Sunday, December 27, 2015

Random thoughts: convincing my wife against selling HDB flat

Today, as my son entertained himself at the indoors playground, I had a deep conversation with my wife. We talked a lot, from wills, parents to children. 

Eventually, the conversation drift to property. She wanted a shift to a private property and leave it for our son when we go see our makers. She wanted to do it "when the market is right" (my poison)

I told her these:

1) You need to understand these because I might passed away earlier than you. 

2) Misconception of rental money is the best investment money. Many look at the 2-3K rental and believed it is a good investment since the rental can pay off the property eventually. I ask her to consider yield. How much capital is put into the property to generate that few k of rental.

3) I ask her to calculate the yield of her mother private property and our HDB unit. I ask her which is a better investment? 

4) I told her the yield Is even lower if you max out the possible credit to buy that private unit. With leverage there is interest  risk and the possibility of repossession at the worst case scenario 

5) investing in equity, if you have the heart for the volality, required only meaaured injection of capital and there is no risk of leverage (unless you are pro and doing ES or CFD or the likes) 

6) there is no going back to HDB. 

7) better to buy a reasonable studio or smaller unit to rent and sell when the market is right.

She is not very happy with my answers but I think she understands. But if I passed away, not sure if her mind will be in a better state than her heart? 

I wonder why the craze to leave a property to the children. Wouldn't it be better for the children to learn to earn their keep? Of course, if I do stay in a private property when I go see "God", I will leave it to him, but I won't planned to squeeze it out of my life to pass it down.

I used to think it is a lame excuse of adults for vanity for those who over stretch their finances for a private property. They are using their kids as a shield for their own vanity.

I had a colleague who downgraded from a semi-D to a private. He made a profit of almost a million. He told me his wife objected to the downgrade and want to leave the house to their kid. He told his wife it's better to hold cash and take profits and decide what to do later. 

Am I the odd one out? Am I the only one not thinking of leaving a property behind?

When my FIL told me DTL is free, and wanted to try it, I said it will be crowded and I don't like crowds. He asked me to send him to the station and he takes it alone. I told my wife later that it is quite "bo Liao" to ride for the seek of riding just because it is FOC and endure the crowd right? 

She told me many of her colleagues did that today too. 

I seriously think I am "odd" 

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Random thoughts: 2015 has passed, what I hope to achieve in 2016

2015 has not been an easy year for me.

In 2016, I want to set myself several challenges, and  I hope by putting it down in words, I remembered it and and can review it  year later.

1) Have at least 15 minutes or longer Jogs at least 52 times
(Once a week, I will allow myself to cheat by jogging twice a week at the second half of the year to cover quota. LOL. Hopefully at least I keep jogging and do much better than 52)
2) Not use the lift in school
3) Cut down on breakfast at hawker centers before work. (not more than once a week)

1) To reduce anxiety (Not giving a SMART goal for obvious reasons)

1) Bring back the habit of reading to son before "to each his own reading"
2) Practice mindfulness, dun bring back baggage of  work.
3) Bring my parents for walks more often.
4) No using of phones to blog or play games during visits (bo liao right, should be talking to them more)
5) Meet with old colleagues, friends and bloggers.

1) Bring back the mental habit of "wishing everyone well" at the start of the day.
2) Practice/try mediation

1) Focus on human capital rather than finance/investible capital. Build up competencies by preparing for lessons earnestly and start doing literature review and research.
2) Read more on work related information
3) Stop comparing "money, assets, or networth"


What has passed has passed. The future is just a bubble until it becomes "current"

2016 vision statement:

Friday, December 18, 2015

Random thoughts: a letter to Santa

Dear Santa,

I am quite sure I am too old to be on your  Santa list. I am quite sure I have not been good too in 2015. But, I am still writing to you.

When I saw the bear's wish list at the Flowers Dome, I smiled. So many things in a list. 

I thought "so greedy. Yet so childlike"

When I thought  of what I wanted, I realised I am the most greedy of them all.

I want happiness, good health, resilence, etc.

But then I realise most people who wish for these usually already have such things. So, what I really wanted is the continuity of good health, happiness and such. LOL, talk about greed. Which grown-up ask for iPad or IPhone 6 LOL.
That would be contentment.

Material consumption no longer satisfied my lust, I wanted a lifestyle.

I draft this letter in the morning but it is 10p.m at night, and I still couldn't come up with an item to put in this list. Not that you will give it to me. Perhaps just a list to spite you and proof to myself Santa no longer lived. 

Tried as I might, I thought of the following:
To strike group 1 toto.
(But I don't buy Toto and that would be too scary and errie if I do strike TOTO after writing to you)

Then I thought maybe a new computer with my favorite game fallout 4 thrown in.
(But I realize I don't have the luxury of time since holiday is coming to an end and it is not the same RPG with abundance choices according to reviews I read)

I thought maybe a beautiful gold necklace for my wife. Then I realise I already co-share the costs with her and bought it for her as Christmas
Present. Cheapo right, and damn me for not practicing delayed gratification. Told u I have not been good in 2015.

Maybe a condominium for our family to lived in. So that I need not be jealous of other friends who might not earn as much as me but buying and upgrading properties nonetheless. Those who earn more than me, they already have Mutiple properties already. 
But such expensive Wish is like asking to strike toto, and most importantly,
I think I provide a home and I am a gift to my family more than the bricks and mortar can offer. (I know I very BHB, aka shameless, I dun want to repeat I have been bad for 2015)

All that I wanted, in terms of lifestyle, perhaps is that of Fiancial freedom where I could retired young and have all three elements of time, energy and money. Yes, I think that would make me happy. 

But I did not have the discipline and heart to change my mindset and bring my family on broad on this dream, so it shall remain a dream. 

Santa, you know, I meet someone whose occupation would usually be frown upon or even despised. Nope, "不偷不抢” not robbery or theft. I asked" are you not scared doing what you do?" She replied "so, am I expected to wait for money to drop from the sky?"

I have been bad, Santa, because I expect money to drop from the sky. 

Lifestyle. The most expensive gift. Some people sacrifice more than time to achieve it.

Some achieve it through grit. Some achieve it through lower expectations. Some achieve it through brilliance.

Santa, if u have not fall asleep yet, maybe you can give me one thing. Let Koei create another series of romance of three kingdoms game like that of series 11. Series 12 really sucks and they keep producing brainless dynasty warriors.

I would like that game for 2016? Can? I will try to be good for 2016. Early bird request got discount? 

What do you want? 

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Case study of first ship lease trust

(Vested interest)

My interest was aroused when Kyith of investment moats and Nick of valuebuddies talk about this company, and specifically, the turnaround in its fortunes. So decided to do some homework and below is my findings.

First ship problems started when several of their charterers defaulted and they have heavy interest costs that dragged down bottom line

So what has changed? First, killing 2 birds with one stone by selling non-profitable bulk carriers and reducing debts. 

Also, moving away from the business model of financing by doing leaseback in the form of bareboat charters to original owners. Now, vessels are source more actively to charterers. 

Fool highlight 3 risks. So I examined the 3 risks.

First, charterers' balance sheet. None actually have a robust balance sheet if you are talking about debt related ratios.(got to do with the industry) but TORM, James Fisher reported higher profits from their Tankers segment than a year ago. Trafigura is a new charterer for FSL Hamburg and FSL Singapore from Petròleo Brasileiro S.A. Both vessels are docked in Q4, "but is necessary to ensure that the vessels can earn the significantly higher contracted charter rates." A tick in execution.

Looking at their remaining Charterers, Yang Ming has turned profitable in 2014 with positive cash flow.

Next, interest rate hike. This is a valid concern, but they have reduced their debt and their existing debts are amortized over 6-7 years. so I guess that somewhat will offset any hike in interest rate.

The third risk is the most interesting. The operating risk. Those in pool arrangement are reported during quarter reports as a group. Vessels might or might not be chartered out and the rate dependable of market charter rate. Next, those charters with TORM are of floating nature, which means L2 charter rate is also dependable on market.

Of those in pool arrangement, FSL London and FSL Santos are idle.

The spot rates for L2 Tankers in Q4 are weaker than Q3, but still higher than a year ago.

Also FSL Osaka, the newly acquired MR tanker is already deployed. Another tick in execution.

Looking at the average rate for Scoprio Tankers, the rate of $16500 per day quoted by FSL trust do indeed look conservative.

GIven than Iran Crude in coming into market, and US export ban on oil might be lifted, I believed the Macro circumstances are favourable for the tanker markets. And will crude oil at 11 year low and projected to stay low till at least late 2016, I felt the odds are in favor of a good turnaround of a ship.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Random thoughts: value of outsider view

In the stock markets, we value insider view. People who worked in the industry or even better, executives who worked in the companies, would have insights that others would not have access to. 

But I also enjoyed listening to "outsider thoughts" of my "industry" 

Recently, I was whinning to a group of friends about my work, what stressed me up and the nightmares I am having etc...

Because I am so used to the way of the workings of my "industry" that I forget my "customers" are not just tools for actualisation of my "sales targets"

It suddenly dawned on my how much my pendulum have shifted to the right (although they are many in my industry who are even more "right" LOL) 

Take the baggage off the shoulders. Some of the self-cheerleading, are now a "lame excuses" in the industry but if u think of it from another persepctive, it is a valid reason. It might means an "outsider view" is closer to the basic and truth than you think.

Also, it allows me to see things at a wider angle. 

I also enjoy listening to their worlds. In particularly I like "I dun sell features, I provide a service whereby the features are benefits that help you make a decision"

So I shouldn't teach facts/ skills. I should package them as a tool that help them cope with the system of assessments. LOL

Also, there are so many refreshing perspectives. For example, I for one really like to try what it is like to be self-employed, but the reverse is true too, the self-employed like to experince working for "someone". We all like to venture to unknown territory, maybe that is why humans are scavengers and hunters first, exploring new landscapes before they become agriculturalists.

Also, while we see all the aura and glory of someone, the simple wishes of that party could well be something u grasped in your palm and have little regards for. 

This downtime, the most precious part beside having more time with myself and my wife. Is meeting up with friends. I still have 2 appointments lined up! I am looking forward to them! To feel I am part a particle in the sand and not the ocean. To know that beside the earth, there is the solar system and beyond that "Star Wars" LOL

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Asian Pay TV Trust- hindsight analysis

I'm Vested interest through my wife portfolio

At one point of time, both me and I owned the counter, but I cut my stake to reduce over-exposure.

If we take 8.25 cents dividends, the yield is 12%, Mr market is not that inefficient, the odds are very high that it will not be sustained. 

2 years ago, I blog about APTT. It has 3 growth areas. Taichung as a new franchise area, organic growth through cross-selling. Cross selling suppose to add rev through more broadband and/or prenium digital TV. 

This is their projection. If u look at Q3 results, althought in terms of number of subscribers, they deliver some results, but that is offset by the lowering of ARPU. Poor pricing power=low moat

Taichung provisional license is obtained for a year already. In their last webcast presentation in 2014, they expect contribution from Taichung to only show in 2016. But in my opinon, looking at the subscribers no. In basic cable TV, I do not think 2016 will make a difference. They are basically not making any headway in Taichung at all. Unless Q4 show some significant increase, I would think Taichung venture is a bad investment.

It is a bad investment because capex For Taichung is high and paid by debts. They will be better off staying in their existing 5 franchises.

2016 will be the year when Taichung expansion will be completed and since they have achieve 100% digitalization of set up box, I expect Capex after 2016 to be lower and become more maintainence  in nature. How much is their Capex. I would think 24 mio is a conservative number since management guided 10-12% of Ebita is for maintenance type of capex. 

So if we take capex of 24 mio, interest cost of about 44-48 mio and the conservative  OCF of 120-140 mio, sustainable FCF will be 50-70 mio. And roughly 4 cents distribution plus minus ...

This estimate is even lower than the 5.5 cents distribution estimated by KGI analyst. I would think 4 cents would more likely be a worst case scenario and would happen only in 2017. If I am management, i would not so drastically cut distributions suddenly and would use debts to fill some of the gaps first and perhaps further defer expansion capex and hope Taichung picks up. 

But according to the analyst report, 

"Uncertainty on Taichung expansion
Capex for network build expansion in Taichung is guided lower at S$10m‐S$15m for 2015 (2Q15: S$20m‐S$25m). The rollout of Cable TV is stalled as Asian Pay Television Trust (APTT) is not agreeable to the pricing mechanism proposed by the content providers in the expansion region due to cost concerns. As new competitors have agreed to this, APTT’s strategy is to wait, as APTT believes these competitors are unprofitable and a resolution of this issue may happen in 2016. Meanwhile, we no longer project an increase in subscribers from Taichung."

So if Taichung cannot fail the gap, and 2016 see no resolution. 4 cents distribution is a real reality 

I think there is high probability of bad news than good since SGX issue a query of unusual trading activity ( drop of more than 5% in high volume ) on Friday and there is yet any reply.

My guess are:

A new lower guidance for dividends for 2016 is leaked and/or

Taichung expansion hit a snag and the management confirmed it. DBS research made no mention about APTT stopping the rollout due to content costs. 

Maybe I will ask my wife to set cut loss at 10%? And that will be 51 cents?? 

Thursday, December 10, 2015











Sunday, December 6, 2015

Random thoughts: Downtime on a cruise

Wanted this short getaway quite badly. I could feel myself getting a bit too tense up and I really needed a break. 

The best parting gift I had just before I board the cruise last Friday was a call from a colleague regarding work and a dressing down that I messed up their work as I had not done my deployment properly. 

I knew my little heart was really at the border of depression. I couldn't really relax and when I couldn't get any messages or whatsapp or phone call as there is no signals in international waters, I was worried. Tried as I could, I couldn't shake work off my mind and the fear that when I finally dock at port Klang today and went on data roaming my whatsapp will be flooded with work messages. It didn't. When  I told my wife that I am worried about work and she asked me to relax. I didn't go further about the possibility of a "sick" mind and heart. A lot happened at work and I dun intend this to be a whinny post.  I had hoped the expansive sea and the sound of sea waves will recharge my soul. LoL. So let's go back to the cruise 

I had wanted 3 things from
This cruise. 

1) good food
2) balcony time starring into the sea and quality reflection time 
3) family time packed with activities 

I expected a lot from 1) and little from 3) 

It turns out the food from both main dinning areas suck. I was told
By several relatives that the food is exquisite and really nice. 

I think the food is rather tasteless and the service of waitresses and waiters uneven. Some Are really good; they are attentive and brief us of the possible activities after dinner. They introduce the menu and ask for our input.

I also met downright rude waiter who snapped at us and was damn impatient with questions.

If not for the cafe at deck 5 I would give it a D grade. 

The sea was not what I expected. It was pitch dark at night and with my son beside me, I had no time to let my mind drift freely. But I like my son's company

The activities are rather rich, but the Broadway musical almost made me fall asleep. They are good, and the stage effects are solid, just not my cup of tea for my family. The swimming pools are not meant for kids. The swallow pool is 1.4 m. 

The ironic is the reflection time I had was at the casino. My wife very willingly told me I could go enjoy myself if I wanted. I sense she is genuine and is not setting a trap lol.

So I went. It was ages before I stepped into a casino. I won some initially and start making bigger bets. 

I lose more. There was a point of time when I had  less than 20 credits and I thought of just betting everything and go back to sleep.

Then I somehow got that "investor" in me talking"that's actually how newbie investor do, sell and take loss to ease the pain". I decided to stick to my tactic and play my game slowly.  I am well aware it is all a game of luck.

I manage to claw back almost all my losses and my mind keep telling me to go and cut loss now. But the inner voice also went "keep trying keep trying"

As the  night dragged on and I lost almost everything again and then hit a winning streak again. The cycles remind me of market cycles. But I never quite break even. 

So many lessons/reflections for me in a game. When I am losing. It is very easy to throw more money after bad by making bigger bets and hitting the arbitary "cut loss" to ease the pain.

The ups and downs of the game. Just like the market cycles. I made a mental note not to "show hand" at my last bet. I bet big, it was close to 2am. It was break even or lose more. But I had tough luck. Better to just retire the hands at the right "high" than hope for a bumper harvest for retirement 

I will be back in Singapore tomorrow. Yesterday has passed. I think I need to evolve to "survive ... "

I am pretty sure I will not be the same person if I do what I do for another 10 years. I will be more battle harden lol. 

Preparing for war ...