Finance Sharing 2022

 31 December 2022

In a year where the market went on a slow burn punctuated with interest rate hikes, inflation worries and job jitters, my net worth managed to grow by 22%. CPF led the way but what surprised me was that savings rate improved, compared to previous year. With the extra cash, some were converted into fixed deposit, SSB and Tbill, thus preserving value and future purchasing power. I'm glad to have gotten the last Tbill at 4.28% after bidding at 3.95%. One new thing I learnt this year is options trading. Starting in May, there has been at least one trade per month. So far, the results have been kind and it really opened up a new horizon in terms of income generation. Next year, I expect the global market to fall with Europe leading it. The cause is sticky energy prices since the traditional sources are at loggerheads. With that, I had to renew the electricity plan at 29.5 cents per kwh which left me a little teary eyed. There's still room for more increases in interest rate but should be peaking. When that happens, I'm going to lock in longer periods to maximize returns. Overall, it's been a lucky year. Amazing and happy, wishing it continues.

30 November 2022
Could the Santa Claus rally still happen? Perhaps the fundamentals are no good as broad indicators continue to show high inflation and China experiencing a mini meltdown in their Covid resistance efforts. I believe things are on the right trajectory. Unemployment looks manageable even as companies are expected to report lower profits. The coming month should be a time to rebalance portfolios to be resilient towards an anticipated recession. My first Tbill got redeemed, thus completing the transaction and understanding the mechanisms behind. In the latest offer, I made a first competitive bid at 3.92% but failed by a mere 0.02%. Fortunately, the SSB application was fully filled, another one in the bag and hopeful on the next one. The FTX failure definitely spurred me to redeem the ETH balance in Nexo account and leave some XRPs behind. S$3500 was exchanged for AUD and put into fixed deposit. Overall portfolio increased by 1.8% as I belatedly include the value of SSBs under CDP custody.

31 October 2022
I am beginning to see the light at the end of the interest rate hike tunnel. By this, I mean the final big one of 50-75 basis point by the US Fed should happen in November. Thereafter, it should be 25 basis points for a few times until as and when it's necessary. I'm guessing the eventual maximum rate would be 4.75% but this won't hold up for long. This is due to the incoming recession wave and an escalating geopolitical tension. Along the way, the USD will give up some of its recent outsized gains. If something major happens to knock the wind out of the global economy, then the money printers would be reactivated, thereby reigniting another round of asset appreciation. The main point here is to start looking for any value laden asset that could potentially be the trophy of yield hungry investors. Looking at the overall, this was a net zero month. Cash was taken out to apply for Oct SSB, setting up a new Poems account and stock values decreased with market trend. These were offset by income and crypto's increase. Meanwhile, volatility should continue until we see a concrete shift in China's Covid policy or the end of Putin's ambitions or a conclusion to US mid term election and even Malaysia's. Corporate earnings should be great but the warnings about the bumpy ride ahead will be played out.

30 September 2022
DBS has continued to raise the FHR and that meant another round of mortgage increase is imminent. I have to push harder for higher returns to compensate. One simple way is to make use of the promotional savings deposit rates such as SCB esaver by transferring excess cash over to enjoy a short interest bump. I did not apply for this month's SSB as the overall interest rate environment is predicted to get much higher so I thought to leave aside spare cash to await the opportunity. Options trading is going well but in a risky market, I'm being extra cautious not to over extend trade parameters and likely to remain so till year end. Some disturbing signs were clear. Stocks were in freefall in the final week of the month, Tiger Brokers raised the equities' margin to mitigate market risk, currencies were generally declining against USD and the Singapore property measures were further tightened. My portfolio was flat, consisting of 10% equity losses month on month but buffered by small stock wins and salary contribution. I'm waiting for the market to calm down and plan to buy US stocks to go along with my option trades. How the situation unfolds depends much on the global actors in their war against inflation, economic depreciation, humanity, technology displacement, energy disruption, climate change effects etc. The key is to be patient as doing nothing at times may be the better outcome.

31 August 2022
The reporting season threw up little surprise as majority of companies announced multiple folds improvement compared to last year's numbers. Among my stock portfolio, I'm glad to say they were among the positive ones except for ST Engineering. Fortunately, I had previously entered at a much lower price so a bit of downside bias at the moment does not dent my confidence in the company. Also, I continued to add 1200 shares of Straits Trading at $3.25. After the Fed's speech, markets tumbled which was to be expected given the strong economic indicators. Since the bearish market is expected to persist for a while, nothing much to do except wait and meanwhile, add more Tbill at 2.98% yield. Makes me wonder whether to continue with SSB if the comparative rates are so close but just in case, I applied $5000 for the September offer of 2.8%. Another matter under consideration is whether to put cash between CPF OA or SSB. At the moment, my thoughts are that OA has compounding effect so probably gives it an edge, if I don't need cash until retirement age. Crypto assets are in hibernation. War chest is dwindling and I shall observe further before any action.

31 July 2022
It was another successful application, this time for July's 6-month T bill yielding 2.93%. In total, I have $20000 already poured into this investment category. Also, the SSB offered an average of 3% over 10 years and felt it was time to get my feet wet in this. Put in a modest $3000 and intend to step up the amounts over the coming months with anticipated increasing yields on the horizon. The crypto portfolio is well on its own and Coinhako seemed to have less options for staking nowadays, thereby preventing any form of trade. The Fed did not disappoint the market by applying another 0.75% rate hike and hence the immediate rally afterwards. I have been monitoring the AUD fixed deposit rate and saw an increase of about 0.1% in the past month, currently at 1.185%. Just waiting for a greater rate before I commit. Overall assets increased due to crypto's rebound and slight improvement in stock returns.

30 June 2022
Things were little changed except for a 40% drop in crypto value in accordance with market sentiments. No positions were initiated in crypto as the fallout from the Luna effect continued. This had sapped market confidence which I think will remain low for quite a while. Nevertheless, the capital markets move on as the Fed raised interest rates by a bigger than expected 0.75%. For two weeks after that, the indices dropped sharply lower as investors looked for a safe harbour. For me, it's the banks, consumer related, Retis and healthcare stocks that should be slightly buffered. As such, 500 shares of OCBC at $11.75 were purchased with a long term view. Also sold an AMD put option and expect to reap US$30 if it goes right. I'm waiting for the home loan letter to arrive soon and inform about the new mortgage repayment amount. Fortunately, the next 3 years' interest rate will be capped at 1.8%. Well, I could have gotten an even better rate earlier but hesitated. Looking forward, the Singapore Savings Bond rate has gone above CPF OA, so I should be bidding in the next tranche. Another pot that I'm growing is AUD for potential deposit interest, capital appreciation and perhaps kids' future education if they can make it. 

31 May 2022