Apr 14, 2024

Cory Diary : Dividend Q1 '24

Dividend received $12,096 topping my cumulative number from half million achieved goal last year. To clarify, Dividend is basically from equity. I have stopped tracking interests return outside Equity due to too numerous transaction which i find time limited. Q1 is a slow quarter due to banks yet ex-dividend and main bulk of dividends are not expected to fall into here.





Portfolio returns wise YTD is doing slightly better than STI Index though not much significant. It would have been better without reduced Tesla which I plan to hold long term. Other US stocks do helps to mitigate it. The strategy to use bank to hedge against high rate is paying off again this quarter.

Main bulk of warchest or reserve are still locked in t-bills, ssb, fd and cash as I am currently happy with the amount of dividend I can get already. With the large allocation in bank to mitigate reits allocation, i feel is too risky to expand further. I am also thinking of reducing some high risk reit counter allocation further if opportunity arises. Maybe due to age and high expenses, i may not pounce big even if market crashes as the current interest rate returns are quite attractive. I even holding on to the USD cash which i got from Google sales.

So what i do now on the portfolio ? Crusing mode. yeh.


Cory Diary
2024-04-14

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Disclaimer: The articles presented in this blog reflect personal opinions and are intended for informational and sharing purposes only. Not responsible of errors. Readers are advised to seek professional guidance when making financial decisions and should take full responsibility for their choices.

Mar 22, 2024

Cory Diary : Equity Portfolio Adjustments Amid Market Uncertainty

Shifting Strategies

As we navigate through the intricate landscape of investment, it becomes imperative to reassess our equity portfolios, especially in the face of fluctuating market conditions. With the Federal Reserve hesitating to adjust rates as expected and a mix of thriving and sluggish markets, it's time to delve into the strategic adjustments made in recent weeks.


Dropping Google

Despite its dominant position, Google appears to be lagging in the rapidly evolving tech landscape. Questions arise about its adaptability and potential disruption. Personal experiences with Google's desktop functionalities and YouTube recommendations have been underwhelming, with concerns about malware hijacking further exacerbating the user experience. While Google still holds prominence, and I will be back quickly. Meantime, cash raised from the sale.






Adding UOB

Amidst the goal of mitigating portfolio volatility, a strategic move was made to incorporate UOB into the equity mix. With a sizable allocation already in DBS and OCBC, UOB's inclusion diversifies the bank exposure effectively. This decision brings the banks' allocation to 36.5% of the equity portfolio, offering a hedge against REITs exposure while supporting dividend strategies. Despite prevailing concerns, current pricing suggests banks are not overvalued, with recession risk looming as a key watchpoint.


Monitoring Distressed Stocks

The portfolio hasn't been immune to challenges, with certain stocks facing continuous declines. Specifically, iReit and Elite Commercial Reits have experienced capital losses attributed to macroeconomic factors such as high interest rates and exchange rate fluctuations. However, their valuations remain comparatively stable against US Office REITs, prompting a decision to maintain positions, anticipating potential recovery as market conditions evolve. The fortunate thing is they have been sized-investment so their impact is not significant so far. Each year we can only afford a few small lemons so we need to constantly remind oursleves in our picks and allocation.


Conclusion

In the ever-changing investment landscape characterized by global market dynamics, proactive adjustments are essential to optimize portfolio performance and manage risk effectively. By scrutinizing each component and adapting strategies accordingly, portfolio can navigate uncertainties while positioning for long-term success. As we progress through 2024, vigilance and flexibility will remain paramount in capitalizing on emerging opportunities and mitigating potential setbacks.



Cory Diary
2024-03-22

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Disclaimer: The articles presented in this blog reflect personal opinions and are intended for informational and sharing purposes only. Not responsible of errors. Readers are advised to seek professional guidance when making financial decisions and should take full responsibility for their choices.


Feb 24, 2024

Cory Diary : Net Worth Update and Milestone Achievements

It's been a while since our last net worth update, and I'm excited to share some positive developments. The primary catalyst for the upswing is the increased valuation of our properties, a conservative estimate that has significantly contributed to the overall growth.



Let's delve into the numbers:

1. Property Valuation Boost:

A noticeable uptick in net worth, with property valuation being a key driver.
Despite a year-to-date equity dip of 1%, we've successfully elevated our expected dividend plan to nearly 70k.

2. Strategic Investment Moves:

Our investment accounts are currently on the lower side due to substantial deployments.
Notably, we've strategically reduced the size of our saving cash, redirecting funds into safer assets for fixed income, as reflected in the downward slope of Non-Productive assets.

Surprise Milestone Achieved

An unforeseen milestone has surfaced - the current fixed-rate loan at 1.5% still has a year and a half remaining.

Conducting a stress test, we've realized that, by combining our main saving cash with SSB, T-Bills, and FD, the total amount surpasses the outstanding housing loan. This implies that, in retirement, we could potentially pay off the loan without selling any equity, providing financial security for daily expenses.

As an added comfort, once the housing loan concludes, our outstanding loan will decrease, creating an additional buffer for potential working capital needs.


Potential Milestone - Divergence Growth

One of our challenges is managing family expenses exceeding 100k annually, a figure that continues to rise. To mitigate this, we need to explore avenues to control or slow down the increase. Successfully achieving this would eliminate the need to draw down investment capital, which currently generates crucial dividend income for daily expenses.

Looking ahead, there are two potential strategies: reducing or slowing the expense growth or expanding our portfolio size to generate larger dividends.

In summary, our financial journey has witnessed positive trends, and we're strategically positioned to navigate potential challenges and embrace future opportunities.



Cory Diary
2024-02-24

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Disclaimer: The articles presented in this blog reflect personal opinions and are intended for informational and sharing purposes only. Not responsible of errors. Readers are advised to seek professional guidance when making financial decisions and should take full responsibility for their choices.


Feb 19, 2024

Cory Diary : Expense 2023

Currently on routine half-yearly tracking family expenses. To be exact the tracking is based on the outflow from saving account. Before I start it off there are a few items or assumption made.

Figure includes
  • "Home Loan"
  • A few one-off Medical Expenses - Therapy Sessions etc
  • On/Off there maybe Bonus Company Share Sales
  • Parental Allowances

Figure excludes
  • Income Taxes. I help cover my partner too.
  • Partner contributed to some expenses. Assume 15%. May Revisit later on this assumption.

Full Year Comparison




To set the right expectation, it maybe quite big-eyed to see saving jumped 65% for Year 2023 when income do not rise as much. 13% includes company shares sold. Saving is typically a small subset for me due to family, housing, transport, holiday etc. The important rationale is that if we able to keep our expense in check, all the income increase will be channeled to saving. Hence, we see large % increase in saving.


1st Half Year Comparison

Cash Expenses do increase significantly due to many reasons. However, what is interesting to know is that for 1st Half comparison YoY.


There is basically negative cashflow for 1st half of Y2023. Lumpy Tax. What to focus is the cash expenses YoY 47% Increase but overall expense only 9% up. Compared to Full Year chart, the expense 42% as is much more actively watched in 2nd Half of Y2023


Sharing on Expense Ways

Obviously this aren't a sharing of low expenses. Is not intended initially when I start to write this article but strikes me that i could share what efforts have been put in to slow down expense increase with family as this aren't easy ....

1. More instances of more simple home cook food and outside meals.
2. Tighter control on transports. We do more walking.
3. Reduced Fruits wastage and less expensive varieties.

I wish there could be more. There aren't. Is so easy to blow our budgets. What keeps the mood up is the Net Worth still on increasing path. Maybe this is the way to control expense in moderation while increase total assets. We still need to keep fighting the demon within.



Cory Diary
2024-02-19

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Disclaimer: The articles presented in this blog reflect personal opinions and are intended for informational and sharing purposes only. Not responsible of errors. Readers are advised to seek professional guidance when making financial decisions and should take full responsibility for their choices.

Jan 23, 2024

Cory Diary : Cash Flow against Assets Investment

A quick show on investment returns supporting cash flow compare to asset invested. Each set of matching colour between the 2 charts for comparison. Left is Asset allocated. Right is the corresponding cash flow returns from it.



Rental Income is the net after interests portion of the monthly loan and maintenance fee. Further 20% cut on rent to be conservative. It is an expansionist for my cash flow though not much as Equity. View it as much lower risk even though on leverage and potential capital gain.

Retirement and Insurance segment includes CPF. Keep in me this is paper exercise as I won't be withdrawing my CPF OA/SA after 55. And the monthly amount in RA will only happens after 65.

Dividends are basically from Equity. Do note some stock don't give dividends therefore reflect weaker cash flow. Itself tells a story on how we want to plan it between growth and dividend.

Saving Cash is high due to bonus and de-risk of the portfolio before Year 2024 started. Looks like a key priority to have it reduced.

Ending with Equity and Property are the two key pillars that go beyond their asset allocations when come to supporting cash flows. The worst is to leave cash in saving account. Need to make them to work obviously.

Keep in mind not to lose capital on whatever we do.


Cory Diary
2024-01-23

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Disclaimer: The articles presented in this blog reflect personal opinions and are intended for informational and sharing purposes only. Not responsible of errors. Readers are advised to seek professional guidance when making financial decisions and should take full responsibility for their choices.


Jan 15, 2024

Cory Diary : CPF Top-Up

Last year, due to a rate hike, savers had a field day scooping up Fixed Deposits, Singapore Savings Bonds, and Singapore T-Bills. In the Singapore context, these options offer almost guaranteed returns, are SGD denominated, and provide strong interest rates ranging from 2.7x% to 4%.

Unfortunately, last year, I only managed to top up 5K into my CPF Account. I believe free cash is better invested elsewhere. That year marked the last two-year period during which I could benefit from a good SA allocation to my CPF account, enjoying higher CPF rates, as indicated in the table below.


At age 54, this is the last year to top up and get the most out of it before the Retirement Account (RA) is formed at age 55. What makes this year special compared to getting good rates in the age 55-65 band?

This is the window that allows me to hide most of my SA account funds, which enjoy a higher rate than OA, when Full Retirement Sum (FRS) deduction to form RA. Personally, I believe this should not be allowed to happen, but it does in today's scenario. Going back to Age 55-65 bands topic, there's compounding delay as it will start from age 55. Not only that, there is a larger allocation into the Medisave Account (MA), which is locked for medical use.

So, should I maximize my Voluntary Contributions to the Retirement Account (VC3AC) this year? Something to ponder about especially how's the rate will look like for next 10 years compared to OA, SA and MA accounts.



Cory Diary
2024-01-15

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Disclaimer: The articles presented in this blog reflect personal opinions and are intended for informational and sharing purposes only. Not responsible of errors. Readers are advised to seek professional guidance when making financial decisions and should take full responsibility for their choices.


Jan 9, 2024

Cory Diary : Investment Ratios

Today played around Ratios with newly updated Asset numbers. We start with Asset Allocation. See below.



And then we do some interesting Ratios among them.



The first ratio is how much liquidity on current assets that i can move easily. This give me an idea if I am to ramp up my equity portfolio to support war chest.

The second ratio is how much resource into property. 61% of Equity size. This tell me how diversified is my income stream considering both are considerable income sources.

The third ratio is how much idle cash against equity which is 16% on opportunity cost. On the net worth allocation wise, cash is just 5.4% only. This surprising facts tell me there is more work to do to manage cash better after year end bonuses and stock option sales.

The final ratio is how much Fixed income allocated. They come from FD, SSB, T-Bills etc. In this ratio is whopping 53% of Equity. Am I really conservative ? On Net Worth allocation wise the fixed income ratio is only 18.5%.

I could rationalize that my Equity allocation has reach bottom so no more sales unless market really really tempt me. Cheers


Something to think about this month ! 



Cory Diary
2024-01-09

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Jan 6, 2024

Cory Diary : Year 2023 Net Worth

Just tally up on the most exciting figure of the year for me as this theoretically encompass year family expenses, incomes, pensions, parental support, investments,  etc. To cut it short, the year score is below. Net Worth 7.3% up YoY (ATH) which is kind of relief after seeing a reduction for first time in Year 2022 since I started tracking.


Net Worth YoY





The final data includes the CPF interests just credited. There is some ambiguity on the Net Property value estimation and more conservative approach is used based on URA transactions on similar asset and do a $50 PSF haircut from it.

After subtraction from equity returns, there is still sizeable saving for the year which could mean we have manage to control our expenses largely. I am not completely sure yet how this is done and this will be on another article to dive into as there are other factors coming into play such as bonuses, higher fixed returns and better rental income support that I can think of currently.


Net Worth Tracker

Year 2023 is full of macro risk situations in many fronts. So in my opinion is still the most hatred recovery for the market despite high rate and recession fear looming right after Covid. Is also in this situation that I am able to inject investment into Reits and Banks to achieve record dividend as my dollar is stretched with much higher dividend yield counters for basically the same business due to rate impacts. Sometimes I wonder why markets are so myopic to allow that to happen since high rate is not going to last very long. Why price the stock much lower due to higher cost of funding which is temporarily in nature? Maybe a lot of people is on leverage ?


























Not only that, this market behavior allow my emergency funds to achieve high yields from FD, MMF, SSB and T-Bills too. The last few weeks of the year saw the Fed dot plot to Pivot which reflected in strong recovery of Reit stocks. In the tracker chart, Non-Productive Assets ( NPA ) are mainly FD, MMF and Cash. The sudden increase is due to salary, bonus, stock options and some build up of warchest of the Reits from recent run-up.

There is no change in the property valuation but in net increases due to monthly paydown of the loan. This is seen in the Property stack of the chart. No wonder people says property is a way of force saving. In net, equity investment has came down slightly to be diverted into T-bills and SSB. Some Warchest towards the end of the year. However the total investment stream stack remains flat.

What do you think about Year 2024 be like for the market ? My hope is that it will continues to be great. All factors seem to point in that direction. Feeling wise, I do not have incline towards any direction yet. Meantime I try to hit higher in Net Worth for this vital years as I am no longer young and risk of it's growth, is that I am near the end side of my working lifespan.


Happy New Year Friend !


Cory Diary
2023-01-06

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Disclaimer: The articles presented in this blog reflect personal opinions and are intended for informational and sharing purposes only. Not responsible of errors. Readers are advised to seek professional guidance when making financial decisions and should take full responsibility for their choices.


Jan 4, 2024

Cory Diary : Year 2023 Equity Learning Part 2

This is an update on the 2nd part of Equity Performance in Year 2023. The first part is the result. Link here. The Year 2023 XIRR return is 14.6%. For a portfolio that has 50% Reits (fluctuates between 40% to 70%) allocation, the dynamism is quite high (See below chart) . The key learning is how to manage drawdown, and profit from it.



Manage Risk

Reits are investor instrument for cashflow and have sturdy business that protects our investments. Therefore thoughts I have is that we need to minimize and careful when we select Reits denominated in foreign currency or majority returns in foreign rental income. In situation we cannot avoid, we hope to see careful hedging of foreign income and their loan by the Reits if is not natural hedge. 

Hedging for loan rates are a must with size varying to their business situation. Finally, investment sizing or allocation will be key to reduce the risk. With this I will probably add another lens to my current portfolio an adjust accordingly.


How to Profit

Assumingly, we have strong business in the stocks we hold, we could invest each time in bit size when there is draw down, and come out of top later. See picture above on the volatility. Is easy to say but normally hard to execute. To do that, I need to ensure we have warchest, strong reits, not to huge allocation on any single reit to allow upsize and hopefully strong sponsor in such counter. Make sense ?




Cory Diary
2023-01-04

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Disclaimer: The articles presented in this blog reflect personal opinions and are intended for informational and sharing purposes only. Not responsible of errors. Readers are advised to seek professional guidance when making financial decisions and should take full responsibility for their choices.