course, depending on the company that you will be joining. It really further cement the thought that a degree was really the entry ticket to getting a higher pay. In my case, as my job was usually research-based or in healthcare mostly in laboratory settings which was not something I wanted hence I went to take a non-related degree to broaden my perspective.

Communicative skills

After obtaining my degree and entering the working world, I have truly realised that a degree might be your entry ticket for certain jobs/industries but there are so many more factors involved in maintaining or advancing your career. One very crucial point that I have learned is communication skills. There are just so many aspects to this and it can really make or break relationships in your workplace. Being able to pitch an idea or provide feedback the right way to your colleagues and boss is so important especially so when we have now moved to virtual meetings. You and your boss are no longer in the same physical space and conveying an idea is much more difficult as physical cues are limited and the tone might also be different on video.

Some examples that I have seen are that if you are able to communicate well, people tend to also help you in tasks that you require assistance. I have had an ex-colleague who would always have catch-up chats with another team and share how her day was to easily reach them even as a friend capacity. This means that when she needs help, she can easily approach them and for them to help her, the other team are faster to respond since they are like "friends".

Similarly, being able to communicate well with your boss means that more opportunities could be given to you as your boss can convey instructions easily and know what you are working on. Unfortunately, for me, I am an introvert and I have to admit that I am too comfortable in my comfort zone of not speaking up. I have seen opportunities being given to others partly because I did not voice out my opinions that I am capable of handling the project.

This has overall made me more of a listener and to be honest, many things appear in my mind but I cannot seem to articulate it out. I am trying to work on being more expressive and to make myself be heard. Whether in terms of the work I do or just an update.

Learning new things

Besides of course improving your communication skills, a lot also depends on your learning. Learning to improve your current workflow or learning a new skill that will earn you extra money or push you ahead in your career is really crucial. The world is really changing in terms of the demand and supply of knowledge and jobs. Technology is now the dominant sector and even primary school children will have to incorporate coding into their curriculum, this just tells us how much the materials that the younger generation needs to be exposed/studied will have a change

Is a degree needed?

I would say yes, in current situations. Of course, this depends a lot on the industry you are going into and what you are studying. Most if not all industries nowadays require constant knowledge update through short courses throughout your career and you can also study part-time although it requires huge perseverance and determination. I think what matters more is your attitude towards learning. Hope you guys enjoy today's video! 

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