Wednesday, December 21, 2022

Thakral, a gem under the rubble?

Note: vested interest

Never heard of it? Is a singapore listed company with distrubution and real estate business.

Maybe u should take a look too and tell me what u think?

Some interesting facts:

1) 7.5 +- yield, that is backed by it's dividend policy of 2 half yearly payout of 2 cents. It is broken only in 2020

2) The distribution business has turnaround and with China also opening up, the longer term trend makes tailwinds more than headwings.

3) Hit the jackpot with its 50-50 JV with Gemlife, which has been developing retiree homes for the above 50 in Australia for almost a decade. It is going from strength to strength, and there is failed attempt to merge living stone and Gemlife and to attract a new investor for a 1.billion stake. Although Thakral clarfied the australia news article price tag of 1billion is "indicative", and the deal has been called off, a comparison with its existing market capitalisation suggest a wide discrepancy.

4) Company did a partial offering in 2019 to raise its stake to 50.2 percent at low ball target, of 50. Cents, then just 11 percent prenium to then WAP.  It restarted shares buyback above 50 cents recently. It has not done any shares buyback in years

It is purely my speculation that the company might be privatised. But if is not, a 7.5 yield seem like a good deal to me, especially if the dividends never exceeded the company Net profits and is stated as a formal dividend policy. In short, the dividende seem sustainable.

Merry Christmas and Thakral you, i mean Thank you for reading.

Have a festive year end

Tuesday, October 11, 2022



Friday, October 7, 2022

Random thoughts: Thankful for a satisfying day

Yesterday was a great day! I am thankful for it.

For those who read Rolf H2F3 post, it was one of the days where I feel everything is falling in place

We celebrated my wife's birthday. We didn't really celebrate birthdays beyond a meal at home due to Covind. I spent quite some time planning for this. While my wife changed the plan quite a bit to fit her busy tuition schedule, I can see she is visible happy about the meal out, and the surprise gifts we got for her, which are not expensive. 

I also meet up with some secondary school friends for a game of volleyball, and I brought my son along. I could not recognise most of my seniors, but I nonetheless had a good 1 hour game. I could not play longer as I need to fetch my wife from work. 

What really makes me happy is I used to be very anxious when I played a game with the seniors. This time round, I simply said I would like to play the role of a "setter", even to strangers. There are mistakes made, but it doesn't bother me anymore and I could really enjoy the game as it is. What I have been telling my pupils in my CCA to do, I finally is able to do it myself. 

Even my son said he has the best game play ever and would really want to play more. 

Although there is not much catching up with friends, I am just contented to have re-connect with my secondary school friends, even if it is just short whatsapp messages.

The time spent thinking and planning for my wife birthday celebration is really worth it. I realise I have spent so much time planning for my pupils' study and I have not put in as much thoughts for my family. Will try to do so more often. 

Saturday, October 1, 2022

My portfolio turns RED

My defense have been breached. I want to write a blog to reflect on a few questions.

1) Could I have sold more earlier? 

2) When to buy more? 

Let's look at the recent actions. My rules governing selling is not price sensitive, as oppose to what many investors and traders use. I ask myself if there is a risk of earning deterioration, and if the odds is high, sell. 

Hence I sold CSE, whose management mentioned about cost overrun eating into margin, and with inflation, I hardly think things can get better easier even with a bigger order book. The price didn't reflect my pessimism, it fells generally with the magnitude of market retreat.

I also reduce Hotung, as I thought the high interest rate environment with make tech VC business more trying, and they have already had 2 years of good growth, and hence is staring at a high base historically 

I reduce Geely 175 HK, since I wanted to keep my HK portfolio smaller than Singapore, and after accumulating on weakness, i got a chance after China declare it wants to support EV industry to offload with profits. I still have half of the shares, but the fall in this counter has been drastic, things could have been worse if I have not cash out 

These sell actions only generated about 5 percent more cash. 

And some of it, I recycled and bought into YZJ Financial and Wilmar, so the net cash increase is slightly less tha 3 percent. 

Compared to TONG portfolio from the edge newspaper, who decidedly trimmed half of it portfolio, my actions seem to be going nowhere. 

Now, why couldnt I sell more. Are there possible deterioration of earnings that I failed to see? 

Inflation, restricted to my limited knowledge, affect margins for almost every company, except perhaps commodity companies (but apparently this is true only for energy but not agriculture, if u look at the price performance of companies.) 

So, so I sell most of my counters? Or should I continue to look at company specific impact, and hold on to those companies since I have no idea what will be a good rentry price. 

The fear of missing out of a good rentry price for good blue chip companies seems to be the reason why I hesitate to sell companies like ST engineering, HK land, Keppel etc, as I scope them up during pandemic panic. I am not sure if such price will come by again. If u ask me if I can sell first and buy back later, I am.not sure what is the "spread" to take advantage of. I did tell myself to buy back DBS after I sold it at 37 yo get back at 20 percent discount, but when it went to sub 30 for a while, I did nothing, and the chance is pased.

Let's assume I should have done it, and I should sell most of my counters now, I am not sure if they will fall another 20 percent, it seems like "gambling" that a Inflation triggered recession will wipe another 20 percent off when prices have already corrected. I think HK counters is really too late to sell, as they have already dropped close to 40 percent from their peak. 

I also shuddered to think that developers/reits who survived 2 years of pandemic crowd control measures who do worse in a recession. 

It seems that at this point of time, the answer is I could not have sold more unless I changed my rules for selling. 

The HK market is a surprise, as I did miss selling the construction companies when the developers are delevaraging and their property market went into doldrum. Beyond that, is school fees paid to understand the business better, what raw material course to look out for, and what regulation to stay clear.

For the second qn, my rule is accumulation when prices fell by 20 percent in a "normal" market and 25 - 30 percent in volatile market. 

It definitely is the latter now, I did went and scope up plenty of HK counters recently. Ping An, ICBC, Alibaba, China Resources 

Even in Singapore, I intiate position on CICT and adds on to SATS. 

I will keep to the rule, and buy anytime when I think the odds of future earning growth is high. (need not be the next quarter) 


There is no denying that I have limited knowledge of how the companies are run and the industries that they are in. 

But the silver lining is that I have not broken any self-written rules for investing. 

I am not sure how I should measure my performance, but I am definitely not losing sleep yet. 

Maybe one of the selling rule could be 2 years of record growth? Any lack of catalyst or first sight of red flag should be enough to activate a sell some call, so I could have perhaps lock in more profits. 

If I followed this rule, I would not be able to sell earlier, but I could have sold Lung Kee, CSCP, lonking etc 

I think the most important rule to review should be I should have a different set of rules for HK portfolio. Since the movement in this market is perhaps 2 to 3 times not volatile. I should take a more active trading mindset with overseas counters

Friday, September 9, 2022


中秋快乐, 但愿读者身体健康。


不奢望包容受宠,只要知音的了解 。




Friday, August 19, 2022

Random Thoughts: Fairness

Recently the above words resonate with me a lot. I do not see it as a whin about the world being the "lion" and hence it is survival of the fittest, rather it is about a choice, a choice that we make and hence, we live with it.

We have been taught that our parents take care of us, hence we take care of them. Work hard and study hard, and we will get the food of our labour.

The truth, I guess, is there are plenty of exceptions.

The reverse is true too, Mother Nature has given us almost everything, i.e. resources, fresh air etc, but what have we give back to Mother Nature?

It is about the choice of a process.

Recently, I read up a bit about Karl Marx's ideas about emancipation, and that there is a difference between political emancipation and human emancipation. I guess the romantic vision of human emancipation where the ideas of communion and fellowship is so ingrained in us that people need not institutional rights to protect us, is akin to thinking that lions will not harm us, if we do not harm them.

It is human nature to expect a certain result from a certain efforts. However, as a teacher, I knew firsthand that the threshold of "efforts" is arbitrary, and how much efforts one put in, is often seen in one's own perspective. I seldom hear comments like "I have already done my utmost best" from pupils in the past, but I hear it quite often now. (i.e. Pupils are really more articulate nowadays). From the vintage point of a teacher over years, I have seen how some pupils work really hard without complaints and how some think a little efforts exerted is killing them. Sometimes I just have to reply very blankly that "your best is simply just not enough"

Even if efforts measured by hours are the same, how effective the hours are spent differs, but I would like to point out that it is already very difficult to get some to put in the hours. 

The faster we recognize our choices, and accept the possibilities of our choices, the earlier we discard "complaints" and reduce some of the instinctive negative understanding of our world (Some say is survival instinct)

I might be dealt with some lousy cards in life, and I am taking the opportunity to think and plan for my next steps if the worst happens. I guess I would feel really unhappy if the worst happens, but at the same time, I believed I will pick myself and challenge myself to explore new horizons. 


Saturday, August 13, 2022

Random thoughts: Academic and sporting performance

I have faced disappointment in both areas, as a participant and also as a teacher/coach.

We tend to give too much hope to good performance and forget that consistency is the most important.

It is useless to be able to spike, serve well during training and let fear takes over in a match. When we can do very well in some questions, doesn't mean we can answer all similar questions.

In the end, the process of refining how I coach/ teach, becomes more meaningful and motivating than the final results.

My players trained hard but didn't get the results, my pupils were lazy and kept telling me they are stressed and have too much work. 

Effort does not gives u results, it however will likely give u progress.

Let hope those who passes me fear no hardship and progess in life.

Friday, August 12, 2022
































Sunday, June 19, 2022

Random thoughts: A School Holiday Break

The weird insights of my break from work

1) Misses work for the first week of break, but apprehensive about restarting work in the third week.

2) Watch and then finished reading "Demon Slayers". The Anime Art blow my mind, but what really sticks is the line "there is no heaven or hell, that is a concept imagined by weaklings who cannot do anything about their sufferings"

I agreed with it. Althought it is words uttered by demon, we should live out lives to the fullest or to the way we wanted, there is no need to hope for heaven or wish the hell for others. 

3) Reading Dalio "Changing World Order" and Grayting "history of philosophy"

The mind is the most beautiful and effective when combined with the most powerful computer or the most trialling circumstances. 

Live the experiences, and let them become tools of enlightenment and research

4) Simplicity is enjoyed by kids too.

We planned a camping or rather Glaming trip for our son and nieces and relative kids 

We planned bowling, aracde trip, BBQ, jumpolin etc, surprise and surprise. Most of them said they enjoyed the BBQ of Masmalo most, and second the visit to turtle muesem at ORTO.

I shall start work again tomorrow. Looking forward to it. 

Friday, May 27, 2022

Random venting: A weirdo emotions

Warning: Low energy post

I think I am a weirdo.

In the past few months, I have been bombarded with 1 bad news after another.

My good friend going thro divorce, another friend's mum is down with cancer and another passed away. 

In my area of work, a parent complained that I picked on her son. I misplaced a rather important document at work. 

Yet, while these incidents cause some disturbances, I got through them within minutes, made a decision on what I should do, and execute them.

My superior told me my performance might be affected due to the loss of the item. It didn't really bother me, I simply went on to discuss with my bosses and proceed with the actions to bring damage to a minimal.

I was rather "happy" with my zen, and how the many setbacks didn't seem to affect me much. The market pullback didn't even make the list of what bothers me. 

But when the team that I have been coaching and working with lost a match, I was very upset. I feel they lost to their fear and were not playing to their potential. 

In the third and fourth placing match, I told them to play to their best and the placing doesn't matter anymore. They played even worse.

I was quite taken a back by how strongly I feel about the whole incident. The night the team lost the semi-finals, I can't fall asleep and I feel tightness in my chest. The next morning, I did an punishing exercise routine to sweat it out and vent. It works only for a while. 

It's the first day of the holiday, and I still feeling rather moody, the last time I remember experience such intense unhappiness is during the caregiving and later, the passing on of my parents. 

As I lie on bed, I realise I experiencing some "separation anxiety" too. Every year, during my pupils graduation, I would feel it for a week or 2. 

I think I am weird. When my superior told me I might get a much lower performance bonus, I was just upset for like ? 10 min? 

I think I am super emo. So like instead of experiencing separation anxiety once a week, I will experience it twice a year, at the end of the NSG. 

Sunday, March 20, 2022

Random thoughts: Energy vampires

I feel drained when I hear the following:

1) Petrol pump is up, everything is going up, and there is going to be GST, the ......

2) Why is there an price difference between Grab food platform and the price of food from food court? Let's order something else ... ...

3) Why is the country opening up? There are still so many cases, they dun care anymore... ...

It is not the content, but the lack of perspective and drama that I hate. I can understand it when a PVH laments about the cost of petrol eating into margins and profits.

Yet, we are safe and sound in Singapore, while Ukraine is being bombed, and car owners who still have their jobs keeping talking about rise in cost, it smacks of lack of thankfulness.

I am glad that Covid, Ukraine's war, and inflation is affecting my life only in terms of dollars and cents and I am very thankful that I can manage, and still get on with life. 

While I have many unhappiness regarding how Covid is managed in Singapore, I think there are many loopholes and flaws in Singapore, but I nonetheless is grateful that we are in no shortage of Vaccines, and our hospitals are not overwhelmed. 

U can disagree with the way things are, I express your opinions, that doesn't make u or me a energy vampires. But if you just like to complain and dramatized the many little inconveniences, I wonder how can we experience happiness and peace. 

Dun be energy vampires.  If we cannot spread positivity, at least keep the negative Energy to ourselves.

Thursday, March 17, 2022

Random thoughts: Alibaba and JD

 I think Alibaba brought a lot of grief to people. 

From what I read in the blogger sphere, it seems many people "regret" boarding the bandwagon. 

As a silly investor, I would like to give my silly take. 

As Alibaba went south, I followed my rules of engagement of accumulating when price show 20-25% weakness. When it is my third or fourth Tranche, I look for 30-35% correction. 

Mathematically, the third or fourth tranche will be less than 50% of your last purchase price.

The caveat is the accumulation cannot Exceed 5% of my overall portfolio, and my portfolio, I included my cash that are set aside for investment. 

I believe Alibaba cloud business will turn in profits, and its e-commerce still has a moat. I also believe/ hope that regulations will come to an end, and release the pressures on these companies. 

My average price is 146 and I am 30% into the red. I missed the lowest price and my last entry is 96, which is just slightly higher than what the market offers now. At its worst, I am down by more than 40%. 

I do not think I will accumulate further although I still have leeway and room before the 5% ceiling is hit. 

The same can be said of JD, although I waited longer before accumulating because JD results is worse than I expected, (turning in a loss).

I think I am humbled by the HK market, as I am a newbie in it. I didn't experience multiple days of more than 20% swing in price per day with STI. 

My holding of HK counters increased significantly when HK hit bear market, alas, I was 2 days too early, or I would be already be sitting on good paper gains. 

Yet, I reminded myself that my goal is not about bragging rights, but to build a portfolio that is less fragile to shocks, and one of the way to build such a portfolio is to do bear hunting. 

I bought:

1China Shineway Pharmaceutical Group Ltd. 


3Ping An, 


and accumulate JD and Alibaba. 

The point I want to make is this, we can never predict the market, and we will likely learn new lessons from Mr Market, but it is of utmost importance to have a plan or strategy and stick to it. Gather data as you execute the plan, and refine it. 

If we start throwing out our whole blueprint every time the market move against us, and hope to get a new sure-win plan, we are asking for trouble. We should be more concerned about our portfolio, than individual counters. What is the cash flow generating from that portfolio, and is there any buffer to withstand a correction? My last count, my yield of portfolio is 3-4% only, but it is a portfolio that allowed me to sleep well during turbulent times and is better than CPF, OA, without lock-in period.

I hope to be able to improve either the yield or the MOS of my portfolio. Since I am still building up my portfolio size, I am definitely BUYING more than SELLING. The only stock I sold in the last month is DBS, but I agree with SMOL that I can do better at SELLING, since I am too fixated on buying. It is one area that I think I can improves on, but SELLING and PANIC SELLING are 2 totally different matter

I am more a turnaround investor, so my style suit me alone. I am not peddling my way, but encouraging whoever is sitting on Alibaba paper loss, that well, you have a silly companion who is not just silly but also stubborn. 

Sunday, March 6, 2022

Random thoughts: Steady portfolio in chaotic times.

My portfolio is 10 percent in the green, but I have several misadventures, with counters down by 50 percent or more, such as TianNeng Power international, and several others such as Alibaba 9988

The portfolio is actually not at it lowest, for the past 1 year, despite the HK tech meltdown, Russia War, and inflation fears.

Looking back, the last 6 months provide several reflective points, which I will pen down 

1) Portfolio should include both realised and unrealised profits and also cash.

I used to ignore unrealised profits or loss in looking at my portfolio, and realised how foolish I have been. Several counters that I bought for a trading gains, like Geely, Alibaba, JD has gone from a profits to loss. Geely especially, has met target of 50 percent gains, and yet, I didn't do anything. 

2) Thematic reallocation of portfolio.
When inflation is the scare, I pick up Olam, a commodity player. Commodity plays tend to do well in inflationary environment, and so far it worked well.

Reopening theme plays have not turn out too well. 

But restructuring plays like Capitaland to capital investment, sembcorp Demerger, and Keppel vision 2030 restructuring all turn out relatively well. 

Diversified portfolio need various themes, and I will continue to explore this, together with geographic diversification. I recently re-enter US tech stocks again.

3) Dumb luck.

ST ENGINEERING and BAE are bought, for their cash flow and defensive business. When war broke out, both perform well, although I rather there is no war. I hope war ends quickly and won't not mind the 2 counters knee jerk corrections.

4) Averaging down is a double edge sword.

1 counter, TianNeng Power, has been average down thrice. Hitting for ceiling/ threshold of 5 percent and singlehandedly pull the whole HK portfolio into RED. 

I think I might need some review of Av. Down rules again. 

Of course, there are cases of Averaging down working well, like For Olam, etc.

5) Accumulate up will work too. 

I did that for Hotung, YZJ, Comfort Delgo when I predicted that earning will improve, and pushing up dividends. It works well for all except Comfort Delgo. 

The idea of earning projections and expansion is important in our decision making process. Don't just buy low price, buy when there is low expectations, and earnings can beat those expectations.

6) Diversification gives me a good night sleep.

Non of my counters are above 5 percent of my total portfolio values. In fact, I have more counters in the 2- 3 percent range than 5 percent range. My portfolio value moves up and down like a snail. 

I guess is nothing exciting. But since most of the counters gave a dividend, as long as the portfolio stays above water, I will just milk the dividends and occasional opportunitsic trades.

7) Entry point is everything..Almost.
I created the bulk of my portfolio during the Covid onset scare, when STI is around 2700. 

Yup, I went in early. It bottoms around 2300. 

But it is still a reasonable entry points for most counters. 

Friday, February 11, 2022

















Friday, January 28, 2022

Random thoughts: I didn't get what I want... ...

 It might not be a bad thing.


I bought 2 poles (those for clothes drying), to be used as stands for a DIY volleyball net. 

However, my son and I break 2 of these stands/ poles in recent weeks as our spike hit the string too hard.

When I went to those "mama" neighborhood shops to get replacement again, I could not find those extendable poles anymore. So, I settle for the bathroom shower curtain poles that cost twice as much. 

I didn't really wanted to wait and shop around anymore as I was really busy and we have already arranged to play volleyball 2 days later.

When I set up the net, I realized the shower poles are made of solid metals and despite us "accidently" hitting the net strongly a few times again, it did not break. 

A good thing happen.

... ...

In my investing journey, I have wanted to FIRE at age 40-45.

I didn't get what I wanted. 

I wanted to have early retirement.

I realized the numbers didn't add up.

I hope to have a retirement that does not become a burden to others. So far, this last wish might still be possible, because if I am healthy, I hope to work as long as I can, as long as I can still contributed in my work.

However, Investing changed my perspectives on many things. I get exposed to ideas of behaviorism and biases, and applying the rules of investing are like training my temperaments, learning how to cope with fear and greed. 

If you ask me, if at the end of the day, if my net net gains in investing is a net zero, I would still say it is a wonderful journey.

... ...

In my work, I have wanted to climb the coporate ladder.

When I took a back seat, I have to cope with some inner demons and ego issues.

There were quite a few occasions I felt "useless" and blame myself for throwing in the towel. 

Now, I am having hell of a time. Every morning, I played volleyball, or rather coach it to pupils with passion and hunger to win. While I am mindful that my secondary school way of training is outdated, with hard drills and a lot of yelling, I sometimes cannot help myself. But the players still come for these "optional" and "extra" trainings, and sometimes when I got ready at 6.40 a.m. Some of them are already waiting for me.

Many chastise me for being "glory" or "Results" hungry, I think they missed the point, and it is sad coming from a PE middle manager. It is not about being the champion, it is the hunger for improvement and success that perks me up, and I look forward to those sessions everyday. 

I also have plenty of time free up to make lesson interesting for my pupils, even those not in my school

I arrange for a role-playings during lessons, and pupils actually "cook" in class. One of my pupil had to miss my lesson to go see the dental, and he shouted:" Again?" That he wanted so much to stay in my class to carry out the activities I planned really made my day. 

I also create escape room games for my pupils and organized a nation-wide competition just for Foundation Stream pupils, which I believed is the first such national competition for "weak" pupils. Last year, a few teachers text me after the event, and thanks me for organizing such a event for this group of pupils, who do not have much self-confidence. Although there were some glitches last year, and this year, less schools participated, I am still happy that I now work to fulfill my own vision of what education should be. 


Sorry that this post sound like self-trumpeting in the end. Perhaps it is those self-encouraging posts.