Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Pre-order my first book to enjoy 20% discount

Dear Friends,
My book "Route to Successful Property Investment in Singapore" is about to launch.
Attached is the cover of the book.
The retail price of the book is set at $18.90 selling at major book stores.
If you pre-order between now and 8 January 2010, 2359 hrs, you can enjoy a 20% discount.
You will only have to pay $15.
If you would like to own this book, kindly reply this email.
What's more, just need to pay through internet banking and the book will be posted to you.
You can now own this book without stepping out of the house.
That's not the end after you bought the book. There is an email address inside the book.
You can email your queries or your comments about the book.
We can discuss on how I can help you get an UNDERVALUED property for investment.
Wait no more...
Order a copy now.
Jackie S.K. Lim
Route to Successful Property Investment in Singapore

Friday, December 10, 2010

Here's the report card for the year 2010.

On 3 January 2010, I have listed 10 companies that I have confidence in. They are
1.     Goldman Sachs (GS) @ $170.05           [$168]
2.     Walt Disney (DIS) @ $32.50                   [$36.70]
3.     Nutrisystem (NTRI) @ $31.40                 [$20.58]
4.     Garnett Inc (GCI) @ $14.97                     [$15.60]
5.     General Electric (GE) @ $15.22             [$17.24]
6.     OCBC Bank (Singapore) @ $9.08         [$9.85]
7.     Breadtalk (Singapore) @ $0.675            [$0.605]
8.     UOL (Singapore) @ $4.07                       [$4.68]
9.     UIC (Singapore) @ $2.09                        [$2.43]
10.   Popular (Singapore) @$0.18                 [$0.18]
The price in [ ] is the price as at 10 Dec 2010.

Imagine if you have invested $10,000 in each, how much will you have now?
1. Goldman Sachs $9,929.83        [ lost 0.7%]
2. Walt Disney $11,375.42      [ gain 13.75%]
3. Nutrisystem $ 6,753.35       [ lost 32.47%]
4. Garnett         $10,490.88      [ gain 4.9%]
5. General Electric $11,601.83      [ gain 16.02%]
6. OCBC Bank $11,194.42      [ gain 11.19%]
7. Breadtalk $10,717.91      [ gain 7.18%]
8. UOL $11,703.37      [ gain 17.03%]
9. UIC         $11,729.14      [ gain 17.29%]
10. Popular             $13.618.83      [ gain 12.01%] (Invested Capital $12,159.08 due to rights issue)

When calculating the value now, I have taken into account the amount of dividend, bonus shares, rights issue, scrip dividends. 
All the 5 Singapore Companies that I have chosen has gain between 11.9% and 17.29%)
For Foreign Investment, only Walt Disney and General Electric has gain about 14% to 16%.
Garnett has gained only 4.9%, which is good enough to beat inflation?
Goldman Sachs and Nutrisystem are my wrong choices. 
However, I have lost my interest in Nutrisystem when the price hit $32.

In the year 2010, I have only invested in these stocks: Walt Disney, Goldman Sachs, OCBC Bank, UOL and Popular. Therefore, my gains for the year 2010 is ranged between 10% to 12%, as more capital is invested in Popular. 

Lessons to be learnt here.
  1. DO NOT invest in businesses that you DO NOT understand. Goldman Sachs, Garnett and  Nutrisystem are good examples.
  2. Invest in businesses with a strong MOAT. Walt Disney, General Electric, OCBC, Breadtalk and Popular are good examples with strong MOAT.
  3. Invest in companies that has a strong management. UOL and UIC are good examples as both companies are lead by Chairman of UOB Bank.
  4. Invest in companies that buys back their own shares. OCBC is a good example. They have bought back more than 1 million shares this year.
  5. Once you know the value of companies, stockpile when noises cause the stock price to go down. Invest in business, not in stocks. Buy when the price is still right. Popular is a good example, still trading under their value. I have stockpiled this company’s shares to 18% of my target number of shares.
  6. Knowing the P/E ratio and other numbers are not enough, we must really look into the companies main activities and the management.
So what are you waiting for? Start doing some homework and grow your savings.


Monday, November 22, 2010

To put your eggs in a few baskets or to put your all your eggs in a basket?

That's the question that a lot of people ask. Well, it all depends on investor's risk appetite.
Well, for me, I will not put all my eggs in a basket. I will also not put my eggs in too many baskets.

Putting all the eggs in one basket increases investor's unnecessary risks. Having eggs in too many baskets does not make any sense either. The best thing here is to put your eggs in a few baskets. But how many?

Investment is all about your understanding of the word. Many undergraduates are speculating in the stock market. They are actually gambling in the stock market. This is as good as gambling in the casinos in our integrated resort. The only difference that I can see here is just the $100 levy that we, citizens, have to pay just to enter the casinos.

Warren Buffett, Steve Jobs, and Bill Gates put all their eggs in a basket because they know what they are good at. They know what they are doing and has created a niche of their own. Therefore they invest in themselves.

Well, in Singapore, it is not impossible to grow rich. Mr Buffett, Mr Jobs and Mr Gates also started from nothing to grow into what they are now. The main thing that we have to avoid is laziness.

Laziness is the most powerful mass destruction weapon that I have seen.

Investment is not a short term gain. Investment means to put your money into a company or product and earn a profit out of it. So what many undergraduates do in the stock market is not investment at all. The reasons are as follows.
First, they did not hold their shares long enough to be considered an investment.
Second, they like the term "contra". Contra is a process where speculators buy a stock in the stock market and sell them within three days, without coming out with a whole sum of money to buy the shares that they have purchase. In the three days, if the share price goes up, the profit will go into their pockets but if the share price goes down, they will have to pay the brokerage firm for their losses. Isn't this as good as placing a $100 on a blackjack table? If you win, you will get a "profit" of $100, if you lose, you will lose that $100.

To be a real investor, these are the key things that you need to have.
1.   Don't be lazy. Work hard for the first few years to save enough to start your first investment.
2.   Don't be lazy. Make an effort to understand what the companies do before you make a decision to put your money with them. The Internet is so powerful now, you can have all the information that you need. Speak to the CEO of the company if need be.
3.   Don't be lazy. Even if you have invested in some companies, work even harder to save more money to invest more in these companies.
4.   Think of yourself as a shareholder of the company. You own a part of the company too.
5.   Our aim is to grow our savings at a much better rates than what the bank gives as interest. Instead of saving your money in the bank, why not be a shareholder of the bank?

Don't just look at one company. Cast your net to about 6 to 10 companies. Do research on these companies and pick the best 3 to 4 to invest in. Your savings will grow at a rate that you will be surprised as well.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Frasers Centrepoint, a good investment after all

If you are looking for 5% interest yield, look no where else.

Buy Frasers Centrepoint. It's price now is $1.53.

The distributable income was 8.2 cents in for FY2010. That's 5% interest that no banks can give you.


October 26, 2010, 8.55 am (Singapore time)

FCT Q4 distribution income a record $16.5m

SINGAPORE - Frasers Centrepoint Trust (FCT) posted a record distribution income of $16.54 million for the fourth quarter ended Sept 30, 2010, up 29.3 per cent from a year earlier.

For the full financial year, distribution income totalled $59.18 million, a 26.1 per cent increase from last year.

Its distribution per unit (DPU) is 2.16 cents, 5.9 per cent higher from the 2.04 cents last year. This brings total DPU for FY2010 (Oct 1 2009 to Sept 30 2010) to a record 8.20 cents, a 9 per cent increase over the previous financial year.

Click here for FCT's news release

Gross revenue jumped 32 per cent year-on-year (y-o-y) to a record high of $114.7 million, boosted by the accretive acquisitions of Northpoint 2 and YewTee Point, and the successful revamp of Northpoint 1.

Net property income similarly surged 34 per cent y-on-y to $80.1 million.

Occupancy level remained high at 98.1 per cent, in spite of the ongoing refurbishment of Causeway Point.

Chief Executive Officer of the Manager of FCT, Dr Chew Tuan Chiong said, 'FCT generated 74 per cent total return for unitholders since listing in 2006. During the same period, FCT achieved four consecutive years of DPU growth with a compound annual growth rate of 8 per cent.'

Monday, October 18, 2010

Warren Buffett: Buying Berkshire Hathaway Was $200 Billion Blunder - CNBC

Warren Buffett: Buying Berkshire Hathaway Was $200 Billion Blunder - CNBC

Click on the link and learn this important lesson.

Emotion is the worst enemy of decision-making.

Buffett was controlled by his emotions then, that's why it was a $200 Billion blunder.

Monday, August 30, 2010

The rich now will get even richer...

After reading the news on the cooling measures, I can't help but to think that we have gone back to the times where the rich will just get richer.

Why do I say that? You will know the answer after reading the attached report that I have extracted from the Straits Times.

I fully agree with the editor that the cooling measures affect the middle income people like us the most.
First, raising the cash upfront to 10% and increasing the seller's stamp duty from 1 year to 3 years are reasonable measures. However, only allowing 70% home loan for second property is not reasonable. Housing loan is actually a good debt, so why reduce to 70%?

In order to buy a second home costing $500,000, for example, a buyer needs to come up with $50,000 and $50,000 from CPF and a loan of $400,000. That's reasonable.
Imagine if a buyer have to pay $100,000 from CPF instead, how long will the buyer take to reach that amount in the CPF? Another good 5 years?

On average, it takes a person with $3,000 monthly salary, 5 years to get to $100,000 in their CPF account. And not forgetting that he must put aside a minimum sum of $120,000, if they want to buy a second property. Then when will he able to own a second property to rent out and earn some passive income? On the day when he reach 60? Then how much will the property cost then?

On one hand, our senior minister asked us to work smart but on the other hand, we cannot earn a passive income because of the "cooling" measures. How can one reitre comfortably in the future?

The rich will get richer, as these cooling measures do not affect them in anyway. Then the financial gap will again widen.

While some measures are actually good, but others are in fact redundant.

Read the following article and leave your comments.

Aug 31, 2010

'Targeted' cooling has wider implications

Home-owners who wish to upgrade, downgrade or move are affected too

By Fiona Chan, Assistant Money Editor

THE Hungry Ghost month is almost over, but the property market got a new scare yesterday.

To rein in soaring home prices, National Development Minister Mah Bow Tan unveiled an array of measures to temper demand for both private homes and Housing Board (HDB) flats.

He stressed that the steps, while 'comprehensive', were 'calibrated' to target those who already own a home and are buying another for investment or speculative purposes.

First-time buyers and those buying for their own stay, Mr Mah added, would be generally unaffected by the new rules.

But would this be always the case?

Yes and no. It is true that if you are buying a home for the first time, none of the curbs will directly affect you.

But if you are the average home-owner paying off a mortgage, chances are you could be stuck in your current home for some time.

This is because a genuine home-buyer who already owns a home and wants to upgrade, or downgrade, or simply move house, will have to jump through many more hoops than in the past.

Take the new rule that home-owners with outstanding mortgages must fork out a higher downpayment for a new property. They will now have to pay at least 30 per cent of the purchase price upfront, up from 20 per cent previously.

This restriction is meant to deter property investors or speculators from owning more than one property. But it will also, inadvertently perhaps, make life difficult for people moving house.

Many people buy their dream home first before selling their existing one, to make sure they have plenty of time to move, and banks ease these back-to-back transactions by providing bridging loans.

But now home-owners who still have a mortgage will have to sell well before they buy, if they want to avoid paying the higher downpayment for their new home.

They then have to obtain a bank letter saying their existing home has been sold, and the mortgage will be paid off at a certain date, before they can apply for a loan for their new home - and even then they will get only an in-principle approval.

Because property transactions take about three months to complete, these buyers may have to find somewhere to stay in between selling and buying.

Aspiring upgraders or home-owners who want to buy and live in newly launched private homes, which take about three years to build, will have to stay somewhere else for even longer.

The new rules don't mean that these owner-occupiers cannot buy new homes to live in, but it does make the timing of when they buy and sell their homes absolutely crucial.

One wrong step and they will need to fork out more cash and CPF savings in upfront downpayments. That risk alone will make anyone think twice about swopping their homes for better ones.

But this is not the only curb that casts a wider net than it appears to at first. There is also the new maxim that private property owners must sell their homes within six months if they buy a HDB resale flat.

The aim of this is to dissuade would-be property investors from dabbling in the market for HDB flats - which should be prioritised for owner-occupiers - and pushing up their prices.

But any HDB owner who already owns a private property for investment may now find himself stuck as well.

If he wants to move, say to another HDB flat closer to his parents, he will have to sell his current flat first before buying a new one.

But the moment he sells the flat, he becomes classified as a private property owner because of his investment property. That means that if he then buys another HDB flat, he will have to sell his private property within six months - even though he is just moving house.

In effect, he may now never be able to move to another HDB flat for the rest of his life unless he is willing to sell both his current properties.

This makes private property a particularly risky investment asset for HDB flat-owners, for reasons completely unrelated to affordability.

Even buyers of private properties, while free of HDB restrictions, must now put more thought into their purchases.

Whatever home they buy, they must be prepared to live in it for at least three years - or pay a penalty in the form of a sellers' stamp duty, which can go up to 3 per cent of the purchase price.

This could affect shoebox apartments, many of which are bought as starter or investment homes, to be resold after a year or two.

So however you slice and dice it, it seems that the latest measures really leave only two groups of people completely unaffected.

The first are those rich enough to be unfettered by the new rules. By throwing various obstacles in the way of owning more than one home, the Government is sending a very clear signal that property is an investable asset class - with no restrictions - only for those who can afford it with money to spare.

The other group of people who will view the measures with equanimity are those who plan to buy only one home and stay in it for the rest of their lives.

Indeed, one of the main aims of the measures, said Mr Mah yesterday, is to ensure that all Singaporeans are able to secure a home - not an investment - for themselves. As Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has said, 'property is for people to buy to live in', meant as a nest egg and not as an easy way to make a quick buck.

If you subscribe to this view, and also think that property buyers should be a lot more prudent to start with, then the new measures tick all the right boxes.

But if you like the idea of moving from one home to another as your needs and lifestyle change, the slew of curbs would restrict your options, unless you are willing to stump up more upfront cash and accept lower levels of loan financing.

Buying a home will now be more of a long-term commitment than ever, and buyers must really think about their life plans for at least the next few years before taking that leap.

The housing market may become more stable, but it is also likely to be much less vibrant. And with the cooling moves coming just as Singapore's economy is entering an uncertain second half, there is a risk of the property market paling precipitously.

The important thing now is for the Government to closely watch if the impact of the measures turns out to be more widely felt than expected, and adjust them accordingly.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Sim Lian Group and Popular Holdings

What do the two companies above have in common?

1. Both are local companies started from scratch.
2. Both are listed in the Singapore Exchange.
3. Both do not have high trading volume.
4. Both companies give dividend yield rate of about 8% or more.
5. Both are cheap companies.
6. Both have the biggest shareholder holding about 53% of total shares.

So what am I talking about?

I am talking about companies that can help you grow your savings.

Let's just talk about dividend yield.

Popular holdings gave out dividend of 1.2 cents per share for financial year ended 30 April 2010.
Current price of Popular Holdings is 15 cents.
This gives us a yield of 8%. (take dividend divided by share price times 100%)

Sim Lian Holdings gave out dividend of 5.1 cents per share for financial year ended 30 June 2010.
Current price of Sim Lian Group is 52 cents.
This gives us a yield of 9.8%.

Let's talk about their P/E ratio.
Popular Holdings earns 4.53 cents for financial year ended 30 April 2010. The P/E ratio is at only 3.31.
Thier net asset value (NAV) is already 21.45 cents. It means that we can buy Popular Holdings at a discount of 6.45 cents (30% discount).

Sim Lian Group earns 18.4 cents for financial year ended 30 June 2010. The P/E ratio is at only 2.83.
Their net asset value (NAV) is already 55 cents. It means that we can buy Sim Lian at a discount of 3 cents (5.5% discount)

Both companies have the largest shareholder holding about 53% of the total share available, which means small investors like us got no say in their proposal. But who cares? As long as these companies are well run and give us earnings every year, I don't see anything wrong with them holding more than 50% of the total shares.

If you got the time, go to their company websites and read their annual reports. Do some homework before you commit to invest in these two companies.

Sim Lian Group:
Popular Holdings:

Disclosure: Blogger holds shares of Popular Holdings. Blogger has no shares in Sim Lian Group.

Disclaimer: This post is written based on my own findings and views. It is not meant to be a blog to encourage buy or sell.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Is it a good time to buy Genting Singapore now?

Genting Singapore just reported a better than expected second quarter results that beat analysts by 33%. So is it the right time to buy Genting Singapore shares now?

After announcement of the second quarter results, the share price has rocketed 15% to close near $1.50. At this price, giving it a P/E ratio of 15, Genting Singapore has to earn $0.10 per share for FY2010. As of 2H2010, their earnings per share is at $0. I still don't think that it is the right time to hold their shares yet.

On 24 august, shareholders will have to vote for the divestment of all the UK casinos. Once it's approved, we will still have to wait for the actual sales to realize.

So when is the right time? When the price goes back to $1.20 range, or if you feel rich, no harm buying now. The difference is only the percentage returns that you will get for your invested capital.

Else, just continue to save money and wait for the right time.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Can we still buy property in the already hot market?

The current property market is overheating. MM said probably no housing bubble yet. But we can see for ourselves how steep the price index is from the URA website.
So, can we buy property in the current market?
My answer is yes. You will still be able to find property that is undervalued. I bought a top floor (15th) 3 bedroom unit for $615 psf. This project is just 8 minutes walk from Hougang MRT station, Hougang Mall, Food Courts and within 1km of a SAP, Holy Innocents' Primary School.
The project may be 13 years old out of 99 years leasehold. You will not disagree that the potential for the upside is there. Comparing to neighboring estates that were selling at $700 psf, I was actually buying at a discount of 12.1%.
The maintenance of the estate was very well kept and the maintenance fee is only $180/month.

Another private property sector worth considering, landed properties. Some landed areas, outside core central, like Luxus Hills, Mimosa Terraces, Realty Park were all asking for prices that cannot be bought by the middle income family. So what can we do?
Look for alternatives.
I have been going around viewing open houses at different areas. Seletar, Teacher's Estate, Telok Kurau, Poh Huat area, Park Villas. Just take 2 areas for comparison. Park Villa is a 99 year leasehold terrace selling at $1.35 million while Teacher's Estate, a 999 year leasehold, terrace is selling for $1.3 million. Which is a better buy? I think you will have the answer now.
A 999 year or freehold terrace at other places listed above are asking for at least $1.8 million. How can a middle income family afford that kind of price?

Further investigation of the transacted prices at URA site confirms that Teacher's Estate is really a good buy. Prices were stable and in the uptrend even during the recession last year.

To buy a condominium unit, size 1200, at $1.5 million, at Meadows @Pierce or to buy a land, size 1800, for $1.3 million, it's your call.

Continue to save more money and look around for valuable properties. You will be able to climb up the property millionaire ladder one day.


Monday, July 19, 2010

Phase 1A of the downtrend

This piece of news is extracted from the businesstimes.

July 19, 2010, 8.40 am (Singapore time)

China to maintain property tightening

BEIJING - China will maintain its tightening campaign to cool real estate prices, the Minister of Housing and Urban-Rural Development said in remarks published on Monday, while urging local governments to build more affordable housing.

As Chinese economic growth slowed in the second quarter, some analysts and investors expected Beijing might loosen its efforts to temper the real estate sector, which accounts for more than 10 per cent of gross domestic product.

But Jiang Weixin, the housing minister, told a meeting of more than 70 mayors that the risks of doing so were too high.

'Once the policy is relaxed, property prices will rebound strongly. Our macro control efforts will then fail overnight, and the government will also lose the trust of its people,' he was quoted as saying by the China Business News.

China's property prices fell 0.1 per cent in June from May, the first monthly decline since February 2009, after Beijing rolled out a slew of measures in April, including higher required down payments and mortgage rates, to curb rapid housing price rises.

Mr Jiang urged the officials to speed up efforts to meet the country's target of building 5.8 million units of affordable housing this year.

His ministry will make a two-week check on the progress of construction beginning on Aug 10, he told the mayors. -- REUTERS

Now for my comments.

Prices of the properties in China as dropped 0.1% in June. It indicates that we have progressed from Phase 1 to Phase 1A. The dropped in property prices in China means that the other countries in Asia will follow suit. It may take a few months or even a few quarters for the Singapore property prices to go down too.

Prices will go down, but when? I do not know. Meanwhile, just need to continue to build our war chest with $$$ ammunition so that we can strike when the price is right.


Disclaimer: The above comments are personal comments. They should not be used to decide if one should buy or should sell their properties.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Phase I of downtrend is on the way

This is an excerpt from the business times breaking news.

July 5, 2010, 1.22 pm (Singapore time)

China property prices to fall before long: minister

BEIJING - China's property prices will fall within a few months as government steps to cool the real estate market bite, Xu Shaoshi, minister of land and resources, said.

China introduced a slew of measures in April, including higher down payments and mortgage rates, to curb excessive real estate price rises, which the government sees as a threat to social stability.

'Property transactions have fallen now and prices have stagnated,' Mr Xu told a meeting of ministry officials on Sunday in Dalian, a northeastern port city.

'In another quarter's time or so, the property market will probably come to a full correction and prices will fall. But it's hard to say to what extent they will fall,' the official Xinhua news agency and other domestic media quoted him as saying.

Mr Xu added that China's land market had cooled and Beijing would continue to build more affordable housing, which could pull down the average level of house prices.

Nationwide, property prices rose 0.2 per cent in May, leaving them 12.4 per cent higher than a year earlier. The increases were smaller than in April. -- REUTERS

The china property market will take lead the downtrend. The rest of the region, where property markets are over heated will follow suit. Just wait for a quarter or two and we can strike using all our reserves in our war chest.

Wait no further, save more cash now.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

More evidence to show drop in price in the pipeline?

HOT from

June 28, 2010, 1.11 pm (Singapore time)

StanChart cuts S'pore property firms
SINGAPORE - Standard Chartered has downgraded its recommendations on Singapore property firms CapitaLand Ltd, City Developments Ltd and Keppel Land Ltd, citing lower launch prices in 2011 due to larger land supply.

'We expect an increase in the residential supply in the pipeline in 2011 mainly due to the record land supply the government has announced it will push out in the second half of 2010,' the bank said in a report.

In addition, it said it expects prices to enter a down-cycle if the government revises policies to increase public housing supply in the next six to 12 months.

It said it also forecasts launch prices to decline by 20 per cent in the mass market districts and 10 per cent in the prime districts in 2011.

Broker rating and target price:

CapitaLand, In-line, $3.95

City Developments, Underperform, $9.27

Keppel Land, Underperform, $3.35


This piece of fresh news has affirmed my views on the current property market. Property prices are indeed going towards the downcycle, if you have followed the chart from the URA website. If not, at least housing prices will stagnate.

Well, well, time to follow these steps.

1. Choose the district/area that you would like to buy your property.
2. Decide how many bedrooms you want.
3. Access weekly to check the transacted prices.
4. Get a reliable and trustworthy agent to update you. They have first hand news about the market sentiments.
5. Check with the bank for an in-principle approval of home loan.
6. Keep a record of your CPF statements, remember the minimum sum rule.
    If you do not know how to do the calculations, I am glad to be of serivce.
7. Build more cash in the war chest.
8. Wait patiently.


Buying craze has indeed slowed down

Published June 28, 2010 (Business Times)

68 units sold at Waterfront Gold
Two of 5 blocks, or 150 units, of Bedok Reservoir condo released last Friday


FRASERS Centrepoint and Far East Organization have sold 68 of the 150 units for sale at the Waterfront Gold condo fronting Bedok Reservoir as of yesterday.

These were units released by the developers last Friday.
The 99-year leasehold condo, which has a total 361 units, is priced at $950 psf on average.
Over 70 per cent of units sold were smallish apartments - one bedders, one bedroom with study units and two bedders.

Buyers were predominantly Singaporeans and there was a roughly equal split between those with HDB and private addresses. In absolute price terms, the cheapest unit sold was about $555,000, for a 581 square foot, one-bedder on the second level. Both penthouses released (about 2,000 sq ft each) were sold at an average price of about $1,025 psf or $2.1 million each.

While Waterfront Gold's sales seem tepid compared with launches earlier this year, Frasers Centrepoint Homes chief operating officer Cheang Kok Kheong said the outcome was 'within our expectation and quite remarkable given today's market sentiment'.

'We are testing the upper end of prices in the upgraders' market and because of the location and facilities, we are positioning Waterfront Gold as an upper-mid market condo rather than a mass-market product.

'For instance, we have a sky park with a dedicated express bubble lift and toilets in the development will have marble floors,' he added.

Mr Cheang also said the developers are offering two of the project's five blocks, or 150 units, as part of 'a deliberate attempt not to sell out the project'.

'We wish to sell progressively and keep the remaining three blocks until the location of the Bedok Reservoir Station on Downtown Line 3 is announced.'

Market watchers recall that during March/April, when home buying sentiment was stronger, developers used to achieve sales of about 300 units in the first weekend of a project's release.

Knight Frank managing director (residential services) Peter Ow attributed Waterfront Gold's sales result to a 'combination of challenging pricing and a slower market'.

Waterfront Gold is the third in a series of four condos that Frasers Centrepoint and Far East are developing on the former Waterfront View site.

Waterfront Waves was first released in January 2008 at an average price of about $750 psf, followed by the launch of Waterfront Key in July last year at $735 psf on average.

The developers have been raising prices in these two projects.

Waterfront Waves is now fully sold and the remaining 100-odd apartments at Waterfront Key are now selling at average prices of $850 psf for poolview units and $950 psf for reservoir-facing units.

Now for my comments:

The developers launch 150 units out of the 361 units that they have. What does this statement tell you?
Well, I see it that the developers have also seen a large dropped in the number of buyers. Anyway, why wait for the confirmation of the MRT station? Just launch all the units available and see the response.

Anyway, compared to March/April where selling 300 units can be easily achieved in the first weekend, but now? Only 68????

That's a 72% dropped in sales. What's more, most of the buyers are buying only the smaller units. What does this show again? No locals are interested to buy the bigger units to stay. So what do we do? Of course we target the bigger units.

Let's wait for more signals before we commit.

Have you started to build your war chest yet?

Friday, June 25, 2010

So is there a property bubble or isn't there?

Jun 26, 2010
Probably no property bubble here yet: MM

THERE is probably no bubble in Singapore's property market, Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew said yesterday.

The sharp price rises that have been seen are 'part of the total liquidity in the whole world system', said Mr Lee, noting that interest rates are low, and foreigners still see properties as affordable.
'Even if we cap our excess, people in Hong Kong, Indonesia, will say, compared to what I have to pay, Singapore is cheap, let's buy it,' he added.
'And apart from landed properties, they can buy into any condos.'
Mr Lee, who was speaking at a dinner hosted by the Association of Banks in Singapore, said that the Government is convinced that there is real underlying demand for residential property.
'So it's probably not a bubble yet,' he added.
Still, he pointed out that the Government has taken measures to address concerns relating to the market overheating, including releasing more land to developers and putting in place more stringent rules for buyers when borrowing from banks to finance property.
'More land is being released, to dampen the enthusiasm of everybody rushing for the latest release, and we've told the banks to be more prudent and have a higher downpayment,' said Mr Lee.
'These are the precautions we can take, but it does not stop the Indonesians or the Thais or the Malaysian Chinese or the Filipino Chinese from coming here and saying, 'Compared to what I have to pay in my country, this is cheap'.'
Mr Lee was responding to a question by a Standard Chartered banker who had asked about whether he was worried about property prices here.

Above is a part of the report extracted from The Straits Times on June 26, 2010.
MM uses the word PROBABLY, hence probably there is indeed a property bubble forming, but not big enough to burst yet? Nobody knows.

I agree the statement that he make in the middle and last part, "Compared to what I have to pay in my country, this is cheap." He mentioned this statement twice!
I have been noticing that the property prices in the neighbouring countries and that includes Hong Kong and China, that their property prices are much higher than our homeland.

So what happens when the housing prices, or the 'bubble' burst in those countries?

Singapore property prices will follow suit as the investors will go back to their country to buy the properties there. But where do they find the money? By selling the properties here.
This is another example of the simple theory of "Supply and Demand", the most important topic in economics.

As the number of people to buy properties are limited, the buying craze must stop somewhere, hence demand drops. Then it will come a day when those people who follow blindly to buy, will have to sell the properties at a loss. This will slowly translate to more supply over demand and hence prices must fall.

Meanwhile, let's continue to build our warchests.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Are property prices going to hold or ready to experience free fall?

22 June 2010
Two independent reports from straits times and commented on recent property sales showing signs of slowdown. This two reports were written only two weeks from the last news that developer sales slowed by almost 60%.

The straits times wrote:
Residential property sector takes a breather wrote:
Caveats lodged in May 2010 dropped 41%

These two reports once again gave us evidence that the number of buyers out there are exhausted by the recent sales since January. We must remember that the number of people buying properties are limited, hence the buying craze must stop somewhere.

Property agents are still saying that prices will not drop. What kind of sales tactic is this? It comes to show that these agents are only interested to push sales. They do not care if the buyers will profit after that. If they are so sure that the prices are going to go up further, why don't they buy a few units each?

Of all the property showflats that I have seen, I would only consider one that is of value. If you want to know which property and why, email me.

There is another one property that I am looking forward to the launch, that I feel also have value. I will update you once I have seen it.

Meanwhile, just build our war chests and wait patiently.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

After building your warchest with cash and CPF monies, then what?

Just a month ago, on 19 May 2010, I wrote that it's time to get ready money to invest in property, or to upgrade to a higer value property. Today's business times and straits times reported that developers' sale of new units has slowed by almost 60%. It comes to show that supply of new units have excess over demands from the buyers.

Yesterday, an agent sms me to consider a $1.355 million 16th floor 3+1 unit 99 years unit in Kovan Residences. Upon receiving that sms, I checked the ura website for transacted prices and found that the units with similar sizes of 1760 sqft was sold only at about between $1.08 to $1.2 million. The asking price is about 20% or 30% above what was transacted about a year ago. That's ridiculous, isn't it?

Well, if you never forget what Mr Buffett said, "Be fearful when people are greedy and be greedy when people are fearful." I feel that this is the time when people are greedy. This "greed" started 5 months ago in January. This is the time to be more patient as before, and to gather all our ammunitions, i.e. $$$, so that we will be able to strike when people are fearful. This time should come soon, maybe by the end of this year.

There has been reports that smaller units were snapped up the very day it was launched. Don't these people have to really consider the direction and facing when buying properties? These may be the reasons:-
1. If I do not buy now, I will miss the boat.
2. Since everyone else is buying now, the price should be going up later.
3. It's still under construction, hence my monthly installment is peanuts.

It's right that one has to pay only a few hundreds of dollars monthly under the progressive payment scheme. For example, if an individual buys a $1.1 million property, the first three years of payment is about $350 to $900. Only upon TOP, the buyer will need to pay $2600. However, think twice, will I be able to pay the $2600 monthly after TOP?

Let's think about it. The properties under the deferred payment scheme a few years ago will get their TOP this year. Those properties were launch 2 to 3 years ago. That was the time when people just buy the properties without considering, because they have the mentality that I only to pay 5% cash, and 15% from CPF monies, and the rest after TOP. I am currently following a few properties that were on deferred payment scheme, and are going to TOP this year. I believe these properties will be the ones that will create panic selling towards the end of this year.

So what am I doing now? Just need building up my warchest and ammunitions and have the patience to wait for the right time to strike.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Get your cash ready for property investment

Investment in the properties is not as difficult as you may have thought.
There may be some fears that's holding you back. There fears includes "No money", "No experience", "The price is too high", "What if there is a recession?"
Do you experience one or more of these fear?

If you do, then it's quite normal. Everyone will have to start something, somewhere at sometime. Once you start and gain experience, you will eliminate all those fears that we mentioned above.

Now it's the time to get ready your cash and CPF to buy an investment property. We'll wait for a good chance to buy the property at a bargain. Meanwhile, it's always good to look at the papers and websites to search keep track of the property prices.

Step 1: Choose a few areas that you would like the investment property to be.

Step 2: Check the transacted prices through

Step 3: Check the newspapers' classified, Internet ( or or once a week.

Step 4: Get a very reliable property agent, who also has experience, to look out for fire sale out there.

Step 5: Get ready your cash, to pay the 5% and stamp duty. Always be ready to grab one property whenever possible.

Step 6: Wait patiently if you cannot find one now or in the near future.

The 6 steps above can help you grow your assets and cash till you retire.

If you would like to know how much returns you can get investing properties, kindly email to

Have fun searching.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Stockpiling Time

Last night, 6 May 2010, DOW went down more than 3% and the Greece situation has caused panic selling around the world. This is the period we like. It's time to stockpile some value stocks now.

In Singapore today, 7 May 2010, people are panic selling too. Popular is trading between $0.145 and $0.150, banks are worse hit. All the three banks are down, despite reporting better than expected results.

In the US, Citigroup is trading below $4, for the first time in 3 months. It is reported that Citigroup is not involved in the technical glitch in NYSE last night, and they are expanding everywhere outside US, except Europe. I still agree with other analyst that Citi will reach $12 by 2012. Earnings in Citi are solid and they have already firm the company and earnings are coming in.

Popular's new MD maded an announcement that Popular will have a single digit earnings growth this year. I think people have forgotten about this annoucement and panic selling Popular too. At $0.15, it's really a steal. Dividend yield is at 13.3% (if according to historical dividend of $0.02 annually). Popular will announce annual result in late May or early June, therefore I feel that this is a good time to stockpile.

The above is just some personal thoughts, it still depends on yourself whether to buy or not.


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Thursday, March 25, 2010

Be a savvy value investor!!!

To all the teachers out there:

Be a savvy value investor.
  • Use timeless investment strategies to grow your savings at unbelievable rate.
  • Grow your savings at a rate 10 times faster than leaving the money in your savings account.
  • Plan for early retirement.
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Join me in a 2-day Invest with Jac's Course.
Course fee: S$400
Date of course: 31 May 2010 and 1 June 2010, 4 pm
Venue: Jac's Learning Centre @ The Jelutung CC
Send an email to to book your place.
*Reservation fee of S$100 applies.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Popular Holdings Limited, is it a payback time stock?

Recently, when I was catching up with an ex-colleague and we happened to talk about Popular Holdings stocks. He said nothing buy give negative views on the company. And the reason? Well, he said that his wife bought it at $0.30 and until now has dropped to hovering around $0.155 and $0.16. So, my next question was, does she know what she is buying into? His reply, "Nope, just know that it's popular bookshop and that it's cheap at $0.30. Now, you know what I mean by know the right price to buy a stock/own a business.

Well, let's see if Popular Holdings qualifies as a payback time stock?

Level 1 Check
Does the company mean anything to me? Well, I know it sells books and properties.
Does the company has a strong moat? I know that they have 132 bookstores in Singapore, Malaysia and Hong Kong. And I also know that when people think of buying books or stationaries, they will think of Popular Bookstore.
Does the Management do a good job with investor's money? From past records, returns on Equity has been above 12%, hence I think the Management has done a good job.

Level 2 Check
Now that the company has passed the level 1 check, what should we do now?
We look at these numbers for the past 5 years. Sales, Net Profit, Equity and Debt
Sales rises from $347mil to $450mil.
Net Profit rises from $11mil to $22mil (doubles in 5 years, hence 15% compounded for past 5 years)
Equity rises from $125mil to $154mil.
Debt is currently at $19mil, where they can actually paid back within 1 year. (must be less than 3 years)

Looks like Popular Holdings is a payback stock to me.
Market Cap for Popular now is approximately $100 million (Share price x Number of shares).
Now with this $100 million and current net income of $22mil and growing at rate of 10%, the payback time is slightly less than 4 years. Wow, that's a very good business to own. Hence, it's a good company to stockpile!

Last but not least, Popular Holdings reported their 3Q results, ending 31 Jan 2010, on 12 March 2010. It's net profit soars by a whopping 47.5%. Her EPS for the first 3 quarters added up to S$0.035. Her Returns on Equity is 14.7%, according to equity of 23.75 cents per share.

Anyway, it's current price of $0.16 is already a discount compared to it's equity of 23.75 cents.

Now, you can try to buy 10,000 shares at $1,600 and see if you can double that in 4 years. Or else just let it pass.


Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Payback Time

I have just received my book Payback Time: Making Big Money is the best revenge! by Phil Town. I pre-order this book in December 2009.

I have just finished the first 2 chapters and find it very interesting. I was shock to read that how much money were actually wasted if we were to put our money with some mutual fund companies. For the past 15 years,  only 4% of the hundreds and thousands of are able to beat the S&P index each year. What happen to the 96% of them?

Hence, it is important to manage your own money and do your homework. It is not difficult to do the calculations.
There is an excel template done up. All you need is just to key in the numbers, where you can find easily on the internet, either or

I would like to share what I have learnt, through my own reading, with any friends or relatives, for free. I would charge others for $399. From 2010 to 2015, it will really be payback time as these 5 year will be bullish.

Cheers and let's make big money.....

Monday, March 8, 2010

Goldman and Citigroup to push to higher stock price?

Goldman Sachs (US:GS) was reported to push through $200. I do agree with it. Goldman is a fundamentally sound company and has earnings of $22 per share in 2009. Multiplying that EPS by a P/E between 10 and 12, the share price should be between $220 and $262. Goldman Sachs is a steal at current P/E of only 7.73.

What about Citigroup?

Citigroup (US:C) is currently strong and healthier after restructuring by selling off assets that are not core to Citi. I believe that C will turn into black when they report their 1Q 2010 results on 19 April 2010, 8am ET.
Another reason to buy C is because George Soros, one of the investment legends, has buy in C shares in the last quarter where the price was between $3.20 to $3.40. I think that C will breakthrough $7 buy end of this year.

Quote from CNBC (Mad Money)

He praised the company for selling off its unessential divisions at good prices and focusing on the products that work. Cramer also commended CEO Vikram Pandit for turning the company around, something he gets little credit for. In fact, Cramer thinks Citi [C 3.56 0.06 (+1.71%) ] will reach $12 in 2012 largely because he knows Pandit is there steering the ship.

“Now that we know Pandit is here to stay,” Cramer said, “you want to buy all the Citigroup you can when the government starts selling its huge stake.”

“This may be the last great bargain left in the banking business on Wall Street,” he said. “Take it.”


About Goldman Sachs
Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (The). The Group's principal activities are to provide global investment banking, asset management and securities services worldwide to diversified client base that includes corporations, financial institutions, governments and high-net-worth individuals. The Group operates in three segments: Investment Banking, Trading and Principal Investments and Asset Management and Securities Services. Investing Banking segment underwrites equity and debt instrument and provides financial advisory services for acquisitions and mergers. Trading and Principal Investments and Asset Management segment facilitates customer transactions and trading of fixed income and equity products, currencies, commodities and derivatives. Asset Management and Securities Services segment provides investment strategies, advice and planning across all major asset classes and provides prime brokerage, financing and securities lending services. The Group operates offices in over 25 countries.

About Citigroup
Citigroup Inc.. The Group's principal activities are to provide financial services through five divisions: Global consumer includes consumer franchise encompassing, banking, lending, credit card services and wealth management services. The Global Cards segment is a global issuer of credit cards through the MasterCard, Visa, Diners Club, Private Label and American Express platforms. The Consumer Banking segment includes a global, full-service consumer franchise delivering a wide array of banking, lending, insurance and investment services . Institutional Clients Group segment provide corporations, governments, institutions and investors. The Global Wealth Management segment is composed of the Smith Barney Private Client businesses and Citigroup Private Bank and Corporate/Other includes net treasury results, unallocated corporate expenses, offsets to certain line-item reclassifications.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Becoming a landlord in shopping malls?

For those who are more interested in Real Estate, there are many ways to make an investment. One can buy newly launched developments, buy completed projects and rent it out, buy commercial properties or even buy REITs, i.e. be a shareholder of companies like Frasers Centrepoint, CapitaMall Trust, CapitaMall Asia Trust, Suntec Reits, etc.

For the first three options, you need to have lump sum of money, be it cash or CPF, hence it's not for small investors like us. Hence, let's just talk about being shareholders of REITs.

You may ask, "Do we just buy any REITs?"

My answer is simply "NO".

Same as investing in companies, investment in REITs also requires research of their past years results and the distributions that they give every quarter, and of course the returns that you get for your invested capital.

When we look at the yearly distributions that every REIT gives, we can calculate their average. Other than that, we will also know how much dividend an investor can get when in good times and bad. Hence, we will be able to calculate the target price to buy, so as to get maximum returns to our investment.

Remember this, if you buy at a higher price, the percentage returns will be lower and vice versa. Therefore, we need to be clear-minded and know how much returns are we looking at.

Exapmle 1
Jason has $5,000 to invest and he intends to invest in one of the two trusts, ABC trust and XYZ trust. ABC trust's average yearly dividend is $0.25 and it's share price currently is $4.00, while XYZ trust's average yearly dividend is $0.20 and it's share price is $3.00.
By calculating their returns, ABC trust - 6.25% and XYZ trust - 6.67%.
Obviously XYZ trust is a better investment.

Example 2
Jason has $5,000 to invest in MNO trust. Their current price is at $5.00 and it's average yearly dividend is at $0.30. That's 6% return. If Jason has bought MNO trust at $4.50, then the return is 6.67%.

How much returns an investor wants will dictate what price he should buy the share.

Calculating REITs' earnings is the easiest and a stepping stone for those who are really interested in investment.

Have fun calculating and be happy landlord.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Popular Holdings Limited

Popular Holdings Limited, is a well-known local bookshop where people buy their books from. There are a lot of things that people does not know about popular.

Do you know that Popular has bookshops in Hong Kong and Malaysia as well? Do you know that Harris Bookshop belongs to Popular? Do you know that Popular owns {Prologue} in ION Orchard too? Do you know that they are also making fast and extensive move into the Greater China market as well? Do you know that they are also into property development, like One Robin, 18 Shelford and 8 Raja?

Popular has a net asset value of about 23 cents and now it's selling only at 17.5 cents, that's a discount of 24%. Popular Holdings Limited has been around for decades, and  every year they make have positive earnings, during both good and bad economy. Popular is a well known brand in Singapore and hence has that durable competitive advantage. Popular made a lost in FY2009 because they have started exploring into property development sector, and project was on the way and sales were not started yet. It is shown in their latest 3Q results, earnings has reached 2.3 cents. At 17.5 cents, they are actually selling at P/E of 7.6 compared to their average P/E of 11.7 for the past 10 years. Share price of Popular should be at 26.5 to 27 cents.

Let's talk about dividend. On average, Popular gives out 38.6% of their earnings out as dividend. Well, dividend yield depends on the price that you pay for your stocks.At current price of 17.5 cents, dividend yield is about 7.26%. Average ROE of Popular is 11.8%. Using this ROE, expected earnings for 2015 is 3.97 cents, which should bring the price up to 46 cents to 46.5 cents.

This company is indeed a good company to buy and hold forever.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Learning from Nutrisystem lesson, sold to early.

When I sold Nutrisystem at US$21.74, after which it shoots up to pass US$32. What is the lesson learned here?

After reading Snowball, I realised that, my mistake was what Mr Buffett did when he was 11 years only. He bought 3 shares of Cities Service Preferred for US$115. The stock price went down from US$38.25 to US$27 a share. When the stock recovered to US$40, Warren Buffett sold it for a profit of US$5. But Cities Service quickly soared to $202 a share. This is where Warren learned three lessons. Quote from Snowball, "One lesson was not to overly fixate on what he had paid for a stock. The second was not to rush unthinkingly to grab a small profit. He learned these two lessons by brooding over the US$492 he would have made had he been more patient."

Buffett would never ever forget this mistake. And so do I, on sales of Nutrisystem shares.

"Mr Buffett's third lesson was about investing other people's money. If he made a mistake, it might get somebody upset at him. So he didn't want to have responsibility for anyone else's money unless he was sure he could succeed."

The first two lessons were the relevant lessons for this post. Learn from mistakes and never never make it again.

How much is enough to start investing?

Warren Buffett started to invest when he has accumulated US$115, at the age of 11. He bought 3 shares of Cities Service Preferred.

Well, when should one start investing and how much must one have to start investing?
To me, you just need S$500 and you can start investing. That's the problem with Singapore Stock Exchange. You can only buy in multiples of 1000 shares in more than 90% of the companys listed. The second reason is the high commission rate that we are paying the brokers in Singapore. So, how can we start like buffett who only used US$115 to buy 3 shares? It's impossible unless you are buying US stocks, to own part of the company.

Scenario 1:
Jason has S$500 and he does not know what to buy. If he were to buy a Singapore company, he can only look for those whose price is below S$0.45, as he needs to pay for the high commission that the broker is charging, minimum S$25. This can only happen when there is a crisis like the one in the beginning of 2009. At that time, Metro Holdings was only at S$0.34. Well, if he were to buy 1000 Metro shares then, he would have spent $370, leaving $130, sitting there doing nothing. Today, Metro has rose to S$0.80. If he were to sell now, he will receive S$770, earning a profit of $400. In total, he would have S$900, making 80% returns on $500 invested.

Scenario 2:
Jason has S$500 and he decided to buy shares of a US company, Garnett. It was only US$2 at the same time when Metro was S$0.34. S$500 is only US$$357. Hence, he can only buy US$327 worth of stock. Well, at least he can use all US$326 to buy 163 Gannett share. Today , the share price shoots up to US$16.30. If he were to sell all the 163 shares he has, he would get US$2626, which can be converted to S$$3650. In total, he would have make a return of 630% returns on S$500 invested.

Scenario 3:
Jason has S$500 and he has found that Nutrisystem does not have any debt. He has done homework on the company and feels that he can buy the company at a discount. The price was US$14 at the same time as the above 2 scenarios. Hence, he bought 23 shares of Nutrisystem. Just before the new year, Nutrisystem was above US$32. Jason felt that at US$32, it's P/E ratio was way too high compared to earnings of only US$1. He sold all 23 share and received, US$736, converted to S$$1023. With this amount, he actually makes a return of 105%.

Compare the 3 scenarios and decide for yourself, the path of your investment.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

The companies that I still have confidence in for 2010.

Happy New Year to all readers.

Well, 2009 is certainly a volatility year and looks like economy has been settled down and moving up. So what are the companies that will do well in 2010?

I do not have the answer. But these companies listed below looks good to me.

1. Goldman Sachs (GS)
2. Walt Disney (DIS)
3. Nutrisystem (NTRI)
4. Garnett Inc (GCI)
5. General Electric (GE)
6. OCBC Bank (Singapore)
7. Breadtalk (Singapore)
8. UOL (Singapore)
9. UIC (Singapore)
10. Popular (Singapore)

These 10 companies are my choices for 2010. Of course, there are other companies that are worth looking into.

Have fun. Let's have a bullish year ahead.