Monday, April 12, 2021

Apr 2021 - Portfolio & Transaction Updates



No. of Shares

Market Price (SGD)

Total Value (SGD) based on market price

Allocation %



Manulife REIT














Lendlease REIT







Starhill REIT





















Ho Bee Land







Options (sell put) (IBKR/Tigers)





Options Premium















I don't know if it is just me but time has flew really fast this year so much that it's hard to believe that we are already in the month of April.

If we just take a couple of moments back, we just had the US election in Nov 2020 and then soon after that we had Chinese New Year in the early part of the year. The overall standstill in the movement of the human population makes it feel like we are repeating the week in a flash with every seconds gone by.

Anyway, let's get straight down to business.

The end of Quarter 1 heading towards April was a great one.

I received dividends from the couple of REITs that I owned - with the likes of Manulife REIT, Lendlease REIT, Starhill REIT, Ascendas REIT and Prime REIT. At the same time, the tech market, especially the one listed in HKG was also undergoing a little bit of correction and volatility. The chip shortage ongoing issues also mean that manufacturers and production was mostly delayed and this presents an opportunity for investors to start loading up their warchest and accumulate slowly.

Portfolio Updates

This month, I've made a little rotation out of my dividend yielding companies back into growth, particularly those that have been beaten down due to short term factors.

I sold my positions for Ascendas REIT and Prime REIT at a decent gain of 5% and 11% respectively (excluding dividends) in order to raise cash to purchase other beaten down growth stocks.

I am still keeping my top few positions in Manulife REIT, Lendlease REIT and Starhill REIT because I think they still have a good runway to go given the reopening of the economy back into the workforce.

In the US market front, I purchased a giant e-commerce conglomerate Alibaba as I managed to catch them at a decent low before the recent results of the $2.8billion fine which they accepted. For Alibaba, many of the bad recent news have been priced into the market so there is a good risk reward opportunity for investors to load up given how badly they have been priced in by the market. 

Together with Manulife REIT, Alibaba is now my biggest holding position.

I had also purchased a small position for AMD at near $75 during the recent tech correction as I found them to be unfairly punished by the market. The sector is currently undergoing a secular cycle where demand is outstripping supply by a wide haul so we should expect margins to continue going up as chip shortage continues to dominate the market. At $75, it is also sitting nicely at the EMA50 weekly chart.

My other remaining positions for Options (Sell Put) are mostly at the likes of Alibaba, JD, AMD, Qualcomm, MU, Palantir, Meituan, Geely and other small ones as these are companies which I found to be great leaders in their respective sector but unfairly punished by short term volatility of the market. The premiums are also enticing especially in the recent market correction where the premium would spike.

As mentioned in my previous update, I am still playing it safe so I have not really tapped into my leverage CFD account just yet. If you are interested to explore CFD, Phillip MT5 is now offering zero commission for CFD play which you can try out the demo here or sign up right away here.

Networth Updates

It has been a really good first Quarter as the net worth picks up quite significantly beyond what I expect to be quite a rough year. Turns out there are ample opportunity even in a market that is accommodative like what we have today.

The equity portfolio for this month climbs to $377,120, which is a good improvement over last month and on a good trajectory upwards year to date despite the recent tech correction.

With reopening still in the play, I am confident there are more upside to come and it is likely that the market will see it good this year with most economies bouncing back up.

Stay safe and sound.

Thanks for reading.

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Friday, April 9, 2021

Trade At Zero Commission With Phillip MetaTrader 5

Investing is a marathon journey that most of us would probably have to cope with for a long time in our lifetime.

Choosing the right brokerage service and platform to safely put your money is an important aspect of the entire investing and trading journey for an investor. This is especially so for the beginner investors as they seek to trial and error on a variety of different assets that suits their needs.

Some may like the excitement of the fast and furious markets such as FOREX or Cryptocurrency while others may enjoy the stability of investing in a relatively less volatile market such as equities.

This article is written to address both needs - the availability of trading in multiple products in the convenience of one account under one platform.

We'll discuss about this in more detail later on but first let me introduce who and what Phillip Futures is all about.

About Phillip Futures

Phillip Futures Pte Ltd was inaugurated in 1983 as a member of the PhillipCapital Group and is one of the founding members of the Singapore Exchange Derivatives Trading (SGX-DT).

The Group has been dominant in setting up a presence and clearing membership in 21 major global exchanges which include APEX, BMD, CME Group Exchanges, DGCX, HKEX, ICDX, JPX and SGX.

Together in total, PhillipCapital has become one of the major powerhouse in the industry with assets under management amounting to more than USD 35 billion and shareholder funds in excess of USD1.5 billion.

While sharing the same parent group, Phillip Futures is actually a different entity altogether with Phillip Securities (some know it better as POEMS) but both offered overlap in products such as CFD on POEMS and CFD on Phillip MT5.

Phillip Futures holds a Capital Markets Services ("CMS") license from the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and customer's funds are held in a separate trustee licensed bank account so the funds cannot be used to pay for the obligations even in the unlikely event Phillip Futures Pte Ltd goes into liquidation.

Multiple Products In One Platform

One of the most challenging experience as an investor myself is to own multiple accounts on different platforms to trade on multiple products.

It is not only difficult to keep track on the progress of each individual accounts and statement but it can also be messy when you're trying to consolidate your positions , especially if you are also trying to keep tab on the performance of each account individually.

Phillip MetaTrader 5 (MT5) offers a one stop platform for investors to trade on a comprehensive range of products available such as CFD, Bullion and FOREX that meets the suits and needs of the investor.

0% Commission For CFD Trades

Some of you might know that I have frequently used CFD as one of my active investing strategies.

Trading in CFD enable users to trade on margin, which incur interests costs for overnight charges. These charges are called "financing costs" - which vary between 2.8% and 3.2% across for different brokerages. Similarly, Phillip Futures charges a competitive financing costs which varies from product to product. Since there are individual elements associated with the financing costs for each product and it floats on a daily basis, it will be difficult to put an absolute figure in this article.

To view the financing costs for each individual product on Phillip MT5, you can:

  • Right-click on the desired product you wish to trade
  • Pick "Specifications"
  • Scroll all the way down on the pop-up window
  • Look at the long or short rates

Commission charges is another trading costs that can quickly add up to your overall charges. This is especially so for traders who get in and out of the market frequently.

You can see below how much I spent on commission charges just based on a few trades I made in February using other CFD brokers previously.

3Fs Previous CFD Trading Activity

With Phillip Futures, you are able to eliminate that costs as trading on Philip MetaTrader 5 is commission-free

They were also open to share with me that they are able to offer 0% commission (and no platform or admin fee) because they wanted provide an avenue for traders and investors to earn as much as possible from these savings. In turn, Phillip Futures earn their money from the bid-sell spread as market maker.

For instance, the buy and sell spread for EURUSD is 0.6 pips, which is a rather small change if we compare it against the commissions other brokerages might have charged. Similarly, the buy and sell spread for Apple (Nasdaq: APPL) is 0.053, which is only 0.04% if we translate it into percentages.

0.6 pips spread

Nasdaq - Apple bid-sell spread

Ease of Opening an Account

One of the considerations almost every investor would have is the easiness of opening an account, especially in the 21st century digital environment we are living today.

In order to ascertain the efficiency of their account opening workflow, I have tested it myself by sending in my application on a weekday evening.

I used my phone to scan on the below QR link and register myself using a SingPass MyInfo, where it will help to populate all my information and details at an instant. 

If you prefer to register using your desktop, you can also click the link here to register.

The entire registration process was seamless - it took me 5 minutes to complete the registrations (including uploading my bank statement), and Phillips came back to finalize my application within the next half-hour (speaking of efficiency).

Scan QR here to sign-up

I also received an email instruction notifying me that the registration was successful and I can deposit my funds using the different funding method available.

PayNow seems to be the quickest method at the moment for transferring funds inside so I chose this method.

In a blink of an eye, my funds are successfully deposited and I can start to trade immediately at any moment.

Mobile Apps view

In case you wanted to give the platform a try first, you can also download their free 30-day Phillip MT5 Demo account in this link here.

In the next chapter, I will write more about the pros and cons of trading CFD, including the risk management involved and what as investors or traders you should be looking out for.

Disclaimer: This post is written in a collaboration with Phillip Futures. However, all opinions stated are that of my own, based on my experience and services received from Phillip Futures.

Thanks for reading.

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Monday, April 5, 2021

Evaluating The Thought Process Behind Putting Financial Independence As a Goal That Is Worth Pursuing

During the gathering over the lunch break in your office, you overheard a conversation regarding one of your colleague that he has decided to call it a day after working 15 years in a corporate world. He was apparently quitting not because he was going to move roles into another company but rather decided to focus on his philanthropist aspect of making a social impact on a non-profit organization (NPO).

Given his relatively young age at 40 years old, the fact that he has a family to take care of and he has only commanded a middle management position throughout his entire career - it garnered your immediate attention and sparks your curiosity as to how he is able to achieve all of that. 

With all the trending talk about achieving Financial Independence earlier and younger in our lives, you may be thinking about this concept and wondering if it's a viable goal worth pursuing for you.

After all, we are talking about a project that requires many years (minimally one decade) of dedicated attention, and not just a split weekend to achieve. If you are motivated this week but give up the following week, which by the way is very common around what is happening, then it will be for nothing.

In this blog, I've articulated my provocation and thoughts around the idea of Financial Independence over a number of articles in the past.

Many of the articles were written with a systematic focus towards achieving a more attainable income and savings through personal savings tips, career tips at work, and investment opportunity.

In this article, the framework is a little different from some of the past articles I've written on this topic.

It's about evaluating the thought process behind putting financial independence as a goal that is worth pursuing and I am going to use my own experience to validate some of the process itself.

So let's begin.

Assume you are someone who just graduated and was introduced the concept of Financial Independence. You know what it means on the surface and every articles you read on F.I.R.E seems to be fun but you aren't sure if you are going to commit yourself into this project for the next 10-20 years in your life.

You find yourself suddenly in doubt.

I was once in the same position and I used some of these questions that hopefully it can also help you sort your thinking.

Do I find Joy or Satisfaction in what I'm currently doing?

There's a lot of perception in thinking that people who are seeking financial independence possess a lower satisfaction level in their jobs.

I think that is somewhat true to a certain extent.

If we think about it in reverse, people who enjoy thriving and excelling in their jobs are likely to do well because they have put pride into the work that they believe are worth pursuing a lot more than anything else. In the same context, you need time and effort to do well financially and a commitment to promise.

The largest category pool of people - is the group where they are in the "I am not satisfied and happy with my current job" but "I am also not going to do anything else to change my life apart from moaning". This is the worst category that you will not want to be in.

Does this reflect what is important to me (my values)?

Values is something that you held to your own conviction and belief, what it brings to the table (importance), and what you get in return (worth).

It can be quantifiable as a monetary worth if your values are consigned with the purpose of having more money, increasing net-worth or having an alternate income to boost your savings.

It can also be the way it is being done in a certain manner - that you believe are an important aspect in the way you live, work and play. For example, you are someone who treasure not only work hard, play hard but also time for your families and your personal growth well-being.

All of these values are treasures that means a lot to you and financial independence can give you more of these options.

Regardless, it has to be an extract of what you believe in and not by hearsay because everyone else says so.

Does this draw on my strengths?

On your way to becoming financially independent, you'd start to learn and cope with a lot of new things that you've never encountered before previously in your life.

You'll start to do budgeting, limit the amount of Starbucks coffee you can drink, pay for your own utilities, and care for your own emergency funds.

You will start to strategize what is good for your own pocket and well-being without over compromising too much one over another.

The process of having to go through this presents an opportunity to be at your very best every single day and learn how to live an independent life socially.

Source: DeviantArt

Is this target goal feasible? Do I believe that it can be achievable?

Set yourself a realistic goal based on your current circumstances.

If you are a sole breadwinner of the family with two children and are part of a sandwich generation, it may be tough to set a stretch goal that is comparable to someone who is single and possess a stronger family background.

On my way towards financial independence, I've always given myself accountability gunning towards a stretch yet achievable target. The objective is to make it not an easy goal to reach yet not an overly impossible task to achieve.

What Opportunity Costs will I give up in order for me to reach this goal?

The hardest part about making changes to your habits and lifestyle is the restraint that you will have to accept.

It is likely that you will have to settle with less (coffee, bags, shoes, night life entertainment) and go for more (nature, exercise, bonding, writing) to fill in those gaps.

They'll be very difficult to achieve at the beginning as you start to suffer from the symptom of withdrawal effect but as time goes by, it becomes the norm which you will accept and take in.

The question that you constantly have to ask yourself is if it's all worth the effort you are trying to push.

Source: AZ Quotes

Am I progressing well?

You know how most people usually get excited when they make their New Year's resolution at the start and then fizzles out a couple of weeks later.

The same goes for this one.

Checking in on the progress will not only allow you to understand where you are in terms of standing but also keep yourself in check when you are swaying sideways between the good and evil.

If you find yourself constantly struggling to meet the objective you've set, do use this opportunity to review them accordingly and make appropriate changes that will help you gets better.

Remember - the only person you are competing with is the same person you were yesterday. If you are progressing every single day, that's an encouraging step to be in.

What changes do I notice in myself?

Over time, you'd find yourself a totally changed person - someone whose goals are aligned with your own values and a reason to believe and look forward.

You'd also likely grow in confidence because you know you've taken that first step, made a promise to yourself and try to achieve them. That will likely help raise the confidence in everything else that you do, knowing that you can do it no matter the resistance.

You'd also do yourself justice, understanding the impact that organization has done to the world and similarly the same powerful impact you've done to your families.

You'd be happier, more open to opinions from friends and colleagues who actually truly cared for you and whose goals are aligned with you. You'd auto-shelf out the nasty people in your lives or people whom you are not bothered with because there is no spark and connection between the two of you.

You'd live a life where you look forward there is a tomorrow.


Throughout your entire experience looking for a way to achieve Financial Independence, you'll find that it is a means to an end, and not an end in itself.

It allows you to attain greater autonomy in making choices and you are happier making that choices because you know there are always options and alternatives you can take.

You choose this path because only you know it's worth pursuing.

No one forces a gun pointing at your direction to submit.

Thanks for reading.

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