Saturday, 2 May 2020

Thoughts on the various webinars during this Circuit breaker

Before I start this post, I would like to make a disclaimer that whatever that has been mentioned are my own opinion and are NOT sponsored by any company or person. 

Good day to all, we are halfway through this circuit breaker and hopefully the circuit breaker will be be lifted on 1 June 2020. The covid-19 cases in our community have reduced to a single digit and that is a very good sign. However there is still a large number of foreign workers being tested positive and I wish them all the best and we will tide through these crisis together. So over this covid-19 period, I have seen many people getting their hands into investing and opening brokerage accounts. Many wants to start investing as they believe it to be a very good opportunity. However the main problem is that most of them did not do any research and analysis on the different companies and investing in general. Most of them just buy based on what they heard from various unknown sources, which I feel that that should not be the way. 

During this circuit breaker period, there are many free webinars conducted by various investment personnel in our community. I have personally tuned in to quite a few to listen and I have to say that in my opinion, it is very useful to have all these webinars as it is always good to listen to different perspective on the market and certain stocks. Whether you are an experience investor or a new investor that is just starting his journey, attending these webinars will surely help you to be a better investor. Some webinars I have attended are from Dr Wealth, SG Budgetbabe, Seedly and a few others and I only have praises to say to these people. I personally find the webinars very useful and relatable to me as a Singaporean. It is also easier for me to absorb these information as well.

As for investment courses, here are some ways I feel that would help you make a better choice:

1) Credible Trainers- There are just too many out there to con you or just to make a quick buck. It is very important that you are able to find trainers who are capable and know their stuff well.

2) Know what you sign up for- It is important to find a trainer that you can relate to. No point spending tons of your hard earned money only to find out that you do not understand what is being taught.

3) Cost- There are courses that seem cheap at first, but after you attend the course, they will upsell you another package/ courses at a much higher cost. Please check if the price of the courses are fixed and if there are any upsells. After that, check for the content that will be taught and if there are additional perks and make your own decision if you would like to attend before signing up.  

I will be straight forward here. There are no right or wrong answer about paying to attend an investment courses. There are tons of resources on the internet to provide you with the information that you need and It is up to you to put in the hard work and hours to sieve out the right information. However, Some people prefer to research on their own and they learn better this way while others learn better by having someone to guide them along the way. What is most important is at the end of the day, you will be able to reach your financial goals. 

That's the end of my post, see you next time, meanwhile, stay safe and stay healthy!

Saturday, 18 April 2020

Has the bottom passed?

Its day 12 of the circuit breaker and I hope everybody is doing well to cope with the changes. The number of migrant workers have exponentially increase and today, we have 942 cases of people infected, with the migrant workers making up the majority. The amount of local cases have decrease slightly but nevertheless, we still have to do our part in order to break the chain of transmission.

There are just so many people getting into the stock market at this time, wanting to start their investment journey. And 1 of the most common question is "When is the best time to enter the market?"

My answer to them is "If you are investing long term, it doesn't matter when you enter the market, because in the long term, stock prices are most likely going to rise." As the legendary saying goes "Time in the market is better than timing the market." We will only know that we missed the bottom after we have past it. For example, very recently, the Straits Times Index drop to a low of about 2208 points on the 23 March. For those that have bought stocks around that period, you will probably be sitting on a pretty decent gain as the stock market recovered slightly at this current point in time (18 April). For those that did not buy and are still waiting for it to go down, you might have missed the chance. Whether this is just a temporary rally or there is still room for the index to head downwards, nobody knows. What we can do is to buy at the price that will allow us to sleep peacefully at night.

One thing I have also heard a lot is "But horh, based on (insert news article), they say that the market will drop more and we should continue to stay in the sidelines." I used to pay so much attention to those news as most of them were by top class experts in the financial world. However, nowadays, I am kinda "sick" of all these news as they were affecting my investment decisions so much. I believe all these news are exaggerating most of the times and I should not read too much into it. I would want to read these news for my own knowledge rather than basing my investment decisions on these news.

In conclusion, I would like to say 3 things:

1) In my opinion, I belong to the optimist group, so I feel that things will be kept under control by the mid of this year and by the late 3rd to 4th quarter of the year, the economy will start to slowly recover. This is because it is the 21st century now and technologies are so advanced now and every country is doing their part to stop a recession from happening.

2) Do NOT try to time the market, we cant time the market, therefore why not just buy at a price where we are comfortable and let time do its work. If we think with a long term perspective, does it matter if this is the real bottom or not? The main thing is that companies are selling at a cheap price and we should take advantage of that.

3) In my opinion, I feel that the the bottom on the 23 March is unlikely to repeat itself. However the stock market might still drop and rally along the way until the virus is kept under control.

Meanwhile, there is just 2 more weeks to go before the end of the CB. So please take good care of yourselves and see you at the end of the Circuit Breaker! :)

Friday, 10 April 2020

Saving vs Investing

Its the 4th day of the circuit breaker, and the numbers are still increasing, however I believe it will take a week or so to fully see the effects of this circuit breaker if everybody do their part.

Now lets talk about savings vs investing. I have know quite a few friends that are real good savers. They have managed to save up large sum of money even as a student. However, when I bring up the topic of investing, most of them know nothing about it. All they know is that they prefer to keep their money in a savings account. They do not want to start investing as they have heard many stories of people losing their entire fortune in the stock and market and they do not know how to invest. For the very few that are investing, when I ask them more in depth about why they are investing in such companies, they can't really give me an answer. This is not a good thing as you are putting your hard earned money into these companies, so I think you should know what the company is doing.

Saving and investing are both important, but they are not the same thing. While both can help you achieve financial freedom, it would be good to know how much we should save and how much we should invest.

The reason why I am doing this post is because I feel that this Covid-19 has caused the stock prices to be beaten down to a very low price. I'm sure this is the first time for us "new birds" to experience such volatility. Therefore it is a very good opportunity to take out some of our savings to invest for potentially high returns. However, please do not invest in money you need in the next few years. Only invest in money you can afford to lose and make sure you have budget your money properly before you even start investing.

Tuesday, 7 April 2020

Healthy body, Healthy mind

This post is not about investing, but more of my personal tips for a healthier life and exercise routine. I just had a good run yesterday and there are so many people in the stadium, much more than usual. I guess heading to the stadium is the only 'legit' reason people could head out without being questioned. I think it is quite a good thing as this means that people are working out.

I have been working out consistently even after my National service and I have to say I am glad to have maintain my fitness. I don't really like going to the gym as I personally prefer to do bodyweight exercises instead of lifting weights. There are pros and cons of each so it is just up to your personal preference. 

My workout routine are as follows:

4 km run: Averaging around 20 - 21 mins 

30 push ups, 30 sit ups, 30 Squats, 5 pull ups (1 set)
Do 5 sets.

It is a very simple workout that trains almost every part of your body. Please feel free to tweak the routine to your own preference. It keeps you lean and burn calories as well. Sometimes I would add in some burpees as well if I am not feeling as tired. 

Some tips to keep a healthy lifestyle:

1) Exercise, Exercise, Exercise!
 - Exercise is one of the easiest and best way to keep fit. For men, it would also help to get your IPPT Gold as you can get $500 each year. SAF is giving you free $500 to keep fit so why not right. Government already take so much of our money, must "earn" back from them as much as possible.

2) Cut the sweet drinks
- Try to drink plain water as much as possible. Whenever you head out for meals, bring your own water bottle and try not order drinks from the drink store. Although nowadays the sweet drinks are promoting themselves as "less sweet", there is still a lot of sugar in it. Also, it saves you about $1.20 -$1.50 per meal if you just skip the drinks. 

3) Don't smoke 
- I am a non-smoker and I definitely would NOT recommend anyone to start smoking. If I am not wrong, 1 pack cost you about $14?, and if you multiply that by the amount of months and years you are smoking, thats a substantial amount of money. In addition, smoking is also not good for health, so whats the point if you had money but do not have the health to spend it. 

For the next 30 days, most of us will be staying at home. Let's try to fulfill goals that we do not have time to do due to work. I hope that after the circuit breaker, we will emerge stronger knowing that we have gained something new, be it physically or mentally.  

Till next time, Ciaos!

Friday, 3 April 2020

Lockdown or no lockdown?

Good day to all, at this current time of posting (5.23pm), Singaporeans had just finish listening to our PM's speech on even more stringent measures to try to curb the spread of the Covid-19 virus. This, to me is almost like a lockdown, the only difference is that the government did not officially declare it. I feel that it is a good move as being Singaporeans, we are all very "kia si", so if the government were to declare a "lockdown", I'm sure many of us would panic and rush over to the nearest NTUC alr LOL. I have to say a big thank you to all the front line staff for putting in endless hours in giving the best service and preventing the spread to the local communities as much as possible. Even though the numbers are tiny as compared to bigger countries such as USA and Italy, we still could not let our guards down and have to do our part in preventing the spread.

Moving to the stock market, With the new measures, people will not be going out anymore, which means that the REIT's will take a huge beating. This is because shops owners are not able to pay rent, and this will cause the REITs to have lesser money to pay out to us shareholders. I will be taking this opportunity to load up on some blue chip REITS such as Mapletree Commercial Trust and Mapletree Industrial trust as I believe over the long run, there is still huge chance for both of them to go back to their previous high price. On the sidelines, I will be observing the 3 big banks to see if there is any suitable one for me to start entering.

The main thing is that the virus will be contained and it will go away, it is just how long it will take. Therefore invest with a long timeframe. For many dividend investors out there, be prepare for a drop in dividend and also some companies have already stop pay dividend over this period. For those people that are already retired and living on dividends, this is where your emergency fund will come in and it is this type of situation that shows how important it is for everybody to have an emergency fund. I am still quite lucky as I am still in university and I will take this opportunity to learn and invest as much as I possibly can. I believe that as long as the business is fundamentally sound with good management, you will be able to make a profit over the long run.

Till next time, Ciaos!!

Wednesday, 25 March 2020

The Bear is here!

Its been a rocky ride in the stock market. I have to admit, my portfolio has now been filled with huge pool of blood. I'm sure people who have started investing recently would definitely have seen their portfolio dropped by a huge amount. I'm sure you have heard from so many people out there to stay the course and do not sell it, but when it really happens to you, it can be hard to ignore it, especially if you have a huge portfolio. Personally for me, my portfolio is a small amount and I am at a relatively young age, therefore I am not as worried as I know that I will be able to ride out this crisis.

For people who have a large portfolio, do not worry as if you think about things long term, it will be alright. Remember that you are buying the business, not the price. As long it is a good business, the price will grow along with it. 

Everybody makes mistake. When the virus first started spreading, I have added in some DBS and Capitaland Retail China Trust to my portfolio at what I think is a good price. Looking back, I should have read the situation better that the virus will not be so easily contained. I have bought at a high price compared to now. However, I am confident that it will bounce back once the lockdown has been lifted in China as people will need to head out to buy their daily necessities.

As of this, I have added some Mapletree Industrial Trust to my porfolio. I would say this is a good buy as the price is very reasonable and I am satisfied with the price I am getting for such as business. One of the main reason I bought Mapletree Industrial trust is that it owns some Data Centre and that it is a solid business overall. 

Friday, 13 March 2020

Friday the 13th

The covid-19 virus has been affecting the share market all around the world. Combined with the recent oil war between the Saudi's and Russia, the market has headed into the crash now. It has not helped that on 11/03/20, WHO has declared the covid-19 virus to be a pandemic. At the time of writing (13/03/2020), the Straits Times Index is at 2500 points. Blue chips stocks such as DBS, UOB and OCBC has been beaten down very badly. Even REITS from the Mapletree and Capitaland family has gone down significantly. Honestly, my portfolio has been in a sea of red but still, I will be taking this opportunity to average down and buy into some of these stocks. As I am still currently studying, I do not have enough bullets to buy too many stocks, therefore I could only choose around 2 to 3 stocks to really put my money into.

I was preparing to post this in the morning today, the stock market suddenly jumped up and caught me by surprised so I decided to take a step back to see what is going on. I felt that this would be what people call a dead cat bounce. Personally, I felt that the market would still be going down as countries such as Italy and the USA has only just realised the severity of the problem.

On a side note, there will be no more soccer for me to watch as the premier league has been suspended due to the Covid-19 virus :(

Till next time, Ciaos.