Why the USD will go on rising

The US Dollar Index is down a good 3%, to 99.9 on January 25 from a high of 103.3 on Dec 28. The main reason is uncertainty over the future of trade and international relations with the US. Since taking office on Jan 20, President Donald Trump has already yanked the US from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, called for renegotiations to terms of the North American Free Trade Agreement and will soon … [Read more...]

Searching for moats: Moody’s, S&P, and the credit rating industry

New year, new government (radical change, in fact) but same old way of looking at companies – searching for firms with wide economic moats. No matter how crazy Trump’s cabinet pickings will be, how radical his ideas for change may be, or how Russia might act, there will always be some that will be resilient to the noise. Sometimes it’s not just companies that have moats, but entire industries. … [Read more...]

5 things you need to know about Daibochi Plastic & Packaging Industry Berhad

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Daibochi Plastic & Packaging Industry Berhad (Bursa: DAIBOCI) is a classic example of finding an investment idea while grocery shopping in the supermarket. When you visit the supermarket, you will realise that many food products like your Cadbury chocolate bars and Milo sachets require packaging. A company has to produce and manufacture all that packaging — and Daibochi is one of the … [Read more...]

Is it time to sell Apple as it hits its 52-week high?

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Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) is probably the most well-known company on the face of the earth and is also the largest public company in the world by market cap. Apple hit a 52-week high yesterday, 17 Jan 2017, when its share price touched $120. It’s market cap now stands at over $629 billion. Have a look at its 1-year chart: Chart: Financial Times The question now is: Can Apple break its 52-week … [Read more...]

5 reasons why you should invest in foreign stock markets

Every investor’s goal is to make as much money as possible by taking the least amount of risk in the stock market. Some investors have avoided investing in foreign stocks altogether because it is commonly perceived as a risky operation. While we may agree that there are risks associated with investing in foreign stocks, it may not be that risky after all if you weigh the pros and cons. In this … [Read more...]

4 common budgeting strategies (that never work)

The best way to learn about budgeting is to eat food court Yong Tau Foo three weeks in a row. Because when you’re broke, that’s going to be your staple diet (Pro tip: if you put in three eggs, you’ll feel super full). After three weeks of that, you’ll be so badly traumatised you’ll never consider another credit card application. But because this article focuses on humane methods, we’ll instead … [Read more...]

The 8 most frequently asked questions investors have asked me – and my answers to them

Questions are one thing we receive a lot at The Fifth Person and many of them, I’m sure, relate to real-life concerns that investors have. When answering these questions over the last 12 months, I found that a number of them were repeated regularly. So I decided to compile and answer the most frequently asked questions for this article. I do believe that these questions (and the answers) will give … [Read more...]

5 things to be wary of when choosing a fund to invest in

Ever since the whole Lehman Brothers debacle in ’08, there’s been a lot of suspicion regarding funds. In truth, Singapore’s tightly regulated finance sector makes it difficult for anyone to scam you (unless you choose to dabble in unregulated products, in which case no one can help). Still, here are some of the common traps to look for: 1. Hidden management fees Ah, you’re savvy enough to know … [Read more...]

3 important things to consider when investing in 2017

Happy new year, everyone! When we can look back at 2016, we can see that it was a pretty eventful year for investors. Amid a slowing global economy, we saw China’s stock market bubble burst, oil prices crash, the introduction of negative interest rates in Japan, a growing 1MDB scandal, a surprise Brexit referendum, and the shock election of Trump – each event causing volatility for markets … [Read more...]

Nominee vs personal depository account – which is better?

In the past, when you purchased a thousand shares of ABC Corp, you would be given a physical share certificate indicating your full name, identification number, home address and the number of shares owned in ABC Corp. Today, with the advancement of technology, shares are no longer represented in a physical certificate but transacted, transferred, and held electronically. In Singapore, the … [Read more...]

4 things you need to know about Nera Telecommunications after its payment solutions sale

Nera Telecommunications’ (SGX: N01) share price has fallen 47% from 77.5 cents to 41 cents (as at 19 December 2016). The reason for this fall is due to the company’s disposal of its payment solutions business unit to Ingenico Group for $88.4 million. If you recall, the initial reason why I invested in NeraTel three years ago was the growth of its payment solutions business. Due to its business … [Read more...]

How to avoid paying your full credit card interest (even if you can’t pay back the full sum)

You really shouldn’t have any credit card interest. With just basic financial planning, you can ensure credit cards are only a mode of payment; not an actual source of loans. But we understand the psychological realities involved: at some point, you may go overboard. Here are some things you can do to reduce the damage: First, understand how the credit card interest works Credit cards have an … [Read more...]

Top 10 Ways How Billionaires Actually Make Their Money

Forbes 400 did a quick survey to find out how the 400 billionaires on their list actually made their money. Out of these 400, 127 inherited their billions (which is a total cop out but something that I totally wouldn’t mind) and one strategy that none of us are lucky enough to possibly use. But the rest of the Forbes 400 billionaires (273 of them) made their money the old-fashioned way — by … [Read more...]

Budgeting comes second – and other habits of the rich

Everyone’s path to wealth is a little bit different. Usain Bolt can sprint his way to fame and fortune, but J.K. Rowling can’t. Then again, Ms. Rowling can make millions off a novel, whereas Richard Branson can’t. But Mr. Branson can make millions in business, which…you get the idea. The “secret sauce” is a little different for everybody. But the good news is, there are some general lessons … [Read more...]

Make Wall Street Great Again!

Hey, do you remember this little event back in 2008-2009 called the subprime mortgage crisis, or better known as the financial crisis? That was nearly a decade ago and, boy, were those good times. Oh, and remember that before the crisis, the root cause that led to the crisis was the lack of regulations to keep human greed and short-termism in check right? The Wall Street heydeys from 2002-2006 … [Read more...]

5 factors to consider when choosing an online stock broker in Singapore

If you are an active trader, you’d know that choosing the right broker is half the battle won. Not only do high commission fees eat into any potential profits, having a trading platform that is not user-friendly can also cause lots of frustration or trading mistakes. Here’s a look at some factors you should consider when choosing a stock brokerage in Singapore. Trading fees Trading fees are part … [Read more...]

6 affordable ways to invest for the average Singaporean

We get it, not everyone has $100,000 to sink into a well-diversified portfolio. But you have to start somewhere, or you’ll never be in that position. The good news is that you live in one of the world’s biggest financial hubs, and there are products that cater even to those on modest incomes. Here are a few things to look at: 1. Blue chip investment programmes There are two participating banks we … [Read more...]

The retail steamroller has arrived. Why you need to watch out if you own retail REITs

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Slowing retail sales in Singapore may have been the gentle braking pressure applied to retailers, local mall operators and its REIT equivalents like CapitaLand Mall Trust, Starhill Global REIT and Fraser Centrepoint Trust, but this braking pressure could get even greater due to an obvious but often underestimated secular trend – online shopping. Online shopping is by no means an unheard of … [Read more...]

State of global stock markets – after the U.S. election

As the highly controversial election in the US came to an end, the markets globally have been rallying over the last few days. What is going on? Why is Donald Trump’s victory a positive for the markets? What should we expect to happen in the next few months? Below, we have prepared a refresh of our “State of Global Markets” series with commentaries on possible policies and their implications for … [Read more...]

6 things you need to know about Padini Holdings

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In my previous article, I shared three easy ways to find investment ideas fast. One of the ways to find new investment ideas is through the day-to-day observation of the things around you —which was how I came across Padini Holdings Berhad (Bursa: 7052) on a business trip in Malaysia. I was walking around Mid Valley Megamall observing the retail stores and I realized that certain stores had more … [Read more...]