Sunday, December 31, 2023

Portfolio Summary for December 2023

As of 31 December 2023


Security # shares Price S$ %
DBS 400 33.41 4.17
UOB 400 28.45 3.55
OCBC Bank 700 13.00 2.84
SGX 2,700 9.83 8.29
ST Engineering 6,900 3.89 8.38
Powermatic Data 8,500 2.97 7.88
Micro-Mechanics 14,200 1.93 8.56
TheHourGlass 15,000 1.66 7.78
Sheng Siong 19,100 1.60 9.60
VICOM Ltd 21,500 1.43 9.60
Credit Bureau Asia 14,300 0.92 4.11
Nanofilm 21,600 0.915 6.17
HRnetGroup 21,900 0.715 4.89
TalkMed Group 14,500 0.38 1.72
China Sunsine 41,800 0.395 5.16
Kimly 27,000 0.32 2.70
HC Surgical 35,500 0.30 3.33
Silverlake Axis 15,000 0.28 1.31
Portfolio Market Value = $320,172
YTD Dividends Received = $13,139
YTD SBL Fees Received = $907

- Sold 10,100 shares of CapitaLand Investment.
- Sold 8,200 shares of SATS.
- Sold 11,700 shares of Genting Singapore.


Security # shares Price S$ %
DBS 100 33.41 2.62
UOB 200 28.45 4.47
OCBC Bank 900 13.00 9.19
SGX 1,300 9.83 10.04
ST Engineering 3,000 3.89 9.17
Powermatic Data 3,400 2.97 7.93
Micro-Mechanics 5,400 1.93 8.19
TheHourGlass 5,000 1.66 6.52
Sheng Siong 8,700 1.60 10.94
VICOM Ltd 5,500 1.43 6.18
Credit Bureau Asia 5,700 0.92 4.12
Nanofilm 5,500 0.915 3.95
HRnetGroup 7,500 0.715 4.21
TalkMed Group 5,800 0.38 1.73
China Sunsine 10,800 0.395 3.35
Kimly 5,800 0.32 1.46
HC Surgical 19,500 0.30 4.60
Silverlake Axis 6,000 0.28 1.32
Portfolio Market Value = $127,280

- Sold 2,600 shares of CapitaLand Investment.
- Sold 3,800 shares of SATS.

Singapore Savings Bonds

Security Amount ($) Avg Yld %
GX22120S 14,000 3.47
GX23010Z 15,000 3.26
GX23110V 20,000 3.32
GX23120Z 20,000 3.40
Portfolio Market Value = $69,000

Time flew by in the blink of an eye.  We have reached the end of 2023.  Markets started the year a little apprehensive, unsure how much higher the U.S. Fed will push interest rates.  Sentiment subsequently turned bullish as dovish comments from the Fed in December indicated that they are done with rate hikes [news].  There is also the prospect of rate cuts next year, which is welcomed by investors.  CME FedWatch Tool shows the market is pricing in a very high (87%) probability that the Fed will cut interest rate as early as March 2024.

Global equity markets were neatly split into two camps - big winners and big losers.  The S&P 500 Index went on a tear, locking in an eye-popping 24.2 percent gain, of which a large part is attributed to the Magnificent 7 stocks.  On the other hand, our local Straits Times Index headed south, but managed to break even on the last trading day of the year.  Other regional markets were a mixed bag.  The Hang Seng Index plummeted 13.8 percent and the CSI 300 Index lost 11.4 percent.  Conversely, the KOSPI Index and Nikkei 225 Index gained 18.7 percent and 28.5 percent respectively.

Performance of the S-Reits was weak in 2023, given the current interest rate environment.  The iEdge S-REIT Index managed to break even, having recovered from hitting the bottom in end October.  Taking dividends into account, the total return was a respectable 6.6 percent.  Most S-Reits have held up well so far, with distributions being steady.  I was tempted to add one or two S-Reits when they were trading at very attractive discounts.  Having S-Reit exposure will boost the yield in my portfolios.  In the end, I refrained from doing so, since S-Reits' traditionally high leverage runs counter to my preference for low gearing companies.

Looking into 2024, eyes will be on whether the Fed can steer the U.S. economy to a soft landing.  Geopolitics will also be front and centre stage on people's mind, with the Russia-Ukraine and Israel-Hamas wars still ongoing, Houthi rebels attacks in the Red Sea driving up shipping costs, as well as major elections in the U.S. and Taiwan.  Donald Trump making a comeback and the independence-focused DPP candidate Lai Ching-te winning the presidential race in Taiwan will likely stir up more hostility with China.  A recent Bloomberg article [here] also warns how the bull run of S&P 500 Index over the last decade is unlikely to repeat, with valuations currently being stretched.

On the domestic front, the GST will go up another 1 percent tomorrow (sigh).  The Basic Healthcare Sum will also increase from $68,500 to $71,500 [announcement].  I will top up as soon as the window opens, in order to take advantage of the tax relief.

I finally had time to review my portfolios' performance.  Made a decision to ditch the lower ROE stocks in favour of the stronger companies.  The number of holdings in my portfolios has been reduced to 18.  I sold my positions in CapitaLand Investment, Genting Singapore and SATS.

CapitaLand Investment posted a warning [here] that its full year PATMI will be severely impacted due to depressed property valuations caused by high capitalization rates. The property manager was quick to highlight that operating cashflows remained sound.

Genting Singapore share price gained a tailwind after Singapore and China announced an agreement for 30-day visa-free travel between the two countries [news].  An influx of Chinese tourists bodes well for its casino and theme park.

Of these three companies, SATS is the most disappointing.  The company's performance hasn't recovered fully post-pandemic.  It filed three consecutive years of losses.  SATS had to put out a clarification [here] to assure investors that it is in not in danger of being placed on SGX Watch List.  Nonetheless, the stock price languished and no dividend had been paid out during this period.  With the WFS acquisition, there is a huge debt overhang on the company.  The debt-to-equity ratio has ballooned ten times, which makes me feel uneasy.  I have lost hope of a quick turnaround.  Time to cut loss and move on.

I will deploy the freed up capital to other stocks in my portfolios.  Meanwhile, I am monitoring two other companies that caught my eye recently.  I will take a bite when the price is right.

The COVID-19 pandemic has shown that we cannot rely on dividends alone for income.  While there were some companies that kept paying dividends throughout the period, it is better to have different streams of income.  This is something which I will have to plan for.

January's SSB has an average yield of 3.07 percent, which is less than my requirement, hence I did not subscribe for it.  February's SSB issuance should have an average yield around 2.82 percent, which is lower than January's yield.  I will switch my focus back to the equity market.

Speaking of pandemic, I was inflicted with my first COVID-19 infection this month.  Came down with sore throat, high fever, cough and runny nose.  Thankfully, I had taken my COVID booster vaccine before I left for holiday in Australia, so the symptoms were not as drastic as I imagined.  There wasn't anything crucial or urgent at work, so I could afford to take a good rest.

As 2023 wound down, I reflected on my life.  I feel contented and at peace.  I have a loving wife and two active boys.  I enjoy good health (COVID aside).  I have a roof over my head and can afford a comfortable - though not lavish - lifestyle.  At work, I have helpful team mates and an understanding boss who values my contribution.

I don't feel any urge to keep up with the Joneses.  I am happy to stay in a HDB flat and not in a private residence.  There are many amenities around my neighbourhood, which make it convenient for our daily life.  I don't intend to invest in a second property either.  Watching my in-laws' woes as a landlord has made me wary.  While my peers own a car, I don't see the need to maintain one since I take the train to office in the CBD, my kids take the public bus to school and my wife simply walks to her workplace.  We can just call for a cab when needed.

DBS NAV Planner tells me I have crossed the million-dollar net worth mark, so I am secretly happy. :)

For those readers who have read my previous post [here] and know my history, I have come a long way since experiencing the most humbling moment of my life.  It is amazing how desperation can drive one's determination to climb out of the financial sinkhole.  I am grateful for the people who have helped me along the way and allowed me to accomplish what I have today.

If I can do it, I'm sure you can achieve your financial goals too!

I hope to be able to retire at the age of 55 (eleven more years).  I will then depend on my portfolios for income to sustain through my remaining years.  The best part is that I don't have to count on my kids for support.  I will be the last sandwiched generation within my family.

I am currently lagging behind my plan as I saved up more money and invested less this year.  My wife and I want to repay our HDB mortgage loan when the lock-up period expires in August.  Once the loan is paid off, the next biggest expense will be the university tuition fees for our kids.  My wife and I already have two fully paid endowment policies in place to cover a major portion of the cost, so we aren't worried.  A better life awaits when we become debt free.

Happy New Year 2024, my friends!

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Friday, December 1, 2023

Portfolio Summary for November 2023

As of 30 November 2023


Security # shares Price S$ %
DBS 400 31.74 3.43
UOB 400 27.22 2.94
OCBC Bank 700 12.54 2.37
SGX 2,700 9.43 6.88
ST Engineering 6,900 3.71 6.92
CapitaLand Investment 10,100 3.03 8.27
SATS 8,200 2.65 5.87
Powermatic Data 8,500 2.95 6.77
TheHourGlass 15,000 1.52 6.16
Micro-Mechanics 14,200 1.81 6.94
VICOM 21,500 1.32 7.67
Sheng Siong 19,100 1.56 8.05
Nanofilm 21,600 0.885 5.16
Genting Singapore 11,700 0.915 2.89
Credit Bureau Asia 14,300 0.905 3.50
HRnetGroup 21,900 0.70 4.14
TalkMed Group 14,500 0.39 1.53
China Sunsine 41,800 0.395 4.46
HC Surgical 35,500 0.28 2.69
Kimly 27,000 0.31 2.26
Silverlake Axis 15,000 0.27 1.09
Portfolio Market Value = $370,127
YTD Dividends Received = $12,563
YTD SBL Fees Received = $900



Security # shares Price S$ %
DBS 100 31.74 2.26
UOB 200 27.22 3.88
OCBC Bank 900 12.54 8.05
SGX 1,300 9.43 8.75
ST Engineering 3,000 3.71 7.94
CapitaLand Investment 2,600 3.03 5.62
SATS 3,800 2.65 7.18
Powermatic Data 3,400 2.95 7.16
TheHourGlass 5,000 1.52 5.42
Micro-Mechanics 5,400 1.81 6.97
VICOM 5,500 1.32 5.18
Sheng Siong 8,700 1.56 9.68
Nanofilm 5,500 0.885 3.47
Credit Bureau Asia 5,700 0.905 3.68
HRnetGroup 7,500 0.70 3.75
TalkMed Group 5,800 0.39 1.61
China Sunsine 10,800 0.395 3.04
HC Surgical 19,500 0.28 3.90
Kimly 5,800 0.31 1.28
Silverlake Axis 6,000 0.27 1.16
Portfolio Market Value = $140,159


Singapore Savings Bonds

Security Amount ($) Avg Yld %
GX22120S 14,000 3.47
GX23010Z 15,000 3.26
GX23110V 20,000 3.32
GX23120Z 20,000 3.40
Portfolio Market Value = $69,000

The S&P 500 Index went on a tear in November, soaring 8.9 percent. In contrast, the local STI hardly budged. I did not execute any trade this month. I did redeem one of my SSB holdings which was giving below-market return. At the same time, I subscribed for $20,000 of the latest issuance GX23120Z, which has an average yield of 3.4 percent. However, according to my analysis, January 2024's SSB yield may not be as high. I estimate an average yield of around 3.06 percent. Will switch focus back to the local bank stocks instead.

My family just came back from a weeklong trip in Australia. We drove and visited several places in Brisbane, Sunshine Coast and Gold Coast. These include The Ginger Factory, Paradise Country Farmstay, Movie World, Sea World, Tropical Fruit World and more. We had close encounter with kangaroos and koalas, and heard the eerie laugh of a cookaburra for the first time. It was a truly refreshing getaway. We are already thinking about our next trip, probably to New Zealand. (LOL)

Strawberry picking at Chambers Flat Strawberry Farm.

Coming to the end of the year, it is again time for the stacking exercise within our department. The ranking by our global managers will determine our bonus and salary increment for next year. I had proactively asked my assigned Enterprise Clients to provide feedback to my TL about my service. All of them gave glowing remarks, which I am slightly embarrassed. I am glad my clients appreciate áš­he effort I have put in. Fingers crossed for a good bump up in compensation next year.

I guess many folks will be clearing their annual leave and going overseas. Here's wishing everyone Merry Christmas and safe travels!

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Wednesday, November 1, 2023

Portfolio Summary for October 2023

As of 31 October 2023


Security # shares Price S$ %
DBS 400 32.85 3.56
UOB 400 27.02 2.93
OCBC Bank 700 12.68 2.41
SGX 2,700 9.47 6.93
ST Engineering 6,900 3.76 7.03
CapitaLand Investment 10,100 2.94 8.05
SATS 8,200 2.46 5.47
Powermatic Data 8,500 2.65 6.11
TheHourGlass 15,000 1.65 6.71
Micro-Mechanics 14,200 1.80 6.93
VICOM 21,500 1.29 7.52
Sheng Siong 19,100 1.55 8.03
Nanofilm 21,600 0.93 5.45
Genting Singapore 11,700 0.86 2.73
Credit Bureau Asia 14,300 0.90 3.49
HRnetGroup 21,900 0.69 4.10
TalkMed Group 14,500 0.39 1.53
China Sunsine 41,800 0.40 4.53
HC Surgical 35,500 0.33 3.18
Kimly 27,000 0.305 2.23
Silverlake Axis 15,000 0.27 1.10
Portfolio Market Value = $368,884
YTD Dividends Received = $11,270
YTD SBL Fees Received = $898

- Bought 10,000 shares of TheHourGlass.
- Bought 3,700 shares of VICOM.
- Bought 2,700 shares of CapitaLand Investment.


Security # shares Price S$ %
DBS 100 32.85 2.35
UOB 200 27.02 3.86
OCBC Bank 900 12.68 8.15
SGX 1,300 9.47 8.79
ST Engineering 3,000 3.76 8.05
CapitaLand Investment 2,600 2.94 5.46
SATS 3,800 2.46 6.67
Powermatic Data 3,400 2.65 6.43
TheHourGlass 5,000 1.65 5.89
Micro-Mechanics 5,400 1.80 6.94
VICOM 5,500 1.29 5.07
Sheng Siong 8,700 1.55 9.63
Nanofilm 5,500 0.93 3.65
Credit Bureau Asia 5,700 0.90 3.66
HRnetGroup 7,500 0.69 3.69
TalkMed Group 5,800 0.39 1.61
China Sunsine 10,800 0.40 3.08
HC Surgical 19,500 0.33 4.59
Kimly 5,800 0.305 1.26
Silverlake Axis 6,000 0.27 1.16
Portfolio Market Value = $140,070

- Bought 7,500 shares of HRnetGroup.
- Bought 5,000 shares of TheHourGlass.

Singapore Savings Bonds

Security Amount ($) Avg Yld %
GX18070N 12,500 2.63
GX22120S 14,000 3.47
GX23010Z 15,000 3.26
GX23110V 20,000 3.32
Portfolio Market Value = $61,500

While the Russia-Ukraine war is still ongoing, another battlefront erupted in the Middle East between the Hamas group and Israel. Neither party seems to be willing to negotiate for peace. Thousands of civilian lives have been lost in the Gaza Strip. It is a horrendous tragedy.

I am grateful Singapore is in a stable geopolitical region. We have cordial relationship with our neighbours and we are relatively shielded from natural disasters, apart from the man-made haze. We are lucky. But we should never take this fortune for granted.

Global equity markets retreated in October. The S&P 500 Index ended the month down 2.2% but our local Straits Times Index tanked 4.7%. For investors who have been patiently waiting on the sidelines, this is a chance to deploy our capital at favourable prices. I took the opportunity to load up on shares of CapitaLand Investment, HRnetGroup, VICOM and TheHourGlass.

Besides stocks, I also subscribed for $20,000 of the latest SSB tranche. The average return of 3.32% is comparable to the dividend yield of most common stocks. Moreover, I like the relatively flat yield curve for this issuance. We earn 3.21% interest consistently for the first six years, before stepping up and ending the last two years at 3.63%.

Rumours on The Street is that the U.S. Federal Reserve will likely do one more interest rate hike. This means the yield may go higher. Conversely, this also means the borrowing cost is likely to stay elevated for some time. Be wary of companies with a high debt load and facing challenges generating cashflow. They are one step away from bankruptcy. Just look at the Chinese developers Country Garden and Evergrande.

October was also the month when my wife and I celebrated our twelfth wedding anniversary. Both of us took a day off from work, spent time shopping, and enjoyed a sumptuous meal. In the evening, I presented my wife with a beautiful floral bouquet. I was never known to be romantic, so it was a pleasant surprise. Sadly, the bouquet lasted only a short while before her Engineering habit kicked in and she started dissecting the bouquet to sort out the flowers. Haha.

Someone is shyly hiding behind the flowers. =)

School examinations are finally over. My kiddos are now enjoying themselves, waiting for the holiday to start. We have an Australian trip planned in mid-November. Going to tour Brisbane, Sunshine Coast and Gold Coast. The anticipation is building!

Until next time!

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Saturday, September 30, 2023

Portfolio Summary for September 2023

As of 30 September 2023


Security # shares Price S$ %
DBS 400 33.64 3.78
UOB 400 28.50 3.20
OCBC Bank 700 12.81 2.52
SGX 2,700 9.75 7.39
ST Engineering 6,900 3.91 7.58
CapitaLand Investment 7,400 3.10 6.44
SATS 8,200 2.60 5.99
Powermatic Data 8,500 2.91 6.95
TheHourGlass 5,000 1.94 2.72
Micro-Mechanics 14,200 1.90 7.58
VICOM 17,800 1.48 7.40
Sheng Siong 19,100 1.52 8.16
Nanofilm 21,600 0.94 5.70
Genting Singapore 11,700 0.845 2.78
Credit Bureau Asia 14,300 0.92 3.70
HRnetGroup 21,900 0.735 4.52
TalkMed Group 14,500 0.40 1.63
China Sunsine 41,800 0.41 4.81
HC Surgical 35,500 0.365 3.64
Kimly 27,000 0.315 2.39
Silverlake Axis 15,000 0.265 1.12
Portfolio Market Value = $355,997
YTD Dividends Received = $11,040
YTD SBL Fees Received = $890



Security # shares Price S$ %
DBS 100 33.64 2.55
UOB 200 28.50 4.31
OCBC Bank 900 12.81 8.72
SGX 1,300 9.75 9.59
ST Engineering 3,000 3.91 8.88
CapitaLand Investment 2,600 3.10 6.10
SATS 3,800 2.60 7.48
Powermatic Data 3,400 2.91 7.49
Micro-Mechanics 5,400 1.90 7.76
VICOM 5,500 1.48 6.16
Sheng Siong 8,700 1.52 10.01
Nanofilm 5,500 0.94 3.91
Credit Bureau Asia 5,700 0.92 3.97
TalkMed Group 5,800 0.40 1.76
China Sunsine 10,800 0.41 3.35
HC Surgical 19,500 0.365 5.39
Kimly 5,800 0.315 1.38
Silverlake Axis 6,000 0.265 1.20
Portfolio Market Value = $132,153


Singapore Savings Bonds

Security Amount ($) Avg Yld %
GX18070N 12,500 2.63
GX22120S 14,000 3.47
GX23010Z 15,000 3.26
Portfolio Market Value = $41,500

In the blink of an eye, September has passed. Again, I sat pat on my hands and did not execute any trade this month. Markets remained rangebound, with Street talk about one more Fed rate hike before year end. There is also the concern of China's economic engine sputtering.

On the home front, I'm sure many welcomed the unexpected S$1.1 billion Cost-of-Living Support Package announced on Thursday [source]. A little relief in the face of persistent inflation and ahead of the 1% GST increase come 1 January 2024. (It is also a thinly veiled political measure to soften the ground before the General Election next year.)

In the previous post, I mentioned that I applied for a new Sales role. In the end, I didn't get the job. My junior in the same team got it.

Felt a stab in my heart.

Am I really that lousy? Doesn't my capability suffice?

Did some soul searching. Surely, I need to improve on my communication skills. But more importantly, I realised I had let work consume too much of my life. I was replying client emails late at night, logging in during weekends to clear stuff and having night calls with engineers. What for? I had fooled myself in the illusion of busyness and overestimated my contribution to the company.

It is a mistake to think the world will grind to a halt when you stop/quit/die. No one is indispensable. Time to make a course change in life. No longer will I do any work after office hours or on my leave days. I will re-direct the time and effort for my family as well as for my own wellness.

When I took a day off last Wednesday to spend quality time with my partner, I felt surprisingly at ease. (Actually, some serious sh*t happened to my client that day while I was away. Thankfully, my team mates handled it competently. LOL)

Heading into the last quarter of the year, I'm going to take time to re-align my priorities in life. My job is just a means to an end. I am on track to build up my retirement fund. By age 55, I hope to call it a day and travel the world. In the interim, I may find something that stirs my spirit and takes me on a whole new adventure.

On this thought, the stab in my heart isn't so painful anymore.

Till next time!

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Thursday, August 31, 2023

Portfolio Summary for August 2023

As of 31 August 2023


Security # shares Price S$ %
DBS 400 33.30 3.71
UOB 400 28.44 3.17
OCBC Bank 700 12.55 2.45
SGX 2,700 9.63 7.24
ST Engineering 6,900 3.81 7.32
CapitaLand Investment 7,400 3.24 6.68
SATS 8,200 2.59 5.92
Powermatic Data 8,500 2.80 6.63
TheHourGlass 5,000 1.96 2.73
Micro-Mechanics 14,200 1.89 7.48
VICOM 17,800 1.55 7.69
Sheng Siong 19,100 1.52 8.09
Nanofilm 21,600 1.06 6.38
Genting Singapore 11,700 0.875 2.85
Credit Bureau Asia 14,300 0.925 3.69
HRnetGroup 21,900 0.745 4.55
TalkMed Group 14,500 0.40 1.62
China Sunsine 41,800 0.40 4.66
HC Surgical 35,500 0.36 3.56
Kimly 27,000 0.32 2.41
Silverlake Axis 15,000 0.285 1.19
Portfolio Market Value = $358,937
YTD Dividends Received = $10,229
YTD SBL Fees Received = $801

- Bought 6,200 shares of Nanofilm.
- Bought 3,800 shares of VICOM.
- Bought 6,100 shares of Sheng Siong.


Security # shares Price S$ %
DBS 100 33.30 2.52
UOB 200 28.44 4.30
OCBC Bank 900 12.55 8.54
SGX 1,300 9.63 9.46
ST Engineering 3,000 3.81 8.64
CapitaLand Investment 2,600 3.24 6.37
SATS 3,800 2.59 7.44
Powermatic Data 3,400 2.80 7.19
Micro-Mechanics 5,400 1.89 7.71
VICOM 5,500 1.55 6.44
Sheng Siong 8,700 1.52 9.99
Nanofilm 5,500 1.06 4.41
Credit Bureau Asia 5,700 0.925 3.98
TalkMed Group 5,800 0.40 1.75
China Sunsine 10,800 0.40 3.26
HC Surgical 19,500 0.36 5.30
Kimly 5,800 0.32 1.40
Silverlake Axis 6,000 0.285 1.29
Portfolio Market Value = $132,332


Singapore Savings Bonds

Security Amount ($) Avg Yld %
GX18070N 12,500 2.63
GX22120S 14,000 3.47
GX23010Z 15,000 3.26
Portfolio Market Value = $41,500

I enjoyed August. My family celebrated three birthdays; term tests are over for my kiddos and I took a handful of leave days to get away from work. I was able to take things down a notch and recharge my spirit.

Investments-wise, nothing major happened in my portfolios. As the price of Nanofilm sunk to an all-time low, I took another bite. I find this company to be a good indicator of China's manufacturing industry right now, which isn't performing well. Nonetheless, I'm confident the company fundamentals are still intact. Growth will resume once China is able to revitalize its production-led economy.

I also picked up Vicom and Sheng Siong as their stock prices retreated. I'm eyeing the local banks too. Their prices have steadily declined, despite having achieved stellar Q3 results. Once they hit my entry point, I will accumulate. The banks are the strongest candidates to raise their dividends.

Speaking of banks, I came across a good article in the Business Times titled "Bank customers lose out as industry holds on to rate-hike gains" [link]. Banks do not always pass on the interest rate hikes to savers. That is why there is NIM expansion. IMO, it is better to be both a saver and a bank stockholder.

The year-to-date dividend income from my CDP portfolio has crossed $10k. While it isn't a lot of money (when you average it out per month), I had saved my hard-earned money and invested instead of splurging on stuff. It is the fruit of my frugality. I sincerely hope my dividend income stream will continue to grow over the years.

As mentioned previously, I'm in the midst of adjusting my investment focus. I want to ditch the lower ROE stocks in favour of the few stronger companies. But at present, I don't see an urgent need to sell off those holdings when prices are going nowhere. Moreover, I have sufficient dry powder (cash) to add on positions when a buying opportunity appears. So I'm adopting a wait-and-see attitude. Akan datang.

We are already three quarters into 2023. After spending eight years in my current job, I've decided to apply for a Sales role in another department. The skill set required is way out of my comfort zone. Yet, there is the thrill of embarking on a new challenge and stretching my capabilities further. It has been a long time since I last attended an interview. I sought advice from my former colleagues who are now in Sales. I'm glad to see them enjoying the job and thriving. I hope to follow in their footsteps. I've pored over YouTube videos on Sales interview tips and tricks, so that I can be prepared. I have told myself - Even if I do not get the job, at least I've done my best and benefited from the learning experience. No regrets.

Wish me luck!

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Monday, July 31, 2023

Portfolio Summary for July 2023

As of 31 July 2023


Security # shares Price S$ %
DBS 400 34.26 3.89
UOB 400 30.10 3.42
OCBC Bank 700 13.30 2.64
SGX 2,700 9.71 7.44
ST Engineering 6,900 3.73 7.31
CapitaLand Investment 7,400 3.40 7.14
SATS 8,200 2.80 6.52
Powermatic Data 8,500 3.05 7.36
TheHourGlass 5,000 2.08 2.95
Micro-Mechanics 14,200 1.89 7.62
VICOM 14,000 1.70 6.76
Sheng Siong 13,000 1.64 6.05
Nanofilm 15,400 1.14 4.98
Genting Singapore 11,700 0.94 3.12
Credit Bureau Asia 14,300 0.915 3.71
HRnetGroup 21,900 0.73 4.54
TalkMed Group 14,500 0.42 1.73
China Sunsine 41,800 0.41 4.87
HC Surgical 35,500 0.41 4.13
Kimly 27,000 0.335 2.57
Silverlake Axis 15,000 0.29 1.24
Portfolio Market Value = $352,215
YTD Dividends Received = $6,974
YTD SBL Fees Received = $770

- Sold 5,700 shares of iFast.


Security # shares Price S$ %
DBS 100 34.26 2.47
UOB 200 30.10 4.33
OCBC Bank 900 13.30 8.62
SGX 1,300 9.71 9.09
ST Engineering 3,000 3.73 8.05
CapitaLand Investment 2,600 3.40 6.36
SATS 3,800 2.80 7.66
Powermatic Data 3,400 3.05 7.46
Micro-Mechanics 5,400 1.89 7.35
VICOM 5,500 1.70 6.73
Sheng Siong 8,700 1.64 10.27
Nanofilm 5,500 1.14 4.51
Credit Bureau Asia 5,700 0.915 3.75
TalkMed Group 5,800 0.42 1.75
China Sunsine 10,800 0.41 3.19
HC Surgical 19,500 0.41 5.75
Kimly 5,800 0.335 1.40
Silverlake Axis 6,000 0.29 1.25
Portfolio Market Value = $138,931

- Sold 2,100 shares of iFast.

Singapore Savings Bonds

Security Amount ($) Avg Yld %
GX18070N 12,500 2.63
GX22120S 14,000 3.47
GX23010Z 15,000 3.26
Portfolio Market Value = $41,500

The U.S. Federal Reserve raised the Federal Funds Target Rate by another 25 bps recently. It was the highest level in more than 22 years [news]. Yet, the market hardly flinched. In fact, the local Straits Times Index climbed over 5.2 percent in July alone. Word on The Street is about how the U.S. may be able to skirt around a recession [news]. To think the mood was more pessimistic at the start of the year. Investors are a fickle bunch.

Nonetheless, the relief rally was welcomed by many. iFast Corporation caught a tailwind as the company reversed from loss into profit in 2Q2023. I sold off my position as the share price rocketed nearly 17 percent. The rationale is to consolidate my capital into fewer (but higher conviction) stocks.

On the flip slide, Nanofilm released its 1H2023 profit guidance on 10 July, indicating that the company will report a revenue decline of approx. 34 percent to S$73M and a net loss of approx. S$8M [announcement]. The next day, the stock crashed and burnt, dropping a whopping 15 percent.

It was a good lesson in human psychology, contrasting the market reaction between these two stocks. I suspect the short sellers were hard at work. As a buy-and-hold investor, I'm not too concerned on the price volatility, as long as the company fundamentals remain sound. Nanofilm struck a hopeful tone that 2H2023 revenue ought to be higher than 1H2023 and FY2023 should be profitable.

We shall see.

On the home front, nothing much transpired. July was a lull month. With the hot summer sun blazing, my family wasn't inclined to participate in any outdoor adventure. My kiddos caught the occasional flu bug one after the other. Thankfully, their recovery was smooth.

August will be a happy month, since my wife, my elder son and I will be celebrating our birthdays. (Yes, we are all Leo babies!) Looking forward to the celebrations.

Signing off for now. Until next time!

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Saturday, July 1, 2023

Portfolio Summary for June 2023

As of 30 June 2023


Security # shares Price S$ %
DBS 400 31.51 3.40
UOB 400 28.00 3.02
OCBC Bank 700 12.28 2.32
SGX 2,700 9.61 7.01
iFast 5,700 4.60 7.08
ST Engineering 6,900 3.68 6.86
CapitaLand Investment 7,400 3.31 6.61
SATS 8,200 2.58 5.71
Powermatic Data 8,500 2.60 5.97
TheHourGlass 5,000 2.00 2.70
Micro-Mechanics 14,200 1.75 6.71
VICOM 14,000 1.71 6.46
Sheng Siong 13,000 1.64 5.76
Nanofilm 15,400 1.35 5.61
Genting Singapore 11,700 0.94 2.97
Credit Bureau Asia 14,300 0.935 3.61
HRnetGroup 21,900 0.74 4.38
TalkMed Group 14,500 0.40 1.57
China Sunsine 41,800 0.41 4.63
HC Surgical 35,500 0.405 3.88
Kimly 27,000 0.345 2.52
Silverlake Axis 15,000 0.305 1.24
Portfolio Market Value = $370,389
YTD Dividends Received = $6,823
YTD SBL Fees Received = $731

- Sold 421 shares of CapitaLand Ascott Trust.


Security # shares Price S$ %
DBS 100 31.51 2.18
UOB 200 28.00 3.87
OCBC Bank 900 12.28 7.64
SGX 1,300 9.61 8.64
iFast 2,100 4.60 6.68
ST Engineering 3,000 3.68 7.63
CapitaLand Investment 2,600 3.31 5.95
SATS 3,800 2.58 6.78
Powermatic Data 3,400 2.60 6.11
Micro-Mechanics 5,400 1.75 6.54
VICOM 5,500 1.71 6.50
Sheng Siong 8,700 1.64 9.87
Nanofilm 5,500 1.35 5.13
Credit Bureau Asia 5,700 0.935 3.69
TalkMed Group 5,800 0.40 1.60
China Sunsine 10,800 0.41 3.06
HC Surgical 19,500 0.405 5.46
Kimly 5,800 0.345 1.38
Silverlake Axis 6,000 0.305 1.27
Portfolio Market Value = $144,600

- Sold 148 shares of CapitaLand Ascott Trust.

Singapore Savings Bonds

Security Amount ($) Avg Yld %
GX18070N 12,500 2.63
GX22120S 14,000 3.47
GX23010Z 15,000 3.26
Portfolio Market Value = $41,500

This will be a short post. As the stock market struggled to find direction, I stayed mostly on the sidelines. The only trade I did was to get rid of my CapitaLand Ascott Trust units, which I had received as dividend from CLI.

It was the June school holiday. Many of my friends travelled overseas with their families. We chose to remain in SG. We visited the new Bird Paradise at Mandai, which was better than the old Jurong Bird Park in my opinion. The various open aviaries where visitors can walk through are the main highlights, as well as the shows. The hot weather is unforgiving, though it beats heavy downpour when visiting the attraction.

My elder boy is contesting in his school's Student Council Presidential Election. He had to make an introduction video, an election poster, momentos as well as prepare a campaign speech. And he is only in Primary School! I am grateful my boy is given a rare opportunity to serve his school well. This will be useful in building his sense of responsibility and self confidence. Hand-making the momentos at home was such a fun father-son bonding session. I will cherish this memory.

I'm not sure why, but I'm starting to dread going to work. Feels like sheer drudgery these days. I may have lost the motivation to climb the career ladder. It is moments like this when I wish I can quit without financial worry, but I'm still a long way off.

Signing off for now. Until next time, take care!

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Wednesday, May 31, 2023

Portfolio Summary for May 2023

As of 31 May 2023


Security # shares Price S$ %
DBS 400 31.33 3.33
UOB 400 28.06 2.98
OCBC Bank 700 12.22 2.27
SGX 2,700 9.25 6.64
iFast 5,700 4.51 6.83
ST Engineering 6,900 3.73 6.84
CapitaLand Investment 7,400 3.40 6.68
SATS 8,200 2.63 5.73
Powermatic Data 8,500 2.66 6.01
TheHourGlass 5,000 1.99 2.64
Micro-Mechanics 14,200 1.84 6.94
VICOM 14,000 1.78 6.62
Sheng Siong 13,000 1.62 5.60
Nanofilm 15,400 1.49 6.10
Genting Singapore 11,700 1.02 3.17
Credit Bureau Asia 14,300 0.95 3.63
HRnetGroup 21,900 0.75 4.39
TalkMed Group 14,500 0.43 1.66
China Sunsine 41,800 0.41 4.61
HC Surgical 35,500 0.40 3.73
Kimly 27,000 0.34 2.44
Silverlake Axis 15,000 0.29 1.18
Portfolio Market Value = $376,403
YTD Dividends Received = $6,490
YTD SBL Fees Received = $694

- Bought 100 shares of DBS.
- Bought 100 shares of UOB.
- Bought 2,200 shares of VICOM.
- Bought 3,100 shares of Micro-Mechanics.
- Sold 11,200 shares of ComfortDelGro.


Security # shares Price S$ %
DBS 100 31.33 2.14
UOB 200 28.06 3.84
OCBC Bank 900 12.22 7.52
SGX 1,300 9.25 8.23
iFast 2,100 4.51 6.48
ST Engineering 3,000 3.73 7.65
CapitaLand Investment 2,600 3.40 6.05
SATS 3,800 2.63 6.84
Powermatic Data 3,400 2.66 6.19
Micro-Mechanics 5,400 1.84 6.80
VICOM 5,500 1.78 6.70
Sheng Siong 8,700 1.62 9.64
Nanofilm 5,500 1.49 5.61
Credit Bureau Asia 5,700 0.95 3.72
TalkMed Group 5,800 0.43 1.71
China Sunsine 10,800 0.41 3.07
HC Surgical 19,500 0.40 5.27
Kimly 5,800 0.34 1.35
Silverlake Axis 6,000 0.29 1.21
Portfolio Market Value = $146,186

- Bought 100 shares of DBS.
- Bought 200 shares of UOB.
- Bought 800 shares of VICOM.
- Bought 2,300 shares of Micro-Mechanics.
- Sold 6,900 shares of ComfortDelGro.

Singapore Savings Bonds

Security Amount ($) Avg Yld %
GX18070N 12,500 2.63
GX22120S 14,000 3.47
GX23010Z 15,000 3.26
Portfolio Market Value = $41,500

There is an old adage to "sell in May and go away, come back on St. Leger's Day." (St. Leger's Day refers to a horse racing festival in Britian, happening on 14 to 17 September this year.) It was meant for investors to avoid the stock market's seasonally weaker performance between May and October.

Contrary to this advice, I bought more shares than sold this month. As prices retreated, I added DBS, UOB, VICOM and Micro-Mechanics. I must admit - I'm not smart enough to buy at the bottom. I just thought that at current levels, I can start nibbling bit by bit. We will never know how far (down) the prices can go, so I set aside some capital to buy the shares at pre-set levels. If the market turns up, great because the value of my position increases; if the market continues to tank, no problem too. I get the chance to buy at better prices.

DBS reported another set of record-breaking result [here]. 1Q23 total income was S$4.67b, up 44% YoY. Net profit was S$2.57b, up 43% YoY. ROE improved to 18.6%, up 5.5% YoY. NIM gained 8 bps QoQ to 2.69% while NPL remained stable at 1.1%. 42 cents DPS was declared. CEO Piyush Gupta wrote that the NIM has likely peaked in 1Q, and guided full year NIM to be around 2.05-2.10%. In its latest Investor Day presentation [here], DBS CFO Chng Sok Hui made a bold prediction that DBS will achieve "earnings of $10b+ and ROE of 15%-17% in the medium term, assuming interest rates do not return to unusually low levels".

OCBC reported a good set of results too [here]. 1Q23 total income was S$3.35b, up 27% YoY. Net profit was S$1.88b, up 39% YoY. ROE improved to 14.7%, up 4.1% YoY. NIM dropped 1 bp QoQ to 2.30% while NPL improved 0.1 QoQ to 1.1%. No dividend was declared. CEO Helen Wong guided 2023 NIM to be in the region of 2.2% and loan growth around low to mid single-digit. She also assured that OCBC's robust capital position can support the targeted 50% dividend payout. In a Business Times interview [here], the CEO is confident that OCBC is in a good position to capture wealth and trade flows given its strong links between Greater China and the ASEAN region.

Despite the stellar results, the local bank stocks took a beating in May. The Street consensus is that NIM has peaked and NPL may increase as the economy enters a recession. Some asset managers are even expecting a rate cut by the U.S. Fed in the second half of 2023, which in my opinion, seems to be a premature call at this point in time. This stands in stark contrast with St. Louis Fed President James Bullard's comment [here] that he expects two more rate hikes in 2023 to quell inflation.

And then there is the U.S. debt ceiling drama during mid-month between the Republicans and Democrats. No one truly believes the United States should default on its debt obligations, just that each party tries to leverage on the situation to advance their own agenda. The tussle generated volatility in the market, which is good for opportunistic buying.

May is a good month where I received cash dividends from several companies. Total amount received year-to-date in my CDP portfolio is $6,490.29. Not a lot of money, but it is one step closer to my goal of generating cashflow from investing in fundamentally strong companies.

I signed up for SGX Securities Borrowing and Lending (SBL) Pool some years ago [here]. I can see some of my shares being lent out to other investors. I earn interest (plus owed dividends) after the short sellers return the shares. If you meet the mininum requirements, I recommend to sign up for this programme to earn side income.

I sold my shares of ComfortDelGro (CDG). The rationale was covered in my April blog post [here]. I want to consolidate my capital and make more concentrated bets. CDG share hasn't performed well post-pandemic. With this sale, I'm officially divested of this public transport operator. By the way, CDG recently announced their 1Q23 result [here]. Revenue climbed 2.1% YoY to $906.4m, but Operating Profit dropped 51.6% YoY to $50.9m. The decline was attributed to inflationary cost pressures on Public Transport Services.

I have two AIA saving policies maturing in May and June respectively this year. I signed up for them when I was in N.S. The annual premium was a small sum that I faithfully paid, even when I was hard on cash. I am glad for being disciplined on this commitment throughout my university days and working life. The principal and compounded coupons are a welcome boost to my dry powder for stock investments. (Truth be told, I had forgotten why I took the policies in the first place!)

I had received some units of CapitaLand Ascott Trust from the last dividend corp action of CapitaLand Investment. Quite a hassle to sell odd lots. Will try to offload them at the right time.

Money matters aside, I visited a few secondary schools' Open House this month. I thought it might be good to check out what those schools have to offer. I'm intrigued by the Integrated Programme (IP) [link] as well as the Direct School Admission for Secondary Schools [link]. I hope my boys will be able to qualify for these programmes.

Until next time, take care!

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