Author: Finance Smiths

Our ability to take risks

As things have been slowing down at work, it has given me the opportunity to re-evaluate whether I want to continue in my current tax advisory role. It has been great for my professional development for the past 2.5 years but I’m starting to get restless. This is one of my biggest weaknesses – I get bored quickly with what I’m doing and don’t work on it long enough to become proficient. If you have been reading my posts about our life in Australia, you will notice that I stayed 2 years each at my jobs in Melbourne and Sydney. In fact, I’m...

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How we view our CPF

With the recent release of the Central Provident Fund (CPF) Advisory Committee proposals on the CPF Life Escalating Plan and CPF Lifetime Retirement Investment Scheme, CPF has now become the trending topic in Singapore. There are a number of good news articles and analysis by personal finance bloggers and you should read them for a better understanding on these proposals. I was already planning to have a post about our views on CPF before their release and this seems like a good time to do so. One interesting point I have noted the more I write on my blog is how...

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What I do with my performance bonus

This topic surfaces at the end of each financial year (30 Jun in my case) when firms start doing performance bonus and salary reviews. We wait for the letter that shows us the monetary value of the additional time & effort we have put into work for the past financial year and our worth for the next financial year. This is the time where you get a higher than normal movement of staff due to employees resigning and/or changing jobs only after receiving the performance bonus. When I was working in an accounting firm in Australia, we did not receive any performance bonuses. However, my wife did receive...

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Jul 2016 Financial Update

I have updated the net worth, asset portfolio, passive income and savings rate pages on my blog. It’s a monthly exercise that takes about 30 minutes to complete and gives us a good financial snapshot. What’s fascinating is that since we started tracking our finances in 2015 and showing them on the blog in 2016, all these monthly static financial data points are coming together to form financial data trends! We start to observe the impact of lifestyle inflation, efforts to increase income & reduce expenses and changes in asset allocations. It’s difficult to pick up on such trends until you have sufficient financial data...

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Why my wife is not interested in personal finance

My recent posts have been less about the numerical aspects and more about the psychological aspects of personal finance. It gives me a broader range of topics to write about than just providing financial updates on our net worth, asset portfolio and investment income. Plus it’s more fun that way! I also realised my wife is starting to feature a lot more on my blog despite her not having contributed a post yet. Maybe one of these days, I might get her to write a guest post about her perspective on personal finance and my attempts at managing it. Actually, I’m not sure...

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The roles of privilege, luck and adversity

Have you noticed I have been posting more frequently lately? That’s because my team has been completing the various tax advisory projects recently and we are at the proposals stage for the next wave of work. The good thing is that it’s less busy in the office and I have more time to produce higher quality tax advice or do my own research. The bad thing is that time passes more slowly and you get nervous about not having enough work to keep you busy. Just one of the many interesting aspects of having a job in the office. Although...

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What I do on pay day

I wish I could say I am one of those people that are just focused on spending time with family & friends, developing my own interests and getting stuff done at work such that I don’t even notice its pay day. But I’m not. That being said. I do enjoy engaging in all these various activities but I’m acutely aware of when its pay day for my wife and I. As our salary is paid monthly, pay day is usually at the end of the month for both of us. This is the day when our monthly salary gets credited into our designated bank accounts...

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Are my parents ready for retirement?

I read an interesting post from this US personal finance blogger (Broke Millenial) – Are You Your Parent’s Retirement Plan? It sets out conversation topics on insurance, retirement funds, mortgage and debt that adult children can consider having with their parents to better understand their retirement plans. This got me thinking about my parent’s retirement plans and whether they are financially fit for retirement. I have had conversations with my parents about this before to see where I can assist them in their financial planning for retirement. We usually end up discussing the sufficiency of the CPF Life payouts after taking into account the other factors of...

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Target S$500,000 Asset Portfolio

I had a busy weekend that left my wife and I quite exhausted when we went in to work on Mon. We had a wine-tasting & dinner event at our friend’s apartment on Fri night, dropped by another friend’s apartment after dinner together for a Sat movie night before having an extended family dinner on Sun night. It was great fun but we felt like having a rest after running around over the weekend. Nothing like going in to the office on Mon and sitting/working at your desk to make you feel like you aren’t going to be moving much for...

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Financial advice for a new graduate

My wife’s brother just had his SMU commencement ceremony on Wed at the Suntec Convention Centre. Since he has already started work as an audit associate at one of the accounting firms in Singapore, he had the day off to attend the ceremony. But he has to go back to work on Thurs. Just like that, we have a new graduate in the family who has just finished his university education. Although my brother-in-law is three years younger than my wife, the impact of a 2 years National Service and 4 year SMU degree has resulted in my wife working for...

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How and why my wife earns more than me

I’m writing this post for myself just as much as for my wife, who might actually read this one since it has less numbers and figures compared to some of my previous posts. This is going to be a fun and interesting one to write about. It starts with a confession: In our past six years of full-time work, my wife has always out earned me when it comes to our salaries. Not only have I never earned more than my wife, the wage gap has increased over time. This is why I totally get the debate about gender wage gap –...

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Should we change our asset allocation?

We are planning a trip to Italy in Oct 2016 and should be flying into Florence and out from Rome. The last time we travelled to Italy was in Jun 2008 and it was part of a three week Europe trip. We really enjoyed our time in Italy and can’t believe it’s another 8 years before we go back! This time round, we should be visiting the other areas such as Tuscany and Amalfi Coast instead of the major cities. It gives us something to look forward to so we can get through the next few months of work!...

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Three Day Work Week?

It’s a public holiday tomorrow and it’s a nice feeling to have a day off after working two days. I’m writing this post on the bus home while my wife is out having drinks with her colleagues. Random thought – If she is going be out late tonight, I might drop by my parent’s place to visit them since I didn’t see them last weekend. Anyway, this got me thinking about how great it would be not having to work a full week of five days. You just have more energy to do other stuff since you don’t feel as...

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End of Jun 2016 Financial Update

I have just updated my net worth, portfolios, dividend & interest income and savings rate pages for end of June 2016. Since the first half of the year is now over, this financial update is a good way to see how we are tracking with our goals that were set earlier in the year. This will be set out in order of how these pages appear in my blog for easier reference. Net Worth The goal is to reach S$100,000 by 31 Dec 2016. As at 30 Jun 2016, our net worth is S$98,408 and it should exceed S$100,000 by 31 Jul 2016....

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Case for or against higher education

The next post after this is likely to be an end of the month and end of the first half of the year financial update. It should be an interesting one given how Brexit has shocked the foreign currency and stock markets. Given the number of articles and commentary on the impact of Brexit, I have refrained from writing about it since there is little I can value add on the topic. Nobody knows what’s going to happen and history will be the best judge of whether this turns out to be the right or wrong decision. In time, I...

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