Saturday, March 2, 2019

March Update

It's been a few months since my last post...

Quite a few happenings has happened on a personal level and also the recent fall in stocks the past few months had shaken me admittedly. However, I stuck to my guns and didn't sell any of my stocks, and have seen great recoveries in most of my stocks.

Notable mentions:

My dogged decision to keep buying Alibaba has netted me a great profit in just a short while. With the possible relief in the trade war, I have managed to dollar average up and down with around 25% of my portfolio concentrated in alibaba. This has net me a good overall net gain of around 20+ percent in a short while. Good stuff.

There has been some struggling stocks such as Singtel and Design Studio, with the latter committing sepukku. It has been particularly disappointing to see a once great stock such as Design Studio be ruined by the current CEO with it making a significant loss for the year, what with the crazy increase in payments to contractors accounting for a huge loss. I will probably exit around 50% of my holdings there especially because the reasons I bought it has not been validated. It is a painful mistake with the stock falling over 50% since i bought it. 

Overall, my portfolio is in the green and there has been some strong stocks supporting it, while some mistakes has led to the size of my profits being shrunk significantly.

I have also added to a chinese stock called Haier. this is the biggest appliances company in China and the stock had been at a significant discount, and a quick calculation of the free cash flow has led me to realize the huge margin of safety I had if I purchased the stock. It was one of my fastest purchases (with due diligence of course) and I have enjoyed the ride up of 6 percent in 2 short weeks. Hoping to see it climb even more what with how undervalued the stock is.

As I push on with this portfolio, I have come to understand what type of companies my investment style is suited for, and hopefully I will make less mistakes going on ahead. I remain hopeful that my career path and investment strategy will allow me to reach my financial dreams.

Cheers everyone and to a great year investing ahead.

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Autonomous Vehicles!!!

It's finally launching.

Waymo's autonomous vehicle is out and this is the beginning of something revolutionary.

Alphabet has been something I have been invested in for awhile now, and my only wish now is to purchase more of it.

The invention of the autonomous vehicles heralds interesting times for the world ahead; reductions in cost of deliveries, taxis and etc will seek a drop that will change many industries.

All in all, just so excited about this.

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

December Update (Portfolio Update)

Realized I haven't updated my portfolio page in awhile even though I have been giving monthly updates.

So here's the portfolio below! I have utilized a more accurate XIRR rate calculation for my returns.

Specific changes: additions of Altaba and Apple.

With these additions, I am going to pivot to more defensive stocks to add to the portfolio, as my current portfolio is one that is heavy on technology.

Future possible changes: still sticking to my point of view about Singtel, and will likely release the stock at a decent price point and if I want to free cash for other better alternatives.

Overall, am not too happy with the returns I have gotten this year, especially since I previously was investing with my savings and am now only able to increase my warchest since July this year (work work).

Lessons learned from investing this year : one too many.

I realized that investing has become a great hobby of mine, but acknowledge that active investing is taking up too much time for very little additional alpha. Nevertheless though, it is a source of enjoyment for me. Work my minions.


Updated Portfolio (4/12/2018)

Saturday, November 10, 2018

November Update

As previously mentioned, I am adding to Alibaba stocks till the end of the year for it to become my largest holding.

However, instead of investing my money into Alibaba Stock (BABA), I am investing into Altaba (AABA) instead.  A colleague has highlighted the differences for me. For those who may not be aware, Altaba is the remnant of Yahoo that was not sold into Verizon. It is essentially a investment holding company that holds Alibaba stock (15% of total Alibaba stock), and a few patents that Verizon was not interested in purchasing from Yahoo when it was bought over.

In light of this, especially since it has then sold its Yahoo! Japan holdings, it is essentially an alternative (ALTaba geddit) to Alibaba. The key differences are that it is valued slightly under Alibaba stock, due to the company being considered an American company, and thus having to suffer withdrawal tax should they liquidate Alibaba at any time. However, in return, one can actually hold Alibaba equity, as compared to buying it in the form of an ADR.

The idea is that if there is ever a time that Altaba liquidates its Alibaba stocks, there is a high likelihood of there being tax reliefs that will in fact make Altaba a better purchase than Alibaba.

Intending to employ more cash into other US stocks such as Activision Blizzard. Will highlight reasons why going further ahead.

11.11 is coming and I am looking to get some great deals on Lazada (Go Alibaba!)


Thursday, November 8, 2018

Has Singtel truly became Sinktel?

Singtel. The telecomm company you choose just because everything else sucks. Or so until circles came riding along.

I am still wondering why I bought Singtel awhile back at $3.38. The irony of the matter is I went against Peter Lynch's advice of BUYING WHAT YOU KNOW. I was a singtel user for quite a few years... and then I changed my plan to Circles. and bought singtel stocks.

Shame shame.

the circle here indicates the buffering circle that was my thought process in buying Singtel. 

What the heck was I thinking.

The main considerations here for Singtel is that it is facing cost competitors EVERYWHERE.
From the Philippines to Singapore, and its Indian investment facing fierce competition from a startup with a warchest that would make everything go to pieces.

In Australia, it faced falling profits, as can be seen from this link -

In India, the new entrant is crushing prices and causing Airtel's margin to shrink.

Let's also not talk about the increased capital expenditure required to get 5G in, and the anti-monopoly laws in Singapore that will require Singtel to essentially "share" this tech with the other telecommunication companies.

Another possible long-term end to Singtel's dominance might be that of new technology in another country, and literally far far away - SpaceX, Elon Musk's plan of building Starlink, a global satellite based wifi, to put it crudely. While this is still a few years away, this just highlights how easily telecommunications can be just a commodity and there is no differentiating factor, and highlights also how easily a new entrant can disrupt everything.

(Link for this here)

Those are the downsides, and also a potential end to a once large and deep moat.

I bought the stock on four premises - a good dividend yield (still there I guess) , first mover to 5G in an IOT environment (still the only hope for redemption, yet at great capex ), great market share (not anymore) and dominance in all its subsidiaries (bye) , and a good profit margin (sigh).

The truth of the matter is this is not a stock nor market I should have invested in. I think out of all my purchases, even for those which might have fallen more, this is probably the most senseless stock I bought. I don't see the point in holding this stock for anything more than dividend yield, and yet even that seems to be pointless if the stock price is falling.

The story I bought into was a company that would be able to defend its dominance, but it is obviously not the case. I fell for the irrationality that "Singtel has always been around/protected by gahmen!". So was Hyflux.

I have to admit I dropped the ball on this one. I am considering selling all my shares in Singtel tomorrow and to move the cash to a better company.

Sometimes you just have to admit you made a mistake.


Sunday, November 4, 2018

"Poor Singaporeans can lead lives of quiet desperation and not really experience what living is"

A friend of mine posted this in response to a link being shared around facebook:

tldr; the article is about supporting minimum wages and Singaporeans were sharing it around as a basis that we should actually enact minimum wage in Singapore.

I will admit that perhaps I am not equipped adequately to comment fully on the impact of a minimum wage, I can say that based on what I know that this seems to make sense in the argument for equity in Singaporeans.

On a more personal anecdote, I remember my younger days when my father was retrenched and we had to tighten our belts significantly. My father has always been a person that spent money carelessly; there were many quarrels in my family involving financial issues, what with my mother being the exact opposite.

Shortly after he was retrenched, he started working as a taxi driver. During the time when I was young, I remembered him as the taxi driver, not the engineer he was for a good part of his life.

I remembered my mother's constant reminder to save and to be frugal, and that we were not a well-to-do family, and that it was important not to compare. 

I kept this mindset throughout my childhood all the way to university. It was during university that I actually got curious about how much my family was earning in comparison to the Singaporean average. This was after my sister graduated from university and my brother was working as well, alongside my father finding another engineering related job after a hiatus of nearly 5 years.

We were now considered a middle-income family, to my surprise. I didn't feel like that. We rarely traveled; a tze char meal was considered a luxury that we rarely went. I was not jealous nor envious of my friends that drove cars and had the latest phones. I remembered being one of the last in my class to even get a working broadband internet. 

Only when in university did our family really start "living" and not just struggling to survive. I will admit I never was poor to the point of having to worry about food on the table. I am grateful for that. I would just want other families to be like that too. 

On a side note, that tough period in my life shaped my mindset on finance and investing. I realized that my father was not wise with his money, and that led to tough times when it was not necessary to be so.  He swiped the credit card for paying the house to giving me my allowance for school. It was a financial trap brought about by bad financial literacy. I am grateful for what he has done to bring me up, nevertheless.

I guess that's the point of my post. I cannot blame my father for not knowing enough about financial literacy; he did not have the luxury of a father to teach him that (my grandfather passed away when he was 17, and my grandmother was a gambler). Yet, being born in this time and age allowed me to have access to so many ways to educate myself on finance which my father did not, and I would want others to learn as well.

The whole point of wanting to retire young for me is to never be a slave to money, or the lack thereof. I would want to truly experience what life is, and in that same thought, I would want less well-to-do Singaporeans to have that opportunity too (Go minimum wage!) For many others stuck in between poverty and truly living, I would like to think that this blog helps a bit in educating my readers just a little bit more on the true essence of saving, investing and to never be indebted to consumerism, yet still being able to live a good life.
Musing over. Cheers!

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

1.5 Year Check-Point

It has been about 1.5 years since my decision to embark in early retirement (FIRE for anyone who knows about this).

Since the last time I posted about my portfolio, per the portfolio page, I have made some additional purchases to my investments.

I am currently behind both my investment and saving goals, so I will highlight a few reasons why and how I am going to adjust accordingly.

Firstly, I have made some entrances into Alibaba in the past few months, both at 172 USD and 143 USD, in addition to my original amount of 168.88. This has obviously not been great for my portfolio, especially since the current stock price is atrociously low for a company with such great returns.

Hence, I am buying more. As mentioned,  I will be investing in Alibaba till the end of the year, unless there are some significant and huge changes to their earnings growth.

The recent trade war has hit some of my stock quite badly. One particular one of note is Daimler, which has dropped by nearly 18% since my last two purchases. Some of this has been redeemed in terms of a decent dividend yield, so I will just maintain the level of the stock.

Design Studio was another stock that was hit pretty badly with their loss announcement. As much as I would want this to be a turnaround play, as per Peter Lynch's categorization, I got to admit that I went in at the wrong time for this one. The current price would be a better turnaround price than anything, though I would recommend people against going in with a large sum.

Barclay's is another long term dividend play that I foresee better returns with, what with the return of volatility in the market being ideal for investment banks overall. I am also holding long term on this one.

BUOU Fraser's is a consistent dividend play and will be something I might add on to in the coming months to tide through this volatile times. It's high occupancy rate is ideal for tiding through volatile changes in the market, providing a good and steady source of income.

Ah, Alphabet. Recent reductions in revenue GROWTH as compared to analysts' prediction has meant that the stock price has dropped a few basis points. Not concerned about this, as I am still seeing it as a good play. However, the current trade fears is evident in the stock price, and I will look into purchasing more of this after I am done with my Alibaba purchases of the year.


So far, I have been trying to save 10% of my salary as liquid cash, so as to provide a safety net for any extraordinary purchases and also as an umbrella in case of any unexpected unemployment (as unlikely as it may be).

My spending has been increasing due to a few responsibilities I have taken up at home and also due to just spending creep overall. I am looking to reduce this especially in terms of taking grab and eating food out. Since my insurance has been paid for the year, I am still looking forward to the bonuses and hopefully a pay raise next year that will be in line with my goal to retire young.

Possible adjustments

Currently, in spite of the temporary drop in my stocks, I am still okay with the overall returns since I started investing. I am taking this drop in the market as an opportunity to buy and hold stocks that I couldn't have gotten just a year ago, and will utilize it accordingly.

Cheers everyone.

March Update

It's been a few months since my last post... Quite a few happenings has happened on a personal level and also the recent fall in stoc...