Friday, December 26, 2014

Review/Reflections for 2014

The year is ending soon and it is a good time to do another review piece. Bascially, not much had changed for my portfolio though markets had been volatile this year. There are plenty of market noises this year from Ebola outbreak to Hong Kong demonstrations to Russia invading Ukraine and of course, fall in oil price.

Thoughout these events, I stay vested in the market, collecting dividends along the way and re-investing some back into it. The fall in oil price had hit some oil-related counters and I had also increased my stake in some blue chip companies like Keppel Corp and SembCorp Industries this month.

However, I do lost some companies this year due to M&A activities. Stocks like Goodpack, Lee Kim Tah, CapitaMalls Asia, Singapore Land etc are now history and out of my holdings. Companies do come and go, but it is sad to lose some of these companies through privatisations.

This year also seen me joining another investment group. Actually, this group is a sub-set of the main investment group I had been joining for the past few years. It had been great interacting with fellow like-minded investors in these two groups. You know who you are, and I thank you all for making my investment journey more enjoyable and less lonely.

I have attended more than 90 AGMs, EGMs, briefings etc this year. Though it fell short of my target of around 100, it is still a reasonable amount considering the fact that I fall sick for a period of time this year. I have met the usual faces and also new ones. Again, thanks for all of you whom I met during these meetings for making it an interesting interaction and exchange of investment ideas.

I had been a full-time investor for 3.5 years now. The years of being a corporate employee is clearly over. My market value in the employment market is now almost zero. I think I have reached a point of no return. Clearly, my focus is on my portfolio and investment going forward.

Again, I didn't compute my portfolio return but I think this year should be an average year for me. Though my portfolio didn't lose much value, I don't think it had gain much too due to many volatile days in the markets. Having said that, I do think that my strategy of staying invested had taken emotions out of the markets which makes me sleep better at night.

I hope that 2015 will be a great year for investors and all you readers out there. I certainly hope so and hope to share with all of you my activities in my portfolio every month at this blog. 

Do take care and enjoy your holidays!



Blogger Ben said...

Hi Ghchua

It's always great to see your post especially the end of the year review.

As you have mentioned that your market value in your the employment considering your decision to retire from the corporate world, you may have agreed that this is one of your best decision which you have made. On the personal take, I think that you will be able to go back to the corporate world if you want to do so and of course the prospective employer must be willing to employ you.

On a side note, I feel that I have learn a lot from you in term of the investing technique. I have adopted some of these techniques and am on track to the financial freedom. I aim to retire from the corporate world in 3.5 years and if possible early than that year.

I look forward to more self-inspiring posts from you.

Have a great 2015 and stay healthy always.


6:46 PM  
Blogger athulican said...

Can't you go back to the corporate world of Fund Management? (fun management)

8:44 PM  
Blogger Dowz Keh said...

Hi ghchua - i have missed learning from you since sgfunds went defunct, and it's great to learn that you have been a full time investor for sometime.

Indeed, may 2015 be a great year for all investors alike. Cheers!

10:43 PM  
Blogger ghchua said...

Hi Ben,

Thanks for your comments. Always good to hear from you again. Market value for employment is not determined by me, but rather by employers. As you might be aware, I came from IT industry and by just reading the job skills needed for recruitment positions, I can roughly gauge my market value. Nowadays, a lot of IT jobs require mobile programming skills which I have zero knowledge. There is no way for me to get back unless I update my skill set, and that even meant going for more junior positions as I do not have relevant working experience.

It is very difficult to get back and therefore I have assigned zero value to my market value. Just like some s-chips and suspended stocks, I would rather prepare for the worst case situation so that you know where you are now. Of course, I doesn't mean that I would write myself off but I see more value in spending time on my investments rather than upgrading my job skills at this moment.

Obviously, everything that I do got to have priority as a full-time investor as I don't draw any income and I have no CPF contribution every month. I hope that you will also take this into consideration in your path to financial freedom.

All the best in your investment journey!

1:36 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

what is the investment discussion group about? how to join

happy new year

1:48 AM  
Blogger ghchua said...

Hi athulican,

There is no chance for me to do fund management in the corporate world as I do not have relevant qualifications or work experience. I am Engineering trained and I do not have any post graduate qualifications related to fund management.

Hi dowz,

Nice to hear from you again. Indeed, I do miss those days at sgfunds and fundsupermart forum where I had been very active. Lately, I do post at valuebuddies.com but not as frequently as before.

But my investment journey didn't stop. I am still learning as an investor every single day and my decision to become a full-time investor is partly due to the fact that I wanted to learn more as an investor. Previously as a full-time employee, I have some restrictions with regards to attending to some investment matters like attending AGMs etc. Now, I have control on how to spend my time but of course at the expense of a regular income every month.

So far, these 3.5 years since I left my full-time job had been fruitful. I learnt a lot and have established new networks with like-minded people.

Do drop by here when you are free so that we can share more investment ideas. :)

1:50 AM  
Blogger ghchua said...

Hi Unknown,

As you might be aware, there are many investment groups out there but people will only invite you into their "inner circles" when they know you personally. Unlike public forum where almost anyone can post, there are some private forums and investment groups which only invite selected individuals.

Normally, these groups are for like-minded investors and unless they know you personally for quite sometime, you might not be able to get invitation, especially if you can't commit to meeting them regularly.

I guess as you go along attending AGMs, you will be able to meet some of these people and they might find you suitable to join their groups. Of course, there is no obligation on your part and you can choose to join those that you think might be helpful to you and you can contribute.

3:46 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

i see, thanks for the sharing
i met u in some of the agms in 2013 and 2012, but i was less vocal, always listening.

it would be interesting to join these private groups if is possible.

however my day job takes a lot of my time

5:08 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

having said that, i do enjoy my day job. i am also engineering trained but unlike u, i did not dare to take to plunge to full time investing.

in my mid-thirties now, busily employed and like the job. with no inheritance nor rich daddy around, i humbly managed to pass that 1mio net worth mark some time ago from part-time stock picking and diligence work at the day job.

5:14 AM  
Blogger ghchua said...

Hi Unknown,

I guess if you are enjoying your job, you should not quit and embark into full-time investing as you have a consistent income stream.

Personally for me, I don't quite like the politics of working for other people. Also, I want to do things at my own time and pace. It doesn't mean that I am sitting around and doing nothing everyday as a full-time investor, but I like to have flexible hours and also I like to do things on my own rather than in groups which is unavoidable when working for other people.

There was once when I had a heated argument with my boss on the software development process for my team. At the end of the day, he is the boss and you have to do things his way, no matter how you don't like his ideas. Anyway, it is all water under the bridge and I shall not elaborate much here.

I think you have done well so far in holding onto a day job and also doing part-time investing. Yes, I do speak up during AGMs just as I argue with my boss last time. :) I think shareholder participation during AGMs is encouraged as stated in the code of corporate governance. I hope more shareholders like you will come forward and engage the company more during AGMs. Otherwise, it will just be a standard meet and forget meeting with no discussion on the resolutions tabled.

8:48 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

i'm that same unknown..thanks for the reply. look forward to exchanging ideas with u if we happen to meet at the AGMs. it is really good to have u around.

wishing u and family a gift of health, care, and vigilance in the new year.

1:08 AM  
Blogger JTK said...

Hi GHChua

Thank you for your sharing and answers in 2014. I have learned the investment strategy and stock analysis from you. It is good to hear that you manage to survive as a full-time investor without income from regular employment.
By the way, why don't you study and get financial certificates like CFA?

Happy investing.

12:12 AM  
Blogger ghchua said...


Great to hear that you have learned from my sharing at this blog.

I think certifications like CFA needs time, energy and committment to complete and pass the exams. I have looked at the course content and not all of it is applicable for an investor. Some of the topics, even if they are relevant are in theory form and might not have practical use for a full-time investor.

I do read widely and therefore I don't need CFA to force me to read books. Unless you are looking to complete in the job market for a finance-related position, then a CFA might be helpful. At this moment, I have no plans to go back to full-time employment.

11:06 PM  
Blogger indexfundfan said...

Wow, didn't know you "early retire" from your day job already.


4:38 PM  
Blogger ghchua said...

Hi indexfundfan,

Thanks. Indeed, I have become a full-time investor around 3.5 years ago but I still have much to learn from seasoned investors out there.

Will strive to be a better investor as I embark on my long journey after "early retirement".

10:00 PM  
Blogger trademarksg said...

Hi, GH, the standard value invest text exalt that best not to over trade and leave the portfolio alone to nurture. As some one with ADHD like me, I would need the distraction of a day job to avoid over actively managing my portfolio. Just wondering what your thoughts are and will be great to see for you to share your routine. By the way, I am learning a lot from your posts.

6:19 PM  
Blogger ghchua said...

Hi trademarksg,

I don't trade often and most of my time was spent on reading relevant articles from the internet and also from the libraries. I also spend time attending AGMs/EGMs and networking with fellow investors. Therefore, as you can see, my routine is not staring at the stock price movement and trying to trade in and out of the markets everyday.

I don't over actively manage my portfolio, and most of my trades are buy trades which are mostly re-investing those dividends collected from my holdings back into the market. I do sell some stocks every now and then but that is due to valuation concerns rather than anything else. I also sold some underperforming stocks every now and then.

5:07 AM  
Blogger trademarksg said...

Thanks GH, if you will write about a typical day of a full time investor, I will be very interested to read.

5:16 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home


A self-directed investor, looking to invest for retirement needs and bypass all those expensive financial planners/insurance agents. Investing is fun, profitable or most important of all, knowledge gained is useful for the rest of your life!

Powered by Blogger