Friday, August 16, 2019

Technology - Helpful or Dreadful?

So it seems POSB has recently revamp and launched a new version of its online banking app. With auto update, the app was replaced with this new version yesterday on my iPhone. Happy with this new cool look, I log in to perform some banking transaction only to find out their digital token authentication doesn't work anymore. No matter how hard I try (even logging into the web version), there is no other way to switch and authenticate via physical token. With no authentication, no transaction can be done and I was simply stuck... Only way (Calling the hotline simply take too much time) was to go down to the bank physically and get them to reset and re-link the digital token again on the spot. Yeah so much for technology. Rely on them too much and it can backfire on you. What is wrong with using the good old physical token? Well, looking at the reviews, looks like all other users are also hit with the digital token bug....

Saturday, August 03, 2019

Trump has done it again

Barely 1 month after agreeing to a ceasefire, Trump has fired off a sneak attack again using tariff increase to impose pressure on China to make a deal. To escalate the scale of attack, the 10% tariff will now include all imports of goods from China, effective 01-Sep, just when the next round of trade negotiation is going to take place. I still don't think that Trump understand how China works. Pressuring and threatening tactics will only make them hunker down and employ tit-for-tat measures. I believe China will not stay silence. For a start, they will likely pull off September negotiation and impose similar tariff to all USA imports. Let's see how China will response. Equity market are likely to be a downhill from now on.

Update 05-Aug
It is not surprising that Trump's tactics in negotiation: It is his way or the highway.

China is running out of things to tax, primary because they are exporting much more than importing goods or services. They may instead try other ways to punish USA, such as currency devaluation (slowly), control of rare earth export, placing American companies on an “unreliable entities list”, stop buying Boeing planes. It will be interesting how American companies response to such maneuver. Time will tell which methods China will undertake in response.

China Retaliation
Well, China wasted no time in coming out some counter measures.
  1. China asked state buyers to halt US agriculture imports, after Trump threatens fresh 10% tariff. This is going to hurt the USA farmer base, which has actively supported Trump. Ouch! 2020 presidential election coming....
  2. China Hits Back at Trump by Weakening Yuan. The central bank attributed the yuan move to protectionism and expectations of additional tariffs on Chinese goods, while saying it can still maintain a steady currency. Yup, a great excuse and a straight face palm to Trump. In fact, it is like saying, what USA are not buying, we can sell to other country where our goods are now cheaper. We do not depend on USA alone.
  3. (Update 24-Aug) While China worked for three weeks on its multi-tiered tariff response, Trump's promised retaliation - which came in a signature tweetstorm - was announced in less than 10 hours
Oh well, that again basically tell us for President Trump way of negotiation, it is his way or the highway. I doubt he has asked his administration for their measured response on a retaliation framework on China tariff announcement on 23-Aug. 10 hours to worked out a measured response for a No 1 world economy? You must be kidding me. I pray for the citizens of USA.

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Disney's The Lion King

Synopsis: Simba idolizes his father, King Mufasa, and takes to heart his own royal destiny. But not everyone in the kingdom celebrates the new cub’s arrival. Scar, Mufasa’s brother — and former heir to the throne — has plans of his own. The battle for Pride Rock is ravaged with betrayal, tragedy and drama, ultimately resulting in Simba’s exile. With help from a curious pair of newfound friends, Simba will have to figure out how to grow up and take back what is rightfully his. [Source: Golden Village]

Well, after Aladdin, I have high expectation for Lion King, but unfortunately, this movie remake is just average. Singing is not really outstanding and the movie has nothing much to offer except the extremely life-like depiction of African scenes and animals. Kudos to that. Well, I think if you are here for the songs, the Lion King musical may be better. 

Rate: 6/10

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Spider-Man: Far From Home

Synopsis: Peter Parker returns in Spider-Man: Far From Home, the next chapter of the Spider-Man: Homecoming series! Our friendly neighborhood Super Hero decides to join his best friends Ned, MJ, and the rest of the gang on a European vacation. However, Peter’s plan to leave super heroics behind for a few weeks are quickly scrapped when he begrudgingly agrees to help Nick Fury uncover the mystery of several elemental creature attacks, creating havoc across the continent! [Source: Golden Village]

Not the typical Spider-man you are expecting, but this version is totally on its own, creating its own story and path. While it is quite refreshing to see a younger Spider-man in his teenage days, it is totally interesting to see a Spider-man with his identity compromised at the end of the show. Movie No 3 is definitely coming up, cant wait for it to be released. Action wise, it is doing pretty ok with the expectation of a Marvel film.

Rate: 8/10

Saturday, June 29, 2019

2Q 2019 Investment Strategy Update

For 2Q, USA pretty much dominated the headlines again, with Trump - China trade tariff threats, Trump - Mexico tariff threats, Trump - EU tariff threats. Note: I said Trump - XX tariff threats, and not USA - XX tariff threats for a good reason. This is Trump and his inner circles view alone and not the consensus of the major population and companies. Trump, as plain as all can see (I hope), does not accept losing as a word in his dictionary. I find this article quite a good read. Tearing up deals, burning bridges that predecessor painstakingly built is a common theme of Trump's rule for the past 3 years. I pray for the future presidents of USA to rebuild the relationship that was lost or soured just because of 1 man action. On a hindsight, because of the economic uncertainty due to the trade wars, I fear a recession (perhaps a mild one) could be coming soon. USA may truly need to start cutting its public debt to make it sustainable.

DJI ended at 26599, a rise of 671 points (+2.58%) compared to 1Q. For Singapore, STI ended at 3321, an increase of 109 points (+3.39%) compared to last quarter. Generally, the stock market has been shielded from the trade war that has been going on and USA economic results till now has been resilient to these negative news, as shown in the continue upward trends of stocks. However, market indicator of late has began to show signs of coming possible recession. Consumer and business confidence are dropping, Purchasing Managers Index has also been dropping, and more subtly defensive counter such as reits and high yield stocks are recording all time high in these past 2 months in Singapore, probably due to influx of fresh funds for less risky yields. (Update 01-Jul-19: This article summarises what I just said, looks like defensive counters rise is not limited to just Singapore market)

Trump has always view the USA economy and stocks performance as a report card for his president tendency. With the upcoming 2020 presidential election, I believe he will do anything to achieve that, probably proposing popular measures such as more tax cuts. I wonder how USA is going to fund the tax income shortfall except with piling more debt? Well, Trump certainly will not be around to solve this debt issue when it spiral out of hand. For the immediate 1 year (till 2020 where Trump's term will end), I believe the market will be leaning to positive due to Trump's positive interference. G20 meeting is currently on-going in Osaka, lets see if Trump will compromise with China to make a Great Deal that USA will win as what he has been trumpeting on. 

For Q2 2019, I am focused on opportunistic stocks that have an attractive price to enter and hopefully sell them off when I deem their full value is matched. With the recent CDP lending rule change, I will also be building up my current portfolio to meet the lending requirement: either $10,000 in market value per counter or holding 10,000 shares per counter. Hopefully, this can provide me with additional lending income.

Transaction 1: Bought in one batch of China Everbright in April and June.

China has been going on their environmental sustainability activities for some time and industrial waste treatment has been a long term project with increasing focus by the government. With this company effectively 70% state-own, they have been bagging projects after projects, with their recurring profits on managing the plant and treatment of the waste water on a 30 years Build-Operate-Transfer Scheme. On a hindsight, due to the low valuation they get on SGX, I think they may delist and shift entirely to HKSE in 1 year time.

Transaction 2: Participated in Fraser Centerpoint preferential share subscription in May.

Did not expect them to purchase the holding company of Asia Malls but this deal surely increase the value of FCT. Now, they have a pipeline of potential Asia Malls to purchase. The purchase of 33.3% interest in Waterway point has been a long time rumor and they managed to put it to reality with the purchase announcement straight after the Asia Mall holding company purchase. The last pipeline remaining is Northpoint City (South Wing). When will they call the purchase?

Transaction 3: Bought in one batch of Sasseur Reit in June.

Still find the 8+% yield tempting at current price. Just purchase this counter to beef the total holding to meet the CDP lending requirement.

That is all for now. See you all in Q3 2019 update and thank you for reading this long long post. =) Now, I need to think of the next 3 year plan (2020 - 2022) to grow my passive income.

Thursday, June 20, 2019

Detective Conan: The Fist Of Blue Sapphire

Synopsis: In a series first, the movie will see Conan travel overseas to Singapore where he and Kaitou Kid become embroiled in a conspiracy involving a murder in Marina Bay Sands and the mysterious Blue Sapphire. [Source: Golden Village]

First time ever, a Conan animation movie based entirely on Singapore. Really interesting to see how our iconic MBS and Marina Barrage got destroyed in the animation during the criminal acts. There are also funny moments though, such as our Merlion throwing out blood. Haha, I am not sure if PAP is going to stomach that well. Nonetheless, a great movie once again! First time ever too, seeing Kaitou Kid walking openly into a trap.

Rate: 7.5/10

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

X-Men: Dark Phoenix

Synopsis: In DARK PHOENIX, the X-MEN face their most formidable and powerful foe: one of their own, Jean Grey. During a rescue mission in space, Jean is nearly killed when she is hit by a mysterious cosmic force. Once she returns home, this force not only makes her infinitely more powerful, but far more unstable. Wrestling with this entity inside her, Jean unleashes her powers in ways she can neither comprehend nor contain. With Jean spiraling out of control, and hurting the ones she loves most, she begins to unravel the very fabric that holds the X-Men together. Now, with this family falling apart, they must find a way to unite -- not only to save Jean's soul, but to save our very planet from aliens who wish to weaponize this force and rule the galaxy. [Source: Golden Village]

Well, I kind of understand why they called it a flop at the US Box Office. First of all, this is the least epic X-men movie you will ever seen. There are no major fight scene or destruction that will give you a wow factor. Plus, if you have seen the previous movie about Jean Grey on X-men: The Last Stand, this will pale in comparison. Don't bother to stay till the end though, as there are no ending scenes. 

Rate: 6/10