Feb 6, 2021

Cory Diary : Investment Strategy

Today topic is a little broad as it covers overlapping action, strategy and performance of myself due to my personal circumstances. So I thought a new header is needed that best summaries the scope. When I first embarked to learn more about CPF never do I know it can become one of my segment to replace my bond investment. There is always misgiving because the governance is by our Government, that we can't trust them. 

This is best summaries by Tan Choong Hwee, a Guru in CPF on below viewpoint.  And I wanted to take pain to emphasis the non-partisan perspective that we need to look at when come to our financial well being. And I wanted to share this such that everyone has an opinion that we can listen and need not necessarily agreed such that we all grow as a better person.


"Look at this in another angle. Do we realize that we are trusting someone/something where we park our money?

- Deposit in bank:   we are trusting the bank to do its job well of keeping our money safe and paying us interests.
- Invest in stocks/bonds/unit trusts/ETFs/crypto:   we are trusting the counter party in handling our investment and paying us when we liquidate our investment.

- Invest in insurance policy:   again we are trusting the people involved (insurance agents, financial advisors) and the insurance company who offered the policy.

- Invest in property:   we are trusting the agents/lawyers to do a proper job and the transactions are genuine (not fraud).

- Keep in Milo tin:   we are trusting that nobody steals it nor losing it to termites and fire.

Do you think we ever have full control of our money? Trust is paramount in the whole monetary system.

And who do you trust more? Government, companies or individuals?"

Here's my Asset allocation.

Past months I have actioned quite an amount of steps to ensure baseline plan is done for my CPF which I have neglected for long time. Here's the page link. On another perspective, CPF in total is less than 10% of my asset today. So there is also mitigation in-place if I am wrong like any investment plan. I hope to do another 4 years of VC3AC to the max limits allowed. And in my case due to continue employment and investment, the percentage may not grow in term of asset.


Equity has come down slightly to my surprise as I started Growth Journey in US market. In my personal opinion, the market is really elevated and quite high risk to buy now. My early article on 5 steps strategy is to allow me to have a toe in there while I took profits on some local shares increasing my investment cash account by about 2 points. Saving account by 1.5 point.  My concern is that if the US market is to crash, SGX will do no better and I can utilize Warchest to benefit from it hopefully.


The first month of Year 2021 is interesting. At one point STI is well ahead before it pars down by early Feb. Market continues to be listless even after Trump as Market seems not really excited with Biden as everyone has hoped for despite democrats holding all the cards now.

In term of currency exposure, I now have more Euro, US and Pounds denominated stocks. This is more due to local reit asset yield is low for those strong Reits. To bang the buck harder, reits with oversea asset looks more attractive. However I have to make sure the amount of each allocated is not significant enough to cause me worries.

Core sectors such as DBS, Vicom, SGX, OCBC and Netlink BNB Tr are holding up well. Growth segment wise is still relatively small and currently has a slight positive in net. I hope the market allows me to grow some more before the omega happens if it does. The growth gives the portfolio edge in worldwide diversification and more long term growth.

With that my portfolio now consist mainly of Core, Reits, Growth and Transition-in-process from Company Bonds to CPF.

Articles in this Blog is personal take and educational purposes only. Reader should seek their own professional help when making financial decision and be responsible for their decision.

Jan 29, 2021

Cory Diary : Growth Stocks

One thing I learned from 2020 is that we are who we are. They are people who can invest just 6 stocks with solid returns. There are ones who only need to do 1 with 500% returns. Everyone situation is different and so are capability. If we are to blindly follow the setup of others we will always be chasing the "dragon" in the cloud and capture nothing.

After years mainly in Dividend Investing, the magnificent rise in growth stocks tell me there could be opportunity that I can learned from it. Some of this growth tocks have widely diversified market and moat. So is not exactly just Growth. A good example is Microsoft where their applications are widely available to PC users. They are basic productivity tools we can't do without.

Microsoft from Wiki

List of software : Windows, Office, Servers, Skype, Visual Studio, Dynamics, Xbox, Surface Mobile

Azure, Bing, LinkedIn, Yammer, MSDNa Office 3652, OneDrive, Outlook.com, GitHub, TechNet, Pay, Microsoft Store, Windows Update, Xbox Game Pass, Xbox Live


Microsoft Assets are stellar long term. https://www.macrotrends.net/stocks/charts/MSFT/microsoft/total-assets.

Microsoft just reported good result. I am not sure at current level is worth a buy. However long term they will be around. They aren't Tesla in term of growth but certainly a step up to me before Tesla. 

Investment Strategy

Current USD is relatively weak. Which mean a good opportunity for currency conversion to invest new. However Tech Stock price is quite elevated and we could see correction upon entering the market.  

My strategy will be get some first, say 20% of the amount I planned for this counter. If the stock moves much further up and the climb is not spike, I can average up another 20% and so forth. If the stock goes down, I will wait for sufficient time before averaging down another 20%. In that way I started something and build up the position accordingly. So is a 5 stepping methodology and we can varies as we deem fit.

Make sense ?


Articles in this Blog is personal take and educational purposes only. Reader should seek their own professional help when making financial decision and be responsible for their decision.

Jan 27, 2021

Cory Diary : CPF - My First VC3AC

As remembered, after completed all my Voluntary Housing Refund (VHF), the money goes into CPF OA. ( VHF is to return all the money loan from my CPF OA account to buy housing ) .

To get higher interests, I have it moved to CPF SA which has Max limit of 186K (FRS). This is through CPF OA to SA Transfer. There is still a little room for more and as earlier blogged, after selling my Singtel discounted shares, the money also go to CPF OA. I have it moved to max out to current CPF FRS allowed.

Then after, to increase my SA further allowed other than through Salary Income, I will need to proceed with Voluntary Contribution to my 3 Accounts (VC3AC). There is no tax benefits for this step. The key benefit is to get access to CPF SA 4% Interests. The ratio distributed to my CPF accounts are as follows.

Now at age 51, I am in golden age group where my top up matters if I want to focus on CPF SA. The max limits allowed is $37740 including Mandatory Contribution (MC) from income such as salary. With SA allocation as above chart at 31.08% of every dollar top-up. I can do this for 5 years till age 55.

And I did my first VC3AC as follow.

The ratio is as expected. And this can be seen when we login to the CPF website from above chart. So my CPF SA will now be 186K + 1473.19 = 187473.19.

One thing to note is that if CPF MA hits BHS limit, the excess of it will flow in CPF OA per my understanding. "Once CPF members reach age 65, their BHS will be fixed for the rest of their lives. The prevailing BHS is $63,000, and will be adjusted yearly. "

Final note if we exceed annual limit of $37740 due to VC3AC, it will be refunded without interests. So if we are still getting MC for rest of the year, you will exceed if Top-Up already maxed.


Articles in this Blog is personal take and educational purposes only. Reader should seek their own professional help when making financial decision and be responsible for their decision.

Jan 23, 2021

Cory Diary : Trading Records 2021-0122

A little motivated with my new Notebook and keeps looking to squeeze out time to play with in-between chores. One of my favorite app is Chrome Browser and for some reason my tradingview chart aren't showing the numeric values. After figuring out for some time decided to re-install the Chrome browser and without full screen extension. Looks like problem resolved. Phew. Now I will continue my trade reports.

CICT reported their number. Looks like it doesn't meet market expectation and there is some shading. I have some stakes in the stock for long term so kind of amuse with the market sentiment since they are still in rebate mode. It has rebound quite an amount recent weeks since adding some more shares at low below $2 last year. When I look at the TA, looks like it has hit the peak. I refused to sell and this caused me to lose some capital gains. Reduced some today as I soon realised my exposure has been quite much now and this allows me to re-deploy some of the funds. I still hold a good amount but no longer blink when I see my galaxy chart. It is still a recovery counter but I think it may take some rest before moving forward again. Singapore and Malls cannot go away.

Sheng Siong has shown indication of good result by the amount of bonus they have declared for their staffs. So is in a hunch that I think their result probably is good so decided to add some more to my current position. Is still relatively small. But for a portfolio of mainly banks, Reits and some blue chips, they are welcome addition. I use to hold quite an amount in this counter and profit wise is one of the best preforming after Singtel during it's heyday. I like the business as they are not only profitable but also a household name. One thing I find excited of Sheng Siong is that their online business which complement their overall fulfillment. Looks like they are well managed.

There are a few stocks which are really hot in the SG market right now. iFast, Nanofilm, SGX, ... and there are also quite a number of penny stocks animated to my dismay. While the more established stocks can be hyped, they are still good business fundamentally behind it whereas penny stocks always give me the impression that they are heavily manipulated through forum, news or analyst reports. When things start to die down, retailers again will likely be hanging up there dried ... . Anyway I decided to buy Nanofilm to satisfy my itchy fingers.

Finally, I did a quick Buy/Sell trades on Boustead for kopi. Decided not to hold another "Reit" like counter since I have much of them. People who get them hope for a further re-valuation. I decided not to wait.


Articles in this Blog is personal take and educational purposes only. Reader should seek their own professional help when making financial decision and be responsible for their decision.

Jan 21, 2021

Cory Diary : Value Notebook to continue my Investing Journey

My Struggle

Old workhorse that helps me to earn hundred of thousands will be decommissioned from active duty. The keyboard was broken with the caps falling apart for a few years already but I was reluctant to repair or change instead I spend like $25 bucks on a wireless keyboard as workaround. On/Off the wireless will stop functioning but due to the SSD drive, the reboot often fixes it quickly.

The machine is HP Folio 13.3" for 7.5 Years. Slightly more than $1k as it was an exhibition set for already 6 months. Yeah I am that "Value". Weight about 1.5kg which is quite heavy for mobility use. My back not helping. And then the SDD is only 100GB which in today standard is not enough. Period. 

I also did a self-upgrade on the memory. It was a harrowing experience because I basically have to tear the machine apart to slot in the new memory stick which is behind the mainboard. Finally got it working and when I put them altogether, I found a few screws to spare that I decided to do away. Maybe I should add a badge for putting humpty dumpty back again on my blog wall.

I have been struggling how to manage it every time there is a major app installation considering Windows OS easily takes up more than 70% of it spaces. The software was upgraded on courtesy of Microsoft from Win 7 to Win 10 even though I preferred the older version. The touchpad is hard to use. I am not sure was it after long years of service or what, as I could not remember but mouse is a must to navigate around the workspace.

Finally, as is a consumer unit, the screen is very crisp, it lit very well and so are the reflection. The brightness getting more and more intolerable. Often I feel my eyes aging on me. The last straw is the power adapter is connecting loose to the machine. It will slips out if I move my notebook a little and need to remind myself to ensure is plugged as the battery aren't pristine anymore. I guess the friction is gone.

Delay Gratification

HP ProBook AMD Ryzen 13.3" 

Despite record returns in 2019 I did not budge. Decided during Covid Year that if I do get a decent profit I will seriously consider to get a new computer and I achieved. With the amount of time facing the computer, there is list of requirements.

1. It has to be SSD drive. Speed of booting up is superb but most importantly the media reliability. How often has hard drives failed on us and we loose everything.

2. 1TB sounds good. A 10x upgrade. I would be happy to pay a little extra for 2TB if there is a SKU for it but there aren't for the range I am looking at.

3. Long battery life like more than a day. At least can last my "World Tour" in flight.

4. Click feel keyboard to register my feel.

5. No Built-in ODD of-course . I want it slim and light ! 1 Kg is nice. I painted this exact goal by the way. Just want to be able to carry around with me even to the Everest climb I think.

6. Display with little reflection. Eyes are important. The size has to be 13.3" for my preference.

7. CPU speed that allows me to game like AK ! Forget about Intel. I want AMD for the Class. I feel the Emperor has been dethroned.

8. Type C USB for charging is the norm nowadays which is what I wanted.

9. Ya has to be Windows. We have a love hatred relationship. But I am not a Mac guy. Is too late to re-learn for me for better or worst.

10, Fast USB speed. This will save a lot of time backing up and transferring data. Time is money especially when we are dealing with GBs of data to manage. No clouds for me but maybe I will evolve later.

And I found HP ProBook 13" AMD Ryzen 7 4750U 16GB 1TB / Win 10 Pro. It comes with fingerprint sensor. I blocked off the cam on first use and disabled the location. I also prepared a recovery USB drive immediately. Fortunately, the touchpad feel is good without need for a mouse. For $1.8k I think this is a Value Buy. Happy Buy, Happy Man, Happy Investing. My dear says finally.

Articles in this Blog is personal take and educational purposes only. Reader should seek their own professional help when making financial decision and be responsible for their decision.

Jan 16, 2021

Cory Diary: Year 2021 Portfolio Strategy

Building Up of CPF and The End of Bonds Age

With the portfolio growing, emergency funds filled and cash increased, and finally the focus of CPF returns supporting retirements, is time to slowly phase out Bonds managed in the portfolio. As CPF is not tracked in active portfolio, we will be expecting higher yield moving forward with higher volatility.

So why the focus on CPF.  Stability of the returns, and roughly 4% XIRR. This beats many bonds.
Furthermore, with locked mechanism or restrictions in CPF, I view it as positive. In-addition to that, it can also be a good holding place for extra cash in OA to be withdrawn as needed after 55. Yes, rule will change but usually is for the better or rational reason. Nevertheless, is prudent not to solely depend everything on it.

This will formed a solid base and a release of 1/4 M to more active investing. The plan is to do more cash top-up via VC3AC for the next few years as I hit FRS.

Investment Accounts

Fixed Deposit is so yesterday especially in foreign currency as there aren't much good ones after AUD/NZ dramatic reductions over the years. For local currency, the only place will be temporary holding. So basically cash is best placed in investment holding accounts subject to safety of assets consideration. I hold the view that we should not be fully invested unless we are really good in stock picking. I am not there yet.

Most of equities invested are cash flow generating for dividend.

US Investment

Have some shares in US which has seen almost doubled in returns over the years. I think is time to slowly sell them off with the rising market. However I need to get my W8BEN renewed. They aren't tracked in investment portfolio. Compared to more famous stocks like Nvidia or Tesla, this returns frankly is mediocre LOL. What a time !

If there is a large correction in the US market, I may consider some investments over there.

Chicken Genius

I watched the Video from this local man in utube who make millions from Tesla. Strike the cord that we have to invest into Needs of the World. I think this makes perfect sense. The result could be long term. Of-course is in context.

For example I would think Nvidia provide high end solution to Bitcoin farming machines, high end graphics and Gaming. Covid helps to push it up another few  levels. There's a need for it. There  aren't strong competitor. 

Growth Allocation will be opportunity based.

Articles in this Blog is personal take and educational purposes only. Reader should seek their own professional help when making financial decision and be responsible for their decision.

Jan 13, 2021

Cory Diary : Late Night Chat - CPF

Last night I have a chat with wife like 2.30 am as she was tied up with work while I was trying to manage my CPF accounts in preparation for retirement plans. This aren't a systematic work discussion but kind of jumping in and out from one topic to another and then jump back to previous again. 

We talked about the worst case scenario like both of us decided to call it quit. How financially we able to continue to manage our expenses and taking care of our babies. And what outstanding to get our financials in order. 

Progress on CPF nominations which I have been procrastinating for a while, and how we can use CPF to supplement our expenses. I still have few years before hitting 55 so if we have to do something on topping up CPF using cash, is time.

I could release my fixed deposits that has been tied down. Singapore Saving Bond will be the core backup for emergency loan installments.

One of the possibility open up is for her to take 6 months leave-in-absence to take care of our household while continues to have nanny to care for the toddlers during our day time. She still want to keep her job.

She also propose to make active her saving available for future investment with my guidance. This will give our family a boost on dividend income. So I thought this is great. We have been reserving this option as additional emergency fund. However, this will take a while as we need to map this out more carefully.


Long time since I last did my nomination so is time to update them. The Online nomination is cool. Hopefully it get processed. Few minutes job in the actual submission but need to get two witnesses with SingPass access for the declarations. I also found from 1M65 Telegram that if we nominated minors, they will have to wait till 18 before they get distributed. Here's the link if you like to find out more. (PTO)

Discounted Singtel Shares

Found some Singtel shares in my CPF which I just requested to be sold. Ouch ! for not managing them actively. Last traded my Singtel Shares in Year 2019 on some leftover shares as I do not see strong future of the business. This will simplify administration.

Singtel is one of best performing counter based on investment life of the stock. Today with the banking license, I have yet to see fundamental change that will improve the business significantly though it can still be profitable. 

CPF Interests

Have my SA Account Max to FRS mainly through OA to SA Transfers. And now exploring VC3AC(Top-up to all 3 CPF Accounts). This is interesting because is not via Retirement Sum Topping-Up Scheme ( RSTU) so we can do SA shielding later as I understand if we still can later. The main idea is that this option allows me to continue piling up my SA other than regular work contribution (MC). The downside is that some allocations depending on age group will  go to OA and MA. There is annual limits that we can contribute so every year before 55 counts.1M65 is great source of info in Telegram. 

My hope is that we could live off with some interests off CPF after 55 without touching the principals in OA and SA. What this mean is as someone feedback in my blog and from the Telegram Chat is that we should withdraw interests earned from OA and SA in the 2nd half of the year, preferably later months to allow interests YTD to accumulate before they get credited as principal in Jan next year. This will ensure the OA and SA Principals remain untouched. This is after 55 where the SA is FRS into RA and we have left over monies in CPF OS and SA.

Children CPF

Just requested for my children CPF details to be make available to me for verification. I have done some samples top-up into their accounts recently and would like to understand this further. Currently just nominal sum into RSTU. Some people prefer VC3AC as this will make the funds available to their children in their OA for housing and MA for their Medical. I thought this is neat idea.

Please DYODD as I am new to this journey. With that of my sharing, hope you have some ideas too.

Articles in this Blog is personal take and educational purposes only. Reader should seek their own professional help when making financial decision and be responsible for their decision.

Jan 10, 2021

Cory Diary : Net Worth Reporting

Year 2020 is one of my most expensive year to date. There's quite an amount of expenses. On top of this is the housing loan. in-additional the stock market has been challenging. After understanding Baby Bonus better, did Max Top-Up for both my girls and more.

Year 2020 is also one of more trying period I have encountered to manage family, taking care of newborn, working from home and sharing the house cores. There is so many things happening that I lose count of time and likely neglected some duties or expectation.

Year 2020 is where I am asked to take on additional new challenges in work to manage more international team members in different functional area on top of regular job tasks I have been doing. The experience is a lot of learning from it as different countries have different way and culture that they perform to.

As if above is not enough for Year 2020, on CPF side, completed Voluntary Housing Refund (VHF), did some Medisave Top-Up, shift loads from OA to SA.

On the positive financial side, I still have regular job, dividend income and housing funding to support. To top this off, a good bonus plus shares. Past years shares allocated record strong gains. I do not include allocated shares in my tracking.

Therefore, with above in context, here's the Net Worth Chart.


Net worth hits a new level and hopefully by end 2021 will hit my new goal of next bold white horizontal line in the chart. Cross my fingers because the market in US side is really lofty.

Liquid asset,  thanks to some support from Home CEO, stock market and bonus, managed to register a cash flow increase. However the overall pace is noticeably slower due to completing full VHR and some Medisave Top-up.

Equity Investment, not much has changed in invested amount as I have prepared some warchest for investment opportunities similar to Year 2019. This is despite registering a higher record sustainable dividend portion. This is interesting phenomenon. Maybe If I have placed more I would have catch a better recovery gains. The fear of Covid must have gotten me so I focus more on rebalancing and churning stocks for capital gains that probably instead result in net dividend gains as well.

Subconsciously I maybe more careful with capitals as Year 2021 would expects higher dividend if bank cap and Mall rental rebates are reduced with same amount of invested. The Market has hit euphoria stage judging from Bitcoins 41k and Tech Stocks PE as high as 1700. This hit my fear of Tulip Mania. Hopefully it is not the case and will not pull down the broad market as well if it bursts. Should we position ourselves to kio Durian ? 

To end this, I could feel that if one do not have saving, regular income or income supports, the stress will be high and demoralizing. It will be real struggle trying to keep up with needs.

Articles in this Blog is personal take and educational purposes only. Reader should seek their own professional help when making financial decision and be responsible for their decision.

Jan 6, 2021

Cory Diary : Casting Wider Net for more stocks with $50k Budget

For the past months or weeks I have list of stocks that I like to get but did not. So in Year 2021, allocated roughly 50k to indulge myself by casting my net wider for more stocks for diversification and gain some exposure to segments that I have been missing out. Broadly for now, excluded hospitality and transport stocks that are tourists dependent. There could be a recovery theme but feel is not at the right pace. SAT, SIA Eng and STE have dependency too. Commodity, Oil and Shipping industries I have no interests.

Selection edge will be Tech, Diversification, Sustainable Yield, Currency consideration and if possible management.

1. Sheng Siong

Sold some of the this share last year to consolidate the number of my counters as the amount it not huge but to my regret because it shoots up after. This is one thing I learned that don't consolidate for sake of it. After going one round, decide to explore this gain. There is a significant correction from peak though. As a Supermarket business, they also support online order which I find it interesting. With Covid still in play, expectation is the next Q report expects to continue to be colorful. The question is what happen after ? Will they able to continue to perform ? Get some first.

2. Venture

Tech Solution company. Doesn't look like is cheap and do not have a good feel on the company. Will need to do more homework and education to know the company better. Quite opaque to me to understand their operation and future. I won't have much conviction even though I really wish to add a Tech company to my basket but this is out.

3. EliteComReit

This provides roughly 6% yield but there is currency risk due to their properties are in UK. Tenant wise is UK gov on triple net lease. The stock is traded in pound so there is need for special management on the invest money and rate. New IPO risk ?  Diversification from Singapore ? Most of the building I see from the photos seems quite old but to be fair freehold afaik. Risk play wise, with Brexit and leadership in the gov, there are good chance GBP will strengthen. For risk adjust a stake as we monitor will be nice. This will help provide a small boost to the average dividend if this works well.

4. Boustead or Boustead Project

With the recent fund setup to hold properties of Boustead project which Boustead is vested, value is unlocked. There is interest due to the high NTA after but the dividend yield is low based on past record. This could change ? I could try Boustead Project instead but risk could by higher but returns look much higher. We could see a re-rating but need to do more homework if going invest deep. A small stake first to keep up my interest up first in Boustead. Will need to do more homework in Boustead Project. 

5. Keppel DC Reit (KDC) or MIT (more)

The yield is very low but DC gives a nice story. Stock price has come down from high. Maybe 10% discount from peak. Is that cheap enough ? A better alternative could be MIT but still is not cheap. Their downside in rental during this period will likely be safe. I could wait a while longer but then missed an opportunity to ride on Tech related exposure which is sorely lacking in my portfolio for growth. A small initial investment in KDC. I already have some MIT in my portfolio.

What's your thought on my new selections ?

Articles in this Blog is personal take and educational purposes only. Reader should seek their own professional help when making financial decision and be responsible for their decision.

Jan 5, 2021

Cory Diary : Annualized Returns since Year 2007 and Earlier

One of the interesting way to measure share investor performance is to use XIRR for multi-years computation. And this can be done easily summing up all the years of transactions that we usually keep annually.

If you are aware, in some measure, past year very old data may "cloud" years of recent performance. Some may practice 20 years cutoff as a compromise. For Cory Annualized Performance we can try as follows.

14 Years of Annualized Result


Cory Annualized Performance ...

of last 14 Years will be 7% which starts from one year before 2008 GFC. This is captured in above chart. This returns pretty align with 3 Years and 5 Year benchmarks.

If we retain the recent years of data only,

Last 03 Years will be 7.1%
Last 05 Years will be 7.5% 
Last 07 Years will be 5.2% which reflects poor returns in Years of 2014, 2015 and 2016 periods
Last 10 Years will be 6.1%


Therefore for Year 2021, the Goal is to be above 7.5 % Annual Return in order to improve in all the above levels. And therefore achieve consistent above 7% returns.

Stretch goal for Year 2021 will be 17.8% annual return to achieve 8% annualize of 15 years. That is how hard to move a needle of 1% on 14 years data. This will be a tough one to get for a dividend portfolio and may required some re-engineering on my part. I will need to put a thinking cap on this.


For STI, is -0.7% for 14 Years annualized data. STI Index has never recovered after Year 2009 rebounds. So if we are to include STI ETF dividends probably 3%-4%. We can try 3 Years and 5 Years data and I bet they will not be swimming well. This broadly defines the impact to Singapore Economy on Oils Sector follow by Covid-19.

I remember reading a challenge on re-investment of STI ETF every time dividends are distributed by STI ETF. What will the returns be like for the past 14 years then ?  To save time to do this. Allocated 11.5 cents dividend to each year and reinvest equally on 1st and last date of their respective year closing share price. The estimated answer I found is 3.2%.

Articles in this Blog is personal take and educational purposes only. Reader should seek their own professional help when making financial decision and be responsible for their decision.

Jan 2, 2021

Cory Diary : Long Term Investment Results

There are few tricks when come to investment and there aren't much magical about it so far from my experience. A lot is common sense and this comes with personal experience or read up of others. Here's my result so far. The drawdown has been low. Gains have been accumulating. Portfolio size has grown many times.

Here's pointers. I think Point 8 is most important.

1. Be Risk Adverse : Position Sizing of each stocks even if average down. One way is to buy another stock of similar traits and average down by industry or different segments. There are usually bad reasons for a high yield stock else is a gem. Again sizing is important.

2. Cut Loss : Never wait for breakeven. Say one invested in stock 50k and loss 25k. A rebound happens and now loss is reduced to 15k but still deep loss. Cut loss if fundamental has change for the worst. Of-course if one is confidence that we can sell with gain and not due to false hope, it could make sense.

3. Take profit/buildup in stages : A speculative stock I may take 50% off table first. In good fundamental stock maybe 15%. There is no hard rule on % range for each stage. Some stocks may never start selling till price point hits. Same for increasing the size in an equity that we do in stages over time. 

4. Use TA for guidance : For some human behavior reasons there are tendency for stocks to move to around resistance levels. Make use of them for entry or exit. Not always.

5. FA for selection : Something to fall back on when broad market is down. You want to bet on something that will be uptrend long term while short term there are fluctuations. Management integrity is important. If we sense or find there is suspicion of potential misconduct or legality, avoid.

6. Diversification : For risk adverse, this can reduce our gains but we also cover our down sides. We can have bonds to minimize portfolio fluctuations however make sure it does what you hope too and not increase your risk. Amount allocation depends on each.

7. Peace of minds : If any position cause me to keep thinking or have sleepless night. Act on it quickly. The actions may cost but in the long run we will have healthy minds and body. And this is needed to manage our portfolio and our life.

8. Treat your portfolio as a holding company : And each stock a company in your holding. Unlike real life owner running their own company, stock investors have the flexibility to adjust the percentage of each company to manage the risk and rewards. With this mindset, is really a business of managing your holding company.

The above best describe my investment behaviors.



Articles in this Blog is personal take and educational purposes only. Reader should seek their own professional help when making financial decision and be responsible for their decision.

Jan 1, 2021

Cory Diary : Year 2020 Performance

Year 2020 has been quite tough. Both STI and Cory Performance have been underwater for most part of the year till early Nov when we see a significant breakout. The year is best remembered for Covid-19 freezing up the broad economy excepts for the Basic essentials, Medical Protective equipment  and technological companies.

For Dividend Players, depending on the specific segment we focus on, have range of impact to performing ones. Hospitality stocks are significantly hit. Retail Malls are bad. Industrial and DCs are doing well.

STI dives deep into negative territory and at it worst more than -30% in Mar'20. It then do a surprise leap from -25% to -10% range before settling at -11.7% for the year. Including dividend probably around -8% range.

Cory Portfolio do a further rise in a not-so-tandem to STI index and ended up with +5.4% beating the Index by 17% margin or around 13% if we include STI ETF dividends. Do keep in mind Cory portfolio has about 23% allocated to fixed return investment in low yield bonds. All this is relative. Compared to significant Tech rise, Bitcoins and medical stocks who benefitted from the Covid-19 situation, the Portfolio returns is mediocre.

The disappointment for this year is the dividend cap on the banks and the rebates by the retail malls which directly hits Cory Portfolio. While the banks have recovered in stock price, I still wish the cap to be removed. The malls have yet returned to their previous price level. It will takes some time and hopefully we get to see it in Year 2021.

What I did well is to clear hospitality stock before the march crash which have my down side protected. Investment in AGT bears fruit as well. What not so good is to clear all my STI ETF right before the Nov Climb which mute my recovery a little. However this put the portfolio in better yield position in the future.

Right now It appears the Portfolio has reached certain limits and for a breakthrough in Year 2021 the banks need to have the caps removed and Retail Reits will need a more robust business recovery. I may also consider exploring for more growths.

With limited risk mitigated option, Year 2020 investing in CPF is not a bad idea at this moment but we can only do so much as funds are basically locked away for long time. Do we have to explore more in Year 2021 ?

Happy New Year !

Articles in this Blog is personal take and educational purposes only. Reader should seek their own professional help when making financial decision and be responsible for their decision.

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 !