June 2022

There is lot of fear in the stock market, crypto market, perhaps employment market too with some news of layoff and retrenchment. So it is the right time to buy stocks, or crypto if you believe in that particular token or coin. Everywhere, there are huge discount if the story remains intact. But yet, people often do the opposite, going in high and selling low to escape from further lows.

In the stock market where I am rational, I am looking to purchase more of the stocks that I owned, if the price falls below my purchase price, as long as the story remains intact, or the price of the stock trading below the NCAV price, and the dividends remains. Singaporean are yield hungry, when the dividends yield falls, most investors cash out irregardless of whether the story of the company remains intact, like banks when the Singapore government capped bank dividends at 60% of their previous declared dividends, local bank stocks price came crashing down about 20 to 30% in early 2020, only to recover back towards end 2020 and went on to new highs from then on. There were of course uncertainty due to Covid, and this analysis is on hindsight where we studied the history, and the chart of the stock. But it really shows one important thing that I have observed in my years of investing in Singapore stock market, Singaporean are very focused on dividends yields. Our REITs’ yields are well known around the world.

The stock portfolio is at +3%, and has a good cash percentage at 30% ready to deploy, while the remaining 70% in stocks has to work extra hard due to the high cash position.

Buying and selling of stocks are quite balanced, buying are focused on stocks trading below NCAV, while selling stocks at their new highs to lock in some profits in this period of high volatility.

Some stocks that i sold:

Multi-chem
I have held Multi-chem since 2016 where i purchased them around $0.5, it was one of the stocks which I could categorised into the Magic sixes group, named by Peter Cundill. It is one of my all time best winner, and because the story was still intact, i averaged up a few times, and it is now at its all time high close to $2.00. I have sold a big position of it, and a small amount remains in the portfolio, happy to take some profits off the table, and also continue to enjoyed it’s good dividends.

Advancer Global
A simple NCAV case, with no dividends declared in FY 2019 when i purchased it in July 2020, maybe that is the biggest reason why its price went below NCAV level, and then dividends resumed, up to 8% yield based on my purchased price, its price went up, and I got out at the good 100% profit.

Sunright
NCAV case, got in around 2016 at about 20 cents, did not managed to sell at its 2018 high of $1. Average up along the way, sold some at a loss after its price started going down, overall still a slight profit.

Cosmosteel
NCAV, Benefited from aggressive company share buyback, got in end of 2019 at around 0.09, with good dividends yield of around 5%, company started share buyback in 2022, highest price sold back to company was 0.163, while collecting good dividends.

Ban Leong
NCAV, purchased in 2018, IT products distributor company benefited from Covid lockdown, and WFH, with good dividend yields, managed to sell most of Ban Leong stocks at very good profits, might have more upside, but happy to take profits off the table.

This year to me, is more about taking profits off the table and buying stocks at discounted price when everyone is selling.

The concept of NCAV investing, or value investing is not new, you can pick up a few books in the library and be on your way to investing, however, the investor temperament and personality determines whether it will be suitable for you or not, I believe that value investing is one of the easiest bottom up approach to understand based on my personality, yet I agreed that many are not suitable for it. It does not have that kind of adrenaline pump that few are looking for, that trading mentality, on which stock next to buy, that herd mentality that most adopts listening and waiting for others to validate your decision, value investing to me is lonely, it is boring, it is independent, you are not right or wrong because other people says so, but because your data show otherwise.

Value investing is unglamorous. Showing people my scoresheet, is more like telling people, i went to the market, and the veggies were on discount, the frozen meats are so much cheaper than the fresh ones, and they all taste similar, it is always how cheap it is, how much i save etc. It is often refer to as the cigar butt approach investing, there might be some few good puffs left, but that is it. Telling people you invest in Telsa, or you dabble in crypto would impressed more people that telling them a local penny stock company, that most have never heard of. At last year high, Telsa was trading close to 30x of their PSR, or 45x their p/b, but no one think it was high until it came down and people realised how unrealistic it had been on hindsight. People would talk about the success stories of Amazon, facebook, apple etc that they all too traded at extremely high psr and p/b at well.

Company falling into the NCAV category normally has their own issues, some major, some minor, some due to its cyclical cycle. And very few will go on to be very successful again, and so I agree that most of the times, there are only some good puffs left. 90% of companies in NCAV are pretty bad in terms of assets and profitability, a lot of S-chips in NCAV, which I avoid at all costs, because there are no accountability to local investors if things go wrong. But yet there are money to be made in that few puffs, and some company can become very successful again, it is good to hold when their stories remains intact, you would get a few multi bagger along the way.

Gone are the days where people would only invest in profitable companies, and partake in the company profits. Because not all of us can be good business owner, we put our savings into other people companies through the stock market, to let other people grow our money. Now people are more interested in the stories and their presenters.

I started eating durians last week, and prices are quite affordable as compared to off peak season. Before the durian season starts, there will be articles and news, talking about the bad weather, the demand and supply issues, and why durians will be more expensive etc, then when you look at the price of the durian in local stalls, they are still the same. This is really like investing, ignoring the bells and whistles, because no one can really predict the future. Being a value investor means I am skeptical and wary about what people tell me, i see with my own eyes, and make my own judgement, whether it is true or not, and sometimes, my eyes can be mislead too. But most of the time, by thinking first after we have seen, and pausing first before we speak, you will do better than majority out there.

To read unbiased news seems to be near impossible nowadays, as every news has their own agenda, it is more like feeding news, because over time, our defense will go down, and we will choose to accept whatever is given.

Boiling frog

The boiling frog is an apologue describing a frog being slowly boiled alive. The premise is that if a frog is put suddenly into boiling water, it will jump out, but if the frog is put in tepid water which is then brought to a boil slowly, it will not perceive the danger and will be cooked to death. – Wikipedia

News mentioned, durians will be more expensive, durians will be more expensive, durians will be more expensive. Ok, I will be anticipating more expensive durians, thus I will increase my budget and bring more cash on hand. Subconsciously, we are influenced. If durian prices are the same, you can buy more with my increased budget, good for you, but actually you do spend more on durians without realising it and thought you got a good deal.

Too many fine example of news feeding, just to capture our attention to a particular subject, some of the methods very blunt and direct, once or twice, we will complain to the people around us, “So obvious!”, but over time we forgot about it and accept it.

I think not reading news and social media can be more beneficial in terms of value investing and a happier life.

Back to the mundane life then.

Crypto updates

Another 3 weeks has passed since my last crypto post, 3 weeks seems to be the sweet spot for me.

First, I have sold my kucoin tokens and did not took part in any IEO, as i feel that buying it’s native token just for participating in IEOs, which is itself, few and far between, is not really a good decision, especially when i preferred FTX exchange more than the others. The creation of Kucoin account was because of Cakedefi, which i have stopped using too. So far, it turns out to be a good decision, as I have deployed it for some farming with good returns.

I am now almost 99.9% invested in the Avalanche network, getting some good returns on farming and participating in some IDO through Avalaunch.

My losses has narrowed down from -35% to -7%, which is pretty impressive in 3 weeks, it was positive for a short while when Avax went up to $9x last week, but the returns are tied solely to the price of Avax. Avax goes up, i go up, Avax goes down, i go down too. I am happy collecting interest in good farms, while the price goes up and down.

Next, this post is more about my review of Avalaunch, the main launchpad for Avax network.

This is one of the launchpad with no tier system, highly recommended for people who are just starting their journey into IDO, as long as you stake XAVA, you will be able to participate in every of their IDO.

Let’s look at the ATH(all time high) ROI of all their past IDOs, it is pretty impressive.

I came in at Islander, so i did not get to experience the crazy ROI of Crabada and Platypus, which went over 100x.

So far has it been profitable for me? Yes and no, while the All Time High ROI paints a rosy picture, but all is not that rosy, when you really participated in it.

First, Allocation size.
Heroes Chained: 0.07AVAX / 55.68XAVA = $5.65/$482= 1.2% allocation

Heroes of NFT: 0.17AVAX / 80.07 XAVA = $14.22/$504= 2.8% allocation

Defiato: 0.1AVAX / 80.2 XAVA = $8.74/$473 =1.8% allocation

At about 2% average allocation size based on my amount staked, assuming a 10x ROI per project, which is 20% profit based on my staking amount, i would need to participate in 5 projects to get a 1x of my staking amount, which is still good right?

Next transaction fees, the main killer.

Heroes Chained fees, 66.7% down for participating fees due to small size allocation.
Heroes of NFT fees, 5.2% down for participating fees due to small size allocation.
Defiato fees, 18.9% down for participating fees due to small size allocation.

To be fair, there are triple transactions going on for this transaction fees.

  1. Refund of 1 AVAX previously paid for registration
  2. The main allocation fees
  3. Compound of any Earned XAVA into staked XAVA.

But wait, this is not the only transaction required for the IDO.

Heroes Chained vesting unlocked.

The small allocation size is already in the negative due to the transaction fees, the multiple unlock will continue to add up the losses, for the remaining 13.34%, everytime i unlock, i should be looking at a lost, as the transaction cost may be more than $0.79. Though the price increase of Hec will make up for it. Hec is up 7.5x from it’s IDO price.

I hope I have presented my side of the story clear enough to show that, there are many aspects to the implementation of a good launchpad, and many hidden aspects that will affect your returns.

Islander IDO was given free to all stakers, which must be good right? On and off there are free airdrops too for the leftovers. But if you look closely to the value claimed, most of the time, the transaction fees are not worth it, which is sad indeed. This is something beyond anyone control, and more thinking are needed for all these implemantations.

Last but not least, one of the most important point I wish to highlight is the registration fees of 1 AVAX. When you registered and claimed your tokens, the 1 AVAX will be refunded together. So, after you have registered for your first IDO with Avalaunch and paid the 1 AVAX, you are excited and looking forward to your first launch, at Singapore timing, the claiming starts at 2300 local time, you have 15 hrs to do the claiming, which is reasonable. As long as you do it before 1400 the next day, you are good. But then you had a busy morning, you woke up and forgot about it, then the usual morning rush, during lunch break at 1200/1300, you had this lingering thought that you have something important to do, but you just can’t remember, nevermind, lunch first. During the second half of the day, you suddenly remembered, and you logged in to Avalaunch, you missed the deadline for the claiming. Next time then, unlucky me. Yes, unlucky you! The 1 AVAX is non-refundable if you do not claim during the staking round!

It is in the T&C when you register for the launch, and there was no fraud involved, many companies do that, many launchpad do that too. But i feel that this is a bad practice, no right no wrong.

The different length in red and blue per project shows the number of deposit forfeited. For 500 people that forgotten about it, or decided not to proceed, that is 500 AVAX, at a price of 80, that is $40,000 USD.

After 4 projects and counting, my profit is not even close to 1 AVAX, maybe not even 0.1 AVAX, due to my small portion, or am I at a loss? One forgotten claim, and you will be in the red for a long time.

To conclude, if you are interested in trying Avalaunch, here is a really useful sample size created by the community. To really maximise the ROI of each project, ideally you should be looking at least 250-500 staked XAVA, that will be about USD$1600 to $3200.

While there are no tiers requirements, you still need to have a certain amount of capital staked to maximise the ROI.

I am still thankful to Avalaunch for letting me experienced a seamless IDO process without any tier structure, while there are many improvements to be desired, this platform is clearly not suitable for my limited capital.

Maybe I overstayed, but i am looking forward to Lost Worlds IDO in March, which is a project that features the MBS in Singapore. With all my locked up portion and the 15 days cooldown after each IDO, April then?

Looking back at 2021

A happy new year to fellow bloggers and readers.

Covid has been with us since 2019, a long 2 years and still counting.

Financially, we are progressing well, and the returns are stable.

This year, our Singapore Stock Portfolio grows by 16.7%, outperforming STI ETF’s growth of 12.79%, by 3.91%

The end of 2021 marked a milestone of 7 years. At my target of 10% per annum, I should be looking at doubling my initial capital every 7.2 years, based on the rule of 72. Looking at my NAV of 1.841, I am still quite far from 2. Perhaps that should be my goal for 2022, to achieve an NAV of 2 by the end of 2022, I would need to aim for at least 8.63%.

That is the end of my 2021 financial reporting but not the end of the post yet. I continue to invest only in Singapore market, value investing style, guided mostly by the NCAV method.

Next, I am going to talk about my journey into the rabbit hole of Cryptocurrency.

Value investing, crypto, value investing, crypto, no matter how we look at it, these two do not belong together, much less in the same sentence. How can someone that believe in value investing, believe in crypto investing?

First and foremost let me say out what I feel about crypto right now after a few months of digging into it.

My thoughts:

  1. Crypto and Blockchain technology are here to stay, but probably not the coins/token that we are buying right now, there is no value to start with and most will fall back to the value of zero, while some will get rich and some will get burnt in the process. We are very much reminded about the dot-com bubble in the 1990s, where every listed companies linked to IT get overvalued just based on their IT name or IT prospects, making people very rich, while there was no value at all. Or for people who can’t really relate to the dot-com bubble, in the recent Covid years, suddenly all sort of companies start branching out to gloves, masks, test kits, anything related to covid supplies, their stock price start flying through the roof without making a single cent from covid yet.
  2. There are a lot of money to be made in the crypto world, whether we like it or not, how absurd things are in that crypto world that we tried to push away, the returns are insane especially for the year 2021. Just for yields for your crypto deposit, no investing yet, you can get up to double digit. I learnt so much about value investing, and I work hard to screen for stocks, keep my greed in check and focus on what I think is logical and a realistic returns of 10%, the crypto world is giving easily close to 10% yield for stable coins(stable coins are coins with value pegged at $1 USD), so you have a fixed deposit that is giving so high, it changes many concepts that traditional finance has embraced so far. Where are all these yields coming from? What are the risks? How long can it last? Your guess is as good as mine. A lot of the investors whom are not good investors, suddenly they became Crypto Guru, easily doubling, tripling their capital all just in 1 year, this is never possible in traditional finance investing without any leverage.
  3. Third and last thoughts before I dive into my journey, this is what I feel is the most important and the deciding factor, for people who wish to go into crypto. I feel like Crypto is a very very big MLM scheme, one that put all the previous MLMs to shame, as this is a worldwide scheme, running 24/7, you have so much capital going into it everyday and from everywhere. It is just too big to ignore. All these yields, super high yields, what is sustaining them? It is the new capital that is pouring in every single day, and the music continue to play, please do not overstay. The new continue to pay for the old. So this is the question that i ask myself when I am thinking whether to go into crypto or not. Do I think for the year 2022, there will be a lot of money going into crypto or exiting from crypto? You can try asking yourself this question, if your answer is yes, then I think you should be able to earn money from crypto, even if you are just doing the fixed deposit at our local hodlnaut, 12% for USDT/USDC anyone? If you think there will be a lot of money flowing out of crypto, everyone is exiting, then first the yields will dry up, they will slowly revert back to what is realistically possible, more like the rates we see in the local stock market, bank etc. And that’s when the over stayer will get burnt real bad. All good things will come to an end, and for crypto, everything happens so fast and at best your view will only last for a short period of time, as it is everchanging.

Let’s talk about my journey so far. I want to be very very frank, it is greed, first and foremost. There is no where you can get such high returns, never in traditional finance investing. I put in a small amount of money, this is separated from my stock investing, At best it is considered a side income, money that i am prepared to lose it all, and money that I would take out instantly if I can double my capital. I want to be very truthful, and I hope everyone can be truthful to themselves too. This crypto gains, will not last long, so the risky mentality of go big or go home, cannot be permanent, we are reminded by some of the biggest lottery winners in history, their fate does not ends well. Money comes, money goes, but mentality are here to stay. While I am willing to take more risks in crypto, it does not applies to my stock portfolio, which target is still 10% per annum, and the money are for retirement. A lot of crypto investors got a big windfall in 2021, they talked about their losses, the situation which got away because they are not aggressive enough, because their conviction is not strong enough. In a bull crypto market, the more aggressive you are, the better your returns will be for most situation, but if you applied the same mentality to a prolonged bear market, you gains will be swiped out, and if you leveraged, your situation is going to be very bad. In crypto, we are mainly chasing after yields, there is no logic, and no calculation that can be made to calculate the value of what you are buying, the value most often than not is zero.

So, what are some of my observations so far for people who are interested in getting into crypto too.

  1. There are a lot of inefficiencies in the crypto world. You want to invest in a particular coin/token, you have to know the network it is on, buying that particular coin and transferring to that particular network is not that straightforward. I cannot tell you how many account I have created with different exchanges, and the number of wallets I have created, just to buy, transfer and hold that particular coin in my wallet. X exchange sell this coin, after purchasing when i wanted to withdraw, I realised it was only for that particular network, and it was not suitable for me, as I need it in another network to do staking or swapping.
  2. Ethereum network has very very high gas fees, gas fees are the transaction fees, so everyone is more or less avoiding transferring on the Ethereum network, but yet a lot of stuffs are build on the Ethereum network, it is all linked! Once you hold crypto in Ethereum network wallet, you would need to pay double digit figures just to get it back on the exchange to trade or sell, this is really high for someone starting out with few hundreds or thousands.
  3. You need to be a problem solver, it is a lot harder to invest in crypto than traditional finance platform, there are many ways and many website that can help you achieve what you want, ultimately, you have to choose the way that suits you or that with the lowest gas fees. Avoiding Ethereum network is important to me, but that sometimes means I have to go through many steps to get the coins/token that I want.
  4. My style~ I start with fiat deposit into my Gemini account, as I have it linked to my bank account for deposit or withdrawal in either SGD or USD, then from there we get 10 free withdrawal every month, the withdrawal fees is why we need to have account with so many different exchanges. I created one account with crypto.com just for Matic withdrawal in Polygon network, there are some swap websites that can do that, but you would need matic in your wallet first for gas fees which defeat the purpose, previously you could get free Matic from faucet to kickstart your journey, but after Polygon raise their gas fees, everything stops, i really dislike creating so many accounts just to get the coins/tokens i want, you just have to keep going and going until you find the right solution, it is very time consuming, a few days sometime before I can get the coins I want in the right place. FTX exchange is good, as their withdrawal are mostly free, except for ERC20 coins, which can be free if you download their FTX mobile and do the withdrawal from there, the exchange website and the mobile app are 2 separate accounts, it can be troublesome and frustrating for new crypto investors. When you are doing transferring or withdrawal, you have to check different exchange withdrawal fees, and whether they can transfer in that particular network you want, again there are a lot of inefficiencies. You need a Wallet for Terra(Luna), then you need a Wallet for Ethereum, I am using Metamask, it is cross platform and the one that I used most often, but it does not cover all networks, so I still need to have other wallet for other network. Swap website are useful when you need to swap coins, but do not wish to create more accounts, for different network, there are different website again! Pancakeswap for Binance, Pangolin for Avax, Uniswap, and a lot of others, i used them quite often for staking.

For someone that is doing value investing, going into crypto, goes against what I stand for in investing, there must be a value, I go through financial reports, calculate their net current asset value, their profits, their cash vs debt etc, just to get an understanding of their value. In crypto, there is a lot of feel good mentality, chasing after yields, and just getting into any ICO, IDO, IEO, IDE, and cashing out immediately after the locking period, flipping a few times of your capital, irregardless of what the actual product is all about. It is all about decentralising. There is beauty in it, I must admit, with no power and high social status, one can never have the opportunity to invest in such high gains projects, when you are dealing with big corporations or government, the word is proven. It does not matters whether you think you are good or not, or whether you are good or not, the criteria is proven, if you are an angel investor, you are proven to have the resources or the capabilities, regardless of whether you are a good investor or not. In crypto all this does not matters. It is decentralised

I am late into the game as usual, as I am always skeptical. While I just got into crypto, this year is about NFTs, games, and the virtual world properties, crypto currencies is already hard for me, again what is the value of all these currencies that I am purchasing? And now everyone is going crazy on all the stuffs that I really feel is worthless. Maybe I will change my mind on them few months later, I do not mind being late at all.

Right now, please excuse me as I get ready to register for my first crypto IDE. Hopefully I will have something good to talk about for my next post in the near future.

Happy 2022!

I spent $500,000 on my child after calculation – Taxi Uncle

This post was inspired by my wife conversation with a Taxi driver.

Taxi Uncle was good in financial planning, and he reckons that he spent about $500,000 per child, and he has two children, he solemnly declared himself a millionaire, by total income earned in his lifetime.

A 6 digit sum expenses per child, is the magic number that most parents will come out with.

First & Foremost: Education.

Many parents feel that this is the number one biggest expenses that they will be spending on their child/children, and it is often their greatest worry.

But i beg to differ.

I am a strong advocate of ending the sandwich generation in our generation.

Just a quick calculation of education cost from my point of view. Purely education cost without allowance money, money given to grandparents, etc.

Childcare consists of 2 aspects, and should not be calculated as solely education cost alone.
1. The school taking care of the child, while the parents are not by their side. (Afternoon nap, showering, etc)
2. Education aspect.

This post’s point of view is more from the lower/middle low income family’s pov.

With enchanced kifas kicking in, and a cash gift of $3000 in CDA account, the first 4 years of pre-schooling(not childcare) is almost 100% covered for basic pre school without any childcare. And any expenses after the first $3000 is automatically discounted by 50% with the 1 for 1 government matching.

Scenario (Not childcare): At $6000 below for total household income, you will be paying a max of $60 per month for sparkletots Nursey to Kindergarten. (Without enhanced kifas, it used to be about $170 per month)

There are annual registration fees, annual material cost & uniform cost ($20 per set).

The cost would be about $3500 in total for the first 4 years of schooling for your child.

Pre school 4 years $60 x 48 months= $2880. (free for first $3000, CDA cash gift if not used for other purposes. )
Primary school 6 years $6.5 x 72 months = $468
Secondary school 4/5 years $15 x 48/60 months = $720/ $900
JC 2 years $19.50 x 24 months = $468
Poly 3 years $1000 x 6 terms = $6000-$7000 est. (excluding some higher paying courses)
Nitec 2 years $500 x 4 terms = $2000
Higher Nitec 3 years $650 x 6 terms = $3900
University 3 to 4 years average = $40,000 (excluding higher paying courses)

Allowance money should not be included in education costs, as irregardless of education or not, we need money everyday for daily expenses.

As you can see, if you decided to go for the bare minimum road for your children’s education, you would be spending a low 4 digit figures for your children’s education right up to their N, O levels.

As they go into higher education, learning a skill that will make them more attractive for general employment, it will start to rocket into the 5 digit figures, other than university, you would be looking at $1x,xxx max, that is for basic Singapore education.

My first choice for my children, is for them to pay for their own higher education. I believe it gives them a good investment perspective. Although alternative arrangements can be worked out, if their life went the unexpected way. Always ready for financial haywire.

As responsible parents, i do not wish for my children to give up on their education due to financial issues, i will set aside the money and let them decide if they would want to go into their first investment jouney with me. I will explain to them, on why i would prefer them to pay with the help of a tuition loan, and setting aside roughly 1/3 of their monthly salary to repay the loan. For $30,000 loan at about 5%, he/she will be paying about $900 per month for 3 years, roughly $3000 interest fees and processing fees paid.

I will teach them investing for a lump sum of $30,000 with the same timeframe of 3 years, the time needed for them to complete their university degree. And compare their total returns vs the $3000 interest to be paid to bank. This is their lightbulb moment, whatever they can comprehend from this comparison.

A lot of parents dread tuition loan due to the interest , and over commit to education insurance/investment scheme, with heavy lock in period and low returns, only canceling after years later and making a lost, my parents included. But i see it as an investment opportunity if you have that $30k ready and taking up the tuition loan instead, the first pot of gold.

After you have worked out the numbers, education costs and fees does not seems so far fetched anymore, it is not daunting when you face the numbers head to head.

My other thoughts on why i prefer them to pay for their own higher education fees, is also due to the question on whether higher education is worth it or not?

If they go out to work after their N/O levels, they will be getting a pay of $1,xxx, with chances of hitting $2,xxx, if they put in some OT, their choices of work would be lesser, as compared to one who possessed a cert of higher education and worked in relavant field.

After paying few thousand dollars of school fees and graduating with a poly/Nitec certificate, they would be looking at a range of $2000-$3000, slightly lower for Nitec, with the certificate paying for itself after a year of working.

And for university loan of $30,000 and a repayment duration of 3 years for 1/3 of their salary, the university cert would have paid for itself by 3 years time, with the knowledge and expertise sticking with you for the rest of your life. not to mention the higher starting pay of $3,000 to $4,000, as compared to diploma, nitec or N/O levels.

Different parents have different aspirations for their child/children. For me, i would like them to have more options for choosing but respect their decision, and to have the financial ability to send them for classes that interest them. Tuition are out for me at the moment, and i highly doubt that i will wish to send them for tuition in the future, unless they requested for it themselves.

The biggest expenses should be the daily F&B expenses and their allowance money. This is definetely a 6 digit figure sum, however it is still within the range of $100,000 to $200,000.

On average, 3 meals a day per child is about $10, excluding recess, which belong to the allowance category. At $300 per month multiply by 25 years, that would bring us to $90,000. During the infant years, $300 is also around there, when you include this and that.

Allowance is

Primary school $2 x 10 months x 6 years = $5,400 (Not given on holiday yet, as they are mostly at home.)
Secondary school $7 x 12 months x 4/5 years = $10,080-$12600 (Allowance given on holiday period for them to go out.)
Nitec/Poly/Jc $10 x 12 months x 2/3 years = $7,200 – $10,800

University $15 x 12 months x 3/4 years = $16,200 – $21,600

Total range for allowance money = $22,680 – $50,400

The allowance money doubled, when the education years are maxed out.

If I add all the expenses up, I am looking at about $150,000 per child, excluding university fees. For allowance money, I am giving slightly higher than what is necessary, I would like to observe how they are managing their money and their expenses/ savings rates.

If I aggressively reduce, I might be looking at about $100,000 per child, or if i add up all the miscellaneous, it will be about $200,000 per child until they start working. At $20k seed capital, at an investment rate of 10%, the money would double every 7 years, at the age of 21, I am looking at a good portfolio value of $160,000, with draw out every now and then to cover all the annual expenses, we would still be looking at a high 5 digit figures, which can be further deployed for their future life expedition, or added into the family portfolio for daily expenses or retirement.

Having children is our decision, and we do not expect them to pay back in any way. Realising their fullest potential for their first 10 to 20 years is our mission, and this no doubt require a good amount of money.

While we would have save a lot more without having children, and save all the headache, stress, tantrums, frustration & compromising. The joy of having children when you look back, is priceless.

At just $20,000 and a good, logical & sensible long term investing approach, the family finance is in good hands.

So have you set aside some money for your child?

Blogging

As my blog becomes a deserted island, I wonder why did I, again and again want to blog.

It always start with an urge to communicate my thoughts through words on any topic that interested me. Most topics are linked to finance anyway, from the money that flows through each and every one of us, investing that allows many people an alternative to life other than working till death do us apart. To the working culture, the politics around the world, to our everyday purchases, the house that we live in, the future of our ourselves, our children, our family, its linked to finance, it always has.

I take a long time for one post, often deleting and typing, deleting and typing, doing some research online for figures and references. And time is something that i can never have enough of, with 3 kids in the family. I have cut back on my career and income, to manage the kids schedule, and i prefer not to have a helper, i have always been a diy person, but big thanks to my in law, the children’s grandma, who played a big part in helping us to manage during the weekdays. It is what i called the divisive tactics, so there wont be middle child syndrome, or any other bad childhood upbringing associated with big family, but as the years passed, the health and energy level takes a big drain, often hitting new lows, and never recovering to the previous highs.

As a self-employed, i am blessed with the flexibility to cut down on work, while for employees, it is not as simple as changing from full time to part time, all I have to accept is the lower income range, i mean really low, lower than what I am earning from investments.

So i am extremely thankful to the younger me, for having a passion in investing, for willing to read a lot of books, for my career i self learned after NS, for investing i self learned from the library. Post tertiary education has not really played a big part in my career or in my life, late bloomer it must be.

I am more of a logical person, that’s why i chose value investing, there must be a value that i can count on, be it NCAV, NAV or PE, PSR.

To a logical person, it’s hard to see directly at the current state of world with eyes wide open.

You see leaders of the world that people used to look up to, bickering worse than children, bullying tactics, killing under the pretense for the greater good of mankind . If someone of the lowest integrity can become the great leaders of the world, it’s hard to teach your children to be kind, to be nice, to be good citizen and good people. When they are going to be working under the people whom you have worked hard your whole life to teach your children not to be. But yet we all persevere to teach our children to be kind, to do the right things, while it is always the innocent that get hurts, the world still need the majority to be kind, even if it is the silent majority.

No matter how many times i go round and round all these problems, the answer is always to be in charge of your life, to have enough money, so you can have more options in life, you can choose to walk away from deals that require you to kowtow, from jobs that go against what you stand for, and all the problems that can be solved by money.

As you can see from what I mentioned about my career and income, i am in the journey of “Coast FIRE”, with 3 young kids, it can be quite unimaginable for most of you. But i need very little, and i spend very little, and i always plan ahead.

Achieving FIRE too young, does not lead to happiness, it create a void in your life, then you start asking what is the meaning of life? Why am I still not happy despite living the dream life that most wanted? In life, you need to have a purpose, it can be love, it can be doing something for the greater good. It is ok if the purpose is temporary and you switch from one to the other, as one day you will realise that there is no purpose that is so strong that can last you a lifetime everyday 24/7, not even marriage or children. You can try to con yourself if it helps.

Right now the family portfolio is getting bigger, which is a good sign, we are able to draw out more to cover more of everyday expenditure if we want, but we are still quite young and able, so every year we take out money to cover the big items, while the bills, loan, etc are from our income, and if we have extra savings for the year, we will put it in too. We are on track for early retirement if possible, or FIRE, or (just do not want to work) whatever you call it. Positive cashflow, savings and investing has given us a good chance in life to pursue a different path from our parents and people who are in the rat race.

2020

It’s the start of the new year 2021, and most financial bloggers are putting up their report card for the year 2020, as the CFO of the family, it is my duty too, to consolidate and conclude for the year.

Let’s look at how the portfolio has grown over the years.

This year the portfolio grew by 9.53%, while STI ETF dropped 8.46% including dividends. The CAGR of the portfolio stands at 6.73% over 6 years.

2018 was a bad year for the portfolio, with a -14% performance, and the portfolio’s NAV has not recovered to End 2017 value of 1.59 yet. If i am a fund manger whose performance fees is based on a high water mark, i would have worked for free for 3 years by now, if i do not have new clients coming in, in the year of 2019 and 2020. Nevertheless, we inject new capital each year, so the portfolio absolute value is still growing steadily.

This year will be a milestone year, as the portfolio officially enters its 7th year, by the rule of 72, at 10% targeted returns, i will be doubling my starting capital at the end of 2021, or to be precise at 7.2 years. I will need to grow the portfolio at 30% this year to have an NAV of $2.00, however i won’t be doing anything different, value investing is still a very bottom up approach, on an individual company basic.

I am still invested in Singapore market only, while there are many opportunities outside Singapore, very exciting too, my target of 10% can be achieved in Singapore given the portfolio size. It’s me who is the problem, not the market.

A few thoughts i would like to share my views on:

  1. Conviction
  2. Stock Market
  3. Gold

Conviction

This year was a very important year for my investing conviction, a lot of the theories was put into use, and i have failed in one that i felt was very important.

” … to be fearful when others are greedy, and greedy when others are fearful.”

Warren Buffet

If the conviction was strong, and the discipline to follow your conviction was high, this year would be a good year to buy more and sell less, anyone who had done so, would be looking at sizeable gains this year. I did the opposite of selling more and only buying after i realised that it was not a good time to be selling, i also tried to time the market, as it swings steadily up and down in a tight range on a weekly basic, or so i thought, clocking in small gains and missing out on long term gains.

I was caught with my pants down, which reemphasize the important of cash level in the portfolio, i was a little lazy in the screening of stocks in the year of 2018 and 2019, so i told myself i wanted to work hard in 2020, i did much more screening, and was looking at financial reports of interested companies that fulfilled my criteria, so there were a few good companies that i wished to buy at the start of 2020, when the news of covid got serious, the cash portion of the portfolio was close to 0%, so while it was a good time to buy stocks from March onwards, i was selling stocks to raise cash, which was quite silly, if my conviction is strong, i would have injected more money into the portfolio. As a value investor, our cash holdings can be high at times, which will pull down the overall performance of the whole portfolio, sometimes this cash portion can also save the portfolio from dropping too much, if i was fully invested in 2018, it would not had been just -14%, it will be much worse.

Stock Market

It has been said many times that the stock market is forward looking, and the price is very seldom a true representation of the current economy or company value, most often, the price of the stock market/ companies swing to and fro, briefly touching its intrinsic value every now and then. A trader trade short term based on the flow, the trend, the graph line, RSI, moving average etc. The quant invest based on it’s algorithm. The dividend investor relies heavily on the dividends yield, while the growth investor looks for how much the companies can grow than its current value, the macro investor more on the whole wide economy trends and what is the next new innovation and disruption, while the value investor more on the asset values of the company. These investors make up the stock market, along side many others type of investors and big fund management corporation. The stock market is often a tussle between many groups at one time, depending on the monetary powers on each side, and the liquidity present in the whole market & economy.

On hindsight, the US market new highs is pushed by the extremely low interest rates, and flush liquidity in the market right now. It is almost as if covid has not happened, and the world is in a very good shape, which i think even people on the main street can see that it is not so. The greed level seems to be high right now, with many earning good money from the stock market, and many others who have missed the rise, following right in the footsteps, so 2021 will continue to rise?

If everyone want to continue dancing, the music has to go on, but as people start getting tired, and wish to go home, there will be lesser people in the ballroom, and at a certain point, the music will stop.

There will be displeasure from people who want to dance a little more, but has a hunch that the music will soon stop.

There will be disbelief from the people who heard from all the fantastic reviews from people around them, that there is a 24/7 ballroom which plays good music, they sold some stuffs for money, they set aside budget to make this long trip, and truth beholds, the music was great, the people are great, but suddenly after 3 songs, the ballroom electricity was shut down, no music, no ventilation, no lights.

The people living around the ballroom, knows something was brewing, there were noise issues, traffics issues, legal issues, this situation can’t go on forever, but yet people are still flocking into town, creating good income for the people in town who offer services, food and accomodation for the visitors.

Soon, people start moving into this town, where job opportunities are abundant. A new eco system was created, with the ballroom in the center of the new economy.

What happened when the ballroom closed? What happened before the ballroom closed, with a few privileged people knowing the news before it closed? What happened to the people that came last?

I have no doubt, that there will always be another ballroom to replace the previous one, there are people whose livelihood depends on the existence of the ballroom, but if you do not, it is always prudent to wait. Opportunities lost do not results in losses.

Gold

I do not have much interest in investing gold, as much as i do not have much interest in investing properties. But i think they are one of the best way to fight inflation with very minimum effort needed in the research/ reading phase. Many older folks got their fingers burnt in the stock market, following the hot stocks, or that mentality that government linked stocks will never failed. But the gold jewelry they purchased many years back, even taking into account the jewelry design fees, they are still looking at a very good profit.

For properties, you get good returns, because of leverage, the value does not fluctuate as much as the stock market, and inflation include properties prices too.

Gold has been compared with bitcoins as alternative investment, however gold has practical usage in the world, but bitcoins does not have any practical usage yet, at best an ideology. You will find some gold in most families, but rarely bitcoins, so it is still a bit far fetched comparing bitcoins to gold. Long term wise, it can be very good at fighting against inflation, especially in country which is very unstable, whose fiat currency are at a big risk.

It is getting easier to invest in gold, whether it is physical gold, or gold etf etc. There are still some hurdles, and more expensive fees as compared to the stock market.

I think gold is more of an insurance rather than an investment, you do not need to claim from insurance most of the time, but just that few crucial claims can benefit you for life. I have strong faith in the SGD, much more than USD, although if USD fails, most currencies will go down with it. In my generation, it is quite hard to fathom SGD and the Singapore Govt failing in its monetary role.

The Singapore government is like a value investor, very cautious and stingy at times. This is very important to a small country with no natural resources, the covid year was one of the rare times, that the government is giving a lot of money to the citizens, USA is like someone with high income power, top 1% income tier, with high spending habits with no savings, a spendthrift, spending all the income and getting into debt to fund that lavish lifestyle. We wouldn’t teach our children to spend all their monthly income, and wait for next month to come, so why should a country do so, unless it is to stay in power, and who benefit most from it?

I got a hole in my backyard, the hole gets bigger as the months passed by, i got some stuffs to fill up the hole, but the hole gets even bigger from all the weight of the stuff. Should i get the hole check, instead of dumping stuffs to cover the hole, if the hole requires extensive repair works and quite a long timeframe, which will affects me, my house and all my neigbours, are we willing to bear with it? Or we would just cover it as the experts has said, in my lifetime it shouldnt be a problem. You can move house if you want to, as the repair cost can be quite high. Luckily i still have a choice to move, but what if i do not have a choice?

2020 online expenses



I paid: $33.92, NTUC: $41.85, Shopee normal price: $41,50 , i saved $7.58.
I paid: $30.48 for 12 tubes, $2.54 per tube, NTUC at $8.50 per tube, Shopee Colgate at $18.50 for 3 tubes, i saved $43.52!
I paid: $54.10, NTUC per carton at $40.65, Shopee at $59 for 2 after discount, i saved $4.90
I paid $12.75, I saved $2.25
I paid: $33.21, NTUC: $41.85, Shopee $41.50, i saved $8.29.
I paid: $155.05, NTUC: $257.40, Shopee $177.50, i saved $22.45.
I saved about $20 due to free 1L.
I paid: $56.23, NTUC: $76, Shopee: $68.90, i saved $12.67.
I paid: $26.04, NTUC: $53.70, i saved about $27.66.
I paid $56.53, NTUC per carton at $40.65, Shopee at $59 for 2 after discount, i saved $2.47
I saved about $12.45 and more from the promo used and bundle deals.
I saved $13 from promo used.
I used voucher to sort of waived off the delivery, and $10 saved from flash deals.
I saved $14.53.

I saved a total of $201.77 as compared to normal shopee prices, the 12% cashback in shopee coins for selected listings will further reduce the savings gap.

However if we compared to NTUC prices, the savings are huge, at about $360, just for the above expenses.

The above expenses are just a part of the family online expenses on my side, there are more on my lazada account especially formula milk, and also on my spouse side. I reckon we saved at least $1 to $2k each year.

We can really feel the difference, when we switched from NTUC to online e-commerce, as during the time of our first born, there was no shopee/lazada. While we always wait for the promotions in NTUC, the savings cannot be compared to online shopping, where the brands sell direct on the platform without adhering to the retail price they set in the supermarts.

Points to note:
1. The 12% cashback in the form of shopee coins, is one of the biggest reasons behind most of the savings nowadays as credit card promos are notoriously finished up before the morning with people buying right after 12am. The in-store vouchers/promotions plus some flash deals are attractive from time to time.
The cashback will end one day, just like Grab crazy promotion, during their fight with Uber for market share. We could saved a lot of money back then for Grab, with some of the trips costing next to nothing. We moved on after the promo ended. Enjoy while it lasts.

2. Planning for your purchases and delaying them for further discounts will always help you to save money, your choice whether it is worth it.

3. While the savings seems minimal, over your lifetime if you applied it to most of your purchases, especially the big ones, you will save a lot, and always remember, money not spent is not money saved yet, only when you put it aside, save it, invest it and let it grow, then you will really feel the power of prudent purchases and compounding!


Hello World

The first post, the first step.

I am the CFO of my family, we are Singaporeans. And thus the domain name, cfosg.wordpress.com was chosen.

CFO can be Chief Finance Officer, it can also stands for Chief Family Officer or Chief Father Officer.

Join me as my family and i navigate through Singapore living standards, this blog will be more skewed towards the financial aspects of a typical Singaporean family.

It will be from my point of view, touching on some interesting purchases, some number crunching on the yearly expenses, my investing journey, and the decision i made over the years.

I am Y, 34 Male (Yr 2020), married with 3 kids, living in HDB with a housing loan, no car, self-employed with minimum CPF.

My current biggest financial goal is to invest wisely with a 20 years time frame, aiming for a 10% CAGR over the years, so that my children will not be the sandwich generation anymore.