Singapore Savings Bonds (SSBs) Guide – March 2019 Issue

At Risk N Returns, I’m passionate about promoting sensible DIY investing through sharing my thoughts or documenting my investing journey. While I love to take calculated risks, I recognise that most Singaporeans don’t.

So here’s a relatively risk free way to invest your warchest or emergency funds with almost no lock-up period and generally higher yields than fixed deposits – the Singapore Savings Bond. I’ll be initiating monthly coverage of this bond going forward.

As this is a recurring post, feel free to skip to the interested section using the content hyperlinks below.

Contents

  1. Latest SSB issue details
  2. What are Singapore Savings Bonds?
  3. Product Features
  4. How to buy
    1. Setting up a CDP account and DCS
    2. Setting up a SRS account
    3. How to apply / redeem SSBs
  5. Comparisons with Fixed Deposits & SGS
  6. SSB FAQs and Resources

1. Latest SSB issue details

Issue Code: GX19030Z
ISIN Code: SGXZ15229768
Issue Date: 1 March 2019
Coupon Date: 1 March & 1 September
Maturity Date: 1 March 2029
Application: 1 Feb 6 pm to 25 Feb 9 pm
Results: 26 Feb 3 pm onwards

Source: SGS website

2. What are Singapore Savings Bonds?

Singapore Savings Bonds are bonds (debt instruments) issued by the Singapore Government, similar to the SGS bonds issued by MAS. The bond principal is guaranteed when you redeem the bonds, with any accrued interest also paid out when the bond is redeemed.

3. Product Features

Source: SSB Factsheet

Also do note the following:

  • Personal holdings of SSBs capped at $200,000 per person
  • Only Cash and SRS funds can be used for SSBs
  • $2 per transaction request (purchase / redemption)

4. How to buy

You need the following accounts before being able to invest in SSBs:

  • A bank account with the 1 of the 3 local banks (DBS/OCBC/UOB)
  • A Central Depository (CDP) account with Direct Crediting Service (DCS) set up
  • A Supplementary Retirement Scheme (SRS) account (optional)

Setting up a CDP account and DCS

There are a couple ways of doing this, listed in order of decreasing efficiency:

  1. Getting your stock broker to do it for you
    1. This is the most efficient as you can set up a trading account at the same time to start your investment journey
    2. You are less likely to mess up as well
  2. Visit the CDP Customer Service centre at Metropolis Tower 2 (Buona Vista)
    1. Only advisable if you have no interest in buying SGX stocks / bonds / ETFs
    2. You are less likely to mess up as well
  3. Download the CDP and DCS application forms here and mail it

Setting up a SRS account

Visit the Internet Banking portals of DBS and OCBC and apply for the accounts there. As for UOB, you can only open it in person at a UOB Branch.

POSB / DBS 

POSB SRS application

OCBC

OCBC SRS Application

How to apply / redeem SSBs

You can apply / redeem SSBs from ATMs or Internet Banking portals of the 3 local banks. See below for Internet Banking portal screenshots.

POSB / DBS

Login > Invest > Apply for Singapore Government Securities
Login > Invest > More Investment Services > Redeem SGS

OCBC

Login > Investments & Insurance > Singapore Government Securities
Login > Investments & Insurance > Singapore Government Securities > Redeem SSB

UOB

Login > Investment > Securities

5. Comparison with Fixed Deposits and Other SGS

The key advantage SSBs have over fixed deposits and SGSs are the lack of a lock-up period, no exposure to market price volatility and that the principal is guaranteed, making SSBs almost like cash.

That flexibility allows you to consider using this instrument to make your emergency funds and investment warchest work harder for you.

6. SSB FAQs and Resources

This summary guide is developed with consideration of the following FAQs and Resources:

Hope you find this guide useful in your decision whether to include SSBs in your portfolio.

Happy Hunting
KK

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Portfolio @ January 2019



Performance Indicators / Dividends

  • YTD Time weighted return: 5.17%
  • Dividends collected: –
  • Cum-Dividend:
    • Keppel Corp: SGD 195
    • Capitaland Mall Trust: SGD 59.28
    • Frasers Property: SGD 186

Getting back to even

January has been kind to investors, myself included. A broad-based recovery of most stocks in my portfolio, led by gains in my biggest holdings Fraser L&I Trust, SingTel, Visa Inc and January’s newest addition, Keppel-KBS US REIT, erased my 2018 losses.

As mentioned in my previous portfolio update, Keppel-KBS looked interesting on a risk-reward basis. I took the plunge after some research on 2 January, so I was kinda lucky to ride the reversal in the share price.

At this point, I’m very wary about the market due to persistent issues with deadlines coming soon, mainly relating to the US-China trade war suspension till March. Also, there is potential for deja vu as if you recall, January last year was pretty bullish as well, before everything went bonkers in February. We’ll see what happens.

Ring closure progress

Move target: 600 cal
All rings closed: 13/26 days

As mentioned in my prior post on health, I’ll start updating my iOS ring closure progress as part of my monthly review. I managed to keep my resolution for about 2 weeks before work travel got in the way in the past week. Slightly disappointed in myself actually.

Will work on this next month when I’ve less travel expected.

Happy Hunting,
KK

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Applying the KonMari method to your portfolio

Source: NetFlix

Ever since the popular series Tidying up with Marie Kondo hit Netflix on 1 Jan, it sparked an avalanche of self examination among viewers and an endless supply of memes / tweets.

The awesome thing about the show is that it brought minimalism to the mainstream spotlight and sparked a decluttering revolution especially in the US.

Despite being a hoarder in many ways, watching the show didn’t actually get me thinking about my sty of a bedroom (I’m a horrible person, I know). I actually thought about whether my portfolio needed decluttering 🤣

The ill-disciplined investor

Let’s face it, investors can be like magpies. With so many shiny stocks and so many opportunities in the market, we are influenced into buying them and tucking them into their nests CDP accounts. Over time, we forget about them and chase the never ending stream of opportunities.

Or we might have bought a stock many years ago that has turned into a multi-bagger, but due to industry disruption it is now in decline. Or let’s say you bought a cancerous stock that does nothing but go down, but because of fear of crystalising that loss, you choose to hold on to that stinker.

Due to all these various reasons, investors sometimes end up with a lot of clutter in their portfolio.

Relationship between Clutter Diversification and Risk

We might justify this by claiming that it is for diversification purposes. Yes, diversification is important in investing as a risk mitigation tool. Having only a single stock in your portfolio is extremely risky, no matter how bullish you are on the company. If anything wrong happens to that company, you could wipe out years of hard work.

However, having too many stocks creates a different problem. Not only does it take a ridiculous amount of time and effort to keep track of all of the companies’ news, the risk mitigated by each new stock you add to your portfolio diminishes beyond a certain number of stocks. This is illustrated in a 1977 research publication by Elton & Gruber that studied risk (measured by portfolio variance) versus portfolio size:

Adding 950 stocks to a 50 stock portfolio only reduced single stock risk by 2.1%

As a general rule, most people preach 10-20 stocks as the right number for a portfolio. I would generally agree with that and add that 25-30 stocks should be the absolute maximum number in your portfolio.

Basically, if you have more single stocks in your actively managed portfolio than the STI or DJIA, maybe you should be thinking about streamlining your portfolio.

With 17 stocks / ETFs in my portfolio at the moment, my portfolio is currently at its most cluttered state since I started investing back in 2013.

Which kinda explains my reaction to the show.

Applying the KonMari method

That initial thought about decluttering my portfolio led me to think about how I would apply the KonMari method to my portfolio.

The general concept of the KonMari method (based on my interpretation) is to be acutely aware of everything that you have and having a deep understanding of each item to determine if it is something that sparks joy and is something you wish to take it along with you to your desired future.

In that sense, you can apply the method to declutter your portfolio as well. Here are the steps I adapted from the KonMari method to examine your portfolio.

Step 1: Gather all your CDP / Brokerage statements

Marie Kondo usually starts by getting her clients to pile their clothes, books and items in one location. Part of this step is to take in how much you actually have and understand how you feel about the pile of stuff.

Similarly, take all your various brokerage statements and lay them out on a table.

Some random CDP statement posted online

Think about the length of the statements. Are there 30 or more line items in your statements? How do you feel about the number of stocks you have?

Bear this feeling in mind as you move on to the other steps.

Step 2: Identify and separate your “sentimental” stocks

Marie advises her clients to tackle sentimental items last, as it is difficult to be objective with them and potentially slow down the tidying up process.

For your portfolio, these tend to be your multi-baggers, stocks you’ve held for a long time or even stocks you’ve inherited. Simply put, stocks that you have a potential bias towards.

Once you’ve identified them, tackle them last in Step 3.

Step 3: Examine each stock and determine if it sparks joy for you

In the show, Marie gets her clients to pick up each item, feel it and determine if it sparks joy for them. She describes the items that sparks joy tend to give you the chills, or make you feel warm and fuzzy. It can also be something you use often or represents you or your desired future.

Of course, you shouldn’t keep your stocks based on emotion or fond memories. This is usually what leads to your cluttered portfolio in the first place. Instead, pick up and analyse each stock and determine if the company’s future sparks joy for you.

Depending on your investing style, this can mean different things. A growth investor would love the company’s growth trajectory. A income investor would love the sustainable growing dividend stream the stock provides. Ultimately, the company’s future should speak and identify with your investment philosophy.

If a stock sparks joy, keep it in your portfolio. If not, thank your stock for all the income / capital gains / losses lessons it has taught you over the years and sell it as soon as favourably possible.

Step 4: Rinse and repeat whenever you are considering a stock

Applying this method also constantly forces you to be very thoughtful and picky about your stock picks.

In a world where many potential investment opportunities keep coming your way, you have to be conscientious in picking only the best stocks, the stock who’s future sparks joy, for your portfolio.

Source: Omaha World Herald

Just like batting in a baseball game, you should only swing when the pitch is in your switch spot, like how Warren Buffett has been doing all his life.

Final Thoughts

Having a slim and focused portfolio can mitigate risk while also maximising your potential return if you are right in your investment thesis. If you have a cluttered portfolio, maybe learn a thing or 2 from Marie Kondo to refocus your portfolio.

Personally, I feel my portfolio is not in dire need of decluttering yet, but I’ll be on the lookout in the future should I decide to add more stocks.

Happy Hunting,
KK

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SG Electricity Market Guide – Q1 2019

opening splash

The Open Electricity Market is currently rolling out in phases to Singapore consumers and my home is part of the latest batch of eligible homes in January 2019. So now I can gamble on electricity as well 🤣

As with anything relatively new, I had a lot of questions and a general lack of answers online. Having burnt much of my video gaming time researching this topic, here are my findings and views about choosing a plan.

Disclaimer: While I strive to ensure all information below is accurate, I too am human and may mess up from time to time. For the most accurate information, approach the respective retailers directly.

For those who are only interested in price plan comparisons, here’s are the links:

  1. Standard Plans
    1. Fixed Rate price tables
    2. Discount off Tariff price tables
  2. Non-standard Plans
    1. Peak & Off peak plans
    2. Fixed consumption plans
    3. Floating rate plans 

1) Background

To understand whether you should change retailers from SP Group, you should first understand the electricity market and why the Government is opening it up.

how-electricity-market-works

Source: Energy Market Authority

Essentially the electricity market has a couple of players:

  1. Power generation companies (GenCos) who own the power plants
  2. Power grid management company – SP Assets which owns and maintains the infrastructure to deliver electricity to your home
  3. Wholesale market operator – Energy Market Company (owned by EMA, basically the Government) who maintain the operation of the wholesale market GenCos sell their electricity in.
  4. Retailers – Retailers buy electricity from the wholesale market and sell it to the end consumer, a bit like a commodity trader. Previously, this was exclusively SP Services territory for the residential sector. With the liberalisation, private companies can now enter this space and sell electricity to residential consumers.

Why is the market being liberalised?

The main thinking behind this move is mainly to reduce electricity prices, which is advantageous to the consumer. The reason this is possible is that SP Services is regulated by the EMA and the prices they set, known as the regulated tariff, have to follow EMA regulations. These prices tend to be high as they are the default retailer for all Singaporean homes and businesses. They have to deliver electricity to all locations, even if the customer is potentially a bad debtor, or if the customer switches in and out of SP Services at a moment’s notice. The price set is higher to take into account the added risk.

A private retailer would not have these issues as they can be more picky with their customers. Also, as the prices they set are less regulated, they can be more creative in their pricing.

Other reasons include potential to shape the electricity demand and habits throughout the day (through peak and off-peak plans for eg) and to allow environmentally conscious residents to gain access to green energy.

2) Price Plans

There are currently 13 retailers offering price plans. Price plans can be split into 2 types – Standard and Non-standard plans.

Standard plans

Standard plans can be further split into 2 types – Fixed Price and Discount off Regulated Tariff (DOT) plans.

i) Fixed price plans

Fixed price means just that, you pay the contracted price per kWh throughout the entire contract period.

fixed price chart

The key risk to fixed price plans is that the regulated tariff drops below your fixed price during your contract as illustrated above.

Price Comparison

Fixed price table.jpg
Prices highlighted in green are cheapest in category
*Inclusive of prompt payment discount
#Plans are actually for 18, 25 and 36 months

ii) DoT Plans

Discount off tariff means that you pay a fixed discount off the prevailing regulated tariff for the quarter.

dot chart

Essentially your price will always be better than the SP services price as you pay a fixed discount off of the tariff price.

Price Comparison

DoT table.jpgPrices highlighted in green are cheapest in category
*Inclusive of 5% prompt payment discount
#Starts at 20%, increases to 21% in the 4th month, increases to 22% in 8th month

Do also note that there are 2 creative DoT plans available:

1. Best Electricity Supply offers a cash rebate upfront DoT 24 month plan called Home Saver Upfront that pays you cash when you sign up. Cash rebate is calculated by the average electricity usage of the past 3 months prior to signing up times the percentage of cash rebate chosen. How much DoT you contract for is dependent on that choice per below:

home saver upfront

This plan is best if you intend to reduce you electricity consumption going forward.

2. iSwitch also offers a free iPad (Silver 6th Gen Wifi 32GB) upfront but only a 5% DoT for the contract period for 36 months.

b) Non-standard plans

Non-standard plans bear features of fixed and DoT pricing but are more complex and creative than Standard plans. Not all retailers offer non-standard plans and generally new Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) meters are required for these plans. If you live in the old estates, you may need to change your meters as part of switching to these plans.

I would broadly classify these plans into 1) Peak & Off-Peak plans, 2) Fixed consumption plans and 3) Floating rate plans.

i) Peak & Off-Peak plans

Peak & Off-Peak plans offer dynamic pricing depending on when the electricity is consumed, ie during the peak period it is one price, during the off peak period it is another price.

Here are the available price plans, in the format (Peak price / Off Peak price):

Peak Off Peak table.JPG*Inclusive of 5% prompt payment discount
#Keppel & PacificLight Plans have a 7am-11pm peak period and SembCorp has a 7am-7pm peak period.

These plans are best for working couples who are generally not at home during the peak period.

ii) Fixed consumption plans

Fixed consumption plans refers to you buying a fixed amount of electricity monthly at a contracted rate, with consumption excess of the contracted amount charged at a different rate.

Only 2 retailers currently offer such plans:

fixed consumption table

These plans for best for households who have very consistent electricity usage.

iii) Floating rate plans

Floating rate plans have no fixed rate and fluctuates according to a benchmark or a price determined by the retailer. However, the upside is that there are no contract lock-in.

Currently only Ohm energy offers such plans:

  1. Simply Ohm – All inclusive floating rate + $10.70 per month. Currently at 17.39 cents/kWh. Prices/Monthly fee can change with 14 days notice. No contract lock-in.
  2. Market Ohm – Floating wholesale rate + $10.70 per month. Third party service fees are passed on to you. Monthly fee can change with 14 days notice. No contract lock-in.

These plans are best for households who believe rates will decline in the future and would like to have the flexibility to wait for rates to drop. Long story short – best for gamblers 🤣

Considerations when choosing a plan

Here are my views on what to consider when choosing a plan (in personal order of importance):

1) Electricity usage pattern

To best take advantage of the non-standard plans, it is best to understand your electricity usage pattern before switching. If you are working household with nobody at home during the day, a Peak & Off peak plan might be best for you. If you have extremely consistent kWh usage, a fixed consumption plan might be best for you.

Understand your electricity usage pattern before considering non-standard plans.

2) Expectation of future prices

Selecting a electricity plan is similar to shopping for a fixed or floating rate housing loan. If you expect the future regulated tariff to increase, you might want a plan with fixed prices. If you expect the future regulated tariff to decrease, you might want a DoT plan.

3) Retailer relation to a GenCo

If you are somebody who prefers stability and hates handling switching, it might be best to choose a retailer who is related to a GenCo. This is because the company is vertically integrated and more stable as a result. The retailer is less likely to collapse and force you to switch again midway through your contract.

A retailer who is purely a middleman between the wholesale market and the customer is more susceptible to price fluctuation and planning risk.

4) Customer Service Standards

With all the headaches that can potentially occur due to the infancy of the market, its best to be with a retailer with good customer service. Research reviews online to determine customer service standards.

5) Credit card promotions, rebates, freebies and referral programmes

A lot of the standard plans have similar pricing and profile from each other. As a result, the minor difference between each plan is simply the current promotions available to each retailer. Some have credit card promotions when you sign up to pay using a particular credit card. Some offer rebates on your electrical bill for a particular month. Some offer vouchers and free air-con servicing. Some have referral programmes where both referrer and referee get bill rebates.

Weigh all these promotions before ultimately taking the plunge.

6) AMI Meter requirements

If you are considering a non-standard plan and living in an old estate, you might need to change your electricity meter. Some retailers charge a fee for changing meters, some absorb the cost.

7) Billing preference

Most retailers require you to be billed separately from the SP Services bill. Currently, only Best Electricity and Ohm Energy offers an integrated bill with SP services.

8) Environmental Consciousness

If you are environmentally conscious, you may consider signing up for plans that use 100% solar energy like Sunseap-100 or are carbon neutral like ES Power’s plans.

My personal strategy

I currently stay in a home where there are people in the home most of the time. I personally expect future electricity prices to increase in the long run. I am somebody who hates handling admin work frequently. I would prefer to have a single SP services bill but it is not a deal breaker if my electricity is billed separately. While I am environmentally conscious, I am unwilling to pay too much of a difference in rates.

Based on this assessment, I will most likely go with the cheapest 2-3 year fixed price plan with a retailer who has a relation to a GenCo, which I believe is the option most Singaporeans will end up with.

Final thoughts

My general recommendation for most Singaporeans who do not wish to “hack” their electricity consumption extensively is to consider the standard plans. If you feel electricity prices will go up or if you want stability, sign up for a fixed price plan. If you have no view on electricity prices and willing to take some volatility, sign up for a DoT plan.

Only if you’re adventurous or if the plan fits your lifestyle should you consider the non-standard plans.

Which electricity plans have you signed up for and why? Do let me know in the comments.

Happy Hunting,
KK

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Initial thoughts on the Capitaland – Ascendas-Singbridge acquisition

Singapore investors woke up today to some pretty blockbuster business news – Capitaland’s proposed acquisition of Ascendas-Singbridge (ASB) from Temasek Holdings to create Asia’s largest diversified real estate group.

While I am not a shareholder of Capitaland, curiosity got me reading the announcement circular and snooping around Ascendas-Singbridge’s site. Here’s some of my initial thoughts.

Announcement details can be found here.

Acquisition Rationale

Simply put, the deal is highly synergistic and beneficial to the overall business. Capitaland and ASB operate in similar businesses and geographies, with the only difference being the type of real estate they develop and manage.

Capitaland has a more residential, office and retail mall focus, while ASB has a more business space / industrial park and hospitality focus. The combined entity will cover almost the entire spectrum of conventional property listed on the SGX.

This in my opinion, is the best part of the deal.

Deal structure and known financial effects

The deal consideration is worth about S$6 billion, which will be 50% from cash funded from debt, 50% from equity. The equity component is satisfied by issuing 862,264,714 shares at $3.50 to Temasek Holdings.

The equity funding portion is the part that is concerning. Temasek Holdings’ effective holding in Capitaland increases to 51%, becoming the controlling shareholder in the process. At the same time, the other shareholders are diluted down.

This in itself, may not be a problem from a valuation standpoint if the combined entity’s per share Net tangible assets or Earnings per Share increases.

A quick check of the announcement document proves otherwise.

eps

nta

These figures were derived if the transaction had occurred on 31 December 2017, presumably because the latest figures are not available.

This doesn’t look good at all, with a small increase in EPS while a substantial drop in NTA. This is partly because the shares issued to Temasek were priced at a significant discount to Capitaland’s NTA ($3.50 < $4.20).

To be fair, we do not know the latest figures as these are 2017 figures. However, based on these figures, there has be substantial synergies in order for this acquisition to make commercial sense.

Cursory reading of ASB’s Annual report

Despite it technically being a private entity, I was pleasantly surprised that ASB publishes an annual report on its website here.

Nothing really jumped out at me from the financials other than being pretty well capitalised, with growing revenues and net profit. One peculiarity I noticed was the existence of a 10 year unsecured bond held by JTC.

debt ratios

Source: FY17/18 Annual Report

My understanding of this bond was that back in 2015 when Ascendas merged with Singbridge, Ascendas had to issue a 10 year fixed rate bond to JTC as consideration for acquiring Singbridge. For some reason, this bond is being treated internally as quasi-equity instead of debt, resulting in the bifurcation of ratios shown in the table above.

This caught my eye mainly due to its uniqueness and the resulting debt to equity ratio of 254.3% if the JTC bond was treated as debt.

Haven’t been able to find much explanation of the nature of this bond beyond what I’ve written above. To be clear, this in itself may not be a deal breaker, just something for me to watch out for and read about later.

Final thoughts

Commercially, this acquisition is a no brainer to me. Unfortunately, if you look at some of the figures published in announcement, it doesn’t exactly feel like a good deal for existing shareholders.

I’ll be interested to see how Capitaland’s share price performs tomorrow once the trading halt is lifted, as it will inform me about investors’ views of the acquisition.

What do you think of this megamerger? Are there any other areas of consideration I should be looking at?

Happy Hunting,
KK

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Health is a form of wealth

heart rate

The turn of the new year brought a reminder in our pursuit of financial freedom – health is ultimately the most important wealth. No amount of scrimping, saving and income can replace your health. You may be wealthy financially, but if you do not have a healthy body to spend that wealth, you might as well not have it.

At the least, your financial wealth will be drained by your medical bills. At the worst, you are not alive to even spend it.

Here’s a story of what happened to my dad over the past week.

Background

My dad was self-employed in a trade that often required him to wake up in the middle of the night. Although he had the option to relax and forgo the night income (as he was self employed), he persisted out a drive to make more money. This resulted in him being very tired during the day and the weekends.

He claims to be retired now that the children have all graduated and are working now, but I know that he cant help at least keeping tabs and engaging in that trade from time to time.

Strike One

His condition first reared its ugly head about 1 – 2 years ago. Luckily for him, it was not fatal and he was able to undergo a procedure to alleviate the condition. However, he had to strictly observe his lifestyle and diet from that day onward.

After undergoing the procedure, he felt better than ever before. His regular follow-up check-ups with his doctor were also positive. So he started pushing his limits once more, especially in the second half of 2018.

Strike Two

It was the morning of the second day of 2019. On the way to the grocery store on his own, he called my mom and complained of a sharp pain that threatened to overwhelmed him. The condition had made its presence known again. Luckily for him, he was still conscious enough to call a cab to send him to hospital. My mom rushed down in a separate cab from home.

So began a whirlwind 3 days of medical testing and observation, ultimately resulting in another procedure to alleviate the condition yet again.

I accompanied him while he queued for medication on the last day. I took the opportunity to ask him if he feared not having enough for retirement, as the reason for him still pushing himself to make money in his retirement years. He replied that there was always the risk of that, no matter how tiny the possibility.

“But is it worth your health?”, I thought to myself.

My reflections

It’s funny how the world always finds a way to kick your ass to remind you to wake up. Seeing my dad’s mortality first hand has reminded me once again of my lazy attitude towards my own health and almost single-minded focus on attaining financial freedom.

So for this year, I have only 1 resolution above all others – close the rings on my Apple Watch as far as possible (90% of the year or more). I’ll report my ring closure progress as part of my future portfolio updates going forward.

After all, health is wealth.

Happy Hunting,
KK

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2018 Performance Scorecard

2018

With only 1 trading day remaining in 2018, its time to review how 2018 went for me.

Career

2018 has been a busy and transitional year for me. My company went through a restructuring exercise which resulted in my team in Singapore going down from 2 to 1 (Yup I’m the only person in my global team based here LOL) so I had to try to pick up the slack where ever I can. I shared my views on corporate restructuring here if you want to know more.

I had my crazy 7 weeks 7 cities work travel recently so that’s another one for the list of memories I’ll carry with me. I shared part 1 of my insights from my work travel here and will get to part 2 next year.

One plus side I feel was that I’m more bonded with my other colleagues both locally and overseas as I have more airtime and more opportunity to show my abilities to them. This also resulted in simple collaborative work that I wouldn’t have imagined doing in 2017. Slowing building bridges with my limited time in the office.

Investments

As previously mentioned, it was a tough year for me as I transitioned from a growth at all cost strategy to a hybrid income strategy. While it has not been an absolute nightmare performance as I avoided most of the horror shows (OUE Commercial Trust, Keppel KBS REIT (which incidentally looks really interesting now) and Asia Pay TV Trust to name a few), you never feel good when you make losses for the year.

Going forward I’ll be relying heavily on my StocksCafe figures instead of my own calculations as previously in 2017.

Let’s kick things off with a portfolio review.

Portfolio

PortfolioPortfolio GraphAnnual Portfolio Value

There were no transactions this month, other than scrip dividend for AA REIT, which I opted for due to the relatively attractive offer price. I took 100 units and the remaining dividend in cash so that I can avoid holding odd lots.

December was a particularly difficult month as the Santa rally did not materialise due to China economy worries, the Fed raising rates yet again while striking a more cautionary tone and of course, the US Government shutdown. As long as Trump keeps acting stupidly, Government shutdown is something we’re going to have to keep dealing with.

2018 Dividends

  • 2018 Dividends collected: $4,377.71
  • 2017 Dividends collected: $1,136.42
  • Upcoming Dividends:
    • SingTel: SGD 489.60 (XD)
    • Frasers Property: SGD 186 (CD)

Dividends has significantly increased y-o-y due to a more income focused approach.

XIRR and Time Weighted Returns

After clawing back to almost even in November, the broader market correction in December ultimately determined my investment performance for the year. XIRR moderates to 12.24% over 5.5 years (2013 figures are only for 4 months).

Conclusion

Overall, it was a disappointing but satisfactory year. Not too many highlights but I’m glad to complete the year unscathed in my career and outperforming the STI and S&P 500 in my investments. It could have been way way wayyy worst.

That’s it from me. Good riddance 2018 and Hello 2019! Happy New Year everyone!

Happy Hunting,
KK

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