Time to take stock – the half year review

We are now more than mid-way through 2013 and it’s a good point to reflect on the basics of investing. How has this year’s performance impacted your portfolio?

When Will America Come Off Its Steroids?

The perceptible chatter in the markets right now is the possible end of monetary easing in America. It seems that the thought the US might dare to stop printing money has got some traders chewing their nails down to the quick.

For the last few years, America, and for that matter, the rest of the world has been enjoying a lavish diet of cheap money served up by the Federal Reserve. Countless billions of freshly created US dollar bills have been pumped into the US economy that has found its way into the property and stock markets of not only the US but around the world too.

Where To Find Market-Beating Shares

Dear Reader,

It’s been an amazing start for the Singapore stock market this year. Since 1 January, the Straits Times Index has increased around 6%. If things can carry on at this rate, we could be looking at a rise of around 20% for the Singapore benchmark index in 2013, which would be even more amazing.

For many investors a return of 6% in just four months would be considered a financial triumph. After all, if you had left your money in a savings account you would have collected next to nothing in interest.

Overcoming Our Greatest Investing Fear

Dear Reader,

Around the time of the Millennium, it was very unfashionable to own, or even consider buying, any share that was not related to telecoms, new media or technology. You almost certainly didn’t want to be seen to be keen on the consumer goods sector. Not unless you enjoyed being ridiculed.

I recently read in the Straits Times that the reason why so many people shun the stock market is because of a fear of volatility. It seems that we hate the idea of shares bobbing up and down in value. Actually, I suspect many of us don’t mind too much if the shares we own go up but we can’t stomach it when they come down.

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