Author: (The) Boring Investor

Changes to My Investment Strategies in 2014

With the start of the new year, it is good to take stock of the changes made to my investment strategies in 2014 and the likely changes coming in 2015. Looking at the list of changes below, it is amazing that I still have so much to learn despite being an investor for so many years. Here is the list of changes in 2014. Turnarounds I seldom invest in companies that are making losses. Most of the time, if they are loss-making, it is because the business conditions turned sour after I had invested in them. However, turnaround companies...

Read More

Dogs and Puppies of STI for 2015

This time last year, I blogged about the performance of the “Dogs of the Dow” and its sister “Puppies of the Dow” investment strategies as applied to the Straits Times Index (STI). I also identified the Dogs and Puppies of STI for 2014 as follows (you may wish to refer to The Dogs and Puppies of STI for more info). Puppies of STI 2014 CapitaMall Trust HPH Trust SingTel SPH ST Engineering Other Dogs of STI 2014 Jardine Cycle & Carriage OCBC SGX SIA Engineering Starhub So how have these Dogs and Puppies of STI performed in 2014? The...

Read More

My Oil Stock Adventures

I never realised I had so many oil-related stocks, until nearly every one of them started to tank. That is the problem with a bottom-up approach to stock investing; you might not realise how concentrated you are to a particular industry. The list of my oil-related stocks (prior to the mini-crash in Oct) is: MTQ, ChinaAvOil, PEC, Rotary and CH Offshore. During the mini-crash in Oct, I had picked up CSE Global and averaged down on MTQ, not realising that oil prices were falling steadily. It was only in late Nov when OPEC decided not to cut production did...

Read More

Minimising the Costs from SRS and CPF Investments

Thanks to owq’s and Uncle CreateWealth8888’s comments to my previous blog posts on SRS Exit Strategy and Maximising the Benefits from SRS, I had omitted to mention, for reasons discussed below, the costs of investing through the Supplementary Retirement Scheme (SRS). If you invest in shares and unit trusts, the transaction fees charged by agent banks are $2.50 per 1,000 shares/ units, subject to a maximum of $25 per transaction. In addition, there is a maintenance fee of $2 per counter per quarter. Thus, if you hold a diversified stock portfolio of say, 20 stocks, the costs can add...

Read More

Maximising the Benefits from SRS

In last week’s blog post on SRS Exit Strategy, I mentioned that the Supplementary Retirement Scheme (SRS) would benefit most investors except for super-investors in lower-income groups who could grow their portfolios by leaps and bounds. This is actually only a high-level analysis. The truth is, everyone, including the super-investors mentioned above, could benefit from SRS at some stage. Before we go into the details, let’s recap this chart from the previous blog post, which shows that super-investors in lower-income groups actually benefit less from SRS compared to fellow investors in the same income group who do not invest as...

Read More

SRS Exit Strategy

The Supplementary Retirement Scheme (SRS) was started in 2001. I first learnt about it around 2003. Still, it took me a good 3 years before I made my first contribution. The reason? I had not figured out an exit strategy from the SRS scheme. Although SRS contributions are tax-deferrable and only 50% of the withdrawals after the age of 62 would be taxed, there was a lingering concern that I could still end up paying more tax if I could achieve a good rate of returns on the SRS funds. After 8 years of contributing to the SRS account,...

Read More

Fishing for Future Generations

This is a follow-up post from last week’s post on Building A Lasting Portfolio for Future Generations. As rightly pointed out by some of the readers, creating and maintaining such a portfolio across generations is not going to be easy. But when you think about it, how many skill sets are easy to transfer to the next generation? You might be the best engineer/ doctor/ lawyer etc. and make lots of money based on your skills, but how easy is it to transfer those skills to your children so that they too are going to be the best engineers/ doctors/ lawyers,...

Read More

Building A Lasting Portfolio for Future Generations

It is often said that the earlier you start investing, the more you have for retirement. This is because you have a longer time-span for compounding to take effect. A typical investment life-span is about 30 years, so for a portfolio that can provide 4% real returns (or 7% nominal returns) annually, $1 at the start of 30 years will become $3.24 at the end of 30 years. However, if you can pass down the portfolio intact to your children who can continue to invest for another 30 years, $1 will become $10.52 at the end of 60 years....

Read More

You Don’t Need To Be Good In Investing To Be Rich

I first read about this chart from Investment Moats. Still, it took me a good couple of months before I realised its implications. In essence, the chart means that you do not need to be good in investing in order to be rich! Pushing the envelop further, it can also mean that everyone could be rich, provided you follow the advice in the chart. The chart is extracted from Vanguard’s Principles for Investing Success. Take a look at the chart above. It plots the value of several portfolios with different savings growth and annual returns. The interesting part of...

Read More

Be Cautious While Being Greedy

The roller-coaster ride of the stock market this past month has brought back memories of the events 6 years ago. Whenever I write about the Global Financial Crisis (GFC), it invariably comes with a tinge of pride. After all, it was a major crash and we managed to recover from it. However, was victory assured right from the beginning, that all we had to do was, in the words of Warren Buffett, to be greedy when others were fearful, or was it a narrow victory snatched from the jaws of defeat? In other words, was buying at the depth...

Read More

Knowing When Others Are Fearful

The correction in this past month has been fairly amazing. Stocks had been falling faster than I could juggle and yet, the Straits Times Index actually ended the month basically unchanged. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) even closed at a record high, as if no correction had happened. Whenever the stock market goes on a nosedive, I would be reminded to check an indicator, which is the Chicago Board Options Exchange Market Volatility Index, or VIX in short. VIX is used by some investors as a fear indicator, spiking up whenever there is great volatility in the market...

Read More

Experimenting with Investment Strategies

When I first started investing my Supplementary Retirement Scheme (SRS) funds 7 years ago, I wondered how should I invest the money. Should I invest in the same way as my cash account, i.e. adopting market timing and buying individual stocks, or should I keep it as a cash reserve to be used during severe market crashes like my CPF funds? If I invest like my cash account, I wondered what if my investment strategy had been wrong all this while? Would I then still have sufficient funds to retire? Since the SRS account is small compared to my...

Read More

Not All Market Indices Are Equal

One of the most popular and time-tested investment strategies is to invest passively in an index fund. I too have adopted this strategy for my Supplementary Retirement Scheme (SRS) account. However, not all markets are equal. If you pick a market index that is performing well, you are well on your way to financial independence. Conversely, if you pick a market index that is underperforming, you will take a longer time to reach there. The chart below shows the performance of 5 more familar stock market indices, namely, Singapore’s Straits Times Index (STI), US’ Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA),...

Read More

Review of My SRS Investments

I have been investing my Supplementary Retirement Scheme (SRS) funds in unit trusts for the past 7 years. Yet, it is amazing that I have never reviewed how my SRS investments have been performing on an annualised basis. I do not know for sure whether the returns have beaten the inflation rate, the CPF Ordinary Account rate or the Special Account rate. Today, I have finally carried out a review of my SRS investments. They have returned 3.8% on an annualised basis since I first made my initial contribution to the SRS account in Nov 2006. A breakdown of...

Read More

Different Mentality in Stock and Unit Trust Investing

I have investments in both stocks and unit trusts.  However, the investing mentality in both can be quite different. These different mentalities can both be a boon and a bane for successful investing in them. Before I go into the details, I should mention that I generally adopt a market-timing strategy (for when to buy and sell) and value investing (for what to buy) for my stock investments. Please see Have A Plan for more details. However, for my unit trust investments, I adopt a Dollar Cost Averaging strategy with monthly investments into index and balanced funds. The differences...

Read More

Like us on Facebook

Follow us on Twitter