How to be an interesting person.

Time is fleeting and I try to be conscious NOT to spend idle time mindlessly scrolling through Instagram or social media. Too much entertainment and marketing inserts on social media can dull my already empty brain and wallet.

I will wait till the skillsfuture credit is reloaded (soon by 31 dec 2020) to take the AWS cloud practitioner exam and probably enroll in some photography / video courses to help me create better videos.

Some of the things I picked up the past 2 months are 10 min morning meditation, 10 min end of day reflection (jot down on Apple notes). I have also restart my video creation on YouTube and completed Amazon web services cloud practitioner essential (classes are FREE online at AWS site).

Last year July I used up the skillsfuture on a makeup course at cosmoprof academy and had tremendous learning and fun. Respect to the makeup industy, it is not easy and they spent long hours standing, waiting with measly pay unless one is well established within the industry.

I will continue to read extensively on non fiction books (please recommend me some) and on Feedly where RSS feed of Singapore investment bloggers help me gain different insights and perceptions.

Health is wealth.

Past couple years, my elderly parents both had an major issue with health and have since recovered.

I am glad I’ve both parents insured on AIA healthshield so any payment is minimal. Brother has taken over Dad’s plan since last year to share the burden. One wouldn’t want to worry about bills when you had to mend your health.

Few days back (on Monday) Dad had a fall (hit his head and face) from an escalator and discharged today after stitches with observation. He cannot recall how he fell, but we requested CCTV footage (after masking is done then it can be revealed) from the mall to investigate.

Thankfully uncle came to drive us back while I handle dad’s discharge which is pretty seamless experience at the new hospital and with efiling everything was a breeze.

I just pray that the tiny bloodclot found in the brain (caused by the fall) will disperse (not advisable to operate on) with time. At this age, falling down is very fatal for elderly.

It is a reminder to safety proof the home (wet floors, slippery area), invest in a pair of good walking shoes, do more core exercise, rest well, avoid engaging in dangerous activity and practice good posture.

Buying in some, soon?

Upcoming stock split happening for Apple and Tesla.

I myself is a subscriber of iTunes music (Family), use Apple Pay, iCloud, use their hardware products extensively (iphone, MacBook Air, iPad, MacBook Pro, airpod, airport, Apple TV) and buy apps on iTunes.

5G will drive many upstream and downstream business. For consumers, intensive apps that need high throughput eg gaming with Virtual Reality element, AI, machine learning, IoT will rise. I believe many such apps will be developed and available on App Store for Apple to draw a portion of sales (30%) for in app purchases which are considered low hanging fruit with high yield.

Services is a growing piece of business for Apple year on year. They have added on streaming movie and TV service, a new video game subscription, and the Apple Card. These are diverse revenue stream.

For Tesla, I am not pleased with the crazy price currently though I agree EV including self driving is the future. It is a matter of either investing in the former or Nio (hmm) or BYD.

For supposedly upcoming IPOs, I’ll be keen to invest in Ant financial and Dji.

Other stocks to consider would be Nvidia and Qualcomm.

I see a lot of enterprise customers starting to use Nvidia GPU for their AI, machine learning and deep learning workload as part of digital transformation.

As for Qualcomm, it has wide and deep moat advantage in the mobile processor platform and possess strong IP. With 5G coming, many OEMs vendors already have signed up with orders to assemble the snapdragon chipset into their products.

All durian sellers sama sama?

I was having a chat with a potential employer where a statement was made – “all banks are the same with different colors of logos”, so having industry understanding or their business landscape are undermined. He instead went on to emphasize knowing the seller solution and mapping it to customer’s challenges is crucial which I wouldn’t disagree but every bank in the industry has a few unique differentiator that elevate their perceived value to the targeted audience and these differentiators are likely where the highest revenue sits. It’s not cookie cutter selling. We live in a world of customizing and this makes the customer experience unique and personable.

For example, UOB has strong presence in Thailand vs OCBC which makes business that have market in SG plus Thailand incline to bank with UOB for a one stop solution. Moreover the borrower has a bigger combined quantum loan to garner a better lending rate from UOB likely.

Likewise OCBC with Wing Hang acquisition has 1/2 of its net income from greater China gives SG customer who wants access to China market a opportunity to extend their business there.

DBS has a strong API business culture and ecosystem with fintech or relevant financial providers for business. One can leverage on that for their online business catering to multi region audience in where the ecosystem partners serve. They also are leading digital bank in India.

This is prevalent in all industries.

Durian sellers are not the same pedigree too giving the varying demands of discerning consumers. Some offer certain interesting breeds time to time, some offer bao chiak at a premium like Sindy, some market organic durian, some offer consistent quality in the popular breed like MSW, some are farm to table seller thus reducing middleman and returning cost savings to customers with quality controlled produce.

The list goes on.

Sinktel?

Many local blue chips are not doing particularly well in this pandemic. Even those with a perceived investment moat like SingTel is not exempted. I think the high barrier of entry in consumer telco is cracking, with emerging innovative telcos like Circles.Life etc.

The few hopes I can cling to that it will go climb to the usual 3ish price (at least) and dividend yield in time to come are :-

– new revenue stream from the possible award of digital banking license where they bid & partnered together with Grab.

– 5G roll out (but not so much upside as compared to new revenue stream)

– overseas telcos where SingTel have a significant stakeholder share in are growing their revenue / profit

– possible blockbuster lifestyle services offered other than the unappealing CAST, Hungrygowhere and more boring stuff.

Time will tell if they can make it…

Inequality (self reminder)

The world isn’t a fancy place to begin with unless one wish to paint a pretty picture. It is what it is.

At this age of time, inequality is even more pronounced where the rich become richer and poor become poorer.

The accessibility to aid between the privileged and non privileged is eminent. For example, the young of privileged has leverage such as – private tuition/lessons or inheritance or network vs the poorer children to get a head start in life.

If one remove the human emotion aspect, the logic would be it is lesser evil to not reproduce if the environment is non conducive for the perceived success in life.

However irl the deed is done and cannot be undone, but any vicious cycle if any can be be broken over time and societal aids to be given to the underprivileged to even the playing field is important.

While we thrive as an individual, we must give back to society because everyone would need some kind of help in their life, be it monetary or through actions so that we can collectively progress as a nation, with as little left behind as possible.

Reorg or retrenched…

Mister is just given news that their global team roles are going to be outsourced to a 3rd party. There will be upcoming programme to transit their headcount to the 3rd party. It was vague and whether all or some were be offered a position with the 3rd party is still unknown. The transition should be finished by October this year and hundreds are affected.

This is a big shock still as this is the first time this has happened to mister despite knowing this is inevitable as the global trend is moving to cloud or outsourcing IT to cut cost. This business decision may be particularly accelerated by COVID-19 situation too.

He probably needs time to let it sink in as he has been with the company for 11 years long, I have to support him with positivity through his personal tough time together as a family.

If this happen to me, I would have teared. And I guess as a man, it is even more difficult to bear, and much emotions intertwined.

Life is not a linear path but full of ups and downs. This is the time for me to weather bad times with him as a couple. Yes for good or for bad, we will go through this storm or future storms and emerge stronger.

Portfolio divestification

Different asset class in the portfolio provide a greater safety net for falls and mitigate risk.

Currently I’m heavily vested in equities and cash.

Growth equities are mostly in HK, US market and only blue chip dividend play in Singapore market. For US stocks, I go for non dividend stock to avoid 30% WHT. For commodities I am done and dusted, sold off gold after a few years of holding with annualized return of 3.6% just prior to covid situation. Fixed income is endowment plan that is going to mature next November. Bonds do not whet the appetite yet, maybe when I am older, yes. REITS are not my cup of tea at the moment at this climate, and also I missed the boat & good old days (timing).

Currently I’m waiting to bag a particular pharmaceutical stock, S&P index fund when market cool down. I am finding and researching fundamentally sound companies that is worth investing later on too.

To be honest, I’m not particularly optimistic with the rally in the market recently. It’s like a false positive given the full impact of covid to the economy has not sink in. Or perhaps interest rate is so low that many people are driven to invest in the market for the hope of better returns. I do not know when the next wave of tsunami will hit, I am moving to higher ground to preserve capital. Hope my hands won’t be itchy and buy needlessly (self sabotage) at this time.

minimalist living

Every now and then, stores and emails are flooded with discounts and great offers. It seems silly to miss out buying at a good deal, a FOMO thinking.

I used to buy on a weekly basis, clothings delivered to the house so frequently that I forgot what I have ordered prior. It was a destress activity to reward oneself from working hard.

But I was wrong, soon the things pile up unused forming clutter around the house. I had to spend time to tidy and declutter, it is frustrating and stressful. I did not know time is way precious than to spend time tidying material wants.

I came to realize each unnecessary wants bought is in exchange of the precious time put in at work. I decided to change the bad habit of buying unwanted things. Now I look at what I have instead of what I do not have to curb impulsive buying. I use experiences to destress instead of buying – eg. Reading, traveling, spending time with family, cooking, watching documentaries.

I still indulge myself in wants but on special occasion such as birthday or xmas and I’m still happy. 🙂