Mar 29, 2020

Cory Diary : Unemployment Train

What keeps businesses going is cash flow. When one could not operate for weeks or months, the business becomes unsustainable. At current Covid-19 situation the magnitude is a lot worst. To conserve cash, is to close down or cut cost. 

The Virus only hit US hard recently. The impact 3.3 M unemployment. This is no joke. The impact is wide spread and will bring economy down to it's knee and to be exact to a halt. USD being a trading currency has unlimited bullets. In fact the currency gets stronger during this period. It will be good opportunity for China to take this time to help America to help themselves.

Not surprisingly or thankfully Singapore has reserve exactly or unfortunately for such situation that can help us. Once a business collapsed, to recover will be hard, and basically "V-Shape Recovery" is impossible.

The Singapore budget proposed $48B on top of $6.4B to support the economy.  That's about $19.4 K each for 2.8M workers in Singapore. Basically the government is feeding each worker $2160 monthly for 9 months ! which reduced their chances of being retrenched largely and keep most businesses afloat.

Recession is the last thing in our mind. What we are facing is a total collapse. With this budget support, there is good chance the Virus will be stopped way before the year ended. I have faith we will get through this even stronger while many nations without strong reserve will be lagged behind. And the only practical option for them is to print through inflation. This will be ugly.

Personally I feel that the Vaccine will be rushed through so if there is a breakthrough within 2 months the sky would change suddenly. I would stay invested and buy slowly into the market. It will be a game changer for the world after all this is ended. As I sold a few positions last week, warchest is filled back up again with some trading profits. Don't get me wrong, I have dividend goal in mind. -14.6% YTD.


Mar 21, 2020

Cory Diary : Shocking Covid-19 Impact, Dividend Investing

There is always something new to learn in every crisis. Covid-19 overlapped with Oil price war. Yes, we can also include Trade War as well. The sell-off is so hard ( steeper than GFC 2008) within 2 weeks that Cory feels a bit cheated of his Year 2019 profits. 

Maybe there are 2 general ways to handle Covid-19. Easy and hard ways. The hard way will be like Taiwan and Singapore chasing down every soul and leads. Curbing travels and blocking entrys. The easy way is to let the Virus spread through the population killing all the weaks and olds. It will be over in months. Those who survive will have immunity. Obviously if people try the later path, the damage is going to be very hard to accept. This is inhumane but that's Nature way of selections. Some leaders think they could till they find they can't. The medical facilities will be so overwhelmed that no sane leaders can afford.

When the virus first started, the market continues to beat new high. Is a China problem basically. Is only when Europe exploded and invading America shores that everyone woke up to reality. The fall is so steep that not many can react in time. This comes at a time locally when dividend Investing could probably be awarded the holy grail of investing. However on hindsight the writings were in the wall. The ever diminishing yield, all time high reits prices, relatively small or average volume, double digits portfolio growth in Year 2019, .... waiting to be challenged. Many are new investor believers. Quite a few use banking facilities to borrow on margins. They thought market won't be that insane but they do. There is also huge funds sellout that precipitate the falls though to many it does't make sense for the price such as CMT for 6.5% yield ? 

What will Cory portfolio plans be is what's the end state goal he likes to have. The first obviously or not for some gurus will be to cut down all hospitality or travel related stocks. So Cory will also avoid transportation stocks despite lower oil prices. The next is all oil related stocks which have been suffering for years. Chances are they aren't coming back near term as quick. Some may not survive. So the risk tag is much higher than others. Cory has SIA Bonds so this is cut due to high risk and cash release for yield. As previously blogged, no more acendas-h tr or Ascott Residence Tr. thanks goodness.

As for banks, Cory has some exposure but will not expand further as digital licenses could do some damage to banking margins. Bad luck on this one as if there is no banks stake Cory would have have get some at good price today. For now, is better to reserve precious warchest in current market for something more definite to rebound strongly and portfolio risk managed.

During this crashes, Reits with high yields tend to crash a lot more like 30%-40% range even though fundamentally they are alright just not as cool as the blues. Yes, Warchest is so important in current conditions. So many fruits are ripe for picking. While cheap can get cheaper, seeing strong reit stocks giving 6.5% seems no brainer to buy. What we have to do now is to grab those with good yields that can survive the downfalls yet fundamentally earning will recover. This may mean more counter expansion which means a plan to reduce counter with low % exposure and build it back later after crisis.

So the question is are we bottoming. Last check, DJIA drop another 900 points just as we thought market is stabilizing. So the earlier plan to conduct multiple purchases across weeks and months continue to make sense.  It could be a lifetime opportunity for people who want to invest for yield. But if we is to throw in all bullets, chances are it won't be last bad news. Seriously we don't really know how deep or shallow it can be. People with limited bullets probably wait for upturns.


Mar 10, 2020

Cory Diary : Re-Balance Bonds ?

With the market rout and subsequent mini-rebound, Cory is tempted to sell his bonds for stocks. This is an action of re-balancing one portfolio to take advantage of subsequent rise. Does this makes sense ?

Fact is Bond interests are in few percentage points only. If we do trading on them, we are going to waste away the marginal returns. When we put into equity,  how confident are we to beat the cost and the dynamic of the markets. Will this further accelerate our losses if the market suddenly turn negative ?

Let's go back to basic on Cory bond investments.  To provide a damping effect so that he can sleep well. In addition to provide baseline returns. In yesterday onslaught,  portfolios turns 5% negative which compared far better than STI 13% negative range.

Ofcourse Reits come to the rescue too which managed to retard the deceleration better than many other stocks. 

So if Cory is to be greedy, he needs to be in better footing which Safe Bonds can provide. Warchest and saving should be better options to expand the investment to tap on rising market. When this happen, Portfolio bonds percentage will naturally go down.

The next question is, are we in rising Market?

This is Billions dollar question. Cory do not have good answer. Probably should Jeep slowly across the period of weeks and months.  Make sense ? One thing for sure, is a good thing to happen so that he can increase his dividends with lower cost !


Mar 1, 2020

Cory Diary : Survival Badge

Cory has gone through SARs 2002 , Asian Financial Crisis 1997 and Global Financial Crisis 2008. We also have Grexit, Brexit, Tsunami and China Sneeze 2007. Looks like Covid-19 will be another if we survived and why not for a dividend investor. In fact we should thrive to drive through next higher level of dividends.

The main key is capital preservation and allocation. To achieve both, the emotional aspect of an investor is in question. Cory do this by having 25% Bonds today. As family man, state of mind is important especially 2nd daughter just born ! And time is limited to monitor the market as he wishes.

This is a figure that balance reasonable money left for dividend Investing and growth. The other is to size the core equity segment to the size where in worst case situation Cory can hold and sleep. Their business fundamentals are stable. Fill the remaining gap with STI index if picking skills not so good like Cory.

For reit investment,  everything is good at the right price. If the yield is so low that sudden market volatility can erases few years of dpu, it makes senses to reduce or cut them. Cory did that with Ascendas previously. And then buy back some in stages.

Even after all this, the next key issue is home. How do we keep our mental state healthy from loan debt. Some people do this by zeroing out the home value in their net worth even when the property is fully paid up. Cory does it by allocating cash into FD, SSB and larger emergency fund. This aren't tracked in portfolio.

So how do Cory do so far for a Reit heavy portfolio with a declining Feb ? From the chart below, seems like performing better than previous with widening gap against STI.

Next, is how to appropriately deploy the warchest raised across weeks and months. That's a good problem to have.