Performance Indicators / Dividends
- YTD Time weighted return: 12.66%
- Dividends collected: SGD 3,131.11
- SingTel: SGD 770.40
Sell in May and go away
The great start to the year finally came to a screeching halt with my portfolio declining about $1k to $162k .
May was a great month for dividends as quite a few counters in my portfolio went Ex-Dividend. This led to my best single month of dividends in my almost 6 year investment journey, clocking in at $1,870.55.
Stock performance however was not that fun to look at. Between US-China trade war escalations and price declines due to my counters going ex-dividend, my stock value declined about $4,500. Significant losers during the period were Alphabet, Keppel Corp and Frasers L&I Trust. This was offset by dividends receipts and a small capital injection of about $1,300 from my salary.
I made no changes to my portfolio during the month.
My strategy going forward
Given how the trade war has escalated once again and the STI is headed back to 3100, opportunities should start emerging in the market place. As you may know, I’ve shifted my investment strategy from an all growth no yield strategy last year to a half yield half growth strategy as part of my hope to reduce the volatility of my portfolio. What I didn’t know was that this is referred to as a “barbell strategy”. You can read more about this strategy from this article by Financial Horse.
Unfortunately, the yield side of my barbell has grown to outweigh the growth side. As such, I’ll be focusing more on the growth side of the barbell in my search for opportunities going forward. At the same time, I would continue to aggressively save up excess cash from my salary to build up my warchest to take advantage of these opportunities.
Ring closure progress
Average Move target: 750 cal
All rings closed: 18/31 days
As part of my drive to improve my health, I vowed to keep track of my Apple iOS Activity Ring Closure progress.
This month was pretty horrible for me as I suffered from a flu again as work commitments intensified as well. As a result I was way off the mark in terms of keeping active. I also didn’t have time to write much on this blog as well amidst all these issues in the past 2 weeks.
All this underlines the importance of staying healthy to maintain productivity. I will need to be more conscious on this as I will be taking on more work and study load soon when I start my masters in August.
Blog changes and reader appreciation
I embarked on self-hosting of my blog after Chinese New Year and have been experimenting extensively on the blog layout, SEO and plugins.
Added a search bar
I’ve been constantly grappling with how to let readers quickly and easily find content on my website and I know that my categories and tagging system is a bit atrocious. It would take time for me to slowly figure this out. In the meantime, I’ve added a search bar on the side panel for you all to easily search for anything in particular on my site. Hopefully this can help you easily find what you were looking for.
I started this blog hoping that somebody will be interested in reading what a small fry like me has to say about the markets and investments. As such, I’m always thankful that there are people who see value in my content and subscribe to my blog or like my Facebook page.
To the bumper crop of 41 and 38 people who subscribed to my blog and liked my Facebook page respectively in May, welcome and hope you learnt something from me. Do feel free to reach out to me via email if you have any queries. I’m no investment guru but I’ll try my best to answer them to the best of my ability 🙂
Past Portfolio updates:
2018 Performance Scorecard
2017 Performance Scorecard
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Thanks for sharing your wealth of knowledge. I find them pretty easy to read & helpful!
May I know which stock brokerage platform you are currently using to trade your US stocks? I am not sure if Saxo or Interactive Brokers would be better so would be great to hear if you’ve any advice.
From what I understand, IB is cheaper on a per trade basis, but it has a min comm of USD10/mth, so it may probably end up being more exp for me as I don’t intend to do much trading (more of buy & hold).
Also, may I know how do you maintain your cash in your brokerage account? Do you transfer SGD into the account and convert as per the platform’s FX rates, or do you open a USD/multi currency account and transfer USD directly to your brokerage account? Which would be the wiser way, in your opinion?
Thanks so much for your time to respond to my queries 🙂
Glad to help. I’m not proud of what I’m about to say, but I use Standard Chartered Bank due to pure laziness haha. They used to be the cheapest but not anymore I think. They charge 0.18% min USD10 but no custody fees.
With regards to Saxo vs IB, I agree that IB is great if you trade often. Saxo is cheap per trade at USD3.95 but has a 0.12% annual custodian fee, which can is add up the cost. Some other options you can consider is Charles Schwab (USD4.95 per trade, I don’t find any hidden fees but I may be wrong) and TD Ameritrade (USD10.95 per trade, expensive but great platform).
With regards to forex I’m subject to SCB’s lousy forex spreads. Whether you choose to open a multi-currency account or to use the broker’s spreads really depends on which is more competitive. Unfortunately, I have no visibility on forex spreads on the US platforms so I can’t really give a good answer. I understand SCB is 100 bps spread while Saxo is 50 bps, which is worse than DBS’s multicurrency spreads.
Hope this helps.