Friday, January 1, 2016

Happy new year 2016 and review of 2015

First of all, happy new year to all my dearest readers! May 2016 be a successful and rewarding year for all of us!

As many of my readers would know, the equities market did not fare too well in 2015. The local STI fell -14.3%. Having asked and looked around (the various investment blogs and forums), I daresay a large majority of investors lost money last year 2015. So, how did I fare? I would like to say that my portfolio grew y-o-y but unfortunately, I lost money too. For year 2015, my portfolio shrunk -0.6%, my worst yearly performance since inception, with the only consolation being I did not do as badly as the STI.

My Portfolio
+11.7 (annualized)

Looking at my portfolio performance over the years since inception, what a dramatic turn of fortunes it has been! I recall writing this post last year, ecstatic and jubilant that I have had my best performance/personal record and that my portfolio broke the 6-digit mark... and then in 2015, I recorded my personal worst performance. Admittedly, I am severely disappointed with my portfolio's performance this year. Yes, the market was bad and it moves in cycles (up and down) but to be very honest, I made many, many unwise decisions in 2015.

Actually, during the middle of 2015, my portfolio registered a very healthy double digit gain. I divested some (but not all) of counter A, making a good profit on the shares I divested. Therein lies my mistake, if I had decided that counter A is fully-valued, why did I not sell all my shares in counter A? As expected, my remaining shares of counter A fell sharply in the second half of the year, and the unrealised profit diminished (it actually became a loss early this month but ended the year with a small unrealised profit)
*btw, counter A was a concentrated bet

Another mistake (a very terrible one) was to use the money made from mid-2015 divestment to make a concentrated bet on a fundamentally sound, conservative company B. And yes, I loss money on that company too. In such a broad-base decline, share prices of good companies drop too! I should have realised that it was a bad time to enter into equities (given the turmoil in the Chinese markets which I predicted correctly) and hold cash instead (even if the company in question was a fundamentally sound one..)

And the last big mistake of the year was to make (yet another) concentrated trade (this time short term trade) on counter C. I heard it was a good counter and my research somewhat (not fully) validated it..but it was a loss-making company! yes, it had strong hands, good prospects etc but it does not distract from the fact that this company C's earnings is inconsistent, lumpy and project-based - it makes good money on some year and loses money on other years. 

Why the penchant for concentrated bets? hmmm, I hope it's not the result of my increased size of my portfolio and my desire/ego? This year 2016, I need to set and follow a limit on my exposure to any counter. It might have worked nicely in the past, (it did give me great returns in 2014- my out performance in 2014 was achieved on the back of a few concentrated bets) but it might not be a good strategy going forward..

Also, there were very few IPOs (a number on the Catalist but only one on the Mainboard), so consequently I had very little "free money" unlike the previous years. Coupled with the mistakes mentioned above, my beautiful gains in the first half of the year were wiped out completely and I finished the year with a painful, miserable loss..hiaz

Nevertheless, on a personal front, I had some achievements. I went on a overseas exchange and made quite a number of foreign friends (real friends/pen-pals that I still keep in contact and have had numerous emails exchanges over many months)! I was actually brave and daring enough to travel solo in a far-away country, where the native language is neither English nor Mandarin/Chinese dialects. And I actually survived in a foreign country for more than a month! I also attained my best semester (not cumulative though) score till date this year! And voted in an election for the first time in my life! Hmmm, I guess in life there are bound to be trade-offs, isnt it? It cant be all rosy on all fronts all the time. Count your blessings, learn from your mistakes and grow from strength to strength :)

Last but not least, to all my faithful readers, I must apologise (yet again) for my inactivity. I know I have not kept my promise of blogging more (opps..) But, like I always tell people, it is the quality rather than quantity that counts. I believe many of us know (and dislike) people who talk incessantly but raises irrelevant points for class participation marks. I guess its the same in school and in the blogosphere right? Looking back, some of my posting have been rather helpful (I hope), like the warning I gave to my blog readers to avoid Chinese equities near the peak of the China stock bull run: 
Therefore, I hope I still get a passing mark as a blogger and that you guys will still support me! 

p.s. This post came rather late; I took sometime to write (it was twice as long) as I spent quite some time reflecting, spending almost twice the time needed. But, oh well, lets hope that 2016 will be a better year for all of us! :)

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

The 25-year-old with eight investment properties

I came across this inspirational story about a 25-year-old with eight investment properties. Decided to share this with my dearest readers! (even though it might be equities related, but then again my blog focus is on investments, not specifically equities) :)

"Iannuzzelli’s tips for young investors

1. Don’t be impatient

One of the biggest mistakes young investors can make is to enter into the market without having done their full due diligence and research. Don’t go buying based on median prices alone – research is critical.

2. Find an experienced mentor

Whether it’s an accountant, a friend who invests or a broker, build an experienced team of experts and spend time with them. Learn from them and ask questions.

3. Think outside the square

When Sydney isn’t providing you the opportunities you need, look elsewhere. Be ready to grab an opportunity when it arises."

p.s. I think these tips are applicable for all types of investment though

Full story at this link:

Sunday, June 7, 2015

China Equities

Recently, I have received several emails asking what's my take on Chinese Equities. To be dastardly honest, I do not know as I am not vested in any Chinese Equities; I am not sure if any of the brokerages offer Shanghai or Shenzhen stock exchange trading services..

But I must say I taken (by surprise) the huge gain made by the Chinese stock market, the SSE rose from a low of 2000 last year to 5023 as of now. I understand the SSE has been rather volatile of late, moving down and up for a total range of few hundred points?

Many commentators, most famous being Bill Gross, have called for a short of SSE. Some Chinese brokers have restricted access to some stocks by forcing punters to pay cash up front. Of late, my retailers have been asking "how to gain access to SSE?", "how to ride the exuberant SSE", "I want a share of SSE gain" etc.. I strongly urge these people to think twice or thrice as the stock market top or any top of any stock is often marked by extreme volatility (remember ABL?), do not get caught with your pants down and dont try to board the train now (as I foresee that the top is near)

I may be wrong as I am personally not vested (long or short), and never have been vested in Chinese equities, minus local S-chips, so I might have to eat my words but please do exercise caution. I hope that all my readers and people who emailed me would exercise their sound judgement and stay safe. All the best! Disclaimer applies.. Huat ah!