Wednesday, 19 November 2014

How interest rate affects the market - a mathematical courtship

What would happen when the banks increase their interest rate? Here's a very simple summary.

- People will park more money in the bank (risk-free). Therefore stock prices might decline, especially for stocks of higher risk eg small caps, REITs.

- REITS may be adversely affected due to the increase in their debt's interest. REITs depend on loans to fuel their property business. That's why we always talk NAV and gearing when we look at REITs. On the bright side for stock pickers, REIT yield would then increase if their share prices drop.

- Bond prices would decrease, because again more people would choose to park money in the bank (which is supposedly risk-free). Bond yields of new bonds issued would increase to compete as a result.

In view of the highly possible increase of bank interest rate in the near future, what would be your course of actions? Welcome to share your thoughts.


Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Find Love Find Life (사랑찾아 인생찾아)

라라랄라 라라라라 랄라 라라라라 라라라랄라
lalalala lalalala...
사랑 찾아 인생을 찾아 하루종일 숨이 차게 뛰어다닌다
sarang chaja insaeng eu chaja, haru cong il sumi chage dwi o da nin da
서울 하늘 하늘 아래서 내 꿈도 가까이 온다
so ul hanuel hanuel araeso, nae kumdo (bupo) kakkai onda

사랑도 있고 우정도 있고 하늘 아래 살고 있고
sarangdo iko ucongdo iko haneul arae, salko iko
저마다 다른 인생속에 또 하루를 바쁘게 산다
somada dareun insaeng soke, ddo harureul bappeu ke sanda

우리 인생 살다 보면 힘든 날도 수없이 찾아오지만
uri insaeng salda bomyon, him deun naldo su opsi chaja o jiman
사랑하나 그 사랑하나 찾으려고 몸부림 치네
sarang hana keu sarang hana, chajeu ryo ko mompurim jine

사랑찾아 인생을 찾아 하루종일 숨이 차게 뛰어 다닌다
sarang chaja insaeng eul chaja, harujongil somi chake dwi o da nin da
서울 하늘 하늘 아래서 내 꿈도 가까이 온다
so ul haneul haneul araeso nae pumdo(bupo) kakka i onda
사랑을 알고 우정도 알고 정 하나로 살고있고
sarang eul arko, ujongdo arko, jong hanaro salko iko
저마다 값진 인생 속에 또 하루를 바쁘게 산다
jomada kapjin insaeng soke, ddo harureul bappeu ke sanda

우리 인생 살다 보면 힘든 날도 수없이 찾아 오지만
uri insaeng salda bomyon, him deun naldo su opsi chaja o jiman
오늘 보다 더 멋진 인생 찾기 위해 몸부림 치네
onuel poda do mojin insaeng chaki wihae mompurim jine

사랑 찾아 인생을 찾아 하루종일 숨이 차게 뛰어 다닌다
sarang chaja insaeng eul chaja, harujongil somi chake dwi o da nin da
서울 하늘 하늘 아래서 내 꿈도 가까이 온다
so ul haneul haneul araeso, nae pumdo kakka i onda

사랑 찾아 인생을 찾아 지친 가슴 끌어안고 뛰어 다닌다
sarang chaja insaeng eul chaja, jichin kasuem keuro anko dwi o da nin da
서울 하늘 하늘 아래서 내 꿈도 가까이 온다
so ul hanuel hanuel araeso, nae pumdo kakkai onda
(English translation)
To find love, to find life, I run out of breath, running around all day
 Underneath the skies of Seoul, my dreams come closer

There is love, there is friendship, living under the sky
 Each day is lived busily by each different life

In life, there are endless days of hardship
 But we are all trying to find that one love

To find love, to find life, I run out of breath, running around all day
 Underneath the skies of Seoul, my dreams come closer

Knowing love, knowing friendship, we live with a warm heart
 Each day is lived busily by each precious life

In life, there are endless days of hardship
 But we are all trying to find a better life than today

To find love, to find life, I run out of breath, running around all day
 Underneath the skies of Seoul, my dreams come closer

To find love, to find life, I run as I embrace my tired heart
 Underneath the skies of Seoul, my dreams come closer

The above is Wang's family's theme song and my favourite at present because of the meaningful lyrics speaking of our lives in the city.


Thursday, 13 November 2014

SembCorp marine - The falling knife?

I was tempted into buying SembCorp marine shares last week as the price has fallen to $3.60 but unfortunately (or rather fortunately) my order did not get filled.

This week I see the price continue falling to $3.52 today. How low will it go? And when will it get oversold?

In view of the crude oil price crash, Sembcorp vs Keppel Corp, which would you pick? Why?

Read more about its reviews here:
Update: 4/3/16

I would consider my order not getting filled a fortune. Because price hit a record low of $1.40 before retracing upwards. That was a whooping 60% fall! Speaking of catching a falling knife, this is a sharp and long one. :S

Credit card must-knows

1) Find the right card to use

Know what you spend most at and get a card that gives the most perks for that category of spending.
For instance, if you drive and always top up Petrol at SPC then POSB everyday card might be a good choice due to the attractive daily$ rebate. If you love retail therapy then Citibank Rewards card might be a good one for accumulating reward points and perks.
Compare credit cards here

2) Remember to redeem

Don't let your credit card points accumulate to neverland. Most of them come with an expiry date eg. UOB's smart$ (6 months), Standchart's reward points (3 years), DBS Capitarewards (1 year)... These points could be used to offset purchases from participating merchants or shopping vouchers.
Citibank Premier miles reward and POSB's daily$ have no expiry dates (correct me if I am wrong).

3) Cashback - lovin' it

Do not like redeeming from merchants or request vouchers (what's more irritating than T&C such as cannot to be used in conjunction with any promotion)? Then go for the direct cash rebate! Some cards say UOB One, OCBC 365 and Citibank Dividend would give you direct cash rebate in the bill provided you meet their minimum criteria.
So do read the fine prints or you would be wondering why your bill doesn't reflect the stated cash rebates.
Also some rebates are capped at a maximum amount, if you already hit that maximum then you should switch to the next best card to use.
When dining, ask if there is any preferred card to use for bill offset or specials. Many restaurants do periodic tie-ups with credit cards.

4) Credit card fees - remember to get them waived

Note that credit cards and even the supplementary cards would come with annual fee. Fret not. Usually if one has no outstanding loan repayment on the credit card, the bank would allow a fee waiver just by calling in to them. Do watch your bills as the annual fee would be reflected on it and be especially alert if you are using giro-repayment.

Overseas spending would incur currency conversion charges which varies between different banks. Of course you might want to go for the cards with overseas spending rebate to use as such. There is also the late repayment fee which brings us to the next point.

5) Credit card repayment - no debt, no pain

If there is one thing you have to remember in your monthly finance, it would be your credit card bill. Interest rate for any outstanding balance can be as high as 25% pa! No investment return is able to recoup the losses from credit loans. One tip is to avoid using many different credit cards in the same period. This is to accumulate rewards more efficiently and also avoid missing out on any bills when making repayment. Making prompt repayments will add to your credibility record with the bank making it easier for you to take other loans in future. So do take a credit card for the perks but not the credit (borrowings).

6) 0% instalment plans - too good to be true?

Nothing explains better than this Moneysmart post


Monday, 10 November 2014

In love with yogasana and pilate

It's been 2 months since I joined Amore Fitness and I can feel my muscles strength and endurance improving. Although my stamina is still bad as I haven't gone for any cardio activities. Here's what I like and dislike about it.

- Has a vast variety of classes from dances like hip hop, Bollywood to pilates and yoga.
- Has classes spanning over many time slots almost through out the day.
- Walk-ins gym and classes (except for a few peak hour classes have to book 1 week in advance)
- They have many instructors so if you don't like one, can always choose another class to go to.
- Clean venue, big lockers, convenient location and ladies-only (for the branch I signed up at)
- Shower facility and towels provided

- Need $160 sign up fee (for member card)
- Only when you have the time to go consistently will you get your 1 month $138 unlimited gym (one club) sign up worth. If you go by per entry it is simply too expensive.
- Instructors don't have time to correct student by student due to cohort teaching. You just have to be a quick learner.
- Difficulty level may vary between instructors, some basic classes are really basic whereas some basic is not so basic. I had it tough when I first joined by just going for a pilate class without first trying out the basic.
- Studios are small, at 12 would be already quite cramp
- Shoes lockers are mostly all booked

I didn't know the difference between yoga, yogasana and pilate until I joined the classes. Yoga needs too much flexibility for my stubborn bones, I couldn't even do some of the basic stances. Yogasana which focuses more on pose and body balance is less difficult in contrast but need more strength and tolerance.

Pilate focuses on body muscles - tummy, arm, leg muscles and core strength. Doing the plank correctly is the basic. I did not realise I have got a bad right elbow (probably due to prolonged computer mouse usage) until I practised pilate. Thereafter, I set to massage and exercise to strengthen it.

More updates on my progress next time. :)


Saturday, 20 September 2014

Troubleshoot Outlook 365 on Android

If you are using Outlook365 for your company email or whichever emails you have on your Android. Here's a quick set up guide.

1) Enter email add and password

2) Select Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync

3) Domain/ username: email address

4) Server:

And you are ready to go!

PS: I blogged it down because Dory-memory me always forget.
Reference: Office Microsoft

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

The busiest have the most time; the diligent, the best health

This is a phrase from the '108 Adages of Wisdom' app which I have downloaded to my phone (I like motivational quotes on my phone so I can view them very often). I laughed when I first saw it because it sounded so contradictory - how can a busy person have the most time? But as I think deeper into the words, they do make sense...

When you are busy doing purposeful things, you actually will have more time than you thought because you could accomplish more. When you are diligent in exercising and watching your diet, you will have better health. That is what I eventually deciphered.

But contrary to diligence, discipline is just as important.

I signed up for the Amore $78 trial package to have a feel of the classes they have to offer. Because I paid, I felt more compelled to go. Even the free $100 ActiveSG is not enticing enough to make me go swimming regularly. Although I would say it is still a good effort by the sg government to encourage citizens / PR to embark on exercises.

As a result of not swimming regularly, I actually got a jaw ache yesterday. *Groan when I chew*

Going for basic pilates today. ciao~


Saturday, 19 July 2014

Think life like a business

Stage I - The start up

At budding stage, you acquire the capital that you need and plan for the asset(s) you intend to sell by choosing the education / course of interest to you. If the course you graduate from is of hot demand, you will find yourself some very good offers.

Stage II - Stabilisation and expansion

At this stage, you already have the foundation. So you start to acquire more skills, knowledge, network and experience relevant to building your ideal business and see its Net Asset Value increases. While doing so, watch and calculate your free cash flow so that you can better plan for re-investment or save up for rainy days. Operating cash flow goes into daily expenses and buying of equipment. You could diversify your business by investing on alternative courses and picking up skills that would allow you to side-track should your main business fail.

Just be wary of the debt trap when you acquire assets or buy equipment that do not add value to your business.

And don't forget to pay dividend to your shareholders (those who worked for you or benefited you).

Stage III - Merger or acquisition

That is when you decided 2 is better than 1 despite the risks involved -  acquisition (you gain net asset by marrying someone with lower net asset or even higher in some cases) and merger (new partnership).
Businesses with better book value usually get a better acquisition offer.

Some businesses after merger or acquisition prosper with the common vision, mission and value bringing brighter future. Some businesses would fail to thrive as vision, mission and value fail to coincide and the net assets eventually got depleted. You go back to stage II.

Stage IV - Harvest / crisis

This is when your business goes from fully on track and stable to slowing down. You enjoy golden years and could retire on stable income (from investments, savings and / or children).

On the other hand, you could also face crisis if you fail to acquire enough assets and back up solutions (eg. insurance) as business is waning.

Stage VI - Bankruptcy / handover

This may happen at any time.

This is the time of either handing over your legacy to the future generation or ending up in bankruptcy with nothing to pass on.


3 things I learnt from gaming Sanguasha (三国杀)

This is a popular online multi-player card game from China using poker-description cards which was introduced by one friend of mine years ago. There are many variants to play in the game and that's what makes it really fun. Here are some take-aways lessons that can be applied to real life.

1) 谋事在人, 成事在天.
Even if you are the best strategist in the world, you cannot win if heaven doesn't deal you a good hand. There is no such thing as fairness. Although like 'cash-is-king', here 'card-is-king' but if you hold 10 lousy cards, you would still lose to someone with 4 good cards.

2) People in the same team need to rely on synergism. Every character has their own strengths and weaknesses, So don't look down on anybody even if the skill does not seem powerful persay.

3) 欲速则不达.
Sometimes it takes patience, sometimes it takes sacrifices to win a game. You could sacrifice after dealing a final blow to the enemy in a strategic way for your team to win eventually.

In life, one can never expect every decision made to be right. We cannot expect everything to be fair either. Learn to appreciate and play with the hands which we are dealt.

After losing in an endeavour, if we could sigh and say "I have done my best I could" that would suffice for the experience.


Thursday, 20 March 2014

Google Adsense pay out

Google has mailed me a pleasant surprise - money for my blog's AdSense. Something which I did not expect as putting ads on my blog is purely experimental and knowing that my locally blog is far from a hit. Nevertheless, I am happy to find another source of income besides working, saving and investing. Not a very reliable source though, haha.

If you found any value in my blog or enjoyed any of my humble posts here, please show some support by simply clicking on any of my Adsense. Hopefully I can get another mail from Google in time to come this year.

I opened an Online Trading account with Standard Chartered Bank today. Yes, as you guessed it - for the attractive 0.2% brokerage fees. The flip side is that all the shares bought will be under the custodian of the bank and all transactions are to be made with cash upfront.

STI^ waivering at 3080 today. Looks like the Ukraine issue is still causing much market concerns.


Tuesday, 11 March 2014

AimsAmp Ind Reit: Rights issue

I was tempted to buy in AimsAmp due to the good dividend yield . Then then then... luckily I saw on a blog that I follow that they have rights issue - OFFER OF 7 FOR 40 @ SGD 1.08.

No wonder the price dropped and thus the good % yield! I think I shall wait for a while for its price to stabilise before I do anything. It's now trading at $1.31.

A few other reits I am looking at now is CDL, Frasers Centrepoint and Starhill global. Bought CapitaRetail China.

Just a few points here to remind myself:

* Sometimes dividend yield can be a deceiving figure. Since % is correlated to the share price. Look also at the absolute figure to see whether it is in actual fact increasing or decreasing.

* A chart gives only a 2D representation of a stock (one-sided view) but we must look at the entire 3D view of a stock before making a judgement. As behind every major fluctuation in a stock (which seems independent of the macro market), lies a story to be uncovered...

* The magnitude of drop a chart show you may not always be what you see. Is it a full chart or a partial chart? What is the time frame you are looking at?

* Always look at the company's earnings and cash flow.

* REITs tend to issue rights to fund their debts, do check the purpose of their rights issue before deciding to sell or subscribe. With rights issue, share price would get diluted.


Monday, 10 March 2014

Saizen price "miracle" - Stocks consolidation exercise

The sudden increase in Saizen's share price after the Japan Tsunami kept me wondering for a while, but just a short while before I found out what's the cause of the price hike.

It is not that the company has truly recovered and risen in value over such a short period, it is due to a stocks consolidation exercise aka a reverse split. So don't be too enthusiastic to buy in a stock that has suddenly risen without finding out the real reason behind. The actual market capitalization of the stock actually remained the same.

As quoted from Investopedia: "This procedure is typically used by companies with low share prices that would like to increase these prices to either gain more respectability in the market or to prevent the company from being delisted (many stock exchanges will delist stocks if they fall below a certain price per share). For example, in a reverse 5-for-1 split, 10 million outstanding shares at 50 cents each would now become two million shares outstanding at $2.50 per share."


Sunday, 9 March 2014

Battery life rescue for Samsung Galaxy SIII

This fast battery drain in android phone (specifically my Samsung S3) could happen after a system update, which besides giving me a slight change of interface it also gave me a plummeting battery life. I can charge my phone to full before I sleep and the next day woke up with only about 30% left. Damn frustrating. What I did was to do a cache update. Now how to do that?

1) After turning off the phone for 5 seconds, go to system set up by holding the Volume Up/Down, Home, & the Power button. Continue to hold all three until the screen flashes, then release all buttons.

2) Select using the Volume and power button - Cache update.

3) The system will restart itself.

Battery life increased by a considerably 3 folds thereafter. =)

Others also suggested clear cache, or turning off all those useless Samsung programs that's running in the background. Just check your RAM, if you see a lot of RAM used, probably all those are from junk programs are eating up your battery life. Go to application manager and disable them. And don't forget to turn on power saving mode under Settings --> My device if you want to conserve your battery through the day.

Sunday, 5 January 2014

Android Troubleshoot: Allowed devices for mobile hotspot

I have just figured out how to acquire the MAC address for input into the "Add allowed devices" for my Samsung Galaxy's mobile hotspot.

On the laptop go to Network and Sharing Centre >> Network Connections >>
right click on the Android AP network icon >>
view Status >>
Details >>
Look under Physical Address >>
Give your device a name and key in all the pairs of alphabets / numbers into the MAC address field pop up in your mobile device

Taddah... Now only your laptop can tap onto your mobile hotspot! ;)

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