Covid-19 coronavirus is still with us. It started in 2020 and the Delta Variant of the virus turned out to be highly transmissible than the original virus. We continue to wear our face masks when we are in public places.
2021 was a year of vaccination of Covid-19. I took my two vaccine shots and a booster shot of Pfizer Biontech on 16 March, 6 April and 26 October respectively.
Even when borders were progressively opened up for travel in the later part of 2021, there was no reason to travel overseas. It is still inconvenient and expensive since we still have to take PCR tests or supervised ART tests depending on each country’s requirements. The fear of catching Covid-19 while overseas is real. Singapore Government will not pay for our hospitalisation bills if we were to return and tested positive for Covid-19 (within 14 days on return).
2021 was a year of start-and-then-reverse restrictions in our social interactions. The Government relaxed some restrictions such as dining-in number and later tightened these restrictions. It was frustrating because we were not able to control the daily infection numbers. Daily infection cases started to rise exponentially from end of August 2021. For 8 weeks starting 27 September, Singapore went into Stabilisation Phase to bring down these daily cases so as not to overwhelm the healthcare capacity, in particular ICU beds. Work-from-Home was the default.
Before all these, Singapore started Phase 2 (Heightened Alert) from 16 May 2021 through 13 June and then from 22 July to 18 August. Phase 2 (HA) felt like the Circuit Breaker of 2020 (7 Apr 2020 to 1 Jun 2020). The main reason was that we could not dine-in at all hawker centres and food outlets/restaurants. We could only buy take-away food. (Note: Dining-in was allowed from 10 August instead of stretching it to 18 August.)
In 2021, Singapore was battling with bringing down infection case numbers and reducing more fatalities. Healthcare facilities were stretched at different times in the year. Vaccination was ramped up in earnest to reach 87% of total population. The nation was transiting to living with Covid-19. Vaccinated Travel Lanes (VTL) were implemented with countries having lower risk profiles. VTL allows travellers to travel into Singapore without quarantine and vice-versa to these countries.
Omicron variant of Covid-19
When we thought that things were looking up, Omicron variant, first reported in South Africa, appeared on the scene in late November. Omicron became a variant of concern. It is the latest mutation of Covid-19 (SARS-CoV-2) and is more transmissible than Delta variant. Looks like we are not going to leave Covid-19 and get back to normal life anytime soon.
One year of worry over being infected with Covid-19 has affected me health-wise. Stress and worry affected my mental well-being. Symptoms such as raised heartbeats, headaches and feeling faint become part of me.
I am trying to cope with accepting what is happening to me. It is part of this stage of my life. I am thankful that I have support from my family.
We did not travel out of country for obvious reason that the pandemic is still with us. It is just too risky of catching the virus and very restrictive moving around the places we are visiting. It is simply not worth it.
Reading library books
I read mainly fictions borrowed from NLB. I read a total of 61 books this year, exceeding 43 books read in 2020. Reading has been my favourite pastime. Because I stayed at home mainly due to Covid-19, my reading had increased as a result.
STI Roller Coaster Ride
The graph for the Straits Times Index (STI) resembled a roller coaster for 2021. The STI correlated with Covid-19 daily infection rates and the corresponding social distancing restrictions, ie Phase 2 (Heightened Alert) and the Stabilisation Phase of restrictions.
||Phase 2 (HA)
||Phase 2 (HA)
The STI ended the year at 3,123.68 points. It had increased by 9.8% for the year.
Dividend yield for Singapore equities/Reits/ETF = 2.34%. (2020: 2.45%)
Coupon yield on retail bonds quoted on Singapore Exchange = 2.82%. (2020: 3.96%). Dividends and coupons were lower when compared to the previous year.
Total Shareholder Returns (TSR)
Total Shareholder Returns (TSR) for 2021 was +2.05% against +0.26% for 2020. Performance in 2021 was better than 2020.
||Marked to Market3 (%)
The Return on Assets (ROA) was lower at 1.54% per annum. The Marked-to-Market valuation was positive at +0.51% when compared to negative figure for 2020.
On the whole, it had been a difficult year. Covid-19 coronavirus still hoarded headlines around the world. Life has been disrupted for most.
Wishing all a good year in 2022!
1 Total Shareholder Return (TSR) in S$ term comprises dividend return (actual income received) and price return (resulting from changes in valuations of investments as at year-end using marked to market valuation).
2 Return on Assets (ROA) ratio shows how the total portfolio (invested capital + cash) were providing income on investments. Income from investments comes from dividend/interest and gains/loss on sale of investments.
3 Marked to Market (%) shows the changes in valuation of financial assets from cost to market valuation at year-end.
Copyright © 2022, limkimtong for Living Investment