Portfolio Update: May 2017

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I am just back in Singapore after a week long vacation and it’s nice to find out that it’s another “slow and steady” month on the portfolio front. The 15HWW portfolio increased by $6,000 to reach $406,000. The bulk of the increase comes from savings and the organic portion from the growth of the portfolio accounts for less than $2,000.But I am not really complaining since the market has run up a … [Read more...]

The Big Three: Food, Housing & Transport Costs

We have averaged about $50,000 worth of annual expenditure for the past few years. Even though I have set a budget of $42,000 early this year for 2017, the likelihood of us achieving it is really quite low. With plenty of luxuries like travel, dining out and buying new clothes, a $50,000 budget was always much more realistic and reasonable. But that said, if our incomes were to drop off a cliff … [Read more...]

Portfolio Goals For The Next Decade

Ok, I know, I know. Systems are all the rage these days and goals are so passe. Not to mention that investment returns are largely out of our control. In a bull market, it’s really hard for a portfolio to turn red and in a bear market, the reverse holds even truer.But I still feel that there is some value to be had from establishing some sort of a yearly target to aim at. Perhaps if I put it out … [Read more...]

Expenses Update: April 2017

We spent about $3,470 in April and it was actually below the monthly budget of $3,500!  After including this month’s expenditure, we have managed to lower our average expenditure this year to $4,150. The expenditure on categories like food, groceries and clothes remain pretty wanton. There’s really no conscious attempt to curb those shopping instincts when I am at NTUC or Uniqlo and the Mrs was … [Read more...]

Freeing Up More Time And A Slower Accumulation Rate

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I am celebrating my 31st birthday in a couple of days’ time and I will be getting my best present ever. More of the Mrs’ time. Freeing Up More Time Together Yes, the Mrs will be leaving her job very soon. Probably still two more months of notice to go and after that, there is a strong likelihood that she would be enjoying a 15 hour work week from July till the end of the year. With a … [Read more...]

Useful Thought Experiment: What If You Were To Die Exactly 10 Years Later?

All I want to know is where I’m going to die so I’ll never go there – Charlie Munger What’s both fascinating and cruel about life is how unpredictable it is. And at the heart of it all is not knowing when we would leave this world. Death tends to scupper the most well-laid of plans. I find it very interesting that we tend to underestimate our longevity but overestimate the odds of being … [Read more...]

Portfolio Update: April 2017

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This could be considered a pretty good month for the portfolio. Firstly, even though the STI retreated slightly, there were gains even after excluding the capital injection from savings. Secondly, the total value of the portfolio finally managed to breach the $400,000 mark.It was quite a pretty active month as there were quite a few purchases and sales and inactivity is likely the theme for the … [Read more...]

MediShield Considerations For The Next Few Decades

Raising Of PremiumsWhen I heard this piece of news that meant all insurers were effectively raising the premiums of their Integrated Shield Plans (IPs), I knew that I might have to reevaluate my health care insurance strategy.After all, according to the same report, “Claims for IPs covering treatment in private hospitals have risen by 17 per cent a year in the past few years” and in case you did … [Read more...]

Expenses Update: March 2017

We spent about $4,250 in March and it was actually another rather frugal month by our standards. If we excluded the $700 that we paid for the day trips in Melbourne, the number would be much closer to $3,500. After including this month’s expenditure, we have still managed to lower our average expenditure this year slightly to $4,371.  This also means that when we take our trip in May, there’s … [Read more...]

15HWW Origins: Illness And The Passing Of My Mum

My Mum was the closest kin I had, by millions of miles. If my Mum were still alive, we would be celebrating her 54th birthday today. If only. She had passed away 6 years ago, after a one year struggle with ovarian cancer. My Mum My Mum was one of the kindest and most responsible person I know and she sought to instil those qualities in her children. No matter what happened, she would … [Read more...]

Portfolio Update: March 2017

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This can be considered a flat month although the total value of the portfolio increased by about $3,000 to end up at $393,000. The appreciating SGD against USD and HKD mitigated some of the stock market gains and it’s interesting that the consensus I sense is that the market appears more frothy than 2 years ago.That’s when the STI was near 3,500 compared to 3,200 right now. But the difference is … [Read more...]

Expenses Update: February 2017

This update is at least a week late as I was simply too busy with the earlier posts. I honestly thought that there was a good chance we could spend less than $3,000 this month. Firstly, this is a short month with only 28 days and secondly, we managed to keep to within $500 for the eating out category, which is easily 50% lower than the norm. But some big purchases and gifts meant that wasn’t … [Read more...]

Learn To Optimise Your CPF

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CPF is something close to the hearts of Singaporeans. In fact, it is hard to meet an adult Singaporean without strong views on CPF policies or issues. Be it the inability to withdraw your CPF funds until age 55, interest rates on CPF funds, CPF LIFE or the compulsory Medisave contribution for self-employed (just ask any taxi uncle about this), few would sit on the fence. Much as we dislike some … [Read more...]

Thoughts On The BluePrint For Singapore’s Future

For the past couple of weeks after Budget 2017 was released, everybody’s mind was fixated on the 30% water price hike. In my humble opinion, if the intention of the water price hike is to shock Singaporeans into realising how valuable water should be, the government should probably be considering an even bigger percentage hike. Afterall, for the average Singaporean family (the 4-room dwellers), … [Read more...]

Why I Am Staying With OCBC 360… For Now

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I received an SMS from OCBC about the new updates to the OCBC 360 account and after a couple of clicks, I was greeted with this: Basically, OCBC 360 has regressed from an amazing product three years ago to a good product two years ago and is now just an ok product at best. This is reflected by the many (somewhat vitriolic) blog posts about this change during the past 24 hours. Although I am … [Read more...]

Pursuing Financial Independence Is A Privilege

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It is hard to deny the importance of money in modern capitalistic life. More often than not, money is the carrot that is dangling in front of us, making us wake up at ungodly hours or rushing to appointments that we would rather not attend. I reckon most people have resigned themselves to a lifetime of the above. Although I simply refused to. And I always thought the option to Financial … [Read more...]

Portfolio Update: February 2017

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Markets are climbing slowly and as I am typing out this update, the STI has actually breached 3,100. The total value of the portfolio right now is $390,000 and it is actually up by $10,000 from the previous month. $7,000 was from capital gains and another $3,000 represents capital injection into the warchest.1. 15HWW Permanent PortfolioInterestingly, STI ETF, Berk B and Gold prices are all up … [Read more...]

Thank You, My Mrs

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As I logged into Facebook this morning, I was prompted to send a Valentine’s Day card. And then as I started counting, I realised that this will be the 10th V Day since I got together with Mrs 15HWW. Ironically, we have never ever celebrated the occasion on the actual day. Even on our first V Day, I communicated clearly my lack of enthusiasm for crowds and overpriced dinners and flowers, … [Read more...]

Get Rich With … The Escape Artist

Instead of tapping away on my keyboard, I have been enjoying some reading on the internet recently. I managed to stumble onto The Escape Artist one week ago and I have not been so engrossed in reading through a blog’s archives ever since my online encounter with LivingaFI two years ago. The Escape Artist is a Brit who managed to escape his prison camp about two years ago when he was in his … [Read more...]

Expenses Update: January 2017

Just a month ago, we actually established a budget of $42,000 for our expenditure in 2017. This translates to a $3,500 monthly budget and to give ourselves some leeway in the first few months, I gave an additional $5,000 buffer. Unfortunately, in this month alone, we have used up $2,000 of the $5,000 buffer as there were plenty of birthday/wedding celebrations and Chinese New Year was also in … [Read more...]