Author: Finance Smiths

Back in Singapore and more

I’m back in Singapore from my holiday to Greece (Europe). It was fun, exciting and probably the last long trip I will be on for a while. There’s a personal update on this but I’m just going to hold out on this for now. At least until I sort out my work situation. Actually, I have an update on that too. While on the last leg of my trip, I had a job alert on LinkedIn for a role in a subsidiary within my banking group. The scope involves 50% of what I am currently doing and the other...

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2 weeks of block leave and robo investing

I will be off from work on block leave from today for 2 weeks. Will be flying off to Greece tonight for a holiday. I have been looking forward to this for a while and hope it gives me time to clear my mind. And figure out what I want to do with my current work situation. Although additional resources have not been diverted into my team to help out, the situation remains dire. Let’s see if it improves when I’m not there. The threat of new tariffs has escalated the trade war between the US and China. Consequently,...

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Having a tough time at work

Work has been weighing on me for the past few weeks. It was already a difficult time leading up to getting my bonus and pay rise in March. After that, things have gotten even worse and each week has been tougher to get through. I know the reason for this. It’s because I’m being developed and pushed upward for a more senior position eventually. While I can logically understand the basis of my suffering at work from an objective perspective. I’m not going to lie. I feel like quitting. It seems like my learning curve has gotten even steeper...

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Lowering the amount we invest per month

This is a short update on my reaction to the equity markets climbing significantly in the recent weeks. I have lowered the amount we invest per month into the following: Maybank Kim Eng Monthly Investment Plan – S$700 OCBC Blue Chip Investment Plan – S$600 POSB Invest Saver – S$300 StashAway – S$600 Smartly – S$300 It adds up to S$2,500 now and used to be about S$4,500. While I practise Dollar-Cost Averaging (DCA) – no market timing, I also apply Value Averaging (VA) – some market timing. I can always increase the amount we invest per month when...

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Got my letter this week

This is perhaps one of the most exciting things to look forward to for a corporate employee. The time when you have completed your performance review for the previous year and are waiting for your remuneration outcome in the current year i.e. percentage increase in annual salary and number of months of bonus. This can vary widely across different industries and between jobs in the same industry. It really depends on what your role is within the organisation. In my case, I work in a support function within a local bank. While the hours and workload are more manageable,...

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Housing loan interest rate upward adjustment

We received a letter from our bank informing us of an upcoming upward interest rate adjustment of our housing loan from 1.8% to 2.5%. Our monthly home loan instalment should be going up from S$3,300 to S$3,500. We took out a housing loan of S$750,000 about 8 years ago and the mortgage has gone down to S$585,000 currently. It’s a quick snapshot of our debt situation. While I’m not going to justify our decision to purchase a Private Condo over an Exec Condo, Resale Flat and BTO Flat, the high level of debt we carry has been a persistent...

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Why do we invest with robo-advisors

I have a younger colleague who started investing with Smartly and StashAway (Singapore robo-advisors) about the same time as my wife and I back in 2017. She invested a lump sum of about S$1,000 with each of them and didn’t contribute any further cash funds into her accounts. To date, my colleague’s account returns are negative and she doesn’t understand why that’s the case. She’s now turned off investing with Singapore robo-advisors and recommends against them with our other colleagues. I have another older colleague who heard about Smartly and StashAway but didn’t invest with these Singapore robo-advisors because...

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Refocus on Smartly and StashAway

Given how much my wife and I are investing into our Smartly and StashAway Singapore Robo-Advisor Accounts, I’m surprised by how little I write about their performance. And I don’t show a summary of our Smartly and StashAway portfolio values on my blog as well. I try to include the values of the US ETFs purchased in our Smartly and StashAway accounts in the StocksCafe Portfolio. Which is actually shown on one of my blog pages. But I guess it’s better for me to start having dedicated blog pages to Smartly and StashAway since I have always been a...

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Happy CNY 2019

Happy CNY 2019 to everyone! It’s a time of celebration and I’m looking forward to the public holidays next Tues & Wed plus it’s a half day for me tomorrow. It’s nice to have some time off from work. I’m just in a cruising mood now as my performance review is finishing and I will be waiting for my remuneration outcome to be released in Mar 2019. To be honest, I have been thinking about leaving my current job role at the bank. Either to try another job role at the same bank or to go elsewhere to a...

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Investing my wife’s bonus and more

My wife’s annual performance bonus was credited this month and it was just in time for the recent market dip. The fall in equity markets has been significant and this is what we have been waiting for. Which is why we should be investing the entire amount of my wife’s bonus (maybe more) into the equity markets. This is in the form of bigger manual investments in the Vanguard LSE-listed ETFs on our Stan Chart Online Equity Trading Platforms and increased automatic investments in bank/brokerage monthly investment plans & Smartly & StashAway robo-advisors. Especially in the past week and...

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What to do with negative returns of Smartly and StashAway

It’s been a long wait but the returns after fees on our SG robo-advisors (Smartly and StashAway) accounts are finally in the negative territory consistently. The net amounts are hovering around less than 5% after accounting for dividends, funds performance and currency impact. I’m saying this with a sense of relief because my Smartly and StashAway investment strategy of dollar-cost averaging every month and value-cost averaging when the markets dip now has a higher chance of working out. As a heavy net buyer of ETFs every month with salary income and no capital withdrawals, I prefer equity markets to...

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Wife’s remuneration review outcome

I did mention a few weeks ago that my wife will be receiving her remuneration review outcome for the year 2018. And that I might post something about this when it happens. Which it has and this is why I’m writing about the topic now. It has been a tough year for my wife’s bank with annual profits posting a significant 20% drop compared to the previous year. We always knew this was going to negatively impact her salary increase and performance bonus. With my wife’s expectations managed downwards, the remuneration review outcome was acceptable but still disappointing. Especially...

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Buying on market dips

I just updated our assets, liabilities and net worth figures for Oct 2018. It has been a bad month in terms of stock markets performance but we still managed to squeeze out positive percentage increases in every financial indicator category: Cash Funds Investment Portfolio Retirement Funds Total Assets Net Worth Savings Rate More importantly, I was making manual SG & Global ETFs investments and transferring cash funds into our Smartly and StashAway robo-advisor accounts throughout the month (especially in the last week). I was trying to buy in on the market dips without over-utilising our cash balances. Including our automatic...

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Back from holiday and getting ready for work

We got back yesterday from a 2-week trip to Croatia (Europe) and it was great! Haha, our last long holiday was a 1-week ski trip to Austria (Europe) several months ago in Feb 2018. Not counting our recent short long weekend trip to Langkawi (Malaysia) last month in Aug 2018. We have missed our long getaways to faraway cities and countries so it’s been really good to travel. Took an extra day off today to rest and recharge before heading back to work tomorrow. Asset Portfolio Had some time to look at how our asset portfolio has been performing....

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Our Reaction To 1 Aug 2018 Revised UOB One Account

Despite spending less time writing posts on my blog, I still read up on the articles by other bloggers. After all, there’s a lot of useful information to be picked up from them. Recently, I read Heartland Boy’s post on An Eye-Popping 3.88% For The Revised UOB One Savings Account. I like the analysis and found it to be more practical than the notification I got from UOB about the same change. This comes at a good time for us. We have already maxed out the high interest savings accounts that we have with the remaining cash funds being...

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