Dec 23, 2014

My year

The stock-picking strategy had been a great way to ride the post-coup rally in the SET this year. Despite the eventful year, the SET is still up about 16% YTD, not too shabby. The STI is somewhere... I have no idea. I have not kept track of the STI for a long time, only some individual stocks.

I am being proactive this year by making myself stop all activity early, curb that itchy-hand habit and be happy with what I have achieved this year. I am almost fully vested in my baht holdings, while I have been building up my SGD cash.

My regrets this year are TICON, SPCG and Sheng Siong. These are companies that I have prepared my homework for, and for some reason I just passed them over for others.

Several themes materialized throughout the year and I foresee myself to be heavily involved in sectors like renewable energy, telecommunications and food next year. I am also very concerned about the increasing role that China is taking in Thailand. It is not hard to get suspicious when the PRC starts touting the safety and quality of their rail systems. I very much doubt there will be anyone really getting onto the high speed rail on a holiday. It seems likelier that the true purpose is for freight.

Another potential theme capable of creating volatility and opportunity (or misfortune), are rumors. Rumor-mongers are only getting warmed up now and I suspect more activity to come next year. My biggest worry is not about oil prices, but rather, it is to miss the action when it happens.

Also in May this year, my decision to use a Thai broker as compared to a SG broker that offers SET access turned out well, because I am paying only about 0.1688% now, with faster trade execution, no custody fees, T+3 settlement. Thinking back, it was really ridiculous when I sold shares and the money reaches me in a week or longer. Although I do not rely on brokerage research material, Kasikorn is also pretty comprehensive in this aspect, as compared to CIMB or UOB. For UOB, I sometimes receive email newsletters covering regional news, whereas for Thailand they only have a single word, like Transportation, or Telecoms! I do not use the UOB broker based in Thailand so I cannot speak for them, but I wonder if they are really serious about their jobs.

Great roasts at Augustiner Brau

Exactly 1 year ago, I was in Munich for the first time. Germany is by far the European country that I enjoyed the most. It has only been slightly over 2 months that I have returned back to Singapore, but I still miss living abroad. I also miss that feeling of being free and roaming all over Europe as a student. I will never replicate that feeling when I return in future, although I suspect I can still get a student price even when I reach 30! There are so many things I miss, but I live in the present and I need to look to the future...


  1. Hi Clueless,

    My exact sentiments when I went for a student exchange in Australia. While we can't replicate those feelings, there’s no stopping us from making more awesome memories.

    Merry Christmas and a blessed new year!

  2. Hi Clueless,

    Can you kindly share which Thai brokerage you're using and the procedure to open an account with them?

    Many thanks!

    1. Hi, I am using Kasikorn Bank.

      Well you could check out the SET's foreign investor guide below,

      Although what you really need is a Thai bank account in the first place, which the SET would not have much advise on, and you have to deal directly with the bank for that matter.

      In most cases, a work permit is needed to open a bank account. I suspect student visas work too. There might be other ways that I am unaware of though.

      If it helps, there is a Bangkok Bank branch in Cecil Street. You could try enquiring if you could open a savings account+trading account there, although I have not tried this.


Crystal balls and smoke

It's that time of year again, where we put everything down and engage in that archaic ritual of crystal ball gazing. Simply put, it...