Looking back at 2017, the year has been full of ups and downs for me. While I managed a decent return in my investments, my career suffered a setback early in the year. It has undoubtedly been a tough year, and I hope I have emerged stronger after all that has happened. I look back in gratitude for how life has unfolded, the lessons gleaned, and the blessings that I have received in the past year. As we count down to the new year, I am currently nursing a fever that morphed from an innocent sore throat days after returning from Shanghai. It is a timely reminder, that afterall, health is the greatest wealth one can have.
Going into 2018, there are a few things I have set out to do with regards to my finances:
1. Build the confidence to concentrate my holdings
Eliminate, eliminate, eliminate. To only focus on one’s best ideas, one has to get rid of all his other “good” ideas. I found that amongst all my trades, the greatest returns did not come from the group of value stocks, but rather those companies which exhibited strong growth and which I deemed had a strong management team in place. This could perhaps be a sign that I am more suited to be a value-growth investor with a greater focus on the people running the company.I felt I was abit too trigger happy this year, making a tad too many trades in the market. I aim to trade less this coming year, and to instead, focus more on a few ideas which I am convicted about. Diversification can help to reduce the volatility of my portfolio, but I feel that I’m at an age and situation where I am able to take more risk. An interesting analogy regarding concentration vs diversification using nature as an example can be found here: https://www.kitces.com/blog/wealth-limits-diversification-too-soon-concentration-redwood-bush-pear-tree/
2. Achieve my targeted net worth (not inclusive of CPF)
This goal is more of a private one, since I am not comfortable sharing my figures in a public domain yet. Short to say, the goal is indeed an ambitious one. I had set out a target for myself earlier this year, and my recent figures showed that I had reached 95% of my goal for 2017. My 2018 target will be more challenging, considering that 1) the local stock market has risen significantly since and 2) 2017 was a bumper year in terms of salary due to the positive growth of the local economy. To achieve such a goal would require me to save more and invest well in the coming year. Ultimately, although I have a figure in my head, the stock market does not care about my goals or targets. Thus, this goal is something I will work towards, but not stress myself over if the market does not move favourably in the short run.
In addition, taking a step away from finance, I have also set out a few personal goals which I aim to work towards in 2018:
1. Compare less
How many times have we been envious of people driving around in fast cars, making tons of money in ICOs, or clinching a job which comes with a host of great perks? The road of comparison has no end, and will only lead one to inner turmoil and ultimately, destruction. This coming year, I want to compare less, and focus more on living my life in the present and the now.
2. Fall sick less often
2017 has seen me visiting the doctor quite often for the common flu and sore throat. I have observed that I usually fall ill first with the onset of a sore throat, which then leads to cough and the flu bug. Most of the time, the onset of a sore throat is due to a lack of discipline when it comes to my diet. I tend to eat too much heaty stuff, like chocolates (my achilles heel), chips, cookies, etc at one go. I’m definitely not going to abstain from these foods, but the critical thing here would be to enjoy these a little at a time. I also want to consume less, and a good guide I am looking at would be to eat till I’m approximately 70% full, adapted from the Japanese’s practice of Hara Hachi Bu. In 2018, I hope that I need not take medical leave or even visit the doctor due to an illness.
3. Think more positive thoughts
In line with my previous goal, science has shown that the mind can help to improve the health of one’s own body, simply by thinking positive thoughts.This is more commonly known as the placebo effect. I hope to be a more positive person in the coming year, which I believe will help build my confidence and self esteem as well. Afterall, we only live once. There’s no point in living a mundane, self-defeating life when you can possibly be living your dreams.
Lastly, to the few readers of my blog since its inception, thank you for taking the time out to read my posts. I wish you all great health and happiness ahead. See you in 2018, the best is yet to be!