$$$ KPO and CZM $$$: 2019

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Expenses - January 2019

We received an email from HDB that our house will be ready soon and the email states that we can collect the keys around May!

Taken from Qanvast - https://qanvast.com/sg/interior-designers/voila-45
CZM spent a lot of time designing the house (something like the above)/floor plan using ppt and we sent out to a bunch of IDs for quotation. Some of the quotations we got were around 50-70k. Faints!

As mentioned previously, I will be tracking our total expenses as a married couple starting this year. I can foresee that our expenses for this year will be the highest ever due to the above (house renovation, new furniture, etc.) + our US/Canada trip. Thinking back, wedding expenses were not that huge because we were able to recoup some/most of it at the banquet.

Current Profile: 29 years couple who got married recently but staying separately with our own parents while waiting for the BTO project to be completed this year.

Our total expenses were $11,712.06!!! The breakdown would be as follows:

KPO Expense Fund (our common fund): $7,772.40

KPO: $2,229.22

CZM: $1,710.44


$4,121.25 - The total cost in SGD for 2 pax return First Class flight to Washington DC due to Cathay Pacific blunder - Thank You Cathay Pacific! Another First Class Flight on American Airlines

$1,000 - I will be going on a tour by Hong Thai Travel to Eastern Europe with my parents.

$2,980 - That is the total amount of red packet we prepared for CNY. The bulk of it goes to our parents ($888 x 2) and grandparents ($188 x 4). The rest are $20 for siblings, and either $8 or $6 (random strangers).

$380 - Attended a wedding at Conrad Centennial (with CZM)

$1,260 - That is the total amount we are giving to our parents as allowance.

$629.74 - Our combined food expenses are still on the low side because we are still staying with our parents.

$293.58 can be further broken down to $171.13 (EZ Link) and the rest on cab ($122.45).

$177 - This is a fixed monthly cost for the basic coverage - term life and hospitalization.

$100.04 - Online Shopping: CZM bought some new/CNY clothes.

$65.85 - Health: I fell sick and went to Raffles Medical (supporting my own stocks). lol. Not an actual expense because I can claim all of them back from my company.

$32.00 - Watsons: It seems that CZM will always buy something from Watson almost every month for it to become a category by itself. No idea what she bought. Hahaha.

$26.25 - Credit Card: Converted DBS points to KrisFlyer miles ($25 + GST).

$12.00 - Gambling: Toto, the fastest way to fulfil our millionaire dream.

$5.50 - Hobby: We collect overseas and old notes. It is an expensive hobby...

January 2019 - $11,712.06

Total expenses for 2019: $11,712.06
Average expenses per month for 2019: $11,712.06

This is the first time I am compiling our expenses together. To be honest, it is such a mess! The plan going forward is to remove the "Darling"/CZM category, nest it under the existing categories and hopefully they will be clearer and neater next month.

On the bright side, if we were to remove the one-time expenses such as Vacation and Gifts. Our combined expenses are only ~$3,600+. Till next time!

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

Sunday, March 17, 2019

REITs Ladder

I previously blogged about how one can achieve higher interest for the DBS Multiplier account and introduced the concept of a bond ladder - DBS Multiplier + SSBs + Joint Account = Higher Interest! Do take a look if you are looking for a relatively high savings account with a low hurdle (no minimum credit card spending required!).

A quick recap on a bond ladder - It is an investment strategy to generate passive income at regular intervals. Passive income - who doesn't love them? Using Singapore Savings Bonds (SSB) as an example, each SSB pays out interests every 6 months. So if one were to purchase 6 consecutive months of SSB, they will be getting interests every month for the next 10 years until the bond matures. Theoretically, the bond will then mature at a different time and one just got to repurchase the new bond again to repeat it infinitely...

One day, I was thinking if I can replicate the idea and make a REITs ladder (my favorite). lol. Unfortunately, the answer is impossible :'(

I went to SGX StockFacts, removed all the default filter and change the Industry Criteria to "Real Estate Investment Trust (REITs)" and arrived at these 43 REITs (no business trusts). In case you are wondering what is the difference - What’s the difference between a business trust and a REIT? Quite a lot. In short, REITs are required to pay out at least 90% of their taxable income in the form of dividends each year but not for business trusts.

Next, I had to manually extract all the dividends paid out in 2018 (we are not interested in when it XD but when the money enters our bank account). Fortunately, StocksCafe provides an easy way for me to do so.

As you can see, even if you buy all 43 REITs, you will not be receiving any dividends for the month of January, April, July, and October. REITs either pay out dividends quarterly or biannually, hence the best months for a REIT investor will be February and August.

Hope you find this useful or entertaining. You can get a copy of the spreadsheet here - REITs Ladder.

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.)

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Portfolio - February 2019

Everyone has their "poison" and mine happened to be electronic gadgets >.<" Went to the IT fair over the weekend and bought a NAS (Network Attached Storage). If you have no idea what is that, it is very normal. CZM does not understand why am I spending so much money on it too. lol.

Synology DS918+ with 8GB RAM
4 x 3 TB Seagate IronWolf NAS Hard Drives
Guess the total price? Shall reveal it at the end of the post. Haha. This is probably going to be one of the longest portfolio updates because there were lots of transactions so let's not get distracted.

Our portfolio increase by 0.91% to $379,814 - $848.52 of capital withdrawal and $4,281.49 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)

- SingPost (7,000 units) @ $0.950
- TSH (1,000 units) @ $0.350
- Lion-Philip S-REIT ETF (9,000 units) @ $1.034
- Lion-Philip S-REIT ETF (3,000 units) @ $1.041

I have blogged about our reasons for selling the above except for TSH, you can read about them here:
- Unethical SingPost
Lion-Phillip S-REIT ETF - High Cost and Low Yield

TSH was a legacy position which I had bought in April 2016 after reading this - TSH Corporation Ltd- Classic net-net micro-cap trading at steep discount to net cash, announces big dividends. Since then it has diversified its assets, did a capital distribution/huge dividends and became a shell company.

I was hoping it will just get delisted so I can save some commission but it never did until last month when it got reverse takeover, went through a share consolidation (1:20) and became a pub and bar business. Took a quick look at the new business and decided to sell it to get whatever remaining that is left and I am stuck with 50 units -.- Overall, it was still a pretty good investment with an annualized return of ~19%.

- DBS (400 units) @ $24.92
- City Development Limited (400 units) @ $9.47
- APAC Realty (8,000 units) @ $0.57

These are all not new purchases so really nothing much to blog about. The reason for buying them remains the same:
- DBS has changed its dividend policy and has pledged $1.20 per annual going forward. This translate to ~4.8% dividend yield on cost with potential for capital growth.
- CDL properties are stated at cost and should be trading > PB 1. To be honest, we are not very fated with CDL. Whenever we buy, the price will always fall significantly.
- We did a quick comparison between APAC Realty and its peer, Propnex and concluded that it was more undervalued and attractive dividend yield for now. Having said that, I think APAC Realty has its risks. In its IPO prospectus, it was stated that dividend will be paid for the first 2 years and remains unclear if the company will continue to distribute dividends.

In addition, ThumbTack Investor (TTI) has written a pretty scary/negative piece of article on APAC Realty that is definitely worth a read - Acquisition of ERA Centre is Cashflow Negative. The way he does his due diligence is very respectable. Regardless, all investment is a good investment at the right price.

The total dividends collected this month is $1,531.24. The breakdown is as follows:

Company Symbol ExDate Shares Total
Far East Hospitality Trust Q5T 20-Feb-19 10,156 $101.56
Ascott Residence Trust A68U 7-Feb-19 7,600 $301.42
Starhill Global Real Estate Investment Trust P40U 7-Feb-19 12,000 $135.60
Parkway Life Real Estate Investment Trust C2PU 4-Feb-19 2,000 $65.60
Thai Beverage Public Co Ltd Y92 4-Feb-19 11,000 $102.71
SPDR STI ETF Units ES3 4-Feb-19 13,000 $728.00
Mapletree North Asia Commercial Trust RW0U 1-Feb-19 5,000 $96.35

Total dividends collected for 2019: $2,467.84
Average dividends per month for 2019: $1,233.92


Capital: $17,000.00
Current: $17,340.29

The NAS costs $1,282 in total @_@"

On a side note, one can invest in StashAway using SRS and I have already blogged about our plan - New Strategy: StashAway + Supplementary Retirement Scheme (SRS)

You might be interested in previous months update too:
Portfolio Performance in 2018
Portfolio - January 2019

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.)

Friday, March 8, 2019

StashAway - January 2019

This is a long overdue post! February passed by so quickly (our first CNY as husband and wife + fell damn sick) and we just came back from our Mini-Moon in Bali (3 days 2 nights) last weekend. After this, there is still our expenses report and it is taking me a much longer time because I am trying to track CZM's expenses too. Hahahaha.

Our monthly update will be different because of our new strategy - New Strategy: StashAway + Supplementary Retirement Scheme (SRS) and we have 3 portfolios now:
KPO and CZM Cash - StashAway Risk Index 20%
KPO SRS - StashAway Risk Index 13%
CZM SRS - StashAway Risk Index 13%

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


Based on the statement (31 January 2019), KPO made $50.94 and CZM made $0.16.


As of 5 March 2019, the market has recovered quite significantly!
KPO: $362.30 (+4.7% - Capital: $16,500)
CZM: $3.81 (+1.3% - Capital: $250)

Note that these are reported in USD.

KPO and CZM Cash - StashAway Risk Index 20%
KPO SRS - StashAway Risk Index 13%
CZM SRS - StashAway Risk Index 13%

Notice how my SRS account (Can See No Touch) and CZM's SRS account (General Investing) is exactly the same? That is because we invested the money on the same date, got the same amount of USD as it was converted on the same day and bought the same number of stocks because the risk index of our portfolio is the same.

Will not be showing the transactions section going forward because there are too many to screenshot!

Notice how the StashAway first converted SGD to USD and then USD back to SGD on the same day? I thought this was pretty ridiculous, emailed their support and was given a template response.

However, one month later (in February statement), I saw the same thing happening! Anyway, long story short, I contacted the CEO, Michele and after a few email exchanges, I was told that this "inefficiency in the FX conversion logic" has been fixed. I will be monitoring it in March!

KPO and CZM Cash - StashAway Risk Index 20%:
SGD $495.00 converted to USD $365.25
Exchange Rate: 1.3552 (1.3813 last month)

USD $3.95 converted to SGD $5.34
Exchange Rate: 1.3519

This "inefficiency" caused $0.01318 (3.95 * (495.00 / 365.25) - 5.34 = $0.01318) to disappear into thin air just like that. It may be a small amount but as the portfolio gets larger, it will all add up.

KPO SRS - StashAway Risk Index 13%:
SGD $247.50 converted to USD $183.02
Exchange Rate: 1.3523

CZM SRS - StashAway Risk Index 13%:
SGD $247.50 converted to USD $183.02
Exchange Rate: 1.3523


The fee stated is based on the monthly-average assets SGD $15,113.30 x 0.8% / 365 days * 31 days = $10.27. Our fee should drop next month because I referred CZM!

No fee for CZM for the first 6 months.

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 is updated till 8th March 2019 and is based on only 1 of our portfolio - KPO and CZM Cash - StashAway Risk Index 20%.

This month commentary: 
Interestingly, StashAway is the only one in green but we can also see the total fee increasing significantly (it was 0.49% last month). Going forward it will be even more interesting when the commissions/fees incurred by StashAway exceed that of POSB Invest-Saver. This will be a battle between cheaper/lesser fees and asset allocation/diversification...


Looking at the time-weighted return, we can see that StashAway is "outperforming" the STI ETF (both excluding fees). In addition, it has lower volatility and max drawdown.

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

You might be interested in previous months update too:
StashAway - December 2018

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, March 4, 2019

Honeymoon to the United States - 3 Days 2 Nights in Los Angeles

Continued from our previous post - Honeymoon to the United States - 2 Days 2 Nights in Silicon Valley and Cambria

Day 10
9:00AM - Check out Four Points by Sheraton Anaheim
9:30AM - DISNEYLAND checked
10:00PM - Check in Redac Gateway Hotel in Torrance


We woke up early to cook Maggie in the hotel as there was no free breakfast at Four Points :( It certainly did not help when there is no hot water boiler in the hotel room. We had to make a trip to the restaurant at the hotel to ask for hot water.

After we are done with breakfast, we make our way to Disneyland! There are two theme parks at Anaheim - Disneyland and Disney California Adventure Park. Due to time (and money) limitation (we only had 1 full day), I don't think it is possible to visit both theme parks and hence was forced to only pick one out of the two. After much extensive research, it seems that Disneyland is more family-oriented (read: less scary rides) while Disney California Adventure Park has more exciting rides. I don't really dare to take roller coaster rides and all, hence the choice is obvious.

One important thing to take note - selfie stick is NOT allowed in the park! KPO had a selfie stick for the GoPro in his bag and was flagged out during the security check before entering the park. He had to make a decision to throw it away on the spot or return to the hotel to keep it. Being a KPO, he would never let them throw away his stuff that easily. Guess what? He went out of the park and threw it into the bushes near a random bus stop instead of returning to the hotel in order not to waste too much time. Fortunately, we were still able to retrieve it back at the end of the day!

Of all the days, we chose to visit Disneyland on Black Friday (#faint). So you can pretty much imagine the crowd there. Almost all the must-visit rides have queues that are >60min long. Luckily we did some research prior to that and managed to make use of Fast Pass to visit most, if not all, of the popular rides.

Some of our recommended rides include:
- Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage - this is a new and relatively interesting ride conducted underwater.
- Indiana Jones Adventure
- Space Mountain
- Haunted Mansion
- Star Tours: The Adventures Continue
- It's a small world - this is basically the same in every Disneyland; not exactly super fun, but at least the ride is long, so it makes the queue more 'worthwhile'

Left - Me, Right - KPO
- Buzz Lightyear's Astro Blasters - this is a ride where we get to shoot like a video game and I scored higher than KPO!

- Mickey and the Magical Map - this is a theatre show (above).
- Fantasmic - highly recommend this! We first saw this in Tokyo DisneySea. Love the water and fire effects. Everyone should not miss this.
- Fireworks

Aside, the Walt Disney's Enchanted Tiki Room is one of the highly raved attraction, but it is really quite boring in our opinion. I even fell asleep in the room mid-way.

After a long and tiring day, we still have to drag our tired feet to our next accommodation Redac Gateway Hotel in Torrance. This is around 1-hour drive away from Disneyland and it is a business hotel mainly for Japanese. Hence, most of the signs and brochures come with Japanese translation and they also have Japanese toilet bowl in the hotel room (the kind with many buttons).

I am glad that KPO and I managed to visit so many Disneyland over our past ten years together. This includes Hong Kong Disneyland, Tokyo DisneySea, Paris Disneyland and now Disneyland in Anaheim. Where's next?

Day 11
09:00AM - Hotel breakfast - skipped
10:00AM - Warner Bro's studio - checked
12:00PM - The Original Farmers Market - checked
1:00PM - Hike up Hollywood sign - skipped, we are too tired
4:00PM - Griffith Observatory - checked
6:00PM - Dinner - checked


I was super excited to have hotel breakfast again because we were eating instant noodles the day before. Hotel breakfast is provided for in Redac hotel, per the website stated in Hotels.com. However, we weren't given breakfast option when we checked in. KPO called in to complain and it seems that we were not qualified for breakfast because we booked using some promo code. What!!! In return, they gave us $100 credit to be offset in our next booking, so I guess it wasn't so bad after all.

Couldn't remember what we had for breakfast in the end. Probably the leftover butter cake from the past few days. After breakfast, we headed down to Warner Bro's Studio Tour at Hollywood. The studio tour allowed us to visit the behind-the-scenes where many TV shows and movies were created.

This includes visiting the exhibit for Harry Potter, DC Universe as well as the Batmobile collections where we get to see all the Batman vehicles! I must say I thoroughly enjoyed this tour.

Enjoying our avocado toast like any other millennials
After the tour, we visited The Original Farmers' Market and The Grove (they are located side by side) for lunch and we had the best donut we have ever eaten in our entire lives! If you think Krispy Kreme's glazed donut is good, you should try the glazed donut at Bob's Coffee & Doughnuts at The Original Farmers' Market. The donut is so soft that you have to hold it with care and it simply melts in your mouth. Anyway, The Original Farmers' Market feels like Pasarbella in Singapore. You will be spoilt with a large variety of food choices there.

Driving towards the Hollywood sign

The view from outside Griffith Observatory

The view from the roof of the Griffith Observatory
We were too tired to stick to our itinerary to hike up Hollywood after lunch. Instead, we decided to drive straight up to Griffith Observatory, since we can see the same Hollywood sign there. Signs of aging! It was a massive jam up the Griffith Observatory but at least it's free parking there (yay). We visited the Observatory after taking some mandatory photos with the Hollywood sign. The Observatory is basically a place which explains about astronomy. It is educational and most importantly, free of charge~

As we still have some time before dinner, we decided to visit a nearby Walmart Supercentre. The Walmart is huge indeed and it seems to sell everything ranging from food to clothes to electronics to drugs/medicine to cosmetics. I don't think the prices are super cheap there, but at least they are reasonable and you can definitely find a variety of brands there. We then visited the nearby In-And-Out burger which our friend recommended us and also ordered a milkshake for comparison with Shake Shack. I preferred the burger at Shake Shack, but the milkshake at both places are comparable!

That sums up our adventure in Los Angeles. It is pretty sad that we only had 2 full days to travel around Los Angeles as it is a massive place and I am sure we can discover more interesting places if we had more time. Stay tuned to our next post as we travel down from Los Angeles to Las Vegas and Grand Canyon.

You might be interested in these blog posts too:
Honeymoon to the United States - 2 Days 2 Nights in Silicon Valley and Cambria
Honeymoon to the United States - 3 Days 2 Nights in Yosemite
Honeymoon to the United States - 2 Days 2 Nights in San Francisco
Honeymoon to the United States - 3 Days 2 Nights in New York
Honeymoon to the United States - Total Expenses
Honeymoon to the United States - Renting a $275,888 Mercedes Benz Convertible with Hertz
Singapore Airlines Suites Experience - SQ26 Singapore to New York
Singapore Airlines Suites Experience - The Private Room
Redeeming KrisFlyer Miles for Singapore Airlines Suites = 38.6% Cashback!

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.)

Friday, March 1, 2019

Lion-Phillip S-REIT ETF - High Cost and Low Yield

About a year ago, we made the decision to invest $1,000 every month on Lion-Phillip S-REIT ETF after it was announced in the Singapore Budget 2018 that REIT ETFs will be able to enjoy tax transparency (withholding tax of 17%) - New Singapore Budget, New REIT Strategy!

We have sold all 12,000 units of Lion-Phillip S-REIT ETF after doing a review and concluded that it is unable to meet our target dividend yield of 5%. After holding it for 300+ days and including all the dividends collected, the total annualized return should be around ~7-10%. Seems like there is a bug with the computation of average days leading to incorrect annualized return...

The tax transparency took effect on or after 1st July 2018 and I have been waiting for the latest dividend to make a more accurate estimation of its yield. The latest dividend that was declared in January 2019 for the period from 01/08/2018 to 31/12/2018 (153 days) was $0.0211. The annualized dividend will be ($0.0211 / 153 * 365) ~ $0.05034.

Using the 52 weeks high and low price, the dividend yield will be between the following:
High: 1.042 ---> 0.05034 / 1.042 ~ 4.83%
Low: 0.944 ---> 0.05034 / 0.944 ~ 5.33%

The expense ratio was unavailable in the initial prospectus (indicated to be around 0.5%) but can now be seen in their Semi-Annual Report and it turns out to be higher at 0.59%. In addition, it does not include brokerage and other transactions costs. Now if we were to look at the portfolio turnover ratio, it is also very high at 34.01%. The portfolio turnover ratio is a measure of how frequently assets within a fund are bought and sold by the managers. Let's compare this with SPDR STI ETF ratios.

In comparison, both the expense ratio and the portfolio turnover ratio of Lion-Phillip S-REIT ETF are much higher. With such a high portfolio turnover ratio, the brokerage fees involved should be quite significant but is not reflected in the expense ratio.

Lion-Phillip S-REIT ETF
Interestingly, with the high turnover ratio, Lion-Philip S-REIT ETF still has a higher tracking error as compared to SPDR STI ETF based on data from trackinsight.

If you think STI ETF isn't a fair comparison, you can take a look at the tracking error/difference for the other 2 REITs ETF:
- Phillip SGX APAC Dividend Leaders REIT ETF
- Nikko AM StraitsTrading Asia ex Japan REIT ETF

It just didn't look like a well-managed ETF with a relatively high (hidden) cost.

Bye Lion-Phillip S-REIT ETF!

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.)