Investment Is A Marathon

Recently I came across a personal finance blog from a Singaporean.

The blog, called Lady You Can Be Free, is basically by a single lady who has been chronicling her investment and net worth annually since she started investing over 20 years ago.

What was interesting was that, she started investing when she was 26 years old (22 years ago). Here are the breakdowns of her investment portfolio:

  • 26 Years Old – 6,681
  • 27 Years Old – 5,780
  • 28 Years Old – 5,226
  • 29 Years Old – 7,338
  • 30 Years Old – 7,592
  • 31 Years Old – 112,701
  • 32 Years Old – 194,459
  • 33 Years Old – 328,885
  • 34 Years Old – 205,031
  • 35 Years Old – 322,434
  • 36 Years Old – 751,595
  • 37 Years Old – 803,702
  • 38 Years Old – 1,171,431
  • 39 Years Old – 1,440,792

If you look at her investment journey, the first 4 to 5 years were basically holding a few shares, and she could probably be trading in and out.

She took the plunge when she was 31 years old, and she grew her portfolio from 112k to 1M in just 7 years.

The highest growth rate comes from when she is 36 years old, where she managed to pick up some really cheap value stocks after the 2008 crash (when she was 33 years old). While her portfolio dropped by 33% from 328K to 205K, she might still be invested in the market, and when the market recovered, she rode the bull market run and doubled her net worth when she’s 36 years old. Subsequently, her portfolio grew by at least 20-30% annually, most of which is driven by the bull run in the US stock market.

Of course, she can do that because she is financially disciplined, do not have any dependant / family to feed, and channels all of her savings into the market. She had an opportunity to buy a private property but after realizing that the money is better off in the market generating passive income, she went ahead to get a HDB instead.

Takes a lot of resolve and clarity in life to make a decision like that. Inspiring.

As a result of that, she is living off a S$3k – S$6k of monthly passive income now.

Takeaways:

  1. Stay invested even when market is down.
  2. It is ok to not know everything / pay school fees in your early investment days. Make sure to build up competency and your war chest
  3. Market downturn presents a once in a lifetime opportunity to at least double your investment portfolio. I think everyone will have at least one opportunity (or two) in their life time. Be ready for it.
  4. Investment is a long term game, it’s a marathon, not a sprint.

We are probably in the dawn of a big market downturn, which can happen in the next 6 – 12 months. Hopefully we will be prepared financially to take advantage of that.

For now, I am holding onto more cash, and am only nibbling some cheap stocks when they come along. Hopefully there are more time to build up on my war chest before the market crash.

Current war chest is at 20+%, hopefully we can build it up to 40% before the market crash. That means, partial liquidation of active stock holdings, and also an increase in savings rate.

I’m 32 years old now, and my portfolio is probably not close to where she was when she was at 32 years old.

FML.

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