To say that 2015 was a tough year for investments is an understatement. We had a tough 2014, we thought we have recovered at the start of 2015, only to end lower from where we started the year.
It was a tough ride for all those who were invested in the market. Including yours truly. Some notable factors throughout the year:
Hot money’s been flowing out of our stock market as they are slowly making their way back to supposedly improving USA. The foreign funds have been a very big factor in our market’s uphill climb, because they really have a lot of funds to buy up our emerging market. Getting out of our market has been a slow grind for them since they have sizable holdings while our local market (who would be the buyers) can only buy so much at a certain acceptable price in one day.
The Fed has finally started to increase its rates after years of waiting, and with this I hope we are a step closer towards the new normal. Who knows what this new normal will bring to the Philippines.
Everyone’s slowing down, that’s for sure. And it ain’t a bad sign, but if investors factored in a faster growth than what we’re seeing, then some correction is indeed needed. China’s slowing down, EU concerns linger, among others.
Black Swan Events
A war with ISIS involving many nations? A massive earthquake in the country’s capital? Effects of El Nino? Who knows.
We’re entering an election year and they say elections have been generally good for the country’s economy, hence the stock market. Will this year be any different? Could this be a good 2016 catalyst given that PH is also slowing down on its economic growth?
On the other side, investors are also cautious on being long with our market since there is no clear front-runner yet on the country’s next leadership. Whoever wins, s/he will be crucial in steering the country to the right directions of sustaining growth, and trickling down this growth to the grassroots and countryside levels.
Personally I am still clueless as all candidates have lingering issues which can make or break their candidacy, and their Presidency should they win later on.
It’s so hard to achieve growth in one’s net worth when majority of his investments are in the market. That’s why I’m very thankful nonetheless that despite the punishing market conditions, I still managed to grow my net worth by 33%. That is despite losses in the stock market and one-off expenses for wedding preps. I started the year with the goal of just retaining my 2014 year-end net worth so the 33% increase is a big windfall. Also excited for my 2016 financial goal-setting.
MPI, COSCO, AC and DNL have all managed to squeak some gains despite the 4% loss in the 2015 market. Meanwhile, gains made from CEB and MBT have been trimmed down. FPH, my forever patient holding, is still giving me some heartache but I’m still holding on.
Got burned when BLOOM became bust so I had to cut losses. Was able to ride some exciting moments in a handful of this years IPOs though. Still ended with some portfolio paper losses which could have further boosted my net worth.
Next year, stock market and UITF will remain as significant parts of our holdings, but diversification will be the major strategy. Time to grow further the coffee business and time to put in more effort in growing the farm business (more on this next year). Go back to cattle and piggery business? Transport business such as taxi or Uber? Time to diversify to other business ventures being considered.
2016 Let’s Bring It On
A new day, a new year beckons. Cheers to good health and an even more prosperous 2016 for every Juan! Thank you Lord for 2015.
Photo: Sunset at Kabini River (CC BY 2.0) by VinothChandar