Second Booster for Covid-19

I received my second booster vaccination jab yesterday at Toa Payoh Polyclinic. The last booster was taken on 26 October 2021. Nearly one year (short of one month) had passed before my second booster of Pfizer-Biontech vaccine.

MOH sent an invitation to me for the second booster via SMS (end August).

The dedicated vaccination centre built above the carpark of Toa Payoh Polyclinic is a good place to get my vaccination instead of GP clinics offering such services. One reason is that GPs also treat patients with illnesses (including Covid-19 patients). Second reason is that there was hardly anybody going for the jabs in this centre. I walked in and get attended immediately.

Despite being boosted the second time, I am still not taking chances with Covid-19. I will continue to wear my facemasks when leaving my home and avoid crowded places. This is because we can still catch Covid. Booster is useful to reduce serious sickness outcomes when we are infected. I am not young anymore to withstand the impact.

Copyright © 2022, limkimtong for Living Investment

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Extreme pain in September for global stocks

Stocks continue to slump in September. Central banks are tightening monetary policies by raising benchmark interest rates.

Stock Indices 26-Aug-22 23-Sep-22 Change (%)
Hang Seng (HK) 20,170.04 17,933.27 -11.1%
Nasdaq (USA) 12,141.71 10,867.93 -10.5%
S&P 500 (USA) 4,057.66 3,693.23 -9.0%
Dow Jones (USA) 32,283.40 29,590.41 -8.3%
CAC 40 (France) 6,274.26 5,783.41 -7.8%
Australia All Ordinaries 7,345.80 6,788.70 -7.6%
UK FTSE 100 7,427.31 7,018.60 -5.5%
Germany DAX 12,971.47 12,284.19 -5.3%
Nikkei 225 (Japan) 28,641.38 27,153.83 -5.2%
Shanghai Composite 3,236.22 3,088.37 -4.6%
Mumbai BSESN 58,833.87 58,098.92 -1.2%
STI (Singapore) 3,249.53 3,227.10 -0.7%

All major stock indices above were negative with Hang Seng Index (-11.1%) and Nasdaq (-10.5%) heading the dishonour list above.

The year-to-date changes as at 23 September are shown in the table below.

Stock Indices 31-Dec-21 23-Sep-22 Change (%)
Nasdaq (USA) 15,644.97 10,867.93 -30.5%
Hang Seng (HK) 23,397.67 17,933.27 -23.4%
Germany DAX 15,884.86 12,284.19 -22.7%
S&P 500 (USA) 4,766.18 3,693.23 -22.5%
CAC 40 (France) 7,153.03 5,783.41 -19.1%
Dow Jones (USA) 36,338.30 29,590.41 -18.6%
Shanghai Composite 3,639.78 3,088.37 -15.1%
Australia All Ordinaries 7,779.20 6,788.70 -12.7%
Nikkei 225 (Japan) 28,791.71 27,153.83 -5.7%
UK FTSE 100 7,384.54 7,018.60 -5.0%
Mumbai BSESN 58,253.82 58,098.92 -0.3%
STI (Singapore) 3,123.68 3,227.10 3.3%

All stock indices above were negative except for Singapore’s Straits Times Index (STI), which was up 3.3% year-to-date.

Nasdaq lost 30.5% so far from the start of the year.

What to do?

History shows us that stocks will eventually rally up after a period of time (maybe years) after a major slump. I will not panic at this time. As long as corporations have a track record of good management, they will come back to winning ways in the future. The key is to watch the operations of these corporations in this trying period.

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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Investment portfolio declined further

My portfolio of fixed income assets, bonds, REITS and Business Trust declined 9.4% from my original costs of investments.

Fixed Income, bonds, REITs, Trust Change (%)
Keppel REIT -18.8%
BGF Global Multi-Asset Income Fund A6 -17.5%
UOB AP GRN Reit ETF S$ -17.0%
Lion-OCBC Income Fund SGD II -14.4%
NikkoAM SGD IG Corp Bond ETF -6.3%
Astrea VI PE Bonds 3.00% -4.8%
SPH REIT -3.4%
United SGD Plus Fund CLA SGD -3.3%
Lion-Phillip S-REIT ETF -2.4%
Temasek Bond 2.70% 0.4%
Astrea V PE Bonds 3.85% 0.5%
Astrea IV PE Bonds 4.35% 2.2%
NetLink NBN Trust 15.2%
Total Fixed Income Investments -9.4%

The fixed income assets declined 9.4%. This was LESS than decline in equity investments.

Equity investments have declined 24.5% from my cost of investments.

Asset Allocation

Asset Class Proportion
Fixed Income 53.0%
Equities 47.0%
Total investments 100%
Total investments 27.6%
Cash/Fixed Deposits/Singapore Savings Bonds 37.8%
Insurance related products eg annuities 34.6%
Total 100%

27.6% were invested in capital markets. 37.8% remained in cash and cash equivalents. 34.6% were placed with insurance related products such as annuities, term insurance.

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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Cash is King

This is a period of rising interest rates. Most central banks are raising interest rates to combat rising inflation. In particular, the United States of America is more aggressive in raising its benchmark federal funds rate.

Singapore is also engaging tighter monetary policy to rein in on inflation. Hence, commercial banks are also raising their interest rates, both loan interest rates and deposit interest rates.

If you were to have ready cash now, some banks are offering 2.2% to 2.6% per year for Singapore dollar fixed deposits of fresh funds of minimum S$20,000. UOB’s rate is 2.6% per year for 12 months deposit. Note: CPF Ordinary Account’s interest rate is 2.5% per year.

With ready cash and no loans, there is no fear of higher borrowing costs. With cash, fixed income investments and bonds could be picked up at lower investment cost.

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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10 Years to the Day – After Temasek Polytechnic

31 August 2012 – I completed my marking of examination scripts of students. I was Adjunct Tutor for two subjects for the April Semester of Academic Year 2012/13. As it turned out, I ended my teaching career with Temasek Polytechnic on this date.

It has been 10 years since I last taught a class. This ended my 20 years of service to the polytechnic (1992 – 2012). Effectivley, it has been 10 years of full retirement.

Has it been that long? I do not feel that it was that long. I still remember fondly of my many colleagues I had the pleasure of meeting and many students I had taught over the years.

Today, I mark my 10th anniversary of the last class I taught. Thank you for the memories.

Copyright © 2022, limkimtong for Living Investment

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Today marks the Day

From today, face masks are optional for most indoor settings (except for public buses, MRT/LRT, and healthcare related facilities and venues).

14 April 2020 was when it became mandatory to wear a face mask. Two years and four months on, the rule on face masks was relaxed.

What are the reactions on the ground with this relaxation?

I walked Toa Payoh estate during lunchtime today. Majority of people I met still continue to wear face masks. Either the news of relaxation of masks has not reached some people or these people still feel safer wearing face masks. It is not exactly “Freedom Day” from regulations under Covid-19 measures.

From a medical perspective, it makes sense to wear a face mask to safeguard oneself from air-borne viruses. It is also important for someone who is sick to wear a face mask in order to stop the virus from reaching another person. This is exactly the reason why doctors wear surgical face masks when treating patients.

In my case, I will continue to wear my face mask because I belong to above 60 age group. It is no joke catching Covid-19 or a flu virus.

Copyright © 2022, limkimtong for Living Investment

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Optimism in July Turned Pessimism in August 2022

July 2022 was a good month for most major stock indices. August 2022 was a reversal.

Stock Indices 29-Jul-22 26-Aug-22 Change (%)
Nikkei 225 (Japan) 27,801.64 28,641.38 3.0%
Australia All Ordinaries 7,173.80 7,345.80 2.4%
Mumbai BSESN 57,570.25 58,833.87 2.2%
STI (Singapore) 3,211.56 3,249.53 1.2%
Hang Seng (HK) 20,156.51 20,170.04 0.1%
UK FTSE 100 7,423.43 7,427.31 0.1%
Shanghai Composite 3,253.24 3,236.22 -0.5%
Dow Jones (USA) 32,845.13 32,283.40 -1.7%
S&P 500 (USA) 4,130.29 4,057.66 -1.8%
Nasdaq (USA) 12,390.69 12,141.71 -2.0%
CAC 40 (France) 6,448.50 6,274.26 -2.7%
Germany DAX 13,484.05 12,971.47 -3.8%

Germany DAX, France CAC 40, Nasdaq, S&P 500, and Dow Jones Industrial fell in August -3.8% to -1.7%.

On the Asian side, Nikkei 225, Australia All Ordinaries, Mumbai BSESN, and Singapore’s STI advanced positively. (+3.0% to +1.2%).

The Straits Times Index (STI) moved up 1.2%.

The year-to-date changes as at 26 August are shown in the table below.

Stock Indices 31-Dec-21 26-Aug-22 Change (%)
Nasdaq (USA) 15,644.97 12,141.71 -22.4%
Germany DAX 15,884.86 12,971.47 -18.3%
S&P 500 (USA) 4,766.18 4,057.66 -14.9%
Hang Seng (HK) 23,397.67 20,170.04 -13.8%
CAC 40 (France) 7,153.03 6,274.26 -12.3%
Dow Jones (USA) 36,338.30 32,283.40 -11.2%
Shanghai Composite 3,639.78 3,236.22 -11.1%
Australia All Ordinaries 7,779.20 7,345.80 -5.6%
Nikkei 225 (Japan) 28,791.71 28,641.38 -0.5%
UK FTSE 100 7,384.54 7,427.31 0.6%
Mumbai BSESN 58,253.82 58,833.87 1.0%
STI (Singapore) 3,123.68 3,249.53 4.0%

Most indices above were negative with regard to movement. The fear of global interest rates hikes and potential recession weigh on investors’ minds.

Nasdaq lost 22.4% so far from the start of the year.

STI was up 4.0% year to date. This was a strong showing relative to the other stock indices.

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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STI ETF Dividend Yield up this year

This year’s SPDR STI ETF was higher when compared to last year’s.

ACTUAL dividend yields based on my costs of purchase:

2022 2021 2020
Counter Yield (%) Yield (%) Yield (%)
STI ETF 3.49% 2.61% 3.56%

My STI ETF dividend yield for 2022 is 3.49%. This is a good return on my investment.

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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Trip to Pulau Ubin brought back memories

21 August Sunday – We woke up early for our tour of Pulau Ubin. The heavy rain while we were sleeping stopped in time.

This tour was organised by My Community, a non-profit organisation and an Institution of Public Character (IPC).

We have not gone for an overseas trip since the pandemic started. This tour is a get-away to leave Singapore main island. The taxi ride from home to Changi Point Ferry Terminal brought back memories of past when we were so excited to get to Changi for a trip out of Singapore (minus passports and luggage).

Changi Point Ferry Terminal is also where I got to Pulau Tekong SAF training camp back in the 1970s. The same bumboat ride was what I took to get there. Such memories!

We caught the last event day of My Community Festival 2022 yesterday. The Pulau Ubin tour was from 8.00 am to 11.00 am. It was guided by Richard Kuah. He roped in two islanders (Mr Choo and Ah Teck) to tell us what lives were like in the past.

Pulau Ubin is a place where time stay still and as rustic and authentic as we can get of Singapore’s past. The guide, Richard Kuah, was good at bringing out snippets of island’s history. It was an excellent idea to seek out Mr Choo and Ah Teck to share their colourful personal stories. We moved round the island by the bandung coloured van of Ah Teck. Incidentally, Ah Teck is known for training wild boars on the island. Mr Choo is the current chief of Pulau Ubin and a long time resident.

Light rain came at the end of the trip. It was an excellent end to a leisurely-paced and cool morning for the Trip to Pulau Ubin.

Copyright © 2022, limkimtong for Living Investment

Bumboats at Changi Point Ferry Terminal
The permanent Wayang Stage.
The islanders call this central locaton “the Orchard Central”.
Mr Richard Kuah (in Yellow T) is our guide. Mr Choo (in black face mask) is the chief of the island.
Tudor style bungalow (One Pulau Ubin) was restored into a visitor centre.
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Because we were neighbours

We met for Lim Kopi* last Sunday at Good Morning Nanyang Café. Six of us met. It was not a regular occurrence. Our daughters were close friends growing up in Farrer Court. We are their parents from three different families.

For 30 years, we are still in contact. The common denominator is our daughters and the glue that bond us together.

After Farrer Court, we live in different parts of Singapore. The neighbourly friendship of early years is still with us. We chatted for nearly two hours until we were the last customers to leave the Café. We had so much to talk and share.

The meet-up was pleasant and reminiscing was delightful. As years go by, we look out for each other. We treasure moments like this. Caring friends are hard to come by.

* Lim Kopi means drink coffee literally, having a sit down get-together with refreshments

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