Saturday, February 28, 2015

Good Investment Advice via Comics

Scott Adams, the artist behind the Dilbert comic, has recently started a short series of investment-related strips, like the one below. Because of the author's frequent use of sarcasm, you cannot be sure whether to follow the advice doled out by the usually incompetent boss. 

As a follower of the strip (I bought a compilation of his strips more than 14 years ago!), and maybe because of his newly introduced Disqus-powered comments sections, there was a lot more discussion generated for this series of strips.

The lesson I gleamed from this series is that better to be the Boss than the Intern! 

Friday, February 27, 2015

Portfolio down 0.3% month-on-month

The portfolio fell marginally in February. The end February value was SGD 119,111 or SGD 375 lower compared to the previous month. SGD 11,462 of the current portfolio is in cash.

Colex, GMG, F&N and Hong Leong Finance all lost some of their January gains. Petra was unchanged, while Super Group added 7.7% or 8.5 cents in share price.

There is still some leg to this market. I am actively eyeing F&N, Super Group and Kris Energy as targets for the remaining SGD 11,000. I can of course stay liquid.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

A Secret Bull Market Indicator for the Singapore Stock Market

Why we are not at the market peak and how to identify it
I analysed the number of IPOs floated on the Singapore stock exchange since 1997. What I discovered plotting the data graphically against the Straits Times Index shocked me.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Is the Brazil bubble bursting and bringing Keppel and Sembcorp along?

There is plenty of bad news coming out of Brazil and this will impact Singapore's rigbuilders Keppel Corp and Sembcorp Marine. The national oil company Petrobras is being caught in an ongoing corruption probe that has seen its CEO resign and international suppliers such as Keppel and Sembcorp implicated. Sete Brasil, formed by a group of Brazilian companies to run the offshore rigs working in Brasil has difficulty obtaining financing. As a result, Sembcorp and other rig and shipbuilders have not received payment

If Petrobras and Sete Brasil do not sort their issues out in time, it will mean earnings downgrade for the two Singapore stock exchange heavyweights. Sembcorp is much more exposed to the rumble in the Brazilian jungle. Half its net order book comprises drillships ordered by Sete Brasil. Both Singapore rigbuilders have also invested in setting up a yard in Brazil to meet the country's local content requirement.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

My very brief experience with the Fitbit activity counter

I bought the two Fitbit Flex from the Challenger store at Funan the IT Mall about two months ago. One was for me to monitor my own activity level, since I put on about 5 kg of weight over the past 4-5 months due to my injury. The other was for my girlfriend as a Christmas present. It was also to encourage her to monitor her activity levels, since she leads a more sedentary lifestyle than I do.

The Fitbit Flex is considered mid-ranged in terms of price for similar wearable technology It cost me about more than SGD 100 per unit, and that was after a 10% discount, as my friend was a Challenger store member. It came with the actually counter, two wrist bands, a RFID USB dongle (to sync from counter to computer) and a USB charging cable.

My experience with the Fitbit was brief because I might have dropped it somewhere in camp while on my recent ICT and only realised it when I was almost home that same day. The Fitbit wristband should not come out that easily but I was guilty of playing with the strap to while some time away. 

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

My first Samsonite Red

I was not inspired by the Korean actors/models to buy my first Samsonite Red backpack. Moreover, I have been using a briefcase-style bag as I do not have a lot to carry to work other than the odd few documents. However, my purchase was prompted by my wonderful experience with my more than 10-years old, Samsonite soft-casing travel bag which I am still using. The old brown/beige travel bag is made of durable material and the design is stylish.

The new Samsonite Red backpack is much more stylishly designed of course. The backpack has good storage volume and five small external compartments. Inside the bag is a compartment to store your tablet PC. The user-experience has been good so far as the two straps rest on the meaty parts of my shoulder and the material is still keeping shape.

The Samsonite Red is not cheap (by my standards), setting me back by slightly more than SGD 200. Incidentally, there is a Porter bag which my sibling bought from Japan, strewn on the floor. The Samsonite Red does come with a two-year warranty should anything bad happen to your backpack. Buying a Samsonite in Europe should be much cheaper than in Singapore but I do not think I am heading there anytime soon.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Jan 2015 Portfolio update: Strong Start

I am posting this update since I woke up too early to start work but cannot go for a swim as the pool is closed for maintenance.

Compared to the end-December 2014 portfolio of SGD 115,736 (inclusive of capital injections), the portfolio at the end of January 2015 gained 3.2% month-on-month to SGD 119,486, of which SGD 11,462 was cash.

The top contributor was Colex whose share price appreciated 9.6% month-on-month. However, there is a large spread between the buy-sell price and the gains are unlikely to be realised.

F&N and Petra Foods were the next two top contributors. F&N's share price appreciated 8.1% likely on hopes the company will announce a good capital return on the forced-sale of its stake a Myanmar brewery. Like Colex, Petra Foods has a large spread between the buy-sell price.

Super Group was the only loser of the six-stock portfolio, shedding 2.6% in share price. I remain hopeful that the company will post stronger earnings once the political situation in Thailand improves, although I am not going to average down.

I am eyeing KrisEnergy and Colex and potential targets to utilise the free cash.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Singapore stocks analysis: No correlation between individual stock returns and holding period yet

The chart below shows the holding period and return on capital (inclusive of dividends) of the 17 stocks that I have bought and sold, excluding short term trades. The actual returns can be found here. Using Excel, I ran a regression of the two variables and found that there is almost no correlation between the two of them (low R-square of 0.001).

From an academic standpoint, my results do not contradict the conventional wisdom that the you can get good returns when you hold stocks over a long period. This is because the defining study, Stocks for the Long Run,  uses a 30 year period and a very big basket of shares. This is in contrast to the fact that share that I have held longest is at most 6 years and that most of them have small market capitalisation.