My SRS Portfolio March 2022

My SRS Portfolio and Thoughts [March 2022]

My SRS Portfolio March 2021
My SRS Portfolio March 2022

What an epic start to 2022. In just one quarter we are now in the amidst of the Perfect Long Storm, Russian-Ukraine Tension and Will Smith slapping Chris Rock. Maybe the saving grace is that we will be able to travel to Malaysia (with more freedom) from 1st April.

In any case, this is the SRS update for March 2022. If you are new to SRS, I would encourage you to start from my most read SRS article, 5 Things You Need To Know About SRS to begin.

Disclaimer: This is not and should not be taken as a buy/sell recommendation.

My Thoughts And Consideration

My SRS Portfolio and Thoughts [March 2022]
My SRS Portfolio and Thoughts [March 2022]
The most glaring underperformance continues to be my exposure into Chinese Technology Stocks (SGX:HST). The price is already 41% down since the last time I entered. The question I get asked frequently is how will China do moving ahead.

According to Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee meeting on Dec 2021, the focus on 2022 will be prioritize stability while pursuing progress. This is a great difference from their focus of strengthening antimonopoly rules in 2021. I believe this might be a turning point and am considering a Dollar Cost Averaging into SGX:HST. This is after a capital injection into the SRS for tax purpose.

Final Thoughts

I reemphasize again that this is not and should not be taken as a buy/sell recommendation. Wishing you all the best!

 

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.

The 2021 Madness. What's Next

The 2021 Madness. What’s Next?

The 2021 Madness. What's Next
The 2021 Madness. What’s Next

The past 2 years have been madness. I believe you saw how COVID-19 took the world by storm. Your company might have been left paralyzed, our governments scrambled and ordinary people that you know became separated from their loved ones.

Just as we think that things are becoming more stable, Omicron emerged. When will this ever end?

First thing first, for readers following Wealthdojo, I would like to thank you for all the support you have given by sharing my articles. It is really a pleasure.

As you know, it is a yearly tradition to write a reflection of the year so that we don’t miss the lessons we learnt (Read More: 2019 Reflection. 2020 Reflection). In this annual 2021’s reflection, I have a new epiphany.

What if things never really ends and these will continue forever?

History In Context

100 Years Of History And The Stock Market
100 Years Of History And The Stock Market

In the last 100 years, things were crazy. If you travel through time to the 1900s and tell someone that you can find all the information in the world in a 6 inch metal piece (smartphone), they will think that you are crazy.

Do you know what else is crazy? Imagine all of these happening just in the last 100 years.

  • 1.3 million Americans died while fighting nine major wars.
  • Four U.S. presidents were assassinated.
  • 675,000 Americans died in a single year from a flu pandemic (This wasn’t even COVID 19. 777,000 and counting died because of COVID-19)
  • 30 separate natural disasters killed at least 400 Americans each
  • 33 recessions lasted a cumulative 48 years.
  • The stock market fell more than 10% from a recent high at least 97 times.
  • Stocks lost a third of their value at least 12 times.
  • Annual inflation exceeded 7% in 20 separate years.

Every single time when we thought things are crazy, we bounced back as a human race to be where we are now. I believe things will be crazier from now on. (Maybe the Metaverse isn’t that crazy after all. More on the Metaverse in the points below.)

The Crazy Things That Happened in 2021

Let’s start with my pet peeve. Over 35% of all the American dollars ever printed by the U.S. government has been printed in 2020! These American dollars are given out for people like shopping vouchers. I cannot imagine how inflation will be like in the near future. This has raised food prices and (unintended so they say) impacted countries like Egypt, Libya, Syria, and Yemen where people are rioting in the streets for having nothing to eat.

We also saw terrible companies’ stock soar insanely high. Companies such as Gamestop (GME), AMC saw great gains. The worse part of it all is that I see speculators trying to rationalize those buys.

One of the biggest property developer in China, Evergrande is on the verge of collapse.

HDB is being sold for millions. Good Class Bungalows are being snapped up like hotcakes in Singapore.

NFT are now sold for millions with the current record of $69 million. Did I mentioned cryptocurrency already? Anyway, here’s the NFT that was sold.

Christies NFT Auction 69 Million
Christies NFT Auction 69 Million

Investing in 2021 is like going to NTUC before PM Lee gives his speech. There will be lot of people buying, stocking up on toilet paper and cup noodles. There will be fair share of people taking photos or videos of situations. It is funny, exciting and everyone will have a story to tell.

Please enjoy my reflections as I reflect on the 2021.

No One Gives a Damn About Long Term Investing Anymore

If they are, they are probably very seasoned investors or part of a Long Term Investing community.

It is not easy being a self directed long term investor. We live in a world of instant gratification. If you want food, just hit the Grab App and you will get it in 30 minutes. If you want a dress, just hit the Shopee App and you will get it in 2 to 3 days. If our internet connection is down for 15 mins, we behave like the world is over. In a world where things comes so easily, the virtue of patience becomes very hard.

The stock market is one where we see unique individuals. Some people treat it as a place to buy high quality companies. Others might treat it like a platform to instantly change their lives by putting all their savings in one company/coin. I don’t think there is right or wrong to this. I just wonder if they do get their intended results.

Social media changed the stock market completely. 🚀🚀🚀. Everyday, we are going to the moon. HODL. 🚀🚀🚀. It almost makes investing looks like it is easy money until it is not. Corrections happen and people suddenly becomes a “long term investor” again. Well.. at least until the correction is over.

AMC TO THE MOON
AMC TO THE MOON: I wonder how this Youtuber is doing now.

I find it so difficult to talk about investing now when their expectation is getting multi-baggers in the next few weeks. If it is not 100%, don’t even bother.

I wonder if people will be ever satisfied by buying and holding quality companies anymore. That being said, my own investment thesis is still investing and holding on to the quality companies in the long run.

Burn Outs Are Real

Do you remember holidays? Holidays are mostly overseas trips requiring you to pay buckets loads of money for you to take a photo over a scenic location. (Kinda look like this).

Burn Outs Are Real
Burn Outs Are Real

Jokes aside, I noticed the lack of holidays causing burns outs among my friends. Doctors, healthcare workers, teachers and people from all walks of lives are reported to have face anxiety, depression and burn outs in the pandemic. It is so hard to walk away from our work now and worse still, we can’t even go for a holiday.

I always thought that holidays were a temporary reset that we need in a driven society. There is always an email that you need to reply. There is always a whatsapp work group chat that you need to give attention to. You are constantly engaged. Although holidays are temporary relief much like Panadol, you might feel that at least it gives you the opportunity to disengage yourself from work and enjoy that moment.

*Important* If you find yourself constantly feeling helpless or trapped, having an increasing cynical outlook of life or lacking motivation, back pains, shoulder aches, gaining those extra pounds around your belly, those might be signs that you are experiencing a burn out. You might need some help. 

I’m not suggesting that I’m an expert to help with burn outs. Pandemic or not, I believe it is very important to take breaks or just a time to do nothing. I can tell you that it is not easy to do nothing. We have NOTHING in our culture that focuses on doing NOTHING. I grow up learning that I should not waste time and I was punished for wasting time.

Took me 5 years to learn that relaxing is not wasting time. This is so important that I’m going to bold and type this sentence again. RELAXING IS NOT A WASTE OF TIME.

Burn outs are real. Take breaks.

The Common Man Behaves Like Experts

Put a smart phone in the hands of ordinary man and they behave like experts. In my university days, I learnt about Bunning-Kruger Effect in Behavior Economics. Dunning-Kruger effect is generally reported as an irrational tendency among certain incompetent individuals systematically to overestimate their true level of competence.

Dunning-Kruger effect
Dunning-Kruger effect

An obvious example is ordinary man or woman becoming “experts” in vaccines overnight and being able to share certain theories. For companies like Moderna who aren’t even sure if their vaccines will work on the Omicron without new data, how can the common man be so sure?

I struggle with this a lot. It seems like everyone thinks there is a conspiracy theory everywhere and they are very convinced about their own theory. The trust in the government is tested regularly with every strain or every spike in COVID-19 cases. Though I feel annoyed when there are heighten restrictions on dining, I believe we are doing all we can to get through this.

Thinking deeply, I believe the struggle of this generation will be to find the right information. We have an overload of information and it is our duty to sleeve through all the noises. I see this in investment as well. There is probably someone you know who talks about Bitcoin and may be earning money if you know what you are doing.

For me, I placed high importance in finding places with right information.

Be Open Minded AND Keep your Eyes Open

I would like to finish off with this statement. I can’t help but feel that the world is constantly changing. Something that might have worked 5 years ago might be obsolete now.

Floppy discs, CDs, DVDs, MP3 players, the pager, overhead projectors, fax machine are just some technologies that once took the world by storm and are obsolete today. The world is changing and so should our minds.

Be open minded.

Be Open Minded
Be Open Minded

I’m currently learning about everything related to the Metaverse and recording them here. You can follow the page if you wish to be updated. I believe that this is an emerging trend and we are still early in the adoption of the technology.

It is also important to keep our eyes open. With the new shiny object in the room, there will be new scams, new rug pulls (I just learnt this term) and new ways to be cheated. Open your eyes and move. There is no guarantee that we will not be hurt but it is important to keep moving.

Final Thoughts

This is probably my last article for the year. Wishing all of you good health and may fortune favor the brave.

What about your reflections in 2021? 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.

5 Principles To Self Directed Investing

5 Principles To Self Directed Investing

5 Principles To Self Directed Investing
5 Principles To Self Directed Investing: Nope, that’s not my arm.

Self directed investing is an interesting journey. I struggle to write this article as the “interesting” journey was not a fun one at all. The old cliche “there are ups and downs” barely scratch the surface of investing with confidence.

As I get more and more requests to teach investment, I realised I keep repeating certain concepts for people who wants self directed investing. These concepts can be summarized into the 5 key principles. These 5 key principles separates investors from speculators.

This article will be more crucial to those who wants to focus on investing rather than speculating. If you thinking of speculating the market, this article may not be beneficial to you.

Disclaimer: The example shown below are not and should not be used as a buy/sell recommendation.

#1: First Principles

I learnt about First Principles from Elon Musk. This term was coined over 2000 years ago by Greek Philosopher Aristotle. Basically, first principle is a basic assumption that cannot be deducted any further.

One simple question that I ask people is what constitute a good company/instrument to invest in? I’m always met with weird stares and raised eyebrows because the answer is typically the flavour of the month. It used to be Cloud, then Electric Vehicles or ESG investing in the recent years. Metaverse is probably going to be a typical answer in the next few quarters.

While they are not wrong, it says nothing about the companies’ underlying business.

When you do self directed investing, you want to find companies’ whose underlying business have a certain advantage over others (otherwise coined as economic moat). This business have to exhibit certain growth potential in the years ahead. If you can’t find a business with an advantage over others, why invest in this business? If you don’t see a growth potential in this business, why risk your money in this business?

When you break investing into First Principles, it becomes easier to understand. However, it takes time to understand a business and it also take time for the company to grow. Ask yourself, are you spending enough time understanding a business and allowing it to grow?

5 Principles To Self Directed Investing First Principles
5 Principles To Self Directed Investing First Principles

#2: Learn The Language Of Money

I remember asking for directions to a famous bakery in France and it didn’t go well. A kind hearted gentlemen (at least I believed he was) asked if I wanted some pain. I will leave it to you to imagine how scared and confused I was. Anyway, pain means bread in French.

5 Principles To Self Directed Investing Language Of Money
5 Principles To Self Directed Investing Language Of Money

You see harmless jokes like these appearing at random times in our lives. We laugh about it because it don’t really impact us that much. However, it is very different when it comes to the language of money. It WILL hurt when we misinterpret this language.

The language of money in investing is basically accounting. Doing self directed investing without learning about accounting is basically suicide. While you don’t need to learn every single word in the dictionary to understand a language, you will need a certain basic level of grammar rules, vocabulary and sentence structure.

This also takes time to understand but it can be learnt quickly especially if you have a trainer or a teacher who can explain to you what the more important jargons are.

#3: The Wait is as important as the investment

5 Principles To Self Directed Investing The Wait
5 Principles To Self Directed Investing The Wait

In the era where everything can be obtained in a snap of a finger, the wait is especially difficult. Amazon’s Prime Now, our 4G internet connection, 24/7 island delivery has made things more convenient but has altered our expectation of waiting. We have to relearn how to wait.

“The stock didn’t move much.” (In 2 days)

An extreme example of a company that “didn’t really move much” is Microsoft. Microsoft is now the biggest company (by market capital) in the world right now. However, it went through decades of underperformance until it finally bore fruit for investors. Even if you have invested at the peak of the dotcom bubble until now, you would have average a CAGR of 9%.

5 Principles To Self Directed Investing The Wait MSFT
5 Principles To Self Directed Investing The Wait MSFT

Thankfully, not all companies are as extreme like this. That being said, we need to relearn how to wait.

#4: The Price To Pay

In business, everything has a certain value or worth to it. I plan to write an article on property prices in Singapore very soon as I note that there are more and more Million Dollar HDB flats in Singapore. Who determines the prices? The buyers? The sellers? The property agents?

The “smart” answer in this case is the market.

Even though the market determines the prices, it does not mean you need to accept those prices. You on the other hand have 3 decisions to make. To buy, to hold or to sell.

The market prices changes every single day which gives an opportunity to buy at a price that you want. Being a self directed investor, it is important to decide what is the price that you are willing to pay for the company. The danger comes when you are overpaying for the company.

5 Principles To Self Directed Investing The Price To Pay
5 Principles To Self Directed Investing The Price To Pay

#5: Seek Other Experts

We specialise in certain topics at a very young age of 16 to 21. We go to polytechnic and/or university and are required to take a certain discipline that we will be sticking to for at least 3 years. We then proceed to the workforce and work on that role for a good period of time.

For me, it was finance and economics. While I’m celebrating my decade in the financial institution I’m representing next year, I’m always reminded (especially during COVID-19) that I have little or no knowledge about pharmaceutical companies.

To understand these pharmaceutical companies such as Pfizer and Moderna, I would have to ask experts in those fields if I ever would want to invest in them.

For self directed investors, it is crucial to reach out to other experts (or a community) especially if you want to find out more about those companies. These experts will probably know one or two things more than you do and that would make or break your investment decision.

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. Are you prepared?

Are there any other principles you feel should be included? 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.

SRS Last Chance Save 1 year with $1

SRS Last Chance: Save 1 year with $1

SRS Last Chance Save 1 year with $1
SRS Last Chance Save 1 year with $1

SRS is a voluntary scheme to help individuals save for retirement in additional to the Central Provident Fund (CPF) saving.

The SRS offers tax benefits and you can find a quick summary of SRS here. This information is crucial to you especially if you are above 40. I will be conducting a SRS webinar in the next few weeks. Join my Telegram Group where I share 1 financial tip a day where I will be posting more details.

Why is this a last chance?

SRS allows you to make penalty free withdrawals from your SRS on or after the statutory retirement age (currently at 62) that was prevailing at the time of your first SRS contribution. 

In the National Day Rally in 2019, it is already made know that the statutory retirement age will increase to 63 (in 2022) and 65 (by 2030).

This means that if you don’t make your first SRS contribution before 2022, your penalty free withdrawal year will increase by 1 year to age 63. This is your last chance in doing so.

SRS Last Chance Retirement Age Increase National Day Rally 2019
SRS Last Chance Retirement Age Increase National Day Rally 2019

How much do I need to contribute?

All it takes is $1. You didn’t hear me wrong. You don’t need to invest in anything yet. The account opening only require $1 (and around 1 minute). The purpose of it is to “lock in” your statutory retirement age to be 62. You can find out more in one of my most read article last year called the $1 SRS strategy.

You can then consider to invest it or think about investing using your SRS in future.

Final Thoughts

Personally, I think it is a no-brainer to open the account. The “opportunity cost” is just $1. That being said, the choice is still yours at the end of the day.

For those of you who have opened your accounts. What are you investing in currently?

Let me know in the comments 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.