I started serious Investing Journey in Jan 2000 to create wealth through long-term investing and short-term trading; but as from April 2013 my Journey in Investing has changed to create Retirement Income for Life till 85 years old in 2041 for two persons over market cycles of Bull and Bear.

Since 2017 after retiring from full-time job as employee; I am moving towards Investing Nirvana - Freehold Investment Income for Life investing strategy where 100% of investment income from portfolio investment is cashed out to support household expenses i.e. not a single cent of re-investing!

It is 57% (2017 to Aug 2022) to the Land of Investing Nirvana - Freehold Income for Life!

Click to email CW8888 or Email ID : jacobng1@gmail.com

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This blog is authored by an old multi-bagger blue chips stock picker uncle from HDB heartland!

"The market is not your mother. It consists of tough men and women who look for ways to take money away from you instead of pouring milk into your mouth." - Dr. Alexander Elder

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Wednesday, 27 September 2017

More CPF investors beat guranteed risk-free returns in fiscal 2016

Read? More CPF investors beat guranteed risk-free returns in fiscal 2016

MORE CPF members who invested their savings in their ordinary account (OA) under the Central Provident Fund Investment Scheme (CPFIS) outperformed the guaranteed annual 2.5 per cent interest rate per annum in fiscal year 2016.

Some 78 per cent of active CPF investment account holders or 441,000 members achieved profits larger than 2.5 per cent in the 12 months to Sept 30, 2016 as equity markets recovered from the 2015 rut. Some 12 per cent or 66,000 active CPF investors incurred losses on their investments.

This was a marked improvement from the preceding fiscal year, when only 27 per cent of active CPF investors made profits larger than 2.5 per cent or 159,000 members while some 58 per cent or 340,000 members made losses.

Under the scheme, CPF members can invest in CPFIS-included funds such as approved unit trusts and equity funds, as well as other investment products such as stocks and shares, after setting aside S$20,000 and S$40,000 in their OA and Special Account (SA) respectively.

The CPF Board has tweaked the way it measures the performance of investments made through OA savings under the CPFIS to be more aligned with the industry practice of fund managers.

It has excluded CPFIS account holders with no investments, and factored in unrealised gains or losses for investments held during the reporting period from Oct 1 to Sept 30.

Previously, the annual report on the performance of CPFIS-OA only captures realised profits or losses and includes all members with a CPF Investment Account even if they have no investments.

The change in the formula will hence better reflect members' total investment portfolio performance, rather than just realised performance. But it will also lead to more volatile changes in performance on a yearly basis.

To reflect longer-term performance, the CPF Board will also provide the cumulative profit or losses over time.

These changes are made in response to an observation by the CPF Advisory Panel in August 2016 that the investment performance under CPFIS could include unrealised returns where relevant.

But given the resource constraints for industry players to re-compute the data using the new methodology for past years, the CPF Board could only go as far back as fiscal 2015.

Applying the new methodology for fiscal 2015, the proportion of members with losses was revised to 58 per cent from 38 per cent under the old method. (CW8888: Wah!)

The proportion of members who made profits larger than the guaranteed annual 2.5 per cent interest rate for OA savings was 27 per cent instead of 16 per cent.

The old way of calculating also included CPF members who have an investment account but did not make any investment last year, while the new method excluded that group. The previous calculation included 909,000 members while the new method covers 583,000 members.


58% or 340,000 CPF members lost money (realized & unrealized) 
27% made more than 2.5%
15% breakeven

Hmm ... Look like there may be more demand for investment talks and courses!

Look at STI!

Mr. Bear is still sleeping!

When Mr. Bear wakes up ... may be 90% will lose money!


  1. What is not known is how many cash investors who have lost their money? May be CDP should publish similar report on CDP investors performance.

    1. CW,

      No, the question to ask is why so many CPIS investors lost money even AFTER attending investment workshops and courses!?

      As for those who got invested after getting the "expert" advice from "financial advisors" - be it independent advisory firms, banks, or insurance companies - they should ask why?

      Tharman is honest; CPIS is not fit for purpose.

      The more people invest using CPIS, the more damage they do to their retirement savings... :(

      That's perhaps why big daddy now actively encourage bei kambings to go for the savings route:

      Voluntary contributions to self CPF OA and to the ones of our love ones; plus transferring of funds from OA to SA.

  2. Hmmm...

    FY2015 -- 58% lost money...
    FY2016 -- 12% lost money...

    Seems normal to me...
    STI dropped -28% from Apr 2015 to Feb 2016 ... that's a mini-bear!!
    While it recovered +28% from Feb 2016 to Sep 2017.

    Oh, there is hope for dumb bei kambings:
    Those who went all in at the previous top in Oct 2007 just DOUBLED their money.

    But you need to have bought an S&P500 index fund or ETF .... and re-invested the dividends along the way... Hohoho!!!

    1. Oops ... the link:


    2. Spur,

      Like that no need to use Fundamental or Technical analysis. Hey! Don't even have to attend courses and read investment books!

      Just buy at any price and wait long enough everything will be roses?

      For disclosure, and for the benefit of bei kambing readers out there, can you share whether you:

      1) Believe every word from that bloomberg article?

      2) Will adopt this strategy going forward?

    3. You like that said "bei kambing readers out there", who want to admit he/her is bei kambing huh?

    4. LoL

      Remember SMOL said nobody want to be known as poor or miser?

      Same same as being kambing

    5. lol ...

      Joke aside.

      If someone bought at peak during 2007, very likely that he will sell off his share due to fear and panic. Will he hold till the trough and still sleep well?

      On the other hand, we could use market cycle as investment strategy... general buy low (pessimistic level where PE and PB is lowest), and sell high (optimistic level where PE and PB is high). In short, mean reversion.

      Well, the method is easy to understand but difficult to implement.
      1. Fear, low will get lower
      2. Time, market cycle is long and unpredictable
      3. Cash - holding large cash for long eroded the value of money
      4. Patient - sit tight and do nothing
      5. Greed, may be take profit too early
      6. etc ...

  3. Heheh ... as I've mentioned previously, I used to be a MPT & DCA guy. I didn't fully subscribe to the EMH thesis, but over the long run (key question: How long??) markets tend to be good weighing machine as stated by B Graham & quoted a few times by Buffett...

    By Oct 2007, I had accumulated a sizeable portfolio mainly in ETFs and UTs with roughly 30% developed mkts, 40% EM and 30% global bonds. Well, I sat thru 2008 and 2009 .... suffered a few hundred K drawdown .... forced myself to re-balance from bonds into the totally trashed EM & developed equities .... and just hang on. Not a pleasant experience, but hey ... gotta practice what I preached right?!?! Hahaha!!!

    By 2010 I had read up on trending following & by 2011 started implementing it in my overall portfolio... But I still catch myself with behavioural biases --- 2nd guessing the trend following signals, fear with pulling the trigger, pain avoidance of taking small losses, etc etc. Experience helps A LOT with establishing the robustness of the system & developing better control of emotions. Kekeke!!!

    But as I've mentioned a few times previously, I still believe *most* people out there will do better with DCA-ing & annually re-balancing into globally diversified & low-cost portfolio over 20-30 years. But must be in a structure that prevents people from panic selling or panic buying. Compared to either trying to actively trade and/or simply relying totally on CPF interest rates.

    OK ... Best for last .... Nobody caught the catch in the Bloomberg article???
    It's true if you're American or anybody living & breathing US dollars. But if you're sinkie, you wouldn't have doubled your money --- you would have only got 1.58X your money due to the depreciation of USD. Hohoho!!!

    In fact if you had dumped all your money into a good Asia ex-Jap UT at the top in Oct 2007 & held on, you will have 1.7+X the money today.

    1. Spur,

      Exactly! This is what I wanted to flush out from you ;)

      Do what I say, not what I do?

      You har!

      Warren Buffett's patronising slap down is classic - this is what I DO, but for everyone else, don't hurt your little brains. Here's a lollipop (low cost passive indexing), go suck on it.


    2. You have a very strong stomach!

      You have sizable investible funds, would you consider to put some money into Fund Management and let them invest for you? Some FM has a track record of 10% returns after fees.

    3. Hahaha SMOL! I did say *most* people! :) :)

      I practice what I do for myself, but practice what I say for my wife ... coz I know she's more typical of "normal" average person when it comes to investing. Gotta keep it simple & grounded for her...

      After handholding her thru the GFC & recovered plus gained more in recent years, she's more confident of maintaining her "simple" 3 ETF portfolio ... I hope!!! Hohoho!!

      In the event I die or become vegetable, besides the insurance payouts, she knows to liquidate my portfolio & just put into her own portfolio or into her CPF.

      I don't think my funds can qualify for 0.5% fees or less! Hahaha!!!
      I also prefer to take a more hands-on approach ... Plus now that I'm not working, can spare the time lah kekeke!!!

      Most FM I've seen don't have a better performance record over 20 years as compared to a diversified low-cost portfolio. Some did great during 2003-2007 only to be crushed during GFC. While some did good during GFC only to under perform subsequently...

    4. Spur,

      You're a good sport!

      Not everyday I can meet fellow Trend Followers ;)

      And what do I do when I meet one?


    5. Well ... Since I'm a slow & lazy guy .... I'm glad that there are plenty of different types of trend following signals as well as time frames to suit trendies of all stripes & colours.

      Else the markets will look like Uncle8888's expenses "heart attack" schizo graph! Hohoho!!!


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