Author: My 15 Hour Work Week

Portfolio Update: October 2018

There’s a spike in volatility during the past week. Most markets registered significant single-day declines, whether it’s the US indices, HK/China indices or the local one. 2018 is proving to be a “not so good” year for Asian markets as most of them are down by double-digit percentages for the year. Let’s see if there’s a turnaround for the remaining two months. On our portfolio front, at least for this month, it’s doing much better than the broader market. With a little bit of capital injection, the portfolio managed to remain stagnant at $455,000. That’s really a surprise, since...

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Financial Decisions For First-Time Parents

Yeah, I know, the title’s a bit click-baitish. But nope, sorry to disappoint, but there’s nothing to announce with regards to a potential new member to the 15HWW household (at least not yet). What’s happening though is that both the Mrs and I will be attending this event: Financial Decisions For First-Time Parents on 25 Oct (Thu) at 7:30pm at NAV Hub (45 Tras Street Singapore 078984, a 5-minute walk away from Tanjong Pagar MRT) We will be there to learn from financial bloggers, good friends and of course, parents like Jes (SimplyJesMe) and Thomas (BullyTheBear). It’s no surprise that most...

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Observations From My MIL’s Recent Hospitalisation

The last couple of weeks zoomed past in a whirlwind. Besides a packed work schedule, the Mrs and I also had to shuttle to the hospital almost daily to visit my MIL. My MIL is a kidney transplant patient and after almost two decades, the transplanted kidney is past its use-by date. She was admitted to hospital and had to undergo a few rounds of dialysis before she could be discharged. Here’s some observations/lessons gleaned from this episode: 1. Prevention > Early Detection > Late Intervention I did not know much about kidney failure until very recently. Apparently, the...

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The Monk, The Warrior And The Farmers

A long long time ago, there was a province named Sophistia. The majority of the people worked as farmers, toiling from 9am to 6pm on the farms. Some of these farmers were happy. But most were not. These farmers were the subjects of regional lords. Becoming a farmer was the default path for citizens of Sophistia after they graduated from school at 15. If a citizen did not want to be farmer, there were two alternative paths. 1. Train to be a warrior or 2. Enter a monastery to become a monk A warrior’s main role was to fight, win and...

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Portfolio Update: September 2018

Inequality. It’s not just happening within society, it’s also clearly evident in the markets. While the US market surges on, almost every other market has been reeling in the past couple of months. US indices have doubled from a decade ago but Chinese, Hong Kong and even Singapore based indices have struggled to eke out any noticeable gains. The big question is whether there would be some form of reversal to the mean or the gap would continue to widen for the next decade. Alright, enough with the macro. I am quite pleased that organically, our portfolio remained flat...

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On Income, Expenses And Quality Of Life

This serves as a general framework on how we approach our personal finances these days. And I thought it would be interesting to pen these thoughts down and share them. Income Target: $100,000/year Pegged to Median Household Income in Singapore. A peg means the target should increase over the years. This will provide some form of motivation and competition to not slack off completely or too early in our lives. And of course, keep up with society and also provide more consumption options. Since our portfolio is not exactly positioned heavily towards dividends, passive income (dividends, coupons and interest)...

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Housing Repercussions From National Day Rally 2018

I don’t know if I was one of the rare few. But on last Sunday, I watched the entire National Day Rally (in Eng) from 8:15pm to 9:30pm. And I believe the most meaningful issue that PM Lee addressed was public housing, specifically, HDB flat’s decaying 99 years lease and what happens when it is up. Instead of boring you with the same stuff reported by mainstream media or websites, I shall provide some hard-hitting personal insights and maybe even some recommendations of what you should do, depending on your current situation. Hopefully, reading this post will provide good...

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Why I Will Support The Raising Of Retirement Age In Singapore

I visit Gardens by the Bay very frequently, since I am a “Friend Of The Gardens”. In fact, it’s quite common to spot me and the Mrs sitting on one of the benches inside the Flower Dome, enjoying a cup of coffee, appreciating the flowers and engaging in some people-watching. Most Singaporeans will agree with me that Gardens by the Bay is a world-class tourist attraction. But do you know that it is also a world-class employer? Gardens By The Bay Raises Retirement Age Recently, Gardens by the Bay voluntarily raised the retirement of its workers to 65, up...

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Ask Me Anything Session On 23 Aug (Thu)

DBS NAV is very serious about improving your finances. Besides NAV Hub (where you can have a FREE one to one session with the NAV crew), there’s also NAV classes (check out the upcoming class on FA & TA analysis). And right now, they are trying to build up YourNAV Community, a place where you can ask questions, find answers, and share financial tips. NAV has kindly invited me to host a Ask Me Anything (AMA) session for the YourNAV Community.   Since I write specifically on how semi-retirement can be made earlier and easier, whether it’s optimising expenses or saving/investing...

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Portfolio Update: August 2018

I thought I could finally mention this phrase “a rising tide lifts all boats” but the Turkish Lira crisis in the past week put paid to that. Nonetheless, it’s still a good month. The entire portfolio remained quite resilient for the past month and with a few thousand dollars of injection, the value of the portfolio finally breached $450,000 after a few months of hard tries. Like the entire stock market, the portfolio has not done too well for 2018 thus far and it’s mainly  capital injections and accrued interest that helped to grow the portfolio. Hopefully, I can...

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4 Insights For Potential Car Buyers In Singapore

On hindsight, the previous article on car costs was more click-bait than anything. Really, this article’s the real distillation from a few weeks of reading up. Hopefully, the content provides some real and unique insights to people who are pondering over the decision of buying a new car in Singapore. And yes, I won’t be blabbering about cars again until I pull the trigger, if I ever do. =p And on a side note, argh, if only ERSG wrote this useful article on owning a car frugally way before I spent so many hours camping in the My Car...

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The “How Much Does A Car Cost?” Guide …… For Ourselves

I realised I haven’t been blogging for a couple of weeks. That’s because I have been kept pretty busy, spending precious time around My Car Forum, researching on car ownership costs, car models, reviews and of course, visiting car showrooms on weekday mornings and blablabla… All these were triggered by the sharp fall in COE prices in early July, which caused me to revisit my car conundrum which I wrote about 2 years ago. And since I know there are quite a few people around me (including financial bloggers) pondering over the purchase of a car, I shall share what...

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Portfolio Update: July 2018

The overall stock market is finally showing some signs of stabilising after a few consecutive months of poor performance. The portfolio remained flat despite a few thousand dollars of capital injection. Injections could become even more muted going forward as we seriously consider the possibility of buying a car. The big news this past month was the property cooling measures, with additional ABSD and lower LTV limits. With little exposure to both developers as well as banks, the portfolio emerged relatively unscathed. But just to show how poor a market timer I was, I bought some Capitaland shares a...

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Coping Mechanisms In This Falling Stock Market

So the STI ETF has fallen from a peak of 3,600 in early May to around 3,200 right now, a more than 10% drop that puts us at correction territory. Honestly, it’s not much for now, although we cannot rule out a repeat of 2015 (a more significant 25% plunge). From what I have observed, some people are getting uneasy with the developments. It’s funny how one is always more affected by stock price dips as compared to property price dips. If a potential buyer of your house offers 10% lower than than two months ago, you will just...

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5 Years On… Is The 15HWW Still Relevant?

How time flies. It’s been 5 years since I started this blog and wrote my first ever post. I would say I have proven to be one with pretty good foresight (more obvious example is marrying the Mrs). Instead of targeting a full-fledged retirement, I had aimed for a 15 hours work week and semi-retirement then. But what I had gotten wrong was the timing. I thought I would only be doing self-employment after accumulating a sizable stash of at least $500k in my mid-thirties. But I pulled the plug on my first job before I even turned 30....

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