In the first part of the review (to be released by 31 Dec), I went through the numbers from portfolio and individual counters. For this part, I will be giving a more qualitative review of this year’s investment journey.

What went well?

#1 Stable First Team

As seen from the above, only 5 out of the 16 players from First Team are fully divested and among the replacement, 3 (IFAST, Intuitive Surgical and Venture) came from the reserves and 1 (Shopify) was promoted from the youth academy. Going forward, I foresee even less changes for the coming year.

#2 Reading

Reading is always my way of gaining new knowledge and insights. With priority on my younger child, this was being put aside for the past few years. While I read a lot slower than before, it feels great to rekindle this love. Two books that have an influence on my investment this year are the two titles below.

They provided me an overview of how technology has advanced over the years that leads to its affordance and ubiquitous use in our daily life. Hence, I am convinced that the rise of the tech sector is not the same as the dot-com bubble in the late 1990s.

I am in the midst of spring cleaning and found the following two books that I bought long ago but have yet to read. They should occupy me for the next few months.

#3 Activate Opportunity Fund and Staying Vested

I am glad that I kept to my strategies and activated my opportunity fund during the March crash.

The fund deployed in this period has gained about 40% and boosted the portfolio’s return by around 4-6%.

Favourite buys were initiating positions in AReit, DBS and selected unit trusts (CPF), and building a bigger position in IFAST, ISRG and SHOP. The most impactful among the buys were IFAST, DBS and unit trusts (CPF) which returns about 14k, 8k and 12k to date.

#4 Trying out New and Reignite Old Ideas


Aging is something that none of us can escape and I am glad that I have not always used it as an excuse for not trying out new ideas. Investing in US small caps and SaaS counters are totally new to me and while I was late to the game, I am happy to have taken the plunge.

I am also delighted that I override my bias towards unit trusts from a decade ago. Given the constraint due to CPF stock limit, investing in unit trusts is a viable option to get a better return. I wonder why it took me such a long time to figure that out.

#5 Listening to Others and Penning my Thoughts

I have minimal exposure to the industry that most of my counters are in. My knowledge of them is public information and hence my due diligence is superficial. Recognising that, I continue to subscribe to The Motley Fool US services and started a subscription with The Smart Investor this year. I have benefitted not only from the stock recommendation, but also the sharing on investors mindset and strategies. The constant reminders from the services do help me to stay on course for my own investment journey.

While InvestingNote is much noisier nowadays, there are still good sharing by various people. Started to use StocksCafe to track my portfolio and I would say it is a pretty good tool. Just extend for another three years and will probably can learn more about it. Finally, I am glad that I have continued to find time to pen a few posts per month this year. The writings have helped to clarify my own thoughts.

What did not go as well?

#1 Too much fine-tuning

A long term issue for me. Still buying and selling a bit too often for my own liking. Besides paying for unnecessary fees, it also means I am not giving sufficient time for my investment to do its job. Going forward, I should attempt to just buy and sell every quarterly unless there are big opportunities for me to take advantage of.

#2 Taking actions too quickly

An issue linked to the previous point, buying too early when the price fell and selling too early when the price rose. My return probably will improve by a few percentage point if I am a bit more patient.

#3 Not reading in details

While I am reading the reports and sharing in the subscription services, I typically looked through them too fast. Hence, I did not digest the information sufficiently and I might miss out pertinent points. I probably need to make short note after reading to improve on that.