My Investment Portfolio

For the past two years, I have been doing research on local stock market and is now in the midst of constructing an investment portfolio consisting of stocks and bullion.
I had stayed out of the stock market since 2010 because I just don’t see any value in the market for the past three years. Many counters with good business fundamentals are, in my opinion, overvalued. Under this bullish climax, I had resisted the temptation to invest many times because of the lack of margin of safety in many of the local stocks.
As the saying goes, you stand a higher chance identifying value stocks during bear market as compared to a bull market.

Singapore economy

Notwithstanding the bullish market, I decided to compile a list of stocks which I would invest in during crisis times. They would become part of my investment portfolio. These are companies with strong cash flow, sustainable revenue and easy-to-understand businesses. Essentially, these are companies which will still be around 10, 20 and 30 years down the road. I am still doing research and will reveal the companies in due time. Nonetheless, I noted that three of the companies (Genting Singapore, Capitaland and Noble Group) are listed in the STI Index.

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Investing in Gold

The sky is falling for India’s rupee, which has fallen 20.1% since the start of this year. The currency has slumped the most in two decades to a record low in the wake of government’s economic mismanagement and failure to tackle deteriorating infrastructure. The frightening slide in the currency has conversely led to a incredible hike in demand for gold in India. According to the World Gold Council, in the first half of 2013, India accounted for a staggering 28% of global consumer demand. The 566.5 tonnes of gold bought by Indians way surpassed Americans’ 83.4 tonnes purchased.
The reason why Indians crave for gold is because consumers buy the yellow metal for auspicious reason during their wedding and festival season, which will start in November and last till January. It is estimated that Indian household currently hold 31,000 tonnes of gold worth a massive USD$1.3 trillion at USD$1400 per ounce. In order to reduce its trade deficit, Indian government has been trying hard to curb gold imports by hiking the metal’s import taxes.
gold bullion
Import duties were raised to 6% in late January and then 8% in early June and then subsequently 10% in August. The same tax is also applicable to silver and platinum to fight substitution.
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SGX Stock with Favorable Yield

Below is an article from guest blogger, Richard who works as a stock analyst and has 3 years of experience in the stock market. He likes to write articles and hope to share his experiences with investors in Singapore If you would like additional SGX Dividend Stocks data, information or screening tools, please visit website http://sg.dividendinvestor.com, a leading source for in-depth research and analysis for stock investments.

SG Wealth Builder does not accept any liability whatsoever for any direct, indirect or consequential losses or damages that may arise from the use of information or opinions in this article. The information and opinions in this publication are not to be considered as an offer to sell or buy any of the securities discussed. Opinions expressed are subject to change without notice.
  
Singapore is a well-known country for integrity, reliability, quality, productivity, rule of law, and enforcement of intellectual property rights. These things are crucial in the knowledge economy. The country is also a good place for foreign investments. It is a one-stop agency which facilitates and supports local and foreign investors in both manufacturing and services sectors, as they move up the value chain to achieve higher sustainable returns and seek out new business opportunities.

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Investment Outlook for Boustead Singapore

Boustead Singapore has risen by 45% for the past 12 months. The P/E and P/Cash flow ratio are estimated by S&P Capital to be 12 and 10.8 respectively. These metrics suggested that the stock is currently expensive. The good thing is that net gearing remains at 0%.

Although this counter seems overvalued, fundamental business prospect still looks good. Boustead Singapore is a global engineering specialist in energy, water infrastructure, industrial real estate and geo-spatial solutions.

The main driver for the business is the real estate division, which contribute 24% to its top line in Q1FY14 to SGD101.2 million. Oil and gas division is the second main contributor, reporting revenue growth of 38% year-to-year. Water infrastructure and geo-spatial technology were the weaker divisions, reporting negative revenue growth of 25% and 14% respectively.

Stock investing

I like Boustead because it is financially strong with net current assets of $150 million. The company has consistently paid out dividends to shareholders for the last ten years and it is well-managed with sound corporate strategies. Although Boustead has no formal dividend policy, it has a tradition of paying dividends linked to long-term net profit growth.  Boustead has achieved respectable growth in dividends over the past ten years, with a compounded annual growth rate of 21% over that period.

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SGX Stock: Offering Attractive Yield

Below is an article from guest blogger, Richard who works as a stock analyst and has 3 years of experience in the stock market. He likes to write articles and hope to share his experiences with investors in Singapore If you would like additional SGX Dividend Stocks data, information or screening tools, please visit website http://sg.dividendinvestor.com, a leading source for in-depth research and analysis for stock investments. 
The economy of Singapore is mainly supported by the activities in the manufacturing and services sectors. The manufacturing activities account for about a fifth of the country’s overall Gross Domestic Product (GDP) while the services sectors contribute approximately two-thirds of GDP. The country is actively promoting the growth of the quaternary sector of its economy i.e. the knowledge-based part. I am sharing about one of the Singapore Dividends which will make profit for investors who are seeking to invest in SGX stocks.
SGX
Singapore Press Holdings Limited (SPH) Profile
Singapore Press Holdings Limited is a media organization in Singapore with businesses in print, Internet and new media, television and radio, outdoor media and property. It is engaged in publishing, printing and distribution of newspapers, distribution of magazines and books, providing services of multimedia content, holding shares in subsidiaries, holding investments and providing management services to subsidiaries.
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New credit card rules in Singapore

In recent years, there were various articles on increasing trend of Singaporeans defaulting on their credit card payments. I think this is a worrying sign in Singapore. Below is a press release on a new government policy to curb lending practices by local banks.

11 September 2013
The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has finalised changes to credit card and unsecured credit rules aimed at improving lending practices by financial institutions and enabling individuals to make better borrowing decisions.

2. The policy changes follow a public consultation, in which respondents generally supported the proposals. MAS has taken the public feedback into consideration and adjusted the proposals where appropriate. Details are set out in the responses to feedback received on the consultation paper.

3. The key policy changes are as follows:
(a) Financial institutions will be required to review a borrower’s total debt and credit limits before granting a new credit card or unsecured credit facility, or increasing the credit limit on such facilities. This is to enable a more realistic assessment of an individual’s borrowing capacity.

(b) Financial institutions will be required to disclose to individuals who roll over their credit card debts and revolving credit facilities the potential cost of doing so and how the debt will accumulate.

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Value Investing in Growth Companies

One of my readers recently wrote to me requesting my views on a few Reits in Singapore. I have not replied him but followers of my blog would know that I don’t believe in Reits and have never invested in any Reits before. This is because the business model is too complicated for me to understand. In this article, I will share my thoughts on value investing.

One of the most important things that investors have to realize is that a good stock must have a simple business that are easy to understand. For example, we know that Super Group sell instant coffee and SingTel provides telecommunication services. Many investors, especially the novice ones, rush to invest in Reits simply because they thought that Reits provide dividends, so Reits must be a form of good dividend. They fail to understand the real business model and if you prodded them further what is Reits all about, they would be clueless. It is like putting the cart before the horse and missing the forest for the woods. To this end, I will like to recommend a good investment book for my readers.

A Unique Guide to Wealth and Financial Independence Using Value Investing Strategies

Many people spend their life working for active income.

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BullionStar Review: The 5 stage life cycle of a fiat currency

The 5 stage life cycle of a fiat currency This article is extracted from BullionStar, a Singapore online bullion company where you can buy gold and silver at competitive prices.

Gold and paper currencies have been at war for more than three thousand years. When currencies were pegged to gold, they appeared to coexist peacefully. Nevertheless, when the peg ceased internationally, they became each other’s nemesis and thus began the battle for monetary supremacy. A study on the history of money, and its relationship with inflation, is essential to appreciate the role of gold as money.

For paper currency, there is always a boom-bust cycle. It often begins with the healing of a country’s economic woes and promises of prosperity for all. To better illustrate how the boom-bust cycle works, one can draw reference to the recent economic history of United States. In the late nineties, US technology stocks formed a huge bubble mainly because of over leveraging of debt through low interest rates. Start-up technology companies with mediocre or even negative earnings were valued in the millions. After the crash, which coincided with the terrorist attack on New York, interest rates were lowered again to spur economic growth, forming another bubble in housing. When the housing bubble burst, it almost took down the whole world’s banking system with credit facilities drying up, thus triggering the global financial crisis in 2008.

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Five SGX Stocks with Low Risk and High Yield

Below is an article from guest blogger, Richard who works as a stock analyst and has 3 years of experience in the stock market. He likes to write articles and hope to share his experiences with investors in Singapore If you would like additional SGX Dividend Stocks data, information or screening tools, please visit website http://sg.dividendinvestor.com, a leading source for in-depth research and analysis for stock investments. 

Singapore has many advantages of investing money. It’s strongly pro-business environment provides an efficient infrastructure and a transparent administration. The economy of Singapore is committed to free market development and free trade. The investors who are looking for Singapore Dividends these stocks will be helpful for them. 

SGX

Hafary Holdings Ltd (SGX: 5VS)

It is an investment holding company. With its subsidiaries the company is engaged in the supply of premium tiles, stones, mosaic, wood flooring and sanitary wares and fittings to customers in the Singapore market. It has two operating segments: General and Project. The Project customers include architecture firm, property developers and construction companies. On July 2, 2013 the company incorporated a SPV in Singapore, World Furnishing Hub Pte. Ltd.

It has a market capitalization of 90.09 Million, EPS is 0.07, P/E ratio is 3.15 and the dividend yield is 14.88% at the annual dividend payout of 0.03.

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Why Gold will Rally

This article is extracted from BullionStar, a Singapore gold and silver bullion company where you can buy gold and silver at competitive prices.

The collapse in gold price from a high of USD$ 1,900 per ounce in August 2011 down to USD$ 1,340 has led many investors to wonder whether gold will continue its downward spiral.

One of the most powerful price indicators is the net positions by professionals who hedge gold. These hedgers are not those speculators or traders in the commodity market, but rather, most of them are legitimate hedgers who are owners of mining companies. They use options and futures contracts to hedge their position, to ensure a positive fiat-margin on the mining.

Bullion
If they don’t hedge, it is usually an indication that the market will turn bullish because these hedgers hope to profit from a rise in the price of the commodity. Conversely, if there is an increase in the net short position, it would be an indicator of a bear market looming.

Currently, the hedgers are the least net short in a dozen of years. This means that they have not been so bullish on gold since it was priced at USD$ 300 per troy ounce. 
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Build a New Investing Brain

Since young, I always thought that there must be a scientific approach towards investing. I don’t believe that intelligence play a part when it comes to investing because I have seen many smart professionals lost their hard earned money in the stock markets. I have also seen not-so-educated friends making huge piles of money from their investments. So the perennial question: is investing a form of art or science?
While we cannot change the external environment, we can certainly control our own thoughts and actions. Many people mistakenly thought that the market is our greatest enemy. Actually they are wrong. The greatest enemy is yourself. Your decisions, thought processes, actions and personal experiences shape your investment destiny. To truly succeed in investing, we must know our own self and do self-assessments. Otherwise, it will be very hard to change the way you think in order to change the way you invest.
 Wealth

As an investment advisor to high net worth individuals, Wai-Yee Chen has spent years watching her clients make investment decisions—some good decisions and some not-so-good decisions. Though confronted by the same market variables, those clients often make very different choices with very different results. Here, Chen argues that it’s usually not the data that affects investor decision-making as much as the way investors themselves think.

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BullionStar Singapore: Strong Buy Signal on Gold

This article is extracted from BullionStar, a Singapore online bullion company where you can buy gold and silver at competitive prices.

Crisis? What crisis? One could be forgiven for thinking that the plunge in gold price during the second quarter of 2013 could spell the end of one of the longest bull-run for the world’s gold markets. But apparently this was not the really the case, at least not for physical gold. According to the May 2013 press release from The World Gold Council (WGC), demand for bullions and jewellery, which makes up of 72% of global demand, has seen a surge following the mid-April price fall. This has left many retailers in China and India running out of stocks and refineries having to introduce waiting lists for buyers. On the other hand, gold-backed ETFs have seen outflows of 350 tonnes out of a total of 2700 tonnes held, from January to end of April.

The divergence in behaviours reflects the dichotomous nature of investment in gold, with consumers who prefer bullions and jewellery behaving very differently from investors of paper gold. This phenomenon indicates that even if there is an outflow of investments from the paper gold market, there will be always be a ready market among Indian and Chinese consumers.

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Biosensors reported poor Q1 FY2014 results

Biosensors total product revenue for the quarter ended 30 June 2013 decreased by 6% to US$65.0 million from US$69.0 million recorded in the previous year’s corresponding quarter.
Total interventional cardiology revenues decreased by 7% to US$60.9 million in the quarter ended 30 June 2013 from the US$65.7 million reported in the previous year’s corresponding quarter due to a drop in the Group’s drug-eluting stents (“DES”) sales mainly as a result of the Group’s efforts in reducing distributor channel inventories in China in anticipation of China new tenders pricing taking effect.

Biosensors continues to see strong, double~djgit sales growth in EMEA and Asia Pacific regions. Sales of critical care products remained constant at US$3.4 million in the quarter ended 30 June 2013, compared to US$3,3 million in the previous year’s corresponding quarter.

Total revenue, including licensing and royalty revenue, for the quarter decreased 11% to US$76.6 million from US$86.3 million in the previous year’s corresponding quarter. The table below shows the Group’s revenue and the principal components of the revenue, as a percentage of total revenue, for the periods indicated:

stock market

Cost of sales and gross profit:
Overall gross margin for products was 75% for the quarter ended 30 June 2013, compared to 81% for the previous year’s corresponding quarter.

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K1 Ventures Declared Dividends of $0.02

K1 Ventures shareholders’ funds increased from $338.7 million at 30 June 2012 to $349.9 million at 30 June 2013. The increase was attributable to profit for the year of $54.6 million offset in part by dividends paid to shareholders of $32.5 million and other comprehensive expense of $10.9 million.
The profit for the year ended 30 June 2013 was primarily attributable to a net profit of $19.3 million from the sale of the Group’s investment in McMoRan Exploration Co. (“MMR”) and $27.7 million of investment income from Knowledge Universe Holdings LLC (“KUH”). The other comprehensive expense for current year was mainly attributable to the sale of MMR as the value was realized and transferred to profit & loss.
Stock investing
K1 Ventures total assets of $638.1 million at 30 June 2013 increased by $10.6 million compared to the previous year end driven by cash distributions received from investments including the sale of MMR, partially offset by dividends paid to shareholders. The increase in fixed assets resulted from the purchase of rail
equipment and locomotive upgrades at Helm. The decrease in investments mainly arose from the sale of MMR. The decrease in stocks was mainly due to the disposal of held for sale six-axle locomotives.Group
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Billionaire Kwek claimed that home prices may slip 5%

Over the last two weekends, my wife and myself visited private condominium showrooms of D’Nest, Urban Vista and Q Bay. We were not planning to purchase our second property at the moment but is visiting the showrooms just to have actual sensing of the market. Even though there has been much media coverage on the state of private home in Singapore in recent years, we feel that “seeing is believing”. It is more important to have actual sensing of the market because that will provide better picture of the market dynamics.
Well, according to an article in PropertyGuru, Executive Chairman of City Developments Limited (CDL), Mr Kwek Leng Beng forecasted that private home prices in Singapore are expected to drop by up to five percent due to an oversupply of residential properties from 2014 onwards. He went on to state that private home prices would likely drop by five percent from now until 2014 if all the cooling measures implemented by the government remain in place. He urged the government to lift some of its cooling measures, such as the two year “qualifying certificate”for developers. With these qualifying certificates, it will be suicidal to keep buying land at high prices just because we want a land bank,” Kwek said.
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Record Bankruptcy for US City, Detroit

This article is extracted from BullionStar, a Singapore online bullion company where you can buy gold and silver at competitive prices. 

On 19th July 2013, Detroit became the largest city in United States history to file for bankruptcy protection after piling up debt of more than USD$18 billion. For more than a decade, the city has been borrowing money to pay for its expenses and fund its expensive pension system. Apparently, the breaking point came about after Detroit failed to reach agreements with the bondholders and creditors to restructure the city’s debt out of court.

People who are familiar with The Federal Reserve’s money creation process would not be surprised by Detroit’s bankruptcy. Since President Nixon decoupled the link between gold and the U.S dollar in 1971, it effectively ended any form of gold peg internationally. Without any convertibility to gold by any currency, governments all over the world are free to create as much fiat money as they wish without any restriction. As a result, debt levels began to climb. At this point of writing, U.S debt alone amounts to more than USD100 trillion.

The dire consequence of our current debt-based system is that it could get out of control, resulting in hyperinflation and social security problems.

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The Myths about Gold Bullion

This article is extracted from BullionStar, a Singapore online bullion company where you can buy gold and silver at competitive prices.

Despite the surge in financial risks during the Great Recession, gold bullion continues to be absent in most institutional and individual investment portfolios. Global pension funds and insurance companies with trillions of dollars’ worth of assets continue to overlook gold as a form of sustainable wealth protection insurance. Many individuals have also misunderstood gold and ignored the substantial benefits of owning gold. All these misconceptions are due to the prevailing myths about gold bullion ownership.

Bullion
One of the top myths is that gold is a bad investment compared to equities. This myth seems to have its roots in the 1979-1980 rally when gold reached $850 per ounce. Those who had bought gold during this peak cycle would have to wait for about twenty-eight long years in order to break even. However, those who bought gold on 15 August 1971, when President Nixon cut the link between gold and the dollar, would have a different story to tell. Gold was priced at $38.90 per ounce and those who purchased at that time would have enjoyed a gain of about 5000 percent, surpassing Dow Jones gain of about 1500 for the same period.
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Shape your child’s financial destiny

As a wealth builder, I considered it my duty to help shaping my child’s financial destiny. A few days ago, I bought an endowment plan after much financial planning with my wife. The policy was purchased under my name but eventually when it matures twenty years down the road, we plan to use the money for our daughter’s university fees.
We thought that since I am the sole breadwinner, the policy should insure me, so that in case if anything happened to me, the policy can still sustain and provides for my daughter’s education fees.
Beyond this saving plan, I hope that my daughter will grow up cultivating a good saving habit and develop prudent personal finance skills. This is important, especially so in an expensive city like Singapore. To this end, my wife and myself think that parents have a critical role in shaping their child’s financial destiny.
Insurance

Lead by example
Contrary to what many parents thought, toddlers by as early as 14 months, are masters at reading social cues. This means that children often observe and take the cues from parents’ life habits. If your financial situation is consistently in a bad shape, you are not going to convince your child when you try to educate him/her on financial prudence.

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SingTel grilled over digital investments

I read an article in The Strait Times which stated that SingTel was grilled by investors over its digital investments during its latest annual general meeting AGM. Apparently, some of the investors were concerned about the company’s decision to budget multi-billion dollar for its new digital investments and queried the company on the soundness of such an ambitious plan. I am not vested in any SingTel shares and neither did I attend any of its AGM, but after reading the article, I have some comments.

Most investors thought that buying the shares of a company means having a stake in the entity, albeit as minor shareholders. They are absolutely right. But technically, in most cases, they do not have much say or influence over key decisions made by the management of the company.

Stock investing

Take for example, in SingTel’s case, even though many minor shareholders were unhappy over the company’s strategy to invest billion of dollars in digital portals, the resolution was still passed. So honestly, I would say the AGM was really just a formality to inform the outcome of management’s decision.

My thinking is that if you are uncomfortable with the direction undertook by the company which you invested in, you should just divest away your stake.

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BullionStar Review: Gold Buying Frenzy in Asia

This article is extracted from BullionStar, a Singapore online bullion company where you can buy gold and silver at competitive prices.
According to Scott Morrison, Chairman of Swiss precious metals processor, Metalor Technologies, gold refineries were unable to keep up with the demand from Asia investors as the plunge in gold price sparked frenzy in buying gold bullions and jewelry from China to India. His company expects to complete its US$15 million gold refinery on Singapore by the end of this year. The refinery will have a capacity of 150 metric tons a year, he said.

In a bid to expand Singapore’s share of gold bullion trading, the government removed 7 percent GST from investment-grade precious metals in 2012. The aim is to enhance trading and encourage the buying and selling of gold and silver. Retail players should welcome this move as having an vibrant ecosystem of trading facilities will help to boost the liquidity of precious metals.

As a result of this policy change, international financial institutes like Deutsche Bank and JPMorgan Chase have opened vaults in Singapore. In recent years, in order to meet the demand for physical gold which is being highly sought by the local investment community, premiere online bullion dealers like BullionStar Singapore were established to facilitate the trading of gold and silver at competitive prices.

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Invest in Singapore Industrial Sector Stocks

Below is an article from guest blogger, Richard who works as a stock analyst and has 3 years of experience in the stock market. He likes to write articles and hope to share his experiences with investors in Singapore If you would like additional SGX Dividend Stocks data, information or screening tools, please visit website http://sg.dividendinvestor.com, a leading source for in-depth research and analysis for stock investments.

While talking about the Singapore stocks outlook, we should examine the general global economic outlook. As being a small country the Singapore stock market is much shaped by what is going on in the global markets. By investing in Singapore Stocks, investors can generate income for their future. I am sharing five Singapore stocks from Industrial sector in which you should invest.

MYP Ltd (SGX: F86)

MYP Ltd is a Singapore-based company. It is engaged in investment holding and providing of shipping agency, terminal operations, warehousing and logistics services. Its operating segments include Agency and terminal operations and Strategic projects/Logistics. In June 2012, Ow Chio Kiat sold its 25.69% interest in the Company. In April 2013, it completed the divestment if SSC Shipping Agencies Pte Ltd, Island Line Pte, Nanyand Maritime (s’pore) Pte Ltd and Hai Poh Terminals Pte Ltd.
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How to make money from blogging

In my previous post, I wrote about making money from blogging. As promised, in this post, I shall elaborate how you can make decent money from your blog. Bear in mind that this article is written solely based on my personal experience. It may not be the only way of making money from blogging. After all, I am not a full time professional blogger and my main source of income is not derived from blogging. So if there are better alternative ways, feel free to share.

sg wealth builder logo

Passion
There are many people who think that they can make a living from blogging full time. In reality, this is very difficult to achieve. Indeed, you probaby can make a few hundreds or thousands here and there from affiliate marketing or sponsorships. But in most months, there might be neligible or even no income at all. Over the years, I have seen so many local bloggers fizzled out from the scene after only a few months. I supposed most of them gave up blogging after realizing that it really cannot bring food to the table on a daily basis. So if you wanted to make a career in blogging, your first priority should not be in making money from your blog.

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Making money from blogging

July 2013 has been a fantastic month for me so far. Both my career and blog reached new milestones during this month. Firstly, I have been promoted. This is the first promotion in my job journey and I am so happy that my hard work for the previous years had paid off.

Thinking back, those extra duties and late nights at office were worth the efforts. With the promotion increments, my financial situation definitely improved a lot, given that I am the sole breadwinner. The next step for me is to continue reducing my housing and car loans.

Secondly, I am pleased to inform my readers that one of my articles was featured in Yahoo Finance! on 3rd July. It was a pleasant surprise because I was not informed prior to the article being published and I happened to chance upon it. Furthermore, this article was written quite sometime ago last year. So I didn’t really expect it to be featured by any online media companies. Nonetheless, it was a form of recognition and made me feel encouraged to keep blogging. Hopefully more of my articles would be featured by Yahoo Finance!

Wealth

Lastly, I made $1000 from my blog, SG Wealth Builder, last month.

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OCBC Bank: Top Investment Ideas (July 2013)

The following coverage is from OCBC Bank Investment Seminar conducted on 9 July 2013.

Continue Drip-Feeding into Equities
We remain positive on global equities, especially with the recent correction in prices. Going forward, markets will remain volatile with uncertainties about Fed monetary policy and China. However, we see this as an opportunity to buy, and continue to recommend that investors drip-feed capital into the markets.

The US and Japan are still our preferred regions: an allocation to US equities is an important element of your core portfolio. Meanwhile, as expected, investment-grade bonds have borne the brunt of the rise in long-term interest rate; we prefer high-yield bonds.

Recommendations
Equity funds: With U.S. economic data pointing to increasingly solid growth and the outlook for corporate earnings steadily improving, investors can gain exposure to the country’s recovery through the Franklin U.S. Opportunities Fund. The fund invests in leading growth companies with a sustainable competitive advantage.

Investors who prefer a geographically diversified fund that captures both yield and growth could consider Blackrock’s BGF Global Equity Income Fund, with monthly pay-out amounts of around 3 per cent per annum. The fund provides exposure to developed markets such as the U.S., investing in quality companies with strong growth potential that deliver a steady dividend stream.

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Investing in Singapore Stocks

Below is an article from guest blogger, Richard who works as a stock analyst and has 3 years of experience in the stock market. He likes to write articles and hope to share his experiences with investors on Singapore stocks. If you would like additional Singapore stocks data, information or screening tools, please visit website http://sg.dividendinvestor.com, a leading source for in-depth research and analysis for stock investments. 

Singapore is the fourth largest foreign exchange trading center which is also rated as the most business-friendly economy in the world. The country had an estimated growth rate of 8.2% for the second quarter of 2007. The country has many financial advantages. It has also a strong currency. Focus on these Singapore stocks to add your portfolio.

Stock investing

SembCorp Marine Ltd. (SGX: S51)

SembCorp Marine Ltd is a marine and offshore engineering company. It is engaged in the provision of management services and an investment holding. The company provides ship repair, shipbuilding, rig building and offshore engineering and construction. It operates in two segments: Ship and rig repair, building and conversion, and ship chartering. 
The company has a market capitalization of 9.03 Billion, EPS is 0.26, P/E ratio is 16.58 and the dividend yield is 2.55% at the annual dividend payout of 0.06 
Rickmers Maritime (SGX: B1ZU)
Rickmers Maritime is a Singapore-based company.
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July’s Stock Markets Outlook

Guest blogger Argutori is an avid blogger who manage a private portfolio. His fund pursues a fundamental value oriented strategy focusing on developing and frontier markets in the Asian region. The fund focuses on countries that have progressive foreign investment policies, young and growing populations, and stable or improving economic situations. The aim is to find and invest in companies that have stable franchises for good prices before the masses.
While my blog is largely focused on Southeast Asian stock markets, I also try to keep things in perspective and consider the global situation. Stock markets have had a relatively good run so far this year and there is a lot weighing on the US recovery, which has spilled over to emerging markets. I’m struggling to piece together the economic data, media commentary and market movements, which appear to me to be disjointed. Which lead me to ask “What’s really going to happen with equity markets for the rest of this year and how can I best position my portfolio?”

 

It feels like the world’s gone crazy and the markets aren’t acting in line with rational expectations – worse than anticipated economic data sends the markets up because it means that the Fed will have to keep pumping dollar bills into the system. 
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BullionStar Review: Will the end of quantitative easing signal the collapse of gold prices?

This article is extracted from BullionStar, a Singapore online bullion company where you can buy gold and silver at competitive prices.

It has been an interesting year thus far for gold. Having traded between USD$ 1600 to USD$ 1800 for much of last year, it has trended downwards for the first few months of this year, cumulating in a nose dive in the middle of April, where prices tumbled 15% in a mere 2 days and is currently trading around USD$1,400.

One of the main contributing reasons many agree on is the ongoing talk by the United States Federal Reserve to taper quantitative easing, with some suggesting a tapering starting as early as the end of this year. The reason offered was that the amount of money that has been pumped into the economy has already started to stimulate the economy and since this is the case, the government do not have to interfere in the markets anymore. Other reasons that were offered included the slowdown in the Chinese Economy or the hedge funds liquidating their long positions in the stock markets.

What implications are there should the Federal Reserve slow down the printing of the dollar? The dollar will definitely increase against other currencies, which is what we have already seen as investors move their money out of other asset classes (gold and silver included) to invest in the US dollar and their stock exchanges.

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New measures on property loan

Over the weekend, the government rolled out new measures on property loan to curb excessive borrowings by property investors. The new ruling requires lenders to take into consideration of the debtor’s other existing loans when granting property loans.

The aim is to strengthen credit practices by financial institutions and encourage financial prudence among borrowers. The central bank will also refine rules related to the application of the existing Loan-to-Value (LTV) limits on housing loans. These refinements seek to ensure the effectiveness of the LTV limits that were put in place to cool investment demand in the housing market. In particular, they aim to prevent circumvention of the tighter LTV limits on second and subsequent housing loans.

The question at the back of investors’ mind will be whether the new measure will be the ultimate needle to burst the housing bubble. My take is that this new measure will not have any significant effect on the housing market.

Property investment

To put things into perspective, the current housing situation is not truly due to demand and supply dynamics. The private home market has witnessed huge gains in prices in recent years because of the hot money flowing from foreign countries such as United States and China as a result of loose monetary expansion.

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OCBC Blue Chip Investment Plan

On Tuesday, OCBC Bank partners with SGX to launch the OCBC Blue Chip Investment Plan (BCIP). Under this plan, investors can opt to use cash, CPF or their SRS accounts to invest a fixed amount on a monthly basis. For as little as $100 a month, retail investors can get to invest in local blue chips.

You do not need to go through the hassle and open any securities trading account or Central Depository (Pte) Ltd securities account for your shares under this plan. All you need is an OCBC deposit account, OCBC CPF Investment Account or OCBC SRS account.

My view on this scheme is that OCBC has identified a gap in the market and that this scheme is actually meant to address this gap. According to SGX, retail investors account for only 89 per cent of the daily turnover for stocks with a market capitalisation of under S$200 million. But retail investors make up only a quarter of the daily turnover for blue chips, with the rest of the trading controlled by institutional investors. So clearly, most retail players’ participation rate has been low because blue chips’ entry price is relatively high compared to other counters. OCBC hopes that the new plan gives investors an option to buy smaller number of shares with their chosen monthly investment amount.

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How to read an annual report in 10 minutes

The annual report is the only published document that provides investors an annual snapshot of the company’s progress, so it is essential that investors spend some time and effort to read the content. Very often, important information can be gleaned from the annual report. So you should make the effort to read the annual report of the companies you invested in.
While you must be a qualified accountant to compile the report, you certainly do not need to be an accountant to read and understand the annual report. Below is a few pointers extracted from Singapore Stock Exchange (SGX) on how to read an annual report in 10 minutes.

stock market

1) Read the first two and last two paragraphs of the CEO/Chairman’s statements. This will give you an idea of the company’s performances. Do the same for management’s discussions and operational analysis.

2) Check if independent auditors gave a clean bill of health.

3) Look at the financial statements in the annual report and check for the following:
i) Check if the net profits for the last 5 years are rising or falling. In general, avoid investing in businesses with new direction or in the midst of a turnaround because the risk of losing your investment is very high.

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