Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Dividend Income Updates - Q4 FY2017

With earnings completed this quarter, I can finally tabulate my dividend income for the 4th quarter and also consolidate them for the full year.

I have been reliant on much of my dividend income over the years as it gives about a state of stability and predictability in terms of the cashflow that is much needed in my space so far.

I continue to invest in an arsenal champion of profitable companies who would then declared part of their profits as dividends to reward the shareholders. Having a stake in these companies mean having part of the pie when these companies reap good returns from their business.

I think this year has been a great year for the most part of investors.

Not only do they get to receive dividend income from the businesses they own, but also reap the benefits in terms of better striving business and higher profits, hence translating into higher share price for the shareholders.

Reits in particular have also been very resilient this year and will continue to be for the longer term.

If you are following my portfolio, you'd know that I don't hold a lot of companies on hand. Thus, the 4th quarter is a rather barren month in terms of dividend.

The only company that declares dividend in the 4th quarter is FLT, which pays out sometime in Dec later this year.

CountersAmount ($)Payable Date
FLT1,344.00 19-Dec-17

This brings the reporting for the dividend income for the year comes to an end.

The full year dividend income comes to $26,292, which to me is largely disappointing because I have a goal of achieving a dividend income of above $32,000 for the year. But again, that's because I killed much of my golden goose ahead and have them allocated elsewhere. So perhaps I should see that as a level playing field.

I'll try again next year to see if I can improve anywhere from here.

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Sunday, November 12, 2017

"Nov 17" - SG Transactions & Portfolio Update"

No. of Shares
Market Price (SGD)
Total Value (SGD) based on market price
Allocation %
Fraser Logistic Trust
Far East Orchard
Ho Bee Land
Total SGD

We are closing down on the final 2 months of the year and it seems like the market is doing good for everyone, except me :D

As such, it is difficult to keep up with the returns of the market especially if your portfolio does not include the bullish industries alike such as banks, properties, oil and gas or bitcoins.

For this month updates, I initiated a position for Far East Orchard for 20,000 shares at $1.51. I thought it was a decent position as we wait for the company to go back to a net cash position. I last wrote my thoughts on the latest results here. I'm just going to wait for a few development to play out before deciding what to do next.

I also re-initiated a small position in Ho Bee Land for 10,000 shares at $2.51 which I blogged here. The company announced a solid Q3 results which I reviewed here and I am still deciding if I should add to my position in the company.

I also divested my position in First Reit at $1.395 after it hits a high before it went xd a few weeks ago. I just don't feel too comfortable with the current valuation of Reits in general at the moment and there are better options out there so this is more an allocation choice to divest.

I also bought a new position in Straco Corporation for 50,000 shares which I blogged over here. Straco is scheduled to report its results on the 14th Nov so will be one which I am looking forward.

I had also taken a small position in Cosco for 25,000 shares at $0.33 for a speculative position after it announced that it will take Cogent private. Given the recent industries bullishness lead by YZJ and the strong economy bounce back, I took the gamble to test my hypothesis.

Net Worth Portfolio

The portfolio has increased from the previous month of $613,980 to $615,318 this month (+0.2%  month on month; +34.8% year on year).

I guess the from the graph itself it should sum up my whole performance in the second half of the year. After a strong performance in the first half, the second half of the year proves to be extremely disappointing as it failed to follow the general bullishness of the market and is lagging the general market by a long mile. The YTD performance is about on par with the STI index so far, if there's any consolation at all.

I don't think we'll see any surprises as we close the year so it'll be business as usual.

I'll report the year performance once I have concluded them next month.

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Thursday, November 9, 2017

Ho Bee Land - Q3 FY17 Results Review

You might recall I re-initiated a position back in Ho Bee Land just a month ago. You can refer to the earlier post here.

The company announced its Q3 results today after market trading which I thought was pretty good.

The first that was brought to my attention was the recurring income from the rental. Unlike the model of my other vested company FEO, Ho Bee recurring income has steadily increased over the years and we are seeing another quarter of increase from this quarter. Year on year, the recurring income was up 12.4% to $39m in Q3, so if we extrapolate that to 4 full quarters, we should see it reach at around $160m. This was higher than my earlier expectation of $150m which I forecast when I bought earlier. It could be well due to the favorable pounds exchange rate in recent times.

There was nothing much to shout for the sale of the development properties. Much of the Aussie project for The Pearl in Melbourne and Rhapsody in Goldcoast have been recognized so this quarter was not much different.

There's no mention of any sales from its Sentosa project.

The biggest impact that came out of this quarter is the contribution from the joint venture project in Shanghai and Tangshan.

What was once an incident that I have much concern in the past turned out well at the end, given the recent bullishness in the China market. The company managed to book in profits from associates and JV combined of $31m this quarter, a huge boost to its earnings.

What made it better was that the associates declared a dividend which was well received in this quarter under the investing cashflow. The company used it to repay some of its borrowings and cash balance was boosted significantly.

As of Sep 17, net gearing for the company has reduced to 0.3x. 

NAV has increased to $4.55 as compared to $4.39 in previous year.

The company has no next available project that I am aware of that will need the cash, hence I trust that the company will move for another acquisition in UK shortly, which seems to be Chua's favorite playground right now.

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Monday, November 6, 2017

Far East Orchard - Q3 FY17 Results Review

FEO just announced its Q3 results and I thought it was much expected from what many had thought to be a disappointment, especially if we compare them direct across year on year.

From the results, it also proves that FEO is far from reaching its status of being a hotel operator with much recurring income and that the company needs to be treated more as a developer with lumpy earnings. Many of the assets sitting in their book have not yet contributed to earnings, with completion such as the UK accommodation and Joint Venture project with Toga still ongoing. Hence, ROA is low if we look at how much the assets are generating relative to the earnings.

Hospitality revenues would come in at around $150m for full year and a net profit of around $12m. That's far from being able to sustain the 6 cents dividends they've been paying.

Based on the Q3 results, we continue to see similar decline in nature in sales due to the agreements in NZ and AU as well as the lower contribution from Perth and Brisbane. Echoing other companies results, it appears that only Sydney is prospering with growth at the moment. Almost everywhere else are saddled with supply issues and a lower revpar.

Shares of profits from the contributions of Rivertree Residences have tapered from this quarter since the progressive recognition of profits are about to almost complete, hence this resulted in a lower earnings. It is important to note though that the company received most of the repayment back from its JV from these sales hence cashflow has increased considerably. The company's stake of 30% in the projects yield them around $40m in cashflow, which translates to about 9 cents.

As at 30 Sep 2017, the company has a cash equivalent of $211m and a borrowing of $210m, so the company has gone back to a net cash position this quarter.

We are still seeing the company engaging on a few near term projects such as the development project for Woods Square, the mixed retail/residential project with Toga on the Harbourfront Balmain as well as the residential project in UK which is still in the infant stage, hence cashflow will be strained and will likely go back into net debt in the next 1 year or so until the Balmain repayment is completed. Since the arrangement is with an investment in JV, it is unlikely they will see the cashflow until at the very end when all are completed or when the JV decide to declare a dividend.

In terms of balance sheet, they have been revaluing their properties so their nav should be pretty much to date and I just suspect the share price might just continue to languish slow until the company is able to go back convincingly to a net cash position once again.

I'll continue to monitor meanwhile.

Vested with 20,000 shares.

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Saturday, November 4, 2017

The Fine Art of Reverse Budgeting

I thought I was the only weird one doing this until I read an article by Dave Ramsay and confirmed its existence.

I hardly come across people who are doing this in the same way I do, so if you are on the same wavelength with me, give me a high five.

Traditional Saving Method

If you go to a personal finance seminar, you'd tend to find advice that tells you to be frugal, save as much savings as possible to a large extent and then invest the rest.

In that very order.

When I was only starting out wanting to build up capital aggressively, I'd do the same in that order.

Many people budget traditionally by keeping a tab on their day to day expenses and consolidating them with an apps to enable them to track them religiously each month knowing how much you've actually spent in that month.

The idea with doing it this way is you keep focused on each and everything that you've spend under that category and you've become so accustomed to being frugal in your lifestyle that you basically know who you are and what you need.

I think this serves a very good way to track if you are a beginner at saving and would like to see where your expenses go to. However, once you are so accustomed to your frugal lifestyle, there is little point in doing this anymore.

Reverse Budgeting

Reverse budgeting is a concept that I've never thought I would come across but it has suited me rather well in the past three years.

Now, I am not saying that the traditional method of budgeting is bad. Contrary, I think it serves different purpose to different group of people going for different objective. It is important to acknowledge that.

What I did differently with this concept basically is to allocate and tag a fixed percentage of expenses to my income. For instance, if I earn an income of $10,000 a month (hypothetically) and wanted to target a 20% savings rate, then my bucket for expenses would have a budget of $8,000. What I did next is to allocate the primary expenses to these first bucket of budget. These primary expenses such as mortgage loan, groceries, utilities, maid salary, bills are the MUST expenses that I have to incur. The rest would go to the second bucket under discretionary expenses.

Assuming my primary expenses for that month is $5k and discretionary expenses coming in at $2k, I would still have the leftover of that $1k to allocate.

The good thing about this approach is that you can then force yourself to find activities that will increase the value of your life by the need to spend. Now, this may sound weird because every financial experts will tell you to invest that leftover but in my case, I would use that to increase the value of my lifestyle.

Do note that the key is increasing the value of the lifestyle so this is not about spending it recklessly, whichever how you define it. This can be as simple as giving a treat to your subordinate that you feel she deserves or a gift that your spouse has always been eyeing that for. This can also be a travel with your family or extended family member or a dinner meet-up with friends whom you think is important. For instance, in my recent case, I had decided to spend on tickets for Jacky Cheung concerts which my parents have been eyeing for the longest time. I can do this because my budget allows these discretionary expenses.

Whatever it is, you forced yourself hard into thinking ways how to improve your lifestyle. If you have been doing that already, then it's great, but if not, it helps you to achieve a greater lifestyle in a discretionary manner.

You don't necessarily have to spend to increase the value of your lifestyle but having that extra money makes things easier, at least in my case.

Step 1 - Allocate a savings percentage rate that you would like to achieve.
Step 2 - Deduct the MUST primary expenses to the first bucket of expenses.
Step 3 - The rest goes under discretionary expenses and you are free to spend!
Step 4 - Find an activity that increases the value of your life with the rest of the budget you have.

For every good thing, I feel it is important to also highlight the downside.

The downside with this approach is you would need to be flexible with adjusting your discretionary lifestyle. Many times, we take things for granted that we become inflexible in adjusting.

For instance, if you suddenly found yourself being retrenched or taking a paycut to say $8k a month, then using the same 20% savings rate that you set, you'd also need to adjust down your budget and subsequently your discretionary expenses. Remember, the primary expenses are mostly there to stay so the only variable you can play here is adjusting your lifestyle and this can be difficult to some.

Still, I think if you are disciplined at the start by being able to allocate things appropriately to the budget, I think you are considered a discipline person. Otherwise, you are going to be screwed nevertheless.

Final Thoughts

It is important to realize that there is no one fixed for all method in budgeting. 

There are many ways that you can explore and see which that would align with your objectives.

What came out for me with this reversing method that I use is that I am still able to save a decent percentage for my income (in this case 20%), build up my emergency, invest the rest and still grow my wealth in the right direction. Most importantly, I had also increase the value of my lifestyle and am much happier this way.

This is just a personal sharing which may or may not suit everyone's needs.

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Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Recent Action - Straco Corporation

I initiated a position in Straco Corporation recently at a share price of $0.855 for 50,000 shares.

I don't think I have to introduce this company much more. We all know they've been returning incredible shareholder's value since its inception in 2004 and it was only after around 2014 that the share price remains rather flat until today.

For me, I am treating this more of a momentum play given that organic growth is back on track and debts remain lowest since they acquire the Flyer back in 2014. I still want to see the company generating double digit growth either through organic or M&A and the latter remains to be questionable given the past 3 years have been a lackluster performance in terms of share price since they bought the flyer.

In the 2nd quarter of 2017, we see visitors to the attractions up by 8.3%, which highly impacted the better performance of the SOA, LCC and Flyer through increase in revenue by 8.4%. UWX was the only exception as it reported lower sales.

Assuming growth is back on track, we should see similar growth in the Q3 and Q4 and EPS for the year should comes in at about 4.70 cents. Assuming share price is at 85.5 cents, this translates to about 18x earnings. It's just about fair given industry average for tourism sector is at 20x. I don't think there's much to shout at.

The company generally generates around $40m to $60m cashflow on average depending on working capital situation.

They have been consistently reducing their debts from the purchase of the flyer by repaying around $12m to $20m every year on average through their operating cashflow, while using the other $20m to pay dividends. Any retained earnings will go back to their cash in the balance sheet.

The company currently has about $56m worth of debts in their book (net cash: $104m) and cash of $160m. So they can essentially be debt free in the next 3 years or faster if they are more aggressive in repaying the debts.

The company generates tons of free cash flow through their model.

Asset Lease Concession

The asset concession is one to watch out for.

The flyer, for example, is a 30 years asset on lease concession that commences on July 2005. The initial cost to build the flyer is $240m and Straco bought it in 2014 for $140m with 19 years lease left (90% stake).

Today, they are generating a revenue of about $40m and an operating profit of about $10m a year.

The asset is capitalized throughout the useful life of the asset (35 years and 7 months) based on about $8m a year. Adding this back and deducting capex assuming at $1.5m (based on AR) every year, the company would generate a cashflow of about $16.5m a year from this asset. If we multiple back the $16.5m throughout the 19 years, this would sum up to about $313m. This would translate to about 9.1% IRR ($313m - $140m) / 19 years which I thought was pretty decent. This though, only takes up 1/3 of the overall assets they own (~$40m/$120m revenue)

The other 2/3 makes up of mainly SOA and UWX, both of which are flagship assets of the company.

For SOA, the agreement for the incumbent land use right is a period of 40 years concession from 1997 to 2037. That means we essentially have about 20 years left as of today. For UWX, the agreement for the incumbent is also a period of 40 years concession from 1994 to 2034, translating to about 17 years left.

The company generates a sales of about $82m with a handsome gross profit margin of about 70% at $58m operating profit.

This makes up almost 80% of the overall operating profit segment, so clearly this is one that we should watch out for. Too bad they didn't provide the detailed segmental breakdown any further between SOA and UWX. With tourism gaining traction back in China and the assets have about 17 to 20 years left, Straco can enjoy a lot more years on this. Capex is also in the range of only around $2m a year so if they can keep the overhead down, it's pouring cashflow for them for the next 17 to 20 years. I don't even have to mention the crazy IRR they have on these two investment over the years.

This reminds me of China Merchant Pacific.


I don't think the valuation we are looking today represents crazy compelling value if we look at it from an earnings point of view but if we try to use a discounted cashflow, it does look a bargain. Though, with the model, it depends on what we put in the assumptions. We need to make sure the growth in future years is higher than the WACC that we assign.

Clearly, organic growth can only help that much at this point, that pile of cash will surely be required to boost the company into the next stage of phase. That will be important to the g function in our dcf model.

Straco will report its Q3 on the 14th Nov.

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Monday, October 30, 2017

Getting Your Investing Education Through Re-ThinkWealth

Chris is the author and founder for his education learning platform Re-ThinkWealth and I've known him personally now for a number of years.

So when he recently launched his new premium content (Link Here) and approached me with helping it to spread it around,  I agreed to help him.

He strikes as someone to me who is passionate about investing and hungry to give back to the society by helping others to learn and get better. He conducted a few seminars on his own at a few junctions and was very successful and charismatic at doing that. All who attended have nothing but rave reviews about him.

His style of investing is steered towards the aspect of fundamental value investing,  which was mainstreamed by our century of the popular Warren Buffett himself. Personally,  I am not a big fan of Warren style of investing myself so I cannot judge how successful that would have been for you. I always believe that the tools helps to frame your thoughts and belief but it needs to be suitable with your own temperament.

Chris' main area of focus is on the US companies as he tends to find more organizations that fit his description of moat and value.

Another area of interests which is much under-appreciated these days is the selling of the put option while waiting you get some premiums out of it. I call it a skill of getting paid while waiting for value to be unlocked.

Chris covers all these aspects through his entire programme which includes a newsletter monthly, personal coaching and a question and answer through the frequent sessions he's held.

I don't want to sell the idea that if you attended his premium content you'd get as good as him in terms of returns. But at the very least, with that amount of fees you are paying each month, I think it's a decent start to try and see if value investing is what you sought after all.

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Thursday, October 26, 2017

The Four Categories of Rules Acceptance Behaviour

I was listening to Gretchen Rubin's podcast recently and was intrigued by how she brings certain perception out which makes people think.

For those who are not familiar with who she is, Gretchen is an author and researcher for psychological behaviour in her pursuit of finding optimal happiness either in marriage, family, solidarity and any point in time.

She calls herself a "happiness bully" which begets the idea of bullying people with happiness!! Awesome.

Her research on the four categories of rules acceptance is one of her more popular contributions to the society and we'll quickly link this later to who your personality is.

According to Gretchen, the four main personalities are broken down into:

  • Upholder - accept rules, whether from inner or outer. An upholder abides deadlines, follows orders and makes resolutions or targets in advance.

Upholder wake up and think, "What's on the schedule and the to-do list for today?" They're very motivated by execution, getting things accomplished. They really don't like making mistakes, getting blamed, or failing to follow through.

  • Questioner - questions rules and accepts them only if they make sense. They may choose to follow rules, or not, according to their judgement. They are a big time questioner and only follow rules they endorse.

Questioners wake up and think, "What needs to get done today?" They're very motivated by seeing good reasons for a particular course of action. They really don't like spending time and efforts on activities they don't agree with.

  • Rebel - flout rules. They resist control. Give a rebel a rule and the rebel will always want to do the very opposite thing.

Rebels wake up and think, "What do I want to do today?" They're very motivated by a sense of freedom or self-determination. They don't like being told what do to and will tend to do the opposite of what others usually did.

  • Obliger - accepts outside rules, but doesn't like to adopt self-imposed rule.

Obligers wake up and think, "What must I do today?" They're very motivated by accountability. They really don't like being reprimanded or letting others down by self-imposing on completion.

Where Does My Family Fits In?

This is very interesting because I look at my small family member of 4 and we are all exhibiting different personalities as described above, which is still amazing because we are still able to live harmoniously together so far and not yet to the point of strangling each other. Well, sometimes we do.

My eldest son who is currently 3 now is definitely a rebel personality. Not a rebel in the sense that every 3 year old kid is a monster on its own, but he does exhibits certain personalities that are quite unique on its own. For instance, regardless of anything that we recommend to him, he would go for the opposite end of that recommendation. When we ask if he would prefer a green straw, he took the black straw. And on another day when we ask if he would like a black straw, he would take green. He just wants the opposite of what we were suggesting to him.

When I told my parents the story, they told me I was like that too in the past, so like Daddy like son. Hands off to that.

My wife exhibits personality which is more of an upholder. She likes things to be planned in advance and follow rules that are being set. I can see impromptu appointments at times unrattled her a little bit, making her somewhat uncomfortable.

For myself, I am more of a questioner. I like to challenge the ideas of people, either at work or at home. I always feel that there was something more that could be justified or rethink before I can agree with it. Even if I do agree, I'd just like for us to think about the alternatives. This is precisely why I am on this journey that is different from the conventional wisdom of all holy grails - Study, married, get a job, work for retirement, and then die. Certainly not the way I see things.

At the end of the day, there's nothing wrong being one and not the other and what is important is understanding yourself and what you are lacking of and accepts that fact and improve on.

I'm curious to know which categories do most financial readers belong to.

What about yourself? Which category do you belong to?

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Vicom Revises Inspection Fees W.E.F 1 Nov 2017

You might have recalled I re-initiated a position back in Vicom just last month (See here) so when someone alerted me today that they were revising their fees I was interested to look at it.

This wasn't yet officially announced in the sgx announcement so some vested shareholders might miss the news.

New revised fees w.e.f 1 Nov 2017
As you can see from the breakdown, the revised fees aren't very significant from a car owner perspective in terms of dollars and sense. In fact, it's probably just enough to cover an incremental cost of the overhead due to inflation next year. They've been very conservative in raising the price.

This news came about after LTA announces that it will cut the growth of vehicle on the street to 0% from FY18 onwards. What this means in terms of impact is probably more COE being extended after 10 years which will boost the more regular annual inspection (instead of once in two years).

With taxi fleets continuing to shrink at a single digit rate due to an oversupply market, Vicom's inspection fees will also take the hit since taxi fleet goes for much more regular inspection on a semi-annual basis.

The big changes if any from LTA, will be regulating the same policy changes to the private hire cars on the street to a more frequent inspection. This will be a key driver to Vicom's inspection business.

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Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Recent Action - Ho Bee Land

I initiated another small position im another developer, this time Ho Bee Land for 10,000 shares at $2.51.

Some of you may have recalled that I used to own this company in the past (See Here) which I have since divested so it is not a company which I am not unfamiliar.

In any case, I have re-initiate the position for another short-term momentum play given how aggressive the developers are in the market these days doing their restocking of their land bank.

I'll put down some of my thoughts in the summary below:

  • Recurring Income Stream of prospective $150m
Hobee recurring income stream is extremely strong with its crown jewel Metropolis with its 100% occupancy contributing 60% of the total recurring income stream at about $85m. With some undergoing rental reversion this year and the positiveness in the commercial sector ticking up, I am expecting another positive rental reversion in this one.

The company also owns 6 investment properties in the UK:

- 1 St Martin Le Grand
- 60 St Martin's Lane
- 39 Victoria Street
- 110 Park Street
- Apollo & Lunar House
- Lombard Street

You might have recalled that the company divested Rose Park earlier this year at a 41% divestment gain and recently bought the Lombard Street at around 5% cap rate.

The investment properties in the UK is expected to bring in a full year recurring income stream of about $65m, or 40% of the total rental income.

  • GBP Strengthening against the SGD
The company has a natural hedge against the currency as it incurred its debt in GBP.

While this is a non-cashflow item, still the strengthening of the GBP against SGD will increase the value of it's NAV since the company will not incur translation losses in its comprehensive income.

Since the brexit low of 1.70, the exchange rate has risen close to 1.80 as of today writing.

  • Overseas Venture Project

The overseas venture project is the one which I used to have concerns in the past, especially after seeing its China JV write down impairments a couple of years ago for its Tangshan properties which they co-owned a 50% stake. Thankfully, the trend has been reversed as the company recognized profits from its China projects in its 1HFY17, mainly from the sales of their development in Yanlord Western Gardens which to date is 70% sold. The Tangshan development is also starting to sell with to date 30% sold.

The Australia project in The Pearl in Melbourne and Rhapsody in Gold Coast have almost been fully recognized in the book already.

  • Singapore Sentosa Properties
This is the big key re-driver in my opinion given how the company impaired its Sentosa properties last year with a huge $36.5m in their book.

Given how aggressively UOL has bidded for landbank Nanak Mansions recently as well as CDL in its Amber Park, the URA PPI index is showing a bottoming in the Q2 of this year. We might well see the start of another property boom in the market.

The company's properties in Turquoise, Seascape and Cape Royale are not worth that much in the book at about 26 cents, but if they can sell out, it might be worth noting if Mr. Chua is turning his strategies again in the local market sector.

For the moment, it does look like he is focusing his strategies in the UK where he sees better opportunity.

  • Market Depth Volume shows decreasing sell queues
This is something which I've been monitoring for a while.

The sell queues seem to be decreasing and it is well absorbed by the buyers so far. Still, being a rather low number of floating shares in the market, it is not easy to follow big brothers UOL and CDL.

The company share price hits an all time high of $2.55 back during the 2007 boom. It'll be interesting to see if they can break their all time resistance.

  • Dividends Yield Not Great But Sustainable
The dividend yield is nothing to shout about and is not my primary objective for buying the shares.

Still, knowing that they payout around 5 to 6 cents dividend, which amounts to about $34m, the company can well afford the dividends.


Like mentioned in the beginning, the probability swings on the momentum given how developers are leading the pack. It is worth taking a bit of risk for the much bigger upside reward that these companies might present.

They have been undervalued for a long time, this year might be their time to give it all up.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

My Wisdom Tooth Surgery Experience

I know this is a bit random but anyway I just want to share about my experience for my wisdom tooth extraction which may benefit those who wanted to do it.

In the past month or so, I have been having gum infection in my right mouth and it is affecting my work,  sleep and mood and I get frequent headache every now and then.  It was a horrible experience that I am simply too lazy to do anything,  even writing this blog.

Anyway,  so I went to my regular doctor visit at Orchard Scotts Dental attended by a friend of mine,  Dr.  Kelvin Chua and so long story cut short,  he advises me to extract out two of my wisdom tooth that impacted the right side of my mouth.

There are no impact yet to the two wisdom tooth on the left side so he gave me an option whether to keep for now o to take it out anyway.

Being humji (not a big fan of visiting dentist since young),  I decided to proceed with just the extraction of the two wisdom tooth on my right mouth that causes pain.

I've been hearing stories about how painful it is to extract out wisdom tooth so my expectations were elevated and I prepared a lot mentally for such pain. Sad.

So the day has finally come,  that day is today and I went a bit early just to allow room for myself to take a deep breathe (I've been doing the same since young whenever I had to attend a major exam).

Dr. Aidan Yeo is the surgeon dentistry who will be doing the extraction. Just google his name and you'd soon find out he is the best in Singapore,  absolutely top notch according to a few friends.


He started by explaining a few administrative things before asking me to lie down. After cleansing the area, he injected a few doses of anaesthetic to the gum area. I'm not too afraid of the needles so I would rate the pain 1/10.

We waited for about 2 minutes for the effect to spread through the gums area before starting his procedure.

So he started with the top tooth first. I felt a bit nudge and that was it,  all it takes is about 7 seconds for the tooth to come off before I was even aware.  Level of pain 0/10.

The bottom tooth was a little more complex because more than half the tooth was rooted to the gum so he had to cut the gum area before extracting out. It definitely feel a little difficult because he was nudging it out a few times but not really successful. So he proceeded to cut the teeth a bit more,  nudge a bit more before it was done. This one took a bit longer but still relatively fast to the normal surgery.  All he took was a mere 4 minutes to do it. I experienced just a very minor pain when he was trying to nudge it harder the first time round but thankfully no big deal after that. Level of pain 2/10.

He then proceeded to sew the gum area and the nurse helped to clean up the wound with the gauge and thereafter they allowed me to lie down over the next 10 minutes to rest.

Tadaaa...  Here comes the grotesque part.

Goodbye Wisdom Tooth!!! 

I was given a 5 days medical leave and quite a bit of medications for antibiotics and painkiller if I needed to.


Since this is a finance blog after all,  this is probably the part where it would interests most.

The bill came up to a total of $1,737.15, out of which $1,028.65 was claimable via medisave.

So I had to top up the difference in cash amounting to $708.50.

If we look at the breakdown,  the top tooth was considered a normal extraction so it was cheap at $300. The bottom part was more difficult so it was charged a surgery price at $1,250. The rest was medication costs at $78.65.

I'm still biting on the gauge to stop the bleeding as I write this so I'll see if I can update anything again over next few days once swelling has subsided.

Hide my humsum face,  😂 

Thanks for reading.

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Friday, October 13, 2017

What Is A Good Investment?

I received an interesting email today from a reader who surprises me with a very basic yet intriguely mind stimulating question.

He asked me what makes a good investment. I had to think a while before replying him and thought it'll be a good point for discussion. 

A good investment in my definition is something in the future that you can derive a greater value than what was invested in the beginning. The key word there is "greater value" and this aspect can be both known or unknown.

One example of a "known" aspect is putting your money in a triple A credit rating government bond or in the local context the Singapore Savings Bond (SSB)  for instance,  which yields investors a return of about 1.2% to 2%. What this means is if you put $10,000 today,  this amount will grow to more than $10,000 sometime in the future with a very high known probability. 

The other example of an unknown aspect is putting our children to school. Now,  we know that with all the rising school fees and the additional tuition costs it isn't easy to raise a kid.  In fact,  so many parents follow the traditional norm these days that it is taken for granted that education is a known aspect of good investment.  We know that isn't necessarily true but many people still view it that way. 

In the stock market arena,  a good investment doesn't have to be a good company as well. 

Buying and identifying a good company isn't the hardest part of investing. We all know the supposedly good companies. In fact,  one google search of the top 10 market cap in the world is all it takes for me to identify the good companies. What is difficult about investing is assigning a valuation to these companies and buying them below what they are worth. Buying good companies can turn into a poor investment if we are complacent. 

On the contrary, a good investment can also be buying distressed companies far below what's their worth.  In fact,  we see this all the time with corporate m&a and buyback.  The underlying reason is similar in nature. Buying a distressed company can turn out to be a good investment. So to those people who thinks that buying a sunset company like SPH "will surely" lose money, it may not be the case. 

Does a good investment means you need to buy something that is fanciful? Let me think for a second what are the hot in right now.

What about cryptocurrency in the form of bitcoin?  Does making money from a popular investment is a better investment than making money in a pillow strategy? I am not suggesting investing in bitcoin is a bad idea.  In fact,  it can be one of the best investment if the world is using them eventually.  We just don't know it yet at this point. 

So going back to the reader who emailed me, these are basically my thoughts on the topic. I don't think all of us have to agree with one another just because we are the same species but the human mind is so different and diverse. You would have your very own definition that forms your thoughts and strategies. 

I'd like to ask the readers.  What is your definition of a good investment? Does it have to come with a particular set of rules, time horizon or anything like that? 

Thanks for reading.

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Monday, October 9, 2017

How Do You Define Your Time?

As financial bloggers, we've always been saying that time is an important resource that is scarce in our lifetime. 

Time is a fixed currency and is probably the only thing that is constant. All of us had 24 hours a day to allocate our time with and it is up to us how we define them.

Time in the context of this article is focus and energy, which everyone has a limited supply of.

Now, I see my time in the context of three general categories:

Professional - Active Work and Career Related Matters.

Social - Activities that involves gathering around with people, families or friends that are important in my life.

Leisure - Activities that are hobbies to me like traveling, blogging, watching movies, etc

Of course, there are endless possibilities that we have not included in our time such as exercising and resting but that's why all the more we have lesser resource to allocate with.

I see professional as doing things for the better of others for something that you get in return for. For example, as a salaried worker, you exchange your time by staying at your cubicle for 8 hours serving your clients and stakeholders in exchange for the salary you get at the end of every month. Similarly, you can be a swimming instructor who gives your students a class every morning on the weekends. The nature of such means that you have a responsibility of giving by taking something. 

On the other hand, leisure can be related to hobbies that you are interested in exploring for the happier inner of your own self or others. For example, I classify blogging under this category simply because I am doing it for leisure. When I have the time and ideas to start writing, I write. I do not write because I have deadlines to meet or expenses to worry at home. If I were to take blogging as a serious full time job in the future, I may struggle with doing so and ended up liking it a lot lesser.

I guess the purpose of this post is to enable us to understand the primary force of allocating our time resourcefully. 

There are people who unfortunately struggle to keep up with the daily expenses by having to allocate more time professionally than leisurely and I salute them for doing so. They do what they did because circumstances doesn't allow them to choose otherwise. In this case, they are clear on what they were doing.

For the rest, how do you define your time by allocating optimally?

Thanks for reading.

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