Sunday, November 30, 2014

Singapore's Best Chirashi-Don

Bara Chirashi Don @ Sushi Tei Vivocity
Chirashi Don or chirashizushi. Some call it diced or slivered sushi scattered in a bowl of vinegared short grain Japanese rice. Others call it "happiness in a bowl".

Basically, this is a dish that comprises slices or sometimes diced up cubes of the freshest raw seafood and which is served on vinegared rice.

To me, freshness is probably the key.  The proportion of the various kinds of seafood as well as the portion (neither too big nor too small) also plays a crucial role.  My personal preference is to have the seafood diced rather than sliced as it is much easier to eat with the rice. One also cannot help but make mention that the temperature that it is served at also plays a part in the enjoyment of the dish.  Too warm and it doesn't really feel right.  The rice is also another important factor.  When all these come together nicely, what you get is an awesome bowl of indescribable goodness.

If you ask me, the best chirashi-don that I have tasted is probably at Sushi Tei@Vivocity.  I have tried the one at Teppei before but I will like to think that I prefer the one at Sushi Tei.  At $16 a bowl (see picture above), it is really good value for money.

Do You Earn More Than Singapore's Median Monthly Household Income?

A frequent topic of discussion amongst people in Singapore is whether their household income is more than the median household income.

The Department of Statistics in Singapore publishes a report that is titled "Key Household Income Trends" every year.  The latest report is dated 2013.

Some points to note first.  The paper only highlights income from work received by all working members of the household from employment and business.  This means that it does not include income from dividends, etc.

Some people often mistakenly assume that the figures are the median income of a worker employed in Singapore.  It is not.  It refers to the household income.

So here are the numbers:

  1.  Among resident employed households, median monthly household income increased from $7570 in 2012 to $7870 in 2013.  This represents a 4.0% growth in nominal terms, or 1.6% in real terms (where the Consumer Price Index) is used as a deflator to compute real income changes.
  2. Taking household size, median monthly household income from work per household member rose by 5.6 per cent in nominal terms, or 3.2 per cent in real terms.

I make three observations on the median monthly household income figures:

Firstly, we can see that the median household income amongst resident employed households is almost reaching $8,000.  However, we also note that resident employed households does not equal to the resident households in Singapore.  As many as 9.4% of the resident households in Singapore have no working persons with 6.1% of these considered as "Retiree" households.  That means that the data on the median monthly household income is only representative of 90.6% of the resident households in Singapore. Granted that some of these households might be really poor, 6.1% of these households probably have accumulated more assets/wealth/passive income compared to a household that is earning $7870.   

Secondly, the survey only relates to roughly 70% of the population in Singapore since the focus is only on households that are headed by Singaporeans and PRs (granted that some of the non-Singapore citizens or PRs might actually be under a household headed by a Singapore citizen or PR). This is because the analysis is only based on households headed by Singaporean and permanent resident (PR).  In 2014, the total Singapore population was 5.469 million.  The resident population (Singaporean and PR) was 3.87million.  This means that t

Thirdly, we should also take note that the source of data is from a sample of households surveyed in the June Comprehensive Labour Force Surveys conducted by the Ministry of Manpower. Based on what I googled, it appears that 30,000 households were surveyed.  So this is only a sample of survey results and might not indicate or depict the true picture of the state of affairs.

So if you think that having a household income of greater than $7870 puts you in the top 50% of the Singapore population, think again.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Dividends for October 2014

Another month has passed. Dividends collected for October 2014 was $513.

Main contributors were:
(i) distributions from bond fund
(ii) distribution from ETFs
(iii) OCBC 360 Account (which offers a neat 3%).

Besides that it was the usual from other monthly dividend paying stocks that I hold in my portfolio.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Is the bull market coming to an end?

Lately, after seeing the various stock indices hit their historical highs even amidst the news that the Fed's QE was coming to and end, I started wondering whether the bull market might possibly be coming to an end. One certain sign is the number of people who are probably interested in the stock markets again. We all know for a fact too that this bull run has gone on for some time now. So is this bull market coming to and end?

Some points I consider:

  • Unemployment rate in US has improved but is still worrying in Europe.
  • Federal Reserve stopping QE but ECB and BoJ are maintaining low interest rates.
  • China growth story seems intact.
  • Stock market still trading around historical P/E ratios.
  • Oil prices are low which ought to be good for businesses, no?
  • Investors' interest in stock market and their sentiments.
  • Low gold prices indicates fear of inflation or hyperinflation is probably low.
  • "THIS TIME IT IS DIFFERENT" syndrome has not appeared.
From a very rudimentary analysis, it will thus seem that the bull market still has some legs to go. How much longer is anybody's guess. Probably till 2015? What do you think?

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