Thursday, 10 November 2016

Latest Updates - Portfolio, Market and Life (The Good and Bad News)

It's been more than three weeks since my last post. This is probably one of the longest breaks between posts for me since I started blogging in Mar 2014. Perhaps, it will be the case going forward at least for a while. To start, let us recapitulate the last update on my portfolio, market and life, here

Portfolio Brief 

Very similar to last update except I further disposed more stocks to accumulate cash during this period. Super Group acquisition news and GLP rumored sale caused their stock prices to surge and I took opportunity to offload. 

Bad news
I also accepted substantial % losses in Overseas Edu as I see no sign of short-term recovery in the International School market. The worst news of all is my stake in Swissco (trading halt now). Mentally, I am prepared for total loss.

Good news
I am feeling very comfortable now with less than 10% (current value) of my total portfolio holding in stocks. Very little action and likely to remain the same in the short term. 

Work 

Bad news
It needs no explanation of the market as almost all companies within the sectors are struggling. There are no sight of the bottom yet even after two years of plummeted oil price. 

I speak with confidence that more than half of the people I know working the industry have already left. It is almost entering a state of depression now, as many people I know in the industry are feeling so stressful and fearful to lose their jobs. It does not matter how hard you work, because there are simply only a handful of projects.

Good news
I too am being demoralized. Nonetheless, I try not to succumb to fear and worries of losing the rice bowl. Those who follow my blog for a while know that the pessimistic and prudent views I taken since last year definitely help me to prepare myself financially and mentally. In these times of uncertainty, a well constructed plan B need to be in place so that a new career endeavor can be activated if plan A fails. That said, I shall not leave to my own will, but for things to happen by itself, if it does happen. 

Market

Good news 
Things still does not look so bad on the surface with no sign of crashing. Wait a minute.... this article is actually drafted before Trump’s victory!

The STI did shave off a tad % after Trump’s triumph, but it quickly rise again. Signs of optimism? Anyway, I am not extremely perturbed by Trump’s victory. I am neither supporters of him nor Clinton.

Bad news 
Trump’s victory signals the end of TPP. This worries Singapore leaders. A seminar I attended in January this year had Mr. Kishore Mahbubani mentioned the importance of TPP to Singapore. Refer here.

For the market, I take a quite different views compared to many others. I reckon if there are no signs of stock market sharp crashing, instead of something to cheer about by many, it is actually even worse.

In my opinion, the Global Economy is entering into a perilous state that many leaders in this generation will have neither experience nor capability to tackle it effectively. Trump, Clinton or Obama…. Nah! Even Ronald Reagan or Clinton of the past can do very little! Whoever leads, pale in comparison to the big global picture now.

For Singapore, during AFC or GFC we saw a sharp crash to the bottom and the quick recovery. I anticipate it to be different this time! An unusual situation seems imminent, where the entire world economy will be seeing a slow and gradual decline over a prolonged period of time. It appears to me that it will difficult to predict the bottom unlike the last few major economic crises! 

Therefore leaders of all countries are going to find it so tough to cope, and some weaker leaders are likely to make decisions that only appear effective in the short term but catastrophic in the long term. 

I hope not, but we shall see. 

Life 

Bad news
Anyway I had been spending lots of time meeting many friends recently. To my sadness and surprise, there were as many as three divorce cases I heard. 

To add to the woes, two friends are seriously ill without immediate cure, and many are in work and financial related distress and anguish. 

It is almost liken an evil spiritual storm coming like a whirlwind destroying health and family relationships, where just few years ago, people are still cheering for exponential growth of material wealth.  All good things have to come to an end?  

Good news 
Relationships with family and friends are very strong as we (my family) were revealed to the true meaning in life. 

I also had been very happy doing Parent Volunteer work in my child's future potential school, getting to know many nice parents in the process of doing so. 

The spiritual wealth my family experienced lately also overshadowed that of the material wealth. There are indefinitely more love, peace and joy and true freedom in my life, rather than just financial freedom.

The pursuit of financial freedom can often lead us finding one freedom, and yet falling into the enslavement of another without knowing it.

Last and most important of all, a new addition to the family is coming soon. :-)


26 comments:

  1. Hi Rolf

    Congratulations! This year is a fruitful years for many bloggers. I know many of them, including me, are expecting new member of the family

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi FD,

      Congrats to u. It is great. Yes indeed it is fruitful, but my harvest come next year.

      Delete
    2. Most of the bloggers' harvest coming next year.

      We must be all motivated by the enhanced baby bonus. Haha.

      Delete
    3. Hi FD,

      Haha... indeed it's a big harvest I am looking forward to.

      Actually I will have preferred this year to offset my income tax bcos from next year onwards not sure if will still be employed.

      But anyhow, I am unaware of the enhanced bonus. Thanks for informing.


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  2. Hi rolf

    Congra ! It was a depressing blog till the last line !

    Yes. I also agree that the economy is getting worse though leaders are trying to slow down the effects. Scary. Thus me saving more than before. But that will be worse for economy. Contradicting

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Anoy,

      Sorry for the negative outlook on the economy and world because that is really what is reflected as I seen. Contrast to that, personally I am joyful and optimistic. Therefore blog can be depressed but the person must not! :-)

      Yeah... saving more is bad for economy but I think it does make sense for you and I hope you are happy and positive too!

      Delete
  3. Replies
    1. CW, I think this is one good initiative, although the effectiveness is a ?

      Delete
  4. Rolf,

    Glad your compass is pointing towards the true meaning of life ;)

    I'm feeling so left out now; everyone is having babies!

    I go now to play with the neighbourhood cats...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ....Here I am still waiting for a better entry price to enter into a cat company...

      Delete
    2. Hi Jared - your time will come! Do not lose hope!

      Delete
  5. Hi Rolf,

    Have always enjoyed your posts. And indeed to add on more pessimism technology is disruptive with robots being able to replace many jobs and income disparity widening. I feel like a dinosaur when i see kids as young as 7 programming python. Im quite fearful for myself too.

    On the side note, your post brings some relief as i know im not alone in feeling this way.

    Regarding the markets, everyone seem to be holding back and keeping cash like B, my colleagues, yourself and im on a buying spree with no reason why im doing it, just because everyone is holding cash....

    Its really difficult to predict the bottom not only now but last time also leh....

    Well...wish you well for your job and i think bring thankful to all the blessings like your kid, your wife and family who is still there to love you keeps life more positive ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi SGDiv,

      Thanks for the compliment. I appreciate it. Perhaps you will see a more diff Rolf and blogposts nowadays?

      Thanks for sharing quite similar view, Frankly, I am not too sure if the ever "improving" technology is good for the world.

      Each time, something more "efficient" due to technology unravel, it seems like business becomes more competitive with lower margins and the average people have to work longer hours for the same remuneration.

      As for holding cash, for those who follow this blog, I had been advocating for quite awhile already even when market still seem to be quite good last year.

      If you realize, I am holding quite a lot of "metals" which is still fairly uncommon now.

      Nowadays, I do not advocate as much as I did last time. In fact, I had not been advocating. I tend to have the gut feeling of not being align to the mainstream thinking normally.

      Therefore, maybe also why I am not quite a popular blogger as majority tend to like to listen to things pleasing to the ears.

      Lastly thanks for the well wishes and I also wish that all blessings love, joy and peace will fill you and your family.

      Delete
  6. Replies
    1. Hi UN - thank you so much. Hope to hear your good news sooner than expected too.

      Delete
  7. Hi Rolf,

    Congrats on your next family member :) If work can't bring you happiness, I guess we have to find other things to make us happy. Ultimately, being happy is the whole point haha!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi LP,

      Thanks for the well wishes. The several years indulging into the stocks and financial market eventually led me to a revelation that not even happiness is the whole point. Bcos if we are happy, at the expense of others, then not the whole point. And the definition of happiness is a mystery also. I reckon, if ever one day, we meet, I will able to share more. Remember our dec appointment.. hahaha

      Delete
  8. Replies
    1. Hi SR, thanks for the well wishes. May you see your sweet retirement too soonest!

      Delete
  9. Congrats Rolf!

    making full use of the downturn eh! more time on hand equal to more time to make babies..
    and as one minister said, you only need a small space to make babies!
    thanks for keeping up the replacement rate numbers up for Sgp!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi FC,

      Thanks for the well wishes. Hope u r doing well also. I am afraid my numbers can't help much but if it helps, it is good. :-)

      Delete
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