Friday, February 15, 2019

My investment journey in creating a US Fixed-income portfolio

This blog is to document my investment in overseas Fixed-income, MLPs and REITs portfolio to supplement my current SGX portfolio.

I am in my late 40s and I am planning to retire early before 55. I am an active reader in redit FIRE forum. When I first started work in mid-90s, I already have a plan to save as much as possible to retire early. However,  most of my investment did not do well in the the earlier day. I have lost more than 100K from the Clob, S-Chip,97 Asian currency crisis and 2008 GFC. During my generation, investment was based on online rumors and punting on speculative penny stock or some unicorn. Really wish we have such an investment blog and forum to educate about money matter.It is not the loss in the investment that hurt me during the financial crisis in 97 and 08, it completely destroyed my psyche as an optimistic person!  I was on a 10 years financial hiatus after losing so much from 1994-2008 .I purely rely on FD since then.

I have about 500K saving left after 2008 but have been sitting on cash for a long time until I met an ex-schoolmate who told me about S-Reit in 2013 . I went to research S-Reit and AK71 blog show up on the top search. I was still very skeptical even after reading initially. Eventually I tested out and his method suit my investment situation the best. So ASSI AK71 blog kind of reintroduce me to passive income and dividend investment. Later on, I read more on fixed income investment and become more confident on that investment philosophy.  I am planning to retire early so I prefer my investment to be less volatile and conservative. My portfolio is now around 60% in bonds /preferred , 27% in reits and the rest in stock /MLP. Of these investment, 70% are in US markets

Some might wonder why a Singaporean like me has such an high allocation to an overseas market. As I mentioned earlier, I only restarted my investment journey rather late in 2014 after the 2008 GFC. When I look at the SGX markets, the kind of investment I really want is REITs which has run up quite high since the 2009-2014 recovery. I learnt my lesson in the past not to chase after stocks. I started to look for overseas investment opportunity and from all fixed-income articles I have read, US provide the best market for fixed-income investment. BTW, fixed income investments which generally pay a return on a fixed schedule with protection to their principle capital. Individual bonds may be the best known type of fixed income security, but the category also includes bond funds, ETFs, FDs, and money market funds. The attractiveness of  bonds investing is that they have a much longer terms than fixed deposits, locking in an attractive interest rate. Bonds usually pay semi-annual or quarterly (for baby bonds). This enable fixed income investors like me to ladder their bonds investment to receive predictable payout throughout the year. As I will be an early retiree, I like the idea to get consistent income every month. This is the first reason why I am primary investing in US market. 
However, the second main reason I am investing in US market is that I have been living overseas for 11 months out of the 12 months in the last 24 years. Most of the countries I lived in are good with using US dollars for my daily expenses. Due to long period of living abroad, I can't foresee myself retiring in Singapore. Therefore, I work out my portfolio to have 70% US dollar income and 30% SGD income. This allocation works out great for me as it provides me a well balanced diversify investment portfolio.

Currently, I am  getting about 62+K SGD or 48K USD passive income annually. This works out to be 4K USD or 5.2k SGD per month and it adequately covered my expense. In the next article, I will write something on US corporate bonds investing.


  1. I'm glad I came across your blog. Bookmarking it. I'm a novice investor, however, I have a similar thought process as you. I want to concentrate on us fixed income securities and use SG/MY for dividend stocks.

    Learnt so much from your writings, especially the painful period of your loss.


  2. Hi Ram, Thanks for your comment.. Glad to share my experience. Hopefully , it will get better in the future.

  3. Interesting sharing. Bond is something that I have never ventured into. Looking forward to learning from you !

    1. Thanks Lady for your comment .. I am very impressed with your investment portfolio and find that I have much to learn from you as well.