Wednesday, April 17, 2019

There will be more content coming soon!

It has been more than 6 months since I last posted and I even lost my adsense account! Now that the dust has settled me (I think) I should be able to start posting on the renovation, the wedding, my watches and hopefully some investments. I have had to use up my cash to pay for the two big ticket items and will need to start saving again to hit my target. Watch this space.

Sunday, August 19, 2018

Trying to sell my thinly-traded stocks

It is important to disclose my current position in the market before discussing the market. I currently hold on to the following shares in my for-public-sharing portfolio:

Delfi (former Petra Foods)
Hong Leong Finance

There is also about 30k in cash sitting the portfolio following sales. At current market value, the total portfolio is just under water for the first time in many years. I also have a fair bit of company shares that are listed overseas.

My position is that the market will be bumpy going into the second half of 2018. This has been true to a large extent. After peaking at about 3,600 on 30th of April, the market has been largely below its start point in 2018. The STI is currently at the same level it started on 1 July, the start of the second half of 2018. It has lost in a few days, most of its gains in the recent mini rally.

I am trying to selling my thinly-traded stocks for quite some time and I am open to your comments below. I am currently of the thinking that it might be okay to sell the shares bit-by-bit and incurring multiple trading fees. This is because there are insufficient bids to clear my holdings in one trade. As a long term investor, I am looking to preserve my capital and hunker down in cash as the bear market which I think is happening makes its second and more scary plunge. 

The first plunge occurred from 30th April to 1 July, wiping out 400 points, or 12% off the index in 2 months. I expect the STI to visit 2,850-2,950 in the coming 4-6 months via the second and more scary plunge. With a combined duration of 6-8 months, this will probably be the shortest bear market we will see at least in my lifetime. I will try to go into cash (I have been trying for some time) or accumulate cash and pick up some good stocks just before Chinese New year 2019. 

Do your own due diligence. Your mileage may vary. I am just sharing my views.

Thursday, August 9, 2018

State of The Collection 2018 - Seiko, Citizen, Casio, Orient and a Seagull

The state of the collection is the term for watch lovers to show case their watches. This is similar to the annual portfolio review. Unlike your stocks, watches generally lose value, even if it is a Rolex.
 I started 2018 with just 4 watches, two of them gifts and two of them bought in 2016.

Two-thirds into the 2018, I have acquired ten more watches. They join the four incumbents on the reverse of a seat cover. Most of these 10 are affordable with great value. I will go through briefly in the various closeups.

Before that, I will most likely be asked - how are you going to wear all the watches? The answer is really one watch at a time. I only started recording which watches I wear to work the Monday that just past. Prior to the recent purchases, I wore the dress watches - those with leather straps - only for big events like presentations, interviews and weddings. Daily wear to the office were the watches on a metal bracelet. Only recently, I realised that I preferred to wear the watches on a metal bracelet because they do not give a sticky feeling in the Singapore weather, compared with the those with leather straps.

 In the below photo, the two Citizen watch are of the same model but with a different dial colour. They originally came on a metal bracelet but I changed them out of it with straps bought from Holbens to give them a dressier feel. They are priced at the range as Daniel Wellington watches but unlike the quartz DW, these Citizens are automatic with hand winding. They are almost the same as DW aesthetics wise, but you are getting good value on the reliable Citizen automatic movements. In case you do not know, if you see Miyota movement on a watch, this movement - the engine of a watch - are manufactured by a Citizen company.

The rose gold watch is a Casio Edifice I bought because of the rose gold casing. It offered me an alternative to the black leather strap of the Seiko Kinetic you will see later. One of the function I still haven't mastered, is the alarm function. I will try to figure it out on the days I am wearing it to work.

This is a busy photo with six watches in closer view. The watch with a metal casing on top of the all black watch is the Seiko Kinetic that was gifted. This is a lovely watch except that replacing the strap cost me about 100 dollars and a recent servicing cost an additional 100 dollars. I wear this watch mostly on formal occasions, particularly with black belt and black shoes, because this is how it is meant to be coordinated.

Below the Seiko Kinetic is the Casio G-Shock with a negative display. This is the reissue of the 1983 design and I use it for my runs. I may just bring it for my in-camp training but the negative displays means I will need to tap the battery more often as I use the illumination function.

Below the Casio G-Shock, the watch with the Pepsi colour bezel  - the outer ring of the watch - is a Seiko SKX. This is quite an old watch in terms of design but it is very popular with collectors. Most watch collectors' youtube video feature this watch at some point of time. It is popular because of its reliability as well as it being water resistant at 200 meters at a good price point.

On the right of the Seiko SKX is a Casio Edifice chronograph. A chronograph is a fancy name for stop watch. However, because of my rough handle and the lack of servicing during the course of the last 10 to 11 years, the push buttons are stuck and the service centres suggest I buy a new watch. The watch casing is a bit small and the integrated bracelet means it is not easy to replace the strap with something new.

On the right of the Casio Edifice, is a Citizen Promaster Eco Drive. This is the only quartz watch aside from the G-Shock I bought this year. Because it is powered by any light and it stores that energy for 6 months, I have yet to set the watch because it stopped. I have to keep setting the time, day and date for the automatic watches that I do not wear regularly. Eco Drive is a good tech and another reason for buying this watch is to see if it does last for 30 years without servicing.

The right-most watch is a Seiko 5 Sea Urchin. To the untrained eye, it looks like a Rolex Submariner.

Four more watches to go! The gold and blue Casio watch remains one of my watches of shame. I bought it because it was flashy but I realised that outside of the darts game, it was too loud and generally gathered negative comments, particularly from co-workers.

On the right of the Optimus Prime Casio is a Seagull 1963 reissue. This watch has plenty of history and again, on youtube, there are plenty of videos detailing its past. This is a mechanical watch and winding is required once every two days or less. This watch gets some attention because of its small size as well as its vintage aesthetics. As much as I love this watch, it is hard to match with my daily office wear, giving me the option of wearing it only on the weekends or off days.

Finally, the remaining two watches are from Orient, now a Seiko company. They have vintage aesthetics and a lovely domed crystal but are extremely affordable. If you did not know it, you would have thought they were bought in the 80s. The watch with the blued hands is the Bambino Generation 2. It is automatic, with hand winding and is hackable. Hacking is a term where the second hands stops when you set the time.  The right most is the Orient Bambino Small Seconds, also with the classic vintage design. What I do not like about the Orients is that their have 21 mm lug width. It is much harder to get replacement straps for odd sizes. The straps that come with the watch from the factory have much to be desired. Also, when you shake the watch, you do not think it is made sturdy. However, at its price point, you cannot really complain.

There you go, my #SOTC2018 !

If you have any questions, do post in the comments sections.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Performing a watch strap change

Did a watch strap change for my  Citizen NH8350s. I ordered a crocodile grain and an ostrich grain strap from and the average cost was $40. Here are some before and after photographs from the strap change done a few weeks back. You will need a watch maker tool and I bought mine from Gnomon watches at  Millennia Walk. They some nice watches too but I could only afford the $15 tool.

Saturday, May 26, 2018

My purchase of the Transocean Prospex SBDC041

I bought my first Seiko watch on 16 April after much consideration. The desire to buy a watch was driven probably by my need for retail therapy. So many things have not been happening in my life and I guess buying something other than darts helps a bit. It was not helped by the fact I noticed my boss was wearing a Rolex Submariner the day I had a one-on-one session. I previously thought he wore an Omega.

This Seiko is definitely more expensive than the previous two Casios I bought for myself. It was also above the original budget I had set for myself. Nevertheless, the Seiko Prospex SBDC041 Diver Scuba Transocean was still half the price of the Casio Oceanus I was initially looking at. It did help to anchor my mind at the even more expensive watches of Hublot, IWC and Rolex to feel that my purchase was relatively "cheap".

I bought the watch at The Bencoolen's 3D watch shop on my friend's recommendation. The place is well visited by tourist because they sell their Casios at an extremely competitive price. The Bencoolen is near the Guanyin Temple and OG and you will need to go into the building to realise the number of watch shops nestled there. the sales lady was not the most pleasant. She straight away gave me a huge discount off the stick price. I tried my best to bargain but I obviously was not good at it. I go the watch still, paying by credit card instead of the cash I had withdrawn. Will give a review in the coming months, once I wear it more often.