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Funding, renovating, and renting out in France + CryptoCurrency Trading 101

Wrap-up of Singafrog Finance meetup #4

After a very busy Q1 2017, I found the time to organize the 3rd meetup of Singafrog Finance, to keep educating us expats in Singapore about alternative investment opportunities : ) The next and 4th meetup will be for September 12th, registrations are open!

 

Our three speakers for the meetup were:

  • Peter Sin Guili, a Singaporean financial adviser with a fondness for all things crypto, meaning crypto-currencies (... meaning bitcoin, come on, you should know about it if you're in Singafrog Finance!), who shares a LOT of tips on his Twitter account.

Buying & renting out in France: the long way

When Adrien shared his story with me, I was amazed how he addressed it. Buying a real-estate property in France is probably in the top of French expats' buying list after a few years in Singapore.

But so many questions arise! Where to borrow the money when you don't have a job & a status anymore in France? How do you manage the rental, the check-ins? And where to buy anyway?

Some tips Adrien shared:

1. Pick your location based on expected returns

Not all locations have the same potential, and the returns are usually correlated to the risk! Provocatively, Adrien thinks Paris is not worth it, compared to say Le Havre or other cities with lower price per sqf but stronger returns over time.

2. Be patient as it will always take more time than needed

One of Adrien's challenges was to match the right property with the right timing for the loan, especially in a context where as a non-resident, he cannot get the usual loans at the bank. After calling 50+ of them, he eventually got the loan.

 

Renovation works also usually take more time. His tips for funding is to use your own network, to benchmark, and to outsource the insurance separately.

3. Invest with your returns target and personal situation in mind

Real-estate are big investments, so Adrien suggests to calculate both the level of time, risk, returns and cash that you would need "just in case". Not all investments are equal and once you're locked in, there's little to no way back, so check those four criterias to understand your own positioning.

 

I'm a big big fan of this framework - which you can also use for any investment to assess the liquidity (can you get your cash back fast?), the level of risk (if risky, is the "reward" big enough?), the time (it always takes a lot of time, including time to do your own research!).

So it's a successful investment so far and as planned by Adrien and his wife Pauline (number which were disclosed for us attendees of the meetup - thanks the confidence!), if you include both capital appreciation and monthly returns. Obviously a long term investment as well (and a beautiful house <3)

Cryptocurrency trading 101: signals & portfolio strategies

I was very excited to have Peter with us as I'm myself a lot into the cryptocurrencies for the last one year. What I like with Peter is his educational approach which I'll try to summarize as follows.

1. Understand how much of your overall investment portfolio to allocate to cryptos

Don't put all your eggs in the same basket, and Peter's own portfolio would allow him to invest only 10% in the high-risk, high-volatility cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin, litecoin, ethereum and the likes.

2. Understand what bull and bear markets are

Most markets will have their ups and downs, and when you're in the trading business, up = bull; down = bear. If like me it took you a YEAR to avoid mixing up those two terms, think how horrific encountering a bear might be (ok, a bull is barely better... still).

When looking at trading charts, a lot of "candles" appear, some of them bullish, some bearish. You can make money in both market, and also lose in both. Careful!

3. Learn about advanced signals (Ichimoku, RSI, Stochastic, Bollinger Bands, etc)

You have hundreds of different tools to analyze those charts. Peter usually combines a few of them to detect trends and bet that the next few hours, days or weeks will be bullish or bearish. I can only recommend you to attend a workshop or read in Investopedia how it works.

One year of alternative investment as a frog in Singapore

To wrap-up this meetup, I also shared my assessment of my own strategy, after I invested in different vehicles such as:

  • mutual funds (with an aggressive profile): very happy with the returns, the explanations of my advisor Olivier Frapin (check former posts), and the results. ROI: +4%
  • debt-based crowdfunding: a barbaric term to say you lend money to SMEs on a website. Very happy with my two loans so far, both matured and working like a charm. ROI: +5%
  • angel investing: won't do it again, as I feel that I have too little power as a "small" investor in a startup, and very low visibility on what they do. This startup is still alive... but I prefer to write-off the totality of my investment. ROI: -100%
  • land banking: bought a plot of land in Florida and let it sleep for a few years to sell it back to a property developer. Let's wait for Singafrog Finance meetup #23 to assess results :D. ROI: 0% so far (target is 12%/year of immobilisation though)
  • cryptocurrencies: for the last 11 months I've been adding money and trading into several currencies, both the top ones (btc, ltc, etc, eth, xrp...) and 30-50 smaller ones. ROI: +202%

Overall my portfolio (few dozen k's) grew +18% in 12 months, which is excellent, and most of its is due to cryptocurrencies at the moment.

The next Singafrog Finance meetup will take place on September 12th, 7pm, at the Hub Prinsep (128 Prinsep Street). Confirmed speakers are:

  • Nadir Mehadji, an ex-banker turned writer, who just closed his own crowdfunding campaign for 'The Cat and the Banker', an educational and illustrated book to educate us all on finance. Great guy, and really very cool project!
  • Christophe Numa from Bunker Group, a trading platform for gold and silver - I've always wanted to know more about gold!
  • And I think I found an investor in TREES this morning so he would be our third speaker : )

See you there!

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