Saving on a Date / Cheap Date Ideas

Dating doesn't mean it has to be expensive although you need to spend a little when the present giving occasions arrive. Plenty of fun, cheap activities exist if you are willing to get creative. 
More often that not, when you put in effort to plan for the dates (as compared to just dinner + movies outdoors), your girl will be even more impressed and feel loved in return.

Below is a compilation on Cheap Date Ideas

  • Volunteer Together
Women find selflessness extremely sexy, says a 2008 UK study. Both of you could volunteer for a cause of mutual interest, such as helping out at an animal shelter or telling stories to children with cancer. Check out www.sgcares.org or www.childrensociety.org.sg.

  • Pinic At The Beach
Nothing quite kindles romance like the beach, especially at dawn or dusk. Stock up on inexpensive drinks and snacks – some fruits, chocolate, corn chips and dip – at the supermarket for a picnic, and pack your computer speakers and iPod to set the mood. Then simply spread your mat and enjoy.

  • Movie/Board Game at Home
Resurrect all of your old board games and have a classic game night with your date. This cheap date idea will give you hours of entertainment and can be made sexier if you turn it into a drinking game. Be creative with the rules. For example, if you’re playing Monopoly, every time you land in jail or lose property, take a shot. You can also discard clothing when you lose in the game, which is a win for you ^^D 

  • Spend an afternoon test-driving cars, viewing model homes, or window-shopping. [My favourite!]
Even if you have no interest in making a purchase now, these activities can kick-start discussions about your goals. New lovers are always dreaming together about the things they want to achieve: exotic trips, houses, children. As love matures, you become more focused on the here and now — attending school meetings, folding socks — and forget to write the next chapter of your love story, or think you don't have to because you've already discussed it all before. But continually setting shared goals gives love something to work toward and shape itself around. 

  • Get sweaty together. Get into your sports outfit or do some relaxation exercise.
It'll feel less like a chore and more like a we're-in-this-together moment when you help each other to get your hearts pumping and cheer each other along. Or try couples yoga: Twisting your body into pretzel poses will bring you closer together in every way. Or flying kites: you can combine this with the picnic for a double combo effect!

  • A Budget Gift for each other 
Head to your local department store and challenge each other to come up with the most romantic, intimate gift possible. Two things: It can't cost more than $20, and it must be used that night. You'll find that you really need to think about the essence of each other to come up with an offering that hits the right note.

  • Sources for Discount Tickets
Coupark.com is a good destination to find all the various discount coupons for you to save money. Plan ahead and it won't make you look bad in front of your date that you are a miser. In fact, do it well and she will think that you are organizing a meaningful event + saving money (which will be hers in the future?) = Double Win!

  • Dinner at home
This date has obvious advantages. Cooking skills always rank well in women’s surveys of what makes a man desirable, eating in is much more affordable than any decent restaurant too. It can be an easy dish like pasta, but include fresh bread, salad and wine with it. She’ll get to sample a ton of food, but it won’t cost you a fortune. Plus, she’ll already be at your apartment, so you can savor her company after the meal.

  • Local concerts 
If you want to enjoy some live music but can’t afford tickets to a huge venue, try hitting up some local concerts for a cheap date idea. Check out the bands playing at your favorite bars and hangouts. You might even get the chance to discover fresh, upcoming talent.
Lastly, for more cheap date ideas, you can visit the site here - http://www.squidoo.com/cheap-date-ideas-that-are-still-romantic. 164 Date ideas woooooo...

Hope you like my post and can do me a favour by "Like"-ing my facebook page at www.facebook.com/kissinvesting. Thanks & HUAT AH!


IPO Summary - Guide to Picking Winning IPOs

Despite a see-sawing, slow market, we are seeing many new IPOs for the year 2012.

Experts said prospects of higher liquidity and increased risk appetite have boosted confidence in IPOs.
Some examples include Furniture retail store operator Courts Asia, Indonesia's Geo Energy Resources... Religare Health Trust... And soon, 2 new IPOs, namely: Gaylin Holdings LimitedDynasty Reit.

If you take a look at Shareinvestor IPO website, you can see that the closing dates are nearing for the last 2 IPOs so you have to hurry if you want to apply for them!

Anyway back to the main topic for today's post... So how well are the IPOs doing so far?


IPO Performance Summary

As you can see from the chart, there are quite an equal number of winners or losers in the list of 25 IPOs.
Many people want to know the secrets to Winning IPOs so here are my insights:

1) Market Sentiment/Feel for the IPO
If you look at the list on top, Courts are a no-no in the forums (check out hardwarezone, sharejunction, shareinvestor forums). It's because they are listed before and many people lost money with it.
The immediate thought that goes to people minds is "Want to bluff my money again? No way!"

Secondly, if the company is listing at a time when major stock indexes are all falling, then no matter how good it is, people are still afraid to commit too much money too!

In the end, it boils down to understanding the psychology or "feel" of fellow investors...

2. Proposed usage of funds raised from IPO
Stay away from IPOs where they are using bulk of the funds raised to repay debt (e.g. bank borrowings). In such instances, the company is typically improving their financial position (rather than looking at your welfare)

My own investment strategy is to look at both value + growth.
If there is no growth involved, there are many more other IPOs that i can choose from. 

3. Past financial performance
When you look at the list, you are able to differentiate the winners into 2 groups:
(i) Consistent growing Sales + Profits: people look at these IPOs for growth and capital gains in the future
(ii) Trusts + Reits: Owning these will translate to stable dividend yields supported by good financial performance. (my dad usually diversified his portfolio by applying for such IPOs while fulfilling his desire to tikam tikam... lol)

4. Management team
Such information may be hard to access... but you can try media interviews, as well as press conferences when the management teams announce the launch of their IPO, etc.

Another important source is the prospectus. Review the ROE (Return over Equity) ratio - it measures a firm's efficiency in generating $$ using the equity (capital) they have.

5. PE ratio (a valuation shortcut)
PE ratio is derived by dividing the price of the IPO by the latest earnings figure
E.g. if PE ratio is 10, you are paying 10 times the price for $1 earnings. Alternatively, it also means it will take 10 years before the price you paid for is equal to the earnings made by the company (assuming earnings stay constant)

A high PE ratio (over-valued) will tend to scare investors away.. so a good guage refers to anything 10 and below...

That's all i have for you... feel free to share your opinions below and everyone (including me) can learn from it :D

Hope you like my post and can do me a favour by "Like"-ing my facebook page at www.facebook.com/kissinvesting. Thanks & HUAT AH!


Results of REIT Valuation Factors

Wow! It's pretty impressive that just within 2 days, this simple question has gathered quite a number of votes.

One enthusiastic reader has also written some other crucial factors which i would like to share with everyone too...

"Kian Jin Ow Yong · Answered Distribution Yield and 4 others
Other important factors :
(a) Strong sponsor
(b) Country, type (retail, office, residential, etc) and remaining lease of the property
(c) Lease renewal - evenly distributed?
(d) Currency risk
Most importantly(e) Credibility of the management (how do they raise funds? placement / rights / bonds? do they place the shareholders' interest at heart? do they raise bonds with high interest rate and only to insitutional investors? do they buy properties at high pice?)"

It's quite encouraged to see that people are investing their money in REITs, letting small money grow into big money $_$. It's much, much better than putting your hard earned money inside the bank only to erode it due to inflation.

Anyway, Saizen REIT has been on my radar nowadays for its Heavy discount over NAV & High Dividend Yield. I shall cover it next time... if you are interested you can either follow my blog through RSS or Facebook :)


How do you value REITs

In Singapore, many investors are quite conservative and prefer REITs because they offer a high distribution yield of at least 5% which i don't think you can find this rate anywhere in the markets for the liquidity and safe assurance it gives!

However, I would like to engage my readers on this question: "How do you value REITs"? I have included a facebook link below where you can share your answer and see how many people have the same idea as you!

REITs have risen quite a far bit over the past year and the dividend yield has naturally came down too. Share your thoughts on which circumstances you will take profits or still continue to hold on to them...


What you can learn from Major Investment Mistakes

One of my favorite quotes comes from Black Swan author Nassim Taleb: "People focus on role models; it is more effective to find antimodels -- people you don't want to resemble when you grow up."

It pays to learn from people's mistakes as much as from their successes. And boy, do investors ever make mistakes. In the 20 years ended Dec. 2010, the S&P 500 returned 9.1% a year, while the average investor earned just 3.8% a year, according to Dalbar. 

We buy high, sell low, mismanage risk, follow the crowd, and trade too much -- rarely with doubt, and always at our own expense.

What are investors thinking when they make mistakes? What's going through their heads? The frame of mind that guides the biggest investment fumbles might be best summed up with a list of famous last words below.

"I thought I was getting guaranteed high returns."
Everyone wants that, so no one will get it. Any legitimately "guaranteed" investment will attract so much money that returns will be pushed down to zero -- and negative after inflation. You aren't entitled to anything you're not willing to pay for.

"I want to get in now before I miss more of the upside."
One of the fastest roads to poor results. Buy businesses, not regrets.

"We've come up with a new way to mitigate risk."
A line invariably muttered before meltdowns, collapses, panics, and depressions. Overconfidence is a good alternative definition for "risk."

"We seek to enhance returns with leverage."
Alas, that leverage is seeking to enhance your humility. And it usually wins.

"My broker called and said he has a special opportunity."
Read the book Where are the Customers' Yachts? If you're strapped for time, reading only the title suffices.

"This company's moat is impenetrable."
Warren Buffett once noted: "30 years ago, Eastman Kodak's moat was just as wide as Coca-Cola's moat." Companies' competitive advantages can fall anywhere between weak and strong, but they're never impenetrable.

"It looked like easy money."
If it looked easy to you, it looked easy to millions of other investors who probably bought before you did and will get out before you do. The easier it feels, the harder it will end.

"There's very little downside risk."
Rule of thumb: Take what you think is your maximum downside risk and multiply it by five. Now you're closer to reality.

"Our model has a perfect track record."
The list of models, theories, and patterns that worked until they didn't is never-ending. Nothing can predict the future with certainty -- or even rough accuracy.

"This was a one-in-a-million event."
Maybe it was. Or maybe you severely miscalculated the odds. Reality is almost always the latter.

"Analysts are predicting high growth for years to come."
People wouldn't take these predictions seriously if they knew how bad most analysts' track records are -- and how minimal the punishment for being wrong is.

"My pension is guaranteed for life."
Tragically, I have a feeling millions of Americans will learn in the coming decades how fickle the word "guaranteed" can be.

"I follow the smart money."
The vast majority of professional investors underperform a basic market index. And you rarely know why they're making a certain investment in the first place. Is it a short-term bet? Is it a hedge on another investment? If you can't answer that, you're not following. You're being led.

"How can you argue with a bull market that's been going on for 10 years?"
Because all that tells us it that we're 10 years closer to the end of it than we were when it started.

"You can't afford not to own this stock."
As close as it gets to ringing a warning bell at the top of a bubble.

"There's too much uncertainty in the world to be investing right now."
As close as it gets to ringing an opportunity bell at the bottom of a bear market.

"I'm going to wait on the sidelines until there's more clarity."
The easiest way to ensure you'll miss the bulk of bull markets.

"I invest conservatively. I can't afford to take big risks."
A good sign that you're favouring investments that are riskier than you believe (cash eroding to inflation, bonds at record low rates today, real estate in 2006).

"I'm not concerned about valuation."
An easy motto to follow during bull markets; a humbling lesson to learn thereafter. At best, high valuations rob future returns. More often, they cause irreparable losses.

"I only look at the charts."
A line never said by any successful investor, ever. Investing is about buying good businesses and holding them for a long time. Everything else is Las Vegas without free drinks.

"My brother-in-law has made a killing in these stocks. It's time I jump in."
As Charlie Munger says: "Someone will always be getting richer faster than you. This is not a tragedy." What is tragic is taking risks you don't understand and buying assets at the top of bubbles only because you view investing as a competition with others, instead of a way to secure your own financial well-being.

"It's different this time."
A cliche among famous last words, but easily the most important. Risk will never be eliminated, growth will never be limitless, and markets are never fully efficient. When it comes to big, basic principles of investing, it's never different this time. This truth explains the majority of investment blunders.

Courts Asia IPO - The familiar furniture + electronics MEGAMALL!

Which company do you think of when you hear the word "furniture"?

For me... it's Courts, then Furniture mall, Vhive etc...

What about "Home electronics"?

For me... it's Courts, then Harvey Norman, Best Denki, Gain City etc...

We seldom hear of a familiar Household Brand Name IPO but here it is... THE

Details of IPO

i) Listing Price: $0.77 per share
ii) Courts is offering 178 million shares, of which 60 million are new shares.
iii) 4 cornerstone investors - JF Asset Management Ltd, New Silk Road Investment Pte Ltd, Target Asset Management Pte Ltd and Value Partners Hong Kong Ltd - which have taken up 44 percent of the IPO.

Details of Courts Asia Limited

Gauging on how they will be utilizing the proceeds (not fixing on the % of net profit they plan to give out as dividends); they are embarking on a growth path and aiming towards the Indonesia market.

Personally, i think that it will bode well for Courts for 2 reasons:
1) There is no major player in the Indonesia market (under-penetrated market) 
2) It has a large fast growing middle class => more demand for electrical, IT and furniture products

Courts Competitive Landscape

Courts operate in only 2 countries so far, Singapore and Malaysia. And surprisingly, they have provided the competitive landscape due to Euromonitor...

It's quite an interesting read... but i was tempted to go buy Challenger and Senheng instead due to the CAGR (Compounded Annual Growth Rate) though...
But i have to say Courts is doing not bad as opposed to other firms...

Courts Financial Statements

A few points to note:
  • Sales & Net Profit growing slowly but steadily
  • however, Net profit margin at only roughly 5.5%
  • EPS of 7.03 (after ipo) & Price of $0.77 signify => P/E ratio of 10.95
  • Trade Receivables & Payables at a significant Premium over Net Profit, and with their retained earnings only a mere $5m, they must utilize the IPO profits carefully. (A strong step = big risks)


If you would ask me, i think that Courts IPO is not bad... think of Maxi-cash IPO (ipo price debut at $0.35, now it's $0.44 range). More importantly, it has the Brand X factor in which many retail investors will likely rope in...

Especially when many investors now have the cash but are held back from investing in properties due to the new increased downpayment for private properties.

Nevertheless, remember to do your own research using the prospectus!

Hope you like my post and can do me a favour by "Like"-ing my facebook page at www.facebook.com/kissinvesting. Thanks & HUAT AH!