IT'S BEEN QUITE an adventure ride to start the year.

The index has declined about 8% since the start of the year and my portfolio has taken a hit as well. Though, as a long term investor, I'd see this as an opportunity rather than worries so I'll just have to brace myself with this, having mentally prepared for a number of years now.

vicom7.15a@ Vicom: An inspection costs $58 per car before 7% GST. NextInsight file photo.I've divested Vicom this month at a price ranging from $5.97 to $6.02. My conviction with Vicom has always been pretty clear - strong balance sheet, excellent earnings and good predictability of cashflow - a clear case of winner. My only concern with them is their rather expensive valuation given the growth concern for both their vehicle and non-vehicle segment. Given that there are other opportunities in the market, I've decided to rebalance the portfolio and take on a risk on approach which I believe will give me better returns in the future.

I've also divested Silverlake this month at a price of $0.63. I read quite a bit on the Deloitte report and what they feel about the findings and I came to realize that I had actually lesser understanding on the company than what I thought I would know. Given this situation, I have divested on the company and decide to move on. I think I made a small loss here given I was entitled to the free bonus shares previously.

I added Ho Bee Land this month which I have blogged here. This is now my 4th largest holdings in the portfolio so I have a very strong conviction about this buy.

I also added more ST Engineering at a price of $2.86. I continue to think that there are opportunities for the company even as their balance sheet has weakened and their earnings are threatened. Current valuations are not expensive based on their historical so I'll have to wait on their next quarter development to see if their earnings will be badly impacted.

Last but not least, I've added OCBC 
further at a price of $8.48. Banks are a straightforward play for the long term and the main concern right now on everyone's mind is on their NPL. I continue to think that their NPL has been stressed test to limit the losses on each sector but we'll have to see if the O&G and China downfall will have great impact on the banks' earnings. Still, I think banks are a good long term play on recovery.

No.  Counters No. of Shares Market Price (SGD) Total Value (SGD) based on market price Allocation %
1. OCBC 5,000 7.95 39,750.00 12.0%
2. China Merchant Pacific 45,000 0.80 36,000.00 10.0%
3. ST Engineering 11,000 2.88 31,680.00 9.0%
4. Ho Bee Land 16,000 1.95 31,200.00 9.0%
5. Kingsmen 37,000 0.65 24,050.00 7.0%
6. Fraser Centerpoint Trust 13,000 1.89 24,570.00 7.0%
7. IReit Global 32,000 0.66 21,120.00 6.0%
8. Dairy Farm* 2,200 8.60* 18,911.00 5.0%
9. City Development 2,000 7.29 14,580.00 4.0%
10. Stamford Land 30,000 0.49 14,700.00 4.0%
11. Nam Lee Metals 35,000 0.31 10,850.00 3.0%
12. CapitaCommercial Trust 8,000 1.31 10,480.00 3.0%
13. Keppel DC Reit 10,000 1.02 10,200.00 3.0%
14. First Reit 8,000 1.17   9,360.00 3.0%
15. MTQ 7,000 0.45   3,150.00 1.0%
16. Warchest*     45,000.00 13.0%
  Total SGD     345,601.00  100.00%

The overall portfolio has gone down about $15k from previous month of $360,600 to $345,601 this month (-4.2% month on month; +22.3% year on year), mimicking the losses on the STI (albeit with a lesser losses).

At this stage, I don't think there are any unduly worries as I continue to look for open opportunity in the market. Personal cashflow remains strong and I am eagerly awaiting for next month to come because I would have quite a bit of dividends coming in so the more the market goes down, the more money I am probably going to pump in.

Last but not least, I have one advice for this. In any bull or bear case, there are abound to be many naysayers and "gurus" who are trying to predict where the market will bottom. Unless you are a trader, I'd advise that you ignore these "noises" because they are as clueless as any experts out there in the CNBC or Bloomberg news. As investors, I'd rather spend time analysing the prospect of companies instead of relying on these people. These people love when their ego is being stroked but they usually perform poorly themselves.

Thanks for reading. Have a great weekend :)

BrianHalimThis article was recently published on A Path to Forever Financial Freedom, and is republished with permission. The writer (left), who is in his late 20s, has a MBA degree.

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