Author: My 15 Hour Work Week

My Investment (Out)Performance: 2010 to 2013

As I have subtly indicated in the title, I think I have done well in my investment journey so far. After crunching the numbers, the result is actually much better than what I had initially assumed. Based on my “active portfolio”, I have achieved a CAGR of close to 19% from November 2010 to Dec 2013. But hey, I also understand that “well” is pretty subjective. So before some investment gurus with >30% annual returns over several decades come bearing down on me (mocking at both the returns and the short time period of my records), let me clarify that I am just comparing with my...

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Growing “My” Tree Of Prosperity

Jonathan Kwok caused quite a bit of a stir in the personal finance world half a year back. Basically, he wrote an article illustrating how an average 30 year old could amass $100,000 before turning 30. Apparently, most “average” young adults were not convinced. But if he had written it 8 years earlier, I am pretty sure I would be one of those youths who would enthusiastically aspire to that goal. Why am I so sure? And it’s not because that Mrs 15HWW and I have more or less reach the target before 28. Instead, my personal finance journey...

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Passive Income Update: December 13

Slightly more than 3 years into my investment journey, our “projected” passive income has finally breached the $6k mark. Yeah, I know the amount of real dividends I received in 2013 is much lower (<$4k) and that it’s nothing much to shout at compared to other bloggers like B, Dividend Warrior and of course, AK71. (One advantage of updating assets/passive income a couple of weeks later than most is that you can always reference to others in your post =p) But hey, this is considered a significant milestone for us since this amount translates to a not insignificant $500 a month. $500 will probably enable us to cover the basic stuff...

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STI ETF: What Exactly Am I Buying?

I have been on the Philip Capital Sharebuilder program for more than 3 years and recently encouraged both my siblings and readers to start a Regular Savings Plan with our friendly banker next door.  I don’t know if it’s too good to be true but apparently (at least in theory), if we channel $500 into this Regular Savings Plan (RSP) every month, we could enjoy ~10% returns (if history repeats) and then after 30 years, the savings would accrue to become $1,000,000! And all this from a capital/savings of less than $200,000. The above is generally categorised as passive...

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“Finances, My Wife and I” – Earlyretirementsg

The author behind earlyretirementsg.weebly.com is a really nice and helpful dude. Even though he was busy with work last week, he still committed whatever little free time he had to writing a guest post for this humble site. So I am really glad that more people are aware of his ideas and writing after the previous post. But it isn’t just one-way traffic in terms of benefits. As there’s been some seismic (and luckily interesting) changes at my workplace (which means I am getting busier), his kind gesture has also allowed me to take a week off from writing for this...

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Introducing… EarlyRetirementSg!

One of the main reasons behind starting this blog was that I couldn’t find anything that was similar to ERE/MMM/Raptitude in the local context. And so, I thought why not create one myself? (I am definitely not saying I am as good as them, but I am not denying that I am trying?) There’s no doubting that there are many established local personal finance bloggers out there. For most of them, the primary aim is to accumulate wealth to the tune of close to $1 million before declaring themselves financially independent. Worthy goals indeed. But then, this is also pretty...

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Understanding Your Electricity Bills

Although I am pretty inactive on Facebook (ya I know, I am a tech dinosaur and weirdo who finds no utility in posting pics/status updates and obtains no euphoria if I ever obtain a “like”), I have enjoyed being part of some Facebook groups. And one of the most useful has been my BTO facebook group. I still recall a few years back, some nice folks will regularly post updates of the construction progress and more importantly, during the past year, many neighbours shared renovation contacts/tips. Some of us even benefited from the bulk buys! As most of us have moved in, the...

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Expenditure Update: December 13

2013 is over and it’s time to wrap up the expenses for the year with the December numbers. With lots of merrymaking, meeting up with friends and family, Dec is also the month which I have spent the most (excluding vacation expenses) since I started recording expenses again some months ago. We spent $4,087.38 this month, buying gifts, hosting dinners and having a jolly good time. Below is the detailed breakdown for this month’s expenses: ==================== Eating Out: $828.40 Hawker ($273.55) – Pretty standard, although slightly above the norm Fast Food ($38) – 2 to 3 Mac meals each and a couple of...

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What Should Be The Appropriate Returns For My Siblings?

With a day to go before the end of 2014, it’s also about time to renew my “contract” with my younger siblings for another year. If you’re wondering what I am talking about, let me explain. My siblings received a small inheritance a few years back and I was tasked with helping to manage a significant portion of it, about $20,000 each for the both of them. And these funds are made less liquid for them since I have also imposed some conditions regarding the withdrawal of these funds. This renewal was supposed to be a simple annual affair but I started having second thoughts on...

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Don’t Let Frugality Descend Into Cheapness!!!

A couple of weeks ago, I shared on some of the less obvious upsides of frugality. Basically, how it helps us to lead a more organised and clutter-free life and also how it can reduce the strains we exert on the environment. Yeah, frugality is a wonderful behaviour for all of us to adopt! But like most things, frugality isn’t all that great when it’s taken to the extreme, especially when one only takes into consideration the financial aspect. Here, I am talking about being cheap. Nobody admits to being cheap and even fewer likes to be labelled that way. And the differentiation...

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2014 Goals

“I feel it in my fingers… I feel it in my toes… that 2014 is going to be an awesome year! I am going to lose 5 kg/squeeze out the 6-pack abs/save 30% of my salary every month/learn a new language/learn to invest bla bla bla… ” With 2 days to go before Christmas, it’s time for everyone to make some wishes and maybe even *drumroll*…some new year resolutions. Unfortunately, these things are just like setting up a business, in the sense that 90% of them eventually fails. Yeah, the gym is going to get crowded for the first few weeks of the year and some of us will...

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2013 Achievements

With less than 2 weeks to go before 2013 concludes, I am already looking forward to the new year! After all, Jan 1 is the time when the number of sick leave I have is reset, accompanied by a new lease of 18 days of vacation leave. =p And much as I dislike filling up the yearly appraisal document when the year-end approaches, I have to admit it’s a useful exercise to look at how much you have done (or not done) for the calendar year. It’s also made less painful by the fact that my boss is going to use it as a reference to grade my performance for the year (and...

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Passive Income Update: November 13

I have added 4 lots of Parkway Life Reit to my portfolio a few weeks ago at the price of $2.22. Based on the latest dividends given out in an entire year, that’s a yield of almost 5%. Not amazing (actually it is the Reit with the lowest yield) but I am pretty bullish on healthcare properties and do believe the growth in healthcare costs/profits would likely be able to support an above average increase in rentals. Moreover, its key assets are in the three prime Singapore hospitals (Mount Elizabeth, Gleneagles and Parkway East). It’s likely one of the most conservative...

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Frugality: It’s Not Just About Saving Money!

After sharing the expenditure updates for a few months, I have had more people telling me to lighten up rather than to tighten up. Quite surprising, considering that we are still (actually increasingly) spending a fair bit of our money dining out in restaurants in some of this country’s fancy malls. But then compared to most of our peers, I would have to admit that we can be thought of as a frugal couple. A quick look at my Facebook and I can see plenty of friends/acquaintances dining out frequently (once a week?) at places like Forlino’s/Prive/PS Cafe. Or...

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Why Most Singaporeans Don’t Hold Government Bonds

Whenever I come across personal finance advice, especially those in the US that were written some time ago, the authors always urge more risk-averse investors (like me) and older folks to buy their fair share of bonds. According to these experts, this will enable us to reduce the volatility of our portfolio. Afterall, many studies have shown that bonds have been resilient (or even performing well) when stocks tank. This camp actually believes that proper asset allocation is actually the most important factor behind investment performance. If the market tanks by 30%, some might panic and think that the sky is falling, and then sell the entire...

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