Author: My 15 Hour Work Week

Expenditure Update: March 15

It’s actually been quite a while since we went under $3,500 for our monthly expenses and I am quite pleased to report that we did it in March! Way to go! This happened because there wasn’t big one-off expenses even though we went a little overboard on restaurants again. Since we had accumulated quite a bit of Ringgit (we were surprised that we had almost Sing$1,000 after a quick count), we decided to spend a day there to use some of the currency up and enjoy ourselves before the GST kicks in. April’s Challenge: No soft drinks The monthly challenge is back again...

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Singapore Savings Bonds: A.K.A. LKY Bonds?

Oh it’s a bird! No, it’s a plane! And no, it’s none of them and definitely not Superman! The recent arrival is the new Singapore Savings Bonds! And it’s here to save everyone from those pathetic fixed deposits that our banks offer.    During the past few days, the local personal finance and investment space was all abuzz with excitement over the new Singapore Savings Bonds (SSBs). SMS Josephine Teo (erm…plenty of media exposure lately?) made an announcement on 26 March but merely provided a teaser, leaving personal finance nerds like me eagerly drooling in anticipation. ==================== What is SSB and how does it benefit...

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My Life Under Lee Kuan Yew’s Singapore

I will be frank. Due to the environment that I grew up in during the late 90s and early 2000s, I wasn’t exactly enamoured with Mr Lee Kuan Yew (LKY), Singapore’s first Prime Minister. My father was pretty anti-PAP and I also went to a secondary school that regarded Mr Ong Teng Cheong, the first elected President, as one of our own. In those years, even though Mr Lee had already stepped down as Prime Minister, the public perception was that he still yielded the most power in the Cabinet in his role as Senior Minister. But my perspective started...

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Where did $59,000 Go To In 2014?

This post is probably at least 3 months late. But well, better late than never? Earlier in the year, I promised to produce a summary of what the 15HWW household spent on for 2014 and even though it’s already late March, I still remember it and feel that this would be a useful post. Especially for the both of us. In fact, I actually “tested” Mrs 15HWW on this. I asked her to rank the 8 broad categories below in descending order with regards to the amount we spent on each category. To be honest, I was surprised that...

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Should You Build A Singapore Permanent Portfolio?

As the portfolio that I publish on this site heads north towards the $300k mark, I do notice my balls shrinking ever so slightly. That’s not surprising since $300k is a significant sum to both the Mrs and me and will go a long way towards fulfilling our semi-retirement dream. If we were given a 50/50 bet that would either double the amount or halve it, we probably wouldn’t take that bet. (Yeah, that’s how conservative we are now.) Therefore, we are holding a little more cash than what we previously espoused half a year ago in this asset allocation post....

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Passive Income Update: February 15

For the past half a year, the valuations of this portfolio has hovered at around the $250K mark. With the market largely in a sideways trend and a reduction in the savings rate due to lower household income, this isn’t surprising. Nonetheless, the comforting part is that there is still a slow but gradual increase in not just the valuations, but the passive income too. There’s some action in the past month as I sold off my Challenger holdings on 27 February @$0.505. As e-commerce develops in Singapore further, there’s bound to be some winners (eg.SingPost) and losers. I...

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Expenditure Update: February 15

Opps…this is at least a week late, judging by the dates of previous expenditure updates. I have really been swarmed with work, so much so that I haven’t really been switching on my laptop at home. Recent weekends have been pretty packed too. For instance, both the Mrs and I volunteered our morning and afternoon yesterday to help out with some food distribution to the needy. And I have to admit I am getting more satisfaction through activities such as the one above as compared to blogging. Afterall, it’s increasingly harder to add additional value to readers with new articles. Especially...

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If I Had A Million Dollars……

First of all, I would like to wish all the readers of My 15HWW a Happy Chinese New Year! Today’s the third day of the year of the goat and boy am I glad that it’s a Saturday! The wife is off to the temple with her extended family and I was thankfully “exempted” from this arduous trip. Yes, I simply can’t stand jostling with huge crowds and risk being burnt by some of the joss sticks. And instead of idling away on my iPad, I have decided to fire up the laptop and write a short blog entry. Yeah, motivation’s running high...

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Passive Income Update: January 15

As the STI continues its steady and slow climb towards the 3,500 mark, many investors are lamenting lost opportunities. The cry that I hear very often: “MOST STOCKS are becoming far too expensive! I have missed the boat…” But is that really a logical statement? Not according to me. If you have read this article, you will realise that the STI is just an index of 30 companies, which is just a small percentage of the total number of companies listed on the SGX. As Singtel continues its upward climb everyday or every day, there are companies like MTQ that...

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Expenditure Update: January 15

I realised it’s been some time since I had logged in to the blog, not to mention doing some writing. So firstly, sincere apologies to those who had commented on the blog or emailed me during the past two weeks. Don’t worry, you haven’t been ignored and I will reply you as soon as things are more settled. Well you see, the blog was probably the last thing on my mind during the past two weeks. Mrs 15HWW was hospitalised two weeks ago and I was spending my time shuttling between my workplace, the hospital and home (just to catch up on some sleep). Although...

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Passive Income Update: December 14

Volatility in the market doesn’t seem to be abating anytime soon. Just today, the Swiss Franc shot up by almost 30% against the $Euro. I really don’t recall encountering such MASSIVE movements of “blue-chip currencies” in a single day and such unexpected jolts do spark fears. Moreover, nobody seems to know how low oil prices could go. It’s really about expectations and if it turns out to be more of a supply glut, we could be in for a boom. However, things could get ugly if it’s the other way round. On a more personal note, I have also opened up a...

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Stocks VS Properties: Painting An Equivalent Scenario

I find it amazing that besides these two posts (here and here) which more or less talks about the merits of purchasing a BTO flat, I haven’t really shared my views on property investment. Especially considering this is a Singaporean personal finance blog (Singaporeans are suckers for properties) and it has been 1.5 years and counting. Even though my investment portfolio consists of only equities and cash at this moment, I am definitely not ruling out investing in a 2nd property. After all, I believe that almost any type of investment assets (including Hello Kitty and LINE plush toys) can...

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Expenditure Update: December 14

With this month’s update, the 15HWW household has tracked its expenses conscientiously for 17 straight months (starting from Aug 13) and there’s also finally a calendar year of expenses. I would probably be spending some time in the next couple of weeks to dissect this huge amount of data which I am pretty excited about! (What a numbers geek I am… *sigh*) And let’s just start with the most obvious: The entire year’s expenditure After including this month’s expenses of $4104, both of us have spent a total of ~$59,000 for the whole of 2014. That’s 50% above the target of $40,000....

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2015 Goals

I will be perfectly truthful here and honestly declare that my track record of achieving goals set at the beginning of years is generally poor. Yeah, as poor as Liverpool’s shambolic defence. For the past 3 decades of my life, I probably have sat down for at least 5-6 times contemplating the targets I should be achieving in the year ahead. And by the end of the year, more likely than not, I could take the whole list and repeat it for the following year. Urgh… But luckily for me, I have managed to break this vicious cycle during the...

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2014 Achievements

As I keep hearing Justin Bieber’s Mistletoe playing on the radio (ok, I have to admit the tune’s pretty catchy and I quite like it), I realise that “the most beautiful time of the year” has arrived. No, it’s not just about those snow, X’mas trees and festive feasting. It’s also the season when I get to ruminate over what I have “achieved” during the past 12 months, in line with what I had done the previous year. It also serves as some form of a scorecard against the goals set for this year. To enjoy it further, I have even...

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