Monday, May 25, 2020

Random thoughts: Hits and misses during HBL


1) Talking to the presentation screen instead of pupils. Sound silly, but it is not difficult to just minimize the presentation screen to check on the pupils, and just like in the classroom, crack a joke or two with the children

2) Didn't plan activity for pupils to participate in, if they can't listen continuously for more than 20 minutes in class, they most probably can't do that for more than 10.minutes through Google meet

3) Homework should be brought to a minimum. It is difficult to get pupils to do homework after already spending 6 or 7 hours facing a computer.

4) Peer execution of peer evaluation work, in fact, I am not sure if pupils actually even look at their friends' work and compare it against theirs

1) Focused small group sessions that require individual feedback and immediately corrections from me in a seamless continuous loop is quite effective, if done consecutively over a few days.

2) Analysis of pupils' work in details, and not cluster of work. Understand what is their problems.

3) Ensure feedback is actionable so that pupils can do what u say. For example, instead of saying "find the missing info that the Question required from the passage"

Break it down into specific steps
1) what are the key words in the qn, what are they asking?
2) Which are  the sentences that need to be replace, where are the answer area, etc.

4) U need to keep it simple to remember, but yet, able to break it down to smaller steps if they get struck without being seen as a confusing instructions menu

Monday, May 11, 2020

Company prospecting process: Maxi-Cash, Multi-Chem, Hotung, Overseas Family School

Duringthe CB, I have a lot more time. I did some active prospecting.

Lets get to it.

The criteria I used for screening is dividend yield, I set it at 7%, i then look at companies who are still profitable. When I read the companies' businesses, I then decide if it is sustainable, at least after this Covid 19

Several construction cum prooperty developers are giving juicy yield, like KSH and CES. However, they are expanding into hospitality sector to diversify, and I am rather worried about the hospitality sector. First of all, we know Covid19 affected the tourists number, beyond that, air BnB is also a problem. Unless you are an established luxury hotel manager, I would think air BnB is a direct competition to mid-tier short term stay. So I pass. Other companies that I think might be badly affected are Avarga etc

1) Yield is high, and I believe it will continue to be high, in order to feed the dividends upwards to Aspial, the parent company,which I am think is doing worse than Maxi-cash. The relationshop between Maxi-Cash and Aspial is like Vicom and CDG

2) Pawn broking busines should be relatively resilent in COVID-19 environment, when people have problems with cash flow but are still "asset" rich. Comparing to Money Max, and ValueMax, Maxi-cash has the highest revenue in the segment of pawn broking business. So, that is another plus point

3) However, all 3 companies have money lending segment and a jewellery/ gold retail segment. Of this, Maxi-cash did not have a good record, it made losses in the money lending segment in 2018, as compared to valuemax, with a sizeable proportion of profits.

4) The high gold price and generally increasing price of gold, should make pawnbroking a rather lucrative proposistion.

5) What worries me is the high debt to equity ratio. Also, even if I discount the money lending and jewellery retail segment to zero value, the truth is, this covid19 could swing both segments to losses, and the risk of permance loss is significant

1) Muti-Chem dividends is not attractive if you do not take into account the special dividends. Although the "normal" dividend yield of around 5% is still reasonable.

2) It is in the ICT cyber security business, dealing with hardware and software. Something I think the COvid19 will not have a big impact on. Equity to debt ratio is reasonable. But I would prefer a lower entry price (Better yield)

Overseas Family
1) When I realise they pay more than net profits, the story ends.

2) Moving to Pasir Ris from the prime location of Orchard is indeed a crippling move.

1) Hotung has been on and off my radar for many years already. It has for the last 5 years able to pay dividends in excess of 6%, unless you bought at the peak. Since 5 years ago(IIRC), there is always this concern about the lumpiness of their earings, because they are a VC business, abeit being a VC appointed by or working with the Taiwan Government does open up more opportunities.

2) However, if you look at their last 7-8 years of results, their "lumpiness" is perhaps less lumpy than any companies is a cyclical company.  The only year of loss is during 2008 where there is a record low of IPOs. If 2020 turns up to be a bad year, I think I can live with it.

3) Hotung is also debt free, although they did not have much retained earnings as most of it is paid as dividends

4) Also, I believe the "market" conditions might not necessary be bad for Hotung to find good deals to sow the seeds, as valuation comes down, it just not be a good time to harvest.

So after digging through all the notes. I decided to buy Hotung, which is still trading CD, and is just around 10% recovered from its recent low. Many of the counters I owned have made reovery of 20% or more.

Thursday, April 2, 2020

Random thoughts: My thought on Covid19, the life it changes

U might find some of what I am going to say offensive. But this is how I feel.

1) Living in fear is not living

I am not suggesting anyone to not take social distancing seriously and still go party on the eve of ban of night life. 

I also think it's indeed a worrisome situation currently. But panicking and asking colleagues not to come over the desk and avoiding people like plague, is perhaps overdoing it.

I understand we all need a little more stockpile of food to have that sense of security. But when a friend bought more, u want to buy even more or as much, it's quite irritating. 

I don't want to stop work, that is me. I enjoy going to school and looking at the carefree smiles of pupils. I will remind them to wash their hand and wipe down their desks. If anyone might has close contact with a confirmed case, I leave it to God. If I am to know of it and can take precaution, I will. But u am not going to speculate which pupil took panadol to come to school.

2) Teachers should stop complaining about home based learning and unappreciative parents.

I am a teacher. Most of my parents are appreciative, but I have my fair share of demanding and unreasonable parents. I don't consider myself a frontier worker, unless u see it as everyone is a front line worker with a part to play. 

If anything, I find it more peaceful now. Learning packages are pupils related learning. I rather spend time on these than learning journeys, event management, and presentations of projects, development of curriculum and that sort of stuff. Some are just wayang. My hours are not any shorter, but I am happier. I find that we are finally going back to the basics, but it's the basics that I find most important.

3) Reits and landlords are squeezing their tenants

There are many people lamenting about landlords suffering. Distributions are reduced, but hey, if u are not expecting to be affected, u are living in moon. 

Of course reits prices are going to fall, but this is a good opportunity to buy at the right price if you can endure this exceptional period of low yield (due to poor income), but when recovery comes, it should be still a decent investment.

If u ask me, if tenants or landlords are having it worse. I say tenants are bleeding and some are bleeding to death, and landlords are just have a bruised knee or elbow.

When the government gave some bandages, I think it's only enthical that such bandages to be given to the bleeding tenants and the landlord suck thumb and stand upright despite the minor wounds.

The bandages didn't come from you, stop hoarding them or play god and decide who to give. Give it all out. If u have some spare, then be kind. Don't hoard money meant for "diseaster relief"

Friday, March 27, 2020

Random Reflection: Sell actions?

This post is a think-aloud post. Readers feel free to poke fun. I need to crystallize my thinking through writing, and reading about your persepectives is nice.

Market is going up more than it is going down this week, so I sold some counters which I managed to buy at a low price. However, I didn't really plan this. So I am confused.

Reasons to sell
1) I believed this is not a bottom, and I get it back cheaper, perhaps even cheaper than my third tranch buying price.
2) I wanted to reduce the size of counters which I have already activited 3 rounds of buying. The third round of buying allow me to sit on profits on 20% for CSE and close to 40% for First Reit, I thought it is too good a chance not to do some rebalancing.
3) With this Sell, I increase cash, have more ammo to do third round investing.

Why I suffer from cognitive dissonance:
1) While 20% and 40% profits are rather nice profits in such market, they are not above my average purchase price.
2) If I bought earlier, thinking that I have got a price that in intrinsic higher than what the market it pricing, barring my company going kaput, then what the rush to sell?
3) If I sold to protect profits and adjust portfolio, why did I buy at the first tranche?

Some answers that still leave a nagging feeling:
1) I did not know when is the best price, so I want to have a good average price with a good size, hence I buy the way down, and sell the way up, trading buy and sell, and having lower lower average price with the same ammo.

2)  If I sell thinking that the market will fall again (Another post to explain why), why not sell more? Sell all the counters that are sitting on profits? I would think the reason for selling some and not others, it's due to the quality of companies and the projection of earnings, assuming the Covid 19 dun drag beyond 2020.

Friday, March 20, 2020

Random thoughts: Reflection of bear market investing.

Just a log to write down my thoughts. None of these are analysis stuff, just my thinking 

1) I cannot prepare for both a bull and a bear, or can I? I am kind of preparing for a bear, I hold 60% cash and keep telling myself not to go below it unless there is a correction (10%), I wasn't even thinking about bear a month ago. 

On hindsight, for those who took advantage of a bull, they would have piled up on the investments on their way up. But, as u sell you way up, buy high and sell higher is risky business. If u refuse to buy high and sell higher, u restrict your gains in a bull. 

U could also have offload bulk of your winnings earlier, say when market just correct 10 percent and now u huat, bull I win, bear I win. But that is easier said than done, it"s almost like striking lottery. Let us not forget the last 2 years are full of false bears, and a panic of losing out. I am not sure if anyone can convincingly sell out. Also, no one knows if a sell out decision is right or wrong except on hindsight.

Now, I have took the middle approach of investing in tranches... That means as market increase, I sell more. (Was 80 percent cash at one point of time), as market drops, I buy.

However, a company could already drop by 20 to 40 percent because of it"s industry cycle and not due to general market fall. So, I continue to buy when I see such companies, just that I am mindful of the cash level of portfolio. This bear shows me, even those which has already went south by 50 percent, can go further south by another 50 percent. So having the cash to accumulate at 80 percent discount is rather important. Your cost of purchase went down 80 percent, and the cost of AV. Down becomes a lot cheaper. 

As I buy, and accumulate shares, drawing down my cash, CPFand Srs fund on a almost of a daily basis, I realise I will slowly sell when market rebounds upwards ( risk management as the size of investment will be smaller, with better margin of safety), doing this will prepare for bear, but reduce the profits if bull returns. 
* I have no such chance yet to do what I plan. 

Assuming100 percent of your counters fall at least 20 - 25 percent, and 75 percent of your counters fall 35 - 45 percent and 50 percent of your portfolio fall 50 - 60 percent eventually. 

U cannot be more than 30 percent vested before bear starts. Is this an easy call when u see all your friends and bloggers say u are hogging too much money and they are making a splash? 

Also, when u are only 30 percent vested, are u going to sell further ??  My best investment before this covid 19 is MIT and A REIT, MIT is still above waters but A REIT is already in red, (SMOL, if u are reading this, u will say see, never sell), but when u sell to increase cash and left only 30 percent, will u really continue to sell? 

Hence, I think, many theories doesn't really work in real life circumstances. I have no regrets buying and extending my loss, because I believe I could not have done better with portfolio cash level manGement. I could have done better with my entry and exit. But that is second part.

2) I didn't keep to rule of 20 percent fall to accumulate. I bought QAF at 76 cents, just weeks before they announce positive profits guidance. Within days, I sit on 15 percent gains. When the correction starts, I accumulate more at 78 cents, thinking what a steal it is, as I dun think bakery business is going to be badly affected by Covid virus. Supermarket is still doing brisk business. Bread is a staple. 

I could have save some ammo and average down at more attractive price. The same with DFIH, althought it is just a few percentage point off 20 percent. 

As I drawn down my cash, I ask myself to pull the trigger with bigger drop of 25 percent or even 30 percent. That seems to work better. 

Hence, if I ever get a chance at bear again , I will do 20.percent, 25 percent and 30 percent drop accumulation for companies with business visibility and 25 percent and 30 percent drop accumulation with hazy business visibility. 

3) Business analysis is important, as it gives u conviction that the company can survive. Of course, business conviction is based on assumptions and projections, but price fall is not a business assumption. 

What I am fearful, I ask myself, if I get it wrong, do I accept zero, permance loss. What is the odd of that happening based on your analysis. 

Once I have the answer, I realise is still have the balls to squeeze the trigger to buy when the counter has fallen some 50 percent ...

I bought first tranch when it fell 30 percent, and it feel another further 30 percent in 2 days and scare the shit out of me.

I ask myself to calmly think through whatever factors I knew affect the stock. I bought more.

For transparency, that stock is first REIT. I believe the parent company Lippo and Siloam hospital have the financial strength to survive the currency run on rupiah, which is the main factor costing the fall. 

As for 2021 renewal of contracts, those contracts not pegged to SGD doesn't mean they no longer need to pay rent. Assuming they need not pay rent, the loss is 25 percent revenue for the 1 flagship hospital and 3 mature hospitals ... But the fall in price is... ... 50.percent from my purchase price of 96 cents and 70 percent from its peak. Ridiculous.

If they no longer pay in sGD means savings of 30 percent, the fall in revenue for 2021 will be even smaller. 

Ok. That's all for my thoughts.

Finally, u just need to be lucky in stocks. My friend who didn't buy anything until now. Yes the best stock performance than 90.percent of investors lol

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Random thoughts: Being thankful in a crisis

Not sure if some will find this post insensitive, but here goes.

In this crisis period, I am thankful that I am reasonably safe with my job. I might get a pay cut if this crisis drags on, but it is still less painful than what is going on with many sectors. I was taking taxis today, as my car was sent for repair. The uncles all told me earnings are halved. 

I am glad that I am not fearful of this Covid19. I am not sure how this sound to u, but I have cut off completely any entertainment or meeting of friends. I dun really eat out, except for wee hours in the morning, where I indulge in a hot bowl of noodles before I go to school. There is hardly any crowd in the morning.

I washed my hands frequently, and has a santitizer bottle with me. I avoid air-conditioned staffroom and usually mark around the study areas of the school. 

I did these to be responsible to my family and also to my kids. If despite my best intentions, I am infected by it, I leave it to fate/god to go through it to the best of my ability. 

I was rather panaroid and fearful at the beginning. I do get a bit worried once in a while, but I am rather at peace now. I know there are many around me who do might not feel the same way. Perhaps it was a defiance trait, and I think somewhere is February, I suddenly heard a loud internal voice, " F*@ it, living in fear us worse than dying", thereafter, I try to focus on my work and enjoy my work.

My work has become more enjoyable. I enjoy the company of my P6 pupils. My P5 pupils did not do well in the CA test, and some parents are losing confidence in me. I was demoralised but it is just a passing cloud that I know will not pull me down beyond one day. 

Financially, I have only about 30 percent cash left. My portfolio is 12 percent in the red. I could pump up the cash to 40 percent if necessary but I do not really wish to activate my reserves. ( Reserves are not emergency fund,these are No-No) I am thankful that as I look at my bleeding portfolio yesterday, I could think clearly and objectively which companies are my priority to buy if prices continue to head south, how much sizing is too much of a risk, which counters to use CPF to stagger the buying etc. I was not so Zen in the 2008 bear. Maybe that is because I know I have some funds to tap into if markets really continue to go south and I have already built up a reasonable emergency buffer. 

I am thankful that my family are still in good health. 

Lastly, I am not sure how true the reports are, but with the drastic reduction of human activities, it was reported that pollution has decreased and mother earth is healing itself. Protests in Hong Kong has died down. I am under no illusions that the problem will resurfaced after the virus, but I think this cooling off period might actually increase the number of people willing to take the middle ground, and reduce plain exploitation of certain interest groups that are too radical.

Covid 19 is a mirror. I saw the ugly side of me. Its fine, I can live with being ugly. 

I am thankful, I am not blind 

Friday, March 13, 2020

Random thoughts: How are you coping with the bear?

The bear market has brought intense reactions. Everyone has different plans or coping mechanisms.

My friend ask for divine advice. I am not kidding. The advice he got is stay out of the market for the time being. That is when I started buying when STI is at 3000. 

The way I see it, there are a few ways.

1) Exit to a level of comfort, taking some loss if necessary and stay out of the market 

2) Accumulate at various points and continue buying

3) Short the market

4) Rotate your holdings, buy and sell at the same time and liquid some bonds (if u have)

5) Look at signals (whatever sect u below) and trade in and out of market

If u have a different option that I have not heard of, please leave a comment below.

The point I am trying to make is, no matter which path u take, u will most probably be bombarded by views of people walking different paths. They might claim how dangerous it is to walk a way that is different from theirs. 

My advice is: walk your way. It is ok to do a U turn. But it is really not a good idea to run around various paths, fudging in and out of different routes because you wil end up going nowhere.

Before u start, have u plan your path? Why are doubting your own plan now? It is ok to discard a plan due to conviction but rarely it is a good idea to fudge between one path to another. Is the grass greener on the other side? Really? If u have done due diligence in peace time, now is the time to execute your plan and see if it works. Use your own metrics to determine your own success.

I am taking path 2. People who are on different paths, feel free to share why u choose your path, but rest assured I will not listen. LOL. For those taking the same path, I hope my post provide some company in this lonely walk.

First of all, let me explained I have been waiting for this Bear for years. So much so that I admit I might have squeeze the trigger too early. I am climbing up mountain, and have been persuading myself not to go below 60 percent cash before the covid 19 crisis, even though there were many counters I have wished to owned. If I do not accumulate during a bear, when do I do it then? During a bull? 

As the market tanks, I went on a buying spree. I have calculated that I can enlarge my portfolio in 3 tranches. I have fired off the second round for about half of counters in my portfolio. A few counters have been holding up rather well such that I have not yet had the chance to accumulate. I usually wait for a counter to fall 20 percent before I consider if I would enter again, if the counter does not have strong earning visibility after my analysis, I will waited for a bigger drop of 20 to 30 percent, but I usually pull the trigger at 30 percent. At 30 percent fall, I ask myself why I refuse to buy, and will seriously consider selling that counter. So far, I have not made the choice to sell. 

As of now, I still has 35 percent cash, down from the peak of 60 percent. It can be raise further if I choose to redeem my cashback of my policy (no impact on termination value or risk of loss) 

As of today, my portfolio is about 11 percent in the red. Although there is some apprehensiveness, I still lookout for valuable buys. Of course, I am also slowing down my purchases but selling is hardly in my mind - not because I am a stamp collector but because I believe in the businesses that I bought. 

I am sharing what I am buying to remind myself what I have done in a bear market and review what I could have done better after this covid 19 blew over. (for better or worse)

For cyclical play, I am betting that they can survive this crisis. They might make smaller profits but will unlikely go into loss and when better returns, hopefully I will be reward with better valuation. The counters I have accumulated or initiated are:
1) Silverlake Axis
2) Sembcorp Ind
3) Diary Farm
4) Hong Kong Land
5) SIA engineering

For dividend yield, counters accumulate include:.
1) CSE global
2) QAF
3) DBS
4) Cosco 517 (HK)
5) GA pack 468 (HK)

On watchlist for this category
1) Singtel
2) Taisin Electric
3) YZJ

For earning growth. Under current environment, this group is highly unlikely to perform
1) Koufu

On watchlist for this category to accumulate of initiate position 
1) Capitaland
2) Raffles Medical
3) Pan United 

Contemplating Sell counters
1) Singpost

Do nothing counters
1) MIT
2) Ascendas REIT
3) Singapore Shipping 

As I buy DBS from 23 to 22 to 21, etc, the term used by others not in the path is "kena burn" etc. In my mind, I am expanding the weightage of dividends counters in my portfolio. 

As people talk about preserving cash and sell, I ask myself if the company is going to see better days and survive this without going into loss. If the answer is yes, I will hardly sell. The next question I ask is whether the counter is a market leader that has the competitive edge to ride the way up with lesser competition after the blood is shed? If the answer is yes, I ask for a lower mangnitude of drop before I buy. I am telling myself that I must be prepare to see my portfolio go down 30 percent if I manage to use all 3 tranches and market really go down 50 percent . The more u buy the more you lose. But I am planting the seeds for harvest when autumn comes.

I am also telling myself I am accumulating a portfolio at low prices and not at market high. This enlarged portfolio should yield 4 - 5 percent with some safety of margin when the black swan sail away.

There might be a better path. I wish sincerely all those in other paths the best. That path might also be more rewarding. But similar to life, we walk the path we want, and most importantly, we be at peace as we walk, since it's our choice. If someone walks with us, great. If someone walk another way, say hi and may we meet again. 

How are u doing ??