Love People & Use Things because The Opposite never works

Love People

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I came across the below post in Seedly Personal Finance Facebook group:

Should I make my bf pay me rental fees? A “social-financial” cohesion problem.

“Dear Seedly Community, My bf and I are both in our late 30s and have recently decided to live together in my landed home, the mortgage for which I have fully paid up. He pays about $5k monthly for his rental condo unit and his current lease will end soon.

Should I make him pay me rent or do we draw up some financial arrangement to make sure he will not be a free-loader when he moves in with me? He earns lots more $ than me and also spends way more $ than me. Will be interested to hear your views please. 🙂 ” Aged 30 to 34 year old.

I have always felt that it is hard to quantify a ‘relationship’ with someone who is close to you.

Personally, I keep track of my personal finances (income and expenses) as well as my investment.

However, every now and then some needs would appear in my family. FYI, I am married with 2 kids.

  1. Quarterly enrichment classes fees for my son.
  2. Medical fees for my children.
  3. Birthday presents/celebration
  4. The occasional overseas holidays (to nearby places) with my family (and with my parents and siblings + their family).
  5. Eating out with family.
  6. Insurance policies (endowment and Whole life policies) for my children. Endowment plans for their future tertiary education.
  7. The monthly sum of money for my aging parents.

Oh yeah, recently we decided to replace our aircon system. It is indeed spoilt… we tried repairing numerous times, only to end up spending unnecessary money (end up not working again after a while).

Every Chinese New Year, I have to figure out how much to give for the Ang Baos. Again how do I quantify the amount to put in each red packet to the ones I love.

To me, these are money spent for my loved ones. People who are close to me. It is really hard to quantify or to put a figure on each item.

  • As parents, we hope our children have the necessary education and not feel left out.
  • As the son of my aging parents, I hope they can live happily in their twilight years and not worry about us (me and my siblings) or money.
  • As the husband – love the wife. Don’t you know I have 2 bosses (one at work… the other…at home).

We have a fully paid up HDB apartment. No car. No domestic helper.

I am rather tight-fisted with my finances. Occasionally, annoying the people around me. So I reckon it is a work in progress.

And yes, I think we should not spoil our kids (even if one is rich).

Not many people around me share the same beliefs about how I view finances. Their concept of money is somewhat different from how I view it.

For one, I don’t think my siblings, my wife, my parents kept a soft copy of their monthly finances, not to mention investment portfolio…

However, my parents do invest in stocks. And I do occasionally discuss stock picks with my dad. However, finances were seldom discussed …

I don’t think it is an ideal ‘budget’…

Haha… I think my portfolio would look a lot ‘better’ without the occasional big expenses. And I would be that much closer to my ‘retirement sum’. If I am not married, my lifestyle would probably be very different and maybe less interesting. I think I can survive on really a low amount if I try hard enough… living the bachelor lifestyle. However, sharing itself is a joy. As long as we are spending within our means.

Ultimately money is a means for something. If eventually, I can use it for something meaningful, it would be worth it.

And oh yes, my wife and me, both came from humble backgrounds. I don’t think I ever thought of using her…hmmm…(of course it doesn’t hurt if any of us have a condo or landed property, to begin with, hahahaha.. Just joking.).

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Use Things

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However, it could turn the other way if I spend on frivolous things or for pure entertainment, just to keep up with the Jones.

  • Money story: Our financial 180 (read here)

See below extract from the article:

As the years passed, my spending habit worsened. By 2012, we were spending six figures a year on… Stuff.

  • Two brand-new cars at $25,000 a pop? That’s normal, right?
  • A $40,000 wedding and a fancy Bahamian honeymoon? Sure, that was expensive but we could “afford” it.
  • $13,000 in restaurant spending during a single year? We liked to think of ourselves as food connoisseurs.

Why shouldn’t I treat myself? I was putting a full 6% into my 401(k) every year to get my employer match. That was more than most Americans. I was being smart! So, I continued my adventures in spending.

Before I knew it, our life was full: food and water delivery services, monthly massages at the spa, fancy dry cleaning bills, season tickets to various entertainment venues, expensive martial arts hobbies. You name it, we had it.

But as our life — and bank statements — filled up, we weren’t getting any happier. It was actually the opposite. We were more stressed than ever before! We just couldn’t figure out the problem.

I don’t actually own many things. Hey, I am all for the sharing economy.

On weekends, for traveling short distances around my place, I use the bikes from bike sharing companies (currently I have the obike and ofo Apps applications on my smartphone).

As a family, we normally travel via public transport eg. bus or MRT. Occasionally, we would use Grab or Taxis. I think we did book quite a number of taxis for the visiting.

No expensive hobbies. I like to swim while my son goes down to the playground on most days after revising his homework. And if I have the time, I like to go to the library to read up (reading online articles for long hours can be quite straining to my eyes).

My wife likes to doddle and tends to plants, and I occasionally blog.

No smartphone, no Ipad or Play station for my son.

No impressive collection of expensive stuff. However, we do have a mini collection of Lego. Can’t imagine myself dusting off or packing any big pile of stuff (remember no domestic helper).

To me, things are for using. Not to show off to people whom I don’t like. Anyway, the stuff do not know I own them, and can’t love me back :p

 

Shall leave with this song.

 

 

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What is at Stake? Does it matter?

Actually, some might say that how we view the recent crash is a matter of perspective.

After all, there are many who are rich and doesn’t have a huge stake in the stock market. They can afford to be sanguine in market corrections/crashes. What about the little man on the street?

1. How much at Stake

Person A (Stocks is his lifeline)

Imagine someone who is heavily invested in the stock market, and who is heavily dependent on the price fluctuations or dividend income of his/her stocks. The stock correction or crash will have a more adverse impact on his/her net worth. He/she could be retired and is doing trading for a ‘living’.

Person B (Doesn’t give a hoot about stocks)

Then you compare Person A with someone who is rich or has a well-paying job, or who is financially independent who doesn’t really need to ‘rely’ on the stock market. He has a small percentage of his net worth tied up in stocks or none at all.

He may not even be any of these… just the typical average Joe who doesn’t touch stocks.

  • We All Have a Stake in the Stock Market, Right? Guess Again (read here)

Person C (New to investing/trading)

Then there are the newbies who just started out in their investing journey. They could have just gotten their first pay cheque and is eager to start their investing journey with their hard earned money. After all 2017 was a great year. It seems like a good or shall I say easy time to invest. Since almost anything they touch goes up.

They could be in debt (study loan, mortgage, credit cards debts, car loan, etc)…. and this money could also be used to pay off their debt, and take care of their loved ones.

2. The Context

Given that we had a relatively easy 2017.

As stated by the article below:

“But our perceptions are distorted by more than thinking of points rather than percentages. The last 18 months have been one of the least volatile periods for the stock market in modern times. Humans have a bias toward recency, an inclination to let recent experience shape our expectations for the future.

The S.&P. 500 did not decline by more than 2 percent on a single trading day in all of 2017, which helps explain why Friday’s 2.1 percent drop seemed so startling. (The percentage drop on Monday was a much rarer event, one that last occurred in 2011.)

But 2017 was weird. There were five such days in 2016, six in 2015 and four in 2014. In 2011, there were 21 trading days in which the S.&P. fell by more than 2 percent, nearly two per month. A bit of overreaction is as natural as people in normally dry Los Angeles having trouble driving in the rain.

There’s no doubt that the 7.8 percent drop since Jan. 26 is substantial; it represents nearly $2 trillion of paper wealth. But you find some better news underneath that unpleasant fact when you look at what has happened in the bond market while stocks have been falling.”

  • Context Matters. The Stock Market Drop Is Less Scary Than It Seems. (read here)

The context has different effects on each individual.

Person X

He/she has been through the Great Financial Crisis, Flash Crash, SARS Scare, Asian Financial Crisis, 9-11, Gulf War, etc….

How does the magnitude of this correction compare to the above-mentioned clashes?

Person Y

He/she has never study the market or the companies behind the stocks. He/she is new to investing… Been ‘used’ to 2017 upward market trend. Never been through a correction or crash. Doesn’t know what he/she is investing in.. just know the price (and the price drop)…

How you think about Stakes and Context Matters

I think how the year 2017 turned out (The Context) and what we have been through do play a part.

How much is at stake… is another story. While reading through the blog posts of many financial bloggers (see my previous post), I find the blogger from Mr. Tako Escapes particularly interesting.

There are many financial bloggers who are already in the Financially Independent stage/retired. Take AK from ASSI, Sam from Financial Samurai and the Couple from Mr. Tako Escapes.

They come from various background. Some are single, some are married with kids. Some are in the high net worth league… some live simply and make do with what they have.

Some depend heavily on their passive income stream while others don’t. Then, there are various ways to get passive income. For example, Sam focus more on rental properties while Mr. Tako and AK focus on stock/REITs dividend income.

Check out who is Mr. Tako. (read here). Mr Tako reached Financial Independence very differently from how Sam from Financial Samurai did it (read here and here). He is also very family orientated.

  • He never had a big pay cheque eg. During the bulk of his earning years, he made less than $100,000 a year (pre-tax). He earned it the ‘hard way’, one day at a time, one penny at a time.
  • He didn’t work on Wall Street, or make large sums of money from software company stock options.
  • He didn’t flip real estate and sell at exactly the right time before the 2008 crash. He was never promoted to an executive level position.
  • He didn’t inherit any money.
  • He didn’t sell a business for millions.
  • In 2015 when he created this page, they (he and his wife) were worth a little over $2 million USD.
  • He has two young boys.

Well, considering their net worth – I would say that it is at a comfortable level. Not high net worth.

The fact that he has two young kids and his family is basically living off their dividend income – means his net worth is basically heavily correlated to the stock market. He is also not young (eg. Doesn’t have loads of ‘Human Capital’).

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In terms of ‘stake’ —- I would say high. He is Person A in terms of Stakes, and Person X in terms of Context.

However, he is not in the ultra high stake league. These are people who invest/trade using money that is not theirs. Eg. Using margin/leverage or have lots of debt. They invest beyond their means/net worth.

What is particularly interesting about all this is his statement about the recent market sell-off (read here).

“Well, I did NOTHING in January and saw a 10% gain in our portfolio value. The markets were very optimistic and stocks rose accordingly in January. This didn’t make buying new shares easy.

Thankfully, most of these gains disappeared in the single largest one day drop in history of the Dow.

Just like a sale on eggs at the grocery store, I’m going to be on the lookout for good sales on stocks. After all, what true investors want is lower prices, not higher prices.”

Perhaps it is his past experience, and the fact that he knew what he is investing in (knowing very well that dividends will still come, rain or shine). Cheaper prices just mean better dividend income in the future… irregardless of net worth.

When we are young, we have lots of human capital… our pay may be low. But the future is bright. We can afford to wait…

The question is – do we know what we are doing, do we know ourselves well enough (how much pain/losses we can endure) and do we have the patience to wait.

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Seeing Red? Here’s what 10 Financial Bloggers think.

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So the US S&P 500 has dropped from its high of 2872 on 26 Jan 2018 to 2581 on 8 Feb 2018; a 10.1% drop in a matter of days.

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While the STI Index has dropped from its high of 3609 on 24 Jan 2018 to 3377 on 9 Feb 2018; a 6.4% drop in a matter of days.

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By now, you ought to know that I am not talking about the RED packets/Ang Baos commonly associated with the Chinese New Year. This post is about the red losses in your stock portfolio.

Well, for some, it meant painful losses, while for others, it is an exciting period to buy the dips. Then there are some who are just looking deeper for more opportunities (perhaps not now but later).

Basically, you are not the only one seeing red in your stock portfolio. Many others do as well.

For me, I’m not out of the markets (don’t think I ever will be totally out in the next foreseeable future). My portfolio has also taken a hit. However, I am curious as to what others think as well. So I started surfing and reading what others have to say. Bloggers being bloggers – they love to write.

Well, at least that is better than staring at the losses and crying … :p Just kidding.

Below are the opinions of 10 Financial Bloggers.

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1) T.U.B Investing

In his post, titled “Steps To Take In A Market Correction”, he mentioned the following:

  • Keep Calm and A Clear Mind
  • Reduce Your Watchlist and Focus on Your Portfolio
  • Focus on Individual Company and Not The Market
  • Pace Yourself, Funds Are Limited
  • Buy Strong Fundamental Companies

2) DARRENOCL’S FINANCE BLOG

In his post, titled “Buy? Hold? Sell?”, Darren mentioned that his personal take is to buy the dip. He has entered an order for UMS holdings on 7 Feb 2018, when prices declined.

3) Ryan Goh: Life through these eyes

In his post, titled “What’s your plan when the markets drop?”, Ryan emphasized the need to have a plan to get through the fall in the markets. The plan would be something like this:

  1. Split the money you have to invest** into 10 portions.
  2. When the market goes down 10%, invest 1 portion into whatever’s on your watchlist. To keep things simple, I’ll assume it’s the STI ETF.***
  3. If it goes down another 10% (relative the peak), invest 2 portions.
  4. If it goes down another 10% (relative to the peak), invest 3 portions.
  5. If it goes down another 10% (relative to the peak), invest 4 portions. By this time, that sum of money you had will be fully invested.

4) SINGAPOREHUMBLESTOCK

In his post, titled “STI- [Crash Or Correction?]”, Kelwin & Roy mentioned that they would take this opportunity to look for good blue chips that have been sold down. It’s the great stock sale!

5) Investment Moats

In his post, titled “Stock Markets are Red – Where are the Low Correlations for the Day?”, Kyith mentioned that for himself, he has set up his portfolio based on his financial security needs. He is near the end of his capital injection cycle.

The allocation is based on the overall market value and the individual selections contain a lot of pseudo-bonds that usually don’t do too well in times like this. He has some speculative positions that are going to be killed. However, he has a rough idea what he should do with them.

And for people who are in the phase where they are growing their money. Kyith highlighted that they should rejoice, as drawdowns like this are good for them. It is good because they experience first hand what they have been telling themselves – that they can stomach the volatility.

6) The Bedokian Portfolio

In his post, titled “Seeing Red?”, he mentioned that,

“As investors, particularly the Bedokian Portfolio ones, we must be prepared. Again, if you are in the passive side, just wait for your next rebalancing cycle and reallocate accordingly, and move on. If you are in the active side, there are a few strategies to adhere to, like the 10-30 Rule1, look out for bargains in fundamentally strong equity/REIT counters that fall for no reason, or consider other asset classes.

Remember, investing is a long journey that goes uphill and down.”

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7) Financial Samurai

In his post, titled “Contingency Plans For A Digital Bank Run”, Sam mentioned that,

“When the S&P 500 futures were pointing to another -5% opening on February 6, 2018, I got excited. After all, the S&P 500 closed down 4.5% on February 5. I get aggressive whenever the stock market corrects by 10% or more because history has shown positive returns in subsequent days and months.

The initial down 5% move was blamed on the 10-year bond yield jumping to 2.85%. But since the 10-year bond yield declined from 2.85% to 2.75% after the 5% stock market drop, and futures were signaling another 5% drop in the stock market, I figured it was time to deploy some significant cash. Fundamentally, corporate earnings growth and economic indicators were still sound.

Armed with $200,000, my plan was to use $100,000 to buy the morning gap down and deploy the remaining $100,000 throughout the day just in case the stock market panicked even further. I set my alarm clock for 6:15am just in case, brushed my teeth, sat on the toilet, and fired up my Fidelity account to put in my $100,000 buy order.”

8) A Wealth of Common Sense

In his post, titled “The Drawbacks of Behavioral Finance During a Market Correction”, Ben mentioned that he is not sure if this correction will prove to be short-lived or turn into a longer, drawn-out bear market. No one can predict how investors will react once things start to go down. But if you don’t have a plan of attack in place going into something like this, your emotions will get the best of you.

9) Mr. Tako Escapes

In his post, titled “January 2018 Dividend Income And Expenses”, Mr. Tako mentioned that he has changed absolutely nothing in their portfolio and let their investments ride.

He just couldn’t force himself to buy stocks at these elevated prices, so he wrote about investing instead.

Investing is one of the few activities in the world where sloth can actually be an advantage. Moving funds around means fees get generated, and capital gains get taxed. Doing nothing can certainly have advantages.

Well, he did NOTHING in January and saw a 10% gain in their portfolio value. The markets were very optimistic and stocks rose accordingly in January. This didn’t make buying new shares easy.

To quote: Thankfully, most of these gains disappeared in the single largest one day drop in the history of the Dow.

Just like a sale on eggs at the grocery store, I’m going to be on the lookout for good sales on stocks. After all, what true investors want is lower prices, not higher prices.”

10) The Reformed Broker

In his post, titled “The Definition”, Joshua mentioned the following:

“As for investors who are currently in retirement and drawing on their investment accounts to meet living expenses – provided they have planned well and allocated according to these plans, a 10% normal drawdown in stocks should not have any material impact beyond the merely psychological.

And for those who’ve been hurt disproportionately due to excessive risk-taking, leverage or poorly constructed portfolios, it serves as a perfect wake-up call that they may need to consult a professional on either their plan, their portfolio or, most likely, both.”

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In gist:

For many of the bloggers, they are sanguine about the correction. They have highlighted the need to have a plan, and not let your emotions get the better of you. For those who have speculated recklessly, they should use this as a lesson. For others who have planned well, this could be a great opportunity to buy quality stocks at a lower price.

Many of them have started strategizing on how to deploy their cash in buying the dips. Take, for instance, the bloggers from:

  • T.U.B Investing, 
  • DARRENOCL’S FINANCE BLOG, 
  • SINGAPOREHUMBLESTOCK, 
  • Financial Samurai,
  • Mr. Tako Escapes.

Some are in fact excited (Financial Samurai) and even thankful for the correction (Mr. Tako Escapes).

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Well, some may think that Financial Bloggers are an odd bunch…

However, we all do not know how long (and how deep) the draw-down will be.

 

“It would be wonderful if we could avoid the setbacks with timely exits, but nobody has figured out how to predict them.” Peter Lynch

Actually personally for me, I think things are starting to get interesting. Although, I don’t see many undervalued quality stocks yet (given the long run-up we had so far). It has been a long while since I started thinking about buying stocks for keeps.

I can’t do much about the losses that are already in my portfolio, but for now, I can do much to plan for the foreseeable future. I think the fundamentals of many of my stocks can withstand economic setbacks.

I will never ever have a crystal ball (to tell me when the markets will crash) and I will always have a foot in the markets. I also don’t short stocks. So when the markets turn, my portfolio will be hit.

Stock investing is always about the future, not the now. And the distant future is starting to look better (can’t say the same for the immediate future).

Shall leave you with this song.

Now that I have completed this post, it’s back to staring at my stock portfolio…. :p

 

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From FOMO to STGI?

It was only recently when I did a post about FOMO (Fear of Missing Out), back in Dec 2017. Now I think this post can be called STGI (Scare To Go In).

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Currently, I am screening through my ‘shopping list’. However, I feel it is still early (being the cheapskate that I am when it comes to buying stocks). The correction in the US markets though big on a daily basis is not huge when taken in the context of the overall market rise over the recent years.

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Yes, it sucks, looking at the unrealized losses I had in just a couple of days. However, I reckon I should be thinking more in terms of value rather than price.

Just find the market super Emo.

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I am investing in stocks for gains, not excitement. While looking through my buy list, I have yet to find any undervalued stocks. Darn!

At the end of the day, despite all the news, what matters to me, is still how close the price is to the value (or if the price is below the value).

For some, the Stock Market is a mechanism/system to transfer wealth from the impatient people to the patient people.

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Perhaps this could be the time when I could finally get my hands on quality income stocks or growth stocks (even those in the US markets) and add on to my stock holdings, or buy back those which I have sold, at a lower price… (After all, one could see it as about achieving Alpha, right? A better percentage gain over the long term for a single counter).

Hmm.. given the long and huge run-up for US Tech stocks (FAANG Stocks and BAT Stocks- guess it will be a stretch. And this true for even some of the US Stocks I looked at before T. Rowe Price Group, Inc., MasterCard, Paypal….Let’s see.

However, when it falls, it normally falls fast. I don’t ever recall seeing the market drop at the rate market rise (the slow grind upwards). Fear is always a stronger force than greed (in the short term). They don’t call it a Drop for nothing.

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This reminds me of the Sept 2015 post I did, aptly named Cavalry charge.

So back to screening my shopping list, and reading my past blog posts/analysis.

I came across this old post of mine back in Aug 2015 (See below). I reckon some of the counters have been delisted. The fundamentals for many of these companies would have changed. But well to me, it is a starting point.

  • Market Correction = Shares on Sale? (read here)

Then my mind thought of other (Income) stocks like Heineken Malaysia Bhd, Carlsberg Brewery Malaysia Bhd, Straco, Vicom, Tat Seng Pkg, Capital Commercial Trust, First REIT, Ascendas REIT, Frasers Logistics and Industrial Trust…

And for now, I have stopped transferring my cash to the Money Market Fund. And stopped tracking my portfolio (kind of depressing and distracting..). And I have started thinking ahead, and remind myself to focus on VALUE.

I am currently awaiting the FY 2017 results from Sarine Technologies scheduled this month. Hopefully, things have changed for the better. Even if it did, I can’t really say how it would affect the stock price in the short term given the state of the market now. Likewise, for Shinsho Corporation, the rise in share price has been reduced in recent days.

  • Sarine Tech is getting back its shine, says CIMB (read here)
  • Sarine Technologies Ltd – Sell-off overdone; restoring its lost shine (read here)

We are still at the beginning of 2018, a long year ahead. Technically, I don’t see blood on the street yet, and I still don’t really read much headline news from CNBC.

  • Dow plunges 250 points, 3-day losses total more than 2,000 points (read here)

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The pain of loss is always greater than the joy from gains. Even if I buy, I will buy in drips. Or put in another way, let’s just say, I know my ‘pain threshold’.

Will buy big if there is really a big sale.

“Opportunities come infrequently. When it rains gold, put out the bucket, not the thimble” Warren Buffett

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Slowly getting out but not ‘out’ out

This will be a short post.

Previously, I did a post at the beginning of the year about my portfolio. Read here.

In it, I mentioned that I would like to increase my ‘war-chest’. Well, it has been a slow process. I have slowly reduced my holdings in some of the stocks which I have been holding on to…. but at the same time I have increased my holdings in Sarine Technologies and started a new position in Shinsho Corporation.

I don’t actively sell (or buy) my holdings. I typically do my trades after work (after office hours), at home. I key in the sell price (which is typically a bit higher than the day’s closing price), and a portion of my holdings and that’s it. And hope it gets sold. I don’t actively trade during my working hours.

Shinsho Corporation has recently exploded upwards … so that was good.

  • Shinsho Corporation: Is the stock a bargain? (read here)

Still, my cash holding is relatively high. Near 60%. I have been dutifully transferring some of this amount into Lion Global Money Market Fund (in Fundsupermart). It has been a slow process. As I am not a Wealth Premium Account holder with UOB, so I can only transfer $5k per day. I could be a Wealth Premium Account holder with UOB, but don’t really see the need (except for probably now). Yes, I get some interest from the Money Market Fund, but it isn’t much (if I think about the potential returns from Stocks).

I have been reading about Money Market Funds. Theoretically, it is a safe and liquid way to store your cash. However, in extreme (and very rare) cases there are a couple of instances whereby the fund net asset value went below $1.

Looking at the portfolio of Lion Global Money Market Fund, I think it is unlikely… (anyway let just say, I don’t think I will put all my cash into the fund).

  • Money-Market Fund ‘Breaks the Buck’ (read here)
  • Why Money Market Funds Break The Buck (read here)

The recent sell-off in the US market on Friday- was swift and for a one day drop, it is rather large (666 points for the S&P). Anyway, as for me, I did not do any trade today.  FYI, it was a sea of red for my portfolio on Monday.

Hope things are ok for you guys.

I don’t really like to time the market, and frankly, I don’t think I can.

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I try not to be totally out of the market. So yes, although I have been divesting a number of my holdings (since 2016) and also reducing my holdings for some of my current stock holdings, however, one key thing I did was to record down the sell-prices (those counters that have not been delisted).

I think ultimately, for some of these counters I would like to buy them again if the price is right. When the market gets ugly, I do browse through the stock prices of these counters. For some of these stocks, the prices are really very volatile.

Also, I don’t know how long the market will keep going up or if the correction or crash comes, how long it will stay depressed. People forget. I know I do. Often I do not remember the price at which I sold or bought. Unless I record it down.

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And like I said – slowly getting out, but not ‘out’ out.

Am still staying in the game.

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The 2 Financial Pillars of Sarine Technologies

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I have previously written a post about my thoughts on Sarine Technologies and the effect of its revenue and net profit on its roller-coaster share price.

  • My thoughts on Sarine Technologies Ltd (SGX: U77) (read here)

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As investors, we often take the financial results at ‘face value’, and in my case, I am sometimes too lazy to read more deeply into the reports. Let’s face it, reading annual reports and quarterly reports can be quite daunting and tedious at times.

However, every business is unique and for some companies, there are more to the headline revenue and profit numbers. We just need to spend a wee bit of time and effort checking it out.

In gist, the financial results of Sarine Technologies for FY 2015 and 9M 2017 have been rather ‘disappointing’ when taken into context of its historical financial results. See below.

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It is easy to see from the above chart that for the 9M 2017 results, the sharp decrease in the profit from the operation has dragged down the revenue and net profit.

As stated by Sarine Technologies (read here), for 9M 2017, the Group recorded a decrease of 15% in revenue to US$45.7 million. The decrease was mainly attributed to lower sales of capital equipment in Q3 2017. Due to the buildup of higher than normal inventories of polished diamonds in the midstream in the third quarter, manufacturers slowed production and reduced capital expenditure.

In the case of FY 2015, as stated by Sarine Technologies (read here), diamond manufacturing activities dropped significantly, by 30- 50%. Overly aggressive rough diamond pricing and stagnant polished diamond prices. Higher than normal polished diamond inventory level at end 2014. The decrease in profitability on a year-over-year basis was primarily due to significantly lower sales due to the challenging industry conditions in FY2015.

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Interestingly, the 9M 2017 net profit is already higher than the FY 2015 net profit.

I view the situation of aggressive rough diamond pricing and stagnant polished diamond prices as unsustainable and will eventually correct itself. Being a bottom-up investor, I tend to focus more on the company’s fundamentals rather the macro industry conditions.

  • Rough Diamond Bust (read here)

Through new products and services, the company has entered the higher value-add downstream retail segment of the industry, which is more than twice the size of its traditional midstream market and commands higher valuations.

The downstream market is significantly larger than midstream, generating revenues of around US$74bn compared to US$19bn in 2016.

  • Sarine Technologies – Edison Investment Research (read here)

The 2 Financial Pillars of Sarine Technologies

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1. Strong Balance Sheet

Before I go on, in terms of balance sheet, Sarine Technologies is one of the few listed companies in the SGX with a cash hoard and zero debt.

The cash hoard amount has been fairly consistent.

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In most years, the earnings has been more than sufficient to pay for the annual dividend (except for FY 2015 and maybe 2017). There is no need to dip into the cash hoard to issue as a dividend.

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Well, the above is fairly obvious.

2. Strong Recurring Revenue

This part is less obvious to some. As stated earlier in the post, I am sometimes distracted by the revenue and net profit announcement and attribute it to lower sales (and perhaps the bigger macro diamond industry conditions).

Actually, if we study the recurring revenue of Sarine Technologies, we can see why it is a strength in its own right.

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As you can see, even though the revenue and net profit fluctuate higher and lower (blue and green lines), the recurring revenue (in red line) remains fairly constant. True, during bad years such as in FY 2015 (and maybe FY 2017), the recurring revenue also dipped, but basically, it is kind of range bound – hovering between US$20 mil to US$30 mil.

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To put it simply, Sarine Technologies’ revenue comes from 2 main components:

  1. Sale of products
  2. Maintenance and services
  • What Does Sarine Technologies Ltd Do and How Does it Make Money? (read here)

“One of its key products, the Galaxy family, has no competition in the automated inclusion mapping systems market. As of 31 December 2016, Sarine Technologies had a total installed base of 299 systems worldwide. These systems have helped to contribute to Sarine Technologies’ recurring revenue.”

Historically, Sarine’s revenues were entirely driven by equipment sales, which are heavily concentrated in India and were volatile. The company modified its business model to charge usage fees for its products, starting with the launch of the Galaxy family of products in 2009.

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Fast forward today, Sarine Technologies is now the dominant player with an estimated 70% global market share in midstream planning and grading equipment.

The relevant product families for planning and optimization are Galaxy, DiaExpert and Advisor software. In addition to selling the equipment, Sarine applies a per-usage charge per carat. A pay-per-use service at a higher price is also available at its services centers in Mumbai, Surat, Ramat-Gan, Antwerp, Moscow, Johannesburg, Gaborone, Windhoek and New York.

Integrated with its planning equipment are its systems for cutting, shaping, polishing and finishing of rough diamonds (Quazer, Strategist, DiaMension and Instructor software). These services are also available as a per-carat service in multiple locations.

Personally, I view recurring revenue as the holy grail of companies’ profit. If a company can somehow have minimal expenditure (once the system is in place), and collect recurring income either via the sales of upgrading software or products, rental fees of equipment, fees from maintenance and services, it will be great.

The business model is scalable. Profitability is maintained or even increased even though revenue (and capacity) increases. This is quite similar to many tech companies which have strong business moats. Which why investors are often willing to pay a premium for their stocks, resulting in high P/E ratios/valuations.

This recurring income is the bread and butter business aspect of Sarine Technologies. While at the same time, Sarine Technologies uses the excess cash for R&D and marketing of new products.

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The Recurring Revenue is also fairly ranged bound as compared to the Profit from Operation and Net Profit. Eg, does not fluctuate that wildly.

2014 is an important year. Prior to FY 2014, the Profit from Operation is actually higher than the Recurring Revenue. However, subsequently, the Recurring Revenue figures surpassed the Profit from Operation figures. Without such Recurring Revenue, Net Profit will, without doubt, perform worse.

Theoretically, over time, with an increased base of Galaxy systems, the recurring revenue will do more to help financially.

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In addition, during bad times, the company can theoretically tighten on the R&D and marketing expenses of new products and just ‘cruise by’ base on the recurring income. Moreover, Sarine Technologies does not need to worry about debt and liquidity issues. Although this will not be good in the long term and I don’t think Sarine Technologies is doing that. However, it is totally possible.

The recurring revenue is a significant portion of Sarine Technologies’s total revenue. In 9M 2017, the recurring revenue alone is 46% of the total revenue. Not surprisingly, during bad years when there are significantly lower sales due to the challenging industry conditions, the percentage of this recurring revenue in the total revenue increases. As stated in Sarine Technologies 9M 2017 report (read here): “Nevertheless, the Group did not experience any significant drop in the number of stones processed by its installed base. Recurring revenues remained stable and accounted for over 46% of Group revenue.”

In many of the companies I invest (or have invested in before), I tend to like businesses with recurring income. Eg. Vicom, IsoTeam, Colex, Fu Shou Yuan…

Perhaps this is why many investors like investing in REITs or Healthcare stocks. There is this recurring aspect of the business which is less cyclical and less dependent on macroeconomic conditions.

Threats

Nevertheless, there are threats to the Sarine Technologies recurring revenue. As mentioned earlier, the Galaxy family systems have helped to contribute to Sarine Technologies’ recurring revenue.

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The total installed base of Galaxy System has been steadily increasing over the years. And currently, there is no legitimate competition for the Group’s automated inclusion mapping systems in the market.

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Oddly, despite the above mentioned, it is observed that the recurring revenue has been range bound, or more specifically, did not continue upwards after FY 2014. It could be due to the bad macro diamond industry conditions during those periods. However, it could also be due to the fraudulent use of Sarnie Technologies Galaxy® inclusion mapping technology and systems by manufacturers.

Nevertheless, Sarine Technologies have been active in their legal efforts against these technology infringers. So far, the related news has been encouraging.

  • Sarine Thwarts Customer’s Fraudulent Use of Galaxy (read here)
  • Sarine Technologies Group Continuing Legal Efforts Against Technology Infringers (read here)
  • Sarine to sue overseas manufacturer for fraudulent misuse of Galaxy system (read here)
  • Israeli firm sues diamond companies over software ‘piracy’ (read here)

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In addition, Sarine Technologies has started expanding their recurring revenue base, through increasing market penetration for sales programs utilizing the Sarine Profile. This is to target the polished diamond retail-related segment. So it is not just recurring revenue from the downstream portion but also upstream portion of the industry.

  • Your guide to choosing the perfect diamond the 21st century way (read here)

Posted in Sarine Technologies Ltd | 7 Comments

Sarine Technology (Gemmological) Laboratory: Will this Tech Company be the Pick-axe to the Diamond Gold Rush?

Recently, I have a colleague who got engaged and she showed all of us her nice big diamond ring. Well… I did not ask her if it is a natural or lab-grown diamond, that would appear rude. However, I just can’t help wondering.

After all, natural and lab-grown/synthetic diamonds look the same. And there is no way of knowing how many undisclosed lab-grown diamonds are circulating.

However, even if they look the same (and the composition of synthetic diamond is actually no different from that of a real mined-diamond), lab-grown/synthetic diamonds cost less and has no resale value.

  • Synthetics: cheaper but more expensive (read here)
  • Analysis: The State of the Diamond Industry (read here)

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In the war between natural and lab-grown/synthetic diamonds, there will always be winners and losers. Customers gain from a wider choice (with a wider price range), while traditional jewelers who do not educate (or equip) themselves in differentiating the synthetic diamonds from natural diamonds and the uninformed customers will stand to lose.

Authentication/Grading centers have now become essential. A sunrise industry some might say (that seems to rise in sync with that of the lab-grown diamond industry).

Unlike the rubies, emeralds, and sapphires market, whereby the synthetic market for these gems matured years ago and is now larger than the natural equivalent, in the case of diamonds, gem-quality synthetics currently represent only about 1-2% of the global diamond jewelry market. (read here)

Indeed the synthetic/lab grown diamond is only in its infancy.

GIA, based in the United States, is considered to be the industry standard and is the most widely used and trusted name in the diamond trade.

Again reputation is important. A lot of retailers are already issuing IGI certs (due to cost) even though IGI is widely known to be a second-tier lab. A GIA certified diamond is often recommended as compared to an IGI certified diamond.

GIA actually developed the “4 C’s” diamond grading system (used almost universally today) to provide truly objective standards in the evaluation of a diamond.

  • GIA, AGS, EGL and other diamond grading certificates (read here)
  • IGI Certification: The Main Reasons We Don’t Recommend It (read here)

“Undisclosed lab-grown diamonds are a major threat to our industry. Grading laboratories are essential to ensure the natural pipeline is free of undisclosed lab-grown diamonds and consumers worldwide can be confident of their purchases”, concluded Ms. Azar. (read here)

A quick search on the internet revealed that it is indeed difficult to differentiate lab made CVD diamonds from real natural diamonds. However, CVD synthetic diamonds currently on the market can be unambiguously identified only by the combination of two advanced test methods; UV-fluorescence microscopy and photoluminescence spectroscopy. (read here).

The recent news by Sarine Technology about the Opening of Sarine Technology (Gemmological) Laboratory which will initially offer its services in Ramat Gan, Israel, commencing in February 2018 is significant in relation to the rising trend of synthetic diamonds (read here).

The services offered will include authentication of the polished diamond (as per diamond or simulant, natural or synthetic, treated or not) and the grading of its 4Cs, all using the latest state-of-the-art technology.

  • GIA Verifies Sarine’s DiaMensionTM Axiom Platform And Adopts InstructorTM As Standard Software (read here)
  • GIA adopts Sarine Instructor as standard software (read here)

It was only recently in 2015 that GIA adopted Sarine Instructor as standard software. The ‘jump’ from a mere supplier of software and equipment to having their own Gemmological Laboratory is rather quick (though natural) progression. In fact, I think it is a path in the right direction.

The company says it will utilize its, “breakthrough artificial-intelligence based technological solutions for the automated, accurate, consistent, digital, and objective grading of a polished diamond’s Clarity and Colour.”

There are very significant differences as to how Sarine Tech grade diamonds vs how GIA grade diamonds.

  • Sarine and GGTL Laboratories Cooperate to Take Gemmological Grading Technology to the Next Level (read here)
  • GGTL LABORATORIES (read here)
  • How GIA grades diamonds (read here)

Sarine Technology could hold the upper hand in diamond certification since their turnaround time for grading a diamond could be much shorter than traditional gem labs employing human gemologists (1 month or more, especially for smaller stones). In addition, by using technologies, the consistency and reliance will be there, as compared to a trained human eye.

Perhaps Sarine Technology is the diamond in the rough.

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Posted in Sarine Technologies Ltd | 2 Comments

Shinsho Corporation: Is the stock a bargain?

I was reading SG TTI’s post on Shinsho Corporation and Kobe Steel (read here), and I think it is a good read. For one, it spurs me to find out more about Shinsho Corporation. Or shall I say nudge me a bit out of my slumber :p

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I like companies embroiled in scandals, especially scandals that do not affect the business fundamentals of the company but causes a temporary share drop. It reminds me of my experience with Sun Hung Kai Properties.

I typically don’t treat these stocks as long-term plays (unless in the rare case, it turns out to be a really good growth company with long-term profitability). It is basically about going in with the guns flaming and leaving when the hype of the news dies down. I am more concerned about the nature of the scandal (eg. will it have a long-term impact on its business), and whether the company has a strong balance sheet, and profitability to ride out the crisis.

More often than not, it is the stock which chooses me rather than me being the one picking the stock. These are situational plays and it can occur to any company at any time.

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In the case of Shinsho Corporation, it is a cyclical stock and I typically don’t like to have a buy and hold strategy for cyclical stocks. And true to its nature, Shinso’s financials is… for a lack of better word, lumpy.

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Shinsho Corp Balance Sheet

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Generally, Shinsho asset to liabilities ratio looks ok. However, I wouldn’t think too much about asset values. Its values tend to tank in a worst-case scenario.

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The latest Current Ratio of 1.19 seems slightly low but not alarming. (Acceptable current ratios vary from industry to industry and are generally between 1.5 and 3 for healthy businesses). The Current Ratio has been trending upwards which is good.

Financial leverage is on the high side. But the figure has been trending downwards which is also good.

Debt/Equity ratio is also on the high side, but not alarming. From a pure risk perspective, lower ratios (0.4 or lower) are considered better debt ratios. However, again the figure has been trending downwards which is also good.

In gist, not exactly in the best shape but not in an alarming dismal state. Most importantly, I reckon it should be able to survive periods of low profitability.

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Shinsho Exposure to Kobe

SG TTI mentioned in his post that for the year ending March 2017, as Kobe Steel is a client of Shinsho as well, Kobe bought ¥259,479mil of materials for equipment from Shinso. Now let’s extrapolate this back furthermore. Remember: Cyclical = Lumpy results; Quick buy and sell- no point extrapolating too far back…

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Looking at the results from 2014 to 2017, we can see that the Sale to Kobe Steel accounted for approx. 37% of Shinsho’s revenue (average out). Note: I can’t find the sales amount figure in Kobe Steel 2013 Annual Report. It only reported the Sales of Kobe product not the purchase amount from Shinsho.

The tricky bit is forecasting how much Kobe’s revenue will drop (and how much it would impact Shinsho’s sale to Kobe). Kobe has retracted its annual financial forecast, saying it doesn’t know how much the scandal will end up costing.

Kobe Steel is forecasting profit of 35 billion yen (US$313 million) in the year through March 2018, after two annual losses, mostly recently because of falling margins in its steel business and a one-off loss related to its China construction machinery unit.

…………………………………………………………………………………………..

While the immediate impact from the cheating scandal exposes 500 companies to potential safety issues, Kobe Steel’s total client base is far larger.
In Japan alone, more than 2,100 companies deal with the company, according to credit research firm Teikoku Databank. The majority of these firms, 56 percent, are the small to medium enterprises which make up the backbone of Japan’s economy.
(read here)

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Looking at Kobe Steel’s financial (see below)… hmm how shall I put it… Under normal circumstances, I would not take a second look at this company. There isn’t any trend, and if there is – it is downwards.

Kobe Steel has lost money in five of the last 10 years. Then again, it might be the best time to invest in this cyclical stock.

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A key point highlighted by SG TTI is that the industry is doing so well right now that Kobe Steel’s customers cannot switch to their peers even if they wanted to, as all their peers are running at full capacity right now.

In a best case scenario, the cleanup won’t cost Kobe more than a few hundred million dollars, leaving the company humbled but intact, according to analyst Takeshi Irisawa at Tachibana Securities Co. in Tokyo. In a worst case scenario, fines from the U.S. Department of Justice and claims from overseas customers could get a lot more expensive. (read here)

As of now, articles highlighting that Kobe Steel is losing certifications over its metal products and facing lawsuits have been popping up… so the exact impact will not be immediate. Come to think of it – it may not turn out to a hit and run kind of stock. The share price might continue further south in the immediate period.

Well, let’s just assume the worst. For instance, there is totally no sales to Kobe steel by Shinsho. Hence, 37% of Shinsho’s revenue / EPS will go up in smoke for the second half of 2017. This is even a worse case scenario than stated by SG TTI. The final year EPS will only be approx. 525.5 yen (Eg. 2H 2017 will be 63% of 1H 2017 EPS which is 322.41yen).222.jpg

Thoughts on the Price to Earnings Ratio and Price to Book Ratio for Shinsho Corporation

Share-price of Shinsho on 12 Jan 2018 is 3,505 yen. So that gives us a Price to Earnings value of 6.7. That figure is not at the low end of Shinsho’s historical PE. For example, the PE was 5.20 in 2015 and 4.82 in 2011.

And if we assume EPS will not be that much affected, the current PE of 7.02 is higher than the 5-year average PE of 6.75.

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On the other hand, Price to Book is also an important metric when looking at a cyclical stock. The current Price/Book Ratio is 0.64. Again historically that is not low. In fact, it is higher than the 5-year average figure of 0.55.

I like to have a bigger margin of safety should I choose to invest. Perhaps the bigger hit (and impact to its financial) to Kobe Steel is yet to be announced, and consequently a bigger drop in share price in the future.

Still, it is a tempting stock to purchase. That is primarily due to the second part of SG TTI’s thesis. The booming steel industry in Japan.

The slight above average Price to Book ratio seen in the context of the booming steel industry does indeed make the stock look like a bargain.

  • Boom for Japan’s largest steel mill on China clean air push (read here)
  • China’s Push for Cleaner Skies Is Good News for Global Steelmakers (read here)

Typically for cyclical stocks, one should look for a high PE and low Price to Book value – which is the period prior to the boom when earnings are low. Often it means that a company is passing through the worst of the doldrums, and soon its business will improve.

Peter Lynch who made many investments in cyclical companies, mentioned that cyclical investors need to think differently. He said that with most stocks, a low PE ratio is a good thing, but not with cyclicals. Buy high, sell low. (read here)

Another article mention that investing base on P/E for cyclical stocks is tricky (read here): Investing based on a low price-to-book value is a much smarter strategy. When a company is priced below book value, investors are saying that its future is so bad that the firm isn’t even worth the money that management has spent on assets to conduct business. Buying at a price below NCAV allows you to achieve significantly higher returns than your peers when the industry eventually turns, while taking far less risk. The approach is to buy cyclical NCAV stocks when the industry is deeply depressed and then to sell those stocks shortly after they reach their average earning potential.

When the Boom is already here

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However, given the fact that the Japan Steel Industry is already having a boom (since mid-2017). We are already past that stage when companies have terrible earnings – and investors are already aware of the boom and bidding up the share prices. So looking at the PE ratio is tricky.

  • Global steel riding high as profits soar at Japan mill (read here)

Looking at the chart below, we can see that the share prices of Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal, JFE Holdings, Kobe Steel and Shinsho Corp have all been steadily marching up since mid-2017. (UACJ Corporation share price seem range bound).

The plunge in the share prices of Kobe Steel ad Shinsho Corp in early Oct 2017, only seems to temporarily slow down their upward march. Shinsho Corp share price prior to the plunge seems to be enjoying a huge rally.

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Looking at the below Price to Book ratios of the various companies, we can see that the Price to Book value in 2015 is, in general, the lowest among the other years’ values.

That is with the exception of Kobe Steel. The current Price to Book value of Kobe Steel is lower than its value in 2015.

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Just as the global steel industry basks in a return to profit after the worst slump in years in 2015, the outlook has soured for Kobe Steel, Japan’s third-largest producer, after the company admitted that it faked data on metal products for years. (read here)

Shinsho’s Price to Book ratio is a bit more tricky. It isn’t exactly low or cheap (in relation to 2015 value).

However, given the context of the steel boom (and rare sweet spots that Japanese steelmakers are in), it could present an opportunity.

Anyway just my 2 cents.

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Posted in Hong Kong Shares, Japan Shares | 1 Comment

Sarine Technologies: A turn for the better?

I have been cruising in a low gear when it comes to my investment so far. But every once in a while I will do some short-term investments.

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Sarine Technologies

I recently bought more shares of Sarine Technologies. The recent news pertaining to the company has been positive and this is reflected in its share price. After stagnating at the lower prices since early Oct 2017, the price has in recent times shown a strong rebound.

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That is the thing about Sarine Tech (typically low volume but high volatility). I have previously written a post about Sarine Tech in Oct 2017 (read here).

Somehow, over the years, I have kind of have this thinking about some of the stocks in my portfolio. There are stocks who basically don’t have much volatility… not in a bad way. Overall the share price trend is still up (kind of like Fu Shou Yuan, Vicom, Riverstone, Colex…). But In the case of Sarine Tech, it is a roller coaster. I can take it as a bad thing or take it as a good thing… Bad as in, it often gives me ‘heart palpitation’, good as in I can scoop up more shares when it drops. There are always opportunities – because the news surrounding the industry is very unpredictable.

  • Christmas Special: Sarine Technologies – Will This Hidden Gem Shine Again? (read here)

Nevertheless, fundamentally the company has a good balance sheet and proactive management. So I am not too worried about the company riding out the macro environment issues. Funny, it is often the company itself who announce the bad news (before the official results release)… they are pretty upfront if the impending quarter financial results are going to bad.

It is just how patient I need to be. And I did mention that once there is good news, the stock will rally hard.

  • Record Number of Over 10 Million Rough Diamonds Scanned by Sarine Galaxy® Systems in 2017 (read here)
  • Sarine to sue overseas manufacturer for fraudulent misuse of Galaxy system (read here)

Sarine Tech appears to be doing well on both fronts: The performance of the business of Sarine Tech and the issue on the illicit operations of parties infringing on their intellectual properties. The results may not be immediately apparent in their financials… but we will see.

However, there is one issue which I think is not yet resolved: The diamond retail industry experienced a glut of polished diamonds in 3Q2017, which could be due to the “weaker market conditions”. Hopefully,  the festive demand to lap up excess inventory by early this year.

  • Unexpected industry glut impacts Sarine on top of illicit competition (read here)
Posted in Sarine Technologies Ltd | 1 Comment

Portfolio Update

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It has been a while since I last did an update on my portfolio. My previous update was in June 2017 (read here).

In the previous post, I did mention that I wanted to increase my war-chest and perhaps reduce my allocation to equities.

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Back in Nov 2015, my cash holdings (including the amount in my SRS account) was only a mere 7% of my total net worth (which excludes the property I am staying in). It then increased to 33% in June 2017.

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Today (1 Jan 2018), the cash proportion in my portfolio is now 40%. Well, that may not seem much, but when I compare it with my stock holdings, the proportion becomes much bigger.

The reason being is Stock and Cash is typically the 2 major variables in my portfolio.

The rest of the components like CPF, Insurance Cash Value and Crowd Funding (which is now almost close to zero as I have since stopped investing in P2P loans and Invoice Financing) are more or less fixed, except for the monthly top up from my active income. I don’t use the money in my CPF Ordinary Account to invest, but I do use the money in my SRS account to invest (when the opportunities arise).

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Technically, I can say I am now ‘65%’ in cash. And I am still trying to increase that cash percentage.

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The below table shows the cumulative profit or loss I have achieved by holding to the stocks. Those yellow highlight rows are for stocks which I have sold or have been delisted (eg. totally divested). So far it has been positive. And the profit/loss takes into account the capital gain/loss via the rise or drop in share prices as well as the total dividend payout received.

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Actually, the results aren’t that great as it was over many years, and oh yeah, I did not really record down all the dividends I received esp. in the earlier years. The big rise in the equity markets in the US is not really reflected in the equity markets in Asia (for the past 10 years). And the rise seems to be only concentrated in some industries.

I am sure many who have invested in cryptocurrency would have much higher percentage gains over a much shorter period.

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I think my shortest holding period for a stock is approximately 4 months (eg. TalkMed). However, do note that I do sometimes buy and sell the shares, from the time I first bought the shares to the time I totally divest my holdings in that particular stock.

Most of the time, I just add on to my position. I don’t really like to sell my stock holdings unless there is something fundamentally wrong with the company. With that in mind, I also do occasionally fall into the ‘value traps’ while attempting to bottom fish stocks which have declined in price.

The reason why I am reducing my stock holdings is primarily due to the fact that I feel that equities are on the expensive side, and market volatilities are low…. again, there is no science about it. Maybe I just wanted to take a break. I am not forsaking stocks forever. It is difficult to time stocks. Ideally, people want to get out of stocks when they are expensive and then buy when the market corrects or crashes. However, that would be hoping to be right twice. It is the hardest thing to do.

On the other hand, this phrase “Regret Minimization Framework” used by Jeff Bezos do occasionally pop up in my head. I think about the two possible scenarios. (A) Keep the gains and miss the potential upsides… or (B) Remain in stocks and risk my gains. Which option I want to go for so that I would have the least regret? I can’t predict the future, but I know at this point of time, to reduce stock holdings and keep my gains (while increasing my war-chest), seem to be the option which allows me the least regret.

Well, I don’t need the passive income from my stocks to survive. I have a job. There is no rush.

  • The Jeff Bezos Regret Minimization Framework (read here)

I am terrible at timing … and this is especially apparent in Fu Shou Yuan. Actually, I was quite reluctant to sell Fu Shou Yuan. But oh well, a gain is still a gain….

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Having said that, there are stocks which I am glad that are divested from my portfolio eg. SIA, SMRT, CapitaLand… to name a few. I feel that stocks in some ways can be a mental burden, especially when the companies (or the industries they are in) have a lot of issues/headwinds. I may have sold SIA at the wrong time given the run-up in its share price after I have divested, but still, I don’t see how SIA can rev up its profit margins anytime soon.

Moving forward, I do intend to further increase my war-chest, and perhaps lock in some of the gains in my remaining stock holdings.

Nevertheless, I do hope that there will be opportunities to increase my equity holdings and perhaps invest in more income stocks. And of course, I will like to buy back those shares which I have divested should they become under-valued again.

So far, my net worth, to me are just figures on a computer screen (or ATM screen). Kind of like playing a PC game (a multi-year one :p). I secretly wish that one day I can actually see the actual amount in the form of cold hard cash. You know, to know how it is like to have that amount in my hand. The pile might look better (or shall I say ‘more substantial’) if the notes are in small denomination :p (eg. like in 2 dollar notes or 10 dollar notes)…..The bank teller would probably think I am nuts hahahahaha…

  • US Debt Visualized in $100 Bills (read here)
  • Sim Lim Square shop pays $1,010 refund in coins (read here)
Posted in Portfolio | 5 Comments