Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Bangkok Trip April 2017

So wifey and I went on a Bangkok trip for 3 nights recently, taking advantage of the long weekend for some relaxation.

It was quite a last minute trip. We talked about it and made the bookings within a week.

Now Bangkok is not a new place to us since we have been there several times before. However what we didn't realised until much later, is that our trip coincides with the Songkran!

Needless to say, we were 'attacked' more than a few times by kids who look so happy and carefree with their guns and buckets, and by tourists who 'shot' at us while speeding past us on a tuk tuk.

However it was all in the spirit of fun.

I felt particularly happy to see those kids as they remain so cheerful and worry-free despite the environment they lived in. Kids in Singapore in general are very lucky indeed.

There are a few places that we will visit every time we go to Bangkok. These include Platinum Mall and Chatuchak for obvious reasons.

In addition for this round, we also went to some other places which we have never went before. E.g. Talad Rot Fai Ratchada.

It's an interesting place which sells... protein-laden bugs for example.

 And.. Guess what are these?

We also went to a smaller train market by the name Talad Neon. It's not as big as Ratchada but still worth a go as it's conveniently located near Platinum Mall.

We came across some dinner options that made us reconsider our options.. As far as I know Cellophane is not edible so we didn't ordered this.

I guess the oysters machine deliverer is busy so we didn't ordered the oysters either.

The crabs are busy as well? No wonder I always couldn't get through.

Not sure whether I want to swim under this waterfall..

We didn't attend this seminar but it must be interesting..

In the end we didn't eat much. But our damage is quite huge elsewhere.

Looking forward to the next soul searching trip. Cheers!

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

ARA - Annyeong, Ezra - Annyeong.

This is a case of two different goodbyes...

I first took notice of ARA Asset Management when I came across an interview of John Lim where I was impressed by his vision for the company. Subsequently I did a fair bit of research on the company and decided to buy into ARA.

The price ran up subsequently and hit my TP within 3 months. It was a difficult decision whether to let go back then but I eventually decided to stick to my TP and let go despite the impressive run up.

It was a short 3 months relationship but thank you, ARA, for the wonderful time. You will be missed.

For Ezra, it's a gamble gone wrong. They were once a billion dollar market cap company in the O&G sector.

When I bought into the company at $0.165, I was betting that the oil crisis will resolve soon and that they can return to their heydays once the oil price recovers.

However things started to go downhill when their borrowings increased at a pace which they couldn't cope.

No doubt the protracted O&G crisis plays a part in their woes (and mine). But I feel mismanagement is the major contributory factor to their dismal end.

Even the Aramco project and the rising oil prices did not provide the catalyst for their recovery.

Being myself, I always try to find some positivities in a situation no matter how gloomy it is.

In this case the lesson derived is that a company's management is as important a factor as the macro environment and other financial data, if not more important.

This is a $8,000 lesson which I hope other investors can learn in a less painful way.

I would be glad if this post can serves as a reminder to experienced investors and as a lesson to newbies.

Lastly I wish to dedicate the following to Ezra. Bye.

Tuesday, 28 March 2017

Taiwan Trip March 2017

Haven't been blogging much for this month as I have not been active in the market and something major happened at work as well.

I just came back from a trip to Taiwan with my family. It is a nice relaxing trip to refresh myself as most of my recent trips were for work.

We arrived at Taipei and went to Taichung, Cing Jing, Alishan and Sun Moon Lake.

Spotted this bear at the nice Minsu we stayed at Cing Jing.

And also managed to wake up to see the legendary sun rise over the mountains.

After that we went to climb a mountain ourselves.

Along the way we also see sheeps,

and cherry blossoms.

After all the walking and climbing, my beloved Onitsuka Tiger finally decided it's time to retire.

Coincidentally I bought it in Taiwan several years back. So I decided to return it to where it came from.

Overall I spent about S$1,700 for this trip including air tix, accomodation, food, attractions, buys and driver service.

I consider it money well spent and besides, the amount is within my monthly budget for holiday https://justasingaporeanson.blogspot.sg/2017/01/growing-my-savings.html

Looking forward to the next trip.

Friday, 3 March 2017

Bib n Tucker - Our Side Income & A Semi Passive Business

This is just a post on the update of our (my wife and I) side business. Something to do with side income, passive income but nothing to do with equities. 😀

Bib n Tucker is started as an online store for baby and kids wear in 2014 and is coming into its 3rd year soon.

Sales have been coming in though volume can be improved, as is always the case.

We have to align our expectation since we have not been putting as much time as we would like to, into the marketing of our online store.

This is because we have our full time jobs and secondly this is meant to be a side and semi-passive income afterall.

Nevertheless we have done the necessary marketing in the early days such as the traditional flyers in the letter box and word of mouth to friends and family.

On top of that we also paid for Facebook advertising and other social media and platform marketings.

We did a revamp of our website last year. Moving forward we will continue to invest our time into this venture as well as seek improvement to the running of this business.

Big News! Big News!

Ok not really big news but:

"Bib n Tucker is offering free delivery from now on.

Regardless of the no. of items purchased, just select 'Free Rate' during checkout to enjoy the complimentary shipping to your door step.

Registered mail is at an additional $1.50 regardless of the no. of items purchased as well.

Enjoy, and continue shopping for the items that you and your child likes!"

If you intend to purchase from Bib n Tucker, thanks for the support 😁

Please drop me a note through email, our facebook page BibnTucker or Carousell BibnTucker and let me know which piece(s) you wish to get. This is so I can know you are coming from my blog.

I will work out a free registered delivery for you. On top of that I will also give a 10% discount to you.

Treat it as a gratitude to my readers 👍

p.s. running a business on top of a full time job is not easy. then again nothing in life is easy. we will continue to strive to do our best. huat ah!!

Thursday, 2 March 2017

OCBC 360 vs UOB One - Latest Comparison

So you guys probably already know that OCBC has changed the terms and conditions of its 360 savings account again.

If memory serves me well, this is the 2nd time they have changed those conditions.

Initially it was 1% interest P.A. for each of its original 3 categories. After that it was changed to 0.5% for couple of the categories. Now it's down to 0.3%.

While it is not totally unexpected, it is still disappointing nonetheless.

With the new conditions (interest rates) in place from 1st April 2017 onwards, it would serves us well if we can do an apple to apple comparison with the next closest saving account to see which benefits us most.

With that in mind I did a comparison between the OCBC 360 account and UOB One account.

First off, the difference between the existing OCBC 360 conditions and the new conditions from April onwards.

As you can see, interest rate has dropped in two of the categories while new condition has been set.

Personally I am able to get 2.25% + 1% on incremental saving amount on current conditions. Once the new scheme kicks in, realistically I should be able to get 1.85%.

Now, the interest rates offered by UOB One account.

Interest offered by One account is slightly different in the sense that the rates are on step up basis.

So which is the better account in terms of interest rate for the man in the street?

For this question we do a case study based on two scenarios as follows.

Case Study 1:

For the average Joe who maintains $20,000 in his account every month and is able to get 1.85% from his OCBC 360 account from April 17 onwards or 2.05% from his UOB One account.

On top of that he also spends at least $600 on his credit card every month. Since the cash rebate for OCBC 365 card is mostly between 3 - 6%, we use a mid figure of 4% for our average Joe.

Case Study 2:

For the richer average Joe who maintains $50,000 in his account every month and is able to get 1.85% from his OCBC 360 account from April 17 onwards or 3.38% from his UOB One account.

On top of that he also spends at least $600 on his credit card every month. Since the cash rebate for OCBC 365 card is mostly between 3 - 6%, we use a mid figure of 4% for our average Joe.

Case Study 3:

For the even richer average Joe who maintains $70,000 in his account every month and is able to get 1.85% from his OCBC 360 account from April 17 onwards or 3.38% from his UOB One account.

On top of that he also spends at least $600 on his credit card every month. Since the cash rebate for OCBC 365 card is mostly between 3 - 6%, we use a mid figure of 4% for our average Joe.

In conclusion, you can see that with a larger savings amount up to $50,000, the UOB One account offers a better deal than OCBC 360 account.

However if your savings amount starts to exceeds $50,000 you might want to take a closer look at the OCBC 360 account since the interest rates are valid up to $70,000 whereas UOB One account only offers 0.05% base interest for savings above $50,000.

(Thanks to reader Vince Chew who pointed this out)

If you are like the average Joe in our case study who maintains a lower amount in his savings, OCBC 360 is probably better for you.

For myself, I will still stick with my OCBC 360 account FOR NOW as most of my funds are currently in investments.

It's not worth the hassle for me to switch my Giro billings.

Furthermore UOB, like other banks, can change the conditions for their UOB One account anytime. So I will adopt a wait and see attitude first.

Wednesday, 22 February 2017

3,110 Resistance

So STI breaks 3,110 level again today.

In my opinion 3,110 is a resistance. Only if this level can sustain or run up for a sustainable period then I would consider this a real bull run.

Everyone, while making money please trade cautiously too. Especially if you are going for long position at this level.

Tuesday, 21 February 2017

Fundamental Analysis and Technical Analysis

I'm more of a fundamental analysis person when it comes to stock investing.

There are many discussions about fundamental analysis (FA) and technical analysis (TA), advantages and disadvantages of one over the other, blah, blah, blah.

However as I tend to hold my stocks over a longer horizon, I feel a good analysis on the fundamentals of the company coupled with a look at the macro factors is an approach which works well for me so far.

5 of the most common factors that I use to screen my stocks are:

a) Dividend Yield
b) Net Profit
c) Gearing
d) P/E Ratio
e) P/B Ratio

In some cases I also look at the following:

a) 5 Year Dividend Growth Rate
b) Sales (TTM) vs Preceding Year
c) ROE

Nevertheless one cannot discount the importance of a good TA.

Many a times I find myself selling too early despite having a good entry price. Reading the charts will help judge a good exit price.

Another case in point. In a bull run like the one we are facing now, some stock prices are rising faster than you anticipated. Using TA can help you to do some quick trades and in the process, hopefully earn some quick bucks.

Conversely in a bear market, take advantage of a well-applied FA to grab solid counters at attractive prices for some long term holdings.

All in all, personally I feel FA is good for stock investment over a mid to long horizon and TA is useful when it comes to short term trading.

What do you think?