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Monday, July 22, 2019

The Infantilisation of the Poor

Over the weekend, I became vilified on Facebook. For the crime of daring to own an opinion.

A respected friend of mine had posted a link to a book published by Liyana Dhamirah, Homeless.

This book is basically a feel-good, comeback story, about someone who overcame great odds, to re-plant her feet firmly on the ground.

In an interview with Mothership, the author recounts being pregnant with her first at age 16, and tolerated a repeatedly infidel husband. Both her and husband were eventually cast out by her mother-in-law on Hari Raya no less, and ended up on Sembawang Beach. By that time, she was already pregnant with her third child.  Bizarrely, she also quit her job at around the same time. Her story goes on to detail the bureaucratic hoops she had to jump through to qualify for public shelters.

A few questions immediately burned in my mind.

1) Is it not irresponsible to bring a child to this world at a tender age of 17 when you can barely fend for yourself?

2) Is it not irresponsible to get married despite being unable to afford a home together with your spouse.

3) Is it wise to have three kids no less under the above described circumstances?

4 Is it wise to continue having kids with a husband whom you already know to be undependable?

5) Is it not irresponsible to quit your job under such dire financial circumstances?

While we can certainly laud the author for eventually turning her life around, I pointed out that she should take some responsibility for making not one, but several, questionable life choices.

The SJW response was swift. Within a day, my comment had attracted a number of replies. Some measured. Some snide. Some abusive. I was even called a meme. I still have no idea whether that was intended to be an insult.

I thought my comment was rather fair. Resources to aid homeless people are ultimately publicly funded by taxpayers who, you know, make the effort and hold down a job. It is only logical that such aid cannot be doled out willy nilly, much less to those who decided that having three kids and then quitting her job in the middle of a pregnancy was a prudent and responsible thing to do.

I am sorry for her predicament but at some point we need to ask, when does personal responsibility kick in? Do taxpayers have an unconditional obligation to help all destitute people get back on their feet regardless of how they ended up so? Is it society's fault if these people never make it out of their rut?

The problem with the SJWs and people like Teo You Yenn is that they tend to infantilise the poor. They absolve the poor of their terrible decision making, simply by excusing it as a "product of their circumstances".  Some SJWs go even further to say that these actions are entirely reasonable and do not constitute terrible decision making.

Whatever it is, it is becoming clear that we are fast becoming a society of hypersensitive, and easily triggered children.  God forbid a person holds a different opinion from you, no matter how reasoned his/her position was.  Let's resort to ad hominem attacks where logic is deficient.

Well call me a cold-hearted internet meme, but at least i contributed income taxes close to an average worker's annual salary last year to aid nation building.  I slog 50-60 hour weeks at a fast-paced high stress job so that I can become self reliant, and financially independent.  I don't sit around blaming everyone else but myself for the poor choices I made.  I take responsibility knowing that ultimately I have to sleep in the bed I made, whether it be a plush mattress in an air-conditioned bed room, or an air mattress on Sembawang beach.

Onward to FI my friends.

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Ascott Residence Trust (ART) buys Ascendas Htrust (AHT) for S$1.0868 per share

AHT last traded at 0.975.

My average entry was 0.82 for 235,000 units.

The purchase price of 1.0868 represents about a 32.5% gain over what i paid for the shares, excluding dividends received.

Including dividends, the XIRR rate of return would be about 26.7% - possibly one of my best performance in 4.5 years of investing.

cash out


The low down

The purchase would be paid in both cash and Ascott units. I would have preferred an all cash deal.  ART's units are severely over-valued and AHT holders are being shortchanged by being paid in ART shares, which appear to have been artificially inflated, in preparation for this merger arrangement.

The proposal 

Each AHT unit = 0.0543 in cash and 0.7942 Ascott Reit-BT units issued at a price of S$1.30 (its all time high since 2014 - yuck much?)

The new entity will be named Ascott Reit-BT. 

Post-merger DPU for ARBT (at $1.30)

This proforma DPU for ART would have been 7.34 cents per share, or a 5.5% yield at $1.3.
Erm, I'll pass. Thanks.

Looking at the above, it would probably be better for me to sell all my AHT shares in the open market once the TH is lifted. Hopefully i would be able to sell at the proposed purchase price.


Onward to FI friends.