Sunday, July 30, 2023

Hunting for Dividend Aristocrats in the Singapore Market

Hunting for Dividend Aristocrats in the Singapore Market

If you trade the US market, you may have heard of the term 'S&P500 Dividend Aristocrats'.

Dividend aristocrats are a group of companies that have consistently increased their dividends for at least 25 consecutive years. They are a subset of dividend-paying stocks, which are companies that pay out a portion of their profits to shareholders in the form of dividends.

To qualify as a dividend aristocrat, a company must meet the following criteria:

  • Be a member of the S&P 500 index.
  • Have increased its dividend for at least 25 consecutive years.
  • Have a market capitalization of at least $3 billion.
  • Have an average daily trading volume of at least $5 million.

Dividend aristocrats are generally considered to be safe, long-term investments. They have a history of increasing their dividends, even during difficult economic times. This makes them a good option for investors who are looking for income from their investments.

I wonder if there were any companies listed on the Singapore Stock Exchange that managed to increase their dividends for the last 10 years.

I couldn't find any that increased its dividends for the last 10 years, but I did find some companies that did not decrease their dividends (ie. they maintained the same dividend as the previous year).

Here they are:


HKLand has maintained its dividends at $0.22 for the last 5 years. It has not reduced its dividends, but there is no increase either!

The growth in EPS, however, is not good. There were negative EPS in 2021 and 2020.

Hong Kong Land dividends

On average, over the last 10 years, the EPS growth is -115.9%, and the dividend growth is +2.67%.


Micromechanics also managed not to decrease its dividends in the last 10 years. 

The growth in EPS looks quite decent too. 2019 was the only year where EPS decreased from the previous year. 

Micromechanics dividends

On average, over the last 10 years, the EPS growth is +19.0%, and the dividend growth is +18.2%.

Raffles Medical Group

RMG had a bump in dividends in 2022. It also managed not to decrease its dividends in the last 10 years.

The growth in EPS looks decent, with a decrease in EPS only for 2018 and 2019.

Raffles Medical Group dividends

On average, over the last 10 years, the EPS growth is +10.1%, and the dividend growth is +10.0%.


SGX also managed not to decrease its dividends in the last 10 years.

The growth in EPS is smaller than Micromechanics and RMG though, but hard to compare since they are different industries. There was a decrease in EPS for 2014 and 2021.

Singapore Exchange - dividends

On average, over the last 10 years, the EPS growth is +4.7%, and the dividend growth is +1.7%.

Hope this helps you in your trading journey. 

Thursday, July 27, 2023

More millennials and Gen Zs in Singapore are into investing, but their time horizon is terrible

 I saw this article in the Straits Times the other day.

This paragraph caught my eye:

Mr Lawrence Tan, ... observed another difference between the young investors and their older cohorts here. He said youth view long-term investing as staying invested for three years. For them, "five years is very long".

This is unlike their older peers, who are willing to stay invested for at least about 10 years, Mr Tan said. 

I am a millennial, but I definitely fall into the invest for 10 years cohort. 

If no effort is required of you, and you just have to leave the money as it is in the market, and it will continue to rise, isn't that good?

Young people have a lot of time on their side, and it is exactly this cohort that should have a long-term investment horizon. After all, a 65-year-old retiree can no longer afford to invest for 30 years right?

It is the young people that have the capability to make money through sheer 'holding power'.

As the saying goes, time in the market beats timing the market.



Monday, July 24, 2023

Hunting for the Best Deposit Interest Rates in Town

Since my circumstances have changed a bit and I am no longer drawing a salary, the bank providing the best deposit interest rates has changed for me as well. 

I will rank the banks providing the best deposit interest rates for someone in my situation:

  • No salary
  • Cash of around 100-200k 
  • The cash must be easily withdrawable (ie. liquid)
  • I am not going to purchase any insurance product from any bank
Here are the rankings from highest interest rate to lowest:

GXS - 3.48% up to 75k

  • No frills attached
  • Just have to save it in a 'pocket', money is able to be withdrawn anytime.

MariBank - 2.5% up to 75k

  • No frills attached
  • Just that from application to open of account, need 3 working days. 

Trust - 2% up to 75k
  • To get 2%, you need to make at least 5 spends on your Trust card. Else it is only 1.5%. 
  • Actually, you are able to get up to 2.5% from Trust, but you have to become NTUC Union member.
  • The fees for NTUC Union member is 117 per year. 
  • I have actually applied for this NTUC Union membership, just so I can get up to 2.5% on Trust.
  • But now that MariBank also has 2.5% interest rates, I can save myself the trouble of having to spend 5 times monthly, and avoid the 117 membership fee.  
  • Trust referral code if you need it: ZAAV495B

SC BonusSaver - 1.63%

  • Card spend above $500 gets 1.3% + Make 3 bill payments get another 0.33%

FastSaver - 1.5%

  • No frills attached!
OCBC360 - 1.2%
  • 1.2% is for the 'Save' portion where you have to increase the average daily balance by $500 monthly
  • I don't qualify for the other portions of 'Salary', 'Spend', 'Insure', 'Invest', 'Grow'
  • I cancelled their OCBC360 card long ago, after they started to charge me annual fee

For comparison, I put Wealthfront below, which I opened when I was working in the US:

Wealthfront - 4.55%

  • No frills attached!

It's a no-brainer to me. GXS and Maribank are the ones to go with. 

Suppose I have 175k. 

By putting them in Trust and SC BonusSaver, I only get (1.63%*100k) + (2%*75k) = $3130 per year or $260.8 monthly.

By putting them in GXS, MariBank, and Trust, I will get (3.48%*75k) + (2.5%*75k) + (2%*25k) = $4985 per year or $415.42 monthly.

This is an increase of $154.58 per month 😀!

Friday, July 21, 2023

$200k in Annual Dividends!?

I was recommended to this youtube link the other day:

The channel talks about AK, a legend in the investment scene in Singapore. His blog is here

It seems he has generated 200k in dividends in 2022. I must have clicked on his blog before, though the 200k dividend didn't catch my eye then. 

200k is an insane amount. 

Assuming 5% dividend yield, his portfolio will be 4 million!

In the video, he claims he has 3 more years to withdraw his CPF, which means he is 52 this year (2023).

In his blog, he claims he makes 104k in dividends in year 2011 - which will be when he is 40 years old. Wow! 

I particularly like his 3P's philosophy:

- Prudent: be prudent with your money. It is hard to make money, don't throw it away (on risky investments).

- Patient: It takes time to make money.

- Pragmatic: Don't be too optimistic, don't be too pessimistic. Don't use leverage. 

I actually am quite curious about this guy. What was his occupation? He mentioned at one time, he worked 3 jobs. Did he have a high-paying job at one time? This guy is definitely rational and smart. Is he an extreme saver eating instant noodles for lunch every day (which I do not recommend)?

No matter, his story is inspiring for sure. 

Friday, July 14, 2023

Portfolio Returns for Jun 2023

I have been sharing the returns of my portfolio in the last few months:

I felt it will be good to track the returns on a regular basis since the returns will fluctuate from time to time depending on the stock market. 

This year has been pretty good, most of my portfolio recovered. The biggest rise has been in the USA and crypto portfolios. 

Meanwhile, around this time of the year, Temasek publishes its returns.

Its one-year total shareholder return (TSR) fell to minus 5.07 per cent from plus 5.81 per cent a year earlier, as high interest rates eroded the value of global direct investments, particularly those in technology, healthcare and payments, it said.

Still, Temasek’s overall portfolio performance sustained its recovery from the lows 

during Covid-19. 

Its three-year TSR came in at 8 per cent, while the TSR since inception in 1974 

remained robust at 14 per cent.

Ten-year returns stood at 6 per cent versus 7 per cent in financial year 2022, 

while 20-year returns were at 9 per cent against 8 per cent in the previous year.

Performance of Temasek Portfolio

Temasek recorded -5% for this year! 

Here's a recap of the major market events (positive events in greennegative events in red, mixed events in yellow):

  • Ukraine war: the war is still ongoing, though there is trouble on the Russian front due to the rebellion by Wagner chief Prigozhin. On the other hand, the Ukraine counter-offensive is not going as smoothly according to some reports.
  • CPI report: For the June CPI report, the year-over-year percent change cools to 3% (down from 9% in 2022 Jun). Since inflation is coming down, there is less anticipation of a rate hike, hence the markets went up. Reits also went up during this period. 

Wednesday, July 12, 2023

What Adrian Tan Taught Us about Work and Life

Came across this news recently:

I do not know him personally, but I do follow his posts on LinkedIn and gained insights from them. 

His signature signoff "If I were King of Singapore..." provided a light-hearted moment in my day. 

Anyway, while reading this piece of news I was recommended to continue with the below:

The last 2 sentences of the article caught my eye:

Mr Tan is sanguine, and has no personal bucket list of things to do.

“The life that I am living now is exactly the life that I want, and my only aim is to keep it going,” he said.

I believe for most people, when they receive cancer news, they will want to spend time with family, tick off a bucket list, etc.

But not him! He wants to continue working!

He has found the perfect sweet spot and he is blessed.  

Is the life you are living now exactly the life you want?

Sunday, July 9, 2023

Atomic Habits: The Science of Small Wins


I just finished this book. It is about building better habits and persisting in them. I think this is a well-researched book, with many lessons worth remembering. I also find it has many parallels with investing as well. In fact, investing is referenced continuously throughout the book. 

Some gems from the book are below.

On the power of habits:

Habits are the compound interest of self-improvement. The same way that money multiplies through compound interest, the effects of your habits multiply as you repeat them. The seem to make little difference on any given day and yet the impact they deliver over the months and years can be enormous. 
On how to change your habits:

The most effective way to change your habits is to focus not on what you want to achieve, but on who you wish to become.
On how to build better habits:

Habits do not restrict freedom. They create it. In fact, the people who don't have their habits handled are often the ones with the least amount of freedom. Without good financial habits, you will always be struggling for the next dollar.

Conversely, when you have your habits dialed in and the basics of life are handled and done, your mind is free to focus on new challenges and master the next set of problems.

On the impact of environment on habits:

Behavior is a function of the Person in their Environment, or B = f(P,E)... In 1952, the economist Hawkins Stern described a phenomenon he called Suggestion Impulse Buying, which "is triggered when a shopper sees a product for the first time and visualizes a need for it." In other words, customers will occasionally buy products not because they want them but because of how they are presented to them. 

Make the cues of good habits obvious in your environment. 

On reprogramming your brain to enjoy hard habits: 

I once heard a story about a man who uses a wheelchair. When asked if it was difficult being confined, he responded, "I'm not confined to my wheelchair - I am liberated by it. If it wasn't for my wheelchair, I would be bed-bound and never able to leave my house." This shift in perspective completely transformed how he lived each day. 

Reframing your habits to highlight their benefits rather than their drawbacks is a fast and lightweight way to reprogram your mind and make a habit seem more attractive.  

On how to make habits easy: 

It is easy to get bogged down trying to find the optimal plan for change: the fastest way to lose weight, the best program to build muscle, the perfect idea for a side hustle. We are so focused on figuring out the best approach that we never get around to taking action. As Voltaire once wrote, "The best is the enemy of the good."

I refer to this as the difference between being in motion and taking action. The two ideas sound similar, but they're not the same. When you're in motion, you're planning and strategizing and learning. Those are all good things, but they don't produce a result ... It doesn't feel good to fail or to be judged publicly, so we tend to avoid situations where that might happen. And that's the biggest reason why you slip into motion rather than taking action: you want to delay failure. 

On how to make good habits inevitable and bad habits impossible:

... make your bad habits more difficult by creating what psychologists call a commitment device. A commitment device is a choice you make in the present that controls your actions in the future. It is a way to lock in future behavior, bind you to good habits, and restrict you from bad ones. 

The key is to change the task such that it requires more work to get out of the good habit than to get started on it. If you're excited about the business you want to start, email an entrepreneur you respect and set up a consulting call. When the time comes to act, the only way to bail is to cancel the meeting, which requires more effort and may cost money. 

On making your habits satisfying:

The ending of any experience is vital because we tend to remember it more than other phases. You want the ending of your habit to be satisfying. The best approach is to use reinforcement, which refers to the process of using an immediate reward to increase the rate of a behavior... Reinforcement ties your habit to an immediate reward, which makes it satisfying when you finish.   

On the impact of in-born talent on your life:

The work that hurts you less than it hurts others is the work you were made to do.

Flow is the mental state you enter when you are so focused on the task at hand that the rest of the world fades away. 

Whenever you feel authentic and genuine, you are headed in the right direction.

When you can't win by being better, you can win by being different. By combining your skills, you reduce the level of competition, which makes it easier to stand out. You can shortcut the need for a genetic advantage (or for years of practice) by rewriting the rules. A good player works hard to win the game everyone else is playing. A great player creates a new game that favors their strengths and avoids their weaknesses. 

Boiling water will soften a potato but harden an egg. You can't control whether you're a potato or an egg, but you can decide to play a game where it's better to be hard or soft. If you can find a more favorable environment, you can transform the situation from one where the odds are against you to one where they are in your favor. 

 Genes do not eliminate the need for hard work. They clarify it. They tell us what to work hard on. 

On how to stay motivated in life and work:

The greatest threat to success is not failure but boredom. 

The only way to become excellent is to be endlessly fascinated by doing the same thing over and over. You have to fall in love with boredom. 

Professionals stick to the schedule; amateurs let life get in the way.  

On how to break the beliefs that hold you back:
One solution is to avoid making any single aspect of your identity an overwhelming portion of who you are. In the words of investor Paul Graham, "keep your identity small." The more you let a single belief define you, the less capable you are of adapting when life challenges you. 
Good book. Check it out if you have not!

Friday, July 7, 2023

Dividends for Jun 2023 [Financial Independence]

Here are my dividends for Jun 2023:

So I collected $1,179.34 in dividends for Jun 2023. 

In case you are wondering, some stocks are repeated because I have 2 brokerage accounts. 

Here are my monthly dividends over the last 5 years:

Here are the dividends I collected every year until the current day:

Also, I calculated I received $427.62 in deposit interest this month (SC Bonussaver Card Spend interest 1.3% + Trust Bank interest 2% + CIMB Fastsaver interest 1.5% + Wealthfront 4.55% + GXS 3.48%).