Saturday, December 16, 2017

My Journey Of Purchasing My First Property [Part 1]

Hi Everyone!

Starting from this post, I will share with you on my experience on purchasing my first property which is a 2 bedroom condo at the north area.

For this part, I will share with you on the preparation work before eyeing on the first property and also the must know stuff before you purchase a property.

1) Are you purchasing for your own stay or for investing. Many may asked why is this question so important, afterall it's still the same. Well yea, after all the property that you purchase, you can either stay or rent it out. But, when it comes to financial terms, you might be doing it wrong.

Why do I say that? Because we need to know that the property that you stay in might not be an asset (which I think it's true). The reason is because the property that you stay in, is most likely a liability because you will need to pay for the possible expenses as well as you will need a place to stay so you can't really sell that property unless you downgrade. In other words, do think of it as paying for your rent to stay.

So, why is there a difference in deciding whether to stay or rent? Not sure if you thought of it this way but personally i will have different criteria for purchasing property for own stay and investing. For me buying for own stay, I will look out for bigger space, psf not so expensive and then considering location and amenities. If I am looking for investing, I will go for location first before the size of the property.

The reason why I think this way is because having a bigger space is crucial for me and my Wife is because we will be expecting to have children in few years time thus we would need bigger space so that it won't be so cramp. So bigger space is very important to me if I am living in it. On the other hand, for investing, location, location and location. Without that you might/will not be able to get a good rental yield.

To sum up for Point one, my criteria for purchasing my property is size, mid to Low price and monthly installment is affordable.

2) New property or resale?

Of course new property will definitely be better as everything is brand new and not much renovation is required, new is good for me:) so we start our property hunting 2 years back( from 2015 till 2017). Initially we wanted to check the property market and what are the layout of the condos (including the various design amenities and etc) to understand the condo facilities and the cost as well.

Due to the lack of fundings we were not able to purchase any property back then even when highpark residence was launch at the very affordable price (so no choice have to skip that)

Up till this year where I have hit my target of 160k and more, which enable me to start looking for property with the intent to purchase. Back in 2016, my Wife and I already looking out for condo at Bukit Batok (le quest) which initially we thought that it will be affordable after all not much amenities around that area and it's not near mrt. Which makes us thought that the psf will be lower like around 1k psf. But we turn out to be wrong because the indicative price for 2 bedroom is around $1158 and when the actual sales it went up to $1200++. So which means a 2 bedroom with the size of 598sf would cost around $800k++.

The size is small and psf is high which isn't what we looking for. Of course we still went through the balloting process and we didn't purchase it. We were devastated during that moment but we didn't give up, instead of looking at the new property, we change our direction to look for resale property, those that Just completed 2, 3 years ago.

We spotted quite a number of units in the north east area like Punggol, Sengkang and etc. But the location is too far from our workplace. So although the price is attractive but the Travelling time really not worth it unless we change job. So our search continues until we found the one with 850 sf with the psf below 1k and is quite near to our workplace. The price is around the same as le quest 2 bedroom but the size is bigger, bigger by 252sf. To me it's totally worth it.

So this is my part one of my sharing, do look out for part two as I will share with you regarding the finances of purchasing a property.

Thank you :)

Friday, September 8, 2017

Short interview with seedly regarding managing financial experience

Hi all,

Recently I have received an email from seedly and conducted an interview with them asking about my experience in managing my own finances. I always believe that sharing experience with others is a good way of learning as the more I share, the more I am aware on my own experiences impacting other people. This, learning what are the improvement that I can made.

Not just be alone, there are other financial bloggers that were invited for this interview by asking them to share their experience, portfolio and advice to those who start out their financial journey.

Below is the link to the write-up and do visit seedly for more financial related articles!

Thank you and see you next time

Monday, September 4, 2017

Finally Got My New Home

Hi All,

As mentioned on my blog title, I finally bought my new home! Although it nearly clear all my funds but to me it is a big step for me! Like mentioned before, I am unable to purchase HDB, so before anyone asked, I have bought a resale condo (850 square feet).

This is a happy moment for me but also a mountain of debts coming for me as well since I am taking 30 years loan. With this, I have finally settle one of my goal which I kept mentioned in my blog since last year and the goal I had for myself (the green bar on the right), has been clear and will be updating the target bar soon for my portfolio.

So when will I be continuing my financial portfolio? should be early next year and will start my ball rolling again. Finally for a few months later, I can resume my portfolio and go forward to my passive income.

So this post will end here, and I will explain more on my purchase of property process in the next post so that you will have a better idea on what to expect when purchasing a private property.

So see you next time!

Friday, August 25, 2017

It’s not just Amazon’s fault

Retail stocks have been annihilated recently, despite the economy eking out growth. The fundamentals of the retail business look horrible: Sales are stagnating and profitability is getting worse with every passing quarter.
Jeff Bezos and Amazon get most of the credit, but this credit is misplaced. Today, online sales represent only 8.5 percent of total retail sales. Amazon, at $80 billion in sales, accounts only for 1.5 percent of total U.S. retail sales, which at the end of 2016 were around $5.5 trillion. Though it is human nature to look for the simplest explanation, in truth, the confluence of a half-dozen unrelated developments is responsible for weak retail sales.
Our consumption needs and preferences have changed significantly. Ten years ago we spent a pittance on cellphones. Today Apple sells roughly $100 billion worth of i-goods in the U.S., and about two-thirds of those sales are iPhones. Apple’s U.S. market share is about 44 percent, thus the total smart mobile phone market in the U.S. is $150 billion a year. Add spending on smartphone accessories (cases, cables, glass protectors, etc.) and we are probably looking at $200 billion total spending a year on smartphones and accessories.
Ten years ago (before the introduction of the iPhone) smartphone sales were close to zero. Nokia was the king of dumb phones, with sales in the U.S. in 2006 of $4 billion. The total dumb cellphone handset market in the U.S. in 2006 was probably closer to $10 billion.
Consumer income has not changed much since 2006, thus over the last 10 years $190 billion in consumer spending was diverted toward mobile phones.
It gets more interesting. In 2006 a cellphone was a luxury only affordable by adults, but today 7-year-olds have iPhones. Our phone bill per household more than doubled over the last decade. Not to bore you with too many data points, but Verizon’s wireless’s revenue in 2006 was $38 billion. Fast-forward 10 years and it is $89 billion — a $51 billion increase. Verizon’s market share is about 30 percent, thus the total spending increase on wireless services is close to $150 billion.
Between phones and their services, this is $340 billion that will not be spent on T-shirts and shoes.
But we are not done. The combination of mid-single-digit health-care inflation and the proliferation of high-deductible plans has increased consumer direct health-care costs and further chipped away at our discretionary dollars. Health-care spending in the U.S. is $3.3 trillion, and just 3 percent of that figure is almost $100 billion.
Then there are soft, hard-to-quantify factors. Millennials and millennial-want-to-be generations (speaking for myself here) don’t really care about clothes as much as we may have 10 years ago. After all, our high-tech billionaires wear hoodies and flip-flops to work. Lack of fashion sense did not hinder their success, so why should the rest of us care about the dress code?
In the ’90s casual Fridays were a big deal – yippee, we could wear jeans to work! Fast-forward 20 years, and every day is casual. Suits? They are worn to job interviews or to impress old-fashioned clients. Consumer habits have slowly changed, and we now put less value on clothes (and thus spend less money on them) and more value on having the latest iThing.
All this brings us to a hard and sad reality: The U.S. is over-retailed. We simply have too many stores. Americans have four or five times more square footage per capita than other developed countries. This bloated square footage was created for a different consumer, the one who in in the ’90s and ’00s was borrowing money against her house and spending it at her local shopping mall.
Today’s post-Great Recession consumer is deleveraging, paying off her debt, spending money on new necessities such as mobile phones, and paying more for the old ones such as health care.
Yes, Amazon and online sales do matter. Ten years ago only 2.5 percent of retail sales took place online, and today that number is 8.5 percent – about a $300 billion change. Some of these online sales were captured by brick-and-mortar online sales, some by e-commerce giants like Amazon, and some by brands selling directly to consumers.
But as you can see, online sales are just one piece of a very complex retail puzzle. All the aforementioned factors combined explain why, when gasoline prices declined by almost 50 percent (gifting consumers hundreds of dollars of discretionary spending a month), retailers’ profitability and consumer spending did not flinch – those savings were more than absorbed by other expenses.
Understanding that online sales (when we say this we really mean Amazon) are not the only culprit responsible for horrible retail numbers is crucial in the analysis of retail stocks. If you are only solving “who can fight back the best against Amazon?” you are only solving for one variable in a multivariable problem: – Consumers’ habits have changed; the U.S. is over-retailed; and consumer spending is being diverted to different parts of the economy.
As value investors we are naturally attracted to hated sectors. However, we demand a much greater margin of safety from retail stocks, because estimating their future cash flows (and thus fair value) is becoming increasingly difficult. Warren Buffett has said that you want to own a business that can be run by an idiot, because one day it will be. A successful retail business in today’s world cannot be run by by an idiot. It requires Bezos-like qualities: being totally consumer-focused, taking risks, thinking long term.