Saturday, April 22, 2017

Epicurean Delights: AGgs

Welcome to Epicurean Delights. Your host for today, Unintelligent Nerd, will be investigating and providing coverage on the fine dining scene. According to some undisclosed sources, AGgs are purported to be one of the most exotic dishes that have hit the scene.

Unintelligent Nerd (UN): Hello there, would you like to share with the audience your creation?

Chef: Yes. AGgs will definitely tantalize your taste buds. They are made for the sophisticated connoisseur who are able to appreciate the finer things in life. First, you need eggs.

UN: Eggs? Is it an egg-based dish?

Chef: Bingo! Next, we have to boil the egg.

~ Some time elapses ~

Chef: Once you have a hard-boiled egg, mash it up. Next, we will be adding in the "mystery ingredient." Wrap the mashed egg and the mystery ingredient together with a plastic wrap.

~ Some more time elapses ~

Chef: Annnddd wala! You have your AGgs!

~ Scroll down the page ~

UN: ................

Disclaimer: This post is for educational purposes only. Unintelligent Nerd is against the artificial toning of silver bullion (AG) with eggs for ethical reasons. The sulfur present in hard-boiled eggs interact with silver to produce the toning effect. For antique silver bullion buyers, do your own due diligence if you ever consider buying toned coins.

Friday, April 14, 2017

The newest con artist on the block

I'm still feeling pretty angry over an episode that happened earlier today. I was out with my mum for a leisurely stroll around the neighbourhood and she was approached by an individual who possessed certain characteristics that evoked pity.

At first, said individual offered some "products" to her, citing that it is for "charity." According to the individual, these products are "free"; the recipient is given the freedom to decide whether they would want to give a token amount to said individual.

Despite my mum's reluctance, said individual forced the products on my mum's hands. My mum tried to return the products but said individual physically withdrew from us. Following which, the individual followed us for some distance, before insisting my mum to pay.

Lo and behold! The individual pointed out that there is a price tag on the product, My mum then paid to avoid any unnecessary drama.

Coincidentally, said individual was walking in the same direction as us. We observed as said individual goes for the next kill.

This time, it was more aggressive. While crossing the road, said individual approached a lady from behind, grabbed her arm, and dumped the products between her bag and her body. As the products were no longer in said individual's hands, payment was the name of "charity." Disoriented, the lady paid. Mind you, this happened in the middle of the road.

I was furious. We began thinking of ways to protect ourselves if we are that unfortunate to meet such individuals in the future. Here are some of our thoughts:

First, we realized that ladies with multiple bags/handbags are vulnerable. Since ladies are struggling with multiple bags/handbags + shopping bags, it makes it all the more easier for such individuals to shove and wedge the products somewhere on them. Case in point, the product was expertly shoved and wedged between that particular lady's forearm and torso. As the product is "now yours", you'll have to pay.

Second. Want to return the product? Said individual has already increased the physical distance from you. Put it somewhere nearby to demonstrate disinterest? Don't forget that they possess certain characteristics that evoked pity. Unless you want to become the next social media sensation, pay up or you will be discriminated as a bully.

Third. Always remember that if a stranger approaches you, consciously remind yourself not to ever extend your hand to them. This is a natural reflex, I think, when people present you with something. No hands, no products shoved on it.

Fourth. Call police? Then got drama liao. You will be looked upon as a meanie by passerbys.

Fifth. Walk fast. On my own, I'm a naturally fast walker, so I tend to speed away from strangers soliciting my attention (e.g. insurance agents, etc.) This doesn't work if you are out with family and friends.

Sixth. Have a dao face like Unintelligent Nerd. On my own, people rarely approach me. Natural protection LOL!

Readers, Stay safe!

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Q1 2017 Portfolio Update

Time flies. With a blink of an eye, the first quarter of 2017 has ended. How has my portfolio fared for the first three months of 2017? Decently, I guess? I think I should let the two charts do the talking.

At one glance, Q1 2017 seems waaaaayyy horrible than Q1 2016. The huge bump in dividend in Q1 2016 was attributed to Saizen REIT.

Portfolio-wise, I have been decreasing my reliance on REITs for income. I have initiated new non-REIT positions to reduce the proportion that REITs play in my portfolio. In fact, there is a slight departure in the way that I usually invest. I initiated a new position in United Industrial Corporation as an asset play in January. We shall see how this turns out.

Meanwhile, monthly DCA-ing into the Nikko AM STI ETF via the POSB Invest Saver continues in the background.

Apart from Dairy Farm's USD-denominated dividends, I have also started receiving USD dividends from the other US counters I am vested in. I am going slow here. The US market is at an all-time high. Still, there are some occasional bargains in the consumer staples sector which I find delectable.

The USD dividends can barely pay for one meal, but I've gotta start somewhere, right?

Work is amazing. I am very grateful for the series of blessings I have received. First, my office shifted to a place nearer to home, cutting down my travel time by half. Next, I had a very huge pay raise a couple of weeks back. I had trouble wiping off the perpetually cheerful demeanour on my face (must be discreet mah!)

Third, I am going to be involved in another research project as a participant. Let's just say the cash incentives for participation is quite good.

Fourth, I just received my bonus today. I totally did not expect it. You see, temp jobs as a social science researcher normally does not come with medical/dental benefits, flexible benefits, group insurance, and bonuses. For this, I am real grateful.

I'm halfway done with my 1-year academic programme. I still remember pulling my hair out in frustration sometime in January when one of my teammates left the course and another social-loafed through the group projects. By then, I had resigned to fate that my grades are gone liao. Come results release day, I got perfect GPA. Must be the bell curve god at work here since I know I did not do well for certain assessment components.

I'll need to put in more effort and, if I pull it off correctly, I can graduate with a perfect GPA for real and tick a life goal off my list.

Never the zhuo bo guy, I have signed up for the CMFAS Module 9 (Life Insurance and Investment-Linked Policies) course during the semester break. I will be sitting for the paper before my official school term commences again.

I have met Mister High-Flyer, Rolf, twice over this quarter. Thanks for the great conversation and the dinner treat!

That's all for now.