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2023 Q1 Portfolio Update: An exciting 20% return

Updated: Apr 2, 2023

Instead of monthly portfolio updates, I will be focusing on quarterly updates of my passive portfolio.

I have been blogging about my passive portfolio. You can find a detailed breakdown of it in this blog post.

Here's the performance for 2023 so far.

2023 Performance YTD

My Portfolio: 20.75%

Vanguard 500 Index: 7.46%

Performance since inception (Jan 2021)

My Portfolio: -10.43%

Vanguard 500 Index: 12.92%

(Based on an arbitrary starting amount of $10,000)

2023 has been a great year for my portfolio so far. Despite the constant interest rate hikes, the market has been doing relatively okay with the Vanguard 500 index returning 7.46% in Q1. Technology stocks are back in the green again with NASDAQ having a return of 17.67% YTD. This is what happens with higher beta stocks. When the market come crashing down in 2022, technology stocks are in free fall. With the market bouncing back in Q1, technology stocks outperform the general market in terms of returns. A double edged sword indeed. My portfolio generally consist of more high beta stocks than usual and I have explained why I do so in this blog post.

One of the biggest reasons behind the 20% return of my portfolio this quarter is also due to the strong ramp up in Bitcoin prices. Bitcoin has a good return of 73% YTD (still very undervalued at the current price of $28K per Bitcoin in my opinion). Dismal performers last year in my portfolio like ARKK also have generally positive returns so far. ARKK has a return of 29% while ARKG has a return of 6.5%. The China market constituents in my portfolio have also seen rebounds so far with BABA returning 16% YTD (all thanks to their recent news of breaking the conglomerate into six business units). Honestly, BABA has been heavily beaten over the past 2 years and it has been pretty depressing to be a BABA shareholder. I hope the reversal of their positive price movement will not reverse again just like the many episodes that happen throughout these two years.

For an overview of the YTD performance of the constituents in my portfolio, refer to the below table.

There are usually two main kinds of investing that most people adopt- value investing and growth investing. When the market is trying to adjust to the unprecedented interest rate hikes last year, growth stocks (usually the technology stocks) came crashing down while value stocks have phenomenal returns. In my portfolio last year, the best performers in my portfolio were BRK.B and SHEL. The market moves in cycles. With the market now favouring growth stocks again, BRK.B and SHEL are now the worst performers for my portfolio so far. Hence, it's important to be patient and acknowledge that the market moves in cycles. If a stock in your portfolio isn't performing now, it doesn't mean that it will not in 5 years' time. BRK.B will always be a core part of my portfolio and I am looking forward to rebalancing my portfolio (with additions to BRK.B) come January next year.

Q1 has indeed been a good quarter so far. However, the overall performance of my passive portfolio is still lagging the Vanguard 500 index if we backtrack the data to Jan 2021. I'm looking forward to eventually catching up with the index or even surpassing it, hopefully this year.

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