Since the covid crisis, I had invested more than SGD300-400K into stocks. The amount ploughed into stocks are from my cash in bank as well as profits realised from gold and silver, bitcoin, stocks. In particular Keppel DC REIT returned more than 2 folds and I re-invested into the same stock to make it a “freehold stock” now. But that is only a very small part of my stock holdings, which I intend to progressively make it bigger.
MY PORTFOLIO – MAJORITY IN TECH STOCKS
Today, more than 50% of my stock holdings is in Tech stocks that originate from the US (NASDAQ) and China (HKSE). My biggest holding is Amazon, followed by Alibaba (HKSE). I also hold stocks listed in US such as Apple, Alphabet, Netflix, Cisco, and China Baidu, Pinduoduo and stocks listed in HK such as Alibaba, Tencents, JD.com and Meituan DianPing. In fact, there are other stocks which I do not consider as Tech stocks in my portfolio, such as Tripadvisor in US, both Keppel DC Reit and Netlink in SGX are all also closely related to the Digital world of the future.
WHY I MISSED THE BOAT IN TECH STOCKS
Environment in Singapore Financial World
From the start of my investment journey dated a decade back, I have never doubted that the future will be a world of tech and digital. Nonetheless while I was aware of the future potential of tech world, the environment of the financial world or blogosphere in Singapore never really give me a strong enough conviction that I must invest in tech stocks. Everyone here was only talking about Warren Buffett style of investment “Buy and Hold” or “FA of stocks” or “TA of charts”. And most Singaporeans are mainly interested in stocks or topics such as REITs, Keppel, Sembcorp, SIA, SGX, STI ETF etc, even up to today after the covid crisis.
It is natural that you start investing in your field and stocks in your own country
I regretted the missed opportunity! However, I reckon I was not entirely to blame for the short-sightedness. This is because, it is only natural that you begin investing within your own country’s stock exchange. Also, I was working in the Marine and Oil and Gas, hence it is also instinctive that I invested in stocks I know best. When I started investing, I also spent a great deal of time reading and learning about Fundamental Analysis and to a certain extent, Technical analysis as I attended courses and started blogging thereafter.
It is a learning process
Throughout my investment journey, I read many books, articles and videos by “investment great” such as Benjamin Graham, Warren Buffett, Ray Dalio, Peter Lynch, George Soros, Jim Rogers, Nassim Taleb etc. Yet, none stressed the importance of Tech Stocks.
I became a financial blogger in early 2014, and be it in the local blogosphere or local investment websites or local investor authored books, nobody made a great deal about Tech stocks until today. Next, I ventured into ASX, because of Motley Fool Australia recommending stocks in AU. Fortunately, I divested all my AU stocks few years back. Otherwise, not only I will lose greatly in the stock value, but also incur exchange rate losses as AUD has depreciated significantly against SGD over the years.
Finally until recently, I dwelled into the studies of Gold and Silver, before learning more about Cryptocurrency and also invested in it.
Still, there is no major trigger for the investment in Tech Stocks.
WHY NOW, MY SUDDEN INTEREST IN TECH STOCKS
Last year, a business associate became my good friend. He is in the business of IoT and emphasized to me the explosive future of tech and digital business. I was convinced by him. Then my gal is entering into university this year, and while looking through the subjects in different local universities, I finally decided that SMU School of Info Systems is the best for her. Praise God that she was admitted into it.
Even with all these factors, it does not drive me to buy into Tech listed Stocks up to the covid crisis, except that I own Keppel DC REIT and it is doing very well.
However, this Covid pandemic crisis changes everything. It is an eye-opener. My perspective changed completely. This crisis fortifies the resilience of Tech Stocks in a world that is so different now, and in the future.
Warren Buffett is someone who use to loathe Tech Stocks. Today, Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway (BH) portfolio largest holdings is Apple, valued at USD96.9B of BH’s USD223B total portfolio. This is 43.5%, let alone a further USD1.6B investments in Amazon. WB’s tech stocks’ portfolio is closed to 45%. Refer here for BH portfolio.
ROLF’S FINAL THOUGHTS
Singapore lacking creativity, focus and foresight in Tech
For ten years, nothing serious in this country arouse my interest in Tech Stocks. It also speaks a lot about Singapore as a country lacking foresight into the future. Look at how fast China has grown, when it comes to digital and technology. There are just so many successful and giant tech companies in China. Many smaller tech companies are springing up each day too. My Shanghai friend recently told me about Sky Eye in China where the people in Shanghai are all almost trackable by facial recognition. In Shanghai, almost no taxi can accept cash even several years ago, with all digital payments. I agree it there is no privacy in digital world, but do we have a choice? Do we want to oppose the future, and stay primitive?
How silly I am
It also reminds me of how silly I am NOT to invest in Tech stocks in the very beginning. Afterall, Google, Microsoft and Facebook appears in our everyday life. I also lost count on the number of Apple iPhones I owned. While already subscribed to Netflix since May 2018, yet, I stupidly waited until this month to buy into the stock!
Are there still room to grow?
Yes, the stock prices of Facebook Apple, Amazon, Netflix and Google “Alphabet” (FAANG), Tesla etc are already very high and rise quite a lot! Ask yourself, do you reckon they will stop growing? Do you reckon that if there is a second wave, will it depress the Tech Stocks or will they grow even higher? Even if there is a correction of tech stocks, it present a very good opportunity to buy into it.
I actually believe one day, Amazon will grow so big, that eventually it will build and own complete “Smart Cities” around the world, powered by AI, robots, drones, autonomous vehicles, in a green environment with everything connected to cloud internet. Furthermore, do you reckon that you will stop using Apple Apps or stop using Google twenty to thirty years from now?
How about Alibaba Taobao, Lazada etc, Tencent Wechat, China Google aliked Baidu, E-commerce JD.com, Meituan, Pinduoduo, which all are part of everyday life of Chinese people. Ask yourself if you think that the Tech sector in China is already saturated, or there are still room to grow?
Do remember that China has more than a billion population, and a large part of them are still living in rural and in poverty? China nominal GDP per capita in 2019 is still a mere USD10K.
The Amazon Perspective
Amazon was listed in 1997 with less than USD2 a share. Today the stock is worth USD3,000 a share. Imagine you had invested 1,000 shares back then at USD2 a share, costing you USD2,000. Today after 22 years, your USD2,000 had become USD3 Million dollars.
Better Late than Never – I am still learning….
Regrettably, I admitted that I was so late NOW entering into Tech Stocks. In spite of the lateness, just like my Blog slogan “Better Late Than Never”. I am still a firm believer in the tech stocks changing the world of the future.
That being said, I will also continue to invest in REITs and dividend stocks and have a well mix of other stocks in other industries. I am still holding on to a large part of Cash, Bonds and Precious Metals portfolio which can be converted to cash and take advantage of the low stock price if there is a near-term crisis that drives Tech Stocks price down to attractive level.
In 2017, Warren Buffett’s partner in BH, Charlie Munger said it was a “very good sign” that Buffett jumped into Apple. “It shows either one of two things: Either you’ve gone crazy, or you’re learning,” Munger said. “I prefer the learning explanation.”
Yes, me too… I am still learning every day in my life….