Saturday, October 25, 2014

2 rounds of money saving exercises

My 2 rounds of money saving exercises are 1 year apart. The savings are not actually significant, but nonetheless better than nothing. 

First round: 

Review the monthly bills. My iPhone plan used to be the second tier plan, which costs about close to 50 dollars, and I have a mobile broadband plan that cost $20. 

I change my phone plan to a lower plan and convert it to Coporate plan. I cancelled my mobile plan, since it's mainly for my iPad use. Usually, my son used it to watch utube. 

Savings: $40 a month

Pitfall: when renewing/ upgrading your phone, it is so much cheaper to get the latest phone with the highest plan. I resisted. I also do not trade in my phone over the counter but go to second hand shop. I recently change to IPhone 5, yes 5, I sold my phone 4 I get $80 more value than what is offered by M1, it goes some way to offset the purchase price.

Second round: 

Personal expenses. I always feel that it is very difficult to say No to my family meal in a restaurant during weekends. But i have learn to shut up, and let them suggest where to go. 

Why did I talk about the above? Because it is a pitfall, it makes u feel that whatever small sum you save will be blow away in the weekend meal anyway. At least that is how I feel. So get past that, if u believe something is more difficult to cut, leave it first, but continue with those that u can.

I have also tapped on the mind, using budget skills, listing expenses, thinking of opportunity costs etc. It works when I am a single. Now, I found a better way. Tap on the heart.

It sound really silly, but here goes:

Remind myself how it was like when I am a kid. I was quite hard up for money then,
In fact it was years into my working life before I get over the feeling of insecurity and poor. 

I invoked that feelings to wash over myself. I know all the tips to savings but I never able to do it consistently. I know I shouldn't eat excessive breakfast, and I bought oats to work. But I have them very irregularly. I also always treat myself to a better lunch whenever work permits the time, or a gongcha. Now, when I feel like doing it. I just have to feel poor, let the emotions overwhelm for a while, so much easier to shut that little voice craving for indulgences.

Not sure how long this will work, it work wonders for a week now. 

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Random thoughts: What is your weapon system in Investment

Just for fun, here goes:

Most of us who started off investing in university, use a Parang or maybe a revolver to kill.

But we always thought we can use a Parang or revolver to slay bears, tigers and dragons.

Slowly, we realized, we need more than revolver and rounds and rounds of ammunition. We need something more sophisticated.

Be it a trader or value investor, or whatever name you fancy, the details are different, but I think you know the following nonetheless.

A Radar system:
To identify stocks to make money. TA for traders, FA for investors or whatever criteria that works for you consistently. Call me money maker. LOL

When you have a radar system, you need to consider the range. Does it has a 100km range or 10000 km range? Its ok to have 1 km radar, as long as you know you are not immune to surprises and black swan missiles.

You temperament decide what weapon suits you best, if you are trigger happy, you need machine guns, if you like to snipe, become a sniper. However, do not forget you weapon is useless if you do not have ammunition.

If you hold an M16, but only have 1 magazine, it will really be unwise to switch to auto-mode when firing. regulate your ammo or your enemy Mr Market will out flanked you.

If you like me, has very limited ammo, it is ok, stay low and make sure your rounds count, and you can also run, when you know you are going to be outflanked.

Or you can fire harassment fire and let the enemies drain their ammo at you, slowly but surely, wear them down.

Do you have air-photos of enemies bases, do you rely on insider spies (buys). Is the enemy in the open? It is easier to gather information if the base is open and transparent, how many planes and troops they have, when is the changing of shifts of security where it is most vulnerable. Which base look impenetrable but has many weaker links.

The last thing you want to do is charged into an ambush. Game over, start again.

We do not command troops, but we do have companions on and off. Someone who shared a common target with us. It is a easier path, but do not be fooled by the security of companions. Sometime, teamwork bring down a tiger, sometime it is a trap by Mr Market to lure the guerrillas out.

Sun Zi says:"兵者,诡道也“,
Be wary of treachery.

Comparison of Industrial Reits Part 2

I will be comparing Mapletree and Ascendas Reit in this post.

Both are bigger reits with government-linked heritage.

Capital management

Both have prudent refinancing schedule stretch over more than 6 years. With the exception of FY19/20 (27%) for Mapletree, both have less than 20% of bank borrowing scheduled for refinancing for any one year.

Portfolio management 

Both reits managed positive rental renewal across all property segments. Average rental reversion is 6.3% compared to a year ago for ascendas, but data not available for Mapletree. As for new leases, light industrial new leases rate is 21% lower than 1 year ago for ascendas. Again, no data available for comparion with Mapletree.

In terms of occupancy rates, Ascendas did better in Business Park Segment and Hi Tech/ Hi Spec industrial segment, but lost out to Mapletree in light industrial segment.

In terms of lease expiry, Ascendas has better profile, with  maximum of 20.3% of NPI due for renewal at 2016/7, whereas for the next 3 years, Mapletree has 20.3%, 23.8%, and 27.9% of NPI due for renewal.

Growth management

Ascendas's Aperia is only completed in 15 August, and it is only 49.6% committed, with 15% under negotiation, and has yet taken physical possession.

DBS phase 2 of 7081 sqm already committed.

That will be 51071 sqm of space, 1.7% of Ascendas's GFA

Maple tree has 2 BTS projected that are 100% committed and will 772200 sft of space, 7.2% of Mapletree's GFA.

In conclusion:

Both are prudent in their capital management and while Mapletree face more risk in terms of renewal of lease expiry, exodus of tenants is highly unlikely. Mapletree also has better growth visibility, and offer better yield.

Hmm... ...

Comparison of industrial Reits Part 1

I will be comparing Sabana and Cambridge Reit in this post.

Both are smaller reits with weaker sponsors.

Sabana and Cambridge has similar Master Lease to Multi-tenant mix.

Sabana is 59% to 41%

Cambridge is 56.5% to 43.5%

Theoretically, Sabana with its higher Master Tenant Lease, should have a lower operating expenses. But given the difference in insignificant, lets not be too harsh.

Cambridge's NPI to revenue is 78%

Sabana's NPI to revenue is 72%

Cambridge managed "renewed approx 300,000 sq ft of leases in 3Q2014, amounting to 1.6 million sq ft of leases YTD2014 with positive rental reversion", I cannot find similar statements in Sabana's presentation. Maple is enjoying positive rental reversion too, although it might not be in the same league. Sabana's sub-tenants have been in a increasing trend, although it is scant console to anyone with falling distribution, but it provide hope. That hope is not very hopeful now, with sub-tenants reducing for the first time. (only 1 la, no alarm, but if you are thinking they are going to fill it up quickly... ...)

Coincidentally, Both have Gross revenue of 25 mio, but Sabana operating expenses is 2 mio more than Cambridge despite Cambridge having more than twice number of buildings to manage.  Do not tell me economical of scale, given gross revenue is the same, if anything, concentration of revenue in one building should reap economic of scale, just like the shipping companies are building bigger and bigger ship to bring down cost per container.

Both have weak refinancing schedule, with refinacing spread out over 5 years for Sabana, and effectively 3 years for Cambridge, with 2016 having a particularly high sum of loans due to renewal. If Cambridge can break down that loan over more years, it will have a more appealing profile. Both are unable to use 1 year of NPI to offset most years of refinacing. (Unlike big boys like Maple Industrial and Ascendas Industrial)

Sabana all in cost of loans is 4.1%, whereas Cambridge is 3.69%

Sabana has 2 Master leases under negotiation and 1 already concluded to be converted into muti-tenants.

I wonder what Tong Jingguan see in Sabana?

Maybe the Changi Warehouse purchase will be a good idea? Since it is 100% occupied, but there is no info and when the Master lease will expire.

I will compare the big boys, Maple and Ascendas when Ascendas announced its results later.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Random thoughts: Pain, the indispensable ingredient for success

Pain, get ready for it.

The faster you accept it, the better you mind is attuned to face it.

What I show my students 1 week ago, before I start my intensive revision.

In order not to feel guilty, I decided to do something too. I like to take little snacks to treat myself as comfort items. I sometimes go out of my workplace to have lunch, have a good breakfast, buy some snacks to eat before I start the afternoon session of work.

Now, for the past week, every time I feel like buying the "Gong Cha" for a snack, feel like getting roti prata for breakfast before I go to work, feel like having lunch out, I reminded myself, I am not even facing pain, I am just fighting craving.

Almost a week, so far, so good, although the money saved is not significant, guess my body is doing better with oats as breakfast rather than prata, and less Gong Cha is better.

Now, just wonder how long this mental exercise will last. I outlasts most of my pupils. They are not following up with the revision. I am still keeping my little "diet"

Tomorrow, I am planning a run, I hope I do as I planned.

Pain. Get ready for the pain.

Same as investing, resist the temptation of trigger happy. Stick to your plan. So easy it sounds, isn't it? Painful to be sitting on cash, painful to see the boat missing us by. So painful to see portfolio halved? (Have not seen that, although I seen my counter reduced to nothing.)

Take pain easily? You are on your way to success. Sadist? I think so...

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Random thoughts: striking a balance between engagement and effectiveness

Between the two, which is a must have? Which is a good to have?

My answer is, there is no good balance. You sought both, you get nothing. One has to make some way for the other.

However, if you are very highly effective, there will be rub-off engagement, vice versa is true.

In my previous school, engagement is the key to effectiveness, now, effectiveness is the key to engagement. 

A fellow colleague from another workplace, told me his boss value , engagement a lot, care a lot of his staff welfare. Nope, it is not lip service, all meetings must end by 3, all official events must end by 5. While I spend 2 weeks after the school holiday starts for review and planning next year work plan, their staff are off to their holidays just 3 days in the holiday. My colleague admits her staff are spoilt now, and will suffer when their boss goes for rotation.

I ask, how is the results. She told me it is improving over the years, the staff go all out for the pupils, since they are not bothered/ burdened by admin. In fact, many managers come to their school as it is the few in Singapore where staff engagement score is an A. Those in the industry will appreciate how difficult it is to get A in they climate survey. 

Didn't know there is still such wise boss around. Engagement driving effectiveness. I have seen the other too, effective robots, who are so use to process that they like what they are doing since they know what to expect.

I am gunning for effectiveness now, as my wife says, my clients have change. 

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Always fully vested vs Market Timing (War Chest) approach

I did a simple test, using these 2 approaches to STI index investing and want to see which one will fare better when back dated 20 years. At such, the investor would have go through AFC, Sars + Gulf war and the GFC.

To do this test, I make a lot of assumptions, for academic purposes, investors from either 1 approach could well do better or worse if some of the assumptions do not hold true.


1) Investor A and B both start with $5000 and have $1000 fresh funds to invest every year.

Investor A:
Investor A stay fully vested and invest annually. For every year, I use roughly the mid point of the STI for the year to determine his entry point, someone with luck or better TA skills might have an entry point lower than the one I used.

Investor A invest fully when he start in 1995, and thereafter every year, invest $1000 into the STI.

At 2014, he will have STI units worth about 36K, and his total invested capital will be 24K.

A ROA of 50% over 20 years.

Investor B:
Investor B will only enter the market when STI corrects 40% from the last known peak with half of his money, and another half if Market correct 60% from his last known peak. He will liquid half his units and hold cash when returns exceed 100%.

At such, he did not invest his 5k in 1995 but did vested 3.5 k in both 1997 and 1998. He saved his annual 1k and invest 2k in 2002. In 2005, he liquidated half his units and continue to accumulate cash,

In 2009, he became fully vested again 2 tranches of 40% and 60% off the peak of STI.

He has no chance to liquidate his units till now.

So at 2014, his units are worth 38K and still holding 6K cash. Total portfolio is 44K

A ROA of 83% in 20 years.


This is a simplistic test, more for fun than analysis. Just wonder if my temperaments is more suitable to be Investor A or Investor B.

The worst thing that could happen is selling out at a loss in a bear market. Also, if we are holding companies instead of STI index, they could do better(Dividend effects) or worse (belly-up) than STI.

Friday, October 17, 2014

My thoughts on S-chips

There is plenty of negative sentiments surrounding s-chips and I would say it is not without justifiable reasons. There are plenty of fraud cases, and I have my fair share of hits and misses. The thing is, for me, those that I was vested before, at least they're still around, and some did well. What I am sharing is just my personal opinion.

Different types of S-chips:

S-chips are defined by companies with all of its business or most of it business in China. There is a tighter definition, S -chip are companies with most of its business in China and owned by Chinese National. It is argued that if it is run/ owned by Singaporean, it is less probable fraud case, since the owner will be less able to get away with things. Straco, valuetronics are examples of non- chinese Nationals at the Helm. (HKers not counted) However, not all s-chips are equal, at least in terms valuation by Mr market. 

1) Those with SOE parentage or connection. While it is no guarantee for success, it is less likely an outright fraud too, as the Chinese like "face" CAO is not fraud but mismanaged its trading business. The parent company step in and roped in Strategic partners to restructure the company. 

Other examples include China Merchant Pacific Holdings, and to a certain extent SIIC, which counts china sovereign funds its biggest shareholder. But do note that parentage while providing some assurance is not formula for success, just like at Cosco.

2) Those that give regular dividends that is significant to earnings. Real cash flow to shareholders is important. The key word here is regular. YZJ, Yanlord and China Sunshine are good examples. It is even more assuring if the dividends pay out over the years exceed the fund raise from IPO or already is a high percentage of fund raise. Again YZJ and CMHP come to mind. Eratat will fulfill the criteria of constant dividend payout but they raise money from the market rather frequently. Gaoxian pay special dividends due to its success of it dual listing. But that should not provide too much comfort.

3) Those that attract strategic investors.
Funds do not count. We are talking about competitors or operators of the industry buying a significant stake in the Company. Examples include China Minzhong and Sino-Food Grandness 

4) The rest... ...
The rest are trading at ridiciously low valuation as compared to their assets or earnings. But you have to seriously ask yourself if they do not fulfilled one or more the criteria above, is it worth it?

I know it is a stretch to call the rest all frauds or potential losers. But if u Still insist on investing in "the rest" category of S-chips, please learn to identify red flags such as receivables, discrepancies etc. and be ready to lose everything on that investment. The risk reward profile might still be worth it, but the risk is total loss, and you must have that in your mind when you invest, if there is too much for you. Walk away. 

Another way to get some reassurance is the profile of customers. If it has big name customers which are also listed, it is easy to verify its numbers. Maybe not totally, but obvious fraud will be easier to detect. YZJ has big names customers, straco Acquarium in Shanghai is for all to visit. Oops, they are already not in the "the rest" category. Yes, see what I mean, Mr Market might be temperamental, but he is not stupid. 

The third way, baidu the subsidaries and the city/ province it operates in. Search top tax contributors in Jiangsu, for example. Chinese tax bureaus like to rank the top tax contributors, and they put then in various tax bands. Counter check those with the numbers of income tax paid of the company AR. I did that and found discrepancies is Eratat numbers and tried to warn forummers to no avail. I did that for YZJ and sleep better knowing that it is the top 50 tax contributors in Jiangsu for 2012 and 2011. In fact, the ranking improved. Once is enough, I didn't bother to check further years. You can read Valuebuddies or Nextinsight forum for my post. Search Eratat.

Lastly, try not to be iron teeth. Try not to find excuses or reasons for management.  If multiple red flags are flashing, run. No dividends, super low cash level at company level, in a industry where many peers has fumbled? E-g. Textile industry from Fujian. Remember, when you find crockcoach in a closet, it is usually infested with it, with more than just 1 skeleton. ( sound disgusting? Halloween effect ) LOL.

Silly Investor

Besides numbers, what to look for in an ARs

There is no end to numbers and ratio when I dig a company ARs. Maybe I share some of my thoughts when reading annual reports qualitatively.

1) management assessment of industry:

You can also read about the management outlook. You can read if it's pessimism or optimism is valid. The safe approach is always to be conservative and surprise on the upside. But I have read reports where managements stick their head out and say their see growth pockets or headwinds. It is ok to be wrong ocassionally, we Are no oracles, but if they are right most of the time, it would be good. It is important that management is Ernest and sincere in their assessments, and not always give standard balance assessment. Remember a broken clock is right twice in a day.

Although it might be difficult to understand when a CEO speak about specifics of the Industry or product, it is very useful, as we can google it, wiki it or read it over a few times to understand it. We cannot understand it like an industry Insider, but we should still learn. Be wary of motherhood statements. Meaning it is laden with adjectives but not specifics. E.g. We continue to pursue R and D to provide innovation to value add our propositions to customers. Then ... ... (Examples Will be very welcoming please!)

2) Identification of growth areas:

MTQ identify growth areas in 2002, and never look back from their niche area in the O & G sector. The same goes with sembcorp industries, and ST. engineering. Growth areas can be new products or new markets. Such as a new country which they break into.

3) Focus

If a growth area is identified, is there consistent milking or efforts to make it works. And if it works, is that constant attempts to scale it up. No point keep hitting on different products, services or markets.

While it might sound contrary to what is said above, if a product/ service/ or market is proving to be of less snergy value with no results to show after years, e.g. Unable to scale after many years, restructure it or sell it.

4) SiZe and integration of services

Many of the Temeask owned companies, very often merge/ combine/ before branching out in a big way overseas.

5) candidness

Warren has talk about this, I do not wish to be a broken recorder here.

6) Focus on the people

May be a coincident here, but I notice some names tend to change as company expand into new areas or expand. CES got senior executive from Wingtai. CES has been on a roll. MTQ has a new director when they expand overseas. Shares option only for directors and executives only or also for employees. It show if they are paying lip-service when they say they value human capital. Is the data on productivity per head.


Do note that it does not mean these readings and analysis will pitch u a winner in the market, but maybe make more sense and know what to look for when reading.

If you have other points when u read annual reports or do researches. Let me know and drop me a comment, will ya

Thanks in advance,

Random movie review: Dracula untold

A long time since  a movie truly pleases.

Most of the time, I walk off with the "ok la" thoughts.

More thoughts can be put into the ending and the deal with devil.

But for 90 minutes, the twists come first and furious, and cleverly thought out.

A prince seek devil strength to save his people.

A bloodless merciless and emotionless warrior impaled a whole village to save 9 others village so that they surrender without a fight. ( I already read this from a comic, but nice try)

Get the devil strength as a gift, not a curse? Just refrain and control the thirst for blood for three days, and revert back to human, and the force of light wins. What a gift?

With the vampire thirst and strength, pray to God for strength to suppressed the urge for blood?

Put the human spirit into the gambit of erternal abyss if lost, in order to save its people and family, only to be scared by his own people who attempted to burn him alive.

The force that finally push him to the dark son just before the dawn of third day is the love for his dying wife. (Nope, his wife still die)

Heard that when bitten by vampire, u turn into vampire? No such things here. U turn into a vampire when u willingly take vampire blood.

I like it. With its story flaws, it is still a great show. Definitely better than the overly hyped hobit. 

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Blood spilling?

No blood on the street, but obviously there are some "injured"counters that were not too far off my "willing price" recently. For fun sake, and also to keep my itchy fingers off, I decided to share what are some of the companies that are cheap if they fall further. I will haphazard a  cheap price to convince myself to do nothing now. So tempted to trade. Bad Sillyinvestor 

Disclaimer: I am just sharing freely, I may or may not buy when prices are met or even below my willing price. I am not afraid to let other know what I think, if on hindsight I turn out to be a fool, go ahead  and laugh, by all means. If I happen to be right, I am just lucky.

1) Low Keng Huat.

LKH is trading at trailing yield of almost 5%. I am sure, 2015 yield will not 5%. LKH has always been fair to shareholder and payout has been 30-50%. With the windfall from Paya Lebar Sq, there should give 1-2 cents special dividend. Dividend yield will be around 8% then.

Of course, one could say what is next? Since property cycle might be turning. But I did the Maths, just the recurring income from LKH should hit 3 cents EPS 

My calculations:


40% share of 305,000 sq ft. 
assume $6 psf/mth, 85% occupancy
7.5 mio per year

PL retail:

55% of 88200 sg ft NLA
assume $20 psf and 85% occupancy
=9.8 mio

Vietnam hotel operation: 6 mio per year.

So, if market re-rate LKH when the bounty dividend is given out, u can get both capital gain and dividend.

For it to be 5% yielding, willing price will be 60 cents 

2) golden Agri

Palm oil prices is breaking new low, how low can it get? Any lower, the refinery margins is going to be negative and that will send weaker players packing. 

Refinery margin is only about 1% now, iirc. Dyod

Will golden Agri survive this down cycle, I think so. Bio-Disesel will not be so attractive when oil price is low, but CPO as a edible oil is still the largest and cheapest supply of edible oil, although there are no lack of substitutes.

It is trading below 0.5 NAV now, and golden Agri has a cap of 30% of earning. If only they are willing to remove this cap, but I dun think so. 

Willing price: 40 cents, yield will be in a more respectable "pay u as you wait" range of 3%

3) sembcorp industries.

I worry about the turning of O&G cycle of Semb marine, but I do not think marine will be loss-making, given the market leader status. I would like 4% yield, which mean $4 would be attractive enough. In terms of PE, it will be around 10. Cheap. 

Ya, I  dreaming.

4) starhill global

Want to own Ngee Ann City and Wisma? I would like to, starhill has a spread out finacing schedule which I like. 

Given it is in a retail business, which is rather defensive, a 7% yield would provide MOS for a fall to 6% if interest rate does raise. Oh ya, it's gearing is one on the lowest in the s- reit universe.

Willing price 72 cents.

Ok good, now I can keep my itchy fingers off. Wanted to do some switching today. So tempted. 

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Sembcorp industries Part 1

Trying to consolidate my thoughts here.

Sembcorp is a cash generating net cash company, with positive FCF 11 out of the 15 years record that I tracked.

I am particularly interested in the utilities segment, as I see it as both a cash cow and a growth sector.

Since its inception in 2001, it has almost an unbroken track record of growing EBIT (I used this for consistency with earlier 2001-2002 data). While I still cannot not ascertain how much of the revenue is recurring, but I know recurring income form a portion of it, otherwise, it is unlikely that Hyflux is burning cash, and Sembcorp with also its water business, is generating cash. Note also that 2013 UK operations is making a loss of 52 mio, but earnings before tax and minority interest still grows.

It also has a good pipeline of projects:

(Source: 2013 AR)

Utility has taken over marine as the top contributor, and the Urban Development segment, while doing well in Vietnam with hugh landbank is too small to make a big contribution.

Valuation wise, it is very decent. 

Using DCF with FCF assumption of 500 mio, At current prices, it is trading at 3% growth rate, and 8% discount rate with 20% MOS. Believe the assumption is quite conservative. In term of PE, it is trading at PE 12-13, not demanding too. 

It seems rather clear sky over the next few years, with the marine segment also having a strong order book.

Only one bug bear.

Dividend yield, I am OK with around a 4% yield for a good blue chip for long term growth. However, I suspect Marine might be the spoiler in years to come.

I am very apprehensive about the oil and gas sector. I will need to dig more before I decide what to do. I believe many think the O&G is a evergreen sector, it is not, it is cyclical. And I think we are closer to the peak than to the bottom. Why?


Seem like the rig business is having a party for a decade.

High Prices attract more supply. As seen in all cycles 

While the fleet net gain has been falling, it looks like the high oil prices in the 2000s has generate 6-7 years of good net gains, and if Keppel and Sembmarine order book is anything to go by, the newbuild deliveries are not falling off the chart too.

Rate is holding up though,which is good news, meaning there is no serious over supply yet?

Source of pictures:

Please click on the report to read more, although the report is old, but it seem provide some good insights for me. 

I am not industry expert, I just told myself it is better to buy survivors in down cycles than winners in up cycles, there is why I bought YZJ when BDI collapse, many shipbuilders collapsing, meaning rate is so low that it is squeezing out players, I know we are nearer to the bottom than anywhere near the top. Applying the same logic...

Ok, this blog post is taking much longer than I thought, and I am not even vested! Time to sleep. 

Silly investor

Random thoughts: Bo Tar Chey, the in theme now?

I subtly noticed after our PM mentioned about success even without a degree, many have started sharing the Bo Tar Chey BTC ( never study) success stories.

In fact, some of the otherwise mild people now openly declare their success as compare to their BTC status.

My thoughts on this matter:

1) I agree that u dun need a degree to be successful.

2) However, no need degree does not mean BTC. People who BTC are usually forced by circumstances and not by choice. It could be their family circumstances then were not favorable for education to be pursued. Or it could be, the pupils tried as they might, are just not academically inclined, and found better passion and energy else where. Given Asians generally pursuit academic excellence as a doorway to a comfortable career, many of these BTC is the yesteryears have to go through a lot of hardships and graduate instead from the school of hard knocks, and rightly become very successful people in their own field.

3) BTC will not work for people if they think of it as a easier way out. Many of the BTC, I believed, had tried hard at their studies, endure low esteem, pick themselves up and had a shot at other areas. 

I worry about glorifying BTC, especially if students think they can be successful even if they BTC. 

If they had tried hard, pick themselves up after numerous academic failure, and finally move on to other areas, I am confident that they will find their pasture.

But for the soft jelly, if u take BTC as a excuse not to study hard, I think they are sadly mistaken. TC is a proven path for the mainstream, a highway if u like. You can take a path not taken by others, but make sure u have the stamina and parang to bash through the way, and might end up going in circles. 

For my cilents who tell me BTC also can succeed smugly, I will give it hard to them. For those trying very hard and show grit but get very demoralized, I will tell them there are other paths to Rome. 

Friday, October 10, 2014

Random thoughts: online identity

In my work, I need to "enlighten" my customers on cyber wellness. The online etiquette and the dangers lurking online.

My new workplace has less burning needs to talk about it, as many do not have easy access to broadband. Huh? Ya, that is my initial reaction. I am printing much more now.

Seriously, we talk about identity security.

Cyber world is a unique place. It allows u to have a second life.

I used the Nick greenrookie since I started out and have never changed since, silly investor is a blog name, greenrookie is the forum name. We always say behave online like how u would offline.

I personally think it is a tall order.

Think about it. Are u really just you, anywhere and anytime? As a father, a son, a worker, a boss, a husband, a lover and a kept man (LOL wildest fantasy ), are u really the same person? Of course, your values and character will be a common overlapped themes in all these roles, but I bet my dollar that there are very significant differences in the way you think and behave when u are in those shoes.

I think I know my identity in the cyber world, it is really a part of me, the real me, but just part of me. This part of me, is comfortable operating under a nick, I am not very comfortable to let my colleagues, friends and "customers" know who I am online. Granted, if one day they stumbled who is silly investor, it does not really matter. But I rather keep my online part of me, separated from my life.

When I know there is a gathering of bloggers, I am sure I will just introduce myself as "a reader of your blog", the web itself is an amour, but some
Use this shield to do all sorts of nonsense, but others use it to be themselves, perhaps more themselves than the circumstances allow us to be ourselves.

Anyone agree? 

Random thoughts: The Mind, Method and Money in the recent correction

Actually I would hardly call this a correction, something around 5-10 % perhaps would mean a correction. Maybe we will get it come next week. Nonetheless, I think the "mind" part of me is better now. 

I am reading up companies which I think are successful, sembcorp industries, Keppel, Sembmarine, OsIm... Just for fun  as I expand my radar. The Money part is already fully vested, so no motivation to do detailed analysis. If the M is there, starhill global and low Keng Huat will be what I will accumulate. Too bad I don't have strong vitamin M. No worries, plenty of chances.

Now, back to the M. My portfolio value is doing worse than a few months ago, even in as recent as 2014 perhaps, I will be thinking of averaging down, sell now and buy back. I still have some thoughts, but it is not as loud and I have no urge to take any actions at all. Lee metals has fallen 10% from purchase price and 20% from its peak, hardly any heartache. No "aiyo, why I never sell" ouch moment. APTT is doing worse post dividends, fallen by 6-7 cents after dividends of 4 cents, also no "aiya" moments. Acendas reit and ST engineering is lower than my purchase price now, no "see, no discipline to wait for correction" grumbling.

In short, have been quite a while since, that I can be so peaceful internally. In fact, one voice is quite loud, think my portfolio value has about another 10% to fall, since I believe the STI might go near 3100 or even lower in the short term. I think one main reason for my Mind to be in such a state has a lot to do with my Method.

I used to think of 10-15% fall as a trigger to accumulate. Now, I am also comfortable to let 10-15% loss manifest. It will break even in 2-3 years time due to dividends effect, unless the business fundenmental changes so much, which would mean my longer term analysis of the company is wrong to start with. I can live with 1 mistake. I do not have a concentrated portfolio compare to 6 months ago. I no longer have 20% holding in any one stock after I sold YZJ. I looking at the longer term now, and it put my mind at ease. I know I can live with STI at 3000 over the next few months. If it goes lower than that, it will not happen overnight barring any black swan, I can always look to expand my portfolio next year with my bonus or dividends received. Better to keep some cash at hand. No rush. 

100% vested also mean any bargain has to wait till it really become cheap. I think my underlying 6% yield from
The whole of my portfolio is still on track. The Money part or lack of, is keeping my itchy hand off Starhill global, low Keng huat or even sembcorp. Huh? I miss a boat? Let it go, let it be...

Allow myself to be fully vested without trying to time the market needs my mind to be in this state most of the time, otherwise the Mind and Method will be in conflict. I bought APTT, Venture, Parkson (divested), CMHP and SSC at Higher STI level than current levels. Even if STI is to go to 3150 next week, as the newspaper predict, I do not really think they will be much lower than my entry level. I think STI will have to be at 3000 to get a 5-10% discount to my buy price. Again, I think I can live with 10% paper loss over the short run.

So busy with work this week, so therepuatic, (deep breath) blogging...

I just burn the mid night oil working out deployment plan, pardon me if I dun write coherently 

Silly investor 

Friday, October 3, 2014

Random thoughts: A day without my car

Sent my car for repair. Had both good and bad experiences.

The good:
Thought it is a good opportunity for my son to experience public transport. Brought him along to the service center and took bus back.

He enjoyed the trip. Took the chance to teach him about working life, priority seat and how much cheaper it is to take bus. His fare is free, and he innocently remarked that his trip to school in school bus is also free. I told him it is not free, in fact it cost $2.5 a trip. He couldn't understand and insist it is free because he need not pay. I explained I already paid to the driver monthly. 

I was telling him the past few days that money do not fall from the sky, and he cannot always expect to get what he wants. I am glad he finally understand it, when I remarked: see so many people taking the bus to work, and he replied: because money don't fall from the sky.

The bad:

I planned an outing with my family in the afternoon. The initial plan is to take my FIL weekend car, since the various trips to fetch my wife from work, back to home and then to orchard and back to home would add up to $ 20. 

Then the call from service center that my car is ready. I rush out hoping to catch a cab and collect my car before bringing my wife for lunch. 

Couldn't get a cab even when I call for one. I decided to have lunch with my wife then get a cab. Hoping that I have better luck at the shopping mall and at a later time. Sme thing happen, long queue at the taxi stand. My wife and I both dial for comfort and SMRT, couldn't get a cab. The weird thing is, the lady behind us call and get a cab. I wondered if its a app thingy that made cabbies refuse to take operator call. My wife tried online booking, got a cab, but the cabbie went to somewhere else. 

In the end, we have to cancel our trip as it is too late. My wife says matter of factly: see, you still say we can do without a car!