Saturday, 24 February 2018

K.C. Saves Money K.C. eats: Bukit Timah Food Centre

  Posted at  February 24, 2018 No comments
It is not easy for the Singaporean guy to save money. Most guys eat alot and one portion of food just isn't enough so we usually order two. The misery is compounded especially if our girlfriends/spouse prefer to have dinner at "better" places such as restaurants. 

K.C.
tends to overspend on food options as such. He spent a staggering $484.89 on restaurants alone. Given that every other meal is settled outside alone, the total spending for food alone was $1057.69 for the month of January! Food actually comes to be the main expenditure for K.C. 

The second furthest spending from grab/uber trips comes up to $374.31 which is totally dwarfed by the food amount. (Grab/Uber trips will be cut from the budget)

K.C. will force himself to sleep earlier so he doesn't wake up late and has to Grab/Uber.

Aiyo! Eat more than he earn already! How to save money?

UNACCEPTABLE!


This is grossly over budget and K.C. has to go back to the drawing board.
1) Limit restaurant visits to special occasions only or max twice per month capped at $150.
2) Cap personal food spend to $20/day for 3 meals = $620 (estimated using 31 days month)

The allocated budget is by no means that I have to spend all but rather a limited capped ceiling amount. Thus I cap the total monthly spending on food to $770.

This should save me $600 extra next month. Hopefully. 😭

So, where does K.C. eat when he is alone?


K.C. recommended Eats: Bukit Timah Food Centre
Food centres host a great variety of food and also come often at affordable prices. It is often not so hard to find food from $3.50 onwards.

To save more money, bring your own water! A normal sugar cane drink can cost $1.60 already and with every 2-3 drinks you can buy another meal!

At Bukit Timah Food Centre, there are many foods you cannot find anywhere near as tasty. One of them is CHIN HOCK MUTTON SOUP.

Chin Hock Mutton Soup (Bukit Timah Food Centre)
The stall is operated by an old uncle with his son and the stall has been around for at least 30 years. The soup base is herbal (not much mutton stench) plus the mutton has been boiled over long hours so they literally melt in the mouth.

$5 onwards + $0.50 for rice. 
There are also a host of other popular foods like chicken wings, satay bee hoon, Zi Char (stir fired dishes), katong laksa, fried hokkien mee and carrot cake.

Satay Bee Hoon and more
Hopefully these food centres will stay for as long as possible given that modern food courts and chain kopitiams have overtaken most of the traditional hawker centres.

So, where do you eat to save money? Share with K.C. can?


Bukit Timah Food Centre
116 Upper Bukit Timah Road, 588172


Wednesday, 21 February 2018

Budget 2018: What's in it for the average Singaporean?

  Posted at  February 21, 2018 No comments
Budget 2018 Summary, Source Business Times.
Water prices rose, now GST will increase: What does it tell us?
Last year at Budget 2017, we were told that the water prices would hike by 30% citing sustainability concerns for our water. This year, we are told that GST would increase by 2% between 2021-2025.

Our nation's success is largely down to the fact that the Singapore government is that good at creating that sustainability: by getting us to pay for ourselves. Even foreign countries look over at our government and lauded our government for it (example in healthcare).

Nope. We have to stop complaining and stop looking for the government to dish out freebies because they won't come.

Prices for necessities and commodities were always going to rise over time and with big projects under the government's plans such as the HighSpeed Railway, transport infrastructure, Terminal 5 at Changi Airport, we were always going to need more money to be raised.


It will happen again and again.
The government is aware of the backlash it can suffer for making unpopular decisions but at the same time they make it clear that despite the little rebates and Cash Bonus, they will be prepared to raise the bar again should the need arise again.

Like it or not, whenever decisions are made regarding the average Singaporean who has no say in policy making, we have to bite harder and carry on.

Long-term solution is vital: create multiple streams of income.
The short-term impacts would likely leave a non-lasting impression on the Singaporean once we get used to the new normal. That is, until we are forced to accept a higher demand of us again.

What then, could be a longer-term solution?

For one, I can think of is growing our income. Primary income from our jobs could be bettered if we invest our time and effort into it. However, we might also one day get retrenched thereby losing our primary source of income. Therefore, hedging against this risk is vital.

This is where growing our income in the form of different streams of passive income becomes crucial. By setting aside a sum of money to make money on their own, we might just one day be financially free such that government policies no longer affect us (that much).

Until next time,
K.C.

Monday, 19 February 2018

My REITS plan for the year and my first REIT: Frasers Commercial Trust (FCOT)

  Posted at  February 19, 2018 No comments
Started my first dabble into REITS today, the fourth day of Chinese New Year.

My plan for this year is to consistently buy into REITS:
(one REIT per every 2 months worth at least around $1,500- $3,000 per buy to keep cost slightly lower)

Therefore, by the end of this year, I would/should have achieved the purchase of 6 REITS hopefully within the amount of $12,000-$15,000.

My constraints and my decisions:

1. Cost vs Consistency/Discipline:
My first year of investment would likely see me incur a higher cost per transaction. This is largely due to the lack of capital (which shall not be my excuse anymore). I will therefore come up with a plan that emphasize on Discipline and Consistency for this first year. For a workaround, I have decided that for each REIT I purchase, I would want to keep my costs incurred to within 3% or below per transaction. By identifying REITS that fit into my investment appetite mainly growth and dividends REITS that are manageable for my capital outlay, I should achieve an overall Dividend Yield of 2-4% for this first year.

My major weakness in life has been on the issue of discipline, therefore I have decided to set aside $1,500 - $1,800 a month to buy a REIT. Dollar-cost-averaging, since my first year is just to get the discipline to do my homework and invest consistently.

2. Imperfect knowledge of the Market and the REITS I'm buying into:

I shall refrain from buying in bulk also because of my imperfect knowledge of the market. It would be good for me to practice my fundamental analysis and see how they turn out in a year, whether I was right/wrong. I am still new and I cannot possibly know everything but I have to make smart guesses and calculated risks along the way.

It would also allow me to buy into different sectors of REITS and learn more about how they function as a whole to market movements and sentiments.

3. Unfamiliarity with the tools I'm using at the moment:
I'm currently using some Dividends trackers made by others, a few websites that source REITS news and I'm also new to how DBS vickers/CDP works. Time will tell which of these tools I'm using are good/more reliable than others or not. I would likely take time to explore the functions and various information available to me.

As of the time I am buying into the REIT, I have not studied every single piece of information put to me by the software, websites as the amount of information is huge. This will likely need some digestion on my side.



My first REIT: Frasers Commercial Trust (FCOT)
As of the time I studied the REITs, I had quite a few REITs I had identified based on my fundamental analysis.

My criterias were:
1. Promising Growth
2. Consistent Dividends (track record)
3. Fundamentals of the company (assets short-term to long-term)

I had eliminated a few like Lippo Malls Trust which was favored alot by retail investors. (I might re-look again at this REIT)

Indonesia is an emerging market and this REIT has given consistently high dividend yield. On the surface it looks like a good REIT. However, even as their assets are mainly retail malls, their net asset value has not increased much over the years as the underlying property and assets is stagnated/depreciating due to the Rupiah/ market condition.

Comparing apple for apple, CapitaR China Trust (I will certainly be looking at this again) has that same growth potential but the RMB is in a much stronger shape backed by the purchasing power of the chinese and situated in much more populated areas with much more solid big brand tenants like Uniqulo, Zara, watsons and Aeon.

Anyway, back to Frasers Commercial Trust:

 


For me, this REIT has been strong fundamentally although the dividend Yield is not the best it has been delivering consistency. Its Nett assets have also been increasing in value over the years. 50% of the REIT comprises of Australia properties.

In Singapore, the China Square tenant revenue has taken a hit due to upgrading from 2016 projected to end in mid 2019 and the loss of HP as a major tenant caused a slightly lower performance in this quarter. But other than this, the other tenanted properties are doing well with high tenancy rate.

For Australia side, I am honestly not too familiar with the Aussie market but it has seen a slight dip due to the weakening Aussie dollar but is also not doing too bad. More homework and due diligence would be needed before I make an opinion of the Australia side of things but from the fundamentals it is strong enough to convince me of its mid to long term growth. FCOT is also in a joint venture currently to purchase Farnborough Business Park which has a long weighted average lease expiry (98.1% leased) in London, UK.

Update:
FCOT in numbers



My Key Indicators

FY2014  FY2015  FY2016  FY2017  LTM Ending 
30-Sep-14 30-Sep-15 30-Sep-16 30-Sep-17 31-Dec-17
Total Revenue 
118.838 142.187 156.497 156.551 152.193
Gross Profit
90.554 101.868 115.614 113.843 109.562
GP/TR% 76.1995321 71.6436805
73.8761765
72.7194333 71.9888563

Dividend Yield
(based on last stock price)
6.83098592
Net PP&E
1,824.94 1,954.88 1,989.37 2,070.92 2,054.60
Gross Margin 
76.2 71.644 73.876 72.719 71.989
Operations
82.01 88.574 101.786 96.824 86.155
Investing
-3.454 -197.286 -3.32 -5.439 -26.506
Financing
-73.578 124.185 -89.397 -88.356 -85.432
Current Ratio 
2.177 2.011 0.363 0.39 0.304

GEARING

34.80
Total Debt/Equity 
63.522 60.847 61.012 58.234 58.398
EBITDA/Interest Expense 
3.854 4.029 4.149 4.112 3.936
EBITDA
0.034 13.541 15.177 -1.909 -6.121


As of 19/2/2018:
1,000 shares bought at $1.440

Till next time,
K.C.

---------------------------------------------
Disclaimer: The above information are for personal discussion purposes only and do not constitute financial advice. Do conduct your due diligence before making any financial decision. "30 Year Old Investor" shall not be liable for any loss or damage of any kind arising from the result of your reliance of the information contained on this site.
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You don't need to pay anyone/company to have a plan of your own and work towards achieving Financial Independence. Only we alone have no conflict of interest with our own money. "30 Year Old Investor" is a personal blog about a Singaporean's savings and investing journey.


Being the average Singaporean, K.C. is also interested in good food, a little bit of politics and a good slice of humour.

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