Wednesday, 19 November 2014

How interest rate affects the market - a mathematical courtship

What would happen when the banks increase their interest rate? Here's a very simple summary.


- People will park more money in the bank (risk-free). Therefore stock prices might decline, especially for stocks of higher risk eg small caps, REITs.


- REITS may be adversely affected due to the increase in their debt's interest. REITs depend on loans to fuel their property business. That's why we always talk NAV and gearing when we look at REITs. On the bright side for stock pickers, REIT yield would then increase if their share prices drop.


- Bond prices would decrease, because again more people would choose to park money in the bank (which is supposedly risk-free). Bond yields of new bonds issued would increase to compete as a result.


In view of the highly possible increase of bank interest rate in the near future, what would be your course of actions? Welcome to share your thoughts.

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Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Find Love Find Life (사랑찾아 인생찾아)

라라랄라 라라라라 랄라 라라라라 라라라랄라
lalalala lalalala...
사랑 찾아 인생을 찾아 하루종일 숨이 차게 뛰어다닌다
sarang chaja insaeng eu chaja, haru cong il sumi chage dwi o da nin da
서울 하늘 하늘 아래서 내 꿈도 가까이 온다
so ul hanuel hanuel araeso, nae kumdo (bupo) kakkai onda

사랑도 있고 우정도 있고 하늘 아래 살고 있고
sarangdo iko ucongdo iko haneul arae, salko iko
저마다 다른 인생속에 또 하루를 바쁘게 산다
somada dareun insaeng soke, ddo harureul bappeu ke sanda

우리 인생 살다 보면 힘든 날도 수없이 찾아오지만
uri insaeng salda bomyon, him deun naldo su opsi chaja o jiman
사랑하나 그 사랑하나 찾으려고 몸부림 치네
sarang hana keu sarang hana, chajeu ryo ko mompurim jine

사랑찾아 인생을 찾아 하루종일 숨이 차게 뛰어 다닌다
sarang chaja insaeng eul chaja, harujongil somi chake dwi o da nin da
서울 하늘 하늘 아래서 내 꿈도 가까이 온다
so ul haneul haneul araeso nae pumdo(bupo) kakka i onda
...
사랑을 알고 우정도 알고 정 하나로 살고있고
sarang eul arko, ujongdo arko, jong hanaro salko iko
저마다 값진 인생 속에 또 하루를 바쁘게 산다
jomada kapjin insaeng soke, ddo harureul bappeu ke sanda

우리 인생 살다 보면 힘든 날도 수없이 찾아 오지만
uri insaeng salda bomyon, him deun naldo su opsi chaja o jiman
오늘 보다 더 멋진 인생 찾기 위해 몸부림 치네
onuel poda do mojin insaeng chaki wihae mompurim jine

사랑 찾아 인생을 찾아 하루종일 숨이 차게 뛰어 다닌다
sarang chaja insaeng eul chaja, harujongil somi chake dwi o da nin da
서울 하늘 하늘 아래서 내 꿈도 가까이 온다
so ul haneul haneul araeso, nae pumdo kakka i onda

사랑 찾아 인생을 찾아 지친 가슴 끌어안고 뛰어 다닌다
sarang chaja insaeng eul chaja, jichin kasuem keuro anko dwi o da nin da
서울 하늘 하늘 아래서 내 꿈도 가까이 온다
so ul hanuel hanuel araeso, nae pumdo kakkai onda
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
(English translation)
To find love, to find life, I run out of breath, running around all day
 Underneath the skies of Seoul, my dreams come closer

There is love, there is friendship, living under the sky
 Each day is lived busily by each different life

In life, there are endless days of hardship
 But we are all trying to find that one love

To find love, to find life, I run out of breath, running around all day
 Underneath the skies of Seoul, my dreams come closer

Knowing love, knowing friendship, we live with a warm heart
 Each day is lived busily by each precious life

In life, there are endless days of hardship
 But we are all trying to find a better life than today

To find love, to find life, I run out of breath, running around all day
 Underneath the skies of Seoul, my dreams come closer

To find love, to find life, I run as I embrace my tired heart
 Underneath the skies of Seoul, my dreams come closer

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The above is Wang's family's theme song and my favourite at present because of the meaningful lyrics speaking of our lives in the city.

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Thursday, 13 November 2014

SembCorp marine - The falling knife?

I was tempted into buying SembCorp marine shares last week as the price has fallen to $3.60 but unfortunately (or rather fortunately) my order did not get filled.


This week I see the price continue falling to $3.52 today. How low will it go? And when will it get oversold?

In view of the crude oil price crash, Sembcorp vs Keppel Corp, which would you pick? Why?

Read more about its reviews here: http://sgx.i3investor.com/servlets/ptres/7357.jsp
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Update: 4/3/16

I would consider my order not getting filled a fortune. Because price hit a record low of $1.40 before retracing upwards. That was a whooping 60% fall! Speaking of catching a falling knife, this is a sharp and long one. :S

Credit card must-knows

1) Find the right card to use


Know what you spend most at and get a card that gives the most perks for that category of spending.
For instance, if you drive and always top up Petrol at SPC then POSB everyday card might be a good choice due to the attractive daily$ rebate. If you love retail therapy then Citibank Rewards card might be a good one for accumulating reward points and perks.
Compare credit cards here http://www.moneysmart.sg/credit-cards.



2) Remember to redeem


Don't let your credit card points accumulate to neverland. Most of them come with an expiry date eg. UOB's smart$ (6 months), Standchart's reward points (3 years), DBS Capitarewards (1 year)... These points could be used to offset purchases from participating merchants or shopping vouchers.
Citibank Premier miles reward and POSB's daily$ have no expiry dates (correct me if I am wrong).



3) Cashback - lovin' it


Do not like redeeming from merchants or request vouchers (what's more irritating than T&C such as cannot to be used in conjunction with any promotion)? Then go for the direct cash rebate! Some cards say UOB One, OCBC 365 and Citibank Dividend would give you direct cash rebate in the bill provided you meet their minimum criteria.
So do read the fine prints or you would be wondering why your bill doesn't reflect the stated cash rebates.
Also some rebates are capped at a maximum amount, if you already hit that maximum then you should switch to the next best card to use.
When dining, ask if there is any preferred card to use for bill offset or specials. Many restaurants do periodic tie-ups with credit cards.



4) Credit card fees - remember to get them waived


Note that credit cards and even the supplementary cards would come with annual fee. Fret not. Usually if one has no outstanding loan repayment on the credit card, the bank would allow a fee waiver just by calling in to them. Do watch your bills as the annual fee would be reflected on it and be especially alert if you are using giro-repayment.

Overseas spending would incur currency conversion charges which varies between different banks. Of course you might want to go for the cards with overseas spending rebate to use as such. There is also the late repayment fee which brings us to the next point.



5) Credit card repayment - no debt, no pain


If there is one thing you have to remember in your monthly finance, it would be your credit card bill. Interest rate for any outstanding balance can be as high as 25% pa! No investment return is able to recoup the losses from credit loans. One tip is to avoid using many different credit cards in the same period. This is to accumulate rewards more efficiently and also avoid missing out on any bills when making repayment. Making prompt repayments will add to your credibility record with the bank making it easier for you to take other loans in future. So do take a credit card for the perks but not the credit (borrowings).



6) 0% instalment plans - too good to be true?


Nothing explains better than this Moneysmart post http://blog.moneysmart.sg/credit-cards/0-interest-instalment-payment-plans/


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Monday, 10 November 2014

In love with yogasana and pilate

It's been 2 months since I joined Amore Fitness and I can feel my muscles strength and endurance improving. Although my stamina is still bad as I haven't gone for any cardio activities. Here's what I like and dislike about it.


Like:
- Has a vast variety of classes from dances like hip hop, Bollywood to pilates and yoga.
- Has classes spanning over many time slots almost through out the day.
- Walk-ins gym and classes (except for a few peak hour classes have to book 1 week in advance)
- They have many instructors so if you don't like one, can always choose another class to go to.
- Clean venue, big lockers, convenient location and ladies-only (for the branch I signed up at)
- Shower facility and towels provided


Dislike:
- Need $160 sign up fee (for member card)
- Only when you have the time to go consistently will you get your 1 month $138 unlimited gym (one club) sign up worth. If you go by per entry it is simply too expensive.
- Instructors don't have time to correct student by student due to cohort teaching. You just have to be a quick learner.
- Difficulty level may vary between instructors, some basic classes are really basic whereas some basic is not so basic. I had it tough when I first joined by just going for a pilate class without first trying out the basic.
- Studios are small, at 12 would be already quite cramp
- Shoes lockers are mostly all booked


I didn't know the difference between yoga, yogasana and pilate until I joined the classes. Yoga needs too much flexibility for my stubborn bones, I couldn't even do some of the basic stances. Yogasana which focuses more on pose and body balance is less difficult in contrast but need more strength and tolerance.

Pilate focuses on body muscles - tummy, arm, leg muscles and core strength. Doing the plank correctly is the basic. I did not realise I have got a bad right elbow (probably due to prolonged computer mouse usage) until I practised pilate. Thereafter, I set to massage and exercise to strengthen it.

More updates on my progress next time. :)

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