Haze

Dry and hot weather and clearing of land and forest by burning are recipes for disaster. The haze blanketing Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore in recent days shows how vulnerable we are to such wanton actions by inconsiderate people clearing land by burning.

One man’s action affects a nation of people from young to old, from ill-health to the healthy. Other living beings are similarly affected. The haze knows no boundary. It spreads where the wind brings it.

The world has been showing concerns about impact on climate of men’s actions on this earth. This kind of destruction of forest sending haze into sky is far more dangerous for the environment than someone who forgot to bring a carry-on bag for bagging his purchase.

Haze causes gloom for me. I wake up each morning hoping to see clear sky again. The sight of western side of Singapore shrouded with dense haze got me down. Lethargy sets in knowing that the 24-hour PSI and hourly PM2.5 readings are at the unhealthy and elevated levels. This was made worse knowing that we did not cause the haze but someone else did.

Copyright © 2019, limkimtong for Living Investment

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Posted in Social Issues

STI went up and then down in 2019

The Straits Times Index (STI) went up and went down several times this year so far. It had been a pattern.

The STI went down on three dates in the intervals of two to three months. And each time the STI went down further from the previous down cycle. This was a downward trend. See table:

Date STI
25 March 3,182 points
31 May 3,117 points
28 August 3,056 points

One month before the above dates, the STI went up. Then it crashed the following month.

Date STI
20 Feb 3,278 points
29 Apr 3,407 points
25 July 3,381 points

The STI went below last year’s closing on 28 August 2019. The STI ended last year at 3,068.76 points. On 28 August 2019, it was 3,056 points.

Now the STI is climbing and it is hovering at 3,200 points on news that there will be some form of trade deal between US and China.

Will the STI maintain the upward momentum this time round? My sense is that another crash is the offing following the historical pattern above. Another reason for my pessimism is that GDP forecast for Singapore for this year is 0 to 1.0%. This is weak growth compared to 2018 of 3.1%.

Copyright © 2019, 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.

Posted in Financial Management

Performance of STI Constituent Stocks – 6 September 2019

The table is from SGX. There are 30 stocks in the Straits Times Index (STI). The table shows the market capitalisation, total return year-to-date for 2019, total return for 2018. Data are sorted in descending order of Total Return YTD of 2019.

STI Stocks Market Cap S$Bn Total Return YTD 2019 % Total Return 2018 %
THAI BEVERAGE PCL 22.4 49.2 -31.7
CAPITALAND COMMERCIAL TRUST 8.4 29.9 -5.0
WILMAR INTERNATIONAL 24.4 27.2 4.3
ASCENDAS REIT 9.8 25.5 0.3
UOL GROUP 6.3 23.6 -28.8
COMFORTDELGRO CORP 5.5 22.2 13.7
CAPITALAND MALL TRUST 9.8 21.7 12.7
CITY DEVELOPMENTS 8.8 21.6 -33.8
SINGAPORE EXCHANGE 9.0 20.6 0.4
SINGAPORE TECH ENGINEERING 12.4 18.5 11.8
CAPITALAND 17.9 18.3 -9.0
VENTURE CORP 4.5 15.9 -29.1
SINGAPORE TELECOMMUNICATIONS 52.3 12.8 -13.2
GOLDEN AGRI-RESOURCES 3.4 10.3 -33.6
DBS GROUP HOLDINGS 63.3 9.3 1.2
UNITED OVERSEAS BANK 42.5 8.9 -3.3
SATS 5.5 7.5 -7.2
KEPPEL CORP 10.8 4.3 -16.4
OVERSEA-CHINESE BANKING CORP 46.8 0.5 -6.2
SINGAPORE AIRLINES 10.7 -2.0 -8.2
HONGKONG LAND HOLDINGS 18.5 -5.4 -6.1
GENTING SINGAPORE 10.9 -5.8 -23.2
JARDINE CYCLE & CARRIAGE 12.1 -10.5 -10.0
JARDINE STRATEGIC HLDGS 48.2 -12.2 -4.6
SINGAPORE PRESS HOLDINGS 3.2 -13.9 -6.9
HUTCHISON PORT HOLDINGS 1.9 -14.2 -34.7
SEMBCORP INDUSTRIES 3.8 -14.8 -15.0
YANGZIJIANG SHIPBUILDING 3.8 -18.9 -11.4
JARDINE MATHESON HLDGS 54.3 -20.3 19.8
DAIRY FARM INTL HLDGS 12.8 -20.9 20.4

Source: SGX StockFacts (Data as of 6 September 2019)

If one were to combine 2018 and 2019 YTD together, the results yield a different picture.

STI Stocks Total Return YTD 2019 % Total Return 2018 % 2019 +2018
COMFORTDELGRO CORP 22.2 13.7 35.9
CAPITALAND MALL TRUST 21.7 12.7 34.4
WILMAR INTERNATIONAL 27.2 4.3 31.5
SINGAPORE TECH ENGINEERING 18.5 11.8 30.3
ASCENDAS REIT 25.5 0.3 25.8
CAPITALAND COMMERCIAL TRUST 29.9 -5.0 24.9
SINGAPORE EXCHANGE 20.6 0.4 21.0
THAI BEVERAGE PCL 49.2 -31.7 17.5
DBS GROUP HOLDINGS 9.3 1.2 10.5
CAPITALAND 18.3 -9.0 9.3
UNITED OVERSEAS BANK 8.9 -3.3 5.6
SATS 7.5 -7.2 0.3
SINGAPORE TELECOMMUNICATIONS 12.8 -13.2 -0.4
JARDINE MATHESON HLDGS -20.3 19.8 -0.5
DAIRY FARM INTL HLDGS -20.9 20.4 -0.5
UOL GROUP 23.6 -28.8 -5.2
OVERSEA-CHINESE BANKING CORP 0.5 -6.2 -5.7
SINGAPORE AIRLINES -2.0 -8.2 -10.2
HONGKONG LAND HOLDINGS -5.4 -6.1 -11.5
KEPPEL CORP 4.3 -16.4 -12.1
CITY DEVELOPMENTS 21.6 -33.8 -12.2
VENTURE CORP 15.9 -29.1 -13.2
JARDINE STRATEGIC HLDGS -12.2 -4.6 -16.8
JARDINE CYCLE & CARRIAGE -10.5 -10.0 -20.5
SINGAPORE PRESS HOLDINGS -13.9 -6.9 -20.8
GOLDEN AGRI-RESOURCES 10.3 -33.6 -23.3
GENTING SINGAPORE -5.8 -23.2 -29.0
SEMBCORP INDUSTRIES -14.8 -15.0 -29.8
YANGZIJIANG SHIPBUILDING -18.9 -11.4 -30.3
HUTCHISON PORT HOLDINGS -14.2 -34.7 -48.9

Comfort Delgro came up top.

Hutchison Port, Yangzijiang, Sembcorp Industries, Genting Singapore, Golden Agri, and SPH were right at the bottom.

Copyright © 2019, 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.

Posted in Financial Management

Visit to National Orchid Garden

National Orchid Garden is situated inside Singapore Botanic Gardens. It is free admission for a period till 15 September 2019. This promotion is School Holiday Promotion. Admission is free for students, Singaporeans, Permanent Residents, Work Permit Holders. (Terms and conditions apply. Please check them out at website.)

I visited the Orchid Garden this morning. I just produced my NRIC to gain admittance for free. No ticket required.

You can feast your eyes on many hybrids of orchids. The garden is tastefully curated with many photo opportunities. These are Celebrity Orchid Garden, VIP Orchid Garden, Heritage Orchid Display, Enchanted Garden, Mist Garden, etc.

Copyright © 2019, limkimtong for Living Investment

Posted in Travelogue

When you are into money, be careful

Assuming one has a windfall, it is easy to lose sight that the windfall can be depleted as the years go on. When one has the money in the bank, he could spend his money freely and not to make every cent counts. He could take risk in investments, taking advice from his bank relationship manager to get into riskier investments. Risky investments could result in losses when the global economy had gone into recession like the Global Financial Crisis.

Planning on how to handle the windfall is very important. One must decide for himself (and with his family) how he is to allocate the total dollar amounts into “buckets”. This is really personal and is dependent on the financial circumstances he is in.

One may set aside sums of money into:

  1. Donations to charity
  2. Helping relatives in need of help
  3. House renovations
  4. Holiday plans for the family
  5. Children’s education up to the university level

The balance after the above major items is further allocated into:

  1. Amount set aside as a lumpsum for family monthly expenses over a set number of years
  2. Amount set aside as a lumpsum for additional monthly income (on top of family monthly expenses) over a set number of years
  3. Balance left over is then free for investments

This balance free for investments is meant for one to take some risks in investments to grow the pie. You would realise that when one sits down to plan how to deploy the windfall, the balance set aside free for investments may not amount to much.

By doing the above planning, you would then take care of the essential spending first. Money is then set aside for different purposes. It is hoped that one does not jump into investing large sum of money right at the start of the windfall. Investing carries risks. Spending freely without planning is also foolhardy.

Copyright © 2019, 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.

Posted in Financial Management

Savings on transport – After stopping driving

I deregistered my car on 8 February 2019 and have not driven a car for 7 months. I relied on public transport like buses and MRTs for moving around. I rarely rode in taxis. For shorter distances, I walked to places.

On taxis, I spent $94 up till now.
For buses and MRTs, I spent $270 so far.

My transport cost per month was $52.
If I were to compare with costs of owning a car, this amount was way below my cost of driving a car.

Petrol cost per month alone came to $77 in 2018 or $90 per month over a 4-year period. There were other costs like road tax, motor insurance premium and repairs & maintenance costs to contend with.

This is just the dollar value of driving. The mental impact of driving on the road with inconsiderate drivers adds more pain to one’s life! I am glad that I am not driving now and public transport got me to places.

Copyright © 2019, limkimtong for Living Investment

Posted in Financial Management, Life Journey

Teachers

My two older brothers were MOE teachers before they retired from the service. Both taught in various secondary schools. When I left my job in the corporate world, I thought I could be like my brothers i.e. to teach students. I thought it was a piece of cake and therefore I applied to Temasek Polytechnic back in 1992. Had I got what it took to be a good teacher or in my case a good educator? Well, I stayed on in this institution for 20 years.

I underwent the teaching methods course and many pedagogy courses to equip me to handle the classes. To be honest, teaching was not a piece of cake. To engage students in a lively session with an exchange of intellectual discourse with them seemed more a pipe dream. It came to a stage that I doubted myself whether I was cut out to teach. It was that demoralising for some days having failed to teach well.

Teacher student interaction is key. There was this generation gap with my students and I found it hard to bridge as I got on with age. I therefore respect teachers who could still have this magic to engage wonderfully in the classroom or the lecture theatre. There is still fire in them to connect and to teach the students.

On this note, I wish all teachers a Happy Teacher’s Day today. You deserve to be recognised for imparting knowledge and experiences to the next generation. Your patience and dedication shine through for all to see.

Copyright © 2019, limkimtong for Living Investment

Posted in Life Journey