May 28, 2017

Cory Diary : The Law of Growth - Population

Singapore Population growth has seen some increase prior to the last election. Since then we have seen a more gradual growth. I would say outcome of the last election result in securing the 70% votes.

I personally have been a proponent of quality of life rather than GDP growth. But is when the growth starts to slow down and stock market of local dependent economy starts to pinch that we start to feel the impact of it because one of the most important metric to watch for growth is Population Growth.

Let's face it. Singaporeans are not replacing themselves. If we are not changing, it will be 20 years of lost growth like what we are seeing in Japan. For this, who suffers the most ? The future generations that has to support the growing grey population. Japan is a country we need to carefully understand and study.

Japan Population

While I have not been in the country for most of the time, there has been constant barrage on the foreign influx policies. The constant breakdown of the MRT is not helping. The move to privatize is the right one. And I miss this one. More HDBs are needed to absorb the population increase. More Hospitals too. All this takes time to build up.

Same time interestingly, we have reduction in schools which means theoretically fewer teachers are needed. Again this is the outcome of lowered population growth forecast with gradual increase. A good example of mid class job losses and the dependent/supporting industry employment and income that comes with it such as rentals, basic consumption, transportation, telco, flights etc.

I specifically reserve the last segment to those that still has heartburn on the needs of population increase. ( below charts)

United States Population

Even mighty Americans do this too despite their innovation and economic scale and success. Maybe that's one key reason why we seen DJIA hitting 20K. Sorry Trump for taking some of your credit !


May 27, 2017

Cory Diary : Portfolio Updates 20170527

Charting in Excel is quite fun. Just figure out I can do a reverse of my Radar Chart. Be warned, will need to take a new dimension at looking it. The reverse radar overcomes concentration in the center and put more emphasis on stocks that occupies higher allocation than the others in the middle.

My trades already hit 74 YTD which is about half year mark and I am enjoying the process of allocation and divestment.

Increased my SSB ( Bond ) allocation with new funds. For more diverse and stable income. Upped Ascendas and Lippo Reits some. And started a small allocation  in AGT and Parkway Reit. Decided to remove FEHT.

Halcyon Agri removed. Commodity is still not in my blood. Cut loss less than 5k.
Took some profit on STI Index and Global Logistic to balance my loss. This lowered my Banks exposure more. Net changes bring up my portfolio yield some and laid the ground work for next year dividends.

XIRR YTD 6.9% excluding structured investment.(Book closure 29th Dec '17)
All-in-all I am having fun in the market place.

Risk anticipation will be market reaction to interest rate hikes which i have no control even though logically should not impact Reits much. Fact is for the past year Reit stock price has generally moved up and market experts are wrong again. Will Reits continues the uptrend .... better not unless we got better yields else we may see volatility.


May 21, 2017

Cory Diary : Time Dependent Performance - Part 2

I feel like very old man keep reminding myself about pitfalls in investment with data. Because many experts out there are giving questionable data and I need to make my own judgement including when I read my own blog in context. And I encourage people always do the same. Don't take word at face value.

Part 1 here's the link

2nd Part is the continuation of STI performance being marketed. As said earlier, the common figure of 7% annualized (including div) is at this time frame.

If we are to use a time machine and zoom back to Oct'2007, someone will by harping STI giving more than 10% annualized returns ! Why ? Let me show you using STI returns on this period since 1987.

Yes is 11.5% annualized returns. So why suddenly in 2017 period people market long term is now 7% ? Because this long term return is movable !

Future STI market data will continuously move the needle of Annualized returns of STI. And is not small amount. As above is -40% returns. Future of STI annualized,  I would say that very heavily depends on Singapore Economy. We all have a stake in our country (or residence) future to make it bright and then STI will be Brighter.


May 20, 2017

Cory Diary : Time Dependent Performance

Often people ask for annualized returns over the entire investment horizon of index or fund. This is wrong simply each human investment lifespan is limited to their relevant period and changes as we age. How the world managed financially 100 years ago, 50 years ago, 30 years ago and today can be very different too. Depending when we are investing actively determines our performance during this periods.

For myself, the active investment period is about few years before the global financial crisis till ongoing now. That's 10-12 years mark. Therefore, it is meaningless to me when fund promote their result across 20 years or 30 years horizon where tons of things can happen in-between.. 10 years before it may be mega bull or era where they face different government regulatory, technological or whatsoever industry in focus. If i have started the same, my annualized can also be different from today.

Not strictly speaking, the weight-age even for same period can be different. A single salaried person will have more and more money later into her career for investment whereas a married person may have lesser. This is crucial to understand. Because a millionaire today do not have a million dollar 15 years ago to invest to compare. For DIY Investors, your recent fund invested are likely one of your largest or heavier amount in your investment life. Recent market change can skews your returns a lot more personally.

Fund that start right before GFC 2008 and after can be just a year apart but their result can also be totally different. So we need to be very careful when reading materials given to us. How many people will know or remember this ?

A sample of Cory returns each year as below. Annualized whole period about 6.8%.

A peek on Temasek performance, their 10 years and 20 years mark are 6% annualized.

GIC returns are a little complicated as they are oversea focus. A strong SGD will not help or fair. Using USD, is about 5.7% @ 20 years. This beats nominal MSCI index.

Now, how about STI Index, my favorite. Using 1st Jan 2007 (updated) to now. Is only 0.28% annualized (updated). If we are to include dividends say 3.x% to round it off, that's 4%(updated). Dividends play a huge part in returns or damping growth depending which side you are in. 10 years before (1997) is about 5% including dividends..

Seems so far our CPF can still get the money needed. If this funds go much lower, either CPF has to give lesser, Land sales price has to go up, more tax from us or SGD will have to weaken. You choose.


May 16, 2017

Cory Diary : Singapore Tax Rate to Taiwan

Two things cannot escape in life. Death and Taxes. How do we compare with other countries in taxes ? Since i do not have more in-depth knowledge of most, I will do a rough estimate between Taiwan and Singapore.

Taiwan has a model kind of similar to some western countries in concept. In Taiwan, the medical and other benefits portion are funded separately and not part of the annual income tax. Nevertheless employees paid for it as part of the deductible in their salary. For simplification we will exclude them. Similarly we will not include Employer CPF contribution and relief in Singapore situation, and deductibles due to education and dependents in both countries.

Tax in Singapore Dollars at 1:22 rate

As you can see the tax in Taiwan is not competitive at all based on Income Tax formula.

People in $200K bracket, Singapore residents paid about 50% of what Taiwan residents would have to. No wonder the rich migrates to Singapore. 

But do we treat our poor badly ? From the above table, Singapore residents earning in S$40K bracket is only paying 17.5% of what a Taiwan residents would have paid.

This is a simplification. Are we far from reality and is this Hard Truth ?


May 14, 2017

Cory Diary : Net Worth 20170514

As I expand my Sg Equity size, feel is time to track the amount in my Net Worth chart. However data is not much but have to start somewhere. ( Yellow ). The effort is zero other than initial setup one time. This will give me guidance on my equity size relative to other lines.

Also did a one time adjustment starting on Jan'16 by removing my Property Net Asset out from the Blue line. Reason being they are not liquid for cash flow supports which is short term in nature. The other reason is the valuation is not easy to come by.

Net Worth 20170514

The Red Line is Net worth  which I manage to backdated till 2011. Would love to have more data before 2008 for my liquid portion in Blue but unfortunately it won't be possible with time passage. The Blue line is also my financial freedom line because is what I can tap on to generate returns that I can use quickly for property loan, Insurance, bills and daily needs. They are primarily supported by Salary Income and Equities.

What really unplug my growth gear ( beside 2008 GFC )  is PRC Market shake up in 2015 mid that set me back by at least 6 months. That's how integrate Singapore economy is with China now. It also takes me some period to put back my equity after. This line is make possible for meaningful change data as I move to dividend style of investing.

There is another line I like to add is the Expense line. If I have to do this directly, the task will be huge. Maybe I should look from the angle of amount of saving to deduce. I am probably too late in the game to track this as I have moved to higher spending gear ....


May 13, 2017

Cory Diary : Sector Investment

To start with, there is no deliberate attempt to manage by sector in my portfolio. But unwittingly, I like to have stability, growth and risk factors to consider.

Not surprisingly I should see "Fixed Structure" type of returns, Stable growth that tag to local economy, Broad based diversification through index, basic staples/necessity, dividends investing needs, emergency fund parking and some spots picking.

Glance through some charts and got this Treemap chart in excel on my portfolio data.

I like this representation a lot. This tell my Finance is under represented though mitigated by Index. Hope you like this sharing. Have fun with your investment !


May 9, 2017

Cory Diary : Cory Ideal Singapore Portfolio

Has been playing with Excel for sometime and surprise i could do below. Not sure what you call this chart. What I like is it tells me my investment categories and exposure by segment, and by counter in a stroke. Take me sometime to absorb the picture at first but it becomes clearer after from the grouping. The rings are the investment sizes.

Here's the breakdown on what I thought to start with towards what a Million Portfolio will look like after by year end. Yield will be around 4.6%. Do you see any risks or concern ?

The BLUEs ...

STI ETF basically covers a lot of Banks and Singtel, and at the most outer rung of the circle. However I could do more to include more banks directly. Currently this the main mitigation on recent banks run up. SINGTEL is relatively heavier in the portfolio. I am still monitoring closely. Telco business is tough but being a regional telco there is economic of scale and leverages.The lower dividends policy than others mean there are fund for growth and better compete with competitors.


REITs marked in yellow are a key segment of dividends. They are in various stage of buildup.
I did a re-balance recently lowering First Reit slightly for Lippo Mall Reit considering they are from same sponsor to reduce systematic risk i thought.. Maybe I should have just increase Lippo instead.

AA Reit my favorite currently due to much work is done by management to improve their returns for the future. Trusts have better regional exposure elements to mitigate S$ currency.

The REDs ...

Are my recent plunge. They are more short - mid term. More speculative end of mine. If you do not know why Global Logistic is there just search around. ValueMax is one of a kind that I have missed. I feel is mid risk but sized enough for me to hold long as needed.  If you notice I have included Halcyon as a possible black horse. Nevertheless a commodity stock in rubber. I feel is time to get into some of this. QAF is another play though can be considered basic essentials. I may move it out of red zone once the stock is more stable and if I am still holding. Design Studio is more a faith plunge base on their previous quarter performance. Not much knowledge to talk of.

 I am really curious how will they do in 2017.

The WHITEs ...

They are Bonds and Preference Shares. One may notice Singapore Saving Bonds (SSB). This is where I parked my emergency fund for short term. The remainder are for mid term funding needs. The risk level is quite wide if you have noticed. Example some Hyflux PS at the most inner circle of the portfolio.

The GREENS ...

They are the basic essentials. I thought is good to have some. Sheng Siong growth is getting more constrains but still a profitable business. The China investment will take some time at much risk. Thai Bev is quite in play.


May 6, 2017

Cory Diary : XIRR Performance - Interim Q2 2017 May Update

The Market for REITs have been exciting for this period of results announcement and media has been reporting good returns of a number of strong Reits. So is this ride ending ? Apparently the decision this week not to increase rate by Fed seems has no clear felt impact to the market as it will likely be on next. I have been holding tight on what I have and waiting .... . During this time I have done more blogging instead.

As there are 5 more dividends counters waiting to be Ex-div so I will just leave that for next article. To spice up this update, I have included XIRR Interim Q2 '17 May for comparison.

Some of my re-balance actions I took is to lower my First Reit exposure for Lippo mall. Appears it doesn't really matters to the return as both did well in their operation net net. My five speculative positions seems break even within. Not all quarterly result is out yet on them so we shall see how I do after. I sold some of my earlier SSB Bond in exchange for higher interests last month after Interests. Intent to max out my allocation at appropriate time. With current 1%-2.3% range, this will push down my score as expected.

Singtel moved a tack lower however I am not definite on the impact will be. Market sentiments not helping. Looking forward to the coming result. Exposure is a single digit percentage of my portfolio.

STI Index did really well due to the banks again. Chances are the market will continue to go up just that I am not sure it will be STI. I have so far been mitigated due to low double digits exposure to STI index. Super Bulls would have arrived if we see both Singtel and Oil/Gas surge returns. So we aren't in bubble territory yet I feel.

Outlook to watch

1. Oil Price
2. SGD/AUD/USD/NTD Currency
3. Telco Markets


May 2, 2017

Cory Diary : Do REITs take back more than they give ?

REITs have been in SGX for long time. Despite that people still has concern whether they take more than they give. If I am to invest in REITs obviously the benchmark will not just be more than they take only. They need to give enough back in the form of capital gain or dividends that are way above inflation in total.

This concept is pretty simple.

REITs Investment Returns = Capital Gain/Loss + Dividends , and Annualized

For the sake of a safer example, I will pick a stable REIT CMT. Yes, the one which I have blogged recently. CMT owns many Malls in Singapore whose tenant income are tied to tourist visits, impact of internet shopping and the local economy. And Funan Mall in the midst of AEI. I will take a peek on CMT for past 6 years performance starting from 1 May '11 ( after Ex-div ) till today.

During this period there are no retail rights issue which makes my calculation easier to compute. To make thing simple, I will use Yahoo monthly chart to calculate CMT annualized return on the stock price against today 1.97 closing. XIRR = -0.08.% which imply a capital loss. And then lookup on the total dividends distributed on the measured periods. Total : $0.6276. Combine both of them as table below.

So annualized returns for CMT for the past 6 years are 5.28%. What this mean is for every $10,000 dollar invested in CMT, you get $528 annually. A total of $3,168 or 31.7% for the total period.

So at least for CMT, is a Myth that REITs are not a good investment vehicle. Like any other stock, when to invest and sell is important. REITs are no exception. Will CMT continues to prosper ? That is for their current management to answer.

Please DYODD.


May 1, 2017

Cory Diary : What do people live for?

Saw this from a friend message link.

Investment is for quality retirement. Don't retire for sake of it and live like a beggar.
Strive for Quality Living. That's will be the benchmark

Once I realized that, things become clear. Investment for Income has become more important so that I have the money to do what I can with my time.

But I need to remember too ...

Being Rich is not about how much you have but how much you can give.

Start small.

Happy Labor Day !