[Eye Candy]: An in depth look into GSS Energy

Hello all! Today I will be doing a deeper analysis of GSS Energy. I am personally vested in this company hence, I would advise readers to exercise their own discretion when reading this post. Recently, GSS’s stock price have been going on a rollercoaster ride and many people including myself were thinking of cutting loss. But I held on because the prospects of the company are bright and the business fundamentals are sound. In the coming paragraphs I will bring you through GSS’s business and the outlook.

GSS logo

GSS Energy mainly operates in two business segments. 1) The precision engineering business and 2) the Oil and Gas segment. To let you understand a fuller picture I did a timeline of GSS transformation from 2013.

GSS timeline 1.png

GSS timeline 2.png

If you realised I never really talked about their PE business in the timeline above because during the period of 2013 to 2017, GSS took a huge plunge by venturing into the O&G sector which caused the main bulk of the movement in share prices. But since you got a fuller picture of what happened within this critical time span for the company, I will now analyse the respective business segments and their prospects.

1) Precision Engineering

GSS’s core business has always been precision engineering. In fact, they were a pure play PE firm before the new management decided to bring them into the O&G sector. Many people don’t realise that GSS Energy have a functional and profitable PE business. Come on the company’s name itself is misleading enough haha! So let’s take a look at how the PE business have done so far since 2014.

PE business.png

Both revenue and gross profit have been growing. That’s a good sign. Also, in 2017 they are shifting to a larger facility in China which will allow them to accept larger and more sophisticated orders as they capitalise on the chance to improve the new facility.

And for 1Q 2017, their PE business continued to grow at about 28% Q over Q.

1Q2017

That is kinda impressive. With so many competitors in the PE industry, it is sometimes hard to grow one’s business. However GSS PE business have been able to consistently grow their PE’s business revenue and gross profit for the past 3 years. This shows that the management are able to position the company’s services such that it attracts larger sales order from existing customers or obtain new customers to the company and at the same time reduce cost of production.

The thriving semiconductor industry in 2017 have become a favourable tailwind to GSS’s PE business. With a strong record of building up the PE business, and demand for electronics set to grow this year, this could be a record year for the PE business for GSS. In fact, the CEO have also considered plans to further grow the PE business through strategic acquisitions or collaboration, spinning off the PE business have also been considered by the CEO. That shows the confidence he have in the PE business.

2) Oil and Gas exploration

I think this is the main segment that is important to many investors. Since this business is new to GSS and there have been a case of their failure in this new business segment. The CEO’s concept in the O&G is not ordinary. He wants to ensure that there are certainty of oil in the ground and that it must be low cost so that they will not be badly affected by changing oil prices.

CEO Sydney’s way to achieve those objectives was to acquire old abandoned wells in Indonesia and drill them. The rationale for that is simple. Back in the old days, the colonialists have created many oil wells for their own needs. But in WW2, the colonialists destroy these oil wells so that the Japanese could not get access to these resources. So by acquiring these old oil wells, the cost of production of drilling for oil in that area becomes low. (About US $12 per barrel estimated)

Of course, not every old oil well contains oil reserves. Extensive studies have been done by GSS before committing to any sites. The current one that they are working on the Trembul Operation Area is in the same basin as the one Exxon Mobil use to draw oil, so certainty of obtaining oil seems to be quite high. And if the Trembul Operation is a success, the CEO have in mind to expand around the area in order to grow their O&G business to be a full fledge player in the industry.

Also, the type of agreement that GSS signed with PT Pertamina, Indonesia national oil company is different from the one they signed in the 2014 debacle. For this arrangement, money earned in the sale of oil is first used to pay off the cost of production of the oil before profit sharing is done. And since, the oil is bought by the government there are some forms of certainty in the buyer.

Risks

Yup the risks of not obtaining oil, execution risk and low oil prices are definitely there. But in my opinion, these scheme of arrangement with Pertamina puts GSS in a better position to reap profits from the venture. Unless oil price falls below US$20 per barrel which is rather unlikely, this remains profitable for GSS. Also, as a show of confidence, CEO have been buying shares in Jan 2017.

 3) Fundamentals

Balance sheet

GSS balance sheet looks fine. I am more concern about debt since O&G companies around the world have been going bust because of debt issues.

balance sheet.png

Debt free company! And the group have a rather strong cash reserves of about $11 million.

Cash Flow

gss cash flow.png

Cash flow is improving. Free cash flow have been rising ever since 2014. That is definitely a good sign. Haha credits to Investingnote for doing the calculations! 🙂

Insider ownership

The CEO holds 17.99% stake in the company and a non-independent, non-executive director Glenn Fung holds a 13.44% stake in the company.

stakeholders.png

That’s a combine 31.43% stake in the company from 2 members of the board in GSS. The management definitely have their interests aligned with the shareholders. Furthermore, the CEO have been buying up shares in 2017 as well.

4) Outlook

I feel GSS have more legs to run. Backed by a profitable PE business and with the oil business coming online in 2017, this could be a good year to watch for GSS. I think some of us are concern because FY 2016’s results are backed mainly by a once off income gain by the government.

once off income.png

If you realise without the once off income, they would only have about $3 million in profit for FY 2016. That translate to about PE 28x at current price. To see if the current price is considered undervalued after factoring some future catalysts, I shall try to do a conservative estimation based off some assumptions.

  1. No growth in PE business
  2. Company manage to retrieve oil from the ground
  3. Price of oil remains in USD$40 to USD$50 per barrel

Assuming there is no growth in the PE business, we are looking at a revenue of $70 million and an EPS of SGD 0.6 cents.

Now according to a QPR by GSS, there is said to be 24 million stock tank barrel of oil reserves in the Trembul area up to 800m deep. GSS subsidiary PT SGT a 49:51 JV is entitled to about 23% of the oil reserves there. So GSS is entitled to 49% of the 23% of total oil there are.

gss QPR trembul.png

GSS’s contract with Pertamina is for 15 years, that would entitle GSS to have

49% of the 23% of 24 million barrel of oil = 2.70 million barrel of oil

Assuming a more conservative figure — GSS are entitled to only 2.16 million barrel of oil

So 1 year = 144 000 barrels of oil

Assuming GSS cost price per barrel is USD $20 (actual estimated is USD $12) and price of oil ranges from USD$40-50 (Let’s take USD $40 to calculate)

Net profit for GSS oil business per year = USD 2.88 million = SGD 3.75 million (USD/SGD of 1.3) = EPS of SGD 0.755 cents

Total EPS when O&G comes online = 0.755 + 0.6 = 1.355 cents

Which translate to a PE ratio of 13 at share price of $0.175 (the price which CEO last bought his shares from the open market). This is could be why CEO’s Sydney emphasize that GSS is undervalued.

The above is taking into consideration that there is no growth in the PE business and that oil prices ranges from USD$40 to USD$50 per barrel.

In conclusion,

one should monitor FY2017 closely to see the rate of change of pure earnings Q over Q. Supported by positive tailwinds from the semiconductor boom and with oil prices stabilising out, it is definitely a growth company at an inflection point. FY 2017 result may not be higher than FY2016 but one should always look at the real growth rate of earnings to determine if there is growth potential in the company. With that, I shall end my analysis, rmb to DYODD!

[Building Blocks]: Understanding your FIRST step to financial freedom!

Hi all!! It’s been a while since I did a [Building Blocks] post. Haha if you were an avid reader of my blog, you will realise that I have been posting quite a bit in [Eye Candy], the segment where I do some analysis on stocks I am researching. Yup I have been rather busy digging through the stock market for gems that I could put my money into. As you can see from the title of the blog post, today I will be trying to help you understand your FIRST step to financial freedom. This FIRST step is essential as it lays a foundation for you to work your money. In other words, in order to INVEST your money you need to embark on this FIRST step.

So what is this FIRST step that is soooo important??

The answer is: SAVING!!

SAVING image

All of you might go “Duh” but how many of us are actually able to really save up your salary or money? We often have the goal to save up this amount but most of the time we give in to certain pleasures and decide to spend almost all our salary away. I know this because I myself is guilty as charged haha!

When I entered the army, its the first time whereby I was drawing a constant stream of income (unlike those adhoc jobs I did last time). With sudden inflow of money every month, I did not have a concrete saving plan and hence my expenses were very high at the start. In some months, I may be broke without the month coming to an end. I also know of friends who are like that too! I only started taking charge of my savings when I started investing as I  realise how meagre my savings are.

So I started reading up and created a system to force me to save, but before that let’s look at

1) The importance of saving

Saving is an important first step to your financial freedom because without savings, you will not be able to use that money to work for you. Imagine yourself spending every dime of your monthly salary, how will you be able to put any money into investing in stocks, property and so on. So if we ourselves do not understand the importance of saving it’s hard for us to grasp the power of investing and compounding!

2) Saving can be automatic!

Yes it can be. Nowadays with the advent of technology, most of us definitely have an ibanking account with any of the banks in Singapore. And it’s super easy to automate the entire process of saving. Let me show you how.

First, you will first need to set up 2 bank accounts

Bank accounts pic

Yes, create 2 separate bank accounts, one for purely savings, the other for expenses only.

Secondly, credit your salary into your savings account. After doing that, calculate a rough percentage of your monthly expenses. For me, I save about 75% of my salary and spend the other 25%.

Finally, set up an automatic transfer between the two accounts. Transfer the percentage for your expenses from your savings account to your expenses account.

Automate saving

Yes the end result should look something like the flow chart above.

3) Don’t touch your nest egg for fun!

Yes! You read it right! Don’t touch your nest egg (savings) for fun (entertainment). Put it another way, don’t spend your savings!! For me, I practise that by not bringing out the ATM card that belongs to my savings account. That way I will not be tempted to dip my hands into my savings.

Of course with that said, what if its an emergency and you need the money? If it’s an emergency, then I guess there will be no choice but to tap on your savings. However, if possible try to reduce your expenses in the subsequent months to repay the amount you took from your savings.

One point to note is that you should always ensure you plan a right amount to be set for your expenses. I tried to save 90% of my salary before, but it’s just too tight on me and I tend to keep tapping onto my savings because I ran out of money. So plan the amount carefully so that it does not give you ANY temptations to tap into your savings!!

In conclusion,

you might say that as a young person, saving is very insignificant to you since you probably can only save a few hundred a month. But take that few hundred and multiply it by 12 or 24 months you are looking at a few thousands already. Think BIG! And that’s not all, use your nest egg to work for you through INVESTING! Slowly but surely, this small amount will grow and compound.

saving final image.jpg

I really like the picture above. In the very first picture I showed you a hand dropping coins into a jar which signifies saving. And with your savings, it forms the soil and fertiliser to grow your money just like the above picture. Savings is a cliche topic and whatever I shared above may be shared by many others too. But, what I think is most important to you is TAKING ACTION to really start your saving plan because saving is the FIRST step to your financial freedom!

** Haha side note before I end. I have been toying with the idea of helping people who are keen to get into investing. I am still working out how should I deliver it. So do stay tuned for more update on this! 🙂 **

 

[Eye Candy]: An update on Addvalue Tech

Hi all, I have decided to do an update on Addvalue Tech since a lot had happened since my last post on Addvalue. For those who may not know what I am referring to. You can check out my 2 posts on Addvalue below.

1. Addvalue Tech, a turnaround play? 

2. Addvalue Tech’s 3Q results 

1) What happened?

— New Investors —

A few things happened since my last post. Addvalue declared 2 trading halts in a span of a few weeks.

Addvalue news.png

Firstly, news were released about AT raising money to prepare for the commercialisation of the IDRS. If you are thinking that raising money = debt = even more financial trouble at AT, then these news will be slightly different. Money were raised in 3 forms, one is through the issue of new ordinary shares, convertible loan notes and lastly an exchangeable bond worth $2 million.

Why I would say this will be slightly different is because majority of those who gave their money to AT are affluent investors. They include investment firms and some accredited investors. The placement shares were priced $0.039 per share.

placement subscribers

As for the convertible loan note, its a 5% per annum with a choice to convert it into shares of the company at $0.055.

loan note subcriber.png

Once again, most of the subscribers of the placement shares are also subscribers of the loan note.

Also a venture investment firm known to be Cap Vista, the investment arm of DSTA invested $2 million in the form of exchangeable bonds for 5 years. It is a 5% per annum payable in full on maturity, however in the event that AT spin off Addvalue Solutions (AVS) a subsidiary of AT, these shall be exchange for shares in the company. FYI, AVS is the arm in AT that is focusing on the development of the IDRS, hence the investment.

These shows that there is a form of quiet optimism that AT’s IDRS will succeed. That’s the reason for the slight difference.

— Uptick in sales —

AT uptick in sales

It’s current product the Wideye iFleetONE terminal have earned an initial trial order of about US$1.0 million. It is also in discussion with potential customers for an additional order of about US$3.5 million.

3q2017

I am not sure if the initial trial order amount of 1m is going to be recorded in Q4. But let’s assume it is. This would mean a revenue of more than US$10 million for FY 2017, as Q4 usually records 2-3 million in revenue. That would be much higher than the 9 million revenue recorded in 2016. Using a bold estimate, we could see AT returning to the black, as AT have been trying to cut cost in recent Qs. Currently, 9M2017 is a loss of US$1.2 million. Of course the above is my personal estimation, we shall see if its true in the coming FY announcement.

2) Risk remain

The recent spate of events have ticked some of the catalysts that I have laid out in my first post on AT. However, risk like their cash flow still remain in this business.

— Cash Flow —

Having sales is of no use if the company cannot bring in cold hard cash to finance the company’s operations. As for now, it could be a race against time to see if they can fully commercialise the IDRS before their money eventually run out. I am still hoping that they could finally reach a deal to sell away AVC one of their subsidiary in order to spice up their balance sheet. I will be watching its cash flow closely in the coming earnings report.

In conclusion,

AT new chart.png

The recent events have caused the stock to run up from $0.044 to $0.062. I have a tiny portion at $0.04 just 0.1 cent higher than the placement share. For now, I am holding out since I am already in the money. I am looking to add to my position when the stock consolidate or after the upcoming earnings results. Personally, I feel quite confident of the IDRS project, now the ball is in AT’s court to translate what they have into an earnings generating monster!

 

 

 

 

 

[Eye Candy]: Tiong Seng, a sleeping giant?

Recently, I have been trying to look at sectors that have been through a rough patch to see if I can find any hidden gems within this depressed sectors. One sector that pops up is the construction industry. Property prices have been stuck on the ground for some time now. As property developers grapple with the cooling measures imposed by the government, this means lesser construction demand by property developers which affects the construction industry as a whole. I feel it is in times like this we are able to look for promising companies that are strong enough to weather this storm and thrive when the sectors eventually recovers. One such company that came across is Tiong Seng Holdings Ltd.

tiong-seng-1

A little bit about Tiong Seng. Tiong Seng is a homegrown construction and civil engineering company with  58 years of track record. JTC@Tuas, Mediapolis@One North the new home of MediaCorp, SIM Campus were just some of the projects that Tiong Seng have undertaken. They are also into property development in China, mainly with projects in the second and third-tier cities like Suzhou and Yangzhou.

1) Fundamentals

– Debt level –

Tiong Seng’s debt is a bit on the high side. It have a 92m dollars cash & cash equivalent but debt of about 175m dollars (ST+ LT).

TS BS1.png

TSBS2.png

That’s about 2 times its cash & cash equivalents. As the construction industry is a very competitive industry that require high upfront costs, I wanted to see if this figures are considered over-leverage. Hence, I decided to do a comparison across some of the big construction companies listed in the SGX. I chose 4 companies with comparable market cap to Tiong Seng and did a comparison of their debt levels.

TS compare debt

Hence, in my opinion, Tiong Seng debts/CCE of about 2 times seem to be acceptable for a construction company.

– Cash Flow –

Managing cash flow in a construction company is rather challenging. There’s always a risk when any business take on a huge capital to finance a project. Furthermore, earnings in the construction industry are usually lumpy in nature as they receive their earnings in phases. This could lead them into a huge debt spiral if they borrow huge amounts and are unable to repay them in time due to unsuccessful project tenders, costs overrun etc.

TS Cash Flow.png

It has recorded positive cash flow from operations for 4 out of 5 years. Net change in cash is positive for 2 out of 5 years. It’s cash flow is still considered decent in my opinion.

– Management –

Tiong Seng was founded by the current CEO’s father, Pek Ah Tuan. Peck Tiong Choon which is a company founded by the current CEO’s father and his brothers. Peck Tiong Choon have a 59.8% stake in Tiong Seng. One of the non-executive director, Lee It Hoe also deemed to have about a 63.1% stake in the company.

Ownership2.png

What I think it means is that members in the board like Mr Lee It Hoe have Tiong Seng’s shares through Tiong Seng Shareholdings. Furthermore, the current CEO being the son of Mr Pek Ah Tuan should have a vested interest to advance the business started out by his father. Of course, that is hard to say. Family business can be prone to infighting and can fail as well. But I have to say I have been rather happy with the management’s decisions so far. I will share with you why below.

2) Prospects

– Technology focused –

The adoption of technology in the construction industry have been a long drawn process. In an environment where competition to offer the best tender is strong, it is hard to see these companies adopting technology to aid productivity. However, Tiong Seng have a different approach in this. For instance, Tiong Seng invested in the very first Precast Automation Hub in Singapore where they have experienced a significant 70.0% reduction in manpower while raising output and maintaining consistency. They also use computer software programs to ensure that their buildings are well designed before starting actual construction reducing wastage. Tiong Seng also employ the use of PPVC and PBC where a portion of the building are fabricated off-site. Building Construction Authority (BCA) have also been encouraging the use of such approach.

TS tech

TS tech 1

In my opinion, Tiong Seng’s innovation to the construction industry will put it in good stead to provide not just quality but also efficiency. Being one of the few construction firms in Singapore to focus so heavily on technology, I think this factor should play out well in favour of Tiong Seng in the future.

– Construction industry to be boosted by public sector demand in 2017 –

Given the current property outlook, private demand for construction remains soft. However, the government have announced more public construction work in 2017, valued to be around $24 billion. Tiong Seng have the highest A1 grade from BCA for both civil engineering and general building which allows it to undertake public sector projects with unlimited value. To illustrate how prestigious that is, take a look below.

BCA A1.png

BCA grades the construction sector in two categories, General Building and Civil Engineering. To be able to obtain A1 for both categories is certainly not an easy feat. Most companies only have 1. Hence, with public sector demand rising, Tiong Seng should be in a nice position to grab a share of the pie given its strong track record. Besides, it is becoming a common practice for the government to award contracts to companies that may not be the lowest bidder in tender exercises.

 

3) Risks

– China Property Bubble –

Property prices in China have been running sky high. In the short term, that could definitely be a boost to Tiong Seng’s revenue. However, like every bubble, there will be a correction coming. China’s government have put in place many cooling measures like tighter loan restrictions to simmer down the property market.

china house price

As we can see a top has formed, and a correction will definitely not be good for Tiong Seng’s property developments business in China. Revenue will definitely be affected. However, in my opinion, the main issue with China property prices, is speculation. Prices can raced up about 23% in a year.

An article in Business Insider also explains that the Chinese government is looking for healthy developments of the real estate market.

business insider.png

Hence, I believe that although Tiong Seng’s China venture will be impacted when the property bubble burst. Their strategy to only develops in 2nd and 3rd tier cities will help them in the long run as China embraces the OBOR initiatives to connect more of their cities together through building infrastructure. Furthermore, by developing in the 2nd and 3rd tier cities, it can translate to lower costs compared to a 1st tier city. We shall see how their China venture pans out, hopefully they have learn their lesson from their overseas venture debacle in 2014.

– Execution risk –

And like all construction companies, execution risks remain the most probable. Having to deal with rising labour costs, material costs, safety etc etc. It is important that a construction companies do not run into a Stop Work Order, which will be no good to the company. However, given Tiong Seng’s track record, that risk should be relatively smaller compared to other construction firms.

 

In conclusion,

Tiong Seng’s PE stands at 7.7 as of today with a price of $0.260 per share. Tiong Seng’s PE don’t really tell much as most construction firms are undervalued at the moment. Also, the construction industry being a lumpy in nature, we may experienced very wild fluctuations in their earnings and hence their PE ratio. A better indicator would be their Net Asset Value (NAV), it stands at $0.594 with $0.164 cash in hand per share.

Tiong Seng chart.png

Also, based on the chart, it has been consolidating at a rather low price for some time now, which provides a favourable entry point. If Tiong Seng can achieve more contracts in 2017, there will be a strong reason to believe an upward break out in price can be achieved. Currently, I am not vested yet as I am still observing the price movement of the stock. Do always remember to DYODD! Cheers! 🙂

[My Story]: My Investing Strategy

Hi all, apologies for not posting for a while now. Peak period of outfields week in week out made me procrastinate for quite a bit haha. I realised it’s been about 1 year since I started investing. A lot had happen and I am thankful for the many lessons I have learnt over the course of the year. All that happened, made me stronger and allow me to continuously revise my own investing strategy. Today, I shall share about my own investing strategy. How I identify potential investment targets, what I use to time my entry into a stock and when to sell.

1) Investment Objectives

Previously, I shared the importance to know your own investment objectives before being able to craft out your own investment plan.

my-investment-objective

Your own investment strategies are the actions you are going to take in your investment plan. Just a recap, for now my investment objective remains to grow my capital. From a measly sum of $300 at the very start of my investment journey, I am targeting to grow it to at least $10k before I enter the university. (Of course along the way, I added more money into my investment.) As of now I have about $6k vested in the stock market and sitting on a 20% realised return so far. Below is my investment strategy I am using to reach my objectives.

2) How I pick my investment targets

Personally, I like to look for companies with low Price to Earnings (PE) ratio with huge growth catalysts ahead. Companies that are of such qualities fill up about 60% of my portfolio. The reason why I adore such a company is because it is both undervalued and have ample of growth characteristics. (Killing 2 birds with 1 stone!)

Of course, sometimes it’s hard to find such a company. But all you need is that 1 or 2 opportunities to give you astronomical gains. Examples are companies like AEM which was previously PE of 8-9 (undervalued) and had a innovative product (growth). When the market comes to realise the company’s potential, the share price will readjust upwards.

After finding that few value-growth companies, I like to diversify across themes. By that, I like to research their growth areas and see if it fits any major trends happening in the world or in Singapore. For instance, now the One Belt One Road is quite a big thing, companies (construction, railway builder etc) that are undervalued and have operations in this area will potentially stand to gain from the growth opportunities available. Here’s another example, I may want to look at a more defensive theme. Companies that are undervalued and are in the industry that provides services to consumers, governments etc are all plausible candidates.

Of course, after shortlisting the few that make the cut. Checking their fundamentals is next and even better if there has been insider buying. (Here’s how I evaluate a fundamentally sound company)

3) Timing my entry

After all that filtering process, you should probably be left with a list of less than 4 companies. Timing my entry to buy into the stock is next. How should I buy at the correct timing. For me, some technical indicators and the chart have helped me quite a bit.

I like to enter my first position after a period of consolidation (where the price have been around the same level for a few weeks) and with low volume.

AT chart

I use the weekly chart for a better long term view since I usually hold my position for a few months at least. The red rectangle is the period of consolidation where prices close in very tight range. And if you look at the blue circle, the volume is below average for those few weeks. This represents a rather good opportunity to enter. I like to see consolidation period as a spring board to propel you upwards. But, how do we tell if price will go up after consolidation and not down?

AT chart1.png

I use the MACD indicator to see if there’s a possible uptrend coming. (I am not going to go too in depth into indicators) When the blue line cross the red line as shown in the circles, it is a possible indication of an uptrend. For me, I only use indicators as an additional reference after I spot a consolidation zone.

4) When to sell?

Haha to be honest, this question always baffles me. I myself am also not a good seller. There are a few times a stock raced upwards after I sold away all my position. Sometimes, I get to emotionally attached to a stock and tend to sell too late. Hence, this portion is something I am constantly still learning. However I do have a few ground rules to follow.

  1. Sell when the undervalued stocks become overvalued.
  2. Sell at your stop loss.
  3. Sell when the business is no longer attractive or fundamentally sound.

I don’t really use technical indicators to predict when to sell, because I believe that as long as the business’s value and growth aspects remain intact, a downtrend should be temporary.

In conclusion,

planning your own investment strategies to achieve your own objectives is important.  You need to know what stocks you are looking into, when to enter and when to sell. Only then will it translate into gains in your portfolio. Hopefully for those who started investing, you will be empowered to write out your own investment strategies after reading my own strategies. Writing it out is really effective, as it makes sure you do not get flustered when anything happens in the market.

[Building Blocks]: 3 useful online resources to help with your investing journey

Living in a world connected by the internet means information are widely available just a few clicks away. No doubt, I myself have benefited immensely from the information I found online. Today, I want to share with you some of the useful online resources that will definitely be of help to your investing journey.

1) Investopedia

investopedia.png

Investopedia was the very first website that I visited to understand more about investing. It is like a huge encyclopedia on anything related to finance. I would say that it is easily one of the top few investing websites that are easy to understand and well organised. Not only are there information on investing, there are information on current affairs, insurance and many more. The only down side of this is that it mainly focuses on the US markets. However I would recommend this website for beginners wanting to invest because their beginners’ tutorials are very comprehensive and easy to understand.

investopedia 2

You can find tons of tutorials about investing at this website.

And if you are still clueless where to start from, I have compounded a list of tutorials from Investopedia that you should start with. Click on the link below for you to be teleported there haha.

  1. Investing Basics 101: A tutorial for beginner investors 
  2. Stock Basics Tutorial
  3. Bonds Basics Tutorial
  4. Mutual Funds Tutorial
  5. Introduction to Fundamental Analysis
  6. Basics of Technical Analysis

Here you go. Starting out with these few tutorials should allow you to understand investing clearer. If in doubt you can always drop a comment below and I will answer to them 🙂

2) InvestingNote

investingnote

Think of InvestingNote like a Facebook for investors. It boast a huge collection of users ranging from beginner investors to the very experienced ones. Interestingly, this platform is set up by Singaporeans and was only launched recently. The community in InvestingNote is fantastic as many are willing to share about their strategies and styles of investing. What’s more? You can also find out more about the stocks you are interested in, like the information of the company, what other investors are talking about that stock etc etc.

Investingnote 1

For instance, if you are trying to find out more about Japfa, you can get a summarised information on Japfa’s price actions, fundamentals and financials on the left and the chart of Japfa on the right. Personally, I find InvestingNote’s charting platform to be one of the best. It allows you to plot your own lines, overlay them with a myriad of indicators and you can even save your drawings on the chart.

investingnote 2

Scrolling down further, you can see what are some of the things other users are talking about and the upcoming events the company may have. It currently have information on companies in the SG, US and HK markets. But many of the users of InvestingNote mainly talk about SG stocks which are good for new investors looking to go into the local market.

What’s more important is that you can get these amazing features for FREE. All you have to do is to sign up with them. It seems like I am doing an advertisement for them haha. Rest assured I am not paid to do this. For me, this platform have really accelerated my learning on investing and hence I thought of promoting it to you guys.

3) Investment Blogs

Many investors do have their own blogs where they document their own investment experiences. Some of them are so influential that some investors buy whatever they preach. Personally, some of the blogs that I have came about have helped me in terms of understanding how different investors analyse a company, their investment strategies etc.

I think what’s really beneficial about learning from investment blogs is learning the way others analyse a company. By reading their investment thesis on certain companies, you can understand the way they think which you can apply when you are analysing the company you are planning to invest.

Here’s an article on 55 SG Financial Blogs that are useful.

For me I am a regular reader of TTI, thelittlesnowball, my15hourworkweek and TUBinvesting.

Do give them a visit! 🙂

In conclusion,

good resources are everywhere on the internet. Use it to propel your investment knowledge as much as possible. You will realise that you may not have to even pay a dime to attend courses which teach you about the basics of investing. Also, the best way to learn is from each other. Hence, I believe InvestingNote and reading of other investors’ blogs are two good ways to deepen your understanding of investing. Do note that everyone have their unique styles of investing, different upfront capital and different investment objectives. Thus, completely copying someone else’s method may not suit you. I would suggest adopting good practices and incorporate it into your own method of investing. Hopefully this post can help you realise some of the good investing resources online that will be beneficial to your investing journey!

[My Story]: How I managed to regain all my losses with one solid stock

Hi everyone, it’s been about 3 weeks since I last posted. Was away for a military exercise in Thailand. A lot have happened while I was in Thailand, the weather was crazily hot, GID outbreak in camp and I also sold one of my stock holding that gave me a 100 percent return on investment. The profits made from that investment was able to cover out all my losses incurred when I just started out investing. Today, I will be sharing more about the characteristics of that stock and the things I have learnt from this episode.

1) 100% return in just 3 months?!

Yup I was equally surprised! Some of you may have noticed that in most of my recent posts, I have been using AEM Holdings as an example. Yup this is the company that have became my very first multibagger (a stock that returns more than 100%). It all started out when I was screening for low PE stocks in the SGX. (Value approach). This company popped out in the screener which caught my eye. It has innovated a cutting edge product that no one in the world has been able to and back then its PE was less than 10 (relatively undervalued). The company have also just returned to making profits and are planning to ramp up the production of this product which means that further earnings growth is guaranteed.

Since it fulfills the basic principles I set out for a fundamentally sound company and I read an interesting piece of analysis by the guys over at thelittlesnowball.com which reaffirmed my beliefs, I vested into the company at $0.885 per share.

AEM stock chart.png

From the chart, I entered AEM at $0.885 per share, added more shares at $1.055, before selling them at $2. If you were wondering why did I decide to sell it instead of holding onto it longer, it was because this stock was about 60% of my portfolio. I have about $2000 invested in it. As this stock catches the attention of more people, it will become more volatile as big players come into the fray. Since I am just a small fish in this, I decided to take the money off the table and only enter again when there is a dip in prices.

Not all company can be like AEM, which gives a 100% return in just 3 months but there are certain characteristics that the company possessed.

  1. Growing earnings
  2. No debt
  3. Frequent share buybacks
  4. Undervalued

and most importantly it has major catalysts (in the form of their cutting edge products) coming its way.

2) Lesson learnt from this episode

I think the most important lesson I learnt from this episode is to be consistent in your approach. A lot of times, young investors like us tend to be swayed by our emotions. For instance, chasing the next hot stock etc etc. When we are swayed by our emotions, we tend to forget all the framework that we set in place for ourselves. Hence being consistent in our approach and calm minded are very important when we are investing.

This episode also shows that you do not need to be in many trades to profit from investing. Sometimes, all you need is that 1 stock to do the magic. Hence, when you are disappointed because you had to be force to exit a stock due to the stop loss in placed, remember that 1 win can easily make up for many small losses if you exit them early. Personally, I was down about $600 since I started investing and this was still when I didn’t learn to cut loss. In that $600 includes the 70% lost incurred from my Noble’s debacle. I am glad that my revised approach, have led me to recover from my losses and rake in a small profit.

In conclusion,

I would like to say that not all stocks can be like AEM. However, many stocks do have some resemblance to it. With enough due diligence, and a small leap of faith you may just stumble upon the next AEM. Most importantly, do not forget the framework you built for yourself while investing. Personally that has been the most important rule that led me to find this undervalued gem!

 

[Building Blocks]: 4 principles of a fundamentally sound company

Hi all, as promised I would like to share with you some of the criteria I have before I decide that the company is fundamentally sound and worth investing. These 4 simple principles can be applied irregardless of what style of investing you pursue. (Growth, value, income etc) Investing in a fundamentally sound company reduces your exposure to the risk that the company may fail. These principles also act as red flags when a company with good track records flouted any of these principles. Adhering in these 4 basic principles should put you in good stead when investing directly on the stock market.

Processed with VSCO with b5 preset

Without further ado, here are 4 principles I always apply when evaluating a company.

1) Earnings Record

A fundamentally sound company should have a stable or growing earnings record. If the company can show stable or growing earnings over the past few years, it is likely that the company’s product or service are well sought after and there is some form of economic moat around them.

The 2 most important components to determine the strength of their earnings are:

  1. Revenue
  2. Net Profit

** Revenue – (Cost of Sales + Expenses incurred) = Net Profit

Revenue reflects the amount of sales that the company have done for the products/services it provides. It is often referred to as the company’s top line. On the other hand, net profit shows the earnings after subtracting the costs involved in manufacturing the products or providing the service and the various expenses incurred. Net profit is often referred to as the company’s bottom line. Hence, when someone say a company has achieved top line growth, it is referring to increase in revenue and likewise for net profit.

aem 3q result.png

Companies with stable or growing revenue shows that their sales are increasing. Improving net profit also shows that the company have been able to manage their costs and preventing it from exceeding its revenue. Thus, these are good sign of a company that will be stable compared to a company with fluctuating revenues and net profit.

2) Low Debt

This goes without saying. Company that takes on huge debt are often at higher risk of failing. Imagine being chased by debtors for payment while trying to do business. Earnings will definitely be affected as earnings may have to be used to pay off debt. These are definitely not a good sign for a company. A classic example would be Noble Group which I shared before in [My Story] component.

Of course low debts are healthy as they aid a company to grow its business. So what’s a healthy amount of debt? I have 2 ways to evaluate if a company have over-leverage.

  1. Cash and Cash Equivalents > ST Debt + LT Debt
  2. Current Ratio > 1.5

This works in such a way that if both rules 1 & 2 don’t hold, you are probably looking at an over-leveraged company. The best case scenario would be that rule 1 holds which most of the time means rule 2 will hold.

3) Positive Cash Flow from Operations

Cash flow is important for a good company as some companies can have very strong earnings but those earnings may not be recognised in cash. If a company consistently register a negative cash flow from operations, it should set off some red flags. This is because most of the company’s debt and expenses are paid for in cash, if their earnings do not bring in cash this might be a problem in the future.

Take the case of Yuuzoo Corporation.

yuuzoo

Strong growth in revenue and net profit recorded. Indeed very impressive.

yuuzoo3

However, look at net cash from operating activities. It has been negative for 2 years. It is okay if the company at times record negative cash flow from operations as they may have use the money to pursue expansion etc. But if it has been happening for a few years, it is definitely not a good sign of things to come.

4) Insider Ownership

Insider ownership is often a good sign to tell whether the company’s management believes in the company. This will show whether the company’s management put their money where their mouth is. A good level of insider ownership should give you the confidence that the company is good because the interests of the management is at stake as well.

Hence events like management buying or selling their own company’s shares could be a pre-indicator of their outlook on the company.

shareholder-info-for-dutech

This is extracted from the annual report of Dutech Holdings. Dr Johnny Liu Jia Yan who is the Chairman and CEO owns about 42.76% of the shares. Hence this should reassure shareholders that he will act in the interest of the shareholders.

Bonus

If you can find a company that satisfies most of the above, at least 3 out of 4 and you realise that the company are buying back their own shares (share buyback) or the management have been buying more shares of the company. (Insider ownership) This could mean that something big is brewing within the company and it is likely an excellent opportunity to invest in the company.

Some of you may ask how should I go about finding these information regarding the company I am investing. Firstly you should always check out the investor relations segment in their website which should contain information regarding the company. Alternatively, you can head to SGX website to find them. You can find out about every companies announcement with regards to their financials, insider transactions, annual reports etc here.

In conclusion,

these are 4 principles that I look for in a fundamentally sound company. It may not be fool-proof as many factors can affect a company. But these principles should allow you to sieve out the better companies in the entire stock market which should provide a relatively safe and lower risk investment should you decide to enter the stock market directly.

[Building Blocks]: How should I get started?

Hello everyone! Hoped that all of you had a great CNY holiday. Haha since I am now on my CNY block leave I decided to write today. In my previous few “Building Blocks” blog posts, I have talked quite a bit about the different styles of investing and the all so important investment objectives that everyone should have before investing. Since we are all richer due to our red packets (for those singles out that :P), I thought it is timely that I should touch a bit about how to actually get started.

Off my head, I thought of a few questions that a new investor would have when he/she is starting out.

  1. How much should I invest?
  2. What to invest?
  3. How do I go about doing it?

(Do reach out to me in the comment box if you have any more questions about investing. :). I will do a separate blogpost to address those questions if any haha)

There are 2 investing instruments that I would recommend a young and new investor to consider that would answer the above questions.

1) Regular Saving Plans (RSP)

What to invest?

 RSP is a great way to get started on investing. Most of the banks in Singapore offer RSP, but since most people are account holders of DBS or OCBC. I will mainly touch on the RSP programme that the 2 big banks offer. For me, I would recommend against investing in mutual funds because they tend to do worse than the general market in the long term. I would prefer a RSP in an index fund or an Exchange Traded Fund (ETF). Both the index fund and ETF are created to match the performance of the broad market. For instance, the STI ETF is created in a way to match the movement of the STI (the top 30 companies in the SGX). So whatever happens in the market, will be reflected in the fund. Also, sales charges for these type of funds are generally cheaper than a mutual fund because there are lesser transactions (less actively managed) made by the fund manager.

So how does a RSP works? A RSP invest a fixed amount of money every month into the fund you are intending to invest in. For instance, you could do a $100/mth RSP in the STI ETF.

pros-and-cons-of-rsp

RSP is mainly for those who want to invest for the long term and may not have a huge upfront capital to invest at one go. Think of this like putting your money into a piggy bank that yield higher interest rates than your normal banks’ interest rate.

STI ETF returns.png
If you hold this STI ETF for 5 years you will get a pretty decent 4.66% return compared to the bank’s non-existent interest rate

How much to invest?

This question will really depend on yourself. How much will you be able to take out from your monthly income to ensure that your living expenses etc are not affected. Since the RSP will only see fruition in the long term, cancelling the plan midway is not very beneficial to you. Hence, it is really up to you to decide the amount. In SG, the minimum amount to put in an RSP is $100/mth.

How do I go about doing it?

DBS and OCBC both have different types of RSP. You can only get an RSP with them if you are an account holder of the bank. For both banks they offer investing in RSP in unit trust. Do note that unit trusts are usually investment in mutual funds which I do not really recommend. (But of course if the funds have a good track record of returns then by all means). What I would recommend is their RSP in ETF and equities.

For DBS, their RSP allow you to choose between the NIKKO AM  SG STI ETF (the one shown above) and ABF SG BOND INDEX FUND (which invest in the bonds of SG)

For more info on DBS RSP, click here

For OCBC, their RSP is different from DBS, OCBC allows you to invest in blue chip companies in the SGX. The plan is called Blue Chip Investment Plan. Basically, the same concept of RSP applies but they invest your money into a blue chip counter you choose monthly. Of course the charges are a bit different for this plan.

For more info on OCBC Blue Chip Investment Plan, click here

Summary

The RSP is a very powerful tool and forms a relatively risk free investment vehicle for starters, but it must be held for the long term in order to realise the gains. For young investors who may not have a monthly pay now, this could be a bit of a problem as you may need to scramble enough cash in your bank account before the investment date every month. Ultimately, you need to carefully plan your expenses before you embark on this plan.

2) Investing directly in the stock market

What to invest?

The other way to invest is to invest directly through the stock market. Imagine the stock market as a big supermart and in the supermart there are a myriad of products on the shelves. Some may be more expensive but of better quality, some may be cheaper but of poor quality, some may be a new product that has just arrived etc etc. The trick here is to pick the right product that suit your personal taste and preference. And all this can be answered by your investment objectives. The stock market can be categories into 3 groups in terms of risk level.

risk-table-for-investing-in-stocks

If you are new to the market, you can consider your first stock to be something relatively of lower risk like an index ETF or a blue chip (Do note that there are many other ETFs too which have different objectives.) Slowly, as you learn more about how to evaluate a company fundamentally and technically based on their chart (which I will also share with you in future posts) you can invest in normal equities while minimizing your risk.

How much to invest?

This is again a subjective question. But I will share with you some pointers I learn while investing in the stock market with little upfront capital. Firstly, the commission for most brokerage houses in SG is at least 40 SGD for a two way trade (Buy and Sell). So the lesser the amount of money you invest in a stock, the larger the percentage that the commission will stand in your profit. Ultimately, you want to make a profitable trade so taking into account the commission is very important. Secondly, with lesser amount of money, the multiplier effect of your stock is much lesser. For instance, someone with 1000 shares will make more money than someone with 100 shares given the same percentage increase.

All in all, the commission cost is the first hurdle to cross before you can be profitable in any trade. And using the multiplier effect will greatly increase your chance of beating that first hurdle. So how much to invest depends on whether you can understand the risk reward ratio of the stock you are planning to invest and giving it sufficient amount of money to beat the first hurdle. For me, I always try to purchase at least 1000 shares in the stock that I plan to invest as it set a nice $100 return for every $0.10 increase in stock price.

How do I go about doing it?

First and foremost, in order to start investing in the stock market, you need to have a brokerage account that is connected to the Central Depository (CDP) which stores all the shares you buy in the SGX. There are several brokerage houses in Singapore, I will list out a few.

  • DBS Vickers
  • OCBC Securities
  • Philip Securities
  • CIMB Securities

Majority of the brokerage houses in SG charge about the same commission fees. A minimum of $25. Some brokerage houses have special programme to differentiate themselves. For instance, DBS Vickers Cash Upfront Account only charge a commission of $18 for buying. For brokerage houses that are owned by banks like DBS and OCBC, they would usually require you to have a savings account with them. 3rd party brokerage houses like Philip Securities doesn’t require you to do so. For me, I chose DBS Vickers because I am already using their savings account which save me the hassle to open another savings account with another bank. You do have to be at least 18 in order to open a brokerage account with some of the brokerage houses. Some require you to be at least 21. Hence it is important to research each brokerage houses first before signing up with them and you can have several brokerage accounts with different houses.

Here’s a good article to help you in choosing a brokerage house.

In conclusion,

these are the 2 ways I put forth for new investors to go into investing. Do always remember to do your due diligence before plunging into any decision and allocate your money well. That’s all from me today. If you have any questions, I would really love to hear them. Simply comment below and I will do utmost best to answer each one of them. Adios! 🙂