The STI ETF has been doing a sideways dance since the first day I started investing in it on 24th December 2012. According to Stocks Cafe (previously SGXCafe), STI ETF has time-weighted returns (including dividends) of 13.2% during the same period.

Meh returns? I suppose.

I’ve always called myself an index investor, and not a passive investor. Index investing isn’t necessarily passive by nature. If you have a re-balancing strategy, you might have bought more during the early-2016 dip. Your returns might paint a very different story.

My favourite image that I keep reposting.

As of right now, the SPDR STI ETF price/earnings ratio is 13.10 🙂 Am I continuing with index investing? Yes, why not. Beside, Buffett has recently praised Bogle for the work he has done for investors. (Read more about Vanguard Group that Bogle founded, and the Vanguard Effect)

For decades, Jack has urged investors to invest in ultra-low-cost index funds. In his crusade, he amassed only a tiny percentage of the wealth that has typically flowed to managers who have promised their investors large rewards while delivering them nothing – or, as in our bet, less than nothing – of added value.

In his early years, Jack was frequently mocked by the investment-management industry. Today, however, he has the satisfaction of knowing that he helped millions of investors realize far better returns on their savings than they otherwise would have earned. He is a hero to them and to me.

In other news, Aggregate Asset Management (AAM) executive director and head of research Teh Hooi Ling has left the firm, sold her 25 per cent stake and ceased to be a director. Looks like she’s gonna set up her own investment management firm.

Air Miles For You & Me

Once in a while, I see ridiculous articles like: Why absolutely everyone should pay to fly First Class at least once. Everyone? Should? Seriously?

Even if I want to fly First Class, I would only pay Economy prices to do so. Seriously, you’ll enjoy reading the comments more than the article, such as the one below.

Some people can’t even afford a bus ticket to school. Stupid advertisement disguised as an article.

If you’re an air miles hobbyist (or actually invests in airline companies), you’ll enjoy this piece by Bloomberg, because Airlines Make More Money Selling Miles Than Seats.

On the personal front, I would have almost cleared my air miles goal of 85,000 if not for the KrisFlyer devaluation that took place last month. Such devaluations are actually pretty common and take place regularly – think of it as inflation for the air miles currency. At least the taxes and surcharges were slashed!

Taking into considerations the three credit card renewals that I intend to pay for using $600 in exchange for 30,000 miles, I would have accumulated in access of 112,500 air miles. Yup, pay Economy prices for First Class tickets.

Miles = Points = Rebate

There was an unlimited 1.5% cashback credit card that launched recently with no cashback cap and no minimum spend. I wanted to write about it but forgot all about it. Meh. Just beware of changing rules and restrictions.

What if I told you that I had an almost identical card (only 1.2%, ah well) that I had used for many years? The Citi PremierMiles. Apply via the sideback widget on the right if you’re interested 😉

Back in the good old days, it earned 1.2 miles per dollar spent. 1,000 miles can be redeemed for $10 of cash rebate. That translates to a 1.2% cashback credit card with no cashback cap and no minimum spend.

Slowly, devaluation happened. It became 1,200 miles for $10. Now, it is 1,400 miles for $10. Earning rate is still 1.2 miles per dollar. That is why I have re-purposed it for my air miles project as a general spending card. Of course, you realize air miles can be devalued as well.

Banks love to call it different things. DBS points. Citi miles. Citi points. UNI$. There are nothing but digital currencies to me. The more confusing it is, the better. Best (to the banks) if they expire before they are utilized. Look around and you can find more opportunities for cashback without having to jump through hoops like a circus animal.

Turtle Investor Annual Giveaway 2016 Winner

Had a little delay for this. Apparently I’ve had to send out quite a few emails before a winner finally responded! I have the book in an envelope ready to be mailed out but too busy to head to a SAM-machine that can weigh it.