As today would be the last trading day of the year, Stocks Cafe will be summarising the results of 2020 for the ERM portfolio tonight, after which I would be doing an article to summarise my investment performance for 2020.
Otherwise, 2020 has been a wild ride.
a) Some unavoidable disappointments with 2020 amidst a pandemic
Before I begin, I want to talk about some stuff I was unable to execute in 2020.
The first disappointment was that business revenues were not as good as in 2020. Profits dropped by 26%. But I should not be too hard on myself as I think 2021 may be worse and I should be fortunate that I have revenues in the first place.
The second disappointment was that I have yet to incorporate a business as there is still no impetus for this. Continuing to think of my business as a start-up may not be as feasible as before as I am self-sustaining and do not need funding from a VC but need more exposure to potential customers.
b) Business in 2020
Otherwise, 2020 turned out to be a great year. I graduated eight batches of students and we'd developed quite a number of new capabilities. Membership in the ERM FB group stands at 508.
The biggest change in my course syllabus is that my students have decoupled from Bloomberg and can do back-testing with Pyinvesting.com. Beyond that, I took some really big risks to introduce Z-Scoring into my materials that allows us to blend different investment factors into a score that facilitates the ranking of stocks.
Collectively, this made the course much meatier. But it's practically a new course these days.
c) Did really cool stuff with Python programming
If I'm pitching my program to a VC, I'd tell him that my students have a Microsoft Office for Investing. 2020 was also the year I started to level-up my coding skills in Python with an emphasis on solving investment challenges.
One cool development is the ability to use some really fine data science tricks to perform regime analysis on local stock pricing information to determine whether it is a good time to enter into a local stock position :
The second capability comes from picking up some Django web app programming. Now my course now has a web app to consolidate class input to assist in portfolio building. The version on my local machine can now blend some machine analytics with crowdsourced information.
This year I continue to explore reinforcement learning and may even have to start working with fundamental data.
d) Gave some pro-bono talks to schools
I was fortunate to be invited to Raffles Institution to give a talk on personal finance. Subsequently, I was invited to Springfield Secondary School and Republic Polytechnic. These were very satisfying projects to me and, currently, my speaking projects have grown dry.
Hopefully, momentum can pick up in 2021 and I can finally physically go to a school and speak to the students personally.
e) Even authored part of a book
I think the most unusual development was that I was invited by my writing instructor Felix Cheong to contribute to his book, Letter to My Son where some dads were invited to write a letter to their sons.
This is possibly my proudest project in 2020 - I was never able to publish under a mainstream publisher so this achievement is particularly sweet for me.
Anyway, this is just a snap-shot of my year.
A lot of resolutions were not met, but a lot of good work was done.
Hope that 2021 would be a year with greater achievements!