This is not meant to be a boast. I have no secret recipe, no stock tips, no insider knowledge, and no freaking idea how I did it.
In fact, I fully attribute it to dumb, beginner’s luck.
Good and Bad Apples
I started “investing” around 2013, and my first stock was Apple. 1 share cost me more than US$400, and I was puzzled why SGX trades in lots of 1,000! I had no clue what index investing is.
People were extremely pessimistic about Apple’s prospects after share prices hit all-time highs. Android and Samsung were hot on its heels and devouring Apple’s market share. Fast forward two years – how is Apple doing now? (note that 7-to-1 stock split happened in 2014)
*laughs* Those were the days, and I thought I was “investing” back then. Gut-feeling trumps research, heh. Bad example! Do not follow!
Of course, if it had been another stock at another time, things would probably end up very differently for me. In a basket of apples, there is bound to be good and bad apples. Some looks good on the surface with nice skin, but could be laced with pesticide and rotten with worms underneath. Others have bruise marks and torn skin, but the organic flesh is sweet and crunchy.
I definitely don’t have the ability to pick out another 30 or 50 good apples consistently from the huge basket. That, I’m sure of it.
In an uptrending market, one could buy any stock and easily make decent gains along the way. Like what I’ve shared on my Facebook page, check out stocks that are priced 375 times earnings in Shenzhen! The fact that I have not lost any money investing makes me all the more wary of the perfect storm lurking around the corner.
Someone asked me how I started to build my index portfolio. To be honest, I stumbled into it. I started by accumulating STI ETF monthly and slowly selling off my random stocks. Then, I did a one-time exercise which added ABF Sg Bond ETF and VWRD, selling off some STI ETF along the way in order to re-balance the portfolio to my desired allocation. Somehow, my Bogleheads Portfolio is complete.
Do I have any “non-indexers” left in my portfolio? Yes, for sure! I designate up to 10% of my portfolio as my “play money”, which I am free to experiment with and gamble it all away! *yippee*
In case you’re wondering, what’s left in my “play-money” fund are a couple of REITs – Capitaland Mall Trust, Fraser Centrepoint Trust,
Capitaland (darn typo error) Mapletree Commercial Trust and Saizen REIT. By the way, the sentence you just read means nothing, because you don’t know my entry time/price. For example, I bought into CMT when it was $1.85 and my total gain (inclusive dividends) is now 28%. Will I buy into CMT now? Maybe not.
A Bad Teacher
I think I am a bad teacher. I can’t seem to teach well. I always tell people I have nothing to teach, and don’t know how to advise. What I can do is to share, and I show. Whether or not you want to follow me along the same path is your choice. You have to think and decide if this is what you want.
I don’t exactly know where this index investing will take me, but you’re always free to join me in this journey if you wish. Onward!