My Thoughts This Year

It’s been 6 months since my last blog post. I managed to set aside some time to review my portfolio again, as I do every month, and as do, to blog and share how I was doing amidst this turbulent and uncertain environment that we are living in.

I have so much pent up thoughts but I never managed to cough them out in words. I just survived my very first stock market crash this year, and although I should have been excited about my portfolio going down 10 – 20% per year, and seeing all the greens becoming double-digit reds, I wasn’t actually really so. Not in a bad way, but in a “I kinda expected it” way, you know. 2019 was the year where all the stocks were breaking their records of 52 weeks highs, and who would have guessed that in July, the same thing is happening despite everything that has happened.

I had a little bit of understanding about where things were going before the crash, and I guess the timely COVID-19 had just made matters drastically worse than necessary. My previous company was in a cyclical industry, and there were already signs of cost-cutting being implemented to make up for their quarterly earning reports.

My heart goes out to whoever who has been furloughed or affected someway by what has happened, but it was inevitable, and the only thing we can do as individuals is to be prepared for what is to come.

And being prepared doesn’t mean that it’s only for this year, or this event, but basically anything that you can’t predict. Just like how you should have some cash on the sidelines, waiting to be deployed.

I had a stash of funds in the SSB and I withdrew all of it to deploy into the market. In March and April 2020, I was aggressive, and I pushed >30% of my current portfolio value into the stock market. I was also experiencing first hand when they say that the stock market is driven by greed and fear. 

I also understand now how long term “safe” blue-chip dividend stocks that everyone relies on during thriving economic times can no longer be “safe”. A great example would be ComfortDelgro, that has released a net-loss as guidance in the recent month. This dividend stock was giving out around 5% due to its beaten down price prior to the crash, and the stock market gave it and its investors a more painful lesson by beating the stock price down another 50% after the crash. CDG is selling now at $1.47 per share, down 37% from my original average price of $2.33.

Because of this, I have also begun to appreciate the economics of how things change during recession times. The spending habits of people will change, and thus, this affects businesses directly. When I think about it, 99% of it is really just common sense, but sometimes, we are so blind to see the answers just right in front of us.

So if you invest in cyclical stocks, such as the airlines and tourism-related stocks, you gotta have a strong heart. Because, how do you put a valuation to a company that has negative earnings? It is not easy to have the conviction to say that you will invest in a company with net-loss that might persist on for the next few years until the economy recovers fully, but if you manage to choose the right one, you could reap what you sow handsomely, or, prettily.

In order to save myself some heart ache, I have made 2 changes to my portfolio in exchange for a better peace of mind.

Invest in companies with strong balance sheets

As of writing, I currently have 7 companies, out of a total of 13, in my portfolio that are in net cash position. Either long term debt does not exist on their balance sheet, or it does but has enough cash on hand to pay all their debt. That’s pretty much >50% of my portfolio having almost 0% chance of going bankrupt.

Invest in companies that are “recession proof”

I would like to point out that this was a mere coincidence that I happened to have 2 of such stocks who are doing resiliently well, and if not, better during this COVID 19 situation. These 2 stocks are namely Kraft Heinz and British American Tobacco.

Both belong to quite huge market caps and the way I expect them to generate profits will be somewhat different as to how I would with the smaller caps.

Now okay, what about the other stocks who are still generating decent profits during this time period? Are they considered recession proof? I would consider some yes, to a certain extent, because of our needs now.

A good example that I have in my portfolio with decreased earnings but still very profitable is Valuetronics. These belong to the contract manufacturing sector, which in my opinion, will hardly be affected at all if they have a diverse range of customers serving different industries. Valuetronics did announce a reduction in dividends this year, but they still maintain highly profitable and I have also more than doubled my investment in them. They also belong to one of the 7 “great balance sheet” companies.

So overall, where is my portfolio at now?

Time-weighted returns: -15.27%

XIRR: -15%

I am very red this year, due to the fact that I have placed quite a big position in CCL. The stock price is far from recovery, which is why my portfolio has been pulled down because of it. Ultimately, we still have 6 more months to know how I finally did overall. Maybe more updates on my expenses for the first half of 2020. We’ll see. 🙂

Till then. And thanks for reading.

Miss Niao. xoxo.

The Value In You and Me

I don’t know if we’re on the verge of recession. We can’t ever predict such things to happen. Just when the stock market is doing rather well this year (at time of writing, STI ETF time-weighted returns are at 8.32%!), I have also received a few pieces of bad news from a bunch of friends and colleagues.

If you’re in a similar industry with me, then you’ll know about the ongoing retrenchments around a few MNCs in Singapore. So far, I’ve personally known 3 friends who are affected by this this year, and they are only in their early 30s and 40s. Continue reading “The Value In You and Me”

I’m back for a while!

Okay… So I kinda went on a pretty long hiatus on my blog.

I do have some reasons why, but excuses are just excuses, and I know that people still read my blog, for some reason.

Title is pretty self explanatory, and it really means that I’m back to give a quick update on my life so far. And well, to keep my blog “on track”. And probably myself too.

I actually contemplating on not blogging, like forever. Continue reading “I’m back for a while!”

Would You Retire Overseas?

We always talk about retirement in Singapore and the projected expenses that we need to reach financial freedom. I set out on my journey with a target of having a passive income of S$3000 per month by the time I am 40 to cope with the rising cost of living in Singapore and possible inflation of my standard of living.

Now that I am 28 officially, my goals still stand with similar projections.

All I need is S$616,930.67 with a 6.5% annual yield to reach my goal.

Sounds easy? Of course not. That 600-odd thousand amount is the amount of money I have to have in my investment instruments ALONE. All the money I have in my CPF or emergency funds, or even war chest to be specific enough should not count in that amount.

Based on those numbers, I also have to pump in S$30,000 of fresh funds per year. That is not a small amount at all, and barely leaving me any other money for additional savings or other purposes.

But recently, I was introduced to another solution to reach retirement much faster. How fast you say? Continue reading “Would You Retire Overseas?”

What’s the whole point?

Today is the 22nd of March and it is time for me again to mourn about how MCR broke up. It has been officially 5 years since the devastating news was announced. Somehow, I find it hard to relate as much to music since then. In all honesty.

I remember watching how Gee was addicted to drugs and booze when they started to get huge (easy peasy pumpkin peasy pumpkin pie MF!). And again during Danger Days, and of course when they broke up. Similar thing happened to Mikey.

What is the best thing that you can do when shit happens to your bro? Write a song about it.

But really, it got me thinking. What’s the whole point? Continue reading “What’s the whole point?”

First Taste of Recession?

Having being fresh out of the oven from 9 months of investing, I finally got a mini bite of how a bearish stock market is like.

For the first time, I opened my MySGX app and all the stocks were red!

Only on Friday, things started to become slightly optimistic and recover again. Can this is considered a correction? But it only lasted a few days…

How did my portfolio do? Time weighted returns are negative, and underperformed the STI. -1.46% against 0.03%. I am actually doing badly in 2018. That’s not very nice. Continue reading “First Taste of Recession?”

All You Need To Know About The Engineering Industry in Singapore (2018)

Mr. 15HWW has recently posted an article about The Booming Electronics Sector. I made some comments on that article but honestly, there was so much more that I wanted to say but couldn’t in a small text box. It actually kinda made me pretty motivated to talk about how it’s like being an engineer, and where else can I talk to people that I don’t know? Thus, the birth of this post. (Thank you 15HWW for the inspiration!) Continue reading “All You Need To Know About The Engineering Industry in Singapore (2018)”

4 Lessons (and Quotes) About My Investment Journey – 2017 Edition

It has been more than two weeks since I last posted an entry. Apologies for anyone who has been waiting – it has been a long week for me and I couldn’t spare extra time to blog since I have a lot of back log to clear at work. Always so much to deliver, but with limited time on my hands.

As the end of 2017 draws to a close, I have started seeing other finance bloggers posting about their portfolio performance and how their investment journey has been. Continue reading “4 Lessons (and Quotes) About My Investment Journey – 2017 Edition”

What Impresses Me The Most Is…

… not how much you earn, but how much you save.

…not saving $10,000 yearly with an annual income of $100,000, but saving $10,000 with an annual income of $20,000.

…not how much money you Continue reading “What Impresses Me The Most Is…”