At volatile times like this whereby the world wide stock market crashes multiple times within a month, it just confuses investors like me on which company to buy into given that we have limited cash in our war chest to deploy. Every stock or company that is listed looks attractive now.
During the Lehman Brothers financial crisis in the year 2008, I have bought STI ETF that tracks the Straits Times Index (STI) at 2,500 level. At that period of time, the Straits Times Index fell as low as 1,594 in the year 2009. When the economy starts recovering, I sold off STI ETF when the Straits Times Index (STI) was at 2,600 for fear that it will plunge again. I was an inexperienced investor at that point in time. The Straits Times Index (STI) recovered to reach above 3,500 level.
We all know that the stock market has crashed. At the current COVID-19 situation, the Straits Times Index closed at 2,410.74 on Friday, 20th March 2020.
Should I buy into the Straits Times Index again?
Straits Times Index (STI) Constituent
The Straits Times Index (STI) comprises of the largest 30 companies in terms of market capitalisation. Below are the list of companies and their weightage in the Straits Times Index (STI).
|Straits Times Index (STI) Constituent||Weightage (%)|
|DBS Group Holdings Ltd||14.8%|
|Singapore Exchange Limited||3.9%|
|Capitaland Commercial Trust||2.3%|
|Mapletree Commercial Trust||2.2%|
|Singapore Tech Engineering||2.0%|
|UOL Group Limited||1.7%|
|Mapletree Logistics Trust||1.7%|
|Singapore Press Holdings||1.2%|
|Jardine Cycle and Carriage||0.9%|
|Dairy Farm International||0.8%|
One of the factors that most people buy into the index is because they did not know which company to buy into. It is good for novice investors who do not know how to analyze the financials of a company. The second factor why the STI ETF is a good stock is because it pay out consistent dividends but it was deemed unattractive because of the low dividend yield when the stock market as at all time high above 3,000 levels.
The STI ETF has been consistently paying out dividends over the past 5 years.
|Dividend Paid (cents)||12||11.3||10.1||9.3||9.7|
Now the stock market has crashed, let us take a look at the current dividend yield.
Based on FY19 dividend payout of 12 cents and STI ETF current price of S$2.43, this gives us a current dividend yield of 4.94%. Of course we must be cautious that dividends may be cut this year and thus the dividend yield may be reduced. However, when the market recovers in the long run, the dividend payout will recover.
If you do not know which stock to buy now and wants to take opportunity of the current crisis where the stock market is cheap, perhaps you can check out STI ETF.