Wednesday, 30 September 2020

Sept 2020 Updates

Sept 2020

Portfolio Value after market close

S$129,962.76

Wifey's Portfolio Value after market close

S$92,752.76

Purchase

None

Sold

None

Dividends

1) CapitaLand Retail China Trust (CRCT) @ $241.60
2) ESR Reit @ $66.20
3) Mapletree Logistics Trust @ $153.72

Total: $461.52

Short-Term Transactions

None

Summary

01 Sept 2020 STI Open: 2,538.55
30 Sept 2020 STI Close: 2,466.62
 
My portfolio value fell by about $3,500 this month.

And with work getting busier, there is little time for me to study the market hence I rather not trade.

STI closed lower than its opening for the month of Sept which is contrary to the prior month. 

July closed lower, August closed higher and finally September closed lower again.

This roller coaster ride is a mirror of the lack of clear direction of the local market. In other words the bulls and bears are still fighting with no clear winner yet.

If you ask me how to invest in this market, I would say follow your investment plan if you have one. I have blogged about my plan here and here.
 
If you do not have a plan, you might want to use the STI as a gauge. In my opinion at 2,500 levels, it might be a good time to start nibbling your preferred counters.
 
As always, enter in batches.
 
Three pieces of good news
 
1) Mapletree North Asia Commercial Trust (MNACT) has announced its maiden entry to the South Korean market by investing into a 50% stake in The Pinnacle Gangnam, a Grade A office in Seoul.
 
Looking at it from a long term perspective, this will further reduce its concentration in Festival Walk.
 
In the near term, this acquisition is expected to offset the temporary reduction of income from Festival Walk.
 
While the initial yield of 3.2% appears to be low, around 97% of the leases have fixed annual rental escalations of 2 to 3%.

One downside is the relative low occupancy rate of 89.6% as compared to the market average of 95%. However this might not be a huge hurdle for a manager as experienced as Mapletree.
 
Even 'steadier', the Reit manager also announced that it will waive its performance fee until the Reit's DPU exceeds 7.12 cents which is the pre-Covid amount achieved.
 
Thumb's up!
 
2) CapitaLand Commercial Trust (CCT) has finalised the merger with CMT although it's all to be expected. To be honest I didn't even bother to send in my vote.

With this finalised I am looking forward to the performance of the new entity, CICT.

3) CRCT has announced it is expanding into new sectors apart from its traditional retail sector. 
 
The Reit will include office and industrial assets as part of its portfolio diversification strategy.
 
This reduces its sector concentration risk which I feel no doubt, is driven by the effects brought on by Covid-19.
 
Indeed, Covid-19 has made many companies realised their risks and accelerated their transformation.

Many of those that failed to realise this have unfortunately been forced to close down. And these companies included many brand names familiar to all of us. We have seen this in Singapore and all over the world during this pandemic.
 
With the above announcement, I expect CRCT to follow up by announcing their maiden investment in the new sectors soon.

Just a gut feeling.

Thursday, 10 September 2020

My Review on TPG Seniors Go Digital Mobile Plan

Recently TPG came up with a mobile plan for seniors aged above 60 years old.
 
With 20 GB data at 4G speed, 300 min local talk time and 30 local SMS at $5 per month, it is easily the most attractive seniors plan in the market.

When I caught the TPG advertisement on TV the other day, I also asked my mum and dad who all along have been using prepaid cards, to sign up for the plan.
 
Unfortunately when something seems too good to be true, it really is. The nightmare began almost immediately.
 
Apparently voice calls on TPG mobile network can only be made using Voice over LTE (VoLTE) capable mobile phones supported by their network. 
 
And the list of mobile phones currently supported is quite pathetic as shown in the following screenshot from the TPG website.
 
 
If your mobile phone is not supported like my dad's and mum's Redmi 7A and 8A, you have to download a separate 'TPG 4G voice' app in order to make and answer calls.

This is told to us by the representative at the TPG booth.

Actually this small inconvenience is fine. Except that the app doesn't work at all.
 
When we tried to call my dad's phone, the phone rang but the locked screen remains blank as a black screen with no indication of a call coming in except for the ring tone.
 
There is no answer and reject call buttons to do the necessary action.
 
 
It's the same when we tried to call him again after he unlocked his phone.

There is simply no way or option to pick up the call even after we opened up the 'TPG 4G voice' app.

I accompanied my dad to the TPG booth today to seek advice over this matter. 
 
The TPG customer service staff who attended to us sent me a .apk file for the app to download and try again tonight after 8 pm.
 
He couldn't answer nor seem to be interested when I asked him what is the difference between this .apk file and the one downloadable from the Play Store.
 
I have no idea why this has to be done after 8 pm but I just tried and that did not solve the issue.

However what's worth mentioning is his attitude which is something of an irony since he mentioned that he is customer service, not IT personnel.

When we were talking to him over this issue this afternoon, he has this habit of turning away or walking away in the midst of our conversation and left us standing there waiting for his reply.

Anyway just as I was about to give up and decide to go for a refund tomorrow, I managed to find a solution to this problem.

And it's a real simple, one-liner solution!
 
Credits to the original author and docdroid website. Full document is here.
 

I just followed the above step of dialling *#*#86583#*#* and my dad's phone is able to work again, albeit with the green and red buttons being replaced by the words 'answer' and 'decline' and another icon depending on whether it's the locked screen or home screen when the call is coming in. 

Do note that this is specifically for Xiaomi phone models.
 
For other phone makes, you can probably get some results by googling 'How to enable VOLTE on xxx' with xxx referring to your phone model.

While I'm glad the above issue has been resolved, that is only one part of the problems.

Another major issue with TPG is the lousy reception.
 
There are times where I couldn't get through to my dad's phone even though I am calling while standing beside him.
 
My phone can be showing 4G+ but his would be showing zero reception in terms of the reception bars on the top right corner of the phone screen.
 
This is one area which I feel TPG has to improve greatly and swiftly if they are serious in capturing their market share.

In summary, here's my thought about the TPG Seniors Go Digital Mobile Plan.

Pros:
 
1) $5 per month* plan is not a contract. One can cancel it anytime.
 
2) Amount of data and talk time for the price is generous.
 
* $5 per month is a promotional price till 31st July 2021 after which it will be $10 per month.
 
Cons:
 
1) As above. Very user-unfriendly product for the seniors and even non-seniors who are supposed to be familiar with technology.

2) Poor customer service experience.
 
3) Reception is poor in some places.
 
Lastly, would I recommend this plan to anyone?

A definite No, if I didn't discovered the above remedy method.

But now, maybe.

However if the reception continues to be so poor, I rather not waste further time nor money on TPG.

After all what use would it be if my dad or mum is uncontactable during times of need?

Tuesday, 1 September 2020

August 2020 Updates

August 2020

Portfolio Value after market close

S$133,500.27

Wifey's Portfolio Value after market close

S$95,740.27

Purchase

None

Sold

None

Dividends

CapitaLand @ $480
Suntec Reit @ $61.32
CapitaLand Commercial Trust @ $133.60
SingTel @ $436
Ascendas Reit @ $363.50

Total: $1,474.42

Short-Term Transactions

None

Summary

03 Aug 2020 STI Open: 2,522.53
31 Aug 2020 STI Close: 2,532.51

Market closed higher than its opening for the month of Aug which is contrary to the prior month. 

Perhaps this is the start of the bull run locally?

But why locally? 

Because the volatility index VIX, otherwise known as the fear index has been rising recently. This implies a higher level of uncertainty in the U.S. market which is extremely exuberant at the moment.

This may present trading opportunities for traders but for long term investors, perhaps it's better to wait for pull backs as share prices have been hitting all time high. 

It will be interesting to see the trend for the next two weeks and for the month of September. 

Friday, 28 August 2020

Our Second Child Has Arrived! And the Cost of Natural Delivery in Singapore.

Our son has safely arrived on 6th August 2020! And I only found time to write about it now. Haha.

Initially we were thinking that he might be a National Day baby. But I guess he couldn't wait to meet his papa, mama and jie jie.

Wifey had a comparatively easier time this round. Not that she didn't suffer though.
 
The water bag leaked at 5 am. We reached hospital at 7+ am and baby came out at 10 am. Relatively fast compared to previous experience where it took 20 over hours.

It was a natural delivery this time and I was with wifey throughout the delivery and witnessed my son's arrival.

Most importantly of course is that both baby and mum are fine.
 
And coincidentally, our son's lunar birthday is the same as his sister's birthday.
 
Same as the previous pregnancy, we went to SGH as a private patient seeing Dr Tan Hak Koon.
 
Being a private patient means that we do not enjoy any subsidy during consultations but we get to see our chosen doctor every time.
 
Many of our contemporaries went to private hospitals for their pregnancy checks and deliveries.
 
However we selected SGH as we wanted to be seen by Dr Tan who has many good reviews.
 
He is highly experienced (if you google his name you will know) and we really have no doubts over his advices.
 
He is someone who will only say the necessary and do the necessary. He does not prescribe medications or tests if he doesn't deem them useful.
 
However this is not to say he is not good. In fact we appreciate his style which help us save quite a bit of money.
 
For those interested, the total bill for our birth journey is as follows.

Pre-delivery consultation visits and tests including Harmony test: $2,345.98 (nett after Medisave claim)

Medications and vitamins: $62.60

Labour (assisted delivery) and hospitalisation charges (B1 ward): $1,850.40 (nett after Medisave claim)

Baby hospitalisation charges: $1,332.01* (nett after Medisave claim)
 
Net Payment in Cash: $5,590.99
 
Not sure how does the above actual cost compares to those from the private hospitals but there are plenty of articles out there for further information.
 
For now we are just glad to welcome the latest member to our family!
 
And for me, the daily cooking of longan red date tea, washing of bottles, changing of diapers, feeding and bathing of baby goes on.
 
* Updated amount 

Thursday, 27 August 2020

Addition to My Safe Stream of Passive Income

All along, my POSB savings account has been a low interest bearing account. Just maintaining it for the sake of nostalgia and some Giro arrangements like monthly insurance and charity contributions.
 
However recently I discovered the POSB Cashback Bonus which turned out to be a great addition to my passive income from interest / cash back from my bank accounts.
 
I know I have been slow to this but it's better late than never.
 
And I don't even need to sign up for a separate account for this. All I need to do is to log in to my iBanking and enroll my existing POSB account into this Cashback Bonus scheme.
 
Less than 5 min job.
 
Why do I say this is a great addition to my passive income from bank accounts?
 
That's because:
 

Yes, a whooping 3% cashback on my monthly home loan instalment with the bank.
 
This rate by itself already beats most, if not all the other cashback / high interest savings accounts out there.
 
Do note that you have to meet at least 3 of the criteria in order to qualify for the cashback.
 
Obviously the caveat here is that this scheme will benefit more for those who has home loan, insurance and / or investments with the bank.
 
Also, if you are maintaining a high average balance in your POSB or DBS account, the DBS Multiplier might be a better choice for you.
 
The difference between the POSB Cashback and DBS Multiplier account is that the former doesn't care how much is in your savings account as the cashback depends solely on you meeting the minimum 3 criteria while the latter gives interest based on the amount in your account balance.
 
I've done a quick calculation. With this addition of cashback, I am looking at a monthly inflow of $70+ conservatively speaking, just by doing what I have been doing all this while without the need to change my lifestyle.
 
$70+ per month or $800+ yearly. While this might not be a lot of money to some, it's good enough for a short trip to Bangkok (almost a yearly trip for us previously) or cover some milk powder expense. Haha..
 
In short,
 
The POSB Cashback Bonus scheme will benefit those who has a home loan, insurance and / or investments with the bank yet at the same time does not maintain a high account balance. 
 
So this is the latest tweak to my safe stream of monthly passive income, at least until the banks change their interest / cashback criteria again.
 
By the way this is not a sponsored post. Just a sharing of another great way to earn more passive income for people who can benefit from it.

Friday, 31 July 2020

July 2020 Updates

July 2020

Portfolio Value after market close

S$134,883.65

Wifey's Portfolio Value after market close

S$92,493.65

Purchase

3,500 shares of CapitaLand Commercial Trust (CCT) @$1.63

Sold

None

Dividends

Nil

Short-Term Transactions

None

Summary

Local market is a sea of red on the last trading day of July.

Portfolio value increased slightly with the addition of another 3,500 shares of CCT, bringing my holdings to 7,500 shares.

CapitaLand Commercial Trust

I have been looking to make this addition ever since the planned merger between CapitaLand Commercial Trust and CapitaLand Mall Trust is announced. Main reason for this is to avoid odd lots for the new entity - CapitaLand Integrated Commercial Trust (CICT).

If the merger does indeed goes through, my holdings in CICT will be 5,400 shares. A sizing that I am comfortable with.

With this purchase, my average cost has gone up to $1.50.

I had an initial targeted entry price of $1.68 which is quite a strong support level. So when the price broke the support yesterday morning due to a combination of the wider market factors and the ex-dividend, I decided to monitor more closely and eventually went in at $1.63 just before lunch.

As usual, I didn't managed to get the bottom price but I feel it's ok since this is meant for my long term income portfolio.

If dividend reverts to pre-Covid levels, yield will easily surpass 5% against this purchased price. And yield against my average cost will represent 6%.

DBS, OCBC & UOB

Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has called for our 3 local banks to cap their FY20 dividend per share (DPS) to 60% of FY19 levels.

This is a bomb shell especially to those aunty and uncle investors who depend on dividends for income.

This news caused the share price of the 3 banks to tank on the following day as expected. In particular, I am hoping for the share price of DBS and OCBC to drop to sub $17 and $8 respectively which are the levels for my next purchase.

Unfortunately this did not materialise. Will continue to monitor. I am in no hurry to add.

On the other hand instead of meddling with the banks' dividend policy, why don't the government propose to cap the millionaire ministers' salary to 60% of 2019 levels?

Oh wait, PM Lee has already said the high salaries are needed to ensure incorruptibility.

I always thought a person's integrity has to do with a proper upbringing and his inherent character, not how much he is given in the first place.

Apparently somebody thinks otherwise.

SingTel

Bharti Airtel seems to be a bottomless sinkhole for SingTel.

Just when the spectrum charge is finally settled, another news came that SingTel is liable for another S$911 million exceptional charge based on their stake in Airtel.

I will be paying attention to the coming results and ex-dividend date.

In my opinion, SingTel should really take a closer look at Airtel's accounts or just sell away their stake.

Whether the issue lies with Airtel or the Indian government, this partnership with the Indians doesn't seems like a bright spot for SingTel.

Thursday, 30 July 2020

Yoon Salon Cares For Your Hair

Our hair is an important and integral part of the body. Very often, the first thing that we notice on a person is their crowning glory.

There is a saying that goes "clothes make the man". It means that people are judged according to the way they are dressed.

I would like to go further and add "the hair style completes him".

A well-styled hair that complements the individual appearance will boost the image that the person is carrying.

While having a suitable style is nice, equally important is the quality of it and the well-being of the scalp.

After all if both are in trouble, one might eventually have nothing left to style!

This is where professional salons can offer their expertise.

A good salon's team of professionals must not only know how to recommend and create a style suitable for each individual, they must also know how to take care of their customer's scalp.

That is why I prefer to leave scalp care in the hands (literally!) of a professional with the knowledge and experience to understand my needs. I prefer the stylist to advise if what I want is indeed the best for me.


YOON is a popular salon in Singapore with rich experience in solving their customers' troubling hair issues and helping them achieve their desired styles.

The salon offers a wide range of services for styling as well as treatments.

These services include:



With such a comprehensive suite of services available, you are almost guaranteed to find whatever look you want at YOON.
 
If you have not tried the services, fret not. There is a current promotion where you can try any one of the above listed services for just $28.


This '$28' promotion is available to all online first time customers. You just need to fill up this form which can be found in the web page of any of the services listed, and a sales consultant from Yoon Salon will call you to make the necessary arrangement.

There are some terms and conditions which the sales consultant will discuss with you over the phone.

At this point of writing, there is no cut-off date yet for this promotion.

Now, if the above range of services and promotion are not enticing enough for you to give them a try, here are some additional reasons for you to ponder over.

Why YOON Salon: 

👍 Wide range of services that are catered for both men and women.

👍 3 outlets conveniently located in the town and the outskirts of the town.

👍 Open every day including weekends and public holidays.

👍 Team of experienced stylists with high quality service.

👍 Uses premium and gentle products.

👍 Glowing reviews such as these.

YOON Salon: How Do They Help You?
  
(A) Premium Hair Cut

1) An experienced stylist will assess and recommend the best style that suits you.

2) From wedge to layered cuts, various techniques are employed by them.

3) After the above assessment, the stylist will do the necessary snipping and styling to create the look you look your best in.

4) Finally you will flaunt the attractive and professionally-styled look that you want.

      (B) Premium Colouring, Creative Colouring and Bleaching

1) Dyes will be first selected and blended to get the perfect, high quality hue for your tresses.

2) Then the dye will be applied carefully to your tresses according to the desired result.

3) After that your tresses will undergo a thermal process to ensure the colours are penetrated deeply into your hair strands' first layer.

4) Finally you will gleam with the desired vibrant and high-quality colour you always wanted.

(C) Premium Perming

1) A perming cream will be slathered onto the strands of your locks. The product will aid to loosen up the internal bonds within the inner layers.

2) After that your tresses will be curled and reshaped according to your desired look.

3) An oxidation lotion will be applied to your locks to strengthen it again after the perming process.

4) The outcome will be the attractive and stylish look that you want.

(D) Premium Rebonding

1) Firstly a straightening lotion will be applied to your locks to loosen up the original bonds.

2) Then professional equipment will be used to straighten the tresses.

3) A neutraliser will be used next to complete the rebonding process. This solution will ensure that your tresses will now remain straight for good.

4) Finally smooth and silky hair that looks natural will become a real part of you.

(E) Premium Creative Shaping

1) The stylist will first reset the bonds in your strands through the use of a straightening solution and professional equipment.

2) Then a perming blend will be applied to the lower section of your locks which will be curled and reshaped to create the desired look.

3) A few pumps of an oxidation lotion will be utilised to strengthen the tresses back again after the shaping process.

4) Finally you will attain the attractive and professionally-styled look that you want.

      (F) Premium Hair Treatment

1) The stylist will begin the treatment by applying the MILBON primer accelerator to your hair. This lotion will aid to pump up the effect of the treatment.

2) Your hair will next be infused with an essence that helps to strengthen the cuticles. This serum will also repair and smoothen out the strands for a more lustrous look.

3) After that your tresses will be coated with a serum that seals all the goodness within the cuticles. You will receive hair boosters to be used in a span of four weeks. These boosters will boost the treatment's effectiveness further.

4) When you walk out of the salon, you will notice a positive change in the hair texture that you deserve.

(G) Premium Scalp Treatment

1) The stylist will first exfoliate your scalp to remove any build-up of clogged residue and dead skin cells.

2) To allow your scalp to moisturise, a treatment method called PDT is performed. This session will promote cellular growth and also balance out the nutrients.

3) Next up will be a relaxing lymphatic massage to your scalp. You will receive four scalp boosters on a weekly basis for a longer lasting effect.

4) If you had been suffering from dandruff earlier on, after this treatment, you will no longer see those flakes on your crown. The outcome will be a visibly healthy scalp. 

(H) Premium Wash and Blow

1) Firstly a deep cleansing wash will be done for your locks to remove excess oil and residue.

2) This will be followed by a relaxing massage for your head, neck and shoulder to relieve you of your muscle tension, stimulate blood flow to your scalp and promote hair growth.

3) After that your tresses will be blown dry and the stylist will professionally style your hair according to your desired look.

4) Finally you will achieve clean and nourished locks.

Whether you are looking for hair styling or treatment, Yoon Salon can definitely help you with your needs. So give them a call at the following numbers for their professional consultation.

Tel: (65) 6235 3816 (Midpoint Orchard outlet)
Tel: (65) 6223 0224 (Havelock ll outlet)
Tel: (65) 6261 0913 (Queensway Shopping Centre outlet)

You can also visit their website for more information.

This post is written in collaboration with Yoon Salon.