Sunday, December 23, 2018

Random thoughts: Looking back at 2018

Looking back at 2018, I have not been effective.

I have not done what I can control. My emotional is on a roller coaster ride due to negative feedback at work, a weaken father, and a non-performing portfolio.

I however, like to give thanks to a supportive wife and a wonderful family.

I was very frustrated caring for my dad. It seem that his capability to take care of his daily needs are getting weaker. Caregiving is getting tougher because his situation does not seem to improve. There are various occasions where I raise my voice at him.

I was very demoralized at work too, but I had written a post on it and I shall not dwell on it any longer. My health checks show my liver is getting worse and I am putting on weight. (hahahaha)

I would like to remind myself of the serenity prayer:

"God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
Courage to change the things I can,
And wisdom to know the difference."

This quote gave me a different perspective this year. I used to focus on the word, "accept". Now I realize serenity is one important key word that should come together with acceptance. Whatever I do wrong, whatever makes me unhappy, I would like to wash it away every night in a bath, and not bring it with me.

The courage to change things, depends a lot of mindfulness. Mindfulness clear the mind on what is possible, and provide the focus and clarity.

I am very fortunate to meet a teacher who advice me for 2 hours on how to move forward, and I feel lighten by the burden. My dad situation did not improve but I have not raise my voice and become my patience. 

I thank god for a testing 2018 to strengthen me, although I might have fail the test, I will continue to see how best I can to move forward. 

Merry Christmas to all, may your 2018 makes you wiser and stronger for 2019

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Random thoughts: APTT and First Reit

A lot have been said about these 2 counters. I just want to share some findings that I think is not yet cover by bloggers (to my best knowledge)

Let's start with APTT:
1) With the new dividends of 1.2 cents, and assume Capex of 75 Mio and Interest and tax expenses to remain constant, APTT will have a buffer of 4 to 8 Mio after Dividends from their generated cash flow. Good, dividends more or less safe.

2) APTT growth if any, can only come from broadband. Pay TV in Taiwan is not exactly the same as Singapore. Even streaming need Broadband.
They claim they have cost advantage, and they are able to offer  their customers better speed without extra cost. I decide to investigate more.

I believe this is a important part of the business. Yet
I find Chung Hwa broadband rate highly competitive. Their is hardly any cost advantage.

3) I found this review very disturbing.信和有線電視&ludocid=10826391245477538435&ibp=gwp;0,7&kgs=c45d337e764dfacd&shndl=-1&source=sh/x/kp/local&entrypoint=sh/x/kp/local

While bad review or mix review is common, j have not seen any review that bad. If what is complained is true, it says volume of their product quality and why they didn't make much headway into Taichung after winning the license for 2 years

I had initially wanted to add more the day it went XD. After researching, I sold all instead. I am happy to have avoid a otherwise 10 percent drop in matters of days and I exited losing only Commission after dividends.

First Reit:
1) From lippo K announcement:
LPKR has successfully delivered on its asset divestment plan with the completion of the sale of First REIT Manager and a partial sale of its First REIT shares generating IDR 2.2 trillion in proceeds. Together with the upcoming imminent asset divestments, the Company will raise in excess of IDR 6 trillion in net cash.  
This will allow LPKR to further strengthen its liquidity position allowing it to meet with certainty all debt repayments including the US$75 million unsecured bonds due in June 2020; as such, the next maturity event for LPKR would not be until 2022.

That is already about 150 mio USD from 2.2 trillion. So any risk of default should come earliest 2022.

2) Asset Dumping (speculation)

The latest 9 MTH report from siloam hospitals show they turn loss to net profits.Also the lease cost is in single digit of operating cost.
(Look at footnote 36 and the numbers in liability)
Even if Siloam want to cut some cost, the lease will be the least that bothers them.
It is also unlikely OUELH will p/dump Japan nursing homes to FR like what a analyst suggest. Because that's the only thing left in its portfolio that is not toxic. (Not including the new Greenfield development projects)

I wanted to add more if there is price weakness, if not I will wait for rights issue to add.

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Random thoughts: 2018 work review- A midlife crisis

2018 is a difficult year for me. I will just talk about work in this post.

This is the 4th year in my appointment. It is a difficult year as I have to manage many staff having issues at work. While I have genuinely tried to help all, I think only 2 turn out well.

This is the worst year in terms of results, I think most of my staff have put in their best. To be honest, I do think with such bad records and having so many years into the job, I really need to take a hard look at my approach and admits something is wrong.

I am not quite sure what is wrong, but while I have tried to change approach, the change in approach is in direct conflict with my beliefs. It's fine if readers think I am a sore loser or I am eating sour grapes, but I decided to step aside for someone with a different approach. I am really looking forward to 1 year transistion period where I will slowly hand over my work. I told my boss about my intentions and she supported my choice. The only spanner is she is leaving soon, but she told me she will let the new boss know.

Frankly speaking, this year high is when I think I gain the trust of a staff who had wanted to leave and when unable to, is feeling very sour.

The low point is, for all my efforts to reach out to my people, which is very exhausting, I was told and hinted that I indulge my officers and I have built a culture that is not productive. I really felt insulted when I heard this, but I realise I not too sure if I know of alternative way. That is also an important reason that I think I should step aside.

This year, I really give all my best to my pupils in order for them to do well in PSLE. This year is the first time I think I balance hoping they do well so I do well in my KPI and also genuinely hope they progress well in exam. For my part, my pupils did better than I expected. While it might not be exceed expectations, I think it is very good. For all the pupils that would in normal circumstances be streamed to take Foundation level of the subject, i manage to turn around most. In fact, many manage a B, more than a pass.

The nights listening to the oral, marking their assignments seem worth it. But, in my boss eyes, I done all these at the expense of my staff and department needs.

I really agree with her assessment, and can only come to the conclusion that I have a capacity problem. I cannot help my pupils and my teachers at the same time. When given a choice, I choose pupils, and my class pupils.

It's quite embrassing, but I am quite happy that my class pupils do well so much that the the level do not do well (the other spectrum of A, my job is to help the weakest pupils pass) , it did not bother me as much. As a friend jest, I need to have 大爱,I am responsible for more than just my pupils. Indeed, my job scope require me to monitor the whole school pupils performance in my subject area. This is another marker that I am a misfit in my job.

In all honesty, I would rather go out at a high, and not because of realisation that I do a bad job. But I guess no point killing my passion for teaching for doing something that I don't like. I know stepping aside with have adverse effect on my career progression. I am glad my wife supported my decision. I am mindful that after I step aside, it might be a slippery slope down, but I will take what come a step at a time. Right now, I will just focus on doing the job as best as I could for another year before I move on with or without my superiors blessing. I am 40 next year. Mid life crisis start early for me.

Sunday, November 25, 2018

Random thoughts: Sickness

Is the holidays. I usually get very sick when the term break is here.

The funny thing is, beyond the obvious physical discomfort, I actually feel more at peace. I could have guilt free and care free rest, and the people around me are more understanding. When I fell asleep with newspapers around the room, my wife just picked them up without nagging. When I slept and slept, it didnt feel like I am wasting time.

When I brought my dad out for dinner, I had the most relaxing moments with my dad, soaking in the christmas atmosphere at the restaurant. Even when something unpleasant happened that required a lot of cleaning up, I felt my frustration is lower than usual.

I made me wonder seriously about 2 things.

1) Sickness could be managed suffering and it dun have to be all dark and painful, especially with loved ones around.

2) I should really get a change in scope in my job. Not sure how fast and how much things will change with a new boss, but I am very sure now, my job is eating too much of me. The non pupils related part of the work is toxic to me. One man poison could be one man meat. I am not judging,just felt its time to move on if a circle can't fit a square hole.

Anyway, there are counters in stock market is not in good health.

The Lippo Family of Reit is one. Anyone interested in getting FR, I would advise to wait for annoucement of acquisition aka dumping and rights issue.

Lippo mall dumping is always done quite ruthlessly, except for the Kemang Village deal (IIRC the name of the integrated development). FR might fare better, but look at the deal when it appear, there is no need to rush to buy.

Keppel Infrastructure Trust is always trading at above 8 percent yield with another yield Accretive purchase in the pipeline ( I am looking at the discount factor) of rights to buy.

My style of investment, as someone from IN said, is turnaround value play or cyclical play. I am not too sure if it is a accurate assessment, but I am not too concerned about the name.

It Seems just like managed sickness too. It doesn't has to be pure suffering. TheIR could be some peace and panadol of owning it as we wait for the recovery.

Companies that are sick which are in my radar for acquisition or accumulation include:

2) SIA engineering
3) QAF
4) FR
5) KIT
6) Singpost
7) Sembcorp

As with all sickness, some has already taken medicine (aka APPT), some have been resting for a while, some has been hit by the seasonal flu. They might not recover to the best of health just like all illness weaken our body.

Please take note that being around with sick people increased the probability of u falling sick, and where precautions aka risk management ia possible, it is not something u might want to do given a choice.

I just feel that I wouldn't use my sickness as a excuse for absence of caregiving since the doctor just say be careful and wear a mask.

My break, if it has to be given via a sickness, so be it.

Monday, November 19, 2018

Random thoughts: Silly Inc Corporate updates

Dear Readers,

It was stated last year the Silly Inc will no longer do half-yearly intern report, but so much has happened in Q3 that I, as the Chairman, find it necessary to give a update.

First of all, the rule of diversification of that our counters in our portfolio should be around 5-10% by cost value is broken. The company accumulate Silverlake Axis prior to its strong Q1 report and the company itself now takes up almost 15% of the whole portfolio value. We still have about 50% of the portfolio in cash.

Rationale for the accumulation is Silly Inc believed the company should be in the cusp of recovery due to capex recovery from the banks. The average purchase price of the counter is 50 cents, and break even price after accounting for dividends received so far is 43 cents, so we are still in the red. However, the company believed that Silverlake is undervalued and market will re-rate it sooner or later if it continues to announce stellar quarter results. The last quarter show a 70% improvement in net profits and doubling of cash flow. However, it is a big disappointment that it did not match last year dividends given its strong cash flow. This could be the reason why the counter is under-performing despite directors buying. We believe and hope the company will pay out more dividends from 2nd quarter onward. 

Secondly, Silly Inc made it first purchase using CPF monies to buy ST engineering. It was bought to ensure as and when it is necessary to purchase shares using CPF monies, there will not be teething problems. We are pleased to announce that this trance of investment is in the green as it is bought at a price of $3.2. Silly Inc has also tried exploring the iFast Fund SuperMart  (FSM) platform, and the company wanted to be ready to purchase certain ETF that is available on its platform. However, the company find the platform very user unfriendly with the need for transfer of cash into investment account. It is now monitoring the Shanghai Exchange Link from its UOB kayhian Acc instead and will most probably be buying its first overseas counter soon. The purchase is also to sort out any teething problem for such purchase as and when it is conducive to do so.

Silly Inc has made several purchases in the Q3, they are

1) Sarine Tech at 51 cents
2) SIA engineering at $2.9
3) Netlink trust at 78 cents (cum dividends)
4) APPT at 16.9 cents

APPT is a speculative position with only 10 lots taking 1.5% of the portfolio. Please rest assured the company made the decision on its own and it is purely coincidental that a celebrity blogger is also making big moves in that counter. Silly Inc made the purchase before we saw the post by the blogger, and we will continue to DYOD. SIA engineering is not doing well in terms of price, but we are not worried. We believe we might not be able to get our purchases constantly above our purchase price, but we believe that if we get the business right, its cash flow and profits right, the risk reward profile will be in our favour. The heavy capex D-checks should start increasing over the next 3-6 quarters if we calculate the number of years the down turn of D-checks start and the longer window of 6 years per check.

There are already several corporate updates aka blog posts on Sarine Tech so we shall not bored the readers further. Netlink is a company with obvious growth drivers. If the growth continue, it should be able to pay out its projected dividends purely from cash flow from 2020 onward without any need for borrowings. Silly Inc will monitor this company closely as market did not seem to buy into its growth story that is brought forward by Starhub exiting its cable network earlier. NBAP connections should be next growth drivers as Singapore gears up to be a digital ready nation and also with the network coverage buildup of the 4th Telco TPG. While the yield of 6.2% is nothing to shout about, we actually bought into the company expecting both capital gains and dividends increase with its growing revenue.

In terms of sale, the company has sold M1 in the open market, and has decided not to wait for the privatization offer to be finalized. $2.1 sale price would be a 13% gain including dividends over a 18 months period.

Conclusion of the first 9 months

Trading gain = $270
Dividends = $2012
Total returns = 2270

ROA = 2.06%

Friday, November 9, 2018

Random thoughts: PSLE results

I finally caught myself.

I missed my pupils. Counting down to the days left before I don't get to see them anymore.

Years ago, in my previous school, I had that feeling too. Feeling lost after a graduating batch leave me, not sure what else left to do.

The last three years, I have been worrying about the release of the results, because I worried about not meeting my KPI, I worried that I do not produce results, what would my subordinates think of me.

So much so that, I didn't have this feeling of missing my pupils anymore. Not that I am not worried about their results this time round. I am.

But I didn't realize I see them more as a statistic than a person. Each person is 1 percent pass or 1 percent quality pass.

The last 5 years I have learnt a lot. But I think it is a bad journey as a human. Hope it get better, I am harbouring thoughts of leaving too frequently and feeling frustration too often.

May all those who deserves to do well on the 22 Nov do well, and if they didn't do well despite their best efforts, may God let them see that adversity can be a jumping board to great things and they get stronger.

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Random thoughts: Abstaining from meat

It's has been more than 2 years since I have tried not to eat meat.

It is not health reason that I tried to abstain from meat, more like I hope to reduce killings?

I never claim I am a vegetarian, because I take diary products and I didn't care about sambal chilli containing dried shrimps or what type of stock mushroom soup used. (Yes, chicken stock is use for mushroom soup at Swenson, I didn't bother)

I hope I can abstain from meat for a lifetime, but I have been taking meat for about 2-3 meals a week now.

The journey is quite a failure, I would say.

Initially, when I see roasted duck, I do feel for the duck being killed and roasted. Now, I feel like getting a bite. Yes, it is meaningless to abstain from meat now, but I do hope perhaps one day, I could still get that compassion and that simplicity back.

In my first year, there are occasions where I took meat with my dad, but I didn't consider myself failing to abstain from meat. There and then, my intention was for my dad to have a good meal, and I know he could not finish the food if he was to have it by himself. I also knew he feel bad wasting food, so I order and share it with him. I have no desire to eat the meat, I just want to be kind to my dad too. No guilt at all.

Now, when I have meals with my dad, I frequently take meat, but I knew the difference, because I wanted to have the food and I crave it now.

There is no lying to oneself.

The subtle difference means the world of difference, although looking at it for a external lens, maybe nothing much has changed. In fact, I consider it worse now, because it borders on cheating oneself.

If we look at it from a cognitive angle, I start to understand the innate disposition difference of a trader and a value investor.

Was discussing about TA and FA with LP and co, and while I couldn't quite explain myself clearly, I knew there is no fudging of the 2 at its core, although some might be able to find a balance between the two.

If one pursuit the other in depth, one would realise the inherent difference. I am not interested in semantics debate, I feel it in my bones.

But it is fine, as long as make money, who cares, it's more for self awareness anyway. It doesn't work for me, might work for others

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Random thoughts: Moral?

Saw this at Facebook. Strike a chord. This is my comment to his Qn, |"so what do we do"

I think the article is right but ignore the fact about moral development readiness of a child.

Like learning, there is some rote learning at the beginning of mastery of  basic nummeracy etc.

Hence, a child would need to be simply reinforced and reprimanded for act of goodness and selfishness at certain early stage of life, until they could understand I do good or evil simply because I want to and it is who I am.

The only way for values to be learnt, is for it to be caught. After it is being caught, it tugs the heart and not just the mind. Therafter, it needs to be practised. (Hence the earlier reward and punishment for some practice before the action can be driven by internal values). Practices, is a dirty word nowsaday. It is associated with drills and is supposedly harmful to critical thinking and kills joy, which is bullshit. If u Understand a Maths concept or heuristic, but never practice any question, do u think u can apply the concept or heuristic fluently or naturally? Most probably, after a while, u will also forget the concept.

 Pic speaks a thousand words, and action speaks louder than words. And the action I am referring to, is not just the act of goodness or selfishness. The action, here includes also the reactions of a person after consequences or results is known. Is he at peace with himself doing good that no one appreciates and thinks of him as a fool?

A whinning man who feel victimized after doing good, acts based on expected rewards and not what he believes.

I am no sage. I know my karma will catch up with me, but I take reaponsiblity as I know it is my choice regardless of circumstances. Some circumstances might be migating enough but it doesn't change the fact that no one point a gun at your head.

Saturday, October 6, 2018

Random thoughts: Sarine Technology update

Not vested yet.

I continue to read up on Sarine technology, or rather, more on Lab growth Diamond and synthetic diamond.

I scuttlebutt at one local retailer, and ask if they sell lab growth Diamond. He told me they dun, but it can be already be found quite easily in Singapore market.

He told me lab grown diamond will lose its shine after a long time as compared to natural diamond. Well, that is a good one because no one can verify long time now.

He goes on to say they have buy back policy for diamond and there is no such for synthetic diamond.

I tested his sincerity but checking if it is cheaper by 20- 30 percent. I know debeer create diamonds that are 80 percent cheaper. So it should be anything between 30 to 80 difference. He first tried to evade the ans by saying it depends. But when I come back to the qn  he said for his own opinion, it can goes up to 50 percent. BINGO!

When I ask around if anyone would buy a sythentic diamond, one mentioned it depends if there is accreditation that it is real diamond, meaning it's made of carbon hahahah.

I checked online and realized that there is accreditation for lab growth Diamond although there is some resistance from GIA to grade and accredited it specifically.

I change my thesis.

This could well be a big disruptor and is a war not easily won by incumbents.

If sythentic diamond offer buyback and accreditation, then the only differentiation would be the atas vanity effect to differentiate market segment. Although there is worse secondary market for sythentic than natural diamond now. I believe sythentic diamond would make secondary market for natural diamond even more challenging, such that any small stored value is considered as negligible for both diamonds

But there would have become a niche market and lost the mass market. Remember the farmed salmon and wild salmon thingy in my previous post.

If one is concerned about value, I would buy sythentic compare to natural because if a jeweler can't tell the difference, who is going to risk paying a premium even with accreditation?

Not only that, if I understand the young better, the yolo generation cares quite a fair bit about ideas and sustainability. Natural diamond marketing is a diamond is forever, and it is used to link to love.

Sythentic diamond claim to be green, sustainable and conflict free. In short, there is no blood stain on your pledge of love. I think that is quite a strong narrative that can easily catch on.

The things is, sythentic diamond require cutting, and polishing too. Sarine Tech has the capability to do that.

Right now, it's a war like oil sand and conventional crude by OPEC.

Debeer want to undercut the margin and at the same time, differentiate the natural diamond premium.

I think Sarine do not have any binding agreement with natural diamonds supplier, but going to the other side too early only risk angering the suppliers and customers.

In conclusion,

Sarine will survive, no matter who win the war. But before one side dominate, it can just make do with the smaller pie before switching ...

I would think it's really worth watching, like the CDG and Grab fight.

This time, I think I will not make the same mistake of not taking action when it is clear which side is gaining 

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Random thoughts: just random

U know this is just pure randomness in thoughts, just penning down thoughts that stick with me.

U know, there is always this comparison with money and personality. And we always say we like to be treated well because we are kind of people like us, not because we are rich and powerful.

It is said that if we are welcome because of money and our position, when we lose it ( maybe because of fire ) we will have a hard time adjusting because those who respect us because of our appointment will then treat us with cold shoulders.

I generally agree that money simply amplify who we are, like Warren says, if u are jerk, u just become a bigger jerk when we become rich.

I would like to point to 1 similarity though.

We tend to think that we will lose money sooner or later, if later maybe due to retirement.

I would point out it is very easy to lose character too. If u think beliefs, values are part of character, just think back in our corporate race, how many times have we change our beliefs.

Then we lose the people who stick with us for our values. We can buy insurance to safeguard our financial wealth to a certain extend, but I am the insurance for our values is a bit more complicated. It contains both lump sum and regular premium and the frequency of payment could be in days

I dun agree it's one or the other too. It's totally possible to have two and have none.

But then if I can choose more of 1, I know what I will choose

Thursday, September 27, 2018

随心笔: 放下






Tuesday, September 25, 2018










Sunday, September 9, 2018

Random thoughts: Sarine Tech

This is not a analysis type of company prospecting. Just my loose thoughts and me writing it down to test my own understanding.

Whe I am doing some loose readings and prospecting, a few companies not currently in my radar caught my attention.

First and foremost is Sarine Tech. It is at almost 10 years low. It is not loss Making, has zero debt, gave good dividends, so what is the problem?

There are 2 known big risks. First, no matter how good its techology is in the whole value chain of natural diamonds priduction, from planning to retail, it is affected by the cyclicality of vanity consumer product market.

When the suppliers of rough diamonds slow production due to weak polished diamond prices, diamond Capex will be affected, so Sarine Tech Planning, Mapping, cutting etc software and hardware sale will be affected.

This is just 1 side of the problem. Synthetic diamonds reduce the need for mapping and as much as I tried to Google, I dun think Sarine do cutting for Synthetic Diamonds.

Why am I still interested?

2 reasons. Debeer stated its intention to also produce synthetic diamonds, and not only so, its doing it at a fraction of price of natural diamond. As stated in the newspaper article, the tactic is not so much to undercut the competition, but to really differentiate the natural and synthetic diamond. I am not sure how successful it will be. But I do think it makes a lot of sense to create the 2 tier system.

Personally, the cheapo effect on synthetic diamond, will contrast the premium of natural diamond. Think of farm salmon and wild salmon. Also, as a solitaire, unless u are proposing not with a diamond, which one will u buy? It's not logical and rational at all, but diamond as a vanity product is never logical at the first place.

Assume the price of diamond is 3K, u can get the same grade diamond for 2K, there is this glee feeling of getting a good deal. But when u get it for 800 dollars, it lost its shine. The girl will ask why, and u hope no one will explain to the girl about lab produce diamonds. Nevermind the composite of carbon is the same.

Sarine Tech's Journey, Profile and light series of technology/ software further work on the premium and vanity quotient of diamonds by allowing customisation and adding to the story effect - "A diamond is forever" told in another way, if I can interpret it in my way.

Sarine Tech also face copycat problem in India, it's single biggest market. So there are reasons enough for it's free fall.

But assume a dividend of 3 US cents, EpS for 6 months already 2 US cents, it's a counter giving 4 cents SGD and above 5 Percent dividend when all the odds are against it.

The joy of company prospecting is not so much finding the baggers now. I wish I could, but I enjoy reading and understanding the business and industry through my layman lens. It's quite fun. Acknowledgments to Valuebuddies again, I had fun reading how the early investors took a 3 baggers and unload it before it crash back to earth.

Such fun, reading the bullishness in 2011 and the downturn that lead to a once market darling to become a plague.

Really a eye opener as I read through how growth explode in the early years and the turn came suddenly and how even with 50% fall from the peak, many who predict an rebound would be 30 % in the red now.

If u read the AR and recent announcement, it's "Vanity Enhancing" software seem to be going places, with Singapore Sookee taping its service. Sarine Tech also setting up centers at Guangzhou, Japan.

Of course, if trade war blows, and economy go on tailspin, diamond as a discretionary vanity product will be hit further.

But it does seem worthwhile to be locked into my alert list after primary reading.

Hope, I have time to read and hence share about the second counter that caught my attention, Netlink NBN Trust

Sunday, September 2, 2018

Random thoughts: My CPF decisions

When I first got my flat, there is no 20K buffer arrangement, I wipe out my OA. I didn't keep a buffer of several thousands by investing it away, maybe because I am confident of the security of my job.

My first decision in on the allocation of payment of OA to our mortgage. I wipe out my OA monthly contribution and my wife pay the balance. The rationale is my wife can stop working temporarily if she is pregnant or if she needs to take care of kids.

When the HDB officer mention there insurance payable etc, I smile and say there is bonus which will increase CPF contribution monthly too.

My first working decade, especially the first 5 years, my CPF account is a joke. It never really grow, I kinda of even secretly blame myself and wife for this arrangement.

I had plenty of people asking me why I didn't try to pay off mortgage earlier when I am in the workforce 6-7 years, I always replied that there is no rush la, the interest is low, when the truth there is nothing much to pay down anyway.

Looking back, I am happy I made the decision because my wife finally made the decision to left her job to do private work. She feel secure about her CPF when I explained that her interest earned is enough to pay for her monthly mortgage, it makes her more at ease about her financial security.

Call me MCP, I am proud that I can provide for my family. It gives me self-esteem.

As I climb the corporate ladder, my CPF buffer increase, I start to make some voluntary transfers from OA to SA. Thinking the 1.4 percent interest difference make sense.

Looking back, I am an idiot. I have mortgage in excess of 150K and causing me interest of 2.6 percent and I am transferring 10K, 5K, 2K etc to my SA.

Only when my SA hit the ceiling prohibiting transfer that I realise I am better off clearing my mortgage slowly.

I could have together with my wife, clear the mortgage, but we did not.

I wanted to have a buffer now, as I no longer feel so secure about my job. Not really because I might be shown the door but more like I might throw in the towel.  I also wanted OA to be of certain amount so that as and when if I do need some money for my child education, it is one possible option. (I rather not take that option though)

Anyway, to cut the story short, I think a lot of discussion on CPF has been about Maximizing returns, I think it is equally important to understand how CPF can be used to addressed our needs before we talk about Maximizing returns.

Next, we can calculate all we want, but there is no need to fret too much over it. A lot depends on luck. Policy changes risk aside, I married early. Just 1 year into my working life and we bought a resale flat. I was damn lucky. Just 1 year working, how much capital do u think I have then? But the BTO and resale gap is very small after subsidy for leaving near parents is considered. It is almost neligible, less than 20K or even 10K and the location for resale flat is better. (Near the mall) it is just pure dumb luck.

Policy changes and tweats to CPF have been too frequent for my comfort. While we do what we can to take advantage of the CPF system, we have to remember 人算不如天算。

Until now, all the policy changes are for the better, or at least justified in economic sense. I dun bash CPF for the sake of bashing, many who bash it won't be able to handle the monies on their own well. Yes. I said that, bite me.

Friday, August 31, 2018



原本应该12 前结束的预约,















Wednesday, August 29, 2018












Friday, August 24, 2018

Silverlake FY Results

This is short qualitative analysis.

The bad:
1) The acquisition of the 3 Goh entities cause a drag on a otherwise would be decent recent. Q4 Gross profits would have been better, the 3 entities are loss making.

They restated the FY 2017 to include the 3 entities for apple to apple comparison, but looking at past reports would let u see the results much clearer. The 3 entities are loss making in Q4 but overall makw close to 20 mio profits in the whole year.

Without the 3, Silverlake would have a rather glowing report card, showing growth of it SBB services and one of the strongest quarter for the year and also YOY.

The good:

The margin has improved as project liscening and delivery of contracts have improve margin. The gestation period, finally seem to be over.

I have bought back what I sold off earlier at 48.5. With a higher av price of 52_54cents Market would most probably give the set of results a thumb down, but I will see how iy goes from here.

Sunday, August 19, 2018

Random thoughts: Dividend investing

Was having a chat with another blogger, and we talk about dividend investing. So some of the ideas I am sharing here is not mine alone. I don't think he really mind as I think we agree broadly what is dividend investing.

So, there are many ways. Let's do case studies. These are the down the mountain case studies aka success examples. I shall not name who they are but I think bloggers know who I am referring to la.

1) yield at cost is ridiculously high. The stock that the investor is holding is a 10 baggers, so even if the company collapse tomorrow, he would have milk the counter 10.times over. U can sleep and no worry a bit about the counter.

2) Capital size big enough to have meaningful cashflow from dividends to be pumped back into the various counters for compounding effect.

Unlike 1) who is already retired, 2) is still working successfully. He has a warchest accumulating due to his human capital although he has blogged that he had taken a breather and is more chillax when accumulating wealth is concerned, he is most probably still working and accumulating wealth from his human capital.

Both 1) and 2) have a sound dividend policy because both can weathered any storm. While 1) is a retiree, he has famously made known that he depend on 3 taps. While he no longer has a big flow of tap from human capital, both 1) and 2) did not try to force their portfolio to be as large as possible to squeeze the maximum amount of dividends. This is call risk management.

As for AK, he is celebrity status la, so not need to talk about his rumbling of war chest and how he took advantage of 2009 to have his comfortable portfolio.

What did u see in common in the above 3 success stories.

Now, let's talk about us very medicores who are climbing up  mountains and do not earn 500k a year. We do not have the first pot of gold or we started recently and have missed the 2009 period.

Highly unlikely that if we invest post 2009, that we can have 10 baggers. If u have a 4-5 baggers after 2010 u shouldn't be reading this but should be leaving a comment and direct me to your blog.

So how?

2 ways, we can continue to invest to keep ourselves alert and I believe there are still value buys out there if u are good at prospecting. But if u do not have a big warchest, do not earn big bucks, not sitting on 10 baggers, do not have a big enough portfolio that generate meaningful dividend yield that can still sustain the portfolio through market ups and downs, I think it is wise not to be vested beyond 50% of your portfolio.

I am talking about dividend investing, at current valuation, if u still think u can catch 3-4 baggers, again u shall leave a comment and direct me to your blog.

As the market falls, scale in. If u have 15 more years of investing before u retire, we will surely catch 1 more bear - bull cycle.

As we earn more, we invest more, but still keeping a decent amount of money in cash. This is an option to buy more when market turn downwards. As I say, we can afford to show hand if
1) u earn big bucks and your portfolio is a joke compare to your earning power
2) your portfolio is big enough and yield high enough to reach escape velocity.
3) u have multiple taps, perhaps properties? Is somewhat similar to case 1)

Otherwise, better not show hand. Worse, use leverage on dividend investing.

Look, leverage has its place. It magnify returns and loses. If u think u spotted a growth stock with potential to grow 30 Percent and perhaps be a multiple baggers, u are convinced and u hoot using leverage, I can understand.

But if u are squeezing another 2-3 percent yield from it, and trying to artificially inflate an portfolio, I think it defied logic.

Dividend investing, as it is, is about collecting money over a period of time, preferably long term, although we should still sell if we believe dividends is at risk. CFD need top up when the direction move against u, and if u are trying to inflate the portfolio, I wonder how much cash as ammo one have to be ready for that scenario.

Instead of leverage, I think many mountain climbers should think of CPF. This is where I differs over the blogger I had lunch with.

He felt CPF should be a last resort, because after firing so many rounds, the price surely is low enough not to cause serious damage to CPF.

I agreed, but given that CPF cannot be encash as we climb up mountains, I believe CPF can be staggered between cash to be invested in tranches. Of course, the heavy investing should take place through cash first.

The reason is this, we never know how low is the market, if I get all my cash call wrongs, and get my CPF calls right, it will be a long time before my cash is above waters right?

But if I stagger between the 2, there will be some tranches of cash that is entered at low enough price that I could possibly liquidate if I need the money. I told the blogger if possible, I would still use investment money than touch my emergency funds if there is a sudden large sum purchase that I need to make, for example, an kin's medical expenses. Personally, once I touched emergency fund, the peace of mind is gone and I hardly think I will make good judgement calls thereafter. But this is just my preference.  I know of people who has multiple emergency funds. I do not have it.

Climb up mountain slowly. Mountain climbing can be dangerous, don't fall to your death.

Friday, August 17, 2018

Random thoughts: Counting longevity?

Yesterday I was having dinner with my dad.

His walking is much weaker now. As I walk to the lift with him, we saw a neighbor using his hands to support himself. Their conversation left a deep impression.

They talk about the pain and ache of their legs. They brushed it off as old age.

The man asked if my dad is 80, and claimed he is 2 years younger. He then exclaimed how every year after 75 is a big difference to the preceding year. He now struggles with what he could usually coped with and it gets worse every year.

My mermories of my dad lifestyle conincide with what the man says. Aging, perhaps really caught up with my dad in the last 5 years. I remembered not too long ago, people were complimenting he was as strong as an ox for his age. He used to walk from whampoa to Pek Kio for breakfast and walk back. 

Age is but a number. Some people start aging at a much older age. But once aging starts, it is clear and painful.

Every year is a deterioration from the previous.

Enjoy your years.

Friday, August 10, 2018

Random thoughts: that elusive happiness?

A pupil once asked me about heaven and hell. I told that pupil heaven and hell is in the heart. When we are happy with ourselves, it is like paradise on earth, and vice versa.

There are times when we look for the little pleasures to comfort ourselves. The easiest are material comforts. Think of food, spa, holiday etc. Some of the material comforts further bring about a sense of achievement or pride, such as car, poster photos on Facebook that show the most exotic tours, garnering record high likes. It is like killing 2 birds with 1 stone, enjoying the experience and stroking the ego.

My family went for a staycation during the national day holiday. I pampered myself with one of the finest hotel stay and buffet meals. Strangely, I felt very bored and empty. I am happy that my child and niece had a good time, but the holiday crowd gave me a headache and I am screaming inside. I could literally feel my heart beat faster in the queues.

I realize sadly, or fortunately, satisfaction come from my work rather than these little indulgences that I pursued.

It is not that my career is smooth sailing, but despite the headache it gave me, it nonetheless provide a calling and a sense of purpose.

I realize recently, life is about choices. I am not doing about choices accumulating wealth. It's about accumulating karma. There are many people I met, some toxic, some are my loved ones, some passing by. Whoever it's is, or whatever the circumstances, there are always an option to be kind and offer help to the distress. But real help is difficult, requiring a lot of follow up and real compassion to make it sustainable for both the helper and the beneficiary. It makes helping pupils seem like a breeze.

It also made me realise my cutivation is really low, as I couldn't really bring myself to help, rather 独善其身,一个人潇洒。

That elusive happiness. I saw it and knew how it can be like.

Thursday, August 9, 2018


How do u define contrarian investing?

The most popular is buy when market is low and when there is blood on the street. But it is such common knowledge that I doubt it can be called contrarian, since by definition, it is about going against popular wisdom.

Personally, being a contrarian would need one to be exposed to short term pain.

I would think there is no such thing as contrarian investing. Its simply about convinction, which I lack.

I have some success with companies that I bought when they are doing well and they continue to do well. I have also companies which I bought when faith in them is low. Both have their hits and misses, so the key is not about being contrarian for the sake of contrarian but convinction of own analysis.

With the reporting season coming to an end soon, I do like Singpost. Their parcel busines is scaling up nicely, most probably due to the feeding of business from.lazada.

Since new management comes online, they have been taking writeoff. While the warrant loss is a surprise, I would he more surprise if the cleaning up is not coming to an end soon with the new board already in place for sometime.

Its another stock at 5 years low.

However, I am.holding off buying anything

This continous bull run is really getting on my nerves and I feel myself losing the discipline to hold a warchest.

Anyway, I have 3 months before the next reporting window. Those who report bad results wouldn't run up anyway.

The other company playing out as it should is ST engineering, and I tempted to buy higher to chase higher.

Again, we will see how it goes.

Anyway, if we look at the 3 telcos battle, M1 seem to be doing the best in terms of getting new subscribers. Another company that is at investor rubbish dump without TPG firing the first salvo.

Was hoping TPG show their cards quickly.

They will surely have cheaper deals in order to gain market shares. The question is how much? Unlikely it will be a grab Uber type of cut throat competition, but anything between what is offering by market now and how far it cuts is very important.

In short, as long as u have a style that doesn't waver, u are already a contrarian. This is not to say u cannot change your style or try new things. Its about a core that u believed works. Some of the bloggers have it. Some show that they have it.

And theIr short term results is not the determining criteria

Friday, August 3, 2018

Raondom thoughts: Over attachment to results

We all like good results.

Investors like growing earnings in the companies they invested in. As a teacher, I look for improvement too.

But recently, I have make a strong mental effort to be not emotionally excited or disappointed with results.

It helped me coped better. In fact, not only did the decoupling of expectation of results not cause a deterioration of motivation, it actually allowed me to push my pupils harder, without questioning myself so much.

When a staff talk to me about the stress of producing results, I am.not too sure why I suddenly retorted " I am sicked of results, just do your best for your kid"

I think I mean I am sick of attaching so much emotions to crossing of a particular arbitrary benchmark of results ...

I am very pleased that a pupil of mine has start to speak loudly and is able to quickly answer oral questions. She still fail, but I am already very pleased with her development. However, I know she is doing this to clear her exams and I hope she does.

I have extreme case for the other spectrum, pupil who did reasonably well during practices and is one of my better pupils but end up becoming the worst pupil in the exam. In the past, I will usually be very flustered, this time round, I simply speak with her, and ask her to try harder. I do what I can, I leave it to karma of mine and theirs to decide the final results.

So, what has worked? Actually, my boss always ask me what strategies to.improve results. I am quite sick of that question. She ask me why there are still failures, whereas my colleague walk to me and ask how I made a particular boy read and speak. They taught him in previous years and remember him as one who refuse to speak or read.

My answer is really simple, but never accepted. U can Ask me to think deeper, but I am stupid, so I can't find a better answer.

It's just 人盯人。 1 to 1 coaching and motivating. Encouraging them and giving them small successes. Then, Its practices after practices. When they are very sianz, talk to them. When they give u the "I want to give up face", u be around to remind not give up without a fight. Most of the time, its a losing battle. Things like games, pie face game, piggyback on song, use of PC, flash cards, group work etc are things I do something to break the montonous of the teaching, because I know energy level is low and they are very bored too. But 80 percent of the time, they are practising questions after questions and I explain answers after answers. Sometime I crack a joke or 2, but those are time fillers, the icing on the cake, they are not the killer moves. I did ask many of my colleagues who are able to turn pupils around, I ask them what is their sauce very sincerely. I hear what they say, and see what they do, I dun think they are any far off in my approach. No fanciful stuff that u see in the internet.

I dun know how to be creative and innovative and do less learn more. I am happy with do more learn more.

So, if I am useless in showcasing the lastest flavor of the month, and slogans, I am truly sorry. I want my pupils to do well in examination and hence I focus on teaching to the test. I am not ashamed.

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Random thoughts: First shot, SIA engineering

Initiated position:


1)Price at 5 year low
2)Yet, earning is improving.
3)Local earnings is weaker but SIA engineering strategy of forming joint ventures and alliances mean the earnings should be look at in totality.
4) Latest AR did not disclose number of D checks, but I believe the upswing should start next year, if they can keep their market share.
5) With ST engineering, I am buying into Singapore Aviation story, abeit its the support and service equation of the Aviation Story

Valuation in terms of yield is fair, as SIA engineering has always trade around 5% yield.

But personally, 5 percent yield at market peak and 5 percent yield at the tough of cyclical MRO cycle is different.

1 round of.ammo has 2 more shots. Which alerts will go off first?

Sunday, July 22, 2018

Random thoughts: Different intelligences

I think most of us have heard of this in different forms. Some are musician, some more talented in sports, others in arts etc.

I always believed everyone can learn everything. But everyone has 1 or 2 intelligences that allow learning to take place at a exponential rate as compared to curve that pleateu off after a while.

I have this pupil, dilligent and driven. One that does all the work I assigned to the best of her abilities. She however has difficulty in oral conversation.

Sadly, it took me a really long time to realise what is wrong. I always thought she has a confidence problem. Because she could recognize the characters and answer questions on  vocabulary correctly, and even write reasonably.

I just realized she has problem generating  vocabulary and pronouncing it. She speak in anguish one day and say I know how to write that word.

When I ask her to record her response to question, she could do it reasonably well. I later realise she took a really long time to prepare and organize her thoughts at home. But when required to do it in a quick and impromptu manner, she fumbles.

However, she can draw really well.

Not just that, she really is quite brilliant in her on way. There is this chapter about 3 painters asked by their master to draw as many camels as possible.

One drew as many camels as possible, one used camel heads to represent camels and another drew mountain range and 3 camels followed by a fourth just emerging from the mountains. No prize guessing which is the best.

Without teaching the chapter, I asked my kids to draw as many fishes as possible. Some did what the first painter and a few did what the second painter did. Using dots to fill up the small piece of paper.

She drew a school of fish clustering together. Different schools, some showing the fishes clearly and others just dots. It gave the whole picture a sense of depth and almost three dimensional. She even drew the right deep water fish at the bottom of the page.

I knew she wanted to pass and do well very badly. But I am not sure if I can help her in her oral despite 1-1 practice everyday and reminding her what are the common vocabulary to be used ...

But alas...

Sometimes I wonder what else could be done to prevent inevitable...

Friday, July 13, 2018

Random thoughts: Pressure cooker advertisement

Which pressure cooker is the best?

Singapore made pressure cooker is the best. Fast, quick and keep rice smooth and mositured.

Popcorns, porridge, Tonic soup.
Cooker breaks it down, pop it out. Everything cookable.

So many modes for your pleasing.
So popular among locals and some say in Asia.

For advance cookers, u can even control the level of fluffyness and water content.

Some.are confused with the many functions, wanted to cook rice and end up shedding tears churning porridge.

While the level of fluffyness and water content can be regulated to customize for each customer, customer are advised to adjust their expectations as the food depends as much as thh cook as well as the cooker.

Sunday, July 8, 2018

Random thoughts: Of teaching and investing

Has been a while.

I felt I have been to the brink of depression and back. It felt different. The turning point was the Vesak Day 三步一拜 (3 steps 1 prayer) ritual, followed by a break of 5 days in June


1) Felt like quitting. Contemplating going private.
2) Harbour thoughts of self-harm, driving the car up to the one in front
3) Wish to be diagnosed with chronic illness so I can lie in hospital and do nothing (really choy choy and touch woods looking back now)
4) Felt it is a pain to enter the classroom even when I have the lesson properly planned and it was a new and special lesson. I usually will be very excited, but I just can't wait to get it over with.

Don't ask me why so serious. Beats me.


1) Told myself to just tell myself to accept the fact that I am the most lousy teacher. I ended up happier. I still did most of the things I did in last semester, but I can put on a smile doing it. I worry less about their results, since I told myself lousy teacher produce lousy results.

2) Told myself as lousy teacher, I shall chill more and take it easy. I "Bo Liao" with pupils more, talking about non-academic related stuff, even when I am doing oral practices, I veered off topics and joked and poked fun at their responses. I find their laughter therapeutic. I shall take care of myself first then them. As a lousy teacher, they happy, I happy can le, if they dun do well, too bad


My idol in school, told me he is very disturbed when the school talks about joy of learning. He says he drill and drive the pupils too hard. It seems he is always on their toes.

I thought he is joking and I told him I look up to him in terms of his passion and drive. He told me he really felt it that way. I told him I define joy of learning differently, no sense of achievement, where is the joy. No achievement no ownership of learning. But i end up telling him I have decided to just keep reminding myself I am lousy, so I do what makes me happy and I dun bother myself with all these idealistic principles anymore. Those are for better teachers. I pass, I do it as it suits me.

Now, I dun feel like quitting anymore. Just a month ago, I gave a historical low of 4-5 out of 10 in terms of satisfaction in teaching. I had always gave 7-8. I am glad I felt 7-8 again.

Maybe it's a encouragement from the higher up, just last week, when I was at the canteen early in the morning to catch pupils who didn't complete their work properly, a lot of pupils crowd around me to talk to me, even though I was marking and talking rubbish to them at the same time. I might sound like a little kid than a teacher, but I felt really appreciated and "wanted". My friend told me I need to much affirmation as an adult. Well, I agree. Happiness is reality minus expectations. I have worked hard at improving reality, so now I will just try to lower expectations.


As for investing, I must say I have been most lazy. Have not been actively prospecting for quite a while.

This time round, the plan is really simple.

I calculated the no. Of rounds I had, and the stages where I want to start firing. Then I just wait.

I remember how I wish I didn't bought more when I buy at 2900 and STI went to 2400 and I freeze.

I also know how I sold out a lot at 3200 and felt stupid when STI roars to almost 3600.

So, I just stagger my rounds using both cash and CPF.

First round should come soon if market break 3100 or any of my counters break 1 more resistance.

Next round will be when it goes down another  10% with CPF

Ever 10 percent drop, fire 1 round. After 2 rounds, firepower double from pistol to magnum. 5th and 6thround bring out the rifle.

By the fifth round sti should be near 2000

This time round, I will add overseas ETF to diversify.

Simple plan . The tough part is waiting.  Finger at trigger le. Just move a bit closer.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Advertorial: Save on car insurance prenium by up to 15%

This is Advertorial

This is the first time I am doing an advertorial because I believe it is a reasonably good deal. For those who drive, vouchinsurance get you cash back on your premium if you dun claim.  One could get up to 15% cashback on your insurance premium paid at the end of the policy year. I, for one, has not made a claim for the past 10 years, except for a windscreen change due to a flying pebble, and I hit my maximum 50% NCD for the last 6 years. I would think the savings would be rather meaningful had I come to know of this deal earlier. Also, Car insurance is compulsory, if it is a fixed cost as long as you drive, why not go for some savings?

So, how do we actually get 15%? (Details

In a nutshell, the 3 insurance companies on Vouchinsurance platform will set aside 15% of your premium once you signed up and will place you in a pool of fellow drivers under this scheme. If no one makes a claim, you get 15%, if someone makes a claim, you get lesser. You can form your own community of drivers pool.

I checked with Yu Jun, Co-Founder and CEO of Vouch InsureTech, about the probability of 15% rebate, and this is his reply:

"There is a pretty good chance of getting the cashback because we do seem to be attracting the safe drivers even in our early days since our Feb launch. For our ~50 customers, the median NCD is 50%, and so far no accidents reported." 

My existing car insurance premium is $979 from SOMPO, which is also one of the three insurers with Vouch Insurance. I tried to get an online quotation and was granted one from NTUC rather in a hassle-free manner, and the quotation I got from NTUC is $992, so the quotation was rather competitive. The 15% cashback would amount to close to $150, which, if used to offset my next premium, would mean I heard the lowest possible quotation. By the way, you get back cash aka cheque, not an offset of the next insurance premium. Yes, I don't like lock-up, I am not stupid, so I genuinely feel the deal is a sincere one, albeit depending on luck (Those in your driver pool no having accident claims).     

If you refer to my promotion code you will get $25 discount, to be redeemed as cash after 60 days of policy is in forced. You can also refer your friends after you set up your own account. The referral process is really simple, there is a “share on facebook” and then paste your referral link.

Below is my link:

I don’t know what you think, I think the deal is not too shabby. In case you are wondering, Vouchinsurance is also MAS approved. 

Random thoughts: Final reply to my letter

I wrote a post earlier, 13 months later, and being the last day of school, I read the "letter" again. And also the letter 6 months ago. So many have changed.


1) Shift your department teachers' mindset away from teaching to the test and examination. Deep learning or meta-cognitive learning have higher retention rate, it should not affect the results adversely too much. How many teachers have you convinced with your words, deeds and values? Or have you yourself thrown in the towel?

6m) I have not throw in the towel, although at times, I do struggle about drilling for more marks or teaching pupils how to learn. I think I did well with my low progress kids. This is the first time in my teaching career I receive unsolicited notes of thanks at the end of year and not teacher's day. 

How many teachers? Hmm, maybe 1? But if I struggle, I think she is lost.  

Now) thrown in the towel. Even for myself. Some of things I do like choice of writing etc still applied, but deep learning or metacognitive skills, not in my honest memory.

2) With the focus away from examinations and KPIs, you hope to see education as pupils actively pursuing knowledge and in whatever capacity, applying that knowledge. You have said that the following words stick in your head, let me remind you in case you forgotten. "The world economy no longer pays you for what you knows; Google knows everything...The world economy pays you for what you do with what you know." With the zero-sum pursuit of mindless competition of who produces more A pupils a National Trend, have you hold steadfast to your belief? Do you remember going to your MLS friend's school to teach for a trial lesson? They wear different uniforms from your pupils. With the bell curve effect, they doing well in PSLE mean the bell curve work against your own pupils. (Don't give me the shit that the new PSLE is standard referenced. It is just a static preset bell curve.) But you love them nonetheless, you think they are cute. You felt proud that Singapore provide good and decent education to pupils in the neighborhood. You suddenly felt that it is really meaningless and perhaps shallow to be upset about being "below National Average". Why should I be happy? The "national average" does not fluctuate that greatly, why should I derives so much happiness or sadness in beating fellow Singapore's Children? 

6) Surprising, I remembered that lesson and still talk about it. I have move even further away from ranking, and caught myself competing with my colleagues in terms of results produced. I decided to mindfully remind myself not to do it. They can do better than me, I should be happy and thankful of a strong team.

Now) well, honestly very affected by pupils' grade. But I do not see them as numbers. I have a few pupil very embrassed that they didn't do very well for the exam. I am now sure what happen on that actual day, but they sure did much worse than usual. When I go through the components, I told one of them who no longer looks me in the eyes after the results if she is feeling pie say. She said yes and felt she has disappointed everyone. I told her I am not just a teacher for pupils of good results but a teacher for my pupils. Its OK, no need to pie say.

One thing positive in the midst of being caught up in the pursuit of results, is I still believe everyone can learn, but I no longer believe everyone can pass. Didn't give up on the weakest of my pupil even though there are many calls to put him in Foundation stream, maybe I am too naive.

3) You wanted to prepare the pupils not just for the examinations, but also the future. You believe that joy in learning, is perhaps one of the ingredient for effective learning, and that pupils must be self-regulated learners. You realize that preparing pupils for examinations and the future in that sense, need not really be a zero-sum game, as the two are not mutually exclusive.

6)I did taught them how to be self-regulated learners. I do think pupils pick up some skills from me, but I think I am far from igniting joy in learning. I have however, think deeper about "joy" in learning. Joy, beside fun, is about self-discovery. I am going to move further in that direction.

Now) joy is also about seNSE of achievement. Sadly, I could not give it to most of my pupils. As for self_discovery, if it is about self-motivation to learn, I think I do have a few very motivated pupils whose attitude have improved from last year. But I suspected is the fact that PSLE is closing on them rather than any factors attributed to my teaching. A side note, the pupil that cried in my Chinese class for failing Maths last year, cried for Chinese even though she improved. As a cheapo teacher, I ask if she will cry again in her coming maths Periods. She laughed, wipe her tears and said her Math teacher won't ask. She reminded me of the dilligent girl I had in 2016, who work very hard and got an A but went to NT stream. Could see her working very hard aa compared to last year, wondered if the reverse would happen this year, that she did very well for other subjects but still fail Chinese. But from no talking at all to me, last year, to always asking questions and helping me.arranging my books, I think I can sense she appreciate my efforts as compared to a year ago. Although she still did not say much.

Self-dicovery, if its about confidence, I might have planted it in a few pupils because they find reading less taunting and the RESULTS reaffirmed their progress.

4) Joy of learning is not about having fun doing activities, it is about making sure every pupils can progress and achieve. You seek to do this with Differentiation Instructions (DI). You have in the past, pursuit only the form and not the substance of DI. You have a better understanding of the whole DI approach by Tomlinson , you understand what it means and possibly how to differentiate the process/ content or product according to pupils readiness or if possible, also take into considerations pupils' interest and profile. You are no expert in this, but with Formative Assessment (FA) and DI in your mind when you did the 2 trial lessons in 2 different schools the last 2 days (6-7th April ), you genuinely felt different. I think I will cut you some slack for not able to prepare lessons as thoroughly as when you are on course. But, did you stop observing pupils' readiness? Have you stop asking yourself how to present your information more clearly and preparing for multiple content sources and process to cater for pupils who cannot follow your intended lesson? If you have been doing this at least once a week, I think you are already doing well. You also want to present your true self to your pupils, you realize you are generally a fun-loving person, so the humor in class should let pupils feel more at ease. But have you become so tired or pressured about the academic performance of your pupils that you have start reverting to becoming a team commander of soldiers in a war zone?

6)I did this with flying colors. I am like an ah beng in class, so much so that my pupil kept laughing at my antics to her mum. Lucky she is amused and not offended. However, i did get very firm with my pupils and not everyone appreciate my "true" self. I can see some are shocked more than entertained, and others most probably think I am very "boliao"

I change my way of presentation of information at least 3 times, I didn't track that it work for everyone, it stopped when it worked for some, and I didn't prepare multiple and customized notes for everyone, although I did try to track their proficiency in reading comprehension for my high progress pupils and I think they did improve 

Now) well, I continue to give personalised feedbacks to my pupils, although I am Not sure how sustainable it is. Just before the oral exam, I gave my HP no. To all my pupils, and ask them to send me recordings of their readings and oral conversation. I am able to pinpoint their weaknesses specifically and I know I did turn a few pupils around and at the same time also improved on the clarity of feedback to pupils. But I ended up listening to my pupILS work all night (till 12pm), and I think its a contributing factor to my burnt out. The joke is only about 60 percent of pupils did more than 50percent of the practice. If it is 80 percent doing 80 percent of the practice, I think I either don't have to sleep or give standardize feedback that is useless.

If u ask me if I know my pupils weaknesses, I think I can say yes resoundingly, and I know of different ways to possibly plug the gaps too, because others have been through that. The problem is time and fatigue.

5) Self-regulated learners are learners acutely aware of their own learning. During MLS, you have been reading a lot about how the brain works, about metacognitive strategies, and the easy essence of it are having
1) Compare and Contrast
2) Classification
3) Meaningful Transfer
4) Self-Monitoring
5) Mindful selection process
6) Gap filling either individual or in group

1) Done, through error detection exercises, not effective

Now) nope

2) Classification of difficult words, if it is considered as classification, yes

Now) mind map of oral according to qyestion types. Underatanding qn types of comprehension

3) Done, from model answers to adapted answers, yes, from adapted answers to internalized understanding, nope

Now) oral to writing to comprehension, many links are identified, can be actively pursuit

4) I did that after their exam, didn't observe impact.

Now) nope

5) Yes, in composition, Oral, Vocab, presented in comic form, given pupils more options

Now) nope

6) Yes, useless

Now) Not gap filling, but specific learning objectives that show their writing progress 8n terms of content. But sadly, such progress dun get translated to marks unless there is the next big jump. Some are close to inflexion point.

You have worked hard to try to figure out how everything can be applied from reading comprehension stage to speaking and writing. Did you continue to use these? Have you extend the activities and strategies? How many teachers beside your soulmate/ friend in your department have you gotten excited about all these teaching methods. I can't write the teachers' names here, but MS, SC, JAN, NF, YZ and SY are potential champions you have considered, are they really champions now? Have you not even started? Did you keep their interest burning, did you make them turn around and help you keep your own passion alive?

Project done, but interest? I do think they see value in the project we are doing, but I hardly think they are excited, because the schedule is too punishing, and their work too hectic. I am just glad I am still alive

Now) Hmm.. maybe I gotten a few excited about the memory technqiues by Brian. Those teaching the low progress pupils.

I have also made annotation a visible learning strategy and although there are variations, some have applied it and I have also learn a thing or two from my colleagues.

6) You want to streamline working processes such that you can reduce at least 5% of teachers' workload. You had wanted more flexibility in weekly PDT, you wanted technology to help in discussion and some marking. You wanted to scale down some programmes. You understand a burnt-out teachers cannot really inspire pupils. This is one area that you felt is toughest to do, if you have actually found a path, you do yourself proud. One area you are looking at is purposeful reflections, as diagnostic data collection means and stimulus for discussion. Have you done anything about it. How did it fare?

Done, but felt it is a paper exercise. flexibility is given to teachers, but many are still burnt and tired. I have not read all their reflections, so maybe this part need to KIV

Now) same

7) You have wanted a more systematic approach to integration of various learning objectives across levels with strong build-up of differentiated resources. One key success factor shared selflessly by your HOD friend about active selection of topic to drill in the final year is not a short cut, but a meticulous and calculated move(3 years prior to ensure maximum exposure and repetition), much like company prospecting in investing. Have you embarked on this journey? 

Kind of tried to do it for reading comprehension, did not turn out the way I envisioned, but there is some data and information to use

Now) no progress since 6 months

8) You have wanted the professional learning project to be of more rigor. You have bought books for teachers to engage in literature review, and the use of lesson study lesson plan template for discussion and planning. You wanted more informed and well-planned initiatives. How has those plans work out for you?


Now) hmm... there is more reading as compare to the past, but I realise just put the right people in, and just tell them the direction, and thinGS will happen. People are better than books. Books can help me give the right direction and be mindful of people strength. I am glad the strong parents volunteers have returned to help.

9) You wanted to continue with the NIE library membership and spend at least 2 days in a year visiting the NIE to borrow some books to read.

Intend to

Now)Sigh... I just want to rest

10) Finally, something less tangible. You said "Human First, then teacher, then a HOD to bring everyone along" How does this sound to you now?

Think I still believe it. 

Sama Sama. But I also want to MMOB if possible


Seem like I didn't do too badly, but what have I done for my department...

LOL... I live by the day, perhaps its beyond my capacity. 

I do enjoy my lessons and teaching better, like my pupils, even if the feelings are not mutual. 

2018, lets hope the letter do not get lost or worse, forgotten

Now) tired, to the extend of having planned a pokemon catching outdoor lesson does not excite me. I just went into a classroom and delivered the lesson surgically.

Tired, that when my colleague told me a parent from her class praise me that I am.the contributing factor that her son love Chinese now, I just said "OK, thanks, during PTM she did thank me too" when the usual shameless me will be jumping up and down in joy.

Tired, that having delivered that last item of organizing a competition for foundation pupils does not stir me. I wanted foundation pupils to have a chance to shine and compete, but most of time as I plough on in the planning, I keep asking myself why I so "extra". I saw my MLS friend who came with her pupils. She reassured me that it is something meaningful I am doing. I told her that is the last item in my "bucket list" from my course with her as I knew the operational daily activities will bored me down and I need to focus and do what I set out to do. I wasn't really joking when I smiled and say "now I am ready to die" I am ready to let dreams die now.

I still feel for the kids, they get me off my bed every morning when I think of getting  medical leave for the day.

Monday, May 14, 2018

Silverlake Q3 Results is lousy

Just 1 word, lousy.

Cut through all the bullshit about growth of 17% growth if exceptional items such as GIT sale profits is excluded, QoQ Gross profits is lower, revenue is lower. Period.

No one is really comparing it YoY.

Maintainance revenue which is recurring, is hardly recurring. The 10 percent fall more than offset all the growth from.all segments.

With all the contracts win, if topline cannot increase after a gestation period of more than 1year, it just means 1 word, bullshit.

Conclusion: Reduce. Thesis does not work out.

Friday, May 4, 2018

Random thoughts: Sillyinc's biggest investment in Silverlake

Transcipt of interview with analysts.

Disclaimer: contain forward looking statement

Q: Why is that u have such a high concentraded bet, I mean investment on silverlake axis? Given that u always proclaim to take a conservative stance when investing?

S: yes, we are still accumulating. To put it most simply, we expect core earnings to grow in double digit over the next few quarters. We find it difficult to find a company with a good yield and also growth prospects.

Q: why the confidence in growth?

S: Silverlake has been winning several contracts over the last 12 months. The most recent one being the biggest core SIBS platform with a whole suite of services. It is not a upgrade but a new customer. The earlier contract wins should begin to show its contribution in the upcoming quarter. In fact, the last quarter already show a improvement in core earnings but price continue to went south instead.

The acquistions of GOH private entities would then lift Q4 earnings and its insuretech segment is also making headways. In short, I believe it will fire in all cylinders soon and market will rerate it.

Q: whatever u are saying, the market knows, its all old news. Why the underperformance of the counter then?

S: well, there could be unknowns unknowns. But let me haphazard a guess. The acquisition of Goh private entites couLD lead to dilution of shares rather massively. It is not exactly a straight forward deal, and with razor short selling report still in people mind, people just avoid the company with a 10 foot pole.

Q: why wouldn't u then?

S: Let me try to explain. Silver lake give generous dividends, because of the profits of GIT. Is GOH shareholder friendly or at least fair, I think he is, and why not since he owned 65% of silver lake, he would want to also take his fair share of gain. Even discounting the special dividends, we believe 6% dividend is possible and sustainable.

Of course, corporate governance is important. But look at the recent deal, he didn't took cash out of the company. He took more shares of silverlake axis.

The company didn't even dilute the existing shareholders holdings by issuing new shares. Instead it transfer treasury shares to Goh. You might want to say that company cash in doing shares buyback is also money, but what Goh effectively done is injecting his Private entities in exchange of more shares using company money. That doesn't at all smell like he is exiting in anyway.

Given his cost of shares buyback of silverlake is less than the 71cents that he offer to sell.his priavte entities, the PE of the collective 3 entities is about 7. PE 7 for a deal, seems like a good and reasonable deal

Of course, profit might fall, and he could be doing a HPHT, exiting at a high, but given his track records, I doubt that is the case. He got more of the company, unlike HPHT case with Li.

Also, company is still buying back it's shares. But there is a blackout period leading to release of quarter results. I believe the buying will continue after the results is released. In fact, I felt that if I am Goh, I might want to take it private and either go list back at Malaysia or Hong Kong to command better valuation.

Q: That all sound very convincing, but shareholders are worried, and what if u get it wrong.

S: Even if we manage to accumulate all that we wanted, it would still be less than 15% of portfolio. It is currently less than 10%. Also we have stop loss mechanism in place if we get our earning prediction wrong.

Q: Any other notes for potential investors

S: It is important to.note that when licensing and special projects fulfilment increase, it's maintaince rev will.somewhat drop, but net net, it should growing. Also, some might frown at family members as executive directors, but this is a situation not unique to Asian companies. YZJ has a young CEO at its flagship yard which is Ren Yuanlin's son.