Sunday, June 30, 2019

Dividend stocks: My first big bet

I bought a lot of Netlink Trust and a little Manulife US REIT in the last few weeks.  Enough to give me around SGD 6K of dividends a year.

Now I've got 70,000 shares of Netlink Trust at an average of 85.4c, and 26,800 shares of Manulife at an average USD 0.861c.

Why did I pick these stocks?

  • Netlink Trust is a defensive counter, one of the few whose earnings would be unaffected by a recession. And still (barely) trading at a reasonable yield.  Long term, its residential revenue should follow the growth in Singapore household formation.  Its Non-Building Access Point's (NBAPs) should grow with internet-of-things/smart-city coming now, and 5G coming later.  I can't see any disrupting technology on the horizon, though I need to remind myself to keep a lookout.
  • Manulife US Reit is developing a good track record after listing on SGX.  It is trading at a decent 6% yield with freehold buildings, unlike local REITs trading at a sub 5% yield with leasehold properties.  The risks are a recession (affects all stocks/REITs), and tax law changes (affecting any US-property REIT listed overseas).

Why did I buy now?

           Scared of missing out.

           Netlink Trust shot up on the day I placed my largest order, and I missed it.  Strong enough that my broker said it would unlikely come down that day.  After thinking about it: I am buying the income stream.  I'll still be happy if I buy at a higher price, and it comes down later, as long as I collect my dividend.  I'll be unhappy if I miss it now, and it never comes down again.  Which is unlikely, but possible - look at Vicom.  There's very few stocks giving a 5+ % yield that would also be unaffected by a recession.  The market was still offering me the chance, so I bought it.  Never regret.

The market narrative now is all sunshine and rainbows, especially for dividend stocks.  The Fed is expected to cut rates.  Worst case - for someone like me shopping for dividend stocks - is that this narrative goes on for another year.  Until the either the economy starts expanding, goosed by low rates, or we do finally get a real recession.

I am now 60% invested.  I don't feel the need to buy anything else this year, but can do so if the market drops.  December showed how quickly the narrative can change.  I am waiting.