I started serious Investing Journey in Jan 2000 to create wealth through long-term investing and short-term trading; but as from April 2013 my Journey in Investing has changed to create Retirement Income for Life till 85 years old in 2041 for two persons over market cycles of Bull and Bear.

Since 2017 after retiring from full-time job as employee; I am moving towards Investing Nirvana - Freehold Investment Income for Life investing strategy where 100% of investment income from portfolio investment is cashed out to support household expenses i.e. not a single cent of re-investing!

It is 57% (2017 to Aug 2022) to the Land of Investing Nirvana - Freehold Income for Life!

Click to email CW8888 or Email ID : jacobng1@gmail.com

Welcome to Ministry of Wealth!

This blog is authored by an old multi-bagger blue chips stock picker uncle from HDB heartland!

"The market is not your mother. It consists of tough men and women who look for ways to take money away from you instead of pouring milk into your mouth." - Dr. Alexander Elder

"For the things we have to learn before we can do them, we learn by doing them." - Aristotle

It is here where I share with you how I did it! FREE Education in stock market wisdom.

Think Investing as Tug of War - Read more? Click and scroll down

Important Notice and Attention: If you are looking for such ideas; here is the wrong blog to visit.

Value Investing
Dividend/Income Investing
Technical Analysis and Charting
Stock Tips

Thursday 29 April 2010

Blue chips in SGX not globally or regionally exposed?

As a small retail investors with smaller capital, do you try to diversify by investing in overseas by putting few thousand bucks here and there and exposing to additional currency risks besides market and stock risks?

Let me know if you are aware any of blue chips listed in SGX doing only local businesses. I don't seem to know any.

Wednesday 28 April 2010

Don't be the last fool still sitting there.

Don't be the last fool standing

For seniors in the market

While we may think that we are smart enough not to be last fool standing but will we become the last fool sitting. You need to ride the Bull with stocks not cash.

STI: Time to let the Bear has some fun too!

2,932.04 -59.64 -1.99%

Don't worry, Bull will come back sooner than you expected

Saving matters but Investing determines - Part 3

Saving matters but Investing determines - Part 2

Most property investors will tell you that properties will not crash down to zero unlike stocks.

That is true if you are investing in Freehold properties and not really true for Leasehold properties.

Some stocks will survive for many, many decades; but your Leasehold properties will one day crash down to Zero when they reach 99 years.

Which is better for super long-term investment - stocks or LH properties?

Monday 26 April 2010

What impacts investment decisions?

Marriage, children and housing cause significant changes in risk aversion which affects people's choice of optimal portfolio mix


SOME key events in life bring about a significant change in attitude and perspective when it comes to making investment decisions. Marriage, for instance, brings with it a sense of joint ownership and responsibility for the couple as they set up a new family unit. Similarly, the arrival of the first child and subsequent ones brings additional long-term financial commitments and significantly affects their priorities in life.

Housing loan, probably the biggest financial commitment in life, requires setting aside a major part of the monthly salary and/or CPF contribution to service the monthly instalments. Many of us heave a huge sigh of relief when the loan is fully paid up.

Our team of three final-year students at Nanyang Business School, NTU, under the supervision of our lecturer, decided to study four key events: marriage, arrival of the first child/children, full repayment of housing loan, and use of CPF for investments for their impact on Singaporeans' attitude to savings, riskiness of their investment portfolios and conservativeness with respect to investments. We also looked at how age impacts individuals' risk aversion.

Overall, our survey findings show that major life events cause significant changes in risk aversion which affects people's choice of the optimal portfolio mix.

For instance, marriage results in a significant change in investment strategy as on getting married, people prefer to have less risky assets in their portfolio. We found that a mere 2.18 per cent indicated that they would choose the riskiest portfolio (comprising 60 per cent high-risk, 30 per cent medium-risk and 10 per cent low-risk assets) after marriage. This was a plunge from the one quarter of respondents (25.84 per cent) saying that before marriage they would choose the riskiest portfolio.

On the other hand, the proportion of those who chose the safest portfolio (10 per cent high-risk, 30 per cent medium-risk and 60 per cent low-risk assets) quadrupled from 11.80 per cent before marriage to a healthy 47.63 per cent after marriage.

Financial planners, wealth managers and others in investment advisory roles are encouraged to take special notice of the four events that we studied as these have been found to have significant impact on people's investment preferences and risk aversion.

We polled 500 adult Singaporeans through face-to-face and online surveys in December 2009 and January 2010. A total of 178 responded - equally split between men and women - giving a healthy response rate of 36 per cent.

Our survey showed that marriage leads to Singaporeans wanting to save more for their future, possibly for the downpayment for the HDB flat or private apartment and/or to prepare for the arrival of children.

Newly married couples are prepared to give up the potentially higher returns of riskier investments for the relatively stable returns of safer assets even though these typically provide lower expected returns. Marriage also leads many to lean towards making more conservative decisions such as selling their risky investments and opting for safer investments such as fixed deposits during a volatile market.

We believe that when a married individual is investing the combined wealth of the couple, he believes that his accountability is not just to himself but also to the spouse. Hence, he would take a more conservative approach in investing, which accounts for his shying away from riskier investments.

Our survey shows that the arrival of the first child also significantly impacts the attitude of Singaporeans to savings as they tend to save more in terms of number of months of savings available for living expenses. We found a huge increase in respondents who opt for more than 12 months of savings: from 24.16 per cent before marriage having their first child to a high of 71.35 per cent after marriage having their first child.

In addition, they prefer to invest more in safer assets and to make more conservative investment decisions after having a child or children. Bringing up a child or children can be costly for a typical Singaporean family. With education costs, child development expenses (tuition, piano, ballet lessons, etc) and medical costs that come with having children, parents make conservative investments to avoid any abrupt and substantial losses from investments that would make it difficult for them to fulfil their obligations.

Buying a house is probably the single biggest investment for many of us and it is a lifetime goal for many to own a fully paid home as quickly as possible. We find that Singaporeans want to manage their investments more conservatively while they are still servicing their housing loan: We observe that 28.65 per cent of the respondents see themselves switching to more aggressive investment allocations after fully paying off their housing loan. (Createwealth8888: I became more aggressive in stocks after fully paying off my house loan and emotionally stronger to ride bear market and economic downturn that may threathen job security)

In the event of unexpected adverse macroeconomic situation, a homeowner who is still servicing his housing loan may find that he is in negative equity with respect to his home, that is the amount that he owes the bank is more than the value of his apartment as its value had dropped significantly due to the bad economy. In this case, the bank may call upon the homeowner to repay some of the loan to reduce its exposure to him. The homeowner would be better prepared for this if he adopts a more conservative investment portfolio and has set aside more savings; otherwise, he risks foreclosure of his property by the bank.

At the same time, our results also show that Singaporeans tend to behave differently after they have paid off their housing loan in full as they will invest more aggressively and are more willing to accept higher risk in order to seek potentially higher return.

Besides cash, CPF is an important alternative source of funds for investments. Our survey shows that Singaporeans are more inclined to invest a greater part of their portfolio in riskier assets when they are using CPF monies compared to when they're using cash: A third (33.15 per cent) of the respondents will choose to invest in a more aggressive portfolio mix if they use CPF to invest, compared to just 7.3 per cent who will invest in an aggressive portfolio if they use cash.

A possible explanation is that Singaporeans do not view their CPF savings as 'cash'. While cash is immediately available to buy goods and services, CPF savings can only be used for selected purposes such as insurance, mortgage payments and retirement spending. Thus, they 'do not feel the pinch' when losses occur if they are investing using CPF.

Next, our survey also finds that people in different age groups differ in their risk aversion. Those between 21 and 30 exhibit the least risk aversion as they have minimal financial commitments to meet. Also, being younger, they have a longer time frame to recoup any financial losses.

On the other hand, those in their 30s are most risk averse. This could possibly be due to the fact that most of them face substantial financial commitments, given the need to support their children and repayment of housing loan. Those in their 40s are less risk averse than those in their 30s as they would most probably have lower outstanding housing loan liability and may have built up some savings by then.

Choo Xiao Li and Ng Hui Yin are final-year banking and finance students and Wong Soon Leong is a final-year actuarial science student at Nanyang Business School, NTU. Kong Yoon Kee is a lecturer of the school

Sembcorp Industries in deal to acquire US water services firm Cascal for US$206m

By Desmond Wong

SINGAPORE: Sembcorp Industries is making an offer to buy the US-listed listed water and wastewater services firm Cascal for as much as US$206 million.

As part of the deal, Sembcorp's utilities unit has offered to buy a 58.4 per cent stake in Cascal now owned by Biwater Investments.

Sembcorp is offering US$6.75 per share if it gets at least 80 per cent of the outstanding common shares have been validly tendered and not withdrawn.

The price will be brought down to US$6.40 if the number of shares tendered is less than 80 per cent.

Sembcorp said it will then make a tender offer for the remaining shares that it doesn't already own.

Sembcorp added this acquisition will transform it into a global water service provider and provide the platform for the group to accelerate its future growth.

The entire acquisition is expected be funded by internal funds and borrowings.

Sembcorp expects the purchase to be accretive to earnings starting from the second year.

Cascal is a leading provider of water and wastewater services.

The company operates in 21 locations across eight countries - the United Kingdom, South Africa, Indonesia, China, Chile, Panama, Antigua and the Philippines and four continents.

It has a growing customer base of homes and businesses that represent a total population of about 4.7 million people.

Sunday 25 April 2010

Low Margins are bad. High Margins are good - Revisit

True or not?

Can investing be made so simple by thinking that all low margins are bad and all high margins are good? Then every Tom, Dick, and Harry can become good investors by looking at margins. In the real business world, it is not that simple. You have to go beyond it to fully understand how such companies have managed to survive with this business model over market and economics cycles.

It is somewhat similar to the ideas of "Low Sales Commissions are bad. High Sales Commissions are good." Marry The Guy Who Has 60% Sales Commission. Some low commissions salesmen may be paying high income taxes. Get it?

Understanding Stock Market Risks - No 7 Risk

Understanding Stock Market Risks - No 6 Risk

This Great Bear of 2008 taught me there is another risk to think about:

7. Dilution Risk

Even if you only invest in blue chips that are strategically important to Singapore and the government will never allow them to fail. So there is very little risk of complete failure but you are still expose to the dilution risk i.e. your interests in your holding get diluted by these companies injecting more capitals to strengthen up their balance sheets by raising more capitals through private placement or right issues.

Private Placement to Institutions

You either get out or get diluted. If you have decided to hold on; then it may take a long while for your current holding to get even.

Right Issues

Same here. You can choose to get out or exercise your option to prevent your current holding been diluted by subscribing to all your entitled right issues to hold it at higher investment cost.

If you don't, then your interests will take a long while to get even.

Saturday 24 April 2010

HDB quarterly resale prices hit new record!


A HDB flat is a home for living and not for profit taking. Home for Living and not for profit taking - Part 4

Hope the HDB Minister can do something drastic to put a

to these nonsenses before the next generations become home slaves and waste their lives.
Every family needs a HOME but not all need a home and house/houses.

By Hoe Yeen Nie

Posted: 23 April 2010 1422 hrs

HDB quarterly resale prices hit new record

SINGAPORE: HDB resale prices have hit a fresh record in the first quarter of this year rising by 2.8 per cent compared with the previous quarter. But the latest figures show signs of a market that's finally stabilising after months of runaway prices.

Some analysts expect demand to continue to rise in the next few months but said cash premiums are unlikely to go much higher than the current median of S$25,000.

The official figures confirm estimates released earlier this month.

Resale transactions have dipped by about five per cent while median cash premiums, or COVs, have risen at a much slower pace than in previous quarters.

They went up S$1,000 in the last three months compared to the jump of S$12,000 between the third and fourth quarters last year.

They now stand at S$25,000, with flats in Bishan fetching the highest COVs, of about S$32,000.

Strong demand for newer estates has also translated into high premiums.

Towns like Punggol and Sengkang are seeing premiums of about S$30,000.

Eugene Lim, associate director, ERA Asia Pacific, said: "If you compare Punggol, Sengkang prices vis-a-vis mature HDB estates, they are still cheaper. Even though with high COVs of around S$30,000, you find that S$30,000 actually is the average COV nowadays for most flats. So, if you're paying thereabouts, why not get something newer versus something older?”

Analysts said measures to cool the market have worked including the launch of more HDB projects.

Other measures include restricting the cash portion of the second concessionary home loan, channeling the loan through the buyer's CPF account.

Moving forward, ERA'a Eugene Lim said the government may consider further measures to ease demand.

And while some observers say possible interest rate increases later this year will hit buyers' pockets, others disagree.

Jeffrey Hong, executive director, HSR International Realtors, said: “In general they don't look at, ‘At the end of 30 years of loan, how much do I actually pay for my flat?’ The first-time buyers are more concerned about how much they pay on a monthly basis. So if the increase in the interest is not much, the increment of the monthly payment is probably S$20 to S$50 a month more."

In the rental market, demand between January and March increased sharply, with transactions up 69 per cent over the previous quarter.

The HDB said subletting transactions went up from 3,902 in the last three months of 2009, to 6,606 cases.

Analysts said this is partly driven by foreigners returning to Singapore to work as the economy improves.

However, rents remain relatively stable, with median prices for four- and five-room flats hovering just under S$2,000 a month.

Analysts said this is partly driven by foreigners returning to Singapore to work as the economy improves while the HDB said the spike is also due to an increase in renewals of rental flats.

In the last three months, 2,323 flatowners applied to continue renting their flats, 19 per cent more than the previous quarter.

The HDB added that more homeowners are also aware that they have to apply to the HDB for approval which could add to the increase.

However, rents remain relatively stable with median prices for four- and five-room flats hovering just under S$2,000 a month.

ERA's Eugene Lim said strong demand will not likely translate into escalating rents because the supply of flats that can be subletted is high.

Under HDB rules, flats can be sublet after a minimum of three years.

But analysts said there is no similar jump in demand in the private rental market, suggesting that rental budgets remain low.

In the private residential market, prices were up 5.6 per cent, marginally higher than the 5.1 percent hike initially estimated

Four lessons

I keep hearing this guy saying people are damn free and whole day talking cock. Some free coaching for him to become the next guy to talk cock whole day.

Lesson Number One

A crow was sitting in a tree, doing nothing all day. A small rabbit saw the crow, and asked him, "Can I also sit like you and do nothing all day long?" The crow answered: "Sure, why not." So, the rabbit sat on the ground below the crow, and rested. All of a sudden, a fox appeared, jumped on the rabbit and ate it.

Lesson: To be sitting and doing nothing, you must be sitting very, very high up.

Lesson Number Two

A turkey was chatting with a bull. "I would love to be able to get to the top of that tree," sighed the turkey, "but I haven't got the energy". "Well, why don't you nibble on some of my droppings?" replied the bull "They're packed with nutrients." The turkey pecked at a lump of dung and found that it actually gave him enough strength to reach the first branch of the tree. The next day, after eating some more dung, he reached the second branch. Finally after a fortnight, there he was proudly perched at the top of the tree. He was promptly spotted by a farmer, who shot the turkey out of the tree.

Lesson: Bullshit might get you to the top, but it won't keep you there. You must earn the right to sit high up and bullshit.

Lesson Number Three

When the body was first made, all the parts wanted to be Boss. The brain said, "I should be Boss because I control the whole body's responses and functions." The feet said, "We should be Boss as we carry the brain about and get him to where he wants to go." The Hands said, "We should be the Boss because we do all the work and earn all the money." And so it went on and on with the heart, the lungs and the eyes until finally the asshole spoke up. All the parts laughed at the idea of the asshole being the Boss. Promptly, the asshole went on strike, blocked itself up and refused to work. Within a short time the eyes became crossed, the hands clenched, the feet twitched, the heart and lungs began to panic and the brain fevered. Eventually they all decided that the asshole should be the Boss, so the motion was passed. All the other parts did all the work while the Boss just sat and passed out the shit!

Lesson: You don't need brains to be a Boss - any asshole will do.

Lesson Number Four

An organisation is like a tree full of monkeys, all on different limbs at different levels, some climbing up, some fooling around and some simply just idling... The monkeys on top look down and see a tree full of smiling faces...The monkeys on the bottom look up and see nothing but assholes...
Lesson: Those at the bottom seem happy getting shits from the assholes.

Friday 23 April 2010

DBS - Time for it to lead STI back to 3,000

With a new CEO and his new initiatives, thing starts to look rosy.

No planning, but they want to retire early


HALF the working Singaporean population has yet to make financial plans for retirement even though three in five wish to retire by age 60, a new survey by global financial services firm Russell Investments has found.

'These findings are somewhat startling,' said Mahendran Nathan, Russell's chief executive for Asean, Hong Kong, Taiwan and India, who thinks they reflect a lack of awareness of the need for retirement planning and thought over what an increased retirement age might imply.

The desired retirement age of 60 reflected in the survey's results is shy of the current statutory retirement age of 62. Singapore's government has been preparing companies for the rollout of new re-employment legislation which will effectively raise the retirement age to 65 by 2012, and 67 eventually.


Thursday 22 April 2010

Anna Quindlen's Commencement Address at Villanova

The following is from Pulitzer Prize winning author Anna Quindlen's commencement address to Villanova University, Friday 23 June 2000:

It's a great honor for me to be the third member of my family to receive an honorary doctorate from this great university. It's an honor to follow my great-uncle Jim, who was a gifted physician, and my Uncle Jack, who is a remarkable businessman. Both of them could have told you something important about their professions, about medicine or commerce.

I have no specialized field of interest or expertise, which puts me at a disadvantage, talking to you today. I'm a novelist. My work is human nature. Real life is all I know. Don't ever confuse the two, your life and your work. The second is only part of the first.

Don't ever forget what a friend once wrote Senator Paul Tsongas when the senator decided not to run for reelection because he'd been diagnosed with cancer: "No man ever said on his deathbed I wish I had spent more time in the office." Don't ever forget the words my father sent me on a postcard last year: "If you win the rat race, you're still a rat." Or what John Lennon wrote before he was gunned down in the driveway of the Dakota: "Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans."

You walk out of here this afternoon with only one thing that no one else has. There will be hundreds of people out there with your same degree; there will be thousands of people doing what you want to do for a living. But you will be the only person alive who has sole custody of your life. Your particular life. Your entire life. Not just your life at a desk, or your life on a bus, or in a car, or at the computer. Not just the life of your minds, but the life of your heart. Not just your bank account, but your soul.

People don't talk about the soul very much anymore. It's so much easier to write a resume than to craft a spirit. But a resume is a cold comfort on a winter night, or when you're sad, or broke, or lonely, or when you've gotten back the test results and they're not so good.

Here is my resume: I am a good mother to three children. I have tried never to let my profession stand in the way of being a good parent. I no longer consider myself the center of the universe. I show up. I listen, I try to laugh. I am a good friend to my husband. I have tried to make marriage vows mean what they say. I show up. I listen. I try to laugh. I am a good friend to my friends, and they to me. Without them, there would be nothing to say to you today, because I would be a cardboard cutout. But call them on the phone, and I meet them for lunch. I show up. I listen. I try to laugh.

I would be rotten, or at best mediocre at my job, if those other things were not true. You cannot be really first rate at your work if your work is all you are.

So here is what I wanted to tell you today:

Get a life. A real life, not a manic pursuit of the next promotion, the bigger paycheck, the larger house. Do you think you'd care so very much about those things if you blew an aneurysm one afternoon, or found a lump in your breast? Get a life in which you notice the smell of salt water pushing itself on a breeze over Seaside Heights, a life in which you stop and watch how a red-tailed hawk circles over the water gap or the way a baby scowls with concentration when she tries to pick up a cheerio with her thumb and first finger.

Get a life in which you are not alone. Find people you love, and who love you. And remember that love is not leisure, it is work. Each time you look at your diploma, remember that you are still a student, still learning how to best treasure your connection to others. Pick up the phone. Send an e-mail. Write a letter. Kiss your Mom. Hug your Dad. Get a life in which you are generous.

Look around at the azaleas in the suburban neighborhood where you grew up; look at a full moon hanging silver in a black, black sky on a cold night.

And realize that life is the best thing ever, and that you have no business taking it for granted. Care so deeply about its goodness that you want to spread it around. Once in a while take money you would have spent on beers and give it to charity. Work in a soup kitchen. Be a big brother or sister.

All of you want to do well. But if you do not do good, too, then doing well will never be enough. It is so easy to waste our lives: our days, our hours, our minutes. It is so easy to take for granted the color of the azaleas, the sheen of the limestone on Fifth Avenue, the color of our kid's eyes, the way the melody in a symphony rises and falls and disappears and rises again. It is so easy to exist instead of live. I learned to live many years ago.

Something really, really bad happened to me, something that changed my life in ways that, if I had my druthers, it would never have been changed at all. And what I learned from it is what, today, seems to be the hardest lesson of all. I learned to love the journey, not the destination. I learned that it is not a dress rehearsal, and that today is the only guarantee you get. I learned to look at all the good in the world and to try to give some of it back because I believed in it completely and utterly. And I tried to do that, in part, by telling others what I had learned. By telling them this:

Consider the lilies of the field. Look at the fuzz on a baby's ear. Read in the backyard with the sun on your face. Learn to be happy. And think of life as a terminal illness because if you do you will live it with joy and passion, as it ought to be lived.

Well, you can learn all those things, out there, if you get a life, a full life, a professional life, yes, but another life, too, a life of love and laughs and a connection to other human beings. Just keep your eyes and ears open. Here you could learn in the classroom. There the classroom is everywhere. The exam comes at the very end. No man ever said on his deathbed I wish I had spent more time at the office. I found one of my best teachers on the boardwalk at Coney Island maybe 15 years ago. It was December, and I was doing a story about how the homeless survive in the winter months.

He and I sat on the edge of the wooden supports, dangling our feet over the side, and he told me about his schedule; panhandling the boulevard when the summer crowds were gone, sleeping in a church when the temperature went below freezing, hiding from the police amidst the Tilt a Whirl and the Cyclone and some of the other seasonal rides. But he told me that most of the time he stayed on the boardwalk, facing the water, just the way we were sitting now even when it got cold and he had to wear his newspapers after he read them.

And I asked him why. Why didn't he go to one of the shelters? Why didn't he check himself into the hospital for detox? And he just stared out at the ocean and said, "Look at the view, young lady. Look at the view."

And every day, in some little way, I try to do what he said. I try to look at the view. And that's the last thing I have to tell you today, words of wisdom from a man with not a dime in his pocket, no place to go, nowhere to be. Look at the view. You'll never be disappointed.

  • One of her messages is that people should not confuse their lives and their work. "I think a lot of us are too invested in our work — to the extent that it totally defines us."  Most of the time if we meet some one for the first time, sooner or later the conversation will touch on what are you working as? Our jobs totally define us.
  • But, then no man ever said on his deathbed I wish I had spent more time at the office (kind of paradox)
  • "I show up. I listen. I try to laugh." (we may not even be interested in listening not to say on laughing) This, she says, is part of getting the most out of life. Though it sounds like simple advice, she insists that it's hard work. "It's not easy at all, especially the showing up part." She says, "look at how so many of us communicate with each other, on the telephone, on e-mail, not as much face to face as we used to."

Noble buys 25% stake in Mexico port terminal

Noble Group said on Thursday that it has bought a 25 per cent stake in Terminales Portuarias del Pacifico (TPP).

TPP has been awarded a tender to develop a multicommodity terminal facility at Lazaro Cardenas Port, on the west coast of Mexico.

Construction of the two-phase terminal is set to commence by May 1 2010, with completion expected in 2011. Phase 2 of construction is planned for 2017.

Noble, which is currently supplying thermal coal to CFE at the Lazaro Cardenas Port, said the terminal provides it strategic strength and flexibility in its deliveries to CFE.

Kep Corp 1Q 2010 Report Card

1. Net profit improved 13% to S$322 million compared to 1Q09.

2. Earnings per share of 20.2 cents, up 13% from 1Q09’s 17.9 cents.
3. Annualised ROE remained above 20%.
4. Economic Value Added increased from S$211 million to S$240 million.
5. Cash outflow of S$501 million.
6. Net cash decreased from 0.14x to 0.07x.


By Cheng Huang Leng

Four Pre-Conditions for Retirement

I retired in year 2000 at age 52. I am now 61, thus I can claim that I got more experience at retirement than most! I thought I should share my experience with mariners because I have seen too many friends and neighbours who became so bored that they have become a nuisance to their spouse and children and to others!

A few of them have solved the problem by going back to work. They were able to do so because they have a skill/expertise that is still in demand. The rest (and many are my neighbours) live aimlessly or are waiting to die – a very sad situation, indeed.

You can retire only when you fulfil these 4 pre-conditions:

1. Your children are financially independent (e.g. they got jobs),
2. You have zero liability (all your borrowings are paid up),
3. You have enough savings to support your lifestyle for the rest of your life,
AND most importantly,
4. You know what you would be doing during your retirement.

DO NOT retire till you meet ALL 4 Pre-Conditions. And of course you should not retire if you enjoy working and are getting paid for it!

The problem cases I know of are those who failed to meet Pre-Condition #4.

When asked, “What would you be doing during your retirement?” some replied, “I will travel/cruise and see the World”. They did that, some for 3 months and then ran out of ideas. The golfers replied, “I can golf every day.” Most could not because they are no longer fit to play well enough to enjoy the game. Those who could, need to overcome another hurdle - they need to the find the “kakis” to play with them.

It’s the same with mahjong, bridge, badminton, trekking and karaoke – you need “kakis”! Most could not find others who share their favourite game and playing/singing alone is no fun. AND when they do find them, a few of them found that they are NOT welcomed like my obnoxious neighbour whom everyone avoids.

Thus if you are into group sports or games, you must form your groups BEFORE you retire. You need to identify your “kakis”, play with them and discover whether they “click” with you.

The less sporty “can read all the books bought over the years”. I know of one guy who fell asleep after a few pages and ended up napping most of the time! He discovered that he did not like to read after all. We do change and we may not enjoy the hobbies we had.

Routine Activities To Fill Your Week

For most people, your routine work activities are planned for you or dictated by others and circumstances. When you retire, you wake up to a new routine – one that you yourself have to establish as nobody else would do it for you!

The routine to establish should keep your body, mind and spirit “sharpened”. A good routine would comprise:

a) One weekly physical sport – you need to keep fit to enjoy your retirement. If you are the non-sporty type, you should fire your maid and clean your home without mechanical aids. Dancing and baby sitting are good alternatives.

b) One weekly mind stimulating activity – e.g. writing, studying for a degree, acquiring a new skill, solving problems or puzzles, learn or teach something. You need to stimulate your mind to stay alive because the day you stop using your brain is the day you start to die.

c) One weekly social activity – choose one involving lots of friends/neighbours. Get yourself accepted as a member to at least 3 interests groups. Unless you prefer to be alone, you do need friends more than ever as you get older and less fit to pursue your sport.

d) One weekly community service activity – you need to give to appreciate what you have taken in this life. It’s good to leave some kind of legacy.

With 4 weekly activities, you got 4 days out of 7 covered. The remaining 3 days should be devoted to family related activities. In this way, you maintain a balance between amusing yourself and your family members. Any spare time should remain “spare” so that you can capitalise on opportunities that come your way like responding to an unexpected request to do a job or to take advantage of cheap fares to see places or to visit an exhibition.

Mind stimulating activities

Most judges live to a ripe old age. They use their brains a lot to decide on cases. I am sure MM Lee’s brain works overtime. He’s 80+ and still going strong. In “Today” you would have read of 2 inspiring oldies. One is a granny who learned to play the guitar at age 60 to entertain his grandchildren. She’s 70+ today and those grandchildren have grown to play with her. Another is an Indian radiologist who on retirement, qualified as an acupuncturist. He’s age 77 and still offers his services (by appointment only) including free ones to those who have no income. I guarantee you that they are happy people who discovered a “2nd wind” to take them to the sunset with a smile on their faces.

Mind stimulating activities are hard to identify. They require your will to do something useful with the rest of your life, a mindset change and the discipline to carry it through.

Your Bucket List

Despite your busy routine, you will at times be bored. Then it’s time to turn to your Bucket List.

Your bucket list contains a list of things to do before you kick the bucket. They are not routine and are usually one off activities. You need them to have something to look forward to. These include anniversaries, trips (and pilgrimages), visits to friends and relations abroad, re-doing your home, attending conferences (related to your hobbies), acquiring a new set of expertise. 4 such activities that are spaced our quarterly would be ideal.

Retirement Is A Serious Business

If you can afford to retire and want to, do prepare to live to your fullest. You need to be fit to enjoy it – therefore get into shape now. You do not want to get up on a Monday and wonder what to do each week, therefore identify your set of weekly routine activities now and try them out to confirm that they are the activities that you will be looking forward to doing each week, week after week. You bucket list of “rewards” or “projects” or “challenges” is needed to help you break away from the routine thereby make live worth living. Start listing what you fancy and refine it as you chug along in your retirement. You will have so much fun, you would wish you were retired since your turned 21!

I will be happy to share my personal retirement experience with mariners. Just write to me.

Cheng Huang Leng

How to Retire – Q&A

My article on “How to Retire” triggered many mariners to pose questions like these:

Q: Any problems if I share your article with my other friends?

A: No problem! Do feel free to share my thoughts with any person whom you feel would benefit. There is no need for acknowledgement or to ask me for prior permission.

Q: Should I not create a "passive" income - so that even when we are not working, there is something coming in?

A: I think it’s neater to saved enough money to support the lifestyle of our choice WITHOUT depending on (or expecting) any other sources of income during retirement. However, any such “income” that comes your way e.g. rent from property, dividends from shares, and money from your kids or the will of your favourite auntie, should be treated as “bonus” that could be used to pay for your “dream” list. A dream list comprises items that you would dream of doing if you got the money! A bucket list should comprise items that you can already afford to do before you kick the bucket.

Q: How much is “enough” to save for retirement?

A: Enough is a relative word - hence none can agree to a number. I am told that Aristotle Onassis used to get his crew to fly his personal jet from London to Paris every morning to buy a loaf of bread for his breakfast! For him, I suppose a million a month would just about meet his living costs! On the other hand I know of many who are quite happy living in Singapore on $1,000 a month. You can live comfortably elsewhere for $200 a month. For my current lifestyle, my wife and I spend about $36,000 annually.

Q: It’s good to carry on working and get paid even after 55 or 60. However, the stress that is to be overcome can probably do a lot of damage to the ageing person, true or false?

A: Stress is good if you enjoy what you do. It’s bad otherwise and the damage to you is part and parcel of your job. Thus, be clear and honest with yourself as to why you continue to work when you can afford not to. 
Createweath8888 like his answer!

Q: I plan to open a small fishing tackle shop so that my spouse and I can spend time in the shop after we retire.

A: To me, true retirement activities are those where you spend your savings instead of make money. Thus I would consider operating a shop like yours a "hobby" meaning you do it for the fun (or pain?) and without expecting any monetary returns. In fact, it is even better if you expect to lose all your money on the venture! If you expect to make money, then it should be treated as a business. In that case, you have not yet retired.

Q: Should not one also keep spiritually healthy? So, may I suggest that one day (usually Sunday) be kept for the Lord?

A: A weekly spiritually stimulating activity would be a great idea. Renewing one’s faith is one such activity. For those who are not religious, it means identifying an activity that will help you renew (and/or reinforce) your commitment to your set of beliefs, principles and values. They are important because they are your anchor points. You lose them and you will lose purpose, meaning in life, etc. One good way is to read (books and/or articles) and reflect. Those not keen on reading can always reflect in somewhere quiet e.g. in a park, among trees or in a cave!

Q: I enjoy my work, I feel needed and I am getting paid. Why should I retire?

A: I agree that you should not retire BUT, you cannot work forever UNLESS you own the business! Thus if you are on a year to year extended contract, you should plan for the day when you are not needed anymore!

Q: I was planning to retire when my youngest son completes his studies and get a job etc but life threw a few surprises at us once in a while. I am 48 this year and will be expecting one more child in January (accident!!). Looks like I will have to shelve this thought for a while.

A: You can still retire as planned. A child does not require much money to bring up IF you DIY (i.e. no maids), use recycle toys and stuffs (just ask our mariners) and let him grow at normal pace (i.e. no mind camps and piano lessons). Let him enjoy his childhood fighting with other kids, climbing trees, catching spiders and getting into trouble! And when you do it yourself, you will not have time for any of your routine retirement activities till he is able to fight with other kids without your help. From my personal experience of helping to raise my grandson 5 days a week from 7.30 to 7.30, I am exhausted and would collapse at 8.30 pm and sleep like a baby till morning and I am mentally challenged thinking of things to do to keep him from being bored!

By the way, you should get your older children to share the chores and if they are working, to even contribute to the “accident” project fund.

Q: Can you arrange for "potential future retirees" to form a "kaki club" - especially mariners who can share the same passion and interests and keep in contact with each other?

A: Yes I can help form SIGs (Special Interest Groups) and that’s the easy part. The hard part is for you to develop and list your “passions and interests”.

The following suggestions/ideas were received. Thank you for sharing.

1. Perhaps one thing a retiree can do is to write his own life story and pass on to his children.

2. Retirees should mix with younger people and not only with retired peoples. From experience, I know that retirees who see their "kakis" kicking the bucket one by one, slowly become withdrawn as they start to fear for the day of their going. Unless, one is spiritually prepared, the fear can be overwhelming.

3. One must feel needed. You can be needed by becoming someone’s "kaki" or a guardian.

4. One activity to pursue is re-educating yourself and then you pass it on. You will be busier than working full time but every minute will be fruitful and joyous. This is due to meeting more and more people of all ages and kind. The really wonderful thing is you can pull back anytime you feel like it and to fuel it with unlearning, relearning, looping back to those who want to know. And of course some of the wonderful people you meet actually provide sustenance too.

I like to thank mariners who posed the above questions. They have helped to plug the gaps in my article.

I would also like to thank mariners (and there were many) who wrote to share their retirement experience and to thank me for my article.

Yours sincerely,
Cheng Huang Leng

Risks And Returns - Part 2

Risks And Returns

Low Risk High Return

In the real investment world, there is no such thing as Low Risk High Return; otherwise investing becomes so simple. Even uncles and aunties also can become fund managers. 

During market crashes, the yield of some financial instruments at that moment are rising due to the perceived risks are increasing

Potential buyers are demanding high returns for taking perceived higher risks. When the perceived risk gets higher, the yield must get even higher; otherwise the market will never find willing buyers. However, there will be some brave early buyers who believe such higher risks are not real.

In the market, from time to time, there may be some isolated opportunities for low risk high return available to some better informed ones; but soon load of buyers will come and chase them back to low risk low return.

So generally speaking, there is no such thing as low risk high return. If you happen to know such low risk high return financial instrument available to you, then keep it to yourself; otherwise load of buyers will come after them.

New survey shows 60% of Singaporeans want to retire by 60

By Satish Cheney

Posted: 22 April 2010 0631 hrs

SINGAPORE: A new survey showed that 60 per cent of Singaporeans want to retire by the time they reach 60 years of age.

However, only 40 per cent have developed - or intend to develop - a proper retirement plan.

The survey was commissioned by Russell Investments, a global financial services firm.

The aim is to show how Singaporeans are preparing for life after work.

The company said that less than 20 per cent have accessed professional financial advice when it comes to retiring.

More than 500 fully-employed Singaporeans aged between 35 and 55 participated in the poll conducted in December 2009 and January 2010.

A big fear for more than half the respondents is that they will outlive their money.

In fact, around 70 per cent said they are "very likely" to indulge in part-time employment when they retire.

"Singaporeans are actually preparing themselves for a decline in their quality of living during retirement - no wonder the majority of locals aren't looking forward to their retirement years," said Edmund Teo, Regional Director, Sales and Marketing at Russell Investments.

9 in 10 S'poreans do not feel well prepared for retirement - Revisit

Wednesday 21 April 2010

Saving matters but Investing determines - Part 2

Saving matters but Investing determines - Part 1

You work hard and squeeze yourself to save $50K each year and save that $50K into a bank. In less than 20 years, you will become a Millionaire.

But, instead of saving the $50K in a bank, you choose to invest most of the $50K saving e.g. 90-95% in the stock market. Can you be definitely sure that you will become a Millionaire in 20 years time? You can't never be sure.

LP wrote this First deserve, then desire.

Everybody who are in the stock market believe that they deserve and then desire. Those who think that they don't deserve have already chopped their fingers and stay away from the stock market as they don't desire anymore.

Mr Market is a great re-distributor of your hard earned saving. Mr Market may re-distribute part of the saving from the Smart Savers who are Dumb Investors to the Smart Investors who then become happy Spenders.

If you don't believe me. Read this: Resident wants ban on CPF cash for investments

If you have decided to invest most of your saving into the stock market instead of putting them into a bank; then it is very important to stay focus on your investment.

Your investing journey is a long road ahead to success or failure. Watch your steps carefully as any silly investment mistakes in between the journey can wipe out most of your investment. Take care and have a safe journey!

Tuesday 20 April 2010

Personal Inflation Rate and Market Inflation Rate - Revisit

Inflation Risk and Sing Dollar Currency Risks - Part 2

Personal and family inflation rate may be higher or lower than the Market inflation depending on your lifestyle and life stage.

For examples, any inflation related to the following will not impact me much:

  • Cars - I don't drive
  • HDB flat - I already bought and fully paid up
  • Cigarette, cigars - I don't smoke
  • Liquor - I don't drink liquor
  • etc
Parents with children will have higher inflation rate than parents with grown up kids who are not staying with them.

So don't worry too much about market inflation as it may impact you less than expected  if you can adjust your lifestyle.

Keppel Land's Q1 profit climbs 75% to $64.7m


Keppel Land reported on Tuesday a 75 per cent climb in Q1 2010 net profit to $64.7 million, from $36.9 million a year ago.

The developer's earnings rose as it booked revenues from its Singapore residential projects and wrote back some cost provisions.

The group's revenue for Q1 2010 was $158.8 million, compared with $145.7 million for Q1 2009.

Earnings per share for the quarter rose 25 per cent to 4.5 cents from 3.6 cents a year ago.

Portfolio Management - Rate of Returns (Part 2)

Portfolio Management - Rate of Returns

For example:

Let say I want to have portfolio CAGR of 10% over 10 years period and during the market low, I managed to grab a portfolio of 10 dividend yield stocks of 10% each.

Do you think I can achieve portfolio CAGR of 10% over 10 years period with the same portfolio using re-investing all dividends strategy?

When market starts moving forward, its dividend yield may start falling and it becomes harder to re-invest the received dividends for same rate of returns at 10%.

It may take some time for market to come back to 10% dividend yield, and by then I will be nearer to the end of 10 years period. Game over liao. No CAGR of 10%

Portfolio Management - Rate of Returns

Portfolio Management - Diversification Is Your Friend - Part 2

What is your method for stock picking?

FA or TA or just buying on any major pullbacks or corrections?

What is your objective of coming into the stock market?

Having a positive returns over a long-term period

If your objective is to have a long-term (20 - 30 years) positive returns on your portfolio with re-investing all dividends and periodic adding of sizable capital, do you really need to do any serious FA or TA?

I don't think so. Probably you just need to save enough money to buy some on major pullbacks and buy little more on major corrections and build up a well-diversified portfolio of dividend yielding stocks of at least 4-5%.

You are more likely to have a positive returns on your portfolio for a long term period e.g. 20 - 30 years. The reason is pretty simple as the stock market by nature is forward bias as every company by nature will want to grow its business and the market will eventually price in its enlarged business.

With a well-diversified portfolio across different sectors, you can easily afford to throw away some rotten eggs without serious damages to the portfolio returns.

To optimize rate of returns over a limited time frame

For a small retail investor without periodic adding of sizable capital, you may have to use both FA and TA  to optimize your rate of returns. It is definitely harder to optimize rate of returns using dividend re-investing strategy.

Stock Picking Method

So your expected returns will determine your stock picking method that you should follow.

Monday 19 April 2010

Will Writing - Joining The Discussion - Part 2

Will Writing - Joining The Discussion

I always thought that we will need millions of dollars to set up a private Trust for our young kids. This is what I have found and an email reply:

Thank you for your online enquiry.

Our Trust set-up starts from S$3,000, depending on the complexity.
Please feel free to contact me to discuss further.

Thanks & Best Regards
Zhang Ziyu
Manager (Trust, Corporate & Fiduciary Services)
Rockwills Trustee Limited (200806006K)
Trust Business License No.TC000040-1
A: 10 Anson Road, #28-16, International Plaza, Singapore 079903
D: (65) 6221 8635
F: (65) 6538 1362
M: (65) 9667 6827
E: ziyu@rockwills.com
W: http://www.rockwills.com

Sunday 18 April 2010

Eight money archetypes

By Christopher Tan
CEO, Providend

The Innocent

The Innocent tends to take the ostrich approach to money matters. Innocents often live in denial, burying their heads in the sand so that they won't have to see what is going on around them. Innocents are easily overwhelmed by financial information and rely heavily on the advice and opinions of others. Innocents are perhaps the most trusting of all the money types.

The Victim

The Victim money type is prone to living in the past and may blame their financial woes on external factors. Victims generally have a litany of excuses for why they are not more successful and are often very attached to their 'story'. That is not to say that bad things haven't actually happened to the Victim. More often than not, Victim money types have been abused, betrayed, or have suffered some great loss.

The Creator/Artist

Creators/Artists are generally those who are on a spiritual or artistic path. They often find living in the material world difficult and frequently have a conflicted love/hate relationship with money. They love money for the freedom it buys them, yet they have little or no desire to participate in the material world.

The Martyr

Martyrs are so busy taking care of others' needs that they often neglect their own. Financially speaking, Martyrs generally do more for others than they do for themselves. They often rescue others (a child, spouse, friend, partner) from some circumstance or other. However, Martyrs do not always let go of what they give and are repeatedly let down when others fail to measure up to their expectations.

The Fool

The Fool plays by a different set of rules altogether. A gambler by nature, the Fool is always looking for a windfall of money by taking financial short-cuts. The Fool lives very much in the moment and is quite unattached to future outcome.

The Tyrant

Tyrants use money to control people, events, and circumstances. The Tyrant hoards money, using it to manipulate and control others. Although Tyrants may have everything they need or desire, they never feel complete, comfortable, or at peace. The Tyrant's greatest fear is loss of control.

The Warrior

The Warrior sets out to conquer the money world and is generally seen as successful in the business and financial worlds. Warriors are adept investors - focused, decisive, and in control. Although Warriors will listen to advisers, they make their own decisions and rely on their own instincts and resources to guide them.

The Magician

The Magician is the ideal money type. Armed with the knowledge of the past, the Magician has made peace with his personal history, and understands that his source of power exists within, in his ability to see and live the truth of who he is.



So are you the Magician and his Secret Of Compounding?

Retiring well?

invest, April 18, 2010, the sundaytimes

"Here is an accumulation strategy for retirement provided by First Principal Financial's chief Mohamed Salim"
  • The investor is 37 and intends to start investing $7,000 every five years for the next 25 years
  • He is aiming for a modest return on investment (ROI) of 6% per as he is a low-risk investor.
  • No fancial investment is needed to achieve a 6% return on investment, just a good and consistent investment stratgey by spreading into a portfolio of asset classes such as bonds, unit trusts and life insurance that is continuously monitored and re-balanced, according to Mr Salim.
Is this realistic for a low-risk investor to compound at 6% ROI over 25 years with market cycles full of bulls and bears by just averaging up every five years.

What if the averaging up at every 5 year was unfortunately done near bull market peak?

What if towards the last few years of 25 years period, another Greater Bear in the same magnitude of 2008 Bear hit him?

Frequency Of Bear Markets

Bear markets, defined as a period where the market goes down 20% or more, from peak to trough, happen frequently; in the last 108 years, from 1900 - 2008, 32 times, or about 1 out of every 3 years. The average length of a bear market is 367 days

How can he mitigate such risks?

Investing in businesses that you know - good strategy?

I believe you know your company's businesses well enough to adopt such strategies - Investing in business that you know. Will you  invest more into your company stock? Is this a good strategy?

I really doubt it. I didn't own a single unit of my company stock for one simple reason - protecting the down side.

If my company performs well, I will likely to benefit from its good performance by getting better bonuses.

But, what will happen to me if I hold large position of my company stock in my portfolio and the company doesn't perform well?

Its stock price may fall badly and my investment portfolio also get hit. I may face the risk of bonus cut or in the worse case got retrenched. Double whammy, right?

50 and relaxed?

More men quit workforce in their 50s; NTUC wants more workers to be re-employed

thesundaytimes April 18, 2010


50 and relaxed?

Mr Editor, sure or not?

I seem to meet more and more "50 and worried".

Of course I am excluding those who have Bank of Papa or Mama behind them as they are relaxed at any age.

All Investments by nature is risky.

sundaytimes April 18, 2010

"Budget hotels move in ... then sex workers follow"
"Residents are upset over influx of prostitutes into some neighbourhoods"

What in the mind of those property investors in Kovan area now?

Property investment over long term is generally safe but bad things do happen more than expected. Who will expect a quiet and boring Kovan turning into mini Geylang?

Saturday 17 April 2010

Stock market investing is like playing snakes and ladders

You may be fortunate to climb a few ladders up but
unfortunately to step on one gaint snake down. There you go!

You may be fortunate to step on a gaint ladder up but don't be so happy yet.

3 pictures complete it all

4 panels say it all but it doesn't tell you the rest of it. This 3 pictures complete it all!

The moral of the picture: Don't worry too much. They take turn to come.

Time for investors to reflect?

Three newly-unveiled plots to yield 3,150 units in total; supply rate is now at 150 units a day

by Colin Tan 05:55 AM Apr 17, 2010

SINGAPORE - The simultaneous release of four residential sites on Tuesday just three weeks after the first set of three plots were unveiled must give cause for concern for the 1,761 buyers who bought units from developers last month.

Together, these seven sites are expected to yield 3,150 units. To put it across in the starkest possible way, this supply is at the rate of 150 units per day. If you annualised this figure, it is 54,750 units a year.

Actually, the numbers could potentially be 15 per cent more if developers continue to turn out tiny but more marketable apartments. Of course, this would be assuming new supply continues at this rate for the next 12 months.

In comparison, the exceptionally good years in 2007 and last year achieved sales of more than 14,000 units each.

The latest news release from the Housing Development Board (HDB) says: "The Government will continue to monitor the property market closely and make available sufficient supply in the market to meet the demand for home buyers. If necessary, more supply can be injected via the GLS Programme" second half of this year.

Do we take this dare seriously? After all, they have been repeating this for the past year. The difference this time is that they have finally backed it with more than just a token supply.

The HDB said the supply of 10,550 homes for the first half of 2010 from the confirmed and reserve list is the highest in the scheme's history. When developers' sales for March was released on Thursday, some analysts chose to read the jump in sales negatively. They reasoned that when sales came in at around this figure previously, it triggered "cooling" measures from the authorities.

I would suggest, the greater threat facing investors now, is with the increased supply rather than the anticipated cooling measures which may only affect prices. Then again, not at all, if they continue to be merely symbolic.

Look at China. The authorities have been introducing measures which have far more bite but have not really succeeded in reining in prices.

They have raised mortgage rates, re-imposed a sales tax, introduced higher deposits for land purchases, banned banks from lending to builders hoarding land or holding back homes sales in anticipation of higher prices. All to no avail.

Property prices rose at a record pace in March. Residential and commercial prices in 70 cities climbed 11.7 per cent on average from a year earlier. Haikou, the capital city on the southern island of Hainan, had the biggest gain, with a 53.9-per-cent jump in overall prices. Sanya, also on Hainan followed with a 52.1-per-cent increase.

If 2010 turns to be another good year for the Singapore market, it would mean three exceptional years - besides 2007 and 2009 - in four years. Can the market truly digest three very good years of supply? Prior to 2007, the market was only absorbing an average of between 8.000 and 10,000 units per year.

Within the public housing sector, the HDB has indicated that it will put out about 12,000 units this year. It is already ahead of schedule. Judging by the number of Built-to-order flats (BTOs) it launched for the first four months, it is on track to finish with 14,000 or more. The Board has indicated that it will push out more BTOs if there is demand for it. This is more than the 11,000 over units it built between 2006 and 2008.

At this rate, will there be enough future HDB upgraders to support the lower end of the private housing market in three years time when all the private units sold in 2009 and 2010 start to complete?

Satisfactory answers must be found if the investments are not to be mere gambling plays.

Time, Leverage, and Currency Rate

Time, leverage, and foreign currency exchange rate is a double-edged sword. It cuts both way. I don't like to be cut by my own sword so I remove these elements in my investing strategies.

This is what I am doing.
I take my time, slowly, carefully and re-balancing myself and moving towards my end goal.
I know I will be safe if I happen to fall.

Friday 16 April 2010

CapitaLand Q1 net profit more than doubles


CapitaLand on Friday reported a net profit of $115.4 million for the first quarter ended Mar 31, 2010. This is 2.7 times the $42.9 million earned a year ago.

Revenue rose 41 per cent over the same period to $687.3 million, with contributions coming largely from residential development projects in Singapore, China and Vietnam. There were also higher contributions from service residence operations.

The property giant's earnings per share in Q1 was 2.7 cents, up from 1.2 cents in the previous year.

Macarthur Coal update on CITIC voting intentions

Further to its update earlier in relation to the advice received from POSCO and ArcelorMittal in relation to their respective voting intentions at the Macarthur Shareholders Meeting scheduled for April 19th 2010, Macarthur advises that it has received advice from its largest shareholder, CITIC Group as follows

In response to your request, CITIC Group advises that based on analysis of all information currently available to it, CITIC Group is supportive of the rationale for the Noble/Gloucester transactions. Further, CITIC Group appreciates and supports the efforts made by Macarthur’s Board and management to grow the company and to build it into a leading independent coal company in Australia.

However, no decision has been made by CITIC Group as to how it will vote on the resolution at the EGM scheduled for April 19th 2010. CITIC Group will continue to carefully monitor and analyze all developments ahead of the EGM and, as you would expect, CITIC Group expressly reserves the right to vote its 22.4% shareholding at the EGM in any manner that it determines in its absolute discretion.”

9 in 10 S'poreans do not feel well prepared for retirement - Revisit

9 in 10 S'poreans do not feel well prepared for retirement

Revised version:

Let assume the following:

1) Year 1 draw-down at 4% of  your Retirement Fund at 55
  • expected Year 1 expenses is $40K, then Retirement Fund of $1M (25x$40K) is required
  • expected Year 1 expenses is $30K, then Retirement Fund of $750K (25X$30K) is required
  • expected Year 1 expenses is $20K, then Retirement Fund of $500K (25X$20K) is required

2) Inflation rate at 3%. (More articles related to inflation)

3) CPF Life providing yearly income at $12K from 65 onwards (assuming CPF minimum sum)

4) CPF OA balance at $300K to earn compound rate at 2.5%

5) $500K to invest in stocks with success rate at 40% of $500K providing 5% return
    (40% of a basket of dividend yield blue chips at 5% return is possible by an average investor)

6) $200K cash as liquidity earning compound interest rate at 1%

7) Medisave - additional source of fund

8) Residential home - Only as the last source of funding

You begin your yearly draw down from your CPF OA at 55, and after exhausting your CPF OA, then the draw down comes from liquidating stocks, and lastly the draw down comes from Cash fund.

It is enough to last you from 55 to 78. Cheers!

$5.2b offered for Macarthur Coal

US miner Peabody ups the ante for world's biggest exporter of pulverised coal

05:55 AM Apr 16, 2010SYDNEY - United States firm Peabody Energy yesterday raised its takeover offer for Australia's Macarthur Coal to A$4.07 billion ($5.2 billion) from a previous A$3.56 billion in an attempt to deliver the knockout blow in a fierce takeover battle for the world's biggest exporter of pulverised coal.

The bid may be high enough to force Macarthur to reconsider its proposed takeover of fellow Australian miner Gloucester Coal and associated transactions with Singapore-listed Noble Group.

It could also flush out a rival bid for Macarthur from Anglo-Swiss mining giant Xstrata, which Macarthur said had approached its major shareholders but has yet to launch a formal offer.

Peabody's latest offer of A$16 in cash for each Macarthur share beats its previous offer of A$14 and trumps a rival bid from Australia's New Hope, which is offering either its own shares or a cash alternative of A$14.50 a share capped at A$950 million.

Peabody's readiness to raise its offer shows companies are becoming increasingly willing to risk placing big bets on an Asian-led recovery in demand for commodities, including pulverised coal.

Two people closely watching the takeover battle told Dow Jones Newswires the fresh bid from Peabody looked like a game-changer that would likely force Macarthur to again delay a shareholder vote on the Gloucester transaction due on Monday. Macarthur has rejected previous offers as too low.

Macarthur's board is to hold a meeting today to consider the proposal. It urged shareholders to take no action on Peabody's bid.

Peabody has warned its proposal would lapse if Macarthur goes ahead with the shareholder vote scheduled for next Monday or if the Gloucester and Noble Group deals proceed, but a Macarthur spokeswoman wouldn't comment on whether Monday's meeting will be postponed.



The market is never short of Jaws.

Wednesday 14 April 2010

Keppel fortifies market leadership in Brazil with new shipbuilding yard

Singapore, 14 April 2010 – Keppel Offshore & Marine Ltd (Keppel O&M), through its wholly-owned Brazilian subsidiary, Navegantes Maritime Construction and Services, has entered into an agreement with Brazil’s TWB Group to acquire the Estaleiro TWB shipyard in Navegantes, Santa Catarina. This acquisition is subject to the fulfillment of conditions by TWB Group.

This 7.6-ha shipyard will be operated by Keppel O&M’s specialised shipbuilding arm, Keppel Singmarine. It has a 300-metre long waterfront and is equipped with a slipway, pipe and hull shops and an outfitting quay. Keppel O&M’s total investment in the yard, including further capital expenditure to upgrade and modernise the facility, will be in the region of about US$50 million.

Mr Chow Yew Yuen, President (the Americas) of Keppel O&M, said, “Our latest acquisition reinforces Keppel O&M’s Near Market, Near Customer strategy, and complements our BrasFELS yard in Angra dos Reis in offering a slew of comprehensive solutions for Brazil’s offshore oil and gas sector.

“Petrobras has announced plans to charter some 147 locally-built Offshore Support Vessels over the next five years, with at least 70% of the work on each newbuild to be carried out within the country. Through this new facility, we will bring our specialisedshipbuilding expertise to the doorsteps of Brazil’s offshore field development market to help satisfy the demand for robust support vessels.”

To be named Keppel Singmarine Brasil, the new yard will focus on the construction of Offshore Support Vessels such as Anchor Handling Tug Supply vessels, Platform Supply Vessels, Oil Recovery Support Vessels and harbour tugs, among others. It will also be equipped to undertake the fabrication of offshore modules, which will be an added advantage for Keppel to support the execution of major projects at the BrasFELS yard.

The modernisation programme planned for Keppel Singmarine Brasil will include upgrading the existing slipway, as well as constructing a new slipway, a wharf, heavy lift gantry cranes and pipe and hull shops fitted with modern machinery and equipment.

Keppel’s new yard is expected to be operational by the second half of 2010. At full capacity, it is estimated to be able to complete an average of eight vessels a year. “Keppel Singmarine Brasil is set to offer a one-stop solution for customised vessels, backed by our proven proprietary technology and engineering capabilities. I am confident that we have a compelling proposition for ship owners operating in Brazil, which will poise us to capture new opportunities and meet Brazil’s high local content requirements,” Mr Chow added.

The municipality of Navegantes, where Keppel Singmarine Brasil is based, is an hour’s flight from the city of Sao Paulo. The shipyard is located 110km north of Florianopolis, the capital city of Santa Catarina, and is 15 minutes by car to the Navegantes airport. It is also in proximity of supporting marine industries in the Navegantes and Itajai areas.

The above acquisition is not expected to have any material impact on the net tangible assets and earnings per share of Keppel Corporation Limited for the current financial year

Tuesday 13 April 2010

Noble opens grain and oilseed complex in Argentina

13 April 2010 Hong Kong

Noble Group (SGX: N21), a leader in managing the global supply chain of agricultural, energy, metals and other natural resources, is pleased to announce the start up of its new Oilseed Processing Complex, signifying its continued investment and expansion in Argentina. The complex, built adjacent to the Timbúes Port Grain Terminal, also establishes Noble’s first South American oilseed processing facility and expands the Group’s capabilities.

Since 2006, the Timbúes Port Grain Terminal has served as a key operational platform on the Paraná River, occupying 231 hectares and 2,100 metres of waterfront, making it the largest in Noble’s network of owned and operated facilities in South America.

The Oilseed Processing Complex has a present crushing capacity of approximately 3 million metric tonnes of soybeans per year and processes soybeans into high-protein soybean meal, pellets and soybean oil for export. In addition, it has a loading capacity of 5 million metric tonnes per annum. The facility is expected to enhance operating margins and increase efficiency of supply to Noble’s global customer base.

“At over 200 hectares, the Timbúes Port Terminal and Oilseed Processing Complex, is our largest facility in South America, with about half of the site still available for future expansion,” said Noble Group Chairman, Richard Elman. He added, “The world has a growing appetite and we are well positioned to supply oil, meal, corn and grains globally.”

Argentina is one of the world’s lowest cost soybean producers and has seen its crop triple since the mid 1990's to a present record 55 million metric tonnes. Argentina is also the world’s largest soybean meal and soybean oil exporter.

As an alternative to burning natural gas or fuel oil to power the Timbúes Complex, Noble has installed a state-of-the-art biomass boiler. Powered by locally sourced wood chips, it will satisfy the plant’s electrical and steam power needs, while minimizing the impact on the environment.

This announcement is not material for the purpose of the Singapore Exchange Limited Listing Rules.

Fed Rate up, STI down?

See for yourself the effect of Fed Rate on STI

Monday 12 April 2010

Low Risk High Return

Risks And Returns

I realize that "Low Risk High Return" can be made possible by the Product Creator by taking part of your money and distribute it as High Return back to you.

For a short while you will be getting high return; but I bet that your short-term happiness will soon turn into your worst nightmares when you can't get back your capital.

This is somewhat similar to upfront interests paid to you for your Fixed Deposit offered by some banks. It is just your little money back saving scheme. The interests paid at maturity is the real rate calculated on the deposit less the upfront interests.


More Money or More Pay

If you want to take home more pay, then work harder at your job to get more bonuses or keep getting promoted.

If you want more money; it doesn't necessary mean you work harder at your job. But, you must make your investment dollars work harder.

See the differences!

More Cash or More Stocks?

Bandwagon Music plays again

Is your mind  very busy now thinking of having more stocks to run with the Bull or having more cash waiting for the Bear?

Tough decision, right?

Sunday 11 April 2010

Portfolio Management - Diversification Is Your Friend - Part 2

Portfolio Management - Diversification Is Your Friend

Not only you need to manage your portfolio to diversify your stocks across sectors, you also need to diversify your family portfolio as part of risk management.

It is common that when a family has one or two savvy investors who know how to find good deals and the rest of family members just follow and all jump in e.g. husband buy and his wife follow, then his father and mother jump in too and soon their children Chinese New Year Ang Pow money also find its way into the same stock.

If unfortunately something really bad happen to the stock, the whole family suffers.

Stop thinking in terms - your money and my money.

Practise family financial risk management.

3 Ms of Trading – Mind, Method and Money - Part 3

3 Ms of Trading – Mind, Method and Money - Part 2

Ancient Chinese wisdoms for Method and Mind in Active Investing

"Knowing you need to stop, set a target"
"Knowing your target, the mind is calm"
"When your mind is calm, you become steady"
"When you are steady, you can think better"
"When you think better, you can achieve your success"

"Thing will have a beginning and ending"
"Knowing how it will begin and how it will end"
"Road to success is nearer to you"

Clear Target To Stop

Some may know that they need to stop but don't have a clear target how to stop. Most will say they will stop at the next bull. So are you clear where is the next bull?

When you don't know how to to stop, your mind is not calm during volatile market. You either become too fearful or too greedy.

Market is a Cycle

The road to success is nearer if you can learn to recognise the market cycle.

Saturday 10 April 2010

Before death do us part

Apr 10, 2010, TODAYonline News

The upward trend of marriages ending in divorce is making a mockery of traditional marriage vow.



We, humans by nature are problem solvers. If we can identify the source of the problems, we may want to resolve the problems by removing the source of the problems if possible.

Probably this is how it begins:

As one party begins to see the other half as his/her source of many problems and sorrows; and when unfortunately if the levels of happiness begins to decline and sorrows become unbearable; sooner or later the path towards divorce will be built.

Don't ever talk or mention that your other half is a source of your many problems or sorrows even though it may be true, but take the truth with you to your coffin.

Got cheated on Land banking, Oilpods, etc?

Stop getting cheated on these alternate investment and thinking they are much safer than investing in stock market.

At least in the stock market, the control of your investment lies in your hands. If you can learn and manage your portfolio and money management properly, then it is less risky than expected in terms of risk-reward.

You need to understand that ALL investments by nature are risky and can potentially cause you lose some or all your investing capital. Even if you get it right over several years, but somehow by over-staying in the market; and when the market turns, what was previously right became wrong or when suddenly you need to meet unexpected expenses and have to cash them out at the adverse market conditions.

Investment By Nature is Risky

The Dow briefly broke above 11,000 — the first time it's been above that level since September 2008

Closing 10,997.35 +70.28 +0.64%
By: Cindy Perman, JeeYeon Park

The Dow briefly broke above 11,000 — the first time it's been above that level since September 2008 — then settled a few points below that mark.

That wasn't the only benchmark this week: The CBOE volatility index closed at its lowest since October 2007. The 10-year yield crossed 4 percent for the first time, oil topped $87 a barrel and the Thomson Reuters same-store sales index hit a new record in March.

It was the sixth straight up week for stocks, the longest streak since April 2009.
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