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Lazada had its Mid-Year Festival/Sale recently and I decided to buy another surprise box again. I blogged about my purchase of a Lazada x Spigen Surprise Box (Lazada Surprise Box - Save or Waste Money?) a few months back and thought it was pretty decent.



Lazada x Anker Surprise Box costs $49 on that day and we can sort of expect a wireless earphone, portable powerbank + a disappointing surprise. It was delivered to my house the next day.

Lazada x Anker Surprise Box
The box itself was a disappointment compared to the Spigen one. #NoEffort

Upon opening the box...
To my horror, the 3rd item was a $30 micro USB cable?! Who will actually pay so much for a cable and it is not even USB-C cable -.-


These are the items in the surprise box. They even have a breakdown of the cost/value of each item and the total came up to $158.80 (~69% savings) but the feeling is different this time round.

Being a KPO, the next thing to do is to check how much it is really sold at the Anker Lazmall shop:
Anker PowerCore Lite 10,000 mAh Portable Powerbank @ $49.90
- Anker Soundbuds Sport Bluetooth In-Ear Earbuds @ $79.00
- Anker 3ft Micro USB Cable @ $16.90

If I were to buy these items now, it will cost $145.80. Not even enough to meet the $150 worth of product. Had they packed a USB-C cable, it would have been $150.90 and I would be speechless. Oh well, it was a good deal even without the cable.

As usual, CZM was saying I am wasting money but she went on to take the wireless earbuds cause she liked it and always wanted one. #TrueLove

What else did I buy?


Kingdom Hearts III (PS4) @ $39.90 (applied $10 voucher)Current Price: $69.90


Roborock 2019 Latest Model S6 Xiaomi Cordless Robotic Vacuum Cleaner @ $522.50 (applied $40 voucher) for our new house!
Current Price: $599

Damn. Looks like I wasted spent a lot of money ~.~"

Do like any of the following for the latest update/post!
1. FB Page - KPO and CZM
2. Twitter - KPO and CZM
3. Click here to subscribe using email :)
4. Instagram - KPO_and_CZM (Did you see those delicious food photos to the right --> Unfortunately, you can't see it on mobile.)
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We stopped contributing to CZM SRS account because she will stop working soon - "Semi-Retirement" For CZM.

Anyway, we have 3 portfolios on 2 accounts now due to our new strategy - New Strategy: StashAway + Supplementary Retirement Scheme (SRS):
KPO and CZM Cash - StashAway Risk Index 20%
KPO SRS - StashAway Risk Index 13%
CZM SRS - StashAway Risk Index 13%

1. PORTFOLIO SUMMARY (as of the last day of the month)

KPO

CZM

Based on the statement (30 June 2019), KPO made $1,225.97 and CZM made $55.46.

KPO

CZM

As of 15 July 2019, these are our portfolio performance:
KPO: $21,794.97 (+18.7% - Capital: $20,000)
CZM: $1,318.79 (+8.6% - Capital: $1,250)

2. PORTFOLIO DETAILS 
Note that these are reported in USD.

KPO and CZM Cash - StashAway Risk Index 20%
KPO SRS - StashAway Risk Index 13%
CZM SRS - StashAway Risk Index 13%

3. FEE CALCULATIONS


The fee stated is based on the monthly-average assets SGD $10,284.15 x 0.8% / 365 days * 30 days = $6.76. Without the referral, it would have been $13.34.


No fee for CZM for the first 6 months.

StashAway VS STI ETF
Since there is no way to compare the performances among the robo-advisors, I came out with a spreadsheet to track our StashAway portfolio performance (General Investing - Risk Level 28) against that of STI ETF which I will be updating on a monthly basis. For simplicity, I shall assume that one can either invest in Nikko STI ETF using POSB Invest-Saver or invest in Nikko STI ETF/SPDR STI ETF using SCB Priority Online Trading (no minimum commission). These would be the opportunity costs while we continue to invest in StashAway.

Apart from the absolute P&L, we should also look at the Reward-to-Risk Ratio where risk/volatility is taken into account. For more information, do read StashAway Clarifications - Reward-to-Risk Ratio. StashAway has the highest ratio of 1.25 which is significantly higher than the other 2 STI ETFs (< 0.4). Let me quote Freddy Lim (Co-Founder & Chief Investment Officer of StashAway), "for every dollar of risk taken, StashAway P28 is producing 1.25 times the return".


This is updated till 15th July 2019 and is based on only 1 of our portfolio - KPO and CZM Cash - StashAway Risk Index 20%.

This month commentary: 
All green with StashAway portfolio providing a double-digit return. Going forward it will be even more interesting when the commissions/fees incurred by StashAway exceed that of POSB Invest-Saver. This will be a battle between cheaper/lesser fees and asset allocation/diversification...

I will be removing this spreadsheet going forward because Evan (founder of StocksCafe) has implemented a feature to add miscellaneous fee either to a particular stock (margin/leverage) or to a portfolio (robo).

StocksCafe


Looking at the time-weighted return (14.15%), we can see that StashAway is outperforming the STI ETF (including fees). In addition, it has lower volatility and max drawdown.


On the other hand, StashAway is underperforming the SPY (SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust) with lower volatility and max drawdown.

Which is the best? Only time will tell :)

This is the link to our spreadsheet - KPO & CZM StashAway Portfolio VS STI ETF which I have also added to Our Portfolio page.

StashAway Referral Link for Our Readers
Here you go: KPO and CZM Referral Link

You might be interested in previous months update too:
StashAway - December 2018
StashAway - January 2019 - $16,051.10
StashAway - February 2019 - $17,397.81
StashAway - March 2019 - $18,780.96
StashAway - April 2019 - $19,702.85
StashAway - May 2019 - $20,823.09
StashAway - June 2019 - $22,031.43

Do like any of the following for the latest update/post!
1. FB Page - KPO and CZM
2. Twitter - KPO and CZM
3. Click here to subscribe using email :)
4. Instagram - KPO_and_CZM (Did you see those delicious food photos to the right --> Unfortunately, you can't see it on mobile.)
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Nope, we did not strike ToTo (I wish!) but we will be doing something most would not be doing. We dropped a teaser in our previous StashAway - May 2019 post stating that we will stop contributing to CZM's SRS account. Did you manage to guess it correctly?

CZM has resigned from her current job to take a "short" break after working for > 6 years, leading a semi-retired life. Yes, quitting without another job with the plan to travel! People leave a company for many reasons, usually a combination of both push (ridiculous hours, bad culture, etc.) and pull factors (higher pay, more interesting roles, etc.). For CZM, the push factors were definitely huge and it certainly accelerated our RTW plan or caused us to make such a decision.

After accumulating sufficient miles, I blogged about our next goal - Star Alliance Round the World (RTW) in Business Class! The main issue with such an ambitious plan is not the number of miles required or the money it costs (not really true, it was definitely a concern) but the TIME and ENERGY. Most people will have about 14-2x days of annual leaves and taking them consecutively will only mean 2-4 weeks of travelling time which is simply too short. Assuming if we were to spend about 1-1.5 week in each country/stopover, it would take us at least 2-3 months. We played around with a few ideas such as taking sabbatical leave but not all company has such policy especially in Singapore...

As we grow older, our body/health will naturally deteriorate. Looking at our parents now (40/50+), they no longer enjoy travelling as much because it is extremely tiring and their body will start aching. In addition, once you have kids, the cost of travelling will increase while the pace will decrease significantly. It is also impossible to travel with a piece of mind without them. With all these in mind, our decision was to whack and travel first before settling down to have kids. The next step was to evaluate if we will have any issue financially.


We did some cashflow exercise and concluded that we can manage even without her job. This can be done by doing the following:
1. List down all your income sources (salary, dividends, rental, etc.)
2. List down your fixed expenses (insurance premium, taxes, etc.)
3. List down/estimate your variable expenses (food, transport, etc.)
4. List down/estimate upcoming major expenses (vacation, renovation, etc.)
5. Build a table of income and expenses group by Month
6. Pivot the table to get an overview of your cashflow (ideally, income > expenses)

We did not list down mortgage/housing loan because that will be deducted from our CPF OA which will not affect our cashflow. Our decision to keep $20k and not let HDB wipe all our OA during key collection has proved to be an excellent and prudent move.

Interestingly, news travels fast and she was introduced to a job where she gets to work with a previous manager whom she enjoys working with. Since there is no harm trying, we both agreed that she should give it a shot and asked for a huge increment. lol.

CZM managed to get into the final round of interview and is currently torn between taking a break from work, doing the once in a lifetime RTW travel or going back to work... My opinion is if the compensation isn't sufficient/ideal, it will be an easy decision. Otherwise, we can always postpone the RTW and do it a few years down the road with/without kids. CZM just can't help worrying...

What do you all think? Were you once in a similar situation, made a decision which you regretted? Is it really impossible to travel once you have kids? Appreciate if you can take some time off to leave your comments for CZM!

Do like any of the following for the latest update/post!
1. FB Page - KPO and CZM
2. Twitter - KPO and CZM
3. Click here to subscribe using email :)
4. Instagram - KPO_and_CZM (Did you see those delicious food photos to the right --> Unfortunately, you can't see it on mobile.)
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I have been binge watching 4 seasons of Lucifer for the last few weeks (not really binge since it took me so long to complete everything), hence the delay in some of our posts. We went to the set/behind the scene during our Warner Bro's Studio Tour at Hollywood last year (Honeymoon to the United States - 3 Days 2 Nights in Los Angeles) and I told myself I need to watch this show. This show is pretty similar to The Mentalist with the supernatural stuff (Angel, Devil, etc.). I like watching police/detective show/anime (Kindaichi and Detective Conan).

Current Profile: 29 years couple who got married recently but staying separately with our own parents while waiting for the BTO project to be completed this year.

Our total expenses were $4,860.15! The breakdown would be as follows:


KPO Expense Fund (our common fund): $993.29


KPO: $2,201.96


CZM: $1,664.90


Parents
$1,360 - This is the total amount we are giving to our parents as allowance.

Vacation
We rented a campervan/RV from Fraserway for the upcoming Canada vacation. Paid a deposit of CA$500 which works out to be $524.89.

$205.43 - The cost of our accommodation in Parkroyal Serviced Suites for our Kuala Lumpur Food Trail - 4 Days 3 Nights.

Food
$613.52 - Our combined food expenses are still on the low side because we are still staying with our parents and I usually skip lunch.

Gift
$379.64 - Bought a gift for CZM during my vacation to Eastern Europe.

$188 - Wedding red packet for a secondary school friend at Grand Hyatt Singapore.

Darling/CZM
$544 - CZM signed up for some massage/facial thingy.

Credit Card
$288 - The fees/cost to buy miles from Citi CNY $8,888 for 38,888 miles promotion

Mobile
$278 - The price of my Samsung Galaxy S10+ with 2 years M1 Corporate Individual Scheme (CORI). The plan I got was mySim70 which cost $45.50 per month for 35 GB data, 300 minutes of talk time, etc. It still makes sense to get the corporate plan ($45.50 x 24 months = $1,092) which costs lower than the retail price of just getting the phone without a contract.

Transportation
$142.33 - Our EZ Link/Account-Based Ticketing (ABT) for the month
$90.88 - Cab

Insurance
$189.00 - This is a fixed monthly cost for the basic coverage - $1 million term life ($71), Early Cancer Care - 150k ($64) and hospitalization ($53).

Others
$20.46 - Treated family, friends and colleagues to food/drinks.

$20 - Gift for CZM's colleague

$14 - Gambling: Toto, the fastest way to fulfill our millionaire dream.

$2 - Bought SSB for multiplier (DBS Multiplier + SSBs + Joint Account = Higher Interest!)

Summary
January 2019 - $11,712.06
February 2019 - $7,301.63
March 2019 - $6,954.84
April 2019 - $30,027.34 (skewed by the 2nd downpayment for our HDB)
May 2019 - $4,860.15

Our total expenses for 2019: $60,856.02
Average expenses per month for 2019: $12,171.204

Do like any of the following for the latest update/post!
1. FB Page - KPO and CZM
2. Twitter - KPO and CZM
3. Click here to subscribe using email :)
4. Instagram - KPO_and_CZM (Did you see those delicious food photos to the right --> Unfortunately, you can't see it on mobile.)
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I always loved the food in Malaysia, hence when I chanced upon a cheap Jetstar getaway promotion to Kuala Lumpur sometime in April, we booked it right away. The total cost of our flight was S$130+ for two pax, all-inclusive.

Before I start on my food trail, the first thing people need to know about Malaysia and its food is that Malaysia has a huge variety of cuisines due to its melting pot of cultures, and Malaysians are extremely passionate about their food. As such, you can easily find good quality food by word-of-mouth and online reviews.  As we have a ton of food we wanted to eat, we decided that a four-day trip will be just nice for this food trail. Not kidding but we really flew there just to eat and eat!

Day 1


- Miru Dessert Cafe
- Restaurant Oversea Imbi, Kuala Lumpur

The moment we touched down at KLIA airport at 2pm, we immediately called Restaurant Oversea to pre-book the char siew and homemade tofu for dinner that night. The last time we went, the char siew was completely sold out even though the restaurant just opened its doors for business at night! Hence, we learnt our lesson this time by booking in advance.

We decided to check in our hotel at the new Parkroyal Serviced Suites Kuala Lumpur which is strategically located near Pavilion Mall. We booked the lavish studio suite which is standing at around 54 sqm at S$100 per night. We also managed to get 1 night free from our hotel.com 10 night free 1 night stay

Parkroyal Serviced Suites Kuala Lumpur, Studio Suite, 1 King Bed

Since the restaurant only starts at 5:30pm for its dinner seating, we decided to visit the Miru Dessert Cafe for some afternoon tea first. Miru is located within Pavilion Mall itself. Similar to After You cafe in Bangkok, it sells the Shibuya Honey Toast which we absolutely love!

Shibuya Honey Toast for RM 20.05
We noticed that there was a Eureka stall outside the Miru and bought A LOT of popcorn (bought 9 big packets and were given 2 medium and 3 small packets for free). Kaisu Singaporeans!

9 big packets of Eureka for RM 122.70
We were already half full by then, but it was time for our char siew! We walked to the Restaurant Oversea Imbi which is located 550m away from the shopping mall. We ordered the medium-sized char siew and 8 pcs of homemade tofu. Perhaps we were too full at that point in time, I find the char siew a bit underwhelming and too gelat for my liking as it was too sticky and fattening. The tofu, on the other hand, was fabulous. The tofu was smooth, silky and taste simply like beancurd. I will let the photos do the talking!



This meal costs RM 123

Day 2


- Sze Ngan Chye Roast Duck and Century egg lean meat porridge
- Sum Hou Bak Kut Teh
- Haagen Dazs @ One Utama
- The Beato Steakhouse, Bangsar

The next morning, we decided to have roast duck for breakfast. I know it's a bit too heavy for breakfast, but we don't exactly have a choice as the Sze Ngan Chye (四眼仔) Roast Duck, which is located on Jalan Petaling/KL's Chinatown, opens at 6am and closes at 1pm daily (and probably sells out much earlier than that).

The Sze Ngan Chye Roast Duck operates in a pushcart stall along the Chinatown. You can order half or whole duck and the duck meat is wrapped with a layer of plastic bag and newspaper. It comes with a packet of dipping sauce. As it only allows for takeaways, we bought a half duck from there and a packet of porridge from a nearby stall to bring back to the hotel. The roast duck was so so so good. The meat is tender and succulent and the skin has a light crisp. Everything about it was spot on!


Sze Ngan Chye (四眼仔) Half a Roast Duck for RM 30
Our next venue was the Sum Hou Bak Kut Teh located at Desa Sri Hartamas. This shop sells the herbal (black) Bak Ku Teh which KPO and I prefer. You can order the type of meat and vegetables to be added to the soup and also side dishes to go with the rice. Overall, it was a pleasant experience though slightly pricey in my opinion.

This meal cost RM 82.50 
I will skip the review on Haagen Dazs. The reason we visited the One Utama mall because we needed to walk after all the eating...but we ended up in a Haagen Dazs cafe to eat again! Goodness.

Häagen-Dazs Paradise for RM 46.10
We reserved a spot at The Beato Steakhouse, Bangsar for dinner. Both KPO and I are beef lovers, so when our relative recommended us this place which sells dry aged beef at just one-third of Fat Cow's price, we jumped at it immediately. We ordered the 300g wagyu ribeye steak which was absolutely amazing. The meat is well marbled, tender and juicy and the service staff was also attentive to details. Highly recommend this place to people visiting the area!

This meal costs RM 276.60

Day 3


- The Mansion Tea Stall - Roti Canai
- Ikan Bakar Seri Melaka
- The Sushi Teh
- Nitro Cold brew Peach tea at The Coffee Bean
- SS2 Pasar Malam + Durian

The Mansion Tea Stall was a place which sells Roti Canai (aka Roti Prata in SG context) and I saw it first on Youtube from a food vlogger Mark Wiens. Unlike the local Roti Prata where the curry is served separate from the flatbread, the Roti Canai (tsunami) is an Indian-influenced dish where the flatbread is mixed with the curry, sambal chili and two half boiled eggs. I can understand why it is called the tsunami. It is a complete mess, but it tastes so good, especially the sambal which adds a savory spiciness to the food. KPO thinks the Roti Canai at The Mansion Tea is better than our local Roti Prata. Don't expect it to be a clean fancy place though.

2 Roti Canai (tsunami) + 2 Tea for RM 11
Similarly, the Ikan Bakar Seri Melaka was introduced by Mark Wiens in his video. The Ikan Bakar (directly translated as burned fish) is a grilled fish dipped in sambal sauce. The Ikan Bakar place recommended in the video was located at some ulu location and we had to Grab there for it. However, the food was rather disappointing as the fish, sotong and stingray which we ordered were a little overcooked/dry. Will not recommend this place.

This meal costs RM 43
I will skip the Sushi Teh (#salmonbelly) and Coffee Bean because obviously there's nothing too special about the food. We just ate there because it's cheaper than in Singapore.

Our last venue for the day is SS2 Pasar Malam and durian feast. SS2 is in fact no longer part of Kuala Lumpur, but not too far away from where we stayed. We took a train down to SS2 as this place is famous for the night market aka Pasar Malam and the durians. Since it's the durian season, how can we miss this?! We ordered some street food in the Pasar Malam such as the must-eat fried carrot cake, char kuey tiao, etc but making sure that our tummies are not completely filled so that we have room for the durians!




The durians are actually not cheap... The Mao Shan Wang durian costs around RM55/kg. That's almost the same as what we can get in Singapore, but it certainly lives up to its name! The durian flesh is dry, fleshy and bitter. Simply delicious!


Overall, KPO and I felt that the food in SS2 is just so-so. Perhaps we did not manage to buy from the right stalls. However, it is still a good experience as the Pasar Malam is so huge and there are many things to see and buy. For those who intend to visit the Pasar Malam, remember that the SS2 Pasar Malam is only open on Mondays.



Day 4


- Nasi Lemak from Antarabangsa (Grab Food)
- Feeka Coffee + Eggs Benedict
- Restoran Char Siew Yoong
- Plaza Premium Lounge

On our last day, we woke up with a sudden realization that we have not had Nasi Lemak in Malaysia! How can we?! Hence, we decided to order it via Grab Food from Nasi Lemak Antarabangsa. It was a let down though. Our Nasi Lemak looked like an absolute disaster when it came. The meat was also dry and the sambal was too little. Oh well.

Nasi Lemak for RM 6.90 with a delivery fee of RM 5
As the food was simply too unsatisfactory, we googled and realized that there was a well-rated cafe near our hotel - Feeka Coffee Roasters. We decided to have our brunch there and ordered the cappuccino and Eggs Benedict. The coffee was good, Eggs Benedict was so-so but still cheap after exchange rate conversion.


This meal costs RM 47.70
Before we head to the airport, our friend who saw our photos on Instagram and realized that we were in Kuala Lumpur, texted us to try the char siew at Char Siew Yoong. We decided to give it a go and this was the best decision ever. The char siew was much better than the Restaurant Oversea. Every piece of the meat has a balanced amount of fats and lean meat and was well charred. By the time we left the place at 1pm, all the char siew and siew yok were completely sold out. So thankful that we managed to reach in time. For people who intend to visit the place, highly recommend you to call and pre-order the char siew to avoid disappointment.


This meal costs RM 29.80
After that, we decided to head down to the Plaza Premium Lounge at the KLIA2 airport since we had some time to spare. The variety was a little limited to be honest, but we noticed that it serves chicken rice there and the rice was surprisingly good. KPO had two servings of the chicken rice even after eating so much in Kuala Lumpur!



In total, we spent SGD $914 with food being the highest category!

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Dexter from the WhatCard.sg team reached out and asked if we can do a small post on their "passion project". I went to their site, played around for a few minutes and agreed to it. If you are wondering, this is not sponsored and I agreed to it because I thought this is really quite useful. They are not even charging or selling anything. Anyway, you can read more about them here

Forget about which camp (cashback or miles) you belong to. All the credit cards have their own set of rules/T&Cs to follow, rewarding you for certain categories of spendings (e.g. Travel, Online, etc.) and excluding some (e.g. Insurance Premium, Bills, etc.). All these transactions can be categorized by their relevant MCC. What is MCC?

Merchant Category Code (MCC)
MCC is used to classify the business by the type of goods or services it provides. -Wikipedia
An example of the MCC specified in UOB PPV T&Cs
Historically, it has been a pain in the ass to figure out what are the MCC or if your purchases qualify/belong to the relevant category. One of the ways is to call the bank and ask the customer support officer but this requires the transaction to be posted on your card first.

You would think they can do better since if I have not charged to my card, someone else would have done it or they (the banks) will have a portal to search for the MCC based on merchant but nope (we have one now!). Alternatively, one can rely on crowdsourced data on a messy spreadsheet - Credit Card HWZ Compilation. WhatCard also relies on crowdsourced data but it provides a cleaner/neater web interface to help us maximize our spending so that we can use the correct credit card at the right place.

WhatCard
You can search for the merchant directly. I love burger. lol.


Search based on various category.


Search by the type of credit cards - Cashback or Miles


Registration is not required unless you want to contribute back to the community/forum. On a side note, they are still at the beta stage and there will definitely be merchants that have not been added.


Just try it out for yourself!

Do like any of the following for the latest update/post!
1. FB Page - KPO and CZM
2. Twitter - KPO and CZM
3. Click here to subscribe using email :)
4. Instagram - KPO_and_CZM (Did you see those delicious food photos to the right --> Unfortunately, you can't see it on mobile.)
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We are back to the $400k portfolio and it is at an all-time high now. Thanks to G20 submit, no Trump drama/tweet, Fed lowering interest and many other unknown factors. lol. With half the year past, let's take a look at our progress so far...


The projected capital injection is $53,865 but we have only invested ~$6k+ so far. Nope, not for the fear of economic downturn/recession but for our house renovation. The projected portfolio should be at $431k and we are at $415k now. Not too bad :)

Our portfolio increase by 5.77% to $415,611 - $3,395.99 of capital withdrawal and $26,072.13 of capital gain. The one in blue is the StashAway portfolio, green is SGX and the total is in black.


If you prefer to look at numbers, this is the raw data used to generate the above bar graph. These numbers are as of the last day of the month.


"Cash Flow" is the amount of money being injected/withdrawn from the portfolio (buying stocks = +ve cash flow while selling stocks and collecting dividends = -ve cash flow)

SOLD
None

BOUGHT
None

Nothing really exciting except for the combination of Ascott REIT and Ascendas Hospitality Trust.

Dividends
The total dividends collected this month is $319.50. The breakdown is as follows:

Company Symbol ExDate Shares Total
Accordia Golf Trust ADQU 11-Jun-19 15,000 $319.50

Total dividends collected for 2019: $11,354.28
Average dividends per month for 2019: $1,892.38

StashAway

KPO

CZM
Capital: $20,500.00
Current: $22,031.43

You might be interested in previous months update too:
Portfolio Performance in 2018 - $354,145
Portfolio - January 2019 - $376,381
Portfolio - February 2019 - $379,814
Portfolio - March 2019 - $400,263
Portfolio - April 2019 - $400,263
Portfolio - May 2019 - $392,934
- Portfolio - June 2019 - $415,611

Do like any of the following for the latest update/post!
1. FB Page - KPO and CZM
2. Twitter - KPO and CZM
3. Click here to subscribe using email :)
4. Instagram - KPO_and_CZM (Did you see those delicious food photos to the right --> Unfortunately, you can't see it on mobile.)
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People are sort of expecting this to happen but this was simply too sudden! Given that the Ascendas-Singbridge acquisition just completed a few days ago?! Anyway, I am not sure why they are calling it a combination instead of a merger but I guess it is because they already owned it?

What is Happening?



Ascott REIT shareholders:
Nothing to get too excited about.

Ascendas Hospitality Trust shareholders:
Ascott REIT will be buying over your shares! This will comes in the form of $0.0543 cash/dividends + 0.7942 of new Ascott REIT-BT shares. Value unlocked? It really depends on how one looks at it.

Let's look back at one of our posts where I blogged about the open letter by Quarz Capital in our Portfolio - April 2019 and decided to buy more Ascott REIT.


As you can see, the offer is pretty similar to what Quarz Capital proposed - a mixture of cash (lesser) and Ascott REIT share (more) offer at a 5-10% premium to book value. In my opinion, the offer is quite fair and it does unlock the value for Ascendas Hospitality Trust. The next question will be is this better for Ascott REIT and/or Ascendas Hospitality Trust shareholder?

NAV and DPU


During such event (acquisition/merger), they will always market that it is good for the shareholders but it is not always the case e.g. Another Bad Deal - Merger of OUE Commercial REIT & OUE Hospitality Trust. One glance on the presentation slides or newspaper article will reveal that DPU will improve for both Ascott REIT and Ascendas Hospitality Trust shareholders.

Based on the closing price on 2nd July before the announcement

With more assets and "better" branding, it should be expected/normal for the new entity to trade at higher PB. Unfortunately, the dividend yield actually decreases for Ascendas Hospitality Trust shareholders. The dividend yield increases for Ascott REIT shareholders. On a side note, the pro forma NAV should have been $1.21, decrease by $0.01 including all the fees/costs but I found it amusing that they only stated that in the fine print and marketed it as DPU accretion, NAV neutral. lol.

Arbitrage Opportunity


Based on the latest closing price of both shares on 3rd July 2019, buying Ascendas Hospitality Trust still provides an estimated 2.96% return (before fees/commissions and higher return if annualized). Technically, both prices should be "supported" by this combination - Ascott REIT ~$1.30 and Ascendas Hospitality Trust ~$1.08. So whenever Ascott REIT price is > $1.30 or Ascendas Hospitality Trust price is < $1.08 are buying opportunities...

Having said that, nothing is stopping Trump from pulling any stunt that will lead to the whole market turning red again. In addition, with both stock prices at an all-time high, the chances of them falling is definitely much higher.

Indicative Timeline


Simply buying Ascendas Hospitality Trust when it is below $1.08. What's the risk? If you look at the indicative timeline, you will know that it is not happening immediately and has to be voted by the shareholders during the October 2019 EGM. There is a possibility of it not happening. Imagine market sentiment turns weak and Ascott REIT price falls to $1.10 (back in December 2018). The combination/merger will be an immediate loss for Ascendas Hospitality Trust shareholders!

Odd Lots


If you are wondering if there is any way NOT to end up with odd lots, the answer is going to disappoint you. You will almost definitely end up with odd lots but you can definitely try to end up with the least odd lots. A realistic example - if you have 3000 Ascendas Hospitality Trust shares now, you can buy 400 more shares so that you will be given 2700 Ascott REIT shares. This will only make sense if you have no minimum commission. Otherwise, you will be better off with odd lots.

I would have preferred more cash to be paid out vs getting new Ascott REIT shares at $1.30. Oh well, we are sitting on decent profits for both stocks so not going to complain further. So will you buy or bye?



You can find the spreadsheet here:
- Combination of Ascott REIT and Ascendas Hospitality Trust Calculator

You can refer to the official announcements here:
- Ascott REIT Announcements
- Presentation Slides

Do like any of the following for the latest update/post!
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Another year has passed since I last blogged about withholding tax reimbursement - StashAway Withholding Tax Reimbursement FY 2017.


If you are also a StashAway user, you would have received the email a few weeks back too. The breakdown can be found in your Transactions section.


The breakdown is too long to show above...


Since the portfolio did not change much, similar to last year, only 3 out of the 8 ETFs (TLT, TIP, and CWB) had withholding tax reimbursed. If you are wondering what's the reason:


For the withholding tax (WHT) reimbursement, we do not receive dividend reimbursement for all ETFs but only those that qualify under the QII (Qualified Interest Income) rule.

Only some of the dividend WHT from US domiciled funds (e.g. US government bonds) can be claimed back. As such, we did not receive any dividend reimbursement for XLK and XLY.

For further illustration, you may like to view the Dec 2018 iShares report on QII ETFs. Some examples of QII ETFs that StashAway invests in are 20+ Year Treasury Bond (TLT) and 10-20 Year Treasury Bond (TLH).

Our broker, Saxo, applies for the tax reimbursement on our behalf with the relevant tax authorities and we may not get all of the dividend WHT back. Just to share, the reclaiming of WHT will be done once a year, and we will notify you via email if you have any claimable WHT, which would be redistributed to your portfolio and automatically reinvested. 
- Kathleen

The total dividends received for the financial year 2018 including the withholding tax reimbursement which comes up to USD $154.46.

Breakdown by ETF

Breakdown by Month


The total fees charged by StashAway the financial year 2018 adds up to SGD $78.62 which seems pretty sustainable (dividends > fees). Do note that the dividends above are all in USD. Ideally, the portfolio should grow in the future even without the injection of fresh funds. On the other hand, if the fees > dividends, that would mean that the fees would eventually eat into the capital.

You can find the above information in our spreadsheet - KPO & CZM StashAway Portfolio VS STI ETF which I have also added to Our Portfolio page.

StashAway Referral Link for Our Readers
Here you go: KPO and CZM Referral Link

Do like any of the following for the latest update/post!
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KPO and I are in Bali now, waiting at the airport for our flight back to Singapore. Our flight is currently delayed by 30mins so might as well blogged on our adventure while waiting. at home now because I procrastinated for two months before posting this.

We travelled to Bali because we were given 2 nights of free Bali Villa accommodation as part of our wedding package (read more about it here). KPO was grumbling about our super hectic US honeymoon tour so I decided to make this a super chill one (or so I thought).

Day 1


10:00AM - Ngurah Rai International Airport a.k.a Bali Airport pick up
11:00AM - Babi Guling (roast pork) lunch recommended by our driver
2:00PM - Hotel check-in and Spa
4:00PM - Ubud palace & Ubud market
5:00PM - Tegallalang rice terrace cafe for dinner

Our accommodation includes airport pickup to the hotel. Hence, our driver was already waiting for us at the airport when we reached the arrival hall. At the same time, we ordered a sim card from Klook which allowed us to pick up at the arrival hall as well. How convenient.

After we installed the sim card, we followed the driver to his car. He offered to bring us to eat local food on the way to the hotel - the Babi Guling (aka roast pork). Personally, I don't find the food to my liking. It was a bit too spicy and the skin wasn't crispy enough.

Warung Babi Guling Penatih


It was approximately an hour drive from DPS airport to Ubud where our hotel was located. Hence by the time we arrived at the hotel after our lunch, we didn't have to wait too long for our check-in. Our Lagoon Pool Villa was huge. It comes with a garden, a king size bed, huge bathroom with bathtub and a private plunge pool. The entire area was standing at 165 sq meters and was much larger than our BTO.


As our hotel stay includes a free 1-hour massage, we headed out to the massage area immediately after we placed our luggage in the room. The massage was pretty good; It was a tranquil air-conditioned room facing the pool. Both of us soon fell asleep on the massage bed.

After that, we headed back to the villa to pump the two floats which I borrowed from a friend back in Singapore. Klook was renting it at $7 per day per float, so we saved $28! Whee. The floats were surprisingly quite easy to pump with an electric pump though they were gigantic.

Who doesn't love unicorn and pizza?

We had planned to explore Ubud for the rest of the day and were intending to head out to the Ubud Palace and market first. We thought it was going to be easy to GoJek since it was an Indo app, but we were wrong! While waiting at the hotel lobby, a few GoJek drivers accepted our ride and then started messaging us, telling us that Ubud palace is a dangerous place to be in, and bargained for a higher price to drive us there. KPO, being the kiam pok as usual, was sceptical and refused initially which resulted in a few cancellations.

Last if not I cancel...

36k Rp (App) ---> 100k Rp (Driver) ---> 50k (KPO)

Eventually, after approximately 30 min, we managed to get a GoJek driver at a much cheaper price (though he also bargained for a higher price than what was stated in the app) and hopped on. The driver told us on the car that people were not allowed to drive GoJek in Ubud as the people there wanted to protect the local taxi industry. Hence, if they were caught fetching passengers, they would be fined severely. However, I noticed that the supply of drivers using GoJek/Grab was still quite substantial. The drivers probably wanted to entice customers through the cheaper platform, hoping that they may book them for a full day instead.



We didn't stay very long in Ubud Palace. After taking a few mandatory shots, we headed to the nearby Ubud market for some shopping. If you are looking for touristy souvenirs for your friends/colleagues (but must bargain kind), or cheap massages, Ubud market is the place to go. The massages can be as low as SGD 10 per hour. I wonder how do they even make money out of it! We did not go for the massage though, because we just had one earlier in the hotel obviously.

As the sky started to darken, we decided to cab down to Tegallalang rice terrace cafe for dinner. KPO thought the local cab fare was too expensive and wanted to risk it again by taking GoJek, despite signs everywhere which state no private taxi allowed. It took us quite some time before we finally got a GoJek but the driver was too afraid to pick us up at Ubud market. Instead, he requested us to walk 1km down to a private alley. I was a little unhappy as the weather was super humid and I was already hungry but KPO was determined not to take the cabs on the street. See, this is what I need to go through even on my mini-moon just to save a few dollars!! ='(

Tegallalang Rice Terrace


We managed to find the GoJek driver after walking what feels like 3km and constant messaging. By the time we reached the rice terrace, it was almost completely dark. I thought the place would be a lot prettier if we had reached earlier. The food was so-so but the service was not too bad.



Day 2


8:00AM - Hotel breakfast
9:00AM - Driver pick up
9:30AM - Monkey Forest Bali
11:00AM - Tukad Cepung waterfall
1:00PM - Melting Wok cafe for lunch
3:00PM - Visit Luwak plantation
5:30PM - Jimbaran Sri Gangga Cafe for dinner

The hotel breakfast was so-so in terms of food variety. We spotted some flies hovering around the cakes section and decided to give the cakes a miss.

The driver picked us up at 9am sharp and drove us to the nearby Monkey Forest Bali. Entrance costs IDR 80,000 for adult. The park was huge and there are approximately 700 monkeys living there according to the website, though it felt even more in real person. These monkeys are not afraid of getting near humans and we even witness a lecherous one which tore a woman's skirt. Hence, a word of advice for anyone who's considering to visit, do not bring any food there unless you fancy getting robbed by the monkeys.



Next, we went to the Tukad Cepung waterfall. I chanced upon it on Youtube and was attracted to the cave waterfall. However, when we were there, we could not find the same waterfall and left feeling quite disappointed. Only after that did we realized that we have not explored far enough to reach the cave waterfall. For those who intend to visit the place, you need to be mentally (and physically) prepared to walk/climb quite a distance from the carpark. We will be back again!

I stumbled upon Melting Wok Warung on Tripadvisor and saw many positive reviews there, hence decided it would be good to have our lunch there. The cafe is situated in a quaint looking town in Ubud central. Personally, I think the place is a little overrated. Just thought it was okay only.



After our lunch, the driver drove us to the Luwak plantation. The staff there showed us around the mini garden and explained to us the different plants/fruits that they have. They also showed us the whole Luwak coffee process, from how they extract the beans from the Civet cat's poop to washing/drying/pounding the coffee bean. Lastly, they brought us to a sitting area where we got to try more than 12 different kinds of coffee. I thought this was quite an informative tour and the staff did not hard sell any of their products throughout.


Luwak's shit coffee bean in the making

Our last stop of the day was at Jimbaran as we wanted to have our dinner somewhere romantic. The view indeed did not disappoint. The restaurants there generally lined up their tables parallel to the sea so that the customers can have their meal and enjoy the view at the same time. However, the restaurants there are quite pricey (read tourist trap). We eventually settled on Sri Gangga Cafe. We only ordered a fish, rice and two drinks for IDR 633,000. On top of that, there is a music live band who will go around performing at each table. KPO, being KPO by nature, did not want any live band. However, they insisted on playing and were unhappy when KPO tipped them IDR 40,000. Isn't tipping voluntary? Besides, the music wasn't even nice... The singer sang out of tune a number of times... Overall, I will not recommend going back given the food quality and the price.


Not so romantic live band

Day 3


8:00AM - Hotel breakfast
9:00AM - Nua (laze) around the pool
12:00PM - Hotel check out and driver pick up
12:30PM - Bebek Tepi Sawah for lunch
2:30PM - Galleria Mall shopping
4:45PM - Ngurah Rai International Airport a.k.a Bali Airport

We decided to set aside some time to enjoy the pool in our villa on our last day before we check out. Our friend who frequents Bali recommended us to try the grilled duck from Bebek Tepi Sawah. It turns out to be one of the better meal in Bali. The duck is moist and soft, topped with black sauce and sambal. The restaurant also hires dancers to perform the Balinese dance on stage which serves as good entertainment for the customers.



Not the kind of satay we were hoping for

As we had quite sometime before our flight but did not want to travel too far away from the airport lest we are caught in a jam, our driver suggested visiting the Galleria Mall which is just 5km away from DPS. The mall houses several luxury brands including Bulgari, Cartier, Calvin Klein, etc. but we weren't exactly into shopping. We ended up sitting in Starbucks to play PokemonGo to kill time.

That's pretty much the end of our extremely short Bali trip. For first-timers who intend to visit Bali, I suggest that you may want to consider staying 4-5 days instead. Our 3-day itinerary is really too short to do much. If I had the luxury of one or two more days, I will definitely consider going island hopping or participate in some water activity sports. Till then.

Do like any of the following for the latest update/post!
1. FB Page - KPO and CZM
2. Twitter - KPO and CZM
3. Click here to subscribe using email :)
4. Instagram - KPO_and_CZM (Did you see those delicious food photos to the right --> Unfortunately, you can't see it on mobile.)

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