Personal Finance Investment Seminar – From Bloggers with Love


18 Jan Personal Finance Investment Seminar – From Bloggers with Love

The inaugural Personal Finance Investment Seminar organised by Wealth Directions was successfully concluded yesterday. It was the very first time anyone bothered getting finance bloggers together to share their thoughts.

Thank You all for joining us for an enjoyable afternoon. For those of you who have missed it, here is a tongue-in-cheek look at the going ons yesterday.

Handsome Lionel

To say that Lionel Yeo from is handsome is akin to saying Lionel Messi from Barcelona FC is a ‘good’ soccer player – massive understatements. Who cares if he slurps his ramen or dances funny in the bathroom (girls don’t get funny thoughts), with his Ivy League Masters Degree and his cheeky sense of humour, he is every girl’s perfect ‘bring home to meet mom and dad’ kind of guy.

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Lionel practices index investing. By buying a basket of index funds and allowing time to work its magic, Lionel is able to invest with minimum time and effort and yet achieve his retirement goals. He believes in living a life beyond investing, and professes not to know or care what the market does most of the time. He teaches you how to do it with his all new minicourse.

So girls you know for sure he won’t be the type of guy to leave you hanging as he rushes home to check and trade the US markets on a date night.

Sounds too good to be true? Sorry girls, he is taken.

Blogger done well – Calvin Yeo

I am a long time reader of Calvin. He has been dishing out sound and practical financial planning advice on his site for years.

A few months ago I came across Dr Wealth as a one stop personal finance portal in Singapore. I signed up for the beta version and remembered telling myself these guys are doing a fantastic job even at such an early stage. I had no doubts then that the platform will go far.

It was some time later that I realised the team consisted of Calvin amongst other high profile backers in the start-up space. My confidence in the site went up another notch.

Dr Wealth solves a pressing problem for us. We always insist that investors must track their returns if they were to pick stocks. Failing which they would be better off buying an Exchange Traded Fund (Hi Five Lionel). Dr Wealth tracks your returns easily, and they even send you an email update once in a while to tell you how your portfolio is doing. Nice move!

But that is only a small part of what they do. Think of Dr Wealth as the instrument panel on an aeroplane. With one glance you, the pilot, can see where you are heading, how fast, how high, how much reserves you have in fuel. Previously without this platform you either build a spreadsheet yourself or you fly blind. Now, all you need to do is to sign up for an account and input the information. I spent a rather enjoyable afternoon doing so and watching all the numbers fall into place. You should do too.

Calvin Yeo is the classic example of a ‘blogger’ moving on to bigger things. While not dashingly handsome like Lionel (well, no one is), we have no doubt he is just as brilliant. We see him as a front runner in this space and we would love to keep pace with him.

Jared and his Zebra

If there is one chap that left a lasting impression on me, it would be Singapore Man of Leisure Jared Seah. He is the one whom I would most love to have a beer or two at the coffee shop with, and it was a pity that we didn’t get to chat much on the couple of occasions we have met so far.

Jared has achieved something that many of us can only dream of – he has turned his back on the corporate world and is now living a life of leisure. On stage, Jared sang. He (almost) danced. He shared the story of Zebras grazing on the African serengeti. He parodied investors.

On his blog, Jared has shared just about everything about himself. He writes what he thinks, in his own sometimes cryptic but always meaningful way. Jared is a real as personal finance bloggers can get.

I particularly liked a question he asks – How does one eat an elephant? The answer speaks and teaches a lot. (To discover the answer, google Singapore Man of Leisure)

Zebras and elephants are not the only things Jared writes about. Once in a while he would also profess his admiration for fellow speakers. :-)

Leris and CIMB CFD.

Thanks to the kind sponsorship from CIMB CFD, there was no lack of food and drinks to go around. The apple crumble was particularly awesome

During the session, Leris went on stage and shared with the audience the advantages of the CIMB CFD trading platform. Let me just say that she is a very welcome change from the otherwise all male line up.

There are two different types of CFD brokering houses.

Market Maker (MM) CFD brokers put themselves up as the counter party to your trade. In other words, say you put in a buy order for a share of Apple Corp, your broker would actually be the one ‘selling’ it to you. The implications are twofold. Firstly, this leads to prices that are determined purely by the broker. They might not be fully reflective of market transacted prices. Secondly, it is likely that the MM broker profits directly from your losing positions.

Direct Market Access (DMA) brokers on the other hand mirrors the price and liquidity of the instrument on the exchange on which it is traded. There is no additional spreads that the broker adds on.

Alvin shared his unhappy experience with another market maker CFD broker in a previous post.

Leris assured everyone that CIMB is a pure DMA broker. Hence, what has happened with Alvin previously will not take place. It would have saved him headache and heartache had he been with CIMB from the very beginning.

To open an account with CIMB, drop by their page here.

Dr Tee.

Dr Tee holds a PHD in Computational Simulation with Technical Analysis. I have no idea what that means, except that he is extremely smart and that his IQ must be a greater number than my height. He shares his thoughts on the market on the Wealth Directions blog.

It is not the first time I have heard him speak and I will be very honest – as much as I try to keep up, I am lost half the time. Yesterday though, he redeemed himself with one brilliant analogy.

A member of the audience asked him about the effects of the tapering Qualitative Easing on the global stock markets. He likened the US economy to a sick patient and the Federal Reserve to the doctor in charge of making him well again.

Some time ago, the Fed prescribed antibiotics to nurse the economy back into health in the form of QE. One dose is apparently not enough and they had to extend and increase the dosage twice.

He threw the question back to the audience and asked if any doctor would stop medication that was working well without being fully confident that the patient is healthy and happy again. He went one step further to ask if a patient going off medication is good or bad news. I have no doubt it is the former. When the Fed eventually does taper and allow interest rates to rise, it could only mean good tidings for the markets going forward.

Alvin Chow

Our very own Alvin Chow also spoke and shared about BigFatPurse’s CNAV approach to stock picking.

If you are a BFP reader, you would have been very familiar with this approach and why it works wonders. If you are new, welcome to BFP. Do stick around and explore what we have on the site for you. We are sure you would have a great time!


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  • jared seah - SMOL
    Posted at 21:49h, 18 January Reply


    Thanks for words of comfort! Next time drinks on me!

    Alamak! I should have used my 7th month getai cha-cha-cha dance routine! Just like what STI has been doing recently ;)

    You still dare to say!? Where were you at dinner last night?

    Must give you and Alvin props for having the courage to embark on your entrepreneur journey!

    Hmm, I’m no fan of Warren Buffet, likes to argue with the STOP sign, and consider myself more lucky than smart… Sounds very similar with somebody leh….

  • Roland
    Posted at 22:14h, 19 January Reply

    Hi Jon! thanks for this great write up! I will make sure I put this link on the event site so the rest who missed it can still read about it here.

    Let me know if you have any ideas to make it better next year ok?

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