Thursday, January 1, 2015

Portfolio Review 2014: Portfolio - 4.1% vs STI + 6.3%

It was a roller coaster year for the Straits Times Index. The STI sank below 3,000 points in February but went on a straight climb to almost 3,400 points in August. After which, due to uncertainties caused by Russia and falling oil prices, following world indices, the STI dipped twice in October and December, before staging a strong rebound,

My portfolio lost about SGD 2,200 in value during the 12 month period, or 4.1%. This makes it the third time I underperformed against the benchmark index.

It was very difficult to tell which my best or worst performers were because I had forgotten to track prices from the end of 2013. But a quick glance suggest that the portfolio loss was contributed by overall weakness.

Although I did not actively monitored my portfolio (mainly because it was tumbling most of the time) 2014 was an active year for me in the stock market. Within the portfolio, I made 10 transactions (2 more if I include Super and F&N additions). I also made a few contra trades involving SGX resulting in a net gain.

2014 Action Item versus Deliverables

I forgot to set out action items for 2014, so I will reuse 2013’s.

Blog: I intend to blog lesser but have interesting posts of at least 400 words.
Reality: I blogged even lesser this year (32 vs 39 posts). Aside from that one posts comparing bloggers, my posts this year were less interesting than 2013’s.

Investments: I pumped 16k in capital in 2013.
Reality: I pumped 30 k in capital in 2014. This meant that there is very limited cash sitting on the sides and I am extremely vulnerable to the market gyrations.

Career: I recently shifted internally in my company to a new position and I have to learn a new market segment. I thus intend to dedicate more time on learning about the segment at work.
Reality: I have spent some time learning about the new market segment that I have been handed but it does not look adequate. More will be required in 2015 and this will determine my job prospects in 2015 which at the moment, do not look very good due to the falling oil price.

Finances: There are multiple objectives within this item
1. Save 1 month's salary worth of emergency fund
2. Setup a joint-account
3. Save up for house (to offset principal) and wedding with use in 3-4 years. 
Reality: I have done none of the three objectives and the monies has been channelled to my investments instead.

Self development 
1. Learn a language or at least attempt to use Bahasa Indonesia a bit more.
2. Go for two more overseas holidays.
3. Exercise at least 2 times a week of at least 30 minutes each time.
4. Eat healthy meals (soupy)  and snacks (fruits and vegetables).
Reality:  I managed four overseas holidays in 2014, all in the second half. There were three short trips to Australia, Thailand and Hong Kong and a longer stay in Korea.

But I have not been able to pickup a new language because there is no defined Bahasa Indonesia course in Singapore. For 2015, I intend to master Mandarin as well as re-learn Bahasa Indonesia.

I picked up a serious injury late into 2014 but otherwise, my exercise has been quite regular. I have also bought an activity counter and this will enable me to track my exercise for 2015.

With regard to meals, there was some level of discipline but after suffering the injury, I loaded up on carbohydrates and this was very damaging. I also drank a fair bit of milk during the initial recovery stage and I believe this led to some weight gain.


  1. Hi, looking at your posts on Jan 2014 and 2015, you do not seem to be beating the index. Why not just invest in index funds? Thanks.

  2. Hi there, I guess the urge to beat the market is just very high. Moreover, in Singapore, the ETFs do charge quite a high asset management fee while not really tracking the STI perfectly (it is synthetic).