Saturday, December 6, 2014

Portfolio -1.6% vs STI

I am writing this as I prepare for my third flight since the last blog post. I will write more about the trips to South Korea, Thailand and Hong Kong later in December. 

Despite the gains to the Straits Times Index (STI) over the past few months, the portfolio remains weak due to the slide in Super Group's share price. My fully invested in cash portfolio is down 1.6% against the STI on a YTD basis.

Not included in the portfolio for the year are my additional purchases of Super Group during the year and F&N late in November. Including these purchases, the dollar value of the portfolio touches the SGD 100,000 mark which is one of those milestones in an investor's life. Month on month, the portfolio did chalk up some gains but were not enough to reverse the losses. Interestingly, I have observed that my defensive stocks Auric Pacific and UOB Kay-Hian have each shed about 20-30 cents each since the start of the year. Because my cost of purchasing them is low, I have thought it nice to keep them for dividends. However, if the decline is a leading signal of greater difficulties, perhaps it is time to cash out.

The portfolio has done horribly so far in 2014 and it will be third year out of six year that I under perform the benchmark. There are many learning points and worthy of an lengthy reflection post. 

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Lowest Price to Earnings, Price to Book Singapore stocks.

I went through the SGX website and discovered that they have a new and useful section called StockFacts. This is part of the exchange's initiatives to encourage retail participation by providing research tool. The ratios were supplied by S&P Capital IQ.

Given that the information now exists, I decided to copy and paste the ratios of the listed copies for screening purpose.

I decided to multiply Price to Earnings (PE) against Price to Book Value (PB), and rank the listed companies. Based on hazy memories, academic research has shown that stocks with low PE, PB and high dividend yield are stocks that will give super returns, although they tend to be illiquid. Teh Hooi Ling narrowed it down to low PB and high ROE. I used PE in place of ROE since it is not provided by the website.

The lowest ten and twenty percent of stocks based on the product of their PE and PB are and  shown. Excluded from this list are REITS and property counters. The reason is that REITS will have much higher yield, and property counters are distressed now. 

The lowest decile.

The second lowest decile

Saturday, October 25, 2014

The first SGD 100,000 is the toughest

Most of you would have probably read this article about achieving SGD 100,000 by 30 years old and wrote or commented on it before. I I am not going to rehash the article. Instead, I want to point out some of people on the internet that have achieved this amount by that 30 years old milestone. This is motivated largely because I realise that my Singapore equity portfolio has struggled to cross that mark.

You can click through the links and I counted about 6 of them at least, who have accomplished 100 by 30, based on  trawling through the sginvestbloggers link:

I follow some of the bloggers and for those I am not familiar with, I went through some of the older posts. Granted that n=40 would be a better sample, I found some interesting points from the 6:

  • 5 out of 6 were male
  • All 6 were born around 1980
  • 5 of them possibly had slightly above-average income benchmark against graduates of their time (insufficient data for "lady").
  • The same 5 had technical degrees most likely, engineering.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Protect your profits with a trailing stop loss?

After failing to achieve supernormal returns on the sale of Action Asia, Biosensors and FJ Benjamin, I decided to create a simple trailing stop loss Excel worksheet. What I discovered surprised me or may mean I just need to improve my Excel skills. A trailing stop loss combines for lack of a better word, three "things" we know about the stock investments. 

Firstly, we have to cut loss mechanically because our emotions makes it difficult. Secondly, while we should let our winners run, we do not know how long before they start losing steam and start declining in price. Lastly, we can only identify a peak (or bottom) in stock prices or indices only after the fact.

Using weekly historical prices, I setup my Excel as follows. 

Friday, October 17, 2014

The shrinking of balls

After getting fully vested in stocks on 13 October, the last thing I wanted to see was a stock market meltdown. The American stock market fell steeply this week and this spread globally, with the STI falling 44 points on 16 October. Given that my basket of stocks is mainly defensive,  I did not expect to be hurt badly but I was surprised to see Petra post a one day fall of 35 cents, wiping out SGD 2,500 in my portfolio's value.

That said, the timing of my recent acquisition was premised on this article by Kenneth Fisher, whom I turn to for indicators. It was written in May and argued then that the fourth quarter should see some gains amid volatility. He has been correct on the volatility part. Reading Fisher's piece that reinforced my impulse and convictions, and so I pulled the trigger on the F&N purchase

What ever left needed to be convinced about F&N, was in the form of a Motley Fool article. To a large extent, F&N replaces Etika (now Envictus) in my portfolio as the latter has already disposed of its dairy business. I am not convinced that there will be future growth in Envictus' remaining business given that they have been weak traditionally. Management has hinted at the possibility of property development, but I am skeptical of Malaysia property. I am just waiting for an opportunity to offload the stock. 

I've also been reading bad things about Super Group to the extent I am regretting my purchase, which was done pre-bonus. The Super buy was done at relative high average prices and forms the biggest chunk of stocks by original value. The chronic weakness of the stock has left a gut wrenching feel to my stomach. Nevertheless, I will probably sit on this investment for a while more. If the market improves, and the stock does not move in the same manner, I will probably let Super Group go. Two more stocks on the sell list are GMG Global and Envictus but that is for another time. 

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Fully invested with F&N buy

I am typing this on my mobile because typing on my PC feels like working. After the many recent sales and purchases, I have utilised all the special dividend distributed by Etika and I am now fully invested.  My latest purchase yesterday was F&N. I may cash out on Etika since I am.overweight the basic consumer sector. More details to follow.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Colex: Collecting is easy, selling will be hard

Over three separate transaction, I picked up a total of 80 lots of Colex. I did this after freeing up some cash towards the end of the quarter with the tidying up of the portfolio. The main reason for me collecting shares of collect was that it had been on my watchlist since 2009 and it was one of the shares that had yet risen much since then, I thought. As per Bloomberg, Colex's share price has risen from a bottom of SGD 0.08 three years ago to its current price of SGD 0.29. To a large part, due to the lack of trading volume for this share, I believe I contributed to most of the price increases the start of October.

The business model for Colex is straight forward - provide waste management for the West side of Singapore mainly through fixed long term contracts. As long as Singapore's population grows, particularly in the West side, earnings will grow in tandem, assuming cost remains the same. The main reason for cost escalation will be manpower costs although fixed capital for the trucks will weigh down future earnings.

Wilmar: Why I Lost Money and Regretted

The chart above shows why Wilmar is currently languishing at just above $3 when at its peak in 2010, it was worth $7. After a strong run up, crude palm oil prices have come down sharply. As per the index, the CPO prices were at the 1,300 level in February 2011, but the latest end-September index is 710. The supply of CPO has adjusted to demand and prices hence have collapsed and producers such as Wilmar have a difficult time improving margins. Other producers such as First Resources seem to have de-trended from CPO price levels, but I still think the fundamentals are still weak at the moment. 

I took a big hit on my investment in Wilmar and to a large extent I regretted. This is because I bought the stock because it looked like a discount from its old days. However, the old days, like the VHS, never did come back. That is why good thinking processes must be in place to make sure silly purchases like this are kept to the minimum. Good processes such as understanding the industry's and company's fundamentals are crucial to protect profits. 

Saturday, October 4, 2014

An unexciting visit to Perth

I visited Perth, Australia, with two of my friends over one of the September weekends. I flew in by Jetstar and got out by Scoot. The Jetstar flight got delayed but fortunately, I was covered by travel insurance. Because I booked early, my total airfare was close to SGD 400. Again, I stayed over at my friend's spacious apartment in the CBD and that minimised my lodging expenses. 

The itinerary was very predictable. Everything you have heard about Perth is very true. It is quiet, slower paced and lacks commercial tourist attractions. Outside the CBD, the number of Asians who have migrated to Australia or are working here, is very high. Still, this is not as high as the number of foreigners working in Singapore.

Day 1 started very late. Our rescheduled 7 am flight reached Perth airport at 1230. By the time we got to the city center, it was 2-3 pm. Our first meal was at a local fast food burger joint Grill'd somewhere in the vicinity of London Court. The burger below set me back by AUD 15 dollar! Food photos are the good work of my friend.

Clearing stock and counting the losers - Wilmar, FJ Benjamin

It has been a crazy past few days. After months of inertia, I have finally sold off Action Asia, Biosensors, FJ Benjamin and Wilmar. I have held the first three stocks since almost the beginning of my investing journey, close to 5 years each on average. Wilmar on the other hand, was bought and sold after 20 months.

For this transaction, Wilmar and FJ Benjamin were losers. Perhaps I was too optimistic of the prospects of crude palm oil and hence Wilmar's future. I lost 18% or SGD 1,440 on Wilmar, a blow that was softened by the dividends the company distributed. Also, I could never imagined that fashion retailer FJ Benjamin would sink so deep in the red for the latest full year end, after years of small profits. I lost 14% on FJ Benjamin and again, the dividends collected over the past 4 years helped cushion the impact of capital depreciation.

The winners were not really winners. Action Asia raked in 10.5%, or just SGD 154 for me, but that was mainly because the manufacturer was consistent in its dividend payout, and after close to 6 years holding on to the stock. Biosensors, raked in 36.2%, or SGD 587 but this was mainly capital appreciation. At one point, Biosensors was my two-bagger, but after one of the substantial shareholder dispose of its stake, it began on a steady downtrend that it has yet to recover.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Portfolio ends Q3 2.8% up YTD; high on free cash

My portfolio including the value of dividends and free cash at the end of September, increased 2.8%, versus the 3.4% increase over the similar period by the STI. Approximately 30% of the portfolio was in cash or unused dividends, meaning given the recent meltdown as a result of the demonstrations in Hong Kong, the decline would have been worst. I personally think that give 1-2 weeks, the whole issue will settle down, although the downtrend has been terrifying for some.

I did some transactions on the final day of September. I sold my two lots of Wilmar at a 20% loss of value. I also bought some 10 lots of shares in waste collector, Colex. I have since added another 43 lots to my portfolio. It is a very illiquid stock which makes me wonder how am I able to dispose of my holdings in the company without incurring high transaction costs.

Entering the last quarter of 2014, I think it is time for me to clean up my portfolio even further.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Down but not out

The portfolio shrivelled in terms of stock value due to the SGD 0.30 distribution by Envictus (Formerly Etika). At the end of August, the value of shares was worth a total SGD 67,500. If I were to include capital injections but exclude dividends received, I would be 14% down year-to-date. Including all the free cash and dividends however, I am 4.5% up year-to-date, or 0.6 percentage points weaker than the STI during the same period.

The under performance  was not the reason I have disappeared. I was away for NS ICT for most of the month, staying in camp or at home resting when the chance is given. It was meaningful time spent probably because it is only my second call up!

Anyway, I will use the time from now to the end of the year to scrutinise or clean up the portfolio. I have been neglecting them for a very long time due to so many distractions and commitment. One thing will definitely do is clean up on those stocks that have lost a lot in terms of value, specifically Wilmar Internation and Biosensors. I probably bought Wilmar at the peak while for Biosensors, I sat on the stock's price escalation for way too long. Some of the penny stocks may have to follow as well. Furthermore, I have a considerable amount of cash sitting on the sidelines and I loathe to channel it to other accounts. Research on stocks is way over due. One of the more interesting things I discovered was that VICOM is now SGD 6.19. I wonder how many people bought and sat on this stock since March 2009!

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Portfolio computation error

Due to a computation error, where I included the value of Noble shares I had already sold, I probably overstated the returns on my portfolio. Based on what I began with in 2014, the current portfolio should comprise SGD 82,328 in stock, SGD 7,427 in free cash, and an additional SGD 1,146 in dividends receved. This would mean that the year-to-date performance is 4.3%, 3.0% without the dividends. The portfolio underperforms the benchmark Straits Times Index.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Super Group rebound lifts July portfolio to +10.9% YTD

I really have to apologise for the lack of posts on the portfolio. This is not caused by a total meltdown of the individual stocks. Including dividends but excluding the May purchase of Super Group, the portfolio inched up 2.4% bringing year-to-date gains to 10.9%. The rebound in the price of Super Group as well as Envictus (former Etika) contributed to most of the capital appreciation.

About six months ago, I forecast that we would still be in the midst of a bear market with plenty of volatility. This proved to be wrong as the Straits Times Index has gained 5.5% on a year-to-date basis ending 23 July and is at its highest level of 2014. This is despite all macro indicators suggesting it should be otherwise.

I will be going for in-camp training soon and that will mean a lot of time away from the computer. This also means fewer postings. However, a
fter the in-camp training, I should be going on a fair bit of vacation. More travel posts on the way!

I have about SGD 7,000 free cash waiting to be invested. However, I have run out of ideas. This is not helped by a toppish feeling market. May be it is time for me to unload on some of the stocks that have very small dollar value. This is a theme that I have been running with for some time.

Elsewhere, I just found out that a new BTO will be built very close to my future BTO. That is very annoying because it will be blocking whatever view I have left. I do pity those already staying in the surroundings for they have to bear with even more construction works. 

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Why so many self-service laundry shops now?

Source: WonderWash
I recently visited the self-service laundry shop near my place to wash up my team's soccer jerseys. Altogether, it cost me about SGD 10 to wash a batch of 16 tops and some shorts. This did not fill up an 11 kg load. I have a washing machine at home and my reason for using the self-service laundry is that they have a drying machine. This eliminates the need for me to hang the clothes on to those bamboo poles. This is especially useful when you are washing the clothes of other people.

Personally, I think that the business model of a self-service laundry shop is very shaky. Granted that this is a capital-intensive venture as bulk of the capital is spent on the washing machine and dryers, with no onsite staff required, there is hardly a good flow customers where I am at. Maybe it is just my location.  Most Singaporean households here have a washing machine as they are relatively affordable, if not they hand wash their clothing. Furthermore, the weather here is good enough for hanging out to dry. There are some views as to why such shops have sprung up. Only time will tell if this new services takes off in Singapore.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Clearing thrash at Pulau Ubin

Our company has a special time off which we could use on any volunteer cause for up to a full day. One of the volunteer programmes that was floated about the emails was the beach clean up of Pulau Ubin. You can find out more about other beach clean ups here

We left our work stations mid-day and took a bus down to the sleepy Changi Village. Lunch was chicken rice although it did not fill our stomachs for the task for the rest of the afternoon. 

After reaching Pulau Ubin on a bum boat ride, we walked a short distance to the volunteer hub where NParks' staff gave us a briefing of the area we were cleaning up and the dos and dont's to watch up for when picking up the thrash.

We took a short ride to the beach site and spent 1 hour there. Initially, I thought that too many people had volunteered and there was not much thrash to be picked. I was very wrong. Within 30 minutes, we were already sweating as we were not used to the hot sun! By the end of the day, we had filled at least 30 thrash bags and picked up a chair along the way.

Returning to the mainland, my colleagues had a nice cold beer while I had nasi lemak. One of them commented that we could have stayed and pick up thrash for one more hour! However, I think the message from that short one hour resonated clearly - that we need to be mindful and not litter. the plastics we throwaway never disappear.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Bought Super Group: Now hoping for the best

I had to check my phone again because it was showing me that shares of Super Group were traded close to SGD 3. This was especially shocking since it was almost close to SGD 5.00 at one point. Scrambling for news, I discovered that Super's profits were hit by the unrest in Thailand, given the company's exposure to the market there. I decided to take the plunge and may be do some contra-ing as I have done before. However, given that I was buying at a period so close to XB, the temptation was there for me to settle. And I did settle. Now, hope is much of the equation. My line of thinking is that once the price goes XB, the lower price would prompt people to buy in. I am painfully aware that while companies that give bonus shares tend to indicate positive outlook within the company, there are companies that did the same and tanked, Etika International being a good example. It has yet cross the SGD 0.50 mark that was its high before it went XB. More to monitor in the coming months.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Noble Group Sold for 5% return after 29 months

I sold my 3,000 Noble Group shares on Tuesday at SGD 1.25  after close to three years holding it.  Including the dividends that I have accumulated, I made 5.3% on this investment, or just SGD 193. Excluding which, my return would have just been a paltry SGD 62. Too much downside, not much upside! 

Saturday, April 5, 2014

200% return from Elite KSB after 51 months

I was surprised to see a letter for me from the Depository informing me that Elite KSB has been delisted from the Mainboard. In 2009-10, I acquired 16,000 shares costing me SGD 3,300 or about 20.7 cents per share. The dividends and capital distributions received up to the point of delisting amounted to SGD 9,894. This represents almost 200% return on the money I had put in, but the holding period was a long 51 months. Looking back at my original "explanation" of 26 cents being the target price, Elite KSB has outperformed my expectation. 

That said, the stock reached a high of 60 cents in November 2012. Had I sold then and there, I would have made about SGD 300-400 more and reduced my holding period by 12 months. Nonetheless, after clearing four stocks at a loss, this "win" was a welcome sight. Incidentally, this is the third stock after SPC and C&O Pharmaceutical to be taken out of the Mainboard.

I guess there was always the hope that the company would be an RTO target. However, with the heightened scrutiny of Chinese and Indonesian companies by SGX as well as weak overall sentiment, it seems that an RTO of Elite KSB was always going to be a longshot.

I will be revisiting my market call soon. I had on 18 January anticipated a bear market with volatility. This was initially true but the market has since recovered and gained 2% since the date of my call. 

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

10 minutes to improve your life and investments

I spent time at night reading his archive of comic strips then realised that he also has a blog on the same site. The slides won't take more than 10 minutes to go through. It tells us what some of you already know that the means matter more than the goals. That if you focus on getting the processes in place, the goals will be "easier" to reach. By the way, the slides uses techniques from a communications guidebook and could be a reference for your future projects. 

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Catching up on my reading

After my examinations ended on 19 February, I have been indulging myself with computer games, exercise, after work drinking as well as reading. In fact, I borrowed from my girlfriend a book that I had bought for her, Thinking, Fast and Slow, and am almost done reading it the second time. Despite rereading it, I think there are many wonderful points about how our minds work that we can learn and understand as well as exploit. I will perhaps raise a few points in the coming posts, but suffice to say at this point, our minds are the product of many years of evolution and what it is most useful with - surviving the wild - means that sometimes it fails to cope with modern day abstract situations, such as in finance. 

The other book was purchased at least 2-3 years ago when I first signed up for a Kinokuniya membership, The King Never Smiles, actually as a followup to a undergraduate module on Thailand. I picked the book up again to understand the history of Thailand and the role of the monarchy, especially the long ruling king Bhumipol. The crisis in Bangkok is a long recurring one but I am of the view that once the prophecy comes true, it may mean more chaos but a new start to Thailand's democracy.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

What if the HDB flat comes too early?

In late 2012, I was successful in balloting for a BTO in McNair Road. Although this was a 90+3 square metre unit, me and my girlfriend would incur a liability of half a million dollars once we receive the flat's keys. According to the documents, the legal date of possession is the fourth quarter of 2017 (!) but usually tenants will take possession about one year in advance.

I was looking through the facebook group for this HDB group and one of the photos showed that a sign at the construction site indicating the first quarter of 2016 as the expected completion date.

At this point in time, while I am delighted that the project is moving ahead, I am also taken aback because i have yet made any marriage proposal! Rest assured that this is in the planning stages but what if come first quarter 2016, I receive a letter from HDB to inform me to collect keys, when I haven't receive an affirmative to my proposal? It is a requirement that both owners be married to each other upon receipt of flat.

This is a very real issue because when the keys come, HDB will clear also any balance in your CPF to reduce the mortgage principal. Moreover, it also means that renovation works will be in order.

According to "seniors", it is possible to appeal for an extension of three months to. HDB just requires an ROM certificate to legally indicate our married status, so they do not need to be at your wedding dinner.

But the big worry is that what if we cannot really agree that marriage is the right thing for the two of us. Personally, I have told my girlfriend that while we have put a 5% deposit down and paid stamp duty (total amount of about 40 k!), it should not be the reason that we are sticking to each other even if things are showing otherwise. My own advice to other couples who apply-first-marry-later is that you have to agree on this point. That is the only way that you prevent an escalation of commitment that is doomed from the on set. An expensive wedding dinner, ring, renovation works, only for things to be split and even burnt (wedding photos). Hopefully it won't happen to me!

Thursday, February 27, 2014

What have I been busy with

My last real post was more than a month ago due to time constraints due mainly to school and work commitments, not to mention the Chinese New Year break.

School took most of my time. I was roped in to be the backup for a project which I was originally tasked to sit out. The thing with this group project is that the members giving me problems were those that were allocated to my group by the lecturer. Furthermore, I decided on a group project module because it meant one less exam but who would have known that it cost me the same amount of time and anguish!

Concurrently at the point of time, I had to work on my essay which was due in the middle of February. This was for my more regular module focused on Southeast Asia but the theme was unfamiliar to me. This was not helped by the fact that the section of the National Library where I had intended to camp and do my research was closed for maintenance work.

The triple whammy was that I had a very important piece of report I needed to update as part of my day job. I did badly for the previous update and went at lengths that I did not meet the same problems as with last time. Needless to say, there were days at work when my brain stopped functioning because there was just so much to read and digest. 

As for the stock market, there was a major meltdown during the Chinese New Year period and things have started to look normal. I am maintaining my earlier outlook but I will change according every 3 months. 

There was some good news concerning the stocks that I hold. There was a strong rebound in the price of Wilmar although I am still in the red. Biosensors International also benefitted from rumours that it might be potentially taken over. Super Group, my most recent holdings, announced that it will carry out a 1-for-1 bonus issue. It means that the price will become lower XB, and may mean more participation from other retail investors. PetraFoods on the other hand announced a record dividend payout although it was not as much as I had hope it would distribute, considering the gains it made from its divestment. 

Outside the stock market, things are returning to normal. I now need only to take one more module for the next three months before completing my course. After which, I am support to serve the country for 3 weeks for a course!

Well, I will still be accumulating my monies for until after the World Cup at least. 

Thursday, February 20, 2014

A brief return

The madness is finally over for the time being. The confluence of work reports, school reports and the examination killed my will to follow the market. After a strong sell off during the Chinese New Year, the Straits Times Index has returned past the 3,000 level. I am still holding on to my cash because my risk appetite is weaker than before. Seeing the stock market plunge 3 weeks ago just re-confirmed my bias that we are in a downtrend, and the more volatile side of the downtrend. Will post more stuff once I get back into the groove.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

The To-Sell List: Wilmar, Noble Group, FJ Benjamin, Action Asia

I have been thinking of selling Noble Group and Wilmar International for a very long time. FJ Benjamin and Action Asia have been added to this list because they just sank into the red in my portfolio, while at the same time not showing uplift possibility.

Noble Group has seen increases in revenue without a corresponding increase in net profit. The same goes for Wilmar International, although Wilmar has had a relatively stronger showing in the third quarter of 2013. The weakness of the result further confirms the end of the commodity super cycle but Wilmar's exposure to the food market puts it in a slightly better position going forward.

For FJ Benjamin, perhaps the lesson to be learnt here is that fashion retailing is a very difficult business. At the superficial level, FJ Benjamin has no peers in the Singapore stock market and would justify some premium. But when you realise that it has to compete with the likes of Zara, Uniqlo and H&M, the outlook gets bleaker. There was some wishful thinking on my part that the stock may someday go to the 40 cents level in 2010.

Action Asia could well be the victim of trends moving too fast in the sector. The scenario that everyone in China who has a car and have a display monitor made by Action Asia excited me. However, just look around now and everyone is using a tablet PC, be it a Samsung or an IPad.

Selling a share is never an easy job since we have to admit that we made a mistake and incur the pain of a loss. At the same time, I guess to be successful in the longer term, I would have to accept the changing business reality as well as the system that I put in place to trigger a sale.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

SGX Singapore 50 Top Gainers Past 52 Weeks

The top 50 stocks with the largest price increase and with a final market capitalisation of more than USD 200 million is shown above, using my DBS Vickers screener. The market capitalisation criteria was too weed out most of the penny stocks but with the exception of ADRs, most of them were under a dollar. 

The Top 10 from the list and with my comments were:

1. China Environment: I avoid S-Chips in general. I guess the climb up is due to positive news flow. It has managed to place out shares to institutions as well as announce several big contracts. 

2. HanKore: Another S-Chip? It seems like company will acquire some assets through a share offering. In my opinion, that is not very good as in increases the supply of shares although one my argue that the acquisition would unlock synergies. 

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Investment ideas and wealth allocation for 2014

I had a short discussion with another blogger recently and we agreed that there will be a sharp market correction this year but we could not agree when it would be. Unfortunately, I jumped the gun by acquiring 3 lots of Super Group wiping out most of my free cash for the year in the process. As a result, I am left with the options of selling my current holdings to fund purchases during the “Great Singapore Sale” or being more hardcore and saving up even more capital.

Why do I think there will be a correction this year? I actually thought and wrote that we may enter a bear market a few months back and now. Based on Straits Times Index’s movement over the past seven months, I can confidently say that we are in the middle phase of a bear market.

I would add that this is more the case for the Singapore market than the US market. If you had not realized, one of the classic trailing indicators of a bear market has appeared, namely, falling property prices. While the decline in property prices is more pronounced in public housing, I believe that this is also the same for the private sector.

Why do falling property prices follow a falling stock market?

Start point for 2014: SGD 87,121

This post is just for reference for the 2014 annual review.

Portfolio at end-December 2013  values, including some Petra Foods (3 lots) purchased midway that was not factored into the 2013 review.

Stock value : SGD 72,095
Dividends received : SGD 4,514
Cash injections : SGD 10,512
Total investible portfolio :  SGD 87,121

This does not include my very recent purchase of Super Group ~ SGD 11,320. I will probably settle this than contra it like I did the last time.

Bought a new Oxelo Town 7 kick scooter

I ordered an Oxelo Town 7 kick scooter over the weekend and it got delivered to me via SingPost yesterday. A kick scooter or a bicycle was on the list of things to buy, but due to space constraints and impulse, I chose the kick scooter instead. The evils of online shopping.

I took it for a trial around the neighbourhood and being a cool night, I spent at least an hour and a half scooting around with my new toy. I did get a few stares because kick scooters are not what adults usually wander around in. Maybe roller blades or bicycles. Or my bad dress sense.

I have not tried other brands of kick scooters yet, but the Oxelo's design was well worth it (European design but made in China). Took me a while to figure how to fold it but it will definitely be useful if you need to take the train or bus. The downside was that some parts of the pavement I was on were very old and caused me a bumpy ride. Otherwise, the ergonomics of the Oxelo - for people up to 1.95 meters tall and 100 kg in weight - meant that I could keep scooting for a long time without back pains . Either that or it could be just my enthusiasm.  

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Can we still depend on investment moats?

I have been taking an MBA module as part of my Master's requirements and came to realise that the firm Michael Porter co-founded and premised on his Five Forces, Monitor Group, was declared bankrupt and sold to Deloitte in late-2012 and merged into the accounting firm's advisory practice. 

There are some articles as to why this came to be from the Economist and Forbes (Forbes initial article here).

The reason I termed my post as such is because a lot of my thinking stems from finding businesses with sustainable competitive advantages, or investment moats. This line of thinking is seen in Warren Buffet and Jeremy Siegel, both who preach the long term buy-and-hold investment approach. But if the founder of this way of thinking cannot keep his business alive, can we depend on the tools that he has provided us?

My Two Ray-Ban Sunglasses

I bought two pair of Ray-Ban sunglasses recently (shown above), one a Wayfarer and the other, an Aviator. Together, they cost me about almost SGD 800 and I purchased them from the reputable Paris Miki. 

I was initially hesitant wearing them because it made me look too pretentious. But after a few times wearing them during lunch, I found them useful in protecting me from the glare of the sun. I think the next step for me would be to source for corrective eye surgery (otherwise known as LASIK) for just my right eye, which has slight astigmatism.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Portfolio Review 2013: Portfolio - 8.4% vs STI +/- 0%

The Straits Times Index remained almost unchanged from a year ago but my portfolio lost about SGD 16,000 in value during the 12 month period, or 8.4%. This would be narrowed to a loss 5.1% in portfolio value of If I were to add back the distributions from Elite KSB but exclude ordinary dividends. All in, my loss for the year was 2.1% and it makes the second time I under performed against the benchmark index.

Worst Performer: Majority of the stocks in my portfolio sank in the red but this dubious distinction goes to Elite KSB. The price went down to its net asset value price after the company redistributed most of the cash in its coffers. 

Best Performer: Etika International was the best performer, carrying some momentum from the previous year.

2013 was a year that I had been less active in monitoring my portfolio aside from the lead up to the purchase of more Petra stock. My inactivity was due to a very poor stock market as well as too many demands on my time. In a bull market, people tend to be more active in seeing the paper gains. For the coming year, I will have to make a decision whether to pump more capital in the stock market. I already have some US share ownership through the company plan and it has been working well, since it can be considered "free". This assessment will be in a coming post. For 2014, I will include the value of Petra Foods stock that was acquired in July. This had been omitted for convenience sake. 

2013 Action Item versus Deliverables