$$$ KPO and CZM $$$

Saturday, August 3, 2019

Portfolio - July 2019

We have been busy with a lot of things - shopping and looking into renovation stuff for our new house (you are required to become an "expert" at a certain area, within a short period of time, make decisions based on your 三脚猫 knowledge and live with it for the rest of your lives ~.~), planning for the upcoming trip + next year once in a lifetime RTW (round the world) trip. We transferred out all our bank points on the same day and received the miles in the next few days except for BOC -.-"

Our KrisFlyer Miles > Our Portfolio

We are also negotiating CZM's new compensation package. I know it hasn't been that long since CZM's "Semi-Retirement" but nothing is set in stone at the moment. Alright, back to our monthly update!

Our portfolio reached a new high again and increase by 0.95% to $420,798 - $750.00 of capital injection and $4,437.34 of capital gain. The one in blue is the StashAway portfolio, green is SGX and the total is in black.


If you prefer to look at numbers, this is the raw data used to generate the above bar graph. These numbers are as of the last day of the month.


"Cash Flow" is the amount of money being injected/withdrawn from the portfolio (buying stocks = +ve cash flow while selling stocks and collecting dividends = -ve cash flow)

SOLD
None

BOUGHT
None

Dividends
The total dividends collected this month is $1,192.76. The breakdown is as follows:

Company Symbol ExDate Shares Total
CapitaLand Mall Trust C38U 30-Jul-19 7,000 $204.40
Frasers Commercial Trust ND8U 29-Jul-19 7,000 $180.01
Singapore Telecommunications Limited Z74 26-Jul-19 4,000 $428.00
CapitaLand Commercial Trust C61U 25-Jul-19 2,000 $88.00
Soilbuild Business Space REIT SV3U 24-Jul-19 15,000 $176.85
Keppel DC REIT AJBU 23-Jul-19 3,000 $115.50

Total dividends collected for 2019: $12,547.04
Average dividends per month for 2019: $1,792.43

StashAway

KPO
CZM

Capital: $21,500.00
Current: $23,435.04

You might be interested in previous months update too:
Portfolio Performance in 2018 - $354,145
Portfolio - January 2019 - $376,381
Portfolio - February 2019 - $379,814
Portfolio - March 2019 - $400,263
Portfolio - April 2019 - $400,263
Portfolio - May 2019 - $392,934
Portfolio - June 2019 - $415,611
- Portfolio - July 2019 - $420,798

Do like any of the following for the latest update/post!
1. FB Page - KPO and CZM
2. Twitter - KPO and CZM
3. Click here to subscribe using email :)
4. Instagram - KPO_and_CZM (Did you see those delicious food photos to the right --> Unfortunately, you can't see it on mobile.)

Monday, July 29, 2019

BTO Guide - 4 Things To Look Out For When Selecting Your Kitchen Sink

Our house is almost done with the tiling! It is about time to kick start the carpentry discussion process with our ID. Our ID has instructed us to start looking out for the refrigerator, kitchen sink, and bathroom sinks as this will affect the carpentry measurement.

Hence, in this post, I will be sharing some of the tips I have gathered on kitchen sinks. Hopefully, it will be useful for new homeowners like us.

1. Kitchen Sink Material
There are many types of materials used for kitchen sink. Most common ones are stainless steel, copper and porcelain. Each has its pros and cons.

Stainless Steel:
Pros
- Durable and cost-effective
- Will not rust
Cons
- Require regular cleaning as it may show water spots
- May scratch when abrasive materials or cleansers are used

Copper
Pros
- Beautiful
- Will not rust
- Antimicrobial properties (bacteria cannot survive more than a few hours on a copper surface)
Cons
- Highly reactive and will develop a distinctive blue/green patina over time

Porcelain 
Pros 
- Durable
- Available in a wide range of colours
Cons
- May scratch when abrasive materials or cleansers are used
- May chip

My personal preference is the stainless steel as I like the looks of it and generally more pocket-friendly. For those who are also getting stainless steel sinks, do note to avoid highly polished stainless steel since stains and scratches are less visible in brushed and matte finish. In addition, the thickness of the stainless steel also matters - thicker steel (ideally around 1.4mm - 1.5mm) is generally less noisy than a thin one. I was also reading somewhere which says that a good quality stainless steel will not hold a magnet. Will bring a magnet the next time I go for my sink shopping. Hopefully, I do not appear too weird to the shop owners.

2. Top Mount VS Bottom/Under Mount VS Flush Mount
The two most common type of sink installation are the top mount and bottom/under mount sinks.

Top Mount Sink - Taken from renonation.sg

Bottom/Under Mount Sink - Taken from renonation.sg

Both the top and bottom/under mount sink have its advantages and disadvantages.

Top Mount Sink
Pros:
- Cheaper to install
- If the countertop is produced using delicate material (e.g. marble), a top mount sink helps to secure the edges
Cons:
- Bits of food can easily get stuck underneath the edges of the sink, causing the development of mold and bacteria

Bottom/Under Mount Sink
Pros:
- Beautiful
- Food and spills can be easily cleared directly into the sink with no obstacle at the edges of the sink
Cons:
- The cement that holds the sink are often not waterproof and upon contact with water may loosen, causing the sink to fall
- More expense to install

I had always wanted a bottom mount sink as it is more aesthetically pleasing. However, recently I attended a talk on flushed mount sink and was completely sold.

Introducing the Flush Mount Sink:

Taken from renonation.sg

Taken from renonation.sg

As the name suggests, the flush mount sink is completely flushed to the countertop, hence you won't be able to feel a bump at the edges.

Pros:
- Easy maintenance as the bits of food or spill will not get stuck to the edges
- Beautiful
Cons:
- Very expensive lor
- Very limited choices available in Singapore, which means the prices are a lot more expensive as compared to top and bottom/under mount

The last point is the main deal breaker as I can hardly find much choices in the market now. As such, I may end up likely choosing the bottom/under mount.

3. Depth of the Sink
Avoid choosing a sink with a shallow depth as you may end up with water splashing out easily. A 9 or 10 inch sink will be more suitable. If you decide to go for the bottom/under mount, you will need to factor an additional 1 inch of depth (for the countertop) as you may get backache if it is too low.

4. Position of the Drain
I was quite indifferent to the position of the drain until I came across an article which talks about it. A rear drain towards the back or edge of the sink means more usable space in the base cabinet and better drainage when dishes pile up in the sink.

That's all I can summarise based on my intensive research for the past weekend. Do leave a comment if you have anything to add to the above.

You might be interested in these other BTO Guides:
BTO Guide - Tips on Selecting Air Con
BTO Guide - 4 Things To Look Out For When Selecting Your Kitchen Sink

Do like any of the following for the latest update/post!
1. FB Page - KPO and CZM
2. Twitter - KPO and CZM
3. Click here to subscribe using email :)
4. Instagram - KPO_and_CZM (Did you see those delicious food photos to the right --> Unfortunately, you can't see it on mobile.)

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

BTO Guide - Tips on Selecting Air Con

KPO and I have collected our keys about 2-3 months ago (see BTO HDB Key Collection & Door Opening Ceremony) and we have taken quite some time to select and shortlist our interior designer (ID). Now that we have locked down our ID and began our renovation, it is time to do some shopping for the house.

One of the initial items after we kick-start our renovation process was to check out the air con as the wiring/piping installation needed to be done almost the same time as the electrical wiring. We googled quite a bit on the different types of air-con and things to look out for. Over the course of a weekend air-con shopping, we learnt how to read air-con models and also noted some of the key features to look out for when purchasing an air-con.

How to read an air-con model?
Taking the latest Samsung 5 Ticks Multi-Split Inverter System 4 model AJ038RCJ4EC-3XAJ009MBADEC-1XAJ024RBADEC example, the first few numbers you see in the model (i.e. "038" represents the maximum capacity of the air-con. This means that the air con can operate at a maximum of 38k BTU. I will be explaining BTU shortly below. The next one after the first dash "-" represents the number of split air-con that comes with it, i.e. "3" air-con with "9"k BTU and "1" air-con "24"k BTU.

Similarly, for the LG ArtCool+ model A4UQ30GFA0-3X09GDJR0-1X24GDKR0, this means that this is a system 4 air con with a maximum capacity of 30k BTU combined, with 3 split air-con of 9k BTU and 1 split air-con of 24k BTU.

So below are some of the items we looked out for:

1. BTU (British Thermal Unit)
This represents the measurement of how much energy is required to raise the temperature of one pound of water by one degree. In the case of air-con, the bigger the room, the more BTU it requires to cool the room. In addition, you will probably need more BTU for a room with many windows (i.e. more sunlight) or people. There are many BTU charts and calculators online, one of such can be found here.


2. Air Con Capacity
Looking at BTU itself is insufficient as the ability to cool a room depends on the maximum capacity of the air-con as well. Taking the same Samsung example above, the model AJ038RCJ4EC-3XAJ038RCJ4EC-1XAK024RBADEC comes with a maximum capacity of 38k BTU. This means that at any one point in time, I can either switch on all the rooms which utilises about 9k x 3 rooms = 27k BTU, or 1 living room + 1 bedroom which utilises about 24k + 9k = 33k BTU. Otherwise, the rooms will be less cold.

On the other hand, the same LG model above with a capacity of 30k would mean that if I want to switch on the living room's air-con, I will not be able to sufficiently cool any other room.

3. System 3 + 1 or System 4?
KPO and I were deciding between getting a system 3 + 1 or system 4 for our entire house, including the living room. It will ultimately depend on your needs. Referring back to item 2, if you think that it is likely that you will switch on the air con for the entire house at any given point in time, then it will make sense to get system 3 + 1. This means that the air-con comes with 2 compressors i.e. more BTU capacity. However, this also means you require more space on your air-con ledge and more money involved as well.

4. 2 Ticks or 5 Ticks?

Taken from NEA Energy Label website
It really depends on what you think will be your usage level. At one glance, one may think that the energy/electricity cost is a lot higher for 2 ticks model based on the energy label. However, it is an annual cost with certain assumptions - Based on 27 cents per kWh electricity cost, 8 hours daily usage and 16 hours standby energy consumption. We know the cost of electricity has decreased significantly since Open Electricity Market (OEM) happened and will you really use your air con daily?

KPO and I were initially thinking of 2 ticks because (1) initial outlay is a lot lower; (2) I doubt we will use the air-con often, hence electricity savings will not be substantial. However, we eventually bought the 5 ticks one because we eventually managed to get a good deal from Gain City.

By the way, 2 ticks is the minimum number of ticks allowed in the market currently and 5 ticks is the maximum number of ticks available in the air-con market for now. You can read more about it here - NEA Energy Label.

5. Air Con Piping
The type of air con piping used is important as well because an inferior quality pipe will result in leakages. Ideally, the insulation used should be 3/8 inches for piping in trunking or 1/2 inches for piping that is hidden by false ceiling. Do check out if your air con provider provides a free upgrade of the piping.

6. Other Considerations
Some other considerations when selecting air con include:
- The looks of the air con (see the above LG model. It really looks so aesthetically pleasing)
- The brand reliability / after sales service
- Other features such as wifi (for smart homes)

In the end, we bought Samsung 5 Ticks System 4 (3 x 9k and 1 x 24k + 38k outdoor compressor) from Gain City for $4199 (actual $4599) with upgraded piping. Gain City was giving $400 voucher for next purchase but we went down to the store in IMM which just sells air con and the staff deducted it from our purchase immediately. In addition, he was still able to give us an additional $80 voucher for the next purchase + a few $50 furniture vouchers (with a minimum purchase of $700).

We also opted for 2 separate installations at an additional fee of $85 (first to run/do the piping and only mount/install the air con once the renovation is completed). This is to prevent the renovation workers from using/switching on the air con... Last but not least, do sign up for their membership program as you will be able to get 1% cashback/points for next purchase.

Hope this list would help the new homeowners in purchasing their dream air-con. Let me know if I missed out any other important air-con attributes to look out for!

You might be interested in these other BTO Guides:
BTO Guide - Tips on Selecting Air Con
BTO Guide - 4 Things To Look Out For When Selecting Your Kitchen Sink

Do like any of the following for the latest update/post!
1. FB Page - KPO and CZM
2. Twitter - KPO and CZM
3. Click here to subscribe using email :)
4. Instagram - KPO_and_CZM (Did you see those delicious food photos to the right --> Unfortunately, you can't see it on mobile.)