Saturday, September 16, 2017

About all that "Bitcoin Crashing" News...

BITCOIN IS SO VOLATILE!

IT CRASHES ALL THE TIME!

DON'T BUY ANY BITCOINS!


As gracefully put by @real_vijay and updated by me:

Bitcoin Crashes
Jun 16: -41%
Jan 17: -37%
Mar 17: -31%
May 17: -33%
Jun 17: -39%
Aug 17: -20%
Sep 17: -38% (as of now)

Bitcoin Prices
30 Jun 16: $636
31 Jan 17: $970
28 Mar 17: $1,195
31 May 17: $2,303
30 Jun 17: $2,455
31 Aug 17: $4,743
30 Sep 17:   ?


It's times like these when every mother donkey cow is suddenly an expert on the definition of financial assets and are calling Bitcoin / crypto a scam or a fraud that makes me just want to give up trying to explain just how wrong they are.
 

I mean, why the hell would any intelligent person own any bitcoins, right?
It is obviously in a bubble, right?
It can't possibly go higher right?
Isn't it WORTHLESS?
Based on NOTHING?

It's okay, you can just watch me get rich instead of joining me.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Crypto Ramblings Sep 17

I have been travelling and the crypto markets have been lit (by lit, I mean on fire and burning to the ground), so it has been hard for me to blog until now.

I did make a quick post that there is a crypto GSS that was happening in early Sep, and now I am fairly certain that the bulk of the downside has passed. Rest assured, my money was where my mouth was at and I was buying all the way down (from ETH 388 all the way down to 262).

In just 4 days at the start of September, ETH dropped a massive 29%, lol.
BTC was not spared either and dropped 15% during the same time. But remember now, BTC is supposed to be the bigger, stronger and more mature currency.

Since the 1 Sep highs, BTC's drawdown hit 25% (it touched 40% in the last crypto bear) and ETH's drawdown was slightly deeper at 35%.

I hate using the word FUD, but there is a lot of fear, uncertainty and doubt.... by people who aren't invested in crypto. Since I've started my crypto journey and more of my friends have found out that I am doing it, I've received a lot of FUD articles with the recent drop. I know its half concern and sincerity - they know that I'm in it and they want to tell me about this news - but I also know that it is half "I told you its crazy and risky, get out now!".

As convictions go, I'm a complete convert of cryptos.

Honestly, people talking about whether its actually worth anything or not are years behind the current situation of cryptos now. We are long past the discussion if cryptos are worthless. Talking about cryptos if you're up to speed on the discussion is never about "well what if you wake up tomorrow and cryptos are worth nothing?" anymore. They are DEFINITELY worth something, the question now should be, how much?

Governments are not banning it and calling it scams anymore. They are instead trying to regulate it and stem retarded investors from getting burnt in it. We've past the phase of denial of cryptos and we are currently in the bargaining and negotiation phase. Within 2-3 years, we should be firmly in the phase of mass adoption.

The China crypto news isn't that cryptos are illegal. It is that fundraising through ICOs is illegal and should follow a proper process. The news of possible exchange closes is another thing - most likely the need for licencing to continue operation.

The prospects of crypto are EXTREMELY rosy right now, due to the fact that most people are NOT in it yet. When the rest of the world jumps on board the crypto train, it's going to end up like any major world currency, except news that move it will not be domestic numbers or election outcomes - it would be technological updates and adoption metrics.

One of the more interesting and mainstream usage of blockchain can be clearly seen by AXA's integration of travel insurance on the Ethereum blockchain. I fully expect more and more businesses and services to be built on PUBLIC blockchains where everyone can verify the authenticity of the data.


In other news, there are tons of crypto ATMs being rolled out all over the world, exchanges for crypto-fiat trades are exploding like wildfire everywhere and governments and businesses are hiring blockchain experts and integrating blockchain solutions (ala our very own Project Ubin).

Honestly, if you are STILL skeptical of cryptos as a technological force to be reckoned with, you must be extremely tech unsavvy to be unable to grasp what a massive leap of technology we are at the forefront of.

That said, progress in blockchain tech does NOT equate to massively awesome cryptocurrency returns. It does seem very correlated for now though.

I currently have 2 independent thesis on why crypto is going to make me insanely rich and fabulous.

1) The world realizes the need for SOME VERY IMPORTANT THINGS to be decentralized. A lot of trust systems will move onto the blockchain - simple cannibalization. And trust me, there are tons of things that SHOULD be on the blockchain - any kind of contract imaginable, ownership deeds (which includes every single financial assets that you can think of - real estate, stocks, bonds, etc), important snapshots of data... as long as people are willing to pay for an immutable copy to be kept on the blockchain, it will be on a blockchain and money is going to change hands.

2) The world realizes that the current monetary system of credit and debt is completely retarded and unsustainable in the long run and people actually move away from manipulated fiat currencies and adopt globalized and fair cryptocurrencies instead. Unlike precious metals, cryptos are extremely feasible and would actually be the preferred currency in today's day and age. (Precious metals will still be valuable in such an outcome for sure though, don't get me wrong. I've liquidated everything else except my precious metals, haha)

As much as I am sure that outcome 2 will happen eventually, I'm banking on outcome 1 to happen first, and guess what? I can already see all the gears in motion for that. No, even more than that, I am invested into cryptos that will be used in all these future applications of public blockchains.

Oh and for those wondering how my portfolio is doing with the crypto CRASH (yes, more than -20% is considered a crash), I'm very glad to report that I am STILL in profits. I wonder how fabulous things are going to be when the market eventually recovers? All the cryptos that I am holding onto have plenty of good news coming over the next few weeks and months. To be honest, if they don't double in value I'd be pretty disappointed. Cryptos have entirely screwed up the expected returns that I expect from investments now. And guess what? Amongst my crypto peers, I'm the most lowball in terms of returns expectations!

So the big question that you have all been waiting for: Can the market go lower from here? Probably unlikely, but it is certainly possible. I'm thinking that it can poke lower and bounce around these areas, but I'm looking at a recovery from these levels, not a lower move down. I've fully invested my portfolio allocation for crypto at this point of time... is that conviction enough? That said, I'm all prepared for shit to hit the fan. My lower bound estimate for BTC is $3000 and for ETH is $120. When it reaches those levels, the warchest dust will be blown off and I will be ALL IN at that point of time - I will live and die by crypto.

Perhaps in the future when I look back at this post, I'd ask myself why I didn't go all-in when this might be the last chance that the world sees sub $300 ETH.

I guess my tune and optimism might change if (note that I did not use when) my portfolio finally goes negative, but for now even with the huge downward moves, I sleep happily and comfortably at night.

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Crytpo GSS!

I'm travelling, so I'll keep it brief.

The crypto market felt very overheated. In 1 and a half months, Ethereum went from $140 to $400 and Bitcoin went from $1900 to $5000. It has just stopped it's ridiculous ascent.

Honestly, I felt that the gains have been too fast, too quick and too steep. Even with all the new money flooding in the prop the market, the market does have "some" sort of mechanism that helps to achieve "fair" values.

I know in the recent weeks, tons and tons and tons of fresh, new investors have been joining the crypto game. How do I know? A few things - the massive numbers of emails that are being sent to me, the spike of group members in the Telegram group that I am in, and the general increase of interest of it with the general public.

As much as I would like to see mainstream adoption of cryptos, the technology is quite user-unfriendly still at these stages. However, progress is being made at rapid speeds and I'm quite certain that by 2020, cryptos will be a huge force to be reckoned with.

Anyway, what this means is that all the new people in the past weeks have seen huge gains of up to 185% in the major currencies, and much more in the alternative and smaller ones. A shakeout to scare all these newbies and do a transfer from weak hands to strong hands is necessary for a healthy market, in my opinion.

Many of these people either own it through a CFD and are just trading it, or own it through an exchange. Almost all of them have never made a transaction with it. It's scary to think that people are throwing in thousands of dollars into this "technology", but they actually have never used it before and don't even really know what it does. Oh well, I guess it's okay as long as it props up the prices of the cryptos I own? Haha

Over the past day, Ethereum have dropping an astonishing 15% within a day. Anyone that thinks the crypto market is maturing to the point that there isn't much volatility and opportunities anymore is clearly out of their mind.

Hopefully this "dip" is actually part of something bigger and flushes out the weak hands and money chasers. It's a good time to separate the flippers from the long term believers for many projects as well.

I'd expect this correction to last a while, enough to make the newbies panic and we have another dip lower. Personally, I've been very disciplined to gradually scale myself in as the prices keep dropping.

With the upcoming Metropolis part 1 hardfork and a few good ICOs coming up, I'm particularly very excited for the progress and development of all my interested projects. I'm quite sure that by end of Q1 2018, my portfolio is going to be very nice and fat with many of my invested tokens making huge profits with their huge progresses.

Crypto is a crazy game guys. If you have no idea what you are doing and if you are only in it for the money, it's going to be a bumpy ride.

Right now, I'm fully prepared for the market to drop another 40% from these already lower prices. I hope it doesn't come to that, but that's just the kind of volatility and buffers that I think about.

Stay safe, it's a crazy world out there.

Friday, September 1, 2017

GMGH Crypto Blackbox Investing (End of Aug 17 Results)

As mentioned on 8 Aug, I will doing something called Blackbox investing.

As a refresher what that is all about:
I will not be proving my investment capital
I will not be naming the actual investments
I will not be proving the returns from those invesments
I could make making up the entire thing and you wouldn't know

Since then until now, I have been accumulating some cryptos and I have been investing them into different ideas. I think I'll just share my performance so far and see how this post goes.


Compared to my performance just 1 week ago, I'd say thinks are looking mighty fine.

If (strictly hypothetically speaking) I sold off all those cryptos now and converted it back to SGD, the returns I would get would be "Returns from SGD Capital Investment". I'm looking at gains of between 29% - 274%. Delicious.

I've taken note of the values today and I'm thinking if I should reset the gains and make 1st Sep the base value. I'll think about it more.

-----------------------------------

The above is just the returns of my Blackbox investing portion of my portfolio that I'm sharing and that is definitely not my entire portfolio.

Investing in crypto is crazy. But the returns are crazy as well.

Thursday, August 31, 2017

[SGX Portfolio] Final Update

This is my final update for my SGX portfolio that I feel I have been running quite successfully since March of 2014. Why?

I just sold off almost everything, that's why!

Yup, pretty much everything.

The only stocks I hold are Croesus, Saizen, Global Investments, Hotung and the STI ETF, pretty much legacy investments that don't require much tending.

Over the years I slowly built up my SGX portfolio from humble beginnings. The best snap shot is the end of last month, where accumulated dividends were $3000, realized gains $1400 and unrealized gains of $100.

I'm not certain if my calculations are correct, but my calculated internal rate of return is 7.0% per annum.

I felt like I made some great calls in the past. Being heavy into foreign REITs was a very easy investment for me that made me a very fair bit of money. Croesus will be gone soon too.

I had narrow escapes with horrible companies, like Noble and China Fishery. I did get caught bagholding with Casa, Sing Heng and 2nd Chance though.

I can't say it was very fun. Countless of hours reading annual reports, looking at charts and referring to my spreadsheets. All that for peanut returns I feel.

My past 2 months in crypto has made MASSSIVEEEE amounts of returns that I really don't give two shits about traditional stock investing anymore. I'm moving on to greener pastures, but don't worry, you can still wave to me, I'll be around.

Some people would be tempted to liken it to the tulip bubble. But is it really a bubble if nobody you know owns any of it? Or if they do, just miniscule amounts? Hmmm...

Sometimes I cry myself to sleep at night wishing I had put all of my capital into cryptos 3.5 years ago. I would definitely be a millionaire by now.

Anyway, I just wanted you guys to know that I am relinquishing all my involvement with the local stock market because, frankly, I don't give a damn anymore.

I'm pretty much cash, gold and cryptos now. Basic barbell strategy. Risk-free af assets + Risky af assets. You can call it the tin foil hat portfolio. Zero cashflow portfolio. Crap portfolio. Snake oil portfolio. Whatever. You don't have to, and you shouldn't be blindly following what I'm doing anyway.

Is this wise? That I don't have any of the "right" investments in my portfolio? I guess we'll find out in a few months and years.

This is madness. I know.

But it feels so good being able not to care anymore.

So long to my credibility as a financial blogger! Cheers!

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Reminder: Gold has better cashflow than bonds of these 13 countries



As much as a crypto fanatic that I've recently been, one of my first true loves in Gold.

With Gold at $1320 and Silver at $17.40, I've got no complaints.

Hopefully looking at $24 silver in December, and of course, I hope gold is coming along for the ride. Let's see how this goes.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Off topic:

By the way, cryptos are heating uppp. At a $165b market cap right now, things are looking very precarious here. Although I'm balls in deep into crypto, I think people should already know by now that I'm at over 100% profits, so if the entire crypto market comes crashing down 50%, I would STILL be in profits.

Jumping into crypto is definitely not advisable unless you know what you're doing, the risks that you are taking and can obviously bear the cost of losing it all.

Then again, people thought that Gold would keep falling in price until the only people bidding them up were jewellers and dentists. That never did happen, did it?

Friday, August 25, 2017

GMGH Crypto Blackbox Investing (Test Results)

As mentioned on 8 Aug, I will doing something called Blackbox investing.

As a refresher what that is all about:
I will not be proving my investment capital
I will not be naming the actual investments
I will not be proving the returns from those invesments
I could make making up the entire thing and you wouldn't know

Since then until now, I have been accumulating some cryptos and I have been investing them into different ideas. I think I'll just share my performance so far and see how this post goes.


Since the start of August until now, I have been purchasing cryptos.

If I sold off all those cryptos now and converted it back to SGD, the returns I would get would be "Returns from FX". This is just simple price appreciation of cryptos since the time I bought them and now. My 1 month returns vary from 16-153%.

"Returns from Fund" is the returns that I get in the actual cryptos themselves. My 1 month returns varies from negative 1.3% to positive 17%.

Obviously, my total returns back to SGD is a function of the two - investment returns + FX returns.

Anyway, let's take for example my "Green Angry Kraken 2" Fund. Returns from FX is 153% and returns from the fund itself is 17%. Combine the two returns together and my actual returns if I cash back out to SGD right now is a whopping 197% returns. In less than 1 month. Oh my.

Another example, my "Steady Turtle" Fund. FX returns are 16.66% and returns from the fund is a sad 0.024%. Combined together, my returns back to SGD is only a 16.68%. The low returns of the funds didn't do much, but the FX returns gave it a good boost.

At the end of the month I plan to play around with my data so that I can start the 1st of Sep with a clean slate, then it would be much easier to monitor the returns. For fund returns, I'm expecting 2% a month. For FX returns, it's anyone's guess, but I think in the long run it would be positive.

-----------------------------------

The above is just the returns of my Blackbox investing portion of my portfolio that I'm sharing and that is definitely not my entire portfolio.

In fact, of all my crypto investments so far, the Steady Turtle has been my worst investment with only 15% profits.

Investing in crypto is crazy. But the returns are crazy as well.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Goodbye Stocks, Bonds, Unit Trusts and Sanity

I am GMGH,
Warden of this blog,
First of this subdomain name,
Protector of (his own) wealth,
Defeater of Insurance Agents,
Breaker of traditional thinking,
Gentle lover of travelling and eating,
Operationally-Ready Soldier of Singapore,

and now...

The sacrilegious heretic of modern personal finance.


If you're rolling your eyes at the GoT references, then screw you for judging me based on the kind of TV shows I watch.

So, pray tell, what sort of sacrilege have I actually done?

I've sold off ALL of my bonds - not much, but it was 2 tranches of the SSBs that had fantastic yields of 2.78% and 2.58%. This is in comparison to the paltry 2.12% you can get on this month's bond.

I've sold off (almost) all of my unit trusts - save my investments in Gold and what I have stuck in the SRS. Goodbye short-term bonds, emerging market bonds, Russia and commodities.

I am also now going to sell off MOST of the holdings in my SGX portfolio. The bulk value of the investments will still be there, but I'm cutting the number of holdings to free up both capital and mind space. A lot of work goes into just maintaining the portfolio, such as recording dividends and checking quarterly performances to make sure that they are not burning to the ground. It is very exhausting for peanuts.

That's nothing too crazy right? After all, yours truly has always been one of the most bearish bloggers, constantly talking about financial meltdowns. So GMGH is just de-risking his portfolio and making a bet that all those asset classes have topped?

No, not really.

I'm going to put most of it into crypto.




STOP GMGH!

CRYPTOS ARE DANGEROUS!

UNREGULATED AND VOLATILE!

DID YOU TAKE YOUR MEDICINE YET?

DID YOU NOT READ THE MAS WARNING?

BUY SGX STOCKS AND HUAT TOGETHER OKAY?

HAVE YOU REALLY GONE INSANE THIS TIME AROUND?

ARE THEY EVEN ASSETS? THEY ARE BACKED BY NOTHING!


I'm sure those are the thoughts that are running through your head right now. I've tried to explain about this technology and my position and take on them in my previous posts - I'm sure I did not do a good enough job in making a strong case for it. Sorry if I'm a bad salesman.

But really, does that matter? I don't need you to be convinced to add confirmation to my own conviction. It's really of no concern to me if none or all of you think this is a good idea.

I think most of you know me for my very pragmatic point of view on things. I even split hairs about the smallest things when I consider interest bank accounts, credit cards, insurance products and what not.

I have also proven that I've outperformed our "benchmark", the STI, over the past few years that I've been invested in the SGX. You don't have to take my word for it. You can just see my previous posts on my buys and sells and my monthly updates (which unfortunately I stopped because I was just lazy). Sure 3.5 years is a short time and it could all just be dumb luck, but hey, a win is a win. A smart gambler leaves a table when he knows he's beaten the odds.

Even my crazy "investments" into precious metals (I know some of you think it's not a real investments because it doesn't generate any "cash flow", lol okay) are in healthy profits although precious metals are still hanging around at multi year lows.

I might have very unorthodox ways of thinking about things and picking investments, but you can't say that I'm a complete idiot. Give me credit where it is due. You can only say that I'm an idiot that has made money... for now. I honestly can't say that you're wrong with a statement like that.

I'm sure many of you have been disapprovingly reading this post so far. I have been waging war internally with myself about this as well. It was not an easy decision to depart from the "proven path", so I struggled with this for a very long time. But now that my mind is made up, I am ready to face the challenges of the crypto world.

Bring it.


For the past few months I've dived deeeeep into the crypto world. Balls deep. Not only that, but for the past 2 months I've been putting my money where my damn mouth is at and went into cryptos with my own cold hard cash. Think of it as my beta testing, or doing a proof of concept.

One of my first few buys was Ethereum at market peak, a whopping $490 USD (even though it actually only peaked at $420... the huge difference in price is because of the shitty exchange prices in Singapore, THANKS COINHAKO). If you watch your investment drop 72% in a month, tell me if your balls shrunk and crawled back up into your body, okay?

Two months on, I'm up 100+% from my capital that I put in. Yes, I've more than doubled my capital in just 2 months. How much is that in absolute value? Well I'll be damned if I give you a number. You can ask, but I won't tell. I must admit that I wasn't expecting such heavy and fast gains, and I still don't expect this to be the norm moving forward. I rather take the "conservative crypto" approach and "only" aim for 40% a year, rather than the aggressive crypto approach that hunts for the next 10-100x jump in value. You'd be amazed how many solid potential 10% pa opportunities there are in crypto that are being shunned because "the returns are too low".

I've taken the red pill and I can't go back. I also can't explain it to you, because you have to see it for yourself. The opportunities in cryptos are mindblowing not because of any special magical attributes that cryptos have over regular traditional investments, but specifically because none of you guys are in there... yet.

Sounds absolutely crazy, but hey, you've got to admit that no matter what happens this is going to be fun to watch, eh? I either become one of the greats of our time, or I explode spectacularly in a big ball of crypto flames and all of you get to be amused and entertained by it while wailing "I TOLD YOU SO", half crying, half laughing.

But with governments and corporations coming on board and recognizing it, by the time this goes mainstream and 50% of financial blogs start to accept and include cryptos in their content, I might already be the biggest baller you would've ever known.


Love me or hate me, just watch me.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Cashless in Singapore

This CNA article about being cashless in China and this video from the ST should really be a wake up call to Singapore.


Cashless in Singapore?

Wait until neck long long.

Can just crawl to the corner in the hawker centre, roll into a ball and die of starvation.

Except for a handful of places offering the very fail DASH payment system (this is the SCB initiative, not to be confused with DASH, the $2B cryptocurrency), the new and unadopted LiquidPay and of course NETS FlashPay, I would imagine that 99% of transactions at hawker centres are still done by cash and coin.

Reading our own local reports on how it is going (CNA and Today) and comparing it to China clearly shows our lack of progress. It's both embarrassing and pathetic.

It is embarrassing af. That's right, af.

Pathetic why? Smartphones, check. 4G network, check. "Financial hub of Asia", check. Like a bazillion people in the financial industry, check. Cashless P2P payment method, er.... is PayNow counted? LOL.

After reading that articles I got second-hand embarrassed. Maybe we all should go back to our villages in China, kampungs in Malaysia? OH WAIT, the villages in China would still have more advanced payment methods than us, GAWD DAMNIT.

"How can we expect hawkers to suddenly embrace these kind of technologies? THEY ARE SO OLD, THEY DONT KNOW HOW TO USE HANDPHONES."

Well, I'd be damned if old people in China can learn and adopt the shit out of this, but we in Singapore can't.

While most people seem to think it is poor user adoption, I would also say that it is poor merchant adoption. I think 90% of people under 30 would be all for mobile cashless payments, not even a physical card is necessary. But of course, 50% of merchants still don't support NFC technology. "Sorry Sir, no PayWave". Okay, can.

Reluctant to change, lazy to press the buttons, lazy to check phone notifications...

I don't know, sounds like really bad excuses to me. Really. Bad. Excuses.

One of the biggest issues that I had with Japan was their unbelievably archaic way of using money to pay for stuff.

However, I was told that this is not because they can't, but it's largely because all small businesses under-declare taxes, and only businesses that accept cash can do this.

Then again, I can probably think of quite a few occupations in Singapore where the perk is "self-employed means can under declare taxes and don't need to contribute to CPF". Not I say one hor, is I heard people say.

Anyway, whatever.

I have a credit card with me and I always keep a minimum amount of cash, in a variety of small denominations because I am sure I'm going to end up somewhere "Cash only".

Majulah Singapura.

Friday, August 18, 2017

How to send $165,000,000 USD in 2 minutes for $0.67 USD


Bitcoins, that's how. A friend showed me this link and my jaw just dropped.

And of course, you should not just trust, but also verify.

Thank god we have the blockchain because that means we don't have to blindly trust shit on the internet. We can fire up the blockchain and check it and verify it for ourselves.

Here is the tx in question that you can look up yourself: 2248452e2122ff2d446565462cac276bbc8420c5874695a9b5c8e3bca8afa2b2

Check 1: Blockchain.info
Check 2: Blockexplorer.com
Check 3: Blockcypher.com

So there you have it. In 1 minute 55 seconds, 40,000.32 BTC worth $165,000,000 USD then was sent at a cost of $0.67 USD.

People tell me Bitcoins are worthless. The whole mainstream media are throwing around the "tulip" buzzword of the week.

Yet it is still shit on like it's some crazy kook technology used only by criminals and geeks.

But show me how you can move $165 mil in 2 minutes and I'll give you a standing ovation.


Wait, I take that back. Why should I give anyone a standing ovation for doing that?

It's nothing special. You'd just be doing something that can already be done.

Honestly, Bitcoins are the tip of the iceberg about how mindblowing blockchain technology is. I know I'm well on my way on being a full crypto-retard. Never go full-retard. I'm trying hard not to, but I see this is as the freaking biggest opportunity that I will ever get in my life.


Sorry, future GMGH reading this. Your past self is utterly convinced that we have passed the Point of No Return.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Let's talk Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs)

I've actually talked about ICOs before, but I just wanted to come back and touch a bit on this topic.

ICO stands for Initial Coin Offerings. In a nutshell, it is a digital Initial Public Offering (IPO).


That was actually in the Straits Times, and I think it's a timely reminder that ICOs are really dangerous and risky.

And I'm not just talking about the risks in investing in a early start-up company. There are plenty and plenty of risks. One of the biggest ones is that it turns out to be a scam. Some people found out the hard way and lost $7.6m of Ether last month, which is now worth $13m. Madness.

There are risks that the company sucks.
There are risks that the company is okay but the product sucks.
There are risks that the company is okay, product is okay, but the market is not ready.
There are risks that the owners run away with all the money.

And the lists goes on and on. Add in that there are also like 20 ways to get hacked or scammed along the way and you can probably realize by now that this is NOT a riskless path to be troding on.

If you currently only "invest" in fixed deposits and endowment products, this is DEFINITELY not for you.

tldr - PLENTY OF RISKS. If you can't handle the heat, stay out of the kitchen.

Now that we've got the MANY risks clearly spelled out, let's see why this is happening. Michael from Boxmining did a fantastic job in this video and that spurred me on to write this article.


The main thought that I have is that this does not prove a mania in cryptocurrencies. Why do I think that? I feel that the hype is actually surrounding the fact that average Joe investors like you and me can now actually get into and be involved in early round startup funding. This used to be exclusively meant for venture capitalist and deep pocketed angel investors, but blockchain and decentralization has quickly marked these people as the first people to be on their Death Note - the profits to be made there are TOO high, and its a no-brainer for blockchain to disrupt that market.

A very big point to note. Very very big. And this is important, so listen up. Investing in startups is risky. Period. With or without cryptocurrencies. The risk profile of a startup company is still very big either way, though I admit that there are pros and cons to each method that helps reduces risk in certain areas.

But the point is that even before cryptocurrency was a word, both the RISKS and REWARDS in startup funding are beyond comprehension for normal people.

So this "ICO bubble" that we are seeing here, to me it is just what happens if you allow the general public to take part in such high risk investments. Deals that would have previously be made behind the scenes (and probably with unfavourable terms to the startup) and now out in the open for anyone to fund.

Sure, the quality of the projects are dropping, the quantity of projects are increasing and the amount that they are asking for are increasing too. Who is to blame them? The market is signalling their intentions to be involved in more risky ventures.

Now that pandora's box has been opened, why would a startup choose to take VC money that has strings attached, when they can take the general public's money and retain much more control?

I think this is a good thing. People CAN invest in ICOs if they want to, but they should be willing to assume all the risks (and rewards) associated with such an investment.

Personally, the thing I'm peeved most about is regulations. Anyone that steps foot into the crypto space immediately denounces any form of recourse - there is none in the crypto world. It should go immediately without saying that touching an ICO is like the biggest risk you can take, and no amount of government regulations can save your ass if you made bad decisions.

Long story short - while ICOs might seem like digital IPOs, I think they are much riskier due to (1) the complicated and non-standard process of investing in it and (2) the much earlier start point of business development, which invariably leads to a much higher fail rate. Of course, that also means that the returns can be phenomenal.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

First Crypto Cash Out


Slightly over a month ago, I bought a certain crypto (I will not name it).

Today, I decided to sell some of it.... at a +446% gain.

I won't give you a dollar figure (obviously), but I can assure you that the profit is in the thousands, NOT in hundreds.

Actually, I don't mind revealing a slight ballpark figure, but I will not elaborate further. The profit from this single trade, which is only a portion of my total tokens in that crypto (<10%), which is in turn only a portion my entire crypto portfolio (<25%), is almost the same as the entire profit of my SGX portfolio, which I have been carefully and slowly investing since Mar 2014. You could argue that I'm a shit stock picker, therefore my stock returns are low, but I don't think my stocks returns are that bad. The STI was 3.08 when I started and it's 3.34 today + dividends along the way. By my calculations, I've outperformed the STI by a solid 7% in total returns.

So, the returns of <2.5% of my crypto porfolio in less than 2 months is about the same as the return of my entire SGX portfolio for the last 3 years.

And it would clearly be more if compared to a simple portfolio of only the STI ETF.

And mind you, this is without any leverage at all.

--------------------------------------------

Again, you can take this post that GMGH has lost his marbles, forsaken traditional investing, has balls of steel and is now posting his returns from a good gambling run at a casino. What a douche. A lucky douche, but a douche nonetheless.

Or you can take it that cryptos have mindblowing potential and that people with SOME sort of investing experience and knowledge actually have an edge over all these self proclaimed crypto gurus, and can reasonably make very respectable profits in the crypto space.

I'm not telling you to jump into this. I'm just showing you what is possible.

Seriously, this isn't a shill. This isn't a sell. I don't even want to tell you what crypto it is that I bought and sold. Later you say I only say so that others can pump it while I dump it on them and cash out, no thank you.

It's up to you to decide what you want to do. And this is just me rambling on about stuff on my blog.

The big question of the day: What am I going to do with my profits?
Answer: Plow it right back into another crypto.

Wish me luck, it looks like financial freedom has just jumped forward 20 years earlier for me.

Oh, would you look at the time. I'm due for my medication now. Excuse me.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Don't Crybaby To Me About Bitcoins & Cryptos

The market bubble popped a while ago and went from 120b to 60b.

Now we're back above 120b. If you were in ANYTHING at that point of time, your portfolio would've been up about 100%.

I am currently up over 100%.

That statement is not meant to be a brag, but a fact verified by me that such intense gains are not just imaginary, they are possible.

(I have to point out that I am expecting another correction again. But hey, the crypto markets are volatile and random af, if you're getting into this you should already know the risks involved)

Screw bonds. I've liquidated all my Singapore Savings Bonds and I have put 100% of that capital into cryptos. Insane? Madness? Maybe.

Screw the stock market. I'll be liquidating large chunks of my stock portfolio too. At least 20-30% will be liquidated by the end of the month if things go as planned.

A lot of people cannot grasp the fact that 0.01% of the population that hold cryptocurrencies like Bitcoins and whatnot are getting and will be insanely rich.

Isn't it unfair? The wealth distribution gap is so wide!


My response: So what?

I am going to be insanely wealthy and fabulous because I put in real, spendable SGD and bought these online digital funny money that could be worthless the second after the SGD leaves my bank account. I took this risk. You didn't.

Let that sink in.

I gave away real money today for something that is extremely risky and could be worthless tomorrow.

What should my risk/reward be? It should be freaking high since normal people wouldn't even want to spend $1 on such things. They don't want to be involved in it. They don't want to know about it. Heck, I'm sure a lot of people would just want it to go away.

If Bitcoins goes to zero, who is going to refund me and pay me back? Nobody.
If Bitcoins go to the tens of thousands, who is going to get rich af? Me.

I take the risk, I reap the rewards.
You didn't take the risk, you don't reap the rewards.

Don't think of it as a loss to you and a gain to me. Just think of it as a missed opportunity.

If you want to sit on the fence, that is totally okay. I don't blame you. I was sitting on the fence looking over at Bitcoin and other cryptos occasionally over the past few years until I reached the point where I decided to jump the fence.

Now at this juncture, I have put real money in this thing. To me, it's real and it's the future. I see no signs of development in this area slowing down.

HUGEEEEEEEEEE RISKS. Very huge. I'm risking 100% of the capital that I put in. Could it go to zero? Yes. Will it? I'm betting thousands of dollars that it won't.

I have to reiterate it again - I'm taking huge risks, therefore I will be reaping huge rewards if it is successful.

You can use your SGD to save in the bank, invest in the stock market, buy new and shiny gadgets and eat delicious food. You are NOT taking the risks that I am, why should you be rewarded what I get?

Anyone who throws a bitchfit about cryptos being unfairly distributed ought to ask themselves this:

what the f*** is stopping you from getting in now?

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

GMGH Crypto Blackbox Investing

I know a lot of people are curious about "investing in" cryptocurrencies like "the bitcoins" and whatnot, but this is NOT a post about that.

This is instead going to be an introductory post about a group of blackbox investments that I will be doing.

Why is it blackbox? What does that mean?

It's a blackbox because:
- I will not be proving my investment capital
- I will not be naming the actual investments
- I will not be proving the returns from those invesments
- I could make making up the entire thing and you wouldn't know

That means that I only will be listing down the amount of my capital invested, some arbitrary name to call the investment and the returns of those investments.

As far as you, the reader, are concerned, GMGH just put some capital into this blackbox and at the end of the month he shakes it out, counts it, records it, then puts it back in for another month.


Due to the nature of cryptos, I will not be answering most questions about my blackbox investing.

In my blackbox, I have a wide variety of funds within, each invested with a different strategy. To mask the names of the actual investments, I have given them all interesting names - easy for me to identify, yet mysterious but still intuitive enough for readers.

Steady Turtle Fund
Black Wolf Fund 1
Black Wolf Fund 2
Black Wolf Fund 3
Green Angry Kraken Fund 1
Green Angry Kraken Fund 2
Blue Crazy Dragon Fund
White Crazy Dragon Fund

As of now, only half of my funds are up and running, but I am hoping to have them all up and running by the end of Aug so I that I can officially start reporting monthly stats with all the funds running once 1st Sep comes. However, if I am unable to get into my investments at that point of time, I will just release the stats with those unfunded funds being dormant until they start running. I'd prefer nice monthly stats, but I've realized that a lot of capital will be moving in and around, so as much as I'd like to keep things simple and neat, I will not be doing that and forfeit potentially better returns by not re-balanacing and re-allocating my portfolio.

Right now my focus will be on getting into positions and to come up with a good tracking spreadsheet for me to track my portfolio returns, and also to create the censored version that I will be publishing every month, as long as it is profitable and it is of interest to people.

What kind of returns am I hoping for and expecting? Honestly, that is a hard question to answer. 

As this is cryptos, a lot of my invest profit/loss would actually come from "foreign exchange", since the crypto/SGD rate is in a constant flux. I cannot even begin to predict that, but it is in my view that foreign exchange will be a tailwind to the blackbox's profts.

However, in terms of crypto itself, I am looking at a wide possible range of returns, somewhere between 10% - 50%. My estimates are actually somewhere in the 30% range, but I think a conservative target is 20%.

Anyway, this is like asking a fund manager at the start of the year to predict his year end returns. Who knows, right?

As always, I would like to warn people who are not familiar with crypto that there are a lot of risks involved in crypto investing. Even all the investments in my blackbox are full of risks too. However, I am totally prepared for a 100% loss in my entire portfolio. Crypto is risky and dangerous, tread lightly and at your own risk.

Sunday, August 6, 2017

GMGH's Crypto Toolkit v1.0

Dear all,

With cryptos becoming more and more popular (I'm seeing even more and more sheep joining the herd, marching towards the slaughterhouse shouting "MOON MOON"), I thought that perhaps it would be of interest to some people to know what tools I use and if maybe they could be of use to you.

Since this is v1.0 and there are plenty of old tools being discontinued, and new tools and websites popping up, this might not be the most cutting edge list of tools out there. I have to emphasize that although I use all these tools myself, I am not perfect and right, so you also need to do your own due diligence when using these things!!!

Okay, let's get started!

1. Password Manager

Are you surprised that this is the first thing on the list? You shouldn't be, especially if you have made a few wallets and accounts. Every wallet has a public and private key which you need to know, and some wallets have a mnemonic phrase.

A password manager is infinitely useful for safely storing all this information. I use Dashlane (my referral link for 6 months free premium) to store all my login credentials to all the different exchanges and websites that I visit. I also use it to store all my keys and backup phrases.

Coinhako. Coinbase. Bittrex. Poloniex. Wallet 1. Wallet 2. Wallet 3. Etc, etc. You get the picture.

You don't have to use Dashlane if you don't want to. I use it because after much research and reviewing, I have determined that it was the best one at that point of time, and since then I have had only great things to say about it. You can use LastPass, 1Password, or even locally stored programmes like Keepass, which stores and encrypts your password databases directly on your computer or thumbdrive.


You can use Excel, Word or even Notepad, but I personally strongly recommend against doing that.

The benefit of having a cloud-based password manager is that your data is by default backed-up and accessible without your specific hardware. This means that if your house burns down along with your computer, safe and thumbdrive, you can still log-in via the web client, or even better yet (and more secure), you can download the programme onto a new trusted device and get back access to all your accounts and passwords. All your coins, safe and sound.

There is a reason why this is the first and probably the most stressed about tool. YOU NEED IT. If there's only one thing to take away from this entire post is that a password manager is essential in this day and age where we have hundreds of online accounts, and each password SHOULD be different, but yet we are somehow supposed to remember each and every one of them? Just like how handphones have removed the need to remember phone numbers, password managers have removed the need to remember passwords.

2. Wallets

Now that you've got a safe place to store your wallet keys, let's talk about wallets. I think Jackson Palmer (creator of Dogecoin) nailed it with this episode, but I think the order is a bit mixed.



Personally, I use a variety of wallets.

Exchange wallets are a definite no-go for anything more than just trading in and out, followed by sweeping it clean. OG clients require an every growing amount of space, so I don't really like it.

*NOTE* If you have stored your private keys and recovery phrase into your password manager, technically your account is not as secure compared to private key only being found on the paper wallet or hardware wallet. Private keys getting leaked out are the BIGGEST risk and you should be extremely aware of what method you choose and why. If you have a hardware wallet, I'd suggest keeping a backup of the recovery seeds it in case you lose or break your hardware wallet so the funds can be recovered by key regeneration. Also never ever digitally key in or record your private key else unless you are burning that account and migrating away to a new one.

Personally, between 1, 1.5 and 2, I don't see much difference for the security of the user. However, it is definitely better to have a full node and not rely on other nodes. However, that is with regards to security of making transactions, NOT with the security of your funds. This is a very important distinction. Not being connected to a full node does not increase your risks of your funds being stolen. The certainty that you can broadcast transactions and verify blocks yourself comes at the cost of having the entire blockchain on your harddrive, and constantly growing.

While paper wallets are great, I find them a major, major inconvenience. A better way to use paper wallets is to pair it up with a watch-only wallet (also applicable to hardware wallets!). This means you don't have to dig out your paper wallet to receive coins, you can fire up your watch-only wallet to generate your public key to receive funds. However, you do have to dig out the paper wallet if you ever want to send coins out though. As such, it's best to think of paper wallets like a piggy bank. Easy to deposit into, but troublesome to get the money out.

BTC watch-only wallet: Sentinel
ETH watch-only wallet: Lunary

I don't think I can go wrong by saying that I think hardware wallets are superior to paper wallets, though there are specific cases when a paper wallet would actually be pretty good.

3. Fiat-Crypto Exchange

In Singapore, the most commonly used exchange is probably CoinHako. I have a referral link, but meh, I personally think Hako is shit and I have a conscience, so sorry, no free $5 through signing up from me. You may ask your friends who also have no fiduciary obligation to you to recommend you to Hako. The margins and spreads are fat AF (I've seen conversion rates with premiums as high as 9%) and their exchange fee is a freaking 0.9%, lol. Actually instead of lol, it is more WTF. As much as I think Hako is pretty shit, I have to admit that they do offer a simple, easy-to-fund, easy-to-use platform with pretty decent support. It's a beginner's platform where they pretty much hold your hands the whole way. I guess that's what you're paying for? Expect final SGD cost over USD spot rates to be as high as 10%.

The next most common platform is Coinbase, which has actually been around for a while and it is also one of the biggest retail consumer exchanges. I use Coinbase because I find their rates very similar to the market, although their fees are high and flat. On the bright side, fees can be mitigated because they do allow you to charge purchases on your credit card. In my experience, the all-in fees ends up to be about 4.5%, so it depends on how you want to shuffle around your credit card purchases and which card you want to charge it to. I think it's a pretty good way to chalk up spending on your credit cards, especially if the bonus interest applied on your bank balance would more than offset the fees of Coinbase. Expect final SGD cost over USD spot rates to be as high as 4.5%, though credit card promos and rebates can drop that significantly HINT HINT.

Personally, I use the DBS/POSB + Gemini combination. It sounds complicated, but it really isn't. You just use SGD to remit USD to your Gemini account. Tadah. Done. The only fees in this equation is the SGD-USD conversion rate which I've calculate to be about 0.65%, and the exchange fee at Gemini for 0.25%. For a no-bullshit experience with this combo, you can expect a very good and reliable exchange with final SGD cost over USD spot rates to be just under 1%.

If you are going to buy buying large amounts of crypto on a regular basis, it's a no-brainer which option you should choose. I currently use DBS/POSB + Gemini for my bulk purchases and Coinbase for my impulse purchases. Please do your own diligence for these exchanges. These are just what I use, and as you know, the biggest risk and easiest point of failure (other than yourself) would be the exchanges.

Other known fiat-crypto exchanges are Kraken (I have an account but I do not use it) and Quoine (I have NOT used before, but I know they have SGD pairs. There seems to be no market depth though).

4. Crypto-Crypto Exchanges

This is probably the big question everyone wants to know about, eh? Especially since buying just plain ol' BTC and ETH is so boring and passe.

The main exchange that I use for changing cryptos is Bittrex. I feel that Bittrex offers plenty of pairs and has a very simple and non-confusing user interface. Withdrawals and deposits have always been smooth for me and I've not experienced any issues. They handled the BTC/BCC forking fiasco perfectly as well, so in my view, they are the best exchange out there.

My next most used exchange is Changelly (yes, I have an affiliate link there) and I use it to change crypto when the amount is either small, or if speed is a factor. Changelly is similar to the more popular Shapeshift (no registration needed exchange), but Changelly has more pairs, lower fees, better rates and more uptime. No registration is the real shining plus point here, so for those people who came into crypto because of privacy concerns, this point ought to win you over. Just as a casual mention, Moneroj is a supported coin on Changelly.

As much as I like Shapeshift (and their innovations like Prism), I find Shapeshift to be rather unreliable with rates always worse than Changelly... if you can get them to quote you. It doesn't bring much user confidence that half the time I can't even get them to quote me a rate. However, still a pretty decent option. It's okay to have a Plan C even if you already have Plan A and Plan B.

5. Portfolio tracking Spreadsheet

This can be done in a variety of ways, but I imagine most people will settle for the plain ol' Excel or a Google Spreadsheet. Personally, I use the Google Spreadsheet option because I can access it on multiple devices.

While prices can be linked, I personally prefer my spreadsheet to be completely static with only inputs from me, and formulas that I create.

I have 2 main spreadsheets:
- SGD to crypto purchases (capital cost)
- Summary of all cryptos (market value)

Essentially, the main thing that I am concerned about is what is the value of my portfolio compared to the capital I invested. Having the first spreadsheet allow me to know when, where and what crypto I bought and at what rate (capital) and the next spreadsheet allows me to find out what is the market price of the cryptos that I am holding (market value).

This document isn't really top secret, because there is no need for you to put down your account information. Even if this document is leaked, your accounts are not compromised as long as you never wrote down your private keys. That said, if you understand how blockchain works, with your balances, people would be able to search for your account on the blockchain and would be able to link that public address to your own person. It is generally never a good idea to let people know your holdings.

6. Crypto prices

This is a split between coinmarketcap.com and coincap.io.

Coincap.io seems to have a more accurate price. The prices are also periodically refreshed on the page, so you don't need to constantly refresh the page to get the latest prices. It also has the 24 Hour VWAP, which is a nice little metric if you know how to use it.

Coinmarketcap has it's own benefits too, and the main one is definitely the price graph chart. I love seeing the small 7 day price performance chart that it provides, and it takes but a glance to figure out how the market has been doing lately. Coinmarketcap also allows you to go deeper in each crypto and see bigger chart, but most importantly, to see the exchanges that the crypto is listed on and the last price and volume at those exchanges.

7. Misc

This is just a collection of stuff which I think could be useful.

Bitcoin Checker (Android widget app for live prices)
Blockfolio (App to check prices, can insert portfolio)
Cryptowat.ch (Best web charts INCLUDING MARKET DEPTH for the major cryptos)
Ether Gas Station (Best way to find out current Gas prices for ETH transactions)
Bitcoinfees.21.co (Best way to find out about BTC Tx prices)

Conclusion

Honestly, cryptos are in their very early stages. Yes, STILL. There are no guide books and no one is going to hold your hand and walk you through the entire process. While the whole scene may be overhyped as of now (and I do think it is), I am sure that the market has much much much more to grow over the coming years.

If you're dipping your toes into cryptos, please stay safe and be secure.

There are no laws, no rules, no police and above all, nobody that cares about you in the crypto world.

Stay safe out there. It really is the wild wild west.

If you don't know what you're doing, I strongly strongly recommend for you to NOT get involved.

Saturday, July 29, 2017

John McAfee on Security, Privacy, Cryptocurrency and Education

This is an interview by John McAfee.

Who is he? He's the anti-virus guy, yup.

He is also the guy that said he would eat his d*ck if bitcoin doesn't go to $50,000.

Hah, he's a funny and smart guy. Here's the interview.


GMGH notes:
- phones are all spying devices
- however, the risk is based on who is doing the spying and what is the spied data used for
- the paradigm of security has shifted and the focus on AV is outdated
- instead of facing the by-product of hackers, the focus should be on the hackers
- "If you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear" BULLSHIT
- privacy is fundamental to the workings of society
- hackers don't hack small fries as opportunities appear because it would reveal their exploit
- zero-day exploits are run simultaneously at a specific time to maximize their profit
- don't store anything of value on a cloud not managed by you
- if you do store anything on a cloud, be sure to encrypt it
- Bitcoin came out of Pandora's Box - the technology has been released and cannot be supressed
- a lot of coins are SCAMS
- if you are going to be involved in any cryptocurrency, you need to educate yourself
- hardware wallets / offline wallets are the best way to secure your crypto wallets
- to create good security, you need to work with good security exploiters
- in 10 or 15 years, colleges or universities will not exist (I beg to differ)
- why store things in the human brain when you can use technology instead?
- education and the transfer of knowledge in its current form should be questioned if it will persist
- S7 cannot be remotely rooted (as of Mar 2017)
- iPhones are the most hackable phones


This interview is a culmination of many of my most passionate topics: cyber-security, privacy, cryptocurrency and education (hence, the title). I love it.

Cyber Security


I truly and honestly believe that most people have extremely weak and poor cyber security. I have made a series of posts on cyber security, but I've been too busy to finish the series.

#1 The security-convenience continuum
#2 "Safer than your neighbour" Theory

It's going to be a long while until I can go back to writing more, but the single, best tip and advice that I can give is for you to use a password manager. I recommend Dashlane and I use it myself for 95% of all my passwords. My referral link gets you 6 months free premium if you want to give it a shot. I strongly, strongly, strongly recommend a password manager. Use LassPass, 1Password, Keepass or whatever. Even a freaking paper and pencil notebook will do, as long as you don't re-use passwords. But by golly, have a system in place to manage your passwords.

Next, keep all your devices and software up to date. Security updates are pushed out for a reason.

Privacy

I'm not paranoid... I'm just worried the MRT breaksdown

McAfee explained privacy really well given that he had to just pump it out and squeeze it into this short interview. I believe that privacy is a basic human right for everyone to have. If you decide to waive all rights to your privacy and live in the Google or Apple ecosystem, well congratulations to you, but don't drag me down with you.

Just because you decide to waive that right to privacy DOES NOT mean that others should have to waive their rights as well.

Likewise if you decide to go on a diet, be vegan, not eat a specific type of meat or food... hey, good for you, all right? But you have no right to force your dietary preferences on me. I WILL NOT BE DENIED.

Question: Why should I waive my rights to privacy just because you have?
Answer: I shouldn't and I will not. What I do is none of your damn business.

Allowing SOME people a certain magical power to decide who will have or will not have privacy is god-like powers to give anyone. It is a slippery slope that sets the precedence for power and abuse.

Imagine if someone can dictate what we can eat and how much. At first it's pretty legit stuff - banning the consumption poisonous things,and live human infants. Then it goes on to maybe.. GM food? Or maybe dog meat and cat meat? Then hamster meat? Then pig meat? Then chicken meat? Then McDonalds? Then pizza and hamburgers? Then then then.

Now imagine if someone can dictate who gets privacy and how much of it. At first it's pretty legit stuff - no privacy for known terrorists and criminals. Then it goes on to maybe... suspected criminals? Or the family and friends of those people? Then to all emails? Then to everyone on everything that they do. Then then then.

I hate and loathe the "but criminals use will it" argument. Hey, criminals breathe air, drink water, sleep on beds, use cars to travel around and telephones and the internet to communicate as well. OMG let's stop everyone from using all of them? NO SHOES FOR EVERYONE BECAUSE CRIMINALS ALSO WEAR SHOES. Hmmm, or maybe instead of a blanket ban we can control who is allowed to and not allowed to use certain things or do certain actions? Well it won't work. Guess who are the first people not to give a rat's ass about any official rules (laws)? That's right. Criminals don't give a shit if they are allowed to do something or not, that's the reason why they are criminals, jeez.

"Sir here is your new phone"
"Thanks. Can you teach me how to lock it?"
"Lock it? What do you mean?"
"I mean, how do I prevent people from accessing my phone"
"LOL sir, since the law changed in 2018, no phones are allowed to have passwords anymore! Only criminals need to restrict access from others because they have criminal activity they need to hide!"
"Aha that makes so much sense. Yeah, luckily I have no nudes or porn activity or private information to hide. Thank you!"

Cryptocurrency

I won't say much here, except that you really need to understand ANYTHING that you are investing in, regardless of it being a cryptocurrency or an endowment plan from the cute xmm agent. Not knowing what you're doing is a guaranteed way to be unsatisfied with the outcome.

Store your crypto in a hardware wallet if you don't want to have it stolen. I use a Ledger Nano S.

Crypto is unregulated. It's the wild wild west. There are plenty of scams. A lot. So many. Beware.

Education

I actually appreciate his random points of education that he brought up.

I find that the value of my education is NOT about acquiring and remembering knowledge and experience in doing various things.

I find that the value of my education is from learning how to learn to do things.

Don't know how to invest? Do you sign up for a business degree, take a module on finance and suddenly become Warren Buffet's Asian respawn? No. Fire up the internet and read until your eyes bleed and you get a headache.

At the end of the day, what is more important - having a piece of paper that SAYS you can do it? Or actually being able to do it?

I wouldn't say that our education system is shit. I'm a complete product of it. I think I turned out pretty okay. But I feel a lot of my educational journey was me trying to apply what I learnt to real life, through lots of trial and error.

No school teaches you how to buy cheap airline tickets. How to select an accommodation that suits both your budget and itinerary. A good way to track your investments. If buying a car makes financial sense. Which credit card you should use. No school will teach you that. No school can teach you that.

But you can learn how to learn. You can learn what's the best way to do all these things. And as McAfee says, the information is sitting behind the screen of whatever device you're holding. Unless you operate in a job that forbids internet access, there is no reason to handicap yourself and limit your knowledge to your brain space.

One of the biggest upgrades that I have done in my life is to have an Evernote premium account. It sounds stupid and weird, but it is my virtual brain. I type in and store anything that I think I might need to recall in the future. Mostly it is just smatterings of rudimentary instructions, or a short after-activity report about something which I think is important to know.

It's insanely refreshing not to have to remember ridiculous and trivial pieces of information in your brain and instead outsource it to this virtual brain. Just like how the address book have completely outsourced remember phone numbers, and Facebook have outsourced remembering birthdays, Evernote is helping me outsource the rest of the things I need to remember.

Anyway, this is a lot of ranting, but it's just some thoughts I had over the weekend. I spent a lot of time thinking about it, a bit hesitant to post it because it's bits of things here and there but oh well. I strongly urge you, dear reader, to take a few minutes and think about cyber security and privacy. You may realize that you are uncomfortable with your lax system and bad practices. The good news is that being self-aware is the first step to fixing your problems.

GMGH out.

Friday, July 28, 2017

[SGX Portfolio] Viva La RĂ©sistance!

Is P/B really too simplistic?

I'm struggling to try and structure my defense on something more complicated and sophisticated to make seem like I am a savvy investor, but alas, I am but a simple commoner with a simple commoner brain.

P/NAV is 1.17, based on their NAV of 79c and current price of 92.5c.

Occupancy is normal. Debt ratio is normal. Actually everything to me feels very normal.

They are holding a premium because they have business parks? Meh, someone else can take that risk. I'm fine exiting at these prices. Don't get me wrong, I don't think that they are outright over-valued. I just think that these levels are above fair valuation, and I'm willing to de-risk at these levels.

Sell price: $0.925
Total dividends collected: $0.12373
Average price: $0.795

Capital Gains: 15.5%
Yield Gains: 16.4%
Total Gains: 31.9%

After taking into account transaction costs, total nett returns would be about 31% over the past 2 years. About 14% annualized, nothing too much to toot my horn about. Nothing like the fat 75% gainz in Croesus. Similar to CDLHT at 38%, though the annualized rate of CDLHT is much higher.

Personally, after buying into Viva, I've always kind of second guessed my decision-making back then. Letting go of them now with these returns is really good for me mentally. I have exited a position that I have less confidence about, but at a higher price than I paid.

As you might have noticed, I have been pruning down my SGX portfolio as of late, especially recent stocks that have made huge gains. On a cost basis, I have pulled out 10% of my initial capital.

As always, I remain skeptical of most asset classes. The US stock markets still defy logic and gravity, but I doubt that it can continue to do so for long. But as I wait for things to get attractive, I am spending my time focusing on other investment opportunities and ideas. That said, even while waiting I still make my money across all asset classes work for me, though my emphasis is focused on minimizing risk while seeking returns as a secondary objective, not the other way around.

In times of ever levitating markets, I think it is prudent to be more conservative than risk-taking. When (not if) the markets are crashing, you can be rest assured that your GMGH is gonna be busting down the doors with both guns blazing away. For now, playing in the cryptomarkets is definitely honing my knife catching skills.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Bitcoin and Blockchain for Babies

Aye, I know it's not really for babies, but I really wanted a catchy and an alliterated title, haha.

As most of you guys know, I am probably one of the handful of financial bloggers in Singapore that talks about and writes about blockchain and cryptos.

I had an interesting talk with some university friends the other day. Like I said, I know genius level people operating on a whole different level. Yet my genius friend had issues grappling with cryptocurrencies. I would say this is more of a failing of my explanation and of watered down mainstream media news reporting than the lack of intellect from my friend.

While thinking about how I could better help him understand the massive paradigm shift in blockchain techologies (speculation, making tons of money put aside), I came across these 2 videos which I think explained things very well.

The first video is comparing Bitcoin vs normal currency.
The second video is about the underlying technology of blockchain.

Why do I choose to present the first video first? Most people easily understand the context and application of Bitcoin used as money, and I think it is better to work backwards from that understanding.


GMGH Notes for the 1st video:
- Bitcoin has a capped, finite supply -> More money cannot be magically added into the system
- Normal currency is unchecked and it is never known how much is circulating in the system
- Central banks follow Keynesian economics where inflation is good
- GMGH follows Austrian economics and believe bitcoins follow that line of thinking better
- *Trust is embedded in the system*
- No one needs special permission or hardware to own a bitcoin bank account (bitcoin wallet address)
- Bitcoin itself, as of now, is "unhackable"
- All hacks related to Bitcoin has been at individual parties losing control of their bitcoin bank account
- Bitcoin can be used without government's or bank's permission, especially when permission is usually denied
- Transactions takes minutes, not days to occur
- Transactions costs are in the dollars and cents
- Bitcoin is NOT untraceable, in fact, it is even more transparent than normal currency
- *This traceability actually hurts it as money because it is not fungible*
- ColdFusion AND GMGH are both skeptical of the idea of a government-backed cryptocurrency
- "Investing" in bitcoin or any cryptocurrency comes with huge risks
- Not knowing what you're buying is a great way to lose money, regardless of the underlying investment
- Not knowing when to buy or sell is another great way to lose money, regardless of the underlying investment

GMGH Bonus Notes:

Why did I highlight that trust is embedded in the system? Because this is actually what blockchain technology is all about and it will be explained in the 2nd video.

Why is fungibility an issue? Fungibility is a key property of money (meaning every unit is interchangeable with each other, and holds no history of its previous usage and owners) and without it, bitcoin or any other cryptocurrency cannot be used without making a devil's pact and surrendering and forever putting data of their transactions on the blockchain. Oops, you "accidentally" went to a transgender bar in Thailand? That $100 bitcoin transaction for drinks and whatnots from your known wallet to the known wallet of that bar is going to look awfully suspicious to your wife, family, friends and co-workers. GREAT SHAME AND DISHONOR. That is one of the reasons why money HAS to be fungible and why bitcoin is still lacking in that department. Privacy should not be taken lightly, and everyone should have the right to privacy (in my opinion).


GMGH Notes on 2nd video:
- The internet started with almost zero adoption as well
- Every paradigm shift solved a major gap in how society functioned
- The printing press solved the (distribution of) knowledge gap
- The engine solved the (man)power gap
- The internet solved the distance (and communication) gap
- Blockchain was NOT designed to solve the gaps of money
- *Blockchain is a way to solve the TRUST gap*
- Cryptocurrencies is an application of blockchain in an experiment to use it as money
- Blockchain ledgers are superior to normal ledgers because they are tamper-proof
- Blockchain ledgers are superior to normal ledgers because they are decentralized
- That is why for normal ledgers, we must always "Trust, but verify"
- He sees strong applications for protecting personal identities and also for building reputation

GMGH Bonus Notes:

Trust, trust, trust. Why does it always appear? We all live by and transact based on trust.

How can you trust that your bank didn't overcharge your credit card? You check and verify
How can you trust that your employer paid your wages correctly? You check and verify

How can you trust xxxxxxx that yyyyyyyy was done? You check and verify.

This is a bonus bonus video that explains why trust and DISTRUST is important and how blockchain fits in. But since it's a bonus bonus video, there's no notes for this one.


Every time I hear talks like these, it gets me all riled up about how crazily and mindblowing radical and awesome blockchain technology is.

Really, put aside the obvious questions about making money regarding this and consider it more of an after thought. Do you not see how this technology is going to change plenty of things?

Before you jump onto the hype train, you might want to consider my thoughts on cryptos from an investing point of view, and also read the things that you REALLY need to know before buying cryptos.

Let me very explicit: I am not encouraging anyone to invest in cryptos. This shit is both volatile and risky af (note: volatility and risk are two VERY different things). What I am doing is encouraging people to read up more about it and get interested in it. It is going to be massively disruptive, both in terms of business and in our own futures moving forward. If you eventually do decide to jump down the rabbit hole after me, be my guest. But as always, GMGH is NOT a financial advisor, your investments are your own responsibility, not the responsibility of the anonymous 27 year old blogger (or so he/she claims) that you follow.

Monday, July 24, 2017

When the Obvious is not really that Obvious

 I was just browsing the interwebs lately and I stumbled upon this interesting quote:

Talent is hitting a target that no one else can hit.

Genius is hitting a target that no one else can see.

Now, that got me thinking.

I have quite a lot of smart friends. In fact, I feel that compared to some of them, they are operating on a whole different level of intelligence and brain processing speed. Like seriously.

I could understand each individual action. I could also understand how the sequence of each action relates to the other actions.

However, what I couldn't understand was how he was executing actions, updating the sequences, and re-calibrating all in real-time to optimize the output. What looked like a problem that would require of me at least minutes, if not hours of thought, was being done by him as just another everyday thought process and action, almost effortlessly. It was unreal. But it was real.

I had always thought of myself as a smart person, but after this experience that I had in university, I realized that there are plenty of people that exist in this world who are way smarter than me, operating on a whole different level.

I would never be about to beat these people outright. They could get things done faster and better than me. How could I beat someone with such talent? And most of them also have more resources too.

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Ever since I became a gold bug a few years ago, I have struggled to understand why no one else can see what I see.

Am I wrong? Delusional? Is this really stupid? Am I dumb or something? 

But what I have come to realize is that nobody bothers to even look at it to form an opinion for themselves.

To reach the conclusion doesn't require years of studying. Probably just a few weeks at most, or within a day if you realize the importance and urgency of such knowledge and hit the most important points first and work your way down. If anybody bothered to take a look and understand it for themselves, the conclusion is blatantly obvious. Slap-in-your-face obvious. But no one looks and no one cares.

The global monetary system is broken. Period. Any argument defending that always precipitates to "the government won't allow it". You know, kind of like how the French government didn't allow the revolution.

Oh wait, hold on. Nobody gave a shit about that government? They all got beheaded? Oh yeah. Well, I guess you can trust every government except the French government then. /sarc

My point: If your only argument is "faith" in your government, or worse, in the governments of other countries, then that is not a very strong argument, in my humble opinion.

As long as this shell/shill game continues and fiat money is still useful as a currency, I will keep on playing this game. What am I to do? Buy food at the hawker centre with silver coins? 

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After stumbling back into cryptos for the 3rd time, it finally stuck with me this time.

A system that not only operates on distrusts, but is stronger and more robust when people distrust each other. Every distrust requires more proof and verification and it makes the system that much stronger and tamper proof.

A system that is so distributed that no single party can exert authority on the rest of the participants. 

A system where holding nothing means you hold nothing, holding part of the system gives you utility, but holding everything makes it worthless. Where value comes from distribution and usage, not from hoarding and scarcity. What's the point of money if no one has else has it or is willing to use it as a medium of exchange?

It is a system that survives on mutual distrust and decentralization. Where all the players agree to be bounded by certain rules.

Not happy? Want to create your own rules? Fork from bitcoin and make AnyhowCoin. But unless you get other participants to join your game and agree by your rules, it is worthless.

Cryptos can survive because people have decided that they rather be bounded by these fixed rules, rather than the ever changing goalposts and standards set up by governments and central banks that could turn on a dime. 

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Things are slowly changing. You CAN buy goods and services with precious metals. You also CAN purchase things with cryptocurrencies as well. Technology has bridged the gap to make these kind of things possible.

There are a few companies that issue precious metals backed debit cards (not credit). There are now a variety of companies coming up with ways to have crypto-backed debit cards as well. I've mentioned TenX before, but there is also Monaco, Tokencard, Metal and Plutus. 

The next possible big thing is paying with precious-metals backed cryptocurrencies through debit cards. It sounds almost ridiculous to say, but I believe that this mix and the final outcome is a better solution to fiat money.

A lot of people are confused and skeptical by gold-backed crypto or currency. Yet they don't see the hypocrisy of faith-backed fiat.

Of the few things that I can realistically see happening in the near future, a gigantic financial shit storm regarding the reduced value of government and faith-backed money and a need to find a better currency is something that I am quite certain of.

It is definitely not going to be a single moment where people just flip on a switch and everyone starts using the new system. It will happen in waves, as more and more people realize that having big stacks of monopoly money doesn't mean much.

People should not be forced to use shitty money where some unknown party can expand or contract the money supply with no oversight and no punishment. We're basically ending the beta testing phase of this new form of money soon, with 0.01% of the world's population already giving it a go for the past 9 years. 

Of course, the people who dared to get in early will be the ones who benefit the most. Fortune favours the brave, not the risk-adverse. The early adopters, not the herd of sheep. The hardworking who bother to learn, to understand and to try and to fail, not the lazy who want to be spoon-fed a the perfect, bug-free, government-approved product that is "safe" for all.

The fundamental movement into crypto is not a f-you to the government merely because it is a government. It is an f-you to any and every government for being shitty fiduciaries of people's money.

If they can't do it properly, then the people will.

But fine, I'll play this game as long as fiat money is worth something. It is not my preferred choice, but that's the best course of action at this point of time. I already have my exit strategies all planned out.

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Now back to my story about all those super intelligent people that I've met. To big banks with prop trading departments and millions of dollars of that their disposal. To hedge funds with insider connections. To everyone smarter than me and with more resources than me.

I don't have to beat them by competing with them to hit their targets.

I get to beat them by hitting the target that they didn't even bother to look for or understand.

Yes I realize that it seems like I am implying that I am a genius, but I can assure you that I am not. I am just a lot more skeptical and contrarian than most. So far, that has been my only edge in the market and it has served me well. This is just the extended application of it outside the tiny world of SGX stocks.

Disclaimer, in case it was not obvious enough, I have positions in both precious metals and cryptocurrencies. Why both? Well, why not?