Sunday, April 8, 2018

CDG annoucements

So CDG is going to make a purchase of a non-emergency transport service in AU. It is 30million AU and about 5.5 times of EBITA.

Since CDG obtains about 300 m yearly from its operation cashflow, this won't have significant impact on its cash flow.

Its good CDG is looking into expansion and new revenue growth.

Good to continue investing.

Friday, October 27, 2017

SGX Cafe

For Current Positions For Dividends For Portfolio Report For Transactions

Monday, May 8, 2017

Learning A New Skill

I am ashamed to say that I haven't got down to really learning how to use excel. It is such a powerful and necessary tool that is equivalent to someone not being able to use Microsoft Words or Outlook in this day and age.

So, I decided to try creating simple charts to show the progress I've made since I started tracking my investment.

This is my yearly dividend income since 2013:

Hopefully, I will be able to reach the target of 12k per year soon.

What have I been spending on in March? This isn't a very good pictorial representation as my expenses are lumpy. I have been tracking and doing pivot tables but I can't seem to get it done on an average basis over the past year. So, I only have March to show. So Joint Account and Investment really forms a large part of my expenses. However, this chart is confusing because groceries are claimed back from Joint Account later, and my actual transport costs aren't showing up here as I settle this with a card. The Joint Account is actually a joint account owned by me and my Significant Other whereby we contribute monies into it, and we can both claim family expenditure later on.

This is my April expenses. If you see, I have a category for children, which also doesn't make sense as I claim back from my Joint Account. The only good thing is that I am spending really little on personal expenses as there is very little shopping, meals and entertainment for both charts.

Gosh, I think I really need an excel spreadsheet cheat sheet! 

Thursday, March 30, 2017

First Quarter Share Review

Current Local Share Holdings (in order of current size):
1. Nikkoi STI ETF
2. Keppel Corp
3. DBS
5. ST Engineering
6. SPH
7. Wilmar
8. SIA Engineering
9. Ascendas India Trust
10. Ascendas Hospitality Trust
11. Comfort
12. M1
13. SembCorp Industries
14. Singtel
**15. PREH
16. Nam Cheong
17. Keppel Reit

The only latest addition to my portfolio is PREH. Just dabble in a little to be invested in the property market. I am also thinking of purchasing Wing Tai when it comes down a little more. However, this isn't dividend generating so I got to be careful since I do want to eventually get a portfolio that can generate good dividends. 

I wanted to sell AHT and AIT actually but am hesitating because (1) AHT is nearing valuation but not over-valued. What else would i buy into? Would i be losing out on the dividends while waiting for AHT to dip again? (2) AIT - With global markets looking so uncertain, is IN still a good place to park money? It has to go somewhere right? I think things will be clearer on this with the next report card. The dividend yield has now dropped to 4% because of the increase in price. Can management help to improve yield? 

In my last update, I wanted to purchase DBS. A good price would be around 14 so i will continue to wait. 

I also did more research and concluded that i will not buy into M1 or SPH unless the markets crash. SPH - why? I honestly feel they are just spending money buying stuff that were good, but unlike having the midas touch, everything faltered. 

SCI and Singtel is still on my watch list so let's see. 

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Basic Rules for Financial Decisions - Family Edition

It is way easier to make financial decisions when you are single. It gets harder when you get married and have a partner whose view points on finances does not always match yours. Don't get me wrong - it isn't a bad thing usually because hearing another's view point about money actually adds to your own understanding of what money is about. As I've said before, money isn't just money. Money represents something to all of us - whether it is security (which usually means you like to hoard save money), or whether it is financial power (which usually means you like using money to spend on your lifestyle choices), or whether it is financial freedom (which means you want to invest and make money work for you).

Throw into the mix starting a family and making financial decisions just got a lot harder. Why? Trade-offs.

Do you want to save the money in your CPF now? Or use that money to buy a house nearer your kid's targeted primary school?

Do you want to use the money to invest in a short term trade, or put into buying ETFs that would only reap results 10 years down the road?

At the end of the day, I feel there are a few rules to follow:

1. Know that your kids will be young only once. 

I subscribe to the rule that yes, your kids may not remember everything that happened when they were young, but what they are left with is an unshakable feeling in their subconscious. So, you may think that you don't remember anything from your first 5 years on earth so it doesn't matter that you don't spend time with your kids when they are 0 - 5 years old. However, the subconscious brain is a powerful mysterious thing. Your subconscious probably still remembers the warmth from your childhood. Its an imprint left in your brain. And its the same with your kids.

What's the suggestion then?

Put in your hours with your kids while they are young. Stop the long hours at work. Be with your kids. And when you are with your kids, play with them and really be with them. Not your phone. Alas, this isn't a time to go all out with your career unless your other half is able to be with them for you. Your financial plan shouldn't be something that takes up too much time.  If you are obsessing over ticks in the markets or reviewing too many financial statements after work, stop that right now.

What do I do as a FTWM - that is a full time working mum for the uninitiated - with 2 kids below 5 years old? I use a mix of 1) Philips Share Builders Plan 2) Fixed Deposit in USD 3) Dividend Stocks Why? You just won't have time to monitor the markets. After my first kid, I realised the number of trades I made dipped to an all time low of just 2 in 2014. And those were bad buys made upon hearsay. With a regular investment plan, you avoid the issues of timing the market, spending too much time reading up on news, making decisions in a hurry. The Fixed Deposit acts as my war chest to be used in times of bear market.

2. Minimize your purchases 

It's so easy to buy buy buy. But the cost is more than just the dollar value of your purchase. There is a time element - you need time to shop, to store, to arrange and to take care of your purchases. I purchased a few branded bags over the years. With each expensive and lavish item, I had to spend more time to care for it - taking the bags to bag spa, making sure i remember to use the bags to air them, cleaning them. Its the same for my husband's expensive purchases too. With a new lens, he had to buy a new camera cupboard to ensure that the lens don't get moldy. We need to shop for furniture to keep his camera collection.

So my rule of thumb - one in, one out. Less item to care for, manage and clean.

And the best thing is - you save money!

3. Planning your Money 

With kids, your timelines for certain investments are shorter. This isn't about just a retirement nest where you have a good 30 years ahead. There are other milestones to plan for.


1) moving house. If you have 2 or more kids, depending on the size of the house you start off with, you may have to move to a bigger property in 3-4 years. Or you want to move nearer to your kid's primary school. Your investments should then have a time horizon of 3-4 years.

2) taking a breather from work when your kids hit primary school. Maybe you want to be around the house more often when your kids enter primary school. It is also around that time when your parents can't really care of the kids anymore. If you are thinking about that, you probably should look at your investments reaping a return at about the 7- 10 years time.

3) overseas education. Start thinking about this. In my search for a property, I met a few parents who were selling their houses to fund their kids education overseas. The thing was, it wasn't the best time to sell their houses. You don't want to be stuck at that situation.

Honestly, the years with kids fly by so quickly. Its really at your early 30s when you want to maximise your time with the kids. Yet, being employed in most jobs mean that your early 30s is when you move on to positions that take up more of your time. It is so hard to make decisions about your money but what i do know is this. You don't need money to spend quality time with your kids. You don't need a fancy staycation. Your kid is perfectly happy to spend time with you at the neighbourhood park. If your job is making you unhappy and giving you so much stress that you are upset when you are home, reconsider it - your kid is only young once. If you are still in the habit of making too many purchases, reconsider your spending habits. Remember, with kids, its more often than not that they will spoilt your fancy furniture, beautiful bags, expensive cameras, dirty your continental car. Purchases are supposed to enhanced our lives, not limit it.

Hope this helps.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

I am Female, here me roar

There has been a great interest in the endangered species known as the financial female lately. It seems that being interested in finances and being female are two separate circles, and the people who fall into both categories are far and few.

In any event, apparently there is a new conference specially for this little silver of people falling into this unicorn segment and its organised by the good people at The New Savvy.

Although I do think it is very helpful, my take on this is that it is unlikely to be a big hit. Why?

1. Limited Numbers

There aren't many female bloggers around. At least the very active ones. Why so? It could be a cultural thing -  the fantasy that most of us grew up with (think barbie dolls) is that we will find a prince who will take care of us and we will live happily ever after. Practical mothers of the good old days would press upon us the need to find a man that can provide. Nothing wrong with that advice, but it seems that most of us are looking for someone to take care of the financial aspects. And not to mention, money is actually more of an emotive issue. And females are emotional creatures. We spend when we feel sad, we spend when we want to look good. Do not judge me, but most financial bloggers are very practical with their spending. And most females aren't. If we were, we won't be spending thousands of dollars on about CL or MB shoes which only serves to torture our poor feet. All in the name of vanity.

Even if you manage to find the financial female, there comes the second problem.

2. Lack of Time

For women with a family, time is indeed a precious commodity. And if you think this is an excuse which no modern women should dare use, consider this: when was the last time you went out to purchase vegetables for dinner? Or when did you even had to think about grocery shopping? Was it handled by ahem, your mum? your spouse? Or if you were the lucky few who have a helper, when was the last time you gave your helper your pay and did some management issues with your helper? Who is the person that the children go to when they have some issues to handle? And if the women in question has a full time job, very likely that she really has her hands filled.

This is what us working mothers are busy with all the damn time.

I can't tell you how many different thoughts are in my mind all the time: whether I still have vegetables in the fridge; it's Monday and the wet market isn't open but we ran out of fish for the toddler; need to get back to Boss on recent work email; haven't yet send out the invites to relatives for the child's birthday party; need to check what cakes there are for the one year old party; whether i should pretend that i did not know that my nephew on my husband's side hates durians but we all love it so go ahead to order that durian cake; that ruined shirt that my helper caused - when should i talk to her about it; maid's health check; need to buy more diapers... the list goes on.

Of course, a lot depends on how much help one is getting and how hands off one can be with regards to the helper, housework, kids, work.

With that, you lose quite a bit of the already slim financial female audience already.

Be that as it may, I wish I could stress on how important for the female audience to be more financially educated. Why? Because 1) we live longer 2) we spend more of our own retirement money on our kids than our spouses do 3) we have more health issues due to living longer 4) there is a tendency for women to take a back seat with their career the minute we have families 5) divorce rates are up, so its not like you can depend on your man for the rest of your life if anything goes wrong 6) if anything happens, the knock on effects on the children can be serious.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

USD Fixed Deposit Review

I have with me a sum of USD and every 6 months to a year, I have to find a good place to park my USD to get some good returns.

So why does Mrs Spoon have this sum of money? Well, working for an MNC have its perks. MNC typically give away some shares to its employees and I have been saving a few rounds of my bonuses. I cash them out (yes, at a bad price though) and I opted to have the monies in United States Dollar as a hedge for the fledging Singapore economy and currency. It is good news now since USD is trending upwards. I am really unsure of Trump's move though. what is his plan for the US economy? How will interest rates be affected?

So is a comparison of the current FD rates for USD right now:

Rates (3 Months)
Rates (6 Months)
Rates (12 Months)
Minimum Amount






So it does seem like CIMB is tops at the moment. 

What other factors do you need to keep in mind? The transfer fees and the agency fees. 

I plan to move some of my USD out from my existing USD current account to the CIMB account. There are two ways which this can be done:

1. TT transfer; or 
2. By cheque. 

TT transfer is quick and fuss-free. Generally, what I would need to do is to go down to CIMB bank to get a placement form with the relevant instructions so that the bank knows what to do when monies hit the account. There is no charge on CIMB's end as the receiving bank, but there is a charge on the transferring bank. I did not manage to contact OCBC but CIMB informed me that if they were the transferring bank, they would charge SGD30 for admin fees, and their agent bank would charge about USD50 for agency fees. 

For cheque, this is not instant, and it takes about 4 working days for the cheque to clear. However, it does seem like this is free on both the transferring bank and the receiving bank. Let me try this out and see how it goes.

Edit: It is not free for cheque from OCBC bank either. There is a 0.125% charge for commission fees and 0.125% charge for commission in lieu of currency exchange fees! However, what is not charged is a $20 TT transfer. So that is what you are saving on. If 4 clearing days makes you more than SGD20 in interest (either the interest rate is so high or the amount is so huge like in the millions), else a cheque is still cheaper. 

Meanwhile, please update me if you have any idea what else i can do with USD.