Saturday, May 17, 2014

Blogging Direction, Personal Updates

Amidst the massive amount of information around us and especially on the web, I've been thinking the past few days about how I can better differentiate myself from the throngs of over financial bloggers out there.

In the Singapore blogosphere, there are actually many fantastic financial bloggers. I know, because I stalk their every post. I really love reading the viewpoints of other Singaporeans, especially when it comes down to issues quite unique to us here.

I've decided that while I might post on my equity buys and other nuggets of information there, I would rather try to be niche and talk about things that I know better. I think that most people that like equities would be much better served by other bloggers out there. Don't get me wrong, I like equities and I will invest in them. However, I much rather take a big picture approach and focus on other aspects of asset allocation, since the equity department is so well served!

Currently as of now, my portfolio that is invested looks about 5% equities, 35% precious metals and 60% bonds. I have to admit, my foray into equity investments has been slow and steady. I just can't bring myself to invest in equities when the fundamentals are telling me that this is likely a horrible time, if looked at a long-term perspective. So don't think me of anything close to an expert when it comes to equity investments!

My first investment was a bond fund, and I've quite enjoyed bonds so far. My bond portfolio is now currently very mixed, with allocations to the US, EM, IG and even TIPS. None of them are underwater and all of them have broken even on the sales charges. In fact, since slowly building up that portfolio since August last year, I'm currently up 2.1% so far!

Sure, it's nothing to shout about, but bond funds do have a 0.75% sales charge and on-going management fees, so I still think I'm doing not too badly, especially since I continually add to my position every few months, making it hard to compare on an annualized basis!

In the near future, I would like to write a series on why Singaporeans might invest in bonds, what are the choices available, the pro's and con's and how to go about doing it. Personally, I don't think that there are many other Singaporean bloggers that are covering the bond segment of the investment universe.

Following that same line of thought, I think I would like to expand my coverage on precious metals as well. AK does have a blog on precious metals, but it isn't posted on very frequently. Other than that, there are a few other blogs that have the occasional post on precious metals and seem to be fans themselves, but their coverage doesn't seem to be comprehensive enough.

Similar to bond investing, I also plan to do a series that I hope will be of great use to all Singaporeans that are considering investing in precious metals. I want to create a series that will be THE guide to precious metals investing in Singapore, why you might want to do it, and what are the options and ways to start investing in it. As opposed to other Asian countries, I think precious metals have clearly fallen out of favour to the average Singaporean. How many people have any precious metals investments that you know of? I think my aim will be to help anyone who is interested to get a good headstart by gathering all the information that might be needed and prime them to know what to expect when they start investing!

Of course, all these plans sound great, but can I actually do it though? I have been busy with a big work project and every day a new problem comes to replace an old problem we just solved. On top of that, I've been quite drained from studying and worrying about my CFA level 1 exam in a few weeks time. I just attended the mock exam and things does not look good. I still have to be active sometimes too, so I try to work out when I'm not too tired. Add that to my new year's resolution of meeting up friends once a week and I'm totally burned out.

I don't know if you've noticed, I've stopped my portfolio allocation updates! One of the reasons is that of course I've been busy. Another bad reason is actually that my portfolio is currently stagnating in the sense that I've invested all that I am willing to invest. Unless something very compelling appears, I don't want to increase my exposure to financial assets and I am quite fine with my current overall portfolio. I still should update my numbers though, in anticipation of posting them in the near future once I start back up again!

Anyway, that's about it. Expect very sparse posting from me for the next few weeks while I tackle my CFA. After that though, if I pass, I promise I will definitely work hard on delivery the series for bond and precious metals investing!

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