ThumbTack Investor’s Random Musings – Selling Property, Hand Foot Mouth Disease, Gold, New Blog Links, Advice For Beginners. Yes, It’s Random.

There hasn’t been any updates on SG TTI for almost 2 weeks, and for good reason. Tons of stuff has been happening that’s keeping me occupied.

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PROPERTY – I am in the midst of selling a property. Well, not in the midst. More like just started. For privacy reasons, I’m not going to go into specifics, but it is an investment property that I’ve previously stayed in for a few years, then rented out for another few years.

On the surface of it, everyone knows the SG property market is undergoing a slump of sorts, isn’t this a bad time to sell? Particularly so since I still have a tenant that’s staying put and the rent hasn’t been cut even after renewal just recently. The property has been fully paid for, so the rent = a very nice monthly FCF for me. So why sell now?

Well, based on the latest similar transactions, I estimate I’d pocket a gain of approximately $170k. If I include rent over the years, the gain shoots up to well over $250k. Considering that I’ve held it for 7 years, that’s not too shabby a return. Not eye-popping great like the stories you read in TheEdge, but I’m not grumbling.

Perspective huh. My rationale is that at some point, probably between late 2017 – 2018, I’d like to get another larger place near to my kids’ future school. (Yes, their future schooling is settled even though both are <4yrs old. I’m a tiger dad when it comes to education.) And everything I’ve seen that I fancy right now, is NOT exactly stroll-in-the-park affordable.

So if SG property market continues on it’s downward trend, as I hope it will, selling now and pocketing that gain would go a long way to supporting the next purchase. I probably wouldn’t even have to come up with a single cent and can fund it with this sale as well as from CPF.

396) URA property price index 2016Q3.jpg

Probably anyone in SG who’s thinking of buying/selling any property is starting at this chart. Some are willing it to stop dropping, some are clamoring for the property restrictions to be lifted, others are quietly praying it’ll drop more quickly.

In my experience, it’s never wise to go against government policies. Already, the restrictions are in place way longer than most commentors had expected, and in the environment, I don’t think the drop is over. We’re in this secular trend for the long haul.

I’ve never considered myself to be an expert on the SG property market. I just think that there are so many agents, commentors, speculators and genuine buyers who are staring at all these listings, the figures, harping on every related news, that it’s very difficult to find inefficiencies in the market.

More importantly, property moves really slowly. Even if I find a buyer, it’d take another 6 months to go through all the paperwork and legal framework and finally close it.

So my personal thoughts and rules dictating how I’d act in the property market are very simple.

I’ll restrict myself to only the CCR – Districts 9,10 & 11, and only the ones that have FH tenure. Nothing else.

That’s a principle that’s applied to my investing as well.

Reduce scope since I cannot compete with the massive amount of talented geniuses out there looking at the same things as me, but focus on quality and go in depth.

Also, (and this one is just a very simple, logical way of thinking), since I’d actually have to have a place for my family and myself to stay, I figured that any supposed property investment, would mean that one has to have at least 2 properties before you can consider yourself a property investor right?

Afterall, if you sell at a market high, you’d have to buy at a market high. Yes, there will be proponents who say you can rent while waiting for markets to come down etc but that’s just not my game. Not with 2 kids in tow.

So I’ll always hold on to 2 or more properties, either local or foreign.

Any expert reader with strong, substantiated views on this, please feel free to share with me via the comments section, or privately via email. Or if you have absolutely great buys that you’d forgo yourself currently due to the quantum or CF, but would like to share with me, please let me know too. No agents though please.


HAND-FOOT-MOUTH DISEASE

And this is the reason for the relative inactivity at SG TTI for the past 2 weeks.

My son picked up this god-awful virus in preschool, and subsequently came home and infected my daughter and myself via a shared ice cream.

I’d post up some pictures but I’ve decided that’s just too gory for most people reading this. Being a healthcare professional, I knew how to identify the symptoms, and the subsequent management. I can imagine how panicky other parents may get though. It’s just an absolutely terrible thing to have.

Anyway, I was pretty upset at the preschool. A virus gets picked up through their lax efforts at hygiene, and for the past 2 weeks, the entire house is in a constant flux, not to mention the extreme suffering everyone goes through. Particularly myself as the virus has a way of extracting the worst revenge on adults. Christmas was pretty much spoilt too.

And what penalty did the school suffer? Absolutely nothing. I still had to pay the same school fees despite my son not attending it for almost the entire month.

The preschool business is an example of an excellent business to invest in though, at least in Singapore. The CFs are iron clad, regardless of what happens, you’d have to pay school fees, even if the school decides to close on their own accord!

I’m switching schools for my kids next year, but the new school fees are close to $1.2k/mth. No wonder so many parents cite costs for the reluctance to have kids in Singapore.

Let’s have a hypothetical scenario whereby both parents are working, earning $5k each a month, with 2 kids in preschool. That works out to be a household income of $10k, while the school fees alone would cost $2.4k. That’s 24% of the total month income spent on the school fees alone!

I’ve been blessed to have done well in my career, and having a high income means that all these figures are something I can afford fairly easily. But I cannot imagine how 2 parents earning $5k each (which is considered above the median in Singapore I believe), can afford to spend more than a fifth of their total income on school fees alone. That doesn’t leave much for everything else.

The respected late LKY publicly said that he thinks $$$ is not a solution to solving Singapore’s low birth rate.

$$$ does solve a lot of problems in this world. But the question is, to what extent? I’m sure as the gov doles out more $$$, the law of diminishing returns sets in and you get a weaker effect. It’s just not proportional.

The other question that’s not raised because it’s not politically viable to talk about this, is what segment of the population does the gov wants to have kids. Yes, we want kids, but we also want responsible parents that put in resources into raising up quality kids with abilities. Simply throwing $$$ may result in more kids for segments of the population which simply do not put in that much effort raising them.

To the government’s credit, they have set up a series of PCF schools that are low cost, catered to parents in the heartlands. The problem is, somehow the government thinks that in certain estates (like mine!), where the housing is mainly private, there is no demand for such government sponsored preschools and hence there are no PCF centres near my place. Maybe they’re right. I don’t profess to be an expert in this arena.

Obviously after this episode, my emphasis on hygiene in the school is heightened. The new school seems much better in its curriculum too. Teachers are relatively highly educated, and I’m happy to pay that sorta fees if there’s a discernible difference between the previous school and this new one.


GOLD

No, this is not an in depth discussion about gold. I am no expert on gold, and my knowledge of how gold relates to economic conditions is rudimentary at best. But Robert Elway from Rosland Capital contacted me to talk about gold, and since he seems like a polite, nice guy, I’d just be generous and include Rosland Capital into this post.

https://www.roslandcapital.com/

Plus he sent me a very cool chart he did himself:

397) Rosland_gold_timeline_v03.jpg

I’m not getting any remuneration or benefits of any sort from Rosland Capital, and this is not an advert.

I just thought that this chart is really interesting and maps out the major events, as well as some not-too-major ones.


BLOG LINKS

Keen eyed readers may notice 2 new blog links on the right. ———–>

Off-Piste Investing (http://offpisteinvesting.com/) focuses more on the Asia region, not particularly so for SGX listed companies. He has some interesting ideas, presented in a simple, easy to read manner. Those who want to have some exposure to regional markets may find some ideas there.

Kevin from Turtle Investor (http://www.turtleinvestor.net/) has been a great help, answering some of my questions about how to privatize and monetize his blog. That’s been useful for a non-IT guy like myself.

The thing is, SG TTI is currently on a free plan in WordPress. But that comes with limitations. There’s no way to monetize the site on this plan, and more importantly, there is a cap on the storage space available.

So as there are more posts in future, I may soon hit this cap. This means either I NOT share images and tables in future company analyses, or I’ll have to upgrade to a paid plan. Obviously it’s hard to analyse companies without figures in tables and charts, so at some point, I’ll have to migrate SG TTI. And if it’s a paid plan, I’d at least like for the ads to cover the cost of maintaining the site.

In the meantime, please go over to Turtle Investors site and read his posts, click on some ads there. There’s absolutely no cost to you, and next to zero effort, but it helps to keep good content online that’d help you in your investing journey. (No, don’t click on my ads here right now, it doesn’t help SG TTI at all)

Good, informative content takes a lot of effort. Content and data that helps readers spot gems is by definition, not going to be easily available. If it is readily available without any analytical effort, the price-intrinsic value gap narrows and the opportunity ceases to exist.

So please support any efforts at maintaining good content. And please subscribe to SG TTI too. That’s how you can help.


ADVICE FOR BEGINNERS

I get very encouraged and flattered when I receive emails from young investors who are just starting out, asking for advice. Many of the questions are pretty much similar actually.

So, I know for a fact that there are many serious investors here, many are spending a lot of time and effort to perfect this art. Kudos to you guys.

Not too long ago, my fellow bloggers, Kyith and Brian (their blog links are on the right) conducted a sharing session. I read the post just 1 day after it was posted, and guess what, the slots were fully subscribed.

Getting rich is serious business.

And there are many people who are serious about getting ahead. Good for you guys! You could’ve spent the 3 hours after work watching tv or lazing around, but instead you added to your knowledge base. That cannot be a bad thing.

On this note, I’d end this post by sharing a couple of absolutely fantastic videos on investing that I’ve seen recently.

The first one is posted on NextInsight. Tom Gayner is one of those under rated, little known investors who’s actually done fantastically well. I think most people would do well to watch this video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2sG91e1Wh4I

The NextInsight article is here:

https://www.nextinsight.net/story-archive-mainmenu-60/938-2016/11215-investor-guru-thinking-differently-from-when-i-first-started-out

But don’t just read the article. Go watch the video.

……………..

………….

……..

Alright, now that you’ve watched the video, what are the 4 points that Tom Gayner mentioned in the video?

If you can’t answer that, go watch it again and write them down and memorize them this time.

I think that’s the issue for most people. Everyone likes to read and watch things casually, but investing in this manner will give you the exact results congruent to your attitude: Casual results.

I think it’s necessary to take it seriously, no different from how you’d study for an exam.

But the reality is, people like to read easy things that don’t need much thinking, and certainly no memorizing. People like to click on blog posts with large colorful pictures, talking about frivolous stuff, because it takes less brain cells to comprehend. Good for reading on the MRT.

I can assure you that you can read 1,000 of such articles, and it wouldn’t give you an iota more investing prowess. It’d be much better to take all that effort, sit down seriously and watch and learn just 1 more technical, harder to digest and understand video/post/article, and try to incorporate that into your thinking.

Anyway, the 4 take home points from Tom Gayner for finding gems:

  1. Companies have to demonstrate a record of profitability, with good ROIC and achieve all this with minimal debt.
  2. Management – Integrity and Ability
  3. Price relative to intrinsic value
  4. Scalability – Power of compounding

Yay. I typed all that out without having to refer to anything. It means I’ve internalized them. You might find me giving more discussion to these points in future analyses.

Point 4 in particular, is something new that I’d admit I haven’t considered much. It is probably the biggest take home message for me.

This is another excellent lesson for beginners that I came across some time ago:

Martin Shkreli is painted as a villain by the media, but I don’t think anyone doubts that he’s a really smart guy.

I’d recommend paying attention to the front of the video, in which he talks about more general stuff.

Go listen and take down notes for the entire video if you have to, do whatever you need to do to internalize the key points.

I’d point out something important that he said. You have to be serious about this, there are many professionals doing the same thing. What makes you think you can beat them?

If you can’t, or don’t find it fun to try, then don’t. Park your money in index funds, or give them to the professionals who do this for a living. (Find a good, honest money manager!)

Then use the time to focus on your career instead.

Although SG TTI thus far, only discusses investing methodology, ideas and specific companies, in terms of actual financials, I’d earned a lot more by focusing on my career and specific skill sets that’s valued by society.

And since my monthly income (which comes from multiple sources btw), although variable, usually way exceeds the expenses (for the whole family) every month, it means that if I think of myself as a business entity, I’m extremely FCF generative and that provides a lot of ammunition. In short, I’m a Boustead or a Dutech. :)

Many people talk about “Achieving financial freedom” via investing, and indeed, it’s taken as a gold standard by everyone I know. Everyone’s trying to build some pot of gold and then retire from their jobs, as though their jobs are some poison and they hate it so much.

Good for you if you’ve achieved it.

But thinking like that is kinda like sending a battalion of troops to the battlefield without any backup supplies, hoping that they’d pick up ammunition, food and medical supplies along the way while they wipe out enemies.

Possible, but very difficult and tiring. Wouldn’t it be better if there’s a constant monthly supply of ammunition, food and medical supplies for your troops? And you actually like the process of supplying this ammunition and am focused on providing more every month. Anything that they pick up is a bonus.

So if you hate to fight the battle, or simply suck at it, at least focus on sending more and more ammunition for your troops every month, while you hire military experts to strategize and move your troops around.

Alright, that’s the end of this post.

I sincerely wish all readers of SG TTI a great Christmas, and an absolutely fantastic 2017 ahead!

25 comments

  1. Hi SGTTI,

    Great post and enjoyed your sharing!

    I am quite awed that you have already secured Primary School places for your kids. Wow!

    And maybe I really should get Turtle Investor out for lunch to get some pointers in case I want/need to monetize my blog.

    Merry Christmas to you and hopefully the HFMD is all water under the bridge!

    Like

    1. Hi Thomas
      Oh yes. I wouldn’t say it’s 100% secured, but it’s a high probability event. The school is highly popular and definitely one of the top 5 that churns out results every yr.
      Some will disagree with me, but I don’t buy MOE’s propaganda that “every school is a good school”.
      That’s like saying “every company is a good company”, or “every CEO is a good CEO”.
      It just doesn’t happen in real life.
      It’s like how I’d assess the management of companies: Watch what they do, not what they say they’d do.
      Similarly, if we see where SG ministers send their own kids, we’d know if they truly believe every school is a good school. It’s not about the teachers or the facilities or the curriculum, it’s simply the company and peers that’d drive the thoughts and behavior of young minds. Like it or not, that’s the hard truth in life. I don’t make up those rules, but I understand them well enough.
      That’s my opinion anyway, and I’d spare no expense when it comes to young kids’ education.
      Yep, Turtle investor has been helpfully answering my queries.
      And I didn’t buy him any lunch. haha.

      Like

  2. Hi TTI,

    Have a great 2017 and no worries we can always meet up to exchange ideas. There are many who thinks this is a period of property stagnation and that prices won’t go down further. I am not a property expert myself. I think you have already diversified your cash flow, which is what many looked up to you for. financial independence is about the option to doesn’t mean you need to take it.

    I always find that the tone of your blog to be great that there is sometimes a deviation that is enjoyable. it is as if i was reading brooklyninvestor (google this) which is another good investor.

    Cheers.

    Like

    1. Hi Kyith
      It’s a public holiday today and the 2 fastest comments here are from my fellow bloggers. Shows how committed you guys are. haha
      My very basic opinion regarding the property sector is that 2017 will end at new lows compared to now, mainly because local interest rates will continue to rise (led by US), making it harder for those who over extended a few years prior, to service their mortgages. That ties in together with why I’m selling now and hoping to buy later.
      OK I’m also biased cos as mentioned, I am looking for a new place to stay anyway.
      Thanks for the compliment, I heard of brooklyninvestor, it’s rather famous but admittedly, I haven’t read it before. Now that you’ve mentioned it, I’d bookmark it and go peruse it once in a while, and see if I can gain more insights.
      Have a fantastic 2017 ahead.
      Cheers.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. TTGI, regarding the 4 traits that Tom Gayner rates highly in a company, what Singapore listcos you know of which comes close to fitting the bill, in yr view?

    Like

    1. Hi CT
      IMHO, Dutech and Boustead. Both of which have been covered extensively before by yourself at NextInsight.
      (I havent had the chance to look at Sunsine data that you’ve shared with me)
      They both exhibit 1) a reliable history of profitability, fantastic ROICs, with minimal or zero debt
      2) honest and capable management; I don’t think anyone will dispute that FF Wong and Johnny Liu are top class managers with integrity
      and
      4) Both business are sure as hell scalable: Boustead already has a global footprint and can grow anywhere. Dutech has been growing both organically, as well as via M&As, and on top of all that, they can grow laterally as well (by expanding into related but not identical fields. i.e. intelligent terminals as opposed to traditional safes)
      As for point 3 regarding relative price to value, well, price is always changing so that’s something that a value investor will have to assess to make sure he/she doesn’t overpay a specific time point, but from what Tom Gayner said, when you do find a company like that, don’t be a penny pincher…
      And I’ll add my own personal favorite parameter as point 5: Strong record of FCF generation.
      The last and only time Dutech had -ve FCF in a single year was in FY11 when they expanded their manufacturing capabilities greatly.
      The last time Boustead had -ve FCF was…. I dunno when. Not in the past 14 years because that’s how far back I analyzed the data.

      Like

      1. Thanks for your comeback. I certainly will delve deeper into Dutech and Boustead. For my part, I consider Best World International ($1.24) and Straco (77 cents) as being most worthy of consideration. There are many articles already on their investment merits on http://www.nextinsight.net
        Suffice for me to make a note that Best World’s biz is highly scalable (and without requiring capex). And Straco has unusually strong free cash flow (and minimal capex).

        Like

        1. Hi CT
          Thanks for your sharing
          My very basic thoughts from someone who has not done any in depth analysis:
          Best World’s growth is pretty amazing, and although the share price has dropped significantly of late, it’s STILL up by >400% since the start of the year. I’m a bit skeptical of anything that rises so much, so quickly. I don’t have much experience with beautycare sales, particularly so via a MLM model though.
          Straco is on my watchlist. Havent done much work on it aside from reading whatever’s already on NextInsight, but it is on my watchlist.

          Like

    1. Hi Richard
      Many thanks for your well wishes.
      Kiddos (both) have fully recovered, but I still am suffering big time.
      It’s a highly recommended disease to get if you’re looking to lose some weight.
      On a +ve note, it means that after this episode, practically the whole family has immunity and we’d not get HFMD again, even if we’re exposed to it.
      Best wishes for a great 2017!
      TTI

      Like

  4. Hi tti,

    I like this post, esp the part about focusing on career instead of investing. I think many people try to achieve financial freedom these days maybe because their job is a chore. But I think a good paying job beats any investment portfolio, at least during our accumulation phase.

    I hope ur family is well, and well immunised for the coming new year! Wishing u a great year ahead as we march towards the end of 2016 :)

    Like

    1. Hi

      “But I think a good paying job beats any investment portfolio, at least during our accumulation phase. ”

      Yep, exactly. The CFs ensure that you have a big headstart, and buffers any mistakes you may make, and for sure, we all will make some big ones at the start until we finally recognize what’s our forte.
      Besides, like what Steve Jobs said in his famous Stanford grad speech, we’re all going to spend a large part of our lives at our jobs. So better to love it. Or at the very least, be quite neutral about it.
      Thanks for the well wishes!

      Like

  5. Hi TTI ,
    Thanks for sharing and hope you get well soon !! Wishing you to have another fantastic year 2017 and be able to sell your property with good price !!
    I like the idea of thinking our household expenses / income as business entity …indeed ,, we will need to take care of our CF to ensure that we are not running into trouble of “negative CF ” in the long run ….
    Cheers !! :)

    Like

  6. Hi TTTI

    First of all, merry xmas to you and family. Hope your kid has recovered from the HFMD well.

    I may have a lobang if you are looking for d 9 10 11 properties. Just wondering which school did you enroll for your kids that its near your proximity. We may well live within near of each other ;) Perhaps we can connect privately if its too open on this one.

    Like

  7. Good post! I am also preparing for a potential property move because of the primary schools. primary schools are a big headache, i don’t buy into the concept of every school is a good school either. But certain schools are better fit for your child, and every child is so darn unique. since having kids, i have been neglecting my financial plan. its so impossible to work, look after kids and also have a financial plan. oh well!

    Like

    1. Hi
      Thanks for your comment.
      Yes, I’m sure every parent identifies with this. Primary schools are a huge headache, I’m glad to have this sorta settled. I’m shifting not to get into the primary school, but simply so that travelling time is shorter.

      It’s certainly a lot of work juggling work, family and your personal financial planning as well. That’s not including some personal time for other interests. What works (for me at least) is to maximize your time, and try to combine things together. Like for eg. combining your running in the park together with a picnic for the kids.
      And definitely sub-con out the chores if you can. I don’t ever do household chores; its a waste of time. And no TV as well. That’s a big sucker of time.
      Stuff like that.

      Like

  8. Woah I’m so Impressed by you ThumbtackInvestor, Was reading your post on Centurion and I dint know that researching can go so deep. haha I guess its a combination of passion + attention to great detail!

    I’m just ;/ that you’re not really into reits and its valuation. Like what you said, I also do believe that with the coming rate hike the potential for reits as an asset classes kinda diminishes in value.

    However dont you think that Reit’s like so much an easier Asset Class to value and one which regulation are in place to safeguard and align shareholder and management’s direction (90% payout and Cap gearing ratio) and potentially better cash flow generation as compared to equities although capital appreciation’s kinda capped la hah?

    Like

    1. Hi Zander
      Thank you for your compliments.
      I think you’re right when you say that REITs are generally an easier asset class to value. This is because their general business model is exactly the same. They hold assets, lease out the assets for a return, and have to payout at least 90% of this return to shareholders.
      So there isn’t really anything too complex to understand about REITs in general. Of course, there are differences amongst the various REITs, and you can talk about the specifics but they can’t vary too much (because of regulations). Compare that to any other industry where there can huge differences in the business model of various participants. So it is easy to understand.
      I would disagree however, that the structure of REITs aligns shareholder and management’s interests. I may be wrong on this (like I said, I have a superficial understanding of REITs and have never owned one before. If I’m wrong, someone pls correct me), but their compensation structure is dependent on the size of the REIT aka the “AUM”. This does NOT mean they’d always act in the best interests of the unitholders.

      The rate hike in 2017 is one factor to consider, and for sure in a rising rate environment, it’s not great for REITs. But IMHO, I actually don’t think it’s going to be a big factor. The rate hikes got a lot of publicity, it’s all baked into the REIT prices, esp after the general decline of late. As Mark Twain said, it’s not the things you know you don’t know that kill you, it’s the things you know for sure, but didn’t turn out to be right that kill you.
      So my concern with REITs in general is not about the rate hike exactly cos everyone knows it’s coming. Rather, it’s just my general observation that EVERYONE I know seems to own REITs. Amongst all my acquaintances and friends. And many will enthusiastically talk about how much they receive on a regular basis. I also know, that in the low interest rate environment in recent years, there are many people who get seduced by the higher yield of REITs. (And other high yield instruments, not just REITs).
      Again, I’d emphasize that I am not negative on REITs because I did some sort of in depth analysis of this asset class. I am simply cautious of anything that’s so popularly owned. Everyone loves to receive distributions. The CF is tracked and this makes anyone looking to get regular CF “to get financial independence” feel good. It’s like a step towards the right direction isn’t it? Perhaps it is. I am uninformed in this regard. The problem is, I suspect many of the REIT holders, may be just as uninformed as myself. And that’s scary.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Woah, I see that u also put in lots of effort in all your replies. Yeah man I do have to agree that the regulations doesn’t entirely align the interest of shareholder and management.

        Especially for REITS whereby acquisition are unlikely to be ‘yield enhancing (accreditive)’ whereby even worst still is when the purchase are 1) Brought at a premium 2) Funded via equity offering of rights ( Worst still private placement) 3)With a lot of income support for first few years to ‘artificially prop up the yield for first few years’

        However with those regulations, shareholder do have a peace of mind over a 1) 90% distribution of NPI. 2) A restriction of over leveraging cap at 45% gearing 3) Maximum of 10% NAV for Reits to do property development to ensure that the business model stay clean and shareholder would not be put to unnecessary risk that is beyond the asset class.

        So with those framework in mind, it do seems like a easier to value asset class for maybe lazy people like to me be looking at. But surely like what you mention, maybe those potential rate hike has already been factored in with the recent corrections of REITS counter. However its what we dont expect that kills us right?

        Looking at that, Im just thinking since the level 4 economy (USA) is trading at a all time high, even if theres a deep discounted share currently in our economy would it be wise to be capitalizing on them? Because i’m pretty certain that if our big brother SAM do fall or have a major correction, its gonna have an equal follow suit of lower level economy Eg. Jap, SG, HK even more so for the Emerging Markets.

        So yeah… I’m just torn over value investing for the longer term or taking quick nimble profit till a major crisis that you can truly deploy your resources for the longer term on an even deeply discounted counters. What is your thought!

        Like

        1. Hi Zander
          You probably already know more about REITs and how to value them better than I do. REITs should be a much easier playing field because of all the points that you’ve already mentioned.

          You brought up a very good point. Looking at the US markets, should we hunt for deep value and go for a “buy and hold” strategy? Or should we go for a short term profits aka trading strategies?
          Yes, the US markets look elevated, and one thing we can all agree on is that if US crashes, there’s no way SG will be spared.
          I don’t have a strong answer to this question (like I said, it is a good question!) because I cannot predict when it crashes. It may look elevated, but things that are elevated, can go much much much higher.
          Check out this chart on real time S&P PE ratio:
          http://www.multpl.com/

          Is it expensive now? Perhaps. Perhaps not too. We can see that historically, there are long periods when the markets are much more expensive than currently. The famed Bill Miller is currently 100% invested with no cash, and his view is that we are merely at the START of a upcycle in US equities. So who knows for sure?
          I don’t have a strong answer.
          But I can say what I’ll do. Personally, I’ll continue to stick to a deep value approach, with substantial ammunition stored in the form of cash. I wouldn’t say it’s buy and hold, but its def not trading as well. I’ll just find deep value situations based on strong research, and wait for the value to be realised. Even if markets do crash this year, my cash portion will allow me to capitalize. Such a balanced approach is the safest IMO.
          Ppl worry about a missing out on opportunity to buy when it crashes, or suffering when they’re fully vested and it crashes. But let’s not forget the alternative scenario that is just as damaging: Missing out on BEING VESTED, if it DID NOT crash and continues rising rapidly. The net effect of this, is equally as damaging to one’s portfolio, although most people would feel less of a pain.

          Like

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