Monday, 24 July 2017

Oil & Gas, Show Me the Orders!

When I sold out of Keppel Corp in Jan at $6.16, my colleague laughed that I had sold too early. Nevertheless, I was pleased to get out of Keppel Corp before it announced results for 4Q2016. I was concerned that orders were not coming in fast enough to replace those orders that had been completed and that Keppel Offshore & Marine (O&M) would show a loss for 4Q2016. True enough, Keppel O&M reported a net loss of $138M for 4Q2016 after asset impairment. I was concerned that Keppel O&M would continue to report losses from that point onwards.

Nowadays, when I consider buying or selling Oil & Gas (O&G) stocks, I look at 2 key information. The first is where is the company positioned along the industry value chain (see My Upstream Oil & Gas Rescue Operations and My Downstream Oil & Gas Recovery Operations for more information). I do not mind the Exploration & Production companies that are at the start of the value chain and the Engineering, Procurement and Construction companies that are at the downstream side of the value chain, but not those in the middle, i.e. Offshore Support Vessel, oil services and ship/ rig building companies.

The other metric that I look at is orders-to-revenue ratio. This is similar to the book-to-bill ratio for the semiconductor industry. If the book-to-bill ratio is higher than 1, it means that the industry is expanding. Conversely, if the book-to-bill ratio is lower than 1, it means that the industry is contracting. Likewise, the orders-to-revenue ratio is able to show whether the companies are getting enough orders to sustain the business through the long and harsh O&G winter. The other way of looking at this metric is that orders will eventually translate to revenue down the road. If the order is $1, you cannot report a revenue of $2 later (nevertheless, you can do 2 years' worth of work in 1 year and report revenue of $2, but the maths dictate that total revenue cannot exceed total orders over time). Thus, the orders-to-revenue ratio is an useful metric in analysing O&G companies.

Based on the above explanation, you will now understand why I sold Keppel Corp in Jan. In FY2016, Keppel O&M's revenue was $2,854M. Its new orders secured over the same period was only about $500M. The orders-to-revenue ratio was only 0.18. A couple of years down the road, would Keppel O&M still be able to report profits based on annual revenue of $500M (or $1,000M if you combine 2 years' worth of work into 1 year)? I thought it was unlikely. Thus, I was pleased to exit Keppel Corp at a price higher than my average cost of $6.08.

Nevertheless, I have to admit that Keppel O&M has continued to surprise me. For 1H2017, it still managed to report a net profit of $1M when I was expecting it to report a loss. And my assessment of Keppel Corp's ability to navigate the rough waters remains unchanged (see Keppel Corp – A Good Captain Sailing Through Rough Waters).

This year, I have considered buying/ bought 3 O&G stocks. In all 3 cases, orders-to-revenue played a key role. The first was Dyna-Mac. Compared to the other O&G stocks, its level of debts is low and therefore has a higher chance of surviving the O&G winter. However, its orders-to-revenue ratio as at end Dec 2016 was only 0.06 (net book order of $12.8M versus FY2016 revenue of $204.0M). In other words, it only had enough work for 1 month and would be idling for 11 months if new orders could not be found quickly. I gave up the idea of buying it.

The second was Triyards. In FY2016, it obtained new orders of US$273.9M, versus revenue of US$324.9M, translating to an orders-to-revenue ratio of 0.84. Compared to Keppel O&M's ratio of 0.18, this is considered very good. The other reason why I bought Triyards even though it is in the shipbuilding sector is because it is a distressed asset play. It is 60.9% owned by Ezra, which went into Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in Mar. The shares had been pledged to the banks as collaterals for a secured loan. If the banks were to sell the shares, it would trigger a general offer for the remaining shares. As at end Feb 2017, Triyards' net asset value was US$0.673. Unfortunately, in the latest results for 3Q2017, it reported a loss per share of US$0.208 due to asset impairment and cost overruns and the net asset value dropped to US$0.478.

The third stock was Rotary. My average cost was $0.62 and I wanted to average down for a long time. Last year, there was an opportunity to buy at $0.29, but I decided to give it a pass. In May this year, I bought at $0.37. The reason? Again, it is because of orders-to-revenue ratio. When it was trading at $0.29 last year, it only had outstanding orders of about $150M, versus FY2016 revenue of $233.9M. When it reported 1Q2017 results in May this year, the outstanding orders had increased to $435.9M. To me, it was not safe enough to buy at $0.29 last year, but safe enough to buy at $0.37 this year because of the increase in orders. 

As things turned out, I sold Keppel Corp and it went higher. I bought Triyards and it went lower. Nevertheless, the orders-to-revenue metric is sound and I will continue to use it to guide my investments in O&G stocks.

See related blog posts:

Sunday, 16 July 2017

Interest Rate Hedging Smoke Screen

After US Federal Reserve increased interest rates in Dec, Mar and Jun, and after Yellen's congressional speech last Wed, interest rates are confirmed on the way up. This will impact companies with large debts, especially REITs, as higher interest expense would mean lower distribution for shareholders. The usual response that companies give to questions of rising interest rates is that they have hedged the majority of their loans by swapping floating loan rates for fixed loan rates. However, are such measures adequate to mitigate the impact of rising interest rates?

If you ask any person who took up a fixed-rate mortgage loan to finance his housing purchase, he will tell you that even though it is a fixed-rate loan, the interest rate is only fixed for 2-3 years. After that, the interest rate will revert to a floating rate. Although he can refinance to a new fixed-rate loan after 2-3 years, the new fixed interest rate will be based on the prevailing interest rates then, not the interest rates now. Currently, a 2-year fixed-rate loan is available at 1.6%. But if interest rates were to rise to say, 2.6%, 2 years later, the new fixed-rate loan after refinancing would be at 2.6%. So, fixing the loan interest rate does not eliminate the effect of rising interest rates. It only postpones the impact to 2-3 years later when the loan or interest rate swap expires.

Moreover, unlike mortgage loans in which you pay down the loan principal over time, company loans are usually bullet loans, in which repayment of the loan principal is only required when the loan matures. Furthermore, these bullet loans are usually refinanced and rolled over to a new bullet loan. In other words, the loan principal is not paid down over time. When you fix the interest rate and pay down the loan over the period of the fixed interest rate, you reduce the increase in interest expense when the rate is reset after refinancing. But when companies do not pay down the loan when the interest rate is fixed, the increase in interest expense 2-3 years down the road is the same as if the interest rate fix does not exist! The only benefit is that companies save some interest expense during the 2-3 years when interest rate is fixed. But it does not eliminate the impact of rising interest rates altogether.

So, when companies say they hedge interest rates, please be aware that it only postpones the impact to 2-3 years down the road.

See related blog posts:

Monday, 10 July 2017

Which KrisEnergy Should I Buy?

If you read my earlier post on My Oil & Gas Fightback, you would know that one of the stocks I am interested in is KrisEnergy. The main reason for my interest in this stock is because it can potentially turn around quickly when oil price recovers and become a multi-bagger. However, there are 3 KrisEnergy counters listed on SGX, namely, 
  • the KrisEnergy stock itself;
  • a warrant named KrisEnergy W240131, which is convertible to the stock and will expire on 31 Jan 2024; and 
  • a zero-coupon bond named KrisEnergy z240131, which will also mature on 31 Jan 2024.
Which KrisEnergy should I buy for maximum capital gain?

KrisEnergy the stock is the simplest. If oil price goes up, it will make money. Conversely, if oil price stays down, it will lose money. There is no expiry date to the stock, unless the company goes bankrupt.

KrisEnergy the warrant is also easy to understand. It can be converted into the stock at an exercise price of $0.11. Because of the exercise price, it trades at a much lower price compared to the stock. Thus, the potential for a price increase is many folds that of the stock. However, it has an expiry date of 31 Jan 2024, after which it will become worthless. Thus, for  speculators who believe oil price will go up at least once in the 6.5 years before it expire can consider the warrant.

For me, there is another consideration in choosing between the stock and the warrant. I treat KrisEnergy as a minion, meaning it is a small speculative position which is mentally written off the moment it is purchased (see Meet The Minions for more info). Since the money will be written off,  it does not matter whether I buy the stock or the warrant. The stock and warrant currently trade at $0.12 and $0.038 respectively. For the same amount of money, I could buy 3.16 warrants for every 1 share of the stock. Coupled with the fact that if oil price were to recover, the rise in the warrant is many folds that of the stock. Thus, between the 2, the minion strategy always prefer the warrant.

KrisEnergy the bond is an interesting one. It is a bond, which means that it will be redeemed at face value when it matures. Furthermore, in the event of bankruptcy, the bond ranks higher than the stock and warrant and might be able to recover some money back for its holders. Thus, it has less risks compared to the stock and the warrant.

Moreover, it is not a plain vanilla bond that pays regular coupons (i.e. interest) to bondholders at regular intervals and does not move much in price. It is a zero-coupon bond. Zero-coupon bonds are bonds that do not pay any coupons. Instead, zero-coupon bonds are sold at a discount but redeemed at face value when they mature. Thus, investors who buy the bonds make money by gaining capital appreciation instead of regular coupons. For KrisEnergy's zero-coupon bonds, the last traded price is $0.44. When the bond matures on 31 Jan 2024, it will be redeemed in full at $1 (assuming KrisEnergy does not default). Hence, bondholders would gain $0.56 over a period of 6.5 years. This is equivalent to a coupon rate of 13.5%. Of course, the caveat here is that KrisEnergy does not default or restructure the bonds. 

Not only that, it is also a junk bond. Junk bonds are bonds whose issuer's ability and willingness to meet the bond obligations are uncertain. Their prospects are closely linked to the issuer's ability to pay dividends on the stock. Thus, both junk bonds and stock will rise and fall along with economic developments affecting the company. In other words, junk bonds can be as volatile as equities.

Thus, to gain capital appreciation, either the stock, warrant or bond are feasible options. The best instrument to speculate in will depend on your outlook for oil price. If you are bullish about oil price in the next 6.5 years, warrant will give the best capital appreciation. If you are neutral about oil price, bond will provide the best capital gain. If you are bearish about oil price, all instruments will be bad, with bond being less worse off. An estimation of each instrument's performance under the various scenarios on oil price is as follows.

Outlook Bond Stock Warrant
Bullish Good Good Best
Neutral Good Neutral Bad
Bearish Bad Worse Worst

P.S. I am vested in KrisEnergy stock but planning to switch to KrisEnergy warrant.

See related blog posts:

Monday, 3 July 2017

Wills, Trusts, AMDs and LPAs

I just attended a 2-day estate planning talks on wills, trusts, Advanced Medical Directives (AMDs) and Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPAs) organised by RockWills Corp Pte Ltd. There are some interesting facts about them that I share below.


Most people know what is a will, so I will skip the basic facts and mention what I learnt from the talk. As you may be aware, you need to identify who are the executor and trustee of the will. The executor is the person who will carry out all necessary actions to distribute the estate according to the wishes of the will, while the trustee is the person who will hold on to the estate until it is completely distributed to the beneficiaries of the will. Although you can nominate an executor and trustee to carry out the wishes of the will, they can actually renounce these roles! The beneficiaries will then have to appoint another executor and trustee to execute the will.

The other point highlighted is that while you can write a well-planned will, if the will cannot be found or is destroyed, it is useless as well. This may sound like common sense, but the safekeeping of the will is sometimes taken for granted. For example, I made my will approximately 10 years ago. It is sealed inside an envelope and placed in an easily accessible location as nobody knows the existence of this will. However, for these past 10 years, I never open up the envelope and check the content. Who knows, maybe the ink might have faded or the paper on which the will was written might have turned yellow such that the will is no longer legible? 

The other concern for leaving my will so easily accessible is if someone were to read it after I am gone and dislike its content, he could simply destroy it and there would not be a will left behind.

The reason for my complacency is because I believed a copy of the will is kept by the law firm who wrote my will and by the Wills Registry under the Ministry of Law. I was reminded at the talks that the Wills Registry does not keep a copy of my will; it only has a record of when and who drew up my will. Will the law firm still keep a copy of my will 10 years after making it? I believe so, but I better not count on it since it did not charge me any custody fee. I will have to seriously think through how should I keep my will securely while still keeping it accessible when needed. 


This is the most interesting topic that I learnt from the talks. If you have read my blog post on There is Really a Regular-Payout Term Insurance, you would know that I have a preference for insurance policies that pay out regular sums of money over a period of time instead of a lump sum. This is because my dependents might not be financially savvy enough to handle a large sum of money suddenly and might unwittingly invest the money in some risky investment products. A regular payout provides greater certainty on the financial sustainability of my dependents.

Similarly, a will pays out the inheritance as a lump sum, which has the same disadvantages mentioned above. However, if you write a will to pay out the inheritance into a trust, you can provide instructions on how regularly a trust disburse the funds to the beneficiaries. You could also set certain milestones for your beneficiaries to achieve before they get further payouts, such as getting a degree, etc.

Advanced Medical Directives (AMDs) 

AMDs are instructions that you set in advance to inform doctors whether you wish to be kept on life-support in the event of a terminal illness and when death is imminent without life-support. You can refer to Ministry of Health's website on AMDs for more information.

The key thing to note is that the witnesses to the AMDs should not be beneficiaries of your will.

Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPAs)

LPAs are legal documents authorising a trusted person (known as a donee) to make decisions related to your personal welfare and financial matters in the event of mental incapacity such as dementia or stroke. This is a very powerful document as the donee(s) can make many decisions on your behalf. Thus, whom you appoint as donee(s) is very important. For the simple LPA, you can appoint 1 or 2 donees and specify whether the 2 donees need to act jointly or can act alone. You can also appoint a replacement donee should one of the originally appointed donees becomes unsuitable. You can refer to Office of the Public Guardian's website on LPAs for more information.

Some other practical considerations that the speaker mentioned at the talk are the donee should preferably not be of the same age, because both the donor and the donee might suffer from dementia when the LPA needs to take effect. Also, the donee should not be someone living overseas as he would have difficulties overseeing daily matters related to personal welfare and/or financial matters. 

That's all for the lessons I gathered from the talks. It is useful to attending such talks from time to time to clear up any misconceptions and understand the options available for estate planning.

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Sunday, 25 June 2017

How Long Would You Hold A Value Stock?

9 years and 11 months! That is how long I held on to a value stock known as Frencken. I recently sold it in Jun at $0.515, having first bought it in Jul 2007 at $0.535 when it was still known as ElectroTech. In between, I averaged down twice, at $0.33 in Jul 2010 and at $0.365 in Jul 2014. The figure below shows the share price performance since May 2005.

Frencken Share Price Performance Since 2005

As you can see, for a very long 9.5 years, the share price never recovered to its previous levels, until only recently. In between, it changed its name from ElectroTech to Frencken and took over not 1, but 2 SGX listed companies (ETLA and JukenTech)! It has been a very long 9.5 years for Frencken shareholders who bought it as a value stock.

In value investing, you are often told that you have to be patient; that the day will come when your value stock will rise significantly and become a potential multi-bagger. The logic is appealing: buy a $1 stock for $0.60 and eventually the market will come to recognise its value and price it at $1 or beyond! However, what is not mentioned is how long do you have to wait for this to happen. And in the case of Frencken, it took almost 10 years for it to recover to its previous levels.

You might ask, did I make a mistake for identifying Frencken as a value stock and for buying it at too high a price? I bought it in Jul 2007, so my assessment was based on the financial statements for Dec 2006. For FY2005 and FY2006, the respective earnings per share were 9.59 cents and 8.65 cents, the book value was 46.0 cents and 52.4 cents, and the dividend was 2.68 cents and 2.60 cents. Based on my original purchase price of $0.535, these translated to P/E ratios of 5.6 times and 6.2 times, P/B ratios of 1.16 times and 1.02 times, and dividend yield of 5.0% and 4.9% respectively. These figures suggest that Frencken was a value stock when I first bought it and I certainly did not pay too a high price for it.

The point I am trying to make is this: value investing does not always work. It is not a case of buying an undervalued stock and eventually it will become a multi-bagger. It is not that simple. As I later figured out, being undervalued is only a necessary but insufficient condition for a stock to rise to its intrinsic value. Some other catalysts must be present for the rise to materialise, such as a bull run, recovery in earnings, asset sales with special dividends, etc. Being undervalued alone is not sufficient.

In the case of Frencken, the recent recovery in share price is due to 2 factors: a bull run in electronics stocks that swept up not only Frencken, but also other electronics stocks such as Hi-P, Sunningdale, UMS, Valuetronics, Venture, etc. The other factor is a recovery in earnings. For the latest quarter in 1Q2017, it reported a 437% year-on-year rise in quarterly earnings. This explains the doubling in share price from $0.24 since the beginning of this year.

If being undervalued is the only necessary condition for a stock to rise, why did I have to wait for not 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, but almost 10 years for it to rise?

I used to be a value investor too. When the value stock that I bought rose, I believed that value investing worked. When the stock did not rise, I told myself to be patient, that one day the market would eventually recognise the stock's value and give it its rightful valuation. When the stock dropped further and turned into a value trap, I thought that there must be something that I missed and should work harder to improve my value investing skills. Seldom did I think that there could be some other factors at work that would determine to a larger extent whether I make money or lose money on stocks. If the value stocks rose, value investing was right (never mind that there could be a general bull market as in the case of 2004). If the stocks did not rise, value investing was not at fault!

It was only around 2011 that I realised that something was amiss with value investing. I found out that the stocks that I bought during the Global Financial Crisis did not rise as much as I expected. It was then that I finally understood that value investing does not always work. Being undervalued is only a necessary but insufficient condition for stocks to rise. From there, I kept an open mind and branched out to other investing strategies, such as growth, turnarounds, dividend, etc. 

Having said the above, value investing did not totally disappear from my investment strategies. The principles of not overpaying for investments have continued to stay with me (see What is My Target Price?). And I am actually very grateful to have learnt value investing back then in 2001. It taught me a scientific method to value stocks instead of using gut feel. But value investing could only bring me this far. To continue my investing journey, I had to understand what worked for value investing and discard what did not.

10 years. That is how long I held on to a stock bought on the thesis of a winning formula. How many 10 years does anyone have in his investing lifetime to realise that his much cherished winning formula does not always work?

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Sunday, 18 June 2017

Fundamentals of Stock and Bond Picking

You have probably heard of the study in which monkeys throwing darts on a dartboard with stock names on it could produce portfolios that outperform those picked by professional investors. A few reasons were given for the outperformance, such as size of the companies, Price-to-Book valuation of the stocks, etc. I wonder if the same study were to be repeated for bond picking, would monkeys still outperform professional investors?

There is no study on the above, but my answer to it is probably not. When you pick a stock to buy, you are expecting it to change in the future, whether it is the earnings or dividends increasing or the Price-to-Earnings valuation improving. In essence, you are forecasting the future. This can be seen from the various models for valuing stocks. The Dividend Discount Model, for example, estimates the intrinsic value of a stock as the summation of all future dividends discounted to the present. The Discounted Cash Flow Model does so similarly, using free cashflows instead of dividends. The present matters less in stock valuation, and yardsticks based on present assets such as Price-to-Book ratio do not feature much in investors' minds. There are good reasons for this, because if the assets cannot produce good future earnings, the assets have to be discounted from book value. 

The corollary is that, if things are not expected to change in the future, you should not pick the stock (except for dividend stocks, which have similarities with bonds). Also, since nobody can predict the future accurately, it is not surprising that monkeys can beat professional investors in stock picking. Likewise, professional investors underperform their respective stock benchmarks when they carry out tactical allocations according to their outlook for the future.

Bond investment is quite the mirror opposite of stock investment. When you pick a bond (or dividend-paying stock) to buy, you are expecting it to continue paying the same amount of coupons or dividends until they mature. In other words, you are expecting it not to change in the future. Hence, bond valuation starts with present assets and earnings and computes a margin of safety to cater for unexpected changes in the future. While the future is still important, the present plays a bigger role in bond valuation. Thus, bond valuation deals with yardsticks such as the debt-to-equity ratio, interest coverage ratio, etc. which are found in the present income statements and balance sheets.

Hence, when you compare stock and bond valuation methods, stock valuations are more of an art, because it is based on forecasts for the future, which everybody will have different opinions of. Whereas bond valuations are more of a science, because that they are based on figures in the income statements and balance sheets, which people rarely dispute. 

Hence, on the above question on whether monkeys will outperform professional investors on bond picking, my answer is probably not, since monkeys cannot analyse income statements and balance sheets. Also, based on the above argument, more professional bond investors should outperform their benchmarks compared to their stock counterparts. This is true. S&P publishes annual SPIVA (S&P Indices Versus Active) reports on whether active fund managers outperform their benchmarks. In all equities categories, active fund managers underperform their respective benchmarks. In bonds, active fund managers outperform their benchmarks in the investment-grade short and intermediate, global income and general municipal categories on a 5-year basis (see SPIVA report for US Year-End 2016).

Thus, on the question whether you should buy the stocks or bonds of a particular company, it depends on your outlook for the company in the future, summarised as follows.

Company Outlook Bonds Stocks Conclusion
Changes for the Better Good Best Best for Stock Investment
No Change Good No Good Best for Bond Investment
Changes for the Worse Bad Worst Both Investments are Bad

When things do not change in the future, bonds are better investments than stocks. When things change for the better in the future, bonds are good investments, but you can perform better by buying the stock. When things change for the worse, both are bad investments, but stocks are worse than bonds.

The above also has implications on the types of stocks we should buy. If there are no catalysts for changes such as improved earnings or dividends, asset sales or a bull market in the future, an undervalued stock will continue to remain undervalued. A growth stock will be a good investment, but only until the day its growth starts to slow down, from which it becomes a bad investment. A dividend stock is good provided things do not change or change for the better.

See related blog posts:

Sunday, 11 June 2017

How to Avoid Cleaning Out Your CPF Balance When Taking HDB Loan

When you apply for a loan from HDB to buy a flat, it will take all the money from your CPF Ordinary Account (OA) before giving you the loan. This is to reduce the loan amount that you need to service. If you wish to avoid an empty OA account, you can temporarily transfer some of your OA balance out of CPF before you apply for the HDB loan. The pros and cons for either approach are discussed in Clean Out CPF Balance When Taking HDB Housing Loan?

A reader recently asked me how to temporarily transfer some of the OA balance out of CPF. Note that I am not encouraging you to do it, but if you have a real need for keeping some money in the OA to meet future financial obligations such as buying/ servicing insurance policies or financing your family members' tertiary education, below is one approach for doing it.

The approach I used is to invest in some safe investment instruments. As the objective is to temporarily park the cash outside of OA, the overriding principles are safety and liquidity of the investment. As there is a foreseeable use for the money in the future, it is of utmost importance that most of the money can be returned to your CPF account subsequently. Making a positive return on the money, although welcomed, is not crucial. Secondly, you also do not wish for your money to be locked-in in that investment for longer than is necessary. Typically, the aim is to withdraw the money 1 month before the HDB appointment date and return it 1 month after the HDB appointment, making it approximately 2-3 months of investment period. The longer the money is invested, the higher is the risk.

The instruments that you can invest 100% of your OA balance (note: you cannot invest the first $20,000 of the OA balance) are fixed deposits, government bonds, statutory board bonds, some insurance products and unit trusts. I chose short-term government bonds known as Singapore Government Securities (SGS). They have no credit risks and foreign exchange risks and have local banks providing liquidity as secondary traders. However, SGS are extremely difficult to trade. Before they were listed on the Singapore Exchange, I could only trade them by making a visit to the banks. Staff at the local bank branches practically never heard of them and had to consult their Treasury department at the headquarters every time I traded SGS. Moreover, bond trading is very different from share trading. There is the concept of clean price and dirty price. Clean price is the price that you see quoted on the market. Dirty price is clean price + accrued interest and is the price that you actually pay. It is complex enough, right? For this reason, I would not encourage this approach.

The simpler approach is to buy unit trusts that have the lowest risks and are eligible for CPF-OA investment. Suitable unit trusts are those that invest in (1) bonds, that are (2) short-term, (3) issued in Singapore dollars, and preferably (4) by the government. Bonds will reduce the price volatility compared to shares. Short-term (or short-duration) bonds will minimise the risk of interest rate going up and leading to a drop in bond prices. Bonds denominated in Singapore dollar will eliminate foreign exchange risks, and government bonds will avoid the risk of companies going belly-up. It is probably difficult to find a unit trust that invests in Singapore government bonds solely, so the next best is to have a mix of government and corporate bonds. Since most unit trusts invest in a lot of bonds, the risk of any one company going belly-up and affecting the price of the unit trust significantly is usually small. A good resource for finding suitable bond unit trusts is Fundsupermart.

So, after you have invested in the unit trust, complete the appointment with HDB, and 1 month later, after you have confirmed that HDB has completed its work, sell the unit trust and return the money back to your CPF account.

Lastly, please note that no investment is 100% capital guaranteed. There will be some transaction costs from buying and selling. And if interest rate rises during this period, some capital loss is unavoidable. But by choosing unit trusts that invest in short-term Singapore dollar denominated bonds, the risks are minimised.