Monday, January 27, 2020

Living a Minimalist to be ready for Death


“You live as if you were destined to live forever, no thought of your frailty ever enters your head, of how much time has already gone by you take no heed. You squander time as if you drew from a full and abundant supply, though all the while that day which you bestow on some person or thing is perhaps your last.”
                                                     -Seneca


The only constants in life are death and taxes. 

We are frugal with our money yet we are always wasteful with the most precious resource, time. 

I like to live a minimalist lifestyle. I have been trying to sell away things I do not need on Carousell and discard things that do not have any value. I am focusing on doing things that will derive greater happiness, health, enjoyment and freedom. 

I am indifferent to material possessions because I know that I do not own anything forever at all. When we die, we cannot bring anything away with us. I seldom buy new things nowadays except for basic necessities, food and other essentials. I only have 1 phone, 1 computer and do not wear a watch. All other spare phones, laptops and electronic gadgets have been sold off. I still have alot of old clothings, old documents that I will be getting rid off soon. I have curb my temptation to buy more things. I learn to appreciate the things that I already own and maximize their use fully.

Your house, your car, your dog, your watch, your phone, your wife, your children can all be taken away from you all in an instant. We do not know when but it certainly will happen. All our material possessions are borrowed items from the earth while we are still breathing. Everyone we know will die. Everything we own does not belong to us and will be destroyed.

This morning we learnt that NBA star Kobe Bryant and his daughter crashed out in a helicopter. His $600m networth and possessions all taken away from him in an instant. The death toll for Wuhan Coronavirus has climbed above 80. This is just the official figure and there could be at least 10 times more casualties in reality. Everyday fatal accidents happen on the roads and it could happen to anyone. Life is fragile and uncertain. While we are feasting and having fun during the CNY long weekend, there are many people battling to keep hold of their lives on this earth, struggling to keep hold of the time they were given to spend in this earth. We have to be mindful and grateful of our limited existence on earth.

I shall stop rambling here. I just wanna highlight the facts in life and we only need basic essentials to live and should not the urge to buy more and more things. I believe that being a minimalist prepares us well to focus on the priorities in life and be mindful that everything we own can be taken away. Thanks for reading. 

With love and peace,
Qiongster

Saturday, January 25, 2020

CMT + CCT = CICT

I have a Cap. I have a Mall. Ahh! Cap Mall.

I have a Cap. I have a Com. Ahh! Cap Com.

Cap Mall Cap Com. Cap Com Cap Mall.

Ahhhhh! Capitaland Integrated Commercial Trust!

Raffles City: Owned 60% by Cap Com 40% by Cap Mall. To become 100% owned by the combined entity.

On 22 Jan 2020 morning, the proposed marriage between Capitaland Mall Trust (SGX:C38U) and Capitaland Commercial Trust (SGX:C61U) was announced. The combined entity, Capitaland Integrated Commercial Trust will become the 3rd largest Reit in APAC and the biggest Reit in Singapore with 25 properties having a value of S$23 billion. Each Capitaland Commercial Trust unit will be compensated with 0.72 unit of Capitaland Mall Trust and 25.9 cents in cash.

I was rather surprised and shocked not because both reits are in my portfolio but because this is the third time within 6 months that my portfolio is affected by such Reits merger. The first marriage was Ascendas Hospitality (Now delisted) and Ascott Trust (SGX:HMN). That was not much of a surprise to me as both are same breed hospitality trusts under Capitaland after they acquire Ascendas Singbridge.

Then comes Frasers Commercial Trust (FCOT) (SGX: ND8U) and Frasers Logistics & Industrial Trust (FLT) (SGX: BUOU). I own FCOT in my SRS account and FLT in CDP. This seems like a copycat of the merger between OUE Hospitality and OUE Commercial Reit which pioneered the fusion of Reits with different property class

And now the marriage of the God of Retail Reit and Goddess of Commercial Reit to form the Largest and Best Reit in Singapore.
  The benefits of this deal are clear:
a) to future proof for large acquisitions and grow beyond Singapore
b) to improve credit rating and boost financing power
c) DPU accretive to unitholders of both Reits
d) reduce single asset class risk through diversification

My positions in Cap Mall and Cap Com are poised for the long term with 5 to 10 year time frame horizon. I have no plans to time the market to lock in profits because I have traded them many times in the past for kopi monies. They are now the fundamental blocks of my income portfolio. I am slightly disapppointed with this merger despite the benefits as I will have one less top grade Reit in my portfolio and I will end up with unusual quantity of the new Capitaland Integrated Commercial Trust entity. My 5,000 Cap Mall and 10,000 Cap Com will become an awkward 12,200 CICT. Cap Mall is a name that we are so used to for the past 18 years and we need to orientate ourselves to this new CICT legend in this new decade. I believe CICT is a must have in any income portfolio not just for retail investors but also for fund managers and corporate coffers.

My action plan is to sit back, relax and collect all the dividends till the merger take place in Jun 2020, collect the capital returns of 25.9 cents per share from Cap Com to boost my war chest. After CICT is listed after the merger, I intend to purchase 2,800 or 7,800 CICT to top up my resulting quantity of CICT to 15,000 or 20,000. Hence, I will be happy if the price of CICT do not run up too high so that I do not need to average up my cost too much. In the short term, I think both the prices of Cap Mall and Cap Com should experience volatility. Coupled with the worsening situation of the Wuhan virus that may affect retail industry, there is a decent chance of stocks experiencing pullbacks to justify the risks of staying onboard the ship.

Thanks for reading! I wish everyone a Ratty Happy Chinese New Year!

With Love & Peace,
Qiongster

Saturday, January 18, 2020

7 Reasons why we must achieve Financial Freedom asap

“Real wealth is not about money. Real wealth is: not having to go to meetings, not having to spend time with jerks, not being locked into status games, not feeling like you have to say ‘yes,’ not worrying about others claiming your time and energy. Real wealth is about freedom.” – James Clear



When we are young, our parents and teachers always tell us to study hard, get good grades so that we can go to good secondary schools, polys or colleges and then repeat the cycle again so that we can get a good job. A good job is one that pays a modern day slave to work hard to add value for the organisation so that the business owners and bosses can reap huge rewards. No teacher or parent would tell kids that they should discover their own interest, enjoy life, be an entrepreneur to set up own companies and that it is possible to be paid for doing nothing and even during sleep. Nobody dare to tell us that it is possible to not work and yet get paid.

Thanks to the advent of social media and technology in recent years, we are readily exposed to Youtube vlogs, financial blogs, books and investing forums that exposes the truth and benefits of financial freedom. There is no meaning in working hard for a company or our bosses. It is important for us to own income producing assets, properties and stakes in profitable businesses. We do not need to be slaves and yet be able to enjoy income. Life is to be enjoyed and lived to the fullest instead of repeating the Mon to Fri 9am to 6pm routine. I became resolute and dead set on achieving freedom before the age of 40. There are 7 key reasons why.

1. Rat Race
A rat race is a never-ending, meaningless and exhausting pursuit in order to achieve a successful career or higher income, power or fame. It refers humans living like rats, competing with one another to earn the next bite of a slice of cheese. Yet it is a common lifestyle lived by most city dwellers or people like us who trapped ourselves in a time-consuming job, working hard to earn the next pay cheque, increment, promotion, bonus in order to alleviate the burden of car loans, property, bills children and other liabilities. Toiling our lives away in jobs till official retirement age at 62 yrs old or 65 yrs old is not how we should live our lives. By achieving financial freedom early, we can escape from this rat race and charter the journey of our own lives.

2. Power and Freedom of Choice
Striving to achieve financial freedom does not necessary mean early retirement. It merely relieves us from the necessity of working for income in a fixed time and location. Financial freedom  opens up the world of options and entrusts us the power to do whatever work we want, anywhere, anytime instead of being ordered to do whatever we do not like to do. Real freedom! In other words, we only work when we are happy to do and we do only things we like.

3. Live in the Real World
Financial freedom allows us to ditch the 'real world' to enjoy the real world. The countless safaris, beaches, valleys, mountains, forests, waterfalls, coral reefs, aurora and all wonders of earths are there for us to explore and enjoy. The documents, computers, photocopier machines, projectors, chairs and desks in the office and meeting are just non-living objects that are meant for modern day slaves.

4. Redemption of Time
Time is our most valuable commodity. Assuming the average human lifespan of 79 years, we only have 2,491,344,000 seconds on this earth. And it is ticking away making us closer and closer to death. Financial freedom presents us the option to work less everyday, work part-time or retire from work at a younger age, thereby liberating more free time for us to pursue time with loved ones, time for interested activities. No more waking up early and rushing to work. No more attending meaningless meetings and events!

5. Smart Passive Income vs Dumb Active Income
Income from stock dividends, bond coupons or rental property requires little to no effort to keep it coming. In contrast, active income is derived from minds and bodies toiling away in the workplace, entertaining clients, contractors, pleasing stakeholders, managing bosses, crunching data, replying emails, generating reports plus doing a wholeload of shit for the salaries, commissions, bonuses and allowances. Rubbing salt into wounds, earned income command a high tax rate compared to portfolio income. We need to be smart to earn the smart income with minimal effort.

6. Health and Fitness
Competition in life only adds on to unnecessary stress and may have derimental effect on mental and physical health. Achieving financial freedom can relieve our competitiveness in work and we can cater more time to focus on diet, healthy intake of vegan rich and fruity meals, have more time prepare and cook our own meals. We can become fitter through workouts in gym, runs, kickboxing, yoga, jumps, hikings, skateboarding and whatever exercises we like to do. Gone are the days of packing food for a hurried meal, skipping lunches or having excuses of being too occupied with work to exercise regularly.

7. To live a Rich Life Free
We can design and live our own customised lifestyle out of passive income that we do not need to work for. This is the ideal situation of living a rich life free. Life will be richer basking in the sunset at the beach, breathing in fresh oxygen from the coconut trees, embracing the nature and spending time with loved ones. The best things in life are free Happiness, Love and Peace! They are priceless yet do not cost alot of money to purchase. Financial freedom can give us a purely Free life!

Thanks for reading! Wishing all a Happy New Year! Huat ah!

Love & Peace,
Qiongster

Saturday, January 11, 2020

First Top Up to CPF SA in 2020!

I have depleted my war chest for Ascendas Reit Rights in Dec 19 and Mapletree Commercial Trust's preferential offering in Nov 19. So I am in a low cash position and unable to capitalise on any stock market corrections that present good buying opportunites. Thankfully, the Iran US war did not take place, and the small dip in the markets normalized back.

With some incoming cash flow from the first salary in 2020, I cleared off all the credit cards liabilities as usual, allocated some for daily expenses and squeezed out the maximum possible amount for CPF SA top up under the Retirement Sum Top Up Scheme. I wish I could dump $7000 in Jan 2020 to maximize the interests earned but $4400 is the most I have for it.


The benefits of making this top up are to earn the risk free 4% interests from CPF SA and to save taxes.I will need to top up $2600 more in Feb 2020 to complete the $7000 CPF SA top up. After which I will start to target my SRS. I will continue to be in a low cash position for at least 1st Quarter of 2020 before I can start building up my war chest to hunt for the next prey. But since there are not many buying opportunities now and with the results reporting season looming for the Reits, I will just sit back and enjoy the numerous Ang Baos trickling in after the Chinese New Year when the Reits all start to pay dividends. I am looking forward to Mapletree Commercial Trust, Aims Apac, Ascott Trust and Ascendas Reit reporting higher than ever DPUs. 

Before 31 Jan 2020, I will also continue to add on to Ascott Trust ustilising the free brokerage promotion by Phillips Securities. See my previous post Ascott Trust Odd Lots Free Brokerage Promo 
Huat Ah!

With Love & Peace,
Qiongster

Friday, January 03, 2020

Live Rich Life Free Portfolio Revealed

For the very first time, I am revealing my humble Live Rich Life Free Portfolio. My first 2 purchases were Sembcorp Industries and Starhub back in 2015. Both are the worst performers and caused my portfolio to incur heavy losses over the past 4 years. To make matters worse, they pay decreasing dividends year after year. Nonetheless, they were great investment lessons learnt and I improved my stock picking instincts after these first 2 counters. The 3rd counter I invested was an average industrial REIT that turned out to be my core and heaviest counter in the portfolio today. It is none other than AIMS APAC Industrial Reit. Along the way, I got ideas and accumulated new counters or increase existing holdings, building this portfolio slowly and steadily.

Prior to starting my investment journey in 2015, I actually started to trade actively in penny stocks, warrants of STI component stocks like Capitaland & DBS, commodities plays such as Golden Agri and Noble Group since 2007. Many of those counters that I have traded actually go bust. For example, Hyflux and Noble that I luckily managed to flip off after making tidy profits. Leftover counters from my trading days are PT Berlian Laju and Ryobi Kiso that are already suspended. I have written them off from my portfolio but these 2 counters are stucked in my CDP statement forever as blemishes.

This is the LIVE RICH LIFE FREE Portfolio
Total Portfolio Value = $194.5K as of 3 Jan 2020

I agree that this portfolio is very property focused and Reits heavy. It is not well diversified yet. I have tried to add banks like DBS and OCBC somehow sold them off for decent profits after a while. Decent coys such as Comfortdelgro and used-to-be-decent coys like SPH, Kingsmen creatives used to exist in the portfolio but were all flipped off for profits. Moving ahead, I will continue to slowly add decent stocks or REITs to grow this portfolio for more passive income and hopefully can diversify it better to reduce overexposure to one industry.

Besides this portfolio, I have another mini healthy portfolio in my SRS account. which consist of 3 decent coys and 2 REITs. I will share this SRS portfolio next time.

With Love & Peace,
Qiongster







Thursday, January 02, 2020

First Purchase of 2020 - Ascott Reit-BT

On the first trading day of 2020, I was "forced" or rather "enticed" to make the first purchase of the year. It is a very small top up for the largest hospitality trust in Asia Pacific - Ascott Trust!

After Capitaland merged both Ascott Reit and Ascendas Hospitality Trust, Ascott will acquire all A-HTrust units for S$1.0868 per unit, comprising S$0.0543 in cash and 0.7942 Ascott REIT-BT units issued at a price of S$1.30.

My 9000 shares of Ascendas HTrust was converted to 7147 shares of Ascott Trust at the ratio of 0.7942 and compensated with $488.70 in cash on 31 Dec 19.

Then the good news came from the Ascendas HTrust managers. Free Brokerage for odd lots trading in the New Ascott Trust from 2 Jan 2020 to 31 Jan 2020.



I placed my order for 53 shares in the morning and then got it partially filled at 1.32. So before the market closed, I withdrawn the leftover and buy straight at 1.34. I would have 7200 shares of Ascott Trust. Not a nice number but in future I will need to make another purchase of X800 to round it up further.


If you happen to own odd lots of Ascott Trust after the merger, do remember to buy or sell some (<=99 shares) at free commission till 31 Jan 2020 using OCBC Securities or Phillips Securities. Sit back and reap the dividends from the hotels and serviced apartments all around the world! Huat ah!

With Love & Peace,
Qiongster


Wednesday, January 01, 2020

CPF Interest for 2019

On the first day of 2020, I woke up at close to noon. Upon surfing EDMW in HWZ forum, I saw this thread.

Seeing that many forumers have already checked their CPF accounts and rejoiced at the interests that they have earned without really working for it.
Usually in the past, it takes 2 to 3 working days before our CPF accounts are updated with the interest amount. In 2020, CPF board has become more efficient! 
So I checked my CPF too. I was expecting around 8k of interests. I have not really computed and did not know how to compute accurately the interests as the amounts contributed to CPF throughout the various months in 2019 has really made things complicated.


$10,679.05
Not bad! Free money from the gov earned by funds from not sure Temasek or GIC. Anyway the money in CPF are just numbers till we unlock after 65 yrs old. But on paper, it will be a massive boost to my net worth. 

Anyway, CPF interests are a form of passive income from Risk Free Nationwide Bond. We do not need to sweat out to earn it. I am pleased and happy with the first surprise in 2020.

Let's charge towards Freedom! Chiong ah!


With Love & Peace,
Qiongster 

New Year 2020: My Resolutions for a Fresh Journey of Life

Happy New Year to All!

Ushering in the new decade from 2020, I am entering a new journey of my life and continue to focus on achieving financial freedom. I will continue living a simple, down-to-earth but rich and fulfilling lifestyle. I have catagorized my new year resolutions.

Health
  • Health is the most important essence of life. We cannot neglect it. We are what we eat so I hope to eat more healthy and balanced meals comprising of 2 fruits and 2 vegetables servings everyday
  • Limit fastfood to at most twice a month. I will also cut down intake of meat and increase vegan diets.
  • Sleep at least 7 hours on working weekdays and 8 hours on weekends and holidays
Fitness
  • Reduce or maintain my body mass to at most 65kg.
  • Do 20 pushups and 1 min plank everyday
  • Train up and pass IPPT with incentive.
Wealth
  • Boost net worth of SGD 950k by 31 Dec 2020. Current net worth is around SGD 870k.
  • Build up and grow my income portfolio of stocks for passive income of 12k a year, 1k monthly. Current passive income from stocks is around 10k a year. 
  • Top up 7k to CPF SA, mum's CPF RA and 15.3K to SRS to maximise tax reliefs

Relationships
  • Treat family members and girlfriend well and let them happy
  • Treat colleagues and bosses with respect and maintain good working relationship

Mental
  • Rest and chillax during free time, minimise undertaking of stress
  • Read a book every quarter so 4 books a year
  • And not forgetting this blog by updating here once weekly of course
  • Travel to 3 countries for soul enriching experiences. Looking at Bangkok, Vietnam, Taiwan or Korea

Career
  • Clear all tasks, projects and assignments efficiently by clearing my to-do list efficiently. Drop the "do-tomorrow" mindset
  • Improve technical competency and knowledge to facilitate the switch to any new job
  • Hopefully once I am able to attain financial freedom in 5 years time, career will not matter to me anymore

What do you think of my new year resolutions? Hope you have come up with yours too!

With Love & Peace,
Qiongster