A good read on how to afford anything

Ken here has wrote a really detailed article on how to adjust your lifestyle to lead a satisfying life. He has given us a clear insights on the way he conducts his life, on car buying, investment, and other ways to live frugally and yet not letting up on standards of living. Some of it could be really extreme, but they are possibilities that you can explore.

Excerpts:

Don’t Buy on Credit or Take out Loans

Only buy what you can afford. Don’t buy anything until you have the cash to pay for it.

Half of America doesn’t get that, and spends all its money barely making the minimum monthly interest payments on their credit cards each month. GAG!

This is awful. Few people have enough self control not to spend. We get all the pleasure by whipping out our card and satisfying ourselves today, while the payment part is way off in the future.

Sadly this is the genius plan of credit card companies, for whom your 30-day future becomes every day for the rest of your life making interest payments. They want you to get in so deep you’ll never be able to get out!

When it comes time to pay, VISA or Mastercard doesn’t want your money! They want you to make the bare minimum payment and get in deeper. They love charging you far more interest than any other loan would. The credit card companies collect 18% interest from you, while the money they loan to you costs them only a few percent.

They easily take in 10% profit per year from you on every dollar you have racked up.

They love it when you max out your cards and have no possible way to pay off the balance. This is the slavery condition in which they would love to have every cardholder. That’s why they give away cards like candy, especially to students and other people they know can’t possibly pay them off.

The few people that they do break (bankrupt) aren’t a concern. These companies make so much money on the other people that it easily covers the defaults.

Don’t let this happen to you. The only way to use a credit card is to pay it off in full each and every month. Never buy anything for which you don’t have cash ready to pay the bill when it becomes due. I always have, and have never paid one penny of credit card interest my entire life! Credit card companies have a insiders word for people like me: freeloaders. Tough, call me whatever names you want, I’m not going to fall into their credit-card Hell.

Never, ever use a credit card for credit, simply because the interest rates are too high. If you need a loan, go get one, and pay it off fast.

If you can’t afford it, don’t buy it. That’s the most important rule here.
Read the full article here

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Investment for everyone : Free Stock Market Ebooks

I believe a lot of you have been feeling the heat of Singapore’s high inflation rate.  Trust me, you’re most probably not alone.  Some of you might be thinking of investing money into stocks and shares especially since after hearing all those glamor tales of Warren Buffet and George Soros, of tenfold /100 folds moneys rolling into their bank account.  Some of you might be inspired by HK serials such as “Da Shi Dai”, whereby DingXie predicted the collapse of the HangSeng Index and bought short on every positions he and his sons can get hold on.

Well, in reality it’s not that easy and it does take some work and studying for everyone who wants to get into it proper.  Remember, this is like engineering, except it engineering for numbers.  I choose to believe that God has implanted patterns into every chart movement that can be resolve by some mathematical formula.

Some comes the difficult part, who formula to use? Imagine it to be like having a vivid dream which you wake up to and then you try to decipher that dreams into 4 digits for your weekly investment in 4D. But of course S&S bring about so much more satisfaction.

In order to ease you into this path of investment enlightenment, I have gathered some ebooks so you do not have to buy your way into useless seminars (well some of them could be useful but most are just Spaminars like those advertised in Newpaper) or books.

Introduction to Forex

This e-book explains what the Forex market is all about an how to get started trading it.

Download Introduction to Forex

The Trader Business Plan

In this e-book, Christopher Terry explains how to put together a trading plan including methodologies, goal setting, and record keeping.

Download The Trader Business Plan

Charting Made Easy

This is a great primer for new traders. This e-book covers all forms of technical analysis including support/resistance, trendlines, and chart patterns.

Download Charting Made Easy

The Truth About Fibonacci Trading

Want to learn more about Fibonacci? Here, Bill Poulos takes you step by step into the world of Fibonacci including retracements and extensions.

Download The Truth About Fibonacci

The E-Book of Technical Market Indicators

This e-book contains a wealth of information on market indicators including advance/decline indicators, short sale statistics, and sentiment

Download The E-book of Technical Market Indicators

A Practical Guide To Swing Trading

Larry Swing teaches you all about swing trading in this e-book. In it you will learn about candlesticks, trends, moving averages and much more.

Download A Practical Guide to Swing Trading

Secrets of Millionaire Traders

This covers 25 secrets that were collected from interviews with millionaire traders. There is some great wisdom contained in this e-book.

Download Secrets of Millionaire Traders

Day Trading Mind

This e-book offers some great tips to stay focused on your trading. Mainly for day traders.

Download Day Trading Mind

Pattern Cycles

Here Alan Farley talks about bottom reversals, breakouts, trends, and even Elliott Wave theory.

Download Pattern Cycles

Swing Trading Using Candlestick Charting

In this e-book, John Person explains candlestick charting and pivot point analyis.

Download Swing Trading Using Candlestick Charting

Keys To Top Trading Profits

18 trading champions share their keys to trading profits. Includes interviews with George Lane (stochastics), Larry Williams, and Linda Bradford Raschke.

Download Keys To Top Trading Profits

Three Swing Trading Examples

Alan Farley shows three swing trading examples with charts, instructions, and definitions to get you started.

Download Three Swing Trading Examples

7 Habits Of A Highly Successful Traders

Here Mark Crisp discusses the seven habbits that successful traders have.

Download 7 Habits

Secrets of Successful Traders

Ok, this one isn’t free but it’s very good and has helped my trading. It costs 49 US dollars (£25 or so) and there’s a money back guarantee if it doesn’t work for you.

Click here

Daily Rant : Don’t you get the feeling that money buys LESS these days?

I was at my friend’s for a visit an stayed over 12.  He kept a huge collection of old-time comics which really brought back fond memories of those days where I would sneak Dragonball/Old Master Q into classes and pretend to look interested.

Thereafter I took a cab back to my place, and Both of us live in Tampines.  Guess what, the bill came out @ $6.  yes, for a trip less than 2km, it was 6 dollars.

It was infuriating. I wish I earn that amount everytime I do a 2.4km run.

And this is just a service product. For any individual, the biggest asset one can own is probably this. His Home. But a pity that commodity is the one rising the fastest these days.

Inflation is sky high now and that is not going to stop. I have repeatedly mentioned that property prices in Singapore have been kept artificially low, but now with the surge of investment money with all the high profile acts in singapore, prices are set to soar like never before.

Yes, it will be unprecedented.

Yes, our prices will join the ranks of Hong Kong, Japan soon. If not, we are already on our way there. There is no running away. Especially with Singapore’s policy in welcoming foreign talents, we are already on our way to a vicious cycle.

Cycle 1:

more foreigners >> less housing available >> higher prices

Cycle 2:

High profile acts (F1, IR) >> Red hot asian investment outlook >> more foreign investment coming in >> speculation in properties

There is an urgent need to make your money work even harder for you now. Sometimes I don’t really understand why is it that one can pour some much time into their mundane office work and yet cannot afford to spare some time to sort out what to do with money on their hands.

With inflation this high, YOUR MONEY IS WORTH LESS EVERY PASSING DAY.

Networking the right way

What is one thing that we need to do in order to be known? What is the secret to building contacts? How do we get to know people whose interest are similar to ours? How do we find people who can help us boost our business and/or traffic? You guessed it right – Network!

Networking doesn’t mean keeping tabs on everyone you’ve met since you were 5 years old. Networking is something that you do in order to build your contacts and resources that might benefit you and others in one way or the other. Some people are born with networking talents, they get out there and make friends easily whereas for some it is a learned act. I have learned networking the hard way. After running two small businesses both in the real world and on the internet and seeing two of my blogs die, I think I have learned some lessons on how to network to gain the most out of it.

Whether you are a born networking genius or a person trying to learn the ropes, we all know networking is the key to success and is critical to any business and the same goes for your blog, whether you run it as a business or hobby. Here are some tips on networking that I have found quite useful which has helped me gain contacts that are both influential and helpful when it comes to my blogging career.

Check out the full article here

In Singapore, we En-bloc, In China, they just confiscate your land, flatten your house, and kill your husband

Human Rights Will Overshadow Beijing As Olympics Approach

A recent Reuters article on Chinese looming issues says that “Groups such as Free Tibet campaigners or China’s growing band of domestically dispossessed are hoping to use the Olympics to highlight their complaints in front of a massive global audience.”

Chinese Censorship

One of the biggest issues that China will face in 2008 is the assault that will inevitably come over China’s public image on certain issues. China is often denounced for the censorship that it carries out against ideas that are commonly spread outside of Chinese borders. From a liberty standpoint, this kind of restraint on society is unthinkable.

The article does suggest that China isn’t taking the criticism lightly and the cause of humans rights activists may be misguided because China does adhere to acceptable human rights standards. “Human rights, as a concept, have become a constitutional principle, a mainstream subject in the political life of both the Party and the state,” it quoted Dong Yunhu, vice president of the China Human Rights Research Association, as saying.

Here’s an excerpt from a Reuter’s article on the upcoming 2008 Olympics; it notes the challenges that lay ahead for the Chinese government and the problem with journalistic standards and censorship.

BEIJING (Reuters) – China exuded optimism on Tuesday about the 2008 Beijing Olympics, saying its centuries of culture and history would light up the world, even as organizers came under renewed pressure to fulfill a media freedom pledge.

“We will show the world 5,000 years of splendid Chinese history, the significant achievements of modern China and the zeitgeist of the Chinese people,” said the Communist Party mouthpiece, the People’s Daily, in a New Year’s Day editorial.

While recognizing that unprecedented challenges lay ahead for the year as a whole, the editorial said that there would be far more opportunities than challenges.

For those interested in further learning about China and their ’successful’ approach to Censorship, you might want to read this article from CNN: China and Internet Censorship