Jul 26, 2020

Cory Diary : Increasing my active investment for Passive Dividends

The Goal

The Covid-19 throws a spanner on increasing Portfolio to $1.3M quickly from 1.2M as in we need to be careful in our investment injection by $100k which is part of Warchest. So why this amount ?
Here's the link because of the compounding effect @1.3M per my lifestyle. (contingent to yield 5.3% able to maintain @ 1% growth). However if the stock price keeps increasing but business fundamental weaken or not enough improvement, the yield will be lowered. To compensate it, higher cash inject will be needed or expenses reset as we age. Hope I don't lose you by now !

Let me explain again using Reit term. if the stock price increase by 1% (Growth), and we have corresponding reduction in yield say -1% (DPU in cents maintain), it kind of neutralize the compounding effect. This is not good as we lose that year of compounding. So DPU has to increase accordingly to maintain the yield. If is not which could be, and to bring the portfolio backup,  we need to increase our investment through injection or we spend less to support the injection. Get it ?

Of-course we can increase our yield by investing in riskier asset to maintain it but this is not sustainable long term and will mean Portfolio keeps getting RISKIER over time .... . And that is Dangerous which some people may make, like me on what I feel right now  ? LOL

Therefore, come to think of it, is not so easy as the calculation is a simplified model. To mitigate it therefore using above example, if 1% growth of 1.3M that is equal to $13k has to come out of Real growth. When there is no DPU growth, we need to inject in this amount of $13k or spend less to support it roughly.

This is why advocating dividend re-investing is important or injection from saving if you have a job as changing stock aren't easy for same quality. But the key is capital gain has it's price to fulfill for dividend investing.

Something new today.





Jul 16, 2020

Cory Diary : Improving Parental life - Investment well worth the money

When I become a new father, no one taught me what to do in an up-to-date package. Is based on experience through trial and error, tips from sales people, advise from bloggers and friends.

After 1.5 year into parenthood, there are few things I like to share that can improve our life and that is value for money. This are good investment in my opinion and well worth my money. This are also not sponsored, and based on my limited experience and affordability so take it for your reference only. Please do your own due diligence as it may varies with one's situation.

1. Nappy :  About $20 per pack ... varies with pc, size and type. Buy in bulk !

We only use Pampers and it has to be made in Japan version. Wife swore by the quality and the safe. Some babies develop rashes in other brands. I would suggest to buy in bulk or whenever there is promotion. Upgraded to pant type as my child get bigger.

As I know most of the nappy in the market aren't environmentally friendly but there is limited options for the convenience. I guess mother earth will understand. 

2. Electric Sucker : $50 excluding accessories

Get a good one with enough suction power. Is well worth the money. It helps my babies to breath and sleep well. Keeps me worry at night if their nose is fully congested especially when they are hit with flu. I use BabySmile. Most babies do not like to have their nose sucked so there will be some wailing.

The brand I have has an adapter accessories for newborn which comes in very handy. Try not to plunge the adapter into the deeper part of nostril as they will feel uncomfortable or may irritate the linens inside the nose. Just enough to suck and from my experience wait for few seconds for the pull to materialize so be patience. Usually I will try to use my other finger to press the nose lightly to make sure a tighter seal for better suction. 

Clean the rubbery adapter thoroughly after each use. I always keep the batteries outside the compartment to avoid drainage. The sucker use is not effective if the battery power is not strong so do keep additional batteries handy.

3.  Floor Mat : $300

Good and large one can cost a few hundred bucks. A place where the toddler can rest and play.  Usually I have it near my sofa as she tends to climb up to them. Few times the mat has help to arrest the fall from the sofa. Goodness. I am not sure about other babies but mine keep moving constantly so hard knock from fall happens. Just one catch from hard fall is well worth the money. Do be careful that it won't be easy to cover entire area especially corners so may needs some fillers if you are worried.

4. Baby Bottle Sterilizer : $140

Get a big one that can hold a few bottles. Preferably those that can also sterilizer the loose parts, powder containers and pacifiers at the same time. Don't skim on this because it saves me a lot of headaches trying to handle the limited space in the kitchen and cleaning each of them.

I use below from Baby City. Make sure not to pour to much or splash the water on the heat pan as it can gets into the venting hole on the side.

5. Medical Syringe : In cents ... per pc

This are quite cheap and I use to buy in a large bag of 50 easily. I use this to feed the upright baby slowly by 0.1 ML at a time as they may get choke easily. Useful for liquid medicine, Probiotic-Digestive Enzymes (baby friendly ? ) and even water.

We don't need the needle portion so make sure they are carefully put away with their cover on. Older toddler will reach for anything and this must be carefully kept away.

6. Leak proof water bottle : $25

She carries it around, suck it upside down, and won't leak easily. Helps to keep her hydrated to poo. I don't have specific brand recommendation. Go for those that is baby safe materials, and has a tube weight in the bottle to support the sucking. There is long and thin brush provided for cleaning the flexi-tube if you saw one and if do not know what it is for.

7. Baby cot bed : $ 400

I prefer one with rollers as I found later they like to be rolled to sleep for certain period of their development time. I prefer to go for one that do not have adjustable side as I may forget to pull back and baby may roll off the bed if they flips or struggle around. Need to also make sure the elevation is low enough to prevent older toddler from climbing out.

I think is best to use the mattress that comes with the supplier as it fits perfectly and leaves no gap which can be dangerous to baby. I also bought some side linens from Amazon to protect falls from older toddler and their bites on the woods.

8. Changing Mat : $25 In the early months, the nappy may not seal properly due to the baby size or our inexperience in folding it resulting spillages. We do not want it to be too tight on our newborns. So a changing mat place under the mattress help to ensure we do not need to wash and clean it. It can be real hassle when all the things can contaminated.


Jul 14, 2020

Cory Diary : GE 2020 Afterthoughts

The Election

Year 2020 Election returns PAP the super majority unsurprisingly. In a democratic world today, this is rare feat let alone since independence. Personally I feel even running a clean government with strong efficiency they still need to do a number of shrewd moves to secure that amount of seats. The opposition is not dumb either and they try to outsmart the incumbents.

If we remember in the Year 2015, there is lingering sentiment from Lee Kuan Yew's death and Jubilee Year celebrations. There is also ongoing issue over financial lapses discovered at the Aljunied-Hougang Punggol East Town Council in opposition ward. This inadvertently push up the votes.

In this year election, a Covid-19 and Recession Year, there is no good timing for PAP. ( Timing can be even worst for the ruling party), WP's Pritam Singh has shown maturity who also has Jamus Lim as a wild card that probably single-handedly turn the tide of battle to a public looking for credible opposition voices in the parliament.

Is with this context, that we enter GE2020. The PAP votes are much lower than GE2015 which broadly defines GE2020 trends but marginally higher than GE2011. Interestingly, WP do no better in votes count if we look at the chart above even though they have more seats.


1.  East Coast GRC is ripe for grab by the opposition. With a number of potential candidates in the cabinet, this allowed the party to move PM in waiting Minister Heng to East Coast in the last minute. This is a calculated moves. If he loses, which is unlikely but for the rare possibilities if he does, maybe another PM should be selected. The move is to ensure the GRC remains with PAP and then strengthen the area there over time. If Mr Heng cannot achieve that so be it and PAP won with a slim majority. phew !

2. Another weak spot is West Coast GRC challenge by Tan CB team. In 2015 Election the smaller GRC was challenged by RP which is a much weaker team. PAP has a commanding lead that time with 78% votes. This year they almost lose it with a slim majority of just 52%. This can be seen as TCB effects. A big disappointment to him. This also show how vulnerable Singapore election can be which LKY was highly concern that the government can flip overnight. Singaporeans do care to remember.

3. CSJ of SDP decided not to continue to lead GRC and gun for the weakest SMC other than opposition ward Hougang (WP) to contest in Bukit Batok SMC. Unfortunately for him, Murali wins Bukit Batok SMC with 54.8%.

4. Seng Kang GRC loss is a surprise but not impossible considering the swing of votes. Led by labour chief Ng Chee Meng ,lost to the WP team by a margin of 4.26%, losing his ministerial post, though he will remain as Secretary-General of NTUC. Is a loss to PAP but not something they cannot live with.

There are also a few marked Wins that underscore they have the confidence of the people despite some controversy over the years in them.

5. A new team from the People's Action Party (PAP) led by Manpower Minister Josephine Teo secured 65.37 per cent of the votes against the Peoples Voice (PV) team headed by party chief Lim Tean in the four-member Jalan Besar GRC. This is an acknowledgement that voters willing to looks beyond "You don't need much space to have sex" and cramped migrant worker dorms problem.

6. Tanjong Pagar voters chose the team led by Minister for Trade and Industry Chan Chun Sing, 50. The PAP team won 63.13 per cent of the votes in the ward. Another key member is Prime Minister's Office Indranee Rajah. Leaked audio clips of the Minister didn't do much damage. I thought is quite comical but real life.

7. Ms Tin Pei Ling, of the People's Action Party (PAP), romped home to victory for the second time in MacPherson SMC, sweeping up 71.74 per cent of the votes. Pretty Amazing score. No more little girl next door.

Lastly which I feel important is that 
PM Lee’s move to formalise Workers’ Party (WP) chief Pritam Singh as Leader of the Opposition role. What this mean is he will have access to thing they never before which could signifies the trust the government has on WP that they can work with for betterment of Singapore. 

This is also align with voters view as well that WP is a much more credible than others and is better that PAP starts to work with someone that they are comfortable with. The move means we avoided divisive politics in the future and kudos to PM Lee for stepping up to do this before he steps down. This is a big plus for Singapore.

Quite exciting event for a Covid Year !


Jul 11, 2020

Cory Diary : Retirement Calculator and a Miracle find !

The Math - Quite sometime since I last do the Math on how much to retire, to invest and to expense. If we are to do a perfect computing, this will be almost impossible or hassle. This doesn't mean we can't do a quick and dirty plan which can be representative.

The first table right below generate $60k per annum. Investment Money runs out only at age 98. However there are CPF, Bome, Saving, FD and SSB (aka Buffer & Legacy) which would easily extend the age to 110. More than enough to retire safely.

Table 1 : Retirement Math

The Second Table is what I like to show you. What-if I increase my investment just by 100k right below. At the age of 99, portfolio still has 1.8M ! That's so magically about compounding effect by just have a little more additional saving.

Table 2 : Retirement Math

Retire Plan - To retire most people depends on few income streams or reserve. Local Saving, SSB and FD are typically low returns safe investments. They are the reserve. The other common between most of us is CPF which provides one of the safest returns for marginally higher returns if one is not politically bias. 

Income stream typically comes from Rent, Bonds and Equity Investment. As we know Bonds are quite risky if they are higher yielding. You could lose all your capital and reset your retirement plans for good. Even lowering yield ones need to do homework because is not guaranteed. Nevertheless I wouldn't want to take riskier products for income if is not necessary to meet certain level of my retirement goal. Renting out a room could be an alternative though a little inconvenience. If one could manage, additional property will help a lot but we need to take care of loan.

Equity wise, investment class various widely as it tied to business and market conditions of the stock. Singapore STI ETF is one good way to invest however if we are to compared to other global general market indexes, STI don't do as well. This I feel got to do with how fast they update the stocks in the index and the listed companies performance. Oil price has significantly battered a number of them. The introduction of 4th Telco put a spanner to the Telcos. The developers gains are curbed. Most importantly the under lying stocks are not updated quick enough. A good example is Reit sectors which have been doing well for many years but only more of them are introduced in recent times at much higher price.

Finally, one can do businesses as sleeping partners but I wouldn't bet on it that we can feel relatively safe for most people. This segment is for the rich which have additional money to play but for average or middle class, every bullet counts in retirement.

In Summary, I have all above mentioned products. Relatively diversified but not as wide for some people. To able to do this, we must be able to build a nest out from having a stable job, saving and years of investment compounded. Unless we are born with silver-spoon this is a necessity. And the danger of having one is that we tend to less appreciate them and lose them.

There is also one additional bonus is that I have decided to stay employed till told not. This will help to support expenses without need to draw down my investment for now in-addition to growing my Nest. I do this because is dangerous to feel rich and quit however I have no plan to stress myself out while being employed. The health cost could breaks everything.

Last Message

One very last important concept today I found is that a little additional saving has a huge impact to my portfolio whether it is still viable at Age 99. See table 2 again. Please read them closely. Is a miracle. You want legacy and buffer. This is the true wonder step to take and not leaving your HDB flat for your children.

And we can do this without taking unnecessary risk in our portfolio as one saving grows that could set us back for years. One thing to note the parameters are there to product the table results. As one buffer grows, we can do  tweak to them to adjust to one needs.

For example, if I want a lifestyle of $8k monthly assuming other parameters same, I would need a portfolio of $2M. This tell you how realistic your expectation. All this can be done easily with Excel Spreadsheet.

Table 3 - Retirement Math

Have a nice day.


Jul 10, 2020

Cory Diary : Benefited from Covid-19

There has been a lot of negatives about this pandemic. In reality it has. Many people died from it. Many will have long term suffering. In many countries, many has lost their jobs. Cory was hit  when the portfolio came down as much as  -25% at one point. Interestingly, the investment remains and not waiver.

As today, the portfolio has fully recovered. What's more. Here's my list to put up in positive perspectives during this period. 

1. Theoretical Annual Dividends increased by 10k with similar portfolio size. That's probably 20% increase in dividends.

2. Birth of 2nd daughter. Bringing home a premature baby girl has it challenges but we are happy to have a second child. Ability to work from home helps my wife significantly as we take turns doing all the needed at home.

3. Company re-org resulting I need to also manage Europe and America staffs. So working from home helps with the different time zones and further add to my justification to go less to office. Some people may say no work life balance. I beg to differ due to significant  flexibility of my time.

4. Cab price has comes down some. The cost is about 20% cheaper and helps to lower the cost transporting my elder child to nanny home

5. Most of the time we order food online and delivered to our home. This save quite an amount of time as we dine at home.

6. Transportation cost has been basically reduced. This is not just work but also travelling abroad. Communication is now Video conferencing or Chat messaging.

7. Cash payout from Covid-19 support packages

8. Oil price has remains low. This translates to stable or lesser increase in electrical and water bills. Due to inflation constant price increase is actual normal the key is how much. So I view that things can get much worst than we have today when we look at price increases.

9. Lesser pollution to mother earth. The air and sky have never been much better due to lesser consumption. People from less develop or poor environmental policy countries benefited the the most interestingly with the economic slowdown. People will miss it.

There will be major shift in the industries and country economy from this experience. Is a good time to position ourselves for the future for a fresh start. Virus testing industries. Medical and manufacturing of protection products. Education systems. Working lifestyle. Even Supply Chain robustness. Instead of looking for Offensive Strategy, will Defensive Strategy works like avoidance ?

Something to ponder about.


Jul 9, 2020

Cory Diary : Good Bye Johnny

Whatsapp has been nothing but amazing. Four old friends of 30 years messaging each other in a group but hardly meet each other for years. As the years go by between them, each develop their own life path but they continue to keep each other in-touch using the messaging apps.

There's always different viewpoints depending each social circumstances. As we get older, we get more "Weird". More "Stubborn". More "Experience". More "Stress". More "Work". More "Wealthy". This can be observed by myself on them and likely they on me. Everyone of us have our own flaws in us but the focus is always on others. We talked on many sensitive topics like  Immigrants/PMET, Investment, Politics, Jobs  .... often end up with quite diverse views.

Sometimes the apps will get a little heated up. One would leave the chatgroup, and be back weeks later. A number of time the apps will stay quiet for weeks for no apparent reason. A number of times I have to mute the apps because it is getting too noisy and will find a time to review them at one go to avoid constant distraction.

I still remember that day when I have personal emergency. Wife in serious labor situation and we manage to reach the hospital in 10 minutes. ( Thank God is a Miracle !). The doctor on duty knew something is not right and go for immediate cesarean with the help of another doctor called up from another floor. Fortunately, both mother and child are fine. It was really a close shave. That doctor reminded us twice....

Weeks later while in confinement center when the mental tempo of newborn starts to calm down, I noticed one of my old friend has been missing in the chat group. He is the oldest of the group and prolific in forwarding u-tube links for sharing. Higher foreign educated but has a number of medical health issue to manage later in life unfortunately. Background wise, among us he has the best growth environment. Career wise not as well. Back to present day. I started to ask for him but to no avail. He is usually alone, attend church service, and part time education job that last I know.
Then it suddenly strikes us that we only has his mobile and Whatsapp. No address or next-of-kin that we know. Modern day issue? I am getting a little concern but it has already been weeks, and if there is mishap probably is already over. 

We did not give up. Months later, one of my friend manage to use unorthodox method search to find out he was deceased. Someone said in his inactive Facebook that he has passed away later. And then it strikes on me I have lose an old friend forever. I never felt that way when grandma passed away decade ago but this time seems like some part of me was loss too ( What ?! ). And this started the search of what happen. I felt we owe him something. The feeling of guilt. The responsibility and needs to do something now. 

The only thing I can say now is that his passing taught me something that no textbook can provides. The inner pain of missing something. Friends in this earth is a short time but we are fated to meet and be friends in this life. Cherish them. There is a lot more things than wealth, job and politics. Maybe I am too sentimental. Rest well my friend. Rest well ( teary eyes ). Don't think I will ever forget this episode.


Jul 4, 2020

Cory Diary : Medical Bills

Technically I think we can never retire if we are to cater for the most expensive medical expenses where Insurance may not cover or is limited. Life is priceless or so to speak. So we technically can never retire if we buy-in to this idea regardless of cost. Hence, where do we want to draw the line to be practical for retirement planning ?

I take the time to ponder this morning questions. I am sure there are many scenarios.

1. If we have 2M dollar, do we spend all in order to prolong our lives say for another 6 months ?

2. What-if we survive and need life long care and a burden to family after ?

3. What-if we are young and recover completely ?

4. What-if bed ridden for rest of my life ?

This are real hard questions.  No good answer but something to think about.

One key insurance I am happy to pay is hospitalization bills. The cost is not high and reasonable. CPF wise I can max whatever inside complement with Medi-save.

Anything beyond that, maybe I would define certain percentage of my net worth for it. That could an answer. I dunno. Simply Medical condition can be Wills of God. Meantime we try to stay healthy by living healthy. But we are limited by genes and external factors.

Health is important to enjoy the fruits which people tends to neglect. I got a scare a year ago and realize life can be short. Too short. ( "Wife, I want to retire ... really  ...  😗 )


Jul 1, 2020

Cory Diary : End June Report - Portfolio Performance

After mute May Month, early June shows enthusiasm but the Market quickly starts to fizzles out by mid-June. STI ended Negative -19.6% YTD. This is one of the bad year to be in the market so far. Generally Banks, Telco, Commodity, Tourism, Transports and Oil related counters suffers. Oil related and Telco counters have been dragging their feet for years which the portfolio did well to avoid.

The market can be worst if people still don't go back to work and learn how to live with the Covid-19 virus. There seem no readily answers and continue to close the economy generally results in higher crimes rate, unemployment, home evictions, millions of unrelated deaths simply people cannot afford or able to seek medical attention for other illness. Social unrest becomes stronger and so is nationalism. 

What is even more critical is the Depletion of saving that can be use for investment to generate money for future retirements. A double blows. So is important for people who is yet ready for retirement to make sure they have a job and take the opportunity to buy the lows.

Cory Portfolio is at -2% which has 17% lead against STI currently as above chart. There is some timing trades this month. Basically SBS Transit lucky timing and the buy over of AGT golf courses. As I said previously, AGT investment mainly follow AK leads in earlier article. 

As for SBS transit, I thought the opening up will stop the downtrend which indeed it did. Since is a speculative trade, I have to take profit.

This are the 2 key events that partially help support the portfolio this month.