Author: Lizardo Realm (Investment)

To Toto, or to Toto not?

So I speculated over Chinese New Year (see What is it with Chinese New Year?), throwing good money over the wall, hoping to strike a million or two. Of course, I came away empty handed, again. Even with a couple of System-7 bets, I came away with only 3 pairs of hits. Not even the lowest of lowest prize. “Phooi”. As an old friend would have said, “Ka na sai!” Oops, not supposed to say such things on Chinese New Year eh? If it’s any consolation, nobody came away a millionaire on Chinese New Year either. But that’s just equal...

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What is it with Chinese New Year?

What is it about Chinese New Year that I will most certainly lose my inhibitions and gladly pass my hard earned money through a window to a stranger in return for a piece of paper with a couple of numbers on it? We know when such things happen, it’s called a fool’s transaction. Indeed it is. It’s a disease. It’s called Toto. But I can’t help it. I have to do it. Hard to say no to the potential of a few million $$$. Years ago in an office far far away, my boss told me, “If you guys...

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Boredom Amidst a Dreary Market

Boredom, that perhaps describe how I feel. For some, it must be heart-wrenching, watching the drop day after day? But I go with “Boredom”. Drop, drop, drop. For me, it has been a “Buy!” opportunity. It didn’t take very long for me to empty all my cash hoard to buy more shares as they dropped more with each passing day. I soon used up the cash holdings in the trading account. Then I emptied the reserves sitting in a money market fund. That was soon used up. Then I received some bonus due to pay adjustments. Lucky me. That was...

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The Gahmen Gives Away Money

Kids grow up real fast. It seemed like it wasn’t so long ago that I witnessed the little one being pulled out from wifey, all bloody and blueish looking. I didn’t faint. Guess I’m a steady father? And now she’s already 16 and done with the GCE ‘O’ levels. Sheesh. Time flies. Unfortunately for wifey and me, my daughter was born long before the introduction of the Child Development Account (CDA) where the government matches contributions, up to a certain limit. Missed the boat. The newborns are so lucky. Over time, there’s also the Edusave Account. These provide various top-ups...

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The Gahmen is Always Wrong?

Once in a while the Gahmen pushes out a post on retirement planning and some basic guidelines, to encourage citizens to work out a viable financial future. Unfortunately, once posted on Facebook, all they’re going to get is a lot of brickbats. Lots of random eggs go flying. The comments kind of irritates me quite a bit. “Give me back my CPF and I would be fine” How? Because the individual can do a better job of investing it? Sure, then use your CPF-OA to do so and prove it. Beat the 4-6% annualised over a time span. The...

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More Tales from Taiwan Trip II

Tale One In a recent trip to Taiwan, wifey had an interesting encounter at breakfast. Actually, the exact word she used was, “Disgusting!” There was a big China tour group at the breakfast place in the hotel as the breakfast came with the room package. One gentleman from this group, presumably a Chinese national therefore, walked over to the toilet at the restaurant. Guess he was searching for a door to the gents. But he couldn’t figure it out, even though there was a symbol on the door. To be fair, the door wasn’t particularly obvious as there was...

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The Market is a Bloody Mess!

So the headlines are now all gloom and doom. What is Yuan may not be round China devalues its Yuan and the rest of the world suffers a cold. As if Winter isn’t cold enough for them. They need to export their cold to the rest of the world too. Does it mean the Sing dollar will strengthen against the regional dollars? If so, then it’s a good time to exploit the stronger exchange rate to go on holidays. I know, I know. Holidays are expenses. But what’s life if we can’t spend on gaining positive experiences discovering the...

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Portfolio of 8 Singapore Stocks – 31 Dec 2015

On 28 Aug 2015, I started exploring a portfolio of 8 Singapore stocks with a value of ~$100,000 (Portfolio of 8 Singapore Stocks). Although the actual value would have been $99,126, I am assuming for simplicity it would be $100,000 after accounting for transaction costs. How has it fared? It’s been four months and here’s how it looked like on 31 Dec 2015: Stock No. of  Shares 28 Aug 2015 31 Dec 2015 Value OCBC 1,300 $9.280 $8.800 $11,440 Keppel 1,700 $7.200 $6.510 $11,067 M1 4,200 $2.92 $2.720 $11,424 Boustead 14,600 $0.855 $0.835 $12,191 Kingsmen 15,200 $0.820 $0.670 $10,184 VICOM 2,100...

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An After Note on Ip Man 3

After watching Ip Man 3 (The IT folks prefer to call it “I-P-Man”), I can understand why it overtook Star Wars VII at the local cinemas. The plot is simple. The characters are largely familiar to build upon. The new villians are introduced gradually. The action sequences are great. But I can’t understand the attempt at mandarin by our boxer man though. He’s as bad as Sylvester Stallone at english, let alone mandarin. Interesting distraction nonetheless. And who can say anything against that great punchline: that in the end, the only thing important are the people close to you?...

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A Review of Investments for 2015

2015 has actually turned out to be a horrendous year, or a wonderful year, depending on how you look at it as an investor. Checking against the STI, I realised it has actually suffered a -14.3% dropped compared to this time last year. Taking into account 3% of dividends which the STI index would not have accounted for, that would actually be -11.3% net in terms of total returns. So if you’re sitting on a 11.3% loss, you’re pretty much doing market normal. You’re normal! On the other hand, if you’ve been buying throughout the year when the market...

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Hits and Misses – Did I make the right financial choices?

Thinking back to the financial decisions that I had made over a span of 20 years, I wonder if I had made the right financial choices? My very first home was a 5-room flat bought off the resale market. House hunting was quite an effort of visiting house after house. It’s a pretty exhausting exercise. And by the seventh attempt, we pretty much reached a point of fatigue. It was at what would be deemed a ulu (out of the way) area known at Yishun. Whenever I mentioned that I lived in Yishun, the look from friends was one...

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Stock Take for 2015 on To-Do’s – The Force Awakens!

It’s almost the end of the year. Time to do a bit of stock take. Fully contributed SRS. Checked. Made donations to charity. Checked, checked, checked. Contributed $7,000 to wife’s CPF-SA. Checked. Watched Star Wars.  Oops, not yet.  Time to feel the Force yet again.  The last time I did that, I was sitting in the first row of the cinema after having spent a whole afternoon of footdrill training for National Day Parade (marching contingent). Wasn’t a good feeling when the screen goes scrolling with the intro. As a stop gap, probably should go...

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Discounts on Discounts – Saving to the Last Cents

The number of membership discount cards that we hold these days is simply amazing. Some are even in electronic form. I couldn’t help noticing how I was reaping multiple layers of discounts when I was shopping at a mall recently. I bought dinner at the Food Junction food court. They now have a discount cash card which you can buy from their drink stall. Aside from using the pre-paid (top-up) cash card to pay for the food at the stalls, the same card offers a discount from those food stalls. I could do likewise for expenses at the Ajisen...

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Considerations in Stock Picking

This is a reminder for myself on the considerations in selecting stocks to invest in … I am not a trader, so carrying out technical analysis to decide when to buy and sell by the minute isn’t my thing. That is perhaps best left to a full time professional. For a working professional, a value investing approach is probably more appropriate. Business Business that lasts, not a flavour of the year thing. Has products/services that is consumed again and again. A business that is difficult for competitors to come in is best, less competition. [I’d rather buy a company...

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Portfolio of 8 Singapore Stocks – 28 Oct 2015

On 28 Aug 2015, I started exploring a portfolio of 8 Singapore stocks with a value of ~$100,000 (Portfolio of 8 Singapore Stocks). Although the actual value would have been $99,357 (without considering transaction costs), I am assuming $100,000 for simplicity. You could think of the difference as the transaction costs. How has it fared since? In truth, two months is way too short a time to be meaningful. Nonetheless, here’s how it looks: Stock No. of  Shares 28 Aug 2015 28 Oct 2015 Value OCBC 1,300 $9.280 $9.200 $11,960 Keppel 1,700 $7.200 $7.160 $12,172 M1 5,100 $2.450 $2.870...

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