Simple investment wisdom keeps us afloat.

What AK thinks of the LRIS: "Since I treat my CPF savings as a risk free and volatility free component (i.e. AAA rated sovereign bond) of my investment portfolio, I am unlikely to take part in the proposed Lifetime Retirement Investment Scheme (LRIS). Of course, money in the CPF-OA doubles up as a war chest which could be deployed in the event of a stock market crash for possibly better returns … [Read more...]

Have you decided yet?


This post is for you.  Yes, you, who sent me that e-mail yesterday asking me whether it would be a good timing to start investing in the stock market right now. I understood from your mail that you have not started to invest anything in the stock market.  All savings are in FD and you are – figuratively spoken – sitting on the fence waiting to deploy your savings into the “risky stock market” … [Read more...]

Familiarity Bias vs. Ambiguity Effect


Or otherwise known as reliance on old-fashioned financial institutions and outdated economic structures.  Partly, it is due to habit; partly, because of our concerns about liquidity; and partly, because we think that it is always risky to experiment with new things where we might lack information (“ambiguity”). We seem to want to persist in using the tried financial technology that was used by … [Read more...]

1% commission charges and updates

Biggest news of this week is that Trump will be the next president of US. I didn't take any positions before or after the polling day. The markets are especially volatile and my portfolio & investing strategy are designed to try and navigate times like these more calmly. Sometimes by staying out and doing nothing. I have just been fine-tuning the auto-purchases of the ETFs in the Monthly … [Read more...]

Phillip REIT ETF – One Thing People Aren’t Saying


I’ll keep this post short! A REIT ETF such as Phillip SGX APAC Dividend Leaders REIT ETF is a great tool to have at our disposal and I have been waiting for ages for one. It would fit in nicely if you’re trying to construct a portfolio like Rick Ferri’s Core Four, for example. Portfolio Charts is a website that I really like, by the way. Taxation I’ve been waiting for someone to mention … [Read more...]



Last week I wrote about expensive Mutual Funds / Unit Trusts and their cheaper (and better) alternatives called Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs). You still don’t buy it. Ok, that might be my fault because I am simply not convincing enough that passive, systematic, repeatable investment strategies are the best option for the majority of investors. Or, maybe you could be suffering from the … [Read more...]

Wealth Directions 2016-09-23 01:19:28


Exchange Traded Fund (ETF) is getting popular among the investors, total global asset value has exceeded US$3 trillion.  ETF has the best DNA of both stocks and investment funds.  ETF is an investment fund which can be traded like stocks, having the stability of investment funds (risk diversification over a large portfolio) and flexibility of stocks (buy / sell in stock market) with minimal fund … [Read more...]

The stuff that could make all the difference in your Mutual Funds


Fees and Expenses. Investors in mutual funds incur two primary kinds of expenses and fees: Fund expenses and loads.  Whereas fund expenses are paid indirectly from fund assets throughout the year, sales loads are one-time fees that investors pay either at the time of purchase or when units are redeemed. Take a deep breath and let’s go for a deep-dive into those expenses Fund expenses cover … [Read more...]

Normalcy Bias and a bit of Impact Bias

Yaaawwnn.  The stock markets in the last few weeks have been rather boring and uneventful.  The US-market (measured by the S&P 500) has even entered an unusually long period of volatility contraction.  The daily market moves up a bit and then down a bit.  All in minuscule steps.  We recently have gone through the least volatile period in almost 23 years. This market action can lull one to … [Read more...]

Matthew answers questions on STI ETF (Part 2).

Thank You and Matthew Seah for the help! Appreciate it  I still have a few more questions to ask regarding STI ETFs which would require Matthew's or your help. SPDR STI:  1) Matthew mentioned that "It is wrong to say that they paid $12M when they had $5M in cash. What you see as cash is only a snap shot “at 30 June 2015”. What has been paid out is cash they had previously from dividends … [Read more...]

Matthew Seah answers questions on SPDR STI ETF.

Dear AK, I am SH, one of your many blog readers. I am currently 21 years old and i am planning to make my first investment through a STI ETF. (Still deciding between spdr and nikko). However i have quite a number of questions regarding SPDR STI ETF; especially after reading its annual report, which i hope you can help to clarify.These are the questions:Unitholders’ … [Read more...]

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


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 …


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


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


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


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


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...]