Thursday, 31 December 2020

Good Bye 2020, Hello 2021!

2020 Global Review 

Australia NSW state emergency due to bush fires.

Hong Kong protest overshadowed by Coronavirus.

Coronavirus outbreak and first “locked down” in Wuhan, China. 

Corona virus named Covid-19. 

Covid-19 Epicentre in China, Korea, Italy, and later globally, and later announced as pandemic. 

Quickest stock market crash from 20 Feb to 20 March. Dow crash crashed over 30% within 1 month.

Tokyo 2020 Olympic officially postponed 

Oil Price turns Negative, first time in history on 20 Apr 2020.

More fiat currencies in the world than ever!

Liverpool FC crowned champions of English League after 30 years. 

Donald Trump ordered bans on Tik Tok and WeChat.

Japanese bulk carrier Wakashio disaster in Mauritius, spilling 1,000 tonnes of oil.

Japan longest serving PM Shinzo Abe resigned, citing health reason. 

Yoshihide Suga became Japan PM. 

Joe Biden defeated President Donald Trump to become the 46th president of the US.  

Pfizer announced vaccine with efficacy rate above 90%. 

By November, Dow recovered back to 29K. 

Telsa rose more than 700% within a year. 

Bitcoin hitting all time high of 28KUSD

Covid infecting over 78 million globally and over 1.7 million deaths reported.  

Global stock market return to all time high after one of the worst crisis

2020 Singapore Review 

Budget 2020: SGD6.4B 

First confirmed case of Coronavirus reported on 23 Jan 2020, tourist from Wuhan

STI crash from 3200 in Feb to below 2300 as of end March. 

Stimulus Budgets - Resilience SGD48B, Solidarity SGD5.1B, Fortitude Budget SGD33B 

First ever Circuit Breaker locked down began on 7 April. 

Wearing mask mandatory when leaving home, 15 April

Hin Leong USD4 billion debt pile and fraud case

Dormitory Covid cases spikes 

Lifting Covid measures, Phase 1 (2 June); Phase 2 (19 June); Phase 3 (28 Dec)

SIA raised SGD8.8 billion via rights and convertible bonds

Goh Chok Tong and Low Thia Kiang retired from politics

Polling day for General Election on 10 July 2020

PAP won 61.4%, but lost Aljunied, Hougang and Sengkang

Pritam Singh officially designated Leader of Opposition, 11 July 

Singapore Loh cousins' scandalous spotlight

Robinsons closing down after 162 years

Home-Fix’s bankruptcy 

Liew Mun Leong’s maid scandal

12 cup cakes Daniel Ong and ex-wife Jamie Teo faces charges

Covid infecting over 58 thousand with over 29 deaths reported 

Stock and property market left unscathed after one of the worst crisis

Let’s hope that 2021 will be a better year. 

Happy New Year and I wish everyone a Healthier, Happier and Wealthier 2021 ahead. 

Thursday, 24 December 2020

Alibaba Share Price Drop – An Undervalue Gem?

Alibaba Share Price took a big tumble today of more than 8% when China authority started an investigation into alleged monopolistic practices at Alibaba and summoned affiliate Ant Group to a high-level meeting over financial regulation. 

Seeing this as an opportunity, I continue to accumulate Alibaba as I feel that the stock is greatly undervalued, despite being one of the most profitable companies in the world. 

Alibaba has FCF of USD24B over revenue of USD90B (27%), comparable to Apple as being a cash cow. In comparison, Amazon has a FCF of USD27B over revenue of USD322B (8.4%), that pales Alibaba. 

Despite the profitability, Alibaba’s PE (ttm) is a mere 25 (today’s HKSE price) that is way cheaper than Apple’s 40 and Amazon’s 93. 

Alibaba IPOed at USD68 more than six years ago, and price rise is less than 400% today. In comparison, Amazon share price has grown more than ten times in the last six years. 

Furthermore, Alibaba has most of income coming from its “core commerce” operations with only less than 10% coming from its cloud’s revenue. Last quarter 3Q2020, Alibaba reported cloud computing brought in revenue of USD2.24B, displaying a remarkable 60% yoy rise. That was faster than Amazon Web Service’s 29% yoy revenue rise and Microsoft Azure’s 48% growth in the Sep 2020 quarter.

Read : Alibaba cloud growth outpaces Amazon and Microsoft as Chinese tech giant pushes for profitability

So do you think Alibaba is undervalued? 

Wednesday, 23 December 2020

Rolf 2020 (H2F3) in Review

Year 2020 will definitely be remembered as one of the weirdest years in history with Covid altering the way we live. The first locked down took place in China Wuhan, followed by several other countries including our very own Circuit Breaker locked down in Singapore for close to two months from April to June . 

International traveling is restricted with planes grounded. Video conferences, Work from home (WFH) and home based learning becoming part of our lives. While the lock down is horrible, it provides ample time for family members to stay as close as possible. 

(Click here for what does H2F3 (Health, Hobbies, Family, Finance and Friends) means. Refer here for my last H2F3 update in 2020Q3.)


For me, everyone in the family ended the year healthy, and no addition of new family member this year, unlike in the past trio sets of three years, last being 2017, where we expanded our family! My health got a scare in the last quarter or so with bad gastric. However, after a minor procedure and medications, my latest test result this month shows that my health is back to normal.  

Family relationships is still good, but the increased time together mainly at home, inevitably led to more friction compared to previous years.  Family dinners outside and us visiting friends had been drastically cut due to the 5 pax rule. Nonetheless, we often had my best friends and kids invited into the house for dinner. 


This year, yet another restructuring took place in our company, and yet another survival of career for me, having survived the 2009 GFC and the 2015-2016 Oil Crisis layoffs in my career. 

My wife resigned from her job after 12 years, after her firm asked her to take a big pay cut being in the MICE industry. We praise God that she managed to find a new job almost instantly, and it was one with better company culture, better salary, lesser workload, and above all, a very profitable company. As good as a dream job come true considering the circumstances. 

My investment portfolio (excl. CPF linked investment) grew 27% this year, compared to 12% last year. The increase come mainly from higher household income, and lower expenses due to mortgage freeze, lower car expenses as I paid off my car COE last year, and no vacation this year, resulted in higher net cashflow savings. 

Excluding savings, my investment return grew 14.5% yoy, as a result of crypto, precious metals and stocks returns. In terms of absolute value, it is not shy from last year’s return. 

My portfolio is greatly revamped this year.  I took profit off my precious metals and unleased my cash war-chest to increase my stock portfolio. As the year closes, I am 70% shares, 15% cash and 15% precious metals (8% gold and 7% silver)



I am back blogging again this year, due to the comparatively less hectic work this year. Workout intensified during circuit breaker as I got my slight 4-6 packs, but lost it again after that. Urggghhh… My table tennis games with friends this year reduced greatly due to the Covid restrictions, while Netflix screen time increased a little tad too much. Not as ideal! 

For now, 

We are looking forward to Phase 3 for the 8 pax rule to have our entire family dinner in restaurants and visiting friends again. And of course, the hope and prayers for the effectiveness of the vaccines bringing the world back to normal again. 

I also wish everyone a Merry and Healthy  X’mas and a Happy New Year 2021 ahead.  

Tuesday, 15 December 2020

Rolf’s Portfolio Updates – Dec 2020


Have been accumulating shares each month throughout the unforgettable unprecedented year of Covid. Now, I am 70% shares and 12% cash, with 18% precious metals. Do not think I will increase my stock portfolio drastically now, other than my monthly excess buy from 2021 onwards. 

May possibly pare down metals (silver in particular) to unlock some profits, and also to increase cash for potential stock opportunities going forward. 


I am still bullish on Tech especially China ones. 

Felt that Alibaba is greatly undervalued and keeps on accumulating below 255. Also bought into more Meituan when prices dropped below 280. Took small profits off Apple, Amazon and Microsoft to buy into other shares. 

Still on China, I also accumulated on CNOOC on top of Sinopec. Felt that these oil giants are still greatly undervalued despite the vaccine discovery news and China's economical recovery. Furthermore, the dividends are "delicious"! 

Also, bought a little into Koolearn, a Chinese online Education company. Koolearn is a subsidiary of New Oriental Education & Technology, one of the largest private education companies in China. XPeng, the equivalent of Tesla in China together with NIO, also became part of my portfolio. 

Since I own Pfizer before the news of Vaccine's discovery, I was entitled to shares of Viatris. Bought some shares Viatris to round it up. 

As a Singaporean, I also supported SEA Limited, a Singapore based company. Keppel DC Reit and Mapletree Industrial Trust share prices slide due to the sector rotation of funds from Tech to Covid-affected stocks. Believing in their future regardless of vaccine or not, I nibbled into KDC and MIT. I sold off Keppel and SPH Reit and some of STI ETF

I have a whooping of 31 different stocks now. Not sure if it is too many. But, one thing I am sure, is these are the stocks that I love owning for now.  

Saturday, 28 November 2020

Regret Not Buying a Freehold Landed Property 10 years Ago!

Hello readers, I have been pretty quiet in the blogosphere lately. This is partly because of time spent putting up my properties on sale, and at the same time, looking at property to buy. Our property of interest is a landed house. Since my household is big, the natural choice is a house with bigger space. 

  • Freehold landed (or 999 years old) 
  • 99 years old Leasehold landed 
  • Cluster House ak.a. town house or condo with terrace houses. 

The above types of landed came into my mind, but after some deliberation, I decided to go for Freehold landed property. This is because I love the fact that I own the land and the property “forever” without deprecation and also with the possibility to unlock the value when I am at an older age. Or I can simply leave it to my kids. 

The difference in pricing in terms of Price Per Square Feet (psf) are huge among these types of landed. Clearly, FH is most expensive, followed by 999 then 99 years leasehold.  

For leasehold 999 and 99 LH landed, the land belongs to you until expiry. In the case of FH, you own the land forever, unless governmental intervention. This is because ultimately our government still own all land in the country. For Cluster House, it is likened to landed in a condominium and you are NOT able to rebuilt or perform A&A (addition & alterations).  

Except for cluster houses, you can basically tear down the house, and rebuilt or do A&A subject to plot ratio, structural integrity, and URA - BCA approval. 


About 10 years ago, I contemplated buying a landed house and had went for viewings. Back then, you can easily find a FH landed selling for SGD1,000 psf (land) +/- with a 2.5 to 3 storey 2500 to 3000 sqft built up floor area. Today, you can hardly find any in the listings at that kind of price. Perhaps the “super ulu” locations or very run-down conditions, or very odd shapes layout, then the asking price can be SGD1,000 psf (land) or lower. 

The asking price listed are commonly between SGD1,300 to 1,600 psf, with good locations or well renovated ones as high SGD2,000 psf and above. Below are typical land sizes for 3 different types of FH landed properties within my range of search. Locations such as Changi, Loyang, Tanah Merah, Jurong West, Woodlands, Admiralty, Sembawang, Yio Chu Kang (excludes those near to Lentor MRT), Sengkang, Punggol were all excluded in my consideration. 

Below are the pricing estimate. Psf is against land area.  


There are only 5% of landed house in Singapore today. 

In 1990, there were about 46,000 landed properties in Singapore. This is more than the 31,000 Condos and Other Apartments recorded - (data by Singstat). Over the course of the last thirty years, more and more HDBs and Condos and other Apartments were constructed, but definitely not for landed properties.  In 2019, there are 69,000 landed properties and 222,000 Condos and Other Apartments and more than 1 million HDB homes. 

The below chart tells it all why landed properties is very valuable in a land scarce Singapore. 


FH landed properties is really expensive. That said, I am afraid if I miss the boat buying today I will never be able to buy an affordable one in years down the road. Of course, I am those who will work out my sums properly before jumping into a big decision. 

10 years ago, I was hoping that price could be SGD 2 million for a decent condition landed property in a rather mid-level convenient location, I cannot find it back then. 

10 years later, I was hoping for SGD 3 million with the same condition. Again, it is almost not possible to find. 

10 years from now, it is likely that the price tag will be SGD 4 million and above with the same condition. And I reckon that landed property will likely average at SGD2,000 psf (land). 

Imagine that a 99 year LH Condo outside CCR already selling for more than SGD2,000 psf. Let alone a land that you owned “forever” at SGD2,000 psf. 

For now until the next ½ year or so, I will concentrate on selling my properties while eying for a home sweet freehold landed home. 

Do you think landed properties pricing will ever crash in Singapore? 

Friday, 13 November 2020

TikTok HQ in SG (Real Comments From China Chinese) – Singapore Got Talent Meh?

September 2020, TikTok owner ByteDance have announced plans to make Singapore headquarters in Asia. The China-based company reportedly worth USD100 Billions already has over 400 employees in Singapore. Their plan is to further invest billions of dollars and to add on hundreds of employees in Singapore over the next three years. TikTok had also moved some engineers to Singapore from China this year.  

It was further reported last month, that ByteDance has signed an agreement to move into a bigger office in Singapore. The lease will cover three floors of One Raffles Quay measuring over 60,000 sqft. 

It is definitely fantastic news for Singapore! 


My best friend who has many private banking clients in China told me the reaction of his Chinese clients to this TikTok’s announcement. 

They said (translated from Mandarin to English), 

“Singapore got talents meh? End of the day, also need the Chinese people coming over Singapore and live as expats to do the core most important jobs. It will be a complete waste of money and resources!” 


Today’s Business Times Front Page reads, 

“Movers and shakers of the tech world: Singapore wants you!”


As a Singaporean, I felt a bit insulted by my friend's Chinese clients' comments. Then again, with BT's Headlines today, it left me wonder if the comments were just being brutally honest? 


What do you think? 

This part was added after I received comments from readers:
How about CEO of local big listcos? 

If you look at STI constituents and take away REITS, and try to identify how many CEOs are locals (going through National Service, if guy), it is probably quite a feat? 

How about CEOs of DBS, OCBC, M1, Starhub, SATS, Singpost, SCM - recently changed to Singaporean CEO etc? 

So perhaps if anyone can identify the greatest Singaporean CEOs of all time who have bring companies to greater heights? 

Liew Mun Leong? Or perhaps Ng Yat Chung? 

hahahaha (you know why I laugh right!) 

Looking at the historical and current facts, can we say below? Or is it fair to say below? 
  • Singaporeans are only good for CEOs of REITs that are in general "more or less" run by itself compared to many other industries' businesses? When it comes to innovation and growth? hmmm...
  • Or maybe because several local big listcos are backed by our country leaders, perhaps our own country leaders do not think Singaporeans are up to the mark to hold leadership positions in local backed Corporations? Is it true that Singaporeans are only good to be SAF or Government or Stat-board leaders? 
  • Could our suppressed nature of always obeying to authority without the ability or guts to voice our own opinions or to break boundaries have caused this phenomenon? 
  • Are we too sheltered with an enclosed mindsets, and the lacking of "real overseas experiences" caused us to always think only: "Singapore, My Family and Me?" without looking at the Global Picture? 
  • Or perhaps those Singaporeans who have talents, track records, with open mindsets, and international experiences and have guts to voice their opinions have long ago been frustrated by our local system, and already have left and seek opportunities elsewhere, without returning? 

Many successful China Chinese have work experiences outside China in the late 90s and early 2000s before returning back to their own countries! This probably is one important reason that explains the country's success

Should Singapore or can Singapore do the same? Attracting back our own talents? Or if this is even necessary in the eyes of our leaders?  

PS: I am not mocking Singaporeans. I myself is a true local bred Singaporean, going through National Service and completed by NSmen liability. For my entire career, I am always based in Singapore, although I have always worked in MNCs and have travelled widely. 

Being a concern parent, I was just wondering about what should I do for my children's future? 

Wednesday, 11 November 2020

Vaccine News Creates Opportunity to Buy These Stocks?

On Monday, the world received good news that Pfizer and its partner, the German company, BioNTech, announced preliminary results that suggested their vaccine was more than 90 percent effective. Together with Joe Biden’s election victory, Global Stock Market surge to record high. 

Travel, Airline, Manufacturing, Cruise, Pharm and Energy stocks rallied more than double digit percentage. SIA rose close to 15% in a day, while some airline stocks in other countries rallied more than 20%. 

But not everyone is cheering. Tech, Data, Glove manufacturer stocks suffered opposite fate. 

In the USA, Amazon and Netflix shed up to 10% or more. The most dramatic plunge is Zoom, falling from almost 500 to below 370, falling 35% within just a matter of days. 

In HKSE, China Tech stocks have a complete twist of fortune, having peaked in previous week after’s Biden’s victory. The vaccine news and the news of China drafting anti-monopolistic rules aimed at tech giants is double whammy for China Tech stocks. Alibaba lost ~18% to below 250. Meituan and sheds 20% or more. Tencent performs slightly better, perhaps due to the positive earning calls happening this week. But still falling more than 10%. 

Back at home SGX, Keppel DC Reit and Mapletree Industrial Trust tumbles ~10% or more to below 2.70 and 2.90 respectively. 

If those of you who believes that Tech companies (with the stocks aforesaid) are here to stay and will continue to outperform in the post Covid world,  I think it definitely presents a good opportunity to accumulates these stocks! 

I am going to be Hawkish myself!

Monday, 2 November 2020

Who Will Win the US Election And How Will Stocks Be Affected? How To Hedge?


On Tuesday 3 November 2020, Americans will go to the polls to decide if their next President is Republican incumbent Donald Trump, or his Democratic challenger, Joe Biden.

The latest poll has shown that Joe Biden is leading Donald Trump for the presidential election.  However it is not a guarantee that Trump will lose the election. In 2016, Hillary Clinton also had a clear lead over Trump in the polls for the entire campaign, only to lost the election. 

In my opinion, the coronavirus episode is definitely disadvantageous to Trump’s position in the election. With US having the most covid contractions and most deaths, I doubt that majority of the Americans will approve Trump’s handling of the crisis. 

Without the covid pandemic, I think Trump will have a landslide victory. It has almost become apparent in my opinion that most Americans love to be believed in Trump’s anti-China policies and his relentless cheerleading support for the stock markets. 

To me, it is almost like Coronavirus is taking place in 2020 to oust Trump from his absolute supremacy. Without which, people will just continue to be blinded and support evil in the making. B 
My take is Biden to have a slim victory! 

I can be wrong, because who knows what the devil has up his sleeves?  Anyway, the world is becoming more and more selfish and self-centred, and everything we do is about what is there for me to benefit with less and less compassion for others. 


Below is an extract from Business Times, showing the stock beneficiaries of different outcome to the election. 


I am not really betting on individual stock, but I think I am more or less “hedged” regardless the outcome. 

This is because I owned shares operating in US, China, and Singapore. 

I believe that even Trump’s victory should not dampen the growth of Chinese stocks too much as their focus is domestic consumption and Covid is much better control in China. And Trump’s victory will also drive up the value of my ownings in US Tech and Pharm stocks.  

If Biden wins, then, Chinese tech stocks will continue to rally, and perhaps Singapore’s stock will also slightly improve as Biden is expected to be comparatively milder in terms of his China’s policies as compared to Trump. 

While Singapore shares should be cheering for Biden, but guess even with his victory, I reckon that STI will not be climbing too drastically, as Singapore’s economy is more dependent on the Covid situation rather the electoral result. 

I own Singapore stocks, as this is still my home, and I am hoping for a recovery, and that one day in the future, Covid will just be an episode written in our history books. 

In the short term, either Trump or Biden's victory is going to give rise to volatility in the stock market, especially that Covid situation is worsening in the west. But in the long term, I think the impact of the Presidential results will have limited impact over the stock market, than the actual performance of the stock itself. 

I also believe that an impending stimulus after the election is inevitable for the next US President, due to the dire states of the real US economy. Therefore precious metals (gold and silver) as a Hedge is definitely necessary. 

Thursday, 29 October 2020

Rolf’s Thoughts in Keppel 3Q / 9M 2020 Business updates?

Keppel adopted semi-annual reporting of results, meaning they are no longer obligated to report quarterly figures. Instead, they released voluntary business update today. 

So what is new? 

  • Return to profitability in 3Q 2020 vs 2Q S$697m  net loss. 
  • Still, 3Q20 profits is significantly lower than 3Q19. Note: 3Q19 attributable profit is S$159m
  • Still loss making for 9M20. Mainly due to impairments of S$919m in O&M. 
  • Group’s revenue 9M20 was S$4,818m compared to 9M19’s S$5,382m
  • Net gearing 0.96x qoq improvement from 1.00x. 

2030 Vision: 

  • Last quarter, divest S$140 million in assets from landbank and non-core assets. 
  • Secured an offshore renewables contract worth about S$600 million. 
  • Focus on Energy & Environment, Urban Development, Connectivity and Asset Management.

Energy & Environment

Keppel O&M

Source: Keppel's website 3Q announcement 

  • Revenue S$1.1b for 9M 2020 vs S$1.4b for 9M 2019
  • S$900m new contracts YTD, of which 72% from Offshore wind and LNG projects. 
  • This includes 3Q20, S$600 million contract from EPC of a vessel in renewable energy sector. 
  • Continues to face headwinds amidst depressed oil prices.
  • As at end-September 2020, Keppel O&M’s net orderbook stood at S$4.1 billion, up from S$3.5 billion as at end-June 2020. 

Rolf’s Thoughts: O&M business is not as bad as it looks since KOM still continues to win project. But the success really stems in the capability to make the renewable projects profitable, as these are pretty new to Keppel. 4B backlog is quite decent figures, but backlog is useless if it is loss-making projects! 

Renewable energy sector continues to thrive in the midst of ailing O&G markets, especially in Europe, Taiwan, and also Vietnam, Korea and Japan. Also, I personally know that more FPSO projects are in the planning pipelines for 2021 and 2022. However, all these projects will takes time to materialize. 

Keppel Infrastructure 

  • Revenue S$1.7b / EBITDA of S$119m (9M20) vs S$2.0b / EBITDA S$115m (9M19) 
  • YTD, S$2.1B waste-to-energy and district cooling contracts in SG, India and Thailand. 
  • Incl. the latest S$300m JTC contract  for a new district cooling system plant for 30 yrs.
  • Ops & maintenance of the Keppel Marina East Desalination Plant in SG continues to progress smoothly since commencement end of June 2020
  • Tuas Nexus Integrated Waste Management Facility is undergoing its design and engineering phase.

Rolf’s Thoughts: Waste and Water management are two important initiatives from SG government. If Keppel can manage the project cost properly, there is great potential of growth. However note that while there is upside, poor management of complex projects can also cause huge losses! Just look at Hyflux! 

In another news, Australia is planning to  build the world largest solar farm to power 20% of Singapore’s population. Not sure how this will help Keppel’s renewables and infrastructure business? 


World's Largest Solar Farm to Be Built in Australia - But They Won't Get The Power
Australia to power Singapore with world’s biggest solar farm

Urban Development

Keppel Land

Source: Keppel's website 3Q announcement 

  • Sold about 2,030 homes 9M20, a decrease from 3,520 homes sold 9M19. 
  • SG home sales increased to 240 compared to 190 in 2019 due to Garden Residences 74% sales
  • China home sales decreased to 1,580 homes compared to 2,330 a year ago, due to lesser projects launched and poor economic conditions.  
  • Vietnam records lower home sales due to slower approval for new launches
  • Keppel Land & TVS Emerald jointly embarked on a residential project in South Chennai, India
  • Announced divestment of project in Taicang in Oct 2020
  • Sale of a residential plot in Tianjin Eco-Cityin Oct 2020, with about S$18m gain to Keppel

Rolf’s Thoughts: Guess property sales will continue to be tough in view of the uncertain economic conditions in coming years. 


Keppel Data Centres

  • Digitalisation and WFH trends drive demand for data centres. 
  • New data centre project JV with SPH at Genting Lane
  • Keppel Data Centres collaborates with City Gas and City-OG Gas Energy Services to explore the use of LNG and hydrogen to power floating data centre park in SG. 
  • Stable EBITDA of S$202 million for 9M20 vs S$211m for 9M19
  • Postpaid customer base grew 6.1% yoy and has become the 2nd largest in SG
  • 1st operator in SG to open up 5G access 
  • Extended new MVNO partnership with MyRepublic 
  • Inked partnership with DBS to leverage M1’s 5G network to enhance customer experience and unlock new opportunities for retail customers

Rolf’s Thoughts: Not an easy environment in competition with Singtel and Starhub. So can only share the pie, and hopefully continue to have stable profits. Growth is more far-fetched! Possible divestment? 

Asset Management

Keppel Capital

  • Asset management fees grew S$123m for 9M20, vs S$105m for 9M19. 
  • YTD, Keppel Capital-managed funds secured total commitments of US$2.0 billion from investors, including US$295 million for Alpha Asia Macro Trends Fund IV
  • Strategic cooperation with the National Pension Service of Korea to explore opportunities for private infrastructure in Asia
  • Launch of the Keppel Education Asset Fund to tap the fast-growing private education sector.

Keppel REIT 

  • is acquiring Pinnacle Office Park in Sydney 



In my view, Keppel’s business will continue to be depressed in 2020 going into 2021 due the sectors she is in, aside from Data business that is looking good. If you decided to look further than 2021, then there is definitely light in the tunnel. 

Of course, the movements of share price may not immediately mimic business figures, as share price are forward looking. Therefore, I reckon that the current share price definitely has more upside than downside going into 2021.

At the very least, I think Keppel is a much better buy than SIA, as Keppel does not need to resort in borrowing billions and lay off so many employees, with an uncertain aviation outlook. 

That said, the question really lies in if there are other better stocks to buy than Keppel?  


Wednesday, 28 October 2020

Rolf’s Updates of Recent Stocks Buy and Sell (Oct 2020) – Reasons

Took leave today and have some time to wrote this update for September and October. 

Sinopec 386  – 3.06 
Added more of Sinopec. Read: Which Listed Oil Companies Should You Buy?

NetEase 9999 – 134.5
Already owned NetEase earlier because of my belief in the future of gaming business, due to the new generation’s transformation. Added more shares, when price tumble below the 140 mark. Of lesser important is that I like the stock code, 9999! 

Has not buy any US Tech stocks due to the uncertainty of Trump-Biden outcome. Will wait until after election. 
Fraser Centrepoint J69U – 2.32
Applied for the rights at 2.34 and added more when it falls below the “rights” price. 

SPH Reit SK6U – 0.79
Bought into SPH Reit again after price goes below 0.8 which I think is cheap. I took profits at 0.87 on average, previously. I am looking at recovery due to GRI 80% Singapore and 20% Australia, since Covid is relatively well controlled in these two countries. Committed occupancy is 98%. 

Starhill Global Reit P40U – 0.435
In my view, SGReit is too cheap to ignore with a P/BV of 0.53. Committed occupancy is 96% and geographical footprint of GRI 64% Singapore, 24% Australia, 10% Malaysia, 1.6% Japan is, suited for Covid recovery, as these countries have better Covid management than the rest of the world. The only slight concern for me is the 39.7% gearing, but this is well compensated by good property assets, of which mostly are freehold and have a decent lease lifespan.  

Gold O87 – 179
Added more Gold to hedge against stocks, and possibly depreciating USD due to stimulus? 


Alphabet GOOGL – 1600
Took profits off Google. I am less bullish on the Ads business compared to Cloud business of Amazon and Microsoft! 

Pinduoduo PDD  拼多多 – 91
Took profits for portfolio reallocation. Will re-buy if price drop, as I am confident about PDD future especially in the agricultural space rather than E-commerce space competing with Alibaba and Also bear in mind that share price slump to 70c in early October, and I am waiting for such opportunity again. In anycase, PDD is yet to be profitable, meaning still have ample of opportunity to buy.   


Saturday, 24 October 2020

What you should do if not investing in stocks? 2015 Versus 2020

Exactly 5 years ago on 24 Oct 2015, I written the below post. 

What you should do if not investing in stocks?

Let's see what has changed 5 years later. 

2015 – a year to be forgotten
The horrendous sell-off in equity was a result of China’s devaluation of the yuan due to economy slowdown. The STI benchmark was not spared. From above 3500 points in April, it dived below 2800 points in the month of September. My stock portfolio shed considerable weight as well.

2020 - Definitely a year we will remember for a long time to come, but for the wrong reasons! 
Covid-19 pandemic wreck havoc, and the fastest plunge and rise of the stock market took place this year. 
On the contrary to 2015, I created my stock portfolio this year after waiting for many years! 

2015 - Fewer activities in stock! 

2020 - Action pack activities in the stock market! 
From 2016 to 2019, I was very quiet in stocks and blogging because in that four years, I read the entire bible countless times "head to tail", written summary on almost every book, memorised countless verses, and read many other related books and videos. I also wrote countless articles and circulate within my inner circle. He made me a better person. In the process, I also become an instrument to help many people around me. 

2020 - No travelling due to Covid-19! 

2015 - Started meditating - find inner peace!

2020 - Replaced meditating with prayers and bible reading - find inner peace!

2015 - Burst training - anti-ageing! Dr Pompa!
Remember, “Fats isn’t bad in itself. It is the inability to burn fats, that is bad!”

2020 - HIIT training. Core and abs training! Anabolic Aliens and Pamela Reif!
Guess my body is more sculpted than 2015, though still far from expectations! 

2015 - More focus in work 
While my industry is getting quieter with lesser new projects, I continue to be relatively busy at work. Visiting clients, overseas colleagues visiting, traveling, internal training, conferences etc, still take up bulk of my time. I reckon this is the best time that I can deepen my relationships with clients and colleagues.

2020 - Work Uncertainty!  
Market is even worse than 2015 Oil crisis. Same as 2015, we will be experiencing retrenchment, but this time in a bigger scale. One thing stay unchanged for me is to continue to visit clients, business associates and stay connected with overseas colleagues to maintain / develop relationships! 

But one unusual sign is that both year 2015 and 2020 are my better year in terms of earnings! 

2015 - Stay engage to the financial world 
2015 is a dismal year, but we should never be disappointed and completely detach ourselves from the stock market going forward. Instead, I continue to read financial news each day. In the morning, I read Business Times and Today. At night, I watch Bloomberg TV and find time to read financial blogs/articles. During travel, I also read books.

2020 - Stay engage to the financial world 
No change. I still read my Business Times and Straits Times every morning. Every night I read Yahoo Finance news.

2015 - Other financial products
For me, this is also a good time to set sights or learn other financial products. For instance, I bought Singapore Savings Bonds which I think it is a great financial instrument. It gives almost risk free return of > 2.5% over 10 years. Precious metals are also catching my attention. 

2020 - Experiences in other financial products
In 2016, after my earlier research, I invested heavily in Gold and Silver and it became my biggest investment portfolio until this year, being replaced by shares. In early 2019, I invested in Bitcoin followed by Ethereum!  

2015 - Create a stock watchlist and plan before market plunge

2020 - Market already plunged! 
I created my new investment portfolio. Read: How to INVEST NOW and CREATE a Portfolio?

2015 - One thing lead to another – New tap of income!
I became a freelance writer to generate an additional “tap” of income!  

2020 - Blogging Income
I received meagre income from my blogging. Still, I am thankful to Google Adsense! I am still writing after 5 years! 

2015 - Rolf’s H2F3
Ultimately, I am still very focus to have a balance H2F3. Read my earlier article here (2015) on what exactly is Rolf’s H2F3! Family time with my kids is extremely important.

2020 - Rolf’s H2F3
5 years later, I am still very focus to have a balance H2F3. Read: Rolf's Updates - My Priorities in Life - Health, Finance, Family, Friends & Hobbies – 2020 3Q

So there you are! 5 years just flew by like that! 

In the last 5 years, the fundamental things haven't change too much for me! 
However, I reckon I am better person now and definitely more matured in handling matters in life. I am also more experienced in my financial and investment skills. 

Last but not least, the most wonderful thing that has happened is the new addition of my "son" to the family compared to five years ago. Praise God that our family and close friends are all still intact! 

How about you? How is your 2015 compares to your 2020? 

Thursday, 22 October 2020

Do We Groom Winners, Or Do We Only Cheer Winners?

Following my earlier post on "Which Listed Oil Companies Should You Buy?", I received a very nice and kind email from a reader sharing the same sentiments. 

The reader highlighted about Clean Energy disrupting the Oil and Gas industries, just like Grab over ComfortDelgro, Netflix over Starhub and Singtel, Internet news over SPH, E-commerce over SG REITs maybe? 

Will Oil giants eventually be sharing the same fate as ComfortDelgro, Starhub, Singtel, SPH etc? 

My thoughts as follows. 

I guess the problem is not so much in the disruption, but the lack of innovation, lack of foresight, and lack of long term investment in those companies that lag behind, despite the "sheer size and muscles" they have! 

I also think that for Keppel and Sembcorp Marine, it will be very difficult for them to have great and major success in Renewables, because while Oil companies invested heavily already long time ago in renewables, Keppel and SCM only started to do it, when Oil market is bad. 

It is too late. 

Furthermore, I genuinely have doubts that Keppel and SCM’s management are equal or near to the calibre of top management in Oil giants, as far as  Long term Vision, Strategy, and Execution. I hope I am for once, wrong! 

It somehow resonates that most, if not all, Singapore listco, tend to invest only “where the wind blows”. We somehow proved to be just not good enough or lack of faith, hunger and conviction to anticipate the wind direction before it blows! 

It is unquestionable that Singapore is good in planning, organising, and implementing rules! But when it comes to innovation, and invest into something with unforeseeable future or something that can be potential risky, we simply are are plain mediocre or even sub-par!  

It is good to be risk adverse, but to take no risks in business? Hmmm....... *thinking*! 

Joseph Schooling’s parents sacrificed so much, and invested in their son, with commitment, money, and time, over a long period of time putting faith in him. Schooling repaid the parents with his hardwork, determination and historic Olympic Gold. 

Currently, I myself is also doing the same, being a hopeful parent that one day, my child can be a sportsperson! 

Who did the grooming more? The country or the parents?  

For perspective sake, when Joseph Schooling reach the Olympics finals, we hear cheers, good news everywhere, and even the booking of business class flights to Brazil!  

Where are all the cheers before he become a champion? 

Do we groom winners, or do we only cheer winners? 

Wednesday, 21 October 2020

Which Listed Oil Companies Should You Buy?

Oil companies all over the world has their stock prices at all-time low. 

At the time of writing this article, Exxon (XOM)’s share price of USD 34 equals March low this year, while Shell (RDS)’s share price of USD 24 is a mere 10 percent above the pandemic low. 

These prices were lowest in two-decades. 

Chevron (CVX) is the better performer. Still, the price of USD 71 is at decade-low, if we disregard March’s trough. 

China Oil giants are not spared from the price onslaught. Share prices of PetroChina (857) HKD 2.2 and Sinopec (386) HKD 3.0 both dived below March low, hitting record low in the last 15 years. 

CNOOC (883) HKD 7.3 is not too far above March’s trough and is at decade low. 

Question: Are the share prices cheap now? Should you buy now? 

Please read the disclaimer link here, before this article have any influence on any decisions you make. 


Most people will start to perform fundamental analysis going through all the metrics of the oil companies to derive predictive forward PE, PB, PCF, Cash, etc. 

In my humble opinion, I think it is not going to be very meaningful to go too much in depth into the predictive numerical analysis as nobody can predict the future oil price. 

Furthermore, Covid-19 crisis is almost an unprecedented one-off event in our history, and has negatively impacted the profits of almost all Oil related companies this year, irregardless of how good their past performances were. 

Lastly, nobody has a clue of what is going to happen, whether Covid’s future or OPEC’s decision? 

There are just too many unknowns! 

Will we find a vaccine, so that the world economy will be back to pre-covid situation in no time? Or will the world economy continue to shrink in a prolonged depressed manner? Or will renewable energy be developed fast enough so that we can be significantly less reliant on the consumption of Oil and Gas? Will OPEC come to an agreement or will they continue to increase the supply? 

Without any ability to sniff out the future, it is going to be futile to predict the future earnings of these companies! 


But I am buying! Why? 

The Oil companies mentioned earlier are all Oil Giants with huge market capitalisations. All either have ample cash, or at least have easy access to credit facilities. 

Hence, I don’t think that they will go bust because of this crisis. Or at least the chances are very minimal. 

As mentioned earlier, the prices are all at all time low and merely above March low. Personally, I do not believe a second wave will be as serious as the first. 

Therefore the chances of a “huge percentage” price dip is probably lower than the chance of recovery in my opinion. 

Read: Why Even a Covid-19 Second-Wave Will Not Crash the Stock Market by Much?

Oil and Gas is cyclical, and I do not believe these Oil Majors will just collapse and disappear in time to come! There will be times of difficulty and time of prosperity. 

Read: Is The Oil & Gas Industry Really Hopeless?

Hence, I am bullish rather than bearish in the long term. 

That being said, I am not saying that oil price or share prices of these companies have hit their absolute low and will not go lower! We simply don’t know. 


For perspective reason, below are their Trailing Twelve Months (TTM) figures as of 2Q2020. 

          TTM PE ratio (dividend)

  • XOM - 20 (10.4%)
  • RDS - negative (5.3%)
  • CVX - negative (7.1%)

  • Sinopec - 5.6 (11.4%)
  • PetroChina - 7.8 (6.5%)
  • CNOOC - 4.74 (8.8%) 

Looking at the TTM figures, Chinese Oil companies seems to have an edge over the Western ones! 

Also, I think that China will recover faster in this pandemic compared to the rest of the world. The internal consumption will help to propel recovery for China. 


I had chosen Sinopec not because it has the best metrics. In that aspect, CNOOC fares the best maybe! CNOOC has a comparatively better ROE, ROA and profit margins and better cash over debt position! 

Nonetheless, I am more skeptical about the business of Exploration and Production (E&P), where both PetroChina and CNOOC are more dominant in. 

It is generally assumed that E&P activities are more risky and volatile compared to refinery. E&P companies will require lots of debt and are in higher overall liability position in order to finance their capital-intensive operations. And in my opinion, the non-current assets are also subject to greater risks of sharp depreciation, should any Exploration efforts fail or met with a mishaps. 

On the contrary, Sinopec specialised more in refining, and is the largest refiner in China accounted for about 40% of China’s total refinery throughput. I felt that this could also favor the local consumption model of China more than the other two! 

In terms of TTM PE ratio and dividend, Sinopec also stands out! 

Lastly, Sinopec also has two Petrol Kiosks in Singapore already! 


Imagine one day, Sinopec have more and more Petrol Kiosks all over Asia countries competing with Shell and Esso? 

Sunday, 18 October 2020

How to INVEST NOW and CREATE a Portfolio?

Earlier, I had mentioned that NOW is the right time to invest. 

Is "NOW" The Right Time To Invest?

In this post, I will reveal “HOW” to invest now? 


To reiterate on what was already mentioned in previous post, you should first set aside your emergency funds and invest the amount of monies that you are not going to use. Then decide on how much you want to invest. 

The absolute value affects your investment allocation. For example, you only want to invest 10K, then it does not make sense to have a diverse investment portfolio. In this case, you can just choose a few stocks to invest. 


On the other hand, if you have 100K or more to invest, then you should create an Investment Portfolio that comprises of different asset classes. For instance, Cash, Bonds, Precious metals (Gold and Silver), Shares etc. To simplify, you can take below as reference. 

 My advice is to have 50% shares investment for a start. Then 25% cash-bonds, and 25% precious metals (gold and silver) and crypto (maybe!). 

Also read: If I have excess 100K now, how should I invest over the next one year?

Cash / Bonds

It is always advisable to keep some cash as opportunity funds to take advantage of “stock price crash” to buy cheap during an economic crisis. If you do not like the fact that Cash generates almost no return. Then you can buy bonds. Do note that bonds issuer can default, and corporate bond price can also decline before maturity.    

Precious metals

The precious metals act as a hedge and “normally” has inverse relationships to economic crisis.  Hence, if crisis causes share prices to tumble, you can sell the higher priced precious metals to take advantage of the cheaper shares. Or at least you will not see excessive “bloodshed” in your overall portfolio during crisis. 

No hard and fast rules in allocation

There are no hard and fast rules that you definitely must adhere to the above percentage distribution. Or whether you definitely should invest in Technology or REITs. Invest and allocate where you feel most comfortable, after reading the reports, and doing your evaluation! You know yourself best, don’t be over restricted by rules! 

  • Tech Bullish: More growth, also more decline? less dividends and more risk? 
  • REITs Bullish: Hungry for dividends! More stable but not immune to decline. Covid-19 has “bloodshed” many Reits. 
  • Others: Can be Energy or Defensive stocks like Staple, Healthcare, Telco etc. 

“Defensive” stocks use to be more immune during crisis, however times have change. Covid-19! 


If every month, you have excess cash, you should invest in a progressive manner and regularly. This can average/eliminates any excessive asset price fluctuations. 

It is better to invest for long term. 10, 20, 30 years or more? Ok, too long for you… at least 5 years or until the peak before the next crisis. 

Learning when to sell is so important, although that is a separate topic altogether! 


Peter Lynch said: 

"In the stock market, the most important organ is the stomach. It's not the brain. On the way to work, the amount of bad news you could hear is almost infinite now. So the question is: Can you take that? Do you really have faith that 10 years, 20 years, 30 years from now common stocks are the place to be. If you believe in that, you should have some money in equity funds.

It's a question of what's your tolerance for pain. There will still be declines. It might be tomorrow. It might be a year from now. Who knows when it's going to happen? The question is: Are you ready—do you have the stomach for this? 

Most people do really well because they just hang in there."


Rolf's Updates - My Priorities in Life - Health, Finance, Family, Friends & Hobbies – 2020 3Q

Rolf's Portfolio - 4 Sep 2020

Rolf’s Stock Portfolio – Why more than 50 percent is in Tech Stocks?

Rolf’s Portfolio, Stocks Mix and Investment Strategy


Below are posts written more than four years ago in 2016. 


Rolf’s investment philosophy (Part 1) - Building a character!

Rolf’s investment philosophy (Part 2) – Understand the business!

Rolf’s investment philosophy (Part 3) - Building a Portfolio!

Saturday, 17 October 2020

How to Transit into a New Industry? My Wife’s New Job in a New Industry after 2 Months!

It has been two months since my wife started her new job in a completely new industry. This is after almost two decades in the MICE or related industry. Her new role is in digital and real estate. For more on the background, you can refer to earlier articles below.  

My Wife's Company Ask Her to Take 50% Paycut – What is My Advice?

My Wife Found a Better Job in Less than 2 Months - With My Advices! (Part 1). Her ex-Company Asked Her to Take 50% Paycut!

My Wife Found a New Job – The Applications, Interviews, And The Decision! (Part 2)

So far, she is very happy and have little complains in her new job. Her direct/dotted-line bosses are all very “humane”, easy to talk to, reasonable in their demands, and work hard themselves to earn respect. Colleagues give similar feedback about the bosses, and this is good assurance. I consider her ex-boss as “mentally ill freak”, who has no capability but makes unreasonable demands. Therefore, in my view, this is the most significant improvement. 

Transition from a smaller to a larger MNC also means more exposures to trainings and more cross-country dealings. This often translate to tele-meetings before sunrise or after sunset. No matter what, it will never be as bad as her previous job where she may have to work up to 18-20 hours a day until 2-3am (no joke), during days of events.  

Despite the many odd hours call now, she is flexible to plan her own 8-hour work day, and can go offline early or start later, without anyone micro-managing her, as long as the job is done diligently. 

Products and industry are new, and hence a lot of reading is necessary outside office hours. This is something she has not done for years, so needs time to learn and adapt! The in-house training helps! It equipped her with product knowledge and familiarize her with company culture quickly, and also allows her to know more people within the organization quickly.

Colleagues, as like the previous job, are so far nice to her. And fortunately that up to now, there isn’t excessive workplace politics to bemoan about. Clients are from different industry, but not a concern. This is because her previous job requires a lot of interactions with clients in diverse industry from all nationalities globally. 

While all is good so far, she still has much to learn and still require time to settle down.  


Initially, my wife is worried to transit into a new industry. From my own experience, I told her not to worry. While my industrial background is Marine/Offshore Oil and Gas, there are many times, that I need to venture into other industries. The business and people management skills are not so much different. Most important of all, is to have the correct attitude! 

After starting her new job, my wife told me that the coordination aspect, whether internal (colleagues) or external (clients) is more or less the same. The planning and the scheduling, and the dealing with multiple parties and get things aligned before executing is also more or less the same. The only thing that has more challenge is the product knowledge, but it can be easily familiarised with more reading, more talking to relevant people and more work on job execution. 

Hence, despite the new industry, correlation from previous job is probably still say fifty per cent. 


People who have an open and positive mindset to receive and learn new things will definitely have a better edge than those who are negative, pessimistic, and always complain, worry, lament, speak ill of others etc.  

The “Attitude” must be; to learn, to take action, to fail, to gain experience, to improve the next time we take action again. And repeat this process until you become better and better. 

The right attitude definitely helps to transit into a new industry better and faster. 


What is the most unfamiliar in a new industry, is likely the market, product and customer knowledges! These knowledges are important to have, whether you are in frontline, operation or backend support employees. 

For instance, I have known HR, Finance or IT personnel who have totally no clue what the company is selling, what is the company turnover or how many employees the company have, and who their major clients are, even if this information can be readily found online or within the intranet. This is so wrong! 

Having good market, customer and product knowledge in the shortest possible time will help you to settle down faster and accelerate your career progress. Beside company training, reading up online outside office hours is a must! Yet, even this extra effort can only give you surface knowledge and not in-depth ones. 


Aside from self-reading and researching, the fastest way to learn new knowledge is by conversing with experienced people who have good knowledge in the same field. It can be your superior, subordinates, colleagues, customers, suppliers or business associates. 

To begin in a new industry and settle down fast, the effort to read extensively is very important! Then you need to ask relevant questions and listen, and learn from colleagues, clients or suppliers on the job. To know the market, the fastest way is to know your customers well, be close to them and serve them well.  

Good interpersonal and communication skills leading to the ability to establish good relationships and friendships across all stakeholders are key elements of success in a company! 


The country of origin of my wife’s previous company and her new company is the same. This helps in the transition! Both have international offices in the same countries she dealt with previously. Hence, there are a lot of similarity in terms of mindset, the pace of work and communication. 

No culture shock for her! 


Sometimes, transition from local SME to MNC or vice versa can be more difficult than the transition to a new industry. 

Most, (but not all) local SME employers are very cost conscious and wanted maximum output from an employee with minimum input to the benefits of the employee. And no matter if the market is good or bad, working hours is usually longer. That being said, you may have more chance to do cross-department duties and learn more. You are also more likely to have direct contact with the company head. Decision making is also generally faster and company can be more flexible towards their business partners. 

In most MNC, you will encounter matrix organization with direct and dotted line reporting. There can be constant organizational changes. Don’t be surprise that your subordinate can suddenly become your boss or vice versa! And to make a single decision, you have to discuss with many parties to be aligned and approval is slow. Apt in corporate politics and interpersonal relationship skills are part and parcel of promotion and survival. 

Europe Vs US 

Most of us know that there is a big difference between Asia to Europe/US companies’ cultures. But not many are aware of the big cultural differences between European and American firms. 

European firms are generally more traditional and conservative. They prefer to focus on their core-business and core-expertise, rather than randomly pursue businesses “where the money is”. Europeans also like to plan way ahead of time and hate last minute arrangements. They also prefer to hire those within the same industry and who have worked for companies in the same country of origin. Typically, you can easily find staffs being 20, 30, or even 40 years in the company. Europeans also tend to be more biased towards their own countrymen and for employees who has worked a long time with them. And yes, there is work-life balance! 

American culture is different. In general (I think), they are more dynamic and pace is faster, although they can be less organised at times and have more last-minute meetings. Workhours are longer and they are very results and figures driven! If you perform, you get rewarded accordingly. If you don’t, out you go. Hire and fire is commonplace. Age is no barrier for promotion or assuming big roles. Loyalty without performance offers no safety net! American firms also have lesser qualms hiring people outside the industry to stimulate creativity. 


My wife is definitely lucky to find a new job so fast during this unprecedented time. It is “double blessings” that she has transited well in her new job for the last two months.

To me, I also feel that the finally change of luck now is perhaps also due to her ability to endure, preserve and overcome “bad luck” in her previous jobs for close to two decades. Back then, while she encountered more unfair bosses, unfair demands, unfair workhours, and unfair remunerations, she has little complains, and always just do her jobs. 

It is me who always complain about her jobs and gave ultimatum for her to resign and find new opportunity. 

Afterall, life is not all unfair. 

Your so called “bad luck now” maybe is because you have been lucky for a long time already, and you probably fail to notice or just take it for granted. And your so called “good luck” now is perhaps you have already suffered and work hard without complaints for a long time, and the “wind of change” has finally come!