Thursday, September 30, 2010

30 September 2010

Global equity had a good show in this month. One analyst said even this is the "best September since 1939". Unfortunately the advancing of stock prices lost steam in the last few days of the month. Though STI failed to end the month above the pschological 3,100 point, I should be satisfied with my portfolio performance in September.

All counters but 1 ended above or level last month-end. Portfolio value increase by 6.07%(net of dividend and fresh fund invested), compared to end of August. In the same period STI rose 4.99%. I received S$4,059 in cash dividend, which I reinvested. I topped up Metro Holdings, and bought into Cache Reit. I was also awarded some Cambridge shares through script dividend scheme. Besides the dividend, I invested another 5K.
Below are the top 30 holdings, not much change, only UE replaced AscottReit (swop position).

1.   SPH
2.   OCBC Bk
3.   ComfortDelGro
4.   Semb Corp
5.   DBS
6.   ST Engineering
7.   F & N
8.   SP AusNet
9.   SIA
10. SGX
11. Starhub
12. CapitaLand
13. CitySpring
14. CoscoCorp
15. FraserComm
16. SATS
17. SembMar
18. DBS STI ETF 100
19. Noble Group
20. MetroHldg
21. Kep Corp
22. CapitaComm
23. Yangzijiang
24. MacqIntInfra
25. FrasersCT
26. KS Energy
27. MapletreeLog
28. SingTel
29. SuntecReit
30. UE

I have also applied for AscottReit Preferential shares and AimSampIReit rights shares. Next month I intend to participate in MLT Preferential shares issue and MIT and GIC IPO. Maybe worth to record is I applied for SIA bond also.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Investing in Unittrust - My experience so far

This is a re-count of my UT investment journey. I am speaking from my own experience and it should not be taken as an expert advice.

I started investing in UT in the year 2000.During that period I made some advance in my career and had some spare cash, so I was looking for ways to invest the cash and prepare for retirement.

Seeing some of my friends got burnt badly from the 1997 financial crisis (especially from Clob), I thought that direct investment in the share market was too riskly for me and UT might be a better way. The first fund I bought was UOB Telecommunication Fund, recommended by my  bank RM. Soon after that I learned to buy UT online, and I started to invest in some Tech funds. When the tech bubble burst later of the year, I suffered some lost. During the same period I bought DBS Eight (D) and gave the bank a standing instruction to RSP monthly. Through my RM I also participated in StandChart's UT investment scheme. This is a unique investment plan where the bank will review my UT holding quarterly, and switch those non-performing UT to buy the "top performing UT"(forgot the scheme name) according to pre-set criteria.

I stopped the DBS Eight RSP in 2003 and sold the fund. Though the price has not recovered to the original price, I made a small profit of more than 10% due to RSP. StandChart also stopped the UT Savings schemen because they realised that most portfolios of their customers had become so messy that were difficult to manage. When the scheme stopped, I had more than 15 funds. With the help of the RM I consolidated them into 5. The profit after 3 years was around 20%.

Meanwhile, I bought other funds using the FSM platform. Believing that diversification was the way to go, I worked out a "asset allocation plan" based on geographical division and bought funds that invest in different region.

Things when on quite well and I saw my wealth increasing... until late 2007. When the global financial crisis sent the global equity tumbling.

As the global economy recovers from the crisis, my UT portfolio also recovered. The continuing buying of funds during the downturn help the recovery. Recently I did some adjustment to the UT portfolio, cutting down the number of funds in the porfolio, consolidate funds invested in similar regions. In order to do this, I did a comparison of performance of individual funds.

I have drawn some conclusions from this exercise.

1. In today's investment climate, diversification is less effective, as the world economy is so intertwined. UT itself is already a diversified investment, so there is no need to "over-diversified"

2. "Asset allocation" principle is good, but don't do it blindly.

3. RSP is a good way to protect against fructuation of market.

4. Out of the funds I have (and had), the most consistent performers are those which pay out dividends. Reinvestment of dividend itself helps to ride over the price fructuation.

As said before, this is only my own investment experience. Right or wrong, you decide.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Review Investment Strategy - some thoughts

As I celebrated my 52th birthday last month, It came to my mind that its time to take stock and review the few important aspects of my life: Career/Retirement, investment/finance. Let's talk about investment first.

By the grace of God, the world economy came out from the financial crisis pretty fast. In the same manner, my investment portfolio survived the crisis. Today, the value more than doubled from the pre-crisis level. As at this month, I have achieved an important investment milestone. Right now, I am resisting the temptation to set another higher target for myself, as this will mean no end to this cycle.

On the other hand, I could stay relatively unaffected by the financial crisis because I have a stable job with good income. This enable me to continue investing when market crashed in 2007/08/09. Now that the investment time horizon is getting shorter, and should there be any change to the career plan, investment plan will need to be adjusted accordingly. In the coming months, I will:

1. Slow down share buying further. Only go for stocks with good dividend payout.
2. Review my stock portfolio and get rid of stocks that are not performing (my definition of not performing is not moving in stock price, and not paying or only paying very little dividend. )
3. Build up more cash portion.
4. Look for opportunity to invest in good corporate bond with high yield (like the recent NOL bond with yield >4%)