Author: My 15 Hour Work Week

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 there, the universe will align itself and help us to attain it? More likely, with a target/goal, we will...

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 pretty accommodating since it was my birthday month! So looking forward to a break in two weeks’ time when all the mid years will be over and we would be jacking up the expenses in...

Read More

Freeing Up More Time And A Slower Accumulation Rate

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 heavier workload since the start of the year, I have been recommending more and more students to the Mrs and I think...

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 alive moments later. It’s hard to imagine living till my 90s but I am (erroneously) absolutely certain I would still be around a few days later, a...

Read More

Portfolio Update: April 2017

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 next month as lessons are already piling with the mid year exams coming. The annualised returns look pretty good for both the Permanent Portfolio and the DWI Picks but since these two categories are less...

Read More

MediShield Considerations For The Next Few Decades

Raising Of Premiums When 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 not know, insurance companies are profit-making in nature (there are shareholders) and when their costs increase, they are just going to pass it on. So I expect premiums to be raised again in a...

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 only accommodation and the daily expenses to deal with. So the expenditure is unlikely to explode in that month when we “amortise” the trip like this. But it’s notable that...

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 never blow her temper at low-paid service staff because she had worked those positions before and could empathise with their difficulties. And whenever I borrow anything from anyone, I will be able to...

Read More

Portfolio Update: March 2017

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 that the US market continues to pull away and I guess many are just waiting for a pullback or even a crash in the US market to derail the...

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 to be. However, at the very least, we still managed to keep the expenses within $3,350 and this has lowered our average expenditure this...

Read More

Learn To Optimise Your CPF

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 of the policies, there’s nothing we can do as individuals to change them. But what’s within our control is to optimise our decisions and actions within the CPF system....

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), net water bill will increase by only $5/month (after U-save rebate). And this issue is distracting us from bigger strategic concerns. [embedded content] During the National Day Rally last year, PM Lee spent a big...

Read More

Why I Am Staying With OCBC 360… For Now

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 definitely disappointed by the reduction in the interest rates for the payment and spend part, here’s why I am taking quite a different position...

Read More

Pursuing Financial Independence Is A Privilege

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 Independence, Retire Early (FIRE) is available to most residing in a developed country such as Singapore. Of course, I still earnestly believe everyone can start with the man in...

Read More

Portfolio Update: February 2017

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 Portfolio Interestingly, STI ETF, Berk B and Gold prices are all up slightly this month, contributing to more than a $2k gain in this portfolio. USD-SGD Rate: 1.42 UOB 50 Gram PAMP Gold Price: $2,815 x 6 = $16,890 2. Personal Picks About 3...

Read More

Like us on Facebook

Follow us on Twitter