Author: The Fifth Person

Singapore sees highest second quarter layoffs since 2009

Employment growth in Singapore remained low in the first half of 2016 while unemployment and redundancies have risen, says the Ministry of Manpower (MOM), which expects total workforce growth ahead to remain moderated given demographic trends affecting the local workforce. “Barring unexpected shocks in the external economy, MOM expects labour demand to remain modest in 2016,” says the ministry in a Thursday statement. “In line with the weaker global growth outlook, hiring is expected to be cautious in the manufacturing sector, as well as other externally-oriented services sectors such as financial & insurance services and wholesale trade.” Based on...

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How social proof & scarcity destroy our CPFIS investments

Singapore’s Deputy Prime Minister, Tharman Shanmugaratnam, declared recently that the CPF Investment Scheme (CPFIS) is not fit for purpose. Over the past ten years, 45% of investors lost money and 80% of investors can’t even make the 2.5% benchmark given by the CPF Ordinary account. The Deputy Prime Minister had the following observation: “We mustn’t allow the individual to feel that they’re an expert in market timing. You’ve got to lock your money in for some defined period, and there has to be (an) incentive to not switch from one investment to another. There has to be that incentive to...

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CPF now among the top 8 pension funds in the world

Singapore’s Central Provident Fund (CPF) has leapfrogged over Canada Pension and PFZW of the Netherlands to become the eighth-largest pension fund in the world, with assets worth some US$211.4 billion ($286.8 billion) as at Dec 31, 2015. This is according to research released on Monday by US investment newspaper Pensions & Investments and global advisory firm Willis Towers Watson. Data sourced from Willis Towers Watson. In the Asia-Pacific region, CPF ranks as the fourth-largest pension fund, behind Japan’s Government Pension Investment with US$1.2 trillion, South Korea’s National Pension with US$435.4 billion, and China’s National Social Security with US$295.0 billion....

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4 reasons why you should save your money in Singapore Savings Bonds instead of fixed deposits

It’s amazing that, with the advent of Singapore Savings Bonds (SSBs), people are still choosing to put money in fixed deposits. It seems finance is one of the rare industries where novelty is a disadvantage – when it’s new, no one wants to try it. But there are plenty of reasons not to shy away from SSBs: What are SSBs? SSBs are a form of government bond. They are available to Singaporeans 18 years old or above, and have a maturity period of 10 years. The coupon (interest rate) on SSBs rises every year – at the end of...

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3 reasons why VICOM Limited’s profit fell 12.6% in 2Q 2016

VICOM Limited (SGX: V01) reported its second quarter financial results recently. Revenue was down 6.9% from $27.3 million to $25.4 million. Net profit attributable to shareholders also fell 12.6% q-o-q to $6.6 million. Earnings per share was 7.47 cents, down 12.6% from the 8.55 cents recorded in the same quarter last year. What happened? Before I dive into the reasons why VICOM’s financial results declined, here’s a quick recap of the company’s business model: VICOM has two business segments – vehicle inspection and a non-vehicle inspection company, SETSCO SETSCO provides a wide range of non-vehicle testing services, a one-stop inspection company...

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The Many Models of Investing: Asset Plays

So far I’ve covered two models of investing – predictable value investing and special situations. This time I’ll cover one more model of investing that I like to look at – asset plays. An asset play is investing in a stock that is undervalued compared to the total current value of the company’s assets. To give you a simple analogy, it’s like a buying a wallet and all its contents for ten bucks when you know it already contains twenty dollars cash inside. When you look at an asset play, you need to focus on the management, financials and...

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The Many Models of Investing: Special Situations

In my last post, I shared about the many models of value investing and how the main “predictable” model most new investors use follow a very ideal scenario that most companies simply do not fit. In reality, investment ideas come in many shapes and forms and may present themselves to you in many, many ways. Often they might come to you in situations that are highly unique and time sensitive – hence the term special situations investing. What is special situations investing? A special situation is a particular circumstance that has affected or could affect the value of a...

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The Many Models of Investing: Predictable Value Investing

Most newbie value investors, when it comes to analysing companies, typically use a method of analysis which is based on an ideal scenario. But as you know, in real life, “ideal” doesn’t happen very often at all and most companies simply don’t fit an ideal scenario for analysis. That’s why I believe to become a better, savvier investor, you need to adapt your methods of analysis for different types of companies. Here at The Fifth Person, we’ve split value investing into three categories – predictable, special situations and asset plays. Each category requires a different type of analysis. Predictable...

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3 Reasons Why You Should Stay Within Your Circle of Competence

“You don’t have to be an expert on every company, or even many. You only have to be able to evaluate companies within your circle of competence. The size of that circle is not very important; knowing its boundaries, however, is vital.” – Warren Buffett The concept ‘Circle of Competence’ is termed and popularized by Warren Buffett. Three years ago, I bought into Courage Marine, a shipping company with its primary business in transporting commodities such as coal. I had no in-depth knowledge of the shipping industry and it cycles but I invested anyway solely based on someone else’s analysis....

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What is The Stock Market and Why It Swings Up and Down Like a Crazy Yo-yo

The stock market is a term familiar to many of us, investor or not. But what really is this stock market that the news and media constantly talk about all the time? Broadly defined, a stock market or stock exchange is basically a place where buyers and sellers can meet and decide on the price when buying/selling the shares of publicly held companies. Some exchanges are physical locations while some are entirely virtual with their transactions carried out electronically. Some of the most famous stock exchanges include the New York Stock Exchange, NASDAQ, the London Stock Exchange and the...

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SGX launches REIT Index for Asia Pacific ex Japan

Singapore Exchange (SGX) on Monday launched the SGX APAC ex Japan Dividend Leaders REIT Index, comprising 30 real estate investment trusts (REITs) across the Asia Pacific region excluding Japan. It will be the first SGX index to be used as a benchmark index for a new exchange-traded fund (ETF). In addition, the index is the first of its kind that is composed entirely of REITs in the Asia Pacific region that are dividend weighted, as well as accessible through an ETF. The dividend-weighted index measures the performance of REITs that pay the largest dividends within the Asia Pacific ex...

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10 things I learned from Nera Telecommunication’s FY2016 EGM

In my past articles about Nera Telecommunications (SGX: N01) (Nera), its payment solutions business has always been my focus due to the stable recurring revenues it generates. Recently, Nera announced that it’s going to sell its payment solutions business to Ingenico Group S.A. for S$88 million. To be honest, I was caught by surprise by this deal because my past interactions with the CEO and management give me the feeling that Nera would grow the payment business for a few more years before selling. With that in mind, I decided to attend Nera’s EGM this year to find out...

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Silverlake Axis posts 3% earnings rise in 4Q to $26 mil

Silverlake Axis has reported earnings of RM77.2 million ($26 million) for 4Q16, a 3% improvement from the earnings of RM74.7 million in 4Q15. During the quarter, revenue rose 32% to RM166.9 million due to the higher contribution from all of its business segments except the software project services segment, and from the appreciation of the Singapore dollar and the US dollar against the ringgit. In particular, revenue from maintenance and enhancement services increased 45% to RM98.1 million from the larger numbers of contracts secured, and the consolidation of Symmetri Group’s maintenance and enhancement revenue. Software licensing revenue was 41%...

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Why Independent Thinking is Crucial to Your Investment Success

How many times have you heard of someone who invested in a stock just based on a rumour or the latest tip only to see them get burnt in the stock market? Or maybe it wasn’t a rumour or a tip but the latest, most fashionable stock that the media was covering then… which duly tanked the moment you bought in? Well, guess what? You only have yourself to blame. You can’t blame anyone or anything for your investment gone bad if you didn’t perform your due diligence before you put your money in. Like how you need to check the...

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20 things I learned from Mapletree Greater China Commercial Trust’s FY2016 AGM

Mapletree Greater China Commercial Trust (SGX: RW0U) (MGCCT) is a REIT that invests in income-producing properties in the Greater China region. It currently has three properties in its portfolio: Festival Walk, a retail mall with an office component located in Hong Kong; Gateway Plaza, a premier Grade-A office building located in Beijing; and Sandhill Plaza, a premium business park located in Shanghai. Reports of China’s slowing economy hit the news the past year with the country’s GDP growth rate falling from 7.5% in 2012 to 6.7% in 2016. With MGCCT expressly focused on the greater China region, how will...

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