Singapore-based financial blog that aims to educate people on personal finance, investments, retirement and their Central Provident Fund (CPF) matters.

Sunday, 23 November 2014

Sticking to a strategy is the most important for an investor

While the Dow is climbing to all-time high, some of us maybe feeling annoyed with the lackluster performance of the Singapore stock market. As a comparison, the Straits Times Index is still 13.7% away from its all-time high that was in October 2007, 7 years ago.

In this period of 7 years, there are numerous events and surprises. All of which leading drastic movements of stock prices, that saw the STI crashing to a low of 1594, more than 50% loss from its all-time high. This crash occurred only 4 months after the STI reached its peak.

Most amateur investors would buy at the high and sell at the low. At the high, they do not want to miss out on the upcoming bull run and jump in without studying the fundamentals of the company that they invest in. Such companies are often of poor standards, only used as tools for speculation. Hence, an investment strategy is key to success in investing. It should include the criteria and purpose of buying and selling. This is to ensure that greed and fear is removed from the selection procedures.

A strategy can be as simple as investing a constant amount of money regularly. This is also known as dollar cost averaging. By investing a regular amount at a fixed interval, the investor's timing of starting such a strategy is key to his performance as his starting entry price will affect its average price afterwards. An investor has documented his investment performance using this strategy. It is modeled after Phillip Securities’ Share Builder Plan (SBP) and the amount is GIRO-ed to automatically invest the amount in the ETF. He invested in this on Jan 2008, just months before the large plunge of the STI but he was able to achieve an annualised return of 7.3%, after reinvesting all dividends and deducting all costs.

This is just an indication of how important an investment strategy is. Should an investor stick to what he believes in and a strategy that is proven to work, even through the bad times, he is bound to reap back his rewards. As data has proven, the market is always upwards moving in the long term, but it is up to the individual to realise the profits, only if he is able to withstand the short term pressures.

Saturday, 1 November 2014

Recent Singapore market events: random reports disrupting share prices

10:12 No comments
There has been a spat of recent events whereby research reports of Singapore-listed companies are being released by unknown authors online. Of which, these reports are circulated widely, leading to high volatility of the targeted company's share prices. A current example is Sino Grandness. If you have not heard of this, do click on the link to find out more:

While these reports are merely speculation and personal opinions of the authors on the company, they have impacted the share prices heavily as the market regards these reports seriously in relation to its financial standing. However, these reports are also biased in a way that it presents the company that is aligned to the interest of the author. Hence, the authenticity of the research might be of a concern, such that it is manipulated to direct the crowd.

In the case of Olam, the share price has dropped to a low of around $1.50 when the reports from the shortists were released. Of which later, Temasek unit offers to buy Olam at a premium of $2.23. Should an investor be able to deeply analyse the company and realise that Olam is truly undervalued, he/she would have stand to gain almost 50% returns when the news was announced.

Comparing that to the share price of Sino Grandness, which has fallen by more than 40% from its previous high, should the reports proved to be untrue, it could be an opportunity for investors to invest at a seemingly cheap valuation. This is, of course, subjected to one's own opinions and research of the data and financial standing of the company, before any investment is made.