Friday, June 30, 2017

My Drawdown Decumulation Plan in Early Retirement

We’ve been talking a lot in our community on the accumulation phase throughout our working life, either by choosing the right investment product or getting the right insurance protection but there is hardly a discussion on the decumulation phase. 

The two are linked because our life is finite in nature, thus there is a need to determine how much we need for the expenses and start working backwards how much we should be accumulating in the earlier phase of life. 

These plans will differ from each household to another, depending on the traction of how much you need, how long you live, how much you can earn and how much you are comfortable with. Goals and plans are also a moving target, so it is common that they will change from time to time, though unlikely to be drastic if you think through and plan properly. 

I’ll share about how I plan for my drawdown in the decumulation phase of my planned early retirement lifestyle. This is just based on what I think, so I leave the part off from my wife side where she'd be also able to contribute once her business takes off to the height she wants but for conservative purpose I've left that part out.

Least Scenario

• Assuming I stop my corporate lifestyle at the age of 35 and receives no active income thereafter
• Portfolio of $1M, with a yield of 6% - This would yield me a base of $60k per annum
• Aiming for a portfolio growth of 5% per annum on average
• Side Income Hustling yielding ~ SGD500 a month (or $6k a year). 
• Income to Expense Ratio at 1x, with inflation growth at 3%
• Partial withdrawal on capital from the age of 50 at 3%
• CPF payout from 65 onwards, which is minimal
• Life Expectancy until 90

Comments: The least likely scenario embedded the opportunity to get out of the rat race much earlier and live off the rest of the expenses through mainly dividend income. The portfolio will still be growing marginally while this method will probably embed partial withdrawal on the capital once we entered the second half of the retirement lifestyle. It is unlikely that there will be anything significant from what the CPF can support since our contribution will be very minimal so not much dependency will be hinged on this.


• Assuming I stop my corporate lifestyle at the age of 35 and receives no active income thereafter
• Portfolio of $1M, with a yield of 6% - This would yield me a base of $60k per annum
• Aiming for a portfolio growth of 5% per annum on average
• Side Income Hustling yielding ~ SGD500 a month (or $6k a year). 
• Income to Expense Ratio at 2x, with inflation growth at 5%
• No Withdrawal on capital
• No dependency on CPF Payout
• Life Expectancy until 90
• Move to neighbouring retirement countries

Comments: The other alternatives is to move to a neighbouring countries and set up some side hustling business there. Expenses are low so the income to expense ratio should easily settle for the rest of our lives. There is also no expectancy on the withdrawal of the capital and any dependency on the social security retirement.

Base Scenario

• Assuming I stop my corporate lifestyle at the age of 37 and receives no active income thereafter. 
• Portfolio of $1.2M, with a yield of 6% - This would yield me a base of $72k per annum. 
• Aiming for a portfolio growth of 8% per annum on average. 
• Side Income Hustling yielding ~ SGD500 a month (or $6k a year). 
• Income to Expense Ratio at 1.2x, with inflation growth at 3%. 
• Partial withdrawal on capital from the age of 50% at 3%. 
• No dependency on CPF Payout. 
• Life Expectancy until 90. 

Comments: This is nothing much different from the above except I build my margin of safety through continue working for corporate while building the capital bigger. The incremental increase of $200k by working for the additional 2 years is just a random estimate figure which I rounded up from my head but if our dear bear market comes early, we might just reap the benefits much earlier. I think with an income to expense ratio at 1.2x, it also builds up savings during the month which can be ploughed back into the portfolio to compound further.

Best Scenario

• Assuming I stop my corporate lifestyle at the age of 40 and receives no active income thereafter. 
• Portfolio of $2M, with a yield of 6% - This would yield me a base of $120k per annum. 
• Aiming for a portfolio growth of 10% per annum on average. 
• Side Income Hustling yielding ~ SGD1000 a month (or $12k a year). 
• Income to Expense Ratio at 1.5x, with inflation growth at 3%. 
• No withdrawal on capital. 
• No dependency on CPF Payout. 
• Life Expectancy until 90. 

Comments: This is building up a larger safety net and will definitely score on getting retirement settled and out of the way for the rest of our lives. Again, the market will play a big role because the faster the bear market comes, the easier to compound the returns for future years since we are buying at cheaper valuation. I am also expecting some side hustling to pan through over the years and should contribute quite significantly to our income. We still have back-up plans from our capital withdrawal strategy and CPF which remains our fall back options should we need to.

Final Thoughts

This is just something which I have in my mind right now. 

There will definitely be changes in plans along the way and we'll play by it but we believe nothing should be as drastic. 

The fact also that when I stop working means there will be no contribution to the cpf, so that is something which has to be accounted for as well via the cashflow and included from it. The good thing about it there will also be no tax expense from my part so that should mitigate some of the losses.

Ideally, we prefer if we do not make any drastic changes to our lifestyle in the pursuit of this whole early financial independence thing but we'll have to see as we goes.

The big wildcard here will still be how my wife business will take off.

What do you think? Is this something which you think is sustainable?

Thanks for reading.

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Wednesday, June 28, 2017

How To Play The CDL Hospitality Trust (CDLHT) Rights Issuance

After my post yesterday on CDLHT issuance of the rights and acquisitions, this post is about the few choices you can do to play around exercising the rights or if you dont intend to.

My last participation was for sabana reits which happens not too long ago. In that event, I managed to buy the mother share in my strategy. Things are different now in the sense I am holding that mother share with me this time round.

There are generally 3 levels that you have to watch out for when a Reit announces rights that are not accretive immediately in nature. I define not accretive by mathematically referring to the dilution impact to the dpu before and after.

First Level -  This happens usually within the next trading day when the rights are announced and the mother share will react negatively and fall close to the terp price. This is when investors sell because they simply wants to get out of it.

Second Level - This is when more guidance are released to public what they will be using the funds for. If the acquisitions aren't accretive in nature, then the mother share will further plunge knowing there will be dilution impact to the dpu they are getting. In CDLHT case, they announced the acquisitions and rights issuance at the same time, so it immediately covers the first and second level.

Third Level - This is when the mother share started trading ex-rights and the rights are being traded in the market. The rights are trading typically for someone who wants to dispose their entitled rights or someone who wants to get into the shares by buying the rights from the market.

Then you have two groups of people typically in this sort of environment:

1.) People who are currently holding the existing mother shares (like me).

In my case, my best bet and plan is to apply and engage in plenty of excess rights to benefit more from it. Since it seems this particular rights are not popular in this case, there should be excess rights for ballot.

In my case, I am holding 60,000 shares and thus will be entitled for the rights for 12,000 shares at $1.28. I'd most likely apply an additional 20,000 to 30,000 shares of excess to see how much I can squeeze out of it.

My margin of safety in my cost price is high in this one, so I can do some experiment to see where I end up in this.

2.) People who are not holding the mother shares but want to get some of the actions.

In this case, you have a few options you can take.

The first is buying the mother share before it goes ex-rights and you will be entitled to the rights just like me.

The second is buying the rights in the market and you can then buy the entitlement at $1.28.

The third is simply buying the mother shares right after the whole episode is concluded and done with. That should set the tone how "low" they would go in this particular exercise.

I tried with the third option in my sabana experiment and was very successful.

I hope for the same in this one.

Thanks for reading.

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Tuesday, June 27, 2017

CDLHT Announces Acquisitions (Pullman Hotel Germany) & Launch of Renouncable Rights Issue

CDL Hospitality Trusts is currently my top position in the portfolio so I am inclined to write about the news they have announced today.

The Trust announces two big news - the first being the acquisition of the Pullman Hotel in Germany, which amounted to about S$160m and will be fully funded by debt facility. The second short after being the launch of the renouncable rights issue amounting to a gross proceeds of S$255m to lower their gearing and improve their balance sheet.

This is quite an interesting news because it's the first time I've seen a Reit doing this 2 layer set up announced on the same day. Usually, the Reit will be inclined to announce the acquisition first, and then subsequently followed by the method of funding a few weeks/months later.

What essentially happens is that the Trust is raising more proceeds to cover the acquisitions, and there will be immediate dilution impact to existing shareholders.

The renouncable rights is for 20 for every 100 at a price of $1.28.

Theoretical price will be at around $1.61 after the inclusion of the larger shareholding base.

Pro-forma DPU will drop from 10 cents to 9.43 cents, and yield will drop from 5.95% to 5.85%. NAV will also subsequently drop due to the enlarged equity base.

On the good side, gearing will drop from the current 36.8% to 33.6% after the rights issue and balance sheet will strengthen for the longer term.

My Thoughts

This is a stellar move from the management.

I've previously discussed in my theory here that when a Reit is at its 52 weeks high and trading above its premium, it is a good chance for them to raise an equity because they could do so at their advantage. 

With most Reits currently at 52 weeks high and a premium, and with interest costs rising, you can be sure there will be more Reits that will be issuing equity via placement or rights.

This is a bad move for me because my play tends to capture their cycle of pre-acquisitions and post-rights and it is unfortunate that the share price has stalled in recent days not meeting my selling price.

The acquisition and rights will be immediately dilutive in nature so we should see a drop in the share price closer to its TERP.

We have not really consider the long term nature of the acquisition which might be "accretive" in its own way. The Munich acquisitions is a 5.9% NPI yield and is projected to grow at a 1.5% rate from now until 2018. The hotel is also a freehold in an important piece of land in Germany, so this might work out in the long run for long term shareholders.

Thanks for reading.

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Monday, June 26, 2017

The Different Structure & Dividend Distribution Type From Reits

I received one or two queries on this recently so I thought it's good to make this as sticky post for future reference.

Real Estate Investment Trust (Reits) is not technically structured as a pure company that owns businesses or assets. They are being structured as an investment holding entity which requires a Trust Deed between the Trustee and the Reit manager. 

In order to own an asset locally or overseas, they need to set up a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) which acts in the context of a company that can buy or sell businesses or assets and legally had to file for their own respective corporate tax return. If the Reits own an asset overseas, the situation is made more complex because it has to set up a second layer SPV in that particular country to make the transaction and legally file for that country tax return. The transaction is then made between the Singapore SPV and that overseas SPV.

As investors, you also probably don't really bother with this but there are also the different Dividend Distribution Type for Reits just for information. Let me break that down.

First Reit - Q1 DPU Information
First Reit is a healthcare Reit which owns hospitals across Singapore, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea.

In the latest distribution, they had distributed out a total of 2.14 cents per unit, which made up of 0.07 cents (Taxable Income), 1.17 cents (Tax-Exempt Income) and 0.90 cents (Capital).

Taxable Income

These are the income that the trust received from the Singapore SPVs.

If you are a tax resident here, these distributions will be exempt in the hands of the individual shareholders since the regulations have regulate to do a one-tiered tax on this. In other words, it has been "taxed" from the SPV corporate level.

You can see why First Reit has only minimal taxable income distribution as their income derived from assets are mostly not derived from Singapore.

Tax-Exempt Income

These are the income that the trust received from the foreign set-up SPVs.

These also include any disposal of ordinary / redeemable preference shares where such capital gain tax are exempted in Singapore.

Tax-Exempt Income distribution is exempt from the Singapore income tax in the hands of all unitholders.

You can see the majority of the income for First Reit is derived from this one.


These represents a return of capital back to the respective SPVs, who may choose to redeem on a periodic basis.

You can try to look at SPVs like any other company, where depending on the Reit's distribution policy and payout, a portion of the dividend may be returned back to the SPV and they can use this to defer the amount of taxes on the income that they produced, hence translating into lower taxes and therefore higher dividends for the unitholders.

Capitalmall Trust - Q1 Dividend Information

Another example is Capitalmall Trust (CMT), which has decided to distribute all 100% of its taxable income to unitholders, which translate to 2.73 cents per unit.

Many investors know that Reits have to distribute at least 90% in order to enjoy tax exempt status from IRAS but little know that these 90% are specifically referring to the taxable income, NOT on the tax exempt and capital portion.

Take CMT for instance, they had received tax exempt and capital distribution for income received from Capital Retail China Trust (CRCT) in the first quarter amounting to $12.9m, which they had used to retain for their running working capital expenses. 

Good management typically plan well on how much distributions to give out and how much they would need to retain for their day to day operations and also growth plans.

Hope the above helps.

Vested in both First Reit and Capitalmall Trust.

Thanks for reading.

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Friday, June 23, 2017

5 Excuses About Not Doing Enough On Your Personal Finance

It is part of human tendency to shy away from the reality when it strikes and we are often left to provide excuses to justify and defend ourselves.

To a large extent, people feels uncomfortable when they start thinking about personal finance. It is almost that feeling of resigning to fate because the world places them in such a way they are disadvantaged that there is nothing they can do to improve the situation.

I understand the situation because I challenged exactly the same myself about health, and inputing about food and nutrients and I can tell just how hard it is to stay resilient throughout the duration with so many temptations.

Anyway, going back to personal finance, here are possibly some of the most common excuses that we often hear:

1.) "I Don't Earn Enough Money to Save"

To be on the fair side, there are people out there who barely earns minimum income who could hardly cover their expenses, so we leave these group out because they have done all their means to just survive.

But for most of the people out there whose income most likely exceeds their expenses, it is a matter of how much they net and pocket at the end of the day.

The ground rule is to ensure you earn more than whatever you spend. There are a lot of sidelines that you can do to improve your income situation either by buying and selling online gigs, working overtime or simply create another income stream through investing.

2.) "My Running Expenses Are Huge"

We know every month we are saddled with our utilities, telephone, cable, transportation fees and many more.

Running expenses are huge and I can attest to that especially with a growing family members to cater to in the household.

The goal here is to really sit down and properly analyze the unnecessary expenses which can be reduced. 

If you are watching on the internet more than the cable, perhaps you can reduce your expenses by cutting your cable television.

If you are spending exorbitantly high on the water and electricity, check if there is a leak somewhere.

If you are frequently taking cab, do explore alternatives with Uber or Grab that often has discounted code.

3.) "I Don't Have Time"

This is most probably the easiest excuse to justify and excuse oneself from taking responsibility of their own finances.

Most people procrastinate about taking lead of their own finances because there are always tomorrow or the next day after tomorrow hence it won't matter if they delay taking action.

Time is always a resource that we do not have a privilege to dwindle on. Unfortunately, most people spend their time on gadgets, watching movies and going on holidays but never really sat down to think about how they should manage their personal finance.

You are standing under a tree today because someone planted a seed long ago.

The best time to start investing is 10 years ago, the second best time is today. Take action right now and make it your priority. The future of you will thank the you of today.

Achieving financial independence is a step towards freeing the most important resource in this world, and that is time. That first step, comes from taking responsibility of our own finances.

4.) "You Only Live Once"

YOLO - Your 20s might be running out so quit your job and spend all your money on traveling, gadgets and every other thing because you only live once.

While I applaud the good intention of YOLO, there is still a responsibility towards how you are going to manage your personal finances and the eventual retirement. You do not have to choose between experience or money. Most of the times, you can have them both if you plan them properly.

5.) "I'm Bad With Money"

Not everyone are born money savvy.

Being able to organize and watch your income and expenses are part of tracking your own cashflow to ensure cash never ran out when you need them most.

Proper budgeting and investing take more than just skills to hone. It requires mental preparation, patience and strong will and determination to make it last. You are able to use some application that can help you in budgeting such as Personal Capital or YNAB.

Thanks for reading.

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Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Stress Test Checkup For Small Cap Stocks

Every now and then I tried to force myself to do a bit of homework in updating my spreadsheet for some companies that are in my watchlist. 

This article is about consolidating the strength of the company through looking into the lenses of the health of the balance sheet. I am only covering ground on one segment so it cannot be entirely looked into making certain grounds.

Small cap companies have been a favorite for many because of their potential to grow. Unlike matured companies, small cap companies have greater room to grow because they can build on new verticals or improve on their margins by focusing on their specific mix. However, the risk is also greater in the sense they may lack institutional back-ups in the case where liquidity dries, just like what happened during the GFC.

For the purpose of this exercise, I have picked a few small cap stocks which I have added to the list while they remain in my interests. I will be using 4 scenarios: the 2008 GFC, 2011 Euro Crisis, 2015 China scare, and 2017 of today. I specifically picked scenarios where the STI has been much impacted by certain events to see how valuations are.

  • Micro-Mechanics
  • Tai Sin Electric
  • Transit Mixed Concretes
  • Riverstone
  • Silverlake
  • UMS
  • Sarine Tech
  • Nam Lee Metals
  • Second Chance
  • Boustead
  • Kingsmen

Balance Sheet Strength 

The first stress test is to check on the strength of their balance sheet. 

On the overall, it looks like most companies have a much stronger balance sheet now as compared to back then in 2008, 2011 and 2015, where companies generally tend to take advantage when interest rates are low. Companies which are visibly in the net cash position for years have grown their cash position to even more in 2017, with Micro-Mechanics, Taisin Electic, Transit Mixed, Riverstone, Silverlake, UMS, Nam Lee, and Boustead leading the pack. Kingsmen reduced their net cash as they had to use the working capital to build on their headquarter. 

It is also important to note that while keeping cash increases the strength of the balance sheet in general, hoarding too much cash may not be the best decision as it erodes the long term ROE of the company. 

Earnings Valuation

The second stress test is on their respective earnings valuation. 

From here, you can easily see that valuations are much more expensive today as compared to back then during 2008, 2011 and 2015. Some industries like the semi-conductor are seeing their cyclical upturn so it is common to see companies get re-rated upon potential stronger growth.

Sometimes, as investors, you've got to question yourself if you are rationalizing for enough margin of safety on some of these counters.

Implied Downside

I've also included the implied downside scenario and here we are using the 2008 bear market year since it's a really bad year.

While you might be confident that the companies you are holding are strong enough to withstand the wind, you might need to work out on the potential implied downside psychologically to see that it can happen in a big bear market where liquidity dries and all fundamentals are thrown out.

This is not meant to scare anyone out there but meant to educate and inform that such unimaginable things can happen even to a very strong company. Good companies do rebound when economies recover eventually but you do need a strong steel of balls and mentals to undergo the event.

Thanks for reading.

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Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Building Sustainable Dividends Through Learning With REITS Masterclass

Most of you readers know that I love Reits investing because it fits my profile of having a sustainable stream of dividend income that pays every quarterly or semi-annually. This is align with my aspirations of being able to use the rest of my time to do what I wanted to really do.

As a matter of fact, if you look at my current portfolio right now, more than 50% are in Reits and my top 2 positions are in CDL Hospitality and Fraser Logistics Trust.

It is pretty obvious that I have a biasness towards liking Reits as an asset class.

Many people has a misconception that Reits are only meant for someone who wanted to build a stream of passive income and that if you want capital gain you should look elsewhere for a growth stock.

That is not true.

Most of the Reits that we are seeing today have both component of capital gain and dividends because the management have been tasked to grow the Asset Under Management (AUM) and Dividends Per Unit (DPU). As investors, we are able to enjoy the growth component and reap a higher dividends when it comes.

I have previously wrote an article articulating my strategy on how to select Reits which is nothing but just trying to organize my thoughts in a proper manner. I received a few questions from readers on some of the technical terms used and what are the kind of details should they look up for and honestly for me, it is difficult for me to answer because I might not know where their level of competency are in this aspect.

Equip Your Knowledge With REITS Masterclass

The course has a total of 10 modules with 33 sub-content inside for a total of over 5 hours.

They are made into a video content hence you are able to back-track and fast-forward as and when you'd like to.

Who Should Sign Up For The Course

The course is suitable for someone who like to:

1.) Understand how to build a sustainable stream of dividend income
2.) Equip your knowledge with the terminology of Reits
3.) Enhance your understanding of what details to look out for in a good Reits
4.) Avoid buying into a poorly managed Reits investment

Here Is Where You Could Sign Up

They are currently offering a value deal of $30 if you sign up using the below link for a limited time period.

If you think this is something that might interest you, you can sign up by clicking the link below.

--------- CLICK HERE  ---------

Alternatively, you can type the code "FOR_FIN_FREEDOM" under the referral code.

I've personally gone through the course myself and for a thorough lesson like that, I think it offers a great value at this price that you can hardly find elsewhere. The closest alternative you can find is a book on Reits by Bobby Jayaraman.

Do note that this post contains an affiliate links and I do get a commission when you sign up for the course. However, it will not cost you anything extra otherwise.

Thanks for reading.
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Monday, June 19, 2017

Is There An Opportunity In Gold Right Now?

For a long time, I've considered Gold as a monetary goods that are driven by demand and supply more than an investment itself. It has a very long track of history itself and it was first used as a barter trade in 700 B.C.

A friend that I was close with has recently notified me that the long term downtrend of Gold was finally broken and that it might be on its way up again after breaking its 6 years downtrend.

Almost a decade of close to zero interest rates have atomized any form of risk aversion, and it is easy to see why people have generally flocked their preference to the equity markets in recent years. 

Gold price has also performed decently during this period and just when they tried to break their long term downtrend back in Aug 2016, they started going downhill again right after the market rallied after Trump was officially announced as President.

Trump announced a few fiscal measures such as the tax boost and the removal of the Dodd-Frank which excites and send the stock market flying to its high. This measures of Euphoria sends the gold stumbling back into consolidation mode again.

Still, if you are one that holds gold since 2000, you are looking at a average gain of about 11% today. These are the period when gold starts to make their strong run boom days mostly from the period from 2005 to 2007.

3 Cases To Go Long on Gold

1.) GSCI Commodity Index / S&P 500 Ratio

The GSCI is a typical measure indicator for commodity prices and is a very strong inflation indicator correlation. It includes many different types of commodities such as gold, oil, energy, most of which are in the low right now.

From a historical context, the relative valuation of the GSCI to the equity markets seems very low right now which might suggest potential opportunities to be a contrarian.

2.) Long Term Technical Broken

From a technical point of view, it appears that gold has finally managed to break their long term downtrend and it might gain momentum from hereon.

3.) Gold as a hedge to your equities exposure

Gold has a strong correlation against other asset classes in particular the equities market. They typically act as safe haven during periods of uncertainties and recession, where it proceeds with stock market crashes.

Here are the inverse correlation of gold with equity markets as far dated over the past 4 decades:


There are many passive investors who are embarking on a permanent portfolio strategy, and gold is an important part of that strategy.

The biggest opportunity cost for holding gold is when the stock market is going on a rampant bull run but recently it has exhibited signs of going up when the stock market is also rising.

I've been contemplating a long time whether my portfolio should consists of gold as part of that strategy. So far, I have not done so because I originally believe in the simplistic cash/equity allocation model. Perhaps, it is now time to reconsider that.

Thanks for reading.
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Saturday, June 17, 2017

Understanding Your Risk Tolerance And Risk Appetite

As investors, we always tend to worry about what might go wrong in our portfolio regardless of how much efforts of research we’ve taken. 

There’s always this navigation on how things might not perform up to our expectations because of the underlying differences between our risk appetite and risk tolerance that we can take from the whole risk universe we are exposed to. 

Many investors put their whole resource perspectives on how to improve performance but do not spend enough time evaluating their risk tolerance. 

The business of investing is inherently about taking risk to generate a return. It is the same inherent risk when we are trying to cross the road by waiting for the traffic light. There are some who get to the other side faster by dashing onto an ongoing traffic, while there are some who would patiently wait for a signal before crossing the road. 

From an investment perspective, it is precisely why the capital asset pricing model advocates the premium return an investor needs to generate when they are undertaking additional risk in the form of a risky asset, whatever that asset is. 

Going back to the original intention of the article, I wanted to articulate through what has been covered through the whole risk universe we are exposed to and how we can navigate our understanding on the risk tolerance and risk appetite better. 

The Risk Universe is a central repository of all the generic risks that have been added to the component to make up the maximum and minimum units of performance over time. 

This includes both the Systematic risk and Unsystematic risk. 

An unsystematic risk is also known as the specific type of risk within the organization that an investor can overcome by understanding the company better through deep-dive and scuttle-butting the management. An investor can also overcome unsystematic risk through diversifying into different companies or industries or to a certain extent different form of assets. A systematic risk however, is an unknown factor that an investor has no control of regardless of how much efforts he has done on his research. These are mostly impacted by black swan event which we are not expecting it to come.

The Risk Tolerance should be a subset of the risk universe. They are the conscious level of determinant of the maximum unit of risks that a person is willing to undertake to achieve a corresponding level of performance. Going back to the analogy of investing, this determines an investor’s understanding of the ability and willingness to stomach large swings in the value of the investment. You would also note that from a psychology point of view, most people would correlate their risk tolerance to the maximum amount of losses they can take. After all, no one likes to lose money, not at least in the mind. 

Last but not least, we moved to the Risk Appetite, which should form a smaller scale of the risk tolerance. Most people connects their risk appetite to the performance benchmark they need to fund for their needs. For instance, a retiree that requires 4% returns on a $1m portfolio would usually benchmark their risk appetite accordingly to generate the returns that they need. 

The reason why it is difficult to advocate financial planning and investing to a stranger is because we have no idea on how much risk tolerance and risk appetite they can take. Sometimes, we assume we know but we are not sure ourselves where exactly our risk appetite is.

The problem exists when we scale up our risk appetite and thinks the same can be scaled up with our risk tolerance. It doesn't work that way but subconsciously we may be forced to think the risk tolerance and risk appetite all moved up one level accordingly. This usually happens when we are over confident about things and think our mind and body can take a lot more tolerance before the reality strikes.

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Thursday, June 15, 2017

HRnetGroup Limited - IPO Balloting Results

HRnetGroup Limited balloting results is out.

Placement of 85,682,000 shares is approximately 13.17 times subscribed due to strong demand from international and local institutional investors.

Public offer of 3,359,200 shares is approximately 68.34 times subscribed by retail investors.

Chances are actually pretty evenly big if you are one of them who apply to the shares.

9:50 means for every 100, 18 will get it. So the probability is quite high at 18%.

Most of the tranches applied between 100,000 to 199,000 with 30.2%.

I did apply 51,000 shares and still can't break my bad luck streak of not getting anything in IPO, sadly.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

HRnetGroup Limited IPO - Is This A Good Buy?

HRnetGroup Limited is going public by offering 89.4m shares which made up of 85.6m shares under placement and 3.8m shares under the public offer.

The IPO will close on the 14th Jun at 12pm with a market cap of approximately $900m, which makes it one of the top IPO for this year in the SGX market.

The issue price is at $0.90 per share.

About The Company

HRnetGroup Limited is the largest Asia based recruitment agency in Asia Pacific with a dominance presence in Singapore.

It currently operates in a few key growth markets such as Tokyo, Hongkong and Shanghai, with a post successful IPO venturing overseas in these markets.

Unlike most recruitment firms, the company operates on an interesting co-ownership business model to align the employees' interests with the company.

The Group has two main businesses.

The first is engaging the recruitment agency (Recruit Express, People Search) by having professional recruiter place candidates on permanent positions. The other segment provides services such as payroll processing, human resource consulting and corporate service training.


On the financials, you can see that topline has been increasing steadily over the years and GP margin has remained steady at around 36% to 39%.

Their biggest "assets" in this sort of business is obviously its manpower and it is easy to see that it contributes the most overhead costs. Net Margin is at around 10-11%, which is solid.

Based on 2016 results, earnings per share (eps) is at 4.06 cents post offering and hence this translates to about 22x price to earnings.

Despite increasing bottomline, cash in balance sheet has instead decreased, mainly due to huge dividend payout they've issued pre-listing in FY2016 which amounted to $84.8m paid in dividends to shareholders (partially offset by the capital contribution of $15m received from Vanda).

The company works on an asset light business model hence no major capex to take note about.

Peers Comparison

The Group is a clear market leader here when you see how they fare against other recruitment firm in terms of net profit and net profit margin divided by per employee.

The only company which have fare better is japanese listed JAC recruitment firm which is currently trading at 20x PER.


Based on Frost & Sullivan, they estimate the industry in the North Asian cities to grow at 11.5% CAGR, Rest of SEA at 12.4% CAGR and Singapore at 4% CAGR between 2016 to 2021.

Given the Group market leader position and their intention to use the funds from the IPO to grow in the North Asian cities market, we can assume growth to be at 11.5% for the sake of our DCF valuation method.

I'm using a standard 10% on discount rate and a conservative 20x PER to match that of JAC recruitment we talked about above in the peer comparison.

The intrinsic value came up to $1.50.

Final Thoughts

The valuation at IPO are not exactly cheap at 22x earnings multiple. In fact, if you compare them against JAC recruitment right now, it is pretty rich.

Proposed dividends are estimated to be at 50% of net earnings for FY17 and FY18, which translates to about 2.2% yield.

The key here is whether that 11.5% growth over the next 5 years which the industry forecast could materialize. If yes, then at 90 cents, it will look cheap because the company could well generate about $50m in earnings, and then pay half of those as dividends to shareholders and then retained the rest of the $25m as cash in their balance sheet. 

The valuation does not take into account the potential growth from further utilization from the cash they have in their retained earnings over the years so EV will continue to get stronger as years goes by if they sit still with that cash and do nothing.

The key here is in the waiting and if you can wait 5 years before the share price goes to $1.50, that's a double digit return of about 12% for you. Adding the yearly dividend of about 2%, and you get about 14%, pretty decent.

The other key risks if that growth is going to materialize at all. One black swan or crisis and we may go back to basics.

I'm still deciding if I wanted to have participation in this. With cash running low, I need to prioritize on my strategy.

Friday, June 9, 2017

"Jun 17" - SG Transactions & Portfolio Update"

No. of Shares
Market Price (SGD)
Total Value (SGD) based on market price
Allocation %
CDL Hospitality Trust
Fraser Logistic Trust
Capitalmall Trust
Fraser Comm Trust
First Reit
Total SGD

I am updating the Jun portfolio a bit early this month as I foresee I will be very busy when I return to work from my 2 weeks leave right the following Monday. It's been nice having time away from work with the family where the highlights have been going together to the Safari and also the Cimory side of the mountaneous area.

The theme this month is trying to increase some cash position in the portfolio as I start to review and do some portfolio rebalancing. I've previously posted on my thoughts here.

My portfolio has also shrink to just a couple of positions and is now really a matter of the top few that matters.

First, I started the month by divesting my position with Ireits at 75.5 cents at a 20.7% gain which I have written over here. My thesis stems from the idea that I think there are limited room to run from valuations view and the only saving grace is their 7.5% yield (90% payout) with a series of their freehold commercial properties. I also think that there are rights issue looming so I'd be interested to re-enter at the right price again.

Next, I also divested my position with Far East Hospitality Trust at 65.5 cents at a 12.6% gain which I have written over here. The thesis for this is due to the recent run up in share price due to the surging news of the hospitality come back and the share price has run up about 10% since. There is also a huge block of selling queue at 66 cents which I think is hard for them to break hence I have divested first meanwhile to allocate those profits back to cash.

I have also divested my position with Lippomall Indonesia Trust (LMIRT) at 42.5 cents at a 18.3% gain. Their TTM dividend yield stands at around 8.1% and I'd be frank enough to say that I would expect more given the risk profile that the company has. The company has an ambitious plan by growing their AUM and we'll see a lot of M&A news in the next few years. The recent few days with the acquisition of Lippo Kendari is one of them. While they'd be funding it with perpetual securities, the interest costs on the perpetual costs are pretty high, and if I recall is around 5.5% and north. I think with election coming in 2018 in Indonesia, we'll see better entry point for LMIRT next year possibly.

I have also divested my position with Micro-Mechanics at $1.26 at a 55% gain. This isn't a big position by itself and semicon companies have seen their fair share of run-up in the first half of this year to account for its bullishness. MM trades at 13x earnings and I'm just not sure if the bullishness has much been priced in. After all, we know that it's a cyclical industry in nature and much of their earnings need to be normalized in the long run if one wants to keep it long term.

I have also closed my position with Elec & Eltek at $1.58 at a 10.2% gain. This is meant to be a short term trading position and have reached my target of 10% gain which I have decided to close off the position.

On the buy side, I have accumulated 19,000 more shares of Comfortdelgro at $2.41 with the running thesis that I think from valuations view they are decently priced. On a nutshell, the same thesis revolves around the idea that I think the public transport this year will offset the weakness in taxi business while DTL remains an unknown factor because of the costs that might creep in. I also felt that market is discounting the management M&A abilities which have in the past generated decent ROI. I also think that the fact the management increases their final dividend last year spells confident in what they have in terms of cashflow moving forward.

I have also bought 30,000 shares of Capitalmall Trust at $1.92 for a short term trading position. The idea is just simply that $1.92 represents a good entry point because of its strong support and also its very near to 1x of their book value, by contrast to their peers of FCT and MCT which are trading at above 1.1x.

Net Worth Portfolio

Due to the strong performance of Fraser Logistic Trust mainly this month, the portfolio has grown from the previous month of $599,930 to $610,143 this month (+1.7% month on month, +43% year on year).

Cash position is at the comfortable range of near to 20% as I look to increasingly increase this position as some of the companies valuations are going up and making it less attractive to allocate.

Child Portfolio 1 (Age: 3 years and 1 month)

I'd also like to use this chance to update on the Child portfolio a little bit as I made changes which I forgot to update last month as I switched from ST Eng to Singtel. Nothing much changes going on other from here.

No. of Shares
Market Price (SGD)
Total Value (SGD) based on market price
Allocation %

Child Portfolio 2 (Age: 5 month)

No. of Shares
Market Price (SGD)
Total Value (SGD) based on market price
Allocation %

Thanks for reading.

How has your half yearly June been so far in terms of performance?