Author: Finance Smiths

Which Bank Account – Emergency Funds

This post is a continuation of my previous post on which bank account to use for expense funds. As I have mentioned previously, a good starting point for your personal finances is to sort out your bank accounts to maximise the interest earned. It’s a one-time exercise to work this out and you get rewarded with subsequent higher monthly interest earned as long as you meet the requirements of the bank account. In Singapore, there tends to be a link between your bank account and credit card to earn the higher interest. For example, our OCBC 360 bank account third bonus...

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Which Bank Account – Expense Funds

When we were in Australia, the bank accounts to be opened were quite straightforward. We opened transaction accounts with the major banks and the interest rate on these accounts is about 0.01% pa. To get a higher interest rate,  we opened online saver or isaver accounts and put most of our savings there and the interest rate on these accounts vary according to the cash rate set by the Reserve Bank of Australia. In the current low interest rate environment in Australia, the interest rate on these online accounts is about 2.50% pa. In Singapore, the process gets more complex if you want to...

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Other and Investment Portfolio

I have decided to take a break from writing about Google Sheets. I should go back to it eventually since there is a lot of material to cover but I might write about other topics in the meantime. Previously, I didn’t think I was going to disclose any more personal finance information as I had written about our ETF and Share Portfolios as well as the passive income received. However, I reckon it would be good to show the Other Portfolio to have a better illustration of our Investment Portfolio. What does the Other Portfolio consist of? Bonds We hold corporate bonds...

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Google Sheets – Assets – Cash and Stocks

As discussed in my previous post on why you should use Google Sheets for personal finances, I will outline how to use it in this post. I will be referring to my Google Sheet and how it is set up for illustrations purposes. However, I recommend you take the time to prepare your own Google Sheet instead of using templates that are available online. By building your own Google Sheet one cell at a time, it will give you an insight into your personal finances since you have to work out why the information is in the Google Sheet and...

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Why you should use Google Sheets for personal finances

I only started tracking our net worth on Google Sheets in 2015. It’s unbelievable how useful this tool is and I can never quite understand why I didn’t do it earlier. It was only after the size of the investment portfolio becoming significant that triggered the need for me to have a better tracking system. That being said, I track our Singapore portfolio on SGXcafe and it’s a great tool for monitoring the portfolio. I use Google Sheets to monitor our total assets, liabilities, income & expenses; so the market value of the Singapore portfolio is included but I rely on...

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Index ETF Allocation

Although my recent posts have been focused on our asset allocation, I should be discussing our liabilities, income and expenses in later posts. Typical accountant approach – construct our personal finance BS and PL. This makes us accountable to our goal of achieving Financial Independence and hopefully tracking our progress will motivate us to stay on the path! This time round, the reveal would be on our index ETF allocation. The figures have been rounded to the nearest S$1,000 for now but should get more accurate as I update our index ETF allocation. February 2016 Our target index ETF allocation is somewhat evenly split...

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Our Asset Allocation – Feb 2016

It’s been a good CNY 2016 and we enjoyed the long weekend. Thought it might be a good time to reveal our current asset allocation and start tracking it from here. For illustration purposes, we have combined our assets to be shown as The Finance Smith Asset Allocation. The figures have been rounded to the nearest S$5,000 for now but should get more accurate as I update our asset allocation monthly. February 2016 As you can see, I have highlighted the assets that I have over-allocated to in orange and the assets that I have under-allocated to in red....

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Asset Allocation – Total Approach

I realised I have been writing quite a bit about index ETFs and it’s probably time to write about something else. Just to keep things interesting! Asset Allocation – Total Approach We have a Google Spreadsheet that tracks our entire net wealth. It contains information about our assets, liabilities, income and expenses – essentially our Balance Sheet and Profit & Loss statements. We never used to track these things but decided there first has to be a starting point before there can be a goal. It took us a long time to get the spreadsheet up and running and it continues to be...

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Index ETFs Portfolio Diversification

Holdings of Index ETFs My previous post on Choice of Index ETFs had links to relevant websites that allow you to view the top holdings in each index ETF. Always take the time to understand what the holdings are in each index ETF! For us to achieve global diversification, we wanted to make sure that there is minimal overlap of the holdings in each index ETF. This can be an important point to note. There are many types of ETFs in the world and it is essential that you know their investment strategies and what they are investing in. Sometimes, the holdings of a few index...

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Choice of Index ETFs

As I always say – Credit should be given when credit is due. These two posts by Kevin at The Turtle Investor – “Start Index Investing with Standard Chartered – No Minimum Commission” and “Establishing Bogleheads 3-Fund Portfolio in Singapore” formed the foundation of my wife’s index ETF portfolio. If you have no idea where to start, please read those two posts first before mine!:) Singapore and/or Foreign Currency Securities Settlement Accounts After we had decided that an index ETF portfolio is the way to go for my wife, the next part is important because we had to choose the index ETFs to invest...

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Index ETF Portfolio

Investment Strategy I have been writing quite a bit on our story and it’s probably time to have a post about our investment strategy. In Australia, even though we had savings from our budgeting approach, it was difficult to implement a long-term investment strategy as our time horizon was uncertain. We did give it a shot but I will cover how we messed things up in another post. It was after all our first try at investing and we made so many mistakes that it’s hard trying to come up with something we did right! Anyway, we got more serious with our investment strategy after our...

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Graduation and Work – Flashback Post 1

My wife started reading my blog and asked me about what I would write about in my Flashback Posts. I reckon this is just as good a time as any to write my first Flashback Post! As a personal finance blog, it’s important for me to highlight that the decisions you make at each crucial point in your life will have financial repercussions down the line. The impact of those decisions will also shape the way you think and approach finances later on. To understand how we got to where we are, we first need to trace back to where we started....

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UOB One Account

Research & Analysis The first time I did anything with a focus on Research & Analysis was probably during the Project Work module in Junior College (not sure whether this module even exists anymore). Subsequently, I got better at this with completing assignments during university and exposure to tax law and tax cases during work (you guessed it, I’m a tax accountant!). I never realised how important this skill was until I had to apply it to my personal finance. You see, people do it at work because they have to but you only do it for yourself because you...

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