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Trade wars, Hong Kong riots

Be greedy in times of fear. That's the investment mantra I live by. Recently there's been a huge spat on trade wars and the Hong Kong riots, which took a toll on the stock markets.  This was a great opportunity to load up on my existing positions as their prices have come down to more favorable levels. There no reason to explore other stocks unless a super attractive opportunity arises, like hongkongland. That counter was hit extremely hard by the riots, since they derive 50% of their revenues from HK.  Other than such events where opportunities present itself, I prefer to average up or down into my existing positions... No need to perform the due diligence again, unless fundamentals have changed. I'm enjoying the opportunities that the markets are presenting in the past few months.  Simply keep calm and aim to collect more dividends by increasing your stake when frivolous sentiment changes. Market entry is a psychological battle against yourself. Another post on this late…

Trade wars and buying banks

The recent trade wars have caused the markets to be extremely volatile, one week down 5%, the next week back up 5% and we can see sector rotations playing out on the STI.  Currently am at 60/40 invested vs cash and am selling some of my small caps positions that don't have alot of price buffer, in order to rotate them into stronger blue chips like DBS, Capitaland (now Asia's largest property company after the merger with Ascendas).REIT prices have gone through the roof and investors seek safer havens in this turbulent times, which prices out any entry point. Best to wait for dips in the local banks, especially if the price to book ratio is close to crisis levels. Anyway my investment horizon is 20 years, so I'll be buying at every half integer level. The saying "Sell in May and go away" really doesn't apply for me. It's more like "Buy in May. Dips are you friends". It's funny, every year I notice that DBS offers 15% trading commission rebate…

Hotel Review: Le Meridien Kuala Lumpur

As I travel quite often for work, I’m going to keep a record of all the hotels I’ve stayed in, to serve as a reminder of what works and what doesn’t. It’ll make future bookings much easier.

Location: Connected right to the KL Sentral main station, with easy access to the KLIA. There's a NU Sentral mall on the other side of the station.

Room:  It's modern and tastefully decorated like most Le Meridiens. The bed is really comfortable and offers great back support.  I really like the chair near the window as it's like a reading corner that overlooks the mountains and expressway.  The room gives me a sense of tranquility, which is great after a long work day.

Breakfast: The spread is massive!  The food is comparable to the Athenee Bangkok standards but the spread is much much wider.  I can eat here all morning, and then hit gym/pool all afternoon.

Gym:  This gym is massive!  Have you seen 2 sets of everything in a hotel gym before?  I think there are also enough ellipticals to ho…

Your circle of friends

I group my friends into 3 categories.

Family: Those who are dearest to your heart.  They will always come first.

True friends:  Those who you can always count on, no matter the distance or the time spent apart.  They will always be there for you, to lend a listening ear, to share your feelings, to guide you through life.  They may have different interests and lifestyles, but you share an unbreakable bond.

Lifestyle friends: People whom you hang out with for certain type of activities, and discussions and banter will be limited to those activities.  Conversations will probably center around your common activities.  Lifestyles change, hence this group of friends will also change.

When you're dead, people won't remember you. 

Celebrate people's presence when they're alive.  Appreciate them and spend time with them.  There's no point in throwing a bigass funeral to commemorate a life. It's over anyway.  You should had made your impact where and when you had wanted to.…

Hotel Review: Fairmont Raffles Manila

As I travel quite often for work, I’m going to keep a record of all the hotels I’ve stayed in, to serve as a reminder of what works and what doesn’t.  It’ll make future bookings much easier.

Location: In downtown Makati opposite Greenbelt 4 Shopping Area and Glorietta mall.  Great for food and shopping options. Easy access to Museum cafe!

Room:  Renovated in 2014. Decently sized rooms, although the carpets are beginning to smell and my room had a musky smell.  Bed is soft yet supportive of my back, so I sleep decently well here.

Gym: The treadmills and ellipticals overlook the Greenbelt shopping area  There are so many weight machines here, upper and lower and core.  Free weights as well.  Huge open space to do yoga, circuits, etc.  The perfect gym.

Breakfast: The spread is wide, but I don't fancy what they offer.  It's either too sweet or too salty.  So I only eat their omelette and bread, with fresh juice.  I'd rather eat at Starbucks.

Would I return?  Only for the gym and t…

I increased term + critical illness coverage further with Manulife

I recently increased my term and critical illness coverage by another $1M and $300k respectively.
I checked around with many providers and ended up with Manulife as it's what I need, without all the bells and whistles. AIA offered total coverage for recurrent illnesses, but I figure if I get the same cancer twice, I'd probably be dead by then. So there's no need to pay a premium for that type of policy. Sometimes plain vanilla is the best. I also considered disability insurance where they pay you an amount on a monthly basis. While this sounds like a great idea, the insurers will make it difficult for you to claim this, with strange delay clauses and exclusions. It's much cleaner to receive a large lump sum payment and manage it from there.
Why these figures for critical illness? I based it on annual family expenses. Most insurance agents will tell you like 5-10x of your salary, just to get you to buy a bigger policy. An agent that looks out for you will tell you to l…

Hotel Review: Westin Jakarta

As I travel quite often for work, I’m going to keep a record of all the hotels I’ve stayed in, to serve as a reminder of what works and what doesn’t. It’ll make future bookings much easier.

Location: Although located in Kuningan, getting to the office is relatively quick by car. Door to door transport time is shorter. It's a better option than the shangrila. Offices surround the hotel so don't expect to go anywhere once you return.

Room: Corner room. New and modern with a huge bathroom. The bed is heavenly. Westin never fails.

Gym: The treadmills and ellipticals overlook the sky (pollution rather). What I really like about Westin gym's is that they have the TRX system and sufficient weight machines. Small space for free weights.

Breakfast: The place is so big that I got lost trying to find various counters. The spread is wide, with lots of fried food options (not ideal for breakfast) and the usual omellete and bread station. If you pick carefully, there are healthy options bu…