Share investment Apr 13 Part 1

Just a couple of changes since the last update in Jun 2012:

(1) Sold some shares of CapitaCommercial Trust mainly because I wanted to beef up my emergency fund and also to reduce its weighting as it was much larger than other counters within my portfolio. Gained profit of 43% for an average duration holding of about 1.5 years. Naturally I'm pleased with the outcome.

(2) Initiated a long position in Venture Corporation Limited, after managing to save more money. I was hesitant about the timing as I didn't know whether the share market was frothing badly or not. In the end, I decided to buy this counter and hold off purchase of others, that I'm also aiming for, until much later. As for Venture, it is essentially an IT company providing design, manufacturing and e-fulfillment services relating to IT. Admittedly I am not familiar with such business as much as others and so I relied on analysis performed by others. Also, it is my aim to diversify my portfolio and it seems to be a good fit for my portfolio currently. I have to, however, be vigilant and observed its EPS (earnings per share) as it has been falling for the past few years. Another risk is large weighting within my portfolio due to its share price. Yup, better keep a close watch on this company.

(3) As at 26 Jun 12, I have investment in 14 companies (I've also indicated whether their source of business is solely in Singapore only or not):

  • Second Chance Properties (Singapore only)
  • AIMS-AMP Industrial REIT (Singapore only)
  • Boustead Singapore Ltd
  • CapitaCommercial Trust (Singapore only)
  • CapitaMall Trust (Singapore only)
  • CapitaRetailChina REIT
  • First REIT
  • M1 (Singapore only)
  • SBS Transit Ltd (Singapore only)
  • SIA Engineering
  • SP AusNet
  • Singpost
  • SingTel
  • Venture Corp

Charts to come in Part 2.

Malaysia 13th General Election

I've been waiting for this day to come, to cast my first vote and hopefully to make a difference.

Unfortunately, it will be on a Sunday. So, to avoid traffic, ideally I should go back home on Friday afternoon (after tuition and lunch) and then be back in KL only on Monday. I will be all alone at home because my parents are away and Saturday is my birthday :(

Oh well, I guess I'll be mostly on my laptop either working (2 projects ongoing currently) or playing games. I can watch the free channels on television, I supposed. No Astro as my dad disconnected it for a month.

I hope the process of voting won't take long *cross fingers*.

Wheel of Time: A Memory of Light (Part 2)

Continuing from Part 1, here are my thoughts on the remaining sections of the books. Again, SPOILER ahead!

Ninja drivers

One morning, I joined my dad for breakfast. Just as we drove off from the house, he said that he also wanted to drop some prescription at two different locations to get medicine for my mum and himself. He asked me whether that was ok for me. truth, I only signed up for breakfast, not any other places and I had other plans too after breakfast. I didn't make a fuss about it though.

After breakfast, he then also wanted to register to see a doctor at yet another location @_@ All in all, my guess is that we took about 20-25 mins to go to these 3 locations and for him to complete his errands at those places. Time, that coincidentally, would have enabled me to be punctual for my lunch appointment later that day.

Note to self: always double confirm where else dad wants to go when he invites me to join his excursion.

When I told Ban this, he said, "That's one step better than my brother."

"One step better? How so?"

"My brother doesn't even bother to tell me the extra places he's going. That's why I usually insist on driving for dinner."


Fingernail role model

Whenever I'm at my sis's place in OZ, I have to behave myself in front of the boys. It's not like I'm a bad uncle. I don't smoke, drink, curse or use foul language. I consistently mind my Ps and Qs. My sister just want to raise her children the best way she can and that includes some things we adults are guilty of. Heck, I agree with many things she want to instill. That includes not biting fingernails.

I've been biting fingernails since I was goodness knows how old. It's just much more convenient than clipping them off. I would have done the same for my toenails if they weren't so hard. Yah, disgusting, right? :)

After one particular visit, I succeeded to carry on the habit of not biting and to properly clip off fingernails. It lasted for a long time. Fast forward more than a year later and here I am doing it again. Sigh.

I'll try again. I shan't give up. Maybe I should start carrying my small fingernail clipper so that I can straightaway clip nails when I find myself wanting to bite them off.

What do you think?

Wheel of Time: A Memory of Light (Part 1)

A Memory of Light

Yes, the 14th and final book was out since January 2013. I didn't buy one myself because I was waiting for its price to fall. Evidently, Ban's brother couldn't wait. So, after he was done with it, he lent it to me.

Was I happy with it? In terms of tying the loose ends, yes but not in terms of how it did so. Too short. There was a few things that were revealed that was out of the blue. There was no build up to it i.e. no showing of how it was done. To paraphrase someone's comment, it was like watching a movie, took a toilet break at an inopportune time, came back and missed the pivotal moment.

Oh and if you hate spoiler, please don't read the back of the book for sypnosis. There was a major spoiler there and I was miffed about it.

Anyway, here are my thoughts with respect to certain parts of the book. So SPOILER ahead!

Grilled chicken: 2 ways

Grilled chicken two ways

For quite sometime, I thought of grilling chicken marinated with curry powder and soya sauce and so one day, I suggested to Ban to have home cooked dinner. He, however, didn't like the curry powder seasoning and so I split the chicken (via my karate chop :P) and marinated half of it with oyster sauce, dark soya sauce and a little black pepper powder. I've also used some cornflour and olive oil for both types.

Gosh, I can't remember how long I grilled the chicken pieces. I remember starting off with the highest heat and then gradually toned it down before finally switching it off after checking a piece was cooked properly.

I was happy that the chicken wasn't dry, as it could easily be so especially since I de-skinned it as much as I could (Ban doesn't eat skin and I don't eat much of it either) and also it was chicken breast part. I guess the olive oil helped a lot :)

The curry powder version was not bad but not as good as I expected. A little bland. The other version was tasty yum yum. My first guess was because of the dark soya sauce (with caramel within it) but it could also be the teensy bit of MSG within the black pepper powder (Ajinomoto brand). Next time I'll try it without the MSG and hopefully it would be just as delicious.

Crab noodle

Crab noodle Canberra

Does it look delicious? Just make a wild guess where the restaurant that served this is. Here's a small/big (depends on your locality of course) clue: Prince Palace.

I had this on the first day of Chinese New Year for lunch. Unlike many Chinese restaurants in Malaysia, price of seafood was not hugely inflated at Prince Palace for Chinese New Year. I was a little surprised that the restaurant brought out the crab to confirm with customers that they were fine with the selection. Then again, those customers wanted the smallest crab and perhaps the restaurant just wanted to avoid any dispute over the size of the crab.

It was my first time having such dish and it was better than I expected. I took my chances with taking a non-pincer piece and yes, it once again reaffirmed my belief that it's not worth digging for its flesh. I normally let crabmeat lovers have all the crab pieces because they derived so much more enjoyment than I do. However, I would gladly accept the pincers if they insist I partake in the feast :)

Oh, yes, and I had this lunch with my sister and her Canberra :P We had delicious and definitely too much food for lunch on hindsight and had to pack some leftover.

I did the opposite with my parents back in Malaysia: on the second day of Chinese New Year, we had Western food at Windmill Station. The set meals were cheaper than usual because of the coupons that we had. Hence, it was way cheaper than having dinner at a Chinese restaurant.


The current project I'm working on has hit a certain stumbling block. Specifically, a certain individual on the client's side.

The aim of the current project is for the actuary to calculate reserve the client needs to set up with respect to its insurance business, so that there's money to pay claims as and when it arises in future. Besides needing to perform this task professionally, it also need to be done in accordance to the actuaries' organisation professional conduct and relevant professional standards and government regulations.

Our calculated reserve figures are significantly higher than client's and so this individual was not happy about it.

(On a side note, do not automatically assume that client always wants lower reserve figures. I have encountered both kinds i.e. including those who wanted higher reserve).

So we asked for their figures, compared and discovered that the difference were mainly due to

(1) Their choice of parameter for their calculations was based solely on a single data from the year before whereas we relied on data from past few years. Think about it: if you're going to project, say, interest rate for  the next 8 years, do you just take last year's rate and that's it?

(2) They were missing some components of the reserve that are required by regulations. At least some of them were required based on actuarial principles.

After we explained to this individual the reasons of the discrepancies, she didn't even want to talk about that. She simply didn't like our reserve figures being much higher than the company's calculated reserve figures. She even threatened to pass the fine (potentially imposed by the regulator for missing deadline) to us. Goodness.

The actuary stood his ground and explained that their company would not be the only one facing such issue within the industry (the regulations are new) and that their calculation simply didn't comply with regulations.

Hopefully this ends well!

First cousin

Until recently, only one cousin knew I am gay, via her mother whom I had given prior permission to do so. Few days ago, I personally came out to a cousin over late breakfast.

Before that, I noticed something on Facebook that made my sister and I considered that cousin to be potentially gay-friendly. I was a little nervous. My strategy was to first talk about that particular Facebook content and casually mentioned that it seems another cousin (whom I suspect and almost sure that she's also gay-friendly) is gay friendly, besides my sister and I. I was wondering whether she was too. She affirmed that and  in fact she has a few good friends who are gay.

What surprised me was the near non-existent reaction she had when I came out. She was like "I'm ok with that" and went on picking up conversation from where we left off, which was mainly about her family and trips overseas. At first, I was a little apprehensive that maybe she was uncomfortable and so wanted to talk about something else (something that Ban later brought up) but then later she did happily talk about her gay friends.

On hindsight, as my sister mentioned, I should have asked her why she wasn't surprised. Perhaps she knew all along? Still, even then, I would have expected questions like whether I have a partner or not, living with him etc. Unless...she knew all of these beforehand???