Singapore-based financial blog that aims to educate people on personal finance, investments, retirement and their Central Provident Fund (CPF) matters.

Saturday, 31 December 2016

Top World News in 2016

As we near the end of the year, it is the time we recap the major news that occurred during this period. It is probably not a very good year. We started with Zika and ended with President Barrack Obama leaving the White House (bad to worse). But of course, there are some moments in 2016 that are worth rejoicing about - or at least there is ONE!

February: Zika Virus Epidemic
The World Health Organisation (WHO) declared Zika Virus outbreak as a Public Health Emergency of International Concern after it started spreading like wildfire in Latin America, America, Europe and parts of Asia. It was a huge concern because pregnant mothers infected with the virus would give birth to deformed babies. It has resulted in Governments in several countries advising its citizens to delay their intention to have a child and also advise their people not to travel to affected countries.
Although the WHO declared the end of the Zika outbreak in November 2016, many countries are still closely monitoring its citizens' health condition to ensure that Zika does not result in another epidemic again.



March: Artificial Intelligence beats human in Chess
An Artificial Intelligence (AI) developed by Google defeated the best chess player in the world. While we are often defeated by the AI in mobile chess Apps, this one is different in several ways.

1) The chess game Go is not just another chess game. It is one of the most complicated chess game in the world, requiring intuitive, strategic and creative thinking. Most chess games are "pre-programmed" certain steps to ensure victory. But for Go, it is impossible to "pre-program" because the number of possibilities is almost endless (2.08 x 10^170 to be exact).
2) Instead of "pre-programming" all possible moves in Go into the computer, the AI is instead fed with a huge amount of gameplay to "learn" how to play Go. The AI was also made to play against itself as part of its "learning process".

We are now another step closer towards a future where robots and AI perform tasks while humans enjoy the fruits of it. Of course, the opposite is also true: a future where humans are put out of jobs by robots and AI

FYI: the creators of this AI has no idea how the AI evaluate its every move. Isn't is just magical (or scary?)

April: Panama Papers Revealed
Panama Papers, or documents of confidential financial information that were leaked to the world in April. It contains the personal financial information of rich, famous and influential people around the world, from government officials like then President of UAE Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan and relatives of government officials, to sports stars like Lionel Messi and billionaires like Seydou Kane. The documents were first made known to the Journalism world in 2015, and it underwent a year of analysis before being made public in 2016.

The Panama Papers reveals the major loophole in our current tax system, allowing much rich and/or influential people to hide their money away from tax authorities (evade taxes). Although this is not illegal, it is considered by many to be immoral because these people are not paying their fair share of tax despite benefiting from their host country. Personally, I do not see it as immoral but simply a flaw in our current global tax system. Then again, can we expect change when there are people in government who are benefiting from such shady and unclear tax laws?

June: Brexit, Britain votes to leave EU
Britain held a referendum and Britons voted to leave the European Union - which they regret almost immediately after the results were out and many wanted another chance to vote to stay in EU. Many had expected the Britons to vote to remain in the EU because it was a wise choice politically and economically. As it turns out, Britons did not wish to adhere to conventional wisdom, choosing to leave EU and fund their own fiscal budget with the money that was supposed to be for the EU.

Although UK's new Prime Minister has voiced her intention to leave the EU, the whole process of leaving take around 2 years to achieve. The EU was created to push Europe, a continent with a history of wars with one another, towards unity and cooperation. Brexit has paved a way for Europe's disintegration after 20 years of effort towards integration. As nationalistic populists continue to gain foot in European politics, government and citizens putting their own country's interest above Europe's interest, a much more divided Europe is not impossible in the next 10 years.


July: Pokemon Go Launches 
With all the unpleasant event that occurred in 2016, many must be glad that this was also the year the long awaited Pokemon Go was released! The craze lasted several months before it finally settled down, created its fair share of accidents, mishap, and misadventures, it also brought many fun moments, especially when it bonded families together to go on a Pokemon adventure and when it became a better motivator for people to walk than any other measures.

Financially, the game's popularity sent Nintendo's share rising more than double before settling at current levels of 25,000 yen per share, a 66% rise from a pre-PokemonGo price. Nintendo has also released Mario Run on Apple's App Store and is set to release event more games in 2017. Does it mean more potential upside for Nintendo's shares?

August: Brazil impeaches its President
Brazil's Senate voted to oust their President Dilma Rousseff out after months of debate over her alleged corruption charges and ineffectiveness in uplifting Brazil's economy. The President was suspected of falsifying the government's accounts. The impeachment process started in April and was only able to achieve the majority vote required to impeach President Rousseff in August. Under Brazilian laws, the country's Vice-President will take over the role of as interim President until an election is carried out and a new President elected - which is now scheduled to be in 2018.

The impeachment of President Rousseff has divided the country into 2 camps: those who support her and those who do not. A divided nation is not going to help pull Brazil's economy back from the dead. GDP has fallen for 6 consecutive quarters (worse since the Great Depression) and a Presidential scandal only made matters worse. But now that the political arena is sorted out, maybe the government can focus on what matters to the Brazilian people: a thriving economy and jobs!

September: US & China signs the Paris Global Climate Agreement
The US and China combine produce around 40% of the world's carbon emission. Their participation in being willing to cut their emission represents a huge step forward for the world to address climate change. Previously, both countries had been unwilling to join the Paris Agreement because both of them felt that it would be detrimental to their respective countries' economy if the other party did not join. The fact that both of them are now in the Agreement shows that the 2 biggest economies in the world agree and realise that climate change is real and has to be rectified; and two, are willing to communicate to achieve certain goals despite their differences.

Under the Agreement, countries are required to cut their carbon emissions EXCEPT there is no hard rule on how much to reduce (1% drop is also allowed). But of course, countries that joined the Agreement have agreed to cut by at least 10% on average. That is a good step forward towards a better world. With countries pushing their green agenda forward, the renewable energy field is going to see a much larger boom and financing in the future! Looks like Telsa bought SolarCity fairly cheap now doesn't it?

October: Death of Thai's King
On October 13, the passing of Thailand's beloved King made headlines in most of Asia's newspaper. The Thai Prime Minister declared that Thailand would mourn for its King for a year. Without the revered King serving as an icon of unity in deeply divided Thailand, it might not be long before clashes occur in Thailand between the 2 parties in Thailand (Red-shirt United Front for Democracy Against Dictatorship and the Yellow-shirt People's Alliance for Democracy).

The military might use the mourning of the King's death as an excuse to delay the elections in the country. The country has been under military rule since it ousted its previous government in 2014. This creates political uncertainty and instability within the country, which does not brood well for the country's worsening economy.





November: Donald Trump became the 45th US President
Donald J. Trump became the 45th President of the United States of America. While this came as a shock to most of the world, not all the shock was bad. While many are dumbfounded by how a man of his caliber could become the US President, others found him as a force of change in the White House. Financial markets, in particular, seemed absolutely happy that he won. The S&P500 rose 6% while the Dow rose 8.8% since after the election results were announced.

While it is good news that the financial markets are up, not all would be attributed to Donald Trump. Historically, there is evidence proving that in the year a Republican Presidential Nominee is elected, the stock markets ended positive. But the stock markets tanked in the year the Republican Nominee is inaugurated. We will just have to see if this is true in 2017.

December: 3 rate hikes next year
The US Federal Reserve Chair(wo)man Janet Yellen announced that the Fed will increase interest rates for 3 times at least next year. Last year, Janet Yellen said that we will experience 4 rate hikes in 2016. However, the Fed only raised interest rates by 4 times this year, from 0.5% to 1.375%. So far we have only seen 1 rate hike from 0.5% to 0.75%. Will we really see 4 rate hikes in 2017? Pretty sure it will be the usual "subject to the economic data of the US".

While an increase in Fed rates will increase borrowing cost for borrowers, it will also benefit savers (who are suffering from record-low interest rates). Maybe this might encourage more people to save money for rainy days (saving rates around the world is falling and indebtedness level rising).
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As we come to the end of 2016, from InvestmentStab, we wish you a Happy New Year and a wonderful financial journey in the next year!

Comment to us, or tell us, what are some of the big news that occur in 2016. Remember to offer your opinions. If you don't put your two cents in, how can you expect to get change?

Have a feedback? Tell us now!
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Wednesday, 28 December 2016

ShopBack: Save with Coupons, CashBack and more!


While I was googling for alternatives to reduce my expenses, I realised that apart from reducing takeout and preparing my own meals, there was an on-going trend of online retailers dealing in all kinds of products. They vary from groceries to mass e-retailer Amazon. With the introduction of these e-retailers, consumers now enjoy an additional option when it comes to shopping! The fierce competition between these new entries and the old brick-and-mortar retail stores have resulted in lower prices - this only stands to benefit consumers! Furthermore, these new entries also periodically give out coupons or hold one-off sales event to attract shoppers. 

One of the ways that I found was to shop through websites that provide promotions, discounts, and other perks. One startup that particularly caught my attention was ShopBack and the services they offer. What caught my eye about them was:
  1. Cash back on most online purchases
  2. Discounts on products from a range of retailers
  3. Best deals in town for the products you are looking for
The most interesting part about it is that ShopBack offers not just cash backs on item purchases (clothes or electronics on sites like Taobao) but also on travel purchases and food purchases e.g. food delivery and groceries.

Shopback uses the commissions it derive from the retailers it helped referred to provide these great bargains to consumers. While these rebates range from product to product, they do help consumers save a considerable amount of money. You can even double down on the benefits by paying via your credit card, earning rewards from both ShopBack and the financial institutions!

ShopBack however, is not all about cash back. There’s a whole depository of information of great offers and deals here at ShopBack and these deals range from categories like promotions on electronic products and dining deals to seasonal sales event.

Hence, besides the norm of complimenting credit card promotions and store promotions, here are the new 3 rules of augmenting the upcoming online trend:

1. ALWAYS google search for Coupons or Promo Codes


There are numerous sites that collate free coupons or promo codes for potential customers to save more on their purchases. Credit card newsletters may also now send you an email to notify you on their upcoming joint effort with online stores. An example was OCBC, where they would sometimes work with Zalora and offer further discounts which you can use if you happened to have an OCBC credit/debit card. You can also find a coupon code on a whole host of online retailers at ShopBack that allows you to benefit from transactions for things like travel at Agoda or groceries at HonestBee.

2. Go for Group-Buy
More often than not, online stores offer group discounts. This is if you buy more than 1 items, there will usually be a bulk purchase discount. You may then relate this to the concept of Groupon. Many other individual sites also offer their own kind of similar sale whereby if you buy more of the same items, there will be a slight discount in terms of per-unit purchase.

3. Stack on Credit Card Discounts


As I said previously, banks and financial institutions are now working in tandem with online stores to offer greater savings for their customers. This might come as a regular promotion or an attempt to increase the use of their credit/debit card. This would often be stackable with other vendor promotions.

At the end of all this, we hope that this would be able to help our readers achieve their financial goals through savings and cashback.

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Monday, 19 December 2016

Singapore Stocks Market: Outlook

I was browsing through the different stock prices as usual. Given the recent spate of local M&As and delisting manoeuvres, it seems to me that the number of quality stocks have decreased in our local bourse. With well-known local companies such as OSIM, SMRT and Eu Yan Sang International delisting, is the local market valuation truly too low as compared to the global valuations?

A simple Google search can give you the results. Here's what I found (Credits to My Stocks Investing Journey Blog): Singapore's STI had the lowest PE ratio of 12.01 relative to the global average PE ratio of 23.35 in Oct 16. Now that's real cheap! Almost similar to a Black Friday Sale of 50% discount!

With that in mind, then the acquisitions of Super Group and delisting of companies are not illogical at all and may even be at a bargain. Using a case study from OSIM, while the founder Ron Sim may have taken the company private at a trailing PE ratio of 19.7, this is a far-cry from its peak performance, where in comparison it is only 9.6x its peak earnings. It is also done at a time where OSIM's earnings have taken at hit of 50%. Hence, it could be strategically planned to be taken private at OSIM's business trough.

Hence, without doubt, next year's overarching theme will be on mergers and acquisitions to capitalise on these inefficiencies in Singapore market. One dominant strategy following this theme will be to identify undervalued companies with strong business moats (competitive advantages) that cannot be easily replicated. Referencing Super Group as a case study, the company has a strong brand image and offers a wide spectrum of consumer products with regional presence in South-East Asia. These are difficult to replicate and take years to build. A perfect acquisition target in this low valuation market.

Even the Singapore investment arms have realised this and urged Global Logistics Properties (GLP) to boost its share prices to better reflect its underlying valuations. You can read more information here: http://www.businesstimes.com.sg/companies-markets/glp-doing-strategic-review-to-enhance-shareholder-value-on-request-from-gic

It is also worthy to note the company's insider holdings as potential acquisitions and merger candidates are those with higher institutional shareholdings. This characteristic usually allow easier takeover bids and negotiations. However, retail minority shareholders' interest may be compromised as a result. Investors should know their rights and avenues to seek redress.

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Friday, 16 December 2016

Hu Li Yang's Half by Half Theory


Hu Li Yang's theory:
1) If an index's price drops by 50% from its peak, it has entered an "fair value" price point
2) If an index's price drops to around 25% from its peak, it has entered a "extremely undervalue" price point
3) When recovering from the bottom, the index will always face selling pressure at 2x the bottom price
4) During a bear market rebound, you can forget about fundamentals and enjoy the collective rising stock prices.
5) Many more theories listed on his book (30 theories/techniques)!
*click on the image to buy a copy of his book to learn more about his investing tactics

Examples of his theories
S&P500 peaked at 1,550 in September 2007, fell to 735 on Feb 2009 before it experience a rebound
Straits Times Index  peaked at 3,800 on October 2007, fell to 1700 on March 2009 before it rebound
Shanghai Composite rebounded in October 2008 at 1,730 from a peak of 5,900 in October 2007 (around 25%)
Hang Seng Index peaked in November 2007 at 30,450, fell to 11,900 in March 2009, then rebound

The Godfather of Asian Stock market, Hu Li Yang, will be back in
Singapore next year January for a talk on his outlook for 2017! 
Spend 1 full day learning from the Man himself as he would discuss his
views and how investors should position their portfolio for the rest of 2017!

Mr Hu previously held the position of Vice-President of Securities in
 Merrill Lynch in the 1980s, then the biggest securities firm in America.
In 1986, he gave up his high paying job and return home to Taiwan to
develop and educate its people on investing in the stock market.
Since then, he has been regarded as the 'Godfather of Asian Stock Market' and
have went on to published best-selling books on stock market investing.

Do note that the talk will be in Chinese

Investing Opportunities for Year 2017 
by Hu Li Yang
Event Details:
Date: 14 January 2017 (Saturday)
Location: STI Auditorium, Capital Tower level 9
Time: 09.00AM  4.30PM (registration starts from 8.30AM)
Price:
DateEvent TicketEvent Ticket
+
Tea Session with Hu Li Yang
Register before 23 December$88$138
Register after 23 December$148$198

First 80 readers who subscribed to the Tea Session stands a chance to win a mystery gift!
The Event ends at 3.30pm
Tea Session starts from 3.30pm to 4.30pm

Click HERE to sign up for the Event!
Click HERE to sign up for the Event + Tea Session!

Limited Seats!
Sign Up Now!

Friday, 9 December 2016

Stop Advertisement Letters in Mailbox in 3 Steps

Are you tired of seeing a large number of advertisement mails in your letterbox?
There is a way for you to opt out of the service!

Simply click on the link below and follow the steps:

LINK

Step 1:













Follow the image and fill in the boxes

Step 2:


















Fill up your contact details and your address

Step 3:















Confirm you wish to opt out of the advertisement mail and submit your enquiry

Recommended Post: Are you Over-Insured by $46,000?

Do note that however, sometimes, there are certain useful advertisements that ends up in your letter box - like the fast-food coupons that you might not wish to opt out of.

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Thursday, 8 December 2016

Godfather of Asian Stock Market is Back!

The Godfather of Asian Stock market, Hu Li Yang, is back in Singapore to
share with us his view on the investment opportunities and risks in the year 2017!
Spend 1 full day learning from the Man himself as he would discuss his views
and how investors should position their portfolio for the rest of 2017!

Mr Hu previously held the position of Vice-President of Securities in
 Merrill Lynch in the 1980s, then the biggest securities firm in America.
In 1986, he gave up his high paying job and return home to Taiwan to
develop and educate its people on investing in the stock market.
Since then, he has been regarded as the 'Godfather of Asian Stock Market' and
have went on to published best-selling books on stock market investing.

He accurately predicted that:
the Dow Jones Index will rebound on 2009 March,
the Taiwan stock market will exit a bear market on 2009 November,
Gold's temporary peak on 2009 December,
and many more!

Some of the topics he will be discussing includes:
1) 2017, a year possibly filled with investment headwinds and traps
2) Quantitative Easing has ended, where is the hot money flowing to?
3) How would we position our portfolio and set our asset allocation in 2017?
4) When should we rebalance our portfolio and asset allocation?

Do note that the talk will be in Chinese

Investing Opportunities for Year 2017 
by Hu Li Yang
Event Details:
Date: 14 January 2017 (Saturday)
Location: STI Auditorium, Capital Tower level 9
Time: 09.00AM  4.30PM (registration starts from 8.30AM)
Price:
Date Event Ticket Event Ticket
+
Tea Session with Hu Li Yang
Register before 23 December$88 $138
Register after 23 December $148 $198

First 80 readers who subscribed to the Tea Session stands a chance to win a mystery gift!
The Event ends at 3.30pm
Tea Session starts from 3.30pm to 4.30pm

Click HERE to sign up for the Event!
Click HERE to sign up for the Event + Tea Session!

Sign Up Now!

Wednesday, 7 December 2016

Major news last week, what it means for Singapore stocks: #ICYMI

07:00 No comments
Last week, oil rallied to its highest level in the year at $54 a barrel. This was mainly due to the OPEC's agreement to cut its output by almost 1.2 million barrels. The oil price rally was also due to the expectation where the market did not expect an agreement to be reached, as well as the more-than-expected production cut.

Though an agreement has been met, there has been much skepticism as to whether the members will hold to the production levels as there are numerous times where its members have violated the group's decisions for self-interest. This is a classical example of games theory. Just a short summary, if members of a group expect others to cheat on the rules set due to huge self benefits, then it would be more wise to first violate the rules and have a more prominent hand although this course of action will definitely guarantee lower profits compared to the group's collective decision. The picture below shows an example referencing Saudi Arabia in their perspective of games theory.

Image result for opec games theory

Based on current context, it is more probable that the members will stick to the group decision as the previous record low oil prices have hurt the profits of the members. Being accustomed to the higher prices, it may seem that the members are not prepared to take a hit on government profits for too long, even though the initial intention was to flush out the frackers from US using low prices. Hence, the recent decision may provide a higher motivation to bolster their coffers before implementing the next action to grapple the increase in alternative supplies from frackers.

Recommended Post: Are you Over-Insured by $46,000?

Singapore has a number of oil and offshore companies and they are deeply hurt by the low oil prices which lasted longer than they believed. This is evident from the recent Swissco case. The recent rally could provide light in the tunnel, though there are uncertainties as to how long it will last. Companies that are better managed will also stand to benefit the most. However, even with the recent "co-operation" from OPEC, it might still be too soon to conclude that it will be the end of the oil slump. As stated above, once each members may deem that their self-interest outweighs the group collective interest and they might violate the agreement.

Possible counters that are SembCorp and Keppel Corp where they are the global heads in offshore and marine industry, mainly dealing in oil rigs. While oil exploration companies are also likely to benefit from the affilation to oil prices, these pose high risks pertaining to whether they can find oil in the first place.

Recommended Post: Godfather of Asian Stock Market is back in Singapore!

Source: http://www2.owen.vanderbilt.edu/lukefroeb/2003/mgt722/topics/game/game.html

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Thursday, 1 December 2016

The next big rally

As the Malaysian Ringgit drops to record lows, it may imply a lack of economic stability in the country. However, there seems to be an opportunity that lies within this cheap currency, and as all standard economics students would tell you that cheap currency valuation would tend to highlight cheaper exports value relative to other countries. Malaysia is one of the top exporters for crude palm oil and naturally, with palm oil being the most used vegetable oil globally in consumer products.

With positive outlook from the Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB) director-general, where global consumer demand will still outpace supply, and the natural climate effects (El Nino and El Nina) pressuring supply and production levels, palm oil prices are bound to increase, especially after being beaten badly by the market in the past few years.

Recommended Post: 6 Singapore Public Transport Tips

Besides the above reason, there is also signs of increasing demand in China, evident from the recent metal prices rally and, real estate and domestic infrastructure spending within China. Given Trump's Presidential win in the US, where one of his campaign promises is also to increase infrastructure spending in the US, this also adds to further speculation on increasing demand.


Source: Bloomberg

So how are the current performances of palm oil companies?


























Source: Chart Nexus

The above charts are Golden Agri, Bumitama Agri and Wilmar International respectively. As you can see, all 3 of them are hammered badly over the past few years but have made higher highs recently with Golden Agri breaking through the descending trendline which forms a descending triangle. The other 2 seems poised to do the same as well. This suggests bullishness in terms of technical analysis. Another possible catalyst is the reduction of short sellers in Golden Agri, leading to its break out.

However, there must be caution in undertaking positions in these companies as there are still risks in investing.

Recommended Post: Are you Over-Insured by $46,000?

Note: the author currently has an investment position in Golden Agri.


Remember to offer your opinions. If you don't put your two cents in, how can you expect to get change?

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Sunday, 20 November 2016

New Singapore REIT ETF!

SGX recently launched a new product: the REIT ETF (Real Estate Investment Trust Exchange-Traded Fund).
If you think properties are good, diversification is good, the new REIT ETF is the product for you!
What is an ETF? Click HERE to find out.
What is a REIT? Click HERE to find out.

Some details of the REIT ETF:
1) Tracks performance of 30 top dividend-paying REITs (note: NOT Market Cap weighted)
2) It is main traded in USD BUT it can also be bought in SGD, but prices are subjected to FX changes
3) Consists of REITs listed in the Asia Pacific (without Japan)
More details on the REIT ETF: HERE

Recommended Post: REIT Symposium 2016 Key Take Aways

Benefits of the REIT ETF
1) Low management fees of 0.05%
2) Exposure to Asia Pacific REITs, not just Singapore listed REITs
3) Diversification to 30 REITs instead of just a few REITs

As we come near to the end of 2016, there are some questions we should be thinking about:

1) How to position my portfolio for 2017?
2) Should I invest in the new REIT ETF?
3) What to invest in Singapore for the year 2017?

Recommended Post: Consolidation of Singapore REITs

If anyone of these questions is one of your concern, is it time for you to join the following seminar and listen to some of the financial industry's experts about their views for 2017!

Market Outlook 2017:

Finding Income & Managing Risk Forum

Join us and listen from industry experts on their take about the investment environment for the year 2017!
The panel of speakers includes:
Tan Teck Leng - Senior Fund Manager, Phillip Capital Management
Vivien Lim - Investment Solutions Manager, Phillip Capital Management
Geoff Howie - Market Strategist of Singapore Exchange
Cheng Chye Hsern - Head of Investment Team, Providend Ltd

Event Details:
Date: 26th November 2016
Location: The Star Performing Arts Centre, Level 3
Time: 10.00AM - 1.00PM (Registration starts at 9.20AM)
Price: FREE
Freebies: First 100 to arrive early for registration will get a mystery gift!

Click HERE to sign up for the event!

Hurry now! Limited seats only!

Wednesday, 9 November 2016

Trump Presidency? Clinton Presidency?

In a few more hours, we will know exactly who has won the US Presidential Election!
This election probably has got every one talking about how horrible both primary Presidential candidates are.
Stock markets all arond the world are plunging (OUCH!)

Politically
From the structure of the US Congress, we know that whoever wins the Presidential elections, to pass any laws, the President would have to get his or her Bill passed by the Congress (made up of the House and the Senate).
That means technically, any laws that are potentially dangerous to the US or to the world can be blocked by the Congress
SOUNDS SAFE DOESN'T IT?

But there is another issue at hand!
The Senate and the House are now having elections as well and things are leaning towards the Republicans side!
So imagine a scenario where you have a Republican President who has the ability to set laws and Bills, and the organisation made to prevent the President from allowing unwise laws to be enacted, are on the same side as the President.
That last line of defence, that last hope, literally non-existance!

AMERICA, VOTE WISELY

Sunday, 6 November 2016

High Frequency Trading the Next Big Thing?


As the age of internet dawn on us, we would expect the financial markets to become more transparent, more efficient, and provide a level playing field for all investors/traders. 
However, actual reality is the opposite: markets are not much more transparent than they used to be, and increasingly, we are being pitted against computers, or more specifically: High-Frequency Traders!

High-frequency traders use the internet to carry out high-frequency trading: using a complex algorithm to search the whole financial markets and trade a large number of securities in matters of seconds. 
High-frequency trading is usually employed by large institutions and funds, and they pose as an unfair advantage against small investors because most trading opportunities that you find, the computer might make a move ahead of you and pocket that gain for its trader.

Despite the odds being stacked against small investors, there is still room for investors/traders to make money in the stock market. You can still invest before the computer makes its move or use techniques to spot trends, advanced techniques that the computers are unable to comprehend efficiently in its algorithm!

Revolution to Trading Singapore Stocks 
using Top 30 Volume

Learning Points1) How are Technical Analysis (TA) and Fundamental Analysis (FA) showing lagging indications?
2) How to pick stocks from the Top 30 Volume?
3) The Most Powerful Chart (hidden buying vs hiding selling)
4) Risk Management for Contra Trades
5) Sneak Peek into new category of Growth stocks

Speaker: Ronald K- Self-made millionaire investor
- Featured in Sunday Times twice for his approach to investing

Event Details:
Date: 12 November 2016 (Saturday)
Location: City Index Asia Pte Ltd
Time: 10.00AM  3.00PM (registration starts from 9.30AM)
Price: $65 with promo code investmentstab (U.P. $99)

*Snacks & Coffee/Tea provided!

Click HERE to sign up for the event!

Limited Seats Only! Sign Up Now!

We're got 2 FREE TICKETS for our readers!
Check out our Facebook Page for the instructions on winning these tickets!

But rather than rely on luck, why now sign up for the event now!

Monday, 31 October 2016

Invest & Prosper 2017

Invest and Prosper 2017 
by
ShareInvestors

Join us and listen from industry experts on their take about the investment environment for year 2017!
The panel of speakers includes:
Terence Tan - Chief Investment Strategist of Giants Learning Technologies
Song Seng Wun - Director/Economist of CIMB Private Banking
Geoff Howie - Market Strategist of Singapore Exchange
Kelvin Wong - Chief Technical Strategist of Asia City Index

Event Details:
Date: 5th November 2016
Location: SPH News Centre Auditorium
Time: 9.30AM - 5.00PM (Registration starts at 9.00AM)
Price: $8 (enjoy $2 off when you sign up with the promocode 'investmentstab'. U.P. $10)
Bento lunch is provided for the event!

Click HERE to sign up for the event!

Hurry now! Limited seats only!

We're got 5 FREE TICKETS for our readers!
Check out our Facebook Page for the instructions on winning these tickets!

But rather than rely on luck, why now sign up for the event now!

Saturday, 29 October 2016

What to Invest Going into 2017?

As we come near to the end of 2016, we should start questioning our investment strategy for next year. Some of the questions you should be thinking about are below:

1) What to invest in ahead of the US election on November 8?
2) How to position my portfolio for the US election and post-US election?
3) What to invest in if Hillary Clinton wins?
4) What to invest in if Donald Trump wins?
5) What to invest in Singapore for the year 2017?

If any one of these questions is one of your concern, is it time for you to join the following seminar and listen to some of the financial industry's experts about their views for 2017!

Invest & Prosper 2017

Join us and listen from industry experts on their take about the investment environment for year 2017!
The panel of speakers includes:
Terence Tan - Chief Investment Strategist of Giants Learning Technologies
Song Seng Wun - Director/Economist of CIMB Private Banking
Geoff Howie - Market Strategist of Singapore Exchange
Kelvin Wong - Chief Technical Strategist of Asia City Index

Event Details:
Date: 5th November 2016
Location: SPH News Centre Auditorium
Time: 9.30AM - 5.00PM (Registration starts at 9.00AM)
Price: $8 (enjoy $2 off when you sign up with the promocode 'investmentstab'. U.P. $10)
Bento lunch is provided for the event!

Click HERE to sign up for the event!

Hurry now! Limited seats only!

We've got 5 FREE TICKETS for our readers!
Check out our Facebook Page for the instructions on winning these tickets!

But rather than rely on luck, why now sign up for the event now!

Thursday, 13 October 2016

Are you Over-Insured by $46,000?!

Yup, you read it correctly - You might be over-insured by $46,000!
Most Singaporeans with CPF are automatically enrolled under the Dependents Protection Scheme (DPS).
Visit your CPF account online to check if you are currently over-insured by $46,000!
You can reduce your coverage if you are.

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The DPS is a Life Insurance + Terminal Illness Insurance + Total Disability Insurance.
It ensures you until you reach age 60.
The premiums are paid via your CPF account (Ordinary Account or Special Account).
Age (as of last birthday) Yearly Premiums
34 years & below $36
35 - 39 $48
40 - 44 84
45 - 49 $144
50 - 54 $288
55 - 59 $260

By reducing your coverage by $46,000, you could potentially be saving between $75-$100 annually on your insurance premiums. That is actually a pretty significant sum you can use for other purposes like going out for a nice meal!

Singaporeans tend to face the issue of being over-insured or under-insured.
We hope that this article can help make you better insured!
For more information on DPS, click HERE to visit the official website!

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Sunday, 9 October 2016

What is the Correct Retirement Mentality?

There has been a retirement debate going on on Straits Times' Forum Page.
The thread was started by one of our writers.
The first article can be found HERE.

There were feedbacks from the general public.
We have attached the articles regarding the different views HERE.
We would like to post a reply to the 'Second Thread', where our writer's letter to Straits Times was not published.
We think these views are important, and we hope to share these views with our readers and get more people to discuss these issues!

Letter:
I would like to thank Mr Lawrence Koh (‘Retirement is both a privilege and an entitlement’, 7 September) and Mr. Paul Chan ('Don’t miss out on life’s best chapter’, 7 September) for their views on my previous letter (‘Retirement not an entitlement’, 3 September).

Both men agreed that retirement is an important aspect of our lives and we should not simply spend our whole life working without enjoying the fruits of our labour. I fully agree with that statement. I am not against retirement, neither am I for working forever. I am just against the idea of forcefully going into retirement because ‘I have reached my retirement age’.

Ideally, we should have sufficient savings or retirement income (investments or CPF) to tide us over the rest of our lives. If we really cannot afford to retire at age 62 (due to financial concern), do we still forcefully go into retirement because it is part and parcel of life and because ‘I have earned it by working 40 over years’?

My concern is the mindset that we might have, the concept that ‘I have worked all my life, I deserve to retire at this age (62). If I can’t make ends meet, I should get financial support from the government.’ This is a very toxic mindset because it is what that is causing governments from around the world to run into insolvency or potential insolvency.

Majority of the people fall into the category of a direct correlation between personal effort and monetary rewards. I am not against the minority of people who receive financial aid. But when a large percentage of people starts to receive such levels of financial aid, the question becomes: “is this a financial aid for the lower bracket or has this become a free-for-all package.” The last point is particularly important because free-for-all package is essentially what many democratic countries have done and subsequently bankrupt their countries’ coffers.

If we worked all our lives, we are sure to lose out on life’s best chapter. But if we fail to secure enough for our retirement, I do not think an inadequately funded retirement can make the best out of that phase either.

-End of Letter.

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Friday, 30 September 2016

Your summary to what's going on in Deutsche Bank: 5x Lehman Brothers crisis

If you haven't been aware of how the STI has been performing, it has dropped 1% before steadily climbing up in the late afternoon today. So what's going on that is causing all the fear and volatility? While fear of Deutsche Bank collapsing has been lingering for months, it seems that it has escalated higher where some hedge funds are starting to withdraw their accounts. This is essentially a bank run on a small scale, much similar to the one in 2008 where institutions stopped trading with affected parties due to counterparty risks. Well, before you start withdrawing all your cash positions from Deutsche Bank, here's how it works.

1. If a bank run really happens on Deutsche Bank or if it does go bankrupt, its underlying liabilities and trading exposures will negatively affect the ENTIRE FINANCIAL WORLD.

2. Since banks deal with each other in multiple ways, the results could be catastrophic, dragging multiple parties with it. For Deutsche Bank, where their derivative exposure is 5x the exposure that Lehman had, the impact could be drastically more than just 5x, due to the multiplier effect.

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3. Given the post-Lehman crisis, there are more factors to consider, aided with historical data. Politically, it has been damaging to the current government party as they are faced with 2 lousy choices: Bail-out with the taxpayers' money and suffer a massive drop in voters' ratings, or let the bank fail AND suffer a massive drop in voters' ratings WITH a massive financial crisis.

Even if a bank run does not occur, liquidity risks are going to kill the bank. With mounting concerns of its counterparty risks, Deutsche Bank could have its credit lines cut off, leading to its downfall sooner or later.

While all these are playing out, it is definitely consoling to see that the CEO of Deutsche Bank has done an excellent job in deleveraging, essentially reducing the counterparty exposure of the bank with others. The move to deleverage is widely accepted, hence, the lack of negative news that Deutsche Bank will collapse. This could help to minimize the impact of a meltdown, but let's be honest, a slap to the face would not be much different from a kick to the groin.

The main catalyst for STI's 1% drop? The federal's decision to charge Deutsche Bank with a $14 billion fine due to its involvement in the mortgage-backed securities spectacle. Many fear that the bank might not have enough to pay this fine.


However, I feel that it is likely the "feds" are going to mitigate the impact of the fine, perhaps reducing the quantum or collecting it in other means. The only solution, in my opinion, could be to have the investors or government to step in and raise capital for the bank, which in this case, is particularly damaging to existing shareholders as they have to dilute their shareholdings in the bank. These funds could act as a buffer and "raise" confidence, in hopes of eliminating the growing counterparty risks of Deutsche Bank.

All these bad news are thus hurting the global markets but gold, a safe haven commodity, has been surging and benefiting from all these negativity.

Share and tell us some of your opinions on the above. Remember to offer your opinions. If you don't put your two cents in, how can you expect to get change?

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Thursday, 29 September 2016

Straits Times Forum Retirement Articles Thread

There has been a retirement debate going on in the Straits Times' Forum Page.
The thread was started by one of our writers.
We have collated the list of articles/letters that we think you should read, learn and know about!
Tell us what you think: Should Retirement is an Entitlement or is it a Privilege?

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First Post/Thread:
Retirement is not an Entitlement

Second Thread: Replies on the First Post:
Retirement is both a Privilege and an Entitlement
Ageism Prevents Seniors from Continuing to Work
Don't Miss Out on Life's Best Chapter

Third Thread: Replies on the Second Thread:
Introduce Shorter Work Shifts for Seniors
Extend Helping Hand, Not Handouts, to Retirees

Fourth Thread: Replies on the Third Thread:
State Support for Retirement is about Meeting Basic Needs
Role Model for State-Sponsored Retirement Exists

Fifth Thread: Replies on the Fourth Thread:
Meritocratic Society Must Retain Human Touch

Remember to offer your opinions. If you don't put your two cents in, how can you expect to get change?

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Saturday, 17 September 2016

What we know about risk is all wrong

The chance that an investment's actual return will be different than expected. Risk includes the possibility of losing some or all of the original investment. Different versions of risk are usually measured by calculating the standard deviation of the historical returns or average returns of a specific investment. A high standard deviation indicates a high degree of risk.

Read more: Risk Definition | Investopedia http://www.investopedia.com/terms/r/risk.asp#ixzz3qE2I9SPs
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As you can see from the above, Investopedia defines clearly what risk is. Schools preach on what risk is, how it is calculated and how it is quantified. But after reading this book, I am questioning the method that we were taught.

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The book I am recommending today: The Most Important Thing: Uncommon Sense for the Thoughtful Investor by Howard Marks.

Honestly, from just skimming through the content page and back cover recommendations, this book looks like any other investment and finance book which "sells" you on conventional knowledge offered in many other books. However, what it presents is a wealth of knowledge that average investors do not note. An example of such is the following definition of risk, defined by the author himself, Howard Marks.

However, what Howard Marks came out with, was this diagram above. While the general theory of higher risks equates to higher returns, he adds in 1 more variable into this consideration. The higher the risks, the higher the median of each rate of return and the greater deviation of the possible rate of return.

This basically means the higher your risks, the higher the chances of your expected rate of return fluctuates.

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I came to realise the significance of this after taking a while to digest but I feel that it is something important to account for and not just taking unnecessary risks without accounting the consequences of it.

Share and tell us some of your opinions on the above. Remember to offer your opinions. If you don't put your two cents in, how can you expect to get change?

Have feedback? Tell us now! 

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Tuesday, 23 August 2016

4 Things to Do at CPF Retirement Planning Roadshow

CPF is holding their 'CPF Retirement Planning Roadshow' this weekend (Sat & Sun) at Suntec West Atrium!

There are interesting booths, this time, around at the event.

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1) Virtual Reality Booth
Find out your retirement personality at this station but more importantly: enjoy the VR experience! Play with the machine.

2) Retirement Savings
How much do you need to achieve your retirement lifestyle/income?
Get your figures calculated out over here and that you can start planning early how much you need to save every month.

3) Family Fun
There will be activities there for families (parents + children) to participate in.
Claw machines, paint a coin bank, etc are just some of the games there.
Freebies are available too!

4) Talks
Yes, of course, there must be talks for this event.
Talks about planning for your retirement, buying your first house or preparing yourself for your healthcare needs!

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Friday, 19 August 2016

New Movie Streaming App in Town!

There is a new movie streaming app in town!
Its name is Catchplay!

Features:
1) It is a movie streaming service! (No, you do not get dramas or TV series)
2) There are 2 options - unlimited streaming or 1-time rental, more on it below.
3) Don't want to pay for movies? You can sign up with CatchPlay as a non-paying member (Movie Fan Plan). You get 1 free movie every month!  Isn't that great!
4) As you watch, CatchPlay will continue to improve their algorithm to give you the best recommendations, movies that you would love to watch.
5) Comes with a preview feature! You can watch the first 5 minutes of the movie for free before deciding if you wish to rent it or not!

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Unlimited Stream (Movie Lovers Plan: $12.90)
Similar to how other streaming services work
You sign up for a monthly subscription with CatchPlay (Movie Lover plan), and you get to watch an unlimited amount of movies available in their 'Movie Lovers Unlimited' library (they update their movie library every week).
While the vast majority of its movies are available under this plan, some movies (the new or hot ones usually) might not be available for streaming and only available under 1-time rental.
As such, this plan comes with a feature that allows you to watch 1 rental movie for free every month!
What movies are under rental? Check them out under the "Hot Picks" section!

1-Time Rental (Movie Fan Plan: Free)
Don't watch movies very often on these services to make it worth your money?
CatchPlay also comes with a 1-time rental of movies.
Just browse their website, and if you see any movies you like, just rent it!
Yes - it is just that simple!
Rental of 1 movie is either $3.50 or $6.00.
Also, part of this 'plan' is, you get to watch 1 free movie every month from their selected list of movies! Ain't that great!
To check out what is available for free for that month, browse their "On The House" section!

Recommended Post: You Will Never Be Able to Retire

Promotions currently:
Free 2 months of viewing if you
     i) like their Facebook page!
     ii) sign up with your Facebook or mobile number over at their website!
     iii) join their 'Movie Lover' plan
     iv) enter the promo code found on their Facebook page
     v) Remember to do all this before 21st August 2016

Wondering what is available in their library?
Just head over to their website to find out today!


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Wednesday, 10 August 2016

6 Singapore Public Transport Tips

We have some tips for people taking Singapore's public transport every day!
These tips (or hacks) are what we know of and use, but I am sure it is not all available.
Do share with us if you have more tips so that we can help one another travel more efficiently.

1) Keep your Travel Transfer within 45 Mins
Keep your transfer between travel to within 45 minutes.
If you keep each transfer within 45 minutes, it will be considered as 1 trip.
However, if you exceed the 45 minutes, it will be considered as 2 trips.

Eg;
I take bus 222 from location A to location B, it will cost $0.78 (the boarding fee or minimum fare).
I took another bus, bus 333 immediately from location B to location C, my fare is built up from the previous $0.78. You do not need to pay the boarding fee again.

However, if you waited for 50 minutes, then board bus 333 from location B to location C, you will need to repay the $0.78 boarding fee.

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2) You can take up to 5 transfers with one MRT ride in between
Of course, this does not mean you must take 5 transfers in 1 ride.
The max possible combination is below:
B-B-B-B-B
B-B-B-B-T
B-B-B-T-B
B-B-T-B-B
B-T-B-B-B
T-B-B-B-B

*B = Bus
*T = Train
However, don't take 2 train trips in a 2 hours slots as it will be considered as 2 trips.
So if you must, take a train from your location to your destination then bus back to your location

3) Taking 2 same bus = 2 trips
Do not take 2 of the same bus in a single trip as it will be counted as 2 trips instead of 1.
If it is considered as 1 trip, fares are built upon the minimum fare ($0.78).
However, if it is considered as 2 trips, you end up paying the minimum fare twice!

Eg;
I take bus 222 from location A to location B, it cost me $0.78 (the boarding fee or minimum fare).
Within the next 45 minutes, if I take bus 222 from location B back to location A, I will be charged the boarding fee ($0.78) again.
However, if I take bus 444 from location B to location A, I do not need to pay the boarding fee. My bus fare will be built up on top of my previous trip.

4) Travel within a 2-Hour Time Frame
In addition to keeping your transfer between rides within 45 minutes, you also have to keep all these tappings within a 2-hour time frame.
If you tap in your card 2 hours after your first tap, it will be considered as a new trip.

Eg;
You board bus 222 at 2.00pm. Assuming you did 2 transfers between 2.00pm to 4.00pm. At 4.01pm, when you tap bus 444, it will be considered as a new trip.

Another Eg;
You board bus 222 at 2.00pm to location A. You completed your tasking and board bus 444 to location B at 2.35pm. This trip will be considered as a transfer trip and no boarding fee is incurred.
Then you finished the second tasking and boarded bus 333 at 3.05pm at location C. You reached location D at 3.45pm.
After which, you boarded bus 555 at location E at 4.05pm. This 4th trip is considered a new trip as it has passed the 2-hour mark at which you started travelling at 2.00pm. Hence, you will need to pay a boarding fee at this point again.

If you tap out your card 2 hours after your first tap, it is still considered as 1 trip.
Eg;
I board bus 222 at 2.00pm to location B, I then took bus 333 to location C. I alighted at my destination at 4.01pm. My whole trip will still be considered as 1 single trip.

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5) Buy Travel Pass (aka Concession Card)
Buy Concession Card if you travel excessively via public transport
Yes! There are adult concession cards available and you can actually apply for one HERE.
There are actually 2 different type of concession cards:
So if you are traveling frequently at off-peak timings, I recommend buying the OPP to cut down on your travel expenses.
For more information on the Concession Cards, click HERE.
So if you spend around $4 every day on public transport for 5 days a week, you might want to consider getting a Travel Pass

6) Sign up for Travel Smart Rewards
This is icing on the cake.
In addition to reducing your transport costs via concession pass, you can also sign up for Travel Smart Rewards to win money while traveling!
The only sad thing is you only gain rewards if you travel via trains (bus rides don't qualify).
We will be writing a post on Travel Smart Rewards soon, so stay tuned!

Remember to offer your opinions. If you don't put your two cents in, how can you expect to get change?

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