Devil in the details?

Everyone is impatiently awaiting the details but it's not the devil that's in the details, it's all of hell.

- Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk on Europe's long-awaited master plan to fix the eurozone debt crisis


Psychology is often the bearer of the "bad tidings" that comfortable folks belief do not stand up to the cold light of day. Perhaps it is not surprising that many people would like not only to ignore the message but also to do away with the messenger.

- Keith E. Stanovich in the book "How To Think Straight About Psychology"

Gay or not gay?

Duck Crossing

For those who are thinking hard about whether they are gay or not, my advice is to look out for any telltale signs in the past.

For example, if you regularly find yourself in situations where your friends remark aloud, "Oh wow, look at that hot chick across the street." while at the same time, you silently thought, "Omg, look at that gorgeous guy next to her.", then please seriously (re)consider your (homo)sexuality.

Shares investment Oct 11 Part 2

Here's an update of historical average dividend yields of shares I own:

Div yield 2

Please note there's a change to the calculation method compared to that in my previous post:

1) Dividend yield = dividend amount / cost of shares
(2) Annualised dividend yield = sum of dividend yields pro-rated to a year

Shares investment Oct 11 Part 1

It's been an 'exciting' (read: nerve-wrecking) period these few months. Share markets globally plunged, eked out some gains and then plunged again. Rinse and repeat.

Buy More Stuff, Black Friday 2009

I took the opportunity to add some shares to my modest portfolio:

(1) Boustead Singapore Limited. Although I did some cursory research about the company, chiefly about its operations, geographical reach and its profitability, I admit that I rely quite heavily on someone else's analysis. I like the business strategy, its diversified nature and, of course, its past performance. While keeping the amount invested in this company low, I'll keep an eye on any news and analysis of the company

(2) CapitaRetailChina Trust: I've always wanted to invest in REIT that owns good shopping malls. Problem is that I am only familiar with malls in Singapore. After speaking with some friends who just recently moved from China, after years living there, I decided to invest a nominal sum in this trust. So far, REITs created by Capitaland consist of good quality assets and appear to be well-managed, although their dividend yiels are typically lower than its peers but that's alright if one consider them to be the blue-chip version of their industry

(3) SPDR STI ETF: This is mainly to obtain capital gain as I'm convinced that market will move much higher within 2 years. This conviction comes from research by others as well as from my days of investing in unit trusts. Note that this ETF is denoted in SGD and thus I do not need to take into account of losses due to currency exchange rates (more on this later)

(4) Added more to CapitaCommercial Trust and Suntec Reit when the price dropped by more than 20% relative to my average purchase price.

stock market

On the other hand, I have sold the following:

(a) DBXT MSCI Asia ex-Japan ETF 10: Mainly because I decided that I didn't want the extra trouble of taking into account of the movement between SGD and USD (the share is denoted in USD)

(b) DBXT MSCI Emerging Markets ETF 10: Same reason as (a)

(c) DBXT MSCI World TRN ETF 10: Same reason as (a)

(d) Cityspring Infrastructure Trust: It has excellent investment moat but unfortunately, it has been making losses in recent years (and yet the entity managing it is making profit!). More importantly, the trustee-manager chooses to emphasise on cash earnings and thus appear to brush off the losses. Cash earnings do not take into account the capital expendicture that eventually would be needed e.g. for repairs, replacement of parts. Many investors have dumped this share because of this stance. At last, I joined them too.

(e) First Ship Lease Trust: The management either has no plan or doesn't want to announce a plan on how to reduce its debts, especially those with LTV covenants of which they had some difficulties with previously. Also, there is still no news on how they're going to deal with repayment of loan due in about 6 months time. Hence, I've decided to exit this counter despite its historical dividend yield of about 11%.

(f) Pacific Shipping Trust: I actually like this trust, despite its share denominated in USD. The management has a clear plan to reduce debts and thus it is no surprise that its share price has been steadily increasing. Unfortunately, its sponsor Pacific International Lines Pte Ltd, who is also the main shareholder, wants to delist it, subject to regulator's and shareholders' approval. They would need just 75% to delist the trust and highly likely they'll achieve it given that they had over 59% and likely more now as it seems that they've been buying from share market too. The offer price is excellent compared to my purchase price. Though I loathe to sell such well-managed trust (historical dividend yield of about 10%), I do not wish to be in the position of the remaining 25% and thinking of how to sell my shares privately (since it would be delisted).

profit & loss account

So far, I've made a realised loss of just over 1% but I'm conforted by the fact that the dividends I've received thus far is about 9 times of the amount of losses. Phew!

EasyBits Go

Please don't install this programme. Why? It's a pain to uninstall it. Firstly, it doesn't have a folder in the programme list for you to open and select 'Uninstall'. Secondly, if you try to uninstall it via 'Control Panel', it would appear to have been uninstalled instantly but it is still there.

Even if you choose not to install it, there have been reports that it would still be installed (what the?!). Where on earth did it come from? It rides on Skype.

There's a detailed account of how to manually uninstall it here. However, I find it difficult to (1) discern the corresponding jargon for Vista (the instruction is for XP) and (2) to find the specific items (likely due to the overprotectie nature of Vista).

I tried using the removal application by the game publisher but I when I executed it, nothing happen. Later, I got it to work but running it as administrator (damn Vista!).

Windshield wipers

Ban regularly teases me for putting up all my car's windshield wipers, especially the back, by saying that other drivers find that strange and so purposely try to park close to my car :)

Well, I'm not the only one:

Windshield wipers

I also notice that the car has shades up at the front side of the car (but not back), similar to how I handle mine.

Mantle of rule

It's right for the mantle of rule to be heavy, Richard, but you can't let it crush you.

- Kahlan Amnell to Richard Rahl/Cypher in the book "Blood of the Fold" of the "The Sword of Truth" series

To share or not to share

wordle of my 2009 facebook status updates

Someone on my gtalk friend's list had the status "Studying for exam". So naturally, I asked him what exam it was. Shockingly, he reacted in a angry manner, lamenting why people kept asking him that. Duh.

Another time, a friend's status indicated she had some problems. I was concern and so asked her about it. I was reprimanded for being a busybody. Duh.

It's unpleasant and grossly unfair to be angry with people who are concerned about you. If you don't wish people to ask you about your status update, don't display them at all. Keep it private.


On my recent trip to Singapore, I took the opportunity to come out to a rather good friend, whom I befriended during my university days. He was someone I used to have a crush on but thankfully I moved on. In fact, at one point, he did suspect but I denied it at that time.

I wanted him to meet Ban and so I came out to him over the phone. Remarkably and thankfully he took it extremely well: "Of course I'm ok with it. You're my good friend." Due to the sheer amount of news we exchanged, I totally forgot to ask him whether he had any questions to ask me pertaining to my homosexuality. Oh well, perhaps next time.