The Pros And Cons Of Dollar Cost Averaging

The Pros And Cons Of Dollar Cost Averaging

The Pros And Cons Of Dollar Cost Averaging
The Pros And Cons Of Dollar Cost Averaging

You might be thinking this is “another of those dollar cost averaging article”. I assure you that this is not. It is always during a Bear Market Survival that the topic of dollar cost averaging surfaces. Rarely, this topic is popular during a upward trending market.

Once a for all, I will discuss on the value of dollar cost averaging and what it can do in your portfolio. If you have been investing in China over the last year, you might think that dollar cost averaging is not working on China’s stocks? Read on and consider the pros and cons.

What is Dollar Cost Averaging (DCA)?

Dollar Cost Averaging is a popular investment method of investing equal amounts of money over a period of time. The opposite of this would be to invest a lump sum of money at once. I will leave you to read up about summary of DCA in this photo below.

Dollar Cost Averaging
Dollar Cost Averaging

Financial advisors are one group of people that preach about this because of the simplicity of the method. It is however, easier said than done as emotions might get better of us in the market.

One question you can ask yourself today ( 1st June 2022), are you still averaging down?

The Pros

  • Simple and systematic (if you set rules that continuously invest during ups and down): You don’t really “think” when you employ a DCA strategy. You simply trust the system and invest through the ups and downs. It will work BEST if it is via auto-transfer rather than manually transferring.
  • Downside protection: In a downward market, you will see a “bigger lost” if you do a lump sum strategy. For example, if the market corrected 20% in a month, your initial investment of $100,000 will be left with $80,000 (lost of $20,000). Now, if you do a DCA investing $10K per month, your initial investment will be left with $8,000 (lost of $2,000). You also have capital to continue investing at the “down” on the second month. For those that is retiring soon, this have great psychological benefits. I believe there is nobody that wants to lose 20% of their nest egg 6 months prior to retirement.

The Cons

  • FOMO (Fear of missing out): If this is an upward market, you risk missing out on the extra capital gains and compounding benefits. Using the same scenario as above, someone who invested $100,000 with a 20% run-up would make $20,000, while the investor DCA their first  $10k would’ve only made $2k.
  • Being too passive: DCA works best if the asset have a long term upward tread in nature. If the underlying investments are downward/sideways moving (take a look at the Japan market), DCA will not be the best strategy.

Final Thoughts

A big shout out to one of the most loyal reader of Wealthdojo Mr Sinkie. He sums up my thoughts on DCA in a single sentence. “DCA works best for assets that are volatile but have very long history of uptrend”. Thank you for being so patient and contributing to the blog. For those that are interested in his elaboration (I think you should), go over to Bear Market Survival Tips.

Looking forward to more people commenting on the blog.

If you guys need help, please reach out. I will be more than happy to have a conversation with you.

Chengkok is a licensed Financial Services Consultant since 2012. He is an Investment and Critical Illness Specialist. Wealthdojo was created in 2019 to educate and debunk “free financial advice” that was given without context.  

Feel Free To Reach Out To Share Your Thoughts.

Contact: 94316449 (Whatsapp) chengkokoh@gmail.com (Email)
Telegram: Wealthdojo [Continuous Learning Channel]
Reviews: About Me

The views and opinions expressed in this publication are those of the author and do not reflect the official policy or position of any other agency, organisation, employer or company. Assumptions made in the analysis are not reflective of the position of any entity other than the author.

Bear Market Survival Tips

Bear Market Survival Tips

I was hoping never to write this article because if you are here reading this, it could only means a few things.

  • We are in a bear market
  • You are in a long position with a possibility of being overleveraging
  • You don’t have a system that prepares you for this scenario

Whatever the reason you are here, I think it is quite certain that we are experience a market that is downward cha-cha.

Disclaimer: It is anybody’s guess where the market is going to be. This should not be taken as a buy/sell/hold recommendation. Please consider your own context or approach a financial advisor for advise.

Bear Market Survival Tips
Bear Market Survival Tips

Despite the fear, bear markets are nothing new. To put everyone on the same page, a bear market occurs when major stock indexes like the S&P 500 fall 20% or more from their most recent peak. They’ve occurred 12 times since 1946, which is on average once every 8 years. Most pullbacks above 20% have been associated with recessions. Hence, with the perfect long storm, politicians all over the world are most concerned about recessions.

On average, a bear market is around 9.5months. This would mean most of us will live to tell the tale assuming we are not shaken out of our position (mentally or by margin calls).

As I get more and more about how to invest in a bear market, I hope this article will be able to share with you some bear market survival tips to prepare yourself for the weeks to come.

Bear market survival tips

#1: Avoid making impulsive decisions

This makes the top of the list. Emotionally, people don’t like to be wrong (whether temporary or in the long run). Hence, when they see their portfolio in the red, many people have the temptation to “reset” their portfolio. This is detrimental to your wealth management journey and it is just a “quick fix” of escaping the mental strain.

Stay calm is the key in bear and highly volatile markets. If your time horizon is decades away, the best thing to do is to invest as if nothing has changed. Let me give you an example of a $1000 investment in the S&P 500 between 1/1/2009 and 12/31/2018 (the last market crash).

  • If you stayed invested the entire time, you’d have $2,775.
  • If you missed the 10 best-performing days during that period, your account value would be $1,722.
  • If you missed the 30 best-performing days in this 10-year period, you’d be left with $918.

I can’t emphasize how important it is to stay invested.

#2: Build your positions regularly over time

With dollar-cost-averaging (DCA), no thinking is really required. However, I recognized that it may not be easy. I saw friends who were excited about the recent bear market and have dollar cost average down the last few months.

However, they are all now NOT adding into new positions as the market is still going down. DCA is somewhat easy to say but not easy to execute consistently unless there is a system that is set up. Personally, I have averaged down on the China Market previously and it is still a bleeding position (Check out my latest SRS positions).

Time will tell. That being said, stay tune for my upcoming article: The pros and cons of dollar cost averaging.

#3: Change your strategy, diversify or play defensive

As a wealth manager, I realized risk management is something that I constantly address. If you’re still active in the markets and it is not working anymore, it might be time go passive with a lazy portfolio. If you find yourself taking too much risk, you might want to seek a more defensive portfolio.

Your current life stage might not allow you to take too much risk as compared to before. It is vital to re-assess your situation, your goals, your risk tolerance and discuss with a professional on your options.

#4: Go contrarian (Not recommended)

If you are a trader, you know better than to go against the trend. Consider taking a buy put options position to bet against a stock or ETF, this allows you to have a limited downside (as you are a buyer of the put option) and able to participate in the downward trending market.

WARNING: I have to emphasize that buying options is speculative. They may expire and be worthless if you do not have a game plan. If you are wondering what this is, do not do it. 

Final Thoughts

Stay strong. This may be the pivoting moment in your investment journey. There are so many resources you can turn to nowadays to prepare for a bear market. You can consider what Warren Buffett is doing amidst the noises.

Definitely reach out if you need help. I will be more than happy to have a conversation with you.

Otherwise, please watch out for my next article: The Pros and Cons of Dollar Cost Averaging. [Update: The article is out!]

 

Chengkok is a licensed Financial Services Consultant since 2012. He is an Investment and Critical Illness Specialist. Wealthdojo was created in 2019 to educate and debunk “free financial advice” that was given without context.  

Feel Free To Reach Out To Share Your Thoughts.

Contact: 94316449 (Whatsapp) chengkokoh@gmail.com (Email)
Telegram: Wealthdojo [Continuous Learning Channel]
Reviews: About Me

The views and opinions expressed in this publication are those of the author and do not reflect the official policy or position of any other agency, organisation, employer or company. Assumptions made in the analysis are not reflective of the position of any entity other than the author.

3 Key Changes To CPF Policies From 2022

3 Key Changes To CPF Policies From 2022

January is the month where many people are interested in the CPF. I believe this is because we usually set our life / financial / career goals for 2022 at the start of the year. For those of you who have financial goals, I welcome you to Wealthdojo and hope that this website will be a good resource for you.

3 Key Changes To CPF Policies From 2022
3 Key Changes To CPF Policies From 2022

This article will only highlight 3 2022 CPF Policies updates. If you wish to look at all the other changes that was announced in Nov 2021, you can take a look here.

#1: Basic Retirement Sum (BRS) / Full Retirement Sum (FRS) / Enhanced Retirement Sum (ERS) Updates

The CPF retirement sum is a moving target because of inflation. This is to ensure that CPF payouts will be sufficient during our retirement years. For 2022, the amount in BRS, FRS and ERS are $96,000, $192,000 and $288,000 respectively. If you are turning 55 this year, these numbers will be relevant to you.

#2: Basic Healthcare Sum (BHS) Updates

In 2022, the BHS will be $66,000. This is the estimated savings needed for basic healthcare for old age and is adjusted yearly until the age of 65. This will be fixed for the rest of your lives. If you are turning 65 this year, this number will be relevant to you.

#3: Increase in CPF Top Up Tax Reliefs Updates

You may enjoy tax relief of up to $8,000 if you may a top up for yourself and an additional $8,000 if you make a top up for your loved ones. However, the $8,000 tax relief cap is now shared between Special Account (SA), Retirement Account (RA) and the MediSave Account (MA).

This update has posted the most concerns and I believe this will affect a specific group of individuals which I will explain later.

To understand this, we have to take a step back and look at how top ups were done before 2022 especially MA Top-ups.

Before 2022, topping up MA is a popular tax relief option together with Retirement Sum Top-Up (RSTU). It depends on 2 factors.

  • The difference between the CPF Annual Limit ($37,740) and the CPF contributions made for the calendar year
  • The difference between the BHS and current MA balance

I will be illustrating using an example of Mr Goh (age 25) with a salary of $10,000 monthly with no bonus. As he is young, we can safely assume that his MA amount is way below the BHS. As the the Ordinary Wage ceiling is capped at $6,000 currently, his annual CPF contribution will be the following.

A: Annual CPF Limit: $37,740

B: Annual CPF Contribution: $6000*12*0.37= $26,640.

C: Eligible VC-MA Top-up amount: A – B = $11,100

D: Max RSTU Top-up limit before 2022 = $7,000

E: Total Eligible Tax Relief: C + D = $18,100

As you can see, it is slightly more complicated to calculate tax-reliefs previously.

After 2022, it is very simple. $8,000 tax relief cap is now shared between Special Account (SA), Retirement Account (RA) and the MediSave Account (MA). This means for Mr Goh, his eligible tax relief decreased by $10,100 ($18,100 – $8,000).

Now that we understand the theory behind it, let’s put things into context.

Personally, I think this will not affect most of us. This is because the median income for Singaporeans is $4,534 in 2020 including CPF contributions from employers. It is an income where tax is rather manageable (in my opinion) and you might not consider to contribute to CPF for tax purposes. I do understand that some of you might be attracted to the interest rates from CPF, feel free to contribute at your discretion.

The group that I believe will be affected are the high income young individuals. At that income level, you might be looking for ways to have tax-reliefs such as SRS Top-ups to reduce your taxes.

Final Thoughts

The journey of your financial freedom begins with the first step. Congratulations for reaching the end of the article. I hope to see and hear (write down your thoughts in the comments below) from some of you in 2022.

Take care.

Chengkok is a licensed Financial Services Consultant since 2012. He is an Investment and Critical Illness Specialist. Wealthdojo was created in 2019 to educate and debunk “free financial advice” that was given without context.  

Feel Free To Reach Out To Share Your Thoughts.

Contact: 94316449 (Whatsapp) chengkokoh@gmail.com (Email)
Telegram: Wealthdojo [Continuous Learning Channel]
Reviews: About Me

The views and opinions expressed in this publication are those of the author and do not reflect the official policy or position of any other agency, organisation, employer or company. Assumptions made in the analysis are not reflective of the position of any entity other than the author.

Should You Apply For Rochor River Peak BTO

Should You Apply For Rochor River Peak BTO?

Winning the BTO lucky draw is a bonus for many of young married couples. Pinnacle @ Duxton, Natura Loft @ Bishan, The Peak @ Toa Payoh are among the few that has made headlines for being sold at over a million dollars. These BTO are typically are matured areas.

The government then came up with the PLH model to discourage property inflation especially in the matured area.

In this article, I hope to share whether you should apply for River Peaks @ Rochor in the aspect of financial planning (affordability). I will seek to illustrate how much you should be earning monthly to be able to afford this property comfortably.

Should You Apply For Rochor River Peak BTO
Should You Apply For Rochor River Peak BTO

The Assumptions

Buying price for River Peaks is $635,000 (Average of $582K to $688K).

The couple is eligible for BTO application, no debts, no grant whatsoever. They pays for equal portion of the HDB downpayment and the loan. They starts from zero with no help from parents.

We are using HDB loan that requires the couple to pay at least 10% downpayment ($63,500) of the purchase price. We do not use bank loan as it require 25% downpayment and we assume that it is not an easy sum to pay.

We do not include stamp duties and misc expenses.

Illustration #1: Young Couple that just started working

If your partner and yourself are young with a few years of work experience, HDB loan might be the only option if you do not have capital.

Taking the medium monthly gross $3468 for the age group 25-29, your CPF-OA contribution will be $797.85 monthly. It will take you roughly 40 months / 3.5 years to have $31,750 in your CPF-OA. This means that you can consider applying for this BTO if you have already worked at least 3.5 years. Of course, if you have a good saving habit, you can use cash to pay for the downpayment (see #1A).

However with the monthly gross salary of $3468, the available HDB loan that is $458,400 and this is insufficient as the loan amount required is $571,500. There is shortfall of $113,100.

In this case, you cannot apply for the Rochor BTO unless you have saved an extra $113,100.

Should You Apply For Rochor River Peak BTO HDB Loan Estimator
Should You Apply For Rochor River Peak BTO HDB Loan Estimator

Illustration #1A: Young Couple that just started working and are savers

Let’s push the assumption one step further and assume that the young couple saves 30% of their income for downpayment. This translates to $1040.4 cash and $797.85 CPF-OA per person per month.

Shortfall: $635,000 (property value) – $458,400 (potential loan amount) = $176,600

Monthly Couple Saving Towards Property: [$1040.4 + $797.85]*2= $3,676.5

This translates to 48months or 4 years.

Their estimated monthly mortgage repayment will be $2,080 for a 25 years payment at 2.6%. This works to be cash of $242.15 per person monthly.

This is doable but not easy. However, majority of their equity will be in their house.

Illustration #2: Young Couple that just started working with higher median monthly income

Given that the constant is the amount of loan that can be obtained, I did the reverse calculation and found out that a monthly income of $4,400 will produce the HDB loan of $576,000.

Should You Apply For Rochor River Peak BTO HDB Loan Estimator 2Should You Apply For Rochor River Peak BTO HDB Loan Estimator 2
Should You Apply For Rochor River Peak BTO HDB Loan Estimator 2

In this case, a monthly income of $4400 would mean your CPF-OA would have $1012.09 being contributed monthly. It will take around 32 months or 2.7 years to have $31,750 in your CPF-OA.

Similarly, their estimated monthly mortgage repayment will be $2,080 for a 25 years payment at 2.6%. This works to be cash of $55.82 per person monthly.

Definitely suggest that you probably need a higher income to be comfortable to afford this property.

Final Thoughts

I expect that people applying for this BTO is probably going to be couples that have worked for at least 4 to 6 years (maybe 28 to 32 years old). I expect that their income to be at least $4000 to consider this project.

This assumption means that they have both time to save in their CPF and their saving account to afford for this project.

The downside is that the project have a waiting time of 71 months or close to 6 years (without delay). This means you would not be able to have a home until you are close to the mid 30s.

What do you think about this project? Let me know in the comment below.

Chengkok is a licensed Financial Services Consultant since 2012. He is an Investment and Critical Illness Specialist. Wealthdojo was created in 2019 to educate and debunk “free financial advice” that was given without context.  

Feel Free To Reach Out To Share Your Thoughts.

Contact: 94316449 (Whatsapp) chengkokoh@gmail.com (Email)
Telegram: Wealthdojo [Continuous Learning Channel]
Reviews: About Me

The views and opinions expressed in this publication are those of the author and do not reflect the official policy or position of any other agency, organisation, employer or company. Assumptions made in the analysis are not reflective of the position of any entity other than the author.

How Do You Start Self Directed Investing

How Do You Start Self Directed Investing

How Do You Start Self Directed Investing
How Do You Start Self Directed Investing

Investing is a like taking a trip to a dream destination that you really want to go. You might feel it is nerve racking as this might be the first time you are going to take a long trip. You might also be unsure what to pack and bring. You might also feel anxious as you don’t know if you prepared enough for the trip.

If you have experience planning for a 10 days (or even longer) holiday, the skillset used there can be transferred over to investing. Here are 5 things to prepare before going on your trip.

Special note: Whether you are starting the journey or have already started, I wish everyone a safe journey.

#1: Determine Your Destination.

Many people stumble on this point right at the start. One of the most interesting conversation I ever had was with a friend in university. I remember him saying that he wants to get “many experiences” travelling. However, when I asked him where he wanted to go or what he wanted to experience, he couldn’t give me an answer. He simply stared at me said “anywhere lah”.

In the end, he didn’t go anywhere at all. He just couldn’t decide.

It is the same for investing, you might want to be a self directed investor because you want to make more money but you might not know how much you need to make. Although “the more the better” is relevant here, the lack of destination creates a tension in your mind because your brain don’t know what to do. In the end, most people don’t start.

Knowing your destination is simply require simple mathematics. I’m going to assume the following.

Assumption:

I want $5,000 monthly or $60,000 yearly for my retirement.

I wish to retire at age 55. Since male mortality is age 83 (female is 88), I would require 28 years of $60,000 or $1,680,000.

In this simple illustration, you would have already determined your destination. It is time to start packing.

#2: Buy A Map / Make Sure You Have Google Maps

If I were to ask you to drive from your house to Tuas Crescent 1, would you be able to do it? Unless you know Tuas very well, it would be very difficult and time consuming. This issue escalates for longer journeys. Imagine, asking someone to drive to Four Season Hotel in Thailand, Bangkok without a map.

For self directed investors, one of the most important thing is to have a map. This map is a strategic game plan that allows you to move from Point A to Point B. It is a map that would show you where are the possible danger spots and route to take.

via Gfycat: Looks easy?

In investing, we call this a game plan. There are several game plans out there. Each and every of them will eventually get you to your end goal. Some example of game plans are like ETF dollar cost investing, Robo-investing, Value investing, Growth investing, Value-Growth investing, Options investing, Momentum Growth Investing, Multi-Asset Value-Growth investing or trading. These game plans are created by people who have gone ahead of us and are itineraries that we can consider.

You might prefer certain itineraries to others. Some of more “adventurous”, some take the safer route. However, the lack of tour guides means that you have to take ownership of the trip.

You might find yourself stuck at this stage because you don’t know which is the best route to follow. My advice is to try out any path. This is because you will quickly understand which paths fits you the best ONLY IF you step on that path. You can also change your path along the way.

#3: Get Your Passport

A passport allows to travel across countries. For investing, the passport is your brokerage account. It allows to buy and sell. This is the most straight forward step for self directed investors.

You can consider between the brokerage account in the traditional banks or the new brokerage accounts like Moomoo or Tiger.

There may be promotions at different periods. If you have enjoyed reading this article, I would appreciate if you could register an account with my referral above. Appreciate it loads!

#4: Leave The House

I remember leaving my house for my student exchange in Sweden. There was a mixture of excitement, fear, uncertainty and I missed home suddenly. Of course, that trip turned out to be one of the best trips I ever did in my life.

Our house is our “comfort zone” and in the same way, investing into the stock market is usually outside our comfort zone especially if you have never invested before.

The journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step. It is only when you put in real money into investing can your journey truly begin.

Leave The House Uppsala
Leave The House: One of my favorite photos of Uppsala, Sweden

#5: Keep Track of Your Progress

Nothing is more scary than being lost. One of my first solo trips was to Taiwan. My plane landed in Taipei and I was trying to get to Kaohsiung. In my very silly attempt to save money, I decided on taking the bus to Kaohsiung instead of taking the train.

It took me 8 hours from Taipei to Taichung by bus and I knew something is wrong. My phone battery was going to be flat and I was meeting a friend in 3 hours time. I transferred to the next train to Kaohsiung (in the end, I spent even more money) and landed at Zuoying Station. I happily told my friend that I will be waiting for them at MacDonald. My friend asked me which one? Who knew that there was Zuoying Station and Xin Zuoying Station. My phone battery took one last breath before shutting down.

Luckily~ my friends found me on their first try.

It is the same for investing. Sometimes we do get caught up in the moment and make irrational decisions. It is crucial to acknowledge when you are lost and change directions immediately. It would be easier especially if you have a group of mentors whom are familiar with the workings of the market.

Even if you are on the right direction, take note of your milestones and celebrate them when it comes.

Final Thoughts

Being a self directed investor gives you a lot of control but you have to learn how to control it. It will take both time and effort. Starting is very scary but once you start, I can assure that it will be a well lived life.

Are there any other tools you feel you need to get started? Let me know in the comment below.

Chengkok is a licensed Financial Services Consultant since 2012. He is an Investment and Critical Illness Specialist. Wealthdojo was created in 2019 to educate and debunk “free financial advice” that was given without context.  

Feel Free To Reach Out To Share Your Thoughts.

Contact: 94316449 (Whatsapp) chengkokoh@gmail.com (Email)
Telegram: Wealthdojo [Continuous Learning Channel]
Reviews: About Me

The views and opinions expressed in this publication are those of the author and do not reflect the official policy or position of any other agency, organisation, employer or company. Assumptions made in the analysis are not reflective of the position of any entity other than the author.