I have been ‘away’ for quite a while and many new readers may not realised that TheFinance.sg actually has its own blog too. Blogging has always been a way for me to pen down significant milestones and events in my financial journey.

I attended my first townhall at Hyflux recently. Suffice to say, I’m a Hyflux shareholder (Hyflux Ltd’s 6% CPS) and it also marks the first time that I have a stock in my portfolio that is suspended. I have ‘high’ expectations on the townhall where questions come fast and furious, people getting emotional, the anger, the boos, the tears, projectiles flying etc but sadly that is not to be.

I will share my general observations. For an in depth view of the townhall, you may want to check this blog. The blogger  has complied a list of questions for the townhall and I am quite sure he will have a post once he has consolidated the answers.

  • The queue and registration was pretty efficient. Even though, I did not complete my registration online because I am not comfortable sending my NRIC and CDP statement. They still let me in after checking my documents.
  • I believed the majority of the attendees are retires because on the way they dress (berms and slippers) and they occupied most of the front row seats. There was a fair share of working adults like me as well.
  • The townhall was held in a place that looks like a large warehouse. While the capacity is large enough, it was way too warm. At the back of my head, I cannot help but think that it is a tactic for the crowd not to linger too long – go home, don’t ask too many questions.
  • There was a lot of talk by the management on wanting to look after small shareholders interest and showing empathy but I am not buying it. If my interests is being looked after, I would not have to be here.
  • Management is trying to paint a positive outlook but again I am apprehensive. There is a lot of talk but no concrete plans.
  • The crowd is mostly quiet and well-behaved. There was the occasional applause towards some of the speech by the management which I find it perplexing. It was only until the last 30 mins or so where the Q&A is open to the floor that the atmosphere livens up.

Overall, the townhall was a disappointment. It feels like it has been rehearsed and the most important answer I want is when can I get my money back but after ‘suffocating’ through the entire 2 hours, my guess is as good as yours. My confidence in getting back the money actually fell after attending the townhall.


Reflections

1. Stop being a yield whore

I was blinded by the 6% returns. However I failed to ask myself if the payout sustainable? Thinking about it now, even without reading any financial reports, the answer is obviously no. If the company has enough money, why do they need to borrow?

2. Sustainable yield or dividends is important

One of the key metric that I learned is Free Cash Flow. I will be reading up on this but I am hoping to find something that is easy to understand without the financial jargon.

3. There is no difference being a security, note, perpetual, preference or ordinary shareholder

When the company runs into problems, every holder will have a problem. As a preference shareholder, I should be paid first before the ordinary shareholder but when the company has no money, no one will be paid. Period.

4. The importance of a portfolio

Having a entire stock wipe out might hurt but at 15% of my entire portfolio it doesn’t hurt that bad. I will continue to maintained a portfolio where no stock will take up more than 30%.

5. A support group

Having an entire stock wipe out can be quite depressing and I am fortunate to have a band of financial brothers to talk to. I am candid on my mistake – swearing and laughing it off. I even used the opportunity to organise a meet up. Sadly no one bought me a drink though.

It is just a small setback in my long financial journey. I am still working and will be able recover. Having been through the subprime crisis and now this, I can only grow stronger. Drinks anyone?


Featured Image Credit: https://citizen-femme.com/2018/03/24/whiskey-girl-best-global-whiskey-destinations/