Portfolio Update for February 2024

This will be a relatively short post, just to update on the transactions for the month.

For the month of February, it is a rather stagnant month.  The first half of the month is relatively positive, but after the release of the January CPI numbers, which came in slightly below expectations with CPI still hovering at 3.1% instead of the expected 2.9% (which is a major milestone being below 3%), the market experienced a significant pullback.  This was exacerbated later in that week by the hotter than expected PPI numbers as well.  This may be both a correction and profit taking, as the Magnificent Seven (with the exception of Tesla) or the AI Fives have had a long bull run.  So it may be time for them to take a breather.  Overall, I view CPI numbers with slight positivity, because although it remains above 3%, it has been in the downtrend and that is good news.  The worrying sign probably comes from core CPI, where it remains flat month on month.  Nonetheless, this news dampened the markets and pushed back expectations of rate cuts to second half of this year.  This means that REITs and Trusts will continue to experience stress, especially with the 10-year yields rising back up towards 4.5%.

However, bucking the mood, I am viewing this scenario positively because I have been waiting for a correction for the past month.  So this correction that occurred in the mid of the month presents a buying opportunity for me to slowly re-enter the US markets again.  Whether this will be a move that rewards me in the longer term remains to be seen, but I will need to remind myself to be a tad more patient, and dollar cost average into the markets at a comfortable pace.  In addition, I have closed all the put options that I sold in January with varying amount of profits.  The profits were not much, but I had to close all positions because I later found out what I was doing was actually selling naked puts instead of cash secured puts.  So, even with only single digit profits in some of them, I decided to close all the positions to protect the downsides.  With this, my total loss from options declined from USD 750 to USD 200.  After clearing all positions, I restart my options journey again this month, selling cash secured puts on Google and Palantir again, and this time, ensuring they are really cash-secured.  Hopefully with time, I can really rake in profits for my portfolio.

Back to the SGX Dividend Portfolio, as mentioned, REITs are having a hard time again after the release of the CPI numbers.  However, I am largely ignoring them for now as the REITs in my portfolio has released their earnings earlier in the month and as I am not considering selling any SG shares, the volatility does not affect me much, and I continue to indulge in the happiness of the increase dividends collected for the quarter.  Although this is a tad too early as it is only the end of February, but based on the release of dividend payout dates, by end of March, the dividends I will collect is approximately 17% higher compared to the same quarter last year.  This is better than expected.  In addition, the non-REITs in my SG Dividend Portfolio, namely Hong Leong Finance, Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation and Singapore Technologies Engineering has also declared dividends, which will be paid out by the second quarter.  Despite some performing up to expectations while some dive below par, these income are nonetheless good news for my portfolio and a welcome move despite the volatility in the broader market.  All in all, I am going to be a happy dividend investor collecting my dividends in March, and later in May.

An important update will be for this month, I have finally added a new powerhouse into my SGX Dividend Portfolio, and that is United Overseas Bank!  I am definitely late in the game, to include it in my portfolio only at this time, but hey, in the long term, better late than never.  The rational for this addition will be shared in a future post!

For this month, I injected approximately SGD 8.5K nett capital buying the following shares:

SGX:    CapitaLand Ascott Trust

             Hong Leong Finance

             Mapletree Logistics Trust

             Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation

             Singapore Technologies Engineering

             United Overseas Bank

US:       Apple





On the other hand, I have sold the following shares:

SGX:    Singapore Technologies Engineering

The reason for selling part of my shares in STE will be discussed in a later post.

Total Portfolio Value has decreased slightly by approximately 1.4% to around SGD 479K including capital injection.  The cash collected from the sale of STE were mainly reinvested into OCBC and UOB, which is regarded as a rebalancing and revamp of my portfolio.  I will continue to remain patient, slowly DCA into the market, and also reinvest the dividends back into the market to compound my portfolio.  Moving ahead, I may also do more rebalancing of my portfolio, especially the SG Dividend Portfolio to strengthen and make it more resilient.  I shall continue to stay positive but remain cautious, while collecting my dividends in the upcoming months!  Hopefully by 2H2024, inflation will be subdued and pressure from high interest rates can be alleviated.


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