Beating the Benchmarks

I especially like to read Sunday Times where there are various Personal Finance articles towards the back of the stack each weekend. In recent months, they have been putting up a series on hypothetical investment portfolios for three people with very distinct profiles. All three portfolios have consistently performed below their equivalent market benchmarks. The common reason stated was … [Read more...]

Stock & ETF Investing Opportunity in BRICS – Emerging Countries

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Due to global economy slowdown in the last few years, stock markets in the emerging countries have suffered significant corrections, resulting in Level-3 (country/region) crisis.  The leaders of emerging countries are BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China & South Africa), stock prices are now at very attractive prices.  When the global economy starts to recover and accelerate, these emerging … [Read more...]

Three of the hardest words in the world to say …

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I don’t know. The human refusal to say “I don’t know” has huge consequences, for example, not getting good returns from your investments in the stock market, because there is a strong correlation between knowledge and humility.  As such, the best investors are those who realize how little they know. Don’t be one of those people who spend 10 minutes on Google studying, for example, monetary … [Read more...]

Greed or need?

A few days back I wrote about “Am I saving enough?” Thank you for all your comments.  I am just afraid that those people with their benchmark savings ratios are not really representative of the regular guys. Could it be that those who do save much less right now did not dare to comment at all? And would you consider those with more than 50% savings as “greedy for retirement”? The harsh … [Read more...]

How I learned about the stock markets – going way back in time

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The other day I was reminiscing about two epiphanies that influenced my choices in life. So back in those days I wanted to be independent.  And I figured the best means to independence is money.  Not for the sake of being rich.  I don’t have to be rich but, rather, independent. During my juvenile-delinquency-days back in Germany there was a prominent stock market guru who influenced my first … [Read more...]

Why ETFs are a good tool to slaughter some of our biases

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Being biased brings with it that we don’t think like we think we think.  We make illogical decisions. Passive index fund investing via a Regular Savings Plan or Dollar-Cost-Averaging is logically right, right? But emotionally and in terms of common sense, it often feels wrong. I do believe it’s worth remembering now and then just how strange it actually is.  I get this feeling … [Read more...]

For Beginners, Invest in STI ETF

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I have wrote about the ETF a couple of times. Recently, I came across a video on Facebook by SGX introducing STI ETF (Please watch the video below). Well done, SGX! I personally liked the video. It gives a good introduction and a baseline understanding of STI ETF. I've long been a proponent of the STI ETF. Please read some of my earlier articles: Exchange Traded Funds - Simplified STI ETF … [Read more...]

Portfolio Update & Open Challenge to Insurance Companies

Portfolio Update I have sold one of my main holdings in Fischer Tech at 0.90. It has been a wonderful company which I discovered two years back. While the wonderful management has remained, the outlook of the automotive industry Fischer is so dependent on has not. China automobile inventories are building up and this may lead to lower orders. While Fischer is debt free and will survive the … [Read more...]

Diversify, diversify, and then diversify some more

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Could we both agree on the following notion? That, in the investment field, there is no one instrument that can perform all the time, and that there is no one who can say with certainty—in advance—which instrument would perform best.  The future is uncertain and markets are random. As such, what Harry Markowitz demonstrated mathematically in 1952 still holds true: Putting all of one’s eggs … [Read more...]

A bit more of mental accounting

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Recently there has been a lively discussion among the Singapore Financial Blogger Scene about ‘Net Worth’ and how it should/could/may be computed (here, here, and here). This showed me how imperfect and susceptible to bias we all are.  We are all in this together facing our cognitive illusions. Let’s check out one common bias known as the Mental Accounting Bias, which is the tendency to … [Read more...]

Steps to take to accumulate more wealth

Some have asked how I had accumulated $200,000 at a young age. Below were some steps I took. Save a significant portion of salary Don’t live a paycheck to paycheck lifestyle, save a portion of your salary for investments and future consumption.   Don’t put too much Money in Bank accounts and FD I hate putting a lot of money in saving accounts because the interest rates of these … [Read more...]

Nikko STI ETF Portfolio Turnover Ratio Higher than SPDR STI ETF

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I received SPDR STI ETF Annual Report in my mail. One thing that caught my attention was the portfolio turnover ratio. The portfolio turnover ratio is indicative of the change in activity inside a unit trust, or most investments managed as a fund. SPDR STI ETF have the following expense ratio and portfolio turnover profile: Expense Ratio 2015: 0.30% 2014: 0.30% Portfolio Turnover … [Read more...]

Why the STI ETF is better than most unit trusts

Are you a full time employee who finds it hard to make time to monitor one’s investment due to commitments? Or feel daunted by the market jargon and maze of financial statements when investing in the stock market? If your answer is yes to either question, it may be good to leave your investment to fund managers. In my opinion, the best way is by investing in an ETF which tracks the Singapore … [Read more...]

Neglect of prior base rates effect

This is the tendency to fail to incorporate prior known probabilities which are pertinent to the decision at hand. Caution: Don’t read on if you are 40 years of age and above! Here’s an interesting question for the rest of you: Why aren’t more young people investing in the stock market? Could it be that you/they are neglecting prior base rates and focusing too much on recent media … [Read more...]

What if the STI goes down 5% every month for a year?

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The Straits Times Index (STI) has underwent a major correction of at least 15% in the last 4 weeks.  A lot of investors and stock holders in the local market are definitely feeling the pain. This includes myself. My gains over the last 1.5 years were all gone in the last 4 weeks. I have been buying the STI ETF since Aug 2013. I have invested about S$26,800 from my Supplementary Retirement … [Read more...]

Simple and Effective Automatic Investing with Index ETFs

Investing in the stock market doesn’t have to be difficult or complicated. If you’re just dipping your toes into investing, or thinking about starting, chances are you’ve probably tried reading up and doing research. The problem is, the sheer volume of investing advice out there is mind-boggling, and sometimes, even downright contradictory. Hence the reason why many people end up procrastinating … [Read more...]

The World of Finance As You Know It, Is Changing

A series of events happened over the past couple of weeks and I would like to pen down some of my thoughts. How to invest if you have 20k or more.  An article with the above title appeared in the Sunday Times over the weekend. At first glance it was innocuous enough and some sound advice was being dispersed. It recommended people to ‘define your investment objectives, time horizon of … [Read more...]

Finally an investment idea

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Some of you have contacted me (although commenting on my blog posts would be an alternative way, besides e-mail, to communicate with me) and shared your disappointment that I have yet to share an investment tip on Tacomob. There is reason for that and I have shared it here. I hear you (despite my hearing deteriorating—at least that’s what my wife claims) and as I am here to please—you my … [Read more...]

Unpredictability Ignorance

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It’s not so easy to be active in the stock market. Because when people I meet learn that I make my money predominantly from the abundant stock market, they—more often than not—flood me with questions on my prediction of the future trends and also, to share one ‘hot tip’. I have to say that the latter—the sharing of the one ‘hot tip’—is easier to comply: I simply don’t give out … [Read more...]

How to dig below the sales pitch and choose the right unit trust

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For most Singaporeans, unit trust is the best investment instrument to start with. But why so many people lost money in unit trust investment? Because most people chose the wrong funds. If you want to make money, you need to know how to choose the right unit trust for yourself. Few Singaporeans today are complete strangers to unit trusts. You most probably have listened sales pitch of unit … [Read more...]