Friday 21 August 2020

4 Days of Seminars

The SMEICC is an annual event for people to learn about the general business environment and issues of the day. I attended 4 webinars and learnt much from a particular speaker, so I thought it would be good to share.

The topic was about changing business and speed up the transformation process. My prior impression was it would revolve around adopting new technologies and mindset to existing businesses. What the speaker mentioned was along those lines but presented in a numerical and simple way that caught my attention.

2 main concepts were introduced. The first was in the world's labor market, 4% was involved in agriculture, 4% in manufacturing, 4% in high technologies and the rest in services. Ever since the second world war, all countries embarked on the peaceful development model and the equilibrium led to the resultant labor allocation. With upcoming technologies (AI, data analytics, robotics, digitization),  the great upheaval would impact the 88% labor providing different services. The second concept talked about governments would not allow economic collapse and the only way was to continue money printing. This will lead to inflation and widen the wealth gap. Therefore, the global money flow must conceivably go into assets of high value such as property and stocks. The latter would then propel companies with forward looking ideas such as innovative technology. That's why many entrepreneurs eg Tesla don't mind burning money to achieve their target, mainly because the funds come from the masses who believe in them. As the level of sophistication increases, menial labor jobs would be replaced causing great unemployment. This can be seen in retail examples like food ordering on a touch screen, online shopping and hotel service robots. No sector would be spared so it's imperative that people must start thinking about their value. The areas where robots have yet to develop are emotion, cultural understanding and creativity. As jobs become automated and mechanized, the older generation will likely hang on to their positions due to better health and ability to control the situation. This is a terrible combination if businesses were pinned to where they are, without technological upgrade. Hence, the future is bleak for young people who are regular employees or have high ambitions to climb the corporate ladder. Fortunately, amid the changes, Singapore is likely to emerge stronger as the trust premium is high, business environment is sound, government is stable and workforce is highly educated.

Tip: Suntory Premium Black Malt

Thursday 20 August 2020

Finance Investment Movement 2

I have an IG account for years though it's been pretty dormant as I used it previously to learn currency trading. So a reminder came to tell me that I have not done anything over the past 2 years and if this continues, an inactivity fee would be charged. Naturally, I logged into the account, funded it and placed a small trade, earning $4 in the process after a few hours. During the waiting time and monitoring the position, I looked at the stock market and read a few charts.

The market movement was slack and moving listlessly sideways. My take on the market is it's waiting for a signal from any source and blue chips were already battered down. Covid has been around for more than 6 months now and prices should have more or less moderated to include business impact. Therefore, to prepare for a recovery market play, the horizon to look would be longer term and cyclical stocks were a good bet. Hence, I purchased 1000 Capitaland shares to begin my first investment into a property counter in over 10 years! It has a well-diversified portfolio mainly in Singapore and China, trading at good PB of 0.6 and with expected improvement in retail/hospitality situation, I thought the downside risk is much covered. Even if the price was to drop 20%, I am likely to add each time that happens.

Tip: Yamazaki Single Malt 12

Tuesday 11 August 2020

CPF Top Up Aug 2020

After paying the credit card bills of last month, there were some cash surplus so I decided to put $800 into the family's CPF accounts. This is something that I started this year to realize the power of compounding. Also, it's the wife's birthday so this serves as an invisible gift to her. Hopefully, by the time she can start withdrawal, the amount would be something decent. At the moment, I have no particular target to achieve. As an example from an actual CPF statement I saw, at age 65, a person with $102000 can expect to withdraw $662 for the rest of life. My opinion is this amount is too little for our lifestyle which means I have to save harder.

Tip: Iced Kopi

Monday 3 August 2020

Month of July 2020

The tug of war between stock market bulls and bears is looking like an epic is about to start. In a month, USD dropped almost 2%, Bitcoin rallied 18.5%, gold and silver rose while STI sunk 3.2%. Banks were told to reduce dividend payout amounts, some corporate results were really poor eg Keppel Corp and a dose of reality was offered by companies such as Capitaland on impending news. I'm going to adopt a long term view and hold on to my investments. If there are insensible price drops, I will add anything that can conceivably give back 4% or more, just to beat CPF interest rates. 

Now that the dining out scene is making a comeback, I finally got to try Kaiyo Sushi & Grill It's located among a row of restaurants so competition must be tough. Having spotted it almost a year ago, I have always wanted to get in there until the wife's intervention. Turns out the food is good especially the grilled items (special mention that these appear so quickly on the table after you order!). If you are a fan of fish head and collar meat, then the choices here are more than enough and with good value too. I managed 3 visits in a month. However, news have appeared that the owner of the row of shop houses is looking to rebuild the piece of land. Hence, my joy at finding this little gem may be short-lived. 

Tip: Alma Mora Malbec, 2018. Full of berry plums and oakey taste stands out. Great with meats.