DBS S$ Fixed Deposit instead of DBS Savings Account

DBS Savings Account interest rate is now 0.05% per annum for all balances.

One can put some of Savings Account balances to DBS S$ Fixed Deposit for up to 8 months at following interest rates:

Interest rates for placements of up to $19,999 is

= 0.6% per annum.

Interest rates for placements from $20,000 up to $999,999 is

= 0.05% per annum

(just like the Savings Account interest rate).

Placement into S$ Fixed Deposit can be done on-line instead of going to DBS physical branches. This is convenient.

Let’s see the difference between Savings Account and S$ Fixed Deposit.

Amount = $19,999 (not $20,000)

Period of placement = 243 Days (8 months)

S$ Fixed Deposit interest for 243 days at 0.6% per annum = $79.88

Savings Account interest for 243 days at 0.05% per annum = $6.65

Difference between the two = $73.23

So instead of keeping money in DBS Savings Account, why not place them in DBS S$ Fixed Deposit (provided you do not need use of the money for 8 months).

Copyright © 2022, limkimtong for Living Investment

The material presented is intended to be general and written in layman’s language as much as it is possible. The author shall not be liable for any direct or consequential loss arising from any use of material written. Please seek professional advice from your financial advisor or financial institutions on material written covering financial matters.

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Bank interest income continues to shock me

At the end of each year, banks provide a cumulative amount of interest income earned on savings accounts for the past year.

It always shocked me at the figures provided by three local banks (DBS, UOB, OCBC). The amount of interest income received on savings accounts for the whole of 2021:

DBS = $33

OCBC = $19

UOB = $20

The savings interest rates were 0.05% per year.

Putting money in savings accounts is not going to help in alleviating the cost of living increases. For November 2021, core inflation rose 1.6% (headline inflation rose 3.8%).

Copyright © 2022, limkimtong for Living Investment

The material presented is intended to be general and written in layman’s language as much as it is possible. The author shall not be liable for any direct or consequential loss arising from any use of material written. Please seek professional advice from your financial advisor or financial institutions on material written covering financial matters.

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Has Time moved faster?

Our 3-generation family used to hold yearly family reunion during the first day of Chinese New Year (CNY). The last big family reunion lunch was on 25 January 2020 at my sister’s home. That was nearly two years ago. I have not met most of them during the pandemic.

Two years has passed and I feel time has moved faster. It is an illusion. Time is exact. 24 hours make up a day. 365/366 days make up a year.

Why do I feel this way?

My daily routines have been mundane (wake up, eat and go to sleep) on most days during Covid. There were fewer out-door activities for me also because of Covid. Each day passed in a blur.

There is no lifting of restriction on group size for social gatherings (still at five persons). Therefore there won’t be a big CNY reunion meal for us this year.

Life is still not back to days before pandemic. Such is the life right now.

Copyright © 2022, limkimtong for Living Investment

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Less time on-line

I started last year (2021) with a resolution to spend less time on-line, be it on my mobile phone or on my laptop.

My posts on Living Investments blog site were less than the year before. I posted 146 posts in 2021 against 213 posts in 2020. Views per visitor were quite comparable between 2021 and 2020. (2021: 1.86, 2020: 1.96)

My usage of my mobile phone was 1 hour 27 minutes on average for last week. I watch the mobile phone usage with a view to cut-back. Bulk of the time was on WhatsApp, Facebook, Safari browser and Instagram.

As for the New Year (2022), I will be cutting back further my on-line presence in cyberspace. I will only post as when it is compelling to write or post.

Thank you for reading.

Wishing all a Happy and Healthy 2022!

Copyright © 2022, limkimtong for Living Investment

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Stocks performances over 2021

During of a year of cheap money (low interest rates) and Covid-19 pandemic (technology stocks benefited), stocks rose in 2021 for most markets except for Hong Kong.

Stock Indices 31-Dec-20 31-Dec-21 Change (%)
CAC 40 (France) 5,551.41 7,153.03 28.9%
S&P 500 (USA) 3,756.07 4,766.18 26.9%
Mumbai BSESN 47,751.33 58,253.82 22.0%
Nasdaq (USA) 12,888.28 15,644.97 21.4%
Dow Jones (USA) 30,606.48 36,338.30 18.7%
Germany DAX 13,718.78 15,884.86 15.8%
UK FTSE 100 6,460.52 7,384.54 14.3%
Australia All Ordinaries 6,850.60 7,779.20 13.6%
STI (Singapore) 2,843.81 3,123.68 9.8%
Nikkei 225 (Japan) 27,444.17 28,791.71 4.9%
Shanghai Composite 3,473.07 3,639.78 4.8%
Hang Seng (HK) 27,231.13 23,397.67 -14.1%

The Asian stock markets like Japan, China and Hong Kong did not perform as well as the European, US and India markets. Hang Seng Index suffered because of regulatory rules imposed by China on some sectors of China economy.

The Straits Times Index (STI) was up only 9.8% for 2021.

As I look at 2-year period from pre-pandemic of 2019 to 2021, the changes are shown in the table below:

Stock Indices 31-Dec-19 31-Dec-21 Change (%)
Nasdaq (USA) 8,972.60 15,644.97 74.4%
S&P 500 (USA) 3,230.78 4,766.18 47.5%
Mumbai BSESN 41,253.74 58,253.82 41.2%
Dow Jones (USA) 28,538.44 36,338.30 27.3%
Nikkei 225 (Japan) 23,656.62 28,791.71 21.7%
Germany DAX 13,249.01 15,884.86 19.9%
CAC 40 (France) 5,978.06 7,153.03 19.7%
Shanghai Composite 3,050.12 3,639.78 19.3%
Australia All Ordinaries 6,802.40 7,779.20 14.4%
UK FTSE 100 7,542.44 7,384.54 -2.1%
STI (Singapore) 3,222.83 3,123.68 -3.1%
Hang Seng (HK) 28,189.75 23,397.67 -17.0%

Nasdaq was up a whopping 74.4%. S&P 500 was up 47.5%. Singapore STI was still negative 3.1% over two years. Singapore stock market did not do particularly well compared to other markets.

Copyright © 2022, limkimtong for Living Investment

The material presented is intended to be general and written in layman’s language as much as it is possible. The author shall not be liable for any direct or consequential loss arising from any use of material written. Please seek professional advice from your financial advisor or financial institutions on material written covering financial matters.

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Looking back at 2021

Covid-19 coronavirus is still with us. It started in 2020 and the Delta Variant of the virus turned out to be highly transmissible than the original virus. We continue to wear our face masks when we are in public places.

2021 was a year of vaccination of Covid-19. I took my two vaccine shots and a booster shot of Pfizer Biontech on 16 March, 6 April and 26 October respectively.

Even when borders were progressively opened up for travel in the later part of 2021, there was no reason to travel overseas. It is still inconvenient and expensive since we still have to take PCR tests or supervised ART tests depending on each country’s requirements. The fear of catching Covid-19 while overseas is real. Singapore Government will not pay for our hospitalisation bills if we were to return and tested positive for Covid-19 (within 14 days on return).

2021 was a year of start-and-then-reverse restrictions in our social interactions. The Government relaxed some restrictions such as dining-in number and later tightened these restrictions. It was frustrating because we were not able to control the daily infection numbers. Daily infection cases started to rise exponentially from end of August 2021. For 8 weeks starting 27 September, Singapore went into Stabilisation Phase to bring down these daily cases so as not to overwhelm the healthcare capacity, in particular ICU beds. Work-from-Home was the default.

Before all these, Singapore started Phase 2 (Heightened Alert) from 16 May 2021 through 13 June and then from 22 July to 18 August. Phase 2 (HA) felt like the Circuit Breaker of 2020 (7 Apr 2020 to 1 Jun 2020). The main reason was that we could not dine-in at all hawker centres and food outlets/restaurants. We could only buy take-away food. (Note: Dining-in was allowed from 10 August instead of stretching it to 18 August.)

In 2021, Singapore was battling with bringing down infection case numbers and reducing more fatalities. Healthcare facilities were stretched at different times in the year. Vaccination was ramped up in earnest to reach 87% of total population. The nation was transiting to living with Covid-19. Vaccinated Travel Lanes (VTL) were implemented with countries having lower risk profiles. VTL allows travellers to travel into Singapore without quarantine and vice-versa to these countries.

Omicron variant of Covid-19

When we thought that things were looking up, Omicron variant, first reported in South Africa, appeared on the scene in late November. Omicron became a variant of concern. It is the latest mutation of Covid-19 (SARS-CoV-2) and is more transmissible than Delta variant. Looks like we are not going to leave Covid-19 and get back to normal life anytime soon.

Health Concern

One year of worry over being infected with Covid-19 has affected me health-wise. Stress and worry affected my mental well-being. Symptoms such as raised heartbeats, headaches and feeling faint become part of me.

I am trying to cope with accepting what is happening to me. It is part of this stage of my life. I am thankful that I have support from my family.

Staying Home

We did not travel out of country for obvious reason that the pandemic is still with us. It is just too risky of catching the virus and very restrictive moving around the places we are visiting. It is simply not worth it.

Reading library books

I read mainly fictions borrowed from NLB. I read a total of 61 books this year, exceeding 43 books read in 2020. Reading has been my favourite pastime. Because I stayed at home mainly due to Covid-19, my reading had increased as a result.

STI Roller Coaster Ride

The graph for the Straits Times Index (STI) resembled a roller coaster for 2021. The STI correlated with Covid-19 daily infection rates and the corresponding social distancing restrictions, ie Phase 2 (Heightened Alert) and the Stabilisation Phase of restrictions.

Date STI Remarks
14 May 3,055 Phase 2 (HA)
29 Jun 3,089 Phase 2 (HA)
20 Sep 3,014 Stabilisation Phase
30 Nov 3,041 Stabilisation Phase

The STI ended the year at 3,123.68 points. It had increased by 9.8% for the year.

Portfolio Performance

Dividend yield for Singapore equities/Reits/ETF = 2.34%. (2020: 2.45%)

Coupon yield on retail bonds quoted on Singapore Exchange = 2.82%. (2020: 3.96%). Dividends and coupons were lower when compared to the previous year.

Total Shareholder Returns (TSR)

Total Shareholder Returns (TSR) for 2021 was +2.05% against +0.26% for 2020. Performance in 2021 was better than 2020.

Year ROA2 Marked to Market3 (%) TSR1
2020 1.58% -1.32% +0.26%
2021 1.54% +0.51% +2.05%

The Return on Assets (ROA) was lower at 1.54% per annum. The Marked-to-Market valuation was positive at +0.51% when compared to negative figure for 2020.

Reflections

On the whole, it had been a difficult year. Covid-19 coronavirus still hoarded headlines around the world. Life has been disrupted for most.

Wishing all a good year in 2022!

Footnotes

1 Total Shareholder Return (TSR) in S$ term comprises dividend return (actual income received) and price return (resulting from changes in valuations of investments as at year-end using marked to market valuation).

2 Return on Assets (ROA) ratio shows how the total portfolio (invested capital + cash) were providing income on investments. Income from investments comes from dividend/interest and gains/loss on sale of investments.

3 Marked to Market (%) shows the changes in valuation of financial assets from cost to market valuation at year-end.

Copyright © 2022, limkimtong for Living Investment

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Mental Stress

At the start of December, my health took a hit. I consulted by GP. I was prescribed with muscle relaxant medications to calm my nerves.

I asked myself what brought on this ailment. My analysis is that I am feeling this mental stress. Fear of severe illness and dying suddenly is a powerful stressor. Each time when there was a headache, the fear surfaced. My heartbeats started to shoot pass 100. It is irrational but I cannot help feeling it. Mental construct is something I have no control over.

I have made up my mind. I will need to be kind to myself. Physical ailment requires medications. It could be due the diet and digestive system acting up. As for the psychological problem, I talk about it with my family. I am now mindful of negativity that arises in my mind. Instead of dwelling on it, I go for some distractions to get me off the loop.

I look at what is causing my headache and then address it with suitable care of my body. If it were mind-related such as anger or anxiety, then these must be reduced consciously. A change of environment may be necessary too.

I am living with this and hope that it will get better over time.

Copyright © 2021, limkimtong for Living Investment

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2021 – A year being vigilant

A few more days to a New Year 2022, I am wishing for a better year ahead.

Looking at 2021 so far, Covid-19 is still with us. Omicron variant is dominating news headlines since November. We continue to wear our face masks when we leave our home. We limit our outings and avoid crowded places. Many activities such as get-togethers were curtailed.

We yearn for a day when we can return to days before 2020 when the pandemic started and overseas travel is available without the uncertainties.

To be vigilant constantly is a mental strain. Catching up with latest safe management measures is a pain. We cannot be spontaneous with our actions asking ourselves what are the latest rules.

I aged faster through this mental strain. It felt like a sharp drop from a height. My health has deteriorated with weight loss.

But then these are uncertainties of life. I have to accept and adapt. Live each day as best as I could. The most important time is now. Stay present and live mindfully.

Copyright © 2021, limkimtong for Living Investment

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Family Income supported family expenses

Family expenses came down this year when compared with 2020.

Total family expenses came down by 9.1%.

At the start of last year before Covid-19 caused a lockdown, my family went on an overseas trip. This year we did not travel out of country. This saved some money for us. This explained partly the drop in total spending this year.

The composition of our major expenses is shown in the table attached.

Major expenditures Change over LY (%)
Medical expenses 48.2%
Donations 11.9%
NTUC Fairprice 4.1%
Utilities 4.1%
House related items and services -69.9%
Overseas trips -100.0%
Total -9.1%

What is obvious is that medical expenses had gone up by 48.2%.

We also gave more on donations (+11.9%)

Shopping at NTUC Fairprice was up 4.1%.

Utilities went up by 4.1%.

Spending on the house was down 69.9%.

Family Income on investments covered family expenses/spending for the year. This is a good goal to generate sufficient income for family expenses, thus keeping capital sum of investments untouched.

Copyright © 2021, limkimtong for Living Investment

The material presented is intended to be general and written in layman’s language as much as it is possible. The author shall not be liable for any direct or consequential loss arising from any use of material written. Please seek professional advice from your financial advisor or financial institutions on material written covering financial matters.

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IPOs not making money

I invested in three IPOs this year. Two out of three lost money.

IPOs subscribed in 2021
IPO Price Price @16.12.21 Change (%)
Aztech Global $1.28 $0.86 -32.8%
UOB AP GRN Reit ETF S$ $1.00 $0.985 -1.5%
Lion-OSPL China Leaders ETF S$ $2.00 $2.06 3.0%

Aztech Global lost 32.8% against IPO price.

UOB APAC Green REIT ETF S$ lost 1.5%.

Only Lion-OCBC Securities China Leaders ETF S$ gained 3.0% as at yesterday’s price. This counter had gone below IPO price before in August 2021.

It is not a sure win when we subscribe to Initial Public Offerings (IPO).

Copyright © 2021, limkimtong for Living Investment

The material presented is intended to be general and written in layman’s language as much as it is possible. The author shall not be liable for any direct or consequential loss arising from any use of material written. Please seek professional advice from your financial advisor or financial institutions on material written covering financial matters.

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