Dec 29, 2020

Cory Diary : A Short Story for my Daughters - VC MA Contribution

To be frank I only learn this term VC MA quite recently. This refers to Voluntary Contribution to Medisave Account. Few weeks ago I tried out VC MA with $1K via mobile transfer. And today after reading another blogger doing contribution and as a reminder, I decided to add another $5K. The process is very similar to CPF Housing Refund which I blogged few months ago.

There are few reasons why I am doing this. 

Firstly, my MA is not max obviously and I missing out 4% returns without risk of capital technically for years. This week trying to find an investment return in the last week of December seems quite tough. Nothing looks cheap enough for me in the stock market despite my search for the past couple of hours. The market is as listless as ever. So frustrating.

Secondly, total S$6K contribution amount pale in comparison to the fund available for equity investment. What's holding me up is liquidity if I do need the cash which I find rather silly now.

Thirdly, unused amount of CPF MA will be passed on to family when I expired. 

(The remaining Medisave balance, after the payment of the last medical bill, will be distributed to your nominees upon your death. You can nominate those you want to receive your CPF savings by making a CPF nomination)

Fourthly, of-course CPF MA can be used for medical bills and for my loved ones. And for technical matters Tax Benefits.

Dear Daughters, this is the way. My legacy to you.



Dec 27, 2020

Cory Diary : Wealth Accumulation

Saving is key to wealth accumulation else whatever we earned is spend away. And if we get addicted, we could fall into debt spirals. Therefore to most families, we are often taught to learn to save when young.  Culturally we have been conditioned to save.

However people often do not realize that in order to save we need to earn. To put it simply, how much we earn gives us the needed runway to save. However, to most people like me that being a worker to earn monthly salary, it is the typical process that forms bulk of the earning.

We only have one life. How can we break through from here ?

1. Side hustle : Unless you enjoy doing this not easy. There is no risk to capital as salaried man unless you are defined in item 3. Is a temporary measure to help boost some saving but scaling is tough.

2. Stocks : Risks. You could lose your pants and set you back for years following tips or herds. A place where knowledge and skills are tested out together with lucks and experiences. This is a viable alternative income than doing business oneself.

3. Busines : Mentor or understudy in family business I would think will be great. Outside the bubble, risk of failure is high. Most are not fortunate to have the luxury to be born or work in a family business.

4. Gamble : The fact works against you. How do you think Genting and Marina Bay Sands survived on ?

5. Career : Generally getting a career in MNC or Gov related gives a good boost to your income. To top it off the annual bonus and benefits are much higher. This is a really good place to start.

6. Property : With ABSD and TDSR in force, a lot of cash has been held idle. A new generation of locals with only one property. For living and investment, one probably has to buy one with the largest affordable range and then scale down with the hope of making profit out of it. The alternative will be two private properties under separate names.

Not surprisingly item 5 is something I am most comfortable with. And here's how I got my First Million. Hard work and working smart.

However it took more than 30 years to hit my first million in Net worth considering we have to go through growing up, education, learning and working with starting salary. 

Less than 8 years to hit 2nd. It gets easier with time due to increase earning power and investment allocation. And that's when item 2 and 6 come in for me which are Stocks and Property namely. To do them we need to avoid pitfalls. Is not something we like to experience with, even though some time we may. So always risk mitigated.

Typically I go for things that are more transparent, more accountability and better recourse. I do not believe in hearsay and rather do my homework reading quarterly reports. Trust is cheap. And it took me slightly longer before I got into local property investment.

Whatever we do put health as first priority. This can be mental or physical. Else whatever we earn is for nothing. I have added one that it has to be ethical too.


Dec 24, 2020

Cory Diary : Assets Allocation 2020-1224

With the year coming to end soon, I want to provide finishing touches on my overall assets allocation. And this is with context that I will continue to spend more time oversea for a few more years before my first kid will starts schooling which I would then decide should they go to private and then international school or be back for good.

There are few good news and bad ones. The good news is that I have been informed about my year end bonuses and glad that it is better than last. Really Christmas Presents I told my Boss. To top it off there will also be shares which will only be vested in stages. While the value of the stocks have risen which result in smaller number of shares given out, prior years company shares already vested will see a good capital appreciation.

The bad news are my elder daughter got enterovirus after few days of high fever which finally subsides with rashes mainly on her lower limbs. We are still puzzle how she got it considering no one else had it. Now we need to make sure it doesn't spread to the newborn. So for this past week has been quite tiring to ensure this won't happen. The first born was smooth sailing. The 2nd birth was to give me the true experiences of fatherhood. But I would recommend Nobel Prize to anyone who can produce Vaccines for this Viruses.

Regarding my assets allocation, if we are to take a peek on Nov report ( link ) , the pie has increased with stronger stock market performance. Key changes are as follow.

Equity allocation has risen from 29.9% to 31.2%.  Bond has also increased from 7.7% to 9.5% which is temporary due to one of the investment is going to end soon.

Investment Account has reduced after I am able to find enough replacements for the funds from AGT which was suspended for delist.

Closely related to it is my saving account which has seen some reduction due to CPF Housing refund completion. I have also tried out VCMA and still deliberating whether should I max out my CPF MA. Keeping in mind of year end salary and bonuses coming in soon which will expand my saving. I will probably do in stages over a few quarters if decided to proceed.

To top it off, I have match 3K to my newborn CDA account. I will probably not add more before I have my own CPF accounts manage right.

Merry Christmas

Cory is now a year older ...

Dec 16, 2020

Cory Diary : Expenses Year 2020

As the year come to a close soon, is a good time to estimate my expenses for the year. Previously I blogged about my expenses in Year 2019 which is kind of "shocking". 

This year the expense is quite bewildering for Year 2020 too recording more than $140k for me alone excluding my wife credit card and cash expenses. There is a large portion due to Housing instalment. Maybe near to 40% which is smaller this year due to higher total expense. Even then this is quite huge considering the average local income for the remainder of expense size.

However interestingly, my Net Worth continues to keep up despite the spending. One of the key component that manage to help support it is due to stock market dividends or net gains supplementing my income. The other will be the principal of the home loan is counted towards my Net worth. And finally year end bonus if any. So it doesn't look like I will feel completely safe without a job. And to acknowledge help given, Baby Bonus do chip in some.

Major Expenses

Year 2020 is larger due to 2nd baby. Even though we buy fewer items as she can use the leftover from our first, there are items we cannot forego. One of the key item will be month long confinement period ($12k) which I reward my wife for her labor in delivering our second child ($6k). And then we have additional nappies and more expensive ones for my elder as she grows. My wife is very particular that it has to be made in japan to avoid allergy for their sensitive skins.

The other major expenses are taxes which I help to cover for is my wife income as well. Our combined taxes are "frightening" LOL for an average couple like us.

As usual, I take it as a responsibility to provide my parent allowances. It is a big ticket item which I would not reduce as my family grows as their expenses will not change significantly due to them. 

As said earlier, housing expense is the largest and that is because it consists of two components. One is the interest expense and the other the down payment of the principal. I am still deliberating should I include both but they do hit my cash flow. So read my expenses with context as we included both. To be frank  I am not perfectly consistent here as we do not include insurance expenses and it does has returns. I also do Not include CPF Housing Refund which is excluded from expense else it will be another balloon.

Finally this is followed by Food/Fruits Expenses which easily take-up more than $20k. This works out about minimum $55 per day for the family.



Dec 13, 2020

Cory Diary : Misconceptions of Dividend Investing

From experiences that I had so far, here's the collection that one should watch out or be reminded on the misconception of Dividend Investing.

1. Yield is Everything

This cannot be right. If Yield is all that's matter, investment of such can be automated to the highest yield and nothing left for other lower risk assets. Does this make sense ? Money where got so easy to earn. Want to gamble, go Casino better because better odds !

In reality, one needs to filter out High Risk from the portfolio before allocation of different other risk levels before yield. As you notice, I do not have EHT, Lippo in my portfolio. High Risk Reits are a Time Bomb. Is a matter of when.

First Reit is managed out from the portfolio in Year 2019 with cut loss at 0.945 when the risk is not worth to hold. And that is at a year where the Portfolio has a Record Profit of 20% XIRR. A mindset of never ever feel rich to lose money.

2. Rights are bad for dividend Investing

Any old time Reit players will tell you there is good opportunities to profit from Rights Issue. And if we are to go this dividend path, one should not be feared of Rights Issue. Is it exactly this fear that allow people to profit from you.

In solid Reits so far such as FCT, CICT, Ascendas, Mapletree etc even without subscribing to Rights does not mean your DPU will be materially impacted. Do nothing can still be ok.

3. NAV Valuation

Can be quite misleading. One recent example is First Reit where their NAV is off rental income from the property. However how is the rental derived can be from complex negotiations between the Reit Manager and the Sponsor or the Tenants where there can be consideration for other compensations that is material. This is make worst if there is credibility issue with the Sponsor who artificially jack up the property prices to the Reit they controlled.

4. Gearing

The formula for Reit is Total Debts / Total Asset. Any other formula that you read from Quarterly, Half Yearly or Annual Reports are just to communicate a better result view. Another way to give the impression of lower gearing is through Preference Shares which is not counted into debt therefore one has to be careful.

5. Capital Gains

Dividend investing doesn't mean we lose out in Capital gain or loss. While the stock price tends to come down upon ex-dividend, due to constant earning of the underlying businesses, the stock generally will fill back the gap. And with ever decreasing rate, the attractiveness of profitable businesses can push up the stock prices. But one do have to remember they aren't tech stock and should never have such mindset on their performance. Like many stocks, they also float with the market tide but with varying degrees. There will always be good and badly run Reits.

6. Cost of Debts

Ability to raise fund with lower cost makes running a company much easier. So this helps in your stock selection when we are ranking similar companies except cost of debts !



Dec 6, 2020

Cory Diary : Dividend/Interest Nov Report

We are few weeks away before the year ended and I think is a good time to update where we are on dividend this year. There are a number of Preferential Offerings, Scrips, Merge and Delist. So to put the base comparison right, distribution from merge and delist are tracked separate as the amount is quite large and won't be meaningful or sustainable annually.

Therefore for below table for Accordia is only dividend from regular distribution. Ascott Trust distribution is a little tricky which I have accorded Ascendas-h tr cash compensation in year 2020, so will be excluded from Year 2020 annual dividend as well.

Do note as investing is fun for me, some of the counter can move in and out of the portfolio in large amount as I learn the rope through experience and experiment. So table 1 is by all means a reference capture at a particular point in time while dividends being collected through out the year. 

Table 1: Dividends in % of Year 2020 Sustainable Total Dividend

This year we see some some swings in the portfolio which I think my have help net some shares before Ex-dividend positively. However, the portfolio also suffers sizeable loss of dividends due to cap on the banks. Furthermore the rebates by Retail malls reduced the dividends of the portfolio as well.

Despite all this, glad to find that by end Nov, for sustainable dividend portion, the portfolio is already way past last year annual dividends. And this is done with the portfolio in good positive returns so far.

I have also bought more Bonds this week with growing cash level. So yield wise will pull the portfolio lower but I think good balance is important. The last time I did this we encounter Covid-19 turbulence immediately after. Hopefully we don't have to go through the same experience of Mar 2020 again.

Currently still busy making sure Year 2021 will have a good chance to beat Year 2020 at risk mitigated level. Considering current cash level, beating this year achievement will not be too hard.


Dec 2, 2020

Cory Diary : Performance Nov'20

In my earlier blogging which I mentioned that it is better for me to be in the Green than to widen the lead against STI with Portfolio still in the Red. And my wishes is awarded as such by end of October. The gap final close down to 15.7% which reflects remarkable STI returns within a short span of time cutting it losses just below 13% and probably single digit after dividends. My portfolio returns almost 2.8% in the black on the last day of the month.

If we look how the year started with Covid-19 and how the bleak the situation is, many people would be surprised that we could end in the black for STI. Nothing impossible. We shall see how it performs in Dec. Currently, after a good run, there is some correction.

What is hindering STI is probably Vaccines solutions in which countries are rushing them out in record time. The damage to the economy specifically to the Airlines are long term even if the economy recovers. I am also a little reluctant on Hospitality as they will need to do much more to repair their balance sheets. I would think some how we need to price in Virus risk into their stock price.

As for the laggards, Retail Malls which are quite cheap for those that support daily necessity. So this are ones which I am positioning. Others possible contenders will be SBS Transit, SATS and ST Eng. There is some trading play on the Banks but it will remains a key stake as I have emptied my STI ETF.

There are also a few others like MLT and MIT which I decided to KIV unless they comes down enough to improve their yield. I really likely to own them but the situation has to be right. Maybe I will kickstart with small positions if there is further reduction in their prices as AGT has make it way out of the portfolio after the 2nd tranche has been distributed.

Lastly I am tempted to return to Sheng Siong .... except that valuation is not cheap. Perhaps I need to be more patience. 


Nov 21, 2020

Cory Diary : Singapore Market 400 points climb - 人算不如天算: Man Proposes but God Disposes

Man Proposes but God Disposes

When I post on 31st Oct, on Wash my cards, basically as I said " The goal is to protect capital, maximise dividend, risk adjusted." The market looks like going for another deep dive like in March 2020. Therefore the learning will be how to mitigate the situation. The main change is  removal of STI ETF due to expected lower yield coming distribution because of banking segment dividends have been restrained.  And a few counters. However most the portfolio I was prepared to go with the swing and considering the amount of cash raised that can be quickly put to pick Durians. LOL

On exactly the next week trading day, STI ETF starts it maiden climb. Roughly 400 points !

In Cory Portfolio, the swing is $88K from negative loss to positive returns. What-if STI has stayed in the game ? About $11k additional gains. However during this period , I have put some of cash  into Vicom and a few counter changes which help to alleviate few K returns. So in total the mitigation cost me probably 6 to 8K of returns. I would have hit a few more if manage to buy SPH in time which I was about to prior yesterday .... omg ... the rise is crazy ... to my frustration.

So here we are with higher yield dividend portfolio but slightly lesser net returns from past 3 weeks. What notably is the STI pace may not be always align with the banks so is broad based economy that the market was pushed higher into. This is rare in recent times and I am not sure it that a new direction which big money is buying into a broad index concept. Nevertheless the gap is now much smaller in the range of 15% against Cory Portfolio. I am still happy as I rather to be in positive than winning STI huge but with negative returns.

Singapore broad economy is still weak while Japan and HK go into another Covid spins. So a pull back is possibility from the capital flow injection which is blunt imo. Nevertheless I will rather take a 3% Positive returns anytime for the portfolio. Staying vested in market in sizeable manners help me this time again though I still find it could have been better to me ......



Nov 17, 2020

Cory Diary : CPF Life - FRS or ERS

Some period ago I have decided Basic Plan is the way to go considering my age and investment portfolio I have that choosing moderation will be preferred. What I did not mentioned is should I default FRS or go for ERS. And in this article we will try to find out.

" For members who turn 55 in 2020, their Basic Retirement Sum (BRS), Full Retirement Sum (FRS) and Enhanced Retirement Sum (ERS) are $90,500, $181,000 and $271,500  respectively."

To hit ERS, I need additional $90,500. So basically multiples 1.5x of FRS.  Let's use FRS to see the returns.

Current FRS = $181, 000
Current Basic Plan : $1,272 - $1,404 starting at Age 65

Take note the Basic Plan payout is based on below notes form CPF through CPF Life Estimator Calculator.

"The monthly payouts, total payout received, and bequest amounts shown are estimated based on the Retirement Account balance provided, current CPF interest rates, and current mortality assumptions. They may differ from the actual figures. The displayed ranges are based on interest rates between 3.75% and 4.25%, and do not represent the lower and upper limits of the payouts"

Let's say lifespan of 80. (updated chart to correct year error)

Counted slightly more using 1st Jan for Bequest. Roughly XIRR of 4.4 %. Is that of any surprise to you all ? Do note that for worst case is 4%.

One thing to add, if you manage to live to Age 99, XIRR will be 4.9% which is investment returns equivalent of 4.9% for best case.

Should I go ERS ? Maybe I can do Top-Up after 55 to decide. CPF is more like a reasonable good safe harbor in case I become senile.... :)

Again DYODD as we explore the journey.


Nov 15, 2020

Cory Diary : Rental Income - Why I have to invest in property

Scenario of Rental Income

Property Price : $1,140,000
Monthly Rental : $3300
Yield at Cost : 3.47 %

Annual Net Income

After considering below

1. Condo maintenance cost : 400 monthly
2. Rental Agent fee = 0.5 month annual.

Monthly Net income  : $3300 - 400 - (0.5 month / 12) = $2763

However, usually people borrow quite an amount to finance the purchase. So there is leverage in play. And this is where Math becomes complex.

3.. How much you leverage
4. Stamp Duty & Fees : 2.72% one time
5. Interest Cost.
Let's assume item 4 in build into the condo valuation. Basically ignore.
Leverage resulting I need to pay $606 of interests portion monthly

Monthly Net income  : $3300 - 400 - (0.5 month / 12) - 606= $2157

Implied, Annual Net Income = $25, 884


Now, let's talk about Yield. Yield at Cost based on net income : 2.3 %.  This Math sucks right ?

One thing to note. Property valuation can change with time. If property valuation increase 35% after 10 Years. The capital returns are  then plough  back into the monthly income in simplify manner.

Yield at today valuation approximately 4%. Basically doubled. And that's before property tax, tenant issues, empty months, .... alamak. Still no good enough.

However let's assume 33.3% of the property is my money injected. The rest are borrowed.
At current valuation yield will be 6.9%, or 12% if price increase by 30% 10 years later.

This are all rough estimation. Should I just stick with Reits or it can be another form of diversification that we cannot afford to miss as I like the Maths now.

Rental Income Tax (updated from feedback)

Depending on one tax status. Can varies widely between a retired and a director level salary income tax.

Please DYODD.


Nov 14, 2020

Cory Diary : The Interesting and the Exception - CPF Read

For the past couple of days I have been reading up on how to optimize my CPF. With multiple queries to CPF. Their service is top mark so if you have any question, they are the key folks to go to. Do note following is what i understand and could be wrong so please DYODD.

My notes.

1. CPF Transfer to loved ones

There is no Tax Incentives. Both Givers and Receivers need to meet certain condition for this to happen. From OA to either SA or RA depending on receivers age. The Givers also need to have certain amount of CPF before this is allowed.  One thing that caught my surprise is that they have a rule where if your love ones passed away, the unused portion of the CPF given by you will be returned back to your CPF. I thought this is interesting. (link)

2. Income Threshold for Spouse/Siblings

What is interesting is that "To claim tax relief for cash top-ups for your spouse or siblings, the spouse or siblings must not have an annual income exceeding $4,000 in the year preceding the year of top-up."

*Incapacitated because of physical or mental infirmity."

4. MediSave BHS (The Basic Healthcare Sum )

For CPF members aged below 65 in 2020 . The prevailing BHS is $60,000, and will be adjusted yearly. At current times, the interest rate at 4% will not be able to cover the annual increase even at max $60, 000 amount in MediSave. So if you are banking on overflow to other accounts by itself may need to take note that your cash flow will not happen currently.

5. OA and SA as Saving Accounts

There is limit on the amount allowed in SA account. Currently $181k. Basically cleared off when moves to RA. There is multiple articles on SA shielding such that the FRS is  fulfilled using OA monies so something you need to search about. For now before age 55, the interests from OA and SA are quite attractive than putting them in banks assuming you will meet the FRS amount regardless.

So why as form of Saving ? Because we are allowed to withdraw the monies as long FRS is met as we needed.

6. Basic Plan ( correction 14th Nov 20 )

If we intend to leave a sizeable amount of monies in our RA to our loved ones after we passed away, Basic plan (updated) will provide quite an amount left depending on when we get called, for an acceptable cut in our monthly withdrawal from 65. Check my earlier article on this. ( link )

7. Nomination

Can be done online. As I understand every time you get married, the earlier nomination gets invalidated. That's how I interpret ! What if I remarried ? hmm hmmm ... so better to do nomination again ?

Additional note. If marriage is not registered in Singapore ROM or ROMM, need to notify CPF. ( link ).

8. CPF Housing Refund

Can be done online. There is a limit of 5K each day using PayNow. Check my earlier article.

9. Discounted Singtel (ST) shares

Don't have to sell our shares.

10. Silver Support Scheme

Often we hear about old people clearing table but not much is mentioned how much help was given from Silver Support Scheme. I thought this is interesting and that our gov is not as heartless as we think it is. Singaporean only. ( Link ) . What is good about this scheme is you do not need to apply ! 

I think there will be more interesting find in CPF website. Strongly suggest people visit them.


Nov 10, 2020

Cory Diary : Asset Allocation Updates - 2020-1110

What I see ...

With the American elections kind of over, the Win by Biden is not clean unfortunately. There could be rounds of litigations. So this may linger longer than expected. Will there be blackswan ? 

At the same time, appears the world is emerging out from Covid-19 as Vaccines started making large progress. Interestingly, each major countries have their own "Sputnik" to show off. Maybe time to get off the rubbery stocks if one is invested. I don't have such issue. ha ha. .. .. ...

Across the causeway, things aren't getting better. While locally here, the progress on green lanes is on the way. Hopefully, our neighbor do not add more complexity to the situation as the island is getting back to the New Normal. This will help the Reits and basic social services. Will banks suffer the same fate as Telco when introduced with uneven competition ?

As I grow out of 50th, retirement financials will be key as I have two toddlers to care for. Some people may feel why that late. Frankly I feel timing has not been better. We come to this world to experience life and given the opportunity and affordability, I would try. I do not want to miss something and wasted the chance in this life when we can. 

There will be now more focus on getting CPF sized right with the right characteristic suitable for the family. At the same time maintaining the right balance on equity front to generate enough dividends and hopefully growth in risk mitigated manner. I still have housing loan to pay up so cashflow from rent will be something to watch. This is in addition to making sure our parents are cared for. Quite a delicate balance.

Lastly, do I look forward for grandkids ?  No lah.  Think I have what is needed to experience life full circle already. Maybe just to make sure the girls are given the best chance to succeed. Since young, I have always been self aware of my limited ability so already feel blessed in achieving something I never dream of today.

Finally, never takes thing for granted. Treasure what I have. Don't make the mistake that the Grass is always greener on the other side. 


Nov 7, 2020

Cory Diary : Equity Allocation - Radar Chart

Has been quite some time since last report in equity allocation. With the clean up done and funds raised, we have less than 2 months to have the portfolio finalize for next year. One minor change is the addition of the slider lines in the chart which may help with the visualization of % allocation that I used to do without needs of it myself.

It has been quite a fun ride this year and how the rebound immediately after the reits sell down in the last couple of days. Again this attest to the need to be constantly vested in the game which 70% suits me so far for dividend returns. And if the market is to swing down, I have sizeable cash for opportunity. Nevertheless the cost of holding cash is there which therefore I have been diverting some to CPF housing refund while we wait for monthly salary to re-fill it back. 

At one time I cast the net wider and scoped more than 10 reits which then funneled it down to 8. I also did quite a number of re-balance while at the same time diverting more shares to DBST for lower cost structure and Rights management ease.

The major change is the clearing up of STI ETF and investing directly to fund. This will helps improve the yield of the portfolio further while the Bonds of roughly 20% allocation remains unchanged.


Oct 31, 2020

Cory Diary : Wash my Cards ( 大洗牌 ) - US Election Fever

This week has been nothing but tumultuous. The past few days market drop send worrying reminder on what happened in this year March. People who time it well that time or yield play has a record recovery while those who left and never seen again have only regrets. This time round is likely due to re-resurgence of Covid 2nd Wave in EU and US Stimulus Talk held up prior to US Election.

The Market has been in the mode where sell down happens very quickly while the climb back up is over a long period of time. Therefore it seems that is usually good that we have opportunity funds or so called War Chest when such event happens. Alternatively, what I do is to reduce my holdings on non-core stakes this week regardless of profit/losses so that I could re-deploy them later. Cash is King as said. I would think about 30% of Non-Fixed portfolio probably.

This time round, Reits are slightly harder hit as you can see from the chart on the dive for reason I think is due to past weeks relatively directionless market. Many of this business are earning good money just lesser due to Covid rebates or lockdown. So in that perspectives, correction could happen but that should be relatively mute compared to businesses that are in long term downtrend. So technically speaking, we should buy more as it goes lower. Just watch the bullets and pace to do it.

Considering we have been working from home for months, robin hood and robo-investing are aplenty dabbling in the stock markets. Property curbs not helping. In all historical crashes my feel is that the market has new players who are not adverse to risk finally meet their fear inflection point who are not in tune of what recession actually means. With a bigger influx this time round driving up DJIA and Bitcoins as we can see in US Markets. With Covid Salary support package reducing, we could see more retrenchment locally. And this could mean a longer trend of poor job prospects.

In YTD performance, the portfolio recovered very well to parity in Mid-Oct but the last few days of volatility basically pulls it back down very quickly to -4.2%. This starts with almost 1K drops in DJIA. ( Pelosi not helping ). Even though the portfolio outperform STI ETF by more than 20%. (STI YTD is -24.7% YTD), there is no celebration budget out from it. The bleeding is fast and furious even though is more a cashflow in nature till we start getting out of market. This is despite the portfolio has about 21% bond allocation. ( Excluding SSB ).

The stop gap measure is  to do a major shake up of the portfolio eliminating non-core stakes such as Koufu, Ascendas-i Trust, and even MNACT which I was just building up... %@^%$(*. The final nail is the just released last Quarter result doesn't look pleasing as seems like the impact is worst than expected. So after deducting all the costs, is kopi money ytd for it.

Another major change in the portfolio is to clear-off STI ETF in my nominee account as banks stake in the portfolio are sizeable enough today. This will help improve the yield further when I re-invest the money.  One other shake-up is to reduce Aims Apac Reit by half (2nd Tier). In YTD perspective, is cut loss but risk lowered significantly for the portfolio. Feel comfortable about it since the DPU is no longer in significant advantage over say some of the core and larger reits can provide.

The goal is to protect capital, maximise dividend, risk adjusted.

Bazooka Ready.


Oct 26, 2020

Cory Diary : Widening Wealth Gap - What can we do about it ?

The World we are in today is changing fast during Covid times to those who managed to get onboard and those who are left behind. By logics the result is more due to demand/supply economics at play rather than purposeful conspiracy cronyism broadly.

In the past I have wondered why would one want to study till degree just to work in service industry on specific segment where higher education seems not so practical unless we go up management level or specific role in communications where is not aplenty and may need.

Say for 2 different positions. One in Restaurant Service and the other in MNCs. Salary gap is like a gulf as in $2K to $6K respectively as an example. Imagine one has to work like 3 months to get equivalent salary to one in MNCs or Civil sector. Is it no wonder most of this work has to go to foreigner as the specific skill sets can be picked up by average person without needs of higher education abroad. The situation is even worst when we try to compute the saving rates between them as it is aren't directly proportional. Which implied if you are in low band salary, hardly any saving so don't even think of investing.

One would argue to push up the salary of this bottom which is kind of no brainer on surface but the cascading nature will pull everyone up too resulting null effect by inflation and make things worst destroying the little savings we have. And if it does  go through artificial means,  we will have brain drain ... . And the social on the whole will be downgraded in value with escalating cost. This hidden cost is real.
Covid basically accelerates the situation to be more pronounce. If we look at many other service sector like Insurance, Cab, Food delivery and even property agents. There will be a day many deals can be done online or autonomous vehicles. Where people can arrange house visits online in 3D view themselves without need to go through agents. The goods days could be gone. So don't be too hang up on why some of this jobs get paid relatively well for now or near future.

The World is moving towards Lao Ban, Entrepreneurs, Management or in practical term for many to be a shareholder if we want to do better. There will still be good jobs around just that it get smaller by the day as automation and efficiency kicks in. And the demand for specific skillset in-depth goes up. As in is a good thing to human kind as more people becomes more developed to do higher value added things and that's provided we educate and equip ourselves with the necessary skillset to learn continuously. 

Sadly most people is not cutout to be Lao Ban,  Entrepreneurs or Management. Shareholder is the easy path but risk is not less in stock market as there is a lot of room to go wrong. Sometimes I feel Time is running out for many in our generations and later, to catch on the bandwagon else you or your offspring's will be condemned for eternity spiral at the peasant levels. This sounds like a very negative notes. However is exactly such fear that keeps us on edge. Survival the fittest ? Situation is bleak for those who do have fallback plan and lives like YOLO and so to speak to their generation coming will ends badly in probability. The world is constantly moving ahead while they are left behind.

So is there really no hope for General Services, Hospitality and Airlines ? Maybe we need to make very bold decision to overcome. Example Northern Hemisphere winter is coming and Europe has entered huge second wave.  Singapore strength is our Hot Weather. Can we promote Covid-Escapee Travel with 6 months Visa with special rights ?

This could be a huge draw to foreigners. How can we manage the risk to general population. Charge one time entry special fee ? One thing is our Hotel and Malls could be filled to the brink if is successful. We may requires special travel only by SIA with proper partitioning and cleaning for each one-way trip. There will also be staycations initially. We may even allow this group to rent our condo and hdb to make it more feasible. Do we need to consider medical support that is slightly more expensive than residence with no subsidy but at more affordable rates. Many questions but time is running out.

Feeling Bold.


Oct 24, 2020

Cory Diary : Exercising Rights Allocated and Access Shares Application using Nominee Account through DBST

This is my first time applying to Exercise my Rights and Excess Shares application through Nominee Account. And I want to have this blogged for future reference.

In Investopedia definition " A nominee account is a type of account in which a stockbroker holds shares belonging to clients, making buying and selling those shares easier."

After selling a chunk of my iReit Global Shares. I am left with 23,000 shares in DBST which works like a nominee account that I would like to try out the experience.

First Step
Receive a notification from DBST in the online Wealth Management Notification Icon. 


Second Step
Is important step as any mistake may render application erroneous with unintended consequences.  I heard layout can be different between different brokers and ATMs. So do be very careful and consult your banks or brokers. For my case is as follow.

A) Enter how many shares I like to buy of the entitled shares.

For my case is 10,442. Price at 49 cent. Since the stock as that time is trading at about 71 cents, obviously I like to subscribe all of it. This will cost me only $5116.58 which they deduct later. A discount of $1253 ! as share price lowered to 61 cents.

B) Enter how many shares I like to apply for Excess.

For my case is 60,558. The 558 shares are to round it off to the entitled. It may not be necessary from what I heard but I am not sure. So to play safe I have it make whole. In total I applied 2.63 times excess of what I have. And this cost me $29,673.42.

Kiasu me applied on 2nd Oct which I realised is too early and probably risky because we never know how do market react to the rights issue. And there are rules after you have submitted so I am not going to take any risk to change. Fortunately, nothing serious as the stock price  holds up relatively well and close down around 61 cents.

In total $40,115.42 Cash needed just for the shares to be available for both deductions in my trading/wealth account else  may have problem in the application.

Excess Application

Third Step

As below debit date is15th Oct. In my case the entitled 10,442 shares are allocated to my main holding and cash deducted. Does that mean I can trade the share immediately ? Something to find out ....


Fourth Step

For my excess application, I get to know on 23rd Oct. Excess 5,558 Shares awarded at 49 cents.
Unawarded remaining cash is returned to my account on same day. What this mean is I gained a delta of 12 cents (Stock price 61 cents) per share which equates to $667. Kopi money !

Finally my total shares count at the end of the exercise is 39,000 Shares. That's 70% increase from initial 23,000 shares holding. hmm hmmm. And a total claim of $1920 from entitled and excess application.

Hope you like my sharing. And as usual DYODD. Warning again ! System application may change over time and process/format can be different between different brokers and ATMs.


Oct 21, 2020

Cory Diary : CPF Life Retirement Study

Key financial thing I have done this month is to do Housing refund 50% to my CPF. Probably will completely pays it off before end of this year. From -2.5% to 4% that's a 6.5% swing from cost to profit.

And this can be done electronically through internet which is what's so amazing about today world. This boost my Pension quite a little for it to compound to age 65 producing a base monthly sum to my future retirement. Which comes to my next investigation on CPF Life.

CPF Life Retirement Study

While I was doing above, it strikes me how much should I put into my RA. Will doubling it provides me double monthly income at age 65 or more ?

As you can see from the estimator almost double. Probably slightly lesser if we try to be a little stingy about it.  The escalating plan is interesting to beat inflation but seems not for me as CPF is not my key dependency ( specific to me ).

While studying it strikes me why would anyone want to choose a Basic withdrawal plan. Not that's it is a lot ( roughly 130 lesser than Standard )? The answer lies with Bequests ( see below chart ).

At age 80, there is almost no money left if we choose Standard or Escalating Plans. However Basic will provide about half the money to beneficiaries upon passing. Now, Basic plan do looks interesting. However doubling the RA Amount initially only double my Bequest. Something I need to watch if I do my step correctly ....

So my preference is Basic 192K for now and depending how I do well in my investment financially, this may change. However once is selected, can't change after 30 days. oh dear. I need to make a note on this.

Watch for any error as I am new to this. As usual DYODD.


Oct 16, 2020

Cory Diary : Dividend Report Oct'20 - Mid

This month dividend report is not so regular reason being I have to wait for AGT to pay me the dividend which is kind of huge as they paid off most of the cash they received from the golf sales through dividend. It would have be even gigantic have I not sold 40% of my shares to reduce my exposure prior to Ex-Dividend.

The good news is on NAV perspective there is still about 6 cents to be collected. I don't have the experience to tell how much will be left for shareholders before AGT completely close shop. I am looking for 3 cents at least.

Obviously Year 2020 will not be the right best measure for 2021 dividend plan. A one time deal as I split the investment across a number of stocks to compensate for the DPU loss from AGT delisting.

As it current stand, $88,845 for Year 2020 YTD. Excluding AGT with it's regular dividend that are loss the rough theoretical value of $55K by year end. 

And yes there is some ready cash now to boost the dividend further. Any recommendation for Kiasu and Kiasi ... investor ?


Oct 15, 2020

Cory Diary : Repricing Home Loan Package

In a few more months time, my current package will be available to be repriced which was on package based on 2.38% Fixed for 2 years after which FHR8 + 1.88% (0.6%+1.88% =2.48%) where FH is the Period 8 months reference to the column above.

The current DBS Fixed Deposit is as follow.

Since May, DBS announced the FHR8 revision, my total loan repayment has not been reduced s it is fixed package and instead will increase to 2.48% if I do nothing.

What-if I Reprice ?

Per DBS website, home loan accounts are out of lock-in or will be out of lock-in in 3 months’ time are allowed to do repricing. I do not like floating package so will only look into the new reprice Flexi-Fixed package as follow. There is a re-price cost about $300 for Promo.

Fixed in years at 1.5% depending on the flexi-Fixed package which I am interested, follow by FHR24 + 0.9% = 1.8% thereafter. So should I go for 3 Year or 5 Year ? 

That's depend how soon we get over Covid aftermath I guess which could take 2 years. Since there is a free conversion I could ask for contract change per table above if the ever decreasing rate happens once I sign up on the new Contract.

However, if the rate increases then I would want to continue the new contract as long as possible. So looks like 5 years Lock is better option. The 5 years contract states " We will waive the Commitment Fee if such full repayment is made upon the sale of your entire interest in the Property, and no event of default under the Conditions has occurred." (updated).

With the new contract, monthly saving will be $293. That's $3,518 annually. Most importantly is the peace of mind. That's the key point of the plan other than the saving.


Oct 7, 2020

Cory Diary : CPF Housing Loan Refund Experience

In earlier article there is an Issue mentioned regarding low interest rate from the bank (1.1 % DBS Today for 11 months Fixed Deposit ) and higher Accrued Interest to pay back to CPF. It makes sense for me to do something.

The CPF Housing interest is computed on the CPF principal amount withdrawn for housing on a monthly basis (at the current CPF Ordinary Account interest rate) and compounded yearly. If this OA money is put inside SA it would be even higher at 4% !

Therefore  I decided to work on the CPF Refund process. There are 2 methods that I can do online. One is via PayNow and the other eNets. The later I have given up due to some issue getting the code to my oversea mobile. However I am pleased that PayNow works perfect for me.

Selections in CPF WebSite

The steps I took to do it for my case.

1. Login to CPF
2. My Requests > Property > Make a Housing Refund with Cash ... etc  (Decide the amount you like to payback)
3. Select PayNow

iWeath SG
4. Login to your mobile app (I use iWealth)
5. Select Scan & Pay
6. Scan the CPF page QR code

That's it. Upon completion ... the CPF website will reflect the repayment into OA Account.


Oct 3, 2020

Cory Diary : Performance YTD - Trump Tests Positive for the Coronavirus

The STI market was going well till it's decided to change downward course again today. This time for very different reason. The News is that Trump Tests Positive for the Coronavirus. He must be very disappointed that DJIA manage to held up (updated with table) as I typed. 

The talk about IN THING nowadays is the K-Shaped Recovery Economy.

What this may mean is 

1. The wealthy are recovering and the lower-earning are not.
2. The professional workers are largely fine and everyone else is doing awful.
3. Different parts of the economy recover at different rates, times, or magnitudes. 

Well, the wealthy usually does better in most recovery. And you can be a pilot and seriously out-of-job. So the first two points are more divisive opinions between the Rich and the Poor which will drives resentment against the Rich or Rightist view. Likely not going to help the poor but make it worst as this will pigeon hole their thinking. Driving ever increasing wealth gap.

I am more inclined on the last definition in general and this is best seen in stock market. A good example will be Cory Portfolio this year.

As you can see above, the general STI Index performs relatively bad. An understatement frankly not because of the heavier weightage of the Banks but in general in the index.

Relative to Cory which also has large amount of banks and STI ETF, comparatively still drives large gap from the index. The performance has widen by 21.3 points (updated) gap. It would have been even wider have I indulge myself in some tech or medical stocks that I have been consistently avoiding. Oh ! my pain.

So YTD, XIRR -1.3% whereas STI has fallen to -22.5% (corrected). Dividend wise it has been crazy because AGT do a major distribution from the golf sales so YTD more than 89K ... That's a huge jump one time in exchange for capital reversion.