Thursday, 11 September 2014

SRS portfolio 31 Aug 2014


The positions as of 31 Aug 2014 for reference. There are no dividends this month. 

I have liquidated JAPFA in my earlier blog post when the share price weakens. Similarly I did the same to QT Vacular this morning.  Having such volatile stocks in my SRS portfolio that is fundamentally not "value-oriented" and yet doesn't allow me to be "flexible" enough to take profit or cut loss doesn't seem right for the SRS strategy I am pursuing. 

SRS strategy

I am still trying to figure out what should be the most appropriate SRS strategy in relation to the 360 review which I have been doing for both myself and wifey. 

I will be spending the next few days thinking about it while gorging on the street food in Bangkok hoping not to get any stomach ache in the process. ^_^

Happy SRSing. 

Monday, 8 September 2014

JAPFA



This JAPFA has been a frustrating investment.

I first bought 50 lots at 85 cents on 19 August. The post is here.

The stock rose all the way to 96 cents. I have to admit that i was seriously contemplating selling it when it broke the interim uptrend line at 93c but given this is supposedly an investment account, i decided to hold on for the "long term".

However, i hate seeing a winning position turned into a losing one, as such i decided to close it off when the 90c support broke today. Sigh...

Happy SRSing ^_^

Sunday, 7 September 2014

360 review - Cash

I have shared with you in my previous post the importance of your career. Today I am going to cover another topic - Cash. 

Cash is king!

Cash is cash. What is there to talk about? Well, you must have heard of the cliche Cash is King! 

When I first started out like you, my starting pay was only $1,850. As such, I am literally "cashless". All my salary is used to fund my daily life and starting my family at a young age is not helping but it help instil a sense of responsibility and gives me a purpose in life. It is also the reasons and motivation in the pursuit for financial freedom. 

However, I worked hard in my career and the pay steadily increases over the years. 

Me and my wife are good savers, or in our initial years at least. Haha. We saved regularly and take only short trips to the region like China and Thailand for vacations. No such thing as flying to Europe. We always spend within our means. 

Credit cards are bad 

I have seen real life examples of people who spent beyond their means and abuse the credit cards. In that process, they have dug for themselves very deep holes. They go for fine dining and luxury vacations, pay the minimal sum each month and roll over the balance. If you think loan sharks are evil, credit cards companies are the Great White Sharks. The printed interest rate is only 2% per month. That translate into a nominal rate of 24% a year and I have not even included the effective interest rate if you roll over your balance. That will be interest on interest and the bank is making compounded returns from you!

If you can't control your credit card spending and always pay the minimum sum, my friendly suggestion is to cut off your cards immediately and plan to pay off the credit card debts before you even think about investing. Get your house in order. 

It's not how much you earn but how much you save!



I want to stress again and again that it is not how much you earn but how much you save. Earning more means that you can shorten the number of years that you need to save but it doesn't take away the need to save up. You can make $10,000 each month but if you spend $15,000 each month, you are worse off than a person who makes $5,000 and saves $2,000. 

Unless you are born with a silver spoon, you need to save up. You need to accumulate a sum of money for rainy days but more critically, be your seed capital. Without your seed capital, you can't break out of the rat race. The capital can then be deployed into investments such as stocks and properties. 

To purchase a property, you should have saved up for at least a 20% downpayment to avoid over leveraging. We will talk about 360 review on property another day.

Holding cash is a position

I am never fully invested. In other words, I always hold some cash. I hold cash in anticipation of both opportunities and crisis. It also serves for rainy days in emergency. 

What do I mean by opportunity? For example I am currently evaluating another opportunity to invest in a pre-IPO company. I have blog about such opportunities way back in 2008, how time flies! That investment turned out to be a good one despite the GFC. I will blog about it another day. 

Such opportunities come by every now and then and if I like the company, I can then deploy the cash. If I have no cash, having such opportunities will be meaningless as I can't take advantage of it.  I will be investing in the next pre-ipo company, i will blog more about pre-ipo companies in 360 - Investments next time.

What do i mean by crisis? During the global financial crisis, you will have to opportunity to invest in properties and shares. There will be at least a few "global financial crisis" in your life time, remember to make full use of it and you can get out of the rat race much faster than anyone else. However, if you have no cash to deploy, the crisis will further add to your misery as you watch the opportunities slipped by.

Isn't holding cash means losing money everyday?

I have shared with you previously that your cash is losing money every day. The post is here

So while saving is important, knowing how to utilize the cash to get a higher return while waiting for the opportunities and crisis is even more important. This is the reason why i trade the markets and punt the IPO market with my "war chest cash". I also recognize that investing for dividends and passive income is important, hence I invest for the longer term using my SRSKnowing your own time frame is also very important. I will blog about 360 - SRS funds in my future posts. 

Bonds for retail investors

It's good that MAS is finally relaxing the rules on retail investors investing in bonds. You will have more opportunities to invest into higher yielding and relatively safer instruments. However, I am personally not into bonds. The spreads are currently too low. The best time to invest in bonds is actually during the GFC where the bond like instruments are giving equity like returns and yet "safer" than equity given it's protection and liquidation priority over equity. The complacency since the 2008 crisis has set in again with borrowing rates and spreads at record low. 

Will history repeat itself? 

Frankly, I wouldn't be surprised, so get your war chest ready. A black Monday (or black swan) event will just hit the markets when you least expected it. I am expecting one to occur within the next18 months but I may be wrong of course. 

How much to save for war chest?

It really depends on what you are looking for. If you are investing in stocks, you need at least $100,000 as war chest to deploy into 3-4 positions for a return on investment of 2x. 

If you are investing in properties (not buying a home to stay), you will need between $250,000 to $500,000 to invest in a decent size property. The reasons why I favour properties over stocks because of cheaper financing, leverage effect and passive income while you patiently wait for market to recover. 

Are you ready if a black swan appears today?

If you are prepared, you will rub your hands with glee instead of panicking when history repeats itself. 

Save up today and you will thank me when the black swan appears. 

Happy saving up ^_^

Sunday, 31 August 2014

360 Review - Career

As promised, I will briefly run through the 360 review I did. This will be a series of posts whereby I share my thoughts and views on what I believe are important to achieve my personal financial freedom. Career, Cash, CPF, Properties, Trading, Investments and Travel. Each plan is unique so you will have to devise your own plans that is tailored towards your own circumstances.

I will not blog in any particular sequence but whatever that "inspire" me. Today I will blog about the first topic 360 Review - Career. 

Career

I have shared with you previously two posts on the topic.

Post 1: Your Career is very important
Post 2: Don't treat your career marathon like a sprint

If you are not doing your own business, then this will be the main source of income from which you can utilize wisely to fund your retirement. 

From young, I have been brained washed not to "job hop". My dad and mum both had their one and only job till they retire. Unbelievable but true for their generation. They used to frown very heavily upon job hoppers but have since changed their perception.

Job hopping is no longer a taboo

Job hopping is no longer a taboo and probably the younger ones don't really care anyway. However, you cannot be hoping from one job to another every 6 months. You need to build up some track record and experience and then try to get headhunted to the next role. Each role should give you give you a new experience (if you are changing industry) or higher pay (if you are moving vertically upwards) or better title (if you are moving from one competitor to another). If you can achieve a better pay with a better title in a better company, that will be the most ideal situation. However, make sure you are culturally able to adapt. Having worked through quite a few firms with very different cultures and bosses, i have to say i am pretty adaptable except that as i aged, with all due respect to ladies, i find it more difficult to work for female bosses.

How to get a higher paying job with better prospects?

To achieve a higher pay with a better title and prospects, the best way to do it is through the headhunters. As you progressed upwards, the compensation for headhunters are not aligned with the employers. They are on the same side as you because their final fees depends on a % of the annual package you receive.  A lot of jobs are never advertised in the papers. The job description reached the headhunters, who then run through their databases and then they will start profiling suitable candidates to be shortlisted for interviews. So if you have never send your CVs to headhunters before, start doing so and keep them updated as you gained new experience.  Always make it a point to send the CVs to the reputable headhunters in your industry even when you are not actively searching for a new role so that you are "always in their mind".

Headhunters have different specialization as well. Some are more well connected in the financial industry, others are more proficient in the manufacturing industry, etc. So find out the one that is specialized in your field of competence. 

One good website to hunt for finance-related jobs will be efinancialcareers. I think many headhunting firms in the finance space uses this portal to advertise their roles.

Is there secret formula to a successful career?

If you want a magical formula from me, i can give you one. It's the 3R.  

RIGHT TIME 天时
RIGHT PLACE 地利
RIGHT SKILLSETS 人和

There is no other formula i can give you. haha. No use being the most talented person in your firm when your boss is blocking your path and has no intention to change job. I have also seen many instances where the bosses left and someone then stepped "up" to be the new head. 

Right place and right time - probably you need some divine guidance but right skillsets, which includes EQ, can be learned. 

360 review on Mr IPO's career

Every now and then, i will take a step back and review my own career. Things i ask myself will be
  • Do i still enjoy what i am doing? Am i learning new things?
  • Am i given new roles and responsibilities or am I already stagnant in my role?
  • What are the pull factors? (pay, work-life balance, meaningful role and responsibilities, etc)
  • What are the push factors? (long hours, lousy bosses, bad culture, no flexibility, etc)
  • Is my pay pegged to the market and whether I have reached the "peak" of my potential. 
In my view, the best time to negotiate a package is when you have no push factors. This is where you will really weigh your options very carefully and not be blinded by the offer on the table.

In my life and line of work, i meet many talented and successful people. I have mentioned in my facebook page to work on your "Emotional Quotient". The people at the top have the right connection, right friends and right aptitude. 

Another area to work on will be your personal network. Treasure the friends, colleagues and acquaintances you make in your field of work. 

EQ + solid working experience + strong personal network = Well sought after professionals

I have been through 4 different jobs with 4 different cultures. I started work in 1997 and my starting pay was $1,850. I was headhunted 3x in my life so far. The first time was in 2000 (pay rise of 81%), second time 2008 (28%), third time 2010 (36%). I had wanted to start my own fund management company back in 2008 but on hindsight that will be probably be derailed by the GFC. 

Just to give you some ball park figures, the increment in pay from each change should range from 25% to 50%. 

How did Mr IPO fare?

I wouldn't say that I have done extremely well but I will say that I manage to grab some of the opportunities that come my way be it in my career or personal investing. The pay has also risen to a decent level where the family can be comfortable.

Although i have been "headhunted" a few times, please don't have the wrong idea that I have done very well. I am still far from it. 


What's next?

I think I have a few more years to go in my current role as there are still things to learn, fun stuff to do and talented people to know better. 


Learn to fish for yourself

While I mentioned that your career is important, I also stress that a skill set outside of work is important too. I would encourage you to pursue something that you are passionate about. Many second career are started from hobbies and passions. If I am retrenched one day, I can trade for a living, I can start my own fund management company, I can start a financial education company. I can start my own business. You will have to find a relevant skillset that you are passionate about. That is also probably the time where I will no longer need to use a stage name or be a Batman and do a Mr. AK from ASSI. Lol.

Happy being hunted

That is all for today. I will cover other 360 topics like Cash, Investing, Trading, Properties and Travel in separate posts.

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Have you 360 recently?

It's interesting that banks are coming up with the 360 relationship concept. This concept was not really that new but has became more popular in recent months. 

If i am not mistaken, Standard Chartered first pioneered this concept to reward you on a overall relationship such that you received reward points if you have a housing loan, investment account, credit cards with them. 

OCBC and DBS then offered something along those lines where they give you a higher tiered interest if you met some or all of the conditions, including if your salary is credited into their bank account etc. 

Do you do a 360 account of your own life?

I am not sure if you regularly do a pulse check on your own goals and retirement plans. It's like doing an annual health screening to see whether you are still on the right path towards financial freedom or have veered off the road. 

A 360 review means achieving the ultimate objective is not the only goal. It includes other goals along the way. I have shared with you previously that attaining the goal is one thing but the way in which you achieve it is equally important. No point achieving financial freedom early but you have no friends or family to share the moment with. Cherish your loved ones. Get the picture?

A 360 review of your own life can cover many different aspects including but not limited to the following:
  • Personal - Career, Personal Development, Health, Happiness, Mid-life Crisis, etc
  • Family - Kids education, housing, well-being, vacation plans, etc
  • Retirement plans - Net worth, passive income plans, investments, taxation, etc.
Each aspect is independent but yet intriguingly intertwined with each other and the toughest part is always to strike a balance. Let me give you a simple illustration. You want to reduce your monthly expenses to build up your net worth now but that involves cutting down on your wine and dine. An alternative to cutting down your expenses is to get a pay raise but having that pay rise may lead to long hours being spent in office which makes the family unhappy as they don't get to see you at home so often. Neglected kids then fail their studies which then affect your mental well being and that affects your work quality.

Do a 360 today

I am in the midst of doing a 360 review for myself as well as my family. I will share more thoughts on what insights i gained in future but it was actually tougher than i thought. I am still stuck on how the retirement plan for Mrs IPO should look like given the capital comes from me :-P.

I will share more about Mrs IPO next time as well as my 360 review on my career, CPF,  investments, property, trading, goals, holidays, etc.

Happy 360ing.

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

JAPFA & QT Vascular

JAPFA

Today i had a frustrating day. I was queuing for JAPFA at 83 cents since morning and the order wasn't filled.

Eventually i bought 50 lots at 85 cents. I have shared with you my analysis here. I am taking a view that it should head towards its fair value of 91c-110c and probably in the course of the next few months, more research coverage will be initiated given it is a decent market cap stock.


QT Vascular


The final closing today is fairly disappointing. I added another 50 lots of QTV at 47.5 cents today. Let's see how my decision to invest a bigger chuck of capital in fewer stocks pan out. Two reports in this link for your consumption.

Happy SRSing

Saturday, 16 August 2014

What does KFC has to do with Mr. IPO?

KFC 

Every now and then, I would have a craving for KFC and after I ate it, it will be months before I touch it again. Today, it was my son who craved for the unhealthy junk food.

There was an advertisement on the glass panel. "Make good mornings great". I couldn't help but remember one guy who became their "food ambassador". Can you remember who?

KF Seetoh

If it is Mr. IPO who asked you to eat KFC breakfast, it's perfectly fine.











Unfortunately, i do have a little issue with KF Seetoh asking me to eat breakfast at KFC. This is because of what he represents. He is the "godfather" of hawker food champion and was the strongest advocate of our local delights before any other bloggers became famous. 

It's like someone who has crossed to the "dark side" and "betrayed" his principles to introduce "junk food" because of money. Maybe I am too extreme. 

Unbiased views or super biased views?

Why do people visit my blog ? Is it for my super unbiased views or for my super biased views? You tell me. ^_^

Recently a website that carry my articles became more "selective" in publishing my IPO articles.  In fact, they started to write their own articles on the IPO aspirants. 

I wrote to the publisher to understand the situation better. To paraphrase what he said, "we are still interested to publish your articles if we are not paid by the companies to carry an advertorial on their IPOs". 

Here you go, the very reason why readers search out for unbiased views from biased people like me. I am not paid to write good things about the IPO and you have my assurance that I won't "cross to the dark side". But if I do, I will definitely make sure you get to know it first. :-P











Advertisements

Google has been very kind to me (all thanks to my regular readers of course) in sending me a cheque every other month. However, I have to support our local brand too and Nuffnang has been very credible in sending me a cheque once it hits $100. While not as lucrative as the global giant, it is definitely more credible than Adverlets who defaulted on me. This is the second cheque from Nuffnang. I have previously wrote an article about passive income from blogging so my old article for your reference and part 2 of it.











I am very selective in my advertisements. Some has approached me to advertise about opening option trading account and I can get a cut from the size of the account they opened. However, a quick google check throw up some complaints about customers being unable to withdraw their monies. I rather not place those dubious advertisements on my blog but if KFC wants pay Mr. IPO to blog about his breakfast, I will definitely accept it. :-P

Happy KFCing and welcome to Mr IPO's blog. Biased views written in an unbiased manner. With all good intents and purposes, Mr. IPO eats ("buys") what he cooks ("blogs"). Have a good weekend. :)

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