Friday, May 20, 2016

Excessive amounts of time spent playing darts

I was on afternoon off yesterday. Without anything firm in mind, I decided to play soft-tip darts yesterday before heading home. This turned out to be a 2 hour affair. Another short 1 hour session ensued after I left Bugis. This time, I threw my darts at a pub much closer to home. I must be playing at least twice or thrice a week. Those sessions where I fly solo, I only spend 1 hour each time. Those weekends with groups, usually last three hours as there is talking, drinking, eating and the watching of football. This probably has helped take my mind off the falling Straits Times Index. Oh, but I just received my tax bill too. Time to earn my keep!

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Singapore stock rally helps lift Q1 performance

The Singapore stock rally in late-February and early-March helped lift the portfolio. My basket of shares gained 14% (inclusive of dividends received) compared to three months ago, compared to the STI, which fell 1.6% during the same period. Transactions were limited to the purchase of 12,000 Super Group shares over on two occasions, as well as, the receipt of F&N dividends. There is about SGD220 in free cash.

GMG Global saw the sharpest percentage share price gains. The rubber planter grew 90% mostly on news of the merger with Halycon Agri. Petra Foods was distant second, rising 33% during the same period, mostly on very thin trading volumes. Dollar-wise, Petra added the most to my portfolio, increasing it by SGD7,600. F&N was the only counter that failed to register gains.

In line with my March forecast, I expect the road to recovery ahead, to be less bumpy. I do get the sense that while the depressing macro news - recession, unemployment, falling housing prices - has just started being reported, the worst (in terms of emotions) is over. I will be building up cash though, as it is a goal that I have been neglecting.

Monday, March 7, 2016

Another day, another dollar

At the MRT, on the way to work, a colleague tapped on my shoulder. While catching up on the weekend's football matches, he told me that he had tendered his resignation and that his last day was in the coming weeks. He is a relative senior colleague in his late-30's. He shared that he was joining a competitor but I couldn't quite guess which one it was. It was good for him. Our company has been having a few bad quarters and retrenchments - or reduction in force - has been on going. Budgets have also been scaled down although I would point out that investment in organic capability was scarce. The company preferred to grow revenue by acquiring other companies.

Colleague who had tendered agreed with us that the company didn't really care about employee feed back, despite appointing "champions" to better understand the issues that affected employee happiness. The track record of being ignored has been consistent during both our times with the company

Lunch. It was a very warm day but I made my way with some other colleagues to the nearby hawker centre. I had salad because I have not had enough fibre in my diet. The others had Malay food as well as some famous wanton noodles. I ended my lunch with ah balling. It almost caused another of my shirt button to explode. The first one came out in the morning and I shoddily sewed it back on with thread with a non-matching colour.

Lunch discussion escalated quickly after one colleague asked if I knew this person was a new colleague. She said she was busy this week because she was tasked to give colleague M training on how to use one of our products. Others in the lunch party started to chime in with their thoughts that another colleague D should be the one providing the training. The lunch party suggested that our product was easy to use and training could have been self directed.

Back at the office, I stood along the hallway that joining the lift lobby and the cubicles. The hallway was much cooler than the rest of the office, offering me respite from the stifling heat and humidity encountered on the way to and back from lunch. At my seat, I knew I hardly spoke to my team mate as we both had our own research agenda.  Most other days, we exchanged the daily pleasantries an nothing further. It was colleague K's gym day and so he did not join the lunch party. I let K know that another colleague had tendered his resignation.

The day came to a quick end. It was uninteresting. Deadlines loomed closer for me but I did not make significant headway as more research was needed. Research which included literature review. I was drained by the mental exertions. Nevertheless, I slowly made my way to the west for my dinner.

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Three stages of Singapore's bear market

I believe that aside from liquidity, sentiment is a key driver of stock markets. A few posts earlier, I wrote about the the three distinct phases of a bear market. I found a well written article which describes the idea that I probably stumbled upon while reading finance literature. It says that the denial, concern and capitulation are the three stages of a bear market and it defines capitulation as:

"At this point the market may rally again as many observers feel that the decline has ended and that a new bull market has begun. This rally, also characterized by weak breadth and low volume, subsequently fails and heads down. At this point the majority becomes exceedingly bearish and throws in the towel, fearful of further declines and the potential disappearance of their assets. This is the capitulation phase, when stocks are sold on fear and emotion rather than on rational analysis. It is at that point that the market is finally ready to make an important bottom."

I have called 21 January 2016 a the bottom of the market in my recent post. Some have told me that it is too early to call or too risky to time the market. However, I believe that we capitulated. My own capitulation came on the last week of January when I received news from my company regarding the state of affairs for 2016. I believe that we are entering a recovery phase that started with somewhat a bang. A bull market does not announce itself but this is just the initial recovery stage. Interestingly, I came across a blog post which said that when the market is at the lowest and thus the best time for investment, it is also a time when you may lack the ability to invest because you might have lost your job or not received a good bonus!

I am writing this in response to an article that talked about people's fears of missing out or FOMO. I initially thought it meant the fed's open market operation. As long as there is FOMO, I think the market will be on the path to recovery, speed notwithstanding. The bull market needs to climb the proverbial wall of worry. Other walls of worry I expect the market to climb would be the American Presidential elections. Suddenly, concerns about ISIS has taken a back seat to the race to the White House.

If you do have any way of measuring sentiment, do share. It will be useful in refining my sense of an already abstract indicator. My next major alert is when the market starts to get a little too frothy.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Bought more Super Group

Decided to put my money where my mouth is. I bought 4,000 shares of Super Group at SGD1.04. This brings my average cost down to SGD1.26 from SGD1.60 at the start of the year. My capital injection of SGD10,000 for 2016 has been maxed out. Perhaps will build up a smaller cash portfolio of SGD5,000, in case more opportunities arise. Was contemplating between F&N and Super Group. However, Super's yield is much higher than F&N (same amount, but Super has a lower share price). Fingers crossed.