Wednesday 25 August 2021

Passive Investors in STI ETF - What's Your Response?


Owning Singapore stocks has been a poor bet even for investors with long horizons.

If you are an active investor, the response to such articles is easy - just show your own track record!

Like our good friend the fisherman - CW8888.

His one man army track record is only 2% off from big daddy's Temasek!

If you are a passive investor who bought or dollar cost average into the STI ETF for the past 10, it would be interesting to hear from you!

5 years ago, I poked passive investing got one biggest blindside - its active in disguise!


Why indeed!

For the past 10 years, our STI has lagged US, Europe, and Global ETFs...

How confident are you that in the next 20 to 30 years, our STI will outperform the other Asian indices?

If you say the difference is only a few percentage points...


Isn't that your argument that passive investing is superior to active investing?



  1. Smol,

    STI huggers are praying for mean reversion.

    Hey, maybe US & China will blow each other up with nuclear missiles.

    Maybe the rest of the so-called fast growth Asian countries will be consumed by Covid Omega variant & turn into zombie land.

    And Europe? It's non-reproducing population will die out leaving only sheep & goats to wander the landscape.

    STI will be the last man standing. Then we'll moon.

    You'll see. :P

    1. Spur,

      These STI only Pandas and Koala bears probably don't fear concentration risks.

      Its a bit like working at Worldcom or Enron, and putting all your life savings into shares of the same company you worked for???

      I'm a bull on Asia this century.

      So if one does not fancy buying the World Index (don't want to be drag down by US and Europe), can consider Asia ex Japan.

      I'll stay clear of any country that's rapidly aging with declining birth rates.


      Isn't Singapore like Japan?

      No worries. If and when our assets start to decline in value, we just tell big daddy,

      "Just kidding! We support your 8m population target all along! Let them in. We need new blood to rent our flats and buy our properties and stocks!"

      No one can "roti-prata" faster than a Singaporean when it hits his own pockets!

  2. Buy and hold doesn't really pay for STI.

    But no one ask u to buy and hold HDB until the lease complete its decay

    But selling is difficult too.

    If u having difficulty buying low, what makes u think u can sell high?

    But I hardly think many who trade around STI do very well either, barring outlayers.

    Also, track records is good but also has "present" bias la. In 2009 most people has no track record or so so only.

    If we dun look at present, past is over and future is uncertain.

    1. Sillyinvestor,

      You have summed up the difference and dilemma between Earn More and Save More paths ;)

      The problem is when we confuse passive investing as a "Save More" alternative to CPF or fixed deposits in banks.

      Can be quite tempting when sell-side snake oils dangle 30, 50, 100 year track records to entice you that stocks in general, tend to give 8% annual returns, if we buy-and-hold long enough...

      Compared with CPF's 4%, and when we compound the differences over 30 years, no brainer which is more attractive!

      Earn More is not for everyone and anyone. Just like not everyone can be profitable in STI even if doing active stock picking like CW ;)

      People forget though passive investing indeed beat the majority 3/4 of hedge funds, there's still 25% of hedge funds that beat passive indexing handily!

      Save More is more like communism - everyone and anyone can do it with similar results.

      No skills, brains, or luck needed. Just need discipline to save.

      The drawback is you are totally dependent on big daddy for the interest rates you get.

      Unlike Earn More, if the vehicle's yield too low, you can switch and search for higher yielding vehicles. But that's how self-destruction starts too...

      So once again its back to knowing yourself.

      And how big your own feet ;)

  3. The moral of the story is don't do passive investing as Koala/Panda in local SGX market!

    1. CW,

      No free lunch.

      To do passive investing, we are in fact frontloading all our future active decisions into one single moment in time:

      What or which vehicle to ride ;)

      To do passive investing with STI ETF, its a concentrated bet our STI will outperform all other stock markets and other asset classes in 20 to 30 years!!!


  4. Smol,

    Passive investing into many baskets for the generated dividend to cover the annual expenses on a continuous basis.

    1. Smol,

      Sure. the details will be reflected in the post dated 2 April 2022 in my blog.

      Do look out and give your comments.


    2. WTK!!!

      You're a blogger too?

      I didn't know that!

      You so low key that you never link your blog to your nick profile?

      Just saying.

      No, you don't look like those who wants to monetise your blog (just look at the number of ads in my blog), but sometimes reaching out to more readers can be fun especially when we get those who got "substance" or "ink" their bellies ;)

      You are prolific too!

      Are you a member of SOKA?

      Reading your daily posts reminds me of reading Nichiren's writings...

      I'll bookmark your blog.

      Don't worry. I never shy to post comments.

      Just as long you don't mind my barb comments!


    3. Smol,

      Yes. I have been a blogger since 19 May 2018. I prefer low profile approach as I focus on writing my daily thoughts on this blog.

      Monetising my blog is of no interest to me at this point in time. I am not a member of SOKA. I am merely an individual with free spirit mindset. "Lone" is my style of approach as I am more inclined of doing the things of my interest on my own. This is free of restriction with the burden of peer group pressure.

      Feel free to add your barb comments. I welcome them. You may not see my immediate response as I am focused on doing the things of my interest at the prevailing point of time. It may take years, months, days, hours, minute for my response to your posed questions. I will definitely reply when I happen to see them. Time is of essence.


    4. WTK,


      See you around!

      Either here or at your place ;)

  5. Ouch. Dust myself off and move forward? Haha! I guess life is like an experiment for me. We learn about theory lessons first, and then practical sessions to see if it really works for us, then we go back to our theory to refine our thoughts, then ..

    1. Kevin,

      I like your attitude!

      That's how I learn things the hard way too - crash got sound!

      Vehicles are vehicles; its us the driver that matters ;)

      Once upon a time, US investors are like Pandas and Koala bears - US stocks only please!

      Then John Templeton came along, saw an opportunity in International Stocks, and the rest is history...

      But nothing wrong in having a STI only ETF if we have an edge over other International investors investing in STI - that's provided we have our own backyard advantage over them!


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