Saturday, July 13, 2013

When Financial Freedom? What will you be doing at 35?

There was some chatter in the financial blogosphere over an article about saving $100,000 by 30. I think if I try to count the money stuck between my sofa and my now abandoned pokemon collection, I should just have about that amount in cash and stock (personal and company). Even my girlfriend who is not yet 30 has that amount - mostly cash, stole a glance at the ATM - but I dare not accuse her of not paying for her food.

The $100,000 threshold by 30 was one week ago. This week,  although it was very busy for me, rushing through reports, I was visited by an old fear that I had when I was 25. That old fear was that at 35, burdened with a young family and big mortgage,  I would be not competitive enough in the labour market and consequently get replaced by someone younger and cheaper (though not necessarily foreign). 

Monday, July 8, 2013

Biosensors announces first dividend of USD 0.02 per share!

Thought of selling the stock but they just announced their first dividend. Based on today's closing price, yield is about 2.46% although there is still the concern of its bonds and R&D expenses.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

S$50,000 capital invested level

With my purchase of 3 more lots of Petra Foods, the level of capital invested (i.e. income) has reached S$50,000 with a market value of about S$83,000. About 65% of the portfolio is into Food, and I have entertained the thought of selling off my loss-making stocks (FJ Benjamin, Noble and Wilmar) and hence there is an "Other" slice of 16% to be allocated. 

FJ Benjamin has not been booming as I had expected, since 2009. Noble Group and Wilmar are tanking for more fundamental reasons, namely the end of the commodity cycle. I could be wrong and there might be more upside when the market turns.

That said, with that money from selling, I could possible leave it in cash until the next market breakdown, buy more Etika or Super Group, or some banking stock. Option 2 will cause me to be very overweight in Food, and not much of a stock picker. For the banking stock, I am thinking of Hong Leong Finance. The problem is, the smaller "local" banks are being crowded out by the established "foreign" banks.

S$13,000 is quite a bit of money I can play around me. The search for my next stock is on.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

5 years since graduation

It has been 5 years since I left the University. I spent 4 years in the Faculty of Arts and Social Science, with internship to my name, nor any exchange trip. I met some friends the past few months and they asked, if you could do it again, would you have done same major?

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

When is the time to sell Noble and Wilmar?

Both Noble Group and Wilmar have touched the 20% loss threshold  that I would prescribe as a cut loss point. That would mean taking a hit of S$2,300 and add on to the string of losses. The sale would also free up about S$9,000 for me to play around with.

It is an agonising decision to make because at least 3-4 years back, both companies were the best stocks to have and helped investors make a lot of money during the run up in commodity prices. Noble Group is now faced with a succession issue and hard commodity prices have seen a slump in prices. Wilmar Group also faces a stockpile of crude palm oil and possible backlash over the recent haze furore.

Here is one scenario that stops me from selling: what if when we are in a full blown bull market and commodity stocks make a comeback? That would mean me losing out on a good deal now. the antidote to this thinking would be that if I were to cut loss now, the money could be used for a set of stocks that too could benefit from the upswing.

Then the new question arises: which stock? My colleague commented that I play very safe with money in the food stocks. I guess she is not wrong. Even then, not all food stocks are created the same. I guess I will have to do some research the coming weeks.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Do S'porean workers deserve their wages?

This is a very thoughtful piece that I will come back to later. Edited to highlight points made by readers in response to HFK.

Jun 30, 2013

By Han Fook Kwang Managing Editor

That was the pointed question posed by a reader responding to a piece I wrote on how median wages had stagnated in recent years despite a growing economy (The Sunday Times, June 16).

He didn't think it was surprising because, to put it bluntly, that's what they deserve.

This was how he put it, which I'm quoting extensively because his perspective is worth airing even if it's painful to hear:

"Singapore's median income of $3,000 per month is fairly high if converted to local currencies of neighbouring countries such as Malaysia, the Philippines, India and China. Does the average Singaporean worker deserve this premium?