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 … [Read more...]

Yawning with the Bears of 2015

In late Aug 2015, I went on a buying spree as the market became a sea of red over several weeks (see Playing with the Bears of 2015). I actually saw my portfolio collapsed by $60,000 during that period. It looked like the year was heading towards negative returns. Not very exciting. What does $60,000 mean to you? For some, it could well mean two years of salary? For others, it could mean … [Read more...]

Changes to the Citibank Dividend Card

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I am one of those people who believe in putting everything I can on credit cards, but I will pay in full when the bills come in. It's so convenient these days where credit cards are accepted everywhere. Aside from the convenience, more interestingly are the discounts and rebates. Getting money back from your spending, why not? Nothing to lose. One of the cards I like to use is the Citibank … [Read more...]

The Day After Tomorrow

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Singapore woke up on 12 Sep 2015 to experience the rude shock to discover that the opposition had gained the majority in Parliament. The PAP was now the opposition! LKY turned in his grave.       Soon after, Parliament enacted rapid changes. CPF Life was done away with, and all citizens could withdraw their CPF upon reaching age 55. Foreign worker quota was capped and drawn down. Minimum … [Read more...]

Interest free student loan for tertiary education

Interest free student loan? Wow! Sounded too good to be true. I thought it was some kind of scam when I read this: How I used my university student loan to partially pay off my university fees. [You can read above to find out how InvestProperlyLah capitalised on the loan to make some gains at the same time! Interesting move.] It is certainly no scam. I did a check at the DBS website and … [Read more...]

Do superheroes need insurance?

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Came across this from Aviva: Do Superheroes need insurance?So do Wolverine, Batman, Spiderman, Superman and Hulk need insurance?I think these guys need multi-million dollar insurance, seeing as how they are constantly causing lots of collateral damages. Especially the Hulk. Is there a shirt replacement insurance he can get as well? Superman might need that too? He keeps losing his suits … [Read more...]

10 Daily Purchases that Hurt Your Budget – How did I score?

Came across this article from SavingAdvice.com on 10 Daily Purchases that Hurt Your Budget. So I did a quick assessment to see how I score against this checklist: 1. Breakfast Snack. I used to buy a "pow" and a soya bean drink from a stall behind the bus-stop where I take a transfer bus when going to work. But I have long since stopped that practice. I prefer to eat a slice of bread or whatever … [Read more...]

Portfolio of 8 Singapore Stocks – Aug 2015

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On 14 Aug 2015, as the Singapore market trended down, I highlighted 8 Singapore companies to keep watch on. I figured that an opportunity would come soon if the downwards trend continued. Indeed, it came pretty suddenly on 24 Aug 2015 (see Playing with the bears of 2015). While the STI never quite hit the official 20% bear territory, it was pretty close, reaching -19.9%? A 0.1% difference is … [Read more...]

Playing with the Bears of 2015 – should I be excited or miserable?

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Over the weekend, the headlines were screaming death and destruction. When the headlines of two national papers start carrying headlines like this, it's time to pay serious attention! What's with the sudden excitement? It's not as if it suddenly happened. The STI has already been declining for months from the last high of 3500 earlier this year. So 3,000 is perhaps just a psychological number, … [Read more...]

How much does a household spend a month?

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Cost of Living The Department of Statistics publishes various sets of data that are available to the public to download from its data collection efforts. One of the interesting data set I came across is on Household Expenditure: Source:  http://www.tablebuilder.singstat.gov.sg/publicfacing/createSpecialTable.action?refId=3988&exportType=csv Average Monthly Household Expenditure HDB … [Read more...]

Aspial 5-year 5.25% Retail Bonds – Leveraging from the Market

Aspial started offering a 5-year 5.25% retail bonds to raise $75 million. It is nice to see more of such high yielding bonds appearing for the retail investors. More: Aspial to roll out 5-year 5.25% retail bonds (Straits Times) Aspial issues a 5.25% bond with minimum $2000 (Investment Moats) Aspial 5.25% retail bond thoughts (Got Money, Got Honey) Aspial bond 2015 (Martin Lee) Clearly, the … [Read more...]

Retiring on $2,000 a month

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Retiring Siblings Benny and Erica Tan are a brother and sister sibling pair. Benny had reached his statutory retirement age but was re-employed for a few more years.  Erica who is a younger, has however chosen to resign from her job and retired a year early. She got fed up working for an overly demanding boss. When she tendered her resignation, the boss begged her to stay. But she had already … [Read more...]

Building the Kids Education Funds with Unit Trust

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For my children's Education Funds for tertiary education, I have been injecting monthly contributions and their annual Ang Pows (Chinese New Year red packets) into their respective portfolios using Unit Trusts. Both portfolios are similar. So I shall use one of them for illustration. Broadly, the portfolio is evenly diversified across (a) Asian small-caps, (b) Global Emerging Markets (GEM), (c) … [Read more...]

8 SGX Companies to Keep Watch On

In my recent interview by Giraffe, I mentioned several stocks that I felt may be worth keeping a close watch on due to various challenges that they are facing. So I thought I may elaborate a bit further on these. OCBC. They have certain exposure to China and is hoping to grow its market there. With China experiencing some slow down, it will be affected. But my view is that a slow down does not … [Read more...]

Giraffe’s Cafe – An Expose on LizardoRealm

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GiraffeValue recently published on his blog a collection of 55 SG Financial Blogs. Seems my blog made it onto his list. He subsequently got in touch to further conduct a virtual interview. "Lim kopi" as one might say. Here it is, republished. [Republished, with permission] Lizardo - Giraffe's Coffee My guest for today is Lizardo from http://lizardorealm.blogspot.sg, he has been blogging … [Read more...]

What is the inflation rate for Singapore?

I was doing some analysis of my investment portfolio to assess how close I was to being financially independent, and started doing some "what-if" of the various planning parameters assumed. One of the important factor was the future "inflation rate". I've always worked under the impression that 3% was a reasonable number to use, and I wondered how realistic that was? Tweaking the figures … [Read more...]

A Taxi Driver Who is Far Richer Than I Am

Drained and tired after a day of non-stop brain work, I was feeling really exhausted. As I waited for a taxi, a fellow colleague appeared, queuing behind me. She said, "So late?" I paused as I contemplated how to answer her. I was thinking, so was she. But I could only utter a "Huh?" Told you I was tired. She went on to say, "If we're leaving when the sun is already down, it's late." … [Read more...]

Supplementary Retirement Scheme – No Need to Liquidate Anymore

Looks like there is no longer a need to liquidate SRS investments during withdrawal. I suppose this means shares and unit trusts can simply be transferred out. The 50% taxable amount will be based on the valuation at the point of transfer. That means we wouldn't have to cash out and then reinvest, suffering from double payment of transaction fees. It's a good policy change. More cost avoidance … [Read more...]

In Times of Fear, How Did You React?

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In recent weeks, there was much hoolaboolah with the Greek debts as they danced around the European partners, and the collapsing China share markets as the unwinding unfolded. These were accompanied by a fear of contagion of the deadly MERS virus in the region following the spread in South Korea. The Singapore stock exchange saw some downwards movement, but never quite breached the 10% mark. At … [Read more...]

Insurance, Credit Cards and Investments

Mirror, mirror, on the wall Who's the best of them all? In the good old days before the digital age, information was such a premium. We were so dependent on information sources - i.e. brokers and agents. Information was power. In these days of the Internet age, more and more information are increasingly made available online. In the words of Thomas Friedman, "The World is Flat". Information … [Read more...]