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Thread: He rides on investment cycles

  1. #1
    mr funny is offline Any complaints please PM me
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Default He rides on investment cycles

    Dec 7, 2008

    me & my money

    He rides on investment cycles

    Financial adviser's exit in late 2006 pays off and now he plans to re-enter the market

    By Lorna Tan, Finance Correspondent

    Mr Sani and wife Shally with their children, Hanafi, four, and Shafie, one. The self-confessed gold bug aims to be financially independent in about 20 years. -- ST PHOTO: SHAHRIYA YAHAYA

    Economist-turned-financial adviser Sani Hamid, 38, made the bold decision to exit the stock market in late 2006.

    The director of wealth management (economy & market strategy) at Financial Alliance liquidated his shares and unit trusts, except for those parked in gold-related investments like United Gold & General fund and a gold savings account.

    'The market was already on a three-year bull run since 2003 and I felt that it couldn't be sustained. I didn't feel comfortable holding equities...Except for my holdings in gold, I exited both stocks and unit trusts completely in late 2006 - a year too early with hindsight but it was the right decision nonetheless,' he said.

    As is now clear, the current bear market started to show signs in July last year, sparked by the United States sub-prime mortgage woes.

    Now, Mr Sani, who also sold his HDB flat last year at a 60 per cent profit, is looking at slowly ploughing his capital back into the market.

    A Malaysian citizen and Singapore permanent resident, Mr Sani came to Singapore in 1988 when he was 18 to pursue his studies at Anglo-Chinese Junior College, before proceeding to Nanyang Technological University. He graduated with an honours degree in business in 1993.

    Married to a Singaporean, Ms Shally Koh, 37, they have two children, Hanafi, four, and Shafie, one.

    Prior to his current position, he was a senior economist at French firm BNP Paribas Peregrine Securities and director, sovereign and international public finance ratings at credit rating firm Standard & Poor's.

    Q: What are your money habits?

    I give my wife and mother roughly 25 per cent of my income each, then I help manage their accumulated savings. They are happy and I am happy.

    Their mandate is to achieve returns above what the banks are giving for fixed deposits, so we're looking at average returns of 3 to 4 per cent per annum. Their portfolios comprise mainly fixed deposits, with a small proportion in gold.

    Q: What financial planning have you done for yourself?

    Prior to late 2006, I was invested 50 per cent in equities and 50 per cent in gold, and making average returns of 20 per cent a year on my equity investments. I liquidated all my non-gold stocks and unit trusts in late 2006.

    Now I am looking to put everything back. I plan to invest 40 per cent in regions or asset classes, that is, 10 per cent in resources like gold and oil; 10 per cent in India; 10 per cent in China; and 10 per cent in Singapore. I believe these will at least treble or quadruple by the time I retire 20 years from now.

    The balance of 60 per cent - I will invest in a diversified equity portfolio which comprises Asian and global equity funds. I also plan to pick up an investment property during this recession.

    Except for my Australian gold stock in Newmont Mining Corp, my gold investments via the gold savings account and gold unit trust have at least doubled. For instance, I bought into the UOB Gold & General unit trust when it was 90 cents per unit in 2003. I exited partially when it hit $2 last year.

    Q: What about insurance planning?

    Insurance plays a key role in my financial plan. My principles in insurance are: don't over-insure, seek depth (diversity within insurers) and ensure breadth (different types of policies).

    I have death coverage of about $1.5 million, of which the bulk or 75 per cent is in term, and the rest is whole life and endowment insurance. My critical illness cover is about half of this. I have a private hospital plan on top of my Medi- Shield plan.

    An important aspect of my insurance portfolio is that I've structured it in such a way that it will be self-funding after I reach 55. I pay an average $12,000 per annum for my insurance.

    Q: What's your investment philosophy?

    In my younger years, it was 'I just need that one trade to make it big'. Now it's 'I just need that one cycle to make it big'. I'm 38 and I probably have another two to three big investment cycles to ride on.

    Q: Any other investments?

    I have a small stake in a small and medium-sized enterprise, which is involved in geotechnical instrumentation. I hope to cash out if it gets listed on the stock exchange.

    I also cashed out on an HDB flat in Hong Lim Complex in June last year for a 60 per cent return.

    I got really uncomfortable when the value of the flat appreciated substantially in the six-month period just before I sold it, because I was afraid the property bubble would burst soon.

    Q: Moneywise, what were your growing-up years like?

    When I was young, my father sold vegetables and my mother was a housewife. I have a younger brother. We had free accommodation since we lived in a semi-detached house in Kuantan that belonged to my maternal grandmother.

    When I was 14, my parents split up over money issues. My uncle, who was working in Singapore as the general manager of a multinational firm, provided the necessary financial support which eventually saw me through university. In return, I now give as much financial support as I can to others - to my family, my parents, my relatives and to those who are in need.

    Q: What has been a bad investment?

    During the Asian financial crisis, I bought shares of Malaysian-listed stockbroking firm Uniphoenix because it had fallen like 95 per cent and looked poised for a rebound on the charts.

    What the charts didn't tell me was that it could be suspended. It was suspended a couple of months after I bought the counter and has remained so till today. I lost $10,000.

    Q: Your best investment to date?

    Gold. I became a gold bug in 2003.

    I bought everything - unit trusts, shares and invested my cash and Central Provident Fund savings in a gold savings account - when gold was still below US$400 an ounce. I took some profit last year on my unit trusts and savings account, realising about 150 per cent in gains.

    But I believe the gold price will at least treble by the time I retire. Only the Australian gold shares that I own have underperformed so far.

    Q: What's your retirement plan?

    To continue working as a financial adviser and to teach part-time - my two greatest passions, as they relate to helping people. I also love children and look forward to having grandchildren.

    I hope to be financially independent 20 years from now. By then, my wife and I would need about $6,000 a month.

    Q: And your home now is...?

    A three-bedroom apartment in Guilin View in Bukit Gombak. I bought it early last year at $550,000 and it is now worth about $650,000. It is fully paid up.

    Q: And your car is...?

    A weekend-plate Toyota Wish.

    [email protected]

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2008


    He will have a lot of explaining to his clients and advisors.
    How could he have exited the market in 2006 and yet allow clients to continue holding on to equities position??

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2007


    Quote Originally Posted by focus
    He will have a lot of explaining to his clients and advisors.
    How could he have exited the market in 2006 and yet allow clients to continue holding on to equities position??
    (1) How do you know his clients didnt exit?

    (2) Anyway, if you search his name on google, you will realise he wasn't a financial planner then. The guy last worked for Standard & Poor's the rating agency until some time in 2008.

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