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A letter from a 24-year-old fresh grad.

Monday, January 14, 2013

About a month ago, I published a very bracing email from a 66 year old retiree. The email affirmed that I have done good with my blogging efforts and I felt very much encouraged.

Of course, there are people, including eminent bloggers, who have been quite outspoken that my emphasis on investing in S-REITs in the last few years is only suitable for people who are older because they probably require a consistent income stream as they near or are in retirement.

My own stand has been and still is that what we invest in depends on our motivations for being invested. There is certainly nothing wrong with the young investing for income if that should be their inclination.

Today, I received an email from a 24 year old who has freshly graduated from the university.  He gave permission for me to publish his email which shows how pleased he is to be investing for income.

Hi Ak,
I've been a really avid fan of your site. I'm a 24-yr old fresh grad, who started investing 3 years ago.
When i first started, I read your blog with much interest, but great apprehension, because I didn't know much about investing early on.
After building a core portfolio, centering on S-Reits, my investing journey has been nothing but awesome.
First REIT is my best performing investment, and I would not have even bothered to look at it, if it weren't for your perspective.
In fact, my 3 year annualised gains for my entire portfolio is 22.67% per year! (In most part, thanks to you!)
So from the bottom of my heart, I sincerely thank you for all the good work that you have done, and for all the time and effort for crafting such good analysis and entries. :)

There isn't a holy book that everyone has to follow to invest in the stock market as far as I am concerned. There is more than one road to Rome and because others walk a different path from us does not mean that they are walking through rubbish.
There is room for diversity in this world and if a road takes us to where we want to go, it is in the right direction. Of course, we must first be clear on where we want to go and that is something we have to decide for ourselves.
Related posts:


jason said...

Hi AK,

As far as the outside noise is concerned, why bother? Success is the only vindication and most important, you are at peace with yourself. Also, havent had the chance to thank you for the wonderful intro to First Reit! Generating good income and lovely capital gains.

AK71 said...

Hi Jason,

There is plenty of noise in the world and I am sure my blog contributes to it. ;p

I have not reached a stage where I can be unaffected by noise. In fact, I am a light sleeper. ;)

This blog post is not saying anything new. It is, in fact, a reiteration of one of my beliefs as an investor. Actually, it is one of my beliefs in life.

This email from a young person who just freshly graduated and who has followed the path of income investing to his benefit provides a real life example for all to see.

I am not waving my flag and planting it on some unknown island to claim ownership. I am trying to reinforce the message that there are many different people with different motivations which would give rise to different approaches in this world. :)

I am happy that First REIT has been good for you. I talked about it but you decided for youself that it would be a good investment. Congratulations. ;)

EY said...

Hi AK,

You are absolutely right to point out that there are many roads to achieving financial success.

Income investing from the stock market (REITS & dividend stocks), if employed, should rightly form only part of one's overall financial roadmap. When we should go heavy weight on such a strategy depends predominantly on three things: (1) financial reserves one has built; (2) one's temperament which you had discussed before; (3) the market cycle. I see age as less of a consideration but that's just my personal take.

In all investment decisions, we have to weigh our own opportunity costs based on the above. By adopting a more conservative strategy, we of course would expect to see slower growth but we'll probably travel a road less bumpy. Ultimately, it's about knowing ourselves and making the decision that suits our personality and circumstances best. That's something you always advocate too. :)

Frankly, I've not bought into any REITS yet. Instead, I'm making concentrated bets on certain cyclical stocks for short to mid term. My income investing strategy is put to work in a different asset class as you already know. :)

Really, different strokes for different folks. Your unreserved sharing is meant to educate not indoctrinate. Other so-called 'eminent' figures in blogosphere would achieve more by offering similarly sensible solutions for readers to think about. If they keep talking about your ideas negatively, it might well be a psycological problem they need to treat. :P

Let's bear in mind that whoever making the noise aren't getting any sleep themselves. But if they are snoring, you can gag them with your used socks that smell of shea butter! LOL~


SnOOpy168 said...

Another fan mail. Beyond doubt and words here, I agree. Perhaps AK is the Andy Lau of S-REIT world, with a steady following & fanz.

Still remember how your blog helped newbie like me, walking thru the First REIT rights & excess rights issue sometime back.

Absolutely good karma for you AK.

AK71 said...

Hi Endrene,

Your last paragraph brought tears to my eyes. Haha.. I think the socks smell more of lavender oil than shea butter though. ;p

I am sure that others have their own views and approaches to wealth building. Indeed, so do you. I do not step down on their methods and, so, I do not think they should step down on ours. Civilised discussions are always welcomed but rudeness cannot be accepted.

Thank you for a very holistic view of the issue. I couldn't have said it better. :)

AK71 said...

Hi SnOOpy168,

Andy Lau? Oh, how I wish! Sigh. ;p

I am always apprehensive when people tell me they are my fans because idols can do no wrong! I want to remind everyone that I have been wrong before and more than once too.

I am more than happy to share my thoughts here and I am happier still if readers find them helpful. That is roughly the long and short of why I blog. :)

However, I still want to thank you for your encouraging comment. You have always had kind words for me. :)

anon said...

Hi AK,
I couldn't agree more with the fresh grad & the retiree who rightly describe your blog as inspiring, intelligent and helpful to investing newbies.
I learn and gain from following blogs likes yours, and hope that you will continue to blog.
Thank you from an appreciative reader.

AK71 said...

Hi jojo,

I am glad that my blog has inspired and helped you in your journey as an investor. :)

I cannot say for how much longer will I continue to blog as I don't want to make promises I cannot keep. At least for now, I have no intention to stop blogging.

Thanks for the encouragement. :)

Matt said...


I think I know who the prominent blogger whom you are referring to, who sneers at S-REITs. Let's live and let live.

I too would like to thank you for introducing and writing about First, LMT, Saizen and AIMS. I have benefited from all of them to the tune of 6 figures (paper profit) and collected dividends about equivalent to your annual dividends in the last 2 years. The ones you missed out were MLT and MIIF.

Write for those who appreciate your opinions and let the naysayers be. You can never please everyone.

Appreciative Reader

AK71 said...

Hi Matt,

Live and let live indeed. My blog post after this one will give readers a hint of the direction in which my thoughts have drifted since. ;)

I am pleased to learn that you are sitting on a 6 figures paper gain and have received annual dividends similar to mine in the last two years. Congratulations. :)

I am vested in MIIF. It is just that I never did blog about it much. See: MIIF: Realising value.

I missed out on quite a few including MLT but my plate is full as it is and I am contented. :)

You are right that we cannot please everyone. I hear you. :)

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