Author: Finance Smiths

Maybank Kim Eng Monthly Investment Plan of S$500

It’s mid week and I can feel my working pace slow down. The handover process has already begun and my workload should wind down even more as I transition out of the firm. The bad thing is that time passes slower and it feels longer to get to the end of each day. The good thing is I have more time to review our investments before I hit the ground running in my next role. After increasing my POSB Invest-Saver monthly investment amount in the Nikko AM Singapore STI ETF (G3B) from S$300 to S$400, I had another look at the regular savings...

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Increase POSB Invest-Saver to S$400

The weekend is over. It was a great one but I now have to go through another week of work to get to the next weekend. Fascinating how time seems to slow to a crawl when you are sitting at your desk in the office on Mon morning looking at your laptop screen. Anyway, I have been thinking about my previous posts on how we index invest every month and relevant FinTech startups for us. As much as I would like to integrate the Smartly robo-advisor platform into my ETF portfolio, it still has not been launched to date. I understand it’s a regulatory...

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Changing jobs

I have held back from writing about this recent development in my professional life because it’s quite personal and I wasn’t sure how useful it would be on this blog. But I figured a change in jobs is a significant event because it can have an immediate and long-term impact on your salary income. Which makes this a personal finance topic. Newsflash: I will be resigning from my current position in an accounting firm and taking up a new position in a bank. This means I’m finally joining my wife in the banking industry, which is something I never imagined doing. I have always...

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Relevant FinTech startups for us

I’m a fan of the FinTech Revolution and I believe that FinTech startups will improve the quality of financial services provided to consumers. Before I go into any detail on specific ones that I find interesting and relevant, I should highlight that this is not a sponsored post. In fact, none of my posts so far are sponsored. I have mentioned before that there are no plans thus far to monetise this blog. Besides, it’s not self-hosted, has a basic design and there are no ads on it, which is not optimal for monetisation. Since I still rely on my full-time job for...

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Increasing our net worth by S$10,000

On 15 Sep 2016, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) released the quarterly Labour Market report. I’m not going to reiterate the statistics but will highlight these important points: Unemployment rose further among residents aged 30 and above For those aged 50 and above, unemployment rose for the fifth consecutive quarter Unemployment rates among degree holders rose to their highest level since 2009 Highest second quarter redundancy since 2009 Professionals, Managers, Executives and Technicians (PMETs) like us should monitor the local labour market to pick up on trends like that. If the above does not light a fire under your ass to...

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Have I been Value Cost Averaging

I was rereading my post on how we index invest every month and feeling pleased with myself about finally having a detailed post on index investing. I have always thought this is a suitable strategy for people who: Are not interested in research and analysis of shares Don’t have time to build up knowledge on shares investing Are okay to have the market rate of return on their investment portfolio It’s just a matter of doing the initial set up of the automated and manual processes to index invest every month and you are good to go. These are the major decisions to...

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Feasibility of CPF Investment Scheme

I’m sure you should have seen this announcement on the news by now – Government to review CPF Investment Scheme: Tharman. This couldn’t have come at a better time for me personally after having just discussed with my family last weekend about why I don’t think the CPF Investment Scheme (CPFIS) is a good idea. What is the CPFIS? Firstly, CPF employee and employer contributions are only applicable for Singapore Citizens (SCs) and Singapore Permanent Residents (SPRs). If you have more than S$20,000 in your CPF – OA, you can choose to invest the excess under the CPFIS – OA. Likewise, if you...

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Why S$6,000 is our magic happiness income level

The longer I track our income and expenses, the more I start to realise that the most effective way of building wealth at our age is to increase income. Reason being the limits to how much we can reduce expenses by are greater than how much we can increase income by. Increase Income > Reduce Expenses At this stage, our savings rate is 40% i.e. monthly cash savings of S$4,800. To achieve a 10% reduction in expenses to boost the savings rate to 50% i.e. monthly cash savings of S$6,000, we will have to restructure our spending and lifestyle. This is a painful process and I...

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Review of our bank accounts

Do you remember my post about the three day work week? The interesting thing is that my manager returned from maternity leave and is now on a three day work week. This is unusual in an accounting firm where there are revenue and client pressures. I get to see and understand first hand how the three day work week functions from the perspective of my manager who is on it and me as the colleague of such a working mum. To be honest, it has not been going well for my manager and tensions have been running high in the team lately. These type of...

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How we use CPF for housing

I considered writing an Aug 2016 Financial Update post. However, not much has happened in the month since the Jul 2016 Financial Update. As long as the trend continues to be upward and positive, I’m satisfied with the progress. I can provide a summary if it helps. The net worth has jumped more than the previous months mainly because of the performance bonus that I received. Our investment cash and cash on hand have increased by the same amount of S$4,000. Good to know this is becoming quite consistent. The ETF and Other portfolios have risen slightly but the Share portfolio has dipped. There was a...

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How we index invest every month

I have written a number of index investing posts in the past few months – Start index investing, Choose equity ETFs & bond ETFs and Build an ETF portfolio. It was early days for the blog and I didn’t write them in a lot of detail. Plus my first self-hosted blog got shut down one weekend (I never figured out what happened) and I was still feeling hesitant with my second attempt. As I start to develop my interest in writing, the length of my posts has increased and I hope the additional detail/opinions have been useful. However, given my...

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Making a claim against an employer

I ran into a good friend from my NS days last weekend whom I have not caught up with in a while. I really should make more of an effort to keep in contact with friends especially when it’s so easy to get sucked into your own life of wants and needs. We chatted briefly and will be meeting up for lunch or dinner next week. However, what we discussed got stuck in my head over the weekend because I never imagined it would have happened to him. He had completed his undergraduate & postgraduate studies overseas and returned to Singapore to work in...

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Average monthly passive income hits S$1,000

I have decided to sneak this post in before it gets to Sep. After all, this is a long journey to financial independence and it’s important to celebrate milestones to keep ourselves going. Our average monthly passive income for the year has finally crossed S$1,000 at the time of writing. FYI, it’s going to drop below S$1,000 once Sep comes around but oh well. A win is a win. Just thinking about what that means is putting a smile on my face! Somehow, our investment and cash management strategies are starting to work out after plugging away at them...

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Is it easier to build wealth in Singapore?

Since August is a big dividend month, our average monthly passive income has been inching close to S$1,000. We might get there just for August before it falls back below S$1,000 in September. I’m not sure whether this counts as meeting my goal since it will only be for a brief period of time. Anyway, it’s still something to be excited about and I’m patiently waiting for the last week of August to pass before doing the monthly financial update to see how we fared. After all, we should be receiving some distributions/dividends this week that might make all the difference. Recently, I had...

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Distribution/Dividend Reinvestment Plans (DRPs)

I know I have been slow with this but better late than never. Congrats to Joseph Schooling for winning Singapore’s first Olympic gold medal. It’s a fantastic achievement and something to be proud of for Singapore! On the other hand, I feel both happy and sad for the Malaysian badminton players in the Olympics. They came so close to winning their first Olympic gold medal for Malaysia and I hope their hard work & efforts will pay off in Olympics 2020. Sigh. It hurts to watch Lee Chong Wei lose his third consecutive Olympic badminton final and receive a silver medal. I...

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