Uncle8888's top three holding : Kep Corp, DBS and Sembcorp Ind
Sembcorp Ind : No interim dividend! ($0.03 + $0 = $0.03) DBS : Cut from H1 onwards from $0.33 to $0.18 per quarter for the next four quarters ($0.33*2 + $0.18*2 = $1.02) Kep Corp : Cut H1 interim dividend from $0.08 to $0.03 ($0.12 + $0.03 = $0.15)
SINGAPORE (REUTERS)- Temasek Holding's $4.1 billion bid to acquire a controlling stake in Keppel Corp will be under scrutiny on Thursday as a big quarterly profit drop at the conglomerate could raise the risk of the state investor dropping its proposal, analysts said.
Keppel last week warned that material impairments relating to its offshore and marine segment (O&M) would hurt profits, which analysts say could breach so-called material adverse change (MAC) clauses of Temasek's offer.
Analysts said the impairments would typically affect net asset value and net profit after tax, thresholds for which have been set as pre-conditions to an offer.
MAC clauses can be invoked to end or renegotiate deals, particularly if events occur that are detrimental to the target company. To meet the threshold, Keppel would need to report $170-230 million in second-quarter core profits, excluding one-off items, assuming impairments of up to $150 million relating to its O&M business, Citigroup analysts estimate. Still, the deal has a long-stop date of Oct 21, meaning Keppel could make up any shortfall in its third-quarter results, while Temasek also has the right to waive its pre-conditions. Refinitiv data shows that Temasek owns about 21 per cent of Keppel.
Last October, Temasek offered to buy control, leading to expectations of consolidation in the domestic rig building sector that has been battered in recent years due to low oil prices.
Those expectations were further boosted this June when Temasek stepped in to support a $2.1 billion rights issue by Sembcorp Marine, Keppel's smaller competitor.
Keppel reported first-quarter net profit of S$160 million, down 21 per cent from a year ago. At that time, it said it had not breached the MAC clauses.
Keppel shares have fallen 16 per cent this year to trade at $5.68, close to the level they were languishing at when Temasek made its conditional bid of $7.35 per share.
KEPPEL Corp posted a net loss of S$697.6 million for the second quarter ended June, reversing a S$153.1 million net profit a year ago. The company was hit by S$919 million in provisions for Keppel Offshore & Marine’s contract assets, doubtful debt, as well as share of impairment provision arising from its associate, Floatel.
Without the impairments, Keppel would have seen a net profit of S$222 million for Q2, up 45 per cent from a year ago. The company’s revenue for Q2 was S$1.33 billion, down 25.7 per cent from a year ago. Contributions fell across all business divisions due measures to contain the spread of Covid-19.
Keppel declared an interim dividend of 3.0 cents per share, down from the 8.0-cent dividend it had declared for the same period a year ago. The interim dividend will paid on Aug 20.
For H1 FY2020, Keppel’s net loss amounted to S$537 million, hit by S$930 million of impairments from the Offshore & Marine (O&M) division. Excluding the impairments, it would have registered a net profit of S$393 million for H1, 5 per cent higher than a year ago.
Revenue for H1 stood at S$3.18 billion, down 4 per cent from a year ago. This was mainly due to lower contributions from property trading projects in China, power and gas sales, environmental engineering projects and asset management.
Read? Local banks should cap FY2020 dividends, offer shareholders alternatives to conserve capital: MAS The central bank in its release called on locally-incorporated banks headquartered in Singapore to cap their total dividends per share (DPS) for FY2020 at 60 per cent of FY2019’s DPS, which it said balances the objective of capital conservation with the interests of shareholders. "We have carefully calibrated the restriction on dividends, taking into account the needs of investors who may rely on this income.” Retirees kena f... by MAS! Cham liao!
DESPITE the turbulence unleashed by the Covid-19 pandemic, GIC's portfolio remains resilient and Singapore's foreign reserves under its charge have been protected by the sovereign wealth fund's defensive stance and focus on its mandate, which is to first preserve and then enhance the value of the assets under its care. Over a 20-year period spanning April 2000 to March 2020, GIC's portfolio achieved an annualised nominal rate of return of 4.6 per cent. Taking into account global inflation, its annualised real rate of return stood at 2.7 per cent over the same period, compared to 3.4 per cent for the 20-year period spanning April 1999 to March 2019. (see amendment note) GIC is one of the three reserves management entities in Singapore, alongside the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and Temasek Holdings. The three supplement the annual Budget through the Net Investment Returns Contribution (NIRC), the single largest revenue source for the Singapore government.
Hmm! Last TV show watched was so long ago! Also watch the movie Slum Dog Millionaire. Who Wants To Be A Millionaire in Singapore? Answer these questions throw by investment writers. 1) Earn more, save more and invest successfully over market cycles of Bulls and Bears. 2) Taking CPF Top up route and join 1M65 movement
Still not quite sure of your answer? 50/50 : Guess yourself Ask your favorite bloggers Ask Trainers in the Investment training academies LOL!
Good question from Ivan! Evan 25 July 2020 at 09:44 Why does the 99 year lease not worry those that are financial literate? Reply
Read? Hougang Avenue 10 As of today search online! Case study of buying 4 Rm HDB with less than 63 yrs lease before expiring worthless. 1. Resale 4 Rm HDB flat built at 1984 at $498K 2. Saving on annual rental or upfront rental at $26K 3. No of years to fully recover your initial capital of $498K from rental savings is 19 years 4. Free home stay UP to 44 years or smaller residual investment gains after XX years down the road if you want to run road to Thailand or Vietnam!
Read? Two Books That Change My Views Uncle8888 after leaving behind his value of human asset at his last office cubicle and with no more skill future upgrading or re-training to become another valuable human asset; he is now back to Think and Grow Rich operating mode. How to sustain his Rich? Look at Mr Market and kept thinking buy, hold, Panadols or sell. LOL!
Banks could experience “far more damage” to their balance sheets when stimulus measures that are keeping many businesses afloat are rolled back, said Piyush Gupta, group CEO of Singaporean lender DBS.
He explained that governments cannot keep supporting the business community financially, so “you’ll start seeing a lot more default, which in turn means that you’ll start seeing the problems spill over to the financial sector.”
But banks globally have also entered the current pandemic-induced crisis on stronger footing and can take on “a lot more pain” compared to the global financial crisis more than a decade ago, he added.
“If a lot of companies are not able to survive ... you’ll have this million-dollar question of how do you deal with these ‘zombie companies,’” said the CEO.
“Do you keep putting money ... using public finances to support companies or do you let creative destruction happen a la Schumpeter? This is going to be a real challenge particularly in the SME space around the world, I suspect this will be a big, big challenge next year,” he added.
Gupta said DBS — the largest bank in Southeast Asia — has taken “some fairly draconian assumptions around the number of SMEs that are likely to be unable to survive” in its internal stress testing. He warned that the ratio of bad loans could be worse than the level seen during the global financial crisis.
“I think you will see more stress on the financial system in the later part of this year and next year without a doubt. And that’s just because the fallout of the macroeconomic shock has still to filter through the financial system at this point in time, I think it will come,” he said.
In addition, the WP will encourage public conversations - such as the prospects of HDB lease decay - and to that end, will release public working papers to highlight issues that significantly affect Singaporeans.
Wayang akan datang??? Lai liao! Time to see who can count and read England! May be we may have newer dictionary meaning of Lease in Singlish England! LOL!
Your emotions must support the goal you are after. You must operate without anxiety. The objective of investment is serenity, and serenity can only be achieved without anxiety, and to avoid anxiety you need to know who you are and what you are doing. Read? Market Cycles of What??? Why DBS is his most hated one in 2008? Pain! Great pain in his ass! In 2008, when every other day, he read bad news and prediction of Great Depression 2.0 coming. It could last more 10 years! His thought of Ah Boi and Ah Ger going to university in August 2009 getting him more worries. Where is the money? Simi Create Wealth in the Stock Market??? It is more like Destroy Wealth!!! Shit! His lampar shrunk! Great pain in his ass became real! His most hated one: DBS!
Those who leave early may be saved, but the music and wines are so seductive that we do not want to leave, but we do ask, “What time is it? What time is ? Only none of the clocks have any hands.” The safest way to preserve capital is to double it. Slowly, slowly, after Point X our capital is also slowly being preserved during decumulation phase when Losing capital is NOT part of the Game of Money!
CW8888 : Uncle8888 as an Ant planning for long time; he has never expected COVID-19 coming right in front of his face to verify that CPF RA minimum sum of monthly $1,180 per person is enough to survive under current situation with stay at home life style , more home cooked meal and supplemented by some ta bao meals at kopitiam or hawker centre, stay at home entertainment with Netflix and power up by Internet surfing to pass time. CPF is for basic survival scheme for Singaporeans, No ???
Singaporeans are unlikely to be able to travel for leisure this year, though essential business travel will be possible. At a virtual press conference yesterday, National Development Minister Lawrence Wong said: "Our overall advisory, it remains for everyone in Singapore, is not to travel, to avoid all travel."
He added that even though the virus situation is dynamic and constantly changing, the multi-ministry task force tackling Covid-19 - which he co-chairs - does not see things improving any time soon.
"Looking at the situation, the Covid-19 infection around the world is unlikely to go away. At the end of the year, it will continue to be with us, even till next year.
"So, it is unlikely that we will see improvement in the situation in the near term, which means that our travel advisory position is unlikely to change in the near term as well," he said.
However, negotiations with countries on reciprocal green lane arrangements will proceed to facilitate essential business travel, so long as the country Singapore is talking to has the appropriate control measures.
Green lanes "are not just free for all travel", reminded Mr Wong.
"A traveller coming in through a reciprocal green lane has to abide by and comply with certain control measures, including testing at the point of departure and point of arrival, and then following a very strict and controlled itinerary."
He added: "This will not apply to mass tourism travel... that, I think, will not happen any time soon."
The task force will also continually review and update border control measures for travellers who are entering Singapore, he said.
In the light of the resurgence of cases in certain countries, travellers entering Singapore from Japan, Hong Kong and Australia's Victoria state from July 20 will have to serve their stay-home notice (SHN) at dedicated facilities instead of their own places of residence.
They will also have to undergo a Covid-19 test before the end of their SHN period.
Travellers who left Singapore from March 27, despite the prevailing travel advisory against leaving the country, are required to pay for their stay at dedicated SHN facilities. Travellers who are not Singapore citizens or permanent residents also have to pay for their stay at dedicated SHN facilities.
The Straits Times understands that the cost of each 14-day stay is about $2,000. The Covid-19 test for each person costs another $200.
First time kena no interim dividend since Uncle8888 started holding SCI in 2002. Sigh! SCI now dying from double illness - cancerous SML and high blood pressure from Energy! 4.1% yield at investment cost in 2020 - a new record low. KNS!
Sembcorp Ind : 4.1% to 59.8%, Average annual yield is 21%
Demerger with SML looked inevitable for SCI to move on!
Uncle8888's Three Little Pigs Yield Stocks for retirement income. Hope that Big Bad Wolf doesn't come and blow down this straw house - SCI!
Read? Ivan Lim vs Raeesah Khan May be 4G PAP Leaders in candidates deployment committee have forgotten about their own party history! 1. Howe Yoon Chong - CPF Report recommending to address issues raised by a greying population, he made the controversial proposal to raise the age for the withdrawal of Central Provident Fund (CPF) savings from 55 to 60 years in order that Singaporeans might have more money to live on in their old age. 2. Mah Bow Tan - National Development Minister Mah Bow Tan said on Thursday that he accepts responsibility over the unhappiness caused by the sharp rise in housing prices. "Housing is always a very sensitive subject. And I guess to the extent that in the last couple of years, housing prices went up very sharply, coinciding with the very dramatic turnaround in the economy, I guess that resulted in quite a lot of unhappiness on the ground. And I accept responsibility for that," said the outgoing minister to the mainstream media. CW8888: Some Pioneer and Merdeka generations may think otherwise. 3. Ivan Lim - Pull out in time!
4. Lam Pin Min - PMD killer and his enemies you know who they are.
Read? Minimum Income or Enhanced Workfare Payout??? COVID-19 taught us something! How about MPs contributing 20 to 30% of net MP allowances after their current contributions to party fund and etc? WP MPs start the ball rolling and set example?
This GRC Temporary Relief Fund will be closed and return to the Party who have lost the election.
CW8888 : Peter Lynch has played his end game very well!
Peter Lynch (born January 19, 1944) is an American investor, mutual fund manager, and philanthropist. As the manager of the Magellan Fund at Fidelity Investments between 1977 and 1990, Lynch averaged a 29.2% annual return, consistently more than doubling the S&P 500 stock market index and making it the best-performing mutual fund in the world. During his 13 year tenure, assets under management increased from $18 million to $14 billion.
He also co-authored a number of books and papers on investing and coined a number of well known mantras of modern individual investing strategies, such as Invest in what you know and ten bagger. Lynch is consistently described as a "legend" by the financial media for his performance record, and was called "legendary" by Jason Zweig in his 2003 update of Benjamin Graham's book, The Intelligent Investor.
Playing The End Game On This Game Of Capital In The Market This is how Uncle8888 playing his End Game on this Game of Capital in the market i.e decisively to END the power of compounding effect on his investment portfolio! Say NO to Compounding! 35% of his own savings used as investing capital since inception of investment portfolio in Jan 2000 has been transferred out from his investment account to saving bank account to fund household expenses up to 2022. Read? Two Bank Accounts? No, You may need Four! - (6)
Read? 50% Pay Cut! At last, life in Singapore is going back to BELOW normal; and it may stay in this new normal for a long time till vaccine is found. Will we have another full lock-down? Unlikely? May be location-based areas lock-down. Full lock-down again will be financially and emotionally stressful for many of us! Uncle8888 also back to 8 Hours Work Week as all restaurant outlets are fully open; but for buffet restaurant it becomes new normal. You order (via tablet). We serve! More server jobs are created! Uncle8888's children also back to office. No more WFH!
Is the same thing happening to Singapore's young or inspiring traders now with very low or zero commission?
[SAN FRANCISCO] Richard Dobatse, a Navy medic in San Diego, dabbled infrequently in stock trading. But his behaviour changed in 2017 when he signed up for Robinhood, a trading app that made buying and selling stocks simple and seemingly free.
Mr Dobatse, now 32, said he had been charmed by Robinhood's one-click trading, easy access to complex investment products, and features like falling confetti and emoji-filled phone notifications that made it feel like a game. After funding his account with US$15,000 in credit card advances, he began spending more time on the app.
As he repeatedly lost money, Mr Dobatse took out two US$30,000 home equity loans so he could buy and sell more speculative stocks and options, hoping to pay off his debts. His account value shot above US$1 million this year — but almost all of that recently disappeared. This week, his balance was US$6,956. "When he is doing his trading, he won't want to eat," said his wife, Tashika Dobatse, with whom he has three children. "He would have nightmares."
Millions of young Americans have begun investing in recent years through Robinhood, which was founded in 2013 with a sales pitch of no trading fees or account minimums. The ease of trading has turned it into a cultural phenomenon and a Silicon Valley darling, with the startup climbing to an US$8.3 billion valuation. It has been one of the tech industry's biggest growth stories in the recent market turmoil.
But at least part of Robinhood's success appears to have been built on a Silicon Valley playbook of behavioural nudges and push notifications, which has drawn inexperienced investors into the riskiest trading, according to an analysis of industry data and legal filings, as well as interviews with nine current and former Robinhood employees and more than a dozen customers. And the more that customers engaged in such behaviour, the better it was for the company, the data shows.
More than at any other retail brokerage firm, Robinhood's users trade the riskiest products and at the fastest pace, according to an analysis of new filings from nine brokerage firms by research firm Alphacution for The New York Times.
In the first three months of 2020, Robinhood users traded nine times as many shares as E-Trade customers and 40 times as many shares as Charles Schwab customers, per dollar in the average customer account in the most recent quarter. They also bought and sold 88 times as many risky options contracts as Schwab customers, relative to the average account size, according to the analysis.
The more often small investors trade stocks, the worse their returns are likely to be, studies have shown. The returns are even worse when they get involved with options, research has found.
This kind of trading, in which a few minutes can mean the difference between winning and losing, was particularly hazardous on Robinhood because the firm has experienced an unusual number of technology issues, public records show. Some Robinhood employees, who declined to be identified for fear of retaliation, said the company failed to provide adequate guardrails and technology to support its customers.
Those dangers came into focus last month when Alex Kearns, 20, a college student in Nebraska, killed himself after he logged into the app and saw that his balance had dropped to negative US$730,000. The figure was high partly because of some incomplete trades. "There was no intention to be assigned this much and take this much risk," Mr Kearns wrote in his suicide note, which a family member posted on Twitter.
Like Mr Kearns, Robinhood's average customer is young and lacks investing know-how. The average age is 31, the company said, and half its customers had never invested before.
Some have visited Robinhood's headquarters in Menlo Park, California, in recent years to confront the staff about their losses, said four employees who witnessed the incidents. This year, they said, the startup installed bulletproof glass at the front entrance.
"They encourage people to go from training wheels to driving motorcycles," Scott Smith, who tracks brokerage firms at financial consulting firm Cerulli, said of Robinhood. "Over the long term, it's like trying to beat the casino."
At the core of Robinhood's business is an incentive to encourage more trading. It does not charge fees for trading, but it is still paid more if its customers trade more.
That is because it makes money through a complex practice known as "payment for order flow". Each time a Robinhood customer trades, Wall Street firms actually buy or sell the shares and determine what price the customer gets. These firms pay Robinhood for the right to do this because they then engage in a form of arbitrage by trying to buy or sell the stock for a profit over what they give the Robinhood customer.
This practice is not new, and retail brokers such as E-Trade and Schwab also do it. But Robinhood makes significantly more than they do for each stock share and options contract sent to the professional trading firms, the filings show.
For each share of stock traded, Robinhood made four to 15 times more than Schwab in the most recent quarter, according to the filings. In total, Robinhood got US$18,955 from the trading firms for every dollar in the average customer account, while Schwab made US$195, the Alphacution analysis shows. Industry experts said this was most likely because the trading firms believed they could score the easiest profits from Robinhood customers.
Vlad Tenev, a founder and co-chief executive of Robinhood, said in an interview that even with some of its customers losing money, young Americans risked greater losses by not investing in stocks at all. Not participating in the markets "ultimately contributed to the sort of the massive inequalities that we're seeing in society", he said.
Mr Tenev said only 12 per cent of the traders active on Robinhood each month used options, which allow people to bet on where the price of a specific stock will be on a specific day and multiply that by 100. He said the company had added educational content on how to invest safely.
He declined to comment on why Robinhood makes more than its competitors from the Wall Street firms. The company also declined to provide data on its customers' performance.
Robinhood was founded by Mr Tenev and Baiju Bhatt, two children of immigrants who met at Stanford University in 2005. After teaming up on several ventures, including a high-speed trading firm, they were inspired by the Occupy Wall Street movement to create a company that would make finance more accessible, they said. They named the startup Robinhood after the English outlaw who stole from the rich and gave to the poor.
In May, Robinhood said it had 13 million accounts, up from 10 million at the end of 2019. Schwab said it had 12.7 million brokerage accounts in its latest filings; E-Trade reported 5.5 million.
That growth has kept the money flowing in from venture capitalists. Sequoia Capital and New Enterprise Associates are among those that have poured US$1.3 billion into Robinhood. In May, the company received a fresh US$280 million.
Two DAYS IN MARCH
"Robinhood has made the financial markets accessible to the masses and, in turn, revolutionised the decades-old brokerage industry," Andrew Reed, a partner at Sequoia, said after last month's fundraising.
Mr Tenev has said Robinhood has invested in the best technology in the industry. But the risks of trading through the app have been compounded by its tech glitches.
In 2018, Robinhood released software that accidentally reversed the direction of options trades, giving customers the opposite outcome from what they expected. Last year, it mistakenly allowed people to borrow infinite money to multiply their bets, leading to some enormous gains and losses.
Robinhood's website has also gone down more often than those of its rivals — 47 times since March for Robinhood and 10 times for Schwab — according to a Times analysis of data from Downdetector.com, which tracks website reliability. In March, the site was down for almost two days, just as stock prices were gyrating because of the coronavirus pandemic. Robinhood's customers were unable to make trades to blunt the damage to their accounts.
Four Robinhood employees, who declined to be identified, said the outage was rooted in issues with the company's phone app and servers. They said the startup had underinvested in technology and moved too quickly rather than carefully.
Mr Tenev said he could not talk about the outage beyond a company blog post that said it was "not acceptable". Robinhood had recently made new technology investments, he said.
Plaintiffs who have sued over the outage said Robinhood had done little to respond to their losses. Unlike other brokers, the company has no phone number for customers to call.
Mr Dobatse suffered his biggest losses in the March outage — US$860,000, his records show. Robinhood did not respond to his emails, he said. A Robinhood spokesperson said the company did respond. Mr Dobatse said that he planned to take his case to financial regulators for arbitration. "They make it so easy for people that don't know anything about stocks," he said. "Then you go there and you start to lose money."
Not sure why there is so much concern over meeting FRS at 55??? Strange? Some financial bloggers trying to scare others to follow them? Auntie8888 is an ITC and started working as technician; and few years later she took up 5 year part-time Diploma and then promoted (or apply) to technical officer sometime later when there was vacancy for that post. She resigned at 34 and became full-time unpaid maid with no Sunday off days (a job description from herself) No more CPF contributions for the next 21 years and she still managed to meet FRS at 55
Those Visa credit cards in her purse works when buying things and ready cash in the drawer when she needs to top up cash in her purse. Auntie8888 never bother to ask him where and how? Same same. When Govt gave him $12K passive income; does he need to ask where and how? LOL!
It’s not just gold Now, before anyone thinks that this is a post against gold, let me throw in another example of a mistake when ignoring foreign currency flucuations. Some years ago (roughly, 6-7 years if my memory serves me correctly), the local banks were encouraging many retail investors to take advantage of higher interest rates in countries such as Australia and New Zealand. The basic idea was to convert your SGD to the either the Australian (AUD) or New Zealand (NZD) dollar, deposit it in a time-deposit in the banks there and earn the higher interest rates there. Unfortunately, someone forgot to tell these investors that there is something called ‘Interest Rate Parity’. 1 AUD then used to trade for around 1.3 SGD but alas, now the almighty AUD trades for slightly less than 1 SGD. What seemed like an additional 4-5% return a year basically got negated by the 30% hit in currency terms. It’s very basic but investors sometimes forget that (a) inflation matters, (b) transaction costs matter, and (c) local currency matters. Walau! After donkey years; the above post may have reminded some Merdeka and Pioneer folks how silly at that time when there was no Internet and they were blindly following the Crowd of the Day to the banks! Uncle8888 learnt hard lesson on Currency Risk and chopped fingers. Those days FD in New Zealand banks could earn as high 10 to 12% on 2 to 3 years Fixed Deposits. After 3-yrs FD maturity and NZD-SGD crash; Uncle8888 took his money back on NEGATIVE interest rate after currency conversion from NZD to SGD! Chop fingers! Did your parents or grand-parents also kena but diam diam? LOL!
Do a mass polling among Sigaporeans. Of course. The answer is NO! Why? 90% of Singaporeans are working class! You ask businessmen, landlords, business owners, entrepreneurs and investors. Answer is YES!!! LOL!
BTW, Uncle8888 is still keeping his University of Singapore student pass!
Don't ever blame others for your own failing! The same life lesson from Mr Market! Mr Market doesn't know you and don't care who you are! You are on your own. Make or Break!
Plan C is to study part-time and get the necessary skills to get promoted and climb in corporate (be a shepherd).
Yes. Uncle8888 was on Plan C! His father got NO money! He also no money! But; the day he started working ... Got money. Got money and then could execute Plan C. Not directly from A Level to Degree on father's money; but through own money on longer path from A Level to Diploma and Degree!
Lower-wage workers, including self-employed ones, will get a $3,000 cash payout under the Workfare Income Supplement scheme, Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat said yesterday. This is an enhancement of the one-off special cash payment amounting to 20 per cent of their payout last year, with a minimum payout of $100, which he announced during his Budget speech last month. Workfare is targeted at Singaporean workers whose earnings are in the bottom 20 per cent with some support for those slightly above, through Central Provident Fund top-ups and cash payouts. To qualify for the scheme, citizens must be 35 and older and earn a gross monthly income of not more than $2,300, among other criteria. ------------------------------ How much to pay as minimum income when all pay masters are looking to minimize labour costs to improve margin? We must always remember that cotton comes from sheep. Minimum income will also mean paying more for some existing services or goods. You sure. You are okay meh? As investment and financial blogger; Uncle8888 looks towards investment income to supplement earned income from works. But; low income workers are likely not to have the right level of capital to invest for income. So how? How about government setting up $10B or $20B Workfare Bonus Income Fund and distribute 50% of net income from this fund as Workfare bonus payout? Government is helping low income workers to invest! LOL!
Read? Turning 55 - and enjoying financial freedom (2) If you are very near to 55 and currently have spare cash; but don't know where to invest; quickly go to the nearest CPF Branch office to do partial housing loan and accrued interests refund to CPF. It is the best saving rate you ever find in Singapore now! mai tu liao!
(Bloomberg) -- Just over a decade after John Paulson shot to fame and fortune, he’s become the latest big-name money manager to quit the hedge-fund business, saying this week he’s converting his firm into a family office.
Paulson never managed to sustain the success and notoriety he found by betting against the housing market in the run up to the last financial crisis. Now, in the midst of an another period of economic turmoil, he’s returning outside investors’ money to focus on his own fortune, which the Bloomberg Billionaires Index puts at $4.4 billion.
He joins a list of industry legends who have recently called it quits amid a generational shift. Louis Bacon said in the past year that he was stepping back, as returns that were once routinely in the double digits dribbled away. David Tepper also said he was transitioning his firm, though he planned to keep a few outside clients. Stan Druckenmiller and George Soros, two legends of the 1990s, were among the first to switch to the family office model.
The move also underscores the wider tumult in the investing world, where fund managers who for decades bestrode Wall Street as revered money makers find themselves struggling to compete with computer-driven, index-tracking funds that closely follow seemingly ever-rising markets at a fraction of the cost of traditional offerings.
“After considerable reflection and careful thought, Paulson & Co. will convert into a private investment office and return all external investor capital,” Paulson wrote in a letter to investors this week. A spokeswoman for the firm didn’t immediately provide a comment.
Paulson started his firm in 1994 and built his fortune by betting against the U.S. housing market more than a decade ago. The firm’s assets slumped from a peak of $38 billion in 2011 after investment losses and client defections: As of November 2018, it ran less than $9 billion -- and most of that was Paulson’s own fortune.
Paulson’s success was based largely on on his purchase of credit-default insurance against billions of dollars of subprime mortgages before the market collapsed in 2007. The move earned his firm $15 billion -- almost $4 billion for him personally -- and rocketed Paulson to the ranks of superstar managers.
He grew up in New York City’s Queens borough, and went on to attend New York University and then Harvard Business School, where he was a Baker Scholar, in the top 5% of his class. After briefly working at Boston Consulting Group and then with Odyssey Partners, he joined Bear Stearns as an investment banker in 1984. Four years later he left for investment firm Gruss & Co. and by 1994, he had enough money to go out on his own.
He started Paulson & Co. with $2 million of his own and family and friends’ capital, and focused on risk arbitrage, betting on the shares of merging companies. The fund had grown to $300 million by 2003. At its peak, it was one of the largest hedge funds in the world.
In 2012, Paulson told Bloomberg Businessweek that he’d be “very happy” to see his firm continue after he retired, though that was something he said would still be years away. “I’m still relatively young, you know, being 56,” he said at the time.
But poor performance in the past few years had led him to reconsider. In 2018, the firm returned some investor cash, cut staff and planned to get back to basics by refocusing on merger arbitrage strategies -- the key to Paulson’s earlier success.
Just a year later, Paulson said he was considering turning the firm into a family office or making it a hybrid business with one part managing his money and another running client capital. At the time, he said as much as 80% of the money his namesake firm ran was his, and that he’d likely make a decision within two years.
“Nowadays, it’s difficult to assemble the kind of expertise in credit markets you had back in 2008 and 2009, especially because the ability to access those types of opportunities is harder today,” said Tim Ng, chief investment officer of Clearbrook Global Advisors who invested in Paulson in the late 1990s and early 2000s while at his previous firm. “And it’s harder to convince investors you have the expertise to take advantage of those opportunities.”
Ever since his big win, Paulson stumbled from one losing trade to another, chipping away at the 2007 gains that are still among the largest in hedge-fund history. He wanted the next big trade, but was too optimistic about the U.S. economic recovery and overly bearish about the European debt crisis. He forecast that gold would strengthen as investors sought a hedge against inflation. Instead, the metal entered a bear market.
“It’s like Wimbledon. When you win one year, you don’t quit; you want to win again,” he told Gregory Zuckerman in his book “The Greatest Trade Ever.” Paulson’s first big misstep was in 2011 when one of his largest hedge funds lost 51% after wagers on a U.S. recovery went awry. It was one of the worst years of his career and resulted in clients yanking about $2 billion across his portfolios. Still, things soured even more over the next two years as he produced $9.4 billion in losses for clients. Investors continued to pull money after the string of slip-ups, and the losses continued. After a series of wrong-way bets on drug stocks, he called 2016 “our most challenging year since inception,” in a report to investors. Even with all of the ups and downs in his career, Paulson isn’t ready to close the book on investing. “With one chapter closing a new one is beginning for me and I look forward to continuing as an active participant in financial markets,” he wrote in the letter.
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