Author: Finance Smiths

Just focus on your own progress

It’s close to the end of the work week and tomorrow is Friday! The day we receive our monthly salary and annual bonus income, which is likely to be our biggest payout in a single day for all of our 8 years of working. I’m excited at the prospects of having such an influx of cash at the end of 2017 and thinking about what I can do with it next year. 2018 is already shaping up to be a significant year, almost like a turning point for us, as we look to get more serious with our careers, finances and family...

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Increasing my monthly funds transfers to Smartly and StashAway

As I have mentioned in my previous post, I recently opened a Smartly robo-advisor account with my wife’s referral code. This was introduced recently by Smartly, probably as a response to StashAway’s referral program that was introduced a few month’s back. Competition among the robo-advisors in Singapore is already starting to translate into monetary benefits for retail investors i.e. in the form of platform/account fee waiver for this case. I reckon the greater the number of retail investors that open accounts with Smartly and StashAway in Singapore, the higher the probability that their platform/account fees might actually reduce over time....

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Do I need to take that risk?

It’s been a busy week at work and outside of work. Trying to finish up tasks before my colleagues head off for their block leave. And going for various celebratory events due to the festive season. We will probably be staying in at home tomorrow to rest and recover for the new work week ahead. It is likely to only start winding down as we get closer to the Christmas and New Year’s Eve holidays. Can’t wait! There’s another thing to look forward to in the new few weeks. The payout of our salaries and my wife’s year-end bonus....

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Taking things slow and steady

I’m sure everyone has heard of the famous saying – slow and steady wins the race. This is the morale of the story about the quick hare losing the race against the slow-moving tortoise. Essentially, it means that even an average person can achieve success through persistent and consistent efforts. I still remind myself about this story when I get impatient and start wishing for faster results with my efforts to do better at work, savings, investments and relationships i.e. prioritising instant gratification over delayed gratification. I also understand how a combination of bad decisions, unfortunate circumstances and bad...

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When the percentage increases drop

I made a change to our Net Worth Google Sheet by removing the tab on graphical illustration of the changes in our Cash, Investments, Retirement & Medical funds, Total Assets and Net Worth. It wasn’t useful for me because I was referring more to the actual figures for tracking purposes. The graphs gave me a big picture of where we were heading but when you are still in the detailed work phase of building your wealth, it really doesn’t offer much. Instead, I added in columns on $ and % changes to the tab on our actual numbers for...

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Net Worth Update Nov 2017

It’s the last month of the year – Dec 2017. This year has gone by quite quickly for us and it was full of ups and downs with our work and travels. But still better overall compared to last year (2016). Anyway, I updated our Net Worth Nov 2017 numbers last night and wasn’t too pleased with some of the figures. Thought I should write about it since my last net worth update post was for Aug 2017. Cash (+3.36%) Cash holdings went up significantly because of our sale transactions in Nov 2017. I decided to take profits on some of...

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Getting too comfortable with life

Just celebrated our wedding anniversary last weekend. We went out for a Japanese omakase lunch and I brought my wife to go jewellery shopping for her wedding anniversary and Christmas gifts. The last big celebration I had with my wife was for her birthday in the first half of the year. This is a good time for another big celebration in the second half of the year as we wind down and prepare for the new year. It’s our 4th year back here living and working in Singapore as a couple. I was just thinking about our first 4 years living and...

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Investments for Nov 2017

Automated Investing for Nov 2017 Maybank Kim Eng Monthly Investment Plan (Maybank KE MIP) Buy 28 units of SPDR STI ETF (SGX: ES3) at S$3.451 per unit on 8 Nov 2017 Buy 87 units of Nikko AM REIT ETF (SGX: CFA) at S$1.112 per unit on 8 Nov 2017 Transaction costs of S$2 POSB Invest-Saver Buy 28 units of Nikko AM STI ETF (SGX: G3B) at S$3.49 per unit on 16 Nov 2017 Buy 85 units of ABF SG Bond ETF (SGX: A35) at S$1.162 per unit on 16 Nov 2017 Transaction cost of S$1.50 OCBC Blue Chip Investment Plan Buy 419 units of Nikko AM STI ETF...

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Liking the economic recovery

As an investor, I know I’m supposed to prefer market volatility and bear markets so I can buy ETFs & stocks at lower prices. And I understand this usually comes together with an economic recession, which poses retrenchment and other types of risks that I should accept with my investing approach. This is the objective and logical way to think about it. But we know the human mind doesn’t always work like that. Which is why I have to say I’m liking this economic recovery, even with the consequential higher stock and property markets prices. It feels more stable and people are in...

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Taxes Conundrum

The issue of raising taxes in Singapore due to growing government spending on investments and social services has surfaced in the news again. Specifically Income Tax and GST. I always get into an internal conflict with myself when I start to think about where I stand on it. Singapore’s Income Tax Rates is progressive, which means high income earners pay a proportionately higher tax. But with the highest income tax rate at 22%, it’s lower than other developed countries. Same goes for the GST at 7%, which is comparatively lower than other developed countries. Having lived and worked in Australia for a...

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Knowing when to adjust our contributions

I had the chance to meet Michele and Rachel from StashAway as well as Kyith (Investment Moats) during the open discussion earlier in the week. It was great and I enjoyed the conversations we had on investing in general, pros & cons of StashAway, possible improvements to StashAway, etc. Looking forward to attending more of such events! Anyway, I read Kyith’s latest post at Investment Moats on Your Returns if You Dollar Cost Average into the STI ETF with interest. Mainly because I’m attempting a similar endeavour for the next 10 years – mindless investing in the STI ETF via...

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Annual performance review outcome

My wife has completed her 2017 annual performance review and she just received her remuneration outcome – higher basic salary and a bonus. This is a better result than 2016, where she received no basic salary increase and a smaller bonus. That’s to be expected given that 2017 is a better year for the economy and bank compared to 2016. I’m happy for my wife. She stepped up to fill in for a higher level role and worked hard to perform well. Even though she became busier with work, she improved her time-management skills to squeeze in personal training...

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Sell transaction Nov 2017

We have a small portfolio in Australia consisting of 2 individual stocks listed on the ASX. One of them is WorleyParsons Limited (ASX: WOR). It is an Australian engineering company that provides project delivery & consulting services to the resources & energy sectors, and complex process industries. Did you understand what this company is doing from the short introduction? Because I didn’t initially and still invested in WOR. Subsequently after doing some research & analysis, I only acquired a basic level of understanding of what WOR does but wanted to get some indirect exposure to the Australian resources & energy sector. Over the course of a...

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Taking 2 consecutive days of sick leave from work

I finally took sick leave last Thurs and Fri to go see the doctor, get medicine & MC and rest at home. I have been struggling to recover from an initial bout of cough, sore throat and cold but still going to the office. Not because I’m hardworking but because I don’t like staying at home by myself. However, when the illness developed into a secondary and more serious infection, I took my wife’s advice to visit the doctor, take medicine and recover at home for the last 2 working days of the week. This gave me 4 days...

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Cash gift and interest credited from DBS BYOB and SAYE

Back in Aug 2017, I wrote about my wife registering for the DBS BYOB Promotion and opening the SAYE Account. One of the benefits I mentioned was that she will receive a S$88 cash gift for having registered by 30 September 2017. This has now been credited into her DBS bank account. The 2% pa bonus interest on her monthly savings of S$3,000 in the SAYE Account has also been credited into her PayLah account. It’s about time. My wife had to call DBS in September 2017 and check whether the qualifying conditions have been met. Before waiting for another...

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