Tuesday, March 3, 2020

COVID-19 and the opportunity to invest

It has been almost 2 months since I wrote something on my blog. Due to the COVID-19, I was so busy with work that I forgot about time totally. Regular readers would remember that I joined the healthcare industry in end 2018 and now due to this disease outbreak, I had to work extra hours with lots of extra work too. The business as usual work mostly had to be put down to cater time for this outbreak.

Honestly, this is the first time as an adult I've encountered such crisis before. During SARS back in 2003, I was still in secondary school then so I wouldn't know what is happening in the economy. This time, this COVID-19 has caused fears in people where we have seen people rushing to buy stuff at supermarket, face masks and hand sanitisers being sold out in most retail shops etc. The greater impact which I see is on the broader economy due to the travel ban where tourism will be severely impacted. We have seen companies such as Temasek, Capitaland, SMRT, SIA and SATS announcing pay cuts, pay freeze and reduced bonuses etc. Some of the companies even ask their workers to go on voluntary no pay leave. I believe retrenchment will come later as companies struggle with their bottom line so there is genuine concern on everyone's rice bowl here.

Singapore just announced more travel ban for visitors from South Korea, northern Italy and Iran. This is on top of the travel ban for visitors from Mainland China. With every crisis, there is always opportunities especially in the stock market. Stocks should go down further if situation continues to get worse. The impact will be greater as each day passes with the travel ban and lesser tourists in Singapore and around the world.

Stocks which I'm monitoring to buy and have bought some includes CDL Htrust, SATS, Far East Htrust, Dairy Farm and Comfort Delgro. These are the companies which are impacted by the COVID-19 in one way or another. I'm also looking to accumulate more REITS such as Suntec, Capitaland Mall trust and Ascott Residence Trust if it goes lower. I've been researching and monitoring some of these stocks for years and do have some stake in some of the companies. This is the opportunity to accumulate as the stocks drop. I believe by the end of the year, the virus situation should be a non event already and stocks would have already recovered.

Investing during crisis is not that easy at all. It involves seeing losses in your portfolio and still believing in your conviction that the stocks you invest in are correct. It may take months for us to see our portfolio back to profits again. Those who buy the right companies and hold on throughout will be the winners at the end.

On a side note, being in the healthcare industry lets me see the good in people in times of crisis. There are many individuals and companies who have reached out to donate stuff to support healthcare workers fighting this virus at the front line. It is heartwarming to see such acts of kindness. To be honest, all these kind gestures do help to put a smile in the healthcare workers faces and keep them going as I've seen it myself. Some of them have to work long hours and even on weekends and sacrifice family time. Thanks to all who have supported!

I'll keep this post short and back to my busy life again. Stay safe everyone!

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  1. Dairy Farm "DF" seem over priced and their business is not so well managed.

    To share i am investing Sheng Siong "SS". In my view SS are far more better that D.F.

    1. Hi Terry,

      Thanks for the info on Sheng Siong. Shall take a look at it.