Friday 31 December 2021

Closing Out 2021

It's 28 Dec 2021 as I wrote this piece. Christmas dinners were barely over and now preparing to celebrate the new year. Still in the midst of feasting and working, caught in between two different mindsets at the same time. I guess many people are making up for lost time to meet close relations as much as they could in case any new restrictions appear.

One of my 2020 wishes actually got fulfilled. Work from home continued to be default for much of the year, so I've been spending time at home, doing things in a leisure manner and got used to no travel for the first time in many years! Given the Omicron situation looking quite stable, I reckon things will begin to normalize soon. The signs are out there. In Singapore, shopping malls are crowded, restaurants mostly occupied, events have ramped up... elsewhere in other countries, despite increasing infected cases, governments are not locking down and instead encouraging vaccinations as a first line of defence. Generally, prices are rising and the inflation giant looms in the background. Petrol, rental, shipping, materials and basically anything unsubsidized would have seen new baselines being set. It is this anticipation that I decided to renew my electricity plan early and already I can expect 40% extra cost next year when it's in effect. Similarly, before interest rates go up, I did a reprice of my DBS home loan and locked in for three years with 1.8% rate cap.

Looking ahead, I think the personal theme for 2022 is to hedge. Nobody can control what happens outside, whichever country wants to launch an economic war, overload its healthcare system, boycott Olympics for political gain, reduce asset buyback program etc is beyond my business. It's therefore even more important that one judiciously scrutinize areas within our control. Living expenses, strategic investments and health matters come to mind. I will be looking to invest more towards kids education fees, expand revenue streams, looking after mental well being and living a more meaningful life.

Tip: Balvenie 16 years Cask 9077, smooth tangerine with tinge of smoke ending with slight pepper

Thursday 30 December 2021

Month of December 2021

Singapore has a new badminton world champion in Loh Kean Yew. Big congratulations to him for such an achievement. Years ago, I had heard about him and noted his usual early tournament exits. It reminded me of Ronald Susilo who was a decent player. Sheer hard work certainly paid off and it was in the past year that I began hearing more of him in the news with positive results. The Olympics was where I actually sat through an entire match watching his exploits, concluding that he was physically good but lacked the quick movement or explosive smash of top players. Therefore, I was one of those disbelievers when he entered the world championships, convinced that one of the Danish players stood a better chance. But I'm glad Kean Yew proved me wrong.

There were some opportunities to tweak my investment portfolio as prices came down and other promotions were in place. So I setup a Futu account to enjoy some free perks and after two weeks, my impression is that it has much similar interface with Tiger Brokers. I got the hang of using both and likely to keep them unless some major disincentive appears. Meanwhile, Coinhako has a new earn program which I subscribed to for Eth and Dot. Let's see how well does this compare since I also have Nexo on an interest rolling basis.

This is the last month of school holidays and I'm glad to have brought the kids for a game of badminton at Suntec City, luge at Sentosa and boardwalk at Upper Pierce reservoir.

Tip: Tenpoichi Dry Junmai Daiginjo, crisp acidity with short finish and pleasant undertone

Wednesday 15 December 2021

Finance Investment Movement 16

It's coming to the end of the year and while the festive mood is warming up, the markets certainly hasn't taken much of a breather. There's been much volatility observed in the crypto space as NFTs come to the fore which I think is very much infant. More and more corporates, celebrities and investment houses are buying digital land to reserve a spot. At this juncture, I don't intend to wade in. Maybe spending some time in play and earn online games might persuade me later. Instead, in a bit of a haste, I purchased Solana just to participate in this project. My entry price of US$198 wasn't ideal but no point fretting now. Coinhako has also rewarded me with 11000 tokens of Shiba but with the value being so small, I'll just keep and forget, deep down hoping it will rise in future.

Few days ago, I finally set up a Futu account with $2800 to enjoy the free Apple share promotion and also to compare the platform versus Tiger Brokers. Previously, I wondered if the promotion would be further sweetened but it seems unlikely and better to get in before it's too late. Entire process was as smooth as Tiger's so it's a tie for now.

For good measure, after observing the stock for more than 10 years, I got reacquainted with Ho Bee at $2.80. Many moons ago, my memory tells me that my last trade made me $200 with prices around $1.40, this was certainly a new leap of faith. I bought with the conviction that the major shareholders had been buying at the same price and public float is low so hoping for one of two things to happen. First, a privatization offer which I rate as slim because the company probably prefers to stay listed as a matter of prestige. Second, a spin off of assets into a commercial reit which makes good sense since this is a good way to unlock value for shareholders. If nothing happens, then just pray that it continues to pay 3.5% dividend annually and I'll take it. If its price was to drop further, I don't mind adding.

Tip: Petrolo Torrione 2015, a medium bodied beauty with fresh berry expression and smooth tannins