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Our First Business Trip To Malaysia!

Our First Business Trip To Malaysia!

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KOL Gathering – We invited KOLs from Malaysia to have a gathering and networking session.

In 2020, we expanded our team and business in Malaysia. Since it was the beginning of the pandemic and our headquarters being in Singapore, we’ve only met most of our Malaysian team members virtually.

So, this is the first time both teams finally met in-person, after going through the many project developments and meetings over the last 2 years!

It was also a good opportunity to catch up with many of our Malaysian partners, prominent financial influencers and community members!

Key takeaways from the trip:

✅ Sincerity & groundwork are key pillars for building a sustainable community
✅ Understand the nuances of cultural differences – this increases communication chemistry
✅ Always find a good balance between work & fun!

Here’s a big thank you to our wonderful Malaysian teammates for hosting us for the week. Our team bonding activity at Genting was awesome!

p.s. everyone looked better in-person 😎

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TECFAST – An Almost Guaranteed 80% Upside?(Guestpost)

TECFAST – An Almost Guaranteed 80% Upside?(Guestpost)

TECFAST (0084) : An Almost Guaranteed 80% Upside?

This post was originally posted here. The writer, Teoh Tian Heng is a veteran community member and blogger on InvestingNote, with a username known as @thteoh58.


Dear investors, if you are reading the article, that means that you surely are not settling with a mere 10% to 15% rate of return per annum for your investments. I mean, who does?

Anyway, the article today will show you a qualitative and quantitative study on the business of TECFAST as well as the finances, as to how this company could be almost guaranteed to deliver a MINIMAL of 60% upside.

Qualitative Studies

TECFAST (or the “Company”) had an elaborate plan as to what, and when to venture into the oil and gas business. Dated 6th November 2020, we noticed that there is an LOI between Fast Energy Sdn Bhd (“FESB”), a wholly owned subsidiary of TECFAST and Zillion Oil Timor LDA. This marks the very beginning of journey for TECFAST to enjoy the recovery of busy offshore activities as well as the recovering oil price.

However, the LOI does not show any materialized information. It was until 15th March 2021 that the Company starts to deliver on what they promised.

Dated 15th March 2021, the Company had entered into a supply agreement between FESB and Wise Marine Pte Ltd (“Wise Marine”) – one of the largest ship management services players in Singapore, with a total contract value of RM2,222,856,000.00. With this size of a contract, it is normal for investor to treat it as some “not realistic”. Hence, the reflect in share price upon the announcement.

A deeper study into a contract would note that FESB would supply up to 30,000 metric tonnes of low sulphur fuel oil, low sulphur marine gasoil and high sulphur fuel oil per month to Wise Marine. The marine gasoil or fuel oil are collectively known as Marine Gas Oil (“MGO”). MGO are mainly used to power offshore transportation vehicles, such as oil tank, vessels, bunker ship and so forth. It is also interesting to point out that whatever FESB was selling to Wise Marine are based on a certain premium on top of the costs, are more commonly known as the “Cost-Plus” basis. This does not mean that FESB will never suffer losses, but as long as MGO prices are stable or on an uptrend, TECFAST as the holding company, would be the beneficiary of it.

A reference on Singapore Mogas 95 Unleaded Futures could see that since July 2020, the prices of MGOs are increasing on a steadfast trend.

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Koda – Clear surge in furnishing spending trend(guestpost)

Koda – Clear surge in furnishing spending trend(guestpost)

Koda – Clear beneficiary of the surge in home furnishing spending trend (1 Jun 21)

This post was originally posted here. The writer, Ernest Lim is a veteran community member and blogger on InvestingNote, with a username known as @el15 and has 500+ followers.

Since 20 Aug 2020, Avarga has more than doubled from $0.146 to close $0.305 on 1 Jun 2021. Avarga’s strength is likely attributed to its 69.7% stake in Taiga (Taiga is Canada’s largest wholesale distributor of building materials, such as lumber, panels, doors, engineered wood, roofing and others). Taiga’s business has been flourishing due to the strength in home furnishings and the housing market in Canada and US.

By extension, Koda may be another proxy to benefit from the surge in home furnishing spending trend. It is noteworthy that Koda is an Original Design Manufacturer / Original Equipment Manufacturer to its customers in North America. In fact, customers in the North America region constitute approximately 55% of its FY20 revenue. Its forte is in home furniture, and it is possibly the largest dining room furniture exporter in Southeast Asia. Home furnishing seems to be in demand as consumers stay at home and have more disposable income to spend (rather than travel) to improve their homes.

In fact, Koda’s 1HFY21 revenue and net profit jump 16% to US$39.6m and US$4.8m respectively on good demand for furniture.

Given this promising backdrop, it may be timely to take a closer look into Koda. I have the privilege of meeting Mr Joshua Koh, CEO of Commune Lifestyle Pte Ltd and Mr Kenny Zhang, CFO of Koda (“Management”) for a 1-1 discussion over Koda / Commune’s operations and prospects via Zoom. The below is my personal interpretation of my discussion with Koda’s management and my own inferences from Koda’s announcements on SGX.

 Koda’s & Commune’s background

Koda was established in 1972 by Mr Koh Teng Kwee. It started by producing wooden TV and speaker cabinets. Since its inception, Koda has progressed from being an Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) to an Original Design Manufacturer (ODM). Its forte is in home furniture, and it is possibly the largest dining room furniture exporter in Southeast Asia.

Besides its ODM business, Koda established Commune Lifestyle Pte Ltd in 2011. This is their in-house brand and managed by the 3rd generation of the founding Koh family. Commune has presence in Singapore, Malaysia, China, Philippines, and Hong Kong. Readers can refer to the respective websites for more information on Koda (click HERE) and Commune (click HERE).

Koda has been listed on SGX since 18 Jan 2002.

 What is so interesting about Koda?

Outlook continues to be bright

Based on 1HFY21 results (financial year ends in June), management continues to see encouraging growth in their export orders and they expect the capacity utilisation rates for our key factories to remain consistently optimal. This is attributed to generally higher demand for furniture arising from work-from-home arrangements.

Their recent proposed acquisition of Land Use Right and a factory building in Long An Province, Vietnam (see announcement dated 25 Mar 2021) to expand their production capacity corroborates the positive momentum that they are seeing in their business.

Margins are likely to be steady amid strong demand

Notwithstanding the rise in costs from timber, fabric, metal frame, foam, and shipping etc, Koda believes that they should be able to maintain their current gross profit margins (“GPM”) of around 30 – 32%. This is because firstly it can pass on such costs to the customers amid strong demand. Secondly, their Commune business has GPM of around 50%. As this segment grows and becomes more significant, it may even be able to raise its overall GPM to above 30 – 32%.

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Future Insurance Policy Illustrated Investment Rate Reduced(guestpost)

Future Insurance Policy Illustrated Investment Rate Reduced(guestpost)

Future Insurance Policy Illustrated Investment Rate to be reduced to 4.25% and 3.00% from 4.75% and 3.25%.

This post was originally posted here. The writer, Kyith Ng is a veteran community member and blogger on InvestingNote, with a username known as @kyith and has 1,000+ followers.

Last week, we received an announcement that with effect from 1st July 2021, the policy illustrated investment rate (PIRR) will be lowered from 4.7% to 4.25% and 3.25% to 3.00% respectively.

What is Your Policy’s Illustrated Investment Rate (PIRR)?

Some of your insurance policies accumulate cash values. You contribute additional capital, on top of insurance charges to it.

The insurance companies will take your capital and invest in a participating fund. You can see this partipating fund as a pool of stocks, bonds, cash, property investments managed by a group of managers, much like your unit trust, hedge fund with a certain mandate.

 The performance of this participating fund’s return determines how much cash value is accumulated.

Typically, endowment planslimited whole life plans are the kind of policies whose cash value is tied to the performance of the participating fund.

Term plans do not accumulate values so they are not impacted by this illustrated investment rate in any way. Investment-linked policies (ILP) performance is tied to the underlying unitt trust chosen and therefore are not affected by this. Universal life policy returns are typically determined by crediting rate or a hybrid benchmark for those indexed link, so they are less affected by this as well.

The following extracts are taken from a policy’s benefits illustration:

You can see that there are two investment rate of return provided to illustrate to you how much value your policy will accumulate in due time.

One is a optimistic rate (4.75% a year) the other is conservative (3.25% a year)

This is for illustrative purpose. It does not mean that the eventual investment return will fall between 3.25% and 4.75%.

 Here are the actual historical investment return of different insurance companies:

You will notice that year to year, the investment return varies.

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Learning to Die with Zero. The Last Check Must Bounce (guestpost)

Learning to Die with Zero. The Last Check Must Bounce (guestpost)

My friend Christopher Ng recommended to his reader to read this book by Bill Perkins called Die with Zero.

I do not know whether it is a good book or not but I think it might be thought provoking enough for me to read it.

Die with Zero sought to answer a core question we all seek:

What’s the best way to allocate our life energy before we die?

This post was originally posted here. The writer, Kyith Ng is a veteran community member and blogger on InvestingNote, with a username known as @kyith and has 1,000+ followers.

When Bill released this book, I also heard many interviews that he did to promote his book. This book… might be the book to help re-calibrate my thinking. After doing so much research on how much a person need to accumulate so that they won’t run out of money in retirement, we need a book to teach us not to spend all our time accumulating.

Is this a good book? Personally, I find it hard to connect with.

In this article, I list out some of the notable takeaways from Bill Perkins.

Consumption Smoothing

The first concept that Bill explained was consumption smoothing. Bill took a page out of a time when he started working not too long ago. Back then, he was very thrifty and extremely proud about it.

However his boss, who is a partner at the company he worked for was astonished he was saving so much.

 “Are you a f***ing idiot? To save that money?”

It was a slap across Bill’s face.

 His boss Joe Farrel said: “You came here to make millions, ” he said. “Your earning power is going to happen! Do you think you’ll only make 18 thousand a year for the rest of your life?”

In his boss’s mind, Bill would eventually made much more than that.

He could certainly spend today and not save this sum of money.

It was a life-changing moment for Bill as it cracked his head open to new ideas about how to balance his earnings and spending.

If we look at our income chart over the years, it should be upward sloping. Due to our experience over time, we should earn more.

If we know that, we should be able to spend a greater percentage of our income today because eventually, we will make more and our savings rate will go down, but the savings in the future will make up for the higher consumption today.

We will basically transfer money from years of abundance into the leaner years.

What is difficult to connect for a lot of people is how much higher would your salary be in the future?

To use myself as an example, some of my peers are currently director of security while others are still a team lead in a small company.

If we smoothed out our income, the director of security and the team lead would be totally different.

I get the idea but I think whether it is sensible for us to do that or not is subjective.

Investing in Experiences

Your life is the sum of your experiences.

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Are Old Economy Stocks Back In Favour?

Are Old Economy Stocks Back In Favour?

Tech stocks have been on the selldown for weeks across different markets. From Tesla, Alibaba to Tencent and Meituan, none of these stocks were spared as most were down by at least 20% from the highs in the beginning of this year. This has caused the global economy to be stirred up.

However, there has been a resurgence in the old economy. For example, banks stocks like JP Morgan, Hang Seng Bank, DBS and HSBC have seeing a strong uptrend of more than 10% over the same time period. For example, the MSCI China banks index has outperformed the MSCI China index by 25%-pts over the last two months, slowly but surely boosting older economy and markets.


What are these trends telling us? What conclusions can we draw? What are the key things investors should be looking for?

As global vaccines are being rolled out, the possibility of a speedy recovery of the global economy and life returning to ‘normal’ increased. This has stirred up interest in the long-ignored value stocks. Hence, investments have started to rotate from the new economy to the old economy.
Get deep insights on what exactly is happening to the markets right now from two of our distinguished guest speakers. Chi-man Wong is the Head of Research at China Galaxy International (CGI). He focuses on strategy research and covers the building materials and brokerage sectors. Industry Experience: He has 18 years of experience in the equity research industry. Prior to joining CGI in 2012, he worked as an analyst in both Chinese and foreign investment banks, including Phillip Securities, Everbright Securities, and Piper Jaffray Asia.

Adrian Chew is the Vice President, Sales and Product Strategy (S.E.A) at CSOP. At CSOP Asset Management, Adrian oversees ETF investment solutions for Brokers, Wealth Managers, and Family Offices in Singapore. Adrian is also part of a team responsible for developing sales strategy and strategic partnerships with institutions in South East Asia. Prior to joining CSOP Asset Management, he worked for RHB Asset Management where he was a Business Development Manager for mass and affluent Investors, Wealth Managers, and Intermediaries.

Register for this exclusive LIVE webinar now: 




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EC World REIT’s Q1 FY2021 Results (guestpost)

EC World REIT’s Q1 FY2021 Results (guestpost)

This post was originally posted here. The writer, Lim Jun Yuan is a veteran community member and blogger on InvestingNote, with a username known as @ljunyuan and has close to 2,000 followers.

China-based logistics REIT, EC World REIT (SGX:BWCU) released its financial results for the first quarter of the financial year 2021 ended 31 March 2021 after market hours yesterday (11 May 2021.)

The REIT is one of the few that has continued to report its full financial results, along with payout a distribution to its unitholders on a quarterly basis – both of which are something I appreciate as a unitholder.

In this post, you will find key highlights about the logistics REIT’s latest financial results, debt and portfolio occupancy profile, and distribution payouts, along with my personal thoughts to share.

Let’s begin…

Financial Results (Q1 FY2020 vs. Q1 FY2021)

Q1 FY2020 Q1 FY2021 % Variance
Gross Revenue
$23.5m $30.8m +30.9%
Property Operating
Expenses (S$’mil)
$2.4m $3.1m +30.3%
Net Property
Income (S$’mil)
$21.1m $27.7m +30.9%
Income to
Unitholders (S$’mil)
$9.3m $12.4m +32.9%

From the table above, you can tell that the REIT’s latest quarter results was an improved one across the board.

The improvements in its gross revenue and net property income can be attributed to the absence of rental rebates given out to tenants to help them mitigate the negative impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic in the same time period last year, along with the Chinese Renminbi strengthening by 3.5%.

In-line with the improvements in its gross revenue and net property income, the REIT’s distributable income to unitholders also increased by a similar percentage.

Debt Profile (Q4 FY2020 vs. Q1 FY2021)

Next, let us take a look at the REIT’s latest debt profile (recorded for the first quarter of FY2021 ended 31 March 2021), compared against that recorded in the previous quarter three months ago (i.e. Q4 FY2020 ended 31 December 2020) to find out whether it has improved, remained consistent, or deteriorated:

Q4 FY2020 Q1 FY2021
Aggregate Leverage
38.1% 38.3%
Interest Coverage
Ratio (times)
2.62x 2.79x
Average Term to
Debt Maturity (years)
1.6 years 1.4 years
Average Cost of
Debt (%)
4.2% 4.1%

My Observations: Personally, I felt that the REIT’s debt profile for the current quarter under review, compared to the previous quarter 3 months ago, was a mixed bag – first, the positives (in my opinion): a slight decrease in its average cost of debt, along with its interest coverage increasing slightly; the negatives: its aggregate leverage edging up slightly, along with its average term to debt maturity (which is now at 1.4 years, from 1.6 years in the previous quarter.)

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The 7 Biggest Reasons Why Traders Fail (Guest Post)

The 7 Biggest Reasons Why Traders Fail (Guest Post)

Do you know why traders fail?

Why trading signals are important to new and professional traders

This post was originally posted here. The writer, Rayner Teo is a veteran community member and blogger on InvestingNote, with a username known as @Rayner and has 617 followers.

My YouTube channel was created in 2013.
The first blog post on TradingwithRayner went live in 2014.
And along the way, I’ve interacted with thousands of traders and the truth is…The majority of traders fail.

Here’s why…

You want to be spoon-fed without doing the work

“Hey Rayner, which is the best moving average to trade with?”

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Microsoft’s First Quarter 2021 Results Look Good (Guest post)

Microsoft’s First Quarter 2021 Results Look Good (Guest post)

Microsoft’s results seem good despite the pandemic.

Microsoft reports $36.9 billion in Q2 2020 revenue: Azure up 62%, Surface up 6%, and LinkedIn up 24% | VentureBeat

This post was originally posted here. The writer, Kyith Ng is a veteran community member and blogger on InvestingNote, with a username known as @kyith and has 1097 followers.

US tech giant Microsoft announced their Q1 2021 results yesterday morning.

They achieve per-share profit growth of $1.82, beating analysts’ expectations of $1.54 a share.

The after-market share performance was muted. In fact, it’s nearly 1.5% lower. But due to the broad market fall this morning (28th Oct) the stock is down almost 5% to $203.

It has been consistently drilled into my head at work that the market is forward-looking in theory. And in a few practical cases, it is the case. After-market movements reflect the general crowd’s sentiments towards their expectations of future cash flows.

Microsoft’s results were not too bad in Q1 2021.

  • Revenue was $37.2 billion and increased 12%
  • Operating income was $15.9 billion and increased 25%
  • Net income was $13.9 billion and increased 30%
  • Diluted earnings per share was $1.82 and increased 32%

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Budget 2021 – Amidst Malaysia’s Political & Economic Uncertainty (Guest Post)

Budget 2021 – Amidst Malaysia’s Political & Economic Uncertainty (Guest Post)

At RM322.5billion, Malaysia Budget 2021 is the largest budget in the country’s history. But will it pass?


This post was originally posted here. The contributor to this article,@Denise is one of our many community members on InvestingNote.

While the World Bank has come forward to welcome the overall stance of Malaysia budget 2021, it is still unclear if the bill will pass.

Malaysian finance minister Tengku Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz tabled the 2021 national budget in parliament last Friday on Nov6; also the first budget under Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin’s administration.

But already, it appears the current administration is in for a bumpy road ahead. There are a lot of doubts if the budget is even able to pass because of politics.

In his budget speech, the Finance Minister has projected the economy to expand between 6% and 7% next year.
In response to that, Mr Anwar argued that the projections of development figures in the budget proposals were unrealistic and “not responsible”. He also commented that the budget was “misleading” and benefits cronies instead of the people.

Besides Anwar, The Pejuang party leader, Mahathir, also joined the disapproval of the budget in a Facebook post saying he wants it modified so that it is “more realistic”. His reasons were that the pandemic requires more money to be spent by the government, but it has also affected the Government’s revenue.
Mahathir further questioned where the money will come from, considering the deficit of about RM85 billion is much bigger than the development budget of RM69 billion.

Accordingly, there is a high possibility the passage of the budget would be blocked by Members of Parliament with a no-confidence vote against Mr Muhyiddin.

However should the bill is passed, these could mean the following for Malaysians and the economy:

i) Employee Provident Fund (EPF) account-holders will be entitled to withdraw up to RM500 per month, for one year from their EPF Account 1. Before this, account holders are only allowed to withdraw once they reach 50 years old.

ii) Certain sectors are bound to benefit from the budget 2021, and others not:

On a more positive side, the setback seemed to be avoided after the king pressed MPs from both sides of the political divide to support the Bill. It was the first time in Malaysia’s history that opinions have been sought from opposition lawmakers on the Budget’s formulation.

It is worth pointing out that the Government usually makes additional changes before the final bill is passed. After all, this is just the first reading of the budget.

Let’s hope Malaysia is able to tide through this crisis! 🇲🇾🙂 $KLCI(^KLSE.IN)


Once again, this article is a guest post and was originally posted on Denises profile on InvestingNote.

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