Season’s greetings and
happy holidays to everyone! It has been awhile since i last posted, and today i am here to wrap up this frenzied year with a few important takeaways that I’ve learned.
What a horrid and traumatic second half of 2018 it has been. When the bull market raged on in the early half of this year, i had plenty of doubts and my intuition was screaming at me to sell for a small profit. However, greed and complacency restrained my hands.
With that said, that essentially caused me to currently be sitting on a – 6% portfolio loss.
For me, 2018 was a huge portfolio transformation. I sold and added many different counters, and these 7 (excluding Singapore Savings Bonds) are what i am left with. Singtel and City Developments Limited were impulse buys, are my current biggest losers, and are also my biggest regrets hahaha, you’ll understand why in my next few paragraphs.
Takeaway #1 – Research before Action
Common sense yes? But easier said then done. When i first started out investing, i was scrupulous and fastidious in my research, be it qualitative or quantitative. Naturally, as time went on, i got lazier in my homework and occasionally i’ll find myself making purchase actions on a counter i had not even done much research on, just because i told myself “Oh Blue Chip safe la, can invest. Now price not bad.” or “Property has always been a solid investment, let’s just invest now.”. You see, even though my S.O.P and rule has always been research first no matter what, i still managed to break this golden rule and this has costed me. When i bought into Singtel, i did not bother to do research, else i would have found out that TPG’s entry was impending, consumer business was dropping, and that Telcos were about to enter into dangerous waters. Similarly, had i done prior research before buying into CDL, i would have realized that the property market was slowing down and speculations about new measures were ubiquitous.
For 2019, i will unmistakably be sticking to my S.O.P and Golden Rule, so as not to embarrass and bring myself unnecessary losses yet again.
Takeaway #2 – Diversification
Only in recent months have i realised the ultimate importance of diversification. When the markets dived badly in recent months, my reits suffered terribly. Thankfully, i had a little cushioning in the form of ST Engineering and Raffles Medical, different industries. Just imagine if i had invested purely for dividends and thrown all my money into Reits and Trusts, i cannot imagine the damage.
For 2019, i will aim to further diversify myself. I agree that i am still too skewered towards REITs at the moment, and i’ll change that if the opportunity arises. My sights are locked on DBS , UOB, and Venture. I’ll continue keeping a close watch on the market and these counters.
Takeaway #3 – Averaging Down
I used to think that averaging down was an idea not worth entertaining. To me, there were only two steps. Buy at a certain price, and sell when the time is right. Nonetheless, when i bought CDL, the property cooling measures kicked in the week after, and CDL skydived. I panicked at first, and was devastated with my poor choice of action. After some cogitation, i entertained the idea of averaging down and bought CDL once again, albeit at a smaller quantity. Although the price now is still below the two instances where i bought CDL, there was a period where it went above and i witnessed first hand how averaging down can reduce your losses / increase your profits.
For 2019, i will not shy away from the idea of averaging down. If the time and price is right, i will definitely buy again into the same counter to average down my price or increase my possible profits.
Thoughts about 2019
With heavy losses in my portfolio, increased expenditure due to university, and a gloomy outlook for 2019, I march into the new year with a plenitude of pecuniary concerns.
The critical importance of saving money has been imbued and drilled into me from a very young age, and i am eternally grateful to my parents for that. Financial literacy is imperative in our current economy, especially in Singapore. With no breadwinner in my family, i am relieved that i possess a small cushion of emergency funds should i ever need it, and i owe this all my years of savings and making wise financial choices.
I do not expect a smooth sailing 2019, and as a matter of fact i do expect dark clouds for the early half of 2019. Nevertheless, i am optimistic about the economy and markets for the latter half of next year, and will continue striving and endeavoring.
As my previous student has already finished her PSLE, i currently do not have any tutees and will therefore have to look for another prospective student to fund my daily expenditure in university.
I wish everyone here a hopeful and blessed 2019, we are all in this together. If you’re ever feeling down and out, just remember that you are not alone and what goes down, must come up 🙂
P.S: Does anyone have a good savings account with better interest rates to recommend? I’m currently a 22 year old university student with no monthly income.