Many people had cited 2017 as a strong bull market year; for the Straits Times Index (STI), which is considered a proxy for the local equity market, it opened at 2,887 points on the first trading day of 2017 and closed at 3,402 points1 at the last trading day of the year, giving it a 17.8% rise.
In fact, we do see a bull of various degrees across other asset classes as well; for REITs, the FTSE ST REITs index showed an increase from 711.54 points to 855.88 points2, a whopping 20.3%. On the gold front, it rose from USD 1,150.00 to USD 1,306.303 throughout the course of 2017, a 13.6% improvement (barring forex gain/loss). Even for local bonds, using the Thomson Reuters/SGX Singapore Fixed Income (TR/SGX SFI) index, it rose 6 points from 124.5 to 130.5 between 3 Jan and 29 Dec 20174, a miniscule rise of 4.8%.
In the United States, one of the biggest economies in the world, the S&P500 enjoyed a 416-point run which attributed to a +18.4%5, while its bond index (through the S&P US Aggregate Bond Index) also managed to post a small increase6.
But perhaps the headline of the year is of course, cryptocurrency, which some had generated thousands of percentage points in returns in 2017, depending on which one you are in. There are many critics on cryptocurrencies, although there are stories and anecdotes on how some made it big with them.
Frankly, I do not know what exactly lies ahead, but we could make educated guesses of what is coming based on indicators and signs, which I had covered here. In my opinion, disruptive technology would continue to reign in the next year. Sector or field wise, I would consider looking at cybersecurity, payment solutions and alternative energy.
Nevertheless, it is important to keep the course of your investment and adhere to the basic rules of The Bedokian Portfolio such as rebalancing to your preferred asset class allocation.
Since Bob had started out his Bedokian Portfolio with an initial capital of SGD 30,000 and a mid-year injection of SGD 5,000, he had collected SGD 868.88 in dividends, while also enjoying some unrealised gains from his ETFs. Bob would rebalance his portfolio on 2 Jan 2018, the first trading day of the new year, with an additional SGD 5,000 injection. Also, he is considering on whether to go into a bit of active investing, so do stay tuned on his counter picks.
A Happy 2018 to all of you!
1,2 & 4 – Singapore Exchange. Indices. http://www.sgx.com/wps/portal/sgxweb/home/marketinfo/indices/indices (accessed 30 Dec 2017)
3 – Goldprice. Gold price chart.
https://goldprice.org/gold-price-chart.html (accessed 30 Dec 2017)
5 – Yahoo Finance. S&P500. https://sg.finance.yahoo.com/quote/%5EGSPC?ltr=1 (accessed 30 Dec 2017)
6 – S&P Dow Jones Indices. S&P US Aggregate Bond Index. http://us.spindices.com/indices/fixed-income/sp-us-aggregate-bond-index (accessed 30 Dec 2017)