Sunday, July 26, 2020

Letter to Batch 15 of the Early Retirement Masterclass

Dear Students of Batch 15,

It’s been a great honour and privilege to be able to conduct a 2-Day Early Retirement Workshop for you.

As Phase 2 begins, with some folks returning to work, we are beginning to see a gradual reduction in our class sizes which is good as it allows me to provide every member of Batch 15 more attention to their needs. We have also expanded the program to 2.5 days so that we will have more time to discuss and debate potential investment choices.

With Batch 15 there is also a lot more discretion in the construction of your respective portfolios. I look forward to investing in the blended portfolio you have constructed; the final yield is relatively modest at 6%. Beyond getting each group to decide whether to buy or not to buy a stock, we conduct one more vote to buy only six counters from the bluechip and REIT categories. So some stocks chosen by the teams may not be included in the final portfolio. Students who can afford larger portfolios can buy the three counters selected by the groups but were rejected through the democratic voting process. The side effect of doing this is that you will wind up with higher dividend yields over the longer term.

For this batch of students, we’ve also introduced a “dark horse” business trust in our collection that constitutes a calculated bet that can either result in massive gains or losses over the next few months. For more conservative members of the class, you may swap it out with a safer investment like Ascendas REITs.

The class discussions were also impressive with savvy students providing some fascinating insights into the tankers business. In the finale where we performed the emigration exercise, Thailand won again as a favoured destination for emigration.

Moving forward, I hope that Batch 15 would participate actively in the FB group. We should be able to see each other again soon as I am preparing for a webinar for all ERM graduates in September.

Christopher Ng Wai Chung

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