Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Random thoughts: 15 years dabbling with stocks

I remember my very first stock buy. It was SIA. My brokerage then was jassion? Can't remember the name now, it was acquired by UOB Kay Hian soon. 

It was a $7 stock when I bought it after September 11. I bought only 200 shares. SIA has SIA 200 then. It is a bagger. 

It turns out, it is is the only bagger. I knew nuts about shares then, but I had a bagger. Ironic, if u ask me. I knew nothing  about FCF, growth prospecting, DCF etc.

I didn't need to hold it for donkey years either. If I remember correctly, the holding period is slightly more than a year. 

15 years... 

I lost almost all my university savings in CAO fiasco. Stop investing for a while, and re-enter the market during march 2009, buying only 3 lots of STI ETF and some OCBC 4.2 % preference shares at 80 cents when Par is $1.

Then I got mesmerize by s-chips. I got 20% trading profits in contra, 50% profits from Gao Xian, and I thought I might be able to make a living off buying and selling shares. 

15 years, I thought it's a long time to be zen about the market. Although short of a real bull-bear cycle with full skins into the game. I thought I could at least gotten the mind equation ready. 

Not true. Ironic 

Remember I boast about selling Venture and YZJ at 40 and 30% profits? Well, both formally cross the 100% gain today. I miss 2 more naggers after cogent again.

Venture hurt particularly strongly because, I have think hard about my "trading disposition" will never net me a bagger. So I thought of using advance order or trailing stop. I now realise the advance order and trailing stop can be applied in the mind. 

Of course, the exercise taught me some thing about advance order and allow me to think through quite a few things which are beneficial. YZJ, it didn't hurt so much, because it was a decision to sell, although the execution is poor with the advance order too close to market price.

For Venture, I had actually cancelled the advance order  because I didn't want to sell anymore. Didn't know I had to cancel everyday if I had bought in an advance order lasting for a week. What a joke. It was a "costly mistake"

What really disappoint me is not the lost "profits" but that I am actually emotionally disturbed by it. Looking at the 2 counters flying everyday is "painful"

Of course, there are lessons learnt again. But for this lesson to bear fruits, there is a long cycle to wait.  


  1. Sillyinvestor,

    Well, you should talk to those who "forget" to sell SPH, ComfortDelgro, SingPost, Keppel, Sembawang, etc.

    How they feel to see STI going up but their holdings going the other direction...

    Buying is the "easy" part, isn't it?

    Selling is much "harder".

    That's why quite a few retail "investors" lie to themselves they practice "Buy and Hold" for the LONG TERM.

    The reality is they want to avoid what you are going through... The moment we SELL, we can't lie to ourselves anymore.

    I'll leave it to you to figure out for yourself whether how you want to go forward.

    Just one tiny poke:

    "There is a long cycle to wait".

    Just as long its not investing to break-even one day, that's cool ;)

    I see you have not capitulated and decided active investing is not for you?

    1. Hi SMOL,

      I realise at the macro level of buy sell, the key is simple:

      Has enough to buy into a bear and sell into a bubble. We are already in a bull or bubble. Righ now is guerilla tactics. Hit and run.

      The base is very small. I dun think I would sell ascendas or ST engineering, since I have very small a stake and the price rather attractive at entry.

      Now, I can only buy into bear. Then have to wait donkey years before the next bubble ??

      I am trying to hone my growth prospecting skills. But there isn't any books for that.... so sianz. Bits and pieces of info or insights from forum, that's all.

      My window is closing soon again

    2. Sillyinvestor,

      LOL! You worried we'll have a 2-3 decade deflation like in Japan? If that happens, a lot of people's plans for retirement via investing will be dashed...

      Passive indexing will be pointless in a flat market :(

      Idiot, the people smiling will be the yield hogs that I see no up... Ouch!

      Eh! You dare to say no books to improve on growth prospecting?

      Peter Lynch is technically a Growth At Reasonable Price (GARP), but if you have one 10 bagger, life will never be the same.

      Must "gurus" today never teach classes based on Peter Lynch techniques. So you may want to start with Peter Lynch books.

      Once everyone is teaching Peter Lynch techniques, that's the cue that "bei kambings" are entering the market and it's time to offload to them ;)

      15 years is about right. That's around 2003 when CW started picking up his DBS, Keppel for his multi-baggers!

    3. Smol,

      I read Peter lynch books. I cannot apply his theory and of his techniques to find "growth", I can only use 3-4.

      I must say it's not bad to use those techniques even if it's only 3-4

      If u ask me, only reit growth more "predictable", as for others, I will know soon if my "growth" prediction "zhun" a not. Lol

  2. You still have another 15 years to show for yourself and get those baggers

    1. Hi CW,

      Yes you right. I still have 1 bull and bear at my side at least.

      I should have 1 bear- bull

      Or worse bear- bull - bear

      I hope I can do bear. Bull bear bull

  3. Hi SI,

    Strangely, iFAST didn't psychologically hurt me as much when I reminded myself of why I wanted to sell it. The fear of additional loss outweighs the potential gains I could get.

  4. Hi UN,

    Ya, strange. I also thought lost "profits" will not hurt since it is still profits ...

    Guess I am greedy ?

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