Sunday, 22 March 2020

Why Buy Gold and Silver during Crisis?

Using SPDR Gold Shares (GLD) as reference to Gold price.

In 2008, Gold shares peak at $98 on 3 Sep 2008.
On 15 Sep 2008, Lehman Brothers collapse.
And in the next one month, Gold shares plunged to 2008 low at $71 on 26 Oct 2008.
This is more than 30% drop within 1-2 month.

Then come the cutting of interest rate and the Quantitative Easing (QE).
Thereafter Gold share price never look back for the next more than 2 years.
It rallied 250% up to Aug 2011 peaking at $183.

3 Sep 2008 - $98
26 Oct 2008 - $71 (~30% drop)
28 Aug 2011 - $183 (>250% rise)
22 Nov 2015 - $101 (80% drop)
3 Jan 2020 - $157 (>50% rise)






Sources: Yahoo finance.

Silver using iShares Silver chart as reference, is even more crazy, rallying from below $10 to $>46 on Apr 2011. That is a whopping >450% rise!

What already happened

17 Mar – Trump announced plan to send US$1,000 to every American, part of a US$1 trillion (S$1.43 trillion) emergency stimulus package (S$1.43 trillion) to contain the economic hit from the coronavirus.

18 Mar - ECB unveils €750 billion stimulus against coronavirus. The programme will come on top of the €120 billion of additional asset purchases announced by a week before.

The rest of the global also announcing stimulus via reducing rates and reserve ratio. Almost the whole world will start stimulating.

But you may wonder how come government so rich huh? Got so much money to send to people meh? The answer is printing money and more printing via bond purchases.

Conclusion

May expect Gold and silver price to tumble 20-30% in the next 1-2 months or so until Apr-May period.

Then as the global government start to roll out more and more stimulus, precious metal prices will start to rise and probably peak in the next 1-2 or within 3 years. Government of today will never allow an economy to crumble without stimulus.
  
Of course, predictions will never be accurate.

Hence need also accumulate stocks now, because it is cheap now. Preferably Blue Chips and stocks with huge cash reserves. If price of precious metals never rise, but stocks will rise unless a Great Depression in the corner. 

If Great Depression, then no choice. But you can survive by keeping also one year expenses of cash. If cash runs out, then too bad, you have to start selling precious metals, then finally stocks. 

Above all, make sure your company will not retrench you, when you dish out your cash on the decreasing stock price. If your company  or business is already shaky, with a very weak cash position, then you have to exhibit prudence and wisdom when buying into stocks.

I am more lucky in this aspect, as I have direct access in my company’s bank account knowing our real time financial situation. If you do not have, make sure you keep your ears open and keeping close to your finance controller.

Saturday, 21 March 2020

Stocks on Watchlist

Below stocks on watchlist. Bracket is showing min price / max price for last 15 years followed by  current price recently. 

REITS 
  • SPH reit ($0.9 Jan 16 / 1.15 Nov 19) - $0.695 
  • CapitaChina ($0.47 Nov 09 / 2.16 Nov 07) - $0.965
  • Keppel DC Reit ($0.95 Dec 14 / 2.53 Mar 20) - $1.77
  • Suntec ($0.53 Mar 09 / 2.25 Jan 18) - $1.14 
  • Starhill Global -($0.32 Mar 09 / 0.96 Apr 13) - $0.405 

Data Reit, SG-AU reit, China Reit = 3 stocks 

ETF
  • STI ETF ($1.6 Feb 09 / 3.6 Jan 18) -$2.34 
  • Gold ETF ($42 Jan 05 / $183 Aug 11) - $143

STOCKS 
  • DBS ($9.4 Nov 18 / 30 Apr 18) - $17.5
  • UOB ($8.8 Mar 09 / 29.7 May 18) - $18.35
  • OCBC ($4 Mar 09 / 13.7 Apr 18) - $8.1
  • Singtel ($2 Oct 08 / 4.4 May 15) - $2.38
  • Keppel Corp ($3.7 Jan 09 / 12.6 Sep 07) - $4.9
  • Raffles Med ($0.2 Dec 09 / 1.6 Jun 15) - $0.805
  • ThaiBev ($0.17 Mar 09 / 1.0 Oct 16) - $0.51 

Bank, Telco, Conglomerate, Hospital, F&B = 5 stocks

BONDS
  • ABF SG BOND 
  • FCT3.65
OIL
  • Exxon Mobil ($66.0 Apr 09, 56.0 Jul 10 / 103 Jul 14) - $32.74 

Friday, 20 March 2020

Crisis wipe out your winnings? Be wise rather than clever!

Due to the school Holidays, I took leave for a few days to be with all my kids. Initial plan is to go several places for excursions and go to nice restaurants, but due to the Covid-19 outbreak, we decide to stay at home. Health above everything! End of the day, the priority is to be with the kids. Hence, “where” is not so important. It is so heart-warming and joyful to see them playing together filling the house with laughers. But it can be also frustrating with a totally messy house and lots of whining when they do their snatching of toys. 

Two important takeaways:

1) Priority – Although not according to plan, but when we take leave, the priority is to be with kids, and we achieve this priority.  

2) Ups and Downs – even when priority is met, it will never be always smooth sailing. There will always be up and down, be it in life or in stock market. We have to face it with preparations and the right action with a positive attitude. 

I always said, "If you are doing good, do not be too proud and help those who are not doing well; if you are doing badly, do not be too sad and stay positive. Help will come without you even thinking.  Be patient!"

Bible Genesis 41: Joseph interpreted Pharaoh’s dream

In the Bible Genesis Chapter 41; The Egypt King Pharaoh has a dream of 7 fine and well-fed fat cows being chased and eaten by 7 very poor, ugly and gaunt cows. In another dream, he also saw seven heads came up on one stalk, full and good. Then behold, seven heads withered, thin and destroyed by the east wind. The 7 thin heads then devoured the 7 good heads. So the dream was repeated to Pharaoh twice, because the thing is established by God, and God will make it happen shortly.

Joseph, the humble and Holy man of God, interpreted that both dreams have the same meaning. The 7 good cows or heads are 7 years of great plenty, and the 7 ugly and thin heads are 7 years of famine. And the plenty will be forgotten because the famine will deplete the land.

Crisis getting worst each time

Uncle blogger CW mentioned the last few BIG crashes took place 11 years each time. It is a very good analogy.
·       1987 Black Monday October crash.
·       1998 Asian Financial Crisis
·       2009 Great Financial Crisis
·       2020 Corona Virus Crisis
·       Xxxx Global currency Crisis?

More importantly to me is not how long between major crashes, but the magnitude of the crash and its impact become worse each time.

1987 crash impacted lesser countries. Mainly US and the more developed one and did not last too long. 1998 crash impacted a much larger population in Asia. 2009 GFC impacted all major global economies and is one of the worst since the great depression. This Covid-19 induced crash has now spread to almost all the countries in the world. The world cannot cope with this invisible enemy. Not just more lives will be lost, but more jobs will be lost.

The global economy does not look good. The governments intervened by introducing stimulus package to bail out companies. Where do you think the debt stricken US or EU are going to get the money to support the economies? Are the governments really that rich?

The answer: Print and Print and Print more money.

But interest rate is already so low, how to lower further? The next worst thing, will be helicopter money which will lead to Hyper-inflation! Covid-19 is scary and cause economies to crash. But if there is a global currency crisis, the entire global monetary system will collapse. It is then likely to lead to Great Depression 2.0 and the last thing we want, WW3.

Conclusion

It is naïve to think that you are a capable investor when the market is good, thinking that your portfolio will just slope upwards all the time, and how good your financial journey will be. Remembering that the Crisis will be like the Ugly cows that can eat up all your winnings once and for all.

A lot about investment is not just tangible analytical skills, but also the psychological part soft skills. This requires life-experience (or exposure) and lots of reading, which gives us wisdom. With wisdom, we will not be conceited, stay humble, be prepared and be patience for the long-term reward, which most lack. 

Above all, it is even more naïve to put all priority and time on the financial journey. Our life journey is more important. There are relationships and family to be established, friends to make, mountains to climb, rivers to walk etc. All of these requires wisdom and good health, which I believe derives from true righteous living and putting the trust and faith on the right thing!

In the Bible, Joseph suffered a great deal in the early part of his life. He was betrayed by his brothers and was sold as slave. Even when he did well as a servant, he was falsely accused by his master's wife and was put to jail. But all is not lost even when he was in jail. He continue to put faith in God, live righteously without sins and exudes exceptional wisdom. Joseph was release out of jail because God allowed him to rightly interpret the dream for Pharaoh. Eventually Joseph not only become the Prime Minister but also reconcile with his family by forgiving his brothers who sold him as slave. He also got married and led a wonderful life with his life experiences and wisdom. 

If you are clever, you make a lot of money. But if you are wise, you make the most out of life!

Sunday, 15 March 2020

Should We Buy Stocks (STI) Now? Or Wait Another Few More Months? (Part 2)

From previous post.

Let’s look at STI chart below. The highest peak is Apr 2018 with STI >3.5K. Bottom out in Oct 2018. The sell-off is led by US-China Trade war.

Covid-19 Crisis

Now let’s look at this virus triggered crisis. 12 Jan 2020, STI is still >3.2K. In fact up to 12 Feb 2020, STI is still >3.2K. Therefore the Peak is Mid Jan 2020.  


Source: Yahoo finance

NOW, let’s look at EU debt crisis and Great Financial Crisis.

Debt Crisis

2015 Apr Peak (>3500). End of QE, Fall in oil price and finally Greek debt default in June 2015. China stock turbulence leading the plunge and in Aug when Yuan devalue. Sep plunge below 2800, Oct rise above 3000 short term confidence, oil price drops and so is stock market. Feb below 2600.  


Source: Yahoo finance

1) Free Fall -  Peak Apr to 1st Trough Sep. 2016 (5 months) – Freefall above 3.5K to  below 2.8K i.e. >20% drop
2) ST confidence or good news - Sep to Oct (0.5-1 month) – Rise  below 2.8K to above 3K i.e. >6% rise.
3) 2nd Free-fall – Oct to Feb (3-4 months). Fall from above 3K to below 2.6K i.e. >13% drop

Debt Crisis STI Chart Conclusion
1st peak to 1st trough 5 months period. (>20% drop)
Dead cat bounce last for 0.5-1 month. (>6% rise)
Further drop for 3-4 months before hit bottom. (>13% drop)
Peak to final bottom, 10 months period. (>25% drop)

Great Financial Crisis
 


Source: Yahoo finance

1) Free Fall -  Peak Oct 07 to 1st Trough Mar 2008 (5 months) – Freefall above 3.8K to  below 2.85K (>25% drop)
2) ST confidence buy. Mar to May 08 (1-2 month) – STI rise below 2.85K to  above 3.2K (>10% rise)
3) 2nd Free-fall – May to Oct 08 (4-5 months) – STI drop above 3.2K to approx 1.6K (>50% drop)
4) Bounce up – Oct to Nov 08 (1 month) – STI rise 1.6K to above 1.8K (>10% rise)
5) Bottom – Nov 08 to Mar 09 (4 months) – STI drop from 1.8K to  below 1.6K (>10% drop).

GFC STI Chart Conclusion
1st peak to 1st trough 5 months period. (>25% drop)
1st Dead cat bounce last for 1-2 month period. (>10% rise)
2nd peak to 2nd trough 4-5 months period. (>50% drop)
2nd Dead cat bounce last for 1 month period (>10% rise)
Further drop for 4 months before hit bottom. (>10% drop)
Peak to final bottom, 18 months period. (>55% drop)

Conclusion

If Covid-19 and Oil plunge will induce a Major stock market crisis over a period of time, then below conclusion from this analysis:

In a major crisis, market normally takes 10 to 18 months from Peak to Bottom. For the Covid-19 crisis, peak is at Jan 2020, hence we expect that Market will only bottom out end of the year to mid next year. Do not rush to buy all stocks now. Nibble and be patient. Or you can use my previous post's buy chart as a guide. 

The first sell-off typically wipe out >20-25% of stock price taking 4-5 months.
This means that it is better to enter with a larger position progressively Apr-May-June 2020 period. And expect STI to be below 2500 points.

But do not finish firing all bullets in the Warchest. Market will then have temporary good news and/or short sellers covering their position, hence leading to a temporary rise of market (+/- 10%). This will be short term which only last for +/- 1 month. To be conservative >50% of cash for the 2nd wave of crash.

Then market will crash further depending on the severity of the crisis. In GFC, it further plunged in the next 4-5 months for more than 50% of stocks wiped off. STI ~ 1500 to 1600 points.

This means that the impending bigger crash is expected to take place during the 2nd half of the year!

Saturday, 14 March 2020

Should We Buy Stocks (STI) Now? Or Wait Another Few More Months? (Part 1)

Patience is Wisdom 

Last year, a very good friend who is successful in career and family management (4 kids) told me that he just attended courses on stocks investments, and he is excited to put money into the market. Of course those so-called Guru teacher has strongly encourage their investment “now” and “not wait”. My friend asked for my advice. I explained that knowledge of financial management including investment or creating a portfolio is imperative in life. But perhaps it is not the right time to invest since the Market is really way too high. He accepted my advice. Just this week, we exchanged messages and he told me market is plunging like mad and of course I know he is glad. Patience is also wisdom.  I told him perhaps it is a good time to invest now!

I was very active in stocks in 2013,14,15,16. And started blogging in 2014 and very active through to 2016. Since late 2015, I had been offloading stocks progressively, holding more cash and precious metals until now, believing the market is over-priced with impending crash that can potentially be worse than the GFC.

2016 Nov : Only 10% in stock. Refer my article here.
2019 July : 39% Cash, 37% metals, 6 % crypto, 9% shares, 9% bonds,. CPF and properties excluded. Refer to my article here.
2020 Mar : 39% Cash, 36% metals, 7% crypto, 10% shares, 8% bonds,. CPF and properties excluded.

Finally – Time to deploy Warchest after 4-5 years wait for me!  

Without doubt, I am grateful for the patience exhibited since late 2015 to 2016. Almost all my portfolio can be liquidated now without loses and in fact some gains!
  • Metals: Gold 40%, Silver 60%. Gold gain, Silver dipped. USD against SGD rise. Overall still decent net gain.
  • Crypto: Started early 2019 and still net gain. Refer proof of article from Mar 2019 here.
  • Shares since 2015-2016: Keppel DC Reit (> double bagger). Raffles Hospital (>30% drop). SPH Reit (almost same). Overall more or less same. But earn dividends over years. 
  • Bonds:  50% SSB, 50% corporate bond. Can be liquidated anytime with no losses. 

Time to monitor closely on stocks, and always be prepared to deploy Warchest cautiously. 

While fundamental analysis of a company is utmost importance, being at the right place at the right time can be of equal or more important. The former is technical knowledge. The latter is wisdom.

Technical knowledge is via hardwork and research. Wisdom is amassed through years of experiences, failures and exposure, not just in stock but also in life.

Déjà vu of 2016 Jan

Jan 2016 I wrote an article when STI drops below 2800 and what should we do. Refer here. The article is unquestionably very relevant now too. Below table depicts if you have 100K to invest, and how and when you can deploy the Warchest.




Conclusion

To conclude, it is definitely a better time to buy stocks now than last year. But perhaps not excessively, starting with a small percentage of cash.

This is because Market Crash usually takes several months to a year or so to bottom out.

E.g.
GFC : Peaked Oct 2007. Bottom Mar 2009. ~ 1.5 years
2015-2016 sell off : Peaked Apr 2015. Bottom Feb 2016 ~ 10 months.

In Part 2, I will go more in depth into simple charts analysis to come to a conclusion if we should immediately rushed to put all our cash into stocks now. And perhaps Part 3, stocks to put in watchlist. 

To be continued .....



Sunday, 8 March 2020

Stock Market - Always unpredictable! So is life?

Not too long ago, many pundits are predicting a near future crash in the global stock market citing reasons of Trade War, Tensions between US & North Korea or a collapse of global monetary system. While all the above reasons are a concern, never did any stock guru mentioned the outbreak of plague which will plunge the market like what we are experiencing now. Not even when it was first reported end last year. So, do you still trust the stock guru? Still trust your data, charts and forecast which you have painstakingly analysed? Or still think that you have great foresight when your stocks start to rise?

Note: I do believe that the global monetary system will be at the brink of collapse one day. That is why, I have been accumulating a substantial portfolio of gold and silver in the last 4-5 years.

There is always a trade-off

Imagine you may have the most perfect plan? You work really hard to achieve your goals, and when you are close to “perfecting” your plan, some events beyond your wildest expectations took place and “there goes your plan and target”. Sounds familiar, and why does it always happen?

When we are over-focus on the temptations of the world, we may make temporal material gain, but there are bound to be something or somewhere, we will make a big loss in the intangibles.

Warren Buffett may be the Omaha stock guru, he never really manage his own family well and he broke the heart of the person he love most! It was his biggest regret. Likewise, Steve Job, who does not have the most enjoyable and loving family life, let alone any true friends around him. Lee Kwan Yew may be one of the most successful politicians, but immediately after he passed away, his beloved children embroiled into the nation biggest ever family conflict. It makes us wonder if the family values were truly taught or just “manage with fear”. Elon Musk may be the most industrious technology entrepreneur of modern times, but his love life is nothing to be proud of having divorced three times.

The list just goes on....

Not that I am saying that these great people (in the eyes of the world) are failures in their personal life, it is just that there is always a trade-off in life. Tangibles Vs Intangibles. Work Vs Family. Work Vs Health. Lovelife Vs Friendships. Worldliness, Selfishness, Self-centreness Vs Agape Love. Afterall, living life is not just a piece of cake. There will be many failures. We must seek to review and pick up ourselves to improve each day.

What and where is the relevance?

You must have wondered at this stage what message I am trying to convey. To me, the big relevance to the aforesaid can be explained with the 3Ps = “Pride” “Priority” “Peace”.

Pride
Pride leads to conflict and arrogance. It may give you the initial competitive impetus to drive for success, but it will soon fade away and goes before destruction. Bad Health and estranged family relationships tends to be the best instruments to humble the proud and snobbish. Not to “kill” (although sometimes it does), but for us to realize in our heart what truly is important and to learn or U-turn to be a better person.

Priority
What is your priority?
5 years ago, I written an article after watching the movie “Taken-3”. Refer here.

Liam Neeson then asked Forest Whitaker (acted as Police Inspector)  “What is your first priority?”
Whitaker answered, “My first priority is to arrest Stuart John and charged him with your ex-wife’s murder!” Liam Neeson replied “My first priority is my daughter!”

Priority in life is very important. We should have few key priorities at any time of our life. Different roles have different priority. Also, different stages of our lives should have different priority. The amount of time devoted to each priority list should also be well-mixed.

E.g. A student main priority is to pass the examinations. No doubt about that. A company’s employee main priority must be the overall benefit of the company and not solely self-interest! Husband’s priority must be wife and vice versa. Parents’ priority must be their kids etc

Mixing up of our priorities can often led to inefficiency and many disturbances in life.

It took me many years of failures to realise my real priority in life, i.e. H2F3 (Health, Family, Finance, Friends, Hobbies). And, I am still learning each day how to allocate the right focus and time on these 5 priorities so that there is the right balance.  You may also read it in my previous post about H2F3. I am far from perfect and have many weaknesses. Very often, the distractions from work, family and relationships made me go off-track in my priorities. That is when I love to have quiet moment to review, re-adjust with action to be back on track again. Despite the seriously lack of time juggling a big family, work, travel, friends etc, there will be times when I am suddenly reminded to read and write. Reading and writing is a great way for me to have a quiet and focus moment of thoughts.  

Peace
You can have all things in the world, but one thing that money cannot buy is, PEACE. Hitler was once the most powerful person on earth, but do you think he has peace? Just go “google” about Hitler’s health! Even Trump who is rich and powerful, do you think he exudes peace to you?

In life, we will face many trials and sorrows. Do not be beaten. It may be circumstances taking place to humble our soul, so that we realised we need to reorganised our priorities.

When we truly humble ourselves and have our priorities right, and act on it, then we can find peace. And peace can guard our hearts and minds at all times.