Jun 29, 2015

Why Ultron Should Have Used Endowment Plans to Destroy the World.

A typical sales pitch by a insurance sales person.

"Sir, do you know what is the interest rate in your bank?"


"What if there is a saving plan, that can give you 4% a year, provides free insurance and even help you pay for your savings when you are sick! Will you be interested?"

"Wow! Sounds like a good deal! Where do I sign!?!"

Let us assume that an investment analyst picks up the same product and he has to present to his boss on the product. How will he present it?

Analyst, "Sir, This product has a guaranteed loss of 10%-100% of capital over a 20 out of 21 years period and has the potential to make 4% a year."

Boss, "What kind of lousy product is this? If I am risking 100%, I will want at least 100% return on my investment! Why are you wasting my time!"

One product and 2 very different presentation, reflecting the difference in the perception between a man on the streets and an investment professional.

Jun 23, 2015

3 Tips to Increase your Chances of Getting into the Finals of Singapore Blog Awards

Honestly speaking, I have not heard of the Singapore Blog Awards until April 2014, when I came across Grace Tan (workingwithgrace.wordpress.com) blogging course, looking for ideas to improve on my running blog (sgunfitrunners.blogspot.com). I noticed that she had a couple of Singapore Blog Awards banner on the site of the blog and that is how I came to know about the Blog Awards. I registered my blog on a whim and was incredulous that my blog actually got into the finals of the Topical Category of the Blog Awards. My blog even got a honorable mention by the guest of honor, Senior Minister of State, Dr Amy Khor.

The REAL Reson Why Investors Keep Missing Market Trends

I recently contributed an article to WINvesting, a UK based financial portal on why investors keep missing market trends. Visit the site here to find out WHY!

Jun 19, 2015

How to Recognize a Pay Pal Scam

On a bright sunny Friday afternoon, I received an email from Pay Pal. I could tell that it is a phishing scam immediately.

So, for any potential Sherlock Holmes out there. Where is the hidden clue that gave the scammers away?  

Jun 17, 2015

MediShield Life Premiums - Stunned Like Vegetable!

Recently, I have quite a number of people asking me about MediShield Life and what it is about. Many of them received letters informing them how much premium they are expected to pay. Some of them are probably spooked by the premium amount that they were stunned like vegetable.

With their money at stake,I have quite a number of friends asking me about what is the new MediShield Life about and  most importantly, why is the premium so much more expensive as compared to the old MediShield. So, I decided to compile a FAQ on some of the questions discussed among my friends.

Jun 10, 2015

When it Comes to Having Fun, Size Does Matters...

It has been 6 months since the launch of Wongamania and many people congratulate me on designing such an interesting game which the game mechanics is able knit closely with economics. One of the most frequently posed question for us is the question of price.

Wongamania is priced at $38.

For the group of players who have been playing other financial literacy board games (priced between $70 - $200++), they came to a conclusion that Wongamania is priced too cheaply, and we should increase our pricing.

For the average group of consumers who are more familiar with Monopoly Deal and Saboteur ($15-$25), they feel that Wongamania is too expensive.

This makes setting the price of Wongamania a pretty difficult affair.

After considering many different factors, we came to a conclusion that packaging has one of the most significant impact on the price perception of the game.

So we decided to perform a little experiment with a few focus groups.

First, we put together a few board games and line them up for the focus group to examine as how it will be like in a retail environment. They are given the retail price of all the board games with the exception of Wongamania.

The result is pretty astonishing. Wongamania is rated on an average price of $18 and the reason for the pricing is due to the perception that the "content of the game" is not as much as other games due to the size of the game. As the size of the Wongamania packaging is on par with smaller card games like mass consumer games such Monopoly Deal or Saboteur, the consumer automatically associate Wongamania as a very light and fun game. On the other scale, the board games with bigger box are associated with "heavy strategic games which requires a lot of thinking"and since designing strategic games are harder, the consumers give the games with a bigger box a high price premium.

What is interesting is that the contents of Wongamania is on par with one very popular card game called Munchkin.

I managed to fit the entire contents of Munchkin into the Wongamania box (excluding the dice)

The price perception of Munchkin is around the $35 - $40 range which is pretty near to its actual retail price of $40.

When we initially designed Wongamania, we imagined the game to be easily portable and can be played on a small table found typically in the cafes of Singapore. We want the game to be a social game and for people able to to bring the game out during travels or meeting a bunch of friends in space scarce Singapore, and that strategy seems to be back firing on us in terms of price perception

So in order for Wongamania to fit the price perception, we have to either increase the size of the box or lower the price of the game in order for it to sell effectively in the retail market when placed with other games on the shelves. We are firmly confident on the contents and the playability value of Wongamania and we feel that we should be reasonably priced at the $35-$40 range.

We have sold 80% of our second run print of 1000 and we are looking for a bigger print run the next time round. Therefore, we are looking to increase the size of the box for our next print of Wongamania. So will Wongamania lose its portability once we upgrade the size of packaging? To help maintain the initial idea of a portable game, we will probably develop a smaller box as an optional choice for people who wish to carry Wongamania around as part of the game accessories, along with a set of easily portable board and token.

At the end of the day, no matter how good your inner beauty is, size does matter.  

Jun 2, 2015

The Secret to Predicting the Next Market Trend

What is the Secret to predict the next market trend?

One Word:

"Central Banks"

It has been eight years since the great financial crash of 2007 and the world has been feeding on 0% cheap loans and debts without having any major repercussion. To further compound on the problem, Europe, Japan and now China, are also offering cheap loans, for people to invest into properties, stocks and bonds. The rush of cheap money looking for returns has prop asset prices all over the world above that of their fair valuation. No doubt that the stock market is an indicator of the future, but the future became past and so far, whatever valuation which many analysts has justify in the past did not come to fruition in the future, which is the present.

How we dress in 2015: Based on prediction from Back to Future 2

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