Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Stress Test Checkup For Small Cap Stocks

Every now and then I tried to force myself to do a bit of homework in updating my spreadsheet for some companies that are in my watchlist. 

This article is about consolidating the strength of the company through looking into the lenses of the health of the balance sheet. I am only covering ground on one segment so it cannot be entirely looked into making certain grounds.

Small cap companies have been a favorite for many because of their potential to grow. Unlike matured companies, small cap companies have greater room to grow because they can build on new verticals or improve on their margins by focusing on their specific mix. However, the risk is also greater in the sense they may lack institutional back-ups in the case where liquidity dries, just like what happened during the GFC.

For the purpose of this exercise, I have picked a few small cap stocks which I have added to the list while they remain in my interests. I will be using 4 scenarios: the 2008 GFC, 2011 Euro Crisis, 2015 China scare, and 2017 of today. I specifically picked scenarios where the STI has been much impacted by certain events to see how valuations are.

  • Micro-Mechanics
  • Tai Sin Electric
  • Transit Mixed Concretes
  • Riverstone
  • Silverlake
  • UMS
  • Sarine Tech
  • Nam Lee Metals
  • Second Chance
  • Boustead
  • Kingsmen

Balance Sheet Strength 

The first stress test is to check on the strength of their balance sheet. 

On the overall, it looks like most companies have a much stronger balance sheet now as compared to back then in 2008, 2011 and 2015, where companies generally tend to take advantage when interest rates are low. Companies which are visibly in the net cash position for years have grown their cash position to even more in 2017, with Micro-Mechanics, Taisin Electic, Transit Mixed, Riverstone, Silverlake, UMS, Nam Lee, and Boustead leading the pack. Kingsmen reduced their net cash as they had to use the working capital to build on their headquarter. 

It is also important to note that while keeping cash increases the strength of the balance sheet in general, hoarding too much cash may not be the best decision as it erodes the long term ROE of the company. 




Earnings Valuation

The second stress test is on their respective earnings valuation. 

From here, you can easily see that valuations are much more expensive today as compared to back then during 2008, 2011 and 2015. Some industries like the semi-conductor are seeing their cyclical upturn so it is common to see companies get re-rated upon potential stronger growth.

Sometimes, as investors, you've got to question yourself if you are rationalizing for enough margin of safety on some of these counters.







Implied Downside

I've also included the implied downside scenario and here we are using the 2008 bear market year since it's a really bad year.

While you might be confident that the companies you are holding are strong enough to withstand the wind, you might need to work out on the potential implied downside psychologically to see that it can happen in a big bear market where liquidity dries and all fundamentals are thrown out.

This is not meant to scare anyone out there but meant to educate and inform that such unimaginable things can happen even to a very strong company. Good companies do rebound when economies recover eventually but you do need a strong steel of balls and mentals to undergo the event.


Thanks for reading.


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Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Building Sustainable Dividends Through Learning With REITS Masterclass

Most of you readers know that I love Reits investing because it fits my profile of having a sustainable stream of dividend income that pays every quarterly or semi-annually. This is align with my aspirations of being able to use the rest of my time to do what I wanted to really do.

As a matter of fact, if you look at my current portfolio right now, more than 50% are in Reits and my top 2 positions are in CDL Hospitality and Fraser Logistics Trust.

It is pretty obvious that I have a biasness towards liking Reits as an asset class.

Many people has a misconception that Reits are only meant for someone who wanted to build a stream of passive income and that if you want capital gain you should look elsewhere for a growth stock.

That is not true.

Most of the Reits that we are seeing today have both component of capital gain and dividends because the management have been tasked to grow the Asset Under Management (AUM) and Dividends Per Unit (DPU). As investors, we are able to enjoy the growth component and reap a higher dividends when it comes.

I have previously wrote an article articulating my strategy on how to select Reits which is nothing but just trying to organize my thoughts in a proper manner. I received a few questions from readers on some of the technical terms used and what are the kind of details should they look up for and honestly for me, it is difficult for me to answer because I might not know where their level of competency are in this aspect.



Equip Your Knowledge With REITS Masterclass

The course has a total of 10 modules with 33 sub-content inside for a total of over 5 hours.

They are made into a video content hence you are able to back-track and fast-forward as and when you'd like to.

Who Should Sign Up For The Course

The course is suitable for someone who like to:

1.) Understand how to build a sustainable stream of dividend income
2.) Equip your knowledge with the terminology of Reits
3.) Enhance your understanding of what details to look out for in a good Reits
4.) Avoid buying into a poorly managed Reits investment

Here Is Where You Could Sign Up

They are currently offering a value deal of $30 if you sign up using the below link for a limited time period.

If you think this is something that might interest you, you can sign up by clicking the link below.

--------- CLICK HERE  ---------

Alternatively, you can type the code "FOR_FIN_FREEDOM" under the referral code.

I've personally gone through the course myself and for a thorough lesson like that, I think it offers a great value at this price that you can hardly find elsewhere. The closest alternative you can find is a book on Reits by Bobby Jayaraman.

Do note that this post contains an affiliate links and I do get a commission when you sign up for the course. However, it will not cost you anything extra otherwise.

Thanks for reading.
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Monday, June 19, 2017

Is There An Opportunity In Gold Right Now?

For a long time, I've considered Gold as a monetary goods that are driven by demand and supply more than an investment itself. It has a very long track of history itself and it was first used as a barter trade in 700 B.C.

A friend that I was close with has recently notified me that the long term downtrend of Gold was finally broken and that it might be on its way up again after breaking its 6 years downtrend.


Almost a decade of close to zero interest rates have atomized any form of risk aversion, and it is easy to see why people have generally flocked their preference to the equity markets in recent years. 

Gold price has also performed decently during this period and just when they tried to break their long term downtrend back in Aug 2016, they started going downhill again right after the market rallied after Trump was officially announced as President.

Trump announced a few fiscal measures such as the tax boost and the removal of the Dodd-Frank which excites and send the stock market flying to its high. This measures of Euphoria sends the gold stumbling back into consolidation mode again.

Still, if you are one that holds gold since 2000, you are looking at a average gain of about 11% today. These are the period when gold starts to make their strong run boom days mostly from the period from 2005 to 2007.



3 Cases To Go Long on Gold

1.) GSCI Commodity Index / S&P 500 Ratio

The GSCI is a typical measure indicator for commodity prices and is a very strong inflation indicator correlation. It includes many different types of commodities such as gold, oil, energy, most of which are in the low right now.

From a historical context, the relative valuation of the GSCI to the equity markets seems very low right now which might suggest potential opportunities to be a contrarian.


2.) Long Term Technical Broken

From a technical point of view, it appears that gold has finally managed to break their long term downtrend and it might gain momentum from hereon.


3.) Gold as a hedge to your equities exposure

Gold has a strong correlation against other asset classes in particular the equities market. They typically act as safe haven during periods of uncertainties and recession, where it proceeds with stock market crashes.

Here are the inverse correlation of gold with equity markets as far dated over the past 4 decades:






Summary

There are many passive investors who are embarking on a permanent portfolio strategy, and gold is an important part of that strategy.

The biggest opportunity cost for holding gold is when the stock market is going on a rampant bull run but recently it has exhibited signs of going up when the stock market is also rising.

I've been contemplating a long time whether my portfolio should consists of gold as part of that strategy. So far, I have not done so because I originally believe in the simplistic cash/equity allocation model. Perhaps, it is now time to reconsider that.

Thanks for reading.
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Saturday, June 17, 2017

Understanding Your Risk Tolerance And Risk Appetite

As investors, we always tend to worry about what might go wrong in our portfolio regardless of how much efforts of research we’ve taken. 

There’s always this navigation on how things might not perform up to our expectations because of the underlying differences between our risk appetite and risk tolerance that we can take from the whole risk universe we are exposed to. 

Many investors put their whole resource perspectives on how to improve performance but do not spend enough time evaluating their risk tolerance. 

The business of investing is inherently about taking risk to generate a return. It is the same inherent risk when we are trying to cross the road by waiting for the traffic light. There are some who get to the other side faster by dashing onto an ongoing traffic, while there are some who would patiently wait for a signal before crossing the road. 

From an investment perspective, it is precisely why the capital asset pricing model advocates the premium return an investor needs to generate when they are undertaking additional risk in the form of a risky asset, whatever that asset is. 

Going back to the original intention of the article, I wanted to articulate through what has been covered through the whole risk universe we are exposed to and how we can navigate our understanding on the risk tolerance and risk appetite better. 

The Risk Universe is a central repository of all the generic risks that have been added to the component to make up the maximum and minimum units of performance over time. 




This includes both the Systematic risk and Unsystematic risk. 

An unsystematic risk is also known as the specific type of risk within the organization that an investor can overcome by understanding the company better through deep-dive and scuttle-butting the management. An investor can also overcome unsystematic risk through diversifying into different companies or industries or to a certain extent different form of assets. A systematic risk however, is an unknown factor that an investor has no control of regardless of how much efforts he has done on his research. These are mostly impacted by black swan event which we are not expecting it to come.

The Risk Tolerance should be a subset of the risk universe. They are the conscious level of determinant of the maximum unit of risks that a person is willing to undertake to achieve a corresponding level of performance. Going back to the analogy of investing, this determines an investor’s understanding of the ability and willingness to stomach large swings in the value of the investment. You would also note that from a psychology point of view, most people would correlate their risk tolerance to the maximum amount of losses they can take. After all, no one likes to lose money, not at least in the mind. 




Last but not least, we moved to the Risk Appetite, which should form a smaller scale of the risk tolerance. Most people connects their risk appetite to the performance benchmark they need to fund for their needs. For instance, a retiree that requires 4% returns on a $1m portfolio would usually benchmark their risk appetite accordingly to generate the returns that they need. 




The reason why it is difficult to advocate financial planning and investing to a stranger is because we have no idea on how much risk tolerance and risk appetite they can take. Sometimes, we assume we know but we are not sure ourselves where exactly our risk appetite is.

The problem exists when we scale up our risk appetite and thinks the same can be scaled up with our risk tolerance. It doesn't work that way but subconsciously we may be forced to think the risk tolerance and risk appetite all moved up one level accordingly. This usually happens when we are over confident about things and think our mind and body can take a lot more tolerance before the reality strikes.

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Thursday, June 15, 2017

HRnetGroup Limited - IPO Balloting Results

HRnetGroup Limited balloting results is out.

Placement of 85,682,000 shares is approximately 13.17 times subscribed due to strong demand from international and local institutional investors.

Public offer of 3,359,200 shares is approximately 68.34 times subscribed by retail investors.


Chances are actually pretty evenly big if you are one of them who apply to the shares.

9:50 means for every 100, 18 will get it. So the probability is quite high at 18%.

Most of the tranches applied between 100,000 to 199,000 with 30.2%.

I did apply 51,000 shares and still can't break my bad luck streak of not getting anything in IPO, sadly.


Saturday, June 10, 2017

HRnetGroup Limited IPO - Is This A Good Buy?

HRnetGroup Limited is going public by offering 89.4m shares which made up of 85.6m shares under placement and 3.8m shares under the public offer.

The IPO will close on the 14th Jun at 12pm with a market cap of approximately $900m, which makes it one of the top IPO for this year in the SGX market.

The issue price is at $0.90 per share.



About The Company

HRnetGroup Limited is the largest Asia based recruitment agency in Asia Pacific with a dominance presence in Singapore.

It currently operates in a few key growth markets such as Tokyo, Hongkong and Shanghai, with a post successful IPO venturing overseas in these markets.

Unlike most recruitment firms, the company operates on an interesting co-ownership business model to align the employees' interests with the company.

The Group has two main businesses.

The first is engaging the recruitment agency (Recruit Express, People Search) by having professional recruiter place candidates on permanent positions. The other segment provides services such as payroll processing, human resource consulting and corporate service training.

Financials

On the financials, you can see that topline has been increasing steadily over the years and GP margin has remained steady at around 36% to 39%.

Their biggest "assets" in this sort of business is obviously its manpower and it is easy to see that it contributes the most overhead costs. Net Margin is at around 10-11%, which is solid.

Based on 2016 results, earnings per share (eps) is at 4.06 cents post offering and hence this translates to about 22x price to earnings.


Despite increasing bottomline, cash in balance sheet has instead decreased, mainly due to huge dividend payout they've issued pre-listing in FY2016 which amounted to $84.8m paid in dividends to shareholders (partially offset by the capital contribution of $15m received from Vanda).

The company works on an asset light business model hence no major capex to take note about.



Peers Comparison

The Group is a clear market leader here when you see how they fare against other recruitment firm in terms of net profit and net profit margin divided by per employee.

The only company which have fare better is japanese listed JAC recruitment firm which is currently trading at 20x PER.



Valuations

Based on Frost & Sullivan, they estimate the industry in the North Asian cities to grow at 11.5% CAGR, Rest of SEA at 12.4% CAGR and Singapore at 4% CAGR between 2016 to 2021.

Given the Group market leader position and their intention to use the funds from the IPO to grow in the North Asian cities market, we can assume growth to be at 11.5% for the sake of our DCF valuation method.

I'm using a standard 10% on discount rate and a conservative 20x PER to match that of JAC recruitment we talked about above in the peer comparison.

The intrinsic value came up to $1.50.



Final Thoughts

The valuation at IPO are not exactly cheap at 22x earnings multiple. In fact, if you compare them against JAC recruitment right now, it is pretty rich.

Proposed dividends are estimated to be at 50% of net earnings for FY17 and FY18, which translates to about 2.2% yield.

The key here is whether that 11.5% growth over the next 5 years which the industry forecast could materialize. If yes, then at 90 cents, it will look cheap because the company could well generate about $50m in earnings, and then pay half of those as dividends to shareholders and then retained the rest of the $25m as cash in their balance sheet. 

The valuation does not take into account the potential growth from further utilization from the cash they have in their retained earnings over the years so EV will continue to get stronger as years goes by if they sit still with that cash and do nothing.

The key here is in the waiting and if you can wait 5 years before the share price goes to $1.50, that's a double digit return of about 12% for you. Adding the yearly dividend of about 2%, and you get about 14%, pretty decent.

The other key risks if that growth is going to materialize at all. One black swan or crisis and we may go back to basics.

I'm still deciding if I wanted to have participation in this. With cash running low, I need to prioritize on my strategy.


Friday, June 9, 2017

"Jun 17" - SG Transactions & Portfolio Update"

No.
 Counters
No. of Shares
Market Price (SGD)
Total Value (SGD) based on market price
Allocation %
1.
CDL Hospitality Trust
60,000
1.61
96,600.00
16.0%
2.
Fraser Logistic Trust
80,000
1.05
84,000.00
14.0%
3.
M1
35,000
2.25
78,750.00
13.0%
4.
Comfortdelgro
30,000
2.42
72,600.00
12.0%
5.
Capitalmall Trust
30,000
1.92
57,600.00
9.0%
6.
Fraser Comm Trust
40,000
1.40
56,000.00
9.0%
7.
Singtel
10,000
3.75
37,500.00
6.0%
8.
First Reit
8,134
1.32
10,736.00
1.0%
9.
OCBC
34
10.69
     356.00
1.0%
10.
Warchest*
116,000.00
19.0%
Total SGD
610,142.00
100.00%

I am updating the Jun portfolio a bit early this month as I foresee I will be very busy when I return to work from my 2 weeks leave right the following Monday. It's been nice having time away from work with the family where the highlights have been going together to the Safari and also the Cimory side of the mountaneous area.




The theme this month is trying to increase some cash position in the portfolio as I start to review and do some portfolio rebalancing. I've previously posted on my thoughts here.

My portfolio has also shrink to just a couple of positions and is now really a matter of the top few that matters.

First, I started the month by divesting my position with Ireits at 75.5 cents at a 20.7% gain which I have written over here. My thesis stems from the idea that I think there are limited room to run from valuations view and the only saving grace is their 7.5% yield (90% payout) with a series of their freehold commercial properties. I also think that there are rights issue looming so I'd be interested to re-enter at the right price again.

Next, I also divested my position with Far East Hospitality Trust at 65.5 cents at a 12.6% gain which I have written over here. The thesis for this is due to the recent run up in share price due to the surging news of the hospitality come back and the share price has run up about 10% since. There is also a huge block of selling queue at 66 cents which I think is hard for them to break hence I have divested first meanwhile to allocate those profits back to cash.

I have also divested my position with Lippomall Indonesia Trust (LMIRT) at 42.5 cents at a 18.3% gain. Their TTM dividend yield stands at around 8.1% and I'd be frank enough to say that I would expect more given the risk profile that the company has. The company has an ambitious plan by growing their AUM and we'll see a lot of M&A news in the next few years. The recent few days with the acquisition of Lippo Kendari is one of them. While they'd be funding it with perpetual securities, the interest costs on the perpetual costs are pretty high, and if I recall is around 5.5% and north. I think with election coming in 2018 in Indonesia, we'll see better entry point for LMIRT next year possibly.

I have also divested my position with Micro-Mechanics at $1.26 at a 55% gain. This isn't a big position by itself and semicon companies have seen their fair share of run-up in the first half of this year to account for its bullishness. MM trades at 13x earnings and I'm just not sure if the bullishness has much been priced in. After all, we know that it's a cyclical industry in nature and much of their earnings need to be normalized in the long run if one wants to keep it long term.

I have also closed my position with Elec & Eltek at $1.58 at a 10.2% gain. This is meant to be a short term trading position and have reached my target of 10% gain which I have decided to close off the position.

On the buy side, I have accumulated 19,000 more shares of Comfortdelgro at $2.41 with the running thesis that I think from valuations view they are decently priced. On a nutshell, the same thesis revolves around the idea that I think the public transport this year will offset the weakness in taxi business while DTL remains an unknown factor because of the costs that might creep in. I also felt that market is discounting the management M&A abilities which have in the past generated decent ROI. I also think that the fact the management increases their final dividend last year spells confident in what they have in terms of cashflow moving forward.

I have also bought 30,000 shares of Capitalmall Trust at $1.92 for a short term trading position. The idea is just simply that $1.92 represents a good entry point because of its strong support and also its very near to 1x of their book value, by contrast to their peers of FCT and MCT which are trading at above 1.1x.

Net Worth Portfolio

Due to the strong performance of Fraser Logistic Trust mainly this month, the portfolio has grown from the previous month of $599,930 to $610,143 this month (+1.7% month on month, +43% year on year).

Cash position is at the comfortable range of near to 20% as I look to increasingly increase this position as some of the companies valuations are going up and making it less attractive to allocate.




Child Portfolio 1 (Age: 3 years and 1 month)

I'd also like to use this chance to update on the Child portfolio a little bit as I made changes which I forgot to update last month as I switched from ST Eng to Singtel. Nothing much changes going on other from here.

No.
 Counters
No. of Shares
Market Price (SGD)
Total Value (SGD) based on market price
Allocation %
1.
Singtel
3,500
3.75
13,125
100.0%


Child Portfolio 2 (Age: 5 month)

No.
 Counters
No. of Shares
Market Price (SGD)
Total Value (SGD) based on market price
Allocation %
1.
Singtel
800
3.75
3,000
100.0%


Thanks for reading.

How has your half yearly June been so far in terms of performance?



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