Monday, November 26, 2012

Initiated position - Second Chance Properties Ltd

I initiated a small position at Second Chance today.

For those who are new to Second Chance, its main core business, led by the great founder and CEO - Mohamed Salleh are mainly in the Retailing of Apparel, Retailing of Gold Jewellery and Property Investment.

The main attractiveness of this stock which I think is valid:
  • Mohamed Salleh - I like the way how he runs the company. He is both conservative and aggressive when he needs to. He is also shareholders and staff friendly. For instance, he banned his management staff from entering the casino as he thought it was harmful to them. Both he and his family members owned almost 80% of the company.

  • Great dividend payout ~ 7% and low dividend payout ratio ~ reasonable level of 50% on average.

  • Clear plans of the outlook - Short term: Plans to expand its "First Lady" retail business especially in Malaysia. It is now at 41 and is expecting 50 by 2013. Long term: reach market capitalization of S$1 billion by 2022.

  • Confidence message - The CEO is confident that ROE will maintain to grow at a reasonable level and dividend will be higher for FY13 compared to FY12*.
* FY13 dividends will be lower as there will only be 9 months as compared to FY12 which has 14 months.

For more of articles relating to Second Chance Properties Ltd, you may refer to some of these interesting posts:

Second Chance - A Billion Dollar market cap vision

Friday, November 23, 2012

Black Friday Shopping - Boom vs Recession

Black Friday shopping during bull booming year:

Black Friday shopping during recession:

So what is the difference!!!??? Yes, you are right. Americans don't give a care whether storm, recession or fiscal cliff coming at them. When it is time for black friday shopping, they are a bunch of crazy people and shop as if these are free stuff. Are these items that cheap in fact??
The answer is yes. From my experience when I was studying in the US, we would celebrate our thanksgiving on Thursday and then starts queueing that night. Many items are at least 50% cheaper than the original price. A hint for those outside US: check out e-bay after today. These people are buying to sell.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Generation Y: Highly educated, Highly in debt, Underemployed

Gen Y, betterly known as those ranging from 18 to 29 years old, are aplenty these days with highly qualified college degrees and masters but sadly underemployed and many even coupled with college debts.
Members of Gen Y -- with some 92 millions people have the propensity to be more like their grandparents than their boomer moms and dads. It portrays the generation as seeking stability above all else, and looking for long careers in big, safe companies. Sadly, that's not likely to happen for them. Gen Y is a smart, educated and agile cohort. Its members are socially networked and digitally savvy, but they have been seriously set back by the troubled economy.
So what can they do to keep going?
1.) Accelerating education in a realistic manner -- Many Gen Y students went through college with liberal arts major without ever thinking of what they want to really be when they grow up. If you are those who have graduated and have regretted your decision to pursue a particular major, stay realistic. Chances are that you probably are not going to land a banking job or any in demand jobs with it. These days, not even the finance major grads can land an entry level position in a bank.
2.) Don't depend on your paternalistic company -- If you receive a better offer with other companies that are offering you, keep the decision and made the jump if necessary. Staying loyal to your paternalistic company is not going to land you a gold. Well, they do probably give you a loyalty award at the end of your 20 year tenure, but which realistically is worthless. You are important to them only if you can remain as important to them. They are not going to take care of you. Be realistic.
3.) Stay away from debt -- Debts are evil, especially if you do not know how to use and leverage them properly. Debts, coupled with the compounding interest, can kill you as much as it can bring you to financial freedom. Use it wisely.
4.) Don't give up -- Keep going. The global economy is not in the best state at the moment. And while you may think you suffer, you may well become stronger and thank them when you have successfully got through this stage.

Friday, November 16, 2012

"Nov 12" - Transactions & Portfolio Update

No. of Lots
Average Price (SGD)
Total Value (SGD) based on average price
Market Price (SGD)
Total Value (SGD) based on market price
Total Dividends collected (SGD) since purchase
ST Engineering
SIA Engineering
FraserCenter Point Trust
First Reit
PLife Reit
Ascendas Hosp. Trust
Unit Trusts
Elec & Eltek
2.29 (denominated in USD)
2,290.00 (denominated in USD)
2.04 (denominated in USD)
2,040.00 (denominated in USD)
Total SGD
Total USD

Reporting takes center stage in the month of November for a few of my stocks which allows me to add on to a few of my existing positions in Singtel, QAF, Boustead and First Reits in particular. Results for the 4 above stocks I have added have not been very impressive for the quarter reporting but nothing of really bad either in my opinion. QAF, in particular, has seen a dip of almost 50% in its net profits for the quarter due to competitive margin but I do not personally see it as a major threat to its business. First Reit is another stock which is on private placement these past week. The shares for the private placement is on $0.95 - 0.97 and so i believe there will definitely be a huge support at $0.95 at the very least.

On the sell side, I've reduced my position in ParkwayLife Reit and FraserCenterPoint Trust. This is due to the need for me to raise enough capital in the event of market capitulation for the next few weeks. The share price has been very strong in the face of market volatility which allows me to sell them at some profits. I will also be receiving dividends in the month of Nov/Dec of about S$1,300 in total, so a big boost to my warchest moving on to the last month of the year.

I've been sort of waiting for this current correction to come for quite some time now. While prices do not look extremely attractive enough, it does allow investors to enter with a relatively margin of safety than before. With STI index now broken at the critical level of 2980, we will now see whether it can test the next support at 2900, which is thought to be strong. With fiscal cliff resolution still a couple of weeks away, I foresee the support to be broken, which will allow me some room to further add on to my positions.

Counters on the lookout in my shortlist: First Reit, CDG, YZJ, Singtel, QAF, Boustead.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Handicapping your shot at a top MBA Business School

Here's an interesting article from Ms. Sandy Kreisberg, a former adcom committee and now the founder of admission consulting firm HBSGuru, on the odds of typical applicants to the top MBA school.

Nothing is concrete, as it is in this world. But if you are one of those thinking to apply to these top MBAs school, then you should check your odds out.

Mr. Perfect
  • 750+ GMAT
  • 3.8 Grade Point Average
  • Ivy League Undergraduate Degree
  • Work experience at Goldman Sachs or McKinsey & Co.
  • Extracurricular includes alumni involvement and very active participation in an ethnic identity organization
Odds of Success
Harvard Business School: 85%
Stanford: 80%
Wharton: 90%
Tuck: 95%
Kellogg: 95%

Sandy’s Analysis: “The biggest risk this person has of not getting into HBS or Stanford is screwing up the interview, especially at HBS where the interview counts. (It does not count at Stanford in any meaningful way.) I am assuming the recommendations are in line and this applicant does not have a secret hater out there. HBS and Stanford, of course, love to reject kids like this, just so they can say they do. But they rarely do.
“Another danger, though rare, is just going a bit weird on the application through a combination of odd and unsupported goals, annoying and naïve enthusiasms, or just plain stupidity. Stanford could reject a kid like this if the ‘what matters most to you’ essay is a blatant and unreflective brag sheet.
“As to Wharton, Tuck and Kellogg, the issue is not blowing the interview and the related issue of convincing them that you are not using them as safety schools. If this kid really wants to go to Kellogg, he should apply very early. Otherwise, they will make the guess that the applicant is somehow toxic to Harvard, Stanford and Wharton.”
Mr. UnderAchiever
  • 720 GMAT
  • 3.1 Grade Point Average
  • Ivy League Undergraduate Degree
  • Work experience at Raytheon as financial analyst
  • Average extracurricular activities
Odds of Success:
Harvard Business School: 10%+
Stanford: 10%
Wharton: Less than 10%
Columbia: 35% if early decision
Kellogg: 30%
Duke: 55%+

Sandy’s Analysis: “He’s a long shot for Harvard because he’ll never overcome his low GPA. Raytheon is not a sexy company. That’s a bad job for a smart guy and a great job for a first-generation college grad. This guy can only save himself by getting a job elsewhere at a Google, Apple, or Microsoft and thriving there and then pumping up the extras. Basically, guys like this don’t get into Wharton either because they are below par on both the GPA and GMAT or there is no counter reason to take them. Columbia might take this guy if he could prove New York reasons and goals, which grew out of his work and maybe had an alternative transcript. This seems in the Duke wheelhouse, especially if he is older.”
Ms. First Generation

  • 720 GMAT
  • 4.0 Grade Point Average
  • Undergraduate degree from the University of Maryland
  • Work experience at Raytheon as financial analyst
  • Average extracurricular activities
  • First generation college graduate
Odds of Success:
Harvard Business School: 50% to 80%
Wharton: 50% to 90%
Chicago Booth: 75% to 95%
Dartmouth: 65% to 85%
Duke: 95%

Sandy’s Analysis: “She has the same so-so job as the other guy, but in her case, it is considered a step up, and adcoms know that even 4.0s coming out of Maryland don’t get Wall Street gigs in most cases. Her 4.0 GPA as a first generation college grad really makes a difference here. The fact that she’s female improves her odds by five to ten percentage points. As always, her chances at non-Harvard, Stanford Wharton schools depend on her convincing them that she is serious about them, by visiting, meeting other students, and having solid personal and professional reasons to attend.”
Ms. Sotheby’s
  • 690 GMAT
  • 3.4 Grade Point Average
  • Undergraduate degree from Barnard College
  • Work experience at Sotheby’s
  • Extracurricular involvement in art
Odds of Success:
Harvard Business School: Less than 50%
Stanford: Less than 40%
Wharton: Less than 50%
Chicago Booth: 60%
Columbia: 60%+ if early decision
Kellogg: 60%

Sandy’s Analysis: “HBS has a pot for this kind of cream but it is pretty small and usually requires a higher GPA. Other schools might fall for the glamour and imagine on their websites in front of an old master painting, as an implicit advertisement saying, ‘there are more than just wonks and nerds here.’ Booth goes for this type, and if the application were solid and the PowerPoint was tingling, well, why not? I go for this type myself.”
Twin Brothers From India

First Brother:
  • 740 GMAT
  • 3.5 Grade Point Average in U.S. terms
  • Undergraduate degree from Indian Institute of Technology
  • Work experience at INFOSYS and Dell Computer as engineer
  • Average extracurricular activities
Odds of Success:
Harvard Business School: 50%
Wharton: 65+%
Columbia: 70% if early admission
Tuck: 80%
Chicago Booth: 80%
Second Brother:
  • 740 GMAT
  • 3.9 Grade Point Average
  • Undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan
  • Work experience at McKinsey & Co.
  • Average extracurricular activities
Odds of Success:
Harvard Business School: 70%+
Wharton: 80%+
Columbia: 80%+
Tuck: 85%+
Chicago Booth: 85%+

Sandy’s Analysis: “The brother who stays home is at a disadvantage. It would have helped if he had a sexy job, but he doesn’t. INFOSYS is a good job, but Dell is not a tier-one feeder to HBS the way that Apple, Microsoft, and Google are. The Dell cohort at HBS usually have real nosebleed stats or powerful people at Dell who support them because of extraordinary accomplishments.
“The McKinsey brother gets McKinsey odds everywhere, which are very high. (More than 60 partners at McKinsey, for example, are Wharton alums and at least one Wharton graduate works in 71 of McKinsey’s more than 90 offices around the world, according to the firm’s website. Some 50 members of Wharton’s Class of 2011 were former McKinsey consultants.) He’s in the wheelhouse as long as he executives well on the application and recommendations. The way he does not get in is interview upset or really low performance at McKinsey.”
Mr. Near Ivy

  • 630 GMAT
  • 3.9 Grade Point Average
  • Near Ivy Public – Michigan, Virginia, Berkeley
  • Work experience at Near Ivy consulting firm– Accenture, Booz, IBM
  • Average extracurricular activities
Odds of Success:
Harvard Business School: Less than 20%
Stanford: Less than 10%
Wharton: Less than 15%
Michigan: 30% to 50%
Duke: 40% to 50%
Kellogg: 30% to 45%

Sandy’s Analysis: “The GMAT is way too low for Harvard, Stanford and Wharton. HBS would wink at a 620 in some cases, if there were another positive story someplace. HBS admits from non-tier one consulting companies happen, but the stats are usually rock solid and there is a gender, identity-politics story as well in the background.
“At any rate, for all schools, this applicant should take the GMAT twice to show seriousness. This seems impossible at Wharton unless there is some explanation for the low GMAT based on identity politics. Other schools will need evidence that the GMAT is not a fair reflection of his chance of success.”
Source: poetsandquants

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Living towards the world in 2020 and beyond

Ever imagine how the world will looks like in 2020 and beyond?

Below is a clip of how the world could possibly looks like in 2020 and beyond and a few I must say are some pretty interesting concept which might well come true.

You have learned from the past and live from the present. How will you prepare for a better tomorrow?

                                                                   Source: Telefonica

                                                                     Source: Koutaman

Monday, November 5, 2012

Dividend Screening

Dividend Screening
  • Forecast dividend yield > 4%
  • Payout dividends for at least 3 consecutive years
  • Latest fiscal year's dividends > previous year's dividends
  • Average daily traded value > S$100k
Source: KimEng

Dividend Screen

Friday, November 2, 2012

Still not convinced on the effects of compounding??

So you've heard of this magic. Not the magic of David Blaine that I'm talking about but the magic of compounding. It doesn't take a math or finance expert to understand it's magic. So we have people around us who probably have heard but yet did not act on it. Still not convinced on the magic of compounding? Here's a story on how you could be that one step closer to acting if you have not done so.
Grace Groner lived nearly her entire life in Lake Forest, Illinois, about 45 minutes north of Chicago.
After graduating from Lake Forest College in 1931, Grace was hired as a secretary at Abbott Laboratories, where she worked for more than four decades. Grace never earned an amazing salary as a secretary. According to the Los Angeles Times, she got her clothes from garage sales. She lived in a one-bedroom house that was willed to her when a friend passed. But in 1935, a few years after she started her job at Abbott Labs, she bought 3 shares of the company's stock for about $60 per share. Her total investment was under $200.
Grace never sold those shares. Through dividends, share splits, and dividend reinvestment, when she died in 2010, her three share purchase was worth $7 million. She left it all to her alma mater.
Again, it doesn't matter where you are in life -- and no matter what mistakes you've made in the past financially -- now is the time to change your future. Start planting your seeds early and now. You're in control of your financial destiny.
"The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second-best time is today."