Sunday, March 22, 2020

Seven Years of Abundance and Seven Years of Famine

Back in 2011, I was having severe depression. My health wasn't well, and I was under tremendous stress of losing my job and not able to provide for my family. The company I worked for went bankrupt and was bought over. You could read about my story here:
As the dark episode ended, I started afresh with a new job in a new industry in January 2012. For reason beyond my understanding, my Lord seemed to put a voice within me to meditate and observe the story of Joseph in Genesis 41. It was about the dream that Pharaoh's had and Joseph was given the ability to interpret it. God foretold Pharaoh's through his dream about seven years of great abundance that were to come, followed by seven years of great famine. Long story short, God gave Joseph not only the understanding about the dream, but also the wisdom to overcome the famine.

"Let Pharaoh appoint commissioners over the land to take a fifth of the harvest of Egypt during the seven years of abundance. They should collect all the food of these good years that are coming and store up the grain under the authority of Pharaoh, to be kept in the cities for food. This food should be held in reserve for the country, to be used during the seven years of famine that will come upon Egypt, so that the country may not be ruined by the famine." - Genesis 41:34-36.

If you have been reading my blog, you should know that I have been keeping aside some money from my monthly salary to build my investment portfolio a.k.a Yaruzi's portfolio. I used "a fifth" as a guide, though I didn't strictly follow it like a law. Some months I saved more and some months I saved less, but overall I think I save more than 20% of my income.

The bull market has been ravaging ferociously and honestly even until very recently, I didn't expect for the "famine" to suddenly come. As the covid-19 spread globally, it put an abrupt end to this long bull market. As panic and fear gripped the market, within a very short period, the equity markets globally lost 30% or more of their value.

Learning from the wisdom and revelation given to Joseph during the famine, these are the few principles I'll follow to overcome the difficult time.
  • Keep aside some cash and have it ready to be exchanged during the famine. I have faithfully done this the past 7 years and will continue to do so as long as I have my job as the source of income. In Joseph's time, it was grain. I believe in this age, it will be cash or cash equivalent.
  • Have patience and holding power. "Seven years of great abundance are coming throughout the land of Egypt, but seven years of famine will follow them. Then all the abundance in Egypt will be forgotten, and the famine will ravage the land. The abundance in the land will not be remembered, because the famine that follows it will be so severe." - Genesis 41:29-31. As God is merciful to the world, I strongly believe that the covid-19 crisis will be significantly shortened, hence the impact to the world economy will be limited. I really don't think it will last for 7 years. Instead these verses taught me the wisdom to have patience and holding power, as the recovery will take time. I have been buying quite a few in March, but the verse serve as a good reminder for me to phase my buying slowly because the abundance of the 11 years bull market would likely have to be erased first before the new bull market starts again.
  • There will be transfer of wealth. "Joseph collected all the money that was to be found in Egypt and Canaan in payment for the grain they were buying, and he brought it to Pharaoh’s palace." - Genesis 47:14. "So they brought their livestock to Joseph, and he gave them food in exchange for their horses, their sheep and goats, their cattle and donkeys..." - Genesis 47:17. "So Joseph bought all the land in Egypt for Pharaoh..." - Genesis 47:20.
  • The wealth is not meant to satisfy my materialistic wants. It was meant to preserve the apple of God's eye (the nation of Israel) and the gentiles (the Egyptians, who later enslaved Israel). Why does God bother to preserve the world? I believe the answer is because He always loves the world. So if you're the blessed ones, be kind and generous to your neighbour, who may fall into hardship. "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." - John 3:16.
I pray that God's blessing and protection is always upon us. Stay safe and be joyful, your salvation is near.

Sunday, March 1, 2020

February 2020 - Yaruzi's Portfolio Update

What a roller coaster month we had in February. I was up about $14,000 on 7th February and I gave that gains and almost all my 2019 gain back by the end of the month. As the fear of COVID-19 started to spread around the world, the global stock market started to discount the economic impact of the virus. Real business impact will start to show in the Q1-2020 financial reports, and I expect the market to further adjust the overly-optimistic valuation of public listed companies.

Despite the bloodshed in the market, there were many heart warming moments when we saw many little act of kindness and the selfless sacrifices by medical personnels around the world against COVID-19. In Singapore, we're also blessed by the prompt and effective responses of the Singapore Government that contained the spread of the virus rather quickly.

For my friends, readers, and fellow Singaporean, please let me pray God's blessing of protections from Psalm 91:

"He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High
Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress;
My God, in Him I will trust.”
Surely He shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler

And from the perilous pestilence.
He shall cover you with His feathers,

And under His wings you shall take refuge;

His truth shall be your shield and buckler.
You shall not be afraid of the terror by night,

Nor of the arrow that flies by day,
Nor of the pestilence that walks in darkness,

Nor of the destruction that lays waste at noonday.
A thousand may fall at your side,

And ten thousand at your right hand;

But it shall not come near you."

As the market corrected, I nibbled the shares of some companies I have been eyeing for a while now.

6-Feb-2020Raffles Medical Group LtdBuySGD9,000.00001.03009,270.00
7-Feb-2020Raffles Medical Group LtdBuySGD9,000.00001.02009,180.00
24-Feb-2020Unilever IndonesiaBuyIDR11,000.00007,325.000080,575,000.00
28-Feb-2020Indofood CBP Sukses MakmurBuyIDR8,000.000010,150.000081,200,000.00
28-Feb-2020Hanjaya Mandala SampoernaBuyIDR50,000.00001,655.000082,750,000.00
28-Feb-2020Gudang GaramBuyIDR2,000.000050,500.0000101,000,000.00
28-Feb-2020Unilever IndonesiaBuyIDR12,000.00006,725.000080,700,000.00
28-Feb-2020Kalbe FarmaBuyIDR66,000.00001,215.000080,190,000.00

Total portfolio value dropped to $875,928.42 despite $30,000 fresh fund injections. Return YTD was -4.31%, XIRR YTD -23.95%, and XIRR since inception was on all time low of 2.80%. Equity allocation was at 58.24% with the rest in short term bonds and cash, which I will utilize as war chest when market trades lower. I received a total dividends of $165.36 for the month.

DateSecurities NameFCYSGD
28-Feb-2020Capitaland Mall Trust130.62 130.62
28-Feb-2020Capitaland Commercial Trust34.74 34.74

Link to Yaruzi's low cost portfolio as of February 2020