In the year 2020, almost anything that you buy in any asset class will make you some money. Going into the year 2021, it is going to be a tough year. As I mentioned many times, portfolios will go through their baptism of fire. Perhaps it is the month of May. As the saying goes, sell in May and go away? It is going to be a trying year. This year, we will most likely see portfolios taking a hit. This is the time to put all those concepts to use.
Equity markets are pricing in the real leverage, over trading and over optimism with inflation risks and other factors to concerning investors. What are the other reasons? Frankly no one will know. Risky assets are always risky and they reward you with the rewards if you are spot on.
It is always hindsight
No one has any crystal ball so stop looking for gurus. As emotional as many people out there, I see green with envy for others who make the one hit wonder and 1000x their portfolio. The truth is, I doubt that I will even go into that kind of trade. However, it doesn’t stop me from trying stuff out. You never know which one might hit the jackpot.
Cryptocurrency – The way?
Dreaming of 100 BTC at USD 10? If it ever gets there again, will you buy a 100 of those? This is a question only every individual can answer on their own. To put things to perspective, d not look at what others have. Instead, look at your own portfolio and see what make sense of it. What does it serve and what is your target?
There are plenty of blogs out there who have different styles and objective. Their aim is not yours. We are all unique in nature. Learning to cope with drawdowns are key to the investment journey. Don’t panic, keep calm and keep buying. Just continue to do what you are doing consistently, results will show for itself when the time comes.
This is not a sponsored post. This is purely my own opinion. If you like what you are seeing, do remember to check they out and do your diligence. There is no one size fits all investment strategy.
There are many times when we are angry. Be it for the right or wrong reasons, there will be times where our own limits are being tested. Some people just cannot take it that they are wrong, that’s just more Alpha kind of folks. Some people are just generally angsty all the time. The slightest thing piss them off. However, when you are angry, who is it that is really affected? Are you venting to the person beside you though you are not angry at them? Or are you just shouting to yourself for someone else you are upset about?
The person whom you are shouting and angry about probably don’t even know. So, what is the point in getting angry. I get it, sometimes i need to let off some steam too but not all the time though. The other day, there was an angsty driver who couldn’t get on the main road because there were just too many cars. The other day, I heard someone banging the table downstairs while working from home. Shouting eventually came on and I could hear someone else shouting back.
That made me think a little deeper. When you are angry, the person who do not know you are angry at them. Should you really express it? Eventually, the question to ask is that if one can control their emotions. Not me I would say. I am human and I cannot control over worrying, being angry and also overthinking. I’ll say most of us tend to think that we are right but is that really true? Truth be told, that little arrogance sometime annoys me a little. All we need is just to keep our heads down, be humble and learn along the way. There will always be someone or something that is better than you.
Investing the same?
Similarly, your investment style differs. Emotions run wild in those events and each time you think that markets are coming off, you actually risk missing a chance to recover more than what you should have if you would have chose to do nothing.
The thing about personal finance is that whether one has just starting building your finances, middle stage of building your fund or at a late stage of taking on your retirement funds. Young, old, poor or rich in all categories – There is really no one size fits all and regardless if you are famous or not. There will be emotions involved in all situation.
Recently, I also fell ill and because of that I had to take some matters off my hand. At the same time, markets doesn’t care if you are ill or well and that kind of struck a chord that I need to do less of trading and more of passive investing. Looking back at some of the portfolios for 2020. All 4 robo-advisors returned double digits which is by far the best I have seen. Of course, trading returns have been the best returns for me but those are super high risks.
Robotic in Nature
The idea in letting someone trustworthy to manage your funds are hard to come by. Banks are driven by profits and their pockets matter more than what money you have. Even if they did, they would have another agenda. Nonetheless, the idea – You get it! Only services make revenues.
I’ve been convinced by the way Endowus and StashAway have been working for me as a portfolio:
Fee wise it is always all inclusive.
ETFs or Fund investing has always been the way to invest regularly. They track index and replace those companies who underperform along the way.
In particular, Endowus provides that 100% trailer fee rebates. It is the best one I’ve seen so far to not take a dime that is not transparent to the consumer. On a side note, your funds are in your own name (invest and managed via UOB Kay Hian but through your own channel) If anything happens to Endowus, your money is safe in that sense.
Such portfolios are not timing the market and look further into the long term. You need to be disciplined in that manner.
I mean especially for Endowus, they charge you a small fee which keeps them running. They invest into some fund types which are institutional in nature. Layman, it means as a normal consumer – you probably could not access these funds.
Usually but not always, the so called “hidden fees” are reduced due to economies of scale (Institutional class – Imagine Sovereign wealth funds)
Special corporate classes which have a minimum to invest. By using Endowus, collectively as retail investors normal retailer investors can put their money in at a fraction of the cost.
Agree to Disagree
Some points I kind of read and agree but disagree:
Yes, I read and heard that you can mimic trades and portfolios but my question is that if you have the economies of scale. How big are your trades?
Forex Exchanges rates especially in USD. Can you really accept using another channel to make the exchange or accept the market rate in your brokerage?
Replacing and re-balancing your portfolio. I think time matters more to me than doing these stuff which is time consuming. There are people who love doing this and do not mind doing so. So, leave it to those who does the best in their jobs.
This image was taken off Seedly and taken as a reference. Frankly, minimal investment amount should be the last thing on your mind. Fees, rebates and what is the company trying to achieve should be the top priority.
We hear a lot of this all the time. Our parents, our friends, our colleagues and everyone. There isn’t any in my opinion. Some may beg to differ but there really isn’t any the way the see it. There is an actual science to this because it really depends on what kind of person you are. No one will manage your money better than yourself. There are three dimensions to this how I see it.
Your Life Cycle
Life-Cycle – Depending on which part of the cycle one is in, you will change the way you invest and how you want to invest. Different stages in life provides you with different perspective and capability to do certain aspects of financial tweaks. Some get a head start while other don’t but that is not the end goal. It is your objective that is key – No one should just carbon copy a portfolio or process. This is customised and should be based on your own circumstances.
How much you have to invest?
How much you have – This is really a sticky question because the real fact is that no one knows. I am of the mind that your own networth and liquidity is for your own to know and manage. Unless you own the millions that you can’t manage because time is what you need, this would apply to at least 90% of the folks out that. How much can you afford to save or take out that does not affect you paying off your bills on time depends on your financial situation. I remember when I first started out, the salary I have is for my own takings. The very first thing I did was to spend almost all of it. It isn’t smart but we all learn.
Paying yourself first
Paying yourself first is essential in building a bigger pool. The first $1k, $10k, $25k $50k, $100k will be exponentially easier with every milestone. However if you don’t start, then the milestone will not be met. Regular saving plans/investment does help in this process. Using the envelop technique is also recommended for guys who are really starting out.
Time – This is a large and essential part of everything else.
First, you need to find time and give time to learn and experience. No one grew up knowing everything, all of these lies with exposure and experience. Some gets it faster than the rest while others manages this slower. Like an exercise buddy, the journey is long but if you persist and encourage one another, it will ride for a long time.
No excuses – Is Netflix and the next PlayStation more important every other day? Educating and understanding finance takes time and effort. Even if you hate it, try it in a smaller scale model and gradually increase it over time. I can certainly say that over a time period, it will become second nature.
Second, You do not have a warchest overnight. You need to build it. No one knows when is the next drop, what is the next promising industry to go into. No one knows who is the next unicorn or donkey but through time, you will eventually find out about your own strength and sense of investing.
My four points on a good time to invest
These four points in my opinion sets the basis of what is a good time to invest. TLDR:
a. Anytime is a good time to invest as long as you have a plan and you know what you are doing
b.Do not invest more than what you require to pay your bills.
c. Start early, start young, the later you start – the tougher it is. It is never too late but the results will be less than one would expect.
d. Learn as much as you can so that you are well-equipped. Today, there are too many tools around to learn and see.
I also do understand that by saying “When is a good time to invest?” It will attract criticism as to “timing of investment”
Timing the Market?
I would also want to address this issue of timing. It does no one any good if you time the market. No one has the crystal ball.
a. Start by splitting your warchest into different portions. Be disciplined and when market drops, buy some then don’t expect these to turn unto profits overnight.
b. Keep an eye on what you are investing especially if you are buying into a company. Investing into index funds leave you to a more passive investor. We shall not talk about Core and Tactical management of investing this round.
c. Regular investing also helps. Find mutual funds or portfolios who have in-lined principles to what you belief and stick by it.
d. Remember to always review. Things change and so do us as humans during different life cycle.
P.s. As you can see, my beliefs is as such that all things work in an ecosystem (Before it gets disrupted). Smaller efforts gives greater confidence and these translate into positive energy, mindset and clear mind. Then, this brings you to another aspect. When this Eco-system is in place, many of the things we have discussed earlier will be a second nature and you would know how to react accordingly.
My Take on Robo-Advisor
Personally I like to use some form of Robo, systematic investing such as Endowus. It also cancels out my liking of timing my Buy-in timing.
Most importantly, the cash related funds uses a big institution related fund manage such as Dimension Fund which is not readily accessible to retail investor.
They have shown that they return the rebates they receive from the fund houses instead of absorbing it to pay fees to Banks/Financial Institutions as recurring revenues
All funds invested are held on behalf by UOB Kay Hian and held in my own name so funds are safe I say.
My only grip is really about the buy time which I have no control over. By the time the markets drop, I’m not sure when my funds are invested but on the bright side, it means it is consistent and disciplined trading.
Relatively lower management fees which means more compounding interests for all. That is good news.
I also like that they only debit the management fees at the end of the quarter instead of taking money at the start. Tells a lot about how they want to be different. Say no to upfront fees.
The first Robo-advisor to be able to invest using CPFIS. I think they were also the first to be able to use SRS to do so as well. That makes one more level up as CPFIS only approves certain funds that you can invest in. This makes it flexible to invest using Cash, SRS and CPFIS.
If you use my referral code to sign up and invest minimum S$10k, we both get $20 each which can be used to offset the management fees to keep their lights running: https://endowus.com/invite?code=EDZ8M
Money is not everything – They say (Who? I don’t know). Without Money, there are lot of things we cannot do. With proper money management, these will slowly go away and your mind’s will be clearer. With a clear mind, things unravel. An end is always where new things start. Be positive and do not be bound by just money.
This is also not a sponsored posts. I used it and I like what I am seeing.
We hear a lot about FinTech funding and block chain technology. Along with Bitcoin, Ethereum or even new funding coins as an alternative way implemented into bank payment systems over the last 3 to 4 years. This is ruling the world today.
It is rather difficult to bring across this concept and idea as it works better in demonstration as compared to talk about it.
What is FinTech?
It is mainly disruptive technology that has the capabilities to replace financial services. It can be in the form of cheaper way or a more convenient way. At the same time, it will proof to be more efficient and safer too.
Just to get yourselves interested on the concept of block chains, do watch this quick video: BLOCKCHAINS
I really like to see, read and hear about Bitcoins in which they are a small subset of the bigger ecosystem and this is a good introduction to start with: BITCOIN
Such block chains systems should be a secure channel as a third party using bitcoin as part of the transaction which in turn can be redeemed back into the real currency thus creating a market and a natural one in doing so.
The World Economic Forum 2016 early this year in Davos discussed deeply into the trends and how the world is moving into. In summary, it could possibly be the fourth industrial revolution.
Revolutions are a result of significant changes that destabilizes and question the status quo. Eventually, it pushes change through over time. The first revolution might bring about a new form of problems coming many centuries into the future. (Such as air pollution, breaking the ecosystems, genetics and food production techniques just to name a few)
Significant changes brings about many issues such as loss of jobs/income. The non-necessary skills required previously and to reduce amount of time and effort required to get things done. Eventually, new skills and new jobs will eventually be created thus it is important to stay relevant. The loyalty that one pledge to the company are no longer viable. Companies are also faced with the same task of returning ROI on every dollar of shareholders’ money and that in my opinion is vested interests.
a. IOT – Internet of Things
The big subset of block chains in my view is Big Data. That is IOT, Internet of Things combined. With many many different concepts to build a computer server that can maintain and sustain all of this. Many of us know this and that is Cloud computing. In time to come, Superhuman computers may be developed into cybersecurity into a whole new level. (e.g. AI, Artificial Intelligence)
I would believe that Amazon and IBM resources would have the capabilities to bank on such new technology. I do see a lot of the practicality developing into China. A lot of these are going on aggressively but the level of secrecy and confidentiality still plays such a big role as a former communist country. My guess is that China will bring blockchains to a whole new level all together and that would be a footprint into the new world technology.
b. Alternative Financial Solutions
Financial Institutions are not tapping greatly on FinTech to date. Take a look at Nokia today. Sometimes it makes us think about embracing change before it is too late. The Financial services are also part of a new form of Robo-Advisors. This is another form of artificial intelligence. From here on, related services are going to be transformed into a new level all together.
The change is here and FinTech and Bitcoins are also an alternative way of investing. That would add on to the list of asset allocation in the previous posts. There are plenty of alternative asset classes. Don’t fall prey to unreal ones so always do your DUE DILIGENCE (DD).
Only Steve Jobs believed in the future of smart phones and tablets before it came here today.
“If at first, the idea is not absurd, then there is no hope for it.” – Albert Einstein
This can be a bit deep to ponder but with the global pandemic situation, this fourth industrial revolution is probably already in progress.
One of the most interesting Macro aspect of the world today and what lies in it for the future on the fourth industrial revolution. This is something that caught my attention as well as made me ponder for a long while then it started to interests me and on a wider perspective, country and globally that is, a topic that is known to all, unknown to many. Why is that so? We probably look to trends in the world today and we know the problems and issues we face while having no answers to all of this at all.
The first 3 industrial revolution talked about the importance and worries of the Labour force as a concept.
1. The first revolution: 1784 invention of the mechanical production and steam power energy. 2. The second revolution: 1870 the invention of mass production and electrical energy 3. The third revolution: 1969 the invention of electronics and IT 4. The fourth revolution: Today? Artificial Intelligence and Big Data? Or something else?
What do they have in common?
That is Automation and Connectivity as proclaimed by Nicholas Davis, the world economic forum Head of Society and Innovation.
Perhaps there should even be a 5th point. The Covid-19 pandemic that digitalise businesses that were putting these options off because of other priorities. Unemployment and redundancy will accelerate and bring about a whole new different way in which we are about to work or to say work from home. These cause and effects, resulting in commercial and office rents demand dropping will lead to other dominos.
The first and utmost reaction to structural change is always a fear for job security. Similar to the 1970s, the fear for replacement by computers over current fear over replacement by robots is nothing new but in vary in existence in various forms. Certain Jobs will be lost and many others will also be created so a successful economy is likely to match 4 criteria:
1. Labour market flexibility
2. High skills in the attribute of flexible skills
3. Flexible infrastructure
4. A robust Legal system
The Labour market is one that empowers a lot to substitutes for every country. Whether a particular job results in an inefficiency towards the introduction of technology or a job preservation at the expense of currently inefficiency level, that may ultimately result in the non-existent of jobs in the later part of the revolution which have been the key issues into the third revolution.
Skills factor is an subjective matter. In short, a more skilled worker will thrive and eventually earn more in income than a less skilled worker but that being said does not work all the time in all aspects and in all economies. Teaching, self-learning and flexibility to adapt to work trends is crucial to an every evolving revolution of technology.
An industrial revolution is about changing economics structures. Many of these capital intensive infrastructure has been built, developed and enhanced over the longer term and some of these may deemed obsolete. Brick and mortar shops have been significantly reduced since the introduction of internet which pave ways towards e-commerce which is currently a partial result of a complementary support of smart technology, digital connectivity and a more than efficient network.
As the economy moves towards a more virtual world, “trade” is likely to become in the form of intellectual property rather than a physical product. Legal protection and legal issues will be the main source of contact point to protect, secure and patent a particular idea or product in order to obtain exclusivity over a virtual world in that sense.
Another point to note would be the power of brand, a quality assurance towards a particular brand that could come in the form of a service/quality or even assurance may be able to enhance the brand power. The opposite also holds for brands that faces competition, margins and quality control or even a layered middle-man system can be greatly reduced in the face of the revolution.
Very likely, we would be very used to seeing powerhouses or Goliath as we know. There will also be another group who have the resources to the revoluionise. This provides a transition phase of moving into a new economy or as we know it, new world. Developed nations, emerging markets look likely to benefit from such a drastic change and the next generation of technology and age will be something different from the hard working baby boomers.
Who benefits from the industrial revolution?
Like many other things we do in life, It’s never a one size fits all concept. We have to keep on learning because that is the way to stay relevant. Do not stop to innovate and make the necessary changes. Shit happens but being uncomfortable makes us regularly improve and be creative. Imagine a situation when we sit and wait for things to happen, more often things doesn’t happen. Similar to a kind deed, the small acts of kindness usually leads a long way. We never know what might be in store for us.
So I say, keep the faith and keep on thriving in uncomfortable and uneasy situations. Sometimes, it is the comfort that stops us from moving forward.