Portfolio Update Q1 2024

This month marks the end of the 1st quarter of 2024.  Thus it's definitely a good time for me to record the performance of my portfolio to track how it has been.

To recap, I started my SG Dividends Portfolio in late 2017, and I began tracking the dividends and all reinvestment done starting 2018.  To date, my SG Dividends Portfolio consist of banks, REITs and defense technology.  On the other hand, I only started the US Growth Portfolio in late December 2021.  Currently, my US Growth Portfolio consist of mainly big tech names, bank and exchange traded funds (ETFs).

Being a relatively conservative investor, I prefer to dollar cost average (DCA) into the market to slowly build up my portfolio.  The advantages of using Interactive Brokers to buy the US shares via DCA are undoubtedly the low fees and ability to buy fractional shares of mega-cap technology shares like Alphabet and Tesla.  The latest FED meeting in early March helped to calm the markets as Jerome Powell reiterated that rate cuts will happen in 2024.  Basically by now, I do not bet on the certainty of rate cuts within this year anymore, because how the FED acts moving forward will depend very much on statistics and the monthly CPI numbers.  The following week, CPI and PPI numbers all showed that inflation numbers are ticking back up, and this definitely upset investors.  However in the turn of events, the release of the 'dot plot' by FED signaled that they do have the intention for rate cut in 2024, though the number of rate cuts may be lesser from 3 to just 1.  Since all these are beyond my control, I shall just sit back and wait for the macro-environment to play out.

In the US Markets, S&P 500 seems 'tired'.  By early March, it seems like only AI-related stocks are the remaining ones that support the index.  Nvidia and Advance Micro Devices (AMD) are the top two AI-chip companies that are pulling up the index.  Other companies with AI-related services are also contributing to the rise, like META, Microsoft and Amazon, while rest in Magnificent Seven like Apple, Google and Tesla seems to be falling out of favour among investors, with declining share prices with no end in sight in the near term.  This is putting stress in my US Growth Portfolio as Apple, Tesla and Google are the main companies in my portfolio, Microsoft has a smaller weightage, and a very small allocation to VOO and Palantir.  The most exciting news to my portfolio is the probably cooperation between Apple and Google to release an AI phone, and that helped to prop up the share price of Apple and Google, with Google seems to benefit a tad more from this.  Overall, seems like correction is near, and I will embrace it and make some opportunistic buys when the time and price is right.    If correction does not come, life goes on.  I will just continue to try to earn peanuts by selling cash-secured puts with the limited funds I have, and hopefully recoup all the losses incurred from options in the past 2 years with time.  Slow and steady, and keep greed at bay.

Closer to home in my SGX Dividend Portfolio, REITs are still languishing at the lows, and persistent downward pressures remain due to uptick in inflation numbers, but the non-REITs are performing better.  As mentioned previously, share price of Singapore Technologies Engineering (STE) has inched towards SGD 4.00, and I have divested a part of my holdings and diversify the capital into Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation (OCBC) and United Overseas Bank (UOB).  Share prices of the banks and financial institutions are holding up well, which I believe will continue to hold up well till their XD date.  I will add more UOB shares into my portfolio when the price is right, and I plan to include Development Bank of Singapore (DBS) into my portfolio as well after its XD date as part of my diversification plan (if it does fall significantly, because price is way too high now).

On a happier note, despite the fluctuations in portfolio value, dividends collected in the first quarter has been satisfactory, at SGD 4,321.23 from quarterly dividends from Mapletree Family REITs and semi-annual dividends from Capitaland Ascott Trust (CLAST), Capitaland Integrated Commercial Trust (CICT) and ParkwayLife REIT (PWLR).  The positivity is that this amount is about 17% higher than the amount of dividends collected in the first quarter of 2023.  Despite this good news, I am wary of the performance of the dividend income in the next quarter, mainly due to the 32% decline in dividend to be paid out by Hong Leong Finance (HLF) in May.  Hopefully, it will be supported by the increase in dividends from other companies in my portfolio, like OCBC and UOB.  Nonetheless, this serves as a fact-check for myself, especially when it is a situation that is very real and possible when I practice Barista FIRE in the near future. This 'prelude' definitely helps me to think of possible resolutions that I can prepare and equip myself with to sail through possible periods of dividend cuts smoothly when the time comes (which I shared earlier in this post).

For this month, the total portfolio market value rose and crashed and kind of move sideways, closing off the month up slightly at approximately SGD 495k in this quarter, including a capital injection of about SGD 7.6K, which is a slight increase of about 1.7%.  The performance is within expectations because the approximately 50% composition of the REITs in the portfolio definitely pulled down the overall portfolio value with their languishing prices.  I will continue to diversify my portfolio so the allocation to REITs will decline to closer to 40%, and the allocation to non-REITs to increase closer to 40%, and the remainder for US Growth Portfolio.  Nonetheless, I am looking forward to the upcoming quarterly reporting, to continue to collect the dividends from my portfolio in the second quarter of 2024.  Barista FIRE, here I come...!

SG Dividends Portfolio

US Growth Portfolio

Total Portfolio Value: SGD 494,599.44 (USD 1 : SGD 1.3493)


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