A bull market this year that sees my benchmark STI ETF returning an amazing 21% (including dividend). I am pleased to announce that my portfolio beats this strong performance and returns a whooping 43%! This results way surpasses my target of 8% and stretched target of 12% and strengthens the base for me to achieve my financial independence (FI) goal at 55. Yes, if I am able continue to produce such good results, I might be able to achieve my stretched goal of FI at 50.
The chart below shows how my cash portfolio has performed for the past 3 years. What struck me immediately after taking a look a the chart is that for 3 consecutive years, 1H performance was stronger. Coincidental? Likely but will continue to observe if there is a trend and if there is, how can I take advantage of it.
Screen Shot 2017-12-29 at 10.54.57 PM


The table below shows how my portfolio have performed against the benchmark STI ETF over 1, 3, 5 10 years. As seen from the table, I have done well against the benchmark for the computed period. Am definitely please with this and hope I can sustain it.

Screen Shot 2017-12-29 at 10.58.26 PM

The next table shows the comparison after I did my strategic review in 2014 and implemented it from 2015. Yes, I have stay ahead of the benchmark since the implementation of my new strategy in 2015. For the first time, I have also beaten the STI ETF for 3 years in a row.

 Screen Shot 2017-12-29 at 11.01.56 PM
 It seems that the new strategy is working at this moment and I will keep to it. Refinement was done along the way and I am sure I will refine it further before I do another major review in 2 years time.


To achieve FI, I have intended to have the portfolio to generate dividend that will help cover some of my expenses. I am pleased that I have received about 14k of dividend this year, the second highest record. The highest record achieved was in 2014 when I received about 17k, but that year I just went for yield without much consideration of sustainability and portfolio allocation. The strategy did not work out quite well and I way underperformed STI ETF that year.

This time round, I am much more confident of the sustainability of the dividend and going forward it should grow further. Based on the latest data, it should hit a record high of 19k. And if I include dividend from CPF portfolio, it would hit about 30k. These are encouraging number as I have another 12 years to at least double the dividend.

A short note on my CPF Portfolio

As mentioned before, there are only 3 counters on my CPF Portfolio. I had held First REIT and Metro for a decade, while STI ETF was added 4 years ago. After beating the benchmark for 8 consecutive years, my CPF portfolio provided a lower return of (18%). Nonetheless, I am still please with this performance as it is way above 2.5%.

What has gone well?

Adhering to allocation rule

I have largely adhered to my portfolio allocation I set in 2015 and refined at the beginning of this year.  Tracking the portfolio allocation has reduces the risk of skewing my portfolio to a category just because I am suddenly excited by an avail opportunity.

During June, I have also penned down my rule on asset allocation. Asset allocation provides a form of risk management. If my portfolio performs well, it will force me to take profit and build up my war chest. On the other if my portfolio drops due to crashes, it allows me to deploy my war chest to take opportunity of depressed price.

Dividend vs Growth
The table below shows the planned and actual allocation of dividend and growth stocks at the end of the year.

Dividend (incl. REIT)
~ 60%
REIT/ Business Trust
<= 30%
Growth (incl. Punt)
~ 40%

Singapore vs US
US portfolio currently takes up about 8% of my portfolio, within the 15% cap for this year and next.

Cash vs Stock
Stock took up 66% of of my current asset, below my 70% cap. Hence, I have injected some cash into my stock portfolio, restoring the 30% cash and 70% stocks allocation.

Understanding the business better

The second thing that has gone well was slightly more time spent on reading up about the businesses that I am interested in. I have also started to track their quarterly report (8 quarters) which provided additional insight of the company business cycle. Again, this leads to less movement in my core holdings. The average holding length of my core holding is now 2 years since I revamped my portfolio in 2015, compared to 0.5 year for my non-core holding. Going forward, I do expect this to continue to increase as I do not see myself selling them out barring any unforeseen circumstances.

Updating the blog

Regular updating of my blog has also forced me to think through my buy/sell decision more and it also made me read the quarterly reports more closely. I have a total of 46 entries this year, which is almost double of the high last year. This works out to an average of 4 posts per month.

Listening to the management in person

I finally attended my first AGM (Food Empire) after investing for 17 years. It was a good experience and it provided additional insight that I could not get from reading its Annual Report. Being a member of Motley Fool subscription services also provided me  an opportunity to hear the talk by Deputy CEO of Capital Mall Asia and CEO of IFAST. Again, such interactions provided me a new dimension on my understanding of the company.

Interacting with other investors 
I have taken a more pro-active approach in the past few years in interaction with other investors. Be it through subscription services such as Motley Fool Stock Advisor or social interacting platform such as InvestingNote or Valuebuddies. All these have provided me with new ideas and insights that I might not get by simply reading.

Outperformance by some counters

Of course, strong performance by some individual counters have contributed to the good overall performance. It is hard to pin point which counters will outperform each year. However, if due process is put in to invest in strong companies, I hope to have one or two out-performers every year. More of the individual counters’ performance will be discussed in the next post.

What could be better?

The number of trades are still too high. I have intended to buy and sell less this year but it seemed that there is not much change compared to 2016. I attributed this to the re-allocation of my profit from Best World and my new adventure in overseas market.

I could be more patient in taking profit. There were a few occasions I took profit too early, only for the price of a fundamentally strong counter to move up more. The most painful lesson was Micro-mechanics which I let go just before the release of its quarterly report.

I probably could afford to take a bit more risk when there is a compelling buy staring at me. UMS was one which I thought was over-punished when the price corrected to $0.90 and I could not find any reason for the drop.

Lastly, I must trust my hunch a bit more and dig deeper when opportunity arises. I was alerted to good performance of Venture when it was at $10 plus but failed to take further action.

Of course, one can argue that all these are based on hindsight and all three have benefitted from the electronics and semi-conductor boom this year. True, but this is something that I probably need to keep in mind and fine-tune my approach to catch a strong performer.