Friday 31 July 2020

July 2020 Portfolio Updates - Changes to RSP and sold First REIT

July 2020 is over and time for another portfolio update. This month has seen quite abit of changes in my portfolio. As the market react to US-China tensions, high unemployment rates and the pandemic, prices have been fluctuating.

I have decided to trim down my portfolio when possible. So this month, I sold First REIT at a price of $0.56 because to be honest, I am very disappointed in the management. First REIT was one of the first stock that I bought in 2017 and I have received about $254.90 dividends from it but lost about $655.95 from the sale of it.

This is because my buying price was high at about $1.20 in 2017. I really want to trim and remove some counters in my portfolio that are dragging the performance down. I tried selling Design Studio (D11.SI) a few weeks back but I am not able to sell it due to a suspension halt since Jan 2020.

I have really decided and found that I am absolutely no good at stock picking though my hands still do get itchy at times.

So I will try not to add anymore individual stocks to my portfolio and solely focus on index ETF.

For my RSP, I have decided to stop purchasing Tracker Fund of Hong Kong (2800) and instead just put it solely into Vanguard Total World Stock ETF (VT). Also, I am thinking of starting a RSP into ARK Innovation ETF, not on a monthly basis but maybe on a quarterly basis as I find it a good growth ETF and since I can take on more risk right now. I am still considering but for now, I will just stick to buying VT monthly.

With so many things going on in the world, it really makes me doubt in investing my money as I don't see a future, with all the countries facing their own set of problems. As I bought most of my stocks at a high price, they are still in the red currently, I will still hold onto them. And I am happy at some of my holdings.

Received $64 dollars in dividends from Nikko AM STI ETF. Expecting $27 from Singtel in August and then $150 from Far East Orchard and $21 from CapitaRetail China Trust in September 2020.

Sunday 26 July 2020

Answering some questions - what brokerage accounts do I use and should you start POSB Invest Saver for higher interest?

Seedly is a great platform to learn about personal finance and investing. I came across some questions asked by the community and decided to answer them using my own experience.

The first question is about a fresh graduate who has about $40,000 on hand and is exploring some long term investments.

Next, a question was asked whether should he/she start POSB Invest Saver for a higher interest rate for DBS Multiplier account.

Lastly, I cover some of the brokerage accounts I have and mainly for Singapore stocks, there is the option of custodian or having them in your CDP account.

Hope that you guys found it informative and do share any feedback or views that you have!

Disclaimer: Information published here are purely opinions or feedback and should in no way be taken as guaranteed. Readers are encouraged to do their due diligence by doing sufficient research before making any decisions based on materials

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Saturday 25 July 2020

Major Changes at Work - Feeling burned out and tired

Work has been draining and tiring, I am now starting to dread waking up and going to work because of the overwhelming deadlines and workload involved.

Three main separate departments including mine have merged together and we have to learn each other's processes and over time I do think that it will be a great thing for the company as lesser manpower will be required as everyone is considered a master of everything and not so specialized. With learning going on only through videos and call, progress hasn't been easy and some colleagues in the team will be leaving as well meaning more work for those who stay on.

I have been thinking about my work almost every night, scared that deadlines will be missed or mistakes made. I have to admit that I am slow to adapt to changes and with working from home setup, not being able to physically communicate the changes to my colleagues makes it worse.

My company was planning to bring us back to office but as community numbers increase, they have decided to put that on hold. I am grateful to still have a job but the stress from it is really affecting me.

I am afraid of making some mistakes that will cause many downstream impacts, in the meantime, I can only adapt and hope that things will be fine. I have and am exploring opportunities outside considering my contract will be ending Dec 2020 however with the outlook and me only working about 1 year plus, I haven't really got back any replies.

I am learning a lot but the pressure really gets to me due to working late and even on weekends. 5 years down the road, I will look back and maybe this will be something minute in my life.

Really not too sure on how I will continue to cope but I know that I am tired and would like a break if I can afford to. To be honest, if my mum was still working, I would have resigned but considering that she is no longer working now and surviving on her savings, I have to decide on my next step before throwing the letter.

Let's see how it goes the next few weeks or months to come. In the meantime, take care and stay safe as this situation will persist for months to come.

Saturday 18 July 2020

Should I buy Singapore Airlines stock now?

Singapore Airlines is Singapore’s national carrier and definitely a symbol of significance. It has for many years focused on providing exceptional services to the passengers in their kebaya. It has two subsidiaries: SilkAir operates regional flights to secondary cities, while Scoot operates as a low-cost carrier. Singapore airlines has also won many best airline awards.

Someone close told me to buy some Singapore airlines stocks because it is really cheap right now and in the long run, it will definitely pick up. However I am a little hesitant about it. With limited cash in my warchest, would I really want to take this risk?

Who is to say that the business will definitely get better for airlines in the next few years. Social distancing, no meals on board, no interaction, travelling is not going to be the same anymore until a vaccine is found but even so, not everyone in the world will have access to the vaccine.

Airlines are a cyclical industry where there are peaks and valleys and are sensitive to the business cycle, such that revenues generally are higher in periods of economic prosperity As more people travel and are lower in periods of economic downturn and contraction as less ppl travel when times are bad.

In the short term, chances of recovery will be slow and even Lawrence Wong has mentioned that travelling will not likely resume in 2020. With SIA reporting operating loss and 95.1% year on year decrease of passengers in June, it will take awhile before business picks up. What is your take on it?

Disclaimer: Information published here are purely opinions or feedback and should in no way be taken as guaranteed. Readers are encouraged to do their due diligence by doing sufficient research before making any decisions based on materials

Wednesday 15 July 2020

Seeing my Cash Balance Build up - More People are Saving

Since the circuit breaker started in April till now, I have seen my cash balance build up faster than it has usually. With my main expenses on food and transport having a great reduction as we work from home and no dine-in, I managed to save a lot more.

So for June and July, I have purchased some stocks like OCBC, Tesla and a small portion of the STI ETF (ES3). Will have a more in-depth update in my July 2020 portfolio update coming month end.

I think for now, it is nice to see my cash balance slowly build up because previously my family was planning a trip in August to Japan and I knew that the trip will require a substantial amount from me. With the trip being shelved aside due to the situation, the amount that I put aside can now be saved up.  

This situation really brought about the awareness of saving for rainy days as many people realised how vulnerable their jobs are and that having an emergency fund is essential.

I saw this infographics poster from Straits Times showing that the pandemic has changed general spending habits and more are focused on different ways to save money as 53% actively researched for ways to save money. Information was gathered through a SingSaver survey.

33% are committed to building and expanding their emergency funds and 33% also created additional streams of income.

Read more: My 3 sources of income at 25 years old

Saving and being frugal is good but to be too frugal could give negative outcomes if you do not spend on quality items. To be so obsessed with saving can make you not make the right decisions for example, to save money, some might skip the doctor's visit or buy a replacement item at a cheaper price. These actions may save you some money in the short term but in the long term could make you spend more.

It is good that more people are more aware of their expenses and finances. With uncertainties ahead of us in the ever-changing world, having good saving habits can provide us with a peace of mind. Stay safe and well!

Saturday 11 July 2020

My 3 sources of income at 25 years old

During this pandemic many people realize that they cannot just rely on their main/one income alone. Because it can be so easily taken away from them and no one is going to be there to help them fight for them financially and so a second source of income or even a third income stream will help so much especially in times like these. I think what is very important is to realize that your second stream of income can be something that you have always wanted to be doing and that just makes it much more interesting because not everyone enjoys the main job that they’re currently doing.

Example: Malaysian cooking couple become YouTube sensation with over 165k subscribers

In this time and age being able to be flexible and agile is so important because everything is ever-changing and adapting is a crucial thing to ensure survival. 

My second and third income stream for now does not amount to much but I hope that in the future they can help to supplement my expenses or even help me to save more so that I can have a better peace of mind.

Remember that your life is yours and you can take better control of it by making sure that you’re stable or pursuing something you enjoy in your free time beside working on your main job :)

00:20 Why I have more than 1 income source

00:46 The 3 main source of income

01:23 Breakdown of the 3 sources

02:40 Dividends received in 2018 and 2019

03:36 What am I doing to increase dividends

04:11 Conclusion

Wednesday 8 July 2020

Time in Market Beats Timing the Market

BeatTheBush is a YouTuber who sold all his stocks holdings as he was expecting another stock market crash and he will buy back when they have gone down.

After he sold the stocks, the market shot up and recovered rapidly. With that, he lost about $20,000 in gains and then reported also that he could have had $40,000.

With Tesla hitting $1000 a few days ago, the gains were enormous as the market recovers in a crazy amount of time.

He also mentions in his latest video that he FOMO hard on TSLA, as he bought 100 shares of Tesla when it was about $200 and sold it when it was about $800. He says that if he held on to that, he would have earned an extra $14,000.

He sold off all his holdings thinking that a stock market crash will be coming soon due to the situation but instead to his horror, stocks went even higher and now for him to enter the market again means buying back his positions at a higher price.
"Time in the market beats timing the market"
This is a really famous quote and many people agree with it. It sounds really easy but to stay in the market especially when your portfolio has a huge profit or when the market looks like it is about to crash is difficult.

Why time in the market beats timing the market because firstly, you save on transaction fees, to sell and purchase the stocks again with guarantee that you can get it at the original price you pay is a risk. The transaction fees can really add up especially if you have different stocks in your portfolio.

Secondly, the stock will usually go up over time especially over a long period of time like 10 years. This is because items and goods will generally increase in prices and consumer will then spend more hence in a way due to inflation, innovation and population growth. the stock will generally go up. Of course, you can never be so sure as there is always uncertainty and past result does not guarantee that the future will also follow.

Lastly, a lot of effort is needed to time the market, no one can really absolutely catch the bottom,maybe once or twice but it is impossible to catch it every single time. Staying invested means that you are confident that the company you are invested in will survive and grow in the years to come. To be selling and buying requires effort as daily news can bring about fluctuation in prices and monitoring them can be tedious. 

Of course, if a terget price for a certain company that you set has been reached, you can consider selling it to take profits as the profits will not materialized until you sell your stocks. We all learn along the way and there definitely is no hard and fast rule but just when to cut loss or take profit.

Sunday 5 July 2020

Illumina (ILMN) - Part 2

Illumina is a company specialising in genomics and strives to allow customers to read and understand genetic variations. They help provide research and also clinical services to customers. I would say that it is a pretty niche industry where R&D really plays a huge part in the company's development.

Business Model

Their business mainly consist of 2 genomic technologies, sequencing and microarrays. Sequencing which is a more deep analysis of genomes and targeted DNA region is not fully known while microarrays are for discovery in common variations and when quick answers are required.

Sequencing accounts for about 88% of the revenue while microarrays account for about 12% of it's revenue.


Gross profit and revenue was good in first 3 months of 2020 but net income drops compared to 2019 as total operating expense increases.

Free cash flow is also looking good.

Overall outlook and my opinions

Overall, for me, genomics and DNA is really such a niche industry and I don't think I will be interested as their business model and services they provide are really something that I will need to do further research into before I can understand.

If you are someone who works or understand the life sciences industry, I would think that you will be able to make a more informed decision as the business model and clinical applications would be more relevant to you.