Wednesday, May 1, 2024

Is STI really the Super Terrible Index? My returns after investing 10 years

The Straits Times Index has been labeled as the Super Terrible Index. 

This is because of the lost decade in the STI.  

In particular, if you look at the chart below, the STI has not broken the all-time high of 3,906 since 2007.

In fact, it has been almost flat since the recovery from the Great Recession of 2008. 

I have started DCA into the STI ETF since 2014:

There are good days and bad days:

You can see the stock market crash of 2020 brought about my biggest returns:

Once I hit my target of 100k in 2022, I stopped the DCA:

Along the way, I have collected $17,721.62 in dividends.

So how much returns has that netted me?

Without dividends included, I achieved a CAGR of 1.7%. With dividends included, my CAGR increases to 4.4%. This CAGR is computed using the FV() formula in Google Sheets. 

Is this good? Well, at least it beat CPF returns of 2.5% in OA and 4% in SA. Does it beat SP500? Definitely not. But I have another SP500 fund to capture the returns from this sector. I plan to continue holding this STI ETF fund because as the saying goes, don't put all your eggs in one basket.  Since I have achieved FI, I intend to engage in more defensive plays. Diversification is important. In the meantime, I will continue to enjoy my dividends from this STI ETF fund!

I would also like to share the below:

Why did you invest in STI ETF?
It started with reading a Motley Fool Singapore article around 2012 that STI compounded annual returns are around 8%. Hence I invested.

What did you use to invest in STI ETF?
OCBC Blue-Chip Investment Plan. I think this is one of the best dollar-cost averaging schemes out there. Fully automated, so emotions will not come into play. 

Do the returns above take into account fees?
Yes, the above returns take into account fees. In the BCIP scheme, you designate a fixed amount to deduct every month, say 1400. From there, the fees ($5) are deducted and the remaining amount is invested. CAGR is computed using 1400, so the CAGR takes into account fees. 

I collected a lot of quotes about STI returns and will share them in another article. 


  1. Thanks for compiling the returns from DCA of STI ETF. It sort of confirms that STI really cannot make it and its best to just buy whenever it drops below 3,000. Thats my strategy anyway, which means I bought STI ETF in 3 batches over the last 10+ years, GFC (2008-2009), 2019, and COVID-19 (2020).

  2. haha yes, buying below 3k is a good strategy. What do u invest in then?