Author: My 15 Hour Work Week

Weekend Reading: 15-21 August 2015

To understand the genesis behind this weekly series, click here. ==================== The Market Is Crashing! What Should You Do? As I am writing this article, the Straits Times Index has dipped below the critical 3,000 mark. The market has dropped close to 20% even though a high of 3540 was achieved as recent as April 2015. Honestly, I feel the pain. With a $200,000 portfolio, it does hurt to see the value decrease by $1-$2k almost on a daily basis for the past couple of weeks. But it really doesn’t make sense to “Buy High, Sell Low” right? In these times, instead of allowing ourselves to become emotional and sell everything to stop the pain, one should try to access his/her rational mind. Yes, I am going to do more buying than selling if this goes on. And I believe by reading the articles below, you should be able to make sounder decisions: Thoughts On The Market Volatility And Market Timing (BigFatPurse) Pacing Your Buying Activities (2) & Start Actioning (Forever Financial Freedom) The Real Life Roller Coaster (Compounding Wealth Through Sensible Investing)  Frugality Works About Frugal Daddy (Frugal Daddy) I am a big fan of social mobility in Singapore. And this guy Frugal Daddy is a good example of rising through the ranks despite being born in a low income family. And unlike SG Chan Chun Sing, he isn’t academically inclined and can be regarded as a late bloomer. However, through sheer hard work and of course frugality, Frugal Daddy has beaten the odds and amassed a tidy sum in his savings and annuities. He aims to be financially independent before the age of 40 so that he can spare more time with his daughter. I don’t know about you, but I am impressed. Do You Have Expensive Tastes? (Got Money Got Honey) I hate truffle fries. I can’t stand the smell and honestly, if given a choice, I would always choose MacDonald’s fries dipped in chilli sauce over a plate of “pungent” fries. And you can easily replace “truffle fries” with wine, caviar or sea urchins without a change in the conclusion. I am glad that I generally don’t have expensive tastes as they are not conducive to wealth-building. In his article, GMGH mentioned how all young yuppies are so into diving and that even with a genuine interest, he could shift his taste away from this “expensive hobby”. All right, let’s see if I can have less meat the next month. Interviews Since there’s quite a few interviews this week and to avoid...

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Getting To Know Chan Chun Sing

I shall admit it. I take a lot of pride in the quality of our Ministers in the Singapore Cabinet. As a junior policy officer working in a Statutory Board some years ago, I got to observe DPM Tharman and Minister Tan Chuan Jin first-hand and I was rather impressed by their astute decision-making skills and all-round brilliance. Therefore, when NTUC invited me (among other much more prominent online influencers) for a sharing session with their Secretary-General Chan Chun Sing, I jumped at the chance. Oh, I forgot to ask him if Yeo’s soya milk really tasted THAT fresh…...

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Passive Income Update: July 2015

The STI Index dropped close to 3% on Wednesday, one of the biggest one-day falls I have seen since I started investing in stocks. Even though the market rebounded slightly over the next two days, one could really smell the pessimism in the air and it’s anyone’s guess how next week’s market would perform. My portfolio was not spared the bloodbath and even after including the $4,400 of dividends received thus far, returns are officially negative for this year. I only knew the potential impact of oil prices on my portfolio until it hit stocks like Sembcorp, Boustead and MTQ hard....

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Weekend Reading: 8-14 August 2015

As I begin planning how my 168 hours are going to be spent every week, I realised that I spend alot of my time on the local financial blogosphere. Besides using up to 10 hours drafting posts, many more hours are consumed reading what others are writing. You see Cookie Monster above? See the way he gobbles up those cookies? That is the same way I plough through articles that are related to personal finance. Whenever I have pockets of free time, ie. commuting or waiting for the Mrs to browse and try out some dresses, I would subconsciously whip out my phone...

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The 15HWW Definition Of “Work”

As a blogger, I have been quite lucky. I have received many positive comments about my ideology and writing and even in my more downbeat times (like this and this), I have received plenty of encouragement from readers. Seriously, I am quite surprised that I have not really had anyone lampooning me for espousing a 15 hour work week. Or accusing me of being part of the strawberry generation, one who does not want to work hard and long hours and at the same time, expect life to be a bed roses. It also probably does not help that Mr...

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Lee Kuan Yew & Warren Buffett: 5 Glaring Similarities That Explain Their Success

The Jubilee Weekend is finally here and since this is still by and large a personal finance/investment blog, there’s no better time to take a look at the lives of Singapore’s founding Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew and the world’s most famous and astute investor Warren Buffett. #15HWWLogic But seriously, I can’t believe few have written about the glaring similarities in their lives and careers, considering that Singapore is celebrating its 50th birthday in two days’ time and Berkshire Hathaway commemorated its 50th anniversary just three months before. What a coincidence. A man who brought Singapore from Third World to First World and a man who...

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A Controversial Take On Income From Blogging

This post has been a long time coming. In fact, ever since I read SMOL’s take on blogging for hobby versus blogging as a business almost a year ago, I had wanted to pen down my somewhat scathing views. (And yes, if you’re interested in this topic, do read the insightful comments on that post. )  However, I have refrained from publishing as I knew some feathers in this personal finance blogosphere could be ruffled. And seriously, I have enjoyed being part of this community. I really didn’t want to hear things like: “Who’s this 15HWW guy trying to judge all of us? He’s...

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Expenditure Update: July 15

July’s expenses spiked up slightly and came in at close to $4,000. Even though the fixed expenses have been recently updated and lowered. The main culprit was the new iPhone 6 the Mrs bought. Even though we upgraded her mobile plan and will likely pay an extra $20 despite a 35% discount, we still had to pay an extra  $470 for the phone. But well, we managed to offset it by re-contracting another line and selling the phone for a $600 profit. It’s not reflected below since I have always maintained a policy of not incorporating incomes in our updates....

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Happy 2nd Anniversary To My15HWW!

Origins Almost exactly 2 years ago, on 28th July 2013, the first post of this blog was published. Stumbling upon Mr Money Mustache and Early Retirement Extreme earlier that year, I was really inspired to write and document my own philosophy and experience. Moreover, I had benefited greatly after setting up camps on various local financial blogs for years and felt that it was time to pay it forward. After handing almost $200 bucks of cash to BlueHost to create this website, I told myself that minimally, I had to commit a year to blogging. And honestly, that promise appeared really daunting, even...

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How Financial Assistance Might Be The Most Important Investment In My Life

How I Benefited From Financial Assistance If you’ve read enough About Me, you would realise that I was not born with a silver spoon. In fact, with one working parent and a household income below $3,000 for a family of five, I often qualified for bursaries back when I was in school. I still remember receiving my first bursary in Primary 3. My grades, especially English, improved rather dramatically in the second half of the year and the “Most Improved Student” award was conferred on me. Even though only a token sum of about $200-$400 was awarded, this amount...

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Passive Income Update: June 15

For much of this month, it appeared that the sky was falling. At least, that was what many predicted for the local stock market after Greece unanimously voted “No” to the Troika’s “somewhat absurd demands” (you probably know where I stand on this issue after this line) for more aid and the China & HK stock market totally crumbled (after an unsustainable rise). Again, just like late last year, it seemed a matter of time before the local STI dives below the 3,000 level mark. Many who have been on the sidelines for the best part of 5 years...

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Fixed Expenses Update: 2015

As most followers of this blog knows, we record our monthly expenses almost religiously. I have little doubt that this is the best way for us to find out how much we are spending every month. Otherwise, without doing this, when would we realise we have squirrelled away enough for our semi-retirement? To keep the monthly updates uncluttered, I have actually divided our expenses into two portions: 1. The fixed, recurring expenses and 2. The variable expenses And for the past year’s monthly updates, I have been using the amortised fixed expenses  calculated on 28th July 2014 as a simple way to calculate our...

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Hindsight Insights Into The STI Index

First, let’s take a look at how some of the key indices have performed in the past few years. In the past three years, the US indices like the S&P 500 and the DJIA were repeatedly achieving new highs and giving investors high teen annualised returns. And in recent months, the bulls went over to China. The SSE broke out from a 5 year doldrum in the middle of last year. In June 2014, the SSE was hovering at around 2,000. Fast forward a year later, the SSE actually breached 4,900. That’s a 150% return within a year! A ferocious...

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Expenditure Update: June 2015

Last month was a pretty special month as the Mrs and I actually spent 2 weeks together almost 24/7. She was enjoying her sabbatical and I had 2 weeks of protected school holidays. And quite interestingly, our expenses came down to a very manageable $3,500. Moral of the story? Staying at home watching DVDs and playing games is really quite low maintenance. Not surprisingly. Ooops… So with June’s expenditure in, this brings our estimated total expenditure for the first half of the year to $23,500.  That’s pretty satisfactory in my opinion and can be considered rather low (especially with the...

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Top 10 Posts… For Now!

Life’s pretty ironic. A person generally does his best work when he’s still relatively uncelebrated and most likely appreciated by a precious few. But after he becomes famous, he more or less can live on his reputation. Let’s just take a look at Jay Chou. I am a big fan of his and adored his first 3 albums when I was a still teenager. However, whenever I hear the songs from the most recent albums, it’s like I am seasick on a boat. This phenomenon applies to authors and of course, bloggers like me too. Although I am and will never be as famous as Jay...

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