Saturday, September 09, 2023

Letter to Batch 31 of the Early Retirement Masterclass

Dear Students of Batch 31,

It's been a great honour and privilege to conduct a 5-Day Early Retirement Workshop for you.

First, I would like to apologise to the class for the lack of energy for my delivery.

Batch 31 concludes possibly one of the most challenging classes I ever taught. I started getting muscle aches and a sore throat from Day 1 of the class. I even visited the doctor that morning, but despite every medical precaution, my throat and cough kept progressively worsening. On the last day of training, I was literally on over ten kinds of drugs to mitigate my cold symptoms, my diabetic control and my hyperactive thyroid. 

Despite all this, we could still build a reasonably attractive portfolio that generated about 6.5% yields. And to do this when our equity risk premium is over 6%. This portends well for the portfolio's future – but you need holding power.

It would help if you held onto the portfolio until the time interest rates are seen to stop rising, which can happen soon before the end of this year. After that,  you can experience an upside when favourable circumstances arise. One possible scenario is when China uses the “bazooka” to stimulate their economy. Another is when some hope of peace appears in the Ukraine.

In the meantime, as you build your portfolio, expect some short-term pain as REITs continue underperforming against the STI index. Find solace in dividend payouts and see every downtrend as a bargaining opportunity whenever possible. Our stock selections in this batch do not contain much controversy, and I look forward to investing in your picks as soon as I find the liquidity to do so.

Lastly, I hope Batch 31 will participate actively in the FB group. I look forward to seeing you in the following community seminar slated for Sep/Oct 2023.

Hope to see you then!


Christopher Ng Wai Chung

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