Q1 2019 Portfolio Review – Diversity is Key

The first three months of 2019 has seen global equities rebound significantly following last December’s sharp sell-off, driven by a less hawkish Fed and perceived progress made in trade talks between the United States and China.

With geopolitical tensions and mixed economic data threatening to grind the decade-long bull run into a halt, I have decided to positioned my assets to be slightly more defensive in nature – scooping up larger stakes in SSBs, adding a little bond allocation from the recent SIA 3.03% issuance and building a larger recurring income portfolio while cutting new injections in global growth oriented portfolios.

In Summary:

  • Continued building my SSB ladder each month – this will continue until I have six continuous month of interest income
  • Continued my StashAway, STI ETF and VWRD monthly allocation strategy
  • Invested a small sum in SIA 5-year 3.03% retail bonds – might divest this for REITs some time down the road
  • Added Frasers Property Ltd and reduced my CapitaRetail China Trust allocation slightly – this is to reduce the China overweight in my portfolio and also include developers in my real estate mix

This has given my portfolio a slight defensive tilt with broad-market ETFs driving a greater percentage of my overall returns.

YTD performance

I will only include ETF portfolio performances in the review as part of my new asset allocation strategy from 2019.

If you’ve read my earlier posts on building a sustainable and long term ETF portfolio, my strategy includes a mix of global and local ETFs.


1) Freedom Fund at 36% risk level

  • 6.7% (time-weighted)

2) Balanced Fund at 20% risk level

  • 5.3% (time-weighted)


  • 7.15% (time-weighted)

Of course, most of the returns was driven by the recovery of US equities markets.

Looking ahead

With further uncertainty in the markets – Brexit, US-China trade war, US yield curve inversion, weak inflation and slowing economic growth – markets are expected to trade with greater volatility. By stocking up more defensively while remaining invested in risk assets, this bar-bell strategy can help position myself effectively in times of depressed prices.

I plan to continue dollar cost averaging into my ETF portfolios while injecting additional cash into these portfolios when they drop by more than 5%.

1 comment

Leave a Reply

You May Also Like
Read more

Revolut Card Review: Revolut in Singapore!

While banks and larger financial institutions still win when it comes to reputation, fintech players bring about rapid innovation, cool features and ease of use with their super gorgeous UI. Let's talk about the latest kid in town - Revolut.