Oct 28, 2018

Cory Diary : Market Rout

Many investors have a bruising week and so do I. This year is slightly worst because my OCC 5.1% got redeemed which means lesser buffer. The other is my US Stocks though just small percentage, aren't doing so well. Nevertheless as in the past correction since Global Financial Crisis, I don't really worry much.

Just got my Performance Tracker Comparison updated against STI Index. As a reminder, my returns include dividends on top of realised and unrealised returns whereas STI Index exclude dividends. This is more for ease of tracking than anything else.

Enough said. Here's my performance so far this year. YTD -3.8% whereas STI is at - 12.66%.

Interestingly, most of the Reits are doing quite ok despite increasing interest rates. The only larger dips will be First Reit but this more due to sponsor situation. I decided not to average down due to exposure limit control.

The bank has one of largest fall so OCBC and STI ETF got a hit. I mentioned about US stock JD.com earlier and looks like it will be long term hold.

Currently my theoretical max dividend (updated for privacy)  after collecting those I am -3.8%. STI would probably be around -9% after dividends. So comparison wise I have outperform the index. But seriously is just a referencing purposes. My figure would look even better if I am to include FD, SSB and Treasuries but oh ya that's won't count. :)

Trading will go down for the next 2 months due to business/private travels, new apartment and a "new friend" coming that I have to manage and most importantly my Token battery dies out ... How I wish OneKey can support changing battery DIY. I will try to hold my bullets but I have this feeling is time for rebound ... darn...

Is nice to continue to have a job at current market condition. Cheers !


Oct 24, 2018

Cory Diary : When Family Planning and Financial do not mix ... we have lesser babies

I have an exchange with a guy recently on why Singapore has dwindling birth rate. The reason he gives are cost of living and job security. Not surprisingly this looks common among developed world therefore internally I feel this reasons are derived from common sense logic and need not necessary be the case. We barely scratch the surface of the truth which I think could start from Stress.

Stress can comes from anywhere. Jobless, Insecurity, Lack of Self Confidence, No Money ... . But why mainly developed world ? Because we think too much. As we have better education, ability to plan ahead and see further actually becomes a hindrance to family planning. We also start to procrastinate for life partner as well. On top of this, lifestyle has changed and arrange marriage loses it's tradition and shine.

When the guy is in mid 30s and above, and more financially secure, sadly our lady biological rhythm do not change with time. When she hits 35, fertilization deteriorate rapidly. Women start to have difficulty getting pregnant as years go by. Even if she does, there is higher risk of birth defects and miscarriages.

To add further, Stress impacts on animal and humans alike. Our reproductive systems shutdown and we have more secondary effect like illness. An extract from an article. " In animal populations, as in humans, some individuals have better coping mechanisms to deal with stress, which gives them an adaptive advantage.".

The luckier ones have parent helps.  The much longer route would to be wait for financially security. How many hits it and in time is the problem. Unless one able to climb the corporate ladder quickly or in covert jobs this won't be easy. Personally I feel the easiest route would be not to think too much. Maybe the plan is to forget about family planning and just go ahead. :)


Oct 23, 2018

Cory Diary : Why are we trying to beat the system ?

Apartment loan

When I bought my apartment years ago, I wanted to have more cash flow therefore decided to tap of CPF OA. By then I have some knowledge on Good Debts.  Fast forward now, if I have to go through this again today, I would have leave CPF alone. First of all the amount I tapped is just 5% of the housing value. The hassle is not only unnecessary, and if the amount is to be compounded, I would have less saving in total as I need to pay myself the CPF interests that has been borrowed. In addition for comparison, CPF is AAA rated, backed by Singapore government. If I am to buy a private bond, it would be much lesser returns and unwarranted risk to private companies. This totally do not make sense for myself as my exposure to CPF is not major.

Minimum Sum

By age 55, I could withdraw amount above minimum sum. I would expect a number of people to do that. Let's think about it. Why are we so keen to withdraw the monies. CPF is design to support our retirement and to safe guard our golden years. So it seems illogical why people is rushing out the door once they hit the age. The main reason could be the mistrust of institutions. The other is they just want to spend it before their times are up. Both of which is illogical to me. For one, most of my monies will still be denominated in Singapore dollars. And if there are distress in government debts, even saving bank could be frozen or cut. So is either I have a stake in Singapore future or am I not. The later reason on money available to spend is not only irresponsible but there are high risk of financial difficulties if one reached 70s-90s. The one viable scenario I could think of is when I am much way above the minimum sum that drawing some out will give a better return (Not guaranteed) or lifestyle which I COULD AFFORD.

My CPF Plan

Unlike other segments where there are risks, CPF is safer than bonds of good interests. Personally to me this one of the best available investment tool available to be managed at portfolio level offering stability and respectable growth. Ironically, the lock-in is the best part of the system which provide robust protection to citizen. As most of my assets are Non-CPF it will be unlikely I will ever need to do early withdrawal. This will form a nice retirement portion to supplement my monthly income at 65. If I could exchange off min sum at 55 for higher interests, I would opt-in !

I am sorry if there are dissenting voices due to political differences therefore CPF. To me this is purely my personal judgement on financial standpoint as an average investor to go along with the system available to work with us. At the end, if there are money in my CPF-Life once I passed, that's my legacy to my children definitely but certainly I would't want to be HDB as this could mean I have failed as a parent to bring up my children sufficiently.


Oct 21, 2018

Cory Diary : Saving Rate


Always pride myself about personal saving because I don't really have to plan for it. Being an engineer before, I always have a better gauge feel of manufacturing cost and the quality of the product before I buy. Even after,  I will still think for a while. I would take a walk around the shop or do something such as striking a light conversation with the sales. Interestingly, I would often decided not to buy after. Quite a number of times I found the specs are not to my expectation. Another major reason is I dread of another thing to manage at home. And every time the thoughts come in this is enough for me to say no many times. Maybe I have this minimalist potential.


Going back to value. There are few things I look out for. One of them is weight. Generally a metal object is more sturdy and harder to produce vs plastic materials. So it will often costly to make. The surface of the product is another factor I look into. The texture, pattern, smooth or old plain design. Some has water flow marks or poor plating. I will give a poor rating for non-branded plastic products use in food.

How the parts are jointed is a good indication of the design and the manufacturing process. If you buy a notebook with gaping holes between parts, and to make it worst, unevenness as well this could give an indication on the overall quality managed by the product team.

To go deeper, I would looks for design, durability and usability. But I would rather exchange for "disposable" products which is like 2 to 10 times cheaper rather than getting an expensive pen of high reliability that I hardly ever use unless the purpose is for decoration purposes or significance. The final is servicing. A recognize brand do command a better premium that I am willing to have more cash to let go. How large is up to individual.

Of-course is not always the same exact criteria. But this habits and what to look out for helps to contain my spending habits. Year 2018 is special because of a number of big ticket items. Excluding Pension/CPF and Stock dynamics into the equation, just take home salary, is about 30% saving rate. This is markedly down from 40% to 50% range previously but is all worth it because is for Immeasurable Value.



Oct 14, 2018

Cory Diary : Passive Income Plan with recent volatility

STI Index has corrected about 10% this year. From 3402.92 on 29th Dec'17 down to 3069.17 last friday. Yield improved from 3.3% to 3.68%. For people who invest now, that's $3,380 more dividends for a million dollar portfolio in STI Index. I would be celebrating on the increase value.

We can said similarly for Reits as well. While existing investors are still nursing capital loss this doesn't really matter as long the investment is stable type because the price will return long term. If is not, and fundamental yet change in the company performance, this shouldn't be bad anyway.

My next challenge will be when I should increase my stake. Since we have hit a 10% reduction, I think is time we could explore some sizable injection. But I won't use up all my reserve. Good news for those still on salary. Your reserve will continue to grow as long your expense is managed.

I would avoid growth stocks since I am not so sure about the bottom. I only know the market is cheaper for my dividend strategy. So if the market goes lower I would still be ok. As for dividend stocks, I would focus on more robust counters. STI Index if I am not so particular with higher yields and lack of ideas. And probably 6% range on Reits. The next question will be which will fit better to my portfolio.

First Reit recent change while neutral do pose some anxiety. I wouldn't want to add more. Maple families are still on the lower yield range. So are ParkwayLife. FCT and Fraser L&R doesn't looks like corrected enough. The issue I have with FCT is the yield doesn't meet the cut and I have CMT. Fraser L&R still has 7% though. So this could be a candidate and I already has some stake in it. The other is Aims Reit. But I have Ascendas Reit which provides better coverage.


Oct 3, 2018

Cory Diary : CapitaMall Trust and WestGate

Manage to sit down and do a quick read on the circular regarding the acquisition of Westgate. It has been a long while holding to an investment report physically. I think CMT have done well in providing good investment knowledge on this.

One of the key variables provided is the gearing dependency on Debt funding ranging at 70%, 85% and 100%. Gearing shifts from 31.5% to 34%, 35% and 36% respectively. What is more interesting is the DPU gains which increase from 11.16 cents to 11.18, 11.25 and 11.33. The most will be 1.5% increase in DPU. Another to know is the interest rate used to compute the above is 3.25% for the additional debts. For a 3.5% it will be about 0.2% impact to DPU.

The main impact is the gearing if is total debt funded. I would think they may maximize private placement amount first to mitigate gearing to the point where DPU gains from existing operations do not cause reduction in dpu level to be not accretive. The other possibility is that valuation up largely from existing property which could help mitigate the gearing space.

Interesting item I found is that the agreed value is much lower than other properties nearby even though the yield is only 4.4%. The key is the strategicness of the asset long term. The other positive is the portfolio overall improvement which is where CMT strength is. A similar learning could be FLT. If FLT emerges better, why wouldn't CMT which has even more stable income and stronger sponsor ?

We could see more exciting future for shareholders.