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As 2008 draws to a close, the curtain is about to fall on one of the worst years in terms of economic growth and stock market performance. While economies around the world have been battered by one piece of bad news after another, individuals also have to contend with strange fluctuations such as high inflation in 1H 2008, then sagging economic indicators and widespread retrenchment in 2H 2008, flowing into 2009. These have the effect of making one feel extremely jittery, gloomy and pessimistic. That would aptly describe my feelings and emotions as we start to usher in a new year, and can be summarized in one succinct word – PESSIMISM.

I guess with all the “damage” that’s been done to people’s wealth on a global scale, I of course was not spared the carnage either. Suffice to say that the feeling is like trying to collect raindrops in a cup to fill the cup up, only to realize (after one year) that the cup actually had a hole at the bottom and the water was slowly draining away; thus the cup could never really get full ! Throughout 2008, I was quite intent on building my wealth and to ensure I kept expenses and my liabilities under control, but somehow the entire year felt like my wealth was draining away, slowly but surely. I kind of get the feeling that instead of advancing in terms of getting wealthier, I was actually retarding. Granted, most people would have felt this way in 2008 as the global financial maelstrom wiped out most traces of wealth accumulation in terms of equities investing and also fund performance.

Entering the new year with a somewhat heavy heart, I had already listed down some financial resolutions for the New Year which I hope (somehow) can be fulfilled. Perhaps some of these will sound familiar to you as well, dear reader.

1) Continue to save 40-50% of my take-home salary and build up my savings. This should continue to be done because of the recession and the threat of losing one’s job anytime. With a comfortable savings “egg”, this money can then be channeled into worthwhile investments should opportunities arise. Read more…