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Market gyrations, my portfolio and a sabbatical.

Friday, June 22, 2012

My investments in S-REITs are holding up nicely which gives credence to my strategy to overweight S-REITs in my portfolio. Their relative price stability and high distribution yields provide some solace in a volatile market.

A brief look at some of my larger investments in S-REITs:

1. AIMS AMP Capital Industrial REIT closed at $1.20 per unit. My cost per unit ranges from $0.775 to $1.10.

2. Sabana REIT closed at $0.97 a unit. I first initiated a long position at $0.93 in March 2011. I bought more as its unit price sank below $0.90. I am still holding on to those units I bought at $0.865.

3. First REIT closed at $0.90 a unit. This is an investment I have had for many years. My lowest entry price was $0.42 during the global financial crisis. I took part in its rights issue at $0.50 a unit. I bought more nil-paid rights for a total cost of $0.66 a unit. I also bought more units at $0.70+c.

4. LMIR closed at $0.39 a unit. Like First REIT, this is an investment I have had for many years. My lowest entry price was $0.185 during the global financial crisis. I took part in its rights issue at $0.31 a unit. I also bought more nil-paid rights for total cost of $0.331 to $0.365 a unit.

5. Saizen REIT closed at $0.143 a unit. The history I have had with this REIT is somewhat bumpy. I increased my long position once again with a large purchase as its warrants reached their last day of trading not too long ago. Average price of that purchase $0.129.




I have collected many quarters of income distributions from these investments and my war chest is constantly being refilled. So, I constantly have funds to take advantage of any investment opportunities which might come along.

My strategy is to stay partially invested as we must also have cash to continue investing especially if Mr. Market decides to sell good quality stocks and trusts at bargain basement prices.

Recent efforts to invest in some companies instead of S-REITs have produced below average results. In fact, my poorly timed investments in China Minzhong and Wilmar, although relatively small, are a drag on my portfolio's performance. If I had stuck to my strategy of concentrating on S-REITs in recent times, my porfolio would have fared much better.

Of course, there would be people who disagree. Readers who comb the cyberspace for information would have, no doubt, come across some local blogs which vilify REITs. Well, everyone is entitled to his own opinions.

I have gotten somewhat tired of defending my position. Actually, why do I even need to defend my strategy? If people like it, they are welcome to follow. If they don't like it, don't follow. This is a free world. Just don't be rude.

I was never a savvy person with IT stuff and when I discovered blogging, I was like a child who discovered the sweetness of sugar. I got a sugar high. I have always enjoyed writing. So, I took to blogging like a fish to water. Also, as I age, I have developed an increasingly serious speech impediment. To a rather talkative person, this is an annoyance and makes blogging even more of an outlet of expression.

Making money from blogging was never a first thing on my mind. It came about later on when friends suggested that I could put some ads in my blog. I must say that I have been able to make some pocket money this way. Pocket money? Hey, Nuffnang pays me 20c for every click I get for ads they place on my blog. If my primary motivation for starting this blog is to make money, I must be seriously mental.

If I were to stop blogging tomorrow, what would I lose in monetary rewards?



Well, I have been thinking of taking a break from blogging and I have shared this thought here in my blog as well. There are other aspects of my life I would like to spend more time on. There are also people I would and should spend more time with. It is also quite obvious to regular readers that I have been blogging less frequently too.

We often hear of the saying that "this is the last straw that broke the camel's back". Well, I think I got another catalyst to stop blogging at least for a while earlier this evening.

To my regular readers, you know which blog posts I have here in my blog which would keep you squarely on your goal of financial freedom. Each time you waver, come back to my blog and go down the right sidebar. I would also be doing the same, no doubt. It is not easy to start but start we must. The journey is hard but go on we must. When we see the results of our effort, it would get easier and easier. Remember, if AK71 has done it, you can too.


To new readers, understand that we are all different. Not everyone can be a Warren Buffet or Donald Trump or Robert Kiyosaki. They have all taken their own paths to success. You should find your own. Reading my blog, if you feel that my way is something you would like to emulate, give it a go but know that everyone's circumstances are different. Set for yourself realistic goals. Take baby steps but you have to work towards building up passive income to a level that is equal to or exceeds your earned income. Then, you would have achieved financial freedom and you work because you want to and not because you have to.

In everything we do, there is an element of luck. Even Warren Buffet was wrong before. No one is God and even with Him, there is debate on things He might have done wrong. OK, this is a sign that I should stop. Yes, Father, I have sinned.

----------------
The following was a blog post written on 28 November 2011 after talking to "ao" in LP's infamous cbox (Bully the Bear). It was never published... till now:

A reader asked me recently if I ever get tired of replying to comments in my blog, especially with skeptics aplenty when it comes to my investments in REITs. I told him that I am only human and I do feel tired sometimes.


Recently, I had lunch with the blogmaster of Time to Huat and another long time friend. They asked the same thing, almost. One of them said that some comments were almost repetitive and marvelled at my patience in replying to every comment even so.


To me, I feel that if a job is worth doing, it is worth doing well. How do we measure worth? In the world of blogging, at least to me, it is not measured in dollars and cents. I would be better off giving private tuition with my time, using such a measure.


When I started blogging, I took on certain responsibilities whether I knew it at that point in time or not. I am airing my thoughts in cyberspace. I am sharing ideas. Of course, there will be questions and also disagreements. What is a blogger to do? Face these squarely.


Being a blogger is like being a semi public figure. Semi public? Yes, we can choose to blog without revealing our true identity. I have gotten a taste of what it is like to be a semi public figure and I doubt I would ever want to be a public figure. So, although I have met a handful of readers and fellow bloggers so far, I have decided quite some time back to be more reclusive. I value my privacy too much to ever become a public figure.


Recently, I have been thinking again whether I should stop blogging altogether. My blog posts are usually crafted with care  So, it takes up a lot of time and I only have so much time...

106 comments:

FoodieFC said...

I will miss this blog if you really do stop.

But well, the decision is yours to make. Its your blog =)

AK71 said...

Hi FoodieFC,

I am going to take a sabbatical from blogging. How long is the sabbatical going to be? I don't know yet.

I will still come back and reply to comments periodically. I will try to be prompt in my replies but I hope readers would bear with me if I do take longer.

I am glad you have enjoyed visiting my blog regularly. :)

flyingchicken said...

NoooOOoooOooOOOOO...

I've converted all my portfolio to S-REITs after stumbling onto your blog since last year!

I'm totally SOLD on your strategy and now I'm trying to mimic your investing style by....well, buying what you buy! ;p

AIMS, Sabana, FirstREIT, Lippo, Minzhong all the companies I've bought after reading your posts.

If you stop blogging, I'll be totally LOST!!!!

OMG!!!! I'm going to have sleepless nights from today onwards :( :( :(

AK71 said...

Hi flyingchicken,

I hope you are jesting...

I am surprised that you have bought all the stocks and trusts I have blogged about. Well, if you did, you would have found out by now that I make some bad moves too...

Learn some FA and TA if you have not done so already. It might sound like a lot of esoteric mumbo jumbo but, really, they are not that mysterious. You can learn to make your own investment decisions in time.

Your comment has put me in a bind but after receiving a certain comment last evening, I just got the final push I needed to take a break from blogging. So, I will still take a sabbatical.

I will still reply to comments in my blog. So, I won't be vanishing from here. At least, I don't think so, for now.

Finally, if you are converting all your portfolio to S-REITs, not every counter I blog about is a REIT. China Minzhong is not. I bought that more for its growth potential. It does not pay any dividend (yet). So, if you are investing only for income, you might want to divest at a suitable time.

I apologise in advance if I have made any wrong assumptions about you in this comment.

Good luck to the both of us. :)

xq said...

I am a avid reader of your blog. It will be a great pity if you stop blogging. Your thoughts are always so insightful. I might start having sleepless nights too. Hope you change your mind after the break. I will still be checking your blog regularly - in case there is any updates.

XQ

Ray said...

What a loss!
You will be missed in fact I think we miss you already!!
If not for you many of us would never find some of the gems and direction to navigate thru the stock market volatility.
Seriously I respect you for selflessly spending time answering comments and sharing findings. And nobody will seriously think the few cents of advert money is your primary goal!
Of coz you ending blogging is something that I know may happen and I have thought abt how I personally should deal with such a loss and I haven't decide how I can deal with it yet!!! :(
But a rest will recharge you and hope you grow mentally and physically healthier! :)
Take care and do come back occasionally to visit your fans (who will be lost without u).

INVS 2.0 said...

Hi Ak71,

I was a little worried about your gradual fading away from the investment blogsphere. Like many others, I depend heavily on your information and knowledge for further directions. But ultimately, everyone should depend on their own judgement and knowledge, instead of relying on others.

But I have foreseen this kind of farewell or semi-retirement to happen, since I have been in this blogosphere for nearly a decade and saw too many hi-s and byes. People come and go. No one, not even powerful bloggers, can sustain blogging forever (unless they are doing it to earn ad bucks) :)

I am preparing for this day to come. So, being the first step, I rely on chartnexus for TA directions. The only challenge that I faced is the FA. I can't fully grasp everything that you know about REIT, like how you are able to calculate the future DPU by looking at the property acquisitions. This is like a magic to me.

But I think your vast blog posts on REIT are more than enough to cover the FA part even when you retire from blogging now. :)

Still, I do feel at loss with your withdrawal. :(

INVS 2.0 said...

...continued

On the other hand, I have been waiting for the next big shock to come. I just hope Moody's decision can bring a shock next week.

Let me enjoy the lust of buying more those low prices you have stated in your blog post, so that I can be a richer and happier Uni student in coming weeks. :D :D

ivan said...

Hi AK!

I have spent a lot of time reading your blog since I started trading only last year. I am appreciative of your efforts to share your knowledge freely.

While sReits may have its naysayers, I think most will grudgingly admit that sReits have been able to tide out the recent months' turmoil pretty well.

I have been following your investing model as well, but took profits, in some cases I think I may have slaughtered the goose too early. But nonetheless, I am still on the lookout and will pounce when the yield is even more attractive.

I have to be greedy when young :)

AK71 said...

Hi XQ,

I hope my sabbatical is not creating more insomniacs in Singapore. :(

I am going to take a break from blogging but I will still be around and I promise to check for comments regularly.

I am glad you have enjoyed my blog thus far and, yes, do come by regularly even if it is to read the older blog posts again in the meantime. :)

Ray said...

Yes your sabbatical has already created insomniacs. Just look at the timing of my comments! Lol. Ok didn't mean to stress ya, just wan to let u know u r a mentor but most importantly what I regard (abit one sided perhaps) a friend I made online.

B said...

Hi Ak71

It will be a great loss for your readers if you totally stop blogging altogether.

You are now a leading figure and example to many of your readers here, especially the new ones who has started investing. I think you may underestimate the importance of yourself but you have indeed give lots and lots of motivation to your readers.

But again if you feel that blogging and replying is taking up much of your time, why don't you keep it to once a week. This way, readers can still enjoy the geest of your work in your blog and at the same time you can still keep in touch with your journey as well :D

Hope you will re-consider :)

AK71 said...

Hi Ray,

Reading your comment almost brought tears to my eyes.

I have never thought of myself as an essential part of the local financial blogging community. AK71is just another blogger without much formal training in finance. His blog is nice to have but not essential. :)

However, I guess more regular readers who are active in commenting might take some time to make adjustments. Blogs are not like newspapers or magazines, after all. I have enjoyed exchanging comments with readers like yourself too and we share a bond in cyberspace. :)

I am happy that you appreciate the sharing that I have done so far. You don't have to worry about me not blogging anymore in future. I still like blogging but a break is good.

Well, you know that there are people who think that my sharing has done more harm than good, don't you? Haha.. ;p

There are also people who think I harbour ulterior motives for blogging the way I do (usually, all geared towards monetary gains). Well, another recent comment in an earlier blog post by a reader/blogger affirms this.

Such incidents when they do happen are enervating to deal with overtly if they happen to be comments in my blog or as postings in other blogs; if they happen to be emails, I would take time to reply to.

I have shared details of some emails with close friends and some fellow bloggers and they were shocked.

I think I might have said too much in this comment but it helps any person reading to appreciate how things have been building up and a final catalyst just brought things to a boil. I need to get away from it all for a while.

I want to stay civil and I have made every effort to stay civil. I am also human and I have an ugly side to me too and this might show as I respond to the negativities and allegations here and elsewhere.

So, a break is good and necessary. :)

Hey, my blog will still be here and I think some of the blog posts are quite timeless. Shameless me. ;p

I will still be coming back and will check for comments. So, I will be in touch.

Jean Yap said...

Hi AK,

Am I too late to notice your blog? I have yet to invest in any S-Reit.....still reading your old post & wanted to learn more from you.

Hope you will be back with us after RECHARGE.

Wish you GOOD LUCK & HAPPY ALWAYS

Jean

Invest Apprentice said...

Dear AK71,

I hope my comment did not come too late!

Like many others, I am a quiet reader of your blog. As a new investor who started late last year, I thoroughly enjoyed the learning and took action in buying S-REITs last Dec. To date I managed to make about 20% gain on my REIT investment, but more importantly I became a more informed investor through your insights. For this, and more, my sincere thanks. :)

I fully respect your need for a blogging sabbatical. I look forward to interacting and learning more from you in the future.

AK71 said...

Hi INVS 2.0,

Fading away makes it sound like I am entering Nirvana and leaving this world. Yikes! ;p

Wow, you have been blogging for almost 10 years? Actually, I should not be surprised. Younger people are much savvier with IT stuff, generally. :)

Well, maybe my sabbatical has a positive effect on you. Dependency is not a good thing for you or for me. Anyway, I see you have realised that and have taken affirmative action.

Honestly, REITs are easy enough to understand and calculating DPU as and when there are new developments is easier than calculus. Trust me. Just have to take some time to break down the numbers step by step and put everything together again.

As for blogging to make money from advertisements, unless I do what Mr. Brown and Xiaxue are doing, I would probably starve as a blogger.

You are right to say that my vast number of blog posts on REITs can act as a resource for you. Strip away the numbers and you would see the methods.

You are young and promising. You are ready to achieve much more. :)

AK71 said...

Hi Ivan,

I am glad you appreciate my efforts. :)

Yes, people are different and will hold different views on things. However, I always say that there is room for diversity in our world. There is nothing wrong with having differing views. However, we should be civil and be respectful of others.

Everyone is different in more ways than one. Not everyone can make it like Warren Buffet. Not everyone has his attributes of which temperament is one. Some people are more comfortable investing for income and like to have cashflow. Some sleep better this way. Being able to sleep better is priceless, isn't it?

Understand ourselves, our circumstances, our pyschology and our motivations. Then, choose the path most suitable for ourselves. Self-knowledge is often underated. Trying to be someone else very often is not the route to happiness.

I would be wary of people who have achieved success and expect everyone to follow their paths as they believe their paths are the only correct ones. Sounds like religious dogma to me.

Be greedy but be well informed at the same time. :)

INVS 2.0 said...

Hi Ak71,

You are already a part of the local financial blogging community. In fact, your blog is mentioned in one of my favourite investment books, Handbook for Stock Investors, written by Goh Kheng Chuan. Perhaps that's one of the main reasons why you have a large readership and even a fanbase. :)

As for ulterior motives, well, your strategies are proven right and effective to many of us, unlike the Sunshine Empire ponzi scheme.

But I believe one day, when you get older and advancing towards a full-time retirement, you might just want to restart blogging again. :)

Dividends Warrior said...

Hi AK,

I love your blog and visit it regularly, although I seldom comment. There are a few things I want to get off my chest.

I think I thank you before, but I will thank you again. Your info on First REIT and AIMS benefitted me alot. Dun worry, I did not follow blindly.

Here is a suggestion. Instead of blogging every week, I hope you can do a "summary" post whenever the REITs announce their quarterly results. It will just be 4 times a year. Just provide some essential numbers and straightforward short commentary.

Lastly, I feel your pain. You cannot imagine the amount of hate mails I received too. Some people criticized and "looked down" on my dividend investing method. Fortunately, I believed strongly in my method. I just ignore those insulting emails and press "delete". ^^

By the way guys, dun be sad, all of you can still seek refuge in my blog. Hahahahah! Nah, who am I kidding.......I am nowhere near the level of AK71. >_<"

Cheers,
DW (More Wealth with Less Work)

Kim said...

Hi AK
笔刀杀人比利刀杀人更无情, 也更绝。 因为用笔杀人不见血, 不必负人义与法律上的责任。 阮玲玉不也是死在遥言下, 人的嘴巴上。
问题是, 死得值得吗?
死有轻如鸿毛, 也有 重如泰山。
盼您在挣扎要停笔之时, 给以些考量。
因扩大的读者会很伤心若你决定停笔。
我们会像海上的船, 失去了导航, 失去了方向, 优其是在S-REITS方面。
Hope u reconsider ok

cko

Ben said...

Hi AK 47

Keep up the good work in your blog. It has been insighting to read your blog. I have gained valuable knowledge from your inputs.

I think that it will be a great loss if you stop blogging.

Ben

AK71 said...

Hi Ray,

An online friend, I am. However, I am less willing to think of myself as a mentor. My shoulders would ache from the weight of mentorship. The word "mentor" conjures up image of LKY right away. ;p

I am a night owl too and I have been trying to sleep earlier. Will keep trying. You try too. :)

Howyuan said...

Sigh, another humble investor is going for an unlimited sabbatical after MW.

Kids like me are going to have nightmares at night :(

But still, glad you find something to focus on rather than blogging :)

AK71 said...

Hi B,

If my blog has inspired and motivated readers, that makes me happy. In fact, when I revealed what I have achieved in dollar terms, it was meant to inspire and push people into action.

I know of a few people who have achieved passive income in excess of $100,000 per quarter or even per month. $100,000 a year will provide most average households with a comfortable though not luxurious life. It is a significant yet humble achievement which I feel is attainable.

It has been quite emotional reading the comments which have come in so far. There are more after yours. I will take time to reply to each one like I have always done.

I believe your suggestion that I blog less frequently has been suggested a few times even as I take a break from blogging. I will give it some thought. :)

AK71 said...

Hi Jean,

Well, depending on who you talk to, not being invested in S-REITs could be a good thing. ;)

Yes, as long as my blog is still here, I am never far away.

Thank you for the words of encouragement. :)

AK71 said...

Hi Invest Apprentice,

I am glad your decision to be invested in S-REITs has turned out well. You have done the right thing to buy when valuations are depressed.

Although I might sound like a broken recorder, remember that REITs are primarily investments for income. Any capital gain is a bonus. :)

I will still be checking on my blog regularly even though I do not blog as regularly. So, I am sure our interaction would continue over time. :)

AK71 said...

Hi INVS 2.0,

Goh Kheng Chuan? Really? Wah, he is leveraging on my blog to provide additional reading material and he did not even send me a complimentary copy of his book! So, I must buy a copy har? Grrrrrr... LOL

Ulterior motives... Yes, it is rather painful to suffer such accusations. It is worse suffering at the hands of fellow bloggers.

You are right when you suspect I would return to blogging again one day. Deep down inside, I have the same feeling. :)

Christopher Ng Wai Chung said...

Hi, just want to let you know that our portfolios are very similar and I benefited a lot from your postings and analysis.

I would like to personally thank you by buying a drink for you and giving you copies of books I wrote.

I would also like to bounce ideas off you because I am building a new portfolio of high-yielding small caps.

Let me know if you are free weekday evenings. My personal email is waichung.ng@gmail.com

AK71 said...

Hi DW,

You did your own due diligence and my blog just provided some fodder. :)

I have visited your blog a few times before and I think your efforts are really commendable. You have taken action and are staying the course. Good on you.

Hate mails will never go away. Just thank goodness we don't get the type that Xiaxue gets. Hahahaha.. No chance. I don't have blonde hair and blue eyes. ;p

However, unkind remarks from fellow bloggers, I feel, are even more hurtful because one would think that we are on the same boat and would know what it is like. Naive me.

I will consider your suggestion to blog on a quarterly basis. Thank you. :)

AK71 said...

Hi cko,

My eyes watered from reading your comment. It has been a long time since I read so many Chinese words but I am glad to report that although I took quite a long time reading your comment, I could still read about 80% of the words and I guessed the rest in context.

You make me sound like Yue Fei or some other general in Chinese history with all the dying and for the right reasons. hahaha... ;p

OK, I hear you and I will consider DW's suggestion for quarterly blog posts even more seriously. :)

AK71 said...

Hi Ben,

You have called me a weapon of destruction. ;)

I am taking a break from blogging. I don't think it is going to be a forever break.

In the meantime, there are plenty of other local finance blogs worth your time visiting. Keep an open mind. There are many roads to financial freedom. :)

AK71 said...

Hi Howyuan,

I am humbled indeed by the many comments I have received so far. I was rather teary eyed when I read some of them, to tell the truth.

You will find your own path to financial freedom. Do not doubt this.

If you should ever feel lost and need an anchor, my blog will still be here. :)

AK71 said...

Hi Chris,

I have always wanted to be an author. I have penned poems and plays before in my school days. I even tried to write a novel but that has remained unfinished till today. :(

Maybe another reason why I enjoy blogging so much is because it gives me an opportunity to live my dream. Haha.. ;p

This might sound anti-social but I am becoming more reclusive of late. Apart from my immediate family and very close friends, I don't feel like meeting anyone, not even extended family members.

I would still love to receive your books and this is a bit forward of me but it would be nice if you could send me electronic copies. ;p

As for investing in small caps, my own efforts have a rather spotted history. I wouldn't be able to make any meaningful contribution, probably. However, if you like, I would be happy to look at anything you might want to bounce off me in an email. :)

seth said...

Dear AK71, stumbling on your blog about 2 yrs ago is the one of the best thing that has happened in my investment journey. in 2008 market crash, i lost $20K in matter of days due to foolishness and ignorance. the lesson was painful. applying what i have learnt from you has helped me to accumulate enough gains to negate the loss and regularly receive income from my REITS dividends payout. i hoep you will continue to write; but i can understand that there are crossroads in our lives when we must heed the call of solitude and personal space. i will miss your insights and groundedness which is so evident in your writings and life perspectives. Take care and hope you will still write from time to time. Stay happy. =)

Serendib said...

Hi AK71,
truly sorry to hear you'll be taking an indefinite break, but I fully empathise with your decision.
A big thanks to your selfless posts and you're in inspiration to us all. Even though my exposure to REITs/yield stocks is a limited part of my portfolio, I have learned a lot.

What impresses me most about you is your humility. You readily admit that your portfolio/strategy will not suit everyone, and you encourage all to learn so as to be able to do their own due diligence.
All the best in your future endeavours.

AK71 said...

Hi seth,

I didn't know your past. You probably read about my experience too of how I lost a 6 figure sum in the global financial crisis and that woke me up and pushed me into action.

I am glad that sharing my experience and strategy through blogging has helped you. Having similarly helped anyone would be the greatest reward for my blogging efforts. :)

As suggested by you and a few others, I will consider blogging but less regularly even as I take a sabbatical.

Thank you for sharing with me how you found my blog and how it has helped you. I truly appreciate it. :)

AK71 said...

Hi Serendib,

We are living in a world of great diversity and I learned as a student that moving a solution that has worked in one part of the world to another part might not work.

People are different and even more difficult to understand compared to Mother Nature. So, I would not tell anyone that I have the perfect solution or strategy for him. He has to discover for himself what is "perfect" for him.

In my line of work, I do that too. I lay down the facts and propose solutions but the final decision lies with the client. Nothing hidden. He decides and he takes responsibility. ;)

Thank you very much for the comment and email. I appreciate it. :)

Ray said...

AK47? lol...

After replying so many comments, you definitely need a sabbatical! :)

AK71 said...

Hi Ray,

I had more comments to reply to in the blog posts which revealed my annual passive income from REITs last year.

Of course, that was before I disabled anonymous commenting in my blog. So, I suppose the numbers are not comparable.

I guess a break from blogging does not include a break from replying to comments in my blog. ;p

SI@SG said...

Hi AK71,

Your strategies on overweighting S-REITs were a masterstroke and i am an avid follower of your blog.
Your achievement in a passive income in excess of $100k per year is really an inspiration for me. It gives me hope that it is do-able.
Thank you for your lessons and hope to see you back soon. All the best!

Ah John said...

Hi AK, I am one of your reader too. I like this comment "Hope you will be back with us after RECHARGE". Time to time, you mentioned to stop blogging, maybe something you want to change in your life, but if you realize it's your way, then you may someday really come back to be with us, and never mention it again. Anyway, follow your heart. Although I will miss your blog.

JCK said...

Hi AK

OUCH!

i have been considering REITS for a year before reading your blog after which i took the plunge early this year.

Your insights into each individual company has been invaluable to me in my divestment into SREITs.

Will miss your quarterly updates of the companies.

Hope you will find rest and recharging in your sabbathical.

AND hopefully, its going to be sabbathical and not a retirement. :)
All the best.......

AK71 said...

Hi SI@SG,

It is doable and unlike some ill informed claims, it is not just plonking down money in anything that offers a high yield.

In fact, I just read this in another blog:

"Any Tom, Dick, and Harry who has $X,XXX or $XX,XXX on Monday can immediately become an investor with high yield dividend stocks for passive income."

but I am taking a sabbatical and, so, I went to take an afternoon nap from which I just woke instead of penning a rebuttal.

If people chose to put all their money in First Ship Lease (FSL),CitySpring Infrastructure Trust and MPSF, all of which offered very high yields at one time, I don't think they would be smiling now. Oh, I forgot Babcock and Brown.

If people chose to invest in MI-REIT (now AA REIT), Saizen REIT or Allco REIT (now FCOT) before the global financial crisis, they won't be smiling now either. Oh, I forgot India Bulls.

Just like investing in any company, it is important to do our due diligence when investing in REITs. Having a successful investment strategy is commendable but to step down on others is not.

People should remember that there is always an element of luck in everything that we do and not get too cocky.

AK71 said...

Hi Ah John,

The decision to take a sabbatical came about from a cumulation of negative experience in the blogosphere. There is a lot of cynicism and rudeness out there. Unfortunately, these people make their presence felt more than the pleasant ones.

If I want to continue blogging, I will have to continue having to deal with these issues. It is a package deal.

I will need some time to think things through and whether I want to continue blogging. Thanks for the kind words. :)

AK71 said...

Hi JCK,

I don't dislike blogging and what I am doing now is really just taking a break. There is a high chance I would be back but there is also a small chance I might not be back.

Thanks for the well wishes. :)

Jusmoi said...

Hi AK,

Like many others who have responded, I'm a quiet reader of your blog who seldom make comments. But your decision and the catalyst behind it has gotten me out of my shell to say something.

It's evident from the responses so far that your blogging will be sorely missed by many, myself included as your blog is not only on top of my bookmarks, but is also a daily read for me.

Like many, I have enjoyed and benefitted from your insightful posts and generous sharing. I'm referring to not just in monetary sense but also intellectually perhaps? Hee hee, more pressure on you :p

Consider myself a newbie even though I've dabbled for some time in stock investment, stumbling upon your blog is one of the best things that I have done. I have enjoyed reading your posts, whether financially related or not. Must be age, but I certainly feel money isn't everything.

I recall you mentioned before about doing a blog that's not related to investing, I do hope you will soon pick up the 'pen' again so that your fans will not get any withdrawal symptoms. No insomniac here, but I'm a night owl too ;)

Take a good break but do come back soon. Wishing you great health, joy and prosperity always.

Jusmoi

Victor said...

Hi AK,

I sure hope you'll be back! I have not been commenting much, but I am a regular reader and I enjoy your blog a lot. It's clear that you have put your heart into it. I will definitely miss it.

Seriously, I think you should keep blogging, just DON'T answer every single comment.

I shall patiently wait for the return of your blog. BTW, my promise to you re: your future visits to hong kong still holds!

Best wishes,

Victor, from hong kong

Don_Jerome said...

Hi AK

Just like to say that I've learnt alot from your blog. :) I even bought the two book you recommended in one of your comments:

1) Warren Buffet and the interpretation of financial statements

2) Technical Analysis Plain and simple

Just want to say that I really appreciate your sharing on your great insights which lesser men who sell for a fee in a course. I have learnt a lot and I am sure that there are many more who are silent readers(and fans) like I am.

Do come back AK. If only before your blog posts are an intellectual joy to read. Yes, I can tell great care is put into your posts.

Meanwhile, have a good break and enjoy life. :) I think you deserve it. All the best AK.

AK71 said...

Hi Jusmoi,

I truly appreciate your coming out of your shell and sharing with me your thoughts. I am very touched.

Yes, money is not everything, for sure. I have a blog post which talks about have passive income and the higher purpose which it serves.

Your comment and others like yours say that my blog has been useful and has done more good than bad. To me, this means that my time and efforts have been well spent. :)

This is quite different from other voices, including some from fellow bloggers which often put me on the defensive.

As for having a non-finance blog, I did start a travel blog. Problem is that I have not been travelling recently. Haha..

Here in ASSI, I do write about non-finance stuff in my "Tea with AK71" series. You will find the link to all the blog posts in the header of this blog.

I will take a break from blogging and I will enjoy it, I am sure. I feel lighter already. I will still check my blog for comments regularly in the meantime.

Thanks again and I also wish you the very best in all that you do. :)

AK71 said...

Hi Victor from H.K.,

You are one of my blog's first overseas readers I know. I still remember how you enjoyed chicken rice at the Mandarin Hotel in Singapore as well as your donation towards my blogging efforts. Thank you. :)

I have gotten to know a few more overseas readers over time. Some are from USA and Europe as they try to protect their wealth from being destroyed. They are all genuinely interested in S-REITs and have gained access to them. I am glad that my blog has helped them in their efforts.

As for not replying to every comment, if only I am wired that way. I feel that if someone has made an effort to comment, I should make an effort to reply. That is the boy scout in me. Life should be fair although I know it is not. What I can do right, I will do.

I remember your offer. You are very kind. Thanks again. :)

AK71 said...

Hi Don Jerome,

Those two books are the ones I have found most useful in FA and TA, respectively. Anyone just starting out would benefit from reading them. I hope the books have been helpful to you.

There will always be gurus who would share for a fee and what a fee. There are free resources aplenty out there and if we want to, we can teach ourselves.

I don't think I am a greater man or that these gurus are lesser men. There is room for diversity in this world and if there are willing buyers, there will be willing sellers. Right? ;)

Thanks for your kind words and well wishes. :)

I said...

Hi AK,
it'll be sad to see your blog go. but nothing lasts forever, does it? wishing you all the best, stay healthy and be happy! :)

JJ said...

Our dearest AK,
Really our biggest loss and yes we are lost:(
Tks......... for sharing with us & stays happy, healthy + many fruitful trades.
JOPY

AK71 said...

Hi Iz,

Being a student of Buddha's teachings, I am ever mindful of the impermanence of things.

For my own mental health, it is better that I stay away from blogging for some time. See no evil, hear no evil and I will say no evil.

Thanks for the well wishes. :)

AK71 said...

Hi JOPY,

You guys will be OK. Just do your FA and TA and be a bit more diligent than I am. I have been slacking anyway. ;p

I won't be doing much trading, if any. I am just staying the course and collecting income from my portfolio.

Volatile market and uncertain times. Bulls and bears could get equally bruised.

Thanks for the well wishes. :)

Mr ICICI said...

hi ak71,

im just pretty much a silent follower of your blog and hardly post any comments.
but i thought it's worth taking time to post a few words.
i find your blog inspirational and honest.
i have to say it's a pity you are going to take a sabbatical.
it's a shame the cyber space have so many anonymous online trolls. i'll never understand what their problem is. sometimes cyberspace just brings out the worst in ppl.
although i have my own reservations about investing in industrial reits, there are plenty of other valuable points i picked up from reading your blog.
i thank you for that.
and no matter how people look at it, your investment in industrial reits was truly a great investment masterstroke. the returns speak for itself.
I hope it's a short break. and hopefully it won't be long before you start generously sharing your investment ideas with us again.

Wishing you all the best in your future endeavours!

AK71 said...

Hi Mr ICICI,

Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts with me. I appreciate it. :)

Anonymous trolls... At the suggestion of the blogmaster of Time to Huat, I disabled anonymous commenting in my blog a few months ago although I was hesitant as many readers were commenting anonymously and some were genuine and constructive comments. They have since been unable to do so.

The cynical and even rude comments which affect me most are comments by fellow bloggers. Aren't we on the same boat? Why the bad behaviour?

I don't enjoy being put on the defensive and a recent allegation by another blogger was one straw too many.

This was followed by blog posts by another blogger directed at what I do, including a reference to my age. Yes, I am in my early 40s. He has taken upon himself to show how his method is superior and has made investing for income sound like an idiot's pursuit.

People have axes to grind and egos to stroke. Go ahead. I will see no evil, hear no evil and, hopefully, will say no evil.

I know me. I have been known to retaliate and I could craft very hurtful pieces of writings.

So, this break apart from giving me more free time for other pursuits in my life will also help to preserve my good Karma. ;p

Meanwhile, I will continue to visit my blog regularly and reply to comments. This, I promise. :)

Sanye said...

Hi AK,

I will surely miss your blog if you do stop. I have been a regular reader of it, though seldom posted any comment.

I just want to give you a big "thank you" for all the information you shared in your blog. It has helped me a lot.

Whatever you decide to do or not to do, I wish you all the best. May you and your love ones be blessed with good health, prosperity and joy in life.

Sanye

Sanye said...

Hi AK,

Like ICICI, I am pretty much a silent reader of your blog who seldom post any comment.

Sad to learn that you are taking a long break for I will surely miss your blog.

Just want to thank you for the information and thought you shared, and wish you all the best in your future endervour.

Be well and prosper!

Sanye

Jimmy Ng said...

"AK on sabbatical". I was reading with deep envy but with a twinkle of sadness.

Before you go, I have to thank you for the insights and logical discussions on your blog. My 1st journey into serious investment has been mostly at REITS. All thanks to your blogging & insights, which I have taken seriously as sensible reads.

While my passive $ isn't anywhere near yours but still one has to baby-step and start somewhere. something is better than nothing.
Just that little bit more to add yearly, and I think it will go a long way. Then, I will want a sabbatical for myself too.

Seriously, I don't think you are defending your goals and strategies but just sharing it. Like our status as smartly single, those married and/or with kids will sharply tell us otherwise. Heck, none of our business if they do or don't enjoy their current lifestyles. I just hate those baby strollers inside MRT trains, occupying so much space and tripping others around it.

Have a good rest and come back to chat often lah.

AK71 said...

Hi Sanye,

Thank you. I appreciate the kind words.

I am happy that my blog has been helpful to you.

May you be well and prosperous too. :)

AK71 said...

Hi Jimmy,

Yes, we make our own choices and it would be a perfect world if people respect each other and their choices unless their choices impinge on the rights of others. Unfortunately, there will always be people who would bulldoze their way through and mow others down.

There are many ways to creating wealth and the the stock market is just one avenue. Within the stock market, there are also many ways to creating wealth. Why do some people think that there is only one road map to wealth creation?

This world has room for diversity. People can cling on to their own beliefs but don't belittle others, no matter what their age.

Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts with me. I appreciate it very much and, yes, I will be back for chats. :)

INVS 2.0 said...

Hi Ak71,

On your issue with rude remarks, I guess you are not quite used to the "dark side" of the virtual space.

For a newcomer, it can be traumatising to invite an army of web trolls into your blog and hurl bad remarks at you. But after a while, you will become immune to the plague. :D

After all, you are the boss here and can delete their remarks off anytime. :)

I had a share of history with internet trolls and I fought with them until most of them got tired and gave up eventually. Some restless ones even persisted the cyber fight for years until I limited my blogs to only my own accessibility. :D

Looking back, these people accompanied me throughout my teenage days more than my friends and family. Haha. :)

AK71 said...

Hi INVS 2.0,

I only learned of web trolls recently. I don't have armies of web trolls attacking my blog, thankfully. There were a few incidents, however, I remember. Haha..

Anyway, there are other forces at work which resulted in my decision to take a break. I need time to resolve the feelings within me now. Why are things the way they are? Why can't people be civil to one another?

Thanks for sharing your experience with a blogging newbie. :)

INVS 2.0 said...

Hi Ak71,

Doesn't matter how others treat you. This is the real world. You have 小人 in office politics, you can also have 小人 in blogosphere politics. Just treat online trolls the same as real office trolls you met in the working world. :)

tt said...

i hope that you will continue to update from time to time. i really enjoyed your earlier posts on financial freedom as well as your updates on the various stocks you purchase. Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions =)

Jusmoi said...

Hi AK,

I think it takes strength of character and wisdom to not retaliate nor react to negative actions or words from others. It's easier said than done as we are only human and it is tough to be truly detached.

Yes, the world would indeed be a much better place if people could acknowledge that we are all different in our own ways, without running others down.

Take heart that there are many more who are clearly appreciative of your blog than those who make accusations of ulterior motives.

I, for one, will look out for more 'Tea with AK', or coffee perhaps? ;) when you're recharged.

Thank you also for taking the time to reply to so many comments.

Jusmoi

AK71 said...

Hi INVS 2.0,

We have people like that all the time everywhere. You are right.

We can choose to deal with the problem which is what I have done before many times but although I could stand fast and defend myself, each time, it would drain me.

I don't enjoy politics or mind games. I don't understand how some could enjoy these things. I like for everyone to get along in harmony.

If we have disagreements, at least be civil about it and be respectful of each other.

Yes, we can say what we want but are snide remarks and stepping on others really necessarily? How does that make us better or our cases more convincing?

By becoming inactive in blogosphere for a while, I hope to distance myself from it all. Hopefully, this would return some measure of equanimity. I also do not wish to say things which I would regret in future. :)

AK71 said...

Hi tt,

You are welcome. :)

As long as you have made the effort to leave a comment in my blog, I feel that it is common courtesy that I make an effort to give you a well considered reply. Aren't blogs a form of social media? Naturally, it should be a two way street. :)

I am happy you have enjoyed some of my earlier blog posts. I think I know which ones. They were written to inspire and to motivate. If, after reading my blog, people feel the need to take charge of their finances and make positive changes, my blog has fundamentally succeeded in its mission.

OK, I promise that when I feel up to it again, I will blog. :)

AK71 said...

Hi Jusmoi,

Retaliation will not make me a better person although I could enjoy transient satisfaction. Mind you, I thought of it.

However, I suspect the blogmaster of Bully the Bear to be correct when he said it could make me an angrier person.

I told a reader in an email that I do not crave blogging longevity, nor do I fear displacement. I do not have any self-serving agenda as a blogger.

I don't have to prove that my method is superior to others. Indeed, who says I have a single method? Nor do I depend on blogging for a livelihood.

What is my blog's purpose? It is definitely not for self-glorification. What is my blog's worth? It cannot be measured in dollars and cents.

This is why walking away from the blogosphere, the only real regret that I have is the inability to continue sharing with people who appreciate what I have done. To continue sharing, however, I would be a constant target for some which is not fun.

Finally, no need to thank me for replying to all the comments. I thank all of you for leaving me comments. It has been good for me and when I feel ready to blog again, I know there will be an appreciative audience waiting. :)

William said...

Hi AK, guess by now all the words I wanted to say has already been mentioned by others. Just wanted to let you know that if not for your blog, I would not have started planning for passive income in first place. Heartfelt thanks to you as mentor to guide us on the road.

Have a good rest and we as your loyal reader and follower will await for your return.. Meanwhile, take care of your self and best wishes for your endeavor.

Best regards
William

Happy Woof & JJ said...

Hi AK,

Your insights and comments provide an alternative view which had always been valuable to me in making a judgement, before my investment.

I sincerely hope you can continue blogging as like other of your fans, we can be at lost at times for some meaningful independent thoughts.

Perhaps a weekly summary review and update during the result announcement ? -:) opps am i asking to much ?? :)

Thank you and we very much hope to hear from you and thoughts always !

CK said...

Hi AK,

I want to say thank you, from you, i have learned alot on investment with REIT.

I had been following your blog for close to two years.Now you are leaving, i will learn and walk on myself in the future with investment on REIT and i will always remember your teaching in financial freedom which encourage and inspire me.

PLs permit me to call you SHIFU! Hope that oneday shifu will be back blogging again! I will look forward to the day of SHIFU reture. Until then, let me wish you all the best Shifu!

AK71 said...

Hi William,

I am always happy to learn of people who have taken steps towards financial freedom. I am even happier when they have done so after reading my blog. It gives me that extra push to continue blogging again one day.

Thank you for the positive reinforcement. :)

AK71 said...

Hi Happy Woof and JJ,

I guess these are the names of your pet dogs? I took a look at your profile. Haha ;)

I am asthmatic and I try to stay away from dogs and cats but you know what they say about people who love dogs: they are good people. :)

I am considering a quarterly blog post as suggested by DW. I think that is doable and would be a good outlet for me in case I suffer from withdrawal symptoms. ;p

Thank you for the comment. I appreciate it.

ekran0plan said...

Hi AK

Like some of those who left a comment I only read and enjoy your insightful and balanced posts. Regrettably, I have not never participated in a discussion with you.

All the best in this "cooling off" period, hope you come back soon. I've made a note to myself to engage you in meaningful conversation if and when you return, as we have a lot in common in our investment strategy.

Cheers and have fun!

AK71 said...

Hi CK,

Did we start exchanging comments almost two years ago? Time really does fly.

I guess many things have changed in that time but my decision to overweight selected S-REITs in my portfolio has not. I still believe that current conditions are benign towards S-REITs and are likely to remain so for some time to come.

REITs are not difficult to understand and for anyone investing for income, S-REITs are a viable option. We just have to keep ourselves updated and do the necessary, like with any investment.

There are some readers who call me shifu but I have to say that I am really not shifu material. Haha.. Really. However, thank you for the compliments. I am very touched. :)

AK71 said...

Hi ekran0plan,

Cooling off period. Sounds like the GE all over again but it is most apt a description. I smiled when I read it. Thank you. :)

I am always happy to hear from like minded investors. I would also like to hear from people who disagree with me as long as they are civil about it. Sorry, I couldn't resist adding that last line. ;p

I look forward to hearing from you when I do start blogging again; yes, I am quite sure I will one day. :)

Jo said...

Hi AK,
I hv learned so much about investing from reading yr blog. Slowly growing my passive income from dividends, and seeing good results. You are a good person and so sincere in sharing yr knowledge with yr readers. Our loss if you quit blogging.

AK71 said...

Hi Jo,

I am glad you are happy with the results you are seeing from investing for income. This is one way we can protect and grow our wealth in the stock market.

I won't quit blogging. At least not after all the comments I have received here. I just need to take some time off and get away for a bit. Thank you. :)

coconut said...

ah, thats more like it. you know AK, there isn't many savvy investor that are blogging (even fewer for trading), really not many.

if you stop, it will be a great lost to all of us.

take a break but please come back.

AK71 said...

Hi coconut,

When I see you and SMOL sparring in his blog, I know you guys are the 高人. ;)

I wouldn't think of myself as savvy. I have made enough mistakes to know that I am not.

I would say that I am practical and through the ups and downs in the stock market, I have tried to stay practical.

By being practical, I decided that I should put most of my money in S-REITs given that conditions are in their favour.

Some say cash is king. I say a strong cashflow is king particularly in uncertain times. Putting most of our cash in the bank has a huge opportunity cost. Investing most of our cash in growth stocks is too risky.

We want to put our cash to work but at the same time, we worry about capital loss. That is a perpetual conflict. S-REITs are, for me, the investments of choice to resolve such a conflict and that is where you would find most of my money.

I was also lucky because I picked up some stocks during the global financial crisis. These were very rewarding. Could have been more rewarding as I had a huge position in Saizen REIT and I could have made about $50K on two occasions if I had sold but I held on believing in my target price for the REIT. Then, of course, the triple disasters struck. See? Not savvy. Haha.. Stubborn.

So, how would we know that our strategy is the right one? It is easy to say it was right or wrong on hindsight. This is a failing I might develop as I grow older. Heavens forbid. Things which have turned out right could have gone wrong. Things which have turned out wrong could have gone right.

I believe, therefore, that success is 30% hardwork and 70% luck.

Actually, you don't have to worry about me not blogging. See how my comments are long enough to put some blog posts to shame? ;p

INVS 2.0 said...

Hi Ak71,

You are not old. Early 40s is still a young age to boast about. I have seen many older people in my life and they are still motivated and optimistic with their lifespan.

To say about investing mistakes, I do have my fair share of losses. I invested in growth stocks and lost quite a sum during the 2009 and 2010 eurozone shocks. I decided to avoid them for good.

Thankfully I read Goh Kheng Chuan's book and ventured into Dividend Warrior's blog before coming across yours and discovered S-REITs. :)

But it's good that you are replying comments. I can still ask questions on S-REITs, although in your absence will complicate things for a period of time before I could completely walk on my own. :D

AK71 said...

Hi INVS 2.0,

My health is not good. So, I don't feel that optimistic about my lifespan. Anyway, it is not how long we live but how we have lived that is important, isn't it? ;)

There isn't anyone who has not paid school fees to Mr. Market. I am very sure of this. Anyone who claims otherwise is fibbing.

As long as my blog is still here, I am still here. If you leave a comment, I will try to reply in a timely manner.

I am taking a break from blogging in the hope that I won't be put on the defensive again by certain people which could stir up feelings I rather not have. I am not avoiding my readers. :)

I must read Goh Kheng Chuan's book. This is the second time you have mentioned it here. I still think I should have received a complimentary copy. Hahaha... ;p

Chris said...

Hi AK

I am your silent reader and enjoy your views and comments. Thank you for contributing and I am very much enriched by your blog. I have followed some of your advice as well and benefited from it. I have done some silly investment and paying tuition fee as a result. Whatever your reason to stop blogging, I wish you will not but I respect your view. It will be sad but heyho the sun still shines tomorrow. Cheers and you will still be in my bookmark.
Regards,
Chris

AK71 said...

Hi Chris,

I am happy to hear from all my readers but I suppose it is more of a treat to hear from those who have stayed silent so far. It really helps me to appreciate the kind of reach my blog has achieved in a short span of two and a half years. It evokes a strange mix of happiness and humility in me.

Hey, two and a half years! ROD loh! Or, in today's army lingo, it is ORD loh! Er, if you are not Singaporean, just ignore this. ;p

Do come back again to touch base but please forgive me if I am not as prompt in my replies. Thank you for taking the time to leave a comment. :)

havefund said...

AK,

I enjoyed your blog. I overhauled my portofolio and invested into Reit with the cash I got from selling a property. Is like a day I woke up from bed and I said I have enough of trying to buy into something hoping that it will grow big and earn the appreciation to I am ok with just stable income quarterly (the warm fuzzy feeling). And here I am.

I bumped into your blog after all these and I was happy that there is someone out there who shared the same investment belief. And I am particular impressed by your details in your analysis and more so your guts and honestly to take credit and admit mistakes. Is rare.

So I am your fan and you will be missed. I hope you continue to blog lesser perhaps. Unless you are like Xia Xue, I can understand it is hard to handle today's barrage of sometime "senseles and self fulfilling" view points and comments from some individuals who hide behind the new media.

I am also going for my sabbatical from work for awhile concidentally. I kinda of have enough of corporate world and like to take a break. Salary from work is a bonus now although $ is never enough honestly :D. Time for myself, family, parents, health hobbies is not bonus but expected.

I believe your blog has help many others. I wish when I was younger there is a mentor around to guide me here financially. I come from a poor family of a room flat with both mom and dad struggling to put food on table. Looking back, an open mind and willingness to listen and my parent's never say die attitude has helped me to who I am today...so my point is your blog could be that mentor to many who need this financial intelligence to get them a heads start. So hang around and continue your good work.

Ok enough said, thanks and I hope you have fun and enjoy life! Get a girlfriend if you don't have one, get marry if you have one or more... :D

Cheers!

JJ said...

Big Hello to AK & friends! Just to say hello! Mr Market's mood is very good today, what abt yours? Be happy & remember to smile everyday ('@')
JOPY........

Sandy said...

Hi AK71

Like some of the others who have commented on your sabbatical, I am a quiet lurker until now.

Thank you for sharing your investment strategies and thinking. Perhaps I am naive or just trusting, but I do not sense any ulterior motives from your posts. I have recently taken some of your advice on S-REITS, and very glad I did!

I would have loved to learn more about TA from your writings(plus do further reading), but have been lazy and relied heavily on your final analyses/recommendations! :b. Now that you are going take a step back from your blog, maybe it's time to get off my lazy a** and do my own work! Especially since "financial freedom" as you out it, is my goal too.

Your occasional non-investment and philosophical musings have also been entertaining and insightful!

So, thank you again, I wish you all the best, and hope you have a fruitful sabbatical. Hope to see you back here!

AK71 said...

Hi havefund,

Some feel more comfortable with receiving regular income from investing in REITs. If there is something wrong with the strategy, we would appreciate being alerted to it, for sure. Why do some have to make snide remarks about such efforts?

I have removed the most offensive blog from my blogroll so that I do not have to see such bigotry and behaviour anymore. I feel that it would go some way to restoring some equanimity in me. What I don't see won't affect me. Like what I told a fellow blogger, there is no point in following a blog whose writer steps on what I do every chance he gets.

If I were Xiaxue, my response would have been more extreme, I suppose. Haha.. Would have gone ballistic. ;p

Thank you for sharing a bit of your history with us here as well. I think it would inspire readers here too. It has a message that with hardwork and some financial savvy, we can all improve our lives. :)

You are right about keeping an open mind and being willing to listen. People who are close minded often limit the options they have in life. Of course, for some it could be too late. That is pretty sad but they would have to settle for what they have and make the best of it. There is always hope.

After all the comments here from so many readers, I would be quite happy to continue blogging but perhaps I would be less prolific and only after a break. Thank you for your words of encouragement. :)

As for marriage, I would rather not really. Cohabiting is my preferred choice. Shh...

Enjoy your sabbatical. :)

AK71 said...

Hi JOPY,

Thanks for the cheerful message. Hope that everyone will make some money from Mr. Market. :)

AK71 said...

Hi Sandy,

Yikes, lurking sounds terrible but I know "lurker" is standard lingo in cyberspace. ;p

Now, I think that the final catalyst for me to take a sabbatical could really be seen as a blessing in disguise.

If I were not so upset and so moved by these accusations and sarcastic blogs, I would not have announced my decision to take a break and I would not have received all the comments here with some revealing more than I would ever have imagined.

So, thank you very much for sharing with me your story and how my blog has been a positive influence. I appreciate it. :)

Life should be a journey of self improvement and in more ways than one. Once we stop learning new things, we stop moving forward. We cling on to what we know and refuse to accept any others. It becomes akin to religious dogma.

The only constant in life is change and everyone is different. So, there is no one perfect way or solution that will fit everyone. We will find our own way. Remember this as you work towards financial freedom. :)

INVS 2.0 said...

Hi Ak71,

Now I know what actually happened. I guess some despos started blogs and posts to defame you and your strategies?

Don't quit because of that. Their main purpose is to oust you out of this blogosphere so that they can continue to trick people with their ulterior motives.

You have revealed a lot of things to newbies like us, some even "market secrets" that drew newbies away from their scheming products. I believe a handful of those despos, or so-called your competitors could be insiders working in the stock market. They despise you for exposing market secrets and workarounds to guide newbies from falling into their traps.

I was tricked by a finance manager from a reputated bank before, thanks to my ignorance of the stock market and no one to guide me at that time.

I must thank you and your blog for information. :)

I remember when I read a book on stock market written by a reputated local figure, he mentioned that he received many hate emails and threats for exposing market secrets to the readers. But it's his obligation, as an experienced investor, to guide newbies. That's the spirit!


If leaving blogsphere is due largely to those despo blogs, then ignore them. You have done a greater service to the majority and save them from falling into the dirty tricks of scheming finance experts! :D

AK71 said...

Hi INVS 2.0,

Well, there are some who laugh and ridicule and there are some who are downright derogatory. I just got tired of being a target and being put on the defensive.

I know people who tell me to just ignore and do what I have been doing. I am not wired that way. If someone has slapped me on the right cheek, let him slap me on the left cheek, pretending nothing has happened? Since I cannot do that, just go away and not be slapped anymore. :)

Apart from some bloggers who make a living providing financial services and advice to people, I don't know how any other blogger who has belittled a strategy like ours would stand to benefit. Like I said, they could have axes to grind or egos to stroke.

Anyway, I have taken steps to ring fence myself from such sources of aggression. So, now, the only way I would be exposed to bigotry and rudeness again is if these people were to comment in my blog.

This does not mean that I do not welcome discussion on the possible shortcomings of my strategies. I appreciate it very much, in fact. I do not know everything, surely. I just wish for discussions to be civil.

Time will heal and I will be back. I am enjoying the break very much now. Lazy me. ;p

thepotatotimes said...

Hi AK,

Chill and stay cool. Guess my observations these few months was correct after all :) Don't worry too much about nasty comments. The way I see it, you stand up to it well. :)

Blackjack

AK71 said...

Hi BJ,

You long life. LP and I were just chatting and mentioned you. ;)

When nasty stuff gets thrown at us, we can either try deflecting or dodging. I have been deflecting and I feel that my defenses are intact but it got rather tiring deflecting. So, I am trying dodging now.

What are your observations these few months that are correct? Share please. :)

Howyuan said...

Well AK, if people are out there to defame you and your strategy because you interfere with their rice bowl, so be it.

A blog should be one's diary after all, and you can always deactivate comment/email on your blog, save the hassle reading and replying, especially those not so nice ones.

Happy blogging = happy life :)

AK71 said...

Hi Howyuan,

I really don't need a blog to record my thoughts like a diary would although it could be nice to have. I have always found it strange why people would want an online diary which is open for all to read (with the exception of Xiaxue since she makes tons of money from it). For me, a diary is private and not for public consumption. :)

I was already sharing ideas with friends and family before my blogging days. The blog was started initially out of boredom and curiosity and it just grew. So, instead of just sharing with friends and family, I was sharing with hundreds and possibly even thousands of people in cyberspace by now.

Although the suggestion was put to me much earlier, I took a long time to finally disable anonymous commenting in my blog and I will tell you that many readers from the early days of my blog no longer comment due to this. I do miss some of them.

Blogging is a social medium. So, being able to interact with readers is what makes blogging a more enriching experience. Without this engagement, it is not blogging. It is just an online publication, a newsletter.

No, that is not what I want. In fact, when I started the "Tea with AK71" section, I said that it was done to make my blog more personal and less like a newsletter.

Anyway, thank you for your suggestion. :)

mark said...

Ohio from japan! Wow I was mentioned.... hehehe
I hope nothing serious happened on your side. Text me kay?

AK71 said...

Hi Mark,

Wow! You are there already? Take more photos, OK?

I am just taking a break from blogging. No big deal. I could be back blogging again by the time you return to Singapore. ;p

We catch up when you are back. SMS is very expensive in Japan. :)

thepotatotimes said...

Hi AK,

What were you guys talking about? I have some problems assessing LP’s chatbox recently. Somehow, my office has banned it due to ‘chat/instant messaging content’…

You don’t need to deflect or dodge. I saw an interesting facebook post which I would like to share.
‘If life hits you in the face, hit back, hit harder, and keep hitting.’ Of course, you could try reason before that too.

My observations? Ah… Let’s just say they are the same ones that you had when you made this post. I do visit blogs here and there though I don’t often comment ok? ;)

Blackjack

AK71 said...

Hi BJ,

I mentioned to LP that we used to chat in the cbox and it has been a while. LP said he met you before and you are a sharp looking guy. Only good things lor. ;)

Wah! So violent! Hit back and hit harder and keep hitting! Yes, I would always try reason first because I am a lazy person and hitting sounds like it might hurt my fists. ;p

Yes, I guess you guess correctly. :)

Anyway, although I have not blogged for a week, it feels like I have not stopped blogging at all with all the replying to comments I have done.

I really appreciate all the encouraging comments everyone has taken the time and effort to make here. :)

I am thinking of blogging while on a sabbatical from blogging now. Wahahaha! ;p

This would mean a reduced frequency as I take it easy. :)

INVS 2.0 said...

Hi Ak71,

Relax. Soon, your skin will grow thick enough to fend off unwarranted attacks on you. :)

I have been through tight waters in the blogosphere and like you, I avoided blogging for a long time. I only came back recently to write some stuffs about investment but gave up again as I found myself lacking the passion that I once had a decade ago. :(

That's why I don't encourage you to withdraw too long away from blogging, else once the withdrawal momentum is built up, you can never return back like you did in the past.

Lam said...

Hi AK,

I am a silent reader of this blog for about a year now and i've learned so much from you. I am sure there are countless people you didn't know exist that will miss you when you are taking your break.

If you must, do take a rest and come back recharged :)

Cheers,
Eugene

AK71 said...

Hi INVS 2.0,

I am relaxing now. It is quite nice not to know what is going on in the world of financial bloggers for a change. It is not always good to have too much information.

I read an article somewhere recently and I have to apologise that I cannot remember the writer's name. She said that we should just stick to what works for us and not be bullied into following someone else. That resonates with me but bullies will never go away and it is so much easier to become bullies in cyberspace.

About not taking too long a break from blogging, I hear you. :)

So, instead of stopping altogether, I might reduce my blogging frequency as I still want to take a break.

I had a conversation with someone recently and I thought of blogging about it but I didn't because I am on a sabbatical. Haha.. Maybe, I will blog about it after all.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts. :)

AK71 said...

Hi Eugene,

I am glad if my blog has helped you even a little on your journey towards financial freedom.

I am aware that there are many other voices out there and we want to consider all available ideas before settling for what we are most comfortable with that would work for us. I am but one voice amongst many.

I really appreciate your words of encouragement and I will be back. :)

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