Although 2015 is not my first year investing in the stock market, it is my first time investing in the Singapore market. Previously, I was focusing on the US market mainly due to two reasons:
1) The minimum to invest in many of the Singapore companies was relatively high (compared to the US) due to the minimum purchase of 1000 shares. I was a poor student then hence this was a fairly big deterrent. However, this is no longer true as the minimum number of shares has been revised to only 100 since January 2015.
2) I could not easily get information and statistics about Singapore companies. At least not for free and/or via website with a simple & clean user interface. As my software skills continued to improve due to my day job, I thought that maybe I could create what I wanted, myself.
At first, this was meant to be a personal project to aggregate data and generate statistics about Singapore companies to assist me with my investment decisions. As my project grew, I thought that perhaps it would also be of use to many others hence in March 2015, I decided to make SGXcafe available for public use.
So, how did my portfolio and SGXcafe fare in 2015?
1) Firstly, I would like to thank everyone for using SGXcafe, especially those who took the extra effort to drop me a thank you note, suggestions, bug reports, etc. You guys know who you are! It is certainly encouraging to know that real people are enjoying SGXcafe. Thank you!
2) Although my portfolio did not beat the market in 2015, I was able to achieve my goal of having a diversified portfolio with good dividend yield. It currently has a lower volatility and higher dividend yield than ES3 (an ETF tracking the Straits Times Index). I would attribute these to SGXcafe since I rely solely on SGXcafe to discover, analyze, and decide which stock to add into my portfolio. Click here to see my portfolio.
1) This was not a good year to start investing in Singapore market as STI dropped more than 10% and my portfolio is currently down 4.8% (including dividends). However, this might actually be a blessing in disguise since I got to start accumulating Singapore companies shares at a lower valuation. I guess I will only truly know in time to come.
2) Although I don’t expect to earn big money from SGXcafe, I do hope that SGXcafe can at least cover its own cost as I have been paying for it out of my own pocket every month. One way that I know of is via AdSense, but throughout 2015, Google has rejected my application multiple times 🙁 However, I found another advertiser, and I was approved just as I was penning this article! Seems like things are already looking up for 2016!
1) In 2015, I mainly focused on aggregating data and building the infrastructure of SGXcafe. Now that I have a good amount of fundamental and technical data stored, I would like to leverage on them to generate insights and build tools that do so. That means that you will see more articles like “A Simple Trend Analysis of Dividends” and features like iScreener in 2016. Stay tuned!
2) Another thing that SGXcafe had been able to gained in 2015 is a decent amount of users. To date, usage has mainly been one way (SGXcafe to you). In 2016, I would like to make it two-way, in the sense that users will have more ways to contribute to SGXcafe beyond comments. This is so that we can have a more dynamic community where everyone can learn from everyone.
Happy New Year, and have a great investing year ahead!