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Do you benchmark your portfolio?

The above article appeared in Saturday's papers. For DIY investors like me, there is always a "competitiveness" to see if you are performing better than the indices or the professional fund managers. Otherwise, you might as well hand over your money to them or invest in ETF.

According to the returns presented in the picture above, the professional fund managers and the STI ETF managers seemed to be doing a pretty good job where they generated a return of at least 11% last year. 

Benchmark my portfolio?

Since my SRS portfolio is primarily invested in locally listed stocks, the STI ETF and unit trust focused on the Singapore market are probably the correct benchmarks if I want to use them. 

I haven't benchmarked the returns on my SRS portfolio but if I do, the returns is probably lower than the ~11% recorded by the fund managers last year. My SRS portfolio has seriously under performed last year...sob sob... :(

Do you benchmark your portfolio?

Do you benchmark your portfolio? If you do, what is the rationale for doing this? Is it for information only or does it determine how you allocate your investment capital?

What is the inherent problem with using a benchmark?

The inherent issue with benchmarking my portfolio is that I am not vested all the time. I hold cash as part of my plan to deploy them during a crisis and I do "time" the market in some sense and it is causing a huge "drag" on the performance since cash is only yielding 0.5% per annum.

Similarly, holding cash is not an option for the fund managers.  They are paid to be "invested" all the time and holding cash in excess of redemption needs will invite questions from investors that they are paid to do "nothing". 

I once spoke to a professional fund manager with a reputable asset management firm. He said this to me "you must decide for yourself when you want to exit the unit trust because we have to be invested all the time. We can't sell and hold cash even if we believe the market is toppish and over-valued, otherwise we risk underpeforming against the benchmark.

Lesson: while investing in ETF and Unit Trust enhances the diversification effect and helps you solve the "stock picking" problem, you must be aware they will be more suitable for investors who want to stay invested at all times or investors who don't time the market and use dollar cost averaging as a strategy. (Pls note that I am not saying this is a bad strategy. It really depends on your time horizon and investing temperament). 

I seriously need to buck up and start investing...

I am not sure if you already know the blog - Lady you can be free. It is always inspirational to see a true investor, who against all odds, build up a millionaire portfolio over time and she is definitely enjoying her fruits of investment now. I would aspire to be like her. The reason why i say she is inspiring is because, she has done it and is not a 'slave' to the market. She lets time and compounding play to her advantage but of course, saving up for that initial capital is key.... 

Traders are always in and out of positions and spending time looking for the next trading idea while here we have someone who couldn't care less if the market moves up or down today or tomorrow. She can go travel in peace and then check her portfolio at the end of the month. 

I guess as i grow older, this is the lifestyle which i would want to pursue. Travel the world, sip a glass of wine, enjoy the sunset and let the portfolio takes care of your daily needs. This will be the picture which i am painting for the next 10 years.

My ten year plan

I want to retire by March 2025. By which time, i should have build up a portfolio worth more than $1m generating at least $50,000 in dividend each year.

I record my thoughts and plan down so that i can strive towards that and I want the make investing a part of my habit and hopefully, i can do it and inspire someone else to do it too

Will you walk this journey with me? 

Maybe we can encourage and motivate each other along the way! ^_^  Happy investing.

SRS portfolio - 31 Jan 2015

I am still trying to construct a portfolio that I can hold for a longer term with my two SRS accounts. 

Seems like I made better progress on wifey' account where the Keppel DC Reit moved way above my entry price. I can moved the "stop" to around $1 with enough leeway to let it fluctuate. 

The 50 lots in my Keppel REIT is probably more frustrating. I had previously blogged about my desire to sell down part of it due to its highly levered position (~42%) should the price go up. On hindsight, letting go partially at $1.25 (from my entry price of $1.205) would have made some sense. 

Anyway the share price dropped futher last week and I decided to sell them at ~$1.22. Back to 100% cash again. 

I wish I have more time to do some research and deeper analysis into the stocks and I am actually trying to focus on more "exciting" growth stocks. 

Maybe the Chinese New Year break can allow me to do it... 

Time versus Money

Is it true that when you have time, you have no money and when you have money, you have no time to spend it. 

Worst still, what if you have no time and no money haha. Ok. Need to move to the top right quadrant of having time and have money. Pressing on. ^_^