Author: My 15 Hour Work Week

Retire In A Cheaper City?

A cup of fragrant and very affordable coffee was placed in front of me while I was drafting this article on my iPad. As I took a sip, I gazed out of the windows of the cafe and observed the hustle and bustle happening around Ben Thanh Market in Ho Chi Minh City. You see, Mrs 15HWW was on a work trip earlier this week and since I was free and had never been to Vietnam before, I tagged along. Obviously, it also helped that I didn’t have to foot the bill for my own accommodation  And during my short stay there, I realised...

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Asset Enhancement & Its Negative Consequences

For the best part of Singapore’s 50 years of history, the government has ensured that HDB flats were not just homes but also an appreciating asset. This asset enhancement policy has also naturally spilled over to the private property market and property prices have enjoyed strong appreciation over the past few decades. The steady increase in prices helps to explain why almost every Singaporean aspires to own his own place. Our high home ownership rate is actually a rarity among developed nations. According to this wikipedia article, we are actually 3rd (behind two Eastern European countries) with more than 90% of Singaporeans living...

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“The New Good Life”

You probably don’t know who John Robbins is. Me too. But that was until I came across one of his books a few weeks ago. And I have got to say his life has been nothing short of intriguing. I am sure you have heard of Baskin-Robbins. It’s one of the world’s largest chain of ice-cream specialty shops and John Robbins is the son of one of the two founders, Irv Robbins. Yup, he was born into riches and was slated to take over a company that was making millions of dollars even in the sixties. But amazingly, he...

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Exit From Phillip Capital ShareBuilder Plan

4 years ago, when Mrs 15HWW wasn’t Mrs 15HWW yet, I cajoled her to sign up for the Philip Capital ShareBuilder Plan. I was still in school but she had already started working for about 2 years. Since she was saving a really big proportion of her salary then, I thought that allocating $600 a month to this plan was a better allocation of the money. 4 years on, with total injections of $28,200, we have finally sold the entire stake earlier this month for $30,785. A total return of about 9% and an annualised return of about 2.2%. To...

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Get Rich With… Patience!

About a month ago, on 19 September, I had a really strange desire. I actually wanted to get my hands on one thousand sets of 128GB iPhone 6 Plus (Gold)! And no, it’s not because I have another 999 girlfriends. This desire was triggered largely because I had managed to sell a 16GB iPhone 6 Plus (Silver) on the day the phones were launched. (A good way to reduce the cost of owning a phone. ) I was one of the lucky few that managed to complete my re-contract on the M1 website in early September.  And after collecting the phone in...

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Passive Income Update: September 14

Firstly, some good news. Amazingly, I was allocated the FULL 75 shares that I applied for during the OCBC rights issue. Together with the 125 shares I was allocated, I was able to get my hands on 200 shares at the bargain price of $7.65. So no odd lots come Jan 15. Furthermore, an additional $150 made just from the excess rights, yeah! And I finally decided to close the Phillip Capital ShareBuilder Plan (will write more about the reasons in a later post) very early in the month when the STI was still hovering around the 3,300 mark. A...

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Block Your Calendar On 17 Jan 2015 (Sat)!

Nope, don’t get your hopes up too high. I am not arranging for a meet-up session with you, my dear reader. Sad, but true.  But fortunately, in my view, I am asking you to keep your afternoon free on 17 Jan 2015 (Sat) because something bigger and better is happening. Instead of meeting me or just the one blogger, you get to meet FIVE if you attend this Personal Financial Investment Seminar! (More details on these bloggers and speakers below.) After blogging for slightly more than a year, you should know that I am generally quite protective of you. Even...

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Asset Allocation And My Strategy

After more than a year blogging about personal finance and investments, I am surprised that something as important as asset allocation has never been directly addressed in any of the posts. To be fair, I have talked about the importance of holding some cash so that I could sleep better at night. But that’s really just scraping the surface of this important issue. Many studies (an example here) have shown that for most investors, asset allocation plays a bigger factor in returns as compared to the individual stocks that we select in the portfolio. And since I do share my portfolio of passive income, not going deeper into asset...

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It’s Never Too Early To Start Investing

By most measures, I started my investment journey relatively early, at the age of 24. (Let’s not talk about ILPs…urgh!) And that was a year before I graduated from university. But seriously, I always thought it wasn’t early enough, considering how much I had read up on the topic of personal finance and investing since I was like 16? (And obviously, just missing out on the post-2009 run up. ) But recently, investing early seemed to have lost a little bit of its sheen, as several financial bloggers in our local community have come out chastising some “very young”...

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What Do Young Singaporeans Want For Our Future?

Personal finance represents just one of my core interests in life. Therefore, it’s no wonder that I have sometimes deviated from this blog’s primary function, with posts ranging from my views on why the government shouldn’t be dispensing more help to elderly landed property owners, to my take on policies like MediShield Life and changes in PSLE. Generally, these posts do not generate as much traffic and discussion as those that are directly related to the topic of money. But I still write them because I enjoy doing it.  So I was pretty surprised a couple of weeks ago when a...

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Expenditure Update: September 14

After the hefty expenses of the past two months (see here and here), September was a welcome respite as the total expenses added up to a much more reasonable $3,900. Notably, that’s still higher than the lofty target of $3,500 and without a doubt, expenses are creeping up as we continue to bask in relative luxury. I am also disappointed to realise that I have been yakking away on this point for aeons without taking any real action. But that’s going to change from this month. I have decided to set a small monthly challenge that’s related to a reduction of our...

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Experiencing “Financial Joy”!

With more free time on my hands these days, I have been doing a bit more reading than usual. During one of my visits to the Woodlands Regional Library, I was on the prowl for some personal finance books, even though I have already read the bulk of them that’s available. To be honest, sometimes I think that I have reached a stage where reading personal finance books doesn’t really add to my knowledge. It doesn’t help that most of them are pretty similar. But I still do it occasionally, especially when I need some reinforcement on the merits...

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Reflections After 3 Months Of Semi-Retirement: Part 2 – The Bad

Slightly more than a week ago, I shared how much I was enjoying the first 3 months of my semi-retirement. It’s a no-brainer, isn’t it? Without (a big) worry regarding finances, how can a person not enjoy taking 3 months off a 40 hour work week at the age of 28? I agree. Having more control in my schedule, better sleep and having more time for new experiences are just some of the numerous positive changes I have experienced in these past 14 weeks. And I have documented them rather well in that earlier post. But such a lifestyle can’t...

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New Addition: Stuff I Like

I should have done this months ago but well, at least it’s done. Like finally!  Besides helping my readers have easier access to stuff which I like, this new addition is also partly spurred by the fact that other bloggers are doing a better job at referring traffic to me than the other way round. Let’s hope that this new page will help to correct matters and make me feel better about myself. And instead of repeating those bloggers I like in the RSS feed widgets, I have decided to feature other bloggers, especially those new ones which I find very...

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Passive Income Update: August 14

On 31 July, the STI reached a year high of about 3,370 points. The STI had appeared to be catching on to the US stock market’s meteoric rise in the past two year. It seemed like a matter of a few weeks before the 3,400 mark would be breached and a possibility that it could surge past the 3,500 mark (a level not seen since Nov 07). However, for the past one and a months, the index has dived down by a hundred points instead and we are back below the 3,300 level again. These 30 stocks in the Singapore stock market as...

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