Saturday, December 09, 2023

Letter to Batch 32 of the Early Retirement Masterclass

Dear Students of Batch 32,

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

As I managed to complete successive instalments of this program, we found that the markets have been trending ever lower in 2023. Things have gotten so bad that the equity risk premium we tracked has exceeded 7%. The only time when the Singapore market was cheaper was at the bottom of the pandemic crash which created the most successful class I ever graduated.

If you decide to be plucky and invest this upcoming week in our portfolio your dividend yield will exceed 7.4%, and while there are no guarantees that geopolitics can worsen your performance, there are two upcoming events that may bring your portfolio performance some upsides.

The first is when the FOMC concludes in the middle of next week. If the Fed does not raise rates further, an investment into REITs should enjoy a nice rebound.

The second is after the New Year holidays when markets start 2024 with the Capricorn effect, which will bring further respite to Singapore stocks that took a pounding in December.

Beyond January 2024, I would like to think that luck may play a better role than skill. Things will look more positive if China demonstrates more resolve to stimulate its economy. Or perhaps we will see some glimmer of hope for peace in the Middle East. As far as Singapore is concerned, we’ve played our cards the best we can with a 30-day visa-free travel arrangement, our deep push into AI, and the arrival of Taylor Swift. As I’ve said in class, It’s ludicrous that such a well-run market with such a stable government can sell at a PE ratio of 9.7.

Lastly, I hope Batch 32 will participate actively in the FB group. I look forward to seeing you in the following community seminar slated for end-2023.

Hope to see you then!


Christopher Ng Wai Chung


  1. Think we have a dichotomy here lol.

    When it comes to biz operations & infrastructure (e.g. chip factories, Asia HQs etc), we're seen as efficient, safe & stable. And we have an expensive premium there.

    When it comes to our stock mkt, we're lumped with the other shit countries in Asia & have a big risk premium lol. Actually over the past 40 yrs I'm not sure whether a lowish PE has been the norm for s'pore while bouts of high PE has been the exceptions (usually leading to bad outcomes)?

    1. Yes, higher PEs are the exeptions rather than the norm. But maybe the new head of equities in SGX can do something about this.