Thursday 29 July 2021

2020 In 10 Mins

Zooming forward, it's now 2020. And the first case of COVID-19 has touched our homeland, Singapore!

The pandemic has then go on a wide rampage shutting down several cities around the world and in fact countries! 

The cash hoarding from 2019 has allowed me to make very good use during the pandemic where the stock market face with extreme pessimism from Mr Market from March 2020. 

Being in an environment where there is so much discounts available and limited amount of cash, it would be easier if I go harder onto "Dragon Head Counters"... if one were to understand it in Chinese. 

The "massive" accumulation begin with DBS when it falls below SGD 23.00 a share and OCBC below SGD 9.50 a share. The way which I averaged down and accumulated the shares, at that point poses a serious threat on my war-chest at that juncture till at a point, my war-chest is wiped out. 

This also comes with the conviction to channel my funds I've prepared for my 2nd Year of university fees in as well. 

After some serious rounds of accumulation and simple trading with the various banks, I managed to have OCBC at an average price of SGD 8.38, DBS at an average price of SGD 18.98 and UOB at SGD 19.01.

Which till date (2021), the banks alone add up to about 30% of my portfolio. 

The portfolio at the end of 2020 that is invested, has ballooned up to almost 2.5 times of its size!

If one were to wonder... this is also the year I left service and begin working fully on the project I've mentioned on embarking at the last few months of my journey as a NSF, oh yes. Did I forget. I'm also enrolled into university as a full-time student as well. 

It has been a year that has past so fast, that honestly, memories of it, becomes so bleak, despite just being a year ahead today. The pace for all the things to fall in place was done in at a very high intensity level where as a result, causing me to be very depressed at a certain juncture.

In this year, I've also made an effort to give up riding, officially (for now at least!) after witnessing a death from a family member that was a rider as well. And by a twist of fate, I also took the opportunity to "upgrade" to a very well conditioned 4-wheeler from the suspended COE market during Circuit Breaker, where motor-vehicle prices are largely disturbed.

If one were to realise, with that much outflow of liquidity in the same period and a side project that is in materialising phase, it is worth noting that the liquidity I held in total, at that juncture was just a tiny bit on top of what 1 big purple notes would hold. Something that MAS actually discontinued towards the end-of 2020. 

With some blessing from god and luck, things started to change for the better in 3Q 2020. It is the point where the project I was working on, starts to take off and turns out to generate another stream of income to supplement my poor soul. 

In 2020, I've also taken up even more responsibilities at home with more commitments. 

It is also worth a mention that the project I've undertaken was a combination of majority of the skills and experience I've acquired from the past ventures years ago, coupling with the work I've done in the last few years :) 

Aside from this, in late 2020, I've also explored the US market.

With this, I close the year with only 8 positions namely; 

  • OCBC Bank
  • DBS Bank
  • UOB Bank
  • ComfortDelGro
  • Suntec REIT
  • IREIT Global 
  • Apple Inc

In a summary:

  1. I've accumulated a position from ComfortDelGro, DBS Bank, OCBC Bank, UOB Bank, AIMS APAC REIT.
  2. Subscribed & Over-subscribed to IREIT Global's right issue.
  3. Attempted IPO for Credit Bureau Asia, but did not manage to have any success. 
  4. Sold partial holdings from DBS, OCBC and UOB 
  5. Perform several trades around DBS, OCBC and UOB
  6. In late 2020, initiated a position in US Market, with a position in Apple Inc.

On the investment front:
  • A XIRR rate at +10.72%
  • Collected a dividend of SGD 1,772.04 which translates to roughly SGD 147.67 monthly
  • Realised P/L of SGD 3,410.81 for the year
  • Portfolio at this juncture (2020) closed with a value around SGD 50,000 and around SGD 20,000 in war-chest which brings the portfolio to value roughly around SGD 70,000
It would also be good to notice that, the pace at which this portfolio is growing at, is mainly attributed to 
  1. The cash hoarding back in late 2019 which was channeled fully during the pandemic 
  2. The relatively high savings rate that I’ve held throughout the years which allows me to accumulate wealth a little faster. 
  3. The unrealised gains from banks that roses sharply towards the end of FY2020. 
  4. Another significant portion that contributed to it at the later part, was where earnings starts to become a little bit more substantial when the side projects start to bear fruits. 
With the double amplification from the more substantial earning and a higher or maintained saving rate, it will be much easier to accumulate wealth. 

If one were to question, I turned 22 in the year of 2020 :) 

The investment performance that my portfolio has yielded, is nothing compared to the savings rate and earning power in the later stage, from starting the journey in 2017 with $3 to what 2020 has ended with. 

Till then, we'll see more in 1H 2021 in 10 Mins. 

Full episode:

Saturday 17 July 2021

2019 In 10 Mins

Carrying on from the last episode of 2018 In 10 Mins, now we’re fast forward to 2019. 

The disaster from 2018, has awarded be with 3 words and a change in my Physical Employment Status. This also means that, I’d be a normal soldier that draws the least pay! Now, this is actually a very remarkable difference if you’re to work it out mathematically, especially with the vision to earn the 2nd Year Academic Fees... 

The difference in pay that I will draw from a simple calculation would set me back by at least SGD 7,000 apart! This amount is a little shy of “a year of school fees” if one were to visualise it in another angle. 

Anyways, as a seclusive person by nature. A virtual me, and a physical me will draw a very significant differences, which after sometime, it shy me away from writing as I’d like to have more personal spaces, which now explains the hiatus after my recovery. 

Coming to think back now, the years as a man, does not reward me too poorly too as I became a right-hand man to a senior advisor in the force, which allows me to see and learn more thing from a different angle, top-down. 

The workload was insane, especially with the several safety timeouts from army due to some mishap that the forces experience in that work year. Being the right hand man to the senior managements in the unit does allow you to learn very extensively about what is going on and the pressure that you carry, is very different from your peers, that are on the ground. 

Now, it comes to a point, I figured out that, I have to make very good use of this well opportunity that I have, to learn as much skills as I can and make this 2 years (1 year 10 months in actual fact) a rewarding one. There should be no excuses because I do not want a regret later on in life that I wasted 2 precious years of my life. 

Even if I’m not on route financially, I must not shy myself away responsibilities. It comes to a point that I begin to dislike the bunch of people who took the easier way out for their own benefit, especially when I’m in the shoes of the senior managements. After sometime, I must say, the lesson learnt from this experience, I would say is by far one of the most fortunate thing that happened to me.

Anyways, the year of 2019 is a very “army” year to me. And yes, being in the army, you’d also come across many different type of people that I probably wouldn’t think they existed. There is also plenty of “investment gurus” we can see or “people that have successful parents, very successful parent or super successful parents”…Opps.

In 2019, there is not much big movements to my portfolio. While interest remains attractive at that period of time, the amount of liquid cash in my account does enjoy much better interest than it would today. 

Oh yes, did I forget? With the blood of a biker, it must a shame to abandon this passion after an injury right? As you’d probably guessed, I actually upgraded my bike license and bike LOL. In turns out that this purchase was one of the best purchase I made in 2019. At an expense which cost me less than SGD 150 a month to own a 400cc bike, with fuel, insurance, season parking all accounted for. Interesting? Probably riders here would like to make a guess, but I’d say NEA rebate does help!

Ahhh. Where is my financial summary again. I must remind myself that I must also talk some finances! In 2019, I’ve also decluttered my portfolio, experiment with some trades as well as decided to focus fire to hold lesser counters as the capital is little and it makes no much sense to waste too much on the brokerage fees. 

In a summary:

  1. In the year of 2018-19, I’ve accumulated SingTel sufficiently, starting from my first purchase of 140 shares to it becoming my greatest position, an average price around 3.10 before selling every share of SingTel at 3.52 in July 2019. This position turned out to grow to more than 15 times of what I first purchased.
  2. I’ve also did a trade for APTT late in 2018 at 0.170 and sold it for 0.179 in April 2019. With account to the final “big” distribution from them, this trade turns out to provide roughly a 15% ROI. 
  3. I’ve also decluttered my portfolio and sold away Wilmar (turns out to be a big mistake today) for a return of 33%, SGR for a return of 10% and FEO for a loss of 25%
  4. I’ve performed a trade for UOB in June 2019 @ $23.68, before selling them at $26.00.
  5. I’ve accumulated a small position in Suntec REIT @ $1.80, OCBC @ $10.50, IREIT Global @ $0.76
  6. I’ve performed a trade for Hong Kong Land for a returns of about 5%
With this, I close the year with only 5 positions namely; 
  • OCBC Bank
  • ComfortDelGro
  • Suntec REIT
  • IREIT Global 
On the investment front:
  • I manage to close the year with a performance of +20.05% vs STI of +9.08%
  • A XIRR rate at +27.74%
  • Collected a dividend of SGD 392.85 which translates to roughly SGD 32.74 monthly
  • Realised P/L of SGD 515.50 for the year
  • Portfolio at this juncture (2019) closed with a value around SGD 20,000 where there is a massive hoarding of cash towards the end of the year, which in turns, work out extremely well in 2020. 
  • The portfolio did not have much injection this year due to the very small amount of allowances that is drawn month on month when I’m a soldier.
  • As such, the year closes with a portfolio value + cash holdings of roughly about SGD 40,000
Towards the end of the year, I manage to have an opportunity where I begin to divert some of my attention to after camp hours, to work on a project that by a twist of fate got executed right after I leave the service, which indirectly affected FY2020 and 2021. 

At this juncture, it is year 3 in this journey and I’m 21 years young, in 2019.

Till then, we'll see more in 2020 in 10 Mins. 

Full episode:

Tuesday 13 July 2021

2018 In 10 Mins

The year of 2018… was interesting. 

Thinking back, this is the year where I got myself a position in a field, where at that point of time I had great interest for before I got myself conscripted towards the end of 2018. This job has indirectly changed several viewpoints of mine and got the entire direction for the coming years, changed drastically. 

The knowledge and insights acquired during this 10 months journey, did take a significant toll which impacted me mentally and financially. 

This has also changed my style of writing, a sense of being as well as a regret that I did not manage to pull. 

The initial thoughts was very cluttered, back when I was contemplating to join the workforce or be a part of the gig economy. The thinking process back then was simple, with 2 main objectives. One to build a more significant buffer so that I will be able to continue my journey as a student, in 2 years time, financially, hopefully with the ability to not take on any student loans and secondly, to acquire enough fun points or wisdom points along the way.

Well, it seems pretty obvious at this juncture that I’ve chosen the former option with a greater consideration to continuing my student life with lesser financial burden and to accumulate more knowledge/wisdom points instead of fun points. Ha.

The journey has been insightful, being exposed to a field that I’ve always wanted to take on (fortunately, with certain prior experience and a wonderful internship, the exposure does create a path for me to enter this interesting field) 

During this 10 good months, I’ve experienced a very complete “working-life” which indirectly has deterred my thoughts a little further onto working forever till my death bed. 

I also learnt first handedly, that a regular dose of injection to our CPF accounts, is a big encouragement financially, especially when the employer is paying 17% extra! This tour has allowed me to pay even more attention to my CPF accounts, and of course, with a little more readings, comes a little more thinking, and a little more learnings, which inspired me to a post somewhere in August 2018.

Read: Peep into the 20 year old boy CPF Account - Transfer from OA to SA

Being in the workforce at that point, also prompted me to do a little bit more homework about tax planning (although, with the meagre paycheck, it shouldn’t do a big damage to my profile in IRAS), which inspired a post regarding SRS account back then. 

Read: My Newly Created SRS Account

After some sorting out and self-realization, the isolation and differences between Cash and Cashflow is drawn further apart, which inspired another post! And, this sentence, when carried to 2019, turns out to be a laughing factor for some, and eye opener to some in my army days. 

Read: Cash is Not King, Cashflow is

Since, I chose the former route as mentioned earlier, with a main priority to continue my student life after the mandatory conscription, a simple behind-the-envelope calculations brings me to a figure somewhere around SGD 32,000 that I’ve to prepare myself for, before 2020 where I commenced my full time university. Or at least, I must be able to segregate a good SGD 10,000 for my 1st academic year to be safe. 

So true enough, that’s a target, that I worked tirelessly for during the 10 months that I was employed. To spice it up a little, at the point of calculating, I come to figure that, unless I have an extremely high saving rate, else definitely it would not come true. 

To ensure that I’m a little safer, I’ve utilised the bike license I’ve gotten in 2017 and the bike I’ve gotten for myself when I’m back from Japan to take on the latter option as well in the evenings after work and on weekends to draw a higher income.

I also come to realise that if I’m hard-working enough to get myself as a commissioned officer in the force during my 2 years of National Service, I will be able to come out, beautifully on route to what was planned! 

Shortly after, I’m conscripted for service. I could still recall how I enter Tekong with a neat tidy hair, and come out, with what was called a “Number 1 Haircut”.

As much as planning are flawless, the reality is filled with flaws. 

With a lofty ambition to enter the OCS, I worked hard. But, in one of the booking outs, I encounter with a mishap that prematurely terminated all my “plans” I had. And I guess it is not that foreign to one, especially a rider. 

The day will come, for you to fall. From your bike, or with your bike. This episode has given me a 60 days hospitalisation leave and a fracture to my arm. Oh yes, and another punishing 3 alphabet! OOC!

Demoralised as I always am. I have since stopped writing and isolated myself for awhile to re-organize my path ahead.

Oh, and I guess the most fortunate part of this episode is, every visit to the hospital for appointments and follow-up, there is always a loud chop of “PAID” at the counter. Perks of being a NSF, I must say.

This injury carries it selves over to 2019, which I believe I should continue in another post, soon.

As a financial blog to begin with I guess there has to somewhat be a rounding of 2018.

A simple round up financially for 2018:

  1. My portfolio at closing was doubled of what I had in 2017. 
  2. I’ve achieved a nett savings of 20k 
  3. I’ve managed to set aside about 1.5 Year of my university school fee (This amount is not inclusive in my portfolio/warchest)
  4. 2018 ended with a figure somewhere above SGD 35,000 (The figure here consist of purely war chest + invested capital into the market) 
On the investment front:
  • I manage to close the year with a performance of -3.97% vs STI of -6.63%
  • A pathetic XIRR rate at -5.44%
  • Collected a dividend of SGD 566.58 which translates to roughly SGD 47.22 monthly
  • Realised P/L of SGD 813.77 for the year

Side note, at this juncture (2018), I actually have not enrolled myself into university as I’m afraid that I would not have enough to go for it. Hence, I actually enrolled myself only in 2020, the same year I commence study. I was even preparing to take a leap year to save more money so that I will have sufficient monies to settle my academic fees.

I guess, that’s all for now. Stay safe, till the next episode of 2019 In 10 Mins. 

Monday 12 July 2021

After a hiatus… How are you?

It has been sometime since I’ve last jotted anything down on this space. In fact, looking back at some post that are still in draft, reminds me of how I use to frequently visit this space. 

It is truly a mesmerizing experience to be here once again, reading through the post which got myself back on foot once again. 

Looking back to the last post, it has been a good 2.5 years. 

Time flies, doesn’t it? And the scariest part of this all, is the world has literally shapeshifted into a new world with the pandemic and 4 millions life are lost in this dearly battle. 

Once, a 19 year old engineering student that is pondering on his future, laying plans and step. 

To a entering the workforce briefly… to a Full-Time NSF… and now to a university student. Interesting isn’t it? 

This journey this far has been rewarding and there has been many thoughts, learnings that I’ve yet to pen down. In this 2.5 years hiatus, there was actually several times, logging into this little space and contemplating if I should resume writing..

After much, contemplation. I’m back. 

For long, or not. I’m not too sure. 

Gone were those days that SSB are rewarding us with 2% interest ha. We’re now in a low interest environment with different trading platforms coming in to the domestic market dorminatly giving out free shares. Oh yes, did I forget. It has been sometime since I last walk outside with my face naked!

In the days to come, I shall probably talk a little to myself in this tiny space about the 2018, 2019, 2020 and the 1H of 2021 that just went by. 

Meanwhile, hoping that everyone is safe and sound, healthy and well! 

Next Episode..... Read: 2018 in 10 Mins