I knew that when I have started displaying my top 30 stock holdings here, I would invite a lot of questions. Today, I read an investment forum and there are some queries on my portfolio.
1. One of the major question that often pop out is whether this portfolio was started in 2004. My answer is no, this portfolio was not started in 2004. It started in 2001. I only start tracking it via my blog in 2004, since some people are curious of the stocks that I am holding and I thought it was nice to share with some people out there.
So, yes, this portfolio had ride out storms like 911, SARS etc. It is definitely not one that only "enjoy" the ride of the bull market for the past 3 years.
In fact, I started investing at the worst possible time. That was in late 1999 (at the peak of the tech bubble) when I bought my first investment - an ILP. I live to regret that decision to this date but I have learnt my lesson. I have since moved to unit trust investing before starting my stock portfolio in 2001.
2. Another question people often asked was that how do I manage to keep track of so many stocks. Well, my answer is that there is no need to keep track at all. Since I hold a diversified portfolio, any one stock that tanks will have little impact on my portfolio. So, no worries if there is a profit warning on one of my holdings. I just collect dividends from my holdings every month and seek to re-invest those dividends or use them to pay for my monthly expenses.
I always stress that one should adopt a portfolio view when constructing a diversified portfolio. Which means, if your portfolio is overvalued, you should seek to add more undervalued stocks to bring it back to fully valued or undervalued levels. Constant switching of stocks will only add to the stress level of maintaining a portfolio and it is not good for health. Also, imagine the commisions that you will be paying if you keep switching your holdings or getting in and out of the market. You might not notice it, but commisions add onto the cost of investing.
If you can sleep nicely at night without being worried about market movements, I think you would have done well.
3. Another question often asked. Do I go in and out of the market? My answer is related to 2. and it is no. I strive to be 100% invested at all times, be it bull, bear or range market. The opportunity cost of not being invested is higher than trying to get into the market at the right time. Some people might think that they do not want to be in the market when it is going down. But remember that not all stocks go down in a bear market. If your portfolio is well constructed, it should not go down as much as the STI. Also, you collect dividends in the meantime and add more holdings in your portfolio when stocks are down. Good companies will pay you dividends even during bad times.
4. How big is my portfolio? This is a very sensitive question. I would only reveal that it is a 6 figure portfolio, definitely enough to purchase at least a HDB flat fully paid for.
5. Do I use leverage to invest in this portfolio? Answer is no. No CFDs, no margin trading, no contra, no investing using borrowed money, no share financing etc. Invest only with excess money that you can spare.