Saturday, March 26, 2016

Why You Should Not Trust Movie Critics And Brokers Recommendation 100%

Batman vs Superman Dawn of Justice
At the moment, the most talked about movie in town (in fact, internationally) is non other than the much anticipated superhero movie, Batman vs Superman - Dawn Of Justice (BvS). Two iconic superheros battle it out on big screen and they throw in Wonder Woman as well, what else can go wrong, right? According to the review of most critics in US as well as local, it can go really wrong. Or is it? 

Personally, I've not watched the movie yet and will have my own verdict only after I watch it tonight. For me, movie critics is liken to the brokers' recommendation (of stocks), we should not relying on them 100%. 

Why? Here are my 3 main reasons why we should not trust movie critics or brokers recommendation 100%:

1. Everyone's assumption/expectation of the movie/stock are different. For example, if you are an hardcore DC Comic fan, you might like the movie to the max (just like some of my friends cannot stand Man Of Steel but personally I loved it). Same thing for the stock, you might see some value/catalyst in it that others failed to spot. 

2. If you are a movie fan (especially superheroes movie fan in this instance), you will be focusing on enjoying every unique movie going experience instead of nitpicking every single flaw of a movie. Which movie doesn't has flaw? Which stock is perfect? To me, BvS is like a blue chip stock, regardless of whether you like it or not, it will still make a blast in the box office, which is more important than the subjective movie critics. 

3. Movie Critics and Brokers Recommendation are biased (most of the time). It could be because the movie goers have been treated with very entertaining Marvels superheroes adaptation for the past few years and the recent kick-ass Deadpool surprise, they are expecting the similar kind of entertainment value from BvS.  Just like in stocks, can you expect every blue chips to give you 7% returns? Even then, you still keep it, why? Because you see the potential in it!     

Please note that I am not defending BvS as I have not watched it yet and ultimately I might be having the same conclusion as most movie critics. However, I am a true believer of SEEING IS BELIEVING and I rather experience it myself and make my own judgment.

Have you watched BvS? If yes, what is your personal review? If no, would you be watching it?


Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Inspiring TED Talk : Look At Bigger Picture Instead Of Your Wealth Alone

This post was inspired by an inspiring TED Talk that I've watched recently. The title of this TED Talk title is : This country isn't just carbon neutral - it's carbon negative and it was presented by the Bhutan Prime Minister, Tshering Tobgay.

Bhutan, a small but thriving country in between two powerhouse countries, China and India and made popular by its high Gross National Happiness (GNH) Index. In fact, the its forth king has pronounced that their GNH is more important that their Gross National Product (GNP) Index since 1970s. Not only that, their constituency demands that a minimum of 60 percent of Bhutan's total land shall remain under forest cover at all time. That explains why they have the cleanest air in the world.

From the talk, I made my simplistic deduction below :

Happiness = Inner Richness + Bonding (with Nature)

Let me try to explain, a true happiness is when our inner richness (our contentment, love, knowledge and spiritual belongings etc..) is met with the nature. The nature here refers to the clean air, chirping birds, mountainous greens etc.. It also means that LESS is MORE! Those material stuff that cluttered our world just made our life more complicated, not any happier.

Of course, I am not saying that wealth/money is not important. In fact, in our modern society, it is necessary to amass a sufficient size of fund before we can continue to live a comfortable life (according to your own terms).

But my point is:
Is making more money made you any happier? Or it just make you feel more secured in your future (which is not entirely same as happiness)?

Have you paid too much attention to wealth/money and neglected the happiness?

Did you strike a right balance in achieving both wealth and happiness (I believed this is the dreams of everyone i.e. staying healthy, wealthy and happy). 

I don't have the answer(s) to the above as I am doing some soul searching myself right now too ;-)   

Do check out the TED Talk for yourself below and start pondering:


Sunday, March 20, 2016

An Email To The Future Me

I assumed that we are all working extra hard (or smart) NOW with the intention to provide for the FUTURE (either our future or the future of our loved ones). Be it in your desired career path, your health/fitness or your financial status (the famous "Financial Independence' status among the financial bloggers), we know that we need to take control of our desired path now or else we will loss control in our future. If that's not the case, many of us will be living in YOLO (You Only Live Once) mode all the time (note : I am not saying that YOLO is bad). 

Of course, future is in no existence yet and hence there is no guarantee when we talk about future (regardless of how hard or smart are you now), I like to rehash the idea of "You never know which one will come first, tomorrow or death" but also mindful of an effective advertising slogan from NTUC Income "How The Future You Thanks You!". So, there is a need to strike a balance here, while we are trying to live to the fullest NOW, we also need to plan for the FUTURE. 

Inspired by a book that I am currently reading, The Productivity Project - Proven Ways To Become More Awesome (by Chris Bailey), I started to make use of a site called to send email to the future me. Basically, it is a self-reminder to myself in the future, I am pretty sure that I will forget about this email down the road but hope that when I received the email later in the future, I can proudly checked all the items that I told the future me to do!

Now, maybe it's your time to "talk" to your future self too? 


Friday, March 18, 2016

Earth Hour 2016 - Off The Light ; On The Life

Earth Hour, the annual lights off event is reaching its 10th anniversary this year and it is going to happen tomorrow (19th March 2016) from 8.30 PM to 9.30 PM. It all started with a lights off event in Sydney, Australia in 2007, now, it has grown into an international event participated by 172 countries globally.

Being a supporter of this earth-saving event for a couple of years now, I encouraged all readers of my blog to turn-off the light for at least one hour (more if you like) from 8.30PM to 9.30PM tomorrow.

You can still continue to do your usual stuff like watching TV, researching on the companies for your investment, writing or reading the blogs etc.. just make sure that you OFF the light for that one hour! If you do it together as a family, it will be even better as it will give you a whole new experience of family bonding in the dark ;-) 

Never under estimate this seemingly small gesture of yours, it will create powerful impact to our mother earth, which is ailing. Trust me, your action is powerful enough to change the climate change.

Let's do this together!! 

OFF the light ; ON the Life!

Have you participated in the Earth Hour event before? What is your view?


One of the best ways to save money this holiday season is by installing LED strip lighting Christmas lights on your home or business. Strip lights are great for seasonal and permanent use.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Croesus Retail Trust - New Counter In My Watch List

Recently, I've just shared about one stock, Hock Lian Seng, which is under my watch list in view of its potential from the CNAV (Conservative Net Asset Value) Analysis perspective. For more details, you can check it out here. Today, I am going to share another counter which was newly included in my watch list, which is Croesus Retail Trust (S6UI).

Croesus is the first SGX-listed Asia-pacific retail business trust with a portfolio located in Japan and it was listed in Singapore on 10 May 2013 (IPO price : $0.93), which is relatively new. 

Do take note that Croesus is a business trust and not REITS, there are differences between the two, which my friend like to term them "same same but different"! ;-)

Some Key Business Overview of Croesus Retail Trust:

1. Market Cap of $192 mil

2. Substantial shareholders : Target Asset Management and DBS Bank Ltd

3. Consist of a portfolio of 8 malls in Japan (5 in Tokyo), they are:
    a. Aeon Town Moriya
    b. Aeon Town Suzuka
    c. Croesus Shinsaibashi
    d. Croesus Tachikawa
    e. Luz Omori
    f. Mallage Shobu
   g. One's Mall
   h. Torius

4. Occupancy Rate : close to 100%

5. Average 8 years of WALE (Weighted Average Lease Expiring)

6. Gearing Ratio of 46.3% (which is on the high side)

7. Weighted debt maturity of 2.6 years

8. Trailing Annual Dividend Yield of 9.3% with the following dividend distribution history:
Croesus dividend history
Croesus Retail Trust : Dividend Distribution History
Besides the stable performance of the portfolio and lucrative dividend yield, following are some strengths/opportunities that appeal to me:

a.  The recent introduction of negative interest by BOJ could potentially lead to lower debt cost and further increase its asset valuation

b. Appreciating Japanese Yen which increases the NAV in S$

c. Currency hedged over the entire expected distribution for FY16 to FY18 (which serve as a double protection for more stable dividend yield)

d. Upcoming Olympic Tokyo 2020 is expected to boost the tourism and retail businesses there.

Croesus Retail Trust is currently trading at $0.795, which is 1.19 times of book value ($0.67). I am saving this counter in my watch list and will nimble at around the price range of $0.75 to $0.77.


P/S: DYDD (Do Your Due Diligence)

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Zootopia - A Powerful Animation About Following Your Dream

Zootopia, the latest blockbuster animation from Disney has taken the US box office by storm last week, it tops the box office chart with a whopping US$75.1 million opening week. I just catch the movie yesterday and I can understand why... it is so popular in both reviews and box office. 

Zootopia is trying to bring across a serious adult themes (stereotyping vs dreams) in a delightful and fun way. It is a fast moving movie with great plot and a twist at the end too. All in all, I must say that Disney DID IT again with flying color!

"Bunny can never be a police officer"

"Fox is cunning, by nature"

"Predatory animals has it in their DNA that one day they will turn predators"

"Sloth is slow!" 

(ok, maybe the last one has some truth in it, the sloth scene is one of the highlights of the movie lol)

These are just some of the stereotypes and prejudices that we, as human being, tends to fall into the similar trap against each other, from generations to generations.

It is a timely wake-up call, not for the kids but for the adults (so that the kids can learn the correct values from them).

If you are still clueless about the movie that I am walking about, check out the trailer of Zootopia below:

It is one of the must watch animation of the year and a great family movie to consider for the school holidays.


Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Hock Lian Seng - My CNAV Analysis

It has been awhile since my last CNAV Analysis. Recently, I have done a quick stock filtering (through SGX's StockFacts tool) to identify those stocks that have decent dividend yield (if you've not already know, my focus of investment is income investing). One stock caught my eyes and I've proceeded to do a quick CNAV Analysis to probe further. Hence this post. 

The stock that I am talking about is Hock Lian Seng (J2T), an investment holding company, primarily provides civil engineering services to public and private sectors in Singapore

The Key Quantitative Indicators of CNAV Strategy (Basing on the Financial Statement dated 24th Feb 2016 for the year ended 31st Dec 2015:

Net Asset Value (NAV) = $0.435
Conservative Net Asset Value (CNAV2) = $0.344
Current Price = $0.39
Discount For CNAV2 = -13%

Conclusion : From the price's perspective, it is traded above the CNAV2 price but below the NAV price. It also means that it is a potential stock worth monitoring. 

The P.O.F Scores of CNAV Strategy:
Profitability Score = 1 (With the PE ratio of 5.6)

Operational Efficiency = 1 (with three consecutive years of positive operating cashflow)

Financial Efficiency = 1 (Debt To Equity Ratio of 54%)

Conclusion : A perfect POF indicators.
Other information:
1. For the FY 2015, the revenue has dropped by 33.2% and profit was dropped by 49.5% due to poorer performance in Property Development segment.
2. The company has a strong Balance Sheet
3. As at 31 December 2015, the Group’s order book for on-going projects of civil engineering segment was approximately $382 million for the Maxwell station, Changi Airport project and Stabling at Gali Batu Depot.

4. The company has declared $0.025 dividend (6.4% Dividend Yield), to be paid on 20th May 2016 (XD on 3th May 2016).

Click here for the Financial Statement!
In short, I will keep Hock Lian Seng in my CNAV2 watch list and will consider if it ever hit the range of $0.35 to $0.37 ;-)  


Saturday, March 5, 2016

Weekend Sharing - Are We In The Bull Run Yet?

It has been a week since I came back from Australia, but I am still waking up at 5AM for the past week, I guess my biological clock is still sticking to the Melbourne time (which is 3 hours ahead of us). Anyway, it's weekend once again and I am sure many friends here are re-charging ourselves and spending quality times with loved ones. 

Looks like we are kicking off the bull run, or do we? The STI has shoot up 6.39% just within a week, from 2,666.51 on Monday (29/02/2016) to 2,837.00 on Friday (04/03/2016). Of course, no one know for sure how long will this mini bull run last and it could be a bull trap, no one ever know. Also, avoid falling into the FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) mode. My friend, B, recently published a post on FOMO, do check it out to understand better what is his view. 

Having said that, from the overall recent macro market news e.g. the oil price, the US unemployment rate etc.. which are pointing to the positive direction, my humble guess is that this run might still continue for a little while (don't quote me, this is just my weekend wild guess lol). Regardless, I think it is still important to keep some money in the market (remain invested) and keep some in cash, just in case other opportunities strike.

Lastly, have a great weekend all!


Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Interview With Cayden Chang of Mind Kinesis Value Investing Academy

Two months ago, I was inspired by the article of Cayden Chang in the mainstream newspaper, he is a two-time cancer survivor, entrepreneur, author and founder of Mind Kinesis Value Investing Academy. Today, I am honored to have him coming on board to be part of my mini Interview Series.

Personally, just by going through his answers, I've picked up something new myself (e.g. his Triple-A formula). So, without further ado, let's get inspired immediately...  

Q1 : Can you give us a brief introduction about yourself?
A1 : I am the Founder of Mind Kinesis Value Investing Academy, which focuses on running Value Investing Programme, the first and only value investing training that is recommended and endorsed by Mary Buffett, the internationally acclaimed author and speaker of how billionaire Warren Buffett invests. My company also runs Value Investing Programme and other investment related workshops in Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam, Thailand and Cambodia. I am fortunate to be trained in value investing by Professor Bruce Greenwald in Columbia University, the institution where Billionaire investor Warren Buffett met Professor Benjamin Graham, as well as by Professor George Athanassakos, the finance professor who holds the Ben Graham Chair in Value Investing at the Richard Ivey School of Business, University of Western Ontario. Even though my education in National University of Singapore was in Science, I realised that with some effort, anyone with absolutely financial background can learn how to invest.

As a two-time cancer survivor, my biggest dream is to build an endowment fund to support cancer research and palliative care, which is why I am passionate about investing. My 2nd book titled “The Book of Hope: One Man’s Journey Facing Cancer As A Young Husband, Father And Entrepreneur” is currently selling at all Kinokuniya book stores, and all my proceeds go to cancer research at National Cancer Centre.
The article featuring Cayden Chang
Q2 : Are you a full time or part-time investor at the moment?
A2 : I run my companies and invest at the same time. 

Q3 : When (at what age) did you start investing in shares and who has influenced you the most?
A3 : I started investing in my 20s thinking that I was investing. It took me a few years to realise that I was not investing but speculating when I lost all my savings of US$50K+ during year 2001’s bursting of the dot-com bubble. It was then after this crisis that I truly learnt the meaning of investing. This is an important lesson that everyone needs to know. An investing attitude is to look at the assets that produce the returns and then buy it at an undervalue price. On the other hand, a speculative attitude is to treat any stock like a number and hope that it goes up in the short term.  

Q4 : Do you view yourself as long-term (holding shares in years), short-term investor (holding shares in days/months) or mixture?
A4 : Definitely long-Term.

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 select companies based predominantly on fundamentals. Once in a while, I use 52-week low or x-year low, but other than this, it’s all fundamentals. If I may, I may divide the steps into a Triple-A formula (ie. AAA):

(a) A – Assess. In this step, I attempt to assess the business both qualitatively and quantitatively. Qualitative includes understanding the business model, how the management is running the business, does the business have a durable competitive advantage, etc. To support our qualitative judgement, we need to look at the quantitative factors such as the trend of their earnings, cashflow, margins, debt, etc.

(b) A – Acquire. Once we assess that it’s a business that we want to acquire, then the next step is to valuate the business. There are many ways to valuate businesses but the philosophy is to do an intelligent estimate how much the business is worth per share including a buffer for error (ie. Margin of safety).

(c) A – Asset Portfolio. Once you have intention to acquire a business, the next question is how much? Assuming that we know, when do we sell to have a portfolio that consistently pays us?

Q6 : What is your targeted and achieved annual rate of returns (%) so far?
A6 : My targeted rate of returns : > 9 %
        My achieved rate of returns : > 9%

Q7 : What is your most recommended online investing resource (site or blog) to share with our readers?
A7 : Our website at Another two websites I like is and

Q8 : Besides shares, what other investment are you involved in (e.g. Real Estates, Bonds or REITs etc)?
A8 : I used to co-owned three US properties and I have sold all. As of now, all my investments are in stocks and in my own education (I read a lot and I take courses regularly which is why I was been awarded the Lifelong Learners Award in 2008 by our current Minister for Health, Mr Gan Kim Yong).

Q9 : What is your Portfolio Distribution like?
A9 : About 50% in cash, and 50% equities (consisting both US and Singapore). My 50% cash is to standby for another crisis in which foresee may be coming soon.

Q10 : If the readers want to get in touch with you, how to get hold of you?
A10 : Do register for our Free Masterclass and anyone can contact us at and 64387010. We are more than happy to answer any queries.


Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Why A $2,000 Loan From A MoneyLender Can Cost You Over S$200,000 in 10 Years

This article was written by, the fastest-growing financial comparison site in Singapore for credit cards and personal loans.

If we ranked financial services based on how desirable they are, moneylenders would rank on the same level as a dengue outbreak. In fact, if you just broke both legs in a terrible car accident and are short on cash, a preferable alternative to moneylenders would be learning to crawl. 

Here are three reasons not to go to licensed moneylenders, but only because 17,431 reasons would be too long to read:

1. The interest rate is almost impossible to cope with 

Licensed moneylenders give out short term loans, usually at exorbitant interest rates. Even with recent caps imposed by the Ministry of Law, the interest rates are extortionate:

“With effect from 1 October 2015, the maximum interest rate moneylenders can charge is 4% per month...If a borrower fails to repay the loan on time, the maximum rate of late interest a moneylender can charge is 4% per month for each month the loan is repaid late.” 

Just for reference, if you could find one moneylender to borrow S$2,000 from at 4% interest per month, your loan can balloon up to S$221,325 in 10 years if you fail to make the payment

Monthly Interest Rate
Total Repayable
12 (1 year)
60 (5 years)
120 (10 years)

Most moneylenders don’t charge the maximum interest rate, because they compete with each other (there is always one that will try to undercut the competition, which forces rates down a little.).

However, it’s still common to find interest rates of about 40% per annum, especially with their “weekly” loans. Administrative fees of up to 10% of the loan may also apply, thereby increasing the amount to be repaid (see point number 3).

By comparison, a credit card’s 24% interest rate p.a. seems tame. If you’re planning to get a cash advance on a credit card, the interest rates (which compounds daily) don’t differ too far from moneylenders. But for a S$2,000 loan that stretches 5 years or more, you get lower interest rates on a credit card:

Number of Years
Credit Card Cash Advance
(24% interest p.a.)
Loan from Moneylender
(40% interest p.a.)

On top of that, your credit cards have balance transfer options. If you can’t pay the full amount on time, you can transfer to another card at 0% interest (usually for up to six months; you can see the balance transfer options on

Now we’re fully aware that many people who go to moneylenders have bad credit, and can’t get credit cards or balance transfers. But for people in this position, the solution is to seek credit counselling - not a moneylender to aggravate their debt problems.

As for the ones who can get bank loans, credit cards, balance transfers, etc. there is no reason to go to a moneylender. The interest rate is higher, repayments are less convenient to make, they don’t contribute to your credit score, and you’re contributing to a business that preys on the desperate. 

2. Even if you can’t get a bank loan, the pawn shop is still a more reasonable alternative than moneylenders

Most pawn shops charge an interest rate of 1% for the first month, and 1.5% for subsequent months. In the event you cannot repay the loan, the penalty is simply that you lose the item you pawned. That’s it - the loan can’t snowball and grow worse.

If you have anything to pawn at all, always go to the pawn shop first. There may be less psychological appeal (a moneylender doesn’t take anything from you on the spot), but at least you won’t have a debt that’s paid off sometime after 2050.

3. Moneylenders are notorious for creative use of fees

Before the government cracked down, moneylenders were notorious for their creative use of late fees. In 2014, it was reported that a borrower was charged a S$600 late fee for a S$400 loan. There were no restrictions on how much a late fee could be. It was also common to charge huge “administrative fees” for taking the loan in the first place.

As of October 2015, late fees are restricted to S$60 a month and administrative fees are capped at 10% of the loan. But as the linked article in point 1 shows, moneylenders have found a way around this. By getting borrowers to “re-contract” their loans every week, they can charge administrative fees four times a month.

Banks charge fees for loans as well. But because they are heavily regulated, the fees never get as bad as what a moneylender will try to get away with. 

For the reasons outlined above, going to moneylenders will make a dire financial emergency worse, even with the new restrictions. Avoid them at all costs. Borrow from friends or family if you really need cash, and seek help from Credit Counselling Singapore if interest rates from debts have grown out of proportion. 


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