Thursday, February 1, 2018

Portfolio Update

It's been 6 months since I last updated my portfolio. I realize time flies so quick once working life started. I told my church friends about it and they said it will get even faster after I turn 30. On top of just updating my portfolio, I also wrote about Stock Monthly Investment Plan (SMIP) for those who wish to do dollar costs averaging in HK and also my goals before hitting 31.

Before that, here's my portfolio for Poems Sharebuilders Plan. (commitment of $2,000/ mth)

I increased the monthly commitment from $1k to $2k a month since Sept last year after getting more disposable income. I also found that valuation for ST Eng and STI pretty attractive. 

Based on Motley Fool's article on 16th Jan here, PE ratio for Straits Times Index (STI) is 11.6. Compared to Hang Seng Index at 16 and Dow Jones Industrial Average at 26.57, STI still has long way to go. I have thoughts of reducing the monthly commitment to $1,000 a month as I applied for Kim Eng Monthly Investment Plan and SMIP with HSBC HK but will consider scaling down when STI goes above pe ratio of 15. For ST Engineering I am still sitting at a loss but I believe will do just fine for long term investment.

What I like most about Sharebuilder Plan is dividend reinvestment. As I am in my stage of building my wealth, I would rather maximize my return my reinvesting my dividends for a small fee.

POSB Invest Saver (commitment of $200 monthly)

I signed up this plan back in Apr 2014, when I was a university student and working part time. It was the time when my parents officially handover all my Angpow proceeds to me and it has been sitting on very little interest in that bank account. Since then the plan has been on GIRO. I last checked in Oct 17 and the bank account has started to dry and I decided to continue funding that account via my salary account. I could have merged it with Share Builder to save costs and so but decided to keep it that way for sentimental reasons.

Maybank Kim Eng monthly investment Plan (commitment of $500 monthly)

It's the only investment plan in Singapore that allows me to do dollar cost averaging for overseas stocks. Hence, I signed up to invest in Tencent Holdings. The stock price has been going upwards after a small dip at 300 HK$ levels. It's hard to do valuation and calculating it probably won't make much sense too, especially pe ratio is at its 57. To me, its safety margin is its ability to accelerate growth and I continue to believe in its growth story.

HSBC HK Stock Monthly Investment Plan (commitment of 6000 HK$ monthly i.e. $1,000 monthly)

I opened this account in Dec last year when I made a trip to HK for Christmas. Back then, I was searching for an investment plan which allows me to DCA for Hong Kong Index. Turns out that HSBC and a many HK banks allow me to do so. The stock code for it is 2800, Tracker Fund of Hong Kong. You can check out the Fund Factsheet here .It tracks the index pretty well with only tracking error of  0.0514%. I invested a lump sum of 5,000 HK$ and monthly investment of 6000 HK$, i.e. 1,000 SGD/month . As a non-HK resident, the only downside is the inconvenience to convert and transfer money to HK$. For those who are keen to invest through HK banks, also do note that most Singapore banks charge a transfer fee and foreign transaction fee hence the best way for me is to change HK$ in local money changers and deposit into HK bank account. My relatives and I travel to HK often so won't be much of an issue.

Here is the list of HK banks which offer monthly investment plan, or 月供股票 they call it. Currently, HSBC is undergoing a promotion where handling fee and brokerage fees etc, are waived and only charge a monthly Custodian Fee of 25 HK$ (note that dividend handling fees/ corporate action fees do apply). I did up a comparison table on the plans offered by banks and brokerage firm. On top of banks, I included Chief Securities because they are the only firm which offers DCA for US ETF- Vanguard S&P 500 ETF (3140). Another way to DCA US ETF is to open a Standard Chartered Priority Banking account with brokerage fee of 0.2%, no min brokerage fee.

Comparison chart for banks/brokerage firms offering stock monthly investment plan.
Do note that the promotions , fees, and securities available for investment may change with time. If you are viewing this few years after this post was published, kindly refer to their respective website for more updated info.

After account opening, I added 80 Tencent Holdings shares 0700:HK in 2 batches: 40 at 436.60 HK$ and 40 and 457.40 HK$. This is in addition to the Maybank Kim Eng Monthly Investment Plan. For those new to Tencent Holdings, its owns a popular messaging app, WeChat and it started listing at 3.7 HK$ in 2004 and current price of 460 HK$ has been adjusted for 1 to 5 shares split on 2015. It's PE ratio of 57 seems very rich, but richly priced stocks can actually defy gravity and continue to rise for a prolonged period of time. When a stock is hot and everyone is clamouring to buy, the stock can continue to sustain lofty valuation. After all valuation is a guide, and if there is any safety margin to talk about, it would be its strong growth. 

SG Portfolio

As we all know, 2017 is one of the best years to invest and stay invested, with STI returning 22.08%. My portfolio main drivers are OCBC and DBS shares bought during at 2014 and 2015 and I still remained committed to holding them. Back in 2016, I sold most of my shares for property investment which didn’t materialize and managed to buy back subsequently to ride on the bull run. Due to much work and travel, I have not been actively managing my portfolio but I am quite blessed with banks and property stocks boosting my overall portfolio returns. 

There are many different strategies to build wealth and my investing approach is more of a buy and hold. I do my best to pick stocks with good fundamentals and invest for the long haul i.e. companies which have economic moats that I can hold for many years. In times when the stocks or general market seemed overvalued, I may continue to hold them. Over the years, I realized that I have made more money holding on to the winners that cashing out on my early profits.

In my opinion, great companies are actually rare to find, and if I were to sell away a stock and my expectations about future lower valuation does not actually materialize, I might have missed one big boat. One example would be Riverstone. I bought them at $0.485 and sold at $0.585, and the feeling was great until it went to $1.10 after 1 for 1 bonus issues and many rounds of dividends. Similarly, I am certain that there are times Coca Cola shares are overvalued but if one continues to hold a share of Coca Cola trading at $40 in 1919 is now worth $9.8mil. Check it out here

Secondly, if I exit my long-term investments in anticipation of a lower valuation to come, it equates to leaving a business that I know well; or business with developments which I can interpret with some levels of confidence. If the price continue its upward trajectory after selling and I am unable to re-enter, I may have to find new companies and opportunities, and that means spending additional time to do research and bring the understanding of the companies to a similar level.

That would also mean that I will not invest in down and out companies with poor fundamentals selling at dirt cheap price expecting a turnaround situation. The time that I will sell my stocks is when the company's fundamentals starts to deteriorate, especially when free cashflow becomes negative or a dividend cut.

I have always been net buyer of stocks and for 2017, my only sell transaction is Sanli Environmental after the release of half year results. It was a stock which I got it during IPO. The prospectus showed growing revenue trends, increased FCF, experienced management and overwhelming support from institutions. However, the results reported lower revenue, decrease in net profit and even negative FCF. The only saving grace is lesser debt. Though the lack of price movement after earnings release suggested that the price must have factored into the earnings prior to the report, I felt that I don't really understand the company well enough. So, I divested to lock in some small profits.

By the way, don't get me wrong. I am not against anyone who trades or does short term investment. It's just that buy and hold suits me better especially when I have very limited time to monitor my portfolio. Everyone should find their own investment strategy which suits them best.

Buy/Sell Transactions & dividends collected since June 2017 (CDP portfolio)

Buy/sell Transactions
Dividends Collected (page 1)
Dividends Collected (page 2)

Also, I divested all my US stocks and invested in 37 shares of Robotics and Automation ETF at US$37.20.

Some stocks in the red

I am still holding on to 8,000 shares of ComfortDelgro. Its recent tie up with Uber has drawn much mixed reactions but whether it will yield positive results is anyone's guess. For now, I will continue to hold for its dividends and I am pretty sure they can sustain its dividend with payout ratio of about 0.7. At the price of $2.08, its yield is close to 5%.

Raffles Medical
I continued to accumulate Raffles Medical on price weakness for the long term. The reason for its underperformance was due to its stagnant growth coupled with softening medical tourism. Its catalyst for growth is in the opening of Chongqing and Shanghai Hospitals. In my view, till they began operation, profit will continue to stay muted. Even when they began operations, it will also take few years for its business to breakeven. Hence, it is not a stock for short term. Its price of $1.12 translates to a pe ratio of 28 which is attractively priced in my view considering that it is a defensive sector and serves as a good hedge for rising healthcare costs.

Total Portfolio Value= $415k 

Poems Sharebuilder Plan = $18,795
POSB Invest Saver =$10,292
MayBank Kim Eng Monthly Investment Plan=$468
HSBC SMIP =$10,365
SGX Portfolio 1= $224,263
SGX Portfolio 2= $119,195
Standard Chartered Online Trading Acc=$2,220
Cash= $30,000

Goals before 31... a portfolio of $1mil 

If a ship leaving its harbour without destination, no wind is favourable. At best, the crew can navigate to stop crashing into things, but the ship could just be mindlessly floating in the middle of the ocean.
The same can be said of human mind. If we do not have a goal in mind, or any targets to achieve, we will behave like a ship which floats through life but goes nowhere in particular. 

There are two schools of thought (or more) for goal setting. The first one is about setting S.M.A.R.T. goals: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Timely. Then the goals can be broken down into small steps which can be achievable daily so we can track our progress. Another school of thought believes in setting goals which can be unachievable or unrealistic through visualizing your success daily that you have achieved your goal. This will trigger your creative subconscious mind which will generate ideas and means to achieve your goal. It makes you more motivated, energized and looking forward to every new day. This is not unproven or merely daydreaming as Michael Jordan had always visualized himself taking the last shot before he ever took one in real life and Muhammad Ali had also imagined himself victorious in life even before the fight began.

I am leaning more towards the latter way to set goals but that being said, there is no right or wrong ways and you can also use a combination of both methods.

Since this a blog on investment, I will share my financial goals. Currently, my stocks portfolio is about $400k and my goal is to reach $1 million before hitting 31. Assuming dividend yield of 5%, that would generate about $4.2k/mth of passive income, which will cover about 80% of my monthly expenses (see below). It's also an easy number to remember and a good 7 digit target to look forward to.

I will be turning 29 in Nov this year so I have about 34 more months to go. I can work hard to earn a more income, do more research for better stock picking skills, or be more disciplined with money but the rest would be up to how the stock market performs. I can’t eliminate systematic risks or predict the next financial crisis. 

Hence, other than hard work, my returns will also depend on how STI performs or the indices of the countries I am investing in.

My average monthly spending:
Food/Transportation/Tithe/Parental allowance = $2,200 mth
Income Tax/ Medisave contribution= $1,100 mth
Insurance premiums (Protection and savings & investment plans)= $1,500/mth
Travel= $3,600/ year i.e. $300/mth

Total = $5,100/month.

Moving Forward

Buy more each transaction
When my stocks perform well, my total profits aren’t substantial because I only bought 2000 or 3000 shares. Since I spent much time to do research on a particular stock, I should be more confident about it. I bought 5,000 shares of MicroMechanics at $1.035 in April with 120% till date. However it only consisted only 2.75% of my overall portfolio and my hard work resulted in insignificant gains. I had a writeup on Micromechanics which you can check it out here.

On top of the returns, buying more also reduces my transaction costs as a percentage of total value.

Investing more Aboard
To improve my returns further, I will be increasing my position in US and Hong Kong shares to have more exposure to growth stocks, especially ETFs tech companies.  Last year, Hang Seng Index achieved gains of 35.99% compared to STI returns of 22.08%. Its stellar performance was partially due to gains from Tencent, which constitutes 11.57% of index(before 1st Dec 2017), returning 124.91%  over a year. Subsequently, it had a quarter rebalancing and the stock weighing on Hang Seng Index dipped to 10%.

It’s almost 10 years since our last financial crisis and US market has been on a bull run since then, with Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) exceeding its previous high of 15,000 points by 70%. In comparison, local markets are still having a hard time matching the performance. Hence, having exposure to foreign markets helps to boost my portfolio when local markets are facing downward pressure or any possible geopolitical risks.

There are definitely risks to investing overseas, such as currency volatility, or even taxes on dividend gains, but my view is that the benefits in general outweigh the risks.

If you would like to join me in my journey towards a $1mil, you may follow/Like my Facebook page here. I will update my Facebook on any new posts.

Smart Goals

Visualization Success Technique:

STI Returns