Saturday, May 20, 2023

Letter to Batch 30 of the Early Retirement Masterclass


Dear Students of Batch 30,

It’s been a great honour and privilege to conduct a 3-Day Early Retirement Workshop for you.

The 30th batch of the Early Retirement Masterclass faces a challenging financial market. China’s recovery from COVID-19 has stalled, and the US faces gridlock as Republicans and Democrats begin a political dance to raise the debt ceiling. Singapore’s GDP growth enters negative territory as inflation remains stubbornly entrenched in the 5% territory.

There’s much to fear in this market.

Consequently, we conducted the smallest class in the history of the program. The cosy atmosphere and skilful student body still allowed us to build a 17-stock portfolio despite each student doing independent research without a teammate. The portfolio we will track will also halve its size as I try to fit the 17 stocks into a tight budget of $10,000. A high yield of 6.5% helps.

But there is hope.

The equity risk premium we track is over 6%, and we have proof that students who conduct bargain hunting will be rewarded in the future. We are also seeing substantial discounts in the REIT space.

Whoever farms the most money into the markets over the next two years will reap the rewards in oversized returns when the market recovers.

The Early Retirement class will stubbornly cling to its survival. To ensure decent class sizes, we will conduct Batch 31 in October 2023 as I make way for an entirely new course in August.

Lastly, I hope Batch 30 will participate actively in the FB group. On 24 June 2023, we will meet face to face in our ERM Networking Session!

Hope to see you then!

Christopher Ng Wai Chung

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