Wednesday 30 June 2021

Month of June 2021

Half a year has gone by so it's good to review what has happened.

At the beginning of the year, I was skeptical where this Covid situation and vaccination program were going. It turned out we are no closer to solving this global illness even though many developed countries had gone on to vaccinate large parts of their population. Singapore may be doing better but it remains only useful in the local context and travel will not return by year end, I think. My son asked when would it possible for him to see snow, I just replied hopefully soon with a mental footnote that it meant 2022 or later.

Looking at the impact of lockdown on retail businesses, it was a sobering reminder that older folks likely suffered the most as they were digitally lagging, unable to tap on online marketing, delivery and payment resources. Technology has taken on huge importance in business operations and it cuts across all industries, layered with environmental considerations on top. Like it or not, either you embrace this or risk being left behind. Personally, I had been doing more online shopping this year than all of previous years combined, that included new experience in live auction and sale types of purchases eg buying fresh fish!

As I look at my investment and saving goals, it's a rather disappointing picture. I'm only 20% into savings achievement, have less cash on hand and not being invested as much as I would like. The bright spots are continued CPF increments, tried new trading platform and generally good hold up in asset value. I am still trying to digest so many conflicting views regarding market directions and crypto legitimacy, hence shall not make any definitive adjustment to my portfolio.

Tip: Saint Clair Vicar's Choice Sauvignon Blanc 2019, tasty apple and lemon zest

Wednesday 23 June 2021

Gains From A Loss

The dentist lifted up the scaler and proclaimed, "You're done!", sending relief over me as the annual teeth cleaning ritual came to a conclusion. "Rinse your mouth first." Ok done as I sat up, ready for a few pointers before walking out of the room.

"Do you want to extract the wisdom tooth?"
He probably could see my slight frown and feel the hesitation. I mean, the tooth had been in situ for a number of years though I could feel the gradual deterioration with stuck bits every now and then. Irritable gums were also becoming irritating. The tooth was slowly decaying. Deep down, I knew extraction was inevitable eventually.

The procedure would take less than 10 minutes and cost $180. I accepted the proposal after some dallying. So he began the local anaesthetic process, it was much less painful compared to previous injection experience. After rubbing the injection site for about a minute, the dentist declared he was ready. Using a tool to grip the tooth, he tugged and rotated, exerting much strength till the assisting nurse had to steady my head from shaking. All the while, he commentated on the progress and reassured me to call out if I felt any pain. Just a few minutes later and the offending tooth finally dislodged.

I was mighty impressed with the short time and painless experience. Before I left, the dentist made sure to remind me not to consume hot food or any violent mouth gurgles. So I joked perhaps I could have a beer later to cool down. Indeed, I ended up at Wheelers Estate in the evening and ordered two Asahi whites in my continued support of local food businesses.

At night, throat and gum soreness bothered me enough to give in to one dose of panadol. The next day, I was more than 60% recovered. To anyone having this problem, I think I would make a good ambassador helping to convince. The gains from this loss of a tooth were better than expected. I look forward to better gum health, less tooth sensitivity and banished the thought of a scary wisdom tooth extraction.

Tip: The Owl & The Dust Devil Malbec 2017, good table wine with sausages

Tuesday 22 June 2021

3 Free Benefits In A Day

Given the times we live in, we should be celebrating any little bits of joy as health is most important to be able to enjoy life in the moment.

The school holidays end in a week so I decided to take a day off and bring the kids out. Arriving at 930am, we began the trail walk at Thomson Nature Park. It was our first time and given a distance of 3.8km, it shouldn't take too long to complete. It had rained the night before so I was a little worried. The route was well marked and shaded. Luckily it wasn't as muddy as I expected. Going up and down gentle slopes, this was a relaxing way to start the day. Unfortunately, there was no sight of the Raffles Banded Langur or Black Spotted Squirrel. An hour and 100 calories burnt later, we went off to support the much awaited reopening of The Roti Prata House. How we missed sitting in a coffeeshop partaking simple food pleasures such as Teh Tarik.

After dropping the kids at home, the wife and I went off to Singtel Shop at Comcentre. We were there to return the TV box and cancel its subscription. This came about as we evaluated our TV habits and concluded that Netflix, Amazon video and Youtube had enough content to keep us entertained. This meant a saving of about $65 per month which can be better utilized. Then we went to The Glass House at Chijmes to support another reopened cafe. The coffee was brewed in a precise way for quick sips.

In the evening, met a friend with whom we shared common stock trading experiences. He had signed up for Tiger Brokers upon my referral and both of us just started using the account. I had done a trial trade earlier that day with the stock voucher and received $60 rebate. Nice way to earn some extra cash.

It was a day where I got to enjoy a unique combination of money saving actions through family bonding, change of viewing habit and sharing goodies with friends.

Tip: Cape Dreams Chenin Blanc 2020, good find with medium bodied tartness

Monday 14 June 2021

Finance Investment Movement 10

New month and new promotion came into my view. Previously I had considered but gave it up due to lack of funds. This time, I could come up with $2000 to kickstart my new Tiger Brokers account. The sign up was a little confusing at first as there was registration via mobile followed by account opening. Confirmation of the setup was received within hours and funding took a few minutes to show up in the trading account. I opted for the margin one instead of cash. The sweetener to this promotion was the 5 free Xiaomi shares together with 1 Apple share as shown below. For the other bundled promotion items, it's weird one has to click to collect or risk them expiring in 20 days.

It was rather exciting to take part in the first ever voting campaign for Nexo crypto token. Eventually an overwhelming majority voted in favour of allocating interest accrual for all account holders regardless of tokens on credit or at stake. The result was announced and dividend amounts were promptly disbursed. Great work there! It's got me thinking whether to put more crypto assets into this account.

Then over the weekend, I got a little fed up with Bitcoin that showed signs of further weakening amidst regulators scrutiny. Eventually, I decided to sell all while contemplating a new strategy. Small profit for a peace of mind.

Tip: El Puntido Rioja 2016, chocolate, good balanced berry and fruits.