Author: My Money and Me

Happy April Fool 1/4

Today I am in Hong Kong. It has been a while since I was last here in 2014. Coming back to HK after 4 years, I have very mixed feelings. The city seems little changed, but my feelings are now very different. These 4 years have been eventful for me. There have been many permanent changes. Career wise, I was on a one year sabbatical in 2014, taking a break from work. Now, I am not employed at all. A while ago, I discovered I had more siblings than I was aware of. Along the way, I also found...

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Toto and 4Ds

The annual CNY toto draw is just over. There were 2 winners and as expected, I did not win anything. The odds of winning is so low that I read somewhere that it is easier to spot a UFO then to win at our annual toto. Still, that does not deter the masses, judging from the long lines formed at the outlets to buy hope. I bought $22 worth, picking some favorite numbers in my usual system-7 slips. As I held on to those pink slips, fantasies of what I will do if I won will always pop into...

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It’s ok not to be invested

Currently, I am 68% in cash, 18% in bonds and gold, and only 14% in equities. In an earlier article, I wrote that I was selling out half my stocks. I sold another half of the equities in July. Now, what remains is roughly a quarter what I had at the start of this year. Credits: righthorizons.com In some way I am opportunistic. This is against the teachings of most investment gurus who will advise “time in the market, not timing the market”. But the market has risen a fair bit since the start of this year. My bank...

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Falling sick without medical coverage 

These few days, the flu virus seems to be rampant. I walked past several clinics and they were all crowded. It looks like many people are not well. With the super warm weather and sudden showers, the unpredictable weather has caused many to fall ill. Credit: foodsafetynews.com I was fine on Tues but on Wed, I started feeling slight discomfort when swallowing. By Thurs, I had developed a sore throat and slight fever. I took some medicine that was available at my place for fever and sore throat, hoping that my self medication will suffice. Unfortunately, the sore throat...

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I am an April fool?

This is going to be a short blog post of my April adventures. I sold half my stock portfolio.  There had not been any stock sale from me in the last few years. But in the last few weeks, I sold out significantly. I do not advocate market timing but I am doing this sale for a purpose. I will write a post on this in due time. I went to Melbourne to visit a friend. It was a great trip and also a sad one.  I spend about 10 days in beautiful Melbourne. The weather was like aircon,...

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My first business class

I have recently applied and gotten a new credit card. I am unsure if the approval is legit cos I am currently unemployed and should not be eligible? But still I was glad to get the card and the accompanying benefits (4 free rides to the airport, hurray!). I guess the credit card market must be really competitive. The Filipino sounding lady on the phone asked if I had any existing card with the bank. I replied in the positive and my application was approved. I didn’t have to show any income documents or prove anything. Gosh, I didn’t...

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my BIG annual budget

I thought I was rather frugal. I do not drive, live simply and had set myself a annual spending budget of 30k for 2017, which I thought was rather modest in expensive Singapore. I had aimed to keep basic monthly expenses to <$1000. That is $12k for the entire year for food and bills. The other 18k of the budget goes to indulgences like holidays and insurances. But after reading a few blog posts by other folks, I am impressed by how they have been even more disciplined in their annual spendings. In the USA, Root of Good shared recently about how his family...

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Financial Planning For 2017

Credit: smithink.com In my last post of 2016, I reflected about my journey for last year. This first blog post of 2017 is about my financial plans for the next 12 months. Each year, I have a plan for my expenses. But it is more relevant to me this year as I have no active income at all and have to watch my spendings more carefully. For 2017, I have an annual budget of 30k. The plan is to have 12k for living expenses, 10k for holidays aka experiences, 3.5k for insurances, 4.5k for any other spendings. I prefer...

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The Road I Take

The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost, 1916 Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, And sorry I could not travel both And be one traveler, long I stood And looked down one as far as I could To where it bent in the undergrowth; …….. I shall be telling this with a sigh Somewhere ages and ages hence: Two roads diverged in a wood, and I— I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference. 回首2016 年, 我走的路。 As I look back at this year, somehow this poem came to my mind. Unsurprising, for...

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79 days of retirement

I left my last official work on 12/9/2016. As of today, I have spent 79 days retired from paid work. This means that I have been unproductive for more than 2 months. Out of the 79 days, I had spent 29 days in USA, 13 days in Korea and 37 days in Singapore. The USA trip was a means for me to adjust my daily habits formed from years of working life. The Korea trip was impromptu but it was a great getaway to see the beautiful autumn foliage, something I can never do if I am working as a...

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The Departure Chronicles: The End

I am in chill mode. I didn’t really feel like blogging since I came back to Singapore in early October. But I have a aim to write at least 1 post a month so this will be the month’s post even though it is overdue. It is also my way of recording how I felt during this period of transition for my life, and should be fun for me to read in years to come.  To recap, it started with The Departure Chronicles: Giving notice when my P refused my request to attend the Rio Olympics. The Departure Chronicles: Reflections of my 13 years details...

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My Last Lecture

During my last 3 weeks of being a school teacher, I wanted to share with my students my actual experience of the real world. I wanted to show them a way to survive, prosper and ultimately, be free. It was my last chance to speak in a classroom so I wanted to make it count. I taught my students my “Last Lecture“, a lesson that tells of my experiences about living from my own life. I did it mostly for my senior classes and for a few other classes I wanted to impact. I received touching and wonderful responses. Some...

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Kopi Talk opens

Today marks the opening of my Kopi Talk. Credit: socialknx.com You may use this link to contact me for drink sessions. I will be pleased to meet up to chat about my pet topics: Money, Health, Life. My friends always said that they enjoyed talking to me about personal finances. So now, I am doing this for everyone. Hopefully, it will be fun and meaningful. And that you will benefit from my experience. I do this because I enjoy sharing and meeting up with like-minded people. The teacher in me is still very much alive. This is also a meaningful way for me...

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Departure Chronicles: this post is for my students

“Its time to say goodbyes” Credit: http://www.integrativemindfulness.net It is now in the open. My students know I am leaving. And that I blog. 2 of them have left comments. And some are still searching for my blog addy. I am running my last lectures now. I have been getting wonderful responses for these lessons from the students. The experience deserves a blog post of its own, which I will write in due time. I get so many questions about the “how?” and “why?”. Most of my students are no more than 16 years old. Even if I explain in detail,...

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平凡也是一种幸福 (Joy of being ordinary)

I seldom publish a new blog post so soon after my last one yesterday. But today is a special day. Credit: aninvitinghome.com It is Singapore’s birthday! It is also my first time going to the Parade at the new indoor stadium on the actual National Day. It is my “last” in several ways too. My last month as a school teacher, my last time enjoying 2 days of paid holidays (10/8 is a school holiday, yay!), likely my last time as a full time, highly paid employee. The Departure Chronicles: Giving notice The Departure Chronicles: Reflections of my 13 years If the...

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