Saturday, December 31, 2016

2016 Returns

2016 Returns

My stock portfolio returns this year is +19%, beating STI returns (excl dividends) of 0% and the STI returns (incl dividends) of 5%  (based on STI ETF as at Nov 2016)

The returns are largely due to 2 stocks: China Aviation Oil (CAO) and 800 Super. (I am still holding 800 Super in my portfolio, but I no longer hold CAO. I may buy CAO again if the price drops.)

What I aim to do in 2017

As mentioned earlier, I aim to inject funds into my stock portfolio such that my stock-to-cash ratio will be 60-65% in 2017, as the opportunity cost of cash -- i.e. returns if invested in stocks -- is significant.

In 2016, I have steered my portfolio towards GARP (Growth at Reasonable Price) stocks. Hopefully, I can continue to find GARP stocks to buy in 2017. It is quite difficult to find stocks with quality and growth at reasonable price. 

If possible, I should set aside a portion (maybe 5%-10%) of my portfolio towards buying stocks which had fallen a lot, market is very pessimistic about, but the problems are temporary and the stock has a chance of recovery. Thereafter, when I had bought the stock, I should die-die hold the stock for 2 years regardless how low the stock fall. This is something I may do, if I can identify such stock in 2017. 

Monday, December 26, 2016

Some Thoughts on 2016

2016 is a good year for investing; ditto for 2017

STI was quite negative in 2015 and dropped more in the first 2 months of 2016. If one has bought heavily at the start of year, one would have make a fair bit in 2016. I would say that 2016 is relatively good return year.

2017 is an unknown. US interest rate may rise more rapidly in 2017. Oil price may recover or remain stagnant, while Singapore Oil & Gas stocks may remain unchanged. The property prices in Singapore may slide further due to higher interest rate and slow Singapore economy. I guess that the above possibilities are know. How much they are priced into the current stock prices is an unknown to me.

Buy when the market is most pessimistic, but I was unable to do it

In 2016, there are two points where I wanted to buy Oil & Gas stocks.

The first time was when Keppel fell to below $5. I did not buy, as I was waiting for $4.

The second time was when Ezion fell to $0.25. I did not buy, as I did not want to take the risk in betting that Ezion will not face caskflow problems.

In both cases, the market was quite pessimistic on Oil & Gas stocks, but I was not able to take advantage of it.

Maybe, I need to set aside some portion of my portfolio for such situations and just buy the stocks when I start considering the purchase. Then I will hold such stocks for 6 mths to a year or until they rose to a certain point.

Stock-to-Cash Proportion

Currently, I am 57% stocks and 43% Cash/CPF.

I aim to up the stock proportion to 60-65% stocks in 2017, as the opportunity cost of cash -- i.e. returns if invested in stocks -- is significant.

Unwillingness to take certain risks

Sometime ago, the blogger of "A Path to Financial Freedom" explained why he bought CDL Hospitality Trust. He felt that the bad news had been factored into the share price. And while the revpar (average revenue per room) will be low in 2017, it should recover in 2018 or thereafter.

I can understand the blogger's reasoning but I did not follow to buy the stock. This is because I am not sure if the revpar will recover; I am not sure if the visitor arrivals to Singapore will continue to grow. And will more visitors to Singapore choose the less expensive option of staying in Malaysia and travel to Singapore for day tour?

This tells me that I looked for more certainty in my stocks. Not sure if this is a good thing, as the returns are lower when you desire more certainty.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Deleted Posts by Accident

I have deleted 2 most recent posts by accident, when I wanted to delete 2 draft post.

Oh well, I must be getting more IT idiot, as I get older.

Thoughts from A Decade of Investing

I have been investing for slightly more than a decade since 2004. In this post, I want to pin down some thoughts.

2004 - 2015 Returns 

But first, I want to put the performance of my stock portfolio below, as it helps to illustrate my thoughts subsequently. 

% ReturnsSTI (Excl Dividends)Remarks
Returns/Declines boosted with slight leverage.

2008: Great Recession
2011-46%-17%Declines in S-chips and excessive concentration into 5-6 stocks
201315%-1%Diversified into 19 stocks
2004 - 15 returns (IRR)15%

Thought 1: Leverage is a double-edged sword

I used some leverage (around 10 - 20% of my portfolio) in the second half of 2000s, as I feel that the leverage can boost my returns. In addition, my total portfolio amount is small. If I lost the borrowed sum in investing, I can still returned the borrowed amount through my salary.

The leverage are monies borrowed from my parents and siblings at 5% interest.

The leverage also boosted my returns and enlarged my losses during the 2008 Great Recession. In 2010, I stop the leverage and returned the borrowed amount to my parents and siblings, as I can always increase the size of my stock portfolio via my savings.

Thought 2: Concentration is also a double-edged sword

Concentration or having a portfolio comprising a few stocks can boost the returns when your stock double. Concentration also increase the losses when your stock sank by half.

In 2011, my portfolio holds less than 8 stocks and a few are S-chips. Then, the S-chips declined severely, and the market in general is not good. My portfolio halved in 2011. One of my stock (Hongwei) went delisted due to fraud.

I have learnt from the 2011 losses that I should lower the concentration in my portfolio.

Since then, I have diversified to around 20 stocks and limit the stock's maximum proportion to around 15-20% of my portfolio. This reduce the possibility of large portfolio losses if a stock tanked suddenly due to some events (e.g. accounting fraud).

Of course, having more stocks in my portfolio may lower the probability of large returns. For example, if a stock is only 5% of your portfolio and the stock double, your portfolio only increase by 5%. Nonetheless, this is a trade-off that I am happy to make to reduce the chances of large portfolio losses.

Thought 3: Losses make me more risk averse; Winners make me more risk loving

I become very risk averse during the depths of Great Recession in early 2009 and in end 2011, after losing a large amount of money. That is, I tend to choose safer stocks after large losses.

I also become more risk loving and prefer more risky stocks in late 2010 after experiencing large gains. The risk loving behaviour may be a factor of the huge draw downs in 2011.

I doubt that I can control my risk preference very much after large losses or gains. After all, I am human. Nonetheless, the diversification of my portfolio should help to mitigate the effect of risk loving behaviour, if I have large gains in future.

Thought 4: My investing style must suit me/ My investing style changes 

Recently, I came upon the Thumbtack Investor (TTI) blog. TTI is a deep value and concentrated investor. He emphasised that deep value investing requires lots of hard work, and it would take months for him to analysis a stock and deciding to buy it.

Well,  TTI's investing style will not suit me. Because I am lazy. I don't study a stock for days before buying. If I examine the valuation and fundamentals of the stock for a few hours, I will buy the stock if I like the valuation and fundamentals. I may study the stock after my initial position. My total time spent on a stock will not be more than 8 hours, I guess. As I do not spend a lot of time studying the stock, I know that I will missed out certain things. To compensate for this, I tend to cut losses and sell the stock when the reported results goes against my expectations.

Over the years, I have tried out other style of investing. For example, I tried technical investing but it don't make sense to me. I tried day trading once and it makes my heart beat too fast for my liking.

Also, my investing style changes over time. Prior to 2012, I tend to buy stocks with very low PE ratio (hence the S-chips). In 2011 - 2014, I buy more stocks with low P/B ratio (usually property stocks). This year, I buy stocks with GAPP (Growth at Reasonable Price) characteristics.

Dividend investing or having a stock portfolio for their dividends never quite get to me. I can understand why a person wants to have a stock portfolio with high dividend yield for the passive income. However, over the years, dividend yield is not an important criteria in my stock selection. Well, except Reits, in which dividend yield becomes an important criteria in my selection. (Reits are less than 5% of my total portfolio now, as I think that the higher US interest rate will affect Reits.)