Tag Archives: Portfolio Management

StockQuote 2.1.3 released

This is a bug fix release for the price import error when importing price from Yahoo Finance, due to changes in its HTML code recently. No new feature was added.

Download this release at the download page.


Sell VWO to cut future dividend withholding tax?

Right now, I still hold Vanguard Emerging Markets Stock ETF (VWO) and pay the dividend withholding tax every year. I wonder if it would be better to sell VWO to cut the future dividend withholding tax. Before I continue, here’s some background:

  1. In a portfolio asset allocation update in 2007, I decided to use Lyxor ETF Asia Pacific Ex Japan listed at SGX (symbol: AEJ) to replace VWO for future purchase. But I still keep my VWO holding.
  2. As a result, I am still paying every year 30% dividend withholding tax on the dividend I receive from VWO.
  3. The dividend withholding tax is about USD10-15 every year.
  4. In my previous post on claiming back US dividend withholding tax on non-US equity ETF, I decided not to pursue that avenue to claim back dividend withholding tax for VWO, because my broker’s Form 1042-S does not list the necessary information and the dividend tax amount is small to worth the effort.

To get an idea of how much dividend withholding tax I would be paying if I were to hold it for the next 30 years, I calculated the cumulative present values of the tax in this spreadsheet Present value of VWO dividend tax (Google Docs) with a discount rate of 2.5%. The rate 2.5% is the interest rate of CPF Ordinary Account.

As you can see, the cumulative present values of the tax paid for the next 30 years are between USD200-300. Compare this with the broker commission of USD15 if I sell VWO, it seems logical to me to sell VWO to save on the tax. The sales proceed would be used to buy VWO’s replacement – Lyxor ETF Asia Pacific Ex Japan.

Does this make sense to you? Is the maths correct? Let me know and leave your comment, please.

StockQuote 2.1.2 released

This is a bug fix release for the price import error when importing price from Yahoo Finance, due to changes in its HTML code recently. No new feature was added.

Download this release at the download page.

StockQuote 2.1.1 released

This is a bug fix release for the price import error from Fundsupermart.com after it has changed its site layout. No new feature was added. Thanks to the feedback that reported this bug.

Download this release at the download page.


StockQuote 2.1 released

Since I have bought SGS bonds from Fundsupermart, I need to import SGS bond prices into my portfolio spreadsheet. So I updated StockQuote code base to add this functionality and released it as version 2.1 “Wisdom Tooth”.

Grab StockQuote 2.1 zip file at the download page. And also read the README.txt in the zip file on how to obtain ticker for SGS bond from Fundsupermart.

Looking forward to your feedback. Thanks.

Building bond ladder with FSM

In the portfolio activity in April this year, I kept the fresh fund for Singapore fixed income in FSM cash fund, instead of building the SGS bond ladder that I have planned. It was because the yield of 5-year SGS bond was low and I was really busy to go to bank to bid for it. But I have overlooked a quick and convenient way to build SGS bond ladder — the SGS bonds offered by fundsupermart (FSM). FSM charges 0.1% of nominal value as initial processing fee and 0.1% of nominal value deducted from coupon payment as annual custody fee.

How much do the fees reduce the yield? To do this comparison, I use the data in SGS web site as the yield before fee; and FSM Bond Factsheet to calculate the yield after fees. For the latter, I point my browser to FSM Bond Factsheet, then select a SGS bond, enter 1000 as the amount to buy, enter indicative price + $0.10 (to simulate the 0.1% processing fee on $1000 nominal value) as maximum price to buy, and finally hit the Submit button the get the net yield to maturity. My assumption is that the net yield from the calculation above includes the fees charged by FSM and the bid-ask spread.

The bonds that I have compared are as follow, with the yield to maturity from SGS web site and FSM calculator respectively. Data are extracted on 1 August 2008.

  1. NX01100H; Coupon 3.625%; Maturity 01/07/2011; Years to Maturity: 2.92 (years), 1.36%, 1.10%
  2. NX02100S; Coupon 3.500%; Maturity 01/07/2012; Years to Maturity: 3.91 (years), 1.84%, 1.63%
  3. NX04100F; Coupon 3.625%; Maturity 01/07/2014; Years to Maturity: 5.91 (years), 2.47%, 2.29%

The fees and spread reduce the yield of the above bonds by 0.18% ~ 0.26%. Compare this with a bond ladder built by bidding SGS bonds at zero cost, this method has the advantage of building a bond ladder faster and saving the trip to banks.

Thanks to this post in sgfunds.com for the information on FSM SGS bonds.

Import stock quotes into Excel using web services

Excel is a very useful portfolio and investment tracking tool. You can customize it to your heart content with formulas and macros. However, I find it troublesome to enter stock price and currency rate manually from the web. I thought it would be nice to automate this using web services but I am not aware of websites that provide such services.

Well, I have found a web services sample code that grabs stock quotes from Yahoo Finance web page. With this, I can run the web services on my PC, and then use Excel macro to call the web services to extract stock quotes. Ya, I could have rewritten the sample code to Excel macro, so that Excel can call it without running the web services. But I am not good at writing Excel macro, and I am lazy to rewrite it, hehe.

So what do I have here?

I have packaged the web services sample code (SOURCE) with a simple web server (SOURCE), written some Excel macros to consume the web services, and here I have: StockQuote — my little program that imports stock quotes and currency rates into Excel, with a click of a button 😀

How to use StockQuote? Download the latest release below, extract the zip file and read the README.txt for the instruction to setup. After setting up, open ‘StockQuoteDemo.xls’ (see screenshot below) to test it. Have fun!

StockQuote Screenshot

PS: Besides using StockQuote, you can try the following two alternatives to import stock quotes and currency rates into Excel:

  1. Use Excel web queries. Follow this GUIDE.
  2. Use MSNStockQuote plug-in. Read this POST by Indexfundfan.

StockQuote Release History

  • StockQuote 1.0. Download(247KB .zip). Released Oct 24, 2006.
    • Import stock price from Yahoo Finance
  • StockQuote 2.0. Download(251KB .zip). Released Jan 14, 2007.
    • Added support for importing unit trust fund price from Fundsupermart.com
  • StockQuote 2.1. Download(251KB .zip). Released Sep 03, 2008.
    • Added support for importing SGS bond price from Fundsupermart.com
  • StockQuote 2.1.1. Download(251KB .zip). Released Dec 09, 2008.
    • Fixed price import error after Fundsupermart.com changed site layout.
  • StockQuote 2.1.2. Download(251KB .zip). Released Apr 05, 2009.
    • Fixed price import error after Yahoo Finance changed site layout.
  • StockQuote 2.1.3. Download(254KB .zip). Released Jun 20, 2012.
    • Fixed price import error after Yahoo Finance changed site layout.