Saturday 31 July 2021

Month of July 2021

Years ago, as I made a right turn at a cross junction on regular speed, I experienced an uncontrolled wheel spun. Luckily traffic was light in the early morning and no cars were beside me as I reacted to steady the car on a three lane road. That was aquaplaning in effect and for a moment, I was shocked. In the aftermath, I examined the Kumho tyres and recalled they were only about a year old and didn't look that worn out. But from that moment on, I resolved not to buy "cheap" tyre brands.

The weather was rather rainy during mid month and it showed up the car's tyres were getting a little squeaky for comfort. These Bridgestone Turanzas had clocked 47000km and worked its dues. The search for replacement began a month ago and I was ready to commit to Michelin Primacy at $135 a piece. On a Saturday morning , perhaps the iphone heard me and showed up a Facebook ad on a grand opening promotion by Stamford Tyre at Serangoon Gardens. They were going at up to 50% discount. Excited, I texted to get a quotation and was given $77 for a Continental Ecocontact. Good deal, I thought and decided to follow with a purchase order. But the reply was slow and it was last day of promotion so I drove to the store instead, hoping for an on the spot fitting. Queues had formed as expected and the staff was swift enough to offer a later installation date provided payment was made. Of course, I went ahead and now enjoy a new set of tyres with a peace of mind.

What's a telltale sign of getting old? When you exert a little strength to lift and feel a muscle pull.
Well, there's always a first time as some would say. When I used to be an active sportsman, the worst that happened previously was muscle strain from kicking a ball after some time out of the game. Although that pain was instant, it quickly subsided after a bit of stretching and I could carry on. This time, I was in a wrong posture and had began to exert a little effort before the muscle pull was felt. Although not immediately painful, I knew something was wrong. So I quickly sat down and observed. For hours, my concern lessened as I was still rather mobile. The next morning, I struggled to get out of bed due to a stiff back. That's when I knew the injury was more serious than I thought and planned for a trip to TCM. After an hour of Tuina and Baguan, the pain was manageable but this condition would take at least two weeks to recover.

Tip: Leoville Poyferre 2014, one of my favourite vineyards

Wednesday 21 July 2021

A Mixed Tuesday

The Covid vaccination drive is achieving the numbers intended and I want to congratulate the government for the rollout efficiency and low mortality rates. Compared with many countries, I think it goes without saying that Singapore is one of the safest place you want to be at now. When taking my second jab, I got to experience the well-oiled administrative execution from queue to crowd control. This was an improved version from a month ago which I thought was already good enough. The expected adverse body reaction luckily didn't happen and I declared myself all clear after two days.

As we continue to watch the infection numbers climb due to another unfortunate outbreak in the community, it was shocking to hear a newscaster announce that there was a death of a 13 year old student caused by a 16 year old. The charge given was for murder. What's happening here? Stress from Covid situation, bullying, mental fits? Whatever the reason, this case has claimed the unwanted number one status for such a school crime in our little red dot. The families of the perpetrator and victim need help to overcome such great anguish. As a parent, there is nothing worse than to mourn the death of your child, even more under accident circumstances. I hope the investigation can be swift and conclude the case so that all may move on. What's done is done. I'm sure the nation grieves with the families as this tragic incident grip our hearts.

Tip: Astrolabe Sauvignon Blanc 2016, good minerality with citrusy fruits

Thursday 15 July 2021

Finance Investment Movement 11

Just a week ago, there appeared to be no end to the crypto wave of downtrend. Much negative news had been delivered by regulators and to add fuel, another hack purportedly by Russian forces. When you have an action, naturally a reaction follows. That's what happened when pro crypto supporters came forth to opine on the resilience and tangible value that cryptos bring. Prices began rebounding and riding on this, I offloaded Aave once it announced news for a KYC enabled institutional lending platform, turning paper loss into actual profit of $100 within a short space of time. If there's a pullback in prices later, I am likely to load up again.

For the past month, I have been testing the Tiger Brokers platform and still getting used to the features. Managed a few small trades on Singapore stocks and gained about $25. Current verdict: the most attractive bit is the low fees which enables me to trade small volume, the stock voucher rebate is much welcomed whereas the statement display can be a little confusing. I'll look at allocating some more funds as I feel ready to make bigger trades and possibly dipping into the US market. Some recommendations I read are for Vanguard suite of ETFs, tech or value stocks.

Tip: Tenuta San Guido Alberto 2017, supple with raspberry and currants

Friday 2 July 2021

Crypto Pause

The crypto world has been rocked by much negative news especially from government regulators such as China PBOC banning transactions involving anything related to crypto. For a month, prices have swung from drop of 50% only to recover by 20%. The technical support levels were obliterated with little resistance and I hope it has at last found a comfort level to settle.

Prior to this hoohah, I had put some money into Matic and Aave after seeing drops of 10%. But it proved to be a wrong move as they have since sunk further. Luckily the amount I put was $650 and something I can afford to lose. Therein lies the age old advice of investing only with money that you won't lose sleep over. My intention was to trade it and not keep as long term so I guess I have to keep them for a while more.

As I continue to read with earnest on where crypto lies in the minds of regulators, there are more users coming out to support this technology, the biggest example being El Salvador who has accepted Bitcoin to be legal tender. In this regard, Singapore is more forward looking and helping to create a more inclusive system that I hope will be rolled out soon.

It's still a tug of war in crypto acceptance (Binance was banned in UK and Japan) and issues of hack or missing coins continue to persist. Therefore, I will take a step back, leave my current portfolio alone and focus on improving stock picks or other investments.

Tip: Sidamo Mountain Coffee, very fragrant, floral and non acidic