2016 was a memorable year.
The financial markets went on a roller-coaster ride, falling by double digits in the first two months of the year before recovering to end the year flat (in Singapore, for instance) or with double-digit gains (in the US, for instance) when compared to 2015.
Meanwhile, two of the biggest geopolitical events that took place during the year had outcomes that were largely unexpected. Yes – I’m talking about Brexit (the United Kingdom’s decision to leave the European Union) and Donald Trump’s win at the US presidential election.
Over the course of 2016, my colleagues and I at The Motley Fool Singapore were writing numerous articles about companies in Singapore’s stock market and various interesting events taking place in the investment world.
I thought it could be useful for our readers if I were to list down 10 of what I thought were our best articles in 2016.
Doing so yields two benefits. Firstly, it allows our readers to revisit some of the most interesting stories, which may then offer up some important investing lessons. Secondly, it gives our newer readers an opportunity to catch up on noteworthy articles that they may have missed.
I’d be touching on five articles here. For the other five, check out here. With that, let’s get going (the articles are presented in no order of merit):
The business of Keppel Corporation Limited (SGX: BN4) has been hit badly by the downturn in oil prices seen over the past two and a half years. And, a lot has also been written about Keppel Corp both at the Motley Fool Singapore and amongst the finance community.
But among the many Foolish articles on Keppel Corp that appeared in 2016, this is the one that I find to be the most interesting. In it, my colleague Stanley Lim wrote about his views on recent developments at the company and why he was concerned as a shareholder.
Swiber Holdings Limited (SGX: BGK) was one of the most high-profile casualties of the decline in oil prices. On 28 July 2016, Swiber filed an application to wind up its business. But on the very next day, the company chose to place itself under judicial management instead.
The article given in the link above was written by Chong Ser Jing and was published on 29 July 2016.
In it, Ser Jing highlighted six oil and gas companies that had highly geared balance sheets and negative operating cash flows. He thought that those companies were facing large risks. Some of the companies Ser Jing mentioned were Cosco Corporation (Singapore) Limited (SGX: F83), Ezra Holdings Limited (SGX: 5DN), and AusGroup Ltd (SGX: 5GJ).
From 29 July 2016 to today, the six companies Ser Jing named have seen their stock prices fall by 12% on average. This has happened despite oil prices having climbed by over 30% during the same timeframe.
The lesson here is this: Be mindful of cyclical companies with leveraged balance sheets and low operating cash flow!
In this interesting article, Esjay introduced the first exchange-traded fund (ETF) in Singapore that focuses on real estate investment trusts, the SGX APAC Dividend Leaders REIT ETF. He shared what index the ETF is tracking, how the index is constructed, and the type of REITs included in the index.
This article’s author is yours truly and it is actually a series of articles that I update regularly.
What I do in these articles is to look at stocks that are trading near 52-week lows. I think the articles are useful for readers of the Motley Fool Singapore because they can learn about companies that have seen their stock prices decline
Some of such companies could be potential bargains. After all, like I tend to mention in the articles, some of the greatest investors of all time source their investing ideas from lists of stocks that have fallen hard.
This is a piece penned by David. And as the title suggests, it contains a lists of things investors should do or avoid while investing in dividend stocks. But, the wisdom David shared can also be applied to other kinds of investing styles, such as growth investing and value investing.
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The information provided is for general information purposes only and is not intended to be personalised investment or financial advice. Motley Fool Singapore contributor Lawrence Nga doesn’t own shares in any companies mentioned.