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Singapore Exchange Trader
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Singapore Exchange Trader

  #21 (permalink)
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On regards to SGX products, the Nikkei contract is good to trade even in the night session and to a lesser extent, Taiwan Index and the Nifty contract (but the tick value is quite low). Nikkei has the best volume out of all their contracts. Some prop shops do arb between Osaka and SGX. The Osaka Nikkei trades in 10 tic increments so it is like 15,670 bid, 15,680 offer. While SGX trades in 5 tick increments, 15,675 bid, 15,680 offer. So if you can buy 15,670s in Osaka, you sell the 15,675 bid in SGX. Stuff like that.

The exchange used to help foreigners who applied to be a local trader with their employment pass, not sure if they still do. If you are going to trade SGX for size, its best to apply as a local because the futures brokers still charge quite high, like $5 a side.

All said and done, its a nice place to live if you have money or making good money, because it does get expensive. Its a nice base to explore Asia also because Thailand, Vietnam, Philippines, China, Australia, Hong Kong are only a few hours away by flight and its cheap to get flights.

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  #22 (permalink)
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US Bond Trader View Post
... ...You won't get caned for jaywalking, you will get fined.

Appreciate the fair comments, @US Bond Trader and glad you had an overall positive experience in SG.

Yup, Singapore is an expensive place to live and is getting worse, no thanks to the greedy and shameless PAP (Pay And Pay) government. As a former Head of SG Civil Service once quoted Mr Lee Kuan Yew, "What's wrong with collecting more money?"

The only thing that I wish to correct is the above comment. In Singapore, whatever you do, don't get caught. Most people jaywalk without getting arrested (and fined), except maybe in Orchard Road where the traffic police have to manage massive flows of people.


Last edited by fourtiwinks; March 17th, 2015 at 01:50 AM.
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  #23 (permalink)
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fourtiwinks View Post

The only thing that I wish to correct is the above comment. In Singapore, whatever you do, don't get caught. Most people jaywalk without getting arrested (and fined), except maybe in Orchard Road where the traffic police have to manage massive flows of people.

It's true Singapore is "fine city'...I did have a colleague who got fined for jaywalking across cecil street where it curved in front of republic plaza before it intersected with robinson road. there is an underpass there to use. but it is a dangerous intersection.

with the election coming up next year, maybe the opposition will get a few more people in. People are getting tired of the PAP (like you said Pay and Pay). Where does all the money from the casino entrance fees go?

Once of the biggest benefits of living and trading from Singapore, or Asia for that matter, is the time zone. You can trade Asia in the morning, Europe and UK after Lunch and the US in the evening. Granted it makes for long days, but if you are living and breathing the markets it sure beats living in Chicago and waking up at 2am to trade Eurostoxx, Dax and Bunds. Depending on the time of year, those markets open at 2pm or 3pm. But if you are trading US products you will be up until 2am or 3am.

It used to be much easier to open a hedge fund there, but MAS (monetary authority of Singapore) tightened the rules a few years ago in that you had to have additional managers, I forget exactly the changes. But it is still one of the most hedge fund friendly places around. There is a lot of money floating around there if you really want to look for it.

I made my best trade ever in Singapore. I met my wife there. She will probably say its her worst trade. Which just shows that for every trade there is a winner and a loser!

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  #24 (permalink)
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US Bond Trader View Post
It's true Singapore is "fine city'...I did have a colleague who got fined for jaywalking across cecil street where it curved in front of republic plaza before it intersected with robinson road. there is an underpass there to use. but it is a dangerous intersection...

Poor chap! I have been jaywalking whenever convenient.. but thankfully in the "heartlands", not in CBD or Orchard Road areas..



US Bond Trader View Post
...with the election coming up next year, maybe the opposition will get a few more people in. People are getting tired of the PAP (like you said Pay and Pay). Where does all the money from the casino entrance fees go?...

Indeed, where do all these taxes, charges, fines, fees, etc., go to?? They amount to tens/hundreds of billion dollars annually, yet the PAP government uses all tricks (from denials to attacks to lawsuits) to reject all queries about them. Sorry I digress from the thread and will stop here.



US Bond Trader View Post
... ...I made my best trade ever in Singapore. I met my wife there. She will probably say its her worst trade. Which just shows that for every trade there is a winner and a loser!

Congrats my friend! Should she ever consider it her worst trade, at least she has married a man with a good sense of humour..

All the very best in your trading!

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  #25 (permalink)
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US Bond Trader View Post
Singapore is nice. I lived there for 10 years. But it has gotten very expensive. Rents are similar to hong kong and London and new York if not more expensive for really nice places, something in Orchard Road area will cost you $10k a month. I left there in 2013 and was living in a nice 2 bedroom condo paying $3300 a month and that was 30 minutes from the city area, which in Singapore is considered very far already. You can drive from one side of Singapore to the other in 45 minutes, so if you are used to wide open spaces forget it.

Food is good and if you eat like a local its cheap, but eating out all the time will add a few extra thousand a month to your expenses. the weather is great all year round, the only bad times is when the haze comes in from Indonesia, then if you have asthma you will have problems breathing. shopping is expensive, everything is imported. the tax rate is low and trading income is not taxed.

People are friendly and most everyone speaks English. Internet infrastructure is among the best in the world. If you are an American you will have to forget about following American Football and NCAA sports. Its all football there, not football Americano, but soccer. The English Premier League is huge there, big Arsenal, Liverpool and Man U base there.

Owning a car is expensive, you have to buy the right to own a car, called the COE, certificate of entitlement, before you can buy a car and that alone is about $60,000, in addition to the $150,000 you will spend for something like a Honda civic.

But recently for Americans moving there, with the new FACTA rules, it has gotten harder to bank there. It used to be easier. Singaporeans do everything by the book and if they don't understand something, more often than not, they turn you away. You really need an employment pass or become a permanent resident to open a bank account there, at least that was my experience when I first moved there in 2004.

There are some good futures brokerages there, but they tend to be old school, in that they haven't kept up with technology and offer basic trading systems like PATS J-Trader to access the markets.

A lot of SGX floor traders were not able to make the switch to electronic trading. Some went bankrupt, some drive taxis now, some teach, some still trade.

I am from Chicago and there are places in Chicago I don't feel safe during the day. In Singapore you can be anywhere anytime and you are safe.

You won't get caned for jaywalking, you will get fined.

You think you were basically staying around my area. Katong?

What did you trade while you were in Singapore? Bonds still? The hours wouldn't make sense.

Like I said, everything is here is more expensive compared to in the West unless you are willing to settle for the locally produced alternative. Which, as our society progresses, is almost an unacceptable proposition. So what to do? Complain and pay up. A specific example, the Herman Miller: A very trusted chair among traders. You could probably purchase it in US for 800 - 1000USD over Amazon. In Singapore, there is only 1 authorized reseller that will honour the 10 year warranty and it will cost you $1500 USD. A 500$ premium. The list of course goes on.....

To all foreigners who plan to come here to live and work, you're going to be in for a Rude Awakening. This is NOT your average Asian country where everything costs peanuts and you can have your way with the locals... The people and this country will eat you alive, it is highly competitive. You'll be better off staying where you are unless you know you'll be able to secure a very high salary (Minimally 5 digits) and have at least your housing and transportation needs being taken care of by your employer (a company car and condo). Otherwise, it's just a losing proposition and you'll have very little to save, despite the so called 'much lower tax'. But as you can see, after paying your rent and paying a 50% premium on all imported goods, it far outweighs the benefits of your lower tax.

On a side note. Recently, our first and longest serving Primer Minister Lee Kuan Yew just passed away. His vision was to transform Singapore into a safe and corruption free country, and also the financial and commercial capital of Asia, with a majority of the population being (huge quotations) "millionaires". He ruled with an Iron fist, but he definitely got the job done. In only 50 years, compared to other countries like US (150 -200 years) he managed to achieve all that. For that, Singaporeans paid due respect to him..... we'll see what the future holds for us.

Cheers!


Last edited by KelvinKing; March 29th, 2015 at 11:07 PM.
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  #26 (permalink)
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Hi Kelvin, maybe I have met you before, but I know a few Kelvin in Singapore. Yeah initially I stayed in East Coast area, Bedok when I first moved there in 2004. Later Kembangan, very close to Katong which was just down the street. Later moved to Bukit Batok before leaving Singapore. Less Ang Mohs there hahahaha.

But like you said Singapore is expensive. Everything is imported pretty much. And don't forget when you order your Herman Miller chair for $1000 and have it shipped to Singapore, the govt will send you a bill for 7.5% GST (tax). So while you save in income tax, you pay for it elsewhere in higher housing costs, food costs, fuel costs, car costs, school costs, even clothing (if you buy name brands like polo ralph lauren - a shirt I can buy at Macy's for $90 will cost double in Singapore). It is entirely possible to live cheaper though, but to live the same life in Singapore that you can live in say Chicago, it will cost twice as much easily. There are no Costco's there, no Wal-marts. The Carrefour is closed already. Giant is ok. There are Ikea's there though.

SGX Nikkei is still a good market to trade in the evening from Chicago. Its at 13 hour time difference, so 8am in Singapore is 7pm here. It does have a good tradable range and good volume. Taiwan index is ok as well.

Singapore I think is still a wonderful place for a person to go and experience if they can get a job there. I think it is better if you are single. Its harder with a family because unless you already have a lot of money, it is expensive and companies are not giving out big expat packages anymore. If you want to send your kid to a private school, like the Australian School or British School and your company is paying for it. You are looking at $30k USD a year even if it is just for kindergarten. That is just the tuition. The local school system is very good though. But expats tend to stick together, so if you have a spouse it might be hard for her to assimilate. You don't need a car there as public transport is very efficient and taxis are plentiful and cheap, a car is nice to have, but very expensive to buy and maintain.

Its a great place where a young person who has a foot in the door with a company can achieve success. I always felt foreigners were promoted quicker than locals, partly because foreigners also tended to hold the more senior roles (at least in the banking business) and if you are Australian, that is like being on the promotion fast track! haha. I have seen Aussies get promoted yearly while a perfectly good hardworking Singaporean has been slaving at the same job for 10 years.

I was kind of sad when I heard LKY passed away, especially since this year is the 50th year of Singapore independence. He was a strong arm ruler but he did make Singapore into the financial center it is now. It could have very easily stayed a murky backwater country like so many of the surrounding countries there. Hopefully the next generation of leaders doesn't screw up the country. The next elections will be important as a lot of people voted PAP out of respect of LKY, now that he is gone there might be a bigger shift to the opposition. But knowing PAP they will redraw some GRC's to consolidate their strengths and try to weaken the Workers Party.

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  #27 (permalink)
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US Bond Trader View Post
Hi Kelvin, maybe I have met you before, but I know a few Kelvin in Singapore. Yeah initially I stayed in East Coast area, Bedok when I first moved there in 2004. Later Kembangan, very close to Katong which was just down the street. Later moved to Bukit Batok before leaving Singapore. Less Ang Mohs there hahahaha.

Its a great place where a young person who has a foot in the door with a company can achieve success. I always felt foreigners were promoted quicker than locals, partly because foreigners also tended to hold the more senior roles (at least in the banking business) and if you are Australian, that is like being on the promotion fast track! haha. I have seen Aussies get promoted yearly while a perfectly good hardworking Singaporean has been slaving at the same job for 10 years.

You brought up a good point that has been becoming quite an issue here. The situation in Singapore regarding foreigners has taken on an almost Xenophobic proportion. The fact that foreigners seem to be on the corporate fast track, coupled with a lot of recent cases of foreigners abusing the locals has earned them the term "FT" (Foreign Trash). Be it if you're white or any other color, as long as you are a foreigner, it seems like you are being seeing in a different light now (and not a good one). The Government is tackling this issue very carefully, as they know they need to import foreigners but at the same time not open the floodgates and upset the locals. So yeah, it's a balancing act.

Singapore has grown into a World recognized place to conduct business and invest. It's also know for it's safety and financial stability ($800 Billion surplus). Taking such a quick route to achieve this goal, has turned the majority of the people into just work horses, with little care and compassion for each other, other than immediate family members (sometimes even that gets thrown out the window). The Lee Kuan Yew era has always promoted the "you get what you sow, losers weepers" mentality. What people want now, is for the Government to find a balance, where at least some semblance of humanity can be reinstated into the country's people (I have faith).

For me, I see trading as more than just a means of achieving financial independence. It is a way for me to in a way, escape this "system" which the Government has created of dog eat dog. I've always been a proponent of the Western way of thinking that "you'll get there when you get there". Everyone has their own time their journey is different and you'll need to discover it for yourself. In Singapore, things are pretty much geared towards a pre-programmed set of instructions. Go to sch, get good grades, get into a good University, get a good degree, get a respectable job, start a family, buy a house and start paying your damn mortgage until you're 65 (repeat the cycle).

If you talk to a Singaporean, you'll find that there isn't much else to talk about other than his own work and investing money. Heh, it's kinda funny. Because that's all they need to know basically to survive and do well here. In return, the government puts your tax dollars into good use and by the time you are retired, the price of your house has tripped. Pretty good equation for success if you ask me. Only problem is, there's no humanity in that equation.

Guess I've been rambling on a little bit, so I'll end it here ... but I think that this is a pretty good thread (albeit the only thread) to enlighten people who are interested in possibly looking to come here to work or even settle down.

Cheers!

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  #28 (permalink)
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KelvinKing View Post
You brought up a good point that has been becoming quite an issue here. The situation in Singapore regarding foreigners has taken on an almost Xenophobic proportion. The fact that foreigners seem to be on the corporate fast track, coupled with a lot of recent cases of foreigners abusing the locals has earned them the term "FT" (Foreign Trash). Be it if you're white or any other color, as long as you are a foreigner, it seems like you are being seeing in a different light now (and not a good one). The Government is tackling this issue very carefully, as they know they need to import foreigners but at the same time not open the floodgates and upset the locals. So yeah, it's a balancing act...

@KelvinKing,

Sorry, I disagree. It IS the PAP Government's seriously flawed policies on foreign labour that has resulted in this serious mess, affecting Singaporeans and foreigners alike. They have been doing a lousy job and most certainly NOT a balancing act.

Most Singaporeans have forefathers who were immigrants and so many of us have benefited from interacting directly or indirectly with foreigners, so how can we become xenophobic all of a sudden?? So please don't parrot our useless PAP Ministers with their regular insults about Singaporeans being xenophobic.

(Incidentally, the late LKY was regularly insulting Singaporeans in his latter years. What supreme irony that he could not witness the hundreds of thousands of Singaporeans (with foreigners), young and old, demonstrating how truly resilient, grateful and compassionate we as a people are.)

And since I have deviated from the OP's thread, just a comment to bring the theme back again:
Singapore is a country where crony capitalism reign supreme - one set of rules for the PAP elite and their cronies, and the rule of law for the rest of us.


Last edited by fourtiwinks; March 30th, 2015 at 12:49 PM.
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  #29 (permalink)
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Singapore is a commodity trading hotbed. That's its history going back to when Stamford Raffles first came. Its location is ideal within South East Asia. That is why its port system is among the busiest in the world. People ask me is Singapore better than Hong Kong? If you do business in China being in Hong Kong is an obvious advantage, but if you are doing business throughout the rest of South East Asia, being in Singapore is better.

Physical commodities that are traded mainly through Singapore are palm oil and rubber. To a lesser extent coffee. There are a lot of commodity trading houses in Singapore. It is a great place to get experience. The old SIMEX started out trading gold way back when, if my memory is correct.

I think it is a misconception for kids today to think that they if they want a career in trading they need to get a job in an investment bank. Physical commodity trading firms like Cargill or Dreyfus are excellent places for someone who wants to learn trading to go work for. The training is quite comprehensive and makes a solid base to learn fundamentals and learn about the entire supply chain. There have been traders who left these firms to start very success hedge funds. What people don't realize is that star traders at companies like Cargill or Dreyfus do get paid extremely well, they have to, otherwise they will leave to go to a hedge fund or a bank to trade. I guess what I am saying is there are many different routes to get into trading, a young grad shouldn't just think of trying to join a hedge fund or tier 1 investment bank.

Singapore has many opportunities for people wanting to get into the physical commodity trading business as it is a city state so it is very concentrated unlike in the USA it more spread out.

As far as politics go, you have to play the hand you are dealt with. Even though I don't agree with many of their policies, I couldn't do anything about it. But my view on politics is a simple one, all I expect from politicians is to just make sure the roads don't have potholes, crime is low, stay out of my business and make sure the economy in general is in decent shape. Singapore meets all those requirements for the most part.

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Very informative discussion we have here. Ok, I'm going back to the products. I assume the Nikkei 225 Index is the most liquid contract being traded in the SGX. is this correct?

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