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

Sunday 31 July 2011

A new risk marker for heart diseases

Createwealth8888: One good way to reduce and maintain low level of cholesterol in your body is to do long hours exercise like 2-3 hours of running, jogging or brisk walking on the road at one go.

Total Cholesterol Reduction

Phasic activities such as cross country running may help reduce the amount of total cholesterol in your bloodstream more effectively than static exercises such as weight training or wrestling. Phasic activities use more rapidly adaptive movements with relatively short periods of muscular contraction, whereas static activates require less movement and sustained muscular contractions. According to a study in the "Journal of Lipid Research," phasic activities reduced total cholesterol levels in test subjects, but static activities did not. The study reports that subjects that had greater cholesterol reductions also reported higher intensity activity, so more intense running may reduce your cholesterol level more than lower-intensity running.

HDL Cholesterol Increase

Running may promote higher HDL cholesterol levels in your blood. According to the American Heart Association, HDL cholesterol is "good" cholesterol, because it may protect you from heart disease by transporting cholesterol out of your arteries. The Peak Performance website reports that the more miles a woman runs may correspond with higher HDL cholesterol levels. Running 40 miles each week may increase a woman's HDL cholesterol and reduce her chances of developing heart diseases by 30 percent. Peak Performance reports that a man may experience higher HDL levels that reduce his risk for heart disease by 10 percent for every 10 miles that he runs in a week.

SINGAPORE: Obesity, high cholesterol and smoking are some well-known factors that can lead to heart disease.

But there is another measure that can push a group of seemingly-healthy people into the high risk category.

Doctors said C-Reactive Protein (CRP) levels can be a more accurate indicator of possible heart diseases.

A screening test that measures CRP in blood can be a more accurate indicator, say doctors.

While such screening tests are not for everyone, those above the age of 40 who go for regular screening may benefit most.

Associate Professor Tai E Shyong, Senior Consultant & Head, Endocrinology, National University Hospital, said: "The Singapore recommendation is that everybody above the age of 40 should have a cholesterol measure, should have a blood pressure measure, should have a blood sugar measure.

"Then you can combine all these information to a score that tells you the chances of having a heart attack the next ten years is five per cent, 15 per cent, 20 per cent. That's the first thing you have to do. You got to do a risk assessment. What we're saying is that those people who're high risk, they need treatment.

"Those people at low risk probably don't need a drug, so there's no decision to be made. It's specifically the people who are in between 10 and 20 per cent. If you measure CRP, and the CRP is high, you might be a little bit more aggressive with drug therapy."

Cholesterol drugs or statins may now be prescribed for those at moderate risk but a high CRP.

Currently, doctors prescribe such drugs known as statins to those with heart disease or who are at high risk.

Studies by European researchers suggests their risk of stroke and heart attack can be cut by about 50 per cent.

However, there are side effects to statins, such as headache, muscle pain, abdominal pain, weakness and nausea.

For this reason, Associate Professor Tai said it is not cost effective for low risk individuals to take statins to lower the risk of heart disease as the side effects may outweigh the benefits.

But he added the best prevention is still to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

"One of the things that is important to remember is that lifestyle modification can bring down CRP. In fact, one of the most effective ways to do it is to lose weight. The other thing that's important is that, if you smoke, you got to stop smoking."

- CNA/fa

Saturday 30 July 2011

Investing Made Simple by Uncle8888 (21)

Read? Playing The Game of Leverage (8)

Read? Investing Made Simple by Uncle8888 (20)

Hmm...  Uncle8888 you are debt-free. Why you never take a 30-years housing loan?  Housing loan is the cheapest loan in town you know hor. Walau, you not financially savvy leh!

Jessie Livermore once said in his three simple one liners:

In the stock market:
  1. Time is not money.
  2. Time is time.
  3. Money is money.
How many of you who are investing in the stock market fully understand them and appreciate these three simple one liners. Once you really understand them, you may think and act differently in your investing strategy and in your portfolio and money management.

In your life, there are three distinct phases related to wealth:

Phase 1: Consuming your parents' wealth
Phase 2: Accumulating your own wealth
Phase 3: Living off your own wealth or your children's wealth

However, there are some lucky fellows who are consuming part of their parents' wealth in all three phases. Unfortunately, most of us are not so lucky so we have to work harder in Phase 2 to accumulate wealth.

Phase 2: Accumulating your own wealth

You accumulate your wealth from earned income through employment, self-employment or doing businesses and also from investment return and capital appreciation in your investment portfolio.

During your wealth accumulating phase, the rate of inflation will pose a serious threat to your wealth. It may even diminish your wealth if you are not able to beat the inflation rate by bigger margin year on year. In another word, your goal investing should not be just beating inflation rate unless you are one of those high income earner with high net worth looking to preserve wealth.

In that story, the hare over slept and woke up too late to catch up with the tortoise and lost the race.

In the next race, the hare decided to change his race strategy. He knew himself well that and he would need to sleep somehow. So this time, when the race started, he went to take a nap and tortoise ran first. This time he took a shorter nap. After the nap he was full of energy and, he dashed down the road at triple speed.  

Do you think the Hare will win this race?

 Rate of Return during Wealth Accumulation Phase

Do you understand the moral of the story of the second race by the Hare and Jessie Livermore's three simple one liners?

When you are debt-free, you will have all necessary fire power and fuel you need and in better position to take higher risks for higher rate of returns.

When you are debt-free, it may be easier your spouse to quit her job and stay at home to take care of her family. When your spouse is taking care of day-to-day faimly affairs; it will leave you with more time to take care of your investment affairs.

When your investment do well, you can afford to slag a little in your office and gaining even more time for your investment activities.

Time is time. Money is money. Finally, for investing during your wealth accumulation phase, it is the rate of returns that will determine how you may end up in this phase. Like the Hare in his second race, he took a nap and then woke up with full of energy. He dashed down the road at triple speed and won the race.

Do you get it now?

DBS - Somehow bullish in a fearful market environment.

DBS is so bullish as it has managed to break out from a long period of weekly consolidation. Does it tell us that fund managers are more comfortable in parking their money with SE Asia largest bank. At $15.53, it is still a long way to go to its all time high of right adjusted price at $22.81

Trend of DOW vs. STI since 2008

STI doesn't look too bad in term of performance lately. Will more fear come and drive it sharply to follow DOW down trend? Place your bet.

Friday 29 July 2011

Protecting Our Portfolio From The Next Bear - Revisit

Last time Super Mum asked: "My concern now is to preserve my capital in case of the prolong 'bear' and become 20-30% losses. Any view on how to preserve capital?"

Are you asking the same thing too?

Read? Protecting Our Portfolio From The Next Bear

Jessie Livermore's Portfolio and Money Management idea

There are times when playing the stock market that your money should be inactive and waiting on the sidelines in cash and waiting to come into play.

In the stock market:
  1. Time is not money.
  2. Time is time.
  3. Money is money.
Often money that is just sitting can be later moved into the right situation at the right and make a vast fortune. Patience, patience, patience is the key to success not speed. Time is cunning speculator's best friend if he uses it right.

Olam closes US$1.25 bln syndicated term loan

SINGAPORE - Singapore commodities trader Olam International said on Friday it has successfully closed a $1.25 billion syndicated term loan facility.
The facility comprises a US$625 million three-year tranche and a US$625 million five-year tranche. Olam said it represents the largest syndicated financing for the firm to date.

The proceeds will be used for refinancing of existing debts, as well as for working capital and general corporate funding requirements, including capital expenditure and expansion of Olam's supply chain management business. -- REUTERS

Thursday 28 July 2011


Hyflux Ltd (“the Company”) would like to announce that a fire broke out on 28 July 2011 at its warehouse at the Project site.

The Project is now more than 80% completed. All building erected and equipment installed at the construction site are not affected by this fire. There is also no incident of personal injury arising from this fire.

The warehouse which caught fire is sited a few hundred metres away from the construction site for the Project. It houses equipment which are required to be incorporated into the Project. According to preliminary estimates, all related costs and damages arising from this incident are around USD 50 million.

As a result of this incident, all damaged equipment and other supplies will have to be reprocured. Thus, the Project completion is expected to be delayed till May 2012 instead of August 2011.

The Project is covered by a comprehensive construction all risks insurance policy with internationally reputable insurers. The Company will work with its insurers to investigate the cause of the fire and to make claims accordingly

Noble - More bulls come and break it?

Lian Beng’s FY11 net profit increases 100.7% to S$48.6mil;

Lian Beng’s FY11 net profit increases 100.7% to S$48.6mil;

proposes dividends of 1.6 cents per share

• Revenue increased 46.7% to S$507.3 million from S$345.7 million in FY10

• Cash and cash equivalents at a healthy S$149.9 million as at 31 May 2011, up 111.7% from S$70.8 million as at 31 May 2010

• Proposed dividends of 1.6 cents per share for FY11 is 100% more than 0.8 cents per share in FY10 and represents a stellar 4.2% dividend yield

• Robust order book of S$839 million to contribute towards top line through FY14


Createwealth8888: Half-yearly dividend for H1 2011 remains at $0.28 that translated to 3.6% yield for half year or 7.2% for full year for me. It is just a decent yield for keeping a too-big-to-fail bank for Singapore Govt in the portfolio.

SINGAPORE, July 28 (Reuters) - Singapore's DBS on Thursday posted a quarterly profit that was slightly above analysts forecasts, helped by strong loan growth as it rebounded from a loss a year ago when it took a goodwill charge.

DBS, Southeast Asia's biggest lender, made a net profit of S$735 million ($611 million) for April-June against a net loss of S$300 million a year earlier due to a goodwill charge on its Hong Kong business.

This was DBS's second-best profit number ever after it posted a record S$807 million net in the first quarter.

That compared with an average forecast of S$728 million, according to eight analysts surveyed by Reuters.

Excluding the goodwill charge, DBS's year-ago net profit was S$718 million.

The result marks the fourth straight quarter when DBS has posted better-than-expected earnings as CEO Piyush Gupta spearheads a recovery in the existing business and avoids expensive acquisitions. ($1 = 1.204 Singapore Dollars) (Reporting by Saeed Azhar; Editing by Kevin Lim)

Wednesday 27 July 2011

Biosensors Reports Continued Strong Sales and Operating Results for the First Quarter of Fiscal Year 2012

Highlights of quarterly performance:

 Continued robust revenue growth in Q1 FY12, with total revenue of US$57.0M, representing a 73% increase year-on-year

 Approximate six-fold increase in net profit over Q1 FY11 to US$22.6M

 Agreement announced to acquire the remaining 50% interest in JW Medical System Limited (“JWMS”) from Shandong Weigao Group Medical Polymer Company Limited (“Weigao”) subject to regulatory and shareholders’ approval

 Plans for Global LEADERS, the largest ever “all comers” randomized clinical trial between two drug-eluting stents, announced during the EuroPCR congress in Paris

 Terumo commenced sales of its Nobori drug-eluting stent in Japan during May resulting in an increased licensing revenue for the quarter

“This is yet another quarter of improvement in our product sales, achieved without any major new geographical market access,” commented Co-CEO Mr. Jeffrey B. Jump. “Our results reflect an increased penetration in existing territories, due to greater levels of acceptance of our products by physicians, as well as the launch of the Nobori stent in Japan.”

For Q1 FY12, Biosensors reported total revenue, including licensing and royalties, of US$57.0 million, a 73% increase over the same quarter of fiscal year 2011 (“Q1 FY11”). Total product revenue in Q1 FY12 was US$41.4 million, a 41% increase from Q1 FY11’s US$29.4 million.

Total Interventional Cardiology Products (“IVP”) revenue was US$37.7 million, a 43% increase from Q1 FY11’s US$26.3 million. The increase was primarily driven by continued growth in the sales of the Company’s BioMatrix™ family of drug-eluting stents (“DES”). Total Critical Care Products (“CCP”) revenue for Q1 FY12 was US$3.7 million, a 23% increase from Q1 FY11’s US$3.0 million.

Licensing and royalties revenue in Q1 FY12 grew to US$15.6 million. This is an approximate four-fold increase over Q1 FY11’s revenue of US$3.6 million.
Gross margins on total product sales were 74% in Q1 FY12, an improvement of 1% from Q1 FY11. This was driven primarily by the shift in product mix towards the Company’s higher margin DES products, combined with increased economies of scale in manufacturing.

Sales and marketing expenses were US$16.1 million in Q1 FY12 compared to US$9.4 million in Q1 FY11. The increase was due to higher payroll and related expenses associated wit the build up of the sales and marketing function as well as higher expenses for participation in medical congresses and travel.

General and administrative expenses were US$6.1 million in Q1 FY12 compared to US$4.5 million in Q1 FY11. The increase was mainly attributable to higher professional and patent renewal fees, as well as increased payroll-related and travel expenses.

Research and development (“R&D”) expenses, which include costs for new product development and testing, clinical trials and regulatory approvals, were US$4.4 million in Q1 FY12 compared to US$3.2 million in the prior year’s corresponding period. The increase was mainly due to higher clinical trial expenses.

Included in the Q1 FY12 results is the equity method of accounting for the Company’s 50% ownership interest in JWMS. This resulted in a net income of US$4.1 million, compared to US$5.2 million for Q1 FY11.
For Q1 FY12, the Group reported a net profit of US$22.6 million or 1.68 US cents basic earnings per share (“basic EPS”) and 1.64 US cents diluted earnings per share (“diluted EPS”), compared to a net profit of US$3.2 million or basic EPS of 0.30 US cent and diluted EPS of 0.29 US cents for Q1 FY11.

Excluding the fair value adjustments for warrants, net profit would have been US$24.1 million, or basic EPS of 1.80 US cents and diluted EPS of 1.76 US cents. For Q1 FY11, excluding the restructuring charges related to the closure of the U.S. operations and fair value adjustments for warrants, net profit would have been US$9.9 million or basic EPS of 0.93 US cents and diluted EPS of 0.90 US cents.

The Company continues to expect its full year FY12 total revenue to be 50% - 60% higher than its full year FY11 total revenue. In this assumption, the Company anticipates to complete the acquisition of the remaining 50% equity of JWMS within the second quarter of this fiscal year, subject to regulatory and shareholders’ approval.

"Looking ahead for this new fiscal year, we believe the market dynamics will continue to improve for Biosensors,” concluded Co-CEO Dr. Jack Wang, “This last period represents our fifteenth consecutive quarter of product sales growth. We will continue to invest in our sales and marketing channels to maintain this sales momentum. During the past quarter, we announced the intention to take over the remaining equity of JWMS from our JV partner. Subject to various approvals, once this deal is concluded, it will present better opportunities for Biosensors in China. Last but not least, we remain committed to investing in R&D to develop superior cardiovascular solutions for the future."

Happiness within?

We may not be sure on how to increase the happiness level in the future; but we can be sure what will decrease the happiness level. If we have one more thing to worry for the future and if that worry come true it will definitely bring down our Happiness Score or Index.

Long-term committed expenses

Our two long-term future expenses are monthly mortgage payment for residual home and life insurance premiums payment. Once they were started, we will have little choice but to find all means to cover them till their end.

I believe no one with the right mind will want to pay their insurance premiums sooner than expected. So we are now left with mortgage payment. This one will require us to clearly think through. Every one has to decide for themselves what is happiness within. Is that feeling of richness in us happiness within?

Read? debt-free — and that, to me, is richness enough

Healthy body and not on long-term medications

Anyone on long-term medications is unlikely to increase his or her Happiness Score or Index. One way to make our body as healthy as possible is through continuous long hours e.g. 2-3 hrs exercise. This is what learned from my seniors who are not on any long-term medications. They either run or jog long distance for few hours on the road or swim more than 100 lapses in the pool.

I know it is very hard to do that. I too have that difficult. I know some of you guys swear by charting and technical analysis. Some of you love multi-bagger stocks.

Actually, continuous long hours exercise is just like seeing a chart for a stock. It is about testing supports and breaking resistances. Every time you are doing it on the road or in the pool. You are testing support and breaking resistance. You have to press on to test higher support and break higher resistance. Soon you see a strong uptrend on your BODY. After a few years of strong up trend, you will get a multi-bagger BODY.

Read more on Happiness?

Tuesday 26 July 2011

Singapore Offshore and Marine Sector

Petrobras announced its five year investment plan for 2011-15, after two earlier refusals by the company’s board. Investments of US$224.7 bn are in line with the previous plan of US$224.1 bn. Importantly, the quality of the spend seems to have a larger upstream focus, with investments of US$127.5 bn, 7% higher than the previous plan.

Petrobras announced that it has launched a new tender for 21 rigs after awarding the first batch of seven rigs to a Brazilian consortium led by EAS and cancelling the pre-existing tender in mid-April 2011.

The rig-building programme will proceed with the order of nonchartered units to be owned by Sete Brasil, a holding company established on 13 May 2011 backed by BNDES (Brazil’s state-owned development bank) with potential investment by other funds.

Petrobras will hold a stake of between 5% and 10% in Sete Brazil.

As the third and fourth lowest bidders in Petrobras’ tender for 28- deepwater rigs, we believe Keppel and Sembcorp Marine remain in a strong position to win drillship orders from Petrobras.

Singapore's GIC reports 20-year annualised return of 3.9%

SINGAPORE: The Government of Singapore Investment Corporation Pte Ltd (GIC) has reported achieving a 20-year annualised real rate of return, in excess of global inflation, of 3.9 percent for the financial year ended 31 March 2011.

The 20-year nominal annualised rate of return was 7.2 percent in US dollar (USD) terms.

The report presents the performance of the funds under GIC's management.

GIC has also published the 5-year and 10-year nominal rates of return to provide a sense of the on-going medium-term investment performance. GIC had previously only reported returns over 20 years.

The 5-year annualised return in USD terms was 6.3 percent net of fees with a volatility of 12 percent, while the 10-year annualised return was 7.4 percent with volatility 10 percent.

Mr Lim Siong Guan, GIC's Group President, said: "GIC has been on a steady course of increasing transparency since the release of its first "Report on the Management of the Government's Portfolio" in September 2008.

"This year, we have included the 5-year and 10-year nominal rates of return. These provide an intermediate measure of GIC's longer term performance. The 20-year annualised real rate of return remains the key focus for GIC as it is our mission to preserve and enhance the international purchasing power of the reserves."

Mr Ng Kok Song, GIC's Group Chief Investment Officer, said: "The 20-year annualised real rate of return for year ended March 2011 has improved from 3.8% of the year ended March 2010 to 3.9% of the year ended March 2011. This is due to the further recovery of equity markets.

"Although the global financial crisis is now behind us, we still face challenges in the economic and investment environment. The sustainable recovery of the developed economies remains uncertain, while the emerging economies face challenges in restraining inflationary pressure and currency appreciation.

"GIC will continue to respond nimbly to this challenging environment and maintain its focus on delivering good long-term investment returns for the Government."

- CNA/de

Playing The Game of Leverage (8)

Read? Playing The Game of Leverage (7)

When you don't play the Game of Leverages. This is what some people may think of you.  You are risk averse. You are financially less savvy. I heard it. Someone was saying that Createwealth8888 is risk averse. Another one thought that he is financially less savvy and has missed out making more money by not doing leverages. Really arh?

There are two issues here :
  1. Risk averse
  2. Financially less savvy

Building up your net worth (wealth)

Most of us will build up our net worth (wealth) mainly from earned income and partly from investment portfolio. Our earned income may come from job employment, self-employment or doing businesses; and capital injected into our investment portfolio come from saving more and spending less. However, there will be some lucky fellows who have rich parents contributing significantly to their net worth and/or by injecting huge capital into their investment portfolio.

Risk Averse

By not doing leverages, Createwealth8888 is deemed to be a person who is risk averse. When I heard it, I really want to laugh at these people. Such a shallow thinking! The only peoples who are risk averse that I know are those who park most of their money into bank fixed deposits and/or money market fund.

Speculating in the stock market is bloody risky business. Anyone who has some commonsense on stock market will know it. In another word, anyone who speculates in the stock market is either ignorance or not risk averse.

Do you still think that Createwealth8888 is risk averse? Please, don't let me laugh at you when I hear you say that again.

Financially Savvy

Since most of us are either working at our jobs or doing businesses to build up our net worth by earned income and partly by increasing the size of our investment portfolio through investment gains. Several things can happen here.

  1. If you become rich from your jobs; you have an excellent and outstanding career. You are among the top income earners in Singapore.
  2. If you become rich from businesses; you are an excellent and outstanding businessman in your industry.
  3. When you become rich from your investment portfolio; you are super investor or financially super savvy.

Is someone financially savvy or not?

It should be judged by the performance of his or her investment portfolio. It doesn't necessary mean that people do leverages are financially savvy. People who don't are less savvy. You shouldn't have such shallow thinking.

How do we measure and benchmark financially savvy?

Since most of us are doing our best to build up our net worth; may be one way is to measure the investment gains in the investment portfolio and benchmark it against his or her net worth.

For example, when the percentage of investment gains in the net worth (wealth) is more than X% ; we will assign it with the following score in a 10-point scoring system:

> 90% : 10
> 80% : 9
> 70% : 8
> 60% : 7
> 50% : 6
> 40% : 5
> 30% : 4
> 20% : 3
> 10% : 2
> 0% : 1

Unless you score more than 5 points, don't ever think that you are more financially savvy than Createwealth8888 who doesn't play the Game of Leverages.

With a score of just 5, I am an average investor so nothing to shout about.

Monday 25 July 2011


Sembcorp Industries announces that its solid waste management subsidiary, SembWaste, has been awarded a S$121 million, seven year contract by the National Environment Agency (NEA) to provide refuse collection and recycling services to the Bedok sector in Singapore.

With the contract, Sembcorp now serves five out of nine geographical sectors in the country. Refuse collection and recycling operations for the new sector will commence on November 1, 2011.

This transaction is not expected to have a material impact on the earnings per share and net asset value per share of Sembcorp Industries for the current financial year.

Rotary Engineering bags 13 contracts totalling S$40m

SINGAPORE: Mainboard-listed Rotary Engineering has clinched 13 contracts totalling S$40 million from April this year for projects based in Thailand and Singapore.

Singapore-based projects included a contract for mechanical works for an oil major, as well as for construction of two fuel tanks and a water tank for Alstom Power Singapore.

In Thailand, the group will embark on the construction of piping for Thai Tank Terminal and the building of 9 storage tanks for Thai Oil Public Company.

Rotary's chairman and managing director Chia Kim Piow said that the company will "continue to be vigilant in its pursuit for new and interesting projects".

Going forward, Mr Chia said that Rotary is keen to continue playing a part in the development of Singapore's oil and gas industry and infrastructure.

"We are still very busy prospecting for new business here in Singapore, in the region and further afield," he said.

"There are opportunities and we continue to field many enquiries. The challenge is to ensure that we select the right deals."

- CNA/cc

Singapore's June inflation up 5.2% on-year

SINGAPORE: Singapore's Consumer Price Index in June rose 5.2 per cent year-on-year.

This was in line with market expectations, and compares with the 4.5 per cent rise in May.

The upward cost pressures were concentrated in the usual sectors of transport, housing and food.

A rise in accommodation costs and electricity tariffs pushed up housing costs by 8.8 per cent.

The cost of transport increased by 10.4 per cent because of more expensive cars and petrol, while food prices rose 3.1 per cent on-year.

Education and stationery costs moved up 3.3 per cent and healthcare cost increased by 2.3 per cent.

Core inflation - which excludes more volatile items such as accommodation and transport - rose 2.3 per cent year-on-year.

On a month-on-month basis, headline CPI slipped 0.2 per cent, while core inflation remained unchanged.

On a seasonally adjusted basis, the Consumer Price Index rose by 0.4 per cent in June. Excluding accommodation costs, the June CPI was up 0.3 per cent.

- CNA/al

Sunday 24 July 2011

Twin pack, BCI -24 Black and Color - Brand new to be given away

I have so much problem in aligning the old printer to print nicely and decided to throw it and get a new printer. So now I have one box of Twin pack Canon BC1-24 Black (one pack open up) and one box of brand new Twin pack Canon BC1-24 Color to give away as part of Keep Green movement.

You want them. Pls email me. You have to collect them either at Hougang Mall or Hougang MRT station Control Room's Exit/Entry as handover point.

Home for Living and not for profit taking (6)

Read? Home for Living and not for profit taking (5)

Reading is easy and writing is hard. To keep writing more to defend a particular view is even harder. When it becomes necessary to defend it further, I will have no choice but to do it.

I will have no issue when peoples start debating Property vs. Stocks investing. Each side will share their own investing experiences and performance results. Each side will try to convince each other that one of them is more right than the other and I have no problem in accepting either conclusion. But, when some people start to compare their HOME vs. Stock investing, then I will have strong view. That is the reason why I have been writing several blog posts on "Home for Living and Not for Profit Taking."

Stocks are for investing or speculating. There is no doubt about it. If you have two or more houses; one of the houses will become your home and the rest of them can be for investing or speculating. But, if you only have one house and that is your home. Home is for living and not for investing or speculating for profit.

Why do we buy a house?

We will want to buy a house when we plan to get married and start a family. Some married couples may choose to remain as DINK (Dual Income No Kids) while some other married couples may SINK (Single Income aNd Kids) and most family will have kids.

Most of us when we married we will want to buy a HOME to begin a different phase of our life. A family life either with kids or without kids. A home is for living with our family. Unlike singles, they can choose to live in their existing home (in fact, it is their parents' home but one day can became theirs too). Singles can choose to buy a home for living and then have absolute freedom to do what they like within their home. Their parents cannot stop them.

Single can also choose to buy a house as second home to live and at the same time it can be a house (property) for investing or speculating. He/She can later sell his/her house for profit and return to his/her home (parents' home).

Home has Utility Value

Home has utility value. We utilize it for our living as a creature of comfort. Stocks don't have any utility value and we don't utilize our stocks for our living at all. Because home is a utility when we sell our home we have to replace it either by renting, buying a second home or moving back to stay with parents. But, when we sell our stocks, it is not necessary to replace them as stocks have no utility value.

Even if you sell your first home and replace with it a second home to live. The utility value of the two home  can never be the same. One of the them will have higher utility value.

Let get back to the case study of my ex-neighbour as it is easier to understand the utility value using real life example.

His first home sold will have higher utility value since it is just one bus stop away from the MRT station and his second home bought is a few bus stop farther away from it. In the past, he and his family members can comfortably walk to MRT station from their home within 5 minutes. But now, he and his family will have to walk so much farther distance to the MRT station or incur additional transport cost to take bus to the MRT station. So there is some hidden cost in his second home.

Profit taking from stocks are pure monetary gains and there is no hidden costs associated with it. Profit taking from home will have monetary gains as stocks; but it is never pure monetary gains like stocks. Your monetary gains in your sold home may come in the way of lower utility value in your second home with hidden costs often are unaccountable.

Do you still want to compare HOME vs. Stock Investing in term of monetary gains?

Think again. Home for Living and Not for Profit Taking.

Saturday 23 July 2011

Weekend Comment Jul 22: Keppel on top of its game

Home for Living and not for profit taking (5)

Read? Home for Living and not for profit taking (4)

Let re-visit the story of ex-neighbour who used to live one floor below.

After selling his 4 rm HDB flat and he bought another 4 rm HDB flat which is a few bus stops away from his previous flat.

So as case study, let us simplify some figure to make it easier to understand the Maths involved.

Cost of 1st flat = $55K
Sales of 1st flat = $300K
Paid back to CPF OA including back-date interests = $100K

So profit = $200K

Do you think that he made $200K multi-bagger profit on his 1st flat?

Let continue with the Maths.

His 2nd flat is just few bus stop away from his 1st flat and the 1st flat is just one bus stop away from MRT.

We can safely assume that the selling price of 2nd flat is definitely lower. Let assume $50K cheaper at $250K. He took a new 20 years loan of $150K with a bank after offsetting paid back to CPF of $100K.

Now he has $200K cash and $150K debt.

Did he actually make $200K multi-bagger profit on his 1st flat?

What is your answer?

A. He made $200K multi-bagger profit.
B. He didn't make any multi-bagger profit, his profit is just $50K i.e. $300K - $250K
C. He didn't make any multi-bagger profit. He made some profit. He swap $150K debt for $200K cash.

My answer is C. What is your?

Dividend Yield is good but avoid falling into potential Dividend Traps (2)

Read first? Investing Made Simple by Uncle8888 (12)

Read next? Dividend Yield is good but avoid falling into potential Dividend Traps

I thinking by reading in this sequence may be better in the thinking process.

I believe there are many bloggers, cboxers, forum particpants and investing kakis telling you that focusing on stock dividends as passive income is an important key to successful investing. Agree, right?

Perhaps, I am the rare blogger who dare to challenge you to rethink your investing strategy of focusing too much on passive income when you have no real need for it at this stage of your long investing journey and especially when you are not expecting to 'retire' from the workforce soon.

Friday 22 July 2011

Two faces of debt: The Good and The Bad

The Good

Unless your residential home is a gift from your parents, you will have no choice but to take up your housing loan as good debt. This is also the cheapest loan in town. But, before you start thinking that this housing loan is definitely good debt and there is no mistake about it. Now I ask you to make sober estimates of your ability to repay and to factor in the likelihood that you or your spouse may suddenly out of the workforce for awhile and unable to bring in that additional income to pay part of the monthly mortgage payment.

Other than debt for your housing loan, debt as an investment tool is good as long as your investment income can come and stay above your borrowing cost. Any investors who use lots of debt as investment tool will never think that they are less savvy in investing and bad things seldom happen.

The Bad

Unless you have personal friends or relatives who were bankrupt or near bankrupt; it is just too easy to under-estimate or tempt to ignore the possibility of investment failure. When you make huge investment loss using too much debts, the effect can be crippling. When you realize it is bad; it is often too late!

Dividend Yield is good but avoid falling into potential Dividend Traps

Re-posting this article under different label after reading an email from one reader.

In the stock market where does the Money come from?

A picture is worth a thousand words. When you see a picture, it will strongly embedded in your mind for a long time

As you can see from the picture. Companies DISTRIBUTE stock dividends and other Investors/Traders in the stock market all together significantly CONTRIBUTE to the capital appreciation of stocks. The amount of money distributed by companies is pale compared to the amount of money contributed by other investors/traders.

Firstly, you are either contributing to the market or are taking contributions from the market.
Secondly, are you aware of possibility of falling into potential dividend traps?
I think one reader has become aware of potential dividend traps from the following sentences in his email to me.  
" ...  I was led into thinking in the long run, the total return on a stock is mostly from the dividend return and not from the capital appreciation. I think I read it in Jeremy Siegel's books, if I'm not wrong. But since 2009, my real experience tell me, it's not true."

Reaching 55 soon - CPF Minimum Sum @ $131K

Just For Thinking ...

Read? Reaching 55 soon - The Last investing Goal!

CPF Minimum Sum

The Ministry of Manpower announced in August 2003 that the CPF Minimum Sum (MS) will be raised gradually to reach $120,000 (in 2003 dollars) in 2013. The increase in MS, which includes an adjustment for inflation, is to ensure that Singaporeans set aside sufficient savings for their retirement. In line with this policy, from 1 July 2011, the prevailing MS will be revised to $131,000, up from $123,000. Members who can set aside the MS fully in cash can apply to commence their monthly payouts of $1,170 when they reach their draw down age. The new MS will apply to CPF members who turn 55 from 1 July 2011 to 30 June 2012.


That minimum sum of $131K locked up at 55 and monthly payout of $1,170 or $14,040 per year commencing from 65 till 85 and that will give CPF members XIRR of 4.3% over 30 years.

I will use this benchmark of XIRR of 4.3% to set up my own 30 years retirement fund to beat it.

Thursday 21 July 2011

Olam International gets best CEO award

SINGAPORE: The Singapore Corporate Awards (SCA) held on Thursday went to 30 companies and six individuals for leading the way in corporate governance and shareholder communication.

The SCA comprises five categories, including Best Managed Board Award and Best Chief Executive Officer Award.

Corporate winners such as Olam International, Keppel, CapitaLand and Singapore Airlines walked away with several awards.

Singapore Airlines was recognised in three out of five awards, including that for Best Investor Relations.

Olam International clinched two awards, with its CEO Mr Sunny Verghese taking the title of Best CEO.

Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean, who was the guest of honour at the event, said it was important that corporate governance framework and practices keep pace with international developments.

"We cannot sssume that companies operating in Singapore will benefit from the greater inflow of capital to Asia," he said.

Companies would need to invest in building strong corporate governance. This will engender investor confidence and signal to their investors their ability to sustain performance, said Mr Teo.

- CNA/ck

Keppel Q2 profit up 9%, sees good prospects for rigs

Kep Corp - High Dividend Yield stock??

Read? High Dividend Yield Stocks? (10)

H1 Interm dividend at 17 cts translating to max dividend yield of 12.9% and average dividend yield of 6.6% for total holding.  Really shiok! Thank you to Kep Corp CEO & Staff

I have been receiving good dividends from Kep Corp since 2001.

Kep Corp is a good example of high yield and high growth is not mutually exclusive. In the next crisis, remember to watch for these stocks.

Kep Corp : 2Q & 1H 2011 REPORT CARD

Net profit improved 7% to S$696 million, compared to

1. 1H 2010’s S$651 million (restated).

2. Earnings Per Share of 39.2 cents, up 6% from 1H 2010’s 37.0 cents (restated).

3. Annualised ROE of 19.5%.

4. Economic Value Added of S$472 million.

5. Cash outflow of S$697 million.

6. Net gearing of 0.10x.

7. Interim dividend of 17.0 cents per share.

MAS revises inflation forecast to 4-5%

SINGAPORE: The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has revised upwards its headline inflation forecast to between 4 and 5 per cent for 2011.

This was announced at a media briefing to release its latest annual report and is higher from its previous forecast of between 3 and 4 per cent inflation.

MAS said this upward revision comes on the back of higher accommodation costs which were boosted by an unexpected surge in number of tenancy contract renewals at current higher rental rates, as well as private road transport costs as COE premiums rose faster than expected.

MAS said that headline inflation should be seen in perspective, adding that a better measure is core inflation.

MAS said its forecast for core inflation remains unchanged at between 2 and 3 per cent for 2011.

Mr Ravi Menon, managing director at MAS added that MAS is not entirely satisfied with the inflation situation.

Core inflation remains slightly above the historical average of 1.7 per cent.

MAS will continue to keep a close watch on inflationary pressures and developments in key export markets.

MTI and MAS are reviewing Singapore's GDP growth forecast, for now MAS says the 5 to 7 per cent growth remains intact.

However Mr Menon added that if a pick up from the downturn in Q2 is weaker than currently expected, growth could come in at the lower half of the range.

MAS made investment gains of S$12.3 billion but recorded an overall loss of S$10.9 billion, its largest loss in 40 years on the back of a strong Singapore dollar.

MAS said that the current monetary policy stance of appreciating the Singapore dollar nominal effective exchange rate (S$NEER) policy band set in April this year remains appropriate.

The next Monetary Policy Statement is scheduled for October.

Excluding exchange rate effects, MAS achieved income and net capital gains totalling S$12.3 billion during the financial year ended March 2011.

- CNA/cc

Some tenants in arrears hold landlords to ransom

Createwealth8888: When you are unlucky, you vomit blood in earning such investment income. Earning this type of income is really suck!


SINGAPORE: With Singaporeans increasingly turning to renting out their apartments for extra income, more disputes are flaring up between landlords and tenants, according to lawyers and property agents. And it is not only the landlords who are giving their tenants headaches.

Anecdotally, complaints of landlords being held ransom by tenants in arrears and refusing to move out are increasing.

Property agent G Rajan told Today that three out of 10 rental disputes in the last two years he handled, were from landlords. He said: "It's a lot of legwork and time spent going after the tenant."

A recent case involve a couple who were unable to drive out their tenant.

Mr Poh Boon Kay, 62, and his wife got SP Services to terminate the utilities account on March 7, hoping that this would prompt their tenant to move out.

However, the tenant lodged an objection to the termination. He got his lawyer to send a letter to SP Services citing that he was still residing at the premises and that termination of the tenancy was being disputed. The utilities services were restored.

In a letter to Mr Poh - which was seen by Today - SP Services said that, under the Electricity Act, it had an "obligation" to "supply utilities to occupants who require the supplies".

It added: "We have an obligation to reinstate the account opened by the tenant given that there is no sufficiently strong reason why we should not reinstate the account."

Mr Poh said his tenant "identified himself as a property agent and said he had clients and he would sign the tenancy agreement on their behalf". Mr Poh added: "Later, we found out that he had sublet the unit to some foreign women."

When contacted, the tenant declined comment.

In another case, nautical engineer M Gopalan said his tenant thrashed his Azalea Park unit and left him with S$4,400 worth of repairs.

The tenant also defaulted on payment three months into the tenancy and refused to vacate. Fortunately for Mr Gopalan, his property agent managed to contact the tenant's brother and eventually persuaded him to leave.

For most landlords, their only recourse is the legal route - taking out a court order to repossess the property and recover the arrears. But this entails cost and time, said lawyers.

Lawyer Abdul Rahman noted that a tenancy agreement is usually geared "towards the protection" of the landlord, and that the landlord has the "full option of the law" to go after the errant tenant.

Mr Rahman added: "(Landlords) need to cut their losses but the longer it takes to evict the tenant, the more the landlord is at the losing end ... There have been cases which went on for as long as four months in the courts."

Wednesday 20 July 2011

Ascott opens first serviced residence in India

SINGAPORE: Ascott, CapitaLand's wholly-owned service residence business unit, will open its first serviced residence in India and operations will start from August 1.

The 96-unit property - Citadines Richmond Bangalore - is strategically located along Bangalore's well-known Richmond Road in the Central Business District.

The property offers a mix of spacious studio, one- and two-bedroom apartments as well as facilities such as gymnasiums, conference facilities and serviced offices.

Ascott currently has six other properties under development in India, which will cost S$300 million when fully developed over the next three years.

Ascott's CEO Lim Ming Yan said: "Significant demand for serviced residences in India's fast growing economy has resulted in India being a key market for Ascott.

"Besides investment, we are also seeking opportunities for management contracts or lease agreements such as the Citadines Richmond Bangalore to grow our network in the country."

- CNA /ls

Tuesday 19 July 2011

My Net Worth Distribution Pie

When Singapore stock market crashes, I will feel poorer! Why?
Because 43% of my net worth comes from money made in Singapore stock market.


I have zero debts and no investment property. Net worth excludes residential home, CPF SA and MA.

Portfolio=Capital+Profits+Unrealized P/L = Stocks(Closing Px)+Cash Available for Investing

CIT’s distributable income increases and portfolio revalues upwards.

Key highlights include:

• 2Q2011 amount available for distribution was S$12.3 million as compared to S$11.9 million for 1Q2011. This translated to a 2Q2011 distribution per unit (“DPU”) of 1.036 cents, which is 3.5% more than 1Q2011 DPU of 1.001 cents.

• Portfolio valuation as at 30 June 2011 resulted in an increase of 5.5%, or S$47.8 million, on a like-for-like basis, from the 31 December 2010 valuation. CIT’s total assets stand at S$1.1 billion as at 30 June 2011.

In addition, as previously disclosed to the market, the following items were completed during the quarter:

• Secured a S$320.0 million new term loan facility with a syndicate of four financial institutions. All-in debt cost is approximately 4.23% p.a.

• Completed the acquisitions of 4 & 6 Clementi Loop and 60 Tuas South Street 1 with a total valuation of S$46.4 million.

• Concluded a fully underwritten and renounceable Rights Issue with approx. 132.1 million new Rights Units issued on 15 April 2011 raising S$56.7 million.

Monday 18 July 2011

Capitaland sells building in Beijing for S$205.8m


CapitaLand Limited said on Monday that it has sold a 21-storey building with 310 apartment units known as Ascott Beijing in China for S$205.8 million in cash.

'The divestment is consistent with CapitaLand's active capital management,' the property group said in a statement.

CapitaLand's subsidiary, Ascott Investments Pte Ltd (AIPL) has sold its entire stake in Hemliner Pte Ltd (HPL) to Splendid Wealth Group Ltd, which is a subsidiary of Ascott Serviced Residence (China) Fund (ASRCF).

ASRCF is a private equity real estate fund investing primarily in China. CapitaLand has a 36.1 per cent interest in ASRCF.

HPL owns 100 per cent of the registered capital in Hemliner (Beijing) Real Estate Co, Ltd (Hemliner).

The sole asset of Hemliner is the property, located in the prime district of Beijing, China.

CapitaLand's total carrying value of its investments in HPL as at 31 May 2011 was S$80.5 million.

Following the completion, HPL and Hemliner have ceased to be wholly-owned subsidiaries of CapitaLand. CapitaLand will have an interest of 36.1 per cent in Ascott Beijing through ASCRF.

Sembcorp Industries expects early completion of Oman plant

SINGAPORE: Sembcorp Industries said it is confident about completing the Salalah Independent Water and Power Plant in Oman ahead of schedule in April 2012.

The strong expectations came as its joint venture company, Sembcorp Salalah Power and Water Company successfully completes the first phase of the US$1 billion plant.

With the completion of the first phase, the facility has began dispatching 61 megawatts of power to a power grid in Southern Oman.

It was originally targeted to begin full commercial operations in the first half of 2012.

The power plant, which will have a total net capacity of 445 megawatts and a seawater desalination plant, will use reverse osmosis to produce 69,000 cubic metres of water per day.

Sembcorp Salalah Power and Water Company is 60 per cent owned by Sembcorp Utilities and 40 per cent owned by the Oman Investment.

- CNA/cc


Singapore, July 18, 2011 – Sembcorp Industries (Sembcorp) is pleased to announce that the Sembcorp Salalah Power and Water Company, a joint venture company between Sembcorp’s fully-owned subsidiary Sembcorp Utilities and the Oman Investment Corporation, has successfully completed the first phase of its US$1.0 billion Salalah Independent Water and Power Plant (IWPP) in Oman. With the completion of the first phase, the facility began dispatching 61 megawatts of power, on schedule, to the Dhofar power grid in Southern Oman.

Targeted to begin full commercial operations in the first half of 2012, the Salalah IWPP will consist of a gas-fired power plant which will have a total net capacity of 445 megawatts and a seawater desalination plant which will employ reverse osmosis technology to produce 15 million imperial gallons (69,000 cubic metres) per day of water.

Mr Tang Kin Fei, Sembcorp’s Group President & CEO said, “We have met the tight schedule of 19 months from the signing of the Power and Water Purchase Agreement (PWPA) to complete the first phase of our Salalah IWPP on time. This is especially vital as the completion is timely to meet the surge in power demand in Dhofar, which coincides with the summer months every year.

Besides playing a significant role in providing power during the demand peak, the facility also enables Dhofar to obtain cheaper power during the summer period. We are confident to complete the entire project ahead of schedule in April 2012.”

Sembcorp, which was named the Water Company of the Year at the prestigious Global Water Intelligence's 2011 Global Water Awards, also clinched the Desalination Deal of the Year award for its Salalah IWPP project. Despite the deal coming at the tail end of the financial crisis, the project’s financing team nevertheless secured funding support at a competitive cost. Standard Chartered Bank, Bank of China, China Development Bank, BankMuscat, KfW-IPEX Bank, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, National Bank of Oman and Bank Sohar supported Sembcorp in the financing of this project.

Sembcorp Salalah Power and Water Company is 60% owned by Sembcorp Utilities and 40% owned by the Oman Investment Corporation.
The completion of the first phase of the Salalah IWPP is not expected to have a material impact  on the earnings per share and net asset value per share of Sembcorp Industries for the current financial year.

Sunday 17 July 2011

SEC Official Seeks Investor Alert on Retail Forex

Createwealth8888: Here in Singapore, every day we are seeing big advertisement placed by "Gurus" stating how easy to make money in retail forex trading to become financial freedom. When is MAS going to step in to regulate them?

By: Reuters

A top U.S. securities regulator is calling for a special investor alert to warn retail investors about the risks of trading off-exchange foreign currency contracts.

Luis Aguilar, a commissioner at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, issued a statement this week expressing concerns about retail forex fraud.

Regulators have been worried about the risks posed by the use of leverage.

His written statement came after the SEC approved a temporary rule that will allow brokers to continue to sell retail forex contracts to less sophisticated investors until the agency decides whether to implement more robust consumer protection rules prescribed by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street overhaul law.

"I am concerned about the risks to retail investors," he wrote in a statement that explained his vote on the temporary rules.

"My support of the promulgation of an interim final temporary rule was subject to the condition that the Office of Investor Education and Advocacy be directed to issue an investor alert warning investors about the potential risks and conflicts inherent in off-exchange foreign currency transactions."

The retail foreign exchange market is a niche market that lets average investors bet on the direction of currency price movements. But over the years, it also has been a market favored by fraudsters.

Additionally, regulators also have been concerned about risks posed by the use of leverage, which allows traders to increase their profits, but also can lead to larger losses.

Last August, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission adopted retail forex rules for the firms it regulates that would cap leverage at 50-to-1 for major currencies and require forex dealers to hold more capital and abide by certain disclosure, reporting and record-keeping rules.

The CFTC already had planned to adopt these rules before the enactment of Dodd-Frank, but the Dodd-Frank law required the CFTC to speed up the deadline on finalizing the rules.

The Dodd-Frank law additionally required other regulators, including the SEC, to impose similar rules on the retail forex dealers they oversee.

If the regulators do not establish a regulatory regime for these transactions, then retail forex dealing would be prohibited.

The temporary rule approved by the SEC this week, which went into effect Friday, allows the firms to continue dealing in retail forex contracts until the SEC decides whether or not to adopt a more comprehensive oversight regime.

The SEC said it will consider a number of avenues, including proposing new rules to protect consumers, allowing retail brokers to operate as they do today, and possibly prohibiting retail foreign exchange trading altogether.

Uncle, Why your Chart so dumb leh? (2)

Read? Uncle, Why your Chart so dumb leh?

Look here! Uncle's chart is not dumb hor. Today, I realized that I actually belong to Kung Fu School of Naked Traders.

Naked Trading refers to trading without technical indicators i.e. the trader's chart is naked with no technical indicators. These naked traders only look at trends and chart patterns. They are also known as discretionary traders.

From the perspective of Technical Analysis, the classic example of a discretionary trader is one who uses chart patterns to make trading decisions in a visual, nonalgorithmic fashion. This type of trader seeks patterns in the charts and tries to determine what they mean given the market situation.

Investing Made Simple by Uncle8888 (20)

Read? Investing Made Simple by Uncle8888 (19)

Control Risk is NOT a choice in Investing

How does Uncle8888 control his risks?

  1. Limit investing capital exposure to any one stock.
  2. Diversify but Don't Over-Diversify in any one sector.

Limit investing capital exposure to any one stock

When his account size was small, he limits it to at most 10% of his total investing capital to any one stock and less than 20% to any one sector. But now his account size is bigger he limits to 5% to any one stock and less than 10% in any one sector.

He was shocked when he heard some of his cyber friends are investing up to 40-60% of their investing capital into one stock by getting it cheaper and cheaper. Are they thinking that they are smarter than Mr. Market?

In investing, as part of good risk control management, we must learn to respect Mr. Market. He may be wrong over days or weeks; but he is seldom wrong over months. Over a longer term, Mr. Market is mostly Right; and if Mr Market indicates that you are wrong; you have to bravely accept it and move on.

Diversify but Don't Over-Diversify in any one sector.

Read? Portfolio Management - Portfolio Risk (2)

Uncle8888 believes most retail investors can easily understand that diversification is part of good risk control management. But, the idea of "don't over-diversify in any one sector" as part of risk control management may not be easily understood by retail investors; especially passive income investors in REITs. Often they will have a portfolio full of them - only different in "kind, shape or size". Don't believe him? Check it out yourself.

In the market, there will always be industry or sector risk when one particular investment thesis or theme related to that industry or sector may go sour in the future. When that happens; then every one in the same sector or industry will be hurt. It is only the magnitude or degree of fall in each stock in the sector that will differentiate them. But, it will certainly hit your portfolio badly. No doubt about it.

Have you seriously check through your portfolio and see how many % of your investing capital is in the same sector or industry?

Saturday 16 July 2011

Punting for quick profits from blue chips

Createwealth8888: I have been punting Noble and Olam since 2008. The returns from punting is not too bad.

Read? Noble  Olam

Top candidates include Golden Agri, NOL, Noble, Olam, Genting Singapore, City Developments and Sembcorp Marine


SINCE November last year, the stock market has been trapped in a trading range of 3,000-3,300 points. Investors would see their stocks rise, then fall again a few weeks later. Except for those stocks which are yielding generous dividends, there is no profit for investors to pocket, except for those who go in and out for quick gains in the market.

In my years of watching the market, I've come to the conclusion that, at least in Singapore, on average it doesn't quite pay to punt in the small cap stocks. Yes, the volatility may be there, and you may be making some good money if you are nimble enough. But the question is for how long. There is a rather high chance that while you are holding that stock, screaming at you one morning is a newspaper headline relating to that stock. It could be that the cash that was supposed to be in the bank isn't there, or that the revenues and profits have been overstated, or that a fire has gutted the company's factory.

Small caps vulnerable

Such bad news will deal a big blow to the stock price of small cap stocks. It is not unusual for them to plunge 50-60 per cent in a day, which would mean all the accumulated profits that you had made previously might be wiped out. Worse still, you might even lose your capital.

So I've convinced myself that if one were to itch to trade in markets such as now, one should be trading the blue chips. At least, if there is some unexpected negative macro developments, or even certain unflattering news relating to the company, chances are that over time these blue chips would bounce back. One just has to ride through the rough patch.

The question then is which of the blue chips are good candidates for trading?

I downloaded the daily share price of the 30 component stocks of the Straits Times Index from 2000. I then calculated their price difference over three-trading-day periods. From there, I find out the standard deviation, or volatility, of this price movement. In addition, I also calculated the one month return of these 30 stocks.

The purpose of this exercise is to find out which of the 30 stocks are most volatile, which would make them good trading candidates.

Based on the 12-year record, Wilmar emerged as the most volatile of all STI stocks. Its median standard deviation, or the variation of its return around its average three-day return, is 6.7 per cent. It has seen its stock price double in three days before. On the downside, it has fallen by as much as 30 per cent in three trading sessions.

Over a month, its share price had risen by as much as 214 per cent and had fallen by 48 per cent. Admittedly, looking at its numbers, it should be noted that much of Wilmar's volatility was due to its upside movement. Relative to the other stocks, its maximum downside over three days and a month had not been the biggest.

The second most volatile STI stock in the last 12 years is Golden Agri. Its standard deviation is 5.3 per cent. Its maximum three-day gain was 135 per cent, and its maximum plunge, 32 per cent. Over a month, the maximum upside and downside were 149 per cent and 56 per cent respectively.

Meanwhile, the most steady stocks in the benchmark index are Singapore Press Holdings, Global Logistics, CapitaMall Asia ????, StarHub and SIA Engineering. Other steady counters included ComfortDelGro, ST Engineering, OCBC, UOB and SingTel.

Steady versus volatile stocks

Sharp-eyed readers would realise that these are dividend yielding stocks in the STI stable. The more volatile stocks meanwhile tend to be the 'concept' stocks - those with very exciting narratives, but which might or might not deliver. And they might be expensive to begin with, which makes them susceptible to any negative news. Hence, the volatility.

Wilmar, Golden Agri Resources, Noble Group, Olam and Genting Singapore fit that description. I plotted two charts, just to have a graphical representation of how the share price and volatility change over time. From the first chart, you can actually see that for Wilmar, its volatility has decreased over time.

It started out as a concept stock. Over time, solid assets were injected into it and the group started to deliver results. Its share price rose and its income stream became more steady. There were less surprises. Consequently, its volatility declined.

The second chart showed the share price performance and volatility of Golden Agri. In the last one and a half years, its volatility has also fallen. That set me thinking: Perhaps the 12-year record may not be an accurate representation of the stocks' volatility today.

So I looked at the volatility starting from 2009 until now. True enough, based on the price movements in the last two and a half years, Wilmar was no longer among the most volatile stocks among the STI component stocks. It had fallen to the 16th spot. But retaining top spots were Golden Agri-Resources, NOL, Noble Group, Olam, Genting Singapore, City Developments and Sembcorp Marine.

At the other end of the spectrum, the most steady of the STI stocks since 2009 is CapitaMall Trust. The others are the usual suspects such as SPH, StarHub, ComfortDelGro, ST Engineering, Global Logistics and SingTel. So now, when you itch for some short term trades, you know which blue chips to go for.

Trekking along Singapore historical KTM railway tracks - Your last chance to do it! (2)

Read? Trekking along Singapore historical KTM railway tracks - Your last chance to do it!

Today, I will continue from where I stopped at last Sunday and to complete the trek along the historical KTM Railway track before it vanish into dust.

Similarly, like my investing journey I will always pause and continue from where I have stopped. Buy, sell and buy back!

Friday 15 July 2011

5 Factors That Drive Stock Prices

By Ben Baden,

Over the next few years, emerging markets countries like China and Brazil are expected to far outpace developed nations like the United States in terms of GDP growth, but that doesn't necessarily mean their stock markets will also outperform. When deciding how to allocate your stock portfolio to different regions of the world, there are many factors investors should consider. A stock market's valuation, the country's expected economic growth, and the actions of its central bank all play a role. Here are five factors that drive stock prices:

1. Market sentiment.

On a day-to-day basis, it's impossible to predict what will happen in stock markets worldwide. One week, the market is up on better-than-expected economic indicators, and the next it's down because of a new development in the sovereign debt crisis in Europe. "It's so unpredictable," says Roger Aliaga-Díaz, senior economist with the investment strategy group at Vanguard. "That's one of the reasons that we focus more on the long term."

2. Growth expectations.

Research over the years has proven that higher GDP growth doesn't necessarily translate into higher stock returns in a particular country. The correlation between the two is actually negative. Take China, for example. From the beginning of 1993 through the end of 2009, China's GDP grew at an annualized rate of 11 percent, which ranked it first among countries represented in the MSCI All-Country World Index (NasdaqGM: ACWI - News), according to a research paper released by Heckman Global Advisors. During the same time period, the MSCI China Index returned a measly 0.6 percent per year, on average. On the other hand, from the start of 1989 through 2009, the U.S. economy grew at a much slower annualized rate of 5 percent, while the MSCI USA Index returned an annualized 9 percent.

Investors should pay attention to analysts' expectations for higher or lower economic growth in a given country. "You want [to invest in] markets where you find GDP growth is accelerating," says Leila Heckman, senior managing director, international equity, at Mesirow Financial in New York. "If you knew the bottom of a recession, that's probably the best time to be investing in a market." Heckman says she generally advises her clients to avoid the fastest-growing countries because sometimes that growth can be priced into the stocks very quickly. Currently, she's telling clients to underweight China in their portfolios.

3. Valuation.

In the long term, valuation plays an important role in driving stock prices in a given country, says Jay Ritter, a professor of finance at the University of Florida. Price-to-earnings ratios (P/E ratios) are used to measure the value of stocks. Trailing P/E ratios track historical earnings, while measures like forecasted P/E ratios track expected earnings. Both can be helpful in determining how expensive or cheap a stock (or stock market) looks. One of the most commonly cited measures of the price of U.S. stocks is the Shiller P/E ratio, which divides the level of the S&P 500 by the average earnings of the S&P during the last 10 years. "When this ratio is high, future stock returns will be low. But anything can happen for a year or two, or even five. When the Shiller P/E is low, it is a good time to buy stocks," Ritter says.

4. Momentum.

Despite what's going on in the economy or with a particular company's fundamentals, investors will sometimes trade on momentum. "Often investor psychology can pile on and drive a stock price higher and higher, well above fair value, and that can happen for an extended period until finally there is a correction," says Steve Cucchiaro, founder of Windhaven, a Boston-based investment advisory group. "Conversely, there is a time when stock prices can be pushed down."

5. Central bank activity.

Generally, you want to invest in a country in which the central bank is lowering interest rates. While interest rates remain at virtually zero in the United States, other rapidly-growing nations are being forced to raise rates because of inflation concerns. So while it seems that economic growth would be beneficial for stock prices, too much growth can actually have a negative effect. "As these economies like China and Brazil grow faster and faster, they begin to overheat, then inflationary pressures rise, then the central banks decides that they don't want inflation to get out of hand, so they start to raise interest rates, and usually, that's a long process," Cucchiaro says. "That acts to cut into stock valuations."

Noble: Bought @ $1.79 Caught a falling knife!!!

Since 2008, I have been fighting Noble with only three commandos. Today, the last commando was thrown into the battlefield too. Let see how they will survive in the battlefield.

No 3 Commando: $1.79 (Front Line)
No 2 Commando: $1.85 (Front Line)
No 1 Commando: $0.688 (Guarding Base Camp since Dec 2008)

Today,  I caught a falling knife! That is dangerous.
Noble is such volatile stock.

Past ROC for 14 rounds since 15 Jul 2008: From 3.8% to 34.3% in 1 to 190 holding days.

Round 14: ROC 10.9%, 20 days, B $1.98 S $2.21
Round 13: ROC 20.8%, 185 days, B $1.72 S $2.08 (Price has been adjusted after XB)
Round 12: ROC 5.4%, 190 days, B $1.87 S $1.98 (Price has been adjusted after XB)
Round 11: ROC 10.1%, 45 days, B $3.04 S $3.37
Round 10: ROC 6.5%, 20 days, B $3.07 S $3.29 (Bought back higher) <--waited far too long to buy back!
Round 9: ROC 5.7%, 74 days, B $1.71 S $1.82 (Bought back higher) <- waited too long to buy back!
Round 8: ROC 34.3%, 100 days, B $0.96 S $1.30
Round 7: ROC 5.7%, 10 days, B $1.02 S $1.09
Round 6: ROC 3.8%, 1 day, B $1.01 S $1.06
Round 5: ROC 12%, 27 days, B $0.965 S $1.08, (2nd Half)
Round 4: ROC 14%, 8 days, B $0.965 S $1.11, (1st Half) - Bought back higher
Round 3: ROC 7.1%, 8 days, B $0.830 S $0.895
Round 2: ROC 31.6%, 20 days, B $0.800 S $1.05
Round 1: ROC 16.3%, 28 days, B $0.910 S $1.08

CPF Contribution and Allocation Rates from 1 September 2011

From 1 September 2011, the employers’ CPF contribution rate will be increased by 0.5 percentage point. For employees who are above 35 years old and earning monthly wages of up to $1,500, the higher employer CPF contribution rate will continue to be phased in from 0% at the wage of $50 to the new full rate at the wage of $1,500. The increased contribution will be credited to the employees’ Special Account (including those above 55 years of age).

However, the additional 0.5 percentage point does not apply to employers and first and second year Singapore Permanent Residents (SPR) contributing CPF at graduated employer and employee rates.

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