Saturday, February 27, 2016

Short Trip To Kamala in Phuket, Thailand

This was the first time going to Phuket, Thailand. I was told to choose place that is not Patong by my girlfriend as she just wanted some place with peace and quiet. The process of elimination meant that we stay in Kamala, which is about 10-minutes away from Patong.

I flew into Thailand by Tiger Air (SGD 190/head) as usual and the flight was about 2 hours long. When I arrived at the Phuket airport, we arranged for the hotel, Ayara Kamala to pick us up. Took us about 50 minutes to reach the hotel which was situated up a slope and we could only check in at 2 pm.

The wait was worth it. I had booked a deluxe room with pool access (~SGD310/night net) and I think I cannot get the same value in Singapore.

The resort feel was very strong and it showed in how they decorated the room with elephant motifs and the sprinkling of flowers. I did a google and found out that Ayara did not mean elephant but rather, poem, in sanskrit.

You might think that I paid quite a bit for the room but if you have the view below and a pool, I do not think you will complain. I spent most of the time dipped in the pool or tanning by the front yard. It is shared by 4 other rooms but we did not all use the pool at the same time. I do not have a morning shot but the views were fabulous and post card perfect. I guess it was what you would call a blue sky holiday.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Back from Phuket, back to work

Went to Phuket, Thailand, for a quick getaway. Spent three days at a lovely resort there in Kamala. However, it is starting to look poorly timed as both work and school are chasing me for assignments! Some photos and a short write-up of the trip will follow in the next 1-2 weeks.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Bought Super Group (The Singapore One)

Bought 8,000 shares of Super Group on Tuesday near closing time. Buying them ahead of their financial results next week, in case they surprise me. This averages down my cost of 22,000 shares SGD1.60 to SGD1.30 or about 45% underwater based on current market prices. 

Super pays out 50% of its net profit each year. Based on the third quarter results, earnings are likely to be 60-70% of FY2014. As such, the final dividend might just be 1 cents per share, making it 2 cents for the FY2015, giving it a current yield of 2.8%. Will be looking forward to the results next Tuesday.

Separately, I am also heading to KrisEnergy's investor event next Friday. Management will likely talk up its prospects and give operational updates. I might do a field report if I do get there. I am quite excited as it is the first time I am attending a event linked to my portfolio holdings. I have yet to attend an AGM over the past 6-8 years.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Singaporeans Play Soft-Tip Darts, Stockpicker Picks Soft-Tip Darts Set

Forest 2 darts cafe located at Shenton House, opposite SGX Centre

The SGX Stockpicker started playing soft-tip darts recently - 3 times this year. The last I played darts was more than a decade ago, when I played steel-tip darts during my army times, after lunch. The first time I played soft-tip darts in 2016 was when I wandered into Wiser Sports Bar at Ah Rood Road after my Japanese lunch date. The second time, I was driven to Arena Bar at Serangoon Gardens after having dinner with my friend. The most recent darts games was a planned visit to Forest 2, some 4 minutes walk from my office.

The mechanics are generally the same but soft-tip darts is gaining popularity in Singapore because it is accessible. Unlike steel-tip darts, the soft-tip machine counts the score for you and you can choose to buy a card, that connects you with other users, and level up.

I bought my own darts set on the most recent visit (see the photo below) and it set me back SGD207 dollars. I originally planned to spend only SGD100 but ended spending more (!) and I will explain.

On the top left is the barrel of the darts, which costs SGD98. I originally though that this was darts as I know it. I was wrong. The barrel is where your fingers hold on to the darts and it can be a straight barrel or a front-loaded barrel. Mine is front-loaded and made of 95% tungsten and supposedly made in England. All these adds to the costs. 

On the bottom left is the shaft which I paid SGD42 for. This part connects the barrel with the flight. I got a no.4 spinner, which according to the sales lady, was good for a beginner like my self.

The flights - the ends of the darts - cost me a certain amount which I couldn't remember (SGD25?) but it helps to stabilise the flight when you throw.

The front/tips of the darts, the point, is really cheap because they break very easily. This can be seen from the fact that one of the darts has a white tips and the black tips are of uneven lengths.

On the bottom right is the container. Sensing that I was into black colour, she sold me the casing which probably costs SGD25. Finally, on the top right is the ID card that will allow to store you in-game data as well as participate in competitions by connecting with people online.

On hind-sight, if I were not rushing to play with my friends who were already there, I would have probably done a bit more homework and pay not more than SGD157 all-in. Areas that I would have cut down are the flights and the container. The rest of the parts are quite value-for-money. 

In terms of marginal costs, you pay about SGD1 for two games, which is cheap like a visit to the video arcade. The downside of playing darts in general is that you are compelled to buy a drink or eat fried bar food. Not only are you adding to the cost of the game, these adds calories to a "sport" that does not cause you to burn much calories. Unless you count walking to-and-fro the oche.