Author: My 15 Hour Work Week

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...

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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....

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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Thank You, My Mrs

As I logged into Facebook this morning, I was prompted to send a Valentine’s Day card. And then as I started counting, I realised that this will be the 10th V Day since I got together with Mrs 15HWW. Ironically, we have never ever celebrated the occasion on the actual day. Even on our first V Day, I communicated clearly my lack of enthusiasm for crowds and overpriced dinners and flowers, suggesting to celebrate the occasion a few days before 14th Feb. The bouquet and dinner still cost upwards of $100 but at least the restaurant was not packed like sardines. So...

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Get Rich With … The Escape Artist

Instead of tapping away on my keyboard, I have been enjoying some reading on the internet recently. I managed to stumble onto The Escape Artist one week ago and I have not been so engrossed in reading through a blog’s archives ever since my online encounter with LivingaFI two years ago. The Escape Artist is a Brit who managed to escape his prison camp about two years ago when he was in his early 40s. In my humble opinion, the quality of his writing and experience is up there with Mr Money Mustache, Early Retirement Extreme and LivingaFI. Just that instead of...

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Expenses Update: January 2017

Just a month ago, we actually established a budget of $42,000 for our expenditure in 2017. This translates to a $3,500 monthly budget and to give ourselves some leeway in the first few months, I gave an additional $5,000 buffer. Unfortunately, in this month alone, we have used up $2,000 of the $5,000 buffer as there were plenty of birthday/wedding celebrations and Chinese New Year was also in January this year.Furthermore, we paid another $1,100 for two air tickets to Melbourne. So honestly, the higher expenditure is not unexpected. I had actually anticipated our expenditure to be above $6,000 this month...

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The Millionaire Teacher

Nope, I am not talking about myself. I consider myself a teacher but I am definitely not a millionaire yet. (Although I do reckon our $380,000 portfolio should have a good chance of hitting that million mark in 10 years’ time.) The person I am referring to is Andrew Hallam, who wrote a best-selling book titled “Millionaire Teacher” five years ago. He’s back with the second edition of the book and I was really honoured when he contacted me about a month ago. A snippet of the message: “I would like the publisher to send you a paperback copy, for possible...

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15HWW Annual Investment Performance Update: 2016

I started this journey in late 2010 and even after 6 years of investing in the market (hopefully not 1 year of experience repeated 6 times), I still regard myself as a beginner. Nonetheless, I would say that I am learning. If not more about the market, then at least more about myself. The stock market is notoriously one of the most expensive places to find out who you are and I really hope I don’t get hurt in the process! This is the fourth year I am updating my annual investment performance on this blog and you can refer to the earlier...

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Portfolio Update: January 2017

A new year, a new beginning and a new format for the monthly portfolio updates. As many readers have known, the 15HWW Permanent Portfolio is live and it will definitely be a part of future updates, along with my other investment strategies. January has been a rather good month for local equities as the STI Index breaches the 3,000 mark once again. Let’s see if this can be maintained and if the total value of $380,000 for our overall portfolio signals a good start for the rest of the year to follow. 1. 15HWW Permanent Portfolio Even though this portfolio begins with a...

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Is Freelancing Worth It?

It seems like I am not the only one as more and more millennials are turning to freelancing. As a tutor and budding writer during the past one year or so, I have had my fair share of triumphs and disappointments. So, I thought it would be good for me to share some of my insights so that people pondering on making this switch can have a better understanding of this life before making the leap. Upsides: 1. Reduced commute It appears that commuting to work is the main culprit of unhappiness at work. Many can attest to that....

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The 15HWW Permanent Portfolio Is LIVE!

I talked about the principles behind this portfolio almost a year back (over here) but it took me almost a year to build up this portfolio to $150,000 worth of value. I am officially tracking it from 1 Jan this year. And this is not a hypothetical tracker since I am putting real money (a significant chunk of my wealth) inside it. The $150,000 is split into 5 assets which makes it about $30,000 for each asset. Here’s my 5 assets that make up the Permanent Portfolio: 1. STI ETF It comprises the 30 biggest listed companies in Singapore. Price: $2.97 Number of...

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Hedging With 3 Different Investment Strategies

As I have written in an earlier post, by the time you “realise” you can or cannot beat the market, it could be too late. Therefore, my preference is to adopt various approaches and I have somewhat settled on 3 for 2017 and hopefully, all of them will work out well beyond 2017. 1. 15HWW Permanent Portfolio This has been in place since 1 Jan 2017 and I will reveal what it’s exactly made up of in the next post. But basically, this will be quite a passive and relatively stress-free way of investing. Buying into broad instruments and...

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