Saturday, October 12, 2019

Gathering of Financial Bloggers 2019

It's been quite a year for 2019 for most of the people I know, especially with my Dad's situation not too long ago and also Chris' unfortunate incident with his Dad too.

So with almost the end of 2019 fast approaching, we thought why not do a light gathering where we can catch up on things we have not been able to do so throughout the year.

Financial bloggers are a close community knit of people. 

While we don't have the size as big as some of the US bloggers out there, we probably are closer to one another than most people think.

There are many times that we also talk beyond just cpf and stock investment. We also discussed on things like baby fairs, education, lifestyle, retirement or just simply the latest gossip on the net.

There are also people that some of us has been talking to in the chat group for nearly a year but has not the chance to meet up face to face so we thought it'll be a good idea to put a face to whoever we've been talking and discussing all along.

So I decided to host a gathering for a bbq event at my place (well, technically my in-law place until we found ours) over some satays and beers, hoping to catch some folks for the recent catch-up.

And thanks to the folks who turned up for the evening and for being very sportif for the event.

Special thanks too to Bryan from The Smart LocalSim from STE Investing, Goh CK, Royston from The Motley FoolAlex from The Bear Prowl and Thomas from 15HWW for bringing extra dishes and desserts for the day!

Hanging Around and Waiting for People To Come

Financial Bloggers Struggling To Get The Fire Starter To Start

Chris with the Sotong and Sim with the fan

CK at his best pose of the day ;)

Look at Kyith!!!

Nasi Tumpeng

Myanmar Whiskey - Too bad only finish half of them

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Thursday, October 10, 2019

6 Reasons Why I Think DBS' Report On Singtel Is Overly Bearish

I am writing this in a response to an article from DBS which caught everyone's attention regarding the likelihood that Singtel may cut its dividend for the first time in 20 years from FY2021 onwards.

If you have not read the article, you can read it here.

In the article, the analyst drew from the thesis that Singtel might have to cut its "unsustainable" dividend payout to 13 ~ 15 cents/share mainly due to the increasing capex requirement from the 5G spectrum roll-out, the declining mobile users and deteriorating regional associates performances, which is mainly attributed to Bharti and Telkomsel (slowing growth).

While the general thesis may sound reasonable at glance, I think the dividend cut from the current 17.5 to 13 ~ 15 cents from FY2021 onwards may be overly bearish.

Here's 6 reasons why.

1.) The Group Can Technically Still Afford 17.5 cents Payout

We are talking here about a company that is one of the biggest market cap in Singapore and has never cut its dividends in the past 2 decades (~20 years).

In order to pay out 17.5 cents of dividends, Singtel would have to fork out a total amount of $2.85b, which if we use FY2019 as reference typically consists of a $1.11b (6.8 cents/share) interim dividend and $1.74b (10.7 cents/share) final dividend.

The Group gave a guidance that FY2020 Free Cash Flow to come in at $2.4b from their Singapore operations and another $1.2b from their regional associates, which adds up to $3.6b. However, this amount excludes the spectrum payments for the 5G roll-out which is only expected to be finalized in 2021, which the Group is forecasting at $2.2b.

Technically speaking, the Group has still the capability of paying out 17.5 cents/share to shareholders, cutting which will bring about spiral speculation about the company. 

2.) The 5G Network Capex Can Be Shared Among Mobile Operators

We can all agree that the 5G network is a huge capex commitment that the mobile operators cannot incur as a stand alone because it just doesn't make sense.

The likelihood will be a sharing model among the mobile operators and capex costs to be shared.

If we take reference from countries such as the US or Korea or China, they are already sharing the network even among competitors.

China Telecom, for instance, has announced that it is ready to build a 5G mobile network with its rivals in order to share the capex costs and to maintain their BAU capex guidance in the next 2 years.

3.) Singtel Has Trump Cards On Their Hands They Haven't Played Yet

The ICT business revenue model from the digitalisation technologies which include cyber, cloud, analytics, AI and IoT are one monetization platform which the Group can undertake a strategic review on the back of a smart nation concept.

The cyber security nation concept has recently gained traction news when Temasek decided to buy into the stake of security system D'Crypt, which Starhub previously bought back in 2017.

Another digital arms - Amobee and Videology, which are part of the digital life division are also another potential divestment opportunity that they can raise their funds from.

This will help to free up cashflow required to fund further network capex, if necessary.

4.) Telkomsel is Coming in from a Low 2018 Base

Telkomsel is one of Singtel's promising star of their regional associates that are still growing.

If you look at Telkomsel results more in depth, you'd see that their network users are up by 5.17m from the low base point of 2018 of 163.4m to 168.6m this year.

This helped to push their earnings higher despite a 6% drop in their call usage.

With revenue mix starting to shift towards the data service (now taking up 34% of total revenue) rather than call usage, there is still room for growth to increase the data service users.

5.) Singtel's Gearing Is At Reasonable Level

Singtel has a net debt of $11.8b in the group's book (including consol of all the subsidiaries), which translates into a 28.4% gearing or 2x their EBITDA + Share of Regional Associates EBIT Profits.

This is a very strong position for a telecom company not just in Singapore, but comparatively across the globe. 

Technically, they can gear up higher and yet still re-affirm their credit rating by assuring they have the cash flow that can cover the interest.

6.) Too Early For Singtel To Cut Dividend

If you notice the trend for Starhub, it took them close to 8 years before they realized that their dividends are unsustainable, mainly because their business fundamentals do not improve and they decide to cut thereafter.

What I am saying is there are many ways corporate actions can take place to raise funds and dividend cuts is probably one of the last option they will undertake just because it is so damn unpopular and likely market sentiments will spiral down from here (even if in the eyes of a prudent investor).

A company as big as Singtel is likely to be more prudent in their dividend policy. 

The higher likelihood in my opinion is another year of fixed dividend policy before transitioning them slowly to a variable policy like Starhub based on earnings. 

A variable policy pegged to earnings and cashflow is a nicer way to tell investors that the company is in the transitioning phase and is likely to conserve cash as part of the retained earnings for future capex needs.

With that said, this is not an inducement for investors to buy Singtel.

I think they'll be in a tough transition phase environment in the next few years but one that could come out strongly if the execution is done perfectly.

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Wednesday, October 9, 2019

My Experience Using Redbrick Mortgage Advisory Service

As part of my property investing series research which I've been writing since last month, I am trying to reach out to as many groups of people involved in the end to end chain process of a property purchase.

This includes the likes of subject matter experts, agents, mortgage advisors and property portals such as and property guru.

Last week, I contacted one of the leading mortgage advisory brokers in Singapore, Redbrick Mortgage Advisory, as an anonymous to understand better the services and professional service level they provide.

But before that, let's first understand the role of a mortgage broker.

Why Do You Need Mortgage Brokers?

Property purchase is easily the biggest, if not one of the biggest financial commitments you will ever likely to make in your lifetime.

When purchasing a property either for your stay or investment, most people usually choose to service their purchase using financing options such as mortgage loans over the next 30 years or so.

Seeking an unbiased independent mortgage advisor such as Redbrick is therefore crucial because they have advisors on the ground who are subject matter experts who will recommend the best financing options available out there.

Not only that, but you also get personalized attention and flexibility to call them day or night to get their advice on the concerns you have.

For all the attention and guidance you will get, the best catch is there are no additional costs that you have to incur for their services.

This is in contrast to countries like Australia where the Hayne royal commissioner is proposing changes to the remuneration of brokers from a commission to a fixed fee for their subject matter advice.

If the abovementioned is true and it is that good then why aren't more people using their services?

Are Mortgage Brokers Better Than Approaching Banks Directly?

If you were to ask me, my guess is most people are still skeptical about the role of a mortgage broker in Singapore and struggle to understand how they can add value to the service.

For one, mortgage brokers are essentially middlemen between banks and borrowers, and since the commissions they get are standard across the industry, they are likely to be more independent and unbiased when providing advice to their clients.

That means a comparison across all the packages from the different banks and you can choose the best of the lots based on your specific requirement.

Mortgage brokerage such as Redbrick also provides one-stop shopping for all the services you might need.

This includes the likes of a residential or commercial property loan, bridging loan or even the options to evaluate the alternative of cash out equity financing loan which you can read about my story here.

In addition to that, they also provide a more personalized experience that can be customized according to your needs. They can carve out solutions to your problems or even provide better alternative options that you didn't originally think of that you can now consider.

While going directly to banks for loan packages sounds more straightforward, the bank loan officer serving is more likely to sell products that are favorable to the bank and might not go the extra mile to help you solve the problems you have on hand.

This can, of course, vary from experience, but that's just the general impression I get when I talked to both side of the parties (I've used them both from my personal experience).

Why Choose Redbrick?

Being the curious person I am, I tried to complete the relevant information that Redbrick provides on their website to check out and compare the loans across the different banks.

To my surprise, I received a call from one of their consultants within 5 minutes of completing the form (I wasn't expecting them to call me immediately) on my registered phone number.

I had previously studied some of the different home loan packages available across the different banks and had a good understanding of them myself but still wanted to use this opportunity to get a subject matter expert second opinion.

For instance, I had known beforehand that some of DBS home loan package uses FHR8 (Fixed Deposit Rate), while some of Maybank home loan package uses SRFR (Singapore Residential Financing Rate). Since these are board rates which the banks control, they are likely to be less favorable to borrowers in the event of a declining interest rate environment.

The consultant I called in was very patient in explaining all the different packages the banks are offering and the pros and cons of each of the package. She was knowledgeable in the products that she was handling.

I was rather impressed with the service level that she provided.

But I wasn't sure if every consultant was this competent or if I was mere lucky on that day.

Being the once again curious person that I am, I submitted a second request to them.

Similar to the first case, a different consultant gave me a call within 5 minutes. This time around, I arranged for a face to face visit at my home. She arrived at my location in less than an hour after the call.

Again, the service standard was very high and efficient. She was very knowledgeable about all the different packages and provided me with alternatives that I didn't manage to explore by myself previously.

Final Thoughts

I was impressed with Redbrick service standards that I contacted their Managing Director, Eugene Huang and we met over lunch where he generously shared his perspective on the property sectors and how his business model works.

During our meeting together, I was also briefed on how the company is training its consultants to maintain a high level of service standards consistently.

This explains why the two consultants I had was delivering consistent standards throughout the session.

It didn't occur to me in the past that using an independent mortgage advisory could give me favorable objectives and different perspective to look at things from another angle.

If you are thinking of taking a new home loan for your new home purchase or looking into refinancing your existing loan or even thinking about unlocking the equity value of your home loan, why not give them a try by visiting their website here.

It doesn't cost you a single cost extra to engage their services but who knows you may come out like a winner.

P.S: This post is a collaboration with Redbrick Mortgage Advisory and I'll get a cut out of the service commission if you engage but all stated opinions are based on my own experience using their services and are solely mine.  

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Monday, October 7, 2019

Why I'm Joining The SG Active Trading Tournament 2019

It was around this time last year when the SGX Bull Charge Stock Challenge competition was held and I participated in the competition which lasts about 2.5 months.

It was heavily contested with more than 136 participants competing for the main prize.

I managed to lead the competition for most of the period until the very last day when another contestant Thebearprowl leaped over the first position and took the champion.

I wasn't upset (though felt a bit disappointed to give up the lead) about losing to another great competitor and was glad that I have a lot of takeaway I could learn from the competition itself.

Today, Thebearprowl and I are very close friends where we shared a private chatgroup to discuss on stocks and companies that have potentials to outperform.

2018 SGX Bull Charge Stock Challenge

SG Active Trading Tournament (2019)

InvestingNote is holding another competition this year, which is the upcoming SG Active Trading Tournament which will commence from 14 October to 29 November 2019.

Contestants are free to join the competition and stand a chance to win the grand prize of $4000 for the 1st prize. This time, there's also cash prizes to be won for the 2nd and 3rd place and already to date we have 1065 registered contestants so I am expecting the competition to be a blow-out contest.

The theme for this competition revolves around the use of Daily Leverage Certificates (DLCs), which are essentially exchange-traded financial products that enable investors to achieve a leveraged exposure to the key Asian benchmarks such as HK Exchange or individual stocks such as DBS, Wilmar or Venture.

Because DLCs are leveraged products, there are certain imminent risks that investors have to cater to when they buy.

Having said that, DLCs are different from the other leveraged products because they are listed on the cash market of SGX, hence there is no risk of a margin call.

This could work in favour of investors who would like to short the market yet do not want the risk associated with margin calls when they purchase via CFDs.

If you are unfamiliar with how DLCs work in the trading world, this competition will allow you to get exposure and learn about the product, without risking your own real money with it. Even better, you might walk out with a cash prize on your hand if you top the competition.

What stands out in particular for DLCs is that apart from magnifying the returns (or losses) based on the underlying asset that you buy, it also has a design feature of compounding effect which might impact the returns in the long run.

What this means is that if you buy and hold DLC for consecutive days, the returns will deviate because the base value of the returns that are tracked is reset on each day such that a new base is formed on each new trading day.

In other words, DLCs thrived in an environment where the general trending market is one way up or down because the new base will then magnify the returns.

For the full list of DLCs, you may refer to the link here.

I am pretty excited about pitting myself against some of the more respected traders out there and have signed up for the competition. Have you?

To register, please use the link here.

Thanks for reading.

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Saturday, October 5, 2019

Maximizing Your Profit With AI Gain

In a world where digital finance plays an important part for the blockchain industry revolution, most look for faster and safer digital platform to manage and make full use of their digital assets.

AI Gain, which stands for "Artificial Intelligence" and "Gain" is a digital finance platform which is gaining plenty of attraction for its digital smart wallet. It allows investors to profit through arbitrage (earning the bid-ask spread by comparing exchange rates of various exchanges) with a minor handling fee of 2%.

AI Gain currently supports AIG Coin and other major cryptocurrencies, namely Bitcoin, Etherium, Litecoin and Tether.

There will be more coins in future.

As one of the leading cryptocurrency exchange providers, AI Gain also allows user to store their digital assets at their decentralized cryptocurrency wallet, protecting them from any hacking with advanced defence and technology.

Users will have to key in their OTP that are connected to their registered phone numbers with an expiration time of 1 minute.

To gain better protection, users too are required to key in their trade password, which is exclusively unique to users before the completion of transaction.

Apart from these features, AI Gain has 24/7 customer service representatives to assist customers for their inquiries and/or technical problems.

AI Gain is giving away a free welcome bonus of US$300 upon successful registration and a bonus of 50% from investment as promotions for AI Gain users.

Besides, users with successful invites and traders are bound to earn referral and other bonuses.

For more information, please visit the FAQ section of AI Gain website to get a better understanding on the mechanism of the referral and bonus programmes. 

Here are the key tutorials for your perusal:

Step 1: Registration Guide

• Register at
• Go to login page
• Click on “Create Wallet"
• Enter your phone number
• Enter your OTP
• Set up your profile (Enter your email, IC and referral phone number (optional))
• Set up your account password and trade password

Step 2: Deposit Guide

• Log in to your account
• Select cryptocurrency
• Click on "Deposit"
• Scan the QR code/copy and paste to get the address
• Wait for the transaction process
• Amount displays in AI Gain wallet

Step 3: Trading Guide

• Log in to your account
• Go to Fortune and click on "AI Gain"
• Select your available cryptocurrency to convert into USD
• Enter amount
• Enter cryptocurrency pair
• Enter your trade password and OTP for DUAL AUTHENTICATION
• Go to AI Gain Record to view your trading records
• Click on each record to check your hourly profit
• Each record will receive another 10%, to be deducted from your free capital

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Thursday, October 3, 2019

Oct 19 - Portfolio & Networth Update

No. of Shares
Market Price (SGD)
Total Value (SGD) based on market price
Allocation %
Starhub (Short)
DBS (Short)
HK Land
Far East Hospitality Trust
Ho Bee Land


CFD Leverage @ 2.8%




This will be a quick update as we enter the last quarter of the year getting ready for again a new year up ahead.

There's only three updates this month that I want to make from the previous month.

The first is the Cash-Out Financing which I detailed in my post here by taking out an additional cash loan under the home equity financing.

The equity portion for the house is still very much in positive territory due to the TDSR rules implemented so I won't be overly concerned with the movement in asset prices. The asset will have to drop by 40% for the equity portion to be at breakeven. The GFC is a good stress test.

It is also very tempting to put all of those into a Reit that pays 9% dividend and just sit back and see how things go from there. But I don't think I'll implement it that way.

There are some ideas on what I want to do with the additional cash on hand so I hope to be able to update in the next month or so once it materializes.

At the moment, I probably can't and won't say out too much about the detail.

The second update is a short position which I took on DBS.

It's not a large quantum by nature and given the Oct volatility I wanted to take a short time-frame position in DBS to see if it will test the strong support $24 again. I'd probably close my position once it reaches there.

The third update is the unsuccessful Lendlease IPO balloting which I didn't manage to get.

I do not have the time to analyse the Reit in detail but there are a couple of bloggers who have comprehensively cover them so I tag along with their analysis when I ballot.

Apart from that, I am still monitoring closely some companies in my radar such as the likes of Dairy Farm, Bukit Sembawang but it pays to be patience when waiting for these companies. There are also no urgent compelling catalyst on these companies so let's see how the Oct month will fare by then.

With everything that's going on right now and projects both at work and off-work that I'm undertaking, things have been very busy that I have to run around and settle multiple errands.

Meanwhile, do keep a lookout for that opportunity in this market we might get some good deals over here.

Thanks for reading.

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