$$$ KPO and CZM $$$: April 2018

Saturday, April 28, 2018

ShopBack Visa Promotion for Cathay Cineplexes This Weekend - 50% Up to $10!

If you have not heard of ShopBack, you have been missing out lots of cashback opportunities! What is ShopBack? It is a website/mobile application which directs traffic to the relevant online shops such as Lazada, Expedia, etc. The merchants reward them with a commission for referring you to shop on their site and instead of keeping the rewards all to themselves, they share it with you! Once you have accumulated at least $10 in the account, you will be able to redeem it and transfer the cashback to your bank account!

ShopBack is having a Visa flash sale this weekend (Valid from 27 Apr 2018, 0:00 - 29 Apr 2018, 23:59)!

The most attractive offer is the one for Cathay Cineplexes where one can get 50% cashback up to $10! This is perfect timing because we can all catch the long-awaited Marvel Studios' Avengers: Infinity War movie at a much cheaper rate! Not forgetting Cathay has the best sweet popcorn (genuinely our opinion, nothing is sponsored here) as compared to the rest. lol.

Terms and Conditions to take note:
- Valid for first 500 daily orders only. Once the limit is reached, a page banner will be displayed as fully redeemed.
- Valid only for purchases made via this campaign page and payments made with Visa card
. (Afterall, this is a Visa flash sale right)

If you are already an existing ShopBack user, simply head over to https://www.shopback.sg/visa.

If you are new to ShopBack, you might want to consider using our referral link where we will each get $5 after you spent $25. Once again this is the perfect opportunity because purchasing 2 tickets ($13 x 2 + $1.50 = $27.50) will mean you will be eligible to withdraw $15 cashback almost immediately!

Our Referral Link: http://bit.ly/kposhopback (thank you in advance!)

Now you know what CZM and I will be doing tomorrow :)

Better catch it this weekend because there will be lots of friends/colleagues spoiling it on Monday. Hahahaha.

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Thursday, April 26, 2018

Ezion - Bleeding Stopped!

I blogged about Ezion a few months back - Bleeding Stocks - Ezion [Part 3] after it was suspended on 8th August 2017. It has resumed trading last week on 17th April 2018, opened at $0.245 and even reached a high of $0.255!

CZM was asking me what would be my plan when Ezion resumes trading. I told her confidently that day 1 will be a bloodshed as I foresee everyone will be dumping and selling their shares. My plan was to hold it, be hopeful and see how things go. Surprisingly, it was beyond my expectation and it actually traded higher! Without any hesitation, I submitted a sell order and sold all of it at $0.225.

Investing in stocks is never easy and one does not always make money. My total capital was $6,167.70 and I am pretty glad that I manage to get back $2,222.26 after ~ 4 years. I lost in total $3,939.30 including commisions which translate to a total loss of -63.9% and an annualized loss of -37.9%! It could have been much worst - the latest closing price is $0.152 on 25th April 2018.

Looking at their 2017 Annual Report, the shares are now worth a lot lesser than it was one year ago. The equity attributed to shareholders is just US$304,826,000 as compared to US$1,315,384,000 partly due to the ridiculously large impairment losses of US$697,322,000 in their Plant and Equipment among other things. Furthermore, the decrease in cash is not proportionate to the decrease in liabilities too!

NAV has decreased by 76.8% from US$0.6343 to US$0.1470 (~SG$0.1940 using an exchange rate of US$1:SG$1.32). Regardless, the US$1.6 billion debt is an exceptionally huge one that will probably stick around its balance sheet for a long time and I am not too optimistic about it with a gross profit of US$1,804,000. Even if Ezion successfully multiplies its gross profit by 10x or even 100x, it will never be the same again.

Screenshot from https://sginvestors.io/sgx/stock/5me-ezion/target-price

Do not make the same mistake as I did when I first started investing 4 years back - buying based on analyst's report recommendation. Look at what DBS has done again with a BUY recommendation and a price target of SG$0.29 where the valuation is done at 1.4x FY2018 PB?! It is just so wrong! After all the drama, why would anyone still value/price Ezion at a premium?

One can either continue to be hopeful or cut loss, take whatever there is now. Assets can be impaired but liabilities will definitely remain. Good luck to the remaining shareholders!

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Monday, April 23, 2018

Expenses - March 2018

My expenses for March is extremely high and it is kinda depressing @_@" The bulk of it is either for Vacation or Wedding which is fine but I made a stupid mistake that cost us $200! [Update: I have successfully gotten a refund!]

Current Profile: 28 years old male planning to get married this year and is still living with his parents

KPO Expenses for March 2018

Let me recompute the expenses (Vacation and Wedding) from our mutual fund (KPO Expense Fund), you can read more about how we manage our finances here. Technically, the expenses for March should be $6,058.76 - (($333.40 + $237.32 + $1070 + $139.9) / 2) = $5,168.45. [Update: I have successfully gotten a refund! $5,168.45 - $118.66 = $5,049.79]

I blogged about how we use miles to redeem one-way SIA Suites air tickets to the United States, New York previously - Redeeming KrisFlyer Miles for Singapore Airlines Suites = 38.6% Cashback! We booked an Alaska Airlines flight from New York to San Fransico for US$246.62 (SG$333.40).

Singapore Citizens visiting the United States are eligible for the Visa Waiver Program but would still be required to apply for authorization through the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) which cost US$14 if you apply through the legitimate site - https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov/esta/. I am always pretty careful but not sure what happened that day, I went to this site - http://www.esta.us/singapore.html and was eventually redirected to https://www.evisaonline.com/en/usa/esta.html which cost us US$88 instead (SG$237.32). I only came to realize it now while blogging about it. Zzz. [Update: I have successfully gotten a refund! Due to the difference in FX, the refunded amount is SG$240.54. lol.]

CZM and her family have this Travel Fund where they will contribute on a daily basis - working adult contributes $2 per day while the student contributes $1 per day. I thought this is a pretty interesting idea/way of managing money too. Long story short, they have been saving for 4/5 years with the goal of traveling to New Zealand. CZM asked me to tag along to enjoy the economy of scale as there will be no additional cost for things such as car rental and accommodation. A 2 weeks New Zealand vacation for $2,800 (all expenses included) seems like a pretty good deal?

We paid the second deposit to the bridal shop, Rico-A-Mona after selecting the suits and gowns for both the prewedding and actual day and bought some random stuff/props for the pre-wedding photoshoot.

I previously blogged about my promotion and increment - Salary - You Are Your Best Investment and it was only effective from February so I gave my parents more allowance as well.

My food expenses are exceptionally low because I stay with my parents! Most of it is incurred when I am out with CZM.

Technically, this is not a real expense (100% covered by company's insurance/benefits) but I decided to include it to keep the expenses tracking more realistic. CZM and I go to the dental every 6 months for cleaning/scaling. During the last visit, the dentist asked if I have been brushing my teeth too hard because I have receding gum. After that, I went to google about it and 1 of the cause is aging. Hmm...

This is a fixed monthly cost for the basic coverage - term life and hospitalization.

The $69.97 is the installment for Surface Pro which I got about 2 years back. One of my hobbies is money/notes collection and I expense it off because I kept some nice notes which I received during CNY. The hobby started when my dad gave me his collection which included a $50 orchid series note!

I would always pay for CZM's cab ride home during night time since I am too lazy to send her home. That was one of our agreement. lol.

Public transportation seems a lot lower because of 2 reasons:
1. I am no longer using EZ Link Auto-Reload. Account-Based Ticketing (ABT) is a much better choice as you pay what you use instead of triggering top up where the money is stored in the EZ Link card. The best part is miles can be earned too (using UOB PRVI Mastercard)!
2. $0.50 Discount for commuters who enter stations before 7.45am on weekdays.

Went to a temple and donated.

Nothing worth mentioning.

There was the $8 million ToTo draw. Shared $10 with CZM and the rest with colleagues. The fastest way to retire did not materialize. lol.

Watched Black Panther + popcorn.

January 2018 - $2,256.43
February 2018 - $1,759.01
March 2018 - $5,049.79

Total expenses for 2018: $9,065.23
Average expenses per month for 2018: $3,021.74

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Monday, April 16, 2018

DBS Multiplier + SSBs + Joint Account = Higher Interest!

Updated on 1st January 2020 - DBS will be making some revision to the Multiplier terms w.e.f. 1 February 2020. Refer to this blog post for more information - DBS Multiplier Account Changes For The Worst.

Some of the readers might know that we have changed our bank accounts from OCBC 360 to DBS Multiplier when it was revamped last year and I blogged about it here - Free $5 for DBS Multiplier Account Holder. The free $5 is still available (until 30th June 2018)!

In my opinion, the DBS Multiplier is by far the most generous bank/account when it comes to fulfilling/meeting the various defined categories (credit card spend, home loan, insurance and investments). Firstly, it awards you for having a higher salary and there is even a way to double it through the use of joint account! I shall elaborate further later. Next, it does not encourage spending, even a $1 credit card spend will mean that one can meet that category (proven - this is what CZM has been doing).

Last but not least, all/most of the investments category (e.g. OCBC 360 and SCB Bonus$aver) has been a scam which requires you to either purchase an eligible insurance product or invests in a unit trust with them - things which we will never do. Naturally, we dismissed the investments category for the Multiplier account when we first signed up for it. It turns out that the investments category can be met simply from dividend crediting from CDP. With this knowledge, I came up with a theoretical way (not proven yet, we will only know 7 months later. lol) to increase our interest!

Step 1
Open a joint account with your spouse/another half (If he/she does not exist, you can skip to the next step or find one quickly. Hahaha). You should have 2 Multiplier accounts + 1 joint account.

The reason for having a joint account is because the total salary credited to the joint account will be considered as a salary credit for the Multiplier account. This could potentially bump the couple up to the next category (e.g. ≥S$2,500 to <S$5,000 to ≥S$5,000 to <S$15,000) which gives more interest! Furthermore, with 2 Multiplier accounts, the cap for the bonus interest is essentially doubled to $100k. One thing to take note of is that the joint account should only be used as a "pass through" account. Keep the minimum balance (we are looking at POSB Everyday Savings Account with $500 minimum balance) needed and transfer the relevant amount/salary to the Multiplier account because the interest awarded is based on the balance in the Multiplier account only.

Step 2
Build a bond ladder using 6 SSBs (Singapore Saving Bonds). Bonds pay a fixed coupon (similar to stocks paying dividends) at fixed interval and has a maturity date where one can get back the principal/invested value. A bond ladder is made up of multiple bonds that pay coupons at different intervals with different maturity dates. This is a more conservative strategy/form of passive income for retirement. This is just a quick introduction, do read up more on bonds elsewhere!

I believe everyone should be familiar or have at least heard of SSB. It is issued/backed by our government and unlike the normal/actual bond, it will not be affected by the rising interest rate environment. Bonds typically trade like stocks with buy and sell price and its price will fall when interest rate increases but you do not have to worry about that with SSB. The minimum investment per SSB is $500 and the transaction cost is only $2. To build a bond ladder, simply buy a $500 SSB for the next 6 months. Since the SSB pays coupon/interest every 6 months, you will receive dividend crediting every month for the next 10 years! lol. You will also need to go to the SGX CDP portal and ensure that the account specified in the Direct Crediting Service is the joint account.

Having said that, is it really worth the effort? The answer is it depends! I have build a simple calculator for you to compute the difference in interest. Simply modify the deposit you have, the monthly transaction (total salary credit + estimated credit card spend) and let the formula do the magic! To simplify the computation, I have made some naive assumptions:
- Invest the minimum ($500) to SSB
- The deposit is kept constant
- The T&Cs of the Multiplier account will remain the same (we have all seen/experience how the different banks change the interest rate awarded or the T&Cs)

Here you go - KPO Calculator for Multiplier + SSB

Let me know what are your thoughts :)

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Friday, April 13, 2018

StashAway New Update - Transactions

I updated the StashAway mobile application and was playing with it. Holy! They have finally revamped the "Transactions" tab. Not sure if they did it much earlier or recently but I only discovered it today.

Although we decided to invest more money through StashAway and I blogged about it here - Automating Capital Growth Through StashAway. I have been complaining about 2 things:
- Limited visibility into the transactions in the UI (everything can be found in the monthly statement but that requires the user to wait a few weeks for it)
- Exchange rate (SGD deposit to USD) cannot be found in the UI or monthly statement (this can be reversed/computed from the USD cash flow in the monthly statement)

This was part of the review I left on Seedly and prior to that, I gave the same feedbacks to
Michele and Freddy when we met again earlier this year in StashAway's new office. I am pretty sure I am not the only one complaining/giving these feedbacks but I am glad they have made the relevant changes to these things that annoy the hell out of me.

In my last update (StashAway - March 2018), I highlighted that StashAway is finally proving the information on the currency conversion. At the back of my mind, I was thinking it would be great if the same information can be provided/displayed for previous months and my wish was granted. lol.

Do you see a difference? It now contains the real/actual transactions such as buy, sell and dividends! I can also filter the transaction type to see transactions which I am interested in.

With the above information, I quickly compare it against the historical exchange rate on XE. The "close" rate from XE is captured as of 00:00 UTC on that day.

It seems that the exchange rate provided by StashAway are pretty decent and are definitely much better than the banks and money changers! A difference of about USD $1.67 for exchanging SGD $5,940 to USD $4,457.44.

The chart in the mobile application is interactive now and captures monthly snapshots. Interestingly, the web/browser chart is not interactive at all! KPO complaining again. lol.

Based on my own tracking, the snapshot is most likely based on the market value for the last day of the month. Having seen how bits and pieces of StashAway changed over the last few months, I am pretty satisfied with it now.

How do you find StashAway so far? Any other complaints/feedbacks?

You might be interested in these articles too:
Who has the lowest fees? StashAway vs Smartly vs AutoWealth
Effects of Fees on Returns - StashAway vs Smartly vs AutoWealth

StashAway Referral Link for Our Readers
Here you go: KPO and CZM Referral Link

Do like any of the following for the latest update/post!
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4. Instagram - KPO_and_CZM (Did you see those delicious food photos to the right -->)

Friday, April 6, 2018

StashAway - March 2018

StashAway managed to raise another USD $5.3 million in their Series A funding round recently - Singapore's StashAway raises US$5.3M Series A funding round, will launch in new markets. This brings their total funding to SGD $11.1 million which is definitely an excellent piece of news.

One of the main concern we all have is the possibility of the robo advisors going bankrupt/closing down which can be a showstopper preventing one from investing through them. Let's admit it, Singapore is a small market, hence the cost of investing through robo advisors are more expensive as compared to the United States or Europe. Expanding to other markets/countries will be beneficial in the long run. We all have a 50% chance of getting SGD $X in the Yth years so StashAway has to be profitable/operating till then.

We have decided to invest more money (from $500 to $1,000 monthly) through StashAway and I blogged about it here - Automating Capital Growth Through StashAway.

1. ACCOUNT SUMMARY (as of the last day of the month)

Based on the statement (31 Mar 2018), we lost -$62.58.

As of 4 Apr 2018, we lost -$67.65 mostly due to the currency impact -$91.39.

SGD time-weighted returns: -2.6%
USD time-weighted returns: 0.9%



Did you notice something very different this month? StashAway has finally decided to provide the exchange rate that was used to convert our SGD to USD!

SGD $990.00 converted to USD $756.24
Exchange Rate: 1.309072


No fee till August 2018 because I recommended more friends. The projected fee (assuming no referral) would be the monthly-average assets SGD $5,173.25 x 0.8% / 365 days * 31 days = $3.51

StashAway VS STI ETF
Since there is no way to compare the performances among the robo-advisors, I came out with a spreadsheet to track our StashAway portfolio performance (General Investing - Risk Level 28) against that of STI ETF which I will be updating on a monthly basis. For simplicity, I shall assume that one can either invest in Nikko STI ETF using POSB Invest-Saver or invest in Nikko STI ETF/SPDR STI ETF using SCB Priority Online Trading (no minimum commission). These would be the opportunity costs while we continue to invest in StashAway.

Apart from the absolute P&L, we should also look at the Reward-to-Risk Ratio where risk/volatility is taken into account. For more information, do read StashAway Clarifications - Reward-to-Risk Ratio. StashAway has the highest ratio of 1.25 which is significantly higher than the other 2 STI ETFs (< 0.4). Let me quote Freddy Lim (Co-Founder & Chief Investment Officer of StashAway), "for every dollar of risk taken, StashAway P28 is producing 1.25 times the return".

This month commentary: I have added another "model" to the comparison table - investing in Nikko STI ETF using SCB Priority Online Trading (no minimum commission). Not surprising at all, all the investments are in red/losing money! StashAway continues to be the biggest loser similar to last month - February 2018.

I believe there is a need to redo/regenerate the volatility used to compute the Reward-to-Risk Ratio. Do take it with a pinch of salt for now. I have been compiling some data in order to do so :)

Which is the best? Only time will tell :)

This is the link to our spreadsheet - KPO & CZM StashAway Portfolio VS STI ETF which I have also added to Our Portfolio page.

StashAway Referral Link for Our Readers
Here you go: KPO and CZM Referral Link

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Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Portfolio - March 2018

Our portfolio increase by 2.70% to $323,073 - $10,401.71 of capital injection and $1,914.81 of capital reduction.

Today is another bloodshed, the value of our portfolio decrease by >$5k in a single day. Are we worried? No :) Let me share an old but gold article by the Motley Fool - How You Can Reduce Your Chances Of Making Losses In The Stock Market. Make a guess?

Have a long investing horizon! It seems that some of our readers/friends/colleagues have been demoralized by the market. Numbers do not lie! The probability of losing money in 1 day is almost equivalent to a coin toss. However, based on historical data, there is a 0% chance of losing money if you stay invested in STI for 20 years (1992 to 2016). Just think about why the insurance companies/banks love to sell you long endowment/ILP, it is easy money for them because they just have to share a small return with you while you provide them with the capital!

- Asian Pay TV Trust (5,000 units) @ 0.535
- OKP (5,000 units) @ 0.35

I hardly sell stocks but I made the decisions to liquidate these two and redeploy the money because I believe Tuan Sing will be a better investment.

Asian Pay TV Trust was a "legacy" investment. It was one of the stock which I purchased simply because the dividend yield was high when I first started buying stock in 2014. I was eventually punished as the dividend was unsustainable and the price fell accordingly when the dividend was cut. Fortunately, the dividends collected over the years was sufficient to cover for the capital loss and I ended up with an annualized return of 7.1% after ~4 years.

I bought OKP last year and blogged about it here - StockResearchAsia Strikes Again - OKP Holdings Ltd. The future is slightly unclear for OKP so I have decided to let it go at a loss in order to invest in a better future/stock - Tuan Sing. The annualized return is -10.2%.

- Sysma (10,000 units) @ $0.149
- ThaiBev (4,000 units) @ $0.82
- Lion-Philip S-REIT ETF (2,000 units) @ $0.9995
- Tuan Sing (11,000 units) @ $0.42
- Ascendas H-Trust (6,000 units) @ $0.810

Sysma was brought to my attention by StockResearchAsia. It is currently trading at a discount to its NTA (Net Tangible Assets) with a significant cash! The problem is that it has extremely low volume and wide bid-ask price.

As for the rest, I have blogged about them individually and decided to average down given the weakness in share price.

March is a boring month. The total dividends collected this month is $131.65. The breakdown is as follows:

Company Symbol ExDate Shares Total
Asian Pay Television Trust S7OU 14-Mar-18 5,000 $81.25
Lion-Philip S-REIT ETF CLR 2-Mar-18 3,000 $50.40

Total dividends collected for 2018: $2,151.48
Average dividends per month for 2018: $717.16


Capital: $6,000.00
Current: $5,894.64 (IRR: -4.1%)

The UI is slightly misleading, showing green when it is losing money. lol. Took a quick look at our StashAway monthly statement and was pleasantly surprised!

The exchange rate is FINALLY being captured! Good job StashAway founders. Hahahaha.

Health KPO Needs to Lose Weight
Date: 2018-04-04
Weight: 71.3 kg

BMI: 23.8

Do like any of the following for the latest update/post!
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