SGX stock review 2017 – Noble Group

Due to a request from reader, I am consolidating a series of analysis for Noble Group in 2017. The links to the articles are below and they are unprotected for a limited time. Thereafter, they will be locked up and you need to register as member of SG Wealth Builder to access the premium content.

Do take note that this counter is very risky and novice investors should not attempt to trade it if there is a lack of understanding on the business model. This article is also only for information and not meant to induce or serve as a form of financial advice.

Noble Group

For Noble Group, 2017 will go down in its history as the most dramatic year as the commodity trader engaged in an epic swim-or sink-battle. From management upheaval, to lawsuits involving ex-CEOs, to plunging share price, vicious short-selling attacks, accusations of accounting malpractices, credit ratings downgrades, record earning losses and reported loss of bank support (DBS), Noble Group certainly looked on course to an explosive self-destruction path.

Despite the relentless troubles, Noble Group continued to attract institutional investors’ support. In June, Abu Dhabi’s Goldilocks emerged as surprise major shareholder while China sovereign wealth fund, CIC, remained one of its largest shareholders, with stake of 9.5%. With such strong support from China and Middle East, it is inconceivable that Noble Group will sink into default. But in the corporate world, never say never.

Readers should read the following articles to assess my insights on this ex-blue chip:

  1. The end of Noble Group?
  2. Nightmare of Noble Group continues
  3. Noble Group’s horror show
  4. Noble Group new white knight?
  5. Will Noble Group shares see daylight again?
  6. Collapse of Noble Group share price
  7. Meltdown of Noble Group shares
  8. Noble Group will sink or swim?
  9. Is Noble Group doomed?
  10. Will Noble Group
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5 SGX stocks to invest in 2018

With Dow Jones on course to hitting 25,000 points, the US stock market is certainly on a bull run. Over in Singapore, the Strait Times Index is not doing too badly either, adding 1.8% for the month of November and bringing its year-to-date dividend inclusive return to 23%, compared to an SGD denominated average returns of 18% for the benchmarks of Australia, Hong Kong and Japan. In this article, I will share my views on the 5 SGX stocks to invest in 2018.

For the past 7 years, I had been sharing my insights and strategies on a number of SGX stocks in this blog. However, two years ago, I have divested all my stock holding to fund the purchase of my new home. In spite of this, I have been analysing selected SGX stocks which I would invest in 2018 once my war chest is built up. On this note, it must be emphasized that I do not have a vested interest in the following SGX stocks. Readers and members must do their own diligence before investing in these counters.

SGX stock

OCBC

I am still beating myself for missing the boat on this one. Since 2016, I have been tracking OCBC when the shares were trading at about $8.00 level. Unexpectedly, the share price went on a rampage and stormed to $12.00. Is this counter over-valued? Based on my analysis, current shares are likely to be worth much more than its trading price. Why is this so?

Read my analysis on OCBC’s value, its recent financial performance and how it fared against DBS and UOB. To access the articles, please sign up as member of SG Wealth Builder.

  1. Battle of Singapore Banks (OCBC, DBS and UOB)
  2. OCBC shares worth $50?
  3. OCBC Bank to rock the market with multi-billion hidden assets?
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Learn from Singapore government on how to use your CPF monies

The recent article by Dollar And Sense on how you can build one million dollar wealth using CPF by 65 certainly created a storm among netizens. While I do not dispute that this feat is definitely achievable, such an article does not paint a holistic picture and probably created plenty of false hopes to those who just started their financial journey. Let me share my insights in this article and how you should learn from Singapore government on how to use your CPF monies.

To put things into perspective, the author, Timothy Ho, is the founder of Dollar And Sense. Being an entrepreneur, it is unlikely that he contributes to his Ordinary Account. I may be wrong on this point and if so, I stand corrected. Therefore, when he encouraged readers not to use CPF monies to finance properties, he is probably speaking from his own experiences.

Okay fair enough, there are thousands of self-employees like Timothy who don’t have much CPF savings. Just think of taxi drivers, entrepreneurs and hawkers. But hey, the article was on how to build one million wealth with CPF right? Thus, what I am advocating now is managing your CPF monies to build a sustainable wealth.

CPF

Half-truth

In his article, Timothy claimed that there is a heavy opportunity cost when you use your OA to pay for your home because you “no longer earn the interest of 2.5% to 4% on the money”. Well this is only the half-truth because you actually still earn the interest of 2.5% to 4%. Yes, I am serious. You think you can get away with it by using CPF monies to finance your house? Not a chance. The CPF Board tracks every penny you take out from your CPF accounts. Everything is computerized and there is no …

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My stock analysis of Raffles Medical Group

Have you bought Raffles Medical shares recently? Since my last coverage on this counter on 24 August 2017, the share price of the private healthcare service provider had a 10% correction. What is happening? Should shareholders run for their lives?

To add value to readers, I will share my stock analysis of Raffles Medical Group. Through this, I hope readers will learn how to perform a basic evaluation on stocks and sign up as members of SG Wealth Builder.

Circle of Competence

When it comes to stock investing, the best approach is to invest within your “circle of competence”. This means that you don’t have to be an expert in every company in order to succeed. Instead, invest in an area in which you have a significant knowledge than the rest of investors. For example, if you are a healthcare worker, you are likely to know the trend of the healthcare industry, the market leaders, the demand and supply, and the key developments in the medical field. Thus, it is likely that you would be familiar with Raffles Medical Group and how it has fared in recent years.

But what if you don’t have the circle of competence? Then the risk should be mitigated by the understanding of business model. In short, the business should be something simple enough for you to understand in one sentence. For example, most Singaporeans would know that Raffles Medical Group is one of the largest private integrated healthcare providers in Singapore.

Raffles Medical Group

If you can meet either of the above two criteria, then half the battle will be won and you would know the underlying reasons for a stock’s performance. Let’s use Raffles Medical Group as an example. Even though the company occupies a niche area and healthcare is an evergreen industry in …

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Top 5 Personal Finance Blog Articles

As the year draws to a close, it is timely to review how you have fared financially for 2017. Are your personal finances in order and did you grow your wealth? In this article, I will share my journey for the past one year and also the top 5 personal finance blog articles (in terms of traffic).

This year has been an exciting one for my family as we have finally moved into our new home. The motivation to upgrade from a 3-room HDB flat to an executive condominium was not purely a financial reason. Sure, the potential to “cash out” after the Minimum Occupation Period (MOP) is tempting. After all, ECs are sold at subsidized prices and home owners stand to make handsome profit after selling their homes. But the case for my family is different. We wanted our children to grow up in a better environment and forge a better future.

Due to the upgrade, I have done extensive research relating to home ownership, property taxes, home loans and financial matters relating to CPF. The analysis and strategies were subsequently shared in this blog. Many readers had feedback that they found the articles useful and insightful. Their comments had been heartening, so I have compiled the list to benefit those who may have missed out these gems. Now, I am ready to share these important articles which could be game-changing to your wealth journey.

Personal Finance Blog

To access the exclusive articles, you must register and be a member of SG Wealth Builder. There is a need for me to look after the welfare of paying members who have supported my blog and believe in this project. Therefore if you wanted to grow, come and be part of the community.

Rank #1: The thin fine line between “Joint Tenancy” and “Tenancy-in-Common”

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Don’t invest in Bitcoin until you read this!

How high will it go? The recent euphoria over Bitcoin certainly caught the attention of many investors as the cryptocurrency soared past USD17,000, a remarkable 17-fold increase since the start of the year. Many wealth builders lamented that they had missed the boat of opportunity. While on the other hand, experts warned of an explosive bubble forming. In this article, I will share my view on Bitcoin and whether it is worth to invest in this digital currency.

Dawn of new currency

When it comes to investing, ignorance is not bliss. Therefore, it is important to look at both sides of the coin (no pun intended!) before making judgement. To put things into perspective, Bitcoin was first invented at a time of tremendous financial chaos – the Great Financial Crisis in 2008. Many young investors new to the money game may not be aware of the crisis of confidence in the financial markets back then. All over the world, people’s confidence of the banking systems were shaken to the core when Citibank, then among the world largest banks, was almost brought down to the knee.

Singapore was also not spare of the crisis either and the government was forced to intervene. The government announced in October 2008 that up to S$150 billion of past reserves had been set aside to guarantee deposits in Singapore until the end of 2010. The guarantee was supposed to cover all Singapore dollar and foreign currency deposits of individual and non-bank customers in banks, finance companies and merchant banks licensed by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS).

Luckily, no financial institutions had failed in Singapore and hence, there was no drawdown of the $150 billion past reserves. Nonetheless, the crisis had made people all over the world to question the role of fiat currency and …

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SingTel knocked the wind out of Starhub

Should Starhub investors run for their lives? The month of November had been a dreadful one for Singapore’s number two telecommunication player as its major shareholder, DBS, sold off 900,000 shares, then followed by the shock announcement of CEO Tan Tong Hai who will step down in May 2018. The bad news came swiftly after the announcement of the poor 3Q17 financial results. On the other hand, arch rival SingTel announced a set of smashing good financial results after the divestment of NetLink Trust.

Starhub in crisis?

The announcement of the departure of Tan Tong Hai was indeed surprising, coming at a time when the industry is undergoing a major shake-up. The disruptions caused by technology has led to challenging operating environment faced by all players as many consumers used applications to access overseas calls and short messages. The trend has led to declining revenue from mobile and fixed lines. In the past, IDD call charges and SMS had been cash cows for the telco players. Now, consumers typically use applications to bypass such services.

For Starhub, the decline started many years ago when it lost the monopoly of Pay TV coverage of English Premier League to SingTel in 2009. That was a real turning point and SingTel had really knocked the wind out of Starhub.

Singtel

Turning point

Thus, it is unfair to pin the blame on Tan Tong Hai, who assumed the CEO position only in 2013. But under Tong Hai’s leadership, the subscriber base has been shrinking. As of 30 September 2017, Pay TV subscriber base was 467,000 subscribers after the quarter’s net churn of 10,000 subscribers. Compared to a year ago, Pay TV subscriber base decreased by 40,000 subscribers or 7.9%.

To put things into perspective, Starhub has never derived the bulk of revenue from its Pay …

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Make Singapore a caring society

The recent case of Annie Ee Yu Lian, a mentally disabled woman who was tortured to death by her long-time friend, certainly caused outrage among Singaporeans. It is indeed a tragic story and should never have happened in a first world country like Singapore. It made me wonder whether in the pursuit of wealth, can we afford to become a more gracious and caring society?

In life, what goes around comes around. I always believe in paying it forward. In response to my previous article, “GST should be raised to 12%”, some readers had also expressed concerns that the poor would be the most affected by the impending tax hike. Although such concern is indeed valid, it is important to note that part of the increased government spending could be on social needs. Then again, the perennial thinking is that the government should be responsible for making Singapore a caring society. Below is an article I wrote in 2014. I hope readers would be inspired to reach out for our fellow Singaporeans.

The scene was at a supermarket where grandmother and her two grandchildren were shopping for groceries. Her granddaughter saw a lovely strawberry cake and wanted to buy it. However, when checking out the items at the cashier, grandmother realized that there was not enough money to buy the cake. Thus, she promised her granddaughter that she would buy it another time.

caring society

The little girl was very disappointed but nevertheless, left the shop reluctantly with her grandmother and brother. Just then, a gentleman was standing behind them and saw the situation. He paid for the cake and caught up with them. Gentleman gave the cake to the little girl but grandmother refused to accept it. At that point of time, the gentleman related his story to them.…

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Civil service bonus

Against the backdrop of improving economic performance, Singapore government announced civil service bonus of 2 months, consisting of Annual Variable Component (AVC) of 1 month and Non-Pensionable Annual Allowance (NPAA) of 1 month. Lower-wage civil servants will get a minimum year-end AVC of $1,800.

Together with the mid-year Annual Variable Component (AVC) of 0.5 month, the total civil service bonus that will be paid to civil servants in 2017 is 2.5 months. This is excluding individual performance bonuses and other additional bonuses.

The civil service bonus was announced at a time when Singapore economy is undergoing a period of restructuring. Even though the economy expanded at a better than expected 3.5% for the first three quarters of 2017, labour demand remained uneven across sectors in 2017. The number of retrenchment for 2017 is expected to be much lower as compared to 2016, which hit a peak of 19,170, the highest since Great Financial Crisis.

Civil Service Bonus

The civil service bonus is widely used by the private sector as benchmark for staff bonuses. Usually, private companies tend to peg staff bonuses to civil service bonuses and reward staff who had performed well. Nonetheless, the private sector bonus also depends on how well the sector is doing. For those working in the embattled oil and gas industry, they should be thankful that they are still gainfully employed. While those working in the banking and financial sector should look forward to receiving good bonuses.

Many of you have slogged hard for the whole year. With the coming festive season, rejoice and think about what you should do with the extra monies on hand.

Money framework

For those who received good civil service bonus, this is the time to consider the best approach to manage the monies. In view of the cautious market outlook, it is …

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7 reasons to sign up SG Wealth Builder Membership

It seems like yesterday when I founded SG Wealth Builder. I can still remember the explosive passion and excitement when launching this wealth blog. Seven years had passed and the energy remains amazingly strong. During this period, there had been a lot of twists and turns. Nevertheless, the brand of this blog grew from strength to strength. Over time, I have also developed a voice that connects with my readers. It is this distinctive voice that attracted readers to keep coming back to this blog and many had become long-time followers. Now, I feel that it is the right time to convert this blog into SG Wealth Builder Membership site.

Value is what attracted readers and followers to SG Wealth Builder. Many people who visited my blog had provided numerous feedback that they had learned useful things that they were able to apply in their wealth building journey. Such compliments often invoked deep sense of self-satisfaction and achievement inside me.

To be able to make a difference in others certainly create a profound feeling. Thus, the motivation to bring this relationship to another level. In this article, I am going to share 7 reasons to sign up SG Wealth Builder Membership. Read on if you are interested to grow and become a better wealth builder. Remember, this is a blog for wealth builders, by wealth builders. Hence, this is not about me, but about you.

SG Wealth Builder

Manage money

The mission of this blog is “to make money, to build wealth and to preserve wealth”. In short, this is a journal detailing the process of building wealth in Singapore. It contains my strategies, insights and analysis on various wealth instruments like stocks, bonds, properties, CPF and precious metals. The lessons learned and experiences gained have served me well and I hope to …

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BreadTalk Group to unlock value with property divestments?

BreadTalk Group is a home-grown SGX stock which I have always admired because of its strong brand name and high-quality bakeries. When its founder, George Quek launched the first store in 2000, nobody could have predicted that he would go on to grow the BreadTalk chain store to such extent that it got listed in Singapore Exchange in 2003. Within three years, BreadTalk had become a force to be reckoned with in Singapore market and George had certainly wasted no time in exporting the brand overseas.

Today, BreadTalk operates close to 1,000 outlets across Singapore, Mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand. Supported by a global staff strength of 7,000, the stable of brands include BreadTalk, Toast Box, Food Republic and the operating rights to Din Tai Fung restaurants from Taiwan. These are all household names and together, they helped to reinforce BreadTalk business at the global stage.

BreadTalk

But behind the scene, George Quek had quietly built up an impressive portfolio of investment portfolio. Over the years, the divestment of these properties had generated a slew of dividends for loyal investors.

For example, in Q1FY16, the management [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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