Saturday, December 30, 2017

4Q 2017 Investment Strategy Update

A few hours ago marks the end of trading for Dow Jones for the year 2017. So how did USA and Singapore fare for the year 2017? Marked by a strong USA economy recovery in 2H and low unemployment rate, corporate profits has continue to exceed analyst expectation, fueling a bull run in stocks. DJI ends the year at 24719, climbing 4957 (+25.1%) compared to a year ago. This has the potential of being derailed by the nationalist Trump, enacting policies (Tax breaks, employment) that seems to benefit more for the wealthy than for the common people. Reducing taxes will definitely boost the companies profit in the short term, but this policy hinges on the assumption that with more money on hand, economy will spend more, resulting in more profits and more taxes to be collected for the government. But, what if this doesn't happen? If forced to hike tax rate to stem the rise in government debt at a later date, it will have a disastrous effect on the economy. On the case of employment, to bring jobs back to America again, will it actually happen? From the news report, it seems unlikely. Companies are proceeding with upgrading and investing in Automation, reducing the number of workers needed. Through these upgrading investment, I agree it will spur the economy for 1-2 years, from the companies providing the upgrade service, but after this phase pass, what is left? With better economy, the housing market are on the rise again, leading to more construction, new homes, renovations, which will mean more debt as people borrow to carry out these projects (I doubt they will have cash to paid in full without borrowing). This all looks like a housing boom 2.0 all over again. This was what George W. Bush tried to do during his term and failed miserably. One thing that they seem to forget (or purposely overlook) is with stronger economy, US dollars will rise, which means the things produced in America will be much more expensive. Things will start to go wrong when people starts switching to cheaper alternatives overseas. Having said all these, will it happen? We will know in 1-2 years time. At least for the next 6 months, USA will continue on its growth path.

Back closer at home, STI has also benefited, with Singapore economy scoring bull eyes in 2H. STI ended the year at 3402, climbing 522 (+18.1%) compared to a year ago. Most of the stocks seems overprice for now, so I will just hold some cash and wait for the Bear to come. However, among all stocks, I can still see a few good ones that is positioned to grow in the next few years (I will talk more about it later). Having received the cash from Croesus privatization in 4Q, I am looking forward to 1Q 2018 cash from GLP privatization to continue re-shuffling my portfolio.

Now a time for reflection, compared to what I stated at the start of the year (New Investment Strategy 2017 - Growing Passive Income), how do I fare? This is a 3 year plan and having passed 1/3 of the journey, below are my result:

Original 2017-2019 plan:
  1. 50% Equity, 50% Reits/Trusts
  2. Portfolio Yield to be 1.50% in 2017, 2.50% in 2018, 3.75% in 2019.
End 2017 Snapshot:
  1. 90.96% Equity, 9.04% Reits/Trusts (Around the same as 2016)
  2. Portfolio Yield at 1.27% (+0.51% from 2016, but miss 2017 1.50% target)
Below is my end 2017 portfolio snapshot:

2017 has been quite a good year for me, ended with the complete divestment of Croesus Retail Trust, partial GLP sale and selling off Man United share with a good mid tens percentage gain. However, I am still on book losses for the commodity and O&G shares. Hopefully, with the boom in oil and commodity price in 4Q, I will be able to reduce my exposure to the sector in 2018. Below will be a summary of the transaction I have done in 4Q 2017:

Transaction 1: Bought in another batch of Man United shares in early October.

Seeing the good performances of Man United on pitch and ticking up of Man United shares on NYSE, I decided to enter the market again, hopefully exiting the counter when it reached my target price.

Transaction 2: Sold off most Man United shares a few weeks after transaction 1.

To put it simply, target price reached and I decided to exit the counter for a mid tens percentage gain.

Transaction 3: Bought in a batch of Mapletree Industrial Trust.

50% of cash from Croesus Retail Trust privatization was used to fund this purchase. They have a good pipeline of new properties coming on line in the next 2 years with good tenant commitment rate. In addition, they have now divested into data centers, with the recent joint venture to purchase a portfolio of data centers in USA with its parent company, Mapletree Investment.

Transaction 4: Bought in a batch of Fraser Centrepoint Trust.

Renovation at Northpoint City North Wing is drawing to a close and tenant occupancy rate should start ticking up. That will provide a base for this counter. For the new Northpoint City South Wing, it is still currently under Fraser Centerpoint. However, I got the feeling that once tenant base stabilize in the South Wing, Fraser Centrepoint might want to divest the whole South Wing property to Fraser Centrepoint Trust. This will be a good catalyst for growth. Fraser Centrepoint Trust currently already owned the Northpoint City North Wing and the adjacent building (Yishun GV) Level 1 shops.

Transaction 5: Bought in another batch of Noble Group.

Their debt restructuring efforts is coming to an end and it looks like banks will not forced them into Chapter 11. Just bought in a small batch to average down my overall price.

Transaction 6: Bought in another batch of Krisenergy.

Like what I shared in Q3, they have a potential of farming out their oil field to reduce the capital investment stress. Just bought in a small batch to average down my overall price.

Transaction 7: Sold off a small batch of GLP.

Cash in for the Noble Group purchase.

That is all for now. See you all in Q1 2018 update and thank you for reading this long long post. =)

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Journey to the East (Bedok)

In 30 hours, I need to make my way to Bedok not once, not twice, but three times. It is indeed record breaking. All these for:
  1. Sunday Street Soccer Session
  2. Attending a Malay Soccer Kaki Wedding
  3. Free gift redemption
I guess I have seen enough of Bedok for now.....

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Upgrade of Krisflyer Membership Tier

Now... I will have 25% more miles for a year whenever I fly

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Synopsis: In Lucasfilm's Star Wars: The Last Jedi, the Skywalker saga continues as the heroes of The Force Awakens join the galactic legends in an epic adventure that unlocks age-old mysteries of the Force and shocking revelations of the past. [Source: Golden Village]

At last, the next saga of Star Wars is released after waiting for 2 years. This time, the plot concentrates on the next generation of the First Order and the Resistance Leaders as they try to make their mark in this drawn out war. There are plenty of galaxy fighting, few scenes of the ever familiar light sabers fights, not much new character introduction as the Resistance turned tail and try to escape for their survival. Not a bad show to catch as we catch up on the plot.

Rate: 7/10

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Fireworks, Should We See It From The Side Or The Bottom

Synopsis: One Summer day, in a sea-side town. One Junior high school is gathered with an excitement before a firework show. Norimichi(Masaki Suda) and Yusuke(Mamoru Miyano), at a pool side, meets Nazuna(Suzu Hirose), an idol of their class, a girl they both secretly have a crush on. The two boys turn out to have a swimming match with Nazuna. Norimichi, although fails the match, finds a mysterious ball in the water. On the other hand, Yusuke, who won the fight, is asked by Nazuna to go out to watch the firework show together. After school, while boys have an argument whether fireworks are round or flat when viewed from sideways, Norimichi is told by Nazuna that she was going to ask out the one who won the swimming match. However, her true purpose was to “elope” with a boy from her remarrying mother. Nazuna, in front of Norimichi’s eyes, resists her mother who pulls her back home. Norimichi, powerlessly, only stares the situation and cannot do anything. “If only I won the match thay day…” Irritated, Norimichi throws the ball he found in the water and then… He finds himself back in the moment of the swimming match. After the day repeated over and over again, what will Nazuna and Norimichi find in the end? And after all, is the firework round or flat when viewed from sideways? When the fireworks sparkle, the love encounters a miracle...[Source: Golden Village]

Truthfully, I get the anime plot where one person keep going back in time to make things right. What I could not get is that the author ends the movie without much of an ending. It just makes us wonder why do we even sit in the theater for 90mins to watch the anime in the first place. Well, at least the film has got some nice songs and music. Personally, I will only recommend you watching this if you are good with film leaving you hanging on a cliff.. with no sight of season 2....

Rate: 5/10

Wednesday, December 06, 2017

12th Year Blog Anniversary

Yes, this blog has officially open shop for 12 years. For the past year, by God's grace, I have changed job to a scope that I wanted to do and with much better work life balance. Things are going well and we are looking forward to 2 holiday trips next year! I do hope I can still keep this blog active for many years to come and I give thanks to Him for everything He has blessed us with.

2018, here I come.

Some Statistic: 
Page Count: 58618 +3002 
Year on Year increase: +1860 +162.87%

Justice League

Synopsis: Fueled by his restored faith in humanity and inspired by Superman's selfless act, Bruce Wayne enlists the help of his newfound ally, Diana Prince, to face an even greater enemy. Together, Batman and Wonder Woman work quickly to find and recruit a team of metahumans to stand against this newly awakened threat. But despite the formation of this unprecedented league of heroes--Batman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Cyborg and The Flash--it may already be too late to save the planet from an assault of catastrophic proportions. [Source: Golden Village]

Not a bad movie as a sequel to Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice, which I remembered failed terribly the last time I watched it. This time, at least they have a proper plot throughout the movie. The film can be funny at times with its slow motion to see the reaction of the flash as he watched everything moving so slowly past him. Batman seems to be catching on in age and this might be his last appearance. Overall, I find this a good DC movie to catch.

Rate: 6.5/10

Sunday, December 03, 2017

India (Gurgaon, Mumbai) Work Trip (281117 - 011217)

First time going to India on a business trip, with lots of advises from my colleagues and horror stories of the past, such as Japan expatriates needed to hospitalize for 3 weeks due to stomach problems, came back to Singapore and needed MCs for 1 week...etc. To protect yourself, the common advise given is to drink only mineral water, avoid local food and to the extend of using mineral water to brush your teeth! To make the situation anything but better, the air in Gurgaon is pretty bad, as reported in the newspaper of smog engulfing the whole New Delhi city a few weeks ago. Well, at least I will come prepared with a N95 in the luggage.

Good morning Gurgaon, with a layer of smog?

India version of prata, nothing resembling the Singapore version we are used to. Dough is salty with cheese in the filling. There is no curry for the dough and the orange stuffs has a unique taste I am not used to eating

Daily newspaper update on PM2.5 level. 342...reminds me of 2013 Singapore haze

Next trip to Mumbai via Air India. Service and food is not good, plus my table is spoilt. I think next time I will try Vistara, a joint venture between Tata and SIA

A look at the polluted canal next to Mumbai Office, reminds of the pictures seen in the Singapore 60s

Well, at least I survived India, only down with a little runny nose and cough the next day, most probably due to the air....I guess....