As I recalled the events that happened “the now a year ago”, I was going through some difficult moments in my career. My initial plan was to stay employed for the next 5 years while concurrently investing to achieve my next goal. I never thought that my plans would be eventually disrupted. I tendered my resignation on Dec 2019. I have come to accept it as a normal phase of life to face challenges, be it in our career or in other aspects.
More often than we know, when our plans fail due to circumstances, we would be forced to abort our plans and do a review. Yes, I took quite some time to get myself back together again. My faith kept me going. After a “re-calculation”, I realised it just means an additional 2-3 years to the original 5 years’ target to hit my next goal. I recalled some old sayings you might have heard before that sometimes our “small dreams” are dashed so that we could dream higher. If you had read my previous story, you would have known that my life is full of rejections and setbacks. Whatever demeaning tags you could think of, I had been labelled by others before, for example, “damaged goods”.
However, without the failures and setbacks, there would not be a story to tell. I remembered an occasion during my teens where I did not follow my script on stage and I told the audience that someday I would become a millionaire. Of course, I was publicly shamed as it was a religious setting. I laughed at myself, as I recalled.
Without resigning, I wouldn’t have had more time to read the market and wouldn’t had bought stocks massively during the Mar/April 2020 lows (see April 2020 article) and of course there wouldn’t be EngineerInvest.com. This journey had brought forth many surprises and opened many new doors. I made many new friends and broadened my social network with people whom I wouldn’t have imagined I could ever meet in person such as the ex-Chairman and ex-CEO of a Government Linked Company, ex-CIO of notable funds and social media influencers, etc. I thought that my overall wealth-building process would slow down in 2020 due to “0” active income from employment for a year. On the contrary, it had actually sped up to facilitate the achievement of my next goal subsequently.
Sometimes, we cannot plan forward and we can only connect the dots backwards, when we look back and where everything would eventually make sense. I always believe that there is a higher power guiding our path, shielding us from storms and keep us moving forward. Looking ahead, it does not mean that there would be no more challenges / setbacks but it just means that we can slay one giant at a time, taking on one challenge at a time, as we enter this new year.
If you are entering the new year with some challenges or difficulties, be it due to work / family / finances, I hope that my story could somehow bring you hope, inspire you or encourage you that not all is lost. Every crisis comes with its own set of opportunities. After every low valley, what’s up next is the mountain top. Without the difficulties, the rewards would not be sweet. Without the challenges, there would not be growth.
The greater the setback, the better the reward. More importantly, do not despise small beginnings, because you never know what you might achieve eventually.
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More from EngineerInvest.com:
“Stock Market & COVID-19” where I cautioned (a month prior to the crash) of the possible market tumble & how to protect your portfolio, published Jan 2020.
“EngineerInvest.com’s go-to Charts to Determine Market Bottom” The all-time favourite article where I shared how I determined it was time to buy stocks, published early April 2020.
“10% Dividend Small Cap Stock & a Potential Multibagger” published 16 May 2020. This stock is later sold at more than 40% gain in a month since the post. The transaction was shared in “A 40% Gain Stock (Since our post last month), Recent Trades & “China’s Goldman Sachs”.
“Hunting Tips from "Southeast Asia's Small-cap King, Dr Tan” Thankful to have the “Second Board King of Malaysia” (1998), "Warren Buffett of Asia" (2017) to answer the most commonly asked questions by investors, published on 15 Aug 2020.
“Hunting to Invest in the Potential “Nike of China”” published 7 Nov 2020. Stock has gained >30% from purchase price
My story >> “From N-Level to Masters, From $20k at 19 to over $1m at 33”
Wrapping up the year 2020
Saw that many bloggers had done their portfolio updates end-Dec 2020 but I had gone “missing” for 2 months without any new articles. I was still very much active on Telegram / Facebook.
Many busy weeks and months finalising a partnership, preparing for the very first live webinar in my life and catching up with old friends, old poly lecturers, mentors and family members as the year was coming to the end and we were looking forward to the start of a new year. It’s a yearly affair. I don’t set a KPI for my articles as it’s not my main priority.
My very first webinar happened to be at the Market Insights Virtual Summit 2021. It was a last-minute arrangement and I am thankful to Alvin Chow (CEO of Dr Wealth) for the opportunity to co-present with him during the session as a surprise speaker.
I’m late too in wrapping up and reviewing my 2020 portfolio but overall, it’s been a fruitful 2020!
My 2020 overall returns would be more, if not for the recent Alibaba headwinds that wiped out more than S$60,000 of profits from 9988.hk, as it was one of my largest holdings. I still saw nett profits though and I did not sell a single share of Alibaba, but had added more on Christmas Eve. I have also shared my thoughts on the recent headwinds and transactions over at my Telegram and Facebook Page.
Below are screenshots of my POEMS & IB accounts.
POEMS Portfolio (15/1/20)
IB Portfolio (15/1/20)
Of course, I was still unable to beat my personal record in 2009 where my OSIM bet was a 20X which brought up my overall portfolio returns to more than 200% end-2009. Sometimes, my high-risk bets tend to yield a much higher returns than my main core holdings. Some of the best returns in 2020 happened to be from some of my risky play such as doing “long call option” and warrants with a 1-2years expiry on fundamentally strong underlying stocks that have reaped a 90%-250%. However, options are never my main core holding but more like a supplement or “bonus” to boost returns. As I grow older, I tend to lean a little more towards lesser high-risk plays and hopefully, achieve a more sustainable return in the long run. I mean, it’s not wrong to be aggressive as long as you feel comfortable with your own asset allocation, based on your own convictions. As I grow older, my goal will lean more towards “wealth preservation”, i.e. more defensive play / possibly slightly more government bonds and targeting lower annual returns.
Other of my investment accounts not shown here includes: Dividend / Punting plays, Cryptocurrencies, CPFIS, War Chest in MMF, some bonds, etc.
Apart from improving my IPPT score, a new target set for the year 2021 >> achieving the next million in terms of all assets minus debt. I am considering to upgrade to a new property if the property price does not keep rising, otherwise, I would just stay put for the time being. I have no particular location in mind, just hope to be somewhere close to my parents so that when they are older in the future, it would be easier to take care of them.
Lastly, I do not believe in “get rich quick” schemes which can come in many forms to trigger greed amongst netizens. I am not against buying Toto (which my wife does occasionally) but just an example, judging from the long queues especially when the jackpot hits the millions. There is always this hope to strike rich in the shortest possible time. Likewise, I do hope that someday will got the chance to strike Toto!
Source: Awesome Singapore
Investment is not gambling; it is a timeless principle to building wealth. If it is pure gambling, there would not be sovereign wealth funds that invest for their countries. Of course, there will be years with big returns but not always. It takes money to make money. Eventually, we want it to be sustainable through a balanced asset allocation based on your comfort level. I took 17 years to get to where I am.
Partnering Dr Wealth
Initially, I was offered a part-time Adjunct Lecturer teaching position at a local polytechnic and I was about to accept the offer. At the same time, the opportunity with Dr Wealth came. Then, I thought why not teach investing instead? Afterall, the hours are lesser and I do not have to travel so far to poly to do teaching which includes overseeing practical lessons as well.
Moreover, it’s a topic of my interest, as compared to “Laplace Transform”, “Fourier series” and “PID control” (you would have heard of these if you’re in Engineering 😅). This is akin to any “side hustle” / part-time role; not like “die die” I have to do it full-time in order to sustain my lifestyle.
Just to share, I’m always interested in “side hustles”. I kind of enjoy the feeling of adrenaline rush whenever I’m working on new projects / multiple “side hustles”. I have listed below some of the “side hustles” / ventures (not the full list!) that I had done over the past 17 years, which was also somewhat instrumental in building up my wealth, apart from investments. If you were a NTU (Nanyang Technological University) student (from the year 2008 to 2011) and had received a flyer selling light-weight foldable bicycles back then, it’s from me 😅. Well, all the web domains are now defunct, as these were my old ventures.
Anyway, a happy 2021 to all!
Updates from Telegram / Facebook page
Here are some of the selected posts (screenshots) from my Telegram & Facebook page. If I did any trades, sometimes I would also share it there, such as the recent one for China Telecom on 8th Jan 2020 which happens to be the exact all-time low recently. Do join us to check out our previous and future sharing!
PS: I will be removing my Instagram account as I would like to streamline to just Telegram and Facebook Page. Do consider to follow both Telegram & Facebook page, reason being that I use them as a backup for each other -- in case Telegram fails, there’s still Facebook.
Not encouraging any trades and my positions might change without notice. Just sharing the stock ideas for reference and learning purposes only. Do not follow trade! Practise due diligence and do check out our full disclaimer.
Cheers & Great Week ahead!!
Disclaimer: Just sharing from experience as I have put my own money into the stock market over the period of 17 years. I am not a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Charterholder and I do not have any finance-related qualifications. Please also check out our full disclaimer.
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