Friday, 17 March 2017

A tech bubble in the making?





Seriously? Snapchat (SNAP) IPO had a market cap of US$24billion with a share price of $17 per share.

This IPO seriously looks like a huge speculation gamble coupled with miraculous expectations that the company will somehow generate a profitable net income after 2 years of net losses. That’s right… SNAP has had increasing net losses of US$373 million in 2015 and US$515 million in 2016 (According to Morningstar). These numbers were published for their IPO prospectus for all to see and people are still willing to throw their money at the stock hoping to catch a quick buck.

So, whoever is into investing in unprofitable companies can take this opportunity to buy into SNAP. A quick look at their cashflow statement tells you that they have NEGATIVE income from operations and investing activities in 2015 and 2016. The only exception is from financing activities where they issued US$1,157 million of preferred stock in 2016. 

I know that Snapchat is very popular with youngsters these days, however, it would be best if we do not confuse popular with profitable. That was what lead to the Dotcom bubble in the late 1990s and we all know how that ended up.

Investing Wolf
Disclaimer: This is not a recommendation to buy or sell any mentioned stocks or securities in this blog.

Wednesday, 1 March 2017

Revised OCBC 360

Hello!
So today marks the first day of March. The moment I woke up and looked at my phone, I saw a message indicating that OCBC is updating its interest rates from 1st Apr 17. So I went to the web immediately to take a look at it and found that it is reducing/increasing interest rates for 4 /5 components.




















Links to the Current OCBC 360 account and the Updated OCBC 360 can be found here.

Below is the summarised version of the reduction.
  1. Payment section from 0.5% to 03% with a total of >$150 from >/= 3 bills
  2. Spend section from 0.5% to 0.3%
  3. Save section from 1% on incremental balance to 1% if your balance is  >$200K (this is not technically a reduction but to me, it is a reduction compared to its previous deal)
Below is the summarised version of the increase. 
  1. Wealth section from 1% to 0.6% or 1.2% depending on qualifying amount
  2. Increased balance cap from $60k to $70k

Overall, there is an expected interest rate decrease from 3.25% to 3.05%.

My thoughts:

So when I first saw the interest rate decrease, my idea was that the reduction was not so bad (drop from 3.25% to 3.05% only mah). When I read more into it, I realised what a bad deal this was going to be. The target of such account has evolved to accommodate people who have
  1. More than $200k and
  2. Invest or insures of eligible products within the wealth section of the account.


Honestly, if I had $200k, I would rather invest in the market than hold in cash at a bank earning such paltry interest rates. The eligible products are also products which does not have a good track record or which commands a huge annual premium. 

The majority of us would only benefit from the first 3 sections and an extra bonus section on the incremental balance in the current deal which awards us 0.05%+1.2%+0.5%+0.5%+1% (on incremental balance) netting us a 2.25% +1% incremental balance. With the revised update, we would only get 0.05%+1.2%+0.3%+0.3%, netting us a 1.85% interest rate...

So the summary is that I would be looking at other banks to put my emergency cash with easier criteria.


Investing Wolf 

Disclaimer: This is not a recommendation to buy or sell any mentioned stocks or securities in this blog. 

Saturday, 4 February 2017

Jan 2017

Hello!

My last post has been a while (in November). I did not manage to write a post in Dec due to the deadline of my assignments which was due over the new year. I’m glad it is over for now and I scored pretty well for one of the modules with full marks on the paper (been a while since I received full marks). While I am waiting for the results of the other module, I can concentrate on what matters ultimately, which is my financial journey.

December was the month in which we saw the increase of the FED interest rate to a range of0.5-0.75%. The 2nd of such hike in more than 10 years. January was a roller coaster ride with the inauguration of the 45th President of the United States. So much controversial news just in the first few days in office and we can only expect more of such news from him and his team for the next 4 years. The stock market did not go lowerbut made new highs instead. This certainly is an interesting period to be watching the market.

Closer to home, the Singapore consumer price rose for the first time in 2 years. This meant that the price of living has started to increase amidst a worsening economy. This only meant that life would only get tougher from this year onwards as the inflation rate rose to 0.2% (highest in 27 months). This coupled with the news of increased CPF retirement sum to $166K and increasing the re-employment age to 67 with the aim of raisingthe retirement age to 67 as well.

In my SG account: I was not closely monitoring the markets and it crept up without me. I was at fault for the failure to monitor the situation and increase my portfolio accordingly. That said, I will still continue to watch closely for any potential entry points to boost my portfolio with my extra cash from bonus and the upcoming Ang Bao.

In my US account: The oil market has been in a consolidation phase at around $50. This is good as I shorted a variation of the strangle on the market. Staying within the range of $50 is the best thing that can happen. I was contemplating selling off my stock position but decided to keep employing cost reduction strategies until I come back from my holiday in mid Feb.

My current SG holdings include:
1)      ACCORDIA GOLF TRUST 
2)      LIPPO MALLS INDO RETAIL TRUST 
3)      AIMS AMP CAP INDUSTRIAL REIT
Overall capital gain is  +5.33%
Overall P&L with dividend is +12.86%


Investing Wolf 

Disclaimer: This is not a recommendation to buy or sell any mentioned stocks or securities in this blog. 

Saturday, 3 December 2016

Nov 2016 Portfolio

Hi guys,

The month of November certainly contained some interesting and explosive news. First, Donald Trump won the US election against Hillary Clinton and the US markets rose to its highest levels instead of dropping as many would expect. Second, OPEC agreed to a production cut in eight years of about 1.2 million barrels per day. This cut would attempt to include the non-OPEC country in a bid to control and give balance to the overflowing crude oil market. Third, there was an increased chatter on the FED interest rate hike being highly possible in Dec due to the low jobless rates. This likely led to the steep drop in US treasury since 2009.

In November, the SG market looks to have broken through a downtrend resistance and is turning upwards. Major banks have also risen due to the interest rate expectations and thereby bringing the REIT market down.

In my SG account: Since I have adopted the dividend investing method, I’m waiting for the downtrend to stock up on more counters and shares. That being said, I received dividends from Lippo Malls in November and is expecting Accordia and Aims to distribute in December.

In my US account: I am still using cost reduction strategies to aggressively cut down on my positions and looking for opportunities in the commodities market because of the volatility especially when the oil market looks to go higher in the long term due to the OPEC agreement.

My current SG holdings include:
1)      ACCORDIA GOLF TRUST 
2)      LIPPO MALLS INDO RETAIL TRUST 
3)      AIMS AMP CAP INDUSTRIAL REIT

Overall capital gain is  +3.10%
Overall P&L with dividend is +9.08%

Investing Wolf 

Disclaimer: This is not a recommendation to buy or sell any mentioned stocks or securities in this blog. 

Friday, 4 November 2016

Oct 2016 Portfolio

Hi guys,

For the month of October, I received my results for my 2nd trimester and they were excellent. That marked the completion of half of the degree course and another 8 more months to complete the whole course and be done with the studies… I seriously cannot wait to get my life back on track. Since the beginning of the degree class, I was so swamped with work, studies, social life and my financial life. I did not have enough concentration to focus on the financial markets and thus had to change my investment period to medium to long term. While that did not help much with my account, it helped to maintain my financial status.

In October, as the SG market continues its downward movement, I’m looking for an opportunity to long into more dividend stocks. However, I am not optimistic on the outlook of the local economy as companies are cutting workers and various indicators are showing a slowdown in the markets. Hence an entry would be based on the pure fundamentals of the company and their ability to last through a recession.

The US market has also started down trending since mid-September with the short term indicators being bearish and the medium term indicators sloping down as well. I guess the world is looking at the FED interest rate hike possibility and the US presidential election results very closely. Many investors are flocking to the safe haven which is the commodities which have resulted in a small spike in the metals.

That being said, I am still using cost reduction strategies to aggressively cut down on my positions and looking for opportunities in the commodities market because of the volatility.

My current SG holdings include:
1)      ACCORDIA GOLF TRUST 
2)      LIPPO MALLS INDO RETAIL TRUST 
3)      AIMS AMP CAP INDUSTRIAL REIT

Overall capital gain is +4.79%
Overall P&L with dividend is +9.43%

Investing Wolf 

Disclaimer: This is not a recommendation to buy or sell any mentioned stocks or securities in this blog. 

Thursday, 6 October 2016

Sept 2016 Portfolio

Hi guys,

For the month of September, things were pretty hectic as I had to complete 3 essay assignments and managed to complete 1 practical test while preparing for a presentation during the first week of October. Overall, I felt pretty confident that this semester would be awesome as well.

In September, there were no transactions made in the SGD account but cost basis reduction strategy has been constantly applied in the US market for GILD. There were also some contracts in the S&P futures which turned a profit helping to bring back the account.

My current SG holdings include:

1)      ACCORDIA GOLF TRUST 
2)      LIPPO MALLS INDO RETAIL TRUST 
3)      AIMS AMP CAP INDUSTRIAL REIT
Overall capital gain is +5.19%
Overall P&L with dividend is +9.83%


Investing Wolf 
Disclaimer: This is not a recommendation to buy or sell any mentioned stocks or securities in this blog. 


Wednesday, 14 September 2016

CPF-IS under review.

Hi guys,

For those who don’t read newspaper, it looks like there are some changes coming to the CPF-IS according to The Straits Times’s Government to review CPF Investment Scheme: DPM Tharman.

Wow… According to the article, 80% of the people cannot earn even higher than 2.5% of the basic CPF OA interest and nearly 45% of CPF-IS had losses over same period. What!!!

It looks like because of these 80% of people who treat their hard earned money in the CPF like free money in a gambling den, the rest of us who are benefiting from the extra investment will likely be affected. Although it is under review, the CPF would still likely have components to still allow investors like us to continue using our money to invest for higher interest much like the 401k plan from the US.

That being said, it is better to keep a lookout at what changes will be made by this review.

Investing Wolf 

Disclaimer: This is not a recommendation to buy or sell any mentioned stocks or securities in this blog. 

Thursday, 1 September 2016

August 2016 Portfolio

Hi guys,

August is here and I am halfway through my second semester of my studies. Manage to score pretty well for my first semester and is currently on track to complete the entire course by July next year.

Over the month of August, there was no transaction made to the portfolio. Decision was made to observe the market both Singapore and US on any potential crashes. Logic is quite simple. I do not feel comfortable increasing positions when the I have no idea where the market is going since it is at an all-time highs. Given the passive nature and time commitment I have assumed since I started my studies earlier this year, I would rather average down on my cost than average up so it would be unlikely that I would add any counters or positions when the market is increasing.

My current SG holdings include:
1)      ACCORDIA GOLF TRUST 
2)      LIPPO MALLS INDO RETAIL TRUST 
3)      AIMS AMP CAP INDUSTRIAL REIT

Collected $38.25 from Lippo Mall in August and going to collect $27.5 from Aims in Sept.
Overall capital gain is +4.04%
Overall P&L with dividend is +8.68%

Given that the current portfolio is looking good, I will add on counters or increase holdings when the price is acceptable (definitely not when it is increasing).

Still trying to do some magic on the US account to bring it back into the green. Constantly performing cost basis reduction on GILD until such a time that the stock is taken off my hands and selling futures options to offset the previous loss when Gold spiked.  

Investing Wolf 
Disclaimer: This is not a recommendation to buy or sell any mentioned stocks or securities in this blog. 


Wednesday, 3 August 2016

Dividend portfolio July 2016

Hi guys,

For the last few months, I have been investing in some Singapore dividend stocks purely for the dividends. The reason for going into Singapore market is basically to achieve the dream of having a passive income to supplement my income someday so that my loved ones and I can be financially free.

As of now, I have only invested a small amount of capital into the market and will be adding to the list or more shares if the price is acceptable.

My current holdings include:
1)      ACCORDIA GOLF TRUST
2)      LIPPO MALLS INDO RETAIL TRUST
3)      AIMS AMP CAP INDUSTRIAL REIT

The anticipated dividend yield for the year is 8.85% which is looking good at the moment.

Investing Wolf 

Disclaimer: This is not a recommendation to buy or sell any mentioned stocks or securities in this blog. 

Wednesday, 27 July 2016

Just some thoughts on the games at NUS camps

So recently there have been many stories of the games in NUS camps being increasingly sexualised. The thing is, no one actually forced anyone to do anything they do not want to do. Who can the students blame or do they need a lesson on making choices?

Many a times, we blame others for the things we do because we “have no choice”. Truth is, we always have a choice. Just because we do not like the other choices, does not make it disappear. In the case above, no one put a gun to their heads to participate (in which case, they also had a choice to either participate or be shot). It is most often their fear of being alienated or outcast from the group that led them to participate in the games. While the initial intention was to make friends during the camp, they could have just left if they were not comfortable participating in the games. If you are looking to make new friends, join some clubs from the community club (you can seriously meet many like-minded people from clubs like cycling, running, etc.). We need to start taking responsibility for our actions and stop blaming others for our actions.

Just like saving for a rainy day or saving up a war chest for investment purposes, it is not that they cannot save, most often it is because they couldn’t resist going to the restaurant which was so popular a while ago or buying the latest hand phone model that just hit the streets. We make choices that ultimately affects our lives every day and yet we choose to not take any responsibility and blame the economy, job, boss, etc. for not giving us enough salary. So who should really work on their mind-set?

Perhaps we can start giving our students a lesson on making good choices so they won’t repeat the mistakes when they come out to society…

Note: The author is not a NUS student nor do I endorse any games which are uncomfortable to the participants.


Investing Wolf 

Disclaimer: This is not a recommendation to buy or sell any mentioned stocks or securities in this blog. 

Tuesday, 5 July 2016

Standard Chartered New Bonus$aver vs OCBC 360

Competition is tough in the world of personal banking. Just last month, Standard Chartered extended their Bonus$aver interest of 1.88%p.a. to the first $100,000 if you spend more than $2000 while decreasing the interest to 0.88% if you spend $500-1999.99. I wrote about the announcement in a previous post and today I’m going to write about their new Bonus$aver deal.



This new account is much similar to the current OCBC360 account in nearly all aspects while catering to their more wealthy clients. This post will attempt to compare the new Bonus$aver to the OCBC360 as it is currently the best product in the market (in my opinion).

First, there is a card spend portion which can earn you up to 1.88% if you spend more than $2,000 and only 0.88% if you spend above $500. I believe many of us definitely fall in the category of the 0.88% and won’t get to hit the 1.88% category. Even so, OCBC only offers 0.5% if you spend $500 on their credit card. So this portion is definitely in favor of Standard Chartered.

Second, the salary credit bonus is also available and gives you 1% only if your net income is more than $3,000. OCBC only requires $2,000 and gives 1.2% for this portion. Without much debate, OCBC fare well in this aspect.

Third, the investment portion… many of us should know this never applies to us…  but for comparison sake, OCBC offers 1% while Standard Chartered offers 0.75%. OCBC leads 2 to 1.

Fourth, the bill payment component of Bonus$aver requires 3 bills with minimum of $50 each and offers 0.25% for the effort. OCBC only requires 3 bills and offers 0.5%. This round goes to OCBC as well.

Fifth, OCBC has an additional 1% on incremental balance which Bonus$aver does not have.

Overall, OCBC wins hands down and remains without a competition in my books. That is until they change the rules again… The only thing we have to take note is that the interest is only applicable to the first $60,000 for OCBC360 and the first $100,000 in Standard Chartered Bonus$aver. So if you have less than $60,000,you might want to give Bonus$aver a miss.


Investing Wolf 

Disclaimer: This is not a recommendation to buy or sell any mentioned stocks or securities in this blog. 

Thursday, 23 June 2016

The cost of hospitalization!

Everyone knows that healthcare in Singapore can be very costly, but how many of us are actually adequately covered when we are hospitalized? When was the last time you reviewed your hospitalization policy?

When I was still young, my mother had already bought plenty of insurance for me at that time. Since then she has been paying the insurance premium in my behalf. 2 years ago, I was interested in the area after a chance encounter at a seminar and took a look at the plans. That’s when I realized that I was covered with a whole life insurance, hospitalization and an endowment plan among other plans. After further review, I realized that some of the policies did not make sense and had to go. I had meet up sessions with some of my insurance friends and learnt about the different products in the market from them.

Hospitalization is an important item which one must definitely have. I say this because I work in the healthcare industry and I have seen how financial issues can affect the lives of patients and their family. An admission to a general B1 ward in a government restructured hospital can easily cost $198 - $240 per day (obtained from various major hospital websites) and this amount only puts your name on the bed and does not include any treatment or medication fees. This means that if you have to stay in the hospital for 7 days, it would translate to $1386 - $1680 just for the bed.

Wednesday, 8 June 2016

Changes in SCB Bonus$aver Account

Today I came back from work and saw a letter addressed to me on my table. First impression was that it was from Standard Chartered because of the envelop it was sent in. I read the content and had to re-read the content a second time just to ensure my eyes were not playing a trick on me. The content of the letter is as below:


After such a “flexible” change in rates, you can expect me to terminate my account after June and move my funds into another bank with better rates such as the OCBC 360 of which I've been getting 1.75% easily. Thanks SCB for the 1.88% for the last few years.

Investing Wolf 

Disclaimer: This is not a recommendation to buy or sell any mentioned stocks or securities in this blog. 


Tuesday, 17 May 2016

May 2016


Month of May

Well, we are now at the 5th month of 2016. I am still amazed at how fast this year have seemed to have passed by. I realised I have not been posting monthly as previously mentioned… my only justification was that I was super busy with rushing out my degree essays. It is very tough to have to work full time and continue to rush out essays and presentations part time while keeping up to date with the daily financial news. I am so glad that the first 2 modules of my degree modules are about to be completed.

Although I have not been very involved in the financial markets (in terms of opening and closing option positions), I have been looking into Dividend investing in Singapore stocks. Reason? I have spare cash sitting around. Back when me and my girlfriend opened a joint Bonus$aver account earning 1.88%pa from Standard Chartered, I had intended to send the first 2 years of savings into the US markets and the rest will be used to purchase dividend stocks in Singapore. It was god sent that the USD/SGD rate was low back when I sent the money overseas. Now it has climbed to SGD$1.37/USD$1. 

It was also that I just recently realised that the account had exceeded the 25k limit of the bonus interest since last year… meaning whatever excess in the account was just earning a small 0.1%pa… What!!! That’s a waste of the potential of my money. They could be doing so much more that a 0.1%pa…

Monday, 7 March 2016

Capital management.

I realised I have not written since my last post in Dec. The only reason I could think of is that I am getting lazy but the other reason could be that I was packed with things to do and settle before March.  But that is just what it is... an excuse. As mentioned before, I had started classes from March onward so I will post as frequently as possible. Therefore, this is a post for Mar.

Recently I had a meeting with my friend and realised that there was a need to revisit the topic of trade size with him. He told me that he was having big up and down moves in his portfolio. After reviewing the strategy he used, I found the main reason for the big fluctuation in his account was the draw down of his strategy. Draw downs will occur regardless of the type of strategy used. While I was conversing with him regarding the draw downs, I realised that I could also use with the reminder to be strict with my rules.

Last year I lost nearly 40% of my capital because of my poor decisions. I decided to wait and not cut losses when it was signaled by my strategy. The losses were piling up before I finally decided to cut loss. If I had followed my rules and cut loss when it was due, I would not have to spend so much time since then trying to recover the accounts.

Having ups and downs are common in the market. Nothing is 100% profitable without some losses. It is how we manage the losses that ultimately show in our accounts. I got too overconfident and decided to ignore my rules and ended up with a more bloody account than I would have gotten if I had been more disciplined.