Saturday, December 31, 2022

2022 Review, 2023 Preview And Bob

2023 is coming in soon! In this post, I will share my views for the past year, my opinions of the coming year, and give an update on Bob’s portfolio.

2022 Review


2022 will be remembered as the year where the good times came to an end.


First up, we had the massive crypto meltdown. Taking Bitcoin as a barometer, from the highs of USD 47.7K at the beginning of the year, it fell to a low of USD 16.6K by 30 Dec 2022, a 65% drop, and this is not the worst. We had seen the collapse of several coins and entities related to cryptosphere: Terra-Luna, Three Arrows, FTX, to name a few, and these events shook the confidence of cryptos, even amongst their die-hard supporters (for now).


Next, we have the 2 “INs” wreaking havoc in the markets: INflation and INterest rates, and their rise had resulted in much increase in prices, and queue numbers in banks, finance companies and T-Bill applications. Though at this stage the interest rate returns are no match for the inflation numbers, they seem to be existing on two separate worlds when it comes to their approaches.


However, we still have some bad times coming to an end, too.


The opening up of countries from the pandemic lockdown had brought about the phenomenon of “revenge travel”, and this is very pronounced with the large numbers of tourists coming into Singapore (and Singaporeans going out), bringing in much needed revenue to our local economy, with hospitality and retail REITs benefitting significantly. And not forgetting the world’s second largest economy, China, is opening as well, after relaxing from their zero-COVID stance, and they would contribute more stuff than just tourists.


On the markets front, the S&P 500 index was down almost 20% YTD, while our local STI was (surprise surprise) up by around 3.7%. 


Finally, we look at the year-to-date performance of HACK, IPAY and ICLN ETFs, which represented my next big things cybersecurity, electronic payments and clean energy respectively:


HACK: -28.16%1

IPAY: -32.31%1

ICLN: -5.35%1


The results were expected, as equities (especially in the technology sector) were hammered throughout the year. The silver lining from all these is that I have the option of adding more of them (i.e., averaging down), and since they are ETFs, bankruptcy risk of a single company is almost non-existent (save for a fund house blowout, which is low, too).


2023 Preview


Looking back at my 2022 preview, I was (almost) dead right on the inflation-interest rate issue, a bit late on the China one (for now), and my metaverse forecast is literally a non-event (for now). This meant that there is a huge disclaimer on what I was about to say, because (as always repeated) I do not really know what the future holds.


For 2023, I will only address one item and that is what a lot of people are talking and worried about: recession. Whether is it really coming, and if so, how short or long it will be, are questions on everybody’s minds, and there are no quick answers for these. The only things which we can do is to stay calm, stay invested and stay diversified.




As at 31 Dec 2022, Bob’s Bedokian Portfolio had grown to slightly above SGD 85K in value (excluding the cash component which is not shown) and gained a dividend amount of SGD 2,481.67. Overall, Bob’s portfolio was down 6.83% YTD, which is not too bad given other indices and companies suffering double digits. Bob will rebalance on 3 Jan 2023 with another SGD 5,000 injection, so stay tuned to his portfolio.


Happy 2023!




The Bedokian is vested in HACK, IPAY and ICLN.




1 –, YTD as at 29 Dec 2022 (accessed 31 Dec 2022)


Wednesday, December 28, 2022

The Case For Dividend Investing

Dividend investing remains at the very heart of the Bedokian Portfolio investment methodology; after all, the mantra at the top of the blog read “Passive Income Through Dividend and Index Investing”.

Before I delve into the intricacies, I would like to state that this is not a “this is good, others are not good” type of post. As seasoned readers of this blog had noticed, I am open and go into index, value and growth as well.


Part Of Returns


It is universally understood that returns of an investment are consisted of two parts: capital gain plus income. What could be easily missed by investors is that, unlike the capital gains part where it is obtained with the liquidation of the investment, you can earn the income and hold the investment simultaneously. In other words, capital gains are unrealized gains, whereas income is realized. In this way, you can continually hold the investment and benefit from the payout, which could be put into good use.


Powder For Reinvestment


Speaking of good use, reinvesting the income into the same counter or other counters will amplify the compounding effect which is so exalted in investment circles. Buying into other dividend-generating instruments will create more of the returns = capital gain + income models, and the income parts of these instruments will have more opportunities of reinvesting, and so on.


Passive Income


Another good use is that in the event of retirement (conventional or early), dividends form a major component of passive income (we shall reserve the semantics of “passive” for another day? ), without the need for capital disposal, from an investment portfolio. If managed properly and given your preference, dividends can continually fund your lifestyle and the portfolio can remain intact for your eventual beneficiaries.


Inflation Hedge…Somehow


There is a general understanding that there is a positive relationship between inflation and dividends from equities. The rationale behind this notion is that during inflationary periods, prices rise and this translates to a rise in company profits, resulting in a rise in dividends. For this, I would say my favourite phrase: it depends. Some sectors/industries and companies are positively correlated to inflation, like those that deal with energy, commodities, etc. 




As with all methodologies, there are bound to have caveats and disadvantages of dividend investing. The obvious one is dividends are not guaranteed, in terms of the amount and the payout. Companies can cut down or even suspend dividend payments due to change of dividend policies, economic conditions and/or regulatory requirements. Another disadvantage is dividend counters are deemed to be low growth, i.e., not much capital gains. This is in line with the stable and matured characteristics of dividend-producing companies.



Despite the caveat, I am still all for dividend investing. If you are comfortable, include some growth1 and/or index2 counters to alleviate the low capital gains issue. On top of this investment style and methodology, it is also prudent to keep a diversified portfolio of various asset classes and rebalance accordingly. Do not forget that there are other income-producing instruments such as bonds, treasury bills and bank deposits.


1 – The Bedokian Portfolio (2nd Edition), p149

2 – ibid, p135 – 137 

Wednesday, December 21, 2022

Mad About Fixed Deposits, SSBs And T-Bills…How About The Others?

I believe now it is super obvious that a lot of investors are mad on fixed deposits, Singapore Savings Bonds (SSBs) and treasury bills (T-bills). There will always be a moment where these things are mentioned, from informal conversations to family groups on chat apps. This is akin to a mania, which is usually associated as something bad. But unlike manias of the past (tulips) and present (meme stocks), this is a good one, for these financial instruments and their returns are reliable and almost guaranteed.

While people are clamoring for these products, other asset classes such as equities and REITs are being forgotten, and rightfully so, since they are currently experiencing a volatile period in a southerly direction. Though it may sound counter-intuitive at this moment, I believe it is the right time to look at them now. As per the principles of diversification (and rebalancing), we should not be overweight on a particular asset class.


While it is very tempting to capitalise on the high interest and coupon rates, we can consider capitalising on the equities and REITs fronts, too, since they are quite battered. With good selection criteria, for growth investors this means a potential capital gain; for dividend investors there might be a higher yield on cost at play; and for index investors the indices may go to yet another all-time high after recovery.


Cheers and Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 8, 2022

Inside The Bedokian’s Portfolio: YHI International Limited

Inside The Bedokian’s Portfolio is an intermittent series where I will reveal what we have in our investment portfolio, one company/bond/REIT/ETF at a time. In each post I will briefly give an overview of the counter, why I had selected it and what possibly lies ahead in its future.

For this issue, I will discuss about the locally listed company YHI International Limited (YHI) (ticker: BPF).




Listed on the SGX since 2003, YHI is in the business of distributing automotive products such as tyres, alloy wheels, buggy and utility vehicles, energy solutions, etc. It is also an original design manufacturer of alloy wheels, with factories located in China, Taiwan and Malaysia.


Some of the known brands and products distributed include Pirelli and Yokohama tyres, and Enkei and Sparco alloy wheels, names which are familiar to car drivers and enthusiasts. 


Why YHI?


I had “discovered” YHI back in 2018 during one of my counter prospecting exercises using online screeners, and I took a look at its ratios using Yahoo Finance. As I did not record my then findings on paper, I would use figures from the 2017 annual report instead1 (using my entry share price of SGD 0.38 as basis):

  • P/E Ratio: 0.38 / 0.0299 = 12.7
  • P/B Ratio: 0.38 / 0.8488 = 0.45
  • D/E Ratio: 126,667 / 260,807 = 0.49
  • Current Ratio: 267,057 / 109,046 = 2.45
  • Dividend Payout Ratio: 50%
  • Dividend Yield: 0.015 / 0.38 = 3.95%

Using the selection guidelines listed in my eBook2, the P/E ratio was lower than that of the other listed company in a similar business, while the P/B, D/E, Current and Dividend Payout ratios checked out. The past three years’ dividend yields (using SGD 0.38 as base) were 1.68%, 3.74% and 3.16% for the years 2016, 2015 and 2014 respectively, which I find it acceptable given that the then 10-year average inflation rate (2008 – 2017) was about 1.84%3.


YHI’s business can be seen in two major parts: distribution and manufacturing. For distribution, their key markets were at ASEAN, northeast Asia and Oceania, whereas the customers for their manufacturing business were mainly from Europe and North America. Thus, YHI’s target markets can be considered global.


Despite falling revenues over the years leading to 2017, the net profit attributable to equity holders remained fairly constant (save for 2016) and their liabilities were reducing. Moving forward along 2018 to 2021, net profit attributable to equity holders soared, culminating at a high at 2021, and with a slight rise in its liabilities4.


The main gist of selecting YHI, besides its better ratios and numbers, is this: Using associative investing methodology5, the conclusion I inferred was that regardless of what the vehicle runs on, whether on petrol, batteries, hydrogen or hybrid, tyres and alloy wheels are must-haves on all, if not, most of them. In other words, YHI’s business is there and ready to take advantage of the rise of popularity in green vehicles.


What’s Next?


Going forward, I see further potential in YHI. They are ramping up their production capacity and further develop their product innovation. Their established foothold in the ASEAN region would enjoy the positive spillover effects from the growth of India and the re-awakening of the China economy with the loosening of COVID-19 curbs.




Bought YHI at:


SGD 0.38 at Oct 2018

SGD 0.385 at Oct 2018

SGD 0.335 at Aug 2019




1 – YHI International Limited Annual Report 2017, p8-9


2 – The Bedokian Portfolio (2nd Ed), p103-105


3 – MAS Core Inflation (Yearly). MAS Core Inflation and Notes to Selected CPI Categories. Monetary Authority of Singapore. (accessed 8 Dec 2022)


4 – YHI International Limited Annual Report 2021, p8-9


5 – The Bedokian Portfolio (2nd Ed), p137-138


Monday, December 5, 2022

Your Financial Portfolio Is Bigger Than You Think

Whenever we talk about portfolios, the most common thing that comes to our minds is the stocks, REITs, bonds and commodities that was bought with our cold hard cash. What some investors did not realise is their financial portfolio is bigger than they think it is. Addressing the elephant in the room (or stating the obvious) there is another big pool of monies that is generating yield passively, and most (if not all) Singaporeans have it: the Central Provident Fund (CPF) accounts. With a monthly contribution from one’s salary and at least 2.5% annual interest, the CPF preps one for eventual retirement and healthcare needs, and to fund property mortgages and kids’ education along the way.

The other pool of monies, though may not apply to everyone, is the Supplementary Retirement Scheme (SRS) account, which is a form of tax deferred plan. Contributions to it provide tax reliefs for the individual and 50% of the withdrawals after the official retirement age would invite taxation.


After a period of regular contributions, these two accounts would grow to substantial amounts, in particular CPF accounts due to the compounding of minimally 2.5%. For SRS, the compounding effect is not that pronounced as the returns are typically the prevailing savings interest rates (0.0x%). An alternative is to invest these two accounts, but that will be a topic for another day.


An additional source of funds which one might have is a savings or endowment plan with an insurer. During my younger days, my parents had initiated for me a couple of endowment funds, and I took over paying the premiums when I started working (and that was when I knew of their existence). Related to this are the investment-linked products which serve as an insurance-investment hybrid.


Finally is the region of potential monetization of one’s assets and if realised, would increase one’s financial portfolio further. Assets could mean time, where the domain of freelance side hustles come in. Assets could also mean something physical, such as a renting out a spare room in one’s home. Assets could mean both time and physical, and a fine example is using one’s vehicle for passenger rides or goods transport.


Regardless of if one has only CPF accounts in his/her portfolio, or having a multitude of stuff mentioned above, it is important to sit back and detail out all these portfolios and plan out where and how these different pools of funds will work out together, despite their differing objectives and regulations of their uses. This is where the concept of the Portfolio Multiverse comes in to try to make a coherent map. Hence the idea of differentiating the various portfolios, then integrate them as one to suit one’s overall financial objectives.