My Report Card 2020

 2020 was a dramatic year for us as we have seen the huge dropped of the stock market in March and some ( New Economy / Growth stocks ) have recovered nicely or hitting new high while some ( Old Economy / Value stocks ) are still struggling to recoup the losses. We are experiencing the so-called “ K-shaped “ type of economic recovery.

K-Shaped Recovery < source :>

What Is a K-Shaped Recovery?


A K-shaped recovery occurs when, following a recession, different parts of the economy recover at different rates, times, or magnitudes. This is in contrast to an even, uniform recovery across sectors, industries, or groups of people. A K-shaped recovery leads to changes in the structure of the economy or the broader society as economic outcomes and relations are fundamentally changed before and after the recession. This type of recovery is called K-shaped because the path of different parts of the economy when charted together may diverge, resembling the two arms of the Roman letter "K."

Congratulation for those who have more “growth stocks “ in their portfolio. I am sure you are sitting with double-digit % of returns ( or even more than 100-200% ) if you have “super stocks “ like Tesla / Nio/ Xpeng / Li Auto and some others Tech / Chips stocks like Etsy / Nvidia / ADM/ PayPal/ Zoom/ Peloton / DoCusign/ MercadoBibre /Pinduoduo etc…. in your portfolio.


My investment portfolio is mostly “old economy” stocks which badly hit during this pandemic and still waiting for recovery. 

2020 was the worst performance year for me since 2009 where I have underperformed the market ( STI ) by -9.7% as compared to last year of +10.9%

2020 STI = -11.8%

Div Yield for STI = 3.98% (base on ES3 Yield)

STI return including dividend = -7.8%

My XIRR for 2020 was -17.5% even with adding the dividend received of $171,127, which I think is terrible and the worst since 2009.

Even if you are just purely investing in S-REITs in 2020, your return will be almost flat = -0.26%  (including dividend).

 Other than holding more “old economy “ stocks in my portfolio, my poor performance in 2020 was mainly due to huge losses in investing in two US hospitality counters ( i.e famous Eagle HT and ARA HT ). Both resulted in a combined losses of around $292K.

 Eagle HT was a very speculative move for me and I only invested in it after the price tumbled by more than 25%  and not since IPO. As you may know that I never invest in any newly IPO stocks before. The EHT was just purely a short term “ recovery play” for me, but have to admit that I was too greedy and underestimate the impact of Covid-19 towards hospitality sectors in the USA as initially the pandemic was not really spreading fast in the USA. I was already in paper profit (around $10K) at one point after it ( EHT ) announced the dividend sometime in Feb 2020 and since I was greedy to wait for the dividend and never trim my holding which resulted in a “disaster “ plunge of the stock price in March.

It was too late for me to cut my losses due to “loss aversion” and hoping for recovery, the rest was just a story.  This is really a “painful lesson” for me and mistake done can’t be undone, will have to accept and bite the bullet and move on. Investing in REIT with "strong sponsor " still is a very important criteria for any investors who wanted to invest in S-REIT, don't just look at Div Yield. Well, this should be a quite "basic rule " for any investment , but we still can be blindfolded by " greedy / overconfidence " even if you have donkey years of investing experience !! 


I have since done some “rebalancing” of my portfolio and would have to just wait for the pandemic to be over soon and recovery for these “value stocks “.


I have ventured into tech stock by using ETF although is still a very small portion of my portfolio ( around 2% ) and I will continue to do more if opportunities arise.

I have bought my first pure Tech stock ( BASA -9988 ) two weeks ago and not sure if this is a right move than buying into ETF, will see how things pan out for BABA’s investment in ANT and it’s IPO.

I am also having the interest in investing in EV stocks but the valuation seems high and is interesting to know that Apple Inc also venturing into this sector, but I guess it will be a very strong point for Apple from its technology in software and it’s future “super-chips “ will also contribute a lot to this new venture. I am hoping to board Apple if I may and opportunities arise.

Well, I am still learning and considered my self as “newbie” as far as investing in tech and growth stocks is concerned. Please feel free to leave a comment and guide me if you have any “kangtao” in picking  any potential multi-bagger tech/ growth stock.



Be Realistic in Your R.O.I ( Return On Investment )


With such an exceptionally high return in investing in growth stocks for the past few years, it is quite normal if you would have 20-30% of R.O.I for the last two years if you are purely investing in tech and growth stocks, even if you are just putting your money into Nasdaq Index ETF. Just base on the below chart, I think is “difficult “ not to make money in investing in such a market. :D


 Can You Beat Warren Buffett?


Have noticed some comments in social media and lamenting that 30% return is low as they are comparing with others who have achieved more than 100-200% in 2020. Some may think that it is easy to achieve returns of 30-50% year in, year out base on last few years performance as you may see from the above chart that one can easily achieve 20-50% return p.a from 2016 onwards ( NASDAQ up by +283% from 2016 to 2020 ).

I am not sure how long this trend may continue as the recent increase in asset price might be inflated by QE and additional money supply from central banks all over the world. With such a massive amount of money be “printed “, hot money may flow into certain asset class like what we have noticed in “Gold, Bit-Coin “ and even property market in some part of the world. I am sure some of these so-called “Hot-money” been funnelled into tech stocks to some extent.

Okay ! let’s say the trend shall continue for the next 25 years.


Assuming that you are 30 years old and intended to invest for the next 25 years till 55 years, where you can start to withdraw your excess money in CPF:


Initial Investment ( one time ) = $200K

Annual Return = 30% p.a

Investment Horizon: 25 Years


Just guess, what will be your portfolio value after 25 years later?


Yes !! $141,128,200


A whopping $141 Mil at your 55 years old.

Okie, if you don’t have the saving of $200K to be invested at age of 30 years old, how about :


Investing $30K p.a for the next 25 years with yearly R.O.I of 30% :


Yes, also can get $91.6 Mil by the time you hit 55 years old. Not bad !!

The key and “magic” words here is year in, year out!!, consistently. Not easy to have such extraordinary returns for such a long period. I would be very happy If I could achieve a 15% return in the long run ( for 25 years ), but realistically, a 10% annual returns could be considered as very good as you would have defeated most of the Index Fund.


Well, I still believe that tech and growth stocks will have the good run in coming years but I am not sure it will continue with current pace/rate of return. Also, as I mentioned before, the tech sector is like “winners take all society “, only a few good and innovative companies will survive. I am not sure if I can spot the one, so I will continue to invest in Tech ETF from time to time to increase the % of tech/ growth stocks in my portfolio.


As dividend and income investors, I still believe in investing in companies with strong and predictable cash flow for the long run and hope there will be a “sector rotation” from growth to value from this onwards. :D

Since this is the first crisis I have encountered after stop working in 2016, I am a bit nervous initially if my passive income is enough to cope with such a challenging situation during this pandemic. Although some of the companies did cut or suspend the dividend payout, overall still manageable as some sector maintain their dividend payout and also I have invested more into equity from my bond/cash holding which mitigates the drops in the total dividend received.

Having a diversified portfolio across different industries and countries is important as some of the stocks from HKG still paying quite a decent dividend even during Covid-19 pandemic.

As you may know that the oversea holidays/ staycation are our biggest expenses. Our expenses reduce much without such big tickets and the dividend received is more than enough to cover our monthly expenses without worrying need to do the fire sales “ of stocks in my portfolio.

You may want to re-look into your portfolio if you are just depending on a few stocks as sources of passive income as your retirement fund, e.g S-REIT which suffered a massive DPU cut during last few quarters. A diversified portfolio is important as some sectors may still paying good/decent dividend during pandemic ( utilities ) and some consumer discretionary stocks with a strong balance sheet and cash in hand.

Besides, you will also need to do some “stress test “ on your dividend received, base on certain % of reduction to see at which level of the dividend cut will trigger the “alarm” that not be able to cover your monthly expenses. Build a much higher buffer from there.


Last but not least, as I blogged about our CPF interest last week ( here ), if the situation allows, please build a “safety net”  as another income source through CPF and treat it as a long term AAA Bond, you will appreciate your “ownself” by having such CPF balance and happy to see the amount growing along the way with compounding effect. To do this, you will need to strike the balance between “hosing and retirement “ requirement in your CPF planning, some may consider the “policy risk as well if you are still young.




All roads lead to Rome !


Be it growth/tech or value stocks / passive or active investment / CPF for Housing or Retirement/ REITs or Property investment / Gold or Cash / Commodities or Equity … you need to plan your retirement base on your own circumstance/situations and risk tolerance.

< Image credit to : AZ>

 Cheers !!


"Quote Of The Day "

Warren Buffett: ‘Don’t ask the barber whether you need a haircut’


  1. I am also an old economy investor and dividend yield seeker.. Like you I suffered big loss in EHT ..I also realized loss in Lippo and First Reit.. Good thing I was able to divest before Lippo and First Reit crashed further but not only so lucky with EHT which got suspended. Thankfully, my dividend in 2020 barely covered my realized loss.

  2. Hi GlobalPassiveIncome,
    Sorry to know that you are also losing $ in EHT ... I also cut my last batch of First REIT in early 2020 but have have divested most in 2018. First REIT used to be a good investment till recently when the "master-lease renewal issues" pop-up... In fact I made quite good profit from holding First REIT since 2011( TTL around $190K including dividend )... The thing is investing in REIT is also not as passive as many thought , we will need to monitor the development on each counter closely , especially those not having so strong sponsors. Many pitfalls in investing in REITs as well , as investors , we will have be careful .....hahaha, easy said than done... I lost BIG in EHT !
    Cheers ! :D

    1. Yeah, not passive when I have to do 250K selloff of loser and replace with new counters costing the same amount. However, I viewed 2020 as a godsend stress test on my stock portfolio. I have since diversified away from low grade reit and high risk O&G..Hopefully, the portfolio will be more resilient in 2021.

    2. Yes, is really a challenging year in 2020 for us to rebalance our portfolio and ensure that the stocks in our portfolio would survive throughout the pandemic. Only keep those with strong balance sheet and less debts...or is really strategic and too "important to fall " like DBS/BOC .
      Yup !! Hope 2021 will be better year for all of us !!
      Cheers !! :D

  3. I am soooooo FOMO in US Tech Stocks but no, i will wait for the correction or SpaceX get listed lol

    1. Hi Cory,
      Yes, some US Tech counters seems reaching uncomfortably lofty valuation and not sure if the growth could catch up with such high valuation. Is better to wait for correction or pull back to enter...I am sure there will be opportunities emerge from time to time...
      Cheers !! :D

  4. Thanks for sharing.

    Do you have an excel template to calculate XIRR? What is your cash level now?

    1. Hi LKH,
      I can forward the template to you , please send your email to , will forward the file to you accordingly. cash is less than 5% now...mostly vested now, but as I mentioned, the cash level should be based on your own circumstance (comfortable level ) and overall portfolio value.
      Cheers ! :D


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