September 2015: monthly update

September was a month for emerging market bears. Stocks remained under pressure and the overall mood is getting worse with lots of negative news crowding the headlines while our little island is covered in persistent, unhealthy haze. How did my portfolio develop in these tough times?

Portfolio performance

In September the value of my portfolio increased by SGD 2,755 or 4.5% to a total of SGD 64,096. This was made up of fresh investments of SGD 2,973 which were reduced by a paper loss of SGD 218.

I should have been able to save more money, but went on a big vacation (again!) to Japan which was not cheap, but a great experience in many ways. Using Airbnb instead of fancy hotels, avoiding impulse purchases and eating in some really local joints reduced the costs a bit.

Portfolio value vs. targer

On a brighter side I am doing quite a good job with regards to my yearly investment plan. I am currently very well on track and am hoping to exceed my plan significantly.

Investment vs. target

Portfolio allocation


As you can see I sold my high yield bonds. They turned out to be a very profitable investment and netted me a solid return, but overall I never felt comfortable owning this asset class. I used the proceeds from the sale to buy another 500 shares of the SPDR® Straits Times Index ETF.

Why I am not worrying about the market

In April I bought quite a lot of Vanguard FTSE Asia ex Japan High Dividend Yield Index ETF at a price of HKD 22.65. Today they are worth HKD 17.14 a share. Why am I not worrying, running around with my head on fire?

The reason is of course that I believe in Asia Pacific as a region in the long run and I am planning to hold on to my investment for at least another 8-10 years. During this time markets will go up and down quite a lot, probably even crash and recover. In times like these I stick to the plan and am grateful that I can lower the cost basis of some of my positions.

How do you feel about the market? What is your strategy?

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