Dec 22, 2016

Cory Diary : Sabana Reit

The purpose of this article is to share the danger of the stock market. The game is not fair.

Sabana Shari'ah Compliant Industrial Real Estate Investment Trust

(updated for privacy)  It was darling in the market with it's high yield. I even named it as one of my retirement counter. And then when the master lease issue comes in, I found something a miss.

Started with reducing exposure and then a complete cut loss. From the tip of 1.37 top price, my final cut loss is at 1.055. That's - 22% which is a little late but never late than never. The share price continues to slide down to below $0.50. Losses would have ballooned (updated for privacy)  instead of just $1,442. Never look back again. (updated for privacy)

That's the SHARKS in the market retailer have to be aware. The game is not fair and we need to be on constant vigilant of such as it is worst than casino.

Transaction records below.

Date Price Trans Shares Trans Value Comments
28-Dec-12 $1.135 B 30,000 ($34,158)
9-Jan-13 $1.155 B 10,000 ($11,587)
18-Jan-13 $1.160 B 20,000 ($23,274)
23-Jan-13 - D - $1,446 Dividend
1-Apr-13 $1.275 S 20,000 $25,419 Quick trade
23-Apr-13 - D - $964 Dividend
28-May-13 $1.310 B 7,000 ($9,201)
30-May-13 $1.240 B 7,000 ($8,711)
31-May-13 $1.225 B 16,000 ($19,662)
3-Jun-13 $1.215 B 10,000 ($12,189)
14-Jun-13 $1.140 B 5,000 ($5,730)
19-Jun-13 $1.190 S 7,000 $8,299 Quick trade
23-Jul-13 - D - $1,872 Dividend
19-Sep-13 - D - $1,716 Dividend
23-Oct-13 - D - $140 Dividend
22-Nov-13 $1.085 S 28,000 $30,283 Reduce Exposure
27-Nov-13 $1.090 S 10,000 $10,865 Reduce Exposure
23-Jan-14 $1.055 S 40,000 $42,066 Cut Loss
($1,442) Loss include Trans Cost

 Will I trust the management again ? Will you ?

Hard Earn Money leh ...


Dec 19, 2016

Cory : Singtel

Realistically speaking I agree with Singtel that there is no need for 4th Telco in SG. The reason is pretty straight forward. Neither M1 nor Starhub are credible competitors to Singtel. So what makes us think an addition of 4th or even 5th will helps bring competition to the table ?

If Singtel want to gobble up the whole SG market, they actually can if we truly believe in free market logic. Singtel wouldn't unless they prepare to face the wreath of the regulator and residence. Their strategy will be such as to secure just enough market share while the rest fight among themselves for the remainder. And that's what will happen when the 4th comes in. Which is why the scenario is so bad for M1 and Starhub.

The market will then reach a new equilibrium, and rates will then slowly returns to norm. They can do a 5th or 6th ... it doesn't really matter to Singtel being a regional wide telco.

The above Logic make sense till TPG comes in later into the game. Having a strong FCF in the Australia Market, this pose a serious challenge to Singtel domination in Singapore. I can sense the Singtel CEO no longer smiling as she may have to battle TPG in both fronts. Nevertheless Singtel is still a huge force to reckon with considering TPG FCF could also be significantly dented if Optus do something.

One thing for sure, the journey is not going to be fun for M1 and Starhub.


Dec 15, 2016

Cory Diary : Work Performance 2016

FY 2016 is another challenging year. Investment can be in Equity but it can be in Work too. The later rewards are more sustaining and bulk of most people income. And the achievement is mentally fulfilling.

After surviving the last retrenchment exercise, I have to bring over another team into my fold who just lose their manager. There are few things in my mind.

Prevent attrition (knowledge loss) in the new team and Business continuity

The risk is real because I have seen entire group turn over with new management change. This can bring serious trouble to the organization and set back the team experience a decade and process broken.

One of my first task is to make sure I do not favor my existing over the new. In fact I went overboard to give them much more attention. I changed my management style to be more easy going and fun. I will talk to them about Pokemon Go and Fallout Shelter. Both are great games by the way.

When come to difficult conversation with employees, I put things in the right perspective and direction on the poor performers without stressing them mentally while achieving business goals. And when dealing with my new team i have all my cards open.

I initiated a separate weekly meeting to handhold the new team on every issue. And provide guidance and discussion. Politics smoked out. Trust driven in.  A+ for that.

Cross Training within teams to support process alignment and efficiency

Not only I have greater responsibility but I have to deal with a smaller combined team strength by 25%. The only recourse is to drive for process alignment and simplification.

And to do it in the short time, I depends greatly on my existing senior employees to train and guide the new team members. They helped me a lot but this also drive some mistrust and ego with the new members later. I have to slowly phased the helps out once we have achieved the necessary goals. Is a B- ...

Continue the success of my existing team

At the same time the existing team bandwidth were tighten due to it and needing others members to step up and ensure performance continuity. One of my key employee left the team for career advancement which I am happy for her but she also left a hole behind to be filled. I have been working with each of my team member on their development and experiences continuously. Happy to say at the critical juncture everyone step-up to do their best especially those whom I have never expected.  This is an A.

For all of that, I am rewarded with a small adjustment and better bonus this year. There will be people glaring at this but this is not the top most in my mind. It was the RECOGNITION statements that i have been given on what my team have achieved that I feel is important. And that's how my FY 2016 ended.

I am honored to have this team. All my investment in them paid off. My wish for FY2017 is I can play a part for the team the same.


Nov 25, 2016

Cory Diary : When higher Dividend has a Price

Just when I thought 2016 will be the year my Dividend will finally dipped since embarking on dividend strategy, year-to-date I have hit another all time high (updated for privacy) . So what happened ?

Thanks, but not thanks, due to "anticipated" Neretal special dividend of 15 cents but with more than 20 cents dent to the Share price after ... a heavy price to pay for indeed if you are someone who has been tracking this counter. Is definitely not a Saizen. And I am not pleased.

If anyone think that dividend strategy does not work locally, think again. (updated for privacy).

Will I be able to maintain this new level of dividend next year ? Probably considering my portfolio is still not optimise. Still some work to do. Another is the high cash level which I have been deliberating on to use. Quite an amount in foreign currency which has hedge S$ currency weakness.

Good news for this two weeks will be my income currency has appreciated 8% relative to Singapore dollars. The bad news is that the rate is dynamic and many of my assets are Singapore dollar denominated including loans.But then interests rate is moving up. And my portfolio is muted towards the Trump Rally to my dismay. One good thing out of it is that our labour cost reduced by 8%. And property in relative terms has become cheaper by 8% too. This is really good for Singapore reeling from high cost of labours and property prices.

Talking about interests rate. Reits got skinned recently and I dipped for some. So glad to be back in the 6%-10% yield range. In the Telco front is a slaughter.I have avoided Starhub and M1 specifically for the past year. Singtel I feel is ok because whatever go down likely will come back up. It is more sentiment for a diversified and strong counter. Will there be special dividend after coming one ? oh no ...hope not another Neratel. There has been huge outflow of money from developing world back to America pushing the DJIA to another high. I would be prepared for the tide returning.

What's more ?

Busy weeks on travel. America is still a land of plenty, and waste. Consumer market rule.
Salary and Bonus assessment period. :)


Nov 23, 2016

Cory Diary : Global Warming

This has been one of most contentious. Global temperature has been rising. Does not using coal helps ? Should we use Nuclear energy ? Will the damage be reversible especially our oceans ? Is Oil the problem and the solution ? Save the Earth helps ? Cutting down electrical usage helps or just prolong the issue ?

Cory believes is plainly due to human population growth. From google ...

"What is human population growth?

Global human population growth amounts to around 75 million annually, or 1.1% per year. The global population has grown from 1 billion in 1800 to 7 billion in 2012. It is expected to keep growing, where estimates have put the total population at 8.4 billion by mid-2030, and 9.6 billion by mid-2050."

Ding Ding is Human Population. That's it. There is simply more increase in the rate of energy dissipation into the environment thus higher temperature we felt and measured. However daily total energy get emitted into space, which is why we need the SUN to keeps Earth alive. The dissipation of waste energy is so efficient that in total none is left over time on what we received else we will be roasted in no time. Trust me !

So is this rising temperature going to stop ? Not with increasing population but it does get mitigated with better efficiency in the equipment we use. There maybe to a point where human population tapered/decrease largely in poorer countries en-mass due to heat thus indirectly controlling the population rise. Developed countries which use a lot of the power ie. air-con, computers, lights, TVs, Fridge, Washing Machine, Hair dryer, Iron ...  are basically self-contained due to decrease in birth rate anyway.

Ok ! Before environmentalist starts to "Flame me", I share no joy in increasing temperature. And cutting down power usage helps a little but frankly is really little. Human population jumps 840% in 2 centuries. The answer is right in our face, we just need to manage our population better. We are wasting too much time and money in other directions to contain the Heat. Is a natural Earth cap.

Short term of our lives, Human Interested Consumption will do well such as property and food.
Excitements that gives joys to our life will do well too.

In my dream. Maybe we should invest in Stock that leads us to our Universe. Keppel and SBI stocks will rocket like our population growth. Inter-galactic Space Shuttle program anyone or should we get down to earth ? Singapore Dome ? 400 men crews Aircraft Carrier ? 


Oct 24, 2016

Cory Diary : Forest Woods

Almost 70% (357) units of Forest wood Residence (OCR) has been lodged with URA website. Price range between S$1300~1500 psf sitting on site area of 150,712 sq ft.

When North Park Residence first launched, it was a success too. Both private condos are in prime locations and 12F. I remembered complaining how small the units and felt this will only get smaller considering TDSR limiting the affordability and Land Pricing. So how this been going after more than a year ? Using site area to compute ...

Forest Woods : 150,712 sq ft / 519 units = 290 sq ft / unit
North Park Residence : 442,234 sq ft /  920 units = 480 sq ft / unit

Forest Woods has smaller land mass than North Park Residence by almost 40% ! This is despite North Park Residence has 920 units. So by population density measure we are going to see more people around the blocks.

Will the smaller trend continues ?


Oct 16, 2016

Cory Diary : Astronomical Returns

I have been seeing astronomical returns from some forum recently. It easily get people attention. That's what it does. But what's matter at the end of the day is how much you truly made at specific time frame. Why I say that is because market goes up and down. And relative performance measures need to account for time frame with reasonable period length to allow for stability.

STI Index

STI with Dividends from 2009-2016 = 9% annual returns after cost.

Let's take a peak of some period after global financial crisis (GFC) based on STI. Since is reasonable not to choose the bottom. At a height of STI 1900 on May 2009 will be something i am comfortable with. The current STI Index is at 2800. The XIRR ( Annualised returns ) excluding dividends are 5.3%. If we are to include dividends that will be like 8~9%. That's like 7 years after GFC.

Percentage can be quite misleading as it is open to abuse with time, value weight-age and cost structure. There is also price spread which can cause a large dent and trustworthiness. So to ball park a figure, if we are to put $100,000 into a fund 7 years ago just using 5.3% annual return figure, your value should be around $147,000 excluding "dividends", and we are taking the lowered STI price of today. Meaning 47% profit is the Minimum Expectation.

Hello ! you have to have 47% profit at that specific time frame because that is what all investors should have as a baseline. And I have even excludes dividends. So are you getting this amount in total else is time you question your judgement.


Oct 2, 2016

Cory Diary : XIRR Performance - Q3 2016

The Market comes down a little on the last day of Sept. For the past few quarters I have been enjoying the bliss of cutting loss quicker and holding bull stocks longer. This is a rather fundamental change in my mental decision which takes a long time to overcome but necessary. So far, overall I have been right.

Some of my actions I took is to clear LKH to focus on my portfolio better. I bought it this year in the hope there maybe some run up on property. It didn't. A little gain from a small speculative position. Applied for SGS Bond last month due to significant excess cash in the bank and to build up additional buffer on my loan.

The drop in DOW on days before Fed announcement on rates help to push for no rate increase this time.The decision would have been otherwise has the market hit new highs. Is becoming clearer and clearer that they work on market sentiments to avoid crash as is all about market confidence.

Enough said. This time i have compiled previous quarter for comparison. Do note I do not close exactly my performance result for each quarter on the last day except this quarter which happens to be so.

Not much has change except for YTD on Equity. Is not a surprise this measure will decrease with longer time in the year. This is why using performance based on 30 Dec'16 comes into play. I have a slight up in Q3'16. Both XIRR performance will converge on 30 Dec'16. Personally I am quite happy to hit 10% on my enlarged equity portfolio which beats many funds outright.

Outlook to watch

1. Oil Price
2. SG Property Measures
3. China and Indonesia Debts
4. SG Telco Markets
5. Trump Presidential Campaign
6. RMB Weakening

I have also started taking some TA learning and Charting practise to time my entry and exit better on stocks I hope to invest or divest.


Sep 18, 2016

Cory Diary : Calculating Return in Equity - Part 2

In this continuation of calculating equity return, let's simulate a scenario that on certain years we have very good returns. And we feel rich that during that periods, mentally we think we can afford to lose. This can be at portfolio level or Individual Stock that we have grown to love.

As the table above, I picked year 2009 and 2012 where Cory has strong gains and have them tweaked about 50% lower returns as we are less careful with money and that we have fallen into a tunnel vision of justifying more risk on just one or two stocks which have been been a key lifter of the entire portfolio.

This is not unrealistic. Is quite common we see at portfolio level we are doing well just because of a few of them or maybe even just one counter. And if that one is soured later on, we like to know the impact.

From the table we can see Annualised returns reduced to 4.2%. And for the above example is a $61, 000 hits on return of $100, 000 investment. Do remember return on such over 10 years compounded is quite significant even for just 1% point.

The next time you feel a particular stock has gained 100% return for you that you can afford to lose them back since at counter level you will not lose, better think again.

Have a nice day.


Sep 17, 2016

Cory Diary : Tray Collection Robot

Smart Tray Return automation piloted in a food court recently. Pretty cool huh. There is some issues here and there. The walkway is too small and the robots are a little sensitives which i think is alright due to safety. Nevertheless I find it interesting. What I do like is we probably have created a number of higher value jobs. Well is still pilot and may not take off. However this may ignite other initiatives here and elsewhere.

I still remember like "yesterday" having a vivid discussion with a respected blogger on old folks hired to help clean up the plates in food courts. His main concern is what type of values he want his children to have. Old people helping to clear his kids dishes ? I respect that. And then we also have the efficiency addition where the government want to rely less on foreign workers, and grass roots promoting self service. Well it is not going anywhere.

Curiously that time in my thought is, did anyone ask about what the old folks think ? I am more empathy that many of this old folks need to work or spending few hours of their time a day trying to earn some pocket money.

This is especially so for those who do not have enough saving. There is limited job alternatives for them. They are one of the social interaction remaining links. What more there is some value creation. There is also some interaction in their life. I think we need to appreciate their service.

But if you ask me now, i would say the tray automation system complement all our needs. The robots will likely complement their work. The workers are still needed, the children can still walk up to put their tray, the robots will lighten the labour needs and we have created higher value work supported by engineers, hr, managers etc.

I come back to Singapore few times a year. Every time i will not miss buying my Business Times copy from this old Indian Lady. A temporarily prop up store. Very friendly. And I would always like to put up a chat with her every time in the morning when I am there. She lights up my morning with her cheerfulness and ideas.

And then another older Chinese lady solo many a time on the Kopi-Tiam noodle store. Excellent food. Shes looks like 70 ! One of my favourite. Irreplaceable cooking skills. Who next's ? They all play a part in our daily life aren't they ? Do we really like to see newspaper vending machine ? Factory produced noodles self-collect at pick-up point ? Maybe some people like talking to "Wall".

Key part of the life equation is how technology enable and complement our daily experiences especially those that are the fabrics of our society. Not just dollar and cents. Maybe our future can be more exciting  in this lacklustre market.


Sep 11, 2016

Cory Diary : Calculating Return in Equity

When I look across STI Index back 10 years there are 3 major down levels. If your investment have survived this three crisis give yourself 2 STARS.

1. 2008 US - Sub Prime Financial Crisis
2. 2011 European - Greece Crisis
3. 2015 China - Stock Crisis

When we start measuring our performance matters. Anyone who invest right after 2008 bottom will most likely survive well today especially for those who invest big. If you did big please give yourself 2 STARS.

Using $100,000 Investment seed as if I am a Fund Manager, applied to my past 10 years performance. And then compared to two tweaked samples calculation on strong and mediocre performances.

The first table is Cory returns. 10 years Annualised return is 6.7%. I give myself 2 STAR.

The 2nd Table has return tweaked with smaller losses in year 2008 from -52.5% to -25%. And in year 2011 from -13.1% to -8%. This 2 years are periods where market is bad. 10 Years annualised returns boosted to 9.5%. Give yourself 3 STARS if you hit this level of performance.

The 3rd Table has return tweaked to have lower return in other years only. 10 years Annualised returns come down to 2.3%. This is in the upper range of fixed deposits. Still better than cash. 1 STAR.

What I understand from the tables are reducing large looses are important. Consistent performance is even more critical.

How many STARS you have ?


Aug 27, 2016

Cory Diary : Not My Day , Mr Super !

In one of the local Taipei supermarket I just went, Nescafe retail space occupied like 4 rows of products in the coffee section despite repeats of same product sku. Finally spot a single spot of our local brand Owl coffee box.

Design looks good

Happily bought it home. Not sure is it my eagerness to try. Attempt to pick up and tear along the segregated lines of the packaging box doesn't work well. Looks like the package is not very well made. Maybe the humidity in local condition ? Quality important leh. Maybe uncle too excited. :P

Box Torn ...

Never mind. Next pull out a sachet. And tear the top line for the opening. Somehow I also torn the coffee bag inside together and some powders splash out. Wa lan .... #$%#$%#. My disappointment growing liao.

DIY ...

Ok stingy me. I took the torn off part and tie a knot around the coffee powder bag. Done ! My 3 minutes coffee lor. The taste not too "ko" and quite smooth. Happy to drink without sugar.

The box indicated "Product of Vietnam" under license and pack for Owl... Super Group Building. Anyway share share lah. Think Super can do a little better. Still got hope.

Please hor. Total Quality => Branding. Very simple logic.



Aug 26, 2016

Cory Diary : Cut Loss , Part Two

Has been holding this post in draft bucket for more than 2 weeks. Putting numbers to simulate scenarios on price going down trend. The figures are arbitrary. Is not meant to encourage anyone to cut loss on any particular stock. Is meant to educate myself on risk management.

B - Buy , S - Sell

Cutting loss at one go as in scenario 1 , 2 and 3 at different price points. Losses ballooned.
How about staggered loss in Scenario 4. Almost Scenario 2 except you get to see $13 price range.

Feeling Rich not to cut loss and instead average down at different stages in scenario 5. Ended up with 20 Lots with -$33.5 K loss and 300 K asset stuck.

When market knifed, a number freeze. Some choose not to cut loss even when they know is coming. They are the "Heroes".  A number even average down till no bullets. For the timid me now, I will cut if fundamental is against me, and not how deep my pocket is. And buy back at my terms.

Who are you ?


Aug 20, 2016

Cory Diary : Hyflux 6% PerCapSec Part 2

Just as I have written recently on Hyflux 6% PerCapSec (corrected term), they decided to play punk. Thanks to Swiber ! We have a lesson learned. Will the macro stock market get worst ? I think it can, considering poor Singapore economic performance. But fixed returns are kind of "Protected under Lehman definition haha " provided the firm continues to be alive.

Before you read, I like to warn again. For those who see the world in "Black" and "White", please ignore me ... err I mean my article as is a lot of Estimation, Guess work and Intuition.  This mean you need to grow up to own your decision. I have to own mine often. :)

Below Par

Hyflux 6% PerCapSec price dropped to 0.946 (Below Par). Below Par happens to Oxley and Aspial bonds too. Thus, likely market sentiment. And this happens when retailers did not do their home work. This also tell me there maybe opportunity created by the fearful.

If Hyflux pay up their dividend this Nov on the Hyflux 6% PerCapSec, the return will be 0.03. With two more potential gains to come along with it.

a. Return to parity meaning 0.054 more.
b. Premium of the listed PS which may hit 0.02.

That's a total of 0.054+0.02+0.03 = 0.104 returns or potentially 10.4% within 3 months and a week. Hope I get it right. Greed set in. haha. I think is worth my time to do some investigation and assess the risk again.


The problem started with Swiber. So I think maybe i should do a comparison between Hyflux and Swiber information. Please do your sum as I manually key it off quickly from the information I got from the web so there maybe careless error.

When i look at the data as a non-financial reader, I see work being done in Hyflux. I see growth. In-addition Hyflux has a key financial advantage which is Hyflux 6% PerCapSec to support flexibility which Swiber didn't get in time.

Model Strength

Hyflux supports build and Operate. Engineering, Procure and construct. This are analogy to "Printer". The recurring income from membrane sales will be like "Printer cartridges".

Cash Flow

• Operating cash flows after SCA and tax paid included investments into construction of
Qurayyat IWP and TuasOne WTE project.
• Investing cash outflows mainly for investment in PT Oasis Water International, a 50%
joint venture in Indonesia.
• Financing cash inflows mainly from proceeds from issuance of $500 million perpetual
capital securities in May 2016.

What people see is cash flow. But what I see is strong management oversight. I see execution. I see financial supports. I see they have a plan and seems to know what they are doing.


As previously mentioned Hyflux 6% PerCapSec is a little for the risk we have to pay for to proof their model is successful as we may lose our investment. But why would anyone want to pay more if they can get sufficient subscription. If they have paid higher and screwed their investment returns, is a lose-lose proposition.

As right now, the returns from recent market sentiment is quite attractive.
If I am to bet, I will be on Olivia side. But do I dare ? Once we go in, it can be a slippery slope of no return. This is Investment Risks.


Aug 15, 2016

Cory Diary : Cory Worth and Markets


Net Worth slips back to mean growth after last year Chinese Market onslaught. China market went feverish which I anticipated it will fall as it does not match with Xi anti-corruption drive. When the brick hits my chart, it still went for a dive and ended up with a lower gear of the continuum norm.We are now a quarter and half period before 2016 year finish and I hope we did not hit a brake like in 2015.  Roughly a year to come back up to the Pre-Crash level.

Top left of the chart is the "Is" and "Is Not". I have them structured that way previously and for comparison to continue as such.

Bre-Exit Period 2016

Strictly speaking the Bre-Exit did not boost my net worth. The portfolio recovered within span of a week. Did some mitigation moves unnecessarily which reduced my potential gains. Nevertheless, the market broad strength continues to accelerate up. Swiber could have caused a dent but mitigated due to other sectors progress and my avoidance in Oil/Gas counters, the impact has been mute. Took the opportunity to adjust my banking sector investments. I also took profit in a US Stock with 30% gains so that I can focus more on SG Markets in the coming months.


Over the years, after each crisis, my asset continues to move up.This is also reflected in my investment returns. Governments tendency to moderate currency strength has shown to be the safer bet to support the new economy, and I feel is rightly so. No serious regulatory economist will do otherwise as the fear impact can be disastrous. However yield get lower over time and debts relatively cheap that we could finance huge supply in sector in Oil Infrastructure, Commodity and Shipping. Broadly speaking this are good for lowering the cost of living except for those who lost their jobs. Yet much cash is still in abundance, and property could be the next frontier again to absorb the excesses for those untapped.


Aug 7, 2016


I feel history today and do a quick study. Is like a review after a great battle. I am not vested in Oil and Shipping Industry directly but that doesn't mean I should not read up on it. So whatever I find and understand is subjective and conclusion could be wrong.

Started with an article from BT dated FEB 16, 2016.

"THE strain of low oil prices on the offshore and marine sector was in full display on Monday, as two heavily-exposed Singapore-listed companies reported a combined S$1 billion in fourth-quarter losses."

"The losses were partly the result of the reversal of profits already recognised for the construction of oil rigs and ships that might now never be delivered."

Next, reading latest reported AR. 
Profits for 2Q 2016 is $10,737 ('000). Down from 2Q 2015 $113,167('000)
So will we see even a larger crawl back later ?

And their debts reported increased quite significantly.

Then, i check other announcement and realised they still do Share Buyback. This doesn't feel good when we clearly know the market is not working and if we are using debts to push up prices. What are they thinking ?

Final check on the chart, and I can't help thinking is this industry boosted by loose monetary policy which like Shale Oil build up from debts and more debts except differ in cost foundation and which later pushes it further down the road.

Will it get worst ?

See the chart below.

NAV is $1.2029. Share Price is $1.32. Considering the risk and returns, does it make sense ? Compare to another industry like Property which is still earning quite ok are at 30% discount to NAV. Opportunity cost is not my cost today when it can be really toxic.


Aug 2, 2016

Cory Diary : Misleading CAGR

Smoothed return

It assumes a smoothed return over the period that’s measured. In reality, investments experience significant short-term ups and downs. Be careful when you are sold with 1 Year to 8 Years performance. On 7-8 years, there's a low due to GFC that time in 2008 on crash and huge recovery. All monkeys able to perform. Fine ! Not all monkeys just "99.5%".

Size of fund

What this means is that a fund manager can work on multiple small funds, and then select the few that happens to wins over the measured period and present them to you. Which will convince the most sceptic their performance. 

Ins and Outs

It doesn't work on personal equity investment which has multiple transactions. 

From Investopedia,

"CAGR is very straightforward when there is a beginning and ending value, and set period of time. But in reality, investments, such as mutual funds, have continuous cash inflows and outflows and are required to report monthly, quarterly, annual, and even daily returns."


Jul 31, 2016

Cory Diary : Did DBS got SWIBER'ed

The Swiber collapse put a possible dent of $350 M into DBS after secured. Unsecured asset to me doesn't mean no value, just much lesser especially during a poor market condition. Even then, I am surprise the total loan exposure is in the tune of $700 M. In my previous reading just 2 weeks ago on Q1 DBS result, it has a profit on $1.234 B. It has an allowance in the report of $170 M.

If is a one-off thing, it could a good thing to buy on dip. However is it ? DBS has to put it whole segment of this portfolio under review again. Q2 may be exciting to read if they allow !

Another question in my mind is whether the Market has fully downgrade Banking from last year level. If so, what we are seeing now is just market sentiments. What we do know is that Oil Price doesn't look like recovering anytime soon. Shale Oil is there as check and balance to the "Evil Cartel". To put it simply, Shale Oil could possibly be the product of QEs. An industry build up from debts and more debts. And once is build up, it put a lid on the cartel every time the oil price attempt to go up.

What this simply mean is that it is going to be a long winter for the oil and gas industry. Question is how long ? For a start, the cost structure as i mentioned previously is not right for the industry. They need to re-size their cost not just the headcount. Anyone want to order offshore rig must be insane.  Are we hoping Keppel and SBM at the mean time be able to do an "Apple Magic" ? Supporting industry like MTQ has a strategy to buy time while company like Swiber attempted a too big to fail stunt.

During this time who will benefits from low oil price ? Start thinking.


Jul 28, 2016

Cory Diary : Fascination with XIRR

XIRR is a feature use in Excel to measure rate of returns. Best for measuring irregular returns such as stock transactions. XIRR is also the formula we enter in Excel spreadsheet to measure investment performance in a compounded way.

Just type in a single cell in the Excel "XIRR(" and a help note will appear "XIRR(Values,Dates,[guess])". Values is the value of your trade transaction. Date is the day transacted. Typically we can ignore "[guess]".Basically we only need to care for "XIRR(Values,Dates)". If you have weird answer, then "[guess]" needs to be use but this is rare and is due to mathematical solution which has more than one answer.

We know through common sense that for $1000 investment in $1 stock price of a company, if we are able to sell at $2 after holding for a full year, the return will be 100%. If we use XIRR, it will shows 100% too as table 1.

Table 1 on 100% return exactly a year

1-Jan-15 ($1,000) Invested Amount
1-Jan-16 $2,000 Take Profit
XIRR 100%

What if I am only able to sell my stock at $2 on 20th Feb'16 instead of earlier 1st Jan'16 date. This will get complicated in calculating my performance mentally but not with XIRR as in Table 2 below. The performance is 84% which make sense since we take longer to achieve the same profit as in table 1 above.

Table 2 on 100% return more than a year. Time is money !

1-Jan-15 ($1,000) Invested Amount
20-Feb-16 $2,000 Take Profit
XIRR 84%

What if I am able to sell my stock at $2 within  7 months time. The answer is in Table 3 below.
Performance shoot up to 230%.

Table 3 on 100% return in just 7 months

1-Jan-15 ($1,000) Invested Amount
1-Aug-15 $2,000 Take Profit
XIRR 230%

In Summary

We are use to think how we earn last year compare to this year. The problem is this year has not ended. Is only 28 July today and we have 5 more months to go before we know how we perform in 2016. Therefore using today performance measured will skew a lot higher in % if you make an interim profit but much lower in % if is an interim loss of the year.

Thus, Table 3 performance is only for interim reference and not the final result till the year ended. To maintain 230% return at year end, your profit needs to be able to scale to $3300 as shown in Table 4. Which is why performance will decrease over time as chances are, we will not be able to hit $3300 profit from a single trade.

Table 4 To achieve 230% for a full year period

1-Jan-15 ($1,000) Invested Amount
1-Jan-16 $3,300 Take Profit
XIRR 230%

Over the years with consistent performance measured in all your trades, if we are able to achieve strong XIRR results, It will likely reflect your performance capability. The longer the better. I would say 5 years minimum so that a single good trade in your earlier trading days will be properly "amortised" in a compounded way. This is lifetime XIRR measure and a key portfolio measuring tool.

Final Final !

Another thing to watch is the weight-age. The bigger investment you make the larger the impact too on XIRR. This is especially so in later years since with growing income and returns, your investment will get significantly larger that will minuscule your XIRR performance in your earlier years in comparison.

Thus, be aware of fund manager which market their performance using short period and low fund amount to jack up their performance. Only to see their performance flatter after you have subscribed to them.


Jul 26, 2016

Cory Diary : Cutting Loss in Stock Market

Need to ask myself DEEPLY. Especially after cbox sessions this days ....

When cutting loss, do I based on fundamental of the stock to decide, wait for good price that can hit or the price we enter ?
Do we logically think Market will react to push up the price for us to sell or it works in a mysterious way that it will always fluctuate to our buy price for us to sell ?

When have lots of cash, no cut loss. Use the money in the bank to buy more in new investment.
Are there direct connection between cutting loss and how much money in the bank ?

Switching Horse better or Cut loss better ?
Some people like gambling addict. Cannot cut one till they chop fingers.
Macro factor, switch horse also die. Bet both horses, die too.
I think when to switch matters. When to change animal matters too (Market segment). Right ?

Is my stock a good horse ?
Money is hard earn, don't know what to do, cash first then talk. Want to freeze like I did in 2008, can too but make sure we ride good horse. Dividend players sure like this and buy more. Got guts bo ?

Need Maths meh ?

War Memorials
Mun siong


Jul 24, 2016

Cory Diary : XIRR Performance - Mid Year 2016

Share investment is Passive as I do not need to run the business behind each stock. I am not answerable for their business. Therefore the amount of time spend researching on the stock is relatively minimal compared to typical worker effort.

Many people have different kind of definitions. Mine can change overtime ! I do not feel like pricking the logic today. Instead of challenging views and web definitions, maybe is better instead to explain the inner voice on what we really want. Do we need an alternative income that can boost one current salary with minimal effort and in the process supplement retirement needs. Is that what's matter ?

XIRR Performance

There are 4 scores because i feel it matters. The first is how much am I able to grow my invested returns over the years. The second is for this year performance.

The third is stripped of PS and Bond to see how I perform in the stock market. This are further measured based on 2 different dates, 30 Dec'16 and 23 July'16. The later has higher score assuming I sell everything on 23 July'16. The other is on 30 Dec'16 which extend my investment period by another 5 months.

All year portfolio returns 6.7%. Every $100 invested, returns is $6.70 compounded. Quite hard to move this XIRR needle as the overall score has a damping effect by Bonds and Preference Shares. Unfortunately there is no easy solution.

Equity 2016 returns is 9.7% and 15% based on XIRR year end measure and this week performance respectively. Immediate plan is to shift my non-core Equity to more fixed returns by year end.

Outlook to watch

1. Oil Price
2. SG Property Measures
3. China and Indonesia Debts
4. SG Telco Markets
5. Trump Presidential Campaign
6. RMB Weakening

I do not think Brexit worth a spot currently as it takes a long time to unfold. Added Trump because I feel Trump strength and impact to global has been underestimated despite all the hooha. I think can be as real as "Hitler" in action just not in brutality. RMB weakening is beginning to show and the impact is yet fully absorbed. Spratly islands is just a diversion currently.


Jul 23, 2016

Cory Diary : Experience in New Private Apartment enquiries

Like to record my experience on my property enquiries on a new private apartment. Using $1M amount as a reference calculation on the loan and fees needed. Recorded to the best of my memory re-collection using one hour of my morning time today to type. Hopefully no error in my understanding and re-collection.

Property Agent
An agent Trust Worthiness is important. Diligent and supportive are key criteria. Willingness for long term relationship will indicate his character clearly. Getting the right person is the first step in my property search. He is also the key person i ask about home procedures, lead time and industry practises.

In Principle Loan
Getting support from the bank on how much I can borrow and criteria to meet are important especially for those who are based oversea. We do not want last minute surprise risking the initial 5% deposit of the property value if we decide not to proceed with the deal. Provide as much information as possible for correct assessment by the bank.

Paper Work
Each bank may have slightly different expectation that I need to provide. Need to get ready and available on the moment notice. Talk to the bank. Credit Card statements, Salary Statements, Employment and Income Proof etc.

Ideally we like to be present to preview, ask questions, sign and handover our cheque for the home we want to buy in the show room. However you can ask someone else to sign for your intention if you are not available and trust their advice. There is a 5% booking fee that can be use to offset the initial 20% for first property. There maybe penalty on specific amount of the 5% if you fail to follow through on the purchase.

Initial Amount
I need to pay up 20% of purchase price for 1st property. Using $1M, that's $200 K in Cash and OA CPF. So if you find difficulty even at raising this amount maybe that property is not for you and need to adjust your expectation accordingly. Personally it should be well above my budget and above allocated emergency funds for housing.

Need to prepare to take a loan of $800 K. There is small sum of processing/valuation fee.
If you are oversea, time your returns to settle loan matter and lawyer. At least 3 weeks.
I included consideration on job security and emergency fund amount in my decision of the property value I would like buy. There is also age restriction on the tenor period i can borrow which will affects the monthly re-payment amount

Another key consideration is Interest rate. A Low interest rate is a double edge sword. You pay lesser for your borrowing cost but you may find yourself in over-leverage territory easily due to the low base of the rate. A small hike may impact your ability to continue to service your loan or affect your quality of life. Although the regulatory requirements and banks have built-in some safety measures we need to do our sum.

Personally to me, low interest rate stability for the entire loan term is important as I may not want to re-finance, and need to meet a host of criteria again. So sudden jump in interest rate due to board rate mechanism will not work well for my case especially in low interest rate environment.

I also need to do declaration on other loans such as car loan, housing loan, provided guarantee to someone, over draft and credit cards etc. You maybe surprise they can directly hit the amount you are allowed to borrow quite significantly. So be careful on this and be prepared for buffer. I have a well paid relative who have to borrow money from poor me because they mis-calculate the amount needed and need to tie over short-term cash flow problem.

In-addition to the 20% purchase price amount at minimum for those with first property, need to be prepared for the following

Booking Fee : 50 K. Get your cheque book ready. I am a little uncomfortable handing over blank cheque to the developer to signal our intention to purchase. Is done on-site and widely practised afaik. Authority should prohibit this practise with strong penalty against developers. There is room for issues and also put buyers at a disadvantage in pricing of development. I hope someone can bring this up to appropriate authority as it does not make logical sense.

Lawyer Fee : 2.2 K. Their service is worthy. Make sure the firm is in your bank approve shortlist.

Stamp Duties : 29 K. May varies with individual condition. So check up with your agent and lawyer.


Jul 20, 2016

Cory Diary : Selling a Dream

A Dream is Mathematically Insane. Practically Impossible. Is Basically Irrational.

Toto Strike assumes $1 M. Someone drawing 100 K annual income get 1 Toto strike every 10 years surely. Those drawing 250 K annual salary will reduce to 4 years. Can strike Toto 10 times in 40 years !

Want to get out of rat race ? Work hard and Smart. Study hard if you can. Save and Invest I like. Marry up also can. Will make it easier. Is not sure win but the path to success is there.

Want to vote for a dream because it is so attractive, addictive and memorising and hopes. A chance for the few. We need to realise. Is the gambling in us. The laziness in us. The wilfulness in us. The greediness in us.

Beware of people who sell you a Dream. Keep Dreaming.