Thursday, March 19, 2015

The Singapore Permanent Portfolio By Alvin Chow [Book Review]

Yesterday evening, I was very excited to see the big brown envelope inside my letter box as I am expecting an hot from oven book from a friend. YES! It is finally here, the autographed book that I am waiting for - The Singapore Permanent Portfolio from Alvin Chow (BigFatPurse). 

After the chop-chop dinner, without wasting much time, I went right in flipping through the pages, to my own surprise, I managed to complete the whole book today ;-) Ok lar, it's not because I have super sonic reading speed (on the reverse, I am a slow reader), it is because the book is quite thin (less than 100 pages) and very easy to read/absorb. 

So, what is this book all about? That's exact reason I am writing this post... 

Keep reading...

Book Title :  The Singapore Permanent Portfolio - Grow Your Wealth Through Good and Bad Times With Low Risk and Less Effort.

Author :  Alvin Chow, founder of BigFatPurse

ISBN : 978-981-09-3594-8 (Paperback) ; 978-981-09-3595-5 (eBook)

Retail Price : SGD19.90 (You can enjoy 15% discount by order online by giving the coupon code of "bigfatpurse", click the link here to order online and get it deliver to your home, only Singapore address).

Contents Of The Book:
Chapter 1 - The Reality Of Investing
Chapter 2 - The Permanent Portfolio Concept
Chapter 3 - The Permanent Portfolio Performance
Chapter 4 - Implementing The Singapore Permanent Portfolio
Chapter 5 - Maintaining The Singapore Permanent Portfolio
Chapter 6 - Frequently Asked Questions
Chapter 7 - Conclusions

What Can We Learn From The Book?
The Singapore Permanent Portfolio is recommended for beginner and/or intermediate investors who are looking for simple strategy to create a full-proof portfolio. It covers the components like stocks, bonds, gold and cash. After reading the book, you will understand the composite of the permanent portfolio and how/when to re-balance the portfolio and enjoy the capital gains, along the way.

This strategy is suitable for those investors who want to "invest and forget" and re-balance the portfolio only once a year (or every few years). Personally think that this strategy might not be suitable for every investors (as it really depend on your risk appetite as well as keenness in reading the annual reports or doing your own analysis on individual stocks). Having said that, it is no harm learning new strategy which might come in handy at the later phase of your active life i.e. nearing the retirement. 

What I Like About The Book?
Being a local (Singapore) production, it contains many examples with local context which most of us can relate to. Also, I like Alvin's writing style which is very layman and easy to understand. 

Even though the coverage is not in-depth, but I can still pick up some salient points from the book, from the relationship between the 4 components of permanent portfolio to knowing how to read the SGS Bond Names.

Room For Improvement For The Book?
To cover the potential pitfalls (DO and DON'T) when the investors are trying to re-balance the portfolio. Even though the FAQ section has provided some pointers but personally think that it warrants a section/chapter by itself.    

Overall, it is a good book to read. If you are looking for a simple book about a simple strategy to create a simple yet full-proof permanent portfolio (all by yourself), this book is for you. 



  1. Uniquely Singapore, our CPF Accounts, OA and CPFIS as part of retirement planning for a Permanent Portfolio to generate sustainable cash flow. :-)

    1. CW8888 : Yup! It is, Alvin did cover it in the book, together with the SRS too ;-)


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