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What did AK tell a reader who aims to save $1.8K a month?

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Hi AK shifu,

I have been following your blog for quite some time now (2-3 years)! I am 26 this year and have recently graduated and will be starting work next week. Over the past few years, I have made some money from trading physical goods and right now I have a warchest of about 30k. Once I start work, after accounting for all expenses, I will foresee myself saving around 1.8k a month.

Over the last one year, there have been a couple of corrections and on hindsight, its easy to say "damn! i should have bought some". However, a part of me is telling myself to hold on to the bulk of my money till the market crashes so that I start off at a good position. I think that is important. 

I see myself as a 'lazy' investor, so I am looking to invest in telecomms, various gov linked services and perhaps some reits for passive income which I believe to have upside in the next decade or two (healthcare and retail). Could I get your opinion on how to time my entry with this little money I have?

On a side note, I like what you have been doing with your CPF monies....

Why are cacti able to grow in deserts?


You sound like a very down to earth kind of guy when it comes to money making. You are also financially prudent.

As for investing for income, timing the market is difficult. Time in the market is easier unless you are not the disciplined or patient type or if you are using money not meant for investing.

Timing the market is not impossible though. It boils down mostly to luck. Did I know that the GFC was going to happen? No, I could not have predicted it. However, I could prepare for it. That is where our war chest comes in.

We cannot predict but we can prepare.

However, if we keep waiting for another GFC to happen (and quite a few people I know have been waiting for years now), all the while leaving our money in our savings accounts, then, it is a little silly.

While waiting for that big crash to come along which inevitably will happen one day, put some of our money to work with each correction in the stock market.

Do you believe in having some assets that do not move in the same direction as the equities market? My CPF money, I treat it as the investment bond component of my portfolio. A risk free, volatility free component which pays relatively good dividends.

I treat my CPF-OA money as the ultimate war chest only to be used in the event of a huge crash in the stock market as the opportunity cost of using it is quite high. I treat my CPF-SA money as the ultimate in investment bonds with an unbeatable coupon plus the magic of compounding.

I believe you will do well, given time. Gambatte!

Best wishes,

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