Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Are You Happier In Saving Extra $X OR Earning Extra $X?

There is a saying (from personal finance perspective) : "How much you earned is not the key, the key is how much you've saved"!  

Do you buy it?

Of course, again, there is no right or wrong answer to this but more of a personal viewpoint.

Having said that, I think it is beneficial for us to identify our own preference so that we can focus on the action that will make us happier. Hence, the purpose of this post :

"Are you happier in savings extra $X OR earning extra $X?"

Example:
Assuming all things being equal, you can either :
A) Save extra $1,000 per month  OR
B) Earn extra $1,000 per month

Which option (A or B) will make you happier?

Conditions:
1. For Option (A), you need to find way to cut-down your expenses in order to save the extra $1,000 ;
2. For Option (B), you need to find way to earn the extra $1,000 and can save or spend all or part of the extra money you've earned, it's up to you.
3. For Option (B), it can be passive or active income but try not to be restricted to the income from investment only
4. In measuring your happiness, please exclude the potential accumulated net-worth as one of the criteria, otherwise, Option (A) will have unwarranted advantage over Option (B).

Personally, I used to be more inclined to (A) but have since moving towards (B) nowadays. My rationale: Option (A) is limited to how much (expenses) you can cut while Option (B) has limitless upside AND opportunities to create multiple income streams (passive or active) is much more promising nowadays.

So, will it be Option A or B (not both) for you and why?

Cheers!

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Disconnected - Another Perspective From My Boss

Recently, in one of my company section meeting, our boss shared a stack of pictures/photos (in the Powerpoint slide) revolving around the theme of DISCONNECTED (service). 

Two of the pictures shared that I can still remember:

1. At one of the cinema chain (no name will be mentioned here), long queue being formed to buy movie tickets and beverages.

2. A copy of cheque (with some highlight on the section whereby we need to write the amount in numeric as well as in word forms).

So what is the disconnectedness here? 

Let me explain (or rather recite what my boss shared with us)...

For the first photo (the queue at the cinema chain), if you noticed, nowadays most of the cinema chains allow you to buy movie tickets as well as food and beverages at the same counter (actually you have no choice). In this setting, the counter staff need to juggle between dispensing you selected movie ticket(s), getting your coke as well as packing the popcorn of your choice. Hence, don't you think it make perfect sense why the long queue is being formed? 

If you are frequent movie goers, you will know that a couple of years ago, there are separate queue for buying movie ticket and food and beverages and usually the queue is not that bad. So, why fix something that is not broken? See the disconnect here? 

As for the second photo (the cheque), I think the disconnect is kind of due to legacy but the point is why do we need to write the cheque amount in both numeric and word forms? To catch the error (for what?)? To double confirm the intended amount to be issued by the cheque issuer? 

Personally I think it is to counter fraudulent or at least minimize the risk. But is it the only way (now) and at the expense of cheque issuer (for double work)? Whatever is it, nowadays lesser people are issuing cheque but it is still a good point to ponder. 

I am sure there are many more other disconnectedness examples that we are encountering in every aspect of life but that might not be a bad thing, it just means that there are rooms for improvement. 

Come and think of it, what is the disconnect in our local equity market that you can think of? 
- The minimum share price of 20 cents that was introduced not long ago? 
- Why the IPO can only be subscribed through selected bank issuer's ATM and not all? 

What do you think?

Cheers!

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Darkest Day For Chapecoense Football Team

Being a soccer fan, my heart sunk when I read the news about the horrifying air disaster happens today in Columbia involving the footballers from Chapecoense Soccer Team (Brazil). The crash killed 76 out of the 81 on board. Three players are among the five survivors, report said. All prayers go to the victims/survivors and their families and friends. 

For more details and update of the incident, check out the report from The Guardian.

This is Munich air disaster all over again! In case you don't know, Munich air disaster happened on 6th February 1958 and it claimed the lives of 8 players from the Manchester United team (I am a Red Devils fan).

Life is really unpredictable and usually I will quote to friends who complain or stress-up with their current situation with this : "tomorrow or death, we can't be sure which one will come first". On the same note, let's not "overly" plan for the future and forgotten (or omitted) to live life at the present, which is the only moment we are truly live!

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Interview With STE from STE's Stock Investing Journey

Time flies! In less than one month, we will be celebrating Christmas then year end count down before saying sayonara to 2016 and welcoming a brand new 2017. Just like previous year and the years before, there are ups and downs in our life, some hits and misses, but overall as long as we keep going and constantly better ourselves, we are in the right direction. Oh, most important thing is to keep going and keep smiling

Today, I am proud to present to you one of the very established pioneer retail investors who have made it to ROME and enjoying the fruits now i.e. Financial Independence. I've personally met him a couple of times and learnt quite a fair bit from his sharing. He is non other than STE (no, not the ST Engineering :-)), it's his moniker in the online retail investors community. He has his own blog (STE's Stock Investing Journey) with regular sharing of his portfolio as well as his investing insights/philosophy. Do check it out often as I am sure you will learn something from his blog, like I always do. 

Now, let's zoom into STE's 18 years investing journey right away....

Q1 : Can you give us a brief introduction about yourself?
A1 : I am a father of two and left the corporate world in 2014 , currently depending on my dividend income to survive . After leaving the corporate world , I could spend more time with family and doing more exercise regularly and blog occasionally.

Q2 : Are you a full time or part-time investor at the moment?
A2 : I am not a full time or part time investor but a “serious investor “ who closely monitor my portfolio and doing asset (portfolio ) re-allocation ( re-balancing ) from time to time . I guess full time or part time is more appropriate for “trader “.

Q3 : When (at what age) did you start investing in shares and who has influenced you the most?
A3 : I started to have interest in investing since I was in secondary school and reading articles from my “mentor “ – “ 冷眼“ an editor at 南洋商报 in 1980s. His article were full of wisdom and I still keeping two of his books as kind of investing “ bible “.

Q4 : Do you view yourself as long-term (holding shares in years), short-term investor (holding shares in days/months) or mixture?
A4 : I don’t define share in term of holding period , it all depend on the fundamental and underlying business of that particular share , if it is a good fundamental stock and generate a steady income/cash flow , I would hold it for very long period of time , but if the fundamental has changed , I will not hesitate to dispose it as soon as I could .

My portfolio very much skewed towards income stocks (like REITs/ Biz Trust / Telco / Banks ) and some Conglomerate ( like Keppel Corp/ SCI / ST Eng ) , plus some speculative stocks.

Q5 : What is your basis of selecting the shares to invest (e.g. basing on fundamental analysis, technical analysis or other methods/sources [share a little bit more details if it is the latter])?
A5 : There is myriad of methods in stocks selection and valuing a shares . 

Please click Here : for more detail on my investing strategies .

Q6 : What is your targeted and achieved annual rate of returns (%) so far?
A6 : I don’t set any target for stocks returns as it vary from year to year, we should take a very long term view in measuring our returns . So far , my portfolio’s CAGR is about 10.8 % for the past 18 years of investing.

We should not set a very high or not realistic target (such as 20% of return ,year in year out ) for our investment , We should be happy if our portfolio could achieve “ Alpha “ in the long run . (which is above 8-9 % of long term market return : aka Beta).

Q7 : What is your most recommended online investing resource (site or blog) to share with our readers?
A7 : I don’t think one should spend more than thousand in any investing course just to learn how to “trade” , read more books on investment and there is also many good blogs which could be a good start . Please refer to “ My Book and Blog List “ for more detail .

Q8 : Besides shares, what other investment are you involved in (e.g. Real Estates, Bonds or REITs etc)?
A8 : I only invest in share (including REIT ) and some corporate bond … Real estate is just not my cup of tea ,,, but I know many “ millionaire “ being created by “ flipping “ the properties .

Q9 : What is your current Shares Investment portfolio size (in range, no need specific)?
A9 : My dividend is enough for me to cover all my household expenses and allow me to save some as well …. I have just updated my quarterly dividend income in my blog (Click Here ).

Rome wasn’t built in a day , it took us ( Mr & Mrs STE) 18 years to have such dividend income , if you are not born with silver spoon , work hard and develop your career to increase your active income ( even with additional part time jobs ) , live within your means and Save & Invest the difference , have passion and patience throughout your investing journey.

Q10 : If the readers what to get in touch with you, how to get hold of you? (Sharing of your website/blog/social media profile etc..)
A10 : You may reach me by this LINK. 

Thanks STE, our alpha-man, for sharing his journey with us and I will sure to meet him again in the near future to tap on his insights, again!

Last but not least, if you are a retail investor and would like to be featured in my "Interview With The Fellow Investors" blog series, please feel free to email me at investopenly@gmail.com.

Also, for the complete list of my interviewees and their posts, check it out here.

Cheers!

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Any Sales In The Market For Black Friday Or Cyber Monday?

Time flies, we are drawing closer to the end of 2016 as well as the most celebrated festival of the year, the season of giving. Of course, prior to that, we need to get pass 2 equally important dates of the consumerism i.e. the Black Friday (which is only one more day to go) and Cyber Monday (next Monday, 28/11/2016, which is cater for more online sales).  

I am sure you know why they are critical dates that a couple of my friends even jot down the dates in their calendar to ensure that they don't forget to "take action" during these 2 auspicious days. Personally, I am not that much of a shopper (both online and offline), so there 2 dates doesn't really excite me.. 

Come and think of it, if the bourses and/or brokers (both local and international) introduce such similar sales (on cutting the commission like 50% OFF commission rate with NO capping!!!) during certain period of the year (need not be Black Friday or Cyber Monday, maybe can just invent a day or week call Bourse Day/Week), the transaction volume might hit the roof during this period, especially from the retail investors. 

Just thinking out loud, what do you think? 

On the side note, this year's Christmas festive mood is like creeping up rather slowly, is it only me? 

Cheers!

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Interview With "Living Free" from Living A Free Life Today

It is encouraging to see many young retail investors-cum-bloggers popping up in the local personal finance blogging scene. I thought it is a good way to detail down our investing journey in writing as I am pretty sure that a couple of years later, when you look back, you will be surprised how much you have learnt/experienced/grown throughout all these years. 

If you are keen to know which are the new kids on the "blog", the most convenient way is to check out our friendly financial blogs aggregator, The Finance Sg.

It has been a while since my last post on the Interview With Fellow Investors series. Today, I am honored to share with you the investing journey from one of the young part-time investors who is also the owner of "Living A Free Life Today" blog. Just call him Living Free!  

Without further ado, let's get started...

Q1 : Can you give us a brief introduction about yourself?
A1 : I’m a blogger who writes about finance and my personal philosophy on life. I guess that makes me a personal finance writer. Oh, I’m also Singaporean by the way.

Q2 : Are you a full time or part-time investor at the moment?
A2 : I’m a part-time investor, part-time trader, part-time Airbnb host, part-time house-husband, and part-time blogger.

Q3 : When (at what age) did you start investing in shares and who has influenced you the most?
A3 : Back in the days, we used to have a TV program called tele-text, I think that’s what they call it. So my parents love to spend hours upon hours staring at a black screen with colorful numbers and texts. They were pretty emotional whenever the numbers on the screen changed. Clueless yet fascinated, I was determined to learn more about my parents’ obsession. Being the annoying kid that I was, I started questioning and irritating my parents. Their replies were always, “Aiya this kind of things children don’t know one. You just go and study la.” I thought investing in stocks was an adult thing to do. Now, I don’t want to wait to grow up so I can invest. Since they were unwilling to teach me, I set a goal to learn it myself. I’d say my parents sparked my curiosity to invest.

Over the years, I accumulated more knowledge through books. My reading diet consisted of: Rich Dad, Poor Dad; Think and Grow Rich; etc. I also played around with FX demo account on a platform called eToro. Not particularly different from anyone else. Once I reached 20 years old, I opened my very first trading account with the guidance of my parents. At that time, people were constantly talking about Blue Chips. So I did my research and bought my first stock: CapitaMall.

Q4 : Do you view yourself as long-term (holding shares in years), short-term investor (holding shares in days/months) or mixture?
A4 : I had quite a bad experience in the stock market. Initially, I made some money with CapitaMall. It was about 2k of profit on an approximate 10k investment. I took about 3 months to make that 2k. That was all my money accumulated over years working as a cashier and a tutor. Furthermore, I saved all my pocket money and angbao so I could invest. Crazy right? I know. Fueled by greed, I invested aggressively. This time, however, in penny stocks. Then I proceeded to win and lose some money. It was frustrating because my portfolio went up and down and there was nothing I could do.

So I liquidated my stocks and invested in a logistic company called OttoMarine. Now, it was the 2008-2009 era, and everything was priced so low. Since Warren Buffet is so well known for his long term investing, I decided to do the same. I bought the stocks and went to university. I totally ignored the portfolio that I had since there were more interesting things to do, like learning. 5 years later, I came back to Singapore and reviewed my portfolio. (I managed to liquidate the stock before the company threatened to file for bankruptcy, pure luck!)

My portfolio remained virtually unchanged over 5 years, which made me question whether being a long-term investor truly works. I think in every portfolio, there should be long and short-term strategies. How you play such strategies really depend on your risk tolerance and capacity. So whether I’m a long-term or short-term investor, I’d say I’m both.

Do I invest in stocks? Yes, but not in the SG market. I’m holding US stocks because they are more liquid and they allow me to trade with options.

Q5 : What is your basis of selecting the shares to invest (e.g. basing on fundamental analysis, technical analysis or other methods/sources [share a little bit more details if it is the latter])?
A5 : I hate to break the news to the people around me. There are so many moving parts with fundamental and technical analysis, and it’s so hard to predict and control. Even CEO and CFO cannot forecast their own company’s results with 100% accuracy. So fundamentally, there’ll always be a room of error. For technical analysis, there are so many indicators.

Which one do you choose? Again, there’s a chance that you might be wrong and you’ll lose money. If you pour money into something that will not work in the long run, eventually, you will implode. It’s hard to scale that way.

I prefer to trade options because statistically stocks don’t move up and down by more than 10% a day. Most of the time, stocks don’t move at all. However, if you place your trades at the end of the bell curve, you are most probably going to be right. In order to scale this strategy, you have to keep trading and increase the number of occurrences. What this technique does is it doesn’t allow you to trade big. So you make many small gains. If you do fail, you’ll fail small too.

You’ll probably say, I’m paying high transaction fees to open and close trades. Yes, but that’s the cost of doing business. Trading becomes a business. If you cannot handle losing money and the nature of the business, it’s okay. Just don’t invest. You’ll be better off placing your money in a fix deposit. If you don’t agree with what I’m saying, you can come to my blog and we’ll have a discussion.

Q6 : What is your targeted and achieved annual rate of returns (%) so far?
A6 : I don’t have a target. I don’t think you can force a rate of return. Investing is not like getting a fixed salary. Currently, I’m underwater in my experimental option/stock investment so far, but I’m seeing promising results.

My philosophy is not to be overly concentrated by a fixed number, but to really focus on what gives you cash flow. Essentially, you want to diversify your income stream to have money coming in every month.

The economy is cyclical and we need to change accordingly. The last thing you need is to be left high and dry when the market changes. The best way to protect your portfolio is to have many other backup plans. But if you find something lucrative, you should go all-in. Otherwise, be conservative and stay small. I don’t want to give false expectation that everyone has a Midas touch. It’s just not realistic.

Q7 : What is your most recommended online investing resource (site or blog) to share with our readers?
A7 : There are many things you can learn online for free. But, I’ll blow my own horn here. Come to my blog: livingafreelifetoday.com and have a discussion with me. Don’t just stick to stocks. You can invest in real estate, business, crowd funding, etc. You can start your own blog or website and sell your services. You’ll have better control over what you are doing. There’s no such thing as a passive income. Most passive income requires you to do the work today so you can reap the benefits later.

So come to my blog and be engaged.

Q8 : Besides shares, what other investment are you involved in (e.g. Real Estates, Bonds or REITs etc)?
A8 : Yup, I’m venturing into overseas real estate at the moment. I have some friends looking to start businesses in various parts of the world. My brothers are also looking to create something and I’m interest to be a resource to them too. If you have any ideas and you are willing to put the effort, time, and money, don’t hesitate to talk to me. I’d like to learn more from you and help you.

Q9 : What is your current Shares Investment portfolio size (in range, no need specific)?
A9 : I like to work as a team with my wife since she’s the one financing many of my projects. Personally, we have 20% of our net worth in shares, 40% cash, and 40% in real estate. We are comfortably levered in real estate given that the interest rate is super low. To me, it makes sense to borrow money in order to generate cash flow. If we do meet with an unfortunate event, I’ll make sure that we’ll be able to pay off all our debt obligations and remain solvent.

I’m looking to deploy some money to start businesses that are low cost. In some parts of the world, there are some businesses you can start for as low as 1k to 2k. They are certainly not easy, and it takes lots of active work. However, everyone has to start somewhere and that means taking the time to learn and make mistakes.

Q10 : If the readers what to get in touch with you, how to get hold of you? (Sharing of your website/blog/social media profile etc..)
A10 : You can simply come to my blog at livingafreelifetoday.com. Cheers!

Last but not least, if you are a retail investor and would like to be featured in my "Interview With The Fellow Investors" blog series, please feel free to email me at investopenly@gmail.com.

Also, for the complete list of my interviewees and their posts, check it out here.

Cheers!

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Lippo Malls Indonesia Retail Trust - EGM To Acquire Lippo Mall Kuta, Bali

Last week, received a thick package from Lippo Malls Indonesia Retail Trust, LMIR Trust (can tell from the envelop itself) but didn't open it until today. Apparently, it is a circular in relation to the upcoming EGM for the proposed acquisition of Lippo Mall Kuta, Bali. The purchase consideration is S$85 mil

After attempting to digest the thick pile of sheets and given up after about 10 pages, most of the content are quite technical and lots of jargon here and there. For an existing investors, of course, the first thing that come to mind is the objective and financial upside of such acquisition?

Managed to skim through the pages and found some pertinent information here:

1. Rationale for the acquisition :
a. Provide organic growth potential
b. Opportunity to increase the size and enhance the earnings of the LMIR Trust.
c. Increase economies of scales in operation, marketing and financing.
d. Diversification of asset within LMIR Trust's portfolio to minimise the concentration risk.

2. Some key financials after the acquisition (based on the pro forma financial statements for FY2015):
a. Net Property Income (NPI) will increase by 4.2%.
b. Dividend Per Unit (DPU) will increase to 3.11 cents (from 3.10 cents)
c. Dividend Yield will increase to 9.72% (from 9.69%)
d. Portfolio size will increase by 4.5% (from S$1,830 mil to S$1,915 mil)
e. Net Asset Value (NAV) will remain at 37.86 cents (as at 30 Jun 2016) 
f. Aggregate leverage will increase to 31.1% (from 27.9%), which is still below the leverage limit of 45% (the acquisition is expected to be financed 100% with borrowings)

I will not be attending the EGM, which happens to be on 30th Nov 2016, Wed but personally feel that this acquisition is a timely expansion of the trust and will "silently" giving it a go-ahead :-) 

What is your view about this acquisition? 

Cheers! 

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Medishield Life - What Is Your After Subsidy Premiums In 2017?

Medishield Life
If you have not already known, our revamped Compulsory National Healthcare Scheme, Medishield Life is heading towards its second year from Nov 2016 onward. During this transition period, Government is dishing out a couple of subsidies to ensure that impact of the premium increase is mitigated (even though the full Medishield Life premiums can be paid via your Medisave account, as long as there is sufficient balance). 

Do you know what is your Medishield Life premium, after the subsidies, in 2017? Well, there is no need to wait for the renewal notice from CPF Board or your insurer (if you have an Integrated Shield plan), you can check out the easy to read premium table below as a gauge (source : CPF Board) :

These subsidy rates are applicable to Singapore Citizens who live in residences with an Annual Value of $13,000 or less. Those living in residences with an Annual Value between $13,001 and $21,000 will receive 10 percentage points less than these subsidy rates. Those living in residences with an Annual Value of above $21,000 or own multiple properties will not receive these subsidies. Table applies to Singapore Citizens.

For Permanent Residents (PRs), half of the relevant Premium Subsidy rates apply. PRs are not eligible for Transitional Subsidies.

All Singapore Citizens enjoy 70% Transitional Subsidies on the net premium increase in the second year, i.e., pay 30% of the net increase in premiums from the former MediShield.

Note: 
"Lower income" refers to individuals with a household monthly income per person of $1,100 or less. 
"Lower middle income" refers to individuals with a household monthly income per person of $1,101 to $1,800. 
"Upper middle income" refers to individuals with a household monthly income per person of $1,801 to $2,600.

(Information accurate as at 31 October 2016)

Oh! By the way, for those who are covered under the Integrated Shield Plan with the insurers*, do take note that selected insurers are set to increase the premiums of selected plans (only on the insurer's portion) from 2017. So, do pay attention when you've received your upcoming renewal notice from your insurer. 

Cheers!

*5 insurers that are currently providing the Integrated Shield Plans:
AIA (HealthShield)
Aviva (MyShield)
Great Eastern (SupremeHealth)
NTUC Income (INcomeShield)
Prudential (PruShield)

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Never Say Never!

Time flies, We are one month plus away to the most celebrated festive of the year! Ho~Ho~Ho.. Last night, Orchard Road has officially light up the X'mas lighting, amidst the gloomy Retail Industry (except the online retails, at the back of the record breaking of Singles Day sales event of US$18 billions by Alibaba on a single day), hopes it does bring along some much needed merry to the malls. Those Retails REITS holders will know what I meant :-)  

Today's topic is Never Say Never! 

Think along the line of Brexit, Philippine's President and now the US's President-Elect. If you follow the Google Trends, the latest trend of Google Search is "impeachment" of Donald Trump. Would it happens? Nobody knows but, Never Say Never!
On the personal level, courtesy from a friend of mine, got a chance to attend a friendly soccer game in our very own National Stadium last night (Battle Of Europe 2016 : England Masters vs Germany Masters). The entertaining 6-goals game with the FT scoreline of 4-2 made the England Veterans the champion in 2016. Heard that the Germany Masters might be coming back again next year for a vengeance :-)

So, what is it got to do with "Never Say Never"? 

Here is the story : prior to this, I've never watched any soccer match at the stadium of any sizes as I always have an impression that it will be very noisy and too far (from the field) to see the game clearly, so, it will be better off for me to watch it on TV or projection screen at home or at F&B establishments (previously, ever rejected a couple of invite from friends to watch the soccer matches at the stadium). 

After this LIVE experience which is fantastic and totally overhauled my perception, I don't mind watching more games at stadiums now. So, Never Say Never! 

My next Never Say Never "paradox" to break probably is to eat fish and seaweed? lol

What about you? What is your Never Say Never "paradox"? 

Cheers!

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Year Of Black Swans And My Little Mistake In Trading Today

I am sure most of you have already read by now that Donald Trump will be the next President of U.S.A. Well, since that's what 55+ millions of US citizens are asking for, so be it. Just that it still shocked me to the max, I thought..... well, never mind... not my business.

Come and think of it, 2016 is the year of Black Swans, from Brexit to Philippines and now the new US president, one blacker than the other...  Is the world turning upside down now? Who know? Probably yes!

Of course, I do have a bunch of friends who are popping the champagne because they are supporting chaotic and bloodbath in the market...probably opportunists!

Well, I am having my little "black swan" moment today! Initially intended to add small lots of Singtel shares to my manual dollar-cost-averaging program, but instead of clicking on the "Buy" button, due to the lack on focus, I've accidentally clicked on the "Sell" button and the position was filled immediately! In short, instead of accumulating my shares, I am reducing it at a loss, unpredictably :-)

Moral Of The Story : Be Focus in whatever you are doing!!!

Cheers! 

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Would Your Tendency Affects How You Invest?

Currently, I am in the midst of reading a book called "Better Than Before", by Gretchen Rubin. In gist, it is a book about changing our habits for the better. I am especially intrigued by the Four Tendencies mentioned by the author. Of course, these are nothing new, but I can relate to the way she is classifying them. 

The Four Tendencies that Gretchen Rubin is talking about are (extracted from the book):

1. Upholders (respond readily to both outer and inner expectations)
2. Obligers (respond readily to outer expectations but struggle to meet inner expectations)
3. Questioners (question all expectations, and will meet an expectation only if they believe it's justified)
4. Rebels (resist all expectations, outer and inner alike)

Basically, what she is trying to say is that depending on our responses to the inner and outer expectations, we tend to fall into either one of these tendencies. It can be better illustrated with the following diagram (source : http://gretchenrubin.com):

So, do you think our tendency affects how we invest?

I deemed myself as "Obliger" as usually the outer expectations will supersede the inner expectations for me. From investment perspective, I tends to value other people's (especially those reputable and more established financial bloggers) assessment/analysis more than my own. Also, if the stake is not too high, I tends to give in easily to the others. 

Of course, it doesn't means that I will just follow blindly on what other said or recommended but it seems that if I didn't consciously suspend my action, my initial tendency is to follow the herds. To be frank, I did fall into this "trap" during my initial trade on EV Energy Partners, EVEP (US Stock). 

Unfortunately, we can't really change our tendency but with such self-knowledge, we can be more aware of the risks that associated with it and counter it with mitigation action like not rushing into action for my case. 

In short, I do believed that our tendency affect how we invest. 

What is your Tendency and do you think it affects how you invest? 

Cheers!

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Weekend Sharing - Something New , Something Fresh!

Happy Deepavali to all the Hindu friends who are celebrating the festival!

Time fly, we are at another weekend and it is already the last weekend of Oct 2016. We are one month plus away from Christmas and then here come the 2017 (the Year of Rooster, according to the Chinese Zodiac). 

Today, I will write something off the market, something new, something fresh that I've done/experienced in the month October. Since I have zero action ON the market (except collecting dribs and drabs of dividend once in a while. So, I will focus on the OFF the market stuff :-)

ON THE HEALTH REGIME:

1. Enrolled myself with the company's lunch-hour health program (to counter hypertension, my BP is on the high side). It's a 3-month long program with health talks and exercises, hence, first time in my life doing an 1 hour non-stop Zumba with some of the colleagues. Intense and tiring but a very fulfilling. 

2. Enrolled myself with the National Steps Challenge Season 2 (organized by HPB, click here to find out more details if you are interested). Basically, HPB will provide you with a step tracker and encourage the participants to walk (objective : 10,000 steps a day). 
Free Step Tracker
To encourage more participants to participate in this national healthy lifestyle movement, besides throwing in the tracker and some free stuff in the goodies bag, if you've achieved certain steps milestone(s), you can redeem free CapitaVouchers or NTUC Vouchers, I've just gotten my $5 voucher :-) 

ON THE NEW LIFE EXPERIENCES  

1. Visited Asian Civilization Museum (ACM) for the first time, an eye opener to see quite a number of different displays like Tang Shipwreck, Ancient Trades like ceramics, textiles etc..Oh, this weekend (28 and 29 Oct 2016), they are also having the River Nights 2016 program with numerous performances and lighting shows (if you are interested, click here for more details). 


2. Visited the IMAX theater in Melbourne (Australia) for the first time, the screen is generally wider and longer than Singapore's (the IMAX theater at Shaw Lido) and the tickets price is slightly more expensive than Singapore. The show that we've watched is a documentary called "A Beautiful Planet" (narrated by Jennifer Lawrence)

3. Met up with a veteran retail investor and peer financial blogger whom officially went FI recently. Great sharing session (mainly from him) on his life and investment strategy. Feel great to be able to finally tag the face to the blogger that commented so regularly on each other's blogs.  

ON THE PERSONAL CHALLENGE

1. Speaking is one of my weakness, so, in order to face it head on, I decided to create a Video Channel as a mini project to brush up my speaking skills and at the same time sharing my thought on the topic closer to heart i.e. Happiness! The title of my video channel is called UP the Happiness and I've decided to create a new Page in this blog to share the new episodes here


That's all for now! What about you? What is your new life experience in the month of October 2016? 

Cheers!

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Phillip SGX APAC Dividend Leaders REIT ETF - How Is It Doing After Almost A Week of Launch?

As a follow-up to my earlier post (click here to view) of the launching of the first ever home-grown REITS ETF - Phillip SGX APAC Dividend Leaders REIT ETF, it is almost a week now.

So how does the ETF perform so far?

From my earlier tracking, the ETFs launched with the following prices @ 20/10/2016:

Phillip SGX APAC Dividend Leaders REIT ETF (SGD) : SGD 1.294
Phillip SGX APAC Dividend Leaders REIT ETF (US$) :  US$ 0.931

As at mid-day today (26/10/2016), the ETFs are traded at the following prices:

Phillip SGX APAC Dividend Leaders REIT ETF (SGD) : SGD 1.279 (down 1.16%)
Phillip SGX APAC Dividend Leaders REIT ETF (US$) :  US$ 0.920 (down 1.18%)

Of course, this one-week performance doesn't mean anything to the mid-to-long term investors (which I personally think that ETFs is meant to hold for longer term) but just to share the sentiments of the ETFs at the moment.

Are you vested in any of these ETFs? What is your view so far?

Cheers!

Note : I am not vested in any of these ETFs at the point of writing this post.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Weekend Sharing - Keep Going Amidst Gloomier Environment

Recently, local and international environment/market are surrounding by the gloomier sentiments. Retrenchment (especially in the O&G sector), poorer company results, potential recession etc.. 

What should we do during this cyclical gloomy environment?

Some retail investors/friends of mine are busy accumulating the equities (as they deemed this is the right time), some are accumulating their war chest and waiting for an even better opportunity to whack big big, while others are just cautiously observing (in Chinese we called it 静观其变). 

Whatever it is, life goes on and maybe it's time to leave the market sentiment aside for awhile and take this opportunity to pick-up some books or learning some new skills or just doing/starting new?  

For me, I have just started a mini project to challenge myself and embrace my weakness (in speaking) i.e. I've created a Youtube channel (no, it's not meant to share the investment or personal finance tips as I am still newbie among the peers). The channel is called "UP the Happiness" and I intend to discuss/share the topic that is closer to my heart i.e. trying to motivate and influence more people to be happy or at least to smile more! :-)

So far, I've created 2 Episodes and if the topic is of your interest too, do check out my second episode here (Can Money Buy You Happiness?):


What do you think? Feel free to provide your valuable comment, if any.

Cheers!

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Phillip SGX APAC Dividend Leaders REIT ETF - My Sharing

Mid last week, the folks from Phillip Capital management organized a sharing session with the peer financial bloggers on their upcoming, home-grown and first ever REIT ETF - Phillip SGX APAC Dividend Leader REIT ETF. Personally, I do invest in a couple of local REITs for dividend yield purpose and here come another option for consideration. 

Following are some key summary of the REIT ETF:

Manager : Phillip Capital Management (S) Ltd

Currency : USD (Primary) and SGD

Dividend Distribution : Semi-Annual

Projected Dividend Yield : 5% (before taking into consideration of Expense Ratio of 0.65% per annum and Management Fee of 0.50% per annum).

Consist Of : 30 REITS from the Asia Pacific (excluding Japan), the constituents sector breakdown are as per following: Australia (59%), Singapore (30%) and Hong Kong (11%)

Top 10 REITS :
REITS                     (Weights) - Country
Link REIT              (10.20%) - Hong Kong
Scentre Group        (9.72%) - Australia
Westfield Corp       (9.55%) - Australia
Stockland               (8.73%) - Australia
Vicinity Centres     (6.72%) - Australia
Goodman Group    (5.46%) - Australia
Mirvac Group        (5.34%) - Australia
Ascendas REIT      (5.16%) - Singapore
GPT Group/The     (4.84%) - Australia
Capital Mall Trust (3.97%) - Singapore

Rebalancing : If necessary, the index will be rebalanced semi-annually in March and September. 
Bloomberg Tickers : PAREIT (US$) ; PAREITS (SG$)

Trading : To be commenced from 20/10/2016 (Thu)

Bloomberg Tickers : PAREIT (US$) and PAREITS (SG$)

With the nett dividend yield of less than 5%, it might not seems appealing to the REITs lovers (myself included) as there are many other local REITs that can do much better than that. Of course, I do appreciate the other two key motivation/objectives that this REIT ETF trying to provide:

1. Ensure sustainability of the dividend yield (I believed that's where the semi-annual re-balancing act come into play, when deemed necessary). 

2. Diversification of the risk (minimally for a start, the risk are being spread out across 3 countries. According to the CIO, there are plan to bring in suitable REITs from other Asia Pacific [ex Japan] like India or China into the portfolio).     

If you are an existing ETF investor, I believed this is a piece of good news as it provides more option for you to flex your investment strategy. 

What is your view on this upcoming REIT ETF?

Cheers!

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