Mar 31, 2016

Cory Diary : Equity Dividends 2016 Q1

Equity Dividends

Dividends YTD$2,494$3,580$3,291$3,347$7,398

Dividends YTD$10,987$13,188$12,597$28,940$30,839



Dividends YTD$31,169$6,600

Is a slow dividend quarter. Average out about S$2200 monthly. Came from a long way from Year 2005 a decade ago where monthly average is just S$208. Total dividends collected since 2005 is S$154,428. I know some one beats me in just one quarter so don't laugh at me.

Shifted some of my cash to property and this tilt my equity invested  %  greater than FD/Cash Reserve (excluding bond/preference) first time. Took a big chunk of cash out for the stamp duties, down payment, blah blah blah ... not my first but is still a humbling experience. 

I did tap some of my CPF but just some only as I planned OA as emergency fund to be conservative as I need to be ready in case interest rate spikes. This is cheaper option considering CPF gives me good interests. Frankly this is really backup of backup of backup plan if I ever need to tap on CPF for help :)

Why am talking about property here ? Well, I like my dividend to grow such that my monthly instalments can substantially be covered without depending on rental returns. So I got a meaningful goal to hit now. Some way to go !


Mar 28, 2016

Cory Diary : Middle Age Crisis - do I have a plan ?

Remembered countless once running in the military with SBO, Helmet and Rifle. The run is like short 10 minutes but I swear is like forever. This is felt by most with varying fitness level. Reason being the pain to endure the gruelling training is agonizing. Time clicks at it slowest. After which when returned to bunk, an hour of rest time quickly past. Well I did feel good about my achievement after.

Time flies very fast when we are enjoying life. Most will likely earn good salary between age 35-45. And this is the time where we feel the power and the wealth generation capability of ourselves. The joy of family, car, kids, condo and vacations. But one thing fall to many folks especially those working in MNC. You can be made redundant at your prime for the very thing you have as the corporate renew itself with the business cycle with new blood and cost structure.

Life do not maintain an even course of distribution. It is up to us to even them out. Uneventful things happens to many. Just like sickness and death, it will comes. Unlike something beyond our control, fall of income or no income is a logical expectation that it can happen to many and not a rare occurrence. Therefore one must always be prepared for it. There is no excuse of not doing the required for the rainy days when we are in the height of earning power.

I always think how can I manage my life if I am to be retrenched. Do I have the needed skills to find equivalent salary scale job. Will I have to start from basic from economic standpoint since i may not be much better than a fresh graduate hire. Should I try to be housing agent or taxi driver ? Attempt some business ? Or am I capable to call it quit and retire for good. This needs to be planned out especially so for those with kids and non-working partner.

If one has done some homework, even a 50% saving of a 10K job may not be enough after 15 years of  good salary to maintain certain lifestyle. Once we know the limits and expectations, we understand the problem better and manage our budget wiser at our prime. So when the day comes we are prepared. Once we reach our goal, every day is a bonus.

For myself, I prefer to call it quit for good at the minimum end. Wife no work. Children at University. Life till 90.  Outstanding loans. Insurances. Allowances ... And then work back with my family on what we should do. Using a semi-passive portfolio to sustain my family expenses, and work back all my asset class to determine how much is needed. Then I determine how much I need to save to support my plan. I also need to figure out what I can cut and reduce to be practical. And what I can put back as I work longer. I also need to make sure I have sufficient experience and knowledge to tie me through the up and down of the markets. This comes in handy as I can be very speculative and learned some lessons. Notice all the the "I"s. Is about owning the problem. Not the government, parent, company or god.


Mar 25, 2016

Cory Diary : 2016 Singapore Budget - The Intangible ?

Just went through the ST report on 2016 budgets. I find this year interesting. Ability to focus of the future especially the intangibles while taking some immediate necessity. I can see there is guts in the Minister and that's what visionary leaders should be.

I thought this is excellent. Many a time is the environment that shape us therefore same with disadvantage kids. $20K per kid for 1000 is a relative small amount to pay if it can successfully uplift the bottoms.

Another intangible program but important to groom future leaders of Singapore. $250M is well spend imo. Some people may say leaders are born not make. But i think there are significant number who are just laying low. Is also a place where the kids know what does it means to be independent.

Please with this step taken. This tells me something other than literally what it means. The very rich will find it much harder to avoid taxes. It also tells me our Ministry is not influenced by the very rich.
This is not easy in many countries where the minister may even step down or replaced for bringing up such ideas as the government is "Controlled" by the very rich. Singapore must never fall into this situation.

The marine and process sectors will get a reprieve from foreign worker levy hikes. Not sure will this means more sinkie will be lay-off. But there is no good solution. The cost structure needs to be righted and the last thing we want is to be paying off high paying job with taxpayers money. This will help to lower the barrier on competing low cost oil extraction ways.

I feel we can do more. Is not a time to increase national reserve. Is the Ministry reserving the bullet for 2nd half ? One area left out is the property sector. I do agreed there is no need to lift anything (property curbs) unless things get much worst than expected.

Overall nice piece of work in my opinion.


Mar 19, 2016

Cory Diary : Trading Management

Each year I have roughly 20 stocks counters however I can conduct more than 150 trades annually. How do I keep track of expenses, trades, counters, dividends, corporate actions and remember all my plans ?

The best way to do this is to design my own portfolio management that I am most comfortable with.
There is also certain level of privacy on sensitive positions. I do not trust 3rd party tool or cloud things.

Below is an example of how I do them. And the best way to do them is in Excel.

This trades were done in 2015 starting with P/L at zero with book value at close day of 31 Dec 2014 trading price. And ended with Profit $6977 in 31 Dec 2015. In the first trading day of 2016, P/L will be zero'ed out again. Meaning profits of $6977 is my money and no longer belong to the market. If they did, is a loss to me in 2016.

The total cost of trades are $233. Dividends ("D"in the table) is also registered.

In this example there is a share consolidation. As I hold 50,000 share before the corporate action. This is easily catered for by selling 40,000 share at zero value due to 5-1 shares consolidation. The remainder lots are then adjusted with the consolidated price.

Trading notes section is my work desk. I may or may not follow through the plan. Something I will review occasionally.

Hope you like what I have shared, my systematic practises fine tune over the years, and hopefully to help people who like to track and improve their investment life because I know is viable.

I do like to throw a note of caution. The Market is relentless and sharks are everywhere to take your money. Is not really a fair playing field but is still better than most alternative investments. And if you depends on tips you will never beat the market in the long run and potentially worsen your position. And if you depends on investment managers you must be able to watch him carefully. And if you depends on unit trust or insurance investments, pray regularly. And if you depends on Fixed Deposits mainly, money will never be enough.



Mar 17, 2016

Cory Diary : Is all about Inflation, Stupid !

According to mom ( ) the gross monthly income from work is as follow.

Gross Monthly Income From Work
 Median Gross Monthly Income From Work (Including Employer CPF Contributions) of Full-Time Employed Residents
  Levels ($)2,4492,5432,8972,9273,0003,2493,4803,7053,7703,949
 The average annual increment compounding % probably roughly about 5.4%.

Going to another website on Singapore CPI, the chart as below. Roughly 2.7%. Thanks to the tapering off in 2015-2016 due mainly I believe to the property curb and low oil price. It would have hit 4%.

What this means for saver is we are able to save half of our annual increment. Perfect !
But wait .... let's look closer on CPI basket.

Notice something ? Housing and utilities constitutes only 26.3%. Didn't some guru say ~ 35% of our income for housing ? Or Property curb on 60% of our gross income ? So why CPI did not match them. Is CPI meant more toward people who live in average HDB value ?

If the Median income is $3949 that's about $1000 allocated for housing and that has to include interests and principal down payment. Some may argue is not right since property is yours.

Fine ! Let's use rental instead of property purchase. A 4 room HDB easily fetch $2500 monthly for a family. Sorry ladies, wife has to go to work and we are still more than $500 short in allocation.


Mar 5, 2016

Cory Diary : Burst Week helps my portfolio to hit XIRR YTD : 0.21%

For some unexplained reason, this week STI ended with about 200 Points up. This explains why one should try to avoid timing the market as the burst can evaporate away as fast as it comes. I hope it won't but I am ok if it does as just being positive in returns are rare in recent times :)

As mentioned in my earlier article (note the period), is one of the good time to buy stocks for future greater returns be it dividends or capital gains. There will always be the other reflection that challenge myself that it can always go lower. Mind here we are talking about broad market and not individual stock. And if we are to look at the STI chart see link, we are at one of the low points of STI. So collecting some stocks do makes sense to me.

While I can cut losses and go away. I will always be the loser. I do agreed the need to cut losses when fundamental has changed but going away at market low is one of Sin in investing. We could have re-balance to others prudently and ride the market. There will also be others who at this time has been holding on to loser, and has floated with the rising tide. This maybe the best time to re-balance your portfolio before the current reverse.

Since I blogged to collect slowly which indeed I did, in the sense I am much better off than average since is build onto the existing portfolio. However people who has timed their investment and show hand would have done much better than me this time but the point is THIS TIME. There are many others who timed wrongly and missed the boats or cleared their war chest halfway down that we have not hear much from them since. I am here for the long run and I will.


Mar 2, 2016

Cory Diary : Retrenchment

Having worked many years in large corporation, retrenchment is not a new thing. This usually happens with Business consolidation aka Organization changes. Often it comes down to just poor business environment and need for more profitability. When tough calls come, someone has to be let go and we can roughly guess who will be though not with some uncertainty. Nevertheless the uneasiness is always there.

Well to cut the story short, I got a cold call from my upper management just before Chinese New Year and quickly realised there has been a major re-organization. Fortunately to me, I have been selected to lead the combined teams. However, never has it been so close this time when it comes down to two pick one decision. I am the more expensive one but my competitor, you know, has never been there except when coming to Office Politics. Well, I get to keep my unbroken record (Touchwood) and get Rewarded with More Work and Same Pay !

Have you notice this comes at a time when the property market is down trending, stocks are in "Recessive mode" and Bonus is horrible. Seems like bad things ( Almost Everything ! ) comes at the same time. But then, why can't they ? Aren't they are inter-related ? Is there a natural law to prevent it ? I hope the weather and health don't join in the game of life but what can we do if it does. With all the negativity, there are always people out there who got their property force sold, stocks completely crashed and no bonus ! Relatively speaking, I am in much better position and should feel gratify as things can be much worst.

One thing I always like to remind myself is not to take things for granted. Keep improving our Value and Knowledge. Be Prepared for the rainy days. And last but not least, Cherish what we have.

thanks for the read Investment buddies !