Achieved 12% Return for Portfolio in 2023

A strong rally in November and December supercharges the portfolio’s return to 12% for the year! SG portfolio which has been in the negative and lagging ES3 for the year, also manages to turn the table and eke out a small return of 2.7%.

A slightly higher XIRR of 13% means the movement of money in and out of the portfolio has a positive impact on the return. If you are wondering the difference between TWRR and XIRR, I have included a few related links at the end of this post for your exploration.

Star performers come from the US portfolio. No META or NVDA in portfolio, but there are enough other tech counters that boosted the return of US portfolio to a whopping 44%, outpacing SPY’s 24%.

The three leaders in the SG portfolio, iFAST (38%), Mapletree Industrial Trust (16%) and Daiwa House Logistics Trust (14%) did well but they are up against very strong competition.

On the absolute scale, ANET, iFAST and SHOP lead the chart with 5-figure return. On the other end, only Micro-Mechanics has a 5-figure loss.

Since Inception (2020 – 2023)

Performance for a year never shows the full picture. The image below shows the return of this portfolio over the 4 years since its inception in 2020.

Despite the good performance this year, portfolio has yet to recover from last year’s fall! While SPY is just a whisker from its all time high, it’s still quite a gap for my portfolio.

While it falls short of my 10% target, I am more than satisfied with XIRR 9.0%, as that’s quite a buffer from the minimum 6% I need to get, so that my plan will work.

Not to forget that the past 4 years have not been the easiest period to invest – pandemic, geo-political tension between US and China, two on-going wars, and the spike in inflation this year. Considering all these, getting an average of 9.0% return from a plain-vanilla portfolio (no option, leverage, or crypto) is something that I am proud of.

Better off just to invest in SPY?

Not for me. Yes, SPY’s return over the 4 years is better than what I am getting. However, the question I asked myself is if I am able to hold on to my investment or add to it with its volatility?

As mentioned in this post Why I do not practise DCA or (simply) Buy the Dip, my conviction in my investment lies with the business fundamentals and the people behind it. This allows me to hold on to my shares during a bear market or when the business does not do well periodically.

I would find it much harder to have the same conviction with an ETF, especially if near to half my net worth is in it! Someone else might be able to do it, but it’s just not me.

Hence, as long as I am still getting reasonable return, I will continue to manage my portfolio actively.

Top and Bottom 5 Performers

Over a longer period, the top 5 performers in percentage and absolute value are much more similar.

Position sizing, selling the losers and building on the winners, resulted in having at least a 5-figure gain for the top performers and at most a 4-figure loss among the bottom performers.

Looking ahead towards 2024

2024 marks the fifth year since the inception of this portfolio.
2024 is the original targetted year to achieve financial independence.

Setting goal, planning and acting on the plan is always an on-going process. However, there are always some milestones in our life that we feel more attuned to think about it. Hitting the big 5 next year is definitely one such moment.

With ingrained habits and thinking, I do not think that there will be much changes. However, by planting this seed in my mind, I have one year to wonder about it.

What about stock market?

As per usual, that’s beyond my (our) control. Of course, I hope the momentum from the past two months will continue into 2024 and gives a further boost to portfolio’s return. However, as compared to a decade ago, there’s a lot more uncertainties in today’s world. So I am taming my expectations and will just continue to execute my strategies.

Wear the life jacket, hold on tight, and enjoy the ride.

Wish you and your family a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Related links

Comparing Money-Weighted Returns Versus Time-Weighted Returns
Money-Weighted Rate of Return: Definition, Formula, and Example
TWRR and MWRR – National Bank of Canada


These are the referral links for the services and platforms I used. If you would like to use any of them, do sign up my referral links.

Trust Bank (code: 1X9DDP1V, additional $10 Fairprice voucher)
Keppel Electric
FSMOne (code: P0003528)
StocksCafe (code: TFI)

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