Author: Lizardo Realm (Investment)

Menya Musashi vs Ajisen

I can’t quite figure it out. Why is Menya Musashi so much better than Ajisen? I’m referring to their ramen. Menya Musashi’s offer a range of “white”, “black” and “red” ramen. The “red” ramen is probably for the masochists. I go with the “black” – it has a strong onion flavour. Burp. The more cozy look and feel of Menya Musashi outlets are a lot more interesting, giving a more Japan-like “feel”. Even the service staff seems a lot more motivated. Perhaps the smaller stalls allow them to provide a more steady rate of service? Or maybe they are...

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When the Market Over-reacts – London Bridge is Falling Down

Judging from the office bet going on, I guess Brexit has been yet another Black Swan event in recent history. The bet was 8 for Brexit and 22 against. So most people from this side of the Commonwealth were very much expecting the UK to stay in the EU, notwithstanding the fact that the UK had never made the switch from their Pound to the Euro. The day the results came out, the market took an immediate nosedive. My Singapore stocks went downhill, and was followed that same night thereafter with my US stocks as well. It was a...

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The Great Pacific Andes (De)Fault

When you have a stock whose name sounds like the San Andreas Fault, I guess it’s only a matter of time before it follows its name sake disaster movie. So yes, Pacific Andes has gone Chapter 11 since. Years ago, before I became discerning about value investing, I was pretty bought in to any “reasonable” story as a reason to buy a stock. So what the devil was the story then? Well, it was about the growing population of China and Asia in general. And with a growing population, demand for food will increase. Fishery provide the nutrients for...

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How Much Thy Lunch?

There are some things we sometimes take for granted in our work routine. Lunch, is certainly a necessity in a typical work day.  But how much does your lunch at work cost? Having worked in an away-from-CBD area for years, I’ve gotten so used to hawker centre food that is usually in the below $5 price range, kopi included. Recently, I’ve shifted to a new workplace in the city and found myself experiencing instant lifestyle inflation. It’s really hard to find a decent lunch at below $5 in town. It’s not unusual for a lunch to be in the...

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Creative Eateries Membership Card

Here’s another one of those restaurant membership card that seems to be ‘giving’ away money/credit. I was having lunch at Tajimaya at VivoCity and was introduced to their membership card.  Sign on for a fee of $24, fill up some details at the online registration, and voila! You get $40 of credit on the card which can you use immediately to pay for that meal. Member benefits include 5% rebate on meals and $20 voucher during birthday month. I’m definitely a meatosaurus. The meat is great. So this works well for me. Perhaps bad for health given the obscene...

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Beating the Benchmarks

I especially like to read Sunday Times where there are various Personal Finance articles towards the back of the stack each weekend. In recent months, they have been putting up a series on hypothetical investment portfolios for three people with very distinct profiles. All three portfolios have consistently performed below their equivalent market benchmarks. The common reason stated was transaction costs which eroded the performance, especially for the smaller portfolios. The portfolios have not been around long. So to be fair, they need to be given more time to show results over a longer term, perhaps three years? I...

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I Struck Toto!

Yes! Yes! Somebody won $8 million today with Toto. But no, it’s not me. I wished. Sigh. All I got out of throwing $10 on this was a prize of $10. So technically, I did win something. It’s break even. No progress whatsoever. Guess I should take consolation there was no loss. Pun intended. On the market front, the poor market conditions have continued to rue/rule. No excitement there. Actually there is, it’s so bad, it’s time for more buying!? With PE ratio so low and dividend yield so high, how not to experience a new high? Interested. It...

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Will to Live, Will to Die

Retirement seems to be all about the will to live a life. Somebody shared that people who retire early without any goals of what to do thereafter tends to die young. Which leads me to a recent discovery about death. More specifically, a Will for death. I had a few realisations on this, which led me to several “Oh shit!” moments. And I thought I had all the bases covered. How wrong. Not having a Will could … … cost you an extra $3,000 to get the necessary documents processed. … take from 1 to 3 years, instead of...

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Do we need $1.5 to $2 million to retire on?

$1.5 to $2 million seems to crop up often as the typical range for a retirement investment portfolio. It seems daunting and extreme, especially to somebody who is single and below 35 years of age. But as one progresses into the 40s and starts to have a family, the maths starts to be a lot more serious. What is $2 million? If one works on the basis of a perpetual income, then $2 million at an extraction rate of 5% each year would work out to be $100,000 per year, or $8,000+ a month. If it is $1.5 million,...

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How Would You Like to be Credit Card Scammed?

I received an incoming call a few days ago. It wasn’t a number I recognised. As I was busy in a meeting, my usual bad habit was to simply ignore the call. It was pretty persistent however, and called again a few times. But I was really, really too busy at work (in meetings) to take the calls. Soon after, I received a SMS. The message said that there was a suspected credit card fraud on my credit card and asked that I call back to follow-up. Shitz! My first reaction was, is this itself a scam? How to...

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Taxi Tales III

I found myself rushing to an appointment and decided to take a cab. To be exact, I was already late. Bad time discipline. I was at VivoCity. And damn, “long the queue was”, as Yoda might say. But just across from the taxi queue however was a row of pristine MaxiCabs, waiting for passengers. This is really a market failure. Long queue of people, but no taxis. A queue of MaxiCabs, but no customers. What a waste. $50 flat fare is the going rate for the MaxiCab. I was desperate enough. So I hopped into one. An expensive affair!...

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Pathways to Investment Options or How to Get Rich Without Being Scammed

Giraffe has done an awesome job collating the various investment means available in Singapore, and has even provided some step-by-step guides on how to get going for each of them. This is really awesome. Have a read: 17 Investment Options (by GiraffeValue) I think it’s a most useful source of reference to help somebody embarking on the “doing” part. The closest I ever got round to was this weak attempt in 24 Tales in the Journey to Wealth. On reflection, I recall that I never had much of an interest to do such things till age 39. Up till then, I...

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Mortality – Are We Well Protected?

Oh dear, oh dear. It’s been one death after another ever since the start of Chinese New Year. It was a spate of half a dozen who passed on in recent weeks. In all cases, they were aged parents of friends and colleagues. Most recently, I found out that a friend had suffered a tragic medical incident. He’s in very bad shape and I fear he may not make it. As a single income family with two teenagers, it is a situation that will be of grave concern and worry. I can totally empathise with the implications as my...

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When an Exit Becomes an Investment Opportunity

Zagro has been delisted. Yet again, I’ve lost another decent dividend paying stock in my portfolio. I had acquired 16,000 shares in Feb 2012. This was followed by a rights issue in Aug 2012 where I accumulated another 5,000 shares. Each year thereafter, it has issued dividends annually. I guess I’m lucky that there was still profit to be made from the exit offer. In all, the annualised internal rate of return was 11.5%. So overall, a tidy profit. Time to move on. Nice to have a small bundle of spare cash in this rich market of opportunities. Am...

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10 Traits of Top Stocks

Came across an old issue of “Money” magazine (I think it’s a Aussie edition) with an article titled “10 Traits of Top Stocks”. The 10 traits connect well with my thoughts on what constitutes factors for a good stock to invest in, when it is at the right price. [Note: 10 traits are from the article, but comments are mine.] 1. Rising earnings. It’s been making more and more money. Provided it’s real and not fraudulent accounting! 2. Profits cover dividend payout. It’s not paying out dividends from borrowings/debts, so the dividend is sustainable. 3. Capital raising aren’t needed....

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