2015 – a year to be forgotten
It's nearing end of the year. To recap, I am sure 2015 is not a fantastic year as far as most investors are concerned. 24 August this year aka “Black Monday” is the day when hundreds of billions were wiped out in stock markets worldwide. The horrendous sell-off in equity was a result of China’s devaluation of the yuan due to economy slowdown. The STI benchmark was not spared. From above 3500 points in April, it dived below 2800 points in the month of September. My stock portfolio shed considerable weight as well.
Yet, swings up and down is not an uncommon sight in the world of investing. Investors who owned superior companies at reasonable prices should still stand to benefit over the long term and should not be distracted by the short term upheavals in the financial markets. The market has since rebound. STI rise above 3,000 points this week.
The rally in stocks is further heightened when ECB hinted on more monetary easing to come, while China PBOC had cut interest rates for the six times in a year.
Is this exactly good news for investors?
I am not sure. What I am sure is there are no guarantee which direction the market is heading next. Given the uncertain roads ahead, I prefer to do very little for now (not exactly nothing though) in equity investments until more visibility. However I am not suggesting that you should follow me. If you are confident of your investment strategy, please go ahead with no stopping.
What I am doing now, if not investing in stocks?
Below are some of things I did lately, amid my fewer activities in the stock market.
Go for a tour
Take a deserved BREAK. Go tour to recharge. This is what I just done. Refer here.
Started meditating - find inner peace!
I had started meditating since a while back. It is a fantastic spiritual exercise, aside from my regular physical exercise routine. While still a beginner, I have yet to master the art of meditating. Guess the more important thing to do now is to instill the discipline to meditate daily, which I am still struggling to achieve.
I was recommended “Burst Training” from one of my friends for anti-ageing. Yes, I am nearing big 4, and definitely have phobia of ageing. :-) An American consultant to doctors, – Dr Pompa, initiated this type of exercise regime. I tried it for awhile now and it seems to work perfect for me. The idea is to spend less time in my exercise and yet achieve maximum health benefits by increasing our growth hormone. All you need is approximately 15 minutes for each session of workout. For 1 minute, I will push myself “hard” until I am gasping for breath. Then rest for 2 minutes. And repeat 4-5 times. Any type of workout is ok, as long as you are pushing your body hard during the 1 minute of bursting. You will need to rest on the next day, for your body to recover, and more importantly, "to burn fats!"
Remember, “Fats isn’t bad in itself. It is the inability to burn fats, that is bad!”
For more information, see video below to understand more.
More focus in work
Year end is normally the time for companies to dish out bonus (if any) and performed job review. Time bias indicates people or bosses tend to remember the recent events better. Therefore this is the best time for you to work even harder to score some extra points for your work performance report card.
While my industry is getting quieter with lesser new projects, I continue to be relatively busy at work. Visiting clients, overseas colleagues visiting, traveling, internal training, conferences etc, still take up bulk of my time. I reckon this is the best time that I can deepen my relationships with clients and colleagues.
Stay engage to the financial world
2015 is a dismal year, but we should never be disappointed and completely detach ourselves from the stock market going forward. Instead, I continue to read financial news each day. In the morning, I read Business Times and Today. At night, I watch Bloomberg TV and find time to read financial blogs/articles. During travel, I also read books.
Other financial products
For me, this is also a good time to set sights or learn other financial products. For instance, I bought Singapore Savings Bonds which I think it is a great financial instrument. It gives almost risk free return of > 2.5% over 10 years. Precious metals are also catching my attention.
It is important to create a stock watchlist and a plan, to take advantage of market plunge, when it happens. Refer to Motley fool article “what I plan to do when the market crashes.” I created mine, how about you?
One thing lead to another – New tap of income!
I started this blog with the intention to sharpen my writing and share my thoughts and experiences. Recently a friend was looking for a freelance Oil and Gas writer for her company. Since I am working long enough in the industry, I was approached to help introduce writers to her.
Bingo! I recommended myself instead. After seeing some of my O&G articles here, I am now their freelance writer. I had since written several articles over the past months and manage to generate an additional “tap” of income! It is a classic example of how one thing can lead to another without "over planning" sometimes.
So maybe at times, it pays to “JUST DO IT!”
Ultimately, I am still very focus to have a balance H2F3. Read my earlier article here on what exactly is Rolf’s H2F3! Family time with my kids is extremely important.
So there you have it. This is almost what I had been busy with lately!
How about you?