I sold out of my positions in Vicom (SGX: V01), Sembcorp Industries (SGX: U96), Nikko AM STI ETF (SGX: G3B), Phillip APAC REIT ETF (SGX: BYJ) and Nikko AM REIT ETF (SGX: CFA) today. Main reason was to lock in my gains from the recent bull run and increase my cash holdings.
But I kept my monthly Dollar-Cost Averaging (DCA) amounts of S$1,300 in the STI and REIT ETFs. As well as the weekly funds transfers of S$300 into the robo-advisor accounts. Just in case we go on another bull run in 2018 and somehow end the year higher than where we are now.
By reducing my monthly investment amount to S$2,500, I remain vested in the equity markets but no longer have a significant position in them. Especially when I am exiting the remaining individual stock positions every time they become profitable.
There’s no particular motivating factor behind this move. I’m happy with the gains I have achieved so far with my first serious venture into the local and global stock markets after returning to Singapore in 2014. It hasn’t been a disastrous experience and I was able to turn a profit from the past 4 years.
As I continue to restructure and simplify my portfolio, it has become easier to manage as a result. Less stuff to monitor with a more automated approach to investing. It’s an interesting space to be in with my cash holdings rising faster than I can re-deploy them. After all, I just don’t see the point of accumulating even more equities at these pricing levels.
Besides, it’s come to a stage where I’m happy to mostly spectate for now. I don’t need to invest aggressively because I’m still generating salary income and don’t plan to rely on passive income & portfolio drawdowns yet. I still have time to wait and see whether better investment opportunities come up down the road. I also don’t have any early retirement plans because my initial target is another 10 years later in 2028.
Even then I doubt I would ever fully retire if I can help it. I like the professional and social engagement that work offers. Not necessarily in a corporate environment, though being in the office is probably the more straightforward path for me. I enjoy meeting new people and working with colleagues on projects & advisory work.
The big question for me now is that by taking such a large position in cash, I’m essentially betting on my ability to market time the next bear market. That’s when I hope my Value-Cost Averaging (VCA) skills can activate in time. But I wonder whether it’s such a bad thing to be holding more cash. I always thought having more options was a good thing.
I suppose it comes down to what I do with the cash holdings. I keep documenting down what I’m thinking when I make major moves like that because I want to see whether this works out when I get to look back in the future. In the meantime, I shall continue to be consistent with my approach every month. Work, earn, invest, save then spend.