Investing for nearly a decade, Harry Singh gives his tips for succeeding on the markets in our latest What I’m Trading article.
Occupation: Account manager
Hobbies: Trading. Long drives. Watching almost any sport. Playing golf.
How long have you been investing?
Since pretty much straight out of high school, so it's been almost 10 years now. I just started giving it a good crack. I was inspired by my father, who used to invest. He sadly passed away last year, but I picked up a lot of tips from him and loads of his attributes have carried over to me.
I’m up overall. I’ve made some silly decisions in the past, but that’s how you learn.
What was your first investment on Stake?
I was reading an article and it mentioned Stake, so I signed up and the first position I took was Apple ($AAPL). That was in 2017. I’m an Apple fan boy, so it was great to get a nibble on the stock.
I’m really happy I bought it. I think I’m up about 140%. It’s not been my biggest win, but it’s been my safest win. Apple is an absolute beast of a business and there hasn’t been too much volatility. There’s a movie out there called ‘Too Big to Fail’, and I think Apple is almost hitting that mark. I would recommend anyone interested in investing or finance to give it a watch.
Define your investing style.
I’m very fundamental in my research. I look at the books of the companies I want to buy. But the finances of a company and the share price is only one part of the story. What is their philosophy? What are they trying to achieve? What is their strategy? I really try to understand a business.
I’m also always on the look out for an opportunity, particularly when there’s a downturn in the market. And that’s when I mainly rely on a dollar cost averaging strategy. I’m always looking to see what I can leverage when we’re in a bear market and look at increasing my positions.
I’m generally not a seller of stock. I would only sell if I needed the money or if I knew a business was doomed. And thankfully I’ve pretty much always invested in good businesses, especially over the last five years.
What’s in your Stake portfolio right now?
My biggest position on the ASX is in CommBank ($CBA), which I leveraged during COVID when the banks were down quite significantly. My ASX portfolio is made up of about 15 different stocks, with CommBank and also Macquarie ($MQG) taking up a big chunk of it.
I’ve also got Afterpay ($SQ). They’ve obviously been bought out now, but I’ve owned them pretty much from the start, so I’m in a great position.
On Wall St, Meta Platforms ($META) has been absolutely flying for me since I purchased the stock about nine months ago.
How are your returns so far?
I’m up around 120% on CBA and 205% on META.
I’ve also got Tesla ($TSLA), which I purchased on a pre-stock split for about US$240 per share. So I’m looking at about a 500% gain.
Obviously Tesla’s volatility has been something to manage over the last two or three years. But my mindset is that if a stock drops as frequently as Tesla - and if you have the capital to invest - then there’s a great opportunity to buy more shares in the business. As Warren Buffett says: “Be fearful when others are greedy and greedy when others are fearful.”
Any other investments that are not on Stake?
I have super. I’ve got my SMSF on Stake, which is a US portfolio. But I also have an SMSF that covers the ASX that is not on Stake at the moment. I’m waiting to sort out my tax for the year and then I’ll switch it across to Stake. That’s a no brainer for me.
What are you watching? Why?
On Wall St, I’m looking at the shoe company Crocs ($CROX). They’ve got an international footprint, we’ve seen sales growth in the last six to eight months and they’re a very well marketed business, especially to millennials and kids. And we’re about to approach a very hot summer here in the southern hemisphere and I think that will help them take more of a hold in the market, especially in Australia.
On the ASX, I’m keeping an eye on the aviation industry - so Qantas ($QAN), Flight Centre ($FLT) and Webjet ($WEB). People love travel and we’ve seen the industry is taking off (pardon the pun) again. My Insta over the Aussie winter was just full of people living it up on holiday in Europe. So I reckon the aviation industry is set for a big few months in Australia and across the world, and the recovery will continue.
Do you have a trading or investing role model?
I mentioned how my father was a great mentor for me and he would always encourage me to read as much as I can from Buffett and Charlie Munger.
To quote Buffett again, he famously said: “It’s far better to buy a wonderful company at a fair price than a fair company at a wonderful price.” It’s one of my favourite quotes. It’s so true and I try to keep it in mind all the time.
I think Buffett’s a very sensible investor, an observational investor. He sees what’s going on around him and then acts upon it. Like with his Apple investment. He and his team realised the huge potential and he’s made a killing.
What’s a piece of advice you’d give a newbie?
Understand what trading is all about. Understand what you are about to do. And also understand what it means to be a shareholder. As a shareholder you’re a part-owner of a company.
I would recommend starting with ETFs. It’s a very safe space as you find your feet. It reduces your risk of volatility in the market and increases your appetite to invest as you have experienced people growing your money for you. Look up companies like Vanguard and Betashares. Understand what the portfolio managers or the directors of those businesses are doing and how they are helping you.
Let’s say you’ve only got $2000 to invest. Imagine if you put that into the Betashares Nasdaq 100 ETF ($NDQ). You’re not just buying Apple. You’re not just buying Tesla. You’re also buying Alphabet ($GOOG). You’re also buying Amazon ($AMZN). You’re getting exposure to so many different businesses. It’s a great way to start.
What’s one mistake you’ve made and what did you learn from it?
I bought shares in a company called Appen ($APX) because a celebrity was a shareholder. I saw an article that said he’d bought into it and I thought ‘if a celebrity can buy it, why can’t I’. I got totally influenced by celebrity attraction to the stock and I pretty much lost it all. I bought it very high and was down 60-70% very, very quickly.
This is a stock I did sell because I just didn’t know anything about the company. I didn’t read about it. I made a big error. I was just a bit naive. And from that I learned to just make sure you do your own research. Make sure you put your own lens onto a company before taking a position.
One silver lining (for me anyway) is that the stock has gone down more since I sold so it could have been worse. And I was able to purchase other stocks with the capital from the sale and I’m probably up about 60% on all those stocks that I bought.
If you were to buy a US or ASX stock or ETF right now, what would you buy? Why?
I would keep it very safe and very simple. With the ASX quite low at the moment I’d look at buying the ASX 200 ($A200). It’s a Betashares ETF. It tracks the top 200 companies in Australia. I bought some about a week ago. The index is down so I reckon it’s a great opportunity.
Also, the Betashares Nasdaq 100 ETF I was discussing earlier. The price might suggest the ETF is quite high, but we know the businesses within that ETF are being actively managed, so I think it’s a good investment.
The personal views in this article do not reflect the views of Stake and do not constitute financial advice. As always please do your own research before investing on Stake. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance.