Sunday, 30 August 2015

Book Review : The Power of Positive Thinking (Part 2)

This post continues from previous post (Part 1)...

How to Create Your Own Happiness

If you wake up in the morning, you have two choices – either Happy or Not for the rest of the day. I choose to be Happy.

Example – Personal Experience of an ex-client from Jakarta
I remembers once when I was in Jakarta meeting an Indonesian client. He travelled more than an hour to and fro office daily. I asked if he will fume at the traffic that is massively jammed almost all time. I was told he is very happy when he is stuck in a traffic jam! “What?” I exclaim. He then said “Happy or Sad also stuck in the jam, I must well be happy!”

Do Not Create Your Unhappiness
In Singapore, if you ask people how’s everything lately. 4 out of 5 will say, life is not so good – family, kids, career etc problems. Unhappiness seems like a common state of mind.
It is so easy to tell people how things aren’t going well in life or career and how unhappy you are. But why not just say “Things are going well and Life is Good!”

Example – Couple on a Train
Peale recalls an incident where he met a couple on a train. The wife was expensively dressed, furs and diamonds but she complained that the carriage was dingy, service was abominable, food most unpalatable etc. She fretted on everything. Husband on the contrary, was genial, affable and easy going. Peale asked the husband what they do for a living. The husband is a lawyer and says her wife is in manufacturing business. Asked what manufacturing business, he says “UNHAPPINESS! She manufactures her own unhappiness!”

Practice Happy Thinking
Make a mental list of happy thoughts and absorb them. If unhappiness thought should enter your mind, immediately stop, eject it, and substitute immediately with a happiness thought.

Mix with People Who are Happy
Mix with positive friends and leave your negative friends for a while, but do not abandon them. Once you gain all the positivity, then go and help your negative friend.

I Don’t Believe in Defeat

Stand Up to the Obstacle
 “Just stand up to the obstacle, that’s all, and don’t give way under it, and it will finally break. You will break it. Something has to break and it won’t be you, it will be the obstacle.” – General Tudor
We can do this provided we have faith, faith in ourselves or faith in a religion etc.

Eliminate Certain Expressions of Thought & Speech
Always use positive over negative words.

E.g. of Negative expressions: “I am worry that I cannot handle. I am afraid I will be late. I will never be able to do this…it’s not as easy as you think”
E.g of Positive expressions: “I can do it! I will get there on time! I will try my best to get it done…!

How to Break the Worry Habit

Worry makes you ill. Fear corrupts our minds, our hearts, brains! The effect will be spread to your cells, tissues and organs of body. Always keep calm and do not worry.

Be Attached
According to Peale, married couples and church members live longer life than normal people. This is because their worries are shared. When you are single, you have to do it all alone by yourself.

Power to Solve Personal Problems

Most people who encounter problems always think they are most unfortunate and others are luckier than them. Maybe sometimes, it is not they are luckier. Maybe they have the same problems and difficulties that you have, but it is just that they find the right formula to tackle their difficulties.

Always talk to people about problems. Find people who encounter the same problems and who had solved them successfully and learn from them.
  •  Believe that for every problem, there will be a solution
  • Always keep calm and relax so that our brain can be more efficient under stress
  • Do not try to force an answer!
  • List all facts on paper so that problems become more objective, not subjective.
  • Trust in our own intuition

Healing – Faith, Stay Calm and Relax

Peale believes that the basic trouble of many sick people is spiritual (body, mind and soul). He believes sometimes medicine may only be temporary relief. Cure is the understanding of our own emotional selves. Natural law is governed by science and spiritual law is applicable by faith.

Therefore, work hard but in the absence of worry, resentment and tension. Stay calm and have faith of overcoming obstacles always. Rest is important too.

Be Likable? – All About Relationships

Being Popular
By overwhelming results, a poll in school reveals that majority of students voted to be popular. This urge is the same in older people but in another form. The longing to be liked, to be held in esteem, to be sought-after person is fundamental in us.

“One of the deepest drives of human nature is the desire to be appreciated.” – Psychologist William James.

Always be comfortable person to people. Easy-going and natural. Pleasant, kindly and genial way. Do not be stiff, reserved, and unresponsive, that never amalgamate into the group.

“To be master of art of popularity, be ARTLESS. Strive deliberately after popularity and the chances are you will never attain it.”

Prescriptions for Headache

In USA so many people cannot sleep without sleeping pills and so many cases of headache. Muscular activities utilize another part of the brain and therefore cure the strain and give reliefs.

“The best medicine for a broken heart is to take a scrubby brush and set down on your knees and get to work or to get an axe and chop wood until physically tired.”

A good cry helps sometimes. Get back to normal course of life quickly. Gain knowledge about philosophy of life and death

Rolf’s Final Thoughts

Are You feeling Positive Now? Reading is good, but not good enough. You need to practise. 

So now, go and practise it. 

But like CW8888 says, do not practise too much positivity on stock markets and on your wallet. LOL. 

Saturday, 29 August 2015

Book Review : The Power of Positive Thinking (Part 1)

Normal Vincent Peale, 2011 Edition, First Published in 1952.

Thanks to NLB Singapore 

Some time ago, I was browsing through a blog and read that the blogger labeled this book “The Power of Positive Thinking” as the trigger of his/her destiny turning point for the good. Fancy by this fact, I borrowed this “positive” book from the NLB and finished reading it last month. I struggled to put up a post early as I was making very comprehensive notes. It was kind of necessary as I infused the “positive thoughts” into my mind. To sink this mental therapy deeper, I will practise positive thinking myself, while also relating interesting examples to my wife or friends.

About the Author - Normal Vincent Peale

source: wikipedia

Norman Vincent Peale (1898 – 1993) was a minister and author and a progenitor of "positive thinking". Peale, born in U.S. was raised as a Methodist and ordained as a minister in 1922. Peale spent 52-year as a pastor in church which oversee membership growth from 600 to >5,000.  Peale was New York City's most famous preachers. Since Peale is a Pastor, the contents from the book are associated to Bible teachings with many paragraphs advocating “faith in lord” as the ultimate solution. 

Disclaimer: I am not a Christian and by no means am I trying to proselytize the religion. For this review, I will minimize or remove the religious aspects of this book to minimize any potential religious conflict.

Believe in Yourself

Auto-suggestion and Faith
Overcome inferior complex and lack of confidence using auto-suggestion and faith. Overflow our mind with faith and courage instead of thinking fear thoughts of defeat and ineffectiveness.

“How can one expect to make a sale if he drives up to a customer’s place and thinking he is not going to make a sale.”

Think of the Things You Still Have
Peale recalled that he encountered a man that lost his business, lost all his money and was in total despair crying that he has “lost everything in his life!” But he still have reasonably good health; wife still lovingly at his side; children are grown up working and all still filial; friends and most important of all, his integrity is still intact.

A Peaceful Mind Generates Power

Adopt change of pattern of thoughts to be healthier and happier.
“Many of the patients have nothing wrong with them except for their thoughts!”

Practise Emptying of Mind
For instance if you are on a cruise, walks to the stern of the ship and imagines throwing all your worries into the ocean and watch them disappear.

However our mind cannot be in state of vacuum. Hence we must always fill them up with peaceful thoughts scenery, beach, birds chirping, mountains, rivers etc.

Speech – Tranquility and Serenity Words
“Utter panicky words and your mind immediately go into a state of nervousness. On the contrary, if you speak peaceful, quiet words, your mind will react in a peaceful manner!”

Art of Silence - Practice Serenity Every Day
Every day at least for 25 mins, go alone into the quietest place you can find. Do talk to anyone, do not write and do not read. Relax and conceive your mind as quiescent and inactive, enjoying the silence.

For me, I am lucky to stay nearby a park where there are nature reserves. I will go to the quietest place and enjoy the sight of the hill, trees and pond, breathing in the “tasty air!

Do Not Rush
Do you rush to work, rush for the bus, train, rushes to meeting, rush home, rush for your dinner, even rush when going toilet or having a shower etc? Think about it, do you actually have to rush?

“The only way to stop is STOP!”

How to have Constant Energy

Be Interested
If your mind tells you that you are tired and not interested or bored, you will be tired. If you mind is intensely interested, you can keep on at an activity indefinitely. Get interested, get absolutely enthralled in something. Throw yourself wholeheartedly into it. Get out of yourself and your comfort zone.

Example  – A Famous Statesman
A famous statesman made 7 speeches all in a row and still boundless in energy. Asked why he is not tired? He said he believe in absolutely everything he said in the speeches. “I am enthusiastic in my conviction.”

Learn to Re-charge Energy
Learn to relax and do not be too hard on yourself. Re-charged at different levels regularly. For me, exercising is my best forms of re-charging on a regular basis.

Do Not Live in Fear and Guilt
Example – A Respected Man who has mistress
A well respected prominent man in the community regarded as morally strict and upright, but became involved with a married woman. He wanted to break off this relationship but his partner threatened him with possibility that she will blow it up for him to be in disgrace! The man could not sleep well each night, energy slumped and have no vitality to perform his job. He then seeks medical help to sleep.

Peale asked him how he can expect to sleep with two bedfellows! – Sleep? with “Fear” on one side and “Guilt” on the other side. Solution – Break off with the woman decisively, admit your wrongdoings and repent.

In Singapore, there are many similar examples - Acclaimed Singapore film Director Jack Neo extramarital affairs, ex-speaker of Parliament Michael Palmer, former MP of Hougang, WP’s Yaw Shin Leong etc.

Stay tune to Part 2.

Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Stock Rout – What Rolf is Doing for Himself?

Stock Rout and Long Flight Delay 

During the black Monday on 24 Aug 2015, I am on my way to China. My flight departs at 0945h, STI stock rout begins 0900h. 

Then boarded the plane on time, but waited longer than usual onboard. Announcements after announcements of flight delay due to China weather follows. Maybe it was also influenced by the stock crashes! The captain eventually asked passengers all to disembark and board again later at 1330h. Wow close to 4h delays. Now I head back to the lounge and have my lunch.

Relax – Enjoy Free Osim Massage

Ok, I sell during the wait. I am not Warren Buffett, and my heart feels more comfortable with higher cash position. Still no net REALISED paper loss this year! But paper loss amount is high for my standard.... sob sob!


I tell myself. Ah….OSIM chair…Free try in the lounge.

Feels great…although I still prefer “warm human hands!” FOC, do not complain. Now, I still have good appetite to eat lunch. 

Stay Calm – Write down your strategies

While on the plane, I read papers, eyes tired…close eyes listen to music… then watch Kris entertainment Movie. FOC! Then eat meal and cream and coffee…then show finished, eyes tired again. Now, listen to music again and lie down and watch pictures of my family members on my phone. Finally write some blog….

By the way, the movie I watched is Chinese HK movie From Vegas to Macau II (賭城風雲)starring Chow Yun Fatt and Zhang Jia Hui (Nick Cheung).

During one scene, Zhang Jiahui and his daughter are being pursuit by killers. He stays really calm and makes series of home-made bombs and killed all the baddies, then coolly tell his daughter that to live life well, staying calm is most important! Most people just do not understand, he said.

I was inspired! So on the plane, I quickly wrote down my plans and strategy, watchlist etc. Physically write them down please, not just in your head!

It calms me down, and I feel more confident and have a smile on my face. Don’t let your emotions run wild.

Understand your Perspectives – Think Long Term

“Did you always tell yourself to think long term and hold stocks forever just like Warren Buffett taught you?” Ahuh…gotcha….so you are not really Warren Buffett….stop pretending like one…

Newbie investors…still say.. “Buy Low, Sell High some more!” still say… “Be greedy when others are fearful…!” Ouch…my foot, we are not Warren Buffett!!!

Ok….Cry finish? Heart still pumping? If yes, then mean you are still up and kicking. Now think again, and re-visit your initial perspectives.

If your CPF got wipe out 20% now, will you feel as painful? Probably not, because for many of us, you are not going to get your CPF until a long time later. Ok...enough of crap answer, please do not tell me if you do not have CPF because you wipe it out all for your property...hehehe

Know Yourself – Sell to Diversify If Need To

You read stock market graphs before the crazy Monday, aren’t you? Stock market isn’t a straight line up or straight line down. It goes up and down.


YES…JUST LIKE OUR LIVES. If you have no "true" life experiences, then you must be thankful now you taste only a small part of it for it is the best time for you to learn. Hopefully it happened when you are younger now. That is why, I always encourage myself and my kids to start things early. 

End of the day, remember who you are, is the most important in bad times. If you got hit hard this time. Start again. Where you fell, you pick yourself up. Don't give up, the game must goes on! Know yourself more the next round. Be prepared.

For me, I feel comfortable to have more cash. I am sitting with >60% cash now. I am happy. This is me, BUT you are NOT ME. So stop worrying about what I will do next or what I had just did. 

Stay calm and find out what you should do.

Hey…I already had forgotten my paper loss, while enjoying myself in China now during a business trip. My China friends and clients, who are with me today, are not perturbed by the stock market. We stay happy and eat lunch and dinner all FOC…thanks to our companies!

Remember What You Have

You still have your H2F3…. Refer to my previous article on H2F3 here.

Health, Hobbies, Family, Friends, Financials…. Still have?

Stop Watching Your Portfolio if Your Heart Cannot Take It

Now…Hug someone if you need. If not, hug your big smelly pillow!

Saturday, 22 August 2015

My Portfolio – Updates of Buy and Sell & Rolf's Advices!

Time to write about stocks to garner more views! Haha haha...! Readers are most interested to read about stocks tips, actions, companies, rather than my long windedness about life in general. Sorry guys, if I offended you. My sincere apologies. :-)

The last time I updated my buy and sell is in May. Refer hereThe world has gone into depressing mode since then. Greece crisis, further oil decline, impending rate hike, Malaysia corruption scandal, China stock plunge, currency devaluation, Tianjin and Thailand bomb scares…

The result : “Sea of red in the stock market!” My portfolio affected? Of course...hahaha... So now it is time to take a break and go for a run, a swim, a cinema, kids, while still looking at chart at a rational mind. So easy? Really? Stop lying!!! 

Anyway, below is the buy and sell actions. 


Silverlake Axis –  Buy at average cost of 1.010 and sell at 1.005 plus bonus shares of 1 for 5. Mission accomplished since the original intention is to trade and lock in short term gain. Gain 10-15% within a month. Sigh “phew…phew..phew” when price slide to a low of 0.615 and company request for trading halts. Listen to star bloggers some more?

China Aviation & China Merchant  – China stocks plunge in June. Government intervene and stocks rebound. Sell entirely CAO at 0.79 and later CMP at 1.02 to lock in profits 10-15%. Rebalance to keep cash and look for more defensive stocks in anticipation of the pessimism.

AIMS AMP – Rebalance portfolio to reduce exposure in Reits. Sell entirely at 1.485. Profit close to 10% including dividend received for past 1 year.  

Suntec Reit – Rebalance portfolio to reduce exposure in Reits. Sell entirely at 1.66. Profit >20% including dividends received for past years. Including a major sale done in last Oct (Refer here) at 1.97 and several other sales earlier, Suntec gave me a return of 50-55% in total in less than two years i.e. >25% p.a. I will continue to keep Suntec in my Top watchlist and accumulate if price is attractive enough to warrant entry. My very own “star stock” base on my own sentiments…I Love it!  

Mapletree Log Tr – Sell entirely at 1.02, lower than my entry price of 1.09. Including dividends, recorded marginal return of 1-2%. Happy not  to make loss.

Fraser Com Tr – Sell entirely at 1.42 with my entry price of 1.31. Including dividends, it recorded return close to 10% pa.  

Sembcorp Ind  – Bite teeth and sell at a price of 3.35. My average cost is 4.6. Hefty loss of 25%! Pessimism in O&G continues and decided that I should not hold on to something that is not suitable for me. I was influenced by star analysts / bloggers in the first place and this is EXACTLY the punishment I got! I deserve it! I am thankful it happens to me now, and the ability of me to cut losses for something I am uncomfortable with, signals a major step forward in my investment learning journey.


Comfort Delgro – Accumulated few lots average 3.05. Damn it….should do after the plunge this week. Haha, what to do, you cannot time the market, but I somehow quite like this transport company! Keep in Top watch list for now!  

CapitaRetail China Tr – Oh Dear… accumulated few lots at 1.64 before the great devaluation plunge. Again you cannot time the market, so no regrets. 

Coca Cola Amatil (ASX) – Nibble less than 1 lot before the plunge. Damn it again! So far, it is already recording double digit paper loss due to AUD and CNY currency decline. Haha, but I do sleep well with my coca cola drinks can beside my bed.

Asian Pay TV – Due to the deemed more defensive local TV consumption in Taiwan and attracted by the yield, I added few lots at 0.83 before the big plunge.

SGX – Added 1 lot before the big plunge of last two weeks at 7.83. 

OCBC – Buy 1 lot before the Yuan devaluation at 10.25… Damn it! Average down at 9.3. Sliding down more. Ohhh…..!  

UOB – One week after Yuan devaluation, I go against my Broker advice not to buy any shares during this time. I grab less than 1 lot at 20.25. Same “Damn it” story. Haha.

Fraser Cpt tr Due to the deemed more defensive local suburban malls during crisis, I added few lots at 1.975. Go below 1.9 on Friday. Move this counter to my Top Watch list.  


ARA Asset Mgt (D1R)
Asian Pay TV Tr (S7OU)
CapitaR China Tr (AU8U)
Coca Cola Amatil (CCL)
ComfortDelGro (C52)
Croesus Rtrust (S6NU)
Ezion (5ME)
Fraser Cpt Tr (J69U)
KrisEnergy (SK3)
Lippo Mall Tr (D5IU)
OCBC (O39)
Overseas Edu (RQ1)
Raffles Medical (R01)
SGX (S68)
Starhub (CC3)
Super Group (S10)
Swissco Hldg (ADP)
UOB (U11)
Vicom (V01)
Woolworths (WOW)

Rolf’s Final Thoughts

Please please please…readers! READ AND FORGET all the Blog articles with Stocks Buy/Sell contents including very much my own blog articles! Most bloggers/analysts will buy and sell before you do! That is why I choose to update only after a few months my buy and sell, so as not to mislead the readers. Actions can be suitable for the particular blogger but not for you. Nobody knows your emotional or pain threshold except yourself.

You may asked, then why am I blogging here about my buy and sell? For me, this is a way to record and remind myself of my stupidity sometimes. Like when I buy into Oil and Gas shares when it first decline, thinking that because I am in the industry for more than 10 years, I know alot. MY FOOT! hahaha....

Therefore this is also a platform for me to admit any wrong if I did, and start learning. Which star bloggers / analysts will openly write that they give wrong advice and admit? Most people prefers to live in delusion as that is the place they find most comfortable! 

One biggest misconception in “newbie investors” is only to think about winning in the games of stocks. Anyway, this is what most professional financial adviser also advocates! Double digit returns p.a., most investors/bloggers when they just started already think they are better than professional stock investors...

A friend recently tells me that he was a better investor 2-3 years ago than now, because before he earn money and now his stock starts declining and recorded paper loss.  You may think this is funny but it isn’t. In fact, even many very (“temporary”) successful people sometimes think likewise in their life. This is called “Fool by Randomness” . Read my article here.

Investment is a long journey. Be patient, you cannot get rich overnight. Even if you can, Money “Easy Come, Easy Go!” Trust me, I have seen enough examples of very rich people, not able to sustain their wealth over the years, if what they earn is not deservingly belonging to them in the first place! 

It is better to know our ourselves and develops our own investment style over the years. Be patient (I repeat) and learn about the business, people and story behind each of stock. For me, I never think that investment in stocks will be the tool for me to earn S$XX and retire in YY years. Investing in stocks is my interest and hobby. It is a place where I can learn more about various businesses and how they evolve over the years.

Strangely, I also think that investment has huge correlation to our life journey. It advocates the principles of “Know Yourself”, “Find Your Passion”, and “Invest in Yourself” for an enriched life. In fact “Rolf Suey” when its alphabets rearranged become “Yourself”. This is why my blog is called as it is, when I started it.

Wednesday, 19 August 2015

Invest Fair - John Lim (CEO of ARA) on Investments, Entrepreneurism & REITs

I attended the Invest Fair last Sunday with the primary aim of seeing and hearing John Lim of ARA. This is main event of the day where Diana Ser is the Host and John Lim as the speaker. I had blogged about John Lim earlier. Refer link here. Seeing John Lim in person, and hearing his speech is no difference from what I blogged about him earlier. Honest, down to earth, humble, non-pretentious despite his status of today. 


John Lim's Investment Philosophy

  • do not speculate and over leverage 
  • focus on fundamentals of company 
  • he focus on stocks he is most familiar with and do not over diversification
  • he is still holding stocks he bought 30 yrs ago and accumulate more of those shares over years 
  • Be patient and not dream of overnight success 

John Lim's Life Philosophy

When asked why Li Ka-Shing choose him? Lim said he does not know, but maybe he is honest and uphold his integrity. 

In his life, he always maintains this principle:

” which means “Do not do to others what you do not wish others to do to you (Confucius)”

John Lim’s Entrepreneurship

Lim cited an example that "Many young entrepreneurs of today, who just set up cafeteria is not really considered entrepreneurism!" 

Entrepreneurship is about: 
  • building personal competence 
  • stay focus over many years 
  • 信誉 integrity and reputation
  • reputation is about priorities 
  • understand the approach to business
  • ability to calculate risk  

Lim said he wanted to build a company not just to make money but one which can be sustainable for a long time even if he is not around anymore. He is very passionate in his job and will work as long as he is possible to carry on working. Lim also believe that eventually, a sustainable business needs to be professionally managed. 

For ARA, the motto is: “investors first, shareholders second, and staffs third. 

About Reits 

For Most of the speech, John Lim focus on promoting Reits to the local retail investors. Some Q & A as follows? 

Q: Views on Interest Rates Increase 
John mentioned that never in his more than 30 years career has he seen interest rate so low for so long. This is to say, almost everyone in the financial market already knows that interest is going to rise and Reits is going to be affected adversely, way beforehand. Therefore it seems that for most of the Reits, the pessimism is already priced in. 

Q: E-Commerce threat to retail Reits 
Yes, he agrees that you cannot ignore online commerce impact, but he believes retail Reits will evolve over time. For instance, Suntec after AEI, has more F&B rather than retail. And maybe over time, retailers may work closely with e-commerce owners to come out with a win-win strategy. 

Also while online market purchase is convenient, people still require a place to meet their friends, to eat, family outing etc. He said “You cannot do your massage or manicure online right?" Hence maybe retail Reits in future will cover more F&B, education, entertainment, body relaxation, etc  

Example: Many years ago when VCD was introduced, he mentioned people told him that Cinema business will be badly hit. But he quipped "Look at the queues at GV today and the price of tickets they are charging!" 

Ultimately, it's about keeping up with changes and transforming the Reits businesses accordingly. 

Q: Reits cannot keep increasing rents right. Then how to grow? 
John mentioned that Reits have to diversify and transform within itself. 

Using an example of Carrefour Supermarket in Suntec.

Let’s say that Carrefour Supermarket many years ago signed agreement at $4 per sqft for 100k sqft for 12 years with Suntec. Not only the rent is cheap back then, Carrefour also occupied the prime areas of Level 1 in Suntec. 

For some reasons not mentioned to the public, he further said that Carrefour vacated. Today, Suntec rented only it’s basement floor to Giant Supermarket at double the rent. In effect, even at this price, it is still reasonable for market standard. Yet, now areas at level one can now lease to as many as 25 retailers or more, at $10-15 per sqft. 

Other growth areas, includes venturing overseas, just like Suntec’s acquisition of Pacific Highway Tower in Sydney.

Q: What is ARA acquisition criteria for Reits 
ARA will use commonly the below 3 criteria 

1. focus of the business of the Reits 
2. Yield accretive 
3. reasonable valuation (most impt) 

For example, Suntec initially wanted to own all towers of MBFC. However, eventually it was decided that they only bid to own one tower. Reason being the price is considered to be too high for them at that time.

Rolf’s Final Thoughts

The face to face session with CEO of ARA further fortifies my confidence in holding on to the shares of his company. 

PS: At time of writing, I own shares in ARA. 

Related Posts: