Surprise! STI is the Best Performer

Surprise! Surprise! Over the last two quarters, STI was the best performer compared to Hang Seng Index and even S&P500!

It gained 28% over the last two quarters with 2/3 of that gain made in the Oct-Dec 2020 quarter. In comparison, Hang Seng gained 22% and S&P 500 18%.

Wow, nice job STI!

Like the saying going, a rising tide raises all ships – STI’s buoyancy has certainly lifted the value of my investment over that period too. As my regular readers would know, bulk of my investment remains in Singapore listed companies, though I have been increasing my investment in Hong Kong and US markets in the last 2-3 years.

It always feel good to see that the market value of our investment increases over time.

And what a change it was from last year. At the same time last year, the entire mood in the market was completely different. It was hyper-pessimistic as the COVID-19 virus started its global tour from China to SE Asia to Europe and America. Lockdown quickly became a necessarily norm and as a result, all economic activities literally grind to a halt.

But all that should be largely over now, thanks to the vaccine which was worked on and produced in a breakneck speed. It is amazing what we can do when we put our mind and focus into it. In fact, for myself, I should be getting my first dose of the vaccine by end of this month. Looking forward!

In the last quarter, I had made some headway into increasing the holding of my overseas equities. It is 26.2% of total equities today, up 2% from end Dec 2020. My index portfolio is also rising in tandem nicely. They have gained at the expenses of my local equities investment, which is ok as I am looking to diversify away from too many Singapore listed companies in my portfolio.

Photo by Kammeran Gonzalez-Keola on

Will I sell out all my Singapore holding?

NO … Singapore listed companies are in my local currency and therefore, I don’t take on forex exposure unlike in the case when I invest in overseas companies.

Furthermore, the Singapore companies pay good dividends, especially the REITs. To add icing to the cake, as a local, there is no tax on the dividends that I received. This is unlike for in US companies that I invested when I have to pay 30% withholding tax of the dividends, which is actually quite painful.

Let me share some KPIs at end of Q1 2021 for records,

(1) Dividend Yield of Equities – 1.23% (tracking nicely to my year end target of 4.5%)

(2) Dividend Yield of Index Portfolio – 1.05% (also tracking nicely to my target of 3.0%)

(3) US and HK holding – 26.2% of total equities (versus year end target of 28%)

(4) Debt is 22% (working down towards year end target of 20%)

(5) Average Top-10 equities holding is 2.85% (keeping within my target of 3.0% as I don’t want to concentrate my holdings)

So, things seem to be moving in the right directions.

Fingers crossed, I hope things would continue to get progressively better.

But as we all know, in stock market, the only constant is that there is no certainty. Things can change very quickly as we have seen over the years.

So my strategy has been to remain nimble, don’t over commit, don’t over leverage (i.e. don’t be too greedy in another words) while keeping a healthy war chest and be ready to deploy it when the opportunity arises. It would come, trust me, just a matter of time.

Meanwhile, I stay invested in good established companies with visible growth plan, resilience to future changes and pay good dividends and wait for black swan opportunity to accumulate good companies at bargain price and then ride the recovery with them for some wealth growth.

Sounds very easy right?

But it is extremely difficult to stay the course because there would be temptations, fear, greed and unexpected turn of events that would easily put us off-track.

I found it useful to remind myself constantly of my investment philosophy and defined strategy to keep me grounded.

Before I end off, let me share my Top-10 equities holding at end Q1 2021 with you (and keep it as a record here):

1Netlink Trust
2Frasers Properties
3Ascendas Reit
7OUE Commercial Reit
8Manulife Reit
10MapleTree Industrial Reit

Surprise! Surprise! Its Netlink Trust at the Top. Would share more next time how it sneaks in and captures the top seat.

Meanwhile, have a nice Easter holiday and stay safe!



2 thoughts on “Surprise! STI is the Best Performer

  1. I hold quite a bit of STI as well – finally our (relatively) cheap stocks with decent, so-so growth and healthy balance sheets get some love!

    Liked by 1 person

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