Get $5 when you sign up with Google Pay & make a transaction (Until 31 July 2020)

This is really a quick kill for a good deal. It is the usual way of spending bucks to get more users and it is also an easy one to get. All you need is just to sign up for google pay using this link here https://g.co/payinvite/t74cf8f

All the way through 31st July 2020, when you download Google Pay from this referral link, you will be able to receive a free $5 cash after performing an eligible transaction.

Referral Programme (until 31 July 2020)

a. You earn $5 once your friend makes his or her first payment using Google Pay. The transaction must be at least $10 to qualify. (or PayNow to your friend)

b. You can earn the reward once for each friend whom you have successfully referred, and the best part is there is no limit.

Once you have signed up using my link, you can then continue sharing your own referral link to as many friends as you’d like, which will then in return, earn you and your friend $5 cash each for each successful referral! 

How it works?

Send your invite link for everyone to download Google Pay.

For invitees who are on IOS devices, they must enter their mobile number on the Google Pay page that is prompted before installing the app. The login must be the same as Google Pay to qualify.

You can insert a referral code if you have downloaded the app however you must not make any transactions on Google Pay before.

You will then earn S$5 and your friend S$5 if they make their first payment of at least S$10 on Google Pay by 31 July 2020 23:59 Singapore time and payment is successfully process. Also, assuming that it is a first time user as well as a first transaction.

At the time of writing, you can do this by linking your PayNow account to OCBC account (Currently that is the only way to do so) and make a transfer from there. This is the easiest and fastest way to get the perks.

It’s quite easy and simple to do. Although it takes a bit of an effort but I think it is worthwhile while they still have marketing expense to spare. Have fun referring! Please do use my referral link if you think this is of value to you. Sharing is caring – Cheers!

A SIM only telco – GIGA

In the past, there used to be only 3 players in the telco market – Singtel, Starhub and M1. They sort of formed into a monopoly where 5.2 million people on the island will choose either of the 3 companies. All things change when Circles.life came into the picture and to be honest, it was such a game changer that almost instantaneously switched to them at the earliest time possible once my contract was up. Notably, Singtel has the best coverage in Singapore and underground but they were keen on only making profits for themselves.

After some time, all three incumbent were forced to break off from their current model into a SIM only plan. This has been really great for consumers in particular as more competition means more competitively prices plans and better customer service. Of course, the incumbent truly matched the competition and eventually I switch out to GIGA, a SIM only plan from Starhub.

The real benefits of going with GIGA means that for a basic plan,

a. S$18 for 20GB of data, 200 mins of outgoing calls, 200 SMS, free caller ID and free incoming calls and incoming SMS.

b. For unused data, you can carry over to the next month (Capped at 2x the base data – 20 GB x 2 = 40GB

c. No contract means, flexibility and freedom to cancel the contract anytime.

d. Signup is digital only – meaning you can only sign up online and use an app to access your account as well as setup your payments. They accept most major credit cards.

e. There isn’t any IDD so for for overseas usage, you would need to buy either gigaRoam (Asia Pacific) or gigaRoam (Rest of the world)

f. You would need to pay a small registration fee and arrange for the SIM card to be delivered to your preferred location. However, you can use a referral code to supplement the discount. You will get a one time $20 gigabucks off the 25GB plan or a one time $42 gigabucks off the 50GB plan if you use my code – “LhS9Ng”. The referral credit is only valid for any plans except the basic $10 GIGA plans.

The downside of using GIGA is that you can’t surf the internet while on a call (for e.g. checking for emails or stuffs while on a call however if you have your WiFi switched on, it works perfectly) but you can still receive OTP (One time Pin) while still on the call so that’s not too much of a worry.

Generally, I like the interface, colours and customer service support on GIGA. They even have a live chat function but you need to clear your cache regularly as it seems like it is stuck on my app most of the time. It is fuss-free and simply to use. I’ll say that they are trying hard to evolve and re-invent themselves. I don’t have too much faith with Singtel and GOMO so this is my next best choice.

GIGA just launched a 40GB data, 300 SMS, 300 outgoing calls at $20 for 12 months. It is still a no contract plan, just that it reverts back to $30 a month from the 13th month onward.

From time to time, they will launch limited time offers like the one above. You can visit their website to find out more: https://www.giga.com.sg/

A low cost Brokerage option? Tiger Brokers

In the last few years, we have seen quite a number of independent brokerage firms popping out of nowhere. The idea that their platform charges an extremely low brokerage fee seems to make us think about their sustainability and how they are make money to survive the long game.

Well, for consumers and folks who are talking about low costs – such competition will only benefit retail consumers and I will definitely take them into consideration. Interesting enough, the backers of Tiger Brokers are a Chinese online security brokerage firm in Beijing founded in 2014. Their investors are Interactive Brokers Inc, Jim Rogers, ZhenFund and Xiaomi Inc. Tiger Brokerage is listed on Nasdaq under ticker: TIGR.

In Singapore, Tiger Brokers is under their subsidiary, Tiger Brokers (Singapore). The biggest sell for them is their 0.08% fee on the share value with no minimum fee for equities on SGX. They also do not charge a custodian fee.

The on boarding process is pretty simple and easy. You can also use SingPass to ease the sign up process. For funding purposes, SGD transfers takes only an hour or so during the weekdays. I transferred some funds to the platform at around 7.30 pm and funds were approved at around 8.15 pm. At the same time, I also tried out their withdrawal process. It takes about 24 hours to receive the funds in the bank account. It could be due to a first time withdrawal but I shall try it out to find out more. One important point is to deposit and withdraw funds in the same name as the one you use to register for the platform otherwise there will definitely be delays.

An impressive in-depth study on Tiger Broker can be found on Seedly article here: https://blog.seedly.sg/tiger-brokers-review/ and one of the key points about custodian was discussed in the article.

Mentioned on one of their paragraph: “Unlike the other brokerages operating in Singapore, Tiger Brokers does not have a custodian license and has to rely on a third-party broker or bank.” It means that they use a third party custodian bank and specifically two other banks (ANZ and CIMB). It also means that you do not need to worry about Tiger Broker going default since banks are holding your securities and funds.

I think that they are a good platform to invest some funds in but definitely not your core or bulk of your funds.

There are some promotions for new signups which doesn’t seem too shabby:

  • Free level 2 data on US or HK stocks for 30 days after registration
  • Commission-free for 1 order of US&HK stocks in 30 days after opening an account
  • Get up to $100 worth of stock vouchers when you deposit funds or transfer shares
  1. Fund account with SGD 2,000-5,000 to get Stock Voucher worth SGD 30
  2. Fund account with SGD 5,000-10,000 to get Stock Voucher worth SGD 50
  3. Fund account with SGD 10,000-30,000 to get Stock Voucher worth SGD 70
  4. Fund account with more than SGD 30,000 to get Stock Voucher worth SGD 100
  • Get an additional $100 worth of stock vouchers when you refer friends
  1. Invite a total of 5 people to own SGD 10
  2. Invite a total of 9 people to own SGD 20
  3. Invite a total of 12 people to own SGD 30
  4. Invite a total of 15 people to own SGD 40
  5. Invite a total of 25 people to own SGD 100

If you find this as something interesting, please do use my referral code link here: https://www.tigersecurities.com/accounts?invite=S5LTM6

Here you can also find a funding guide from Tiger Brokers: https://youtu.be/AmgLNhDvA68

Low or no interest? Where to park your funds?

With the current environment due to the cause of covid-19, central banks around the world have reduced interest rates to an extremely low level. In finance, or what we call an emergency fund – has to always be liquid. It is well known to keep 3 – 6 months of funds for a rainy day. As for the amount to keep, it really depends on everyone’s personal situation. I would say, it depends on how much you spend and how willing one will be able to adjust to change their lifestyle. Given the current situation, it may be better to keep up to 9 or 12 months of emergency funds. Again, it depends very much on every individual’s finance situation.

Recently, we have seen the banks reducing the interest rates of deposit accounts or “high yield” saving accounts. It is only a matter of time when everyone else will reduce that interest amount. It is important to always keep funds liquid. You will never know what happens so it is important to stick to the rules – Keep your liquid funds liquid. A couple of months back, I found an interesting channel to keep some funds for a pretty high yield of 2.5% pa.

This is Singlife account. The interest of 2.5% p.a. is capped for the first $10,000 that you fund the account. the next $90,000 will be on 1.0% p.a. and anything more than $100,000 will be on 0% p.a. So this account will be suitable for anyone who wishes to keep a small sum of funds with Singlife and the hassle of having another account.

Indicated on their website is (*Note that the 2.5% crediting rate is not guaranteed. The Singlife Account is an insurance savings plan. It is neither a bank savings account nor fixed deposit. Each person is only entitled to one Singlife Account policy.) The company is known as an Insurance Technology company that is licensed by MAS.

From how it seems, this is a really good channel to keep funds in however just take note that the 2.5% p.a. is not guaranteed and can be changed anytime. I think that this is fair given how flexible the funds can be taken out at will. In a most recent post, the news state that Singlife has raised 100 million funds in new AUM

The pros outweighs the cons at this moment hence I think that this is worth the trouble:

a. There is presence of an insurance savings plan that is capital guaranteed with no hidden fees or charges.

b. Earn up up to 2.5% p.a. for the first $10,000 with minimum funding of $500 to start earning this interest amount.

c. There is insurance benefits – 105% of the account value and retrenchment benefits.

d. A Singlife debit card that is complimentary and works like a normal debit card.

e. No Lock-In. No contracts. Funds can be withdrawn anytime with no cost and minimum term.

f. Application is easy. Works only on an app and you can use SingPass to register easily.

g. Funds are covered by SDIC

Find out more here: https://singlife.com/

Foray into CryptoCurrency – The MCO Card (Crypto.com)

Invest in cryptocurrency! The first thing that comes to mind is that it is a scam or it is risky. It is not only after you take some time to find out more.

Getting someone to go into cryptocurrency can be challenging. When I first started, I was late to the game but the fees I paid were way much higher than what it is today. Today, I can see that the adoption crypto is slowing and steadily increasing and solutions are being provided to solve the problems in the real world. There are indeed real world situations that need solutions.

I have been with crypto.com (MCO) for almost 2 years now. Though I did not experience that huge dip in prices after it went as high as USD20+ but what I have seen from them is absolutely amazing.

MCO coins are what define crypto.com (They were used to be called Monaco) and the fact that they managed to obtain the domain name says something great about them.

I would say the MCO coin is more of a hybrid crypto. You can get a real metal card depending on how much of the coins you buy. A real debit card that pays you instant cashback on anything you can pay with the card.

You can always opt for a “free card” and that gives you a 1% cashback on all transaction and it gets better.

Buying and staking 50 MCO coins will get you the Ruby card – 2% cashback

In summary:

Blue card – 1% cashback (N.A)

Red card – 2% cashback (50 MCO)

Blue/Green card – 3% cashback (500 MCO)

Icy White card – 4% cashback (5,000 MC0)

Black card – 5% cashback (50,000 MCO)

What I really like about this is not just the cash back. However you have to be comfortable to lock in at least 500 MCO for an initial 6 months.

Pros:

1. I always want to buy cryptocurrency more fuss-free and easier. This platform makes it really easy

2. Funding from SGD does not incur any fees if you use xfers and follow their instructions dilligently

3. 100% cashback in MCO coin for subscription to Spotify and Netflix (literally free)

4. Unlimited access to loungekey (Airport lounge)

5. You can trade other crypto available on the app and their exchange

6. Certain coins have “earn” capabilities, meaning you get interest by staking it on the earn platform on the app.

Cons:

1. The price of MCO is around 7 SGD at time of writing. Thats double of what I initially got into but you never know when it will go higher or lower

2. You need to put in an initial investment to get all these benefits

3. You need to fund your debit card with cash first before using it.

Things may get complex from here if I add on more information. If you wish to know more, drop me a note and I can share more with you.

Meanwhile, if you use my link/referral code, you will get USD50 and I will get USD 50 worth of MCO.

All you need is to make a transaction and stake your MCO to get the debit card of your choice. Thats some cool amount of cash to start off with.

https://platinum.crypto.com/r/im3py887ty to sign up for Crypto.com and we both get $50 USD 🙂

Exchange Traded Funds (ETF) – reits version

The Singapore equity market is really slow to say and there are only a handful of reits ETFs that were launched previously (that was like 3 to 4 years ago). Quite a number of people were rather yield starved back then and with that bullish USD interest rate hike (Before Covid-19) it was almost a guarantee that this will happen. I blame the media for setting off such rumours, the central bank will never act on just pure speculation but rather more than data and in today’s world, even more data that they can ever get. A big economy like the USA is something that most people watches although that has slowly diminished after successful propaganda by the emergence of our Chinese neighbours. Don’t get me wrong, it is kind of good that they are getting their act together, it is just that there’s much more skepticism more than ever since anything and everything can be fake. Profits over anything else some people say so I say stay alert.

Well, back to the point here. I was trying to look for yield related stuffs that could add on to the portfolio and when I did a quick filter away from reits, there isn’t much that is available on the SGX that is sizeable (i.e. blue chip enough) and so to diversify that reits risk thingy, I went into the details and tried to see if I could mimick the fund portfolio. As it turns out, it might be too much of a challenge.

Diversity lies in the location: Singapore, Hongkong, China, Australia with the scope to add on more countries according to the fund manager. (Exposes some FX risks along with fees, fund management, platform fees)

Diversity in the types of holdings: Office, retails, industrial, others and more diversified real estates (Exposes to certain sectors that are cyclical in nature)

Lower fees as compared to a fund, as it is structured as an ETF (Exchange Traded Funds), it’s annual management fees are also lesser than usual. (Cheaper but more passively managed)

Yield: approximately 4-5% p.a. nett for all the trouble, perhaps even using different brokers and also different FX rates. Believe it or not, institutions get a better Forex rate just because they have the size to do so and sometimes, the fees on the allocation can be rather cheaper than a retail. It’s pretty much how you value it. Some people prefer total control, counting the pennies (every cents counts) while some delegate with a little bit of fees paid that is reasonable to them.

NIKKO AM – Straits Trading Asia Ex Japan ETF (Check that out here: Nikko AM reits ETF) and Philips SGX APAC dividend Leaders reit ETF (Check that one here: Poems reits ETF)

Pretty much in similar context just that with Philips, the majority holdings will be Australian reits (about 60%) while Nikko AM will be the majority with Singapore reits (about 60%)

Always do your due diligence, after all everyone has different risk levels. There are always other options. ETFs are just one of the many tools.

Bond/Debt

For an extended period now, the Marine, Oil & Gas industry is going through trying times for some time now. Going forward, it is going to be difficult to say what is next for them and many other industries

We know that bad times don’t last so are the bankers/relationship managers just out there to sell investment products for their own benefit? During good market cycles, when the company books are looking great, bonds are being issues to help provide the working capital for these companies. The moment the cash-flow stops, the banks stop lending or restructuring. Quite a tough and sad moment though.

I discussed about bonds/debts a few posts back and talked about public/private financing in the capital markets. What most companies did was to find some banks to finance their working capital with contracts and assumption of a stable cash flow and they would pay off interest to bondholders over a period of time. What the lead banks provided are in turn offered out to retail/institutional/HNWI to take on a portion of the bond. Most of the time, financing is offered in terms of Loanable Value.

Let’s use this example: I buy Bond S.Limited on point of purchase for the initial offering at Par Price (100.00) and as a bank I syndicate this capital raising and offer a portion to other parties so as to diversify the risk the bank takes on. When “Sophisticated” investors take on these investments I offer a 60% Loanable value, it just means that for every $1 worth of S.Limited bonds, The bank will be willing to finance you $0.60 and all you need is $0.40 worth of cash and on each reinvestment amount, you get another 60% in loanable term. When S.Limited announces that they may have issues repaying bondholders, then the same banks who finances the bond syndication would deemed these investments as not so valuable now and decides to tell you that you can’t lend anymore from the $0.60 previously as what they have valued the investment at so you have to make back the full amount in a few days’ time. I would think that this is as good as lenders telling the company that they will stop lending. To raise $0.60 from elsewhere isn’t really a problem for most people but how about $600,000 or $6,000,000 which I really doubt many of us have that kind of cash waiting around somewhere.

Just to put in down in illustration and mathematics so that it can be easily understood (not really isn’t it looking at this complicated piece of calculation table) This is basically a long form of maximizing the full loanable amount and then re-investing them back into the same investments and over again:

Name of SecurityCash for InvestmentLoanable ValueLoan AmountCash UsedBalanced CashValue of Portfolio (Nett of Loans)
S.Limited 6.00% 20251,000,000.00S$60%600,000.00S$400,000.00S$600,000.00S$1,000,000.00S$
600,000.00S$60%360,000.00S$240,000.00S$360,000.00S$1,000,000.00S$
360,000.00S$60%216,000.00S$144,000.00S$216,000.00S$1,000,000.00S$
216,000.00S$60%129,600.00S$86,400.00S$129,600.00S$1,000,000.00S$
129,600.00S$60%77,760.00S$51,840.00S$77,760.00S$1,000,000.00S$
77,760.00S$60%46,656.00S$31,104.00S$46,656.00S$1,000,000.00S$
46,656.00S$60%27,993.60S$18,662.40S$27,993.60S$1,000,000.00S$
27,993.60S$60%16,796.16S$11,197.44S$16,796.16S$1,000,000.00S$
16,796.16S$60%10,077.70S$6,718.46S$10,077.70S$1,000,000.00S$
10,077.70S$60%6,046.62S$4,031.08S$6,046.62S$1,000,000.00S$
6,046.62S$60%3,627.97S$2,418.65S$3,627.97S$1,000,000.00S$
3,627.97S$60%2,176.78S$1,451.19S$2,176.78S$1,000,000.00S$
2,176.78S$60%1,306.07S$870.71S$1,306.07S$1,000,000.00S$
1,306.07S$60%783.64S$522.43S$783.64S$1,000,000.00S$
783.64S$60%470.18S$313.46S$470.18S$1,000,000.00S$
470.18S$60%282.11S$188.07S$282.11S$1,000,000.00S$
282.11S$60%169.27S$112.84S$169.27S$1,000,000.00S$
169.27S$60%101.56S$67.71S$101.56S$1,000,000.00S$
101.56S$60%60.94S$40.62S$60.94S$1,000,000.00S$
60.94S$60%36.56S$24.37S$36.56S$1,000,000.00S$
36.56S$60%21.94S$14.62S$21.94S$1,000,000.00S$
21.94S$60%13.16S$8.77S$13.16S$1,000,000.00S$
13.16S$60%7.90S$5.26S$7.90S$1,000,000.00S$
7.90S$60%4.74S$3.16S$4.74S$1,000,000.00S$
4.74S$60%2.84S$1.90S$2.84S$1,000,000.00S$
2.84S$60%1.71S$1.14S$1.71S$1,000,000.00S$
1.71S$60%1.02S$0.68S$1.02S$1,000,000.00S$
1.02S$60%0.61S$0.41S$0.61S$1,000,000.00S$
0.61S$60%0.37S$0.25S$0.37S$1,000,000.00S$
0.37S$60%0.22S$0.15S$0.22S$1,000,000.00S$
0.22S$60%0.13S$0.09S$0.13S$1,000,000.00S$
0.13S$60%0.08S$0.05S$0.08S$1,000,000.00S$
0.08S$60%0.05S$0.03S$0.05S$1,000,000.00S$
0.05S$60%0.03S$0.02S$0.03S$1,000,000.00S$
0.03S$60%0.02S$0.01S$0.02S$1,000,000.00S$
0.02S$60%0.01S$0.01S$0.01S$1,000,000.00S$
2,499,999.97S$

Okay, in short form it really is Total Amount / (1-Loanable value) = $1,000,000 / (1-60%) = $2,500,000

So, With $1, the bank can loan you up to $2.50 presumably that you reinvest them into the same bond. Your total investments become $3.50 (Nett of loans, $3.5 – $2.5 = $1) Your nett portfolio value still remains the same but that comes with plenty of risks:

1. You leave no buffer for any mark to market movement
2. You become concentrated into one single asset class and one company
3. Loans means you have to service the interests on a regular basis so with increase in interest rates, that brings your return lesser though you have taken more risks
4. In times of liquidity and crisis, most likely you will not be able to sell your holdings as fast
5. When you hit a margin call, you most likely have to top-up your cash balances as soon as possible or that would become a sell-out eventually at the current price.

On the flip side,

1. You maximize fully what leverage can bring you
2. Your Yield is increased because of the leverage factor
3. Returns will eventually increase with a higher risk taken

Again, it brings us back to basics again. What is your investment profile? That high risk taker with a long horizon? The conservative investor that is skeptical? Don’t be surprised though that there are high risk takers who are willing to take the risk. Then again, if you know the risks you are taking then take it with integrity and principles. I’ve met and known people who can’t lose and yet take on aggressive investments but the bad times arrives, they do put the blame and point the finger on others even though they know the risks involved. When it comes to money, humans are not exactly what they are. A.

There are business who keeps increasing their loan size at every maturity and when you look at their cash flow, they are paying out more than 100% from what they make. It is akin to spending more money than what you can afford. In this aspect, it seems like the company wanted to:

1. Keep investors happy that they are receiving the dividends
2. Ensure that their stock price on the exchange stays stable
3. Waiting out for the bad cycle to ride through and business to pick up again.

But by doing so:

1. The money paid out have to be taken from somewhere and most of the time it is from a bond and restructured many times most likely
2. Anyone who digs deeper into the company details will know the state of their company
3. The cycle may not ever recover for the company to be relevant anymore

It is important to be thrifty and know how much you can afford to spend. Does looking rich or being rich matter more to you?

The need for an Emergency Fund?

So, the last few weeks I saw and discussed with many others about the need for an emergency fund, the purpose of an emergency fund and the reason for an emergency fund. I can’t say more that I am a pro-believer of an emergency fund. Yes, the naysayers are out there thinking about the every single penny that is without a higher interest cost. After all, everyone is programmed differently and we react differently in the response of what we termed as a “decision”.

With the Covid-19 situation, I do not think that the previous requirements apply now. Taking reference in the medium Singaporean salary on MOM stats in 2019 (~SGD 4,563), a really safe bet is no longer the 6 – 9 months of emergency funds but 12 – 18 months of safety net. Each and every individual is different, as humans we also adapt to situations quite adequately.

How much one’s emergency fund really depends, a fresh graduate (For example who make three grand a month) may not have much disposable income after netting off parents’ allowances, school loan if any and daily expenses. A typical planner would say probably three to six months worth of cash fund to tide through any sudden surge in expenses. I’ll say that is rather quite a decent sum to begin with. How then should the emergency funds look like for someone who is in his 30s, 40s and 50s? A $9k emergency fund ten years down the road does not reflect an emergency fund 20 years down the road. People change, society change, lives change and money value changes certainly. I can’t speak for everyone but I do see that almost everyone’s spending pattern increases when they get a promotion, get married, buying a house, buying a car, having children, family members becomes sick, friends who are retrenched, friends who fall into financial debt and many more. We are not the person we were at ten years old so neither will we be at twenty years old.

Against others who says there isn’t a need for such funds, perhaps the only uncertain thing in life is to know that no one ever knows what or when something is going to hit us hard and fast until probably we have to come facing it on our own. It is probably then too late to realise so. If there isn’t a need or purpose to think of that in such a manner, at least think of it as paying/investing in yourself first before other things. Away with the thoughts of “Spend first save the rest or Save first and spend the rest” There isn’t really a one size fit all theory. Afterall, how many of us are blessed to have people taking care of our education, exposures, overseas trips, trend and fashion purchases when we were still young and not understand the meaning behind financial planning.

To pay/invest in yourself, perhaps there is that profession certificate that you are aiming for or even to build those first $100K before age 30 or 25. Even before you dwell into that, put that emergency funds aside because there will be a time where there will be a use for it and it could prove to be extremely useful when the time comes. We have seen this in the most recent budget release where our country’s reserves are being utilised to tide through this unprecedented period of distress.

So, I hear folks who tells me bonds, equities, funds are liquid and they can easily get funds out when they need them. I’ll probably say no because emergency funds are defined as emergency funds and you got to understand the reason why it is called that. It should be as liquid as cash on hand, cash in bank and at most in Fixed Deposits that can be pre-terminated early.

Bond price, equity prices, fund prices will rise and fall. In times of recession, the true sellers outweighs all buyers and it is a false sense of security on the understanding of liquidity. In times where there is immediate use of the cash on hand. Emergency funds gives that comfort and security in doing so and I find there there is no better way at this moment unless there are disruptions that change the way we may be able to do these.

Blockchains and a Fourth Industrial Revolution

What is really ruling the finance world today? We hear a lot about FinTech funding and block chain technology along with Bitcoin, Ethereum or even new funding coins as an alternative way implemented into bank payment systems over the last 3 to 4 years.

It is rather difficult to bring across this concept and idea as it works better in demonstration as compared to talk about it.

What is FinTech? It is mainly disruptive technology that has the capabilities to replace financial services (Can be in the form of cheaper way or a more convenient way) but at the same time more efficient and in a certain way safer too.

Just to get yourselves interested on the concept of block chains, do watch this quick video: BLOCKCHAINS

I really like to see, read and hear about Bitcoins in which they are a small subset of the bigger ecosystem and this is a good introduction to start with: BITCOIN

Such block chains systems should be a secure channel as a third party using bitcoin as part of the transaction which in turn can be redeemed back into the real currency thus creating a market and a natural one in doing so.

The World Economic Forum 2016 early this year in Davos discussed deeply into the trends and how the world is moving into and in summary, it could possibly be the fourth industrial revolution. Revolutions are usually something not easily dealt with because of significant changes that destabilizes and question the status quo but eventually changes pushes through over time but the question about whether it works is unquestionable. The first revolution might bring about a new form of problems coming many centuries into the future (Such as air pollution, breaking the ecosystems, genetics and food production techniques just to name a few)

Source: WEF

Such significant changes brings about many existing issues as well, such as loss of jobs/income, the non-necessary skills required previously and to a certain extent reduce amount of time and effort required to get things done. Eventually, new skills and new jobs will eventually be created thus it is important to stay relevant. No longer are the years of loyalty you pledge to your company and you’ll be set for life anymore. Companies are also faced with the same task of returning ROI on every dollar of shareholders’ money and that in my opinion is vested interests.

The big subset of block chains in my view is Big Data. That is IOT, Internet of Things combined with many many different concepts to build a computer server that can maintain and sustain all of this. Many of us know this and that is Cloud computing. In time to come, Superhuman computers may be developed into watching over security (AI, Artificial Intelligence) and bringing security into a whole new level. I would believe that Amazon and IBM resources would have the capabilities to bank on such new technology. I do see a lot of the practicality developing into China and a lot of these are going on aggressively but the level of secrecy and confidentiality still plays such a big role as a former communist country. My guess is that China will bring block chains to a whole new level all together and that would be a footprint into the new world technology.

Financial Institutions are not tapping greatly on FinTech to date. Looking back at Nokia, sometimes it makes us think about embracing changes because one step could be just too late for any recovery at all. The Financial services are also part of a new form of Robo-Advisorts (Another form of artificial intelligence) and without a doubt services are going to be transformed into a new level all together.

The change is here and FinTech and Bitcoins are also an alternative way of investing. That would add on to the list of asset allocation in the previous posts. There are plenty of alternative asset classes, just don’t fall prey to unreal ones so always do your DUE DILIGENCE (DD).

Only Steve Jobs believed in the future of smart phones and tablets before it came here today.

“If at first, the idea is not absurd, then there is no hope for it.” – Albert Einstein

The Dynamic World and our Struggles

This can be a bit deep to ponder but with the global pandemic situation, this fourth industrial revolution is probably already in progress.

One of the most interesting Macro aspect of the world today and what lies in it for the future on the fourth industrial revolution. This is something that caught my attention as well as made me ponder for a long while then it started to interests me and on a wider perspective, country and globally that is, a topic that is known to all, unknown to many. Why is that so? We probably look to trends in the world today and we know the problems and issues we face while having no answers to all of this at all.

The first 3 industrial revolution talked about the importance and worries of the labour force as a concept.


1. The first revolution: 1784 invention of the mechanical production and steam power energy.
2. The second revolution: 1870 the invention of mass production and electrical energy
3. The third revolution: 1969 the invention of electronics and IT
4. The fourth revolution: Today? Artificial Intelligence and Big Data? Or something else?


What do they have in common? That is Automation and Connectivity as proclaimed by Nicholas Davis, the world economic forum Head of Society and Innovation.

Perhaps there should even be a 5th point. The Covid-19 pandemic that digitalise businesses that were putting these options off because of other priorities. Unemployment and redundancy will accelerate and bring about a whole new different way in which we are about to work or to say work from home. These cause and effects, resulting in commercial and office rents demand dropping will lead to other dominos.


The first and utmost reaction to structural change is always a fear for job security. Similar to the 1970s, the fear for replacement by computers over current fear over replacement by robots is nothing new but in vary in existence in various forms. Certain Jobs will be lost and many others will also be created so a successful economy is likely to match 4 criteria:


1. Labour market flexibility

2. High skills in the attribute of flexible skills

3. Flexible infrastructure

4. A robust Legal system


The Labour market is one that empowers a lot to substitutes for every country. Whether a particular job results in an inefficiency towards the introduction of technology or a job preservation at the expense of currently inefficiency level, that may ultimately result in the non-existent of jobs in the later part of the revolution which have been the key issues into the third revolution.


Skills factor is an subjective matter. In short, a more skilled worker will thrive and eventually earn more in income than a less skilled worker but that being said does not work all the time in all aspects and in all economies. Teaching, self-learning and flexibility to adapt to work trends is crucial to an every evolving revolution of technology.


An industrial revolution is about changing economics structures. Many of these capital intensive infrastructure has been built, developed and enhanced over the longer term and some of these may deemed obsolete. Brick and mortar shops have been significantly reduced since the introduction of internet which pave ways towards e-commerce which is currently a partial result of a complementary support of smart technology, digital connectivity and a more than efficient network.


As the economy moves towards a more virtual world, “trade” is likely to become in the form of intellectual property rather than a physical product. Legal protection and legal issues will be the main source of contact point to protect, secure and patent a particular idea or product in order to obtain exclusivity over a virtual world in that sense.


Another point to note would be the power of brand, a quality assurance towards a particular brand that could come in the form of a service/quality or even assurance may be able to enhance the brand power. The opposite also holds for brands that faces competition, margins and quality control or even a layered middle-man system can be greatly reduced in the face of the revolution.


Very likely, we would be very used to seeing powerhouses and many others who have the resources to keep the basics before the revolution and tweak them to provide a transition phase of moving into a new economy or as we know it, new world. Developed nations, emerging markets look likely to benefit from such a drastic change and the next generation of technology and age will be something different from the hard working baby boomers.


Who benefits from the industrial revolution?  Like many other things we do in life, It’s never a one size fits all concept but keep on learning because that is the way to stay relevant. Do not stop to innovate and make the necessary changes. Shit happens but being uncomfortable makes us regularly improve and be creative. Imagine a situation when we sit and wait for things to happen, more often than not things doesn’t pro-create on its own. Like a volunteer, their small acts of kindness usually leads a long way and we never know what might be in store for us.


So I say, keep the faith and keep on thriving in uncomfortable and uneasy situations. Sometimes, it is the comfort that stops us from moving forward.