3 reasons why bond investing is a negative art

A large number of retail investors are more familiar with investing in equities (stocks) than there are with bonds. The reason is simple, the “smart money” in Singapore have been recently burnt by failing bonds and defaults. Articles on our richer citizens being burnt are aplenty – here, here, here, here and here – and it’s easy to see why the average retail investor might want nothing to do with … [Read more...]

Is property a good investment in times of war?

The Easter weekend was filled with tensions. It started with Donald Trump using Afghanistan as a testing ground for the Mother Of All Bombs and killed 96 Islamic State militants. This was followed by a failed missile launch by North Korea on Sunday. US Vice-President Mike Pence warned that ‘the era of strategic patience is over’. Suddenly, everyone is on their toes. A war sounds … [Read more...]

Portfolio Update: April 2017


This could be considered a pretty good month for the portfolio. Firstly, even though the STI retreated slightly, there were gains even after excluding the capital injection from savings. Secondly, the total value of the portfolio finally managed to breach the $400,000 mark.It was quite a pretty active month as there were quite a few purchases and sales and inactivity is likely the theme for the … [Read more...]

Buying Singapore Savings Bonds

Investing is a fascinating game in a sense that no formula ever works all the time. There is no "Bao Jia" or sure wins. There are no programmable solutions, no absolutes and we must always break the rules to win. There is also no such thing as never. Warren Buffett himself broke his own rules so many times, in order to win. He said he would never buy tech stocks, yet he bought IBM and Apple.  He … [Read more...]

Get 14% return on investment per annum.

Reader: Hi AK, I am glad to chance upon your blog recently and is currentlu busy reading up on the various blog post which is quite informative. I recently came across a website which was featured in (a popular personal finance blog) which indicates returns of investment up to 14% through P2P lending to SMEs. I am in the process of checking if these are guaranteed returns which i highly doubt … [Read more...]

Portfolio Update: March 2017


This can be considered a flat month although the total value of the portfolio increased by about $3,000 to end up at $393,000. The appreciating SGD against USD and HKD mitigated some of the stock market gains and it’s interesting that the consensus I sense is that the market appears more frothy than 2 years ago.That’s when the STI was near 3,500 compared to 3,200 right now. But the difference is … [Read more...]

Learn To Optimise Your CPF


CPF is something close to the hearts of Singaporeans. In fact, it is hard to meet an adult Singaporean without strong views on CPF policies or issues. Be it the inability to withdraw your CPF funds until age 55, interest rates on CPF funds, CPF LIFE or the compulsory Medisave contribution for self-employed (just ask any taxi uncle about this), few would sit on the fence. Much as we dislike some … [Read more...]

Portfolio Update: February 2017


Markets are climbing slowly and as I am typing out this update, the STI has actually breached 3,100. The total value of the portfolio right now is $390,000 and it is actually up by $10,000 from the previous month. $7,000 was from capital gains and another $3,000 represents capital injection into the warchest.1. 15HWW Permanent PortfolioInterestingly, STI ETF, Berk B and Gold prices are all up … [Read more...]

Essential Terms that all Bonds Investors must know


Bonds are like IOUs. Borrowers (usually businesses) issue bonds to raise funds by reaching out to investors who will lend them the money for an agreed interest rate for a certain period of time. Bonds are a great tool for the income investor who wants to balance their portfolio to include assets beyond stocks. Before you even invest in bonds, here are the essential terms that you should … [Read more...]

Portfolio Update: January 2017


A new year, a new beginning and a new format for the monthly portfolio updates. As many readers have known, the 15HWW Permanent Portfolio is live and it will definitely be a part of future updates, along with my other investment strategies. January has been a rather good month for local equities as the STI Index breaches the 3,000 mark once again. Let’s see if this can be maintained and if … [Read more...]

Good deal because price has dropped.

There was a time when I enjoyed visits to the banks. As a boy, I was very interested in getting the highest interest rate possible for my savings. I enjoyed visiting the banks to update my savings passbooks when interest crediting became monthly instead of yearly. There were no auto update machines in those days but I didn't mind waiting in line for a teller. I no longer enjoy visits to the … [Read more...]

The 15HWW Permanent Portfolio Is LIVE!

I talked about the principles behind this portfolio almost a year back (over here) but it took me almost a year to build up this portfolio to $150,000 worth of value. I am officially tracking it from 1 Jan this year. And this is not a hypothetical tracker since I am putting real money (a significant chunk of my wealth) inside it. The $150,000 is split into 5 assets which makes it about … [Read more...]

Hedging With 3 Different Investment Strategies

As I have written in an earlier post, by the time you “realise” you can or cannot beat the market, it could be too late. Therefore, my preference is to adopt various approaches and I have somewhat settled on 3 for 2017 and hopefully, all of them will work out well beyond 2017. 1. 15HWW Permanent Portfolio This has been in place since 1 Jan 2017 and I will reveal what it’s exactly made up of in the … [Read more...]

Portfolio Update: December 2016

The year is ending and I actually prepared for the season of giving and joy by selling a few positions in the past few weeks, locking in some decent gains in the progress. Pretty delighted to know that my returns from my shares is close to 10% for 2016 after a poor 2015. More details in another post in a couple of weeks’ time. This is also probably the last update in such a format as I am … [Read more...]

Portfolio Update: November 2016

A small pat on the back to myself for “not doing anything” last week. I did not try to predict the outcome of the US election having been “burnt” by Brexit and at the same time, I did not react to the outcome of Trump becoming POTUS. Basically, just sitting still and observing what’s happening. Surprises are everywhere and it’s also interesting to note that I fell sick for the first time this … [Read more...]

Capitamalls asia bonds optional redemption

Another bond bites the dust. Don't worry, this is not from the troubled oil and gas sector. It's the optional redemption of Capitamalls asia bonds, CapMallA3.8%b220112 announced from sgx here. I blogged about the bonds here and here. The full maturity of the bond is actually on 12-Jan-2022 but there is an option for early redemption on 12-Jan-2017 and every year thereafter. Since there is a … [Read more...]

Portfolio Update: October 2016

A big announcement here as I have outsourced part of my portfolio to BigFatPurse by being a member of their CNAV program. This is part of an overall inclination to spend less time monitoring the market, achieve respectable returns and diversify across various strategies. I will probably allocate a post to talk about this again nearer the end of the year and revamp the updating of this monthly … [Read more...]

Portfolio Update: September 2016

There were few actions on the investment front this month, making it two quiet months in a row. The same can be said about the market. The STI Index continued to yo-yo between 2800-3000. Since we are at the lower end of that range now, I am poised to turn some cash into equities. In fact, with the subscription of the MCT rights I was entitled to and the excess rights, my cash position … [Read more...]

Which REITs are in AK’s portfolio ?

Dear Ak, I have some question hope to seek your wisdom in the investing world. Hope that you would be patient with me. 1. May i know currently which REITZ are in your portfolio? 2. I am currently invested in Cache Logistic Trust, AimsAMP, SPH and SoilBuild Reitz, May i know which are in line with yours and the rest that are not in your portfolio, what are the downslide to them? 3. … [Read more...]

All You Need to Know about the Singapore Savings Bonds


The Singapore Savings Bonds (SSB) was launched on 1 October 2015 by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS). A new Singapore Savings Bond will be issued every month for at least the 5 years after its launch. Just a quick recap of what the Singapore Savings Bonds are: The SSB are a new type of government bonds designed with individual investors in mind, to help Singaporeans save and invest … [Read more...]