My wife grows up in a household that has zero exposure and a deep distrust for intangible asset class like shares and mutual fund. On the other hand, I grow up in a household that holds favourable view of such asset class.
My parents are in no way investment wizards, they just hold on to things for a really long time – something that I have learnt to appreciate now.
I only start tangling with these at a relative late stage in life. Through the losses, I have formed my opinions when deploying funds into these assets – many of which I am still observing and revising as I suffer more losses 😂 and learn to be humbled.
This is a brief look on how I form these opinions
First, here’s my brief thought of the different investment assets I have tried my hands on:
Disclaimer: NOT investment advice, just based off my personal bias experience.
This is where I started. Given how lack of control one has over mutual fund investment, I might as well put my money into a Fixed Deposit account. Mutual fund is basically something you could either lose money (ouch!) or make very little money.
The risk does not justify the rewards and I would likely never deploy any fund into any mutual fund again.
Property is an interesting and tangible asset class. I have tried “investing” in property with loss, I have since cleared off everything, and the only property I own now is the house I am staying in. (35 years mortgage baby!)
My dad was a property investor of sorts and I grow up watching some of his deals. Time has changed with new regulation and property climate, he is no longer in business. While it remains an interesting investment activity, it is also one that requires a lot more physical work to inspect, survey, bargain, deploy, hold etc. Property investment works only when you have plenty of time, fund and other resource you can deploy.
It is something that is still on my mind, but unlikely I would touch in the next 7-10 years.
Shares / Stocks
This is where I deploy my fund most of the time now, and would be what this article covers mainly.
I have never tried crypto but it is not an investment asset based on my humble opinion.
That is not to say it is not worth holding, or I would never try it. It just means that I might one day step into it but with a very different frame of mind than other treating it like an actual asset class.
Building a Stock Portfolio attempt 1
I registered a stock investment account with a local Malaysian bank brokerage in my late 20s, when I first come back to Malaysia.
My only investment thesis (so to speak!) was to buy stocks from companies I have heard of (many), when they are at the lowest price point in past 12 months. I built up a portfolio of mostly Singapore + some Malaysia stocks with a very short term thinking.
In retrospect, only 20% of the portfolio is worth holding on to, but even then, due to the currency exchange rate and the short term volatility (if you could call it that), I wasn’t seeing any money.
Right before Covid, I sold off my whole portfolio to pay down parts of my mortgage.
I wasn’t planning in particular to go into the stock market again after the initial episode.
I stumbled upon the blog of Singapore financial blogger Kyith called Investment Moat. There are so many articles where he passionately articulate his ideas about financial freedom as well as fundamental analysis of the various company stock performance.
Unreal but I probably was feeling the same passion and excitement from his writings, so I setup an investment account in Singapore with a Singapore brokerage – despite not having the fund and the intention to deploy in short term.
Covid and Portfolio attempt 2
I have refined some of my thesis / opinions since the disbursement of my initial portfolio:
- Buy blue chip stocks only – not just any companies I have heard of
- Buy stock when their price point is ridiculously and unreasonably low
- Have an exit price / exit period in mind
- Ready to walk away if the price isn’t unreasonably low
I follow these thesis very loosely and I was also not in rush to deploy any fund.
Then Covid happened.
And everything suddenly becomes ridiculously cheap. Obviously I didn’t have enough fund to buy everything, I just tried my best to snap up some good ones – and watch the pricing of everything recovered in awe weeks later.
I made some good buy, not because I am smart it is simply a timing issue.
FA, TA and Gambling
I didn’t mention FA (Fundamental Analysis) and TA (Technical Analysis) simply because I don’t practise these.
I am not a day trader and I have decided to hold my portfolio for as long as I can, this means as long as I am confident with the company / industry and I trust I buy at the ridiculously low price, things will go upward. I bet on things going from bad to normal; and not from bad / normal to good.
I also hold one or two assets that I consciously know I am gambling – go big or go home style.
This means I am expecting them to go from bad to good. They have not yield anything and I would breakeven if I sell them now after 2-3 years, but I attempt to continue holding on to this gamble.
Overall, I am very pleased with how my portfolio looks in the long term. I know exactly why I bought each of them and how they contribute to my portfolio building journey.
The right mindset to me is looking long term and understanding that the investment is for wealth preservation instead of wealth generation. This helps me frame my decision better around any fund deployment I plan to make.