DIVERSIFY YOUR INVESTMENTS PORTFOLIO, DO NOT FALL PREY TO EASY SCAMS

Yet another investment scam?

I refer to the article “Wine investors cry foul over dealings with 2 companies” (Straits Times, Oct 4).

It states that “According to the Consumers Association of Singapore (Case), between Jan 1, 2009 and Sept 18 this year, it received 66 complaints against AWI, TBW and Emily’s Fine Wines, a retail and wholesale firm linked to TBW.

Diversification of your investment portfolio?

Mr Lou Ghirardello, managing director of online retail firm Wine Exchange Asia, said there should be an advisory panel to guide investors. “Something has to happen to protect these poor people, because this same thing has been happening time and time again,” he said.

Mr Kueh Yong Say, a 65-year-old retiree, said he is looking for work again after losing hope of getting his investment of $100,000 with AWI back. “It is one of the biggest mistakes I have ever made,” he said.”

My current asset allocation …

In this connection, I was speaking at a seminar to an engineering professional body and one of the attendees asked me – “What is your current asset allocation and why?”

It was an interesting question (trust an engineer to ask such a question!) – and one which I don’t think I have ever been asked before.

I don’t really keep score

Actually, I do not keep very good records or keep track of my assets.

I used to in my early years – keeping detailed records and calculating diligently the increase (or decrease) in my assets and the annualised rate of return at the end of every year.

Why did I stop doing this? I guess perhaps the best explanation is to use an analogy.

After playing tennis for 50 years – I don’t really listen to or care about the score anymore.  I just enjoy myself – play the game and focus on improving my repertoire of strokes.

My asset allocation

So, to answer the original question – here’s an approximation of my asset allocation.

… 50 per cent in property (I’m like the typical Singaporean!)

… 10 per cent in cash (S$, Sterling, US$, Canadian $, NZ$, A$, HK$). My S$ are all sitting in savings accounts earning just 0.1 per cent per annum, as I like to be “ready for action” when an opportunity arises.

I do not normally keep much cash, as I am a believer of being “fully invested”. After all, I have about 10 free lines of credit “just in case”.

… 10 per cent in commodities.  Commodities have been down for so many years (my worse current asset in performance). Hopefully, the notion that the more and the longer an asset class has been down – the higher may be the probability of it going up, works for this.

… 10 per cent in fixed income. I am not optimistic about the prospect of a rise in interest rates.

… 20 per cent in equities.  I am not currently optimistic as the equity markets have been bearish.Oh I almost forgot.  I have about 2 per cent invested in movies. I am one of the executive producers of Ilo Ilo (40 international awards).

And just in case you are wondering – I rarely borrow to invest.

Leong Sze Hian

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