Author: My 15 Hour Work Week

Learning Through e2i’s ULeap App

The Need For Lifelong Learning It’s the Year 2012. Meet Mr Tan, a 50-year-old taxi driver who has been in this industry for the past 15 years. He learnt the tricks of the trade in his first few years. Whether it’s which roads/highways to avoid during peak hours or where to wait for flag-downs, he has got it covered. In fact, his accumulated experience means he has been coasting in his job for the past 10 years. Things were not so different as compared to the late nineties. He still derived most of his income from passengers who flag-down...

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Why I Have Never Topped Up My CPF (Yet)

Like many other financial bloggers, I logged in to the CPF website a week ago. The CPF interest for 2017 were finally credited. However, unlike other financial bloggers, I have neither done a CPF OA to SA transfer nor performed any Retirement Sum Top-Ups to my CPF accounts so far. And as a self-employed, I have also not made any Voluntary Contributions (VC) to my CPF accounts. The only contributions I have made in the past two years were the mandatory Medisave Contributions as a self-employed. So it’s not surprising that my CPF balances are very modest (even below EI...

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How I Could Benefit From The Booming Electronics Sector

The Booming Tech & Electronics Industries Although not as rapid as the rise in cryptocurrencies, stock markets have actually been on a tear in the last couple of years. Tech giants like Apple, Facebook, Google & Amazon have exceeded $500 billion in their valuations in Tech Boom 2.0. And unlike tech unicorns 15 years ago, these companies are here to stay. Their impact is wide-ranging, changing the way we work, spend our leisure time and how we buy our stuff. We are ushering in the age of the Internet Of Things and we are seeing an increase in demand...

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Overcoming Potential Downsides Of Freelancing

Times flies. I have been a full-time freelancer for the past 2.5 years, deriving income from tutoring students and writing finance-related articles. I am plugged into the growing gig economy, alongside others like tour guides, delivery couriers and piano teachers. Freelancers and self-employed (FSEs) are often the envy of friends, who harp on the fact that we are in charge of our daily schedule. We could easily sleep in on a Monday morning or take a siesta in the afternoon to recharge. But like most things in life, these perks are balanced out by potential downsides. And here’s how...

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Expenses Update: December 2017

As we pre-paid for one of our trips in 2018, it’s no surprise that the past month’s expenditure surged past $5,000 again. In a month of celebration, catch-ups and gift-giving, we spent about $5,300. With December’s entry, the yearly expenditure came in at $53,000 and on average, we spent about $4,400 a month. This is an amount slightly on the higher side as I was quite confident we could keep to $50,000 at the start of the year. It’s really alright though since we were still able to clock a very decent saving rate on our income. Moreover, there...

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Thoughts On Cryptocurrency And Freeganism

There are two refreshing and intriguing topics on the investing and personal finance front: Cryptocurrency & Freeganism. They are probably on two extreme ends of the scale so I thought it would be interesting to bring them together and juxtapose with each other. Cryptocurrency: Revenge Of The Millennials I didn’t want to embarrass myself too much in this post, so I actually spent some hours reading more about cryptocurrency and its underlying technology, blockchain. Which led me down one shit hole after another filled with more questions than answers. Especially when you don’t take the information you read for...

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A Review Of My Choices In 2017

I do possess weaknesses and bad traits. One of them is voyeurism. I love reading reviews and reflections of others and as the year draws to a close, these articles are springing up on the financial blogosphere (here, here, here and here). But as the biggest fan and beneficiary of this blog, I think I love reading mine the most. So before I started typing away for this review, I decided to refresh myself with 2016’s version. And then proceeded on to 2015’s, 2014’s and finally, 2013’s reflection.   Tough choice Fassbender …. Magneto vs Steve Jobs That led to some reminiscing. Funny...

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Portfolio Update: December 2017

It’s a pretty decent end to the year. Month-on-month, the portfolio managed to increase by $3,000 and the value of the portfolio is right back to where it was in October, at $428,000.  The 15HWW Permanent Portfolio continues to surprise and in fact, was responsible for most of the gains this month. This cannot be said for the DWI sub-portfolio, which continues to underperform, continuing the trend in this second half of the year. Hopefully, its return catches up with the others in 2018. It’s a lean income month so not surprisingly, there are no transactions at all for...

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Portfolio Update: December 2017

It’s a pretty decent end to the year. Month-on-month, the portfolio managed to increase by $3,000 and the value of the portfolio is right back to where it was in October, at $428,000.  The 15HWW Permanent Portfolio continues to surprise and in fact, was responsible for most of the gains this month. This cannot be said for the DWI sub-portfolio, which continues to underperform, continuing the trend in this second half of the year. Hopefully, its return catches up with the others in 2018. It’s a lean income month so not surprisingly, there are no transactions at all for...

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Expenses Update: November 2017

With Singles Day & Black Friday shopping plus a vacation to account for, it’s not surprising for us to have spent more than $6,000 this month. But well, this is somewhat expected as we haven’t really held back in our spending recently. Besides busting the year’s budget, it also appears that it’s impossible to keep within $50,000 for 2017 too. And I reckon a better estimate of our average expenditure is now $4,500 rather than $4,000. That’s a significant increase but we can easily live with that going forward. In fact, some increases in expenses is pretty much inevitable since we...

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Why I Spent Some Time Researching On NTUC’s Nursing Homes

Earlier this year, I talked about how Singapore ranked 5th in the world in terms of life expectancy and the increasing likelihood of us living past 100 years old. I am taking care of my health and body better these days and I really hope to be healthy in my silver years. As much as I prefer to stay in a retirement home rather than a nursing home, I know I cannot eliminate the possibility of physical ailments and ill health plaguing me in future. Sometimes, I do wonder if all my loved ones pass away earlier than me, who...

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Is $1 Million Enough For A Retirement In Singapore In 2017?

One of the questions most people have about retirement is “How much is enough for retirement?” For the average Singaporean, becoming a millionaire is like a dream come true. It helps to explain the snaking queues during those Hong Bao Draws at Singapore Pools. Most people can only hope. The Mrs and I turned 30 not too long ago and we are constantly advised that it is never too early to start our retirement planning. But I am wondering if we turned 65 today, would $1 million be enough for our retirement? $1,000,000 will last us 32 years…If we...

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Portfolio Update: November 2017

With much lower income coupled with higher expenses, there is no cash injection to the portfolio in November. And it showed. So yes, there was no make-up on. And the portfolio isn’t like my Mrs who continues to thrive without powder, eyeliner and the likes. Left to the vagaries of the market, the portfolio has turned quite ugly this month. The equity portion easily dropped by >1%. In the end, for the first time this year, month-on-month, the portfolio actually decreased in value. It dropped by $3,000 to reach $425,000. I guess the good news is that cash is piling...

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Our Recent Vacation: The Hedonic Treadmill In Full Gear?

We just came back from Taipei a few days ago. It was a 8D7N trip and we only covered two provinces: Taipei & Yilan. If you’re reading because you are looking for ways to save money on a vacation to Taipei, you really should look elsewhere. That’s because we spent close to $3,000 on this trip, even though we took a budget airline. This is our 4th time in Taipei for the past 5 years. There’s a few reasons why we enjoy ourselves there alot. Firstly, both of us are fluent in Mandarin and Hokkien and it’s not an issue...

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Our Net Worth – 2017 Edition

This is the 4th consecutive year that I am updating our net worth on this blog. And as usual, the result surprises on the upside. Cue one of my favourite gifs… The snowball is finally starting to accumulate, grow bigger and roll faster down the hill. Our net worth currently stands, at $697,000. This represents an incredible $107,000 increase as compared to 2016. The main contributor is still the savings from our income ($65,000). The bullish stock market has also contributed significant capital gains ($32,000) while dividends, bond coupons and interest added another ($10,000). I have also simplified our...

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