Author: Investment Moats

HDB Flats hold Value better than Freehold Condo. My Thoughts from this Voodoo NUS Study

NUS Business School came up with this study and concluded that HDB flats that are older than 30 years depreciate less than private non-landed housing.  I just thought that the data looks very incredulous.  More so, I can think of some criticism about the conclusion.  The news article may be a bit noisy, but if you wish to read, read the NUS business school’s announcement here.  The rough methodology is this. They measure the age related depreciation against transaction prices of resale property. The data used is from URA and HDB. The period of study is 1997 to 2017....

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Taking Stock of Where REITs are Currently

click to view larger image I thought its good to do a quick recap to see where we are currently when it comes to the REITs scene. Last year, there the main narrative was the rising interest rate making REITs less attractive as an investment to be in.  What we observe is that despite the rising rates, Singapore based REITs, particularly those with strong sponsors held up rather well. There could be two reasons ( I say could because we are never very sure) one is the strength of our currency and that these REITs are known in the...

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You get your Money Shit in order so that you don’t end up like us

Sometimes my friends lament to me how difficult it is to get a peer they cared about a lot, to get their money shit together.  The difficulty is that, it is difficult to motivate them, when they are doing very well.  My answer to them is that of course its difficult to motivate them because I don’t even know how to persuade them myself.  However, when I reflect upon this problem, I think its damn challenging to tell people to save up some emergency fund if they cannot understand how their beautiful life can become not so beautiful. How...

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Exploring the Viability of Implementing a Wealth Tax

Some Singaporean wrote in to Straits Times to indicate that something should be done for HDB that are sold for $1 million dollars and above.  His point is that these flats are heavily subsidized. There are those lucky ones who managed to ballot and got really good locations such as Queenstown and Tiong Bahru. It is as if they struck the jackpot. They got their flats for $400,000 to $500,000 and the transacted price is north of $800,000. I am not sure what is a better way to manage this system.  I suppose a fair way is to reduce...

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Wharf Real Estate Investment Company REIC Analysis (1997.HK)

This article, was supposed to be my submission into a joint book that a bunch of people have written. But it seems to have not seen the light of the day any time soon.  I just do not like to write a bunch of things and it not seeing the light of day. So I decided to put it out on my site now. This is an analysis of a company which I own. The price have ran up a little but I thought it would still be worth it to bring to your attention. I would try to...

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The Idea that EC Condo Sure Makes Money. We Explore a Case Study

Every body makes money from property in the long run. However, the narrative through the process and at the end is always different. And its often something people gloss over because what is important is that they made money isn’t it? Regularly, the Online Citizen profiled people who have a lot of grievance about the incumbent government, and would like their fellow citizens to think wisely. Sometimes it is finance related, and that is something I would write about. (since Investment Moats is not politically neutral but doesn’t write about it) This article, is from a “forgotten PAP supporter”...

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Some More Advanced Personal Cash Flow Management

Dan Egan, the Director of Behavioral Finance and Investments at Betterment, put out a piece about his cash flow management and budgeting.  I think it is a great piece because firstly, he shares with us his philosophy of why he manages his cash flow this way.  Secondly, it is because his philosophy, the way he looks at his cash flow, and his budgeting accounts is very different from the traditional setup: He tries to minimize the cash that he has, because to him, it is a small loss Short to Medium term spending goals are funded by low risk but...

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Singapore Savings Bonds SSB Mar 2019 Issue Yields 2.18% for 10 Year and 1.95% for 1 Year

Here is a higher yielding, safe way to save your money that you have no idea when you will need to use it, or your emergency fund. The March 2019’s SSB bonds yield an interest rate of 2.18%/yr for the next 10 years. You can apply through ATM or Internet Banking via the three banks (UOB,OCBC, DBS) However, if you only hold the SSB bonds for 1 year, with 2 semi-annual payments, your interest rate is 1.95%/yr. $10,000 will grow to $12,197 in 10 years. This bond is backed by the Singapore Government and its available to Singaporeans. A single...

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Would PSA Move out of Mapletree Commercial Trust’s PSA Building in 2 Years Time?

As early as July 2016, I wrote about the uncertainties surrounding Frasers Commercial Trust (FCOT), a Singapore/Australia commercial office REIT. Of a few uncertainties, one of the biggest was that their anchor tenant HP Singapore and Enterprises moving out of their premises in Alexandra Technopark and into their own premises, built by Mapletree Industrial REIT. HP eventually moved out of ATP, agreeing to sign on to Alexandra Technopark on very short leases. My friend Caveman did observe something of a similar nature while reviewing Mapletree Commercial Trust’s recent results. Seeing the results triggered him to remember an order announced by...

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Optimizing Your Expenses is More Efficient than Earning Higher Wealth Returns

The financial planning problems that is toughest to plan is when a lot of the variables that goes into the planning are tight. And also when we have a lot of constraints and scripts. Back when I need to work with a limit of $500,000 in wealth, I had to consider whether it is feasible if my annual expense is $24,000/yr. (you can read more about it in this article) This works out to a 4.8% initial withdrawal rate (24k/500k). Depending on how much you know about the literature of retirement, this would seem very feasible or very not...

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Delay paying off your Mortgage Early, Build Liquid Assets till Your Debt is Less than All your Liquid Assets.

There is this deep, personal finance topic that a lot of every day people are trying to figure out that perhaps some financial bloggers do not know. And once they know it they will spam the financial blogosphere with article. The topic: should I pay off my HDB loan early? It didn’t occur to me that this was a big topic until I was asked quite a fair bit by people I first met. Not the ridiculous what Miles versus Cash back competition. It is like asking which fragrance you prefer for the mothballs you put into your toilet...

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Does your Insurance Saving Plans (Endowment) give you 3 to 5% returns?

Insurance companies says that you can achieve higher savings returns from endowment, that it is a long term savings strategy. Are they as what they touted to be? Insurance savings plans or Endowment plans are plans designed by insurance companies with an objective to provide and meet long term saving goals. The assured (in this case you, or someone) pays the insurance company a fixed sum of money monthly, quarterly or yearly, or a one time amount. The insurance company will: Return you a sum of money upon maturity, which could be 15, 20 or 30 years. This is...

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Thank you John Bogle.

John Bogle, the founder of Index fund Giant Vanguard Group, passed away today at the age of 89 years old. When I wanted to learn about unit trusts in 2003, I was pointed to two set of books: 4 Pillars of Investing by William Bernstein Common sense of Mutual Funds by John Bogle I could not get my hands on the second book in the library, so I read his book on forming Vanguard first. Those few books form the basis of my investing foundation. Mr Bogle started Vanguard in the 1970s. From what I remember, he was ousted...

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A Metric to Determine Your Maximum Equity Exposure versus your Current Income

My brain is still not working so well after taking a short break from work. I think I cannot remember how much I do not like Monday morning but I do feel that if you take too long of a break, it amplifies that feeling a lot. If your break is shorter, you do not get a feeling that you are very detached from the work, and so its easier to kick start the engine. However, because if you took a short break, you wonder whether that is enough. So my mind is a bit blank this week but...

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My Review of FIRE Your Retirement by Local Author Ivan Guan

I got a chance to read my friend Ivan Guan’s book Fire your retirement. For those who have not come across his content, you can read his financial sharing at SG Money Matters. Ivan have been writing for some time, introducing us to tax saving strategies and good plans for retirements. FIRE stands for financial independence retirement early. And this topic is close to Ivan’s heart for him to write about it. This is possibly the first book on FIRE in Singapore on this topic (you can get the book here). This is a light read and I think...

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