Another year is coming to an end.
Even since I started working and earning, I have religiously kept an data base (Excel file) of my total net worth (excluding the flat I am staying in).
For this year, despite the volatility in Stock markets around the world, my net worth has managed to climb, the increment has set a new record as compared to previous years. This is probably due to the increment in my salary / saving more than anything else.
Singapore stocks headed for 15% tumble in 2015 (read here)
For the year 2015, I have researched on companies listed in Singapore, Hong Kong and the US. Started thinking about Angel Investing in start-ups, met up with a few founders and dipped my toes into issuing loans via P2P lending platforms. Nevertheless, it is good have another platform to diversify away from stocks.
With the back burners from these P2P interests (if things go accordingly to plan) and my stock dividends, my passive income for 2016 might hit new high. Ok, considered little to the hardcore dividend investors. To be frank I have only started noticing and recording down my stock dividends in end 2013. But hey, it is passive – free cash, what can beat that? (ok, I reckon interests from P2P loans are taxable unlike stock dividends).
There have been numerous bumps and mistakes along the way. The stinkers in my stock portfolio remains as Golden Agri, Super Group Ltd, Sarine Technologies, SIA and SMRT. I am upfront about my ‘stinkers’ because I think they are more important than the successes as we tend to learn more from mistakes. Most of these are cyclical stocks, so I believe the better days are ahead for a few of them. On the other hand, SIA and SMRT are lumbering under-performers operating in a saturated or challenging business environment. During the correction period in August and September 2015 which includes the “Black Monday”, I have dipped into some of these stinkers as well – their low stock prices are past historical lows then – and now share prices has improved relatively.
Keeping an Excel sheet is great, because I can really see how the share prices drop and go back up and down etc…. I can literally flip back to years and months ago and see how much paper losses or gains I had on a particular stock. Keeping a blog is also great, cause I can dig back to my past posts on a particular company and understand why I bought (or didn’t buy) their stock in the past.
“Whenever I am confronted with doubts and despair about the current Big Picture, I try to concentrate on the Even Bigger Picture. The Even Bigger Picture tells us that over the last 70 years, stocks have provided their owners with gains of 11 percent a year, on average, whereas Treasury bills, bonds, and CDs have returned less than half that amounts.” Peter Lynch
Work wise, it is getting tougher. More people has resigned (some trying out different field) and the company has stopped hiring. Our company has a policy of not firing people. However, work load for those remaining has increased. This can be seen not just in our company but those that we have in contact to as well. So in up cycles and lull cycles, employees are kept busy.
The construction sector in Singapore is facing tough times. I guess our company heads are well aware that employees will face a tough time finding new jobs if they do resign as well. For me, I will just give my 101%, if things fail, at least I have tried my best… and perhaps it is time to look for greener pasture. On another mental note, I think the experience of working in a company with a strong business moat differs greatly from working in a company with little or no moat.
An acquaintance working in another firm told me of his younger years working in Dubai as an engineer, from 2004 to 2006. Those were still the boom years. However, when the financial crisis hit, oil price crashed, construction in Dubai sort of halted. He mentioned that the Dubai division of his company has 2 floors in one building, fully occupied. In a single day, the once fully occupied floor was totally vacated. He was caught by surprised (caused he was working in the floor below, and he just sort of happen to go upstair). All staffs there were asked to leave the day before. Just like that, overnight, literally one floor of people were made jobless.
Investing has always been a passion. Whenever I have free time, I will do my little ‘detective’ work, nosing around for returns. Recording it down in my blog (sort like my financial diary). On a side note, if your current financial situation sucks, please don’t just passively accept your bad situation. I think I am lucky to have a job with a monthly income, but that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t be thinking about side income (passive or active). It could be tickering in a hobbit that turns out profitable, or trying to monetize your assets or time (eg. Uber, Grabcar).