Tuesday, 27 September 2016

Latest Updates – Portfolio, Market & Life

Portfolio Brief 

Cash - 45%
Precious metals - 35%
Bonds - 10% 
Stocks - 10% (current value) 
Excl. Cpf, Insurance and Property 

I had been very nonchalant on the stock market lately. In fact, since last year, I had been cashing out gradually. Recently, I am placing more emphasis in the understanding, learning and living the correct WAY OF LIFE rather than just focusing on material wealth. 

Why cash out? 

Several reasons: 

Work 
Cashing out primarily due to my work. I will not go into details, but so many people in the O&G industry had already lost their jobs. So better be prepared and be safe rather than sorry. 

Market 
I do not wish to make any prediction ahead. No crystal ball. But if we examine the current global market situation, every major market is just "hanging on, with no clear sight of "bright blue sky" ahead. 

In USA, many are turning to "what are the next moves" from Fed. I think the Fed is in a shitty position. If they raise rate, it can cause a mass sell off in the market. If they do not, they are indirectly telling that the market condition is unfavorable. Either way, they can be wrong! They are stuck! 

Then there are those turning to the upcoming new US President for rekindled hope. I am outright sure that he/she cannot perform miracles. Both candidates use a lot of lip services so far, nothing more! In fact, we all should be really worried after the election! 

China. A country burdened with ballooning debts due to the growth of the last decade. While the government still have many tools to fix the economy with large reserves, the country's economic health is weakened. China needs to undergo a major "surgical operation", after which she will rest in "bed" for some time, before recovering gradually. It is only after she going this phase, can she walk and then run again. It will take time. 

Japan. No way they will return to past glory. Whatever monetary policies they are implementing now such as the one with negative rate, will only transfer wealth from future to present. I pity the younger generation. 

EU. Same story as Japan. Time bomb in the monetary policy. 

S'pore. Just read the papers yourself, and hear from your friends. Good or bad, your call! 

Lastly, the last market crash was 8 years ago. Question is how long it lasts? 

So it's clear to me that the market is not stable. And why should my money in a platform that is not stable! Is it for the dividends that may be eroded by capital loss? Or is it worrying about inflation eroding our cash? By the way, where is the inflation? *Scratch Head*! 

My Life 

Never been better in life! 

I am thankful for the "invisible pointer" for me to be prepared mentally and financially since early last year. Otherwise, I can be extremely stressed out now (just like many of my friends), who started to see health problems and frictions in family relationship. 

Health. No more medicines as I had thrown all away. Even my chronic sinus was cured miraculously without medicine. Spiritual well-being helps. 

Family. Everyone is in harmony and I cannot remember when was the last time there are quarrels or unhappiness in the house. 

Friends. Was elated when they celebrated my birthday for me recently with high alcohol contents filing our bloodstreams. 

Work. Had been busy traveling recently. On paper, job is secured, but nothing is guaranteed in months to come. I am very skeptical. Very demoralized as well, with few projects in the market, and seeing so many people lost their jobs. I

f I were to lose my job, I will be very happy too, as I will embrace it as God's will for me to spend more time with my family. And maybe doing some part time job. 

Rolf's final thoughts

Well we can lose our jobs or our money and it will be sad, no doubt! But these are just material wealth, it's not everything in life! It is paramount that we NEVER bring our work issues back home resulting in dissensions within the family. You do not want to end up losing your job, your money, and even your family, friends or yourself (Health)! Do you? 

Of course for those who had piled up debts and significant financial commitments due to reasons of pleasure, greed, ego or ignorance in earlier years (good times), there can be little room now to resolve the situation. 

Hmm.. do not be over depressed. Maybe this is a test in your life to humble you down! For every outcome, there is a cause. Review and acknowledge the problem. Most of the time, the problem is "I". 

The Latin word for "I" is "ego". 

Personally, I had undergo so many painful lessons myself to humble myself down. For confession, downgrading and repentance are painful in the short run, it is always the better solution in the long run. Nowadays I always say "thank God it happens" when I look back. 

Ultimately let the spirit of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, meekness, self-control be filled in our life and be undefeatedable, unsinkable and indestructible. 


Friday, 23 September 2016

The root cause of today's world problems! How to be saved?

Is the world a becoming a much better place to live?

Errr…..maybe:

Yes, if you are more concern about material success where personal pleasure pride and ego matters a lot to you.

No, if you prefer righteousness, compassion for others, peacefulness and joy.

If you belong to the “No” camp, then this article will be relatively easier to comprehend. If you are the “Yes” camp, hopefully this article can change your perception, even if it’s effect is comparable to a mustard seed.

Is money root cause of all evil?

So what is the root cause of all evil? I am sure many will be say "Money" without second thought. 

NO!... Surprise?

Money plays a very important part in our lives. There is absolutely nothing wrong working hard and earning money for our living. Neither is having lots of money sinful in proper channel. 

It is the misuse of it that is evil. Take for example, strength and wisdom are supposed to be good. However if we use strength to oppress and enslave people, then it is not good. Likewise, if you use wisdom to cheat, then it is evil. So it is the mis-handling of money that can be harmful. 

Furthermore, if you love money so much that large part of your life is being dictated by it or motivated by it, then it can be dangerous. This attitude towards material wealth is normally prevalent when pride and ego prevails over humility and compassion.  

Do not deny by the lips that you are not over-indulging in money. Most are today. Search your heart and review your actions TODAY. 

The root cause!

The root of all roots of evil is LOVE OF SELF.  

Most people are trapped in a little prison called “self” within their heart. 

It is the love of SELF, which makes you love MONEY so that you can buy self PLEASURES. 

The obsessive love of self is the fundamental problem of today’s society. All other problems such as immorality and ethical corruptions stem from it. Unfortunately, self-love is a carnal nature in all humans. It is inborn and once it transgresses to ethical corruptions, it will always get worse and is always irreversible. Therefore the sad truth is that the world with the fleshy nature of human beings can only be uglier and uglier. 

One day, men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, blasphemers, and be rebellious to parents. More and more family and marriage relationships will be broken. People will also be ungrateful and without natural affection. There will be more slandering, unrestraint and fierce solely for self-interest. People who do good will be skeptically despised upon. More betrayals will take place even within close ones. Ultimately, people will be lovers of pleasures more than anything else.

Who can help us?

So to whom should we turn to when these evil doings take place? The masses will turn to their government and politicians? Others will rely on scientific breakthrough? Or doctors, lawyers, and the list goes on…..

Personally, I do not think anyone have the remedy for the problems of humanity today? Perhaps, there will then emerge one leader who claims that he/she will have the solution. The crowd will then be mesmerized and believe in him/her.  Let you NOT be the one being fooled, for his/her solution will be the worst it ever done before. 

Like all evil things, it will only provide temporary goodness, but the permanent end result is destruction! 

When will be the perilous times?

So when will the perilous times come? Nobody will know. Anyone who gives you a date/time, that person is certainly a bluff. Do not listen to him! All we know is things will become fiercer or brewing to become fiercer and fiercer, even during calm times.

How can things be worse than WW2?
Wars have started thousands and hundreds of years ago in different parts of the world and so many people are killed back then. In the last century, the Great Depression and the two World Wars were fearsome.

You may think how can anything be worse than those events?

Yes, I agree that the world has been calmer after World War 2. But this does not mean that the world has been edified since then. Many more terrifying problems that appear good on its cover have been looming behind the scene in the last many decades.

Just to name one - Globalization. The advance in technology, internet, global monetary systems (with USD as reserve currency) etc are making the world inseparable today. Globalization is fantastic if the world is sanctified. On the contrary if the world is corrupted rife with immorality, the effect can be undesirable.

How to be saved?

Any prayers for things to turn out better will be useless. The problems will not go away. The only thing you can pray is for you not to live in an era where the worst will happen. However, for those who have descendants, this cannot be avoided. 

I am not negative and pessimistic. On the contrary, I am a very positive person. Just that, I am sure it is concrete that we will not be able to solve the problems of the world today. So don't bother to waste too much time on efforts leading to its salvation! 

What we should do can be as follows:

Stay calm and do not to be frightened! We can still save ourselves and people around us, if not the worldly problems.

How?

Turn away from sins
Turn away from sins. So what are sins? Greed, pride, self-centrededness, adultery, sexual immorality, impurity, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, causing dissent, jealousy, rage, selfishness, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, fervent carousing etc. 

Instead, be loving to even strangers, caring, forgiving, peaceful, and patient. We should infuse ourselves with righteousness, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and self-control for peace, joy and abundance will then follow. Give more thanks and speak words of goodness over words of insult from the mouths. 

Many illnesses are also result of the aforementioned sins we committed or our past generations committed such that we are cursed. So don't think that you are a law-abiding citizen, never committed any evil, or harm anyone, you are not sinful? Even your strong personal will, believing in yourself only can be big sin that can lead to sickness too! That is why so many people who always believe in "mind over body" eventually ended up in hospital. It is not a coincident or accident. It is self-created illness. 

Change your oldself
In order to do above-mentioned, you have to stop loving yourself too much!

Let us not be conceited. Be humble, for pride and ego is one of the biggest sins, many are unaware. Stop doing everything to glorify yourself and make yourself the idol for others to satisfy your pride and self-centeredness. These attitudes will cause downfall.  If sinned, confess and turn over a new leaf. Proclaim your old self died! 

Faith and equipped with knowledge of Truth
Equipped yourself with the knowledge of the “Truth”. It is not just to make you wiser. Instead, it is to make belief, be prepared, do the correct things, and most important of all, lead the correct way of life. Have faith in your believing of the "Truth" for that can be overflowing with goodness, peace and joy. 

Spread the grace
Do not forget to spread the grace and help people in need. Your spiritual well-being will be rewarded.

Rolf’s final thoughts

Lest not worry that you are neither the richest, nor most famous or powerful, for the abundance in life is righteousness with knowledge of the truth, faith, peace and joy. You will then automatically be blessed with health and no lacking of prosperity.



Saturday, 17 September 2016

Shipping, Oil and Gas industries – Where is the light?

The shipping and oil and gas industry are in dire straits.

Hanjin Shipping – No longer too big to fail!

The biggest news lately is the collapse of Hanjin Shipping leaving so many ships, cargo and crew stranded globally. Even the state-owned company is clearly “not too big to fail”. Korean government decided not to inject anymore capital in the mismanaged company burdened with >$5 billion in debt.

Hanjin’s collapse is considered by some analysts to have the same detrimental impacts in the shipping industry liken to that of Lehman’s brother’s to the financial industry. Almost over 80 ships are released into the market now. Clearly there are no signs of any short-term recovery due to the over-supply.

So do you think Temasek made the right decision to sell NOL?

Oil and Gas – long harsh winter

Almost two years of depressed oil price has sent shivers down the spines of so many O&G / Offshore and Marine related companies. While oil price rout is the main culprit in the beginning,  the biggest problem now is no longer the oil price per se for many companies in Singapore. Just like the shipping industry, the main problem is the hugely oversupply of the rigs and vessels.

Even if oil price is to soar for whatever reasons, International Oil Companies (IOC), National Oil Companies (NOC) will be prudent in their new Capital Expenditures (CAPEX) plans and Final Investment Decisions (FID). The new projects trickled into the industry will not be sufficient to absorb the largely oversupply of rigs and vessels, which were mostly speculated during the height of the oil price as well as during periods of unusually low interest rates after the GFC. Mind you, there are hundreds of vessels and rigs combined now still stuck in the shipyards all over the world, let alone the many more that are cold-stacked near-shore.

It could have been worst (or it will be even worst!)

The biggest fallen stories so far are still only the judicial management of Swiber and Technics.

Frankly, being in the industry, I think it is under-stated. There are seriously more companies in trouble than what is shown on the surface. We are only talking about the listed entities. How about the private ones?

The single biggest key reason why many O&G companies are still hanging on precariously is in my opinion, due to the leniency of the banks. The question is how long can banks support more and more debt-ridden and mismanaged companies?

Even Korean government is already letting Hanjin go?

Borrow more to redeem what was already owed

One example of bank providing the lifeline is shown in the company Mencast Holdings. The company redeemed S$50 mil Fixed Rate Notes due this month. In order to redeem the “Notes” to avoid default, Mencast borrowed more money. According to announcement on SGX, on 19 August 2016 Mencast entered into the following banking facility agreements with UOB. 

1   (i)  secured loan facility of up to S$50.0 million; and
2   (ii)  secured facilities of up to S$24.9 million, comprising term loan facility, trade facility and money market credit facility,  

The funds will be used for the redemption of the outstanding bonds, refinancing of certain existing loan facilities, general trade and working capital purposes.

Of course bank will not just lend. There is a condition relating to each of the Banking Facilities named (the “Relevant Condition”) whereby a mandatory prepayment event may occur if:

(i)  the controlling shareholder of the Company (who is also the executive chairman and chief executive officer of the Company), Mr Sim Soon Ngee Glenndle, fails to own and control, directly or indirectly, at least 10% shareholding in the Company and certain subsidiaries; or

(ii)  Mr Sim Soon Ngee Glenndle loses management control of the Company and certain subsidiaries.

The aggregate level of facilities which may be affected by a breach of the Relevant Condition (including facilities which will be affected as a result of cross defaults) is approximately S$74.9 million (excluding interest) as at the date of the announcement. 

Earlier in June this year, Mencast was served a Writ of Summons and a Statement of Claim by S & W Engineering Pte. Ltd. and Mr Wong Chung Kang seeking a sum of S$2.35 million allegedly due from the Company.

In another instance, Marco Polo has also just convened an informal meeting exploring various options relating to the impending maturity of the S$50 mil Notes due 2016. They are in discussion with the Noteholders to proceed with an exercise to solicit for consent from the Noteholders for an extension of the maturity date of the Notes.

Rife with Legal issues

During the good times, nobody really bothers too much about the details of the terms and conditions. When times are good, trust is easily established because everyone’s attention is only on harvesting. During bad times like now, relationships or friendships are forgotten. Many companies are already resorting to legal methods in any attempt to keep oneself afloat. Ethics…..Nah…. It is all about survival!

Some examples of legal struggle as follows:

Marco Polo Vs Sembmarine – Breach of newbuiild rig contract?
Nam Cheong Vs Petra Offshore – cancellation of newbuild vessel contract
Pacific Radiance Vs Chinese yard – refund of installments for newbuild vessels contracts
Otto Marine Vs Hoe Leong - winding up application for debts owed.

CAD is also involved now.

The hottest boardroom tussle recently is involving SBI Offshore. The company has appointed new directors and lodged a report with the Commercial Affairs Department (CAD) in relation to possible breaches of securities laws and other offences related to transactions involving a former associate company. Read : “SBI Offshore lodges report with CAD over possible breaches of securities laws”

So the tunnel is dark, with no signs of light ahead in the short term.