It’s the last day of 2014!
Thanks for following BigFatPurse.com all these while. It is time to review the happenings in this year. I have to write it down otherwise I would lose my memory few years down the road 😛
We will begin with the top ten most visited BFP pages in 2014!
- STI ETF Monthly Investment Plans Comparison – Why POEMS Share Builder Plan is Preferred?
- How I Blew Up $105,000 In My Trading Account
- How Does STI ETF Give Out Dividends?
- You Shouldn’t Open a Cafe For Money Unless You Scale
- Singapore Property Auctions
- What is the difference between Cum-Dividend and Ex-Dividend?
- Why I Stopped Trading
- Play CASHFLOW Game Online!
- Your First $1,000,000 Making It In Stocks by Dr Michael Leong
- The Economics of Lor Mee
Blog to Business
It was a major transition for BigFatPurse last year. We turned from a blog to a functional business providing financial education to the public.
Here's our mistakes. Don't do the same.
We asked 14 Singapore finance bloggers to share what they would do if they could go back in time and invest their first $20,000. They can no longer rewind time, but you can learn from their experience and hopefully start with a better footing.
Though it may sound glamorous to own a business, it is a war zone behind the scenes. There were a lot of uncertainties and discomfort in this journey.
What if you failed? The odds are always against entrepreneurs. In Asian culture, it is very shameful to fail. You will be marked as a failure for the rest of your life. Many of us are concerned about how others perceived us. I find it no longer worthwhile to spend energy trying to ‘comply’ to others’ perceptions. Once I got out of this perception trap I started to do the things that matter.
What about your paycheck? I have to admit that the knowledge and certainty of getting paid on a predictable basis is highly comforting. This is the thing I missed about employment. It isn’t easy to get out of this comfort zone to start a business. I never knew when I was going to be paid, or will I ever be. This uncertainty can be very unsettling but I eventually overcame the challenge. But it won’t go away entirely. The fear of opportunity cost will haunt once in a while, especially when the going gets tough.
Like a boss. At times, we wished there was a boss to tell us what to do and shoulder the responsibilities if things do not go well. But no, we have to make the hard decisions. Power comes with responsibility.
Any advice? We are not business veterans and we have a lot to learn. When faced with tough decisions, we usually consult others for advice. More often than not, we found ourselves more confused due to the diverse perspectives. Don’t get me wrong, they had well meaning intentions but we have learned the key to accept or reject an advice lies in the context. Many of these ‘solutions’ would not work for us because we had a different context.
But ‘no one has done it before’, We also wished we had model answers or ten-year series we can refer to so we just have to execute the plan. But no, there is no SOP when it comes to building a business. We have received a few “no one has done this before” replies. This is a classic herding mentality. We find comfort only when others have done it. It doesn’t mean we cannot be the first.
This reminds me of Roger Bannister story. There was once people didn’t believe it was possible to run a mile under 4 minutes. Roger broke this myth and within 46 days, his record was broken by others. We want to push the envelope of financial education and we are not afraid of “no one has done it before”. Why not? Pushing boundaries is one thing, staying within legal limits and ethical grounds are paramount.
Passion business. The fuel that propels this business engine is the passion for it. I did not choose to start this business for money. I would have stuck to my well paid job and took less risks. The pleasure really comes from doing what I love, making a difference to people and make money out of it. I wrote about this passion cycle a year ago.
Even though we are a business now, we are still going to produce quality content twice a week for free. We are honoured if these articles can inspire you to take care of your finances or offer smarter ways to get better returns. That’s what kept us writing for the past 7 years.
Walk the talk. I invest my money in CNAV stocks, exactly the way we shared in our courses. I track my performance to make sure the stock picks are faring better than STI. I would report the time-weighted returns as shown on Dr Wealth platform (most if not all funds use time-weighted returns, but I find that money-weighted returns (IRR) is more suitable for individuals. Time-weighted returns will measure stock picking skills while money-weighted returns will measure your capital deployment skill.) As at 30 Dec 14, the CNAV portfolio returned 44% vs STI returns of 6.3% in the past one year.
Value Investing Mastery Course
We have only introduced the Value Investing Mastery Course in Feb 14 and we have 455 graduates in the first year. We would also like to thank the financial bloggers for graciously attending the course and wrote nice words about us. Kudos to Christopher Ng, 15HWW, SGYI, Richard Ng, Desmond Yee, Brian and HYOM. The course focuses on the Conservative Net Asset Value approach, picking out undervalued stocks that would have been missed out by majority of the investors.
Here are some photos of the past courses:
We have organised a gathering for VIMC graduates in Nov and we are grateful that Aggregate Fund Manager, Eric Kong, and Wongamania Game Designer, Xeo Lye, graced the event and gave us insightful talks!
The web-based CNAV database screener has also been completed and her name is CNAVpro! It was a productive collaboration with ChartNexus, kudos to the engineers who worked hard on it!
We have conducted 4 Pro Bono Talks for organisations this year and we hope to do more in the future. We talked about basic investment such as dollar cost averaging the STI ETF and measures to protect oneself against investment scams.
Besides these private events, we did a couple of public events with Shareinvestor (“Picking Healthy Stocks”) and PhillipCapital (“Growing Your Portfolio”). Thanks to the staff for the collaborations and to the audience for attending!
Thanks to all who have helped us in this past one year!
We wouldn’t be able to accomplish much without the help of others. We held a year end party at our office to show our appreciation. I would like to say thank you to Han Hui, Ling Hoe, Ellain, Jeremy, Ee Hwa, Eric Kong, Seak Eng, Kelvin, Hooi Ling, Xeo, Sam, Getty, Vina, Andrew Tan, Yew Kin, Roland, Eileen, Wei Teck, Kenneth, Dr Tee, Brendan, Hendra, Yew Meng, Hendri, Say Meng, Chiu, James Hon, Raymond, Calvin Yeo, James Loh, Leries, and Kevin Khoo.
Here’s what we have planned to do:
- Publish Singapore Permanent Portfolio book
- Speak at the inaugural Personal Finance Investment Seminar by financial bloggers
- Introduce new courses tailored to beginners
- Introduce more resources on BigFatPurse.com and a fresh new look
- Write more quality content and articles
- Produce educational videos
- Publish useful calculators
- Interview interesting investors or traders
- Incorporate Wongamania as a learning tool in one of our courses
We are going to stick around for a long time. We hope you will be part of the journey.