May 31, 2019

Cory Diary : Housing Leverage

Just want to share something from my personal experience on housing.

Used to own HDB Maisonette years ago and sold it for slightly more than 100K profit only to see it go for another after. As I am often based overseas, decided to acquire a Private home later if I decide to return for good.

Here's my previous thoughts. How my thinking change over time and steps I took.

1. Link on My Home in Year 2014
This basically say how I felt about rising property prices is not helping us socially. Rising price.

2. Link on Shrinking and Integrated Property in Year 2015
With prices running above income, shrinking property size. Value of integrated property thoughts. The situation.

3. Link on Money in Gaming in Year 2015
Money is continuously shrinking. The inflation.

4. Link on Million Dollar home in Year 2017
In  Year 2013 I blogged about $1M home goal which post I have moved to draft to clean up.
However my 2017 article basically summaries. Acted.

With that, I realised that it does not make sense for me to hold Gold as property can be a good hedge against inflation.  In Year 2019 today, my value of my home has increased by 25% approximately. This is based on current similar property price on location and estate. As is only 20% down with roughly 5% expenses.  Maybe I can do a similar XIRR on the returns and it works out about 21% annually. Kind of surprise.

This explain the power of housing leverage unlike typical stock investment. The other benefit is the diversification from stock market.


May 28, 2019

Cory Diary : Golden Era of Reits

Throughout history when something reaches it's peak, downhill is the way to go. From Tang Dynasty to Mongol Empire. Roman to British Empire. Even in science, Quote by Isaac Newton: “What goes up must come down.” 

So question in our minds ...  Have Reits reached it peaks ?

The question will be on the questioner on why the question. When it comes, it will come.
Till it comes. Meantime .... enjoy our Golden Era. It has been 10 years already since last GFC. Whatever has been gained, easily doubled. Buffer not enough ?

Something to cheer your Tuesday.


May 26, 2019

Cory Diary : Dividend Report Card 2019-0526

Cory Dividend Report tracks Cumulative and Annual Dividends. 

Cumulative (Right Axis) has reached $294,000. With the rate we are going, it will only takes  3 to 4 more years to hit $500K mark and probably another 5 years to accumulate to $1M theoretically. This comes with Dividend Strategy.

For Annual Dividend perspective, accumulated $22K in 5 months. This amount only include counter that has ex-dividends in 2019. If my annual salary saving is also $22K, my saving has speed up by 100% by now isn't it ? That's the power.

However, all this is meaningless if over time which I mean portfolio value (realized and Unrealized) has decreased. So is important we track them as well as in below chart from SG Equity mainly.

One thing I did that helps with increasing portfolio size is to minimize the draw down. This provide a good boost. To manage risk, the portfolio which are mainly SG Equity is one of my future Retirement support. In addition to Pension, I also have Cash, Property, Gov securities and Fixed deposits which are growing in tandem. One thing which I agree, that we have to watch carefully is Insurance as well.



May 25, 2019

Cory Diary : Dividend Hat

Reits have ex-dividend just recently. And interestingly at today prices, the dividend gap has mostly closed. What ! Since when they becomes a gem... well not exactly like those miraculous speculative counters that spiked more than 20% in a day but if we are to track the trend across multi-years, Reits are like turtle but they will reach and beyond.

A few examples on just this year returns for me will be Ascendas Reit closes $2.95 (Xirr 27%), CapitaMall Trust $2.44 (Xirr 11%) and Mapletree Ind Tr $2.10 (Xirr 10%). Instead of going lower, many Reits have went up in this Trade War. 

Quote from Warren Buffett :

“Many investors get this one wrong. Even though they are going to be net buyers of stocks for many years to come, they are elated when stock prices rise and depressed when they fall. In effect, they rejoice because prices have risen for the ‘hamburgers’ they will soon be buying."

“This reaction makes no sense. Only those who will be sellers of equities in the near future should be happy at seeing stocks rise. Prospective purchasers should much prefer sinking prices.”

This is easily applied to Stable Return Equities. Investing in Strong Reits are simple. DPU and Growth. If the price go lower, is cheaper ! This is so true for investment that has stable returns. Problem is too many people has "master the art". Reits are at ever lowering yield. Does that mean is no good ? Maybe is just the Hat you want to wear. All in the mind.


May 23, 2019

Cory Diary : Volatile STI


The picture has changed so much for STI. Banks were hammered down. In addition to the Trade War the new concern is the virtual bank licensing. The Reits / Trusts generally do much better that even the weaker ones make the Banks look bad.

I did a bottom fishing on STI ETF to support the gap in performance between the ETF and me. However, it seems STI ETF still has some distance to go further down as the next tariffs of US$300 B is going to be major. Companies should be making preparation for this as this could hit China manufacturing with more substance whereas previously maybe just on finishing touch of products.

I think War Chest is more essential today than few days ago as the market trend seems getting a little nervous. While I hold the view that stable Reits are like "Fixed Deposits", this is based on the opinion that DPU remains stable and Investor ignore Capital Gain/Loss. So any significant market changes, if any, to hit this class of asset, this may even present good opportunity for the fund to expand. Question is how deep ?

Feeling bored and thinking.


May 19, 2019

Cory Diary : Net Worth 20190519

Last previous blog here

The key change after 3.5 months are my Net Property Asset. Definition is the value of my property minus outstanding loan. This is then added to my Net Worth. The way to obtain value of my property is to access URA website for recent transacted values in $psf. And then do a conservative estimate of what my property value be if I have to sell it today.

Other changes includes increase in Singapore Saving Bond holdings (SSB) and increase in equity valuation due to capital gains. Both % figures hold well but SSB still reduces slightly in % wise. More cash today in my investment account and the unrealised gains from stocks outweighs the net sales. Dividends are straight into cash.

Despite that, saving reduced in % wise. Mainly because I have just paid my tax.  Proportionate  decrease due to significant increase in property net value. Slightly higher spending due to new cost for nanny. 



May 18, 2019

Cory Diary : Settled my Tax for 2019

Like in many countries, we have Income Tax, GST, Road Tax and Property Tax. Similarly for me even though I am based oversea, I can't escape them as well. The tax here (oversea) is the biggest item of my expenses. Usually I look forward to good bonus to help cover them. There are few deductions to be made before I can see my money in my bank account. There is Pension too but that is another topic.


In the payroll, there are Income Withholding Tax, Labor Insurance Tax, Company deductions and Medical Tax.  Company deductions, Labor and Medical Tax are deducted directly through payroll. To be clear they aren't part of Income Tax. They probably constitutes about 2% of Income. The company will pay separately about 8% to the government. This works to about similar to our MediSave size. However the key difference is the money is to a common pool and will not be returned unlike Medi-Save.

The much larger component will be Income Tax. To cope with the payment, the authority will withhold some money every month and one will pay the balance after an assessment during the tax period. Yes, this is deducted from payroll as well.


The income tax here has three routes of assessing the needed unlike Singapore where is pretty straight forward for most of us. Usually, only 2 will be used as the 3rd option is only when you have very significant earning. One of the easiest way for me is to ask for tax office personal assistant (temp worker) to follow through the form on the required. And the system will compute what is needed and I will pay the lower of the two after withholding amount that has already been deducted monthly prior year. After doing a few verification with the tax officer, I will proceed to payment using ATM setup within the tax office that allow us to withdraw over the typical limits.

Tax Rate

From table above already translated into S$, most Singaporeans income would fall within the range of 20% cascading. That's pretty high. Do note this tax excludes Medical and Pension consideration which are considered separately. If you are a Senior Manager and above, 30% - 40% cascading tax of your income is the norm here (oversea).

This is one main reason why people who earns good income like to come to Singapore. The taxes in Singapore is relatively much lower.



May 13, 2019

Cory Diary : Shaky Shaky - Market on brink of ...

Relative Performance is like a bitch but I like it. Keeps me on my toes. There is also a deep secret which I have been studying for some time that is to use it to do re-balance between STI ETF against my portfolio. That way I could theoretically increase my odds to beat Strait Times Index.

Using Cory Barometer above, the gap is widening so maybe good time to plunge into STI ETF. However, Uncle scare scare. Almost try DBS but also scare scare. Okay okay. How about buying back Mapletree Ind Tr ? Also scare .... glad that I raised some cash.

In the end, Cory Gene Strategy : Freeze..... ( Think I am crazy ? Ignore me )


May 9, 2019

Cory Diary : Portfolio at 18

The market currently in upheaval due to recent Trade Issues. During this period I do some adjustment and manage to raise 6 figures warchest from recent sales in my trading account. The exercise is more of re-balance with more net cash. and SIA no longer in my portfolio. I have no plan to tap on bank cash which will be reserved.

Currently Xirr : 10.7% for my portfolio. Profits yield is slightly lower at 9.7% due to realised gains before year ended. STI came down to 6.5% quite furiously which is about 8.5% after dividends using STI ETF as a reference. Total dividend collected so far 17K.

Reits/Trusts - Still surprisingly resilient in the face of trade war. Applying same logic's of CMT onto Ascendas-Tr and Ascendas Reits taking some profits off the table, they are smaller today but still pack a punch. I am still looking for opportunity to boost my dividends which currently stand at potential 43K max now. I like to end up with 50k potential by year end.

For the current negotiation, I still believe in human minds prevail, an acceptable agreement will be reached. Since is initiated by USA, is definitely will favor them. The world trade is based on USD. The Consumption power house is in US. There is limited option for the Chinese.  This could still end up favorable to Mexico and SE-Asian countries as we will be more involve in production export to America. Therefore good for our industrial assets.



Cory Diary : Yield Anchoring

This is the concept I have termed which trying to grasp. A number of us understand not to fall into the trap of price anchoring. What this mean is that there is a believe of specific price of a stock that one is familiar without consideration of fundamental or market changes.

This often happens when one buy a stock  and will not sell even when fundamental has weakened and continues to assume the price will return to purchase price or higher. 

Yield Anchoring is more for dividend investor. Say we use to buy CMT at 5.8% yield. Today the stock price is trading at 4.8% yield, one may view as too expensive. Should we sell CMT ? Can we buy CMT ?

If I am to go through logical thought process. Few things come into my mind.

1. Business Fundamental
Can DPU maintains? Can it grow?

2. Alternative investment
Alternative investment that gives better yield for similar risk ?

3. Risks
Is my personal situation or macro environment considerations.

If we are to think through carefully above, there maybe time I could refuse to buy CMT at 5.8% yield but later on could be all willing to purchase at 4.8% ! 

In current market condition, Interests rate are low. I could view CMT providing stable 4.8% yield for next couple of years with potential of DPU growth. The view that CMT Malls Business are vibrant and domineering leadership in the market. Relatively low gearing which could avoid loan liquidity issue if there are recession. And with property curbs .... investment limited.

This may explains why selected performing Reits and Trusts do well even under trying condition of the market. Will it change ? Sure does. So we need to monitor but usually is not a overnight thing except Trump tweets .....


May 6, 2019

Cory Diary : Ten Laps

Decided to do a "tweets".

Trade talk has just taken a surpise turn for the worst to my dismay. Is now more like two arrogant kids having a face off. It could get worst. One would think two sensible adults will come to a compromise but life is unpredictable.

This has hit my first level warning. Having 11% returns in 4 months period, is like swimming ahead by 10 laps. So for this phase I will do further profit taking. 

Sold half of my Ascendas-h Tr as I have more than 2 years of dividends. The future dividend loss will be felt.

Sold only the amount increased of Mapletree Ind Tr which I have increased before ex-dividend. It was average up previously in anticipation of better market environment and net net after dividends still have slightly more profits. This is more like de-risk levelling move.

Sold SIA. Just few lots. While is gain ytd. Counter level is slight loss. Is non core so is a counter less to manage. I also decided to release one of my US stock at market price with similar story as SIA.



May 3, 2019

Cory Diary : Bubble 2019-0502 reflecting strong return in the 4 month periods

Current Market is good for Reits/Trust again with low growth and low rates. Interestingly is good for banks too because of increase rates from past year. DBS bank did well and this helps STI largely with UOB and OCBC close behinds. Even Singtel managed to bounce off from lows.

In a continuation of how individual investment return looks like for dividend investors, I think Bubble Chart is best to depicts the absolute P/L against the yield of the stock at current price. For people who is new to the chart, the size of the bubble is the investment value at current price.

Do note the vertical axis P/L is Realized/Unrealized combine. Most of it is unrealised profit as I hold them for long term dividends.

As you can see Ascendas "Sun" continues to be high up there (higher since last blogged) amid slightly smaller investment size for Kiasi me. The other Ascendas-h Tr did well and has left the pack firmly. So did STI ETF.

Most of the counters show increase profits with market uptrend continuing. The only counter that is slightly negative is ShengSiong which I view it as future black-horse which I accumulate recently. Total dividends so far this year is $11,020 with few more yet included ex-div coming soon. Portfolio Xirr hits 11% using 31 Dec'19 as end date annualized. What this mean is that if the market freeze at this current level till year end, my returns will be about 11%.

If we are to back track to my earlier post, STI continues to move ahead 2 weeks after I last blog about Equity Performance on the link here.

Done a calculated risk on my thinking from the link and links within since last year Dec'18, and it paid off handsomely with 6 digits reward for this year 4 month returns alone. This should be the best return within such a short period I have even though most are unrealised gains as I hope to have them for retirement cash-flow needs.



May 1, 2019

Cory Diary : Trading Attributes ?

I remember vaguely 20 years ago as a fresh graduate trying to dabble in stock market. Days where returns can be 100% returns of my small investment within few months. I would often tried the warrants which are quite popular too. Don't get me wrong. Any monkey would have make a profit throwing darts. Making money was that easy. It was broker days.

Quickly moved on to reading Annual Reports and getting NTA mainly after. My vision scope is the value of the company if to fail as a baseline. And from there to find value. Right from the start in my investment journey, my return started with positive returns. I was searching for mathematical correlation.

Fast forward today. Warrants are now an alien culture to me. I am still in positive net returns amid much stronger net returns. This days I try to simplify my investment. If is too complex to understand, forget about value methodology. Macro deduction will be used instead. Reits and Trusts are much easier to size up. Management Integrity, Future and DPU.

However I still have the gambling blood in me. On and off I will dabble in speculative positions but is relatively small in size. Today I got a few statistics in my finger tips below. Trying to see short term trading still make sense. Maybe is better to spend more time for other activities to keep my blood boiled.

Year 2019 YTD ( Book value at 31 Dec 2018 till now which is 4 months )
(updated for privacy) 

Can't tell much about trading performance so far as is tied to investment capital size. What we can say is that it is almost double current dividends received for the period. Portfolio unrealized return is more than 4 times of Trading P/L. 

Dividends, Trading Profit, Non-Trading Profit are in the Ratio of 1:2:8 respectively.  Expense Ratio : 0.19% . 35 trades for the 4 months period. 

Looks like better in dividend investing and spotting undervalue stocks through it. Does that means trading performance is bad ? Portfolio Yield is 10%. STI would be slightly better.

You tell me how to read the above data to deduce. Free money certainly.