UOB Silver Savings Account (SSA)

It has really been some time since I last wrote any post. A lot of things has happened since then, but in short, things haven’t been good the entire time. To have a brief update, I lost my previous job, was jobless for a few months, managed to find another job at another bank, and am now currently trying to make sense and adapt to the current work. The good thing about my new work is that it is finally a permanent role, but there is quite a fair bit of negativity and significantly heavier workload. Even though I have been here for a couple of months, but I am still adjusting to the work here. Every night I return home exhausted, finding myself very tired out and almost unable to do anything else. However, this is not the main aim of this post, I shall be talking about something else I decided to invest in, and as the title of the post suggests, it is the UOB Silver Savings Account (SSA).

After looking at the Gold ETF last year, I have been looking at other ways of investing in precious metals and alternative investments. I found it in the UOB Gold Savings Account (GSA) and UOB Silver Savings Account (SSA). As I have already invested in gold ETF, I am primarily more interested in the UOB Silver Savings Account. For more information you can refer to the link here http://www.uob.com.sg/personal/invest/goldsilver/overview.page. Note that I am not paid for advertising this. This was something which I personally invest in and hence, thought to share about it. Some of the basic characteristics of the account are as follows:

  • Ability to buy and sell silver in SGD without physical delivery
  • Minimum initial purchase of 10 ounces of silver
  • Minimum purchase each transaction of 10 ounces of silver
  • Perform transactions within the time of Monday to Friday, from 8am to 11pm
  • Annual administrative fee of as low as 0.2 ounces per month or 0.375% on the highest balance per month, whichever is higher
  • $30 plus GST levied for a/c closure within 6 months

Since the end of last year, I have been looking at alternative investments to invest in as the the equity markets were at an all time high. Fast forward a year later, and yet again, equity markets are at all time highs and bitcoin has crazy valuation. My gold etf purchase is still in the green and I am still holding onto them. I will only sell once I see a financial crisis unfolding. Not sure when, but it will happen eventually. Yet again, I am looking for alternatives. I have not been buying equities much this year as I got distracted by trading (and burnt in the process). My though process is still to bulk buy during financial crisis. As such, my equity investments will be quite limited. At the moment, I am looking for alternatives, and since gold etf the last year, I have set my sights on silver.

Silver is the Brother of gold. During crisis, as gold price spikes, silver prices follow as well, but doesn’t have the sharp movements as gold price. It actually has more industrial use rather than as a safe haven. However, I still think it’s a good idea to diversify my precious metals holdings. As Singapore does not have silver ETFs, and I do not plan to hold physical silver, I have been looking into alternative solutions for investing in silver. I have looked at silver ETFs listed in the US markets but they are mostly synthetically made and based on futures rather than spot silver prices. Furthermore, those which I have looked at are mainly leveraged funds which are not ideal. Hence, my foray into the silver savings account by UOB. I have been buying in rounds of 10 ounces over the past 2 months and I hope to build a sizeable amount by the end of the year. Typically, following the cyclicality of precious metals, year ends tend to be the price lows hence, I’m buying more now.

The silver savings account is not perfect though, and I see some issues with it, but it will do for now. The issues are :

– To me, it is like an unlevered CFD for silver. You pay for it in cash and you are not able to take physical delivery of it.

– There is a big spread.

– Price movements are not very fluid. They are fixed at multiple times within the trading time by traders.

Despite its issues, this will work for me as a silver investment for now. What are your thoughts on this? Let me know in the comments section regarding this.

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Investment Analysis of Mapletree Greater China Commercial Trust [RW0U]

***Please note that this does not constitute a stock recommendation for buy or sell. This is purely my own analysis and is to be taken as my own personal opinion and not to be taken as correct. Kindly do your own diligence in purchasing stocks.

Before I delve further into my investment analysis of Mapletree Greater China Commercial Trust, I’ve got a disclaimer to make, that I have recently initiated a small position in this and my analysis of this stock is the fastest one I’ve done compared to my previous ones. Basically I kind of came up with this just within an afternoon in office and pretty much plunk money into it the next day. I’ve slowed down in investing for the long term since I began to focus more on trading to build a bigger base to do longer term investing as it really takes a long time for investing to pay off and with a small base, the returns are quite minimal.
This is a stock i consider holding long term for dividend yield and slight capital appreciation. In my personal opinion, it is slightly undervalued, and if price drops further, I would accumulate more shares provided I have sufficient funds and the proportion fits into my portfolio.

Mapletree Greater China Commercial Trust is a relatively small REIT. It is listed on the SGX since 2013. Currently it only have 3 real estate properties, they are:

Festival Walk – located at Hong Kong, Kowloon Tong, comprising of a 7-storey retail mall, 4-storey office tower and 3 underground carpark levels

Gateway Plaza – located at China, Beijing, comprising of 2 25-storey office towers connected by 3-storey retail atrium and underground floors

Sandhill Plaza – located at China, Shanghai, a business park development comprising of 1 20-storey tower, 7 blocks of 3-storey buildings and 2 basement levels of car park


I have simplified my share price valuation to the below:

Since inception, it has been distributing >6cents per year, and being conservative, I will assume the dividend to be 6cents, with current share price bought at $1.035,

my return on equity = (0.06/1.035) ~ approx 5.8%

Gearing ratio ~ 40%,

WACC ~ 4.42%

NAV = $1.213

Using dividend model without growth, share price = dividend/rate of return = (0.06/0.058) = $1.035

It would seem that calculation for dividend model is circular, However, the rate of return I expect can be adjusted. If I expect a lower rate of return, the expected share price would be higher and vice versa. For now, I think that it is actually good to have a yield of >5%, and I can accept the circular logic of my calculation.


So why did I buy this?

Value

Not a very convincing reason since this is the only reason I’m buying it. It is a fair value based on Gordon Dividend model and the share price is at an approximate 15% discount to the NAV. I am going to use the NAV as a reference as to when to liquidate the position and will probably need to do more research and analysis to this. Waiting for the Q4 and FY 16/17 earnings release tomorrow.


What are some of my concerns?

Not very diversified

With a vision to be a Greater China-focused commercial REIT and an investment mandate in HK and first and second-tier cities in China, it only has 3 properties. This is something to look out for as I can only guess what is the management’s strategy going forward and trust in their management skills. Also, assuming that they follow through on their 3rd key strategy of value-creating acquisition growth, I am not  very sure about how easy it would be to find yield-accretive properties for it to buy. Management strategy is definitely something to look out for.

High Gearing Ratio

With a gearing ratio at slightly >40%, this is a highly leveraged REIT. Especially since with the above reason it is not very diversified and only has 3 properties, it has to buy more properties to grow, and I do not think management will fund the growth using additional debt. As such, funding channel should theoretically be limited to rights issuance or further equity placement which would depress share price. The flip side is that I can buy on dips assuming that the new properties bought are yield accretive.


Conclusion

In closing, I think it is a fair price for its value and since this is a REIT and similar to my holdings in Religare Health Trust, I plan to hold this share for a long long time. I could have bought this share few months ago when it was significantly cheaper, but this is based on hindsight bias and the 2016 was marked with significant volatility. If the share price starts to drop, I will accumulate more of it and if it rises to $1.20, I will consider liquidating it. I do not doubt the profitability of the REIT as it holds retail and office spaces, and it will generate income for sure. Any thoughts or comments? Let me know what do you think or if I am wrong in any area.

Basic information on Indices

I decided to do a post on the general information on some of the world’s global indices as I have recently completed a futures trading course, and it has piqued my  interest in futures trading, and I might decide to go down this path in the near future. Thus, I think it necessary to start compiling some information on indices as this is a potential type of futures to trade. I will try to include some general information about them, the way they are computed, the composite of them and hopefully any further useful information. I might be wrong, so please don’t take my word for it, and the post is mainly for my own benefit and ease of use.

ASX 200

It is recognized as the benchmark index in Australia, and it covers approximately 80% of Australian equity market capitalization. It is reviewed quarterly. It is weighted by float-adjusted market cap, which means its components are weighted by the market value of the outstanding shares held by public. Index calculation is the quotient of total available market capitalization of the constituents and its divisor. The weight of the top 10 constituents is approximately 48.7%. The ASX 200 is made up of mainly financials ~ 38.8% and materials ~ 15.7%.

Nikkei 225

It tracks the performance of the top rated 225 companies listed in the First Section of the Tokyo Stock Exchange. It is reviewed once yearly by the liquidity in the market and sector balance. It is a price weighted index, which means that price movements of highly priced stock will have significant influence on the index value.

Adjusted stock price = stock price x 50(yen) / presumed par value (yen)

Nikkei Stock Average = sum of Adjusted stock price / Divisor

The index is mainly made up of companies from technology ~ 43.51% and consumer goods ~ 22.56%.

Base on personal experience, the companies in the index are export oriented and the value of the Nikkei 225 is inversely related to the strength of the yen.

HSI

It tracks 50 of the largest and most liquid companies of the Hong Kong stock market. It is weighted by float-adjusted market cap, which means its components are weighted by the market value of the outstanding shares held by public, and also has a 10% on individual securities. It is reviewed quarterly. The index is mainly made up of financials ~ 47.57% and Information technology ~ 11.48%.

DAX

It is a blue chip stock market index tracking 30 of German’s top companies based on book volume and market capitalization. It is free float capitalization weighted, calculated as both price and total return index and has a cap of 10% on individual securities. It is reviewed on a quarterly basis. It is diversified of some sorts, with chemical companies at ~ 20.2%, automobile ~ 14.7% and others ~ 21.9%.

FTSE 100

It is a share index of 100 companies listed on the London stock exchange with the largest capitalization. It is capitalization weighted and reviewed quarterly. It appears to be well diversified with Oil & Gas ~ 11.92%, Personal & Household Goods ~ 11.77%, banks ~ 10.80% and Healthcare ~ 9.52%. It consists mainly of internationally focused companies as seen from its reaction to sterling rates, and is not a good indicator of UK economy.

S&P 500

It measures 500 large companies listed on the NYSE or NASDAQ. It is free float capitalization weighted. It is made up of approximately IT ~ 20.29%, Financials ~ 14.47%, 13.32%, Consumer Discretionary ~ 11.76% and Industrials ~10%.

DJIA

It measures 30 companies listed in USA, and is price- weighted. Its top sectors are industrials ~ 19.69%, financials ~ 18.09%, IT ~ 16.92% and Consumer Discretionary ~ 14.23%.

NASDAQ Composite

It measures all NASDAQ domestic and international based common type stocks listed on the Nasdaq stock exchange. It is market capitalization weighted. It consists of over 3000 companies and is heavily skewed towards Technology firms at 41.52%.

Further links for more information

https://www.msci.com/documents/1296102/1339060/GICSSectorDefinitions.pdf/fd3a7bc2-c733-4308-8b27-9880dd0a766f

 

Portfolio Management/Update

This should be a short post on transactions I have made in the past couple of months and also to lay out my portfolio management style.

My portfolio have just 3 transactions over the past few months. I sold out Isoteam (5WF) and DBS (D05) from my cash portfolio, and I bought Gold ETF (O87) for my CPF Investment Account. Overall, my stock investments have yielded quite a bit over the 3 years.

Stock Bought Price Sold Price PnL
ISOTEAM LTD 0.3 0.415 40.86%
DBS GROUP 14.843 18.28 26.02%

The next section is to lay out my portfolio management style. I realized that in the past few years I started investing, I was more focused on stock picking rather than viewing my stocks as a portfolio. Now that I have a lot more money compared to when I first started, I need to be more mindful of portfolio management. Furthermore, I have always struggled with the issue of how to measure return on portfolio due to capital injection at random times. Thus, I have not been able to compare portfolio performance. Now, I have decided to try to clarify things and set rules for myself in order to guide my investing thesis. The reason why I sold my positions is because I would like to hold more cash as I would like to have gunpowder for a crash. I know that there has been a of doomsayers that predict a crash coming but there hasn’t been one, but eventually there will be one and I would like to be in a situation which I am able to take advantage of the situation to buy shares cheaply.

In any case, here are a couple of rules which I would like to set for my stock portfolio.

  • Start with a base calculation of $20,000 for the year 2017. So this means that my initial starting portfolio will be $20,000. (I know it’s not a lot, but it is already >50% of my current liquid net worth.) This will include cash position which I have set aside for stock investing. This way, I will be able to better calculate my stock portfolio return and compare against the various index benchmarks.
  • Stick to SGX stocks for now. I feel that I still need to get used to stock investing since it is an activity not done frequently throughout the year, and also my starting base is not large enough for me to venture into foreign markets. The commissions as it is for SGX are already killing me due to my small positions and I feel that I am not yet ready to venture into foreign markets.
  • Have a cap of <10 stocks in my portfolio. Don’t believe that I will breach this limit anytime soon considering that at the moment I only have 2 stocks in my portfolio. It is still good to set this cap so that I will have better information on my stocks and to keep track of them better.
  • Portfolio allocation – 50% dividend, 25% value and 25% growth
    • 50% dividend means that I would allocate approximately $10,000 of the initial portfolio to stocks with stable dividend yield, ideally >7%. This will probably consist of business trusts and REITs.
    • 25% value and 25% growth portion is a bit tricky. It is not a proportion cast in stone as my idea for the initial portfolio is to have 3 stocks for this section, which will approximate to $3,000 per stock. Personally, I feel that it is easier to identify undervalued stocks based on defined metrics and filter criteria from financial analysis. Growth stocks are a lot harder to identify.
  • Develop a plan to identify the stocks suitable for the portfolio. Something that I am still working on.
  • Quarterly review of individual stocks when financial statements are available.
  • No fixed holding period. Once the value reaches the target set, liquidate the position.

That’s all for now, hope that this will give me greater clarify on how to manage my portfolio. It might change over time but this is to be expected as I am still only beginning my investing journey and will be prone to making mistakes along the way. The key is to make minor adjustments along the journey to make things work in the end.

Top 3 trading mistakes to work on for 2017

I have just attended a trading club meeting in early January and the Organizer/founder/leader has just given a glimpse into how he plans his trades and also a reminder to work on eradicating bad trading habits. In this post, I will touch on both. Hopefully this is not going to be a long post.

Trade planning

Basically there are some components to executing a trade. They are as follows:

  • Fundamental Analysis
  • Technical Analysis
  • Risk to Reward
  • Stick to the Plan
  • Respect the Markets
  • Review the Trade
  • Recalibrate if needed

What he recommended to start on a trade was to take a fresh sheet of paper, and write down what he thinks is the general trend for at least 3 months, like which currencies are bullish, bearish, neutral, pair up the currencies accordingly, and use technical analysis to enter positions, set profits and loss. So basically starting with fundamental analysis, than use the rest to complement it.

Also, he mentioned to reflect on the past trading year, and name 3 trading bad habits or recurring mistakes  made and aim to work on improving them this coming year. So, I decided to take his advise, and record them down and hopefully at the end of the year, when I look back at this, I hoped to have eradicated my bad habits. Here goes my top 3 mistakes in no particular order.

Stick to the plan

I suppose this is a common issue among novice traders like myself. Things such as closing positions before profit or loss targets are hit, not doing proper position sizing, not having a good risk to reward ratio etc. There are many many more. To counter this, I plan to come out with a trading checklist before I enter any positions. This will help me have greater discipline and not to have a massive drawdown as well. My accounts are nearly close to 0 but I do not wish to top up for now and will attempt to fight back to my original amount. Hope that trading will be better for me this year.

Trade review

This is something that I have done at the beginning when I first started to trade, but I did not know what I was doing. Now, I still do not know what I am doing entirely and I am not doing reviews on my trade. I need to get back into the habit of reviewing my trades but it is quite troublesome to do it due to the number of trades I execute. At the very least, I need to make a record of the reasons why I enter the trade, and what is the end result of the trade. Also need to take note that a trade that is profitable or a loss is not necessarily a good or bad trade. It depends on variables which cannot be quantified as well. There is another problem to this aspect with regards to how to review the trade. There have been times when I tried to review, but to end up in frustration only as I did not know where went wrong. I need to learn to utilize my resources more. Perhaps I can look to people in the trading club for advise.

Emotion/Pyschology

This is an issue which plagues many traders and especially for myself, this is a difficult area to manage. People are into trading to make money and I myself am no exception. However, the thing which I really need to take note of is that I just started trading and I should not be aiming to make profits but actually to learn and figure out a way to trade profitably in the long term. This links back to the point above on trade review, which I should be doing and I have not. The desire to make money has gone to my head, and with each losing trade, the frustration sets in and I will tend to make more losing trades and the cycle repeats. For now, I suppose the way is to reduce my trading position size drastically so that each loss is not that painful and is more manageable. Furthermore, I need to take rests and not trade so frequently so that each trade is thought through better so that I can make better trading decisions.

 

So there it is, my 3 issues which I need to work on. It is a tall order, but in order to progress and improve on my trading, these are things which need to be done. That’s all for now and happy Chinese New Year everybody!

One way of investing in Gold – SPDR Gold Shares [O87]

***Please note that this does not constitute a stock recommendation for buy or sell. This is purely my own analysis and is to be taken as my own personal opinion and not to be taken as correct. Kindly do your own diligence in purchasing stocks.

images

Some shiny gold bars

Nearing the end of the year for 2016, I have been reviewing my CPF account and find that it is not growing as quick as I would like it to be. Despite the Dow Jones nearing the psychological barrier of 20,000 and the S&P hitting new highs, the STI is pretty flat which depicts the bleak outlook of the Singapore economy. As my ordinary account (OA) is above the amount of $20,000, I have been looking for opportunities to see if I am able to make my CPF money work harder. For those who are unaware, the Singapore government has decided to give 1% more for the first $60,000 in the CPF account, with only the first $20,000 in the OA applicable for it. In order words, the first $20,000 will earn 3.5%, while any excess amount in the OA will only earn you 2.5%. As the first $20,000 can’t be used for investments anyway, I am looking out for any available opportunities in the market which will allow me to earn >2.5% per annum. Due to various rules restricting the investments allowed to be made, there are not many options left. In addition, due to my current vested position in DBS, I do not have much money left allocated for stocks and bond investment. As such, I turn to the other option left, which is the amount allocated for gold. Furthermore, with such high valuations in the foreign stock markets and uncertainty in the near future, I believe that gold investing warrants a second look. Thus, I began to look at SPDR gold shares (O87). In addition, only 10% of the monies in the OA is allowed to be invested in gold.

SPDR Gold Shares is a gold only ETF, with its mandate clearly stated out on the website – “for the Shares to reflect the performance of the price of gold bullion, less the Trust’s expenses.” It is a trust which holds gold bullion and from time to time issues shares in baskets in exchange for deposits of gold and distributes gold in connection with the redemption of baskets (in other words an open ETF, however for retail investors there is no need to create baskets as the investment outlay is very high).

The general information on it are as follows (taken from SPDR Gold website below):

Sponsor : World Gold Trust Services, LLC

Trustee : BNY Mellon Asset Servicing

Custodian : HSBC Bank Plc

Exchange Listed : SGX, NYSE, BMV, TSE & SEHK

Board Lot size : 10 shares

Trading currency : USD

Ounces of Gold: 26,509,820.12

No. of shares: 277,300,000 (as at 31/12/2016) [assuming in circulation for all the exchanges]

Gold Spot Price: US$1,152.06 (as at 31/12/2016)

Gold Measurement Method: LBMA Gold Price

Net Expense Ratio: 0.40% of the daily NAV for Sponsor Fees, payable by the Trust

Website: http://www.spdrgoldshares.com/

I have briefly skimmed through the prospectus and website and this is a relatively simple and straightforward Gold ETF. It has a trust structure which holds gold. As mentioned above, the NAV will just track the value of the gold. As and when necessarily, they will sell the gold in the vault to pay for the expenses above and whenever available, gold will be added or removed when authorized participants add new baskets to the ETF or when they are redeemed. Base on my understanding, the gold are stored in an allocated account, and only transferred to an unallocated account to facilitate gold transactions. According to bullionvault.com, allocated gold is gold owned outright by an investor and is stored, under a safekeeping or custody arrangement, in a professional bullion vault. On the other hand, unallocated gold is the property of the bank, and it is not protected from a bank’s insolvency. The number of shares provided in their website and above are freely floated in all the exchanges as confirmed in an email inquiry I sent them, but they are also not sure how many are available in SGX. I am unsure of how it actually works but I suppose there is not much impact as the number of shares I buy are quite minimal in the bigger scheme of things.

In the last week of 2016, I have bought 20 shares of SPDR gold shares at $108.39 and it has increased by approximately 1% as of the end of 2016. Previously when I started investing, I was under the influence of Warren Buffet’s believe that gold is just a piece of rock that doesn’t yield anything. However ever since starting trading in June, I have started to appreciate the value of gold and thus leading to my decision to buy the gold ETF. So here are a couple reasons why I bought some before the year end.

Rollercoaster 2016 year and uncertainty ahead

2016 has been an eventful year for the financial markets and the price of gold has risen quite a far bit throughout the year due to its image as a safe haven during uncertain times and fallen as well when risk appetite increased. With many equity indexes ending up for the year and making new record highs, it may seem odd for me to buy gold. “Be fearful when everyone is greedy and greedy when everyone is fearful”. Keeping Warren Buffet’s words in mind, this is a time to be fearful as records are broken and everyone is having a rosy picture ahead when there hasn’t been much global growth. There is quite a bit of uncertainty in terms of what Trump’s economic reform plans are, the storm brewing in Europe, the plans for Brexit. With this number of events filled with uncertainty just on the horizon, it is difficult to say that there is no problem and financial markets are doing well. As such, this is a reason to buy gold now and sell them during the crisis time when the value of it is higher. This is assuming that people still view gold as a safe haven holds true.

Inflation hedge 

There is a great deal of expectation that Trump taking office will generate inflation. There are some people that view gold is a good hedge against inflation, and others who think otherwise. There also some who say that measuring inflation using CPI is a flawed approach and gold is a good hedge against inflation if not measured using CPI. These are mixed views and I have no idea which is correct and which is not. To me, I suppose the most important thing is people’s impression and sentiment of gold. The value that people place in gold. I think that to many people, gold holds an important role as a store of value, and that is good enough for me to buy it. I may not think so, but it does not matter as I am but a small fish swimming in the huge financial ocean. I will swim with the tide. As such, if it is a store of value as people ascribe it to be, I believe that gold will be somewhat a hedge against inflation. Whether it is or not, I do not know, but as long as people’s impression of gold holds, it should be okay to hold some gold.

Appreciation of USD/SGD

The trump rally and the mention of 3 rate hikes by the Fed in 2017 has resulted in a considerable run up of USD against all the other currencies. Also, during the presidential election campaign, Trump has said that the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement was a bad idea. If the USA is not going to ratify it, it spell big problems for the Singapore economy. Furthermore, will tepid global economic growth, Singapore is not spared from it either as it is an export dependent economy. As such, there is much headwind for the SGD and thus, buying gold which is denominated in USD presents a greater value when I sell it to receive SGD in the future.

As such, I have decided to hold them for at least a year, but I am confident that I will be able to offload them during the year at a profit. I just need to overcome a return rate of 2.5%+2%=4.5% in order to do better than the CPF return rate. The additional 2% is to account for transaction costs. If the NAV hits $150, I will sell them immediately. I believe that gold is more of a strategic move of allocating money in the short term and I still don’t think that it should be held over a long time horizon. What are your thoughts on this? Let me know what you think in the comment box below.

 

New year resolution for the year 2017

I have decided to record down my new year resolution for 2017 so that throughout the year and even beyond, I can look back to see how my progress is and any way of improving it. I have decided to record them in 2 tiers. The first tier will be a generic overview of the things that I would like to achieve and the second tier will be my proposed way of achieving them. This way, I will record the steps I would like to take and see if they are effective in achieving the goals which I have set out to accomplish for 2017.

Work

This has been a constant headache/worry for me. I see the people all around me progressing but I feel that I am getting nowhere. For this new year, I plan to stick to what I want to do. I have tried listening to people at church, but it is really ridiculous. I do not feel happy at my current work situation at all. My girlfriend does not agree with what I want to do, but I feel that this is my own pursuit of happiness, and something which I really want to do. I don’t know where this will lead me, but this is what I can think of doing at this present moment in time. I have decided to do whatever I want to do.

What does this mean in terms of my planning? I plan to apply for a trading job in March. The trading job aligns with my view of the world and outlook on work. The world similar to the financial markets is a cruel and harsh place and it is the same as to fight for what you want. There is an online course and trading simulation. At the end of 4-6 weeks, they will decide whether or not to take me in. In the interim time, I plan to read up more on the traded products and learn more about trading. At the same time, I will look for jobs to apply to as well. It is better to be on the look out and find another job as well just in the event that I do not qualify for the trading job. I don’t know what the future holds so I don’t want to think that I will definitely get the trading job. I have been disappointed too many times and I wish to have some back up plan. That’s all I can say for now, as I don’t have a crystal ball to peer into the future. If there’s anything to say, is that the work prospects look bleak, but I have to give it my all and try my best. Because if I don’t do so, nobody else will care. I will have to do it myself.

Interests

I will probably divide this into 3 sections. Will start with computer games first. Think that there are quite a number of upcoming games which I would like to play, and I need to ensure that I do not get too engrossed in playing games. Many a times I wish myself were in the gaming world and that were reality instead of what I have right now, and being in a gaming world is a good distraction and escape but I need to bear in mind that sadly, this is the reality and not the game world, so I need to control my time spent on playing games. Currently am replaying the Witcher 3 with expansion set, see how long I take to finish. The other game releases in 2017 are tentative anyway and I guess see how it goes.

Secondly is music – keyboard lessons. I plan to try this again after the Japan trip in January, which means I aim to kick start this again in February. I need to not think so much in terms of the costs as my gym payment should be finishing soon and that will free up some free cash flow which I can use to channel to pay for the lessons instead. Hopefully I can get back the same instructor as last time and to allocate some time and energy for this.

Lastly – martial arts. This is something which I have always put on a back burner alongside keyboard lessons. This one is trickier than the keyboard lessons. Main considerations are money, time and tiring (ie I’m lazy). Haha, will see how I organize my time first. Might be the case that I’m trying to do many things at the same time.

Love/Relationships

For the new year, I plan to be a better boyfriend and to love and care for my girlfriend more and more. Honestly I have many things to work on and they are summarized in the below points : to have better communication so that she can understand my words and meaning, better understand her, speak more honestly about what I think and feel and to lead her better spiritually. They are not going to be easy but these should lead to a better relationship. Also, sometime soon I need to plan for a ring and proposal.

For family and friends, same as always, to spend more time with them. I guess especially so for family, I feel that I have not shown enough care and love to them. I think this needs to be a conscious effort, as it doesn’t seem like a natural thing to do, but it is something that I must do. As time passes, my parents are not getting younger, and eventually one day, they will be no longer around. Likewise for my brother, as he starts working as a lawyer officially and he start his own family, we won’t see each other that often. I really do need to be mindful of this and take note.

Health/Physical fitness 

Same as everybody elses’ new year resolution to be fitter in the new year, I am no exception. In addition, I have decided to flesh out physical goals which can be seen and met. I have signed up for Men’s Health Urbanlathon 2017 and I also aim to achieve silver for my 2017/18 ippt window. How do I go about to achieve my goals? Assuming I still have my current slack work schedule, I aim to workout (ie go to the gym) at least twice a week and go running or do some cardio activity once a week. For my ippt, I will need to work on doing more push-ups and train my running.

As for my health, I hope that I am still healthy by God’s grace. The thing which is slowly seemingly to cause me trouble are my knees but this is really something which I cannot control. There are many stories out there which have perfectly health people who have been stricken by some terrible illness or disease. People who eat very healthily or exercise regularly can get cancer while people who smoke regularly or gorge on food and alcohol stay healthy. It doesn’t make sense but that’s how the world is. It just doesn’t make sense and so this is not within my control but is entirely up to God’s will for me.

Finances

This one is going to be tricky. I have big item expenditure and losses from FX trading this year so I did not save as much as I liked and I actually dipped into my savings from previous year. Hopefully, I do not end up net loss for 2017. I aim to formally track my savings and to do better in terms of recording for this year. I aim to save at least $1,200 per month, which should total up rounded to $15,000 savings by the end of 2017. This will include savings from my earned income and dividends received. I will probably still take losses from FX trading but I suppose I need to further limit my trading. I have decided not to pump in further cash into my trading account at this moment and focus more on the learning aspect of things. This should help to hone my trading acumen and not place so much emphasis on trying to earn FX profit from this. I also have tracked my monthly expenditures, and I aim to bring it down over the course of next year. It will be difficult, but i need to be more discipline. I know that even if I do achieve the aim of saving $15,000 next year, my overall savings is still quite little. This is something I can’t help but as everyone says, Rome is not built in a day. I need to start somewhere, brick by brick. I need to be patient and persevere in this.

Spirituality 

To be honest, this is a constant struggle. It is always difficult to read the bible and pray on a consistent basis, especially with my current state of mind and thinking about how the world works and God. To me there is a huge disconnect between what is said in the bible and what is happening in the world, and I struggle a lot to reconcile that. This is going to prove difficult but I must persevere in this, because Jesus is the one true God, and this is the only way for salvation. Things are not too good at church and bible study group, really status quo. At least I have someone to talk to on a monthly basis regarding christian stuff. But I can only rely on myself for this. I have to get through this. Hoping to see if there is opportunity to go for baptism next year. See how things go and is dependent on God’s will for me.

Knowledge/Worldview/Readings

This is yet another area which I can further improve in. I need to find the motivation to read more consistently and also to read a greater variety of books. In 2016, I have been reading mainly  investment/trading books but I hope to read a greater variety in 2017, such as more Christian books, non-fiction and fiction books as well. I won’t set a hard rule on how many books I read per quarter as I think this should be a leisure activity and so we shall see how it goes. Hopefully I will be able to diversify my reading a bit. I also hope to be able to read up on things which I need to know and perhaps take up some Coursera courses to learn more about things. This one requires further looking into.

I really hope to be able to travel more in the world. Looking into my passport in preparation for the upcoming Japan trip, I realized I have not really traveled much. This is mainly limited by my number of leaves and my disliking to spend much. However, I do think that travelling distresses and clears your mind to learn more about the world and to remember that I am but a small thing in this large world. Hopefully 2017 will be a better year for me in terms of this. For now, will probably have to rely on YouTube videos to “travel” the world with my virtual eyes.

Others

As per each year, I would like to be a better person, someone who is useful and can contribute to society. But I know that deep down, I am not a good person. Everyday I feel the rage during rush hour, when things go against me, etc. I feel stressed and angry inside. Despite this, I believe that this is something good to strive towards each year despite failing, same as Christianity. This is a jumbled mess as it seems that quite a number of things are connected, like my mood, to my thinking, to how I feel at the moment, etc. Honestly speaking, this is as specific as I can get as I haven’t got a faint clue of what practical steps I can take to achieve this. I can only hazard a guess as to what I can do to improve my current situation:

Stress/Mood:

Probably need to take more deep breathes to calm down, listen to calming/soothing music and perhaps take nature walks to get away from things and need to allocate time alone for myself.

Confidence:

I knew long ago that I don’t have much confidence in myself. This is not helped by the meagre achievements I have done. I need to trust myself more, and not be affected so easily. I realize that I constantly doubt myself and this does not help me at all. Course of action for this? Unclear. I have no idea what I can do to increase my confidence in myself. Watch more YouTube videos?

Contributions to society:

This is something which I perhaps have been procrastinating or so with work sucking the life out of me. Even without it, I can’t say I’m doing much nice things to care for my family. Probably should try to show more attention and care to my parents, especially since they are not getting any younger. Might perhaps also try to do some volunteering activity of some sort and set up some donation thing so that at least someone can benefit from the monetary contribution.

That’s all for my 2017 new year resolution. Preferably I should do a quarterly or semi-annual review to see how I’m faring against what I set out to do for the year but we shall see how it goes. Anyways, happy 2017 everyone!