Author: My 15 Hour Work Week

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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Living Till Age 100?

The Mrs celebrated her 31st birthday just last week. I actually told her that I would be really grateful if I get to celebrate her birthday for at least 50 more times.  Like most people, I actually don’t really believe I would live past 90, let alone 100. However, I came across this blogpost written by Labour MP Zainal Sapari which talks about how we all must start preparing to live a life till 100. Naturally, I was quite skeptical but a quick search on Google yielded these results (here, here and here). And I am surprised to find...

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By The Time You “Realise” You Can Or Cannot Beat The Index, It’s Too Late?

I have an investment record of about 5-6 years. For someone who is 30 years young, that’s considered pretty long. But to most “investors” out there, it’s too short a period to judge whether I am a good investor. Some of them would say you need to have at least 10 years of track record or go through at least a cycle or two of bulls and bears. It’s then when you can judge if you really outperformed the market and should continue to manage your own portfolio rather than outsource to an ETF that tracks an index. However,...

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Expenses Update: December 2016

We spent a reasonable $3,280 in December considering it’s the month of giving. I guess with the intention of sticking to a budget of $42,000 in 2017, we have already subconsciously tried to pare down a bit of the excesses in the last month of 2016. The entire year’s spending is in and we actually spent about $52,000 for 2017 which translates to a monthly expenditure of about $4,300.  I guess I will be dedicating a post to the breakdown of our expenses in the next few weeks. Analysing it will probably give us a better chance of our...

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Can You Help, Please?

In an alternate universe, I could easily be working as an employee in a tuition centre like “Learning Champs”, drawing a salary and receiving employee benefits. And imagine if such a scenario played out on me: Learning Champs is running into financial difficulties and Mind Lab is taking over the tuition centre I have worked at for the past three years. Mind Lab: Hi 15HWW, since you will be starting out with us as a new tutor, here is the financial package you will be receiving in 2017. 15HWW: Why is my salary being reduced to that of a...

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My First Talk On 12 Jan 2017: Do Show Your Support!

It’s only been a few days into 2017 and I am sure you have made some new year resolutions with regards to Money and Love. If you’re single, are you hoping to get hitched in 2017? And how do you know he/she might be the right one? Or if you’re happily attached, perhaps your goal is to tie the knot? What are some common potential money pitfalls you wish you could avoid before getting married? Or if you’re already married, maybe you want to improve the management of your household’s finances? Or start financially planning for babies? To kickstart 2017,...

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Our First Budget In Years: $42,000 in 2017

I am being perfectly honest when I say that the 15HWW household has not had a budget in years. For the past few years, we spent whenever we felt the need to and would never put off a purchase just because we “busted” some imaginary budget. But just to make us more alert of our spending and brush up on our frugality skills, I have actually decided to impose a $42,000 budget for 2017. Why $42,000? 1. Lowering it further could be way too tough $42,000 in a year means $3,500 for a month, a very nice number. That’s a sum...

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