Top Financial Horse articles of 2019 you may have missed


So it’s December again.

Every year I’m amazed at how quickly time passes, and 2019 was no exception. It seems just yesterday that I was picking investments back in Jan 2019, and in the blink of an eye a whole year has gone by, and I’m sitting on a year of gains (or losses) and a year’s worth of dividends.

All that talk about a market crash never seemed to materialise, which really just goes to show that in the long run, it’s best to just stay invested, instead of procrastinating and waiting for a market crash.

So in today’s article, I wanted to do a roundup of the top Financial Horse articles in 2019.

Some of you may have missed them, but there really are some gems lying around. If nothing else, it also serves as a way for me to ruminate on the top investment ideas of 2019, and why they worked – or if they failed, why they failed.


Investing Strategy:

Is the “Barbell” the best investment strategy for Singapore investors?

As it turns out, DBS’s Barbell strategy did turn out to be an amazing strategy for 2019. If you’d done a split of high quality dividend stocks (blue chip REIT / dividend stocks), and a growth portfolio (US Tech), 2019 would have been an amazing year for you.

Guess there is some value in reading these bank investment recommendations after all!

How Mighty Companies fall, and what to look out for as an investor

A timeless piece on what to look out for when once-mighty companies are on a decline. Names like IBM, or SPH, come to mind.

WeWork IPO and the death of growth stocks

There were signs even before WeWork (Uber comes to mind), but the flopped WeWork IPO, and Softbank’s public meltdown, was the final nail in the coffin for the entire “burn cash to grow user base at all costs” model.

It’s still early days, but we’re already starting to see a dramatic freezing up in investment for this entire sector, a death of IPOs (there goes your exit strategy), and a fundamental re-evaluation of all stocks linked to Softbank (which in the startup space, is almost every big unicorn out there).

How to prepare for the next recession / market crash?

Everybody seems to be preparing for a recession these days. If one does come, it’ll be hard to say that there were no warning signs.

In this article, we took a look at what the next recession could possibly look like, and what asset classes would perform well in such an event.


$30 million at age 33, what next? 

After selling your company for S$30 million at age 33, what would you do next? Financial Horse sat down with Alvin Poh to hear more about his plan for the future, and his investment strategy.

This one was pure gold. Easily my favourite interview of 2019.

Investing in Thailand, Indonesia and Vietnam 

Here we sat down with ShareInvestor’s CEO for his perspective on what it takes to build a data platform in the 2000s, way before data was even a big thing.

A seasoned entrepreneur, he offers some great insights for young investors on how to invest, and how to plan your life. Oh, and don’t miss his advise for investing in Thailand, Indonesia and Vietnam.

Why StashAway’s CIO loves Gold, and advice for young investors in Singapore

StashAway’s CIO (Freddie) is a great character. They’ve come a long way since their startup founding days in 2017, and it was amazing to chart that progress.

Here, we sit down with Freddie for his views on the investing climate, and why he believes Gold to be his highest conviction trade over the next 3 to 7 years. Oh, and did I mention that I agree with him on gold?

REITs / Fixed Income

Lendlease Global Commercial REIT IPO Review – Best REIT IPO of the Year?

Lendlease Global REIT IPO was probably the best stock/REIT IPO all year, hands down. That probably says more about the dismal state of affairs that is the Singapore IPO market, than it does about Lendlease.

Lendlease probably left some money on the table for this IPO, which is why it was so hotly subscribed, and also explains the nice trading bump on day one.

Review of Astrea V 3.85% Class A-1 Secured Bonds: Worse than Astrea IV?

As retail investors, we don’t get much choice when it comes to bonds and fixed income. So the Astrea V series was a really nice touch from Temasek (or Astrea).

Practically speaking, these are very low risk fixed income products, as reflected in the yield. Still, I applied for them eagerly, along with most of Singapore.


Using Saxo to buy Singapore Shares – Is Saxo the best all round stockbroker?

Saxo charges 0.08% commission (minimum $10) on Singapore stocks, compared to 0.12% (minimum $10) for most other Singapore stockbrokers. If you’re a high volume trader, that kind of commission adds up really quickly, so it’s well worth checking out.

Oh, and don’t forget that their minimum commission on US stocks is USD4, well below the USD25 of most other Singapore brokers.

There’s also a $150 referral bonus for new users if you sign up via the FH referral link, so do check out the article for more details (or drop an email to [email protected] for next steps).

Where to invest S$10,000 in Singapore right now?

It’s been quite a while since this article was written, and I still don’t see any big reason to deviate from this asset allocation.

But that’s just how good asset allocations should be, especially if you’re going for an all weather style allocation. You set it, and focus on the stuff that really matters: living your life.

Top 5 Dividend Yield Stocks in Singapore (2019)

Shameless plug for myself, but I’m really pleased at how this list turned out. I mean just look at the 5 recommendations. Netlink Trust, Mapletree Logistics, FCOT, Ascott, and Singtel. If you’d bought these 5 stocks in April back when the article first came out, you’d be sitting on a pretty nice gain now.

So don’t forget to watch out for more of such articles when they come out in future. Or you know, you could always check out Patron for my latest stock ideas.

Top 5 Singapore Stocks to buy (2019 edition)

More stock ideas from me. Again, this list has performed amazingly.


Complete guide to CPF, CPF Life, and CPF Investment Strategies

There are 2 things that Singaporeans love talking about: Property, and CPF. Okay PAP probably makes it to this list as well, but PAP usually goes hand in hand with CPF, so I stand by my list ?.

In this article, I share my view on CPF, CPF Life, and CPF investment strategies. This was later built on further to form a key component of the Financial Horse Course, which you can check out if you’re keen. Otherwise, the article will suffice.

CPF Minimum Sum changes: Why I will not top up my CPF (and when should you)

There are 2 kinds of Singaporeans out there. Those who believe in topping up their CPF, and those who don’t. I belong strongly in the second camp.

That said, I don’t believe there is a right or wrong answer here – both views are equally valid. Whether you decide to top up or not ultimately depends on your world views, and your personal situation.

In this article, I shared some views on why I personally prefer not to top up my CPF. Regardless of whether you agree or not, it’s still good to understand both sides of the debate.

Ask FH:

I’ve been a bit slow in responding to Ask FH questions lately, so my apologies on that front. Those that I did this year though, are still really informative to read through. I’ve always believed that you can learn so much from understanding other people’s problems, and the Ask FH series bears testament to that.

Don’t believe me? Try going through the articles below, and see if you glean any new insights about your own financial situation!

How to Invest Money for Singapore Investors

Answering common questions from Singapore Investors

How to build a balanced stock portfolio for Singaporeans (Passive income, Securities lending, Perpetuals, Interest Rate Carry etc.)

How to build a balanced stock portfolio for Singaporeans (Delistings, SRS funds, RSPs etc.)

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