Is it worth investing in Keppel Corporation now?

Many financial advisors like to say that investor should not attempt to time the market. I do not disagree on this point but then again, there are times investor should really avoid investing in the stock market, especially during bull-runs. Then, there are times investors should enter the stock market because of the abundance of bargains. Entering the stock market at the wrong time and choosing the wrong stock to invest in without circle of competence can potentially damage your financial portfolio. It can even ruin your wealth. Let’s take a look at Keppel Corporation and review whether it is worth investing in it now.

Investors who bought Keppel Corporation shares in 2007 and hold them till now will be staring at massive paper losses. This is because they would have bought at a high of $12.00 to $13.00 per share and now the share price is [This is a premium article. The rest of the content is blocked and can be accessible by SG Wealth Builder Members only. To read the full content, please sign up as member.]

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$500 profits from UOB Gold Savings Account

Yesterday, my wife liquidated our UOB Gold Savings Account (GSA) and made a profit of $500. It wasn’t a big amount of course but considering the fact that we held the account for only one week, it was really easy money. Opening the UOB Gold Savings Account account was really hassle-free as you may do so at any UOB bank branch located near your home.

The best part about UOB Gold Savings Account is that you can use UOB Personal Internet Banking to carry out transaction via the internet platform or UOB Mobile from Mondays to Fridays 8am to 11pm excluding Singapore public holidays. This is a new feature introduced by UOB bank a couple of years ago.

Before you open an account, please check out the various fees for UOB Gold Savings Account in UOB’s website. There are several charges that you need to factor in because they would affect your yield.

This is not the first time that I touched on UOB’s GSA. A few years ago, I had also made some money from UOB GSA and shared with readers the merits and pitfalls of investing in gold. When it comes to building wealth, you should always focus on investing what you know best. Compared to stock investments, gold is not that difficult to understand and requires far less complicated analysis.


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Is it worth investing in SingTel now?

The nightmare continues. Just when investors think that the stock market storm is over, the correction resumes lately. The reality is that business fundamentals don’t change overnight and so does the stock market. China’s slow down began a couple of years ago and not weeks before. The build up to the oil supply glut began a few years ago and not recently. So investors need to be clear that this down-turn is going to be a painfully long winter and it’s not going to go away soon. But amid the bearish market sentiment, there are certainly companies that are worth investing but currently facing price corrections. Among them is SingTel.

The first thing that investors should note is that SingTel is a regional giant that serves more than 550 million mobile customers in Asia, Australia and Africa. This investment moat sets them apart from the other two smaller local rivals, M1 and Starhub. Having this investment moat gives SingTel the economies of scale for procurement and marketing. Most importantly, being the market leader, they are able to influence market trends and set data and mobile plan prices to their advantages.

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Over the past one year, the announcement of a fourth telco in Singapore has brought a lot of buzz to the market. Given that the market in Singapore is so small and that there are already three telcos, many expect the new telco operator to provide very competitive prices for their services. This has led to SingTel’s CEO to voice concern over a possible price war. Will this development has a big impact on SingTel’s growth and earnings?

To be fair to SingTel, the impact will be minimal because of their strength and depth. Yes, definitely they will lose some market share but if they can be …

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In memory of a Singapore’s investment legend

This is my 500th blog article! For a long while, I thought hard about what to post for this milestone article. It has to be meaningful of course and should resonate with readers on the topic of building wealth. Eventually, I decided to dedicate this article to the late Dr Michael Leong, founder of financial portal, There are many battles that a wealth builder must fight on a daily basis but there is only battle that everyone cannot afford to lose and that is losing our health. On 12th February 2016, Dr Michael Leong lost his battle with colon cancer.

To be honest, I do not know Dr Michael Leong at all but I heard about a few years ago from one of the business associates. He told me that if I aspired to grow my blog, then I must benchmark against the standard of I was curious about what he said and then decided to check out the website.

True enough, I realized that is a powerful data-driven investment website that allows retail investors to make informed investment decisions on stocks. Apparently, Dr Michael had founded the website in 1999 and then sold it to SPH in 2008 for $12 million. In this regard, Dr Michael was way ahead of his time and had pioneered a financial portal that provides much value to the investment community.

His death came across as a shock because only a few months ago, he posted online on 12 December 2015 that all his cancer cells had disappeared after the latest treatment. So to hear the news of his passing on is really very shocking. After all, he was only 54 years old. As I read his poignant article, my heart was filled with immeasurable sadness. I could tell that …

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Staggering $238 million extension charges for property developers

As a wealth builder, I will always try to avoid investing in property stocks because this sector is prone to many restrictive government policies due to the scarcity of land in Singapore. For many property developers, among the most unpopular policies should be the Qualifying Certificate Rules under the Residential Property Act.

Under the Qualifying Certificate Rules, listed property companies are technically considered as “foreign companies” as they would have some foreign shareholders. Thus, they are obliged to sell all their units within 5 years from the date of the Qualifying Certificate or collective sale deal. Failing to do so would incur hefty penalty.

According to property consultancy firm Cushman and Wakefield (C&W), property developers may incur about $238 million of extension charges in 2016. This is certainly not a small amount to be scoffed at and it is also important to note that the extension charges are not one-off penalties. Developers would face annual charges as per the following:

  1. 8% per annum on the purchase price of the residential property for
    the first year of extension;
  2. 16% per annum on the purchase price of the residential property for
    the second year of extension; and
  3. 24% per annum on the purchase price of the residential property for
    the third and subsequent years of extension.

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From the perspective of home-owners, this policy certainly favor them as it would have served the intent of preventing foreign developers of hoarding lands. But unfortunately, like many things in life, there are always loopholes.

To get around this policy, many listed property developers had chosen to delist from SGX to avoid paying the extension charges. Examples are Popular Holdings and SC Global. Another way is for the listed company to transfer all unsold units to a privately held Singapore company.

Eventually, home-owners could be …

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Opportunity is when knowledge meets preparation

From time to time, I like to review my previous blog posts. In an enlightening interview I done with Gerald Tay of Conspiracy of Real Estate Investments (CREi) Academy Group, I realized how accurate his predictions were in 2013. Check out my old article here.

As a wealth builder, I have deep respect for Gerald Tay because he was born to a rich family but subsequently had to start from square one because of some unforeseen family financial difficulties. As a result, his perspective is unique as he knows what it is like to be rich and poor. Below is an eerily accurate predictions made by Gerald in 2013 from my interview with him:

1)      The world economy might be headed for a major financial crisis, making the 2008 financial crisis look like a chicken in a coup. Major economies (China, USA, Europe, Japan) are supported by a large quantity of ‘phony’ money printed endlessly by their governments.  Instead of turning the economy around, massive debts are sending these nations towards default, and there’s no escape from a market crash in the future when you have such enormous debts.
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2)      Even if there’s no such catastrophic event mentioned above to happen anytime in the next 5 years, there might be some ‘black swan’ event that might just tip the balance and burst the asset bubble, especially in Asia. The ramifications could be severe enough for our Singapore property market, especially when prices are already at ‘bubble-pricked’ levels.
3)      There’s a high possibility of interest rates going up, once markets realised that the bonds which they hold might never be redeemed by broke governments. Although higher interest rates have never been the sole catalyst for property prices to fall, they do have some impact nevertheless.
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Gold’s explosive start in 2016

With fear firmly in grip on the global stock markets, gold price has seen an explosive start to 2016. The precious metal has surged an impressive 17 percent after bottoming in December 2015. Investors are fleeing the stock market and pouring massive funds in safe haven like gold and silver. Currently, gold is trading at spot price of USD 1238.40 per ounce. While it is still premature to claim that gold is in bull market, one thing that is certain is that globally, gold is still regarded as the safe haven in the midst of stock market chaos.

According to World Gold Council, the global demand for gold in 2015 remained flat as compared to 2014 at 4,212 tonnes. In spite of a weak start to the year 2015, gold demand rebounded in the 2nd half of 2015 due to huge buying from central banks and China. In fact, for China, the overall gold demand rose by 21% with investment in gold bullion being particularly strong as investors flocked to precious metal amid weaker currency and slowing economy.

Gold and Silver Bullion

Gold Trends in 2016

Alistair Hewitt, Head of Market Intelligence at the World Gold Council, said:In a year that saw global economic and stock market turmoil, the first US interest rate rise in nine years and falling oil prices, demand for gold remained resilient, coming in at 4,212 tonnes for the full year. Official sector purchases, combined with strength in the Asian markets and continuing momentum in the US and Europe, reinforced gold’s credentials as a portfolio diversifier, a wealth preservation tool and a hedge against a range of risks.”

“Looking ahead, physical demand will continue to be supported by strong central bank purchases, and continued buying of jewellery, bars and coins  by households across the

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Chinese New Year 2016: Cherish The Tradition

The first day of the Chinese New Year 2016 fell on 8 February, which is a special date for my wife and I. Seven years ago, we met on this day and fell in love with each other. We were amazed that time really flies and it seemed like yesterday we first met each other.

Our relationship has evolved over the years and as a result, our love has taken a slightly different dimension as compared to seven years ago. We don’t really need little gifts or expensive meals to strengthen the bond between us. In the past, we would fret over how to celebrate this special day together as a couple. Now, with two kids, it is definitely not easy to plan for a date, especially during this festive season.

We had our reunion dinner with my mum and brother’s family on 6 February (Saturday) instead of Sunday because my sister and my brother-in-law wanted to go to Krabi for holiday this week. This is the second time that my sister is travelling during the Chinese New Year and frankly speaking, I had some misgivings about it because my family hardly got any opportunities to get together due to our busy schedules. It is only during this time of the year that we have the chance to catch up and bond together as a family. This is all about family tradition and if we don’t make the extra effort to sustain and pass it down to the next generation, it will be lost.

photo (16)

My wife lamented that nowadays, Chinese New Year carries very little significance to Singapore kids. To this, I do not disagree because they get to buy new clothes, shoes, toys and get to eat good food on almost daily basis. For most of them, money always …

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Fearless Investing

For many investors out there, it must have been a nightmarish experience for the past few months given the massive stock market decline. During this Chinese New Year long weekend, many Singapore investors and bloggers took this opportunity to take a break and recharge their batteries. Many choose to stay away from the stock market because they cannot bear to face the reality that a huge portion of their wealth just vanished into thin air.

Panic. Fear. Self doubts. Depression. Anger. These are the common emotions that have been displayed over and over again in many investors during the many stock market corrections. Unless you are a robot, you would have experienced some of these emotions if you have been vested in the stock market in the past few years. To be successful in investing, you must take the emotions out of investing. Not many people, including me, are able to achieve this. To achieve fearless investing, you must really be a disciplined investor and set entry and exit levels for every stocks that you purchased.

To be a fearless investor, you must have knowledge of the market and be precise in your execution. To do so, you need data for decision making. And knowledge is king in the world of investments. However, the problem in today’s Internet age is not the lack of investment data. Rather, it is the overwhelm of data that makes the average investors lost and confused. In my point of view, you need at least three important data to be fearless in your investment.

Firstly, you must understand the business aspects of the companies you invested in. These data can be retrieved from the quarterly or annual reports released by the companies. Secondly, you need knowledge of whether there are insider trades or company …

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STI to plunge to 1800 in early 2016?

In a chilling article posted on 9 January 2016, local finance blogger, Dave, predicted in his website Smart Passive Cash Flow that STI will plunge to 1800 points in early 2016. As of now, STI is at the 2600 level, so to reach 1800 within a couple of months would constitute a huge correction in the local stock market. To back up his claim, Dave highlighted that he had accurately predicted the August plunge last year in his 22 June blog article. Catch him in action at here.

Dave was able to spot the market trends because the big boys, the so called whales, had taken positions which was spotted by Dave. Most investors, including local finance bloggers, tend to underestimate the power of the whales. What they don’t realize that it is very easy for the big boys to influence the market. Take the STI for example. It consists of only 30 stocks and all the big boys need to do is to focus their short selling attacks on these few stocks to bring down the STI. They don’t have to short all the other counters to bring down the Singapore stock market. But if this occurred, then make sure you don’t stand in the way of the whales because you will not be able to defeat the big boys.

To be an all round investor, one needs to be well versed in not just fundamental analysis but also technical analysis. In addition, it is important to have different strategies on hand to deal with changing market forces. Far too many investors just buy and hold without knowing what is exactly going on in the market. What Dave brings to the table is a whole new level of experience which you can never learn from the books …

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Make money from the stock market during good and bad times

This coming Chinese New Year, many investors will have little to cheer about given the bearish market outlook. Many investors have seen their portfolio diminished in value and are feeling the pain of losing money in the stock market. Are you one of those investors who feel depressed over the recent stock market decline? If so, then brace yourself for further drops in the stock market because this is going to be a long ride. With China’s growth engine slowing down and the unexpected oil price rout, you know it is not going to be business as usual.

My Investment Mantra

As a wealth builder, my mantra is always to diversify my wealth on different assets. I have bought a bit of gold bullion, purchased insurance endowment plans and recently bought some K1 Ventures shares. I prefer to buy stocks during bad times because it is only during this period of time that you can buy stocks at reasonable prices. During bull market conditions, a lot of amateur retail investors would have pushed up the prices to ridiculous levels. The key thing is not to be greedy and set entry and exit levels when it comes to buying stocks at bargain prices. In doing so, you would more or less take the emotions out of investing.

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Lessons Learned

The worst mistake of an investor is to be emotionally attached to the stock that he invested in. Sometimes it is because investors fear the pain of losing money but most of the time, it got to do with ego. After all, nobody likes to feel like a loser and hate telling others that he lost monies in stock investments. When I started investing in shares, I made this mistake too. Even though I did a lot of …

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Is K1 Ventures worth $1.00?

One of the most over-looked value stocks in Singapore’s stock market, K1 Ventures is giving out a huge Chinese New Year Hong Bao to its investors. Amid the bearish stock market sentiments, K1 Ventures is rewarding shareholders $0.21 dividend per share, even though it recorded a loss of $8.47 million for 2Q 2016. Notwithstanding this, I am sold on the company’s performance and bought the stock at $0.965 based on the management investment track record. In this article, I will share how to derive my entry and exit level for K1 Ventures.

K1 Ventures’ proven record

Since the Greenstreet Partners assumed management responsibilities within K1 Ventures, they have distributed $0.35 per share or $742 million, a “frightening record” that is extremely difficult to match in Singapore market, given the fact that K1 Ventures used to trade at $0.20 to $0.30 range. The company choose to be low profile all the while and thus, has been overlooked by many SGX investors. Recently, the company underwent a 5-in-1 share consolidation to meet SGX’s minimum trading price requirements, resulting in the share price to be adjusted to $0.90 to $1.00 range.

Ever since the failed management takeover in 2013, the company has been in divestment mode. The management is managing existing investments with a view of exiting within the next few years and returning excess cash to shareholders.  Being a venture capitalist, its core business is not in building business. Instead, K1 Ventures invests in companies that have potential and then turn around the business within 7 to 10 years. So investors must understand the business philosophy before buying this counter. Wealth builders cannot view this company with the same lens as other listed company and use the same metrics to gauge the company’s performance. In this regard, the selling of its …

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Big boys shorting Keppel Corporation relentlessly

Last week, the big boys, the so-called “whales” are in action again. Keppel Corporation was the subject target and was relentlessly shorted in huge volumes. The short sell orders executed were:

  • 25 January 2016: Short sale volume: 4,918,000 worth SGD 24,158,094
  • 26 January 2016: Short sale volume: 5,875,800 worth SGD 27,831,381
  • 27 January 2016: Short sale volume: 3,895,600 worth SGD 18,456,686

It seems like the whales are hell-bent on lowering the value of Keppel Corporation as oil prices crash to a 14-year low. Due to the oil crisis, Keppel Corp latest Q4 profit fell 44% and its 2015 profit dropped to a 5-year low. Incidentally, Keppel Corp is also a conglomerate with stakes in the property sector, which is also facing a slowdown. The double-whammy gave the whales the perfect opportunity to “wallop” Keppel Corporation and short the counter like nobody’s business.

Of course there were other blue chips which suffered from the recent whales’ attacks but the data from SGX’s Marking of Selling Orders revealed that Keppel Corporation was consistently being shorted for practically the whole of last month. If you are holding on to Keppel Corp shares, you have to be careful because this is abnormal. If the whales consistently targeted and whacked your stocks ferociously, it could mean something big is looming. I am not trying to spread fear but just pointing out the cold hard data in an objective manner. Investors who are tempted to buy in the counter may want to think twice in case of catching a falling knife.

Unless you have the circle of competence, investors should always avoid investing in the oil and gas sector, which typically encounter cycles of ups and downs. Keppel Corp, for all its investment moats is no different and as a matter of fact, they have …

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