It’s been a few months since I last posted mainly due to my tendency to procrastinate. So many things have changed during the time I wasn’t active! Two of the highlights are ORD and Brexit. It is interesting to note that my circumstance is no different from the UK’s. First of all, I am out of the army – gladly, similar to how the UK is happy (subjective?) to exit the EU. The constraints that I was dissatisfied with and imposed upon by the army like how UK having to adhere to certain regulations by being a member state of the EU are now released. However, the big question I need the answer to is now that we both are out, now what?
To be honest, I’m not feeling a great surge in my emotions. It’s not like I’m in an entirely different world, where the sun shines brighter and the grass seem greener. Having ORDed seems rather underwhelming to be honest, I guess the stresses of life just don’t disappear after NS.
Life after NS, some head to university, some head to work, some (me) just rot at home, not knowing how to adapt. I don’t have a slot at a local university, and my choice private university doesn’t start till next April. So I have almost a year to do whatever I want. Well, I do have a few plans in mind and I don’t actually know whether they are going to work out but let’s hope I accomplish something, and be it big or small, I’m always happy to actually do something productive. One thing to emphasize on though, it definitely feels better to be out.
Less talk about my personal life and more talk on my finances – what me be doing these 4 months I was MIA? Getting more stocks of course! Before I only had 25% of my warchest vested in the markets. Somewhere during March, I acquired KingsmenCreative (5MZ.SI) given its resilient performance last financial year and on the hope it’ll do the same this year. The rest of my stocks dipped after handing out dividends, but they are still green so I still sleep well at night. As of then I had vested around 50% of my money, and it was during this point in time I felt the STI was too stagnant. Given its bleak outlook ahead, I looked to US stocks.
I had to find a way to exchange SGD for USD, but I couldn’t find the optimal way to do it. Interactive Brokers seemed to be the best option but I simply can’t guarantee the volume traded to justify the cost ($10/mo at least) to go through the hassle of opening an IB account. So, I bit the bullet and used the SCB offered rate @ 1.358 (ehh) for convenience sake. If someone has a better solution, please let me know.
Anyway, now that I have my USD, I could buy companies I had my eyes on. Quite glad that I did not buy anything the night UK was having its votes. There was so much speculation going around, about how the markets were up because insiders know something and it was due to the fact UK had already voted to stay. I was weak at that point I must admit, I almost fell to the herd mentality. I was literally on the order confirmation page of the SCB trading platform before my inner pessimist took over. I have never been more relieved in my life.
After window shopping for months, I decided to go with companies that I am comfortable with. I went with Activision Blizzard (ATVI), Electronic Arts (EA) and Berkshire Hathaway Class B (BRK.B).
To be honest I had already purchased some ATVI stocks in January when the price was at $31 in anticipation of their new game and movie, Overwatch and the World of Warcraft movie. The stock price has since surged to $37-39 level recently mainly due to the popularity of Overwatch. This has reaffirmed my confidence in the company and I’ve decided to go through with another purchase at $37.50. One of its main issues is that its new Call of Duty game might be overshadowed by its competitor.
Being an avid gamer, I am bullish on the gaming industry as a whole and despite the hate on EA being an unethical company, it is a company focused on fulfilling its role as a profit-making machine for its shareholders. I bought EA at $73.82. Just look at its growth over the past few years. EA has soo many popular games under its name that pulls along a diehard fanbase and crushing their direct competitors.
One notable matchup is FIFA vs PES. I used to play Winning Eleven on the PSX when I was young so I’m actually rooting for PES, but it seems nowadays, everyone around me plays FIFA exclusively. I’ve seen video reviews about the latest PES beating FIFA in a side-by-side comparison, and as a game itself, PES is better. However, the fact is EA is simply the better company while Konami stagnates, clearly evident at E3 2016. In the first player shooter category, it has been a 50-50 between COD and BF. Initial reviews show Battlefield 1 having the edge over Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare. Compare the trailers, Battlefield 1 and Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare. Just look at the likes/dislikes – it doesn’t say much about actual gameplay and I actually preferred COD’s trailer with the Space Oddity song but I am expecting EA to take this one.
I almost forgot to mention but I also bought some BRK.B at $140.30. Not much to say about this stock though.