Monday 25 January 2021

Finance Investment Movement 6

In the space of one month, I made some adjustments to the investment portfolio on the back of news coming through for the various industries.

First, in the cryptocurrency space, the debate over actual valuations versus real world usage is heating up with more voices heard in both arguing for and against. I am a converted believer and shall stay this way. However, the heavy swings in currency prices meant trading opportunities. This could vary around 20% within a week. So I made a couple of intraweek trades and finally took some money off the table, selling Ether at S$1640, making $810 in the process. From this amount, $300 was spent to purchase Bitcoin (at S$46990) which is out of the money at the moment. Net gain is $510 and I am ready to put it back if the price is right.

Second, the Covid vaccine roll out doesn't look like being effective. Although Singapore is one of the first to start, it's no use for business improvement if other countries do not achieve similar levels of immunity. Soon, DPM Heng spoke about property cooling measures while the Covid taskforce cautioned about rising community cases and announced further curbs on social gathering the next day. My conclusion: when the Singapore government gives a hint, it's as good as an official notice so act accordingly. Therefore, I partially offloaded STI ETF and fully sold Capitaland for a combined gain of $700. For the latter, it was actually an intention to keep for the long term but given the situation, I thought better to let go especially when the company had warned of grim losses expected in the next result update.

Tip: Chateau Lagrezette Roseberry Malbec 2018

Monday 18 January 2021

What's Wrong With FIRE

I have been reading on the hype of the various types of financial planning schemes that the young generation came up with. Broadly, the term coined is FIRE (Financial Independence, Retire Early). The idea is to save up early and enough to retire young so as to enjoy life. I summarize it as two half lives (first half study and work, second half do anything). Well, sounds good and convincing that anyone can do it. In Singapore's context, one can see the sheer increasing number of options targeting self investment and the banks pulling hard in marketing efforts and product launches to attract savvy young investors. This FIRE movement seems to be moving pretty fast and if you have not even heard about it, that's already a step behind.

The reality is, only a tiny fraction of the FIRE inspired population will succeed. An average Joe earning an average income will take 3/4 of his life just to achieve a well earned retirement. That's because the FIRE idea relies heavily on saving hard up to 40s years old and generally speaking, not many are blessed to start out working with a big pay cheque. Add the financial commitments of loans, building a family, looking after elders and a Singaporean's pastime of travelling. So unless a person chooses to remain single/childless, be perpetually debt free and doesn't indulge in some comfort expenses, I find it too high a mountain to climb. This is rather extreme and we know most people are more centered like the average Joe.

For me, I believe in doing things in a way that suits one's circumstances. Each of us is born with a different starting line (that's your maker's gift) but will eventually end at the same line (death). What matters are the in between, whether you lived a fulfilling life and enjoyed the journey are more important. The FIRE way is a structured and rigid way to achieve independence due to its time constraints. My preferred way is WELL (Work Enjoy Live Life). It's not a step by step plan but a combination of being able to balance work life (security purpose), enjoy life (reward purpose) and live life (social purpose). Surrounding this WELL will be family and friends from whom your life's purpose originate. At the bottom of this WELL lays the foundation of contentment. That's the biggest difference from FIRE. No matter how big a FIRE person's bank balance is, it cannot buy lost time and happiness in his fervent pursuit. Therefore, just go ahead to enjoy what life has to offer today for tomorrow is another day.

Tip: Dr Loosen St Johannishof Riesling Spatlese 2017, wonderful aperitif

Thursday 7 January 2021

Finance Investment Movement 5

Every beginning of a new year spells heavy fund bloodletting. The once in a year bills send me friendly reminders such as insurance premiums, property tax and soon to come, income tax. The car insurance and road tax were settled last month so this month I had to pay for Medishield, kids' whole life and property tax. Further cash would be needed for Chinese New Year ang pows. Usually, I end up with negative cashflow.

As I had been contemplating for last two months over the fate of my fixed deposit that's maturing, finally I decided to allocate part of the sum ($3000) into Syfe Cash+ portfolio. It is invested in the following.

LionGlobal SGD Money Market Fund - 30%
LionGlobal SGD Enhanced LiquidityFund - 35%
LionGlobal Short Duration Bond Fund - 35%

With a projected return of 1.75%, that's certainly attractive in today's environment to give it a shot. I suppose it works similar to other platforms such as Endowus, Poems and FSM where idle cash is parked into short term bonds, T bills and money markets funds. I will use my Singlife account to compare when this portfolio is setup and active. It takes 1-2 days for them to execute after deposit received.

Tip: Chateau D'armailhac 2012, impressive opulent perfume of plum, berry and foral

Friday 1 January 2021

Month of December 2020

I felt this month went really fast, perhaps in anticipation of the year ending and already looking towards the new year. All month long, I was doing nothing much except reading, doing tax planning work and monitoring the various markets. The aim was to consolidate information and rethink retirement plans. After reviewing my financial goals this year, I conclude they were a little vague with not enough purpose, hence I have recalibrated new goals. Bigger, bolder and seemingly unachievable, I shall challenge myself with a long term view to scale this mountain.

The Singapore government has indeed done a great job in this crisis by guiding the nation carefully and preparing ourselves for the recovery phase. By securing an early initiative, everyone is eagerly waiting for the vaccination effect and herd immunity to quickly materialize. I am one of those who will wait in line and let others have the chance to be vaccinated first. The efficacy remains to be evidently substantive.

Happy New Year to all, let's hope and wish for a better 2021.

Tip: Saburo Junmai, slightly dry with a sweet aftertaste