Thursday, 30 April 2015

Random thoughts for April

It has been a while that I have the luxury to sit down and blog. I have been on the road. Many things happened this month. 

A friend passed away

My friend who was around my age passed away this month, leaving behind his wife and young child. I was glad that I managed to see him one last time before I flew off. He has been in the hospice and suffering for a while. 

When I received news that he has passed away, I was filled with both sadness and relief for him. Life is short. Treasure your loved ones. 

A responsible family man
Although he died young, he had been a responsible man. He not only paid off the debt on his home, he has also managed to build up a portfolio of stocks that generates passive income for his family. This is what I call a responsible family man. 

I spoke to a very successful fund manager recently. He said he only recruits a family man for his team. When asked why, he said, "if a man takes good care of his family, he is a responsible person and you can rely on him to take good care of your investments too." 

Here you go. A little inspiration for you to start taking good care of your family. 

Private investments 

I have been making investments in private companies whenever the right opportunity arises. It was interesting that my IPO blog was recently the source of my upcoming investment into a start up company. This will likely be my 4th investment into an unlisted company. I will dedicate a blog post to it in the coming days and you might be able to benefit from what that company is doing in that post. 

Public markets

I haven't been following the public market too closely. Really getting rusty but I am just too occupied with a few projects. I will need to buy stocks for my SRS accounts. Those that I can buy and then throw inside kind and look at it once in a long while.... sigh... 

Time is indeed one of the most previous commodity. Where have the last 4 months gone to?

Sunday, 12 April 2015

SRS Portfolio - 31 March 2015

No other transactions in March for my SRS account other than the 50 lots of UMS Holdings mentioned in earlier posts.

I have been very busy with work so haven't had much time to think about what new positions to add.  I still have quite a bit of cash to deploy here. 

Similarly for my wife's SRS account. No new transaction after Sembcorp as the cash is fully deployed. I may consider depositing $12,750 into her account in April. 

Keppel DC REIT announced its maiden results last week and it was better than forecasted in the prospectus. It should still be well supported for now. 

So long for now. Happy SRSing. 

Sunday, 15 March 2015

SRS portfolio - 28 Feb 2015


I have nothing much to report for the month of Feb except a $130 distribution from Keppel REIT which I have since divested. At the end of Feb, I am holding $132,459 of cash.

Feb statement

March purchases

I have already shared with you my March purchase of 50,000 shares of UMS holdings which is still holding up pretty well despite the ongoing market corrections. 

Wifey's SRS

I was waiting for my wife's SRS Feb statement and before I can even asked her about it.... the statement has already "gone" into the thrash bin. 

There is no change to her SRS account. Still holding 15,000 shares of Keppel DC REIT and the March purchase of 2,500 of Sembcorp Industries

Happy SRSing

Tuesday, 3 March 2015

Two new positions for my SRS fund

I initiated two positions for my SRS portfolio today. 

Sembcorp Industries

I have been contemplating this counter since last week and was weighing the probability whether oil prices will "crash" further with Citi predicting it will fall to the $30 region

I bought 2,500 shares at $4.28 eventually and will spare you the details of how the price ran away from my various price queues ^_^ 

The key reasons for buying:

  • reasonable valuation of less than 10x PE Mulitple
  • stable utilities business giving a decent yield of ~3.6%
  • bet that oil prices have stabilized
Given its significant exposure to Sembcorp Marine, any further crash in oil prices will be disastrous. The picture below shows the various multiples at the point of acquisition (for my future reference)

With many STI Components stocks trading at high PE multiples, oil-related counters seemed like having a "fire sale" right now. 

As in all my investments, the cut loss for Sembcorp Industries is around $4 and that is likely to happen if oil prices crash below $50. My "target" for this investment is around $5.

With the above purchase, I have "maxed" out my wife's SRS account for now. 

UMS Holdings

I bought 50,000 shares at $0.52 today. This is my second time investing in this counter but it is a much bigger position than when I first bought it.

This is more of a yield play that hopefully can give me a stable and recurring income for years to come. I am more than happy if share price stays stagnant but delivers the dividend every quarter. 

Reasons for buying:

  • Company is debt free and generates high cash flow
  • Usually pays 1c dividend from Q1-Q3 and a higher dividend in Q4
  • Business seems to be recovering, especially in the semiconductor area

Again the PE is not overly expensive at below 10x PE. I haven't thought of a cut loss point yet but will be very concerned if it drop below $0.48.

So long for now. 

Happy SRSing.

Sunday, 1 March 2015

Planning for your retirement

CPF announced a series of changes in February that, in my view, make it more flexible for individuals to design their own retirement plans according to their own circumstances. The link is here

You should plan early so that you can design the lifestyle you want (assuming we all live to a ripe old age! ^_^)

Do you know which plan you are going to choose when you turn 55?

There are currently 3 plans to choose at 55 but note that the monthly payout only starts from 65 onwards. This is basically an annuity plan to pay you "till you die". 

The reason why the govt allow "property" to be "mortgaged" against the minimum sum is to prevent social issues so that you have a roof over your head while using "$650-$700" per month payout for the monthly expenses for life. 

The "normal" package is to keep $161,000 for a full payout of $1,200-$1,300 per month for life. 

Frankly I have not explored if it is a good idea to opt for "enhanced retirement sum" where I will get $1,750-$1,900 per month for life until I know how much I will get back if I "die early". Hahaha. If it makes sense, I will then opt for it. No point giving my money to govt right?

However, if you think you will live to a ripe old age, you may want to consider topping up to enhanced retirement sum using your personal savings. In that way, you can have an enjoyable retirement travelling the world! :)

Will you have enough in your CPF accounts to meet the "normal" package? 

This is one way to let compounding work harder for you. If you have no use of the cash in your CPF ordinary account and have yet to hit the "minimum sum", you should transfer them to the CPF special account up to the maximum allowed each year. 

The earlier you transfer, the better the compounding effect, so plan your retirement early and let time help you, especially when the returns in these accounts are risk-free! You can view the slides from CPF on how to transfer the balance here.

If you haven't read this post from AK, you should. He has shared how a lot of his money in his CPF SA balance is from the government by transferring the OA balances in to the SA balance early in his working life. Similar to AK, i have hit the minimum sum so there is no reason why you couldn't too. You can max out your voluntary contributions of ($31450 less mandatory contributions) if you don't mind having your money "stuck" in the CPF balances till you retire. Here is a little peek at my CPF SA, i managed to hit the minimum sum of $161,000 in December last year.

Ability to withdraw some cash at 65!

There are further flexibility to withdraw from retirement account at 65. You can first draw $20,000 at 55 and up to 20% of the balance at 65. You can also top up your spouse CPF so that he or she can have higher payout and both parties benefit for life.

This is one area which you should seriously consider because retirement planning is a family matter if you want your loved ones to be well taken care of too! Some other ways to top up the CPF of your loved one are listed here

More interest for the silver generation!

Seems like the government wants to "reward" the pioneer generation by giving those above 55 years old a higher interest and a higher CPF contribution rate.

Higher contribution limit for SRS from 2016 onwards

In a bid to encourage more Singaporeans to plan for their own retirement, the SRS cap will be increased from the current $12,750 to $15,300 next year. This is good news for those who have been taking advantage of the scheme and are in a position to contribute more. The link from IRAS is here.

Stock picks by Singapore Edge in 2014 - No horse run

The year of the horse stock pick by the Edge outperformed the index and really "no horse run" - in hokkien means done extremely well. I also include its 2015 stocks picks for the year of the Goat!

Click here for the link to a better picture and some brief reasons for the stock picks.

The reason why included the table above is for my SRS account as i could have constructed a similar portfolio using my SRS account. I keep it here for record keeping purpose, so that i can refer back and kick myself in the butt if it outperformed STI again in 2015! :-P

That is it for now. Happy retirement planning and do something your future self will thank you!

Sunday, 22 February 2015

Do you benchmark your portfolio?

The above article appeared in Saturday's papers. For DIY investors like me, there is always a "competitiveness" to see if you are performing better than the indices or the professional fund managers. Otherwise, you might as well hand over your money to them or invest in ETF.

According to the returns presented in the picture above, the professional fund managers and the STI ETF managers seemed to be doing a pretty good job where they generated a return of at least 11% last year. 

Benchmark my portfolio?

Since my SRS portfolio is primarily invested in locally listed stocks, the STI ETF and unit trust focused on the Singapore market are probably the correct benchmarks if I want to use them. 

I haven't benchmarked the returns on my SRS portfolio but if I do, the returns is probably lower than the ~11% recorded by the fund managers last year. My SRS portfolio has seriously under performed last year...sob sob... :(

Do you benchmark your portfolio?

Do you benchmark your portfolio? If you do, what is the rationale for doing this? Is it for information only or does it determine how you allocate your investment capital?

What is the inherent problem with using a benchmark?

The inherent issue with benchmarking my portfolio is that I am not vested all the time. I hold cash as part of my plan to deploy them during a crisis and I do "time" the market in some sense and it is causing a huge "drag" on the performance since cash is only yielding 0.5% per annum.

Similarly, holding cash is not an option for the fund managers.  They are paid to be "invested" all the time and holding cash in excess of redemption needs will invite questions from investors that they are paid to do "nothing". 

I once spoke to a professional fund manager with a reputable asset management firm. He said this to me "you must decide for yourself when you want to exit the unit trust because we have to be invested all the time. We can't sell and hold cash even if we believe the market is toppish and over-valued, otherwise we risk underpeforming against the benchmark.

Lesson: while investing in ETF and Unit Trust enhances the diversification effect and helps you solve the "stock picking" problem, you must be aware they will be more suitable for investors who want to stay invested at all times or investors who don't time the market and use dollar cost averaging as a strategy. (Pls note that I am not saying this is a bad strategy. It really depends on your time horizon and investing temperament). 

I seriously need to buck up and start investing...

I am not sure if you already know the blog - Lady you can be free. It is always inspirational to see a true investor, who against all odds, build up a millionaire portfolio over time and she is definitely enjoying her fruits of investment now. I would aspire to be like her. The reason why i say she is inspiring is because, she has done it and is not a 'slave' to the market. She lets time and compounding play to her advantage but of course, saving up for that initial capital is key.... 

Traders are always in and out of positions and spending time looking for the next trading idea while here we have someone who couldn't care less if the market moves up or down today or tomorrow. She can go travel in peace and then check her portfolio at the end of the month. 

I guess as i grow older, this is the lifestyle which i would want to pursue. Travel the world, sip a glass of wine, enjoy the sunset and let the portfolio takes care of your daily needs. This will be the picture which i am painting for the next 10 years.

My ten year plan

I want to retire by March 2025. By which time, i should have build up a portfolio worth more than $1m generating at least $50,000 in dividend each year.

I record my thoughts and plan down so that i can strive towards that and I want the make investing a part of my habit and hopefully, i can do it and inspire someone else to do it too

Will you walk this journey with me? 

Maybe we can encourage and motivate each other along the way! ^_^  Happy investing.

Saturday, 14 February 2015

SRS portfolio - 31 Jan 2015

I am still trying to construct a portfolio that I can hold for a longer term with my two SRS accounts. 

Seems like I made better progress on wifey' account where the Keppel DC Reit moved way above my entry price. I can moved the "stop" to around $1 with enough leeway to let it fluctuate. 

The 50 lots in my Keppel REIT is probably more frustrating. I had previously blogged about my desire to sell down part of it due to its highly levered position (~42%) should the price go up. On hindsight, letting go partially at $1.25 (from my entry price of $1.205) would have made some sense. 

Anyway the share price dropped futher last week and I decided to sell them at ~$1.22. Back to 100% cash again. 

I wish I have more time to do some research and deeper analysis into the stocks and I am actually trying to focus on more "exciting" growth stocks. 

Maybe the Chinese New Year break can allow me to do it... 

Time versus Money

Is it true that when you have time, you have no money and when you have money, you have no time to spend it. 

Worst still, what if you have no time and no money haha. Ok. Need to move to the top right quadrant of having time and have money. Pressing on. ^_^

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