Sunday, 31 August 2014

360 Review - Career

As promised, I will briefly run through the 360 review I did. This will be a series of posts whereby I share my thoughts and views on what I believe are important to achieve my personal financial freedom. Career, Cash, CPF, Properties, Trading, Investments and Travel. Each plan is unique so you will have to devise your own plans that is tailored towards your own circumstances.

I will not blog in any particular sequence but whatever that "inspire" me. Today I will blog about the first topic 360 Review - Career. 

Career

I have shared with you previously two posts on the topic.

Post 1: Your Career is very important
Post 2: Don't treat your career marathon like a sprint

If you are not doing your own business, then this will be the main source of income from which you can utilize wisely to fund your retirement. 

From young, I have been brained washed not to "job hop". My dad and mum both had their one and only job till they retire. Unbelievable but true for their generation. They used to frown very heavily upon job hoppers but have since changed their perception.

Job hopping is no longer a taboo

Job hopping is no longer a taboo and probably the younger ones don't really care anyway. However, you cannot be hoping from one job to another every 6 months. You need to build up some track record and experience and then try to get headhunted to the next role. Each role should give you give you a new experience (if you are changing industry) or higher pay (if you are moving vertically upwards) or better title (if you are moving from one competitor to another). If you can achieve a better pay with a better title in a better company, that will be the most ideal situation. However, make sure you are culturally able to adapt. Having worked through quite a few firms with very different cultures and bosses, i have to say i am pretty adaptable except that as i aged, with all due respect to ladies, i find it more difficult to work for female bosses.

How to get a higher paying job with better prospects?

To achieve a higher pay with a better title and prospects, the best way to do it is through the headhunters. As you progressed upwards, the compensation for headhunters are not aligned with the employers. They are on the same side as you because their final fees depends on a % of the annual package you receive.  A lot of jobs are never advertised in the papers. The job description reached the headhunters, who then run through their databases and then they will start profiling suitable candidates to be shortlisted for interviews. So if you have never send your CVs to headhunters before, start doing so and keep them updated as you gained new experience.  Always make it a point to send the CVs to the reputable headhunters in your industry even when you are not actively searching for a new role so that you are "always in their mind".

Headhunters have different specialization as well. Some are more well connected in the financial industry, others are more proficient in the manufacturing industry, etc. So find out the one that is specialized in your field of competence. 

One good website to hunt for finance-related jobs will be efinancialcareers. I think many headhunting firms in the finance space uses this portal to advertise their roles.

Is there secret formula to a successful career?

If you want a magical formula from me, i can give you one. It's the 3R.  

RIGHT TIME 天时
RIGHT PLACE 地利
RIGHT SKILLSETS 人和

There is no other formula i can give you. haha. No use being the most talented person in your firm when your boss is blocking your path and has no intention to change job. I have also seen many instances where the bosses left and someone then stepped "up" to be the new head. 

Right place and right time - probably you need some divine guidance but right skillsets, which includes EQ, can be learned. 

360 review on Mr IPO's career

Every now and then, i will take a step back and review my own career. Things i ask myself will be
  • Do i still enjoy what i am doing? Am i learning new things?
  • Am i given new roles and responsibilities or am I already stagnant in my role?
  • What are the pull factors? (pay, work-life balance, meaningful role and responsibilities, etc)
  • What are the push factors? (long hours, lousy bosses, bad culture, no flexibility, etc)
  • Is my pay pegged to the market and whether I have reached the "peak" of my potential. 
In my view, the best time to negotiate a package is when you have no push factors. This is where you will really weigh your options very carefully and not be blinded by the offer on the table.

In my life and line of work, i meet many talented and successful people. I have mentioned in my facebook page to work on your "Emotional Quotient". The people at the top have the right connection, right friends and right aptitude. 

Another area to work on will be your personal network. Treasure the friends, colleagues and acquaintances you make in your field of work. 

EQ + solid working experience + strong personal network = Well sought after professionals

I have been through 4 different jobs with 4 different cultures. I started work in 1997 and my starting pay was $1,850. I was headhunted 3x in my life so far. The first time was in 2000 (pay rise of 81%), second time 2008 (28%), third time 2010 (36%). I had wanted to start my own fund management company back in 2008 but on hindsight that will be probably be derailed by the GFC. 

Just to give you some ball park figures, the increment in pay from each change should range from 25% to 50%. 

How did Mr IPO fare?

I wouldn't say that I have done extremely well but I will say that I manage to grab some of the opportunities that come my way be it in my career or personal investing. The pay has also risen to a decent level where the family can be comfortable.

Although i have been "headhunted" a few times, please don't have the wrong idea that I have done very well. I am still far from it. 


What's next?

I think I have a few more years to go in my current role as there are still things to learn, fun stuff to do and talented people to know better. 


Learn to fish for yourself

While I mentioned that your career is important, I also stress that a skill set outside of work is important too. I would encourage you to pursue something that you are passionate about. Many second career are started from hobbies and passions. If I am retrenched one day, I can trade for a living, I can start my own fund management company, I can start a financial education company. I can start my own business. You will have to find a relevant skillset that you are passionate about. That is also probably the time where I will no longer need to use a stage name or be a Batman and do a Mr. AK from ASSI. Lol.

Happy being hunted

That is all for today. I will cover other 360 topics like Cash, Investing, Trading, Properties and Travel in separate posts.

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Have you 360 recently?

It's interesting that banks are coming up with the 360 relationship concept. This concept was not really that new but has became more popular in recent months. 

If i am not mistaken, Standard Chartered first pioneered this concept to reward you on a overall relationship such that you received reward points if you have a housing loan, investment account, credit cards with them. 

OCBC and DBS then offered something along those lines where they give you a higher tiered interest if you met some or all of the conditions, including if your salary is credited into their bank account etc. 

Do you do a 360 account of your own life?

I am not sure if you regularly do a pulse check on your own goals and retirement plans. It's like doing an annual health screening to see whether you are still on the right path towards financial freedom or have veered off the road. 

A 360 review means achieving the ultimate objective is not the only goal. It includes other goals along the way. I have shared with you previously that attaining the goal is one thing but the way in which you achieve it is equally important. No point achieving financial freedom early but you have no friends or family to share the moment with. Cherish your loved ones. Get the picture?

A 360 review of your own life can cover many different aspects including but not limited to the following:
  • Personal - Career, Personal Development, Health, Happiness, Mid-life Crisis, etc
  • Family - Kids education, housing, well-being, vacation plans, etc
  • Retirement plans - Net worth, passive income plans, investments, taxation, etc.
Each aspect is independent but yet intriguingly intertwined with each other and the toughest part is always to strike a balance. Let me give you a simple illustration. You want to reduce your monthly expenses to build up your net worth now but that involves cutting down on your wine and dine. An alternative to cutting down your expenses is to get a pay raise but having that pay rise may lead to long hours being spent in office which makes the family unhappy as they don't get to see you at home so often. Neglected kids then fail their studies which then affect your mental well being and that affects your work quality.

Do a 360 today

I am in the midst of doing a 360 review for myself as well as my family. I will share more thoughts on what insights i gained in future but it was actually tougher than i thought. I am still stuck on how the retirement plan for Mrs IPO should look like given the capital comes from me :-P.

I will share more about Mrs IPO next time as well as my 360 review on my career, CPF,  investments, property, trading, goals, holidays, etc.

Happy 360ing.

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

JAPFA & QT Vascular

JAPFA

Today i had a frustrating day. I was queuing for JAPFA at 83 cents since morning and the order wasn't filled.

Eventually i bought 50 lots at 85 cents. I have shared with you my analysis here. I am taking a view that it should head towards its fair value of 91c-110c and probably in the course of the next few months, more research coverage will be initiated given it is a decent market cap stock.



QT Vascular



The final closing today is fairly disappointing. I added another 50 lots of QTV at 47.5 cents today. Let's see how my decision to invest a bigger chuck of capital in fewer stocks pan out. Two reports in this link for your consumption.

Happy SRSing

Saturday, 16 August 2014

What does KFC has to do with Mr. IPO?

KFC 

Every now and then, I would have a craving for KFC and after I ate it, it will be months before I touch it again. Today, it was my son who craved for the unhealthy junk food.

There was an advertisement on the glass panel. "Make good mornings great". I couldn't help but remember one guy who became their "food ambassador". Can you remember who?

KF Seetoh

If it is Mr. IPO who asked you to eat KFC breakfast, it's perfectly fine.











Unfortunately, i do have a little issue with KF Seetoh asking me to eat breakfast at KFC. This is because of what he represents. He is the "godfather" of hawker food champion and was the strongest advocate of our local delights before any other bloggers became famous. 

It's like someone who has crossed to the "dark side" and "betrayed" his principles to introduce "junk food" because of money. Maybe I am too extreme. 

Unbiased views or super biased views?

Why do people visit my blog ? Is it for my super unbiased views or for my super biased views? You tell me. ^_^

Recently a website that carry my articles became more "selective" in publishing my IPO articles.  In fact, they started to write their own articles on the IPO aspirants. 

I wrote to the publisher to understand the situation better. To paraphrase what he said, "we are still interested to publish your articles if we are not paid by the companies to carry an advertorial on their IPOs". 

Here you go, the very reason why readers search out for unbiased views from biased people like me. I am not paid to write good things about the IPO and you have my assurance that I won't "cross to the dark side". But if I do, I will definitely make sure you get to know it first. :-P











Advertisements

Google has been very kind to me (all thanks to my regular readers of course) in sending me a cheque every other month. However, I have to support our local brand too and Nuffnang has been very credible in sending me a cheque once it hits $100. While not as lucrative as the global giant, it is definitely more credible than Adverlets who defaulted on me. This is the second cheque from Nuffnang. I have previously wrote an article about passive income from blogging so my old article for your reference and part 2 of it.











I am very selective in my advertisements. Some has approached me to advertise about opening option trading account and I can get a cut from the size of the account they opened. However, a quick google check throw up some complaints about customers being unable to withdraw their monies. I rather not place those dubious advertisements on my blog but if KFC wants pay Mr. IPO to blog about his breakfast, I will definitely accept it. :-P

Happy KFCing and welcome to Mr IPO's blog. Biased views written in an unbiased manner. With all good intents and purposes, Mr. IPO eats ("buys") what he cooks ("blogs"). Have a good weekend. :)

Sunday, 10 August 2014

SRS portfolio - 31 July 2014


It was a pretty interesting month where i divested UMS holdings on 1 July and bought 50 lots of QT Vascular at 46.5 cents on 21 July. While on my business trip, it went all the way up to 52.5c, translating into a "unrealized" profit of $3,000 in 3 days only to see it turn into a loss this August as it closed at 44 cents last Friday. hahaha

Let's see how it goes as it was my intention to build up a slightly bigger position but the current technical picture certainly don't look enticing enough for me to add on to those positions. Do note that my SRS account is meant for investing in stocks for the longer term and they must have some promising growth elements. 

Starburst

I always like to give my account a re-look every now and then and I am currently in the midst of refreshing my thoughts. Seems like i have missed out adding to some of the counters that i wanted to, such as Starburst Holdings for the longer term.

IPO and you

I hope that by now you would have realized that everything is inter-related. I analyzed IPO for shorter term punts and longer term investing. That was how Overseas Education came into SRS account more than one year back.

I hope you also realise by now that IPO is a very dangerous place :-P and sometimes people can talk up an IPO to lure you to subscribe only to dump the shares on you. Most stocks cannot make it one, so you have to be very discerning if you are investing for the longer term and longer term prospect is very important. 

In addition, you should also move on from just playing the IPO market. You should start investing in stocks and shares rather than just punting the IPO market. 

Happy investing. I will share more thoughts when i have time ^_^

Monday, 14 July 2014

SRS Portfolio - 30 June 2014

For the month of June, the SRS portfolio received a dividend of $255 from China Merchant and an interest of $4.07

The position in UMS was divested in July. The divestment post is here.

As of 14 July, I am holding a record $111,484 in cash waiting to deploy in bigger quantum into new positions. As i have shared with you previously, this SRS portfolio is going to focus on more concentrated positions with a stronger focus on growing the net worth than generating passive income. 

I will deploy the passive income strategy on my wife's SRS account which i have been contributing on her behalf.

What is my performance so far? According to my post on 1 July 2013, the MOIC (Mulitple over Invested Capital) or ROI (Return on Investment) was standing at 1.22x. This year, i did the same analysis and added a new IRR figure which is estimated as i didn't track the exact ins and outs of the cashflows. So please take it with a pinch of salt. The ROI now stands at 1.32x and the IRR at 7%.

Happy SRSing

Tuesday, 1 July 2014

UMS Holdings Ltd



UMS hit my cut loss point today. I would have cut it earlier had i been more vigilant in monitoring the stock but i was busy travelling for work in May and holidays in June. The major shareholders and CEO has sold a fair bit last month so perhaps it is time to say goodbye.

UMS has treated me very well. It has given me $1,050 in dividends since i first bought it in 9 March 2012. My capital gains is about 62% above my cost price but as i mentioned in earlier posts, i should put in larger quantum and not the meager sum.

So long for now.

Happy UMSing 



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