Single Resale, or not?.. hmm..

I was thinking about this while on the plane.. hope fellow readers can enlighten me


Now that I am eligible for to buy a resale hdb (ok yes, that’s a dead giveaway on my age)

And  my budget is around 300k for a 3BR (so comes with 1 master BR + 1 common BR)

Maybe some minor reno to touch up, say +10k?


20% downpay = 62k (cash + cpf)

Monthly mortgage will be paid by cash, since I have no cpf.


my plan is to rent it out. (sublet the master BR, since I don’t intend to live there.  I cannot rent out the whole unit either, since I have not fulfilled the 5 year MOP)

assuming, I can rent the master room for 1k/mth. ( location; non-matured estate in the west. ~500m to MRT))


Rent = 12,000

Expenses  = 1600

  • Utilities – 600/year
  • 1month commission to agent – 1000

Yield = 12,000 – 1600  / 310,000 = 3.3%.



Is it better to take a HBD loan or bank loan?

Are my calculations too simplistic?

Anything else I missed out?

Or, is it better to leave the funds in CPF? Or just move it from OA to SA acct to get 4% guaranteed?

If let’s say, I do settle down in the future, does buying a resale hdb (while on single status) put me in a disadvantage or whatsoever?

Any other comments?

Wake me up, when September ends..

Feels like it is  going to be a quiet September, at least for me, since i will be travelling overseas for work tomorrow

So what did i do over the long weekend?… went online shopping for a couple of HDD for my Synology NAS from the comfort of my home.  Now i totally understand how our shopaholic counterparts feel;  Don’t need to change out of PJs, don’t need to brush your teeth, sipping coffee while browsing online.. no crowds, no worry of rain (biker’s nightmare) etc ..

this time i tried Lazada (via shopback => *referral link alert*) … and surprisingly, it is much better platform than Qoo10. the sellers are more reputable, and shipping is so much faster (some of them offer free shipping too) than the latter. There was a $30 voucher over the long weekend + shopback  1% + amex 3%.

Then i suddenly thought of marvelous idea (ok, maybe not so marvelous, perhaps alot of people are doing it already? i was just slow to the party)

I used my primary email account to refer myself to the secondary  to signup a new shopback account. Hence, second purchase = $30 voucher + shopback $5 (first timer) + shopback 2% (first timer) + amex 3%

i was so proud of myself.. i think i save about easily ~$80  in total.

the only bugbear about shopback is that it needs 75days for the rebate to be credited to your account and thereafter, you need a min of $10 to cash out. Oh well, money saved is still better than none.


hmm, what else, did i do?…

  • send out the CDP letter for Croesus DRP
  • apply for the Soilbuild PO. Forgotten my pin, as rarely use OCBC so had to visit the nearest branch (Dear soilbuild managers, if you are reading this, can you please also include POSB/DBS atm? first time i come across scrip that only has OCBC & UOB atm?!)
  • Sold 19k USDSGD.
  • bought Ringgit (finally cross the psychological 3 mark again)


last but not least, i shall leave you with the song from Greenday, which is also the title of the of the post.  (you can go straight to 1:48, if you don’t want to hear the sappy part)

.…Make Love, not War…

August updates

wow, just realised what i long time i haven’t actually blogged.  past few months have been quite trying; job wise not so smooth sailing due to the current weakness in oil price, hence  jobs have been far and few. (in fact, only once to the Middle East, but that didn’t turn out too well either) Hope things get better in the 4Q. Otherwise, income will be taking a pretty big hit for 2016

So let me see, what have i been doing for the past few months?

  1. tidied up up excel portfolio, currently trying to streamline. excel sheet is getting too messy.
  2. still contemplating if I should move my shares from CDP to SCB? (basically, to take advantage of the 0.18% comms. but the sucky thing is there is a 10.70 per counter for transferring in. still in discussion if can get SCB to waive that bloody charge)
  3.  divestment on my counters that ran up
  4. divested some CPFIS UT that i bought during my early working years
  5. took up rights issue
  6. bought some bonds
  7. due to restricted cashflow, could not invest in more counters than i wanted
  8. read up on couple of  books while at work/travel/nua-ing
  9. renewed my term life policy
  10. set up a tiny family portfolio, with contributions from interested family member
  11. identified a few potential 3 or 4-rm HDB resale


since it was my birthday month;

  1. treated myself to a Synology NAS.
  2. transferred $24,000 from OA to SA (in anticipation for my 55th birthday when i retire)


Dividends YTD: $18,088( cash+SRS)                                                                                                    not too shabby, but also nothing to shout about either. unlikely to have much improvement from last year, since most of the companies i am vested in have cut their dividend payout. still a long way from my immediate target of $36,000 p.a.

Total (stocks): $423,599.38
portfolio is in the red due to the O&G counters i am vested in

Total (CPF+SRS): $253,846.53
growing slowly but surely.


last but not least, thanks for Rolf  for your kind advice =)




vezted; a simple corporate news aggregator


I came across this website (through Derek’s and thought it was worth a mention.

Have you always wondered when is the CD, X’D or some particular announcement, for a particular coy, and then have to go SGX website , click this, click that….

I was playing around with this website for a week… and initially, i didn’t have much expectations about it. but the more i used  it, the more useful I found it to be. For a start, if you want to know when a particular coy is going to pay your dividends. It will show you the payable date, as well as the DPS. (and the CD and X’D dates too.) see screenshot below

you can choose which coys to “follow”. just do a quick search using the name, and “follow” to have it on the RHS shortlist. Thereafter, the respective coy’s events are organised in a chronological order. Thought it was a pretty cool feature. As an engineer, I tend to prefer things to be in a certain order, like in a gantt chart type of deal =)

To some, maybe its too simple but I totally dig the clean interface and the ease of use. There is really not much too it, actually, other than the fact that all your vezted (pun intended) coys and those on your shortlist, can be viewed in one clear screen. I know some may find websites that allow you to track your portfolio more useful, but I believe most of us already do it, with a personalized excel sheet or some sort. I view vezted as more of a complementary tool to what you currently have.

Personally, there is only one bugbear; when you start adding more companies to follow, the news tends to load a tad slower. (maybe its my internet connection? since i am overseas.)

Not sure who the owner(s) of this website is, but keep on the good work. !!

PS:. no vezted interest in this website. just a goodie to share to everyone.


Decoupling; Part II

well, there you go.. the ST article on the so-called loophole, though HDB refuses to admit that it was a tactic used by 6000 HDB dwellers every year, since the ABSD rule came into effect in 2012.

lets low ball this figure and assume only 1000 dwellers out of the 6000 every year, bought a modest $1m private property. A quick calculation will show that the $210m (7% ABSD) of  ADSB lacking from the tax coffers. The paper-pushing president scholar sitting in the housing ministry should be promoted for discovering this loophole and thus saving millions for the government.

I blogged a short post on this a few weeks back. Decoupling loophole; plugged.

HDB trsfr

How to download free e-books from NLB

I recently found out that one can actually download free ebooks from National Library  Board (NLB). Hence I gave it a try on my android tablet. My intention is that i can always read this when on the train, plane, or waiting for a friend…

the instructions are listed at the end of this post. I admit, its kinda bit iffy. the process is not very streamline, as you need to both download and sign up two different accounts with Overdrive and NLB. Takes about 20 min, depending on your internet time.

After all the sign up and buggering around with the app, i realised you can also “borrow” books from other international libraries around the world. (didn’t try this, but if anyone did, please let me know if it works)

I dived straight into our own NLB and downloaded two books for my upcoming trip, so i can read it on the plane. I noticed there is also a 21day time limit. Not sure what happens after the 21 days though. automatically gets deleted? hmm…

Obviously, the list of books are not as extensive as physical books, but there are still pretty decent titles around. you can also out an alert of ebooks that are yet to be out,  so they will send you a reminder that you can download it, when it actually becomes available.


NLB has collaboration with several eBook vendors to provide eBooks to library members. One of them is OverDrive, a popular eBook vendor. To access their collection, please follow these steps:
– Go to
– Select [Research] > [All Resources]
– On upper left, login to your myLibrary account, which is required to access e-resources
– On left, scroll to [Browse] and select [eBooks]
– Scroll down and select [OverDrive : a digital media collection]
– Search for a title of your choice
– On the book cover, click on [Borrow]
– Go to your [Account] > [Checkouts]
– Click on either [Download], if you are downloading the title to a computer, or [Add to App] if you are downloading to a mobile device.

Before proceeding to download your borrowed eBooks, please refer to the below link for guide on setting up your computer/mobile device to download eBooks.

Hedge on ABSD removal?

Signs of cracking in the developers market is slowly, but surely, beginning to show. This has appeared few times in the various papers and media in the past few weeks. And, goes to show how aggressive they are trying to push units out. As I have mentioned in my previous posts here and here. I kinda expected them to come up with ways to increase sales, and  I believe there will be more of such moves by other developers.

Below shows the strategy adopted by OUE to move units at their Twinpeaks. It is essentially the Deferred Payment Scheme from years ago: pay 20% upfront, and then worry about the 80% years later.

As you can see, in the below graphics, if the ABSD indeed gets removed with the 24/36mths, the owner will save easily a few hundred grand (depending on the size and what number of property he/she already holds)

Apparently, according to reports, after they launched this scheme, they managed to sell a few units based on this new strategy. Though it doesn’t say, whether the new buyers are buying for their own stay or renting it out.

so, are you actually tempted by this, and would you utilize this scheme to move into your “dream home”?

Decoupling loophole; plugged.

Chances are, if you know what “decoupling” is, you are  either a property agent or above a certain, ahem, middle age. =)

To put it very  simply, married couple (husband + wife) of HDB will have one spouse transfer the co-ownership to the other spouse. The spouse who transferred it, will have the his/her name “cleared”, and eligible to buy a private property under his/her own name. There will be no ABSD, since it is technically your first property. Hence a married couple can still own their HDB + private  property. (without paying ABSD)

Of course, you are solely dependent on each other’s trust,  don’t  end up in  divorce, and complicate the entire situation when time comes to splitting up the asset.  Personally, I don’t think couples who just got married, should consider this . (moot point now anyway, since the rule has changed)

I am not advocating any moves here. The purpose of the post is just to show how creative we , Singaporeans, are to able look for loopholes, and the Govt’s proactive approach to plug any loopholes that may benefit any particular group of people.

The above rules don’t apply to me, as  I am going down the same route as SMOL here =) hopefully, the oversupply of ECs will cause the Govt to open up the net and cater to the single citizens. ( doesn’t hurt to dream, isn’t it)


SGD policy

Ah, the move that I was finally waiting for. But, reading from the news, it seems like it took some people by surprise though. I did mention it a few weeks ago here, and that i am long on the USD.

(*off topic: watching CNBC while typing this, and they are interviewing the famous Mark Mobius, talking about oil prices etc etc.. Been watching this channel since I came back this week, personally, I think CNBC is freaking awesome. Not sure why I didn’t find out about this channel earlier! )

Back to the topic,  yesterday early morning (14/4), the USDSGD gap up , as you can see from the chart below,  I took the chance to sell part of my USD stash @1.35xx. For now, its good enough, so i can use the funds for other stuff. It was languishing in the 1.33~1.34 a few weeks ago.. will continue to do so as the SGD weakens against the greenback.

Reading the news/reports/ blogs, it seems that after this “surprise” move, all the economist and experts are hyping about doom and gloom, and saying we are heading into a recession, the sky is falling, etc etc…. huh, duh,  i thought that’s something we already know, since, erm what, last year (?)… Anyway,  i am still sitting infront my computer, sipping my kopi-o-kosong, so it can’t be the end of the world, yet.

The second figure below shows a good summary of the monetary policy of Singapore – it uses a policy band rather than interest rates.

Privatisation, Mergers & Accquistions

Recently, we have seen/heard/felt plenty of privatisation M&A activities. There are a lot of buzz surrounding  quite a few companies. ie Sunningdale , Saizen, Tat Hong, Osim, etc just to name a few.

I came across a few tables from an OIR article  which I thought should share to readers below. It shows a pretty good summary of the various companies that MIGHT have corporate action in the near future, if not, by this year. (don’t take my word for it)

I have set aside a small percentage of my funds to be vested in some of these potential companies. These are so-called more on the “speculative” side, but of course , i will not be buying them blindly.

Those especially, related to the O&G industry have been beaten down, and has attractive valuations. Specifically looking for those with net cash, and may have been attempted before to be bought over or privatised, single entity with a majority stake, relatively sound fundamentals and management.

How about you guys….anyone looking to jump in?