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. :-)