Sunday, January 1, 2017

Happy new year 2017 and review of 2016

A very happy new year to all readers! Time really flies, it is the start of the new year again. Lets hope that 2017 will be a healthy, happy and rewarding year for all of us!

Year 2016 was indeed a very interesting year. There were many surprises - Brexit, Trump's election, Schooling's Olympics win and others. Some of them were positive, some negative, some were supposed to be negative but turned out to be positive (and vice-versa). For example, I was (and still am a strong supporter of Hillary), and was rooting all out for her to win but Trump's election actually was quite a positive event for the stock market.. the stock market rallied "yugely" after his victory (DJIA is up 13% for the year). There was a negative initial reaction after UK voted for Brexit, but the FTSE actually rallied and closed at a high of 7142.83 for the year! Brexit was supposed to be a disaster for UK but looked what happened to the FTSE! Lesson learnt? Be wary of conventional wisdom (and what the man-on-the-street assumes to be the case).

The local stock market registered a flattish performance. It closed the year down 0.07%. There were more IPOs this year (compared to the last). I, for the first time since I started investing, did not manage to get my hands on any IPO shares this year! Disappointing, but unsurprising (as they were mainly placement-only IPOs and for the remaining few that were via ballot - I just wasn't lucky enough). On another note, there were more bankruptcies and trading suspensions in the SGX this year. The big ones - Swiber, Swissco, Technics Oil & Gas, Rickmers Maritime, Linc Energy. And there were also more delisting - Eu Yan Sang, NOL, OSIM, SMRT, Select, Otto Marine. The suspensions were mainly in the oil and gas whilst the delisting were mainly government related!

On the investment front, I think that year 2016 was a very fruitful year for me. I am very happy to say that my portfolio has done extremely well. My portfolio increased 82.415%! My personal best and record!  :) I am glad I have learnt the painful lessons from 2015 (my portfolio dropped in value last last year) and rebounded very strongly in 2016. Most importantly, I have adopted a wider margin of safety in stock selection and displayed good levels of patience and sitting still (however the market noise). And when the market displayed irrationality (eg during Brexit, Trump's election etc), I have sat tight and/or used the opportunity to patiently accumulate shares at the cheap. It also helped that I was busy (and distracted) with other personal stuff (eg ABRSM Grade 8 Piano exam which I thankfully passed on my first attempt etc.) and had little time to panic-sell or fret etc.

My Portfolio 
(inclusive of capital injections)
My Portfolio 
(less capital injections)*
+11.7 (annualized)
-0.8 (annualized)

Furthermore, 2016 was a very rewarding year whereby I broke many personal records. Besides my portfolio reaching a new milestone, my year-on-year portfolio growth reaching a record high of 82.415% and me passing my ABRSM Grade 8 Piano exam on my first attempt, I achieved many other personal bests. I attained my best semester and cumulative academic score till date! I earned the most money giving tuition since I started giving tuition several years back. I also earned a record amount of bank deposit interest, most since 1998 (when the deposit interest rates were still sky-high in 1998). I also attended more than 10 AGM/EGMs this year - another record! Of course, attaining these achievements expended much time and consequently I had much less time to travel (compared to previous years) - I only traveled to a single country this year. Next year, I hope that I will be able to travel more and spend more time with my loved ones.

Going forward, I will be graduating next year and entering the job market. I think we all know that the job market is not too rosy (with many layoffs especially in the Oil and Gas and Shipping sectors). As with my peers, I am somewhat worried about the ability to secure employment (but I guess less worried as I have done pretty alright on the financial front). And that is the purpose of this blog right? (as exemplified by the blog title - Starting Early, Planning Ahead) It is to start early in investment and financial planning to allow oneself to plan ahead and be prepared for uncertain times like these.

Given that I would be a full-time employee (and not a full-time student) in 2017, this means that there will likely be enormous capital injections (unlike the previous years whereby I was still a student or a NSF and my portfolio's performance can largely be attributed to organic changes less some small side income eg from giving tuition, allowance). Hence, I will endeavor to also report my portfolio's performance on a "net of capital injections" basis going forward (as above). Nevertheless, it should be noted that this figure is an estimate* and prepared on a best effort basis.

Last but not least, a very happy new year to all readers! HUAT AH! 

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