Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Response to the recent Internet criticism

Since my article came out in AsiaOne, I've been subject to quite a hefty amount of criticism from readers. You can find the article and comments here :

http://forums.asiaone.com/showthread.php?t=25593&page=2

I will attempt to address the address the criticisms here :

a) I am a scrooge.

My dividends currently afford me a lifestyle like a fresh graduate professional who spends all his income. While lower than the typical median income earner, I can hardly call it a scrooge lifestyle. I am very possibly a scrooge during my single days because I simply did not have expensive hobbies and kept my full expenses to about $1,100 every month after giving my mum an allowance. As a married man, my dividends provide a modest stipend for my wife, I continue to give some money to my parents and I have enough left to take public transport and feed myself.

b) My parents are rich.

That's a relative term. My parents bought landed property and paid off the loan in the 70s. In the 80s they ran a pet shop. Revenues were variable but rents were fixed. The business folded in the early 90s. My dad took up work as a production operator and my mum washed dishes in a canteen. Life was hard but only in that sense and I apologize if this statement was misinterpreted. People who think that success can only be bestowed upon people who spent their childhood without water and electricity may be disappointed that I do not fit that mold. We were hardly rich.

c) How I funded my way through university.

I borrowed from my dad's CPF and paid back every cent. I started out $22K in debt, paid everything off in 2 years and then I could not just build a portfolio, I could even pay for my Masters degree course as well.

d) I do not enjoy life.

Well I do enjoy life. But there is no way I can prove it.

What I cannot apologize for:

a) I do not have a balanced life.

Guilthy as charged. I'm a son and husband, hold a full time job, author books, manage a portfolio and have to constantly upgrade by getting Microsoft certifications and some financial credentials. I remember taking 21 exams in 2001, some IT, some finance, had to even read two languages French and Japanese to remain competitive.

b) I am an only child and will stand to inherit landed property.

I am not responsible for my parent's family planning style. I have inherited nothing yet and my dad can always sell off the house in the future. I fail to see how this can be an advantage in the field of investments.

c) I live with my parents.

They are not getting any younger. Who is going to look after them in the future?

A minor note on the numbers and skepticism regarding my stock strategy :

a) To accept that you can have $24,000 annually from a $250,000 portfolio, you have to believe that some stocks give can give about 10% a year. There is'nt a lot of stocks which do this but they exist.
b) The payout is generated by a few key stocks which yield more than 10% and a smaller proportion which yield less than 10% for diversification purposes. This portfolio may not be well-diversified even if I have about 20 stocks in my portfolio.
c) I am aware of the high risk of the strategy and is currently diversifying with stock which yield 6-8% but have better growth opportunities.

8 comments:

Busta said...

Why do you bother to defend yourself? Some of the flaming posts in CNA forum are nonsensical to start with.

In any case, I'm also a firm believer of dividend investment but I think having 20+ counters in a portfolio is too much to handle. Perhaps 8 to 10 will be more manageable. There is no need for over-diversification if you truly believe in your investment.

Christopher Ng Wai Chung said...

Thanks for the support, Busta. I have to defend myself in case some colleagues, relatives or friends were to buy the negative publicity.

goat said...

Hi Christopher,

I am your supporter since I read your article in the sunday times.

Like you, I currently have about $4.8k dividends yearly, about 10% yield. My target is to build it up to $30k dividends yearly.

Reginald said...

Hi chris,
Do not worry about what others say or think. I believe you have the correct way of investing in shares. I am in the same boat as you and am into the same shares as you. I just let my money work for me and collect the dividend every 3 months. I currently have 6 counters.

Christopher Ng Wai Chung said...

Thanks guys, I think that readers who can confirm that 10% yields are possible will be able to vindicate my approach to investments.

Reginald said...

Chris,
with my investments, it is around that amount 10%.

Musicwhiz said...

Hi Christopher,

Yes, it is very possible indeed. Just to provide some support for your statement about a 10% yield on some counters. If you had bought during the lows in the bear market the yields for some may even exceed 10% by quite a margin!

As such, I own companies which pay dividend yields ranging from 3-4% to about 10% too, so I can relate. But of course my style is not true dividend investing; but a mixture of growth and yield to balance out my portfolio.

Regards,
Musicwhiz

P.S. - Ignore the trolls. I used to have them on my blog too, and they can be a nuisance; but human beings will always behave like this. It's because of envy, jealousy and insecurity.

Wealth Journey said...

A little late in discovering your blog but yes.

I concurred that dividend pays you to wait for the capital appreciation and dividend yield of 10% would be possible.

As for myself, I am like musicwhiz, I buy the companies first and the dividends is a bonus that pays me to wait. So dividend yield for me is < 5% at the moment.