Saturday, June 15, 2024

Letter to Batch 34 of the Early Retirement Masterclass


Dear Students of Batch 34,

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

 As I cover this latest batch of students, interest rates are still high, and 2024 is expected to have just one interest cut around the year-end period after the US elections. The pessimists might say that the portfolio we build still faces some downside risks as REITs continue to underperform. Still, optimists would see this as a bargain opportunity with a longer stretch. After all, the projected yield of the portfolio built by this batch is high at 7.42%.

 Community observers who follow the construction of ERM portfolios should note that this class would have selected a large variety of local stocks, as dividends are pretty high across the board. However, I removed a few counters to make the portfolio more manageable and accommodate folks with a smaller amount of capital, so please refer to the rejected list of stocks for details.

 I am a realist. Students should see some capital losses if inflation remains high in the US, which is why I hedged with one banking counter. Otherwise, the portfolio will outperform if we get lucky and interest rates come down early in 2024.

Returning to the class, I wish to thank this batch of students for keeping me entertained and curious. The conversations in the classroom make the class come alive, and I’m grateful to be able to tap into your broad life experience today. I particularly enjoyed the conversations about Chinese society, what working in China feels like, and how the nature of involution has shaped Chinese society today. They gave me hope that the situation in Hong Kong has bottomed out.

Lastly, I hope Batch 34 will participate actively in the FB group. I look forward to seeing you at the following community seminar, which is slated for Q3 2024. 

All my focus is now on bringing LLMs into this program

Hope to see you then!

Christopher Ng Wai Chung

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