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What a visit to NTUC Fairprice could teach us about investing in stocks?

Friday, June 28, 2013

I have blogged about how to explain to sceptical family members that investing in the stock market is not the same as gambling. I have blogged about how soon should we start the next generation on investing and I have also recommended a book to this end.

These topics are evergreens. 5, 10 or 20 years later, we will still have people facing these issues, I don't doubt. To deal with these issues, it helps if we are more creative. Using examples from our daily life and using language free from financial jargon will probably see positive results.

For example, I would explain to my niece that when we see good value for money, we buy. So, seeing two 1kg packets of rolled oats selling at $6.95 instead of the usual $9.90, I bought right away. It was almost automatic. I didn't really have to think.

How sure was I that it was a good deal? Well, I probably consume more oats than the average Singaporean. I have oatmeal for breakfast everyday and sometimes for both breakfast and lunch. So, I know the price of rolled oats quite well. This is within my "circle of competence", so to speak.

Extending this example to the stock market, when prices of stocks we are familiar with or within our circle of competence fall to levels which offer good value for money, why do people hesitate to buy? Obviously, there is fear that prices could fall further. Then, what if prices did not fall further?

I blog continually about the importance of having a war chest. However, what is also important is having a reliable stream of income, passive income preferably.

If our war chest is smallish, it could get exhausted quickly. So, we will need a constant stream of income to fill it up. This is why investing for income is so relevant and, indeed, important.

Know people who think that investing in the stock market is too esoteric a subject? You might want to share AK's story about his circle of competence with packets of rolled oats which offered value for money.

Related posts:
1. Investing in the stock market is gambling!
2. If AK71 can cook, so can you!
3. At what age to start investing in stocks?
4. Let your child have fun and a head start in life.
5. Teaching young children financial literacy.


SG Young Investment said...

This is indeed interesting. After a few years of investing in the stock market, i roughly know the price levels of different stocks i keep track and know when they are value for money to buy. Indeed it applies to our daily habits in real life.

AK71 said...

Hi SG Young Investment,

Yes, doesn't it sound so intuitive? I am glad you feel the same way. :)

SG Young Investment said...

Yes, i always believe how we spend our money in our daily lives reflects greatly on how we "spend" our money in the stock market also. If we buy things on impulse then we'll buy stocks on impulse also. Like the hello kitty craze currently. haha

AK71 said...

Well, to be really honest, I do buy stuff on impulse sometimes too. I know, bad.

However, if I were to rationalise it a little, I would say that I am "balanced". Haha.. ;p

Jokes aside, yes, I probably can do better both in my personal finances as well as investments. :(

Tien Song Chuan said...

Just dont buy rotten groceries.

AK71 said...

Hi Tien,

It is easier to spot rotten vegetables but harder to spot rotten stocks. However, if we believe that all investments are good at the right price, perhaps, there is a right price for rotten vegetables too. ;p

SG Young Investment said...

Hi AK71,

You have done really well in your investments. I still got a long way to go. Still got a lot to learn.

AK71 said...

You are 25. I am 42. That is a 17 years age gap.

When you are 42, you could possibly look back to this day and say "I have done better than AK71".

Many people my age or younger have done much better than I have.

I still have a lot to learn. :)

JCK said...

i have oats every morning as well!
In fact just about to have mine this morn.

A question: How's your cholesterol

i have never been able to keep mine down unless i cut out fats completely.

Total C normally hovers around 5.2
LDL from 2.6 to 3.2!
HDL from 1.2 to 1.6.

My doc has advised me to use statins. i am rather reluctant as i have heard about the negative side effects of long term use of statins.

i am currently trying out a natural theraphy using Apple Cider vinegar with water.
A tablespoon with a cup of water, three times a days

Any thoughts from anyone?

Disclaimer: i hit the gym four times a week. Still......

AK71 said...


I think I need to go back to getting some exercise. I stop going to the gym for 2 months already. Need to start again. Maybe, today. ;p

My cholesterol level is slightly high, iirc. I try to be careful with the stuff I eat. Cutting down on fats and oil is definitely the way to go. Not easy, I know.

Jane said...

Hi Guys,

Try taking Psyllium Husk. You can find it in the organic section at FairPrice. It was recommended by the dietitian. It has other benefits besides lowering cholesterol.

AK71 said...

Hi Jane,

Thanks for this but it seems like it is rather unpalatable. :(

There are many psyllium husk supplements available; however, they are not all created equal. Many manufacturers grind the husk into a fine powder and then add artificial flavors and colors to make it easier and more pleasant to consume. This not only makes the psyllium husk far less effective, it introduces unwanted toxins to your system. This variety is typically the only type you will find in traditional grocery stores.

You will likely need to go to a health food store to purchase whole psyllium husks with no additives. Whole psyllium husks can be difficult for some people to swallow, so be sure to drink your husks with a full glass of water to avoid choking. It is also important to drink lots of water while taking psyllium husk because without sufficient water the husks can begin to create blockages in the intestines.


EY said...

Hi JCK and AK,

Coincidentally, my brother shared today about his success story on bringing his cholesterol level back to normal. He takes fresh fruits/vegetable juice every morning. Different combinations at his fancy each day. The point is about consistency and avoid fat and oily food if not entirely, then at least in the morning.

His choice of fruits and vegetables doesn't sound really exciting - water cress, bitter gourd, wheatgrass, beetroot, orange, carrot, green apple, lemon...etc. He goes online to check the nutritional value of the fruit and veggie and simply combines a couple of them as his breakfast juice. He consumes Vit C tablets after that. And he exercises 3 to 4 times a week.

I'm kinda tempted to try it too. My cholesterol level is borderline normal. I take lots of nuts and green tea to balance the LDL and HDL.


Jane said...

Hi AK,

It is tasteless. I added it to the 3 in 1 Nesvita and can't tell the difference unless I leave it to thicken then I can see the difference. It will thicken into a gel.

AK71 said...

Hi Endrene,

I don't take any fats and oils in the mornings usually. My breakfast is usually oatmeal with soya bean milk.

I take lots of fruits and I take 500mg of Ester C in the mornings. Unfortunately, the one thing I have not been doing much of is exercise. I believe exercising regularly makes a big difference.

I like chocolates and ice cream too much. So, I try not to have them around me.

AK71 said...

Hi Jane,

Thanks for sharing this. Doesn't sound too bad. I shall look out for it the next time I go to the supermarket. :)

EY said...

Hi AK,

Would I be really evil to tell you how good the double chocolate muffin from Starbucks tasted? Yum yum! I had that as a snack after lunch. It probably tasted better because somebody paid for it. $3.90. One of my indulgence once in a while. :P

Avoiding chocolate and ice cream can reduce cholesterol meh?


AK71 said...

Hi Endrene,

Nope, not tempted at all. The muffins at Starbucks are really bad compared to what my sister bakes. ;)

Wait a minute? Free? Ok, that would make them taste better, surely. Shameless me. ;p

Well, if you could find chocolate and ice cream free of milk and cream, then, they would be free of cholesterol. Can do?

Matthew Seah said...


Haha! you're so like. Just bought a new CPU to replace my fried one after delaying for 18 months... better specs and 20% cheaper than my previous purchase.

AK71 said...

Hi Matthew,

You will be able to kill plants and zombies for hours on end again! :D

Matthew Seah said...

Hi AK,

no la.. for my sister to do graphic design and rendering... I no need so atas specs for killing zombies

AK71 said...

Hi Matthew,

There, you have done it. The excitement in the little boy in me just got a wet blanket treatment. Power to kill plants and zombies, I can understand. Simi graphics rendering, I don't. -.-"

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