A few of my friends and acquaintances had asked me about my experiences during the transition from trading to investing, in which I had shared, very briefly, in the “About The Bedokian” page of this blog. In this post, I will describe more about my journey and what were the main steps that I took during then.
It All Began With A Nap
I love to take weekend afternoon naps, which normally last between 30 minutes and one hour, to rejuvenate myself for the later part of the day. I remembered it was a Saturday in the beginning of 2013, where I had my usual short slumber. Around 15 or 20 minutes into it, I suddenly jolted up and began to ponder on two important questions: Do I have enough to retire? Do I have enough for my kids’ education?
Whilst I have had (and still have) long term savings in the form of endowments and education funds, I was thinking to myself can I do better in growing our monies. At that time, I was doing some trading in the stock market, and although I was quite alright with it, I felt my inherent skill sets and knowledge were not suitable for it. Later on, I started to look at the investment side of things, got convinced and did not turn back from there.
The Quest For Knowledge
I graduated with a degree in economics and management, and part of my subjects learnt were economics (ok, duh…), the various aspects of management and a subject in elementary accounting. These underlying competencies served as background information as well as a springboard to understand more, which helped a lot in shortening my learning curve. I also held a polytechnic engineering diploma that enabled me to have a train of thought in a systematic and logical way. These traits allowed me to have a holistic and macro view of things, and it greatly assisted my learning journey to come.
I started off by reading up material from different sources; for online, there were forums, blogs and videos. Offline reading included books, business newspapers and magazines. Here are some of the materials that I had referenced, in no particular order and not exhaustive:
- Investopedia (https://www.investopedia.com)
- ETFdb (https://etfdb.com)
- Bloomberg (https://www.bloomberg.com)
- Investment Moats (https://investmentmoats.com)
- Dividend Warrior (https://dividendsrichwarrior.blogspot.com)
- A Singaporean Stock Investor (http://singaporeanstocksinvestor.blogspot.com)
- All the Dummies Series books on investment
- All About Asset Allocation by Richard A. Ferri
- The Permanent Portfolio by Craig Rowland and J. M. Lawson
- The Intelligent Investor by Benjamin Graham
- One Up On Wall Street by Peter Lynch
- Handbook For Stock Investors by Goh Kheng Chuan
- Building Wealth Through REITs by Bobby Jayaraman
I trawled through the above (and some more others) to gain as much know-how and information that I could, and I am still reading new materials to gain additional insights. I also re-read past books and articles to do an “unlearn” so that I can pick up fresh perspectives and points that I may have probably missed out earlier.
The Holistic View
I believe in the grand scheme of things (or so-called macro view), since everything and everyone are interlinked to one another. The economy and the financial markets are no exception to this concept, and this led me to the idea of managing investing on a portfolio basis, with different asset classes making up the investments.
Along with the above came the importance of diversification. We need to know that in times of booms and busts, some asset classes perform better than others, and with diversifying (and the accompanying characteristic of rebalancing), we could ride out the cyclical waves of the economy and markets with some gains or not-so-much losses.
The Actual Transition
Having said much about the theoretical and strategical aspect, it is time to delve into something more operational. As at the time when I had that fateful nap, I still held some share trading positions, one dividend counter, and I also went into other asset classes such as the Genting 5.125% Perpetual bonds and silver bullion. For the remaining part of 2013 and early 2014, I was reading up and researching, finding the ideal portfolio mix, selling counters which did not fit me and buying those that did, all at the same time, like a project with planning, executing and post-review all done at once.
It was not a clean start, which was why I came up with Bob (see here) as a sample to demonstrate, in real time, an actual Bedokian Portfolio at work.
And Finally The E-Book And Blog
A lot of effort and thoughts went into the formation of the Bedokian Portfolio, and in early 2015, I had decided to pen down the knowledge and information gathered during that period into a journal for my family, which evolved into an e-Book after I had decided to share what I know and learnt. After I had done up my e-Book, I started this blog as a continuation to document and share my views, opinions and tips, while continuing to read-up and learn more. After all, learning is a continuous journey.