Sunday 31 October 2021

Month of October 2021

Updated finance page.
So what's new? Or rather what's the news?

This month's goal was to avoid tipping the scales due to the many birthday related meals that I ate, including my son's. To counter, I increased the exercise frequency in the last 2 weeks by covering more distance and doing extra static exercises. Please, I hope to lose just a few kilos.

It seems like things in the house are taking turns to break down. Now it's the cloth dryer and was swiftly replaced with a $489 Elba machine, not the most popular brand around but one that I recommend for its fuss free function. In any case, the shelf life of appliances nowadays is like 3 - 5 years so it makes sense to spend less and buy new when required, extra warranties are just not worth it.

I came across a set of Youtube videos featuring the current Taipei Mayor, Ko Wen Je. Previously, he was just a name that I heard on variety shows with people copying his talking style. Now I have a totally different perspective of him after knowing his background and anti-populism thinking. Here are a few points that made an impression.
1) Failure is the norm, success is exception
2) To be wealthy, a person can be born in a good family, have luck or simply must work hard
3) Money is nothing to shout about when at the end of the day, what you eat comes out the same
4) Life is a process, seek the best things one can do. Enjoy it, have a good heart and follow through 

Tip: Chateau Larrivet Haut Brion 2017, fresh and approachable without much decanting

Friday 22 October 2021

Finance Investment Movement 14

I have been waiting for a dip to do some purchase but the market has been unforgiving in constantly setting new highs. Dow Jones, bitcoin and commodities are flying to the sky as if the world is no longer virus infected. The pertinent question is whether to be brave and go in or continue to be sidelined.

Instead of looking for things to invest, I spent some thoughts on making of a will and LPA. My financial adviser friend provided some useful insights on the conditions and relevance of certain wishes eg getting someone younger preferably to be trustee, someone financially savvy to be estate manager, whether to have joint executors etc. One point uncovered was the lack of funds to provide for my family's expenses in case I'm the first to leave. I just realized how inadequate and vulnerable my family would become based on our current lifestyle. So I urge everyone to seriously spend time looking at your situation before it's too late. The first draft of the documents are being crafted and should see a conclusion next month.

Tip: Hepburn's Choice Royal Brackla 11 years, orange peel, raisin and peppery

Thursday 14 October 2021

Exist Yet Unseen

As Singapore begins to normalize life patterns, I have made some new observations. The healthcare professionals have been exemplary, F&B staff have been putting in a great effort and tourism folks are coming out to play finally. The government is looking like it will soon relax restrictions further and treating this pandemic as endemic with home recovery and hospital resources managed carefully. However, there is a group of people affected badly that's not been reported.

What happens when one is ART positive and feels relatively well? Naturally you would go to an approved clinic to do a PCR test for confirmation. It takes at least a day for the result to be out so in the meantime, where does one wait?

My colleague encountered the above dilemma when he felt unwell in office and got a positive ART. As it was rather late, the clinic advised him to come back the next morning so he went home. He stays in his sister's HDB flat with 8 others. They rejected him and asked him to hang around the void deck instead. It was 930pm and he had not showered or taken dinner. With nowhere to go, he called our HR colleagues for help. The situation is a personal one so the question is, to what extent should a company help. We called MOH hotline and they offered first to speak to his family to persuade them to let him home or find a community facility to house him. After an hour, they replied they were powerless to do much as his family had their concerns while hospitals couldn't take his case. Desperate, we quickly booked a hotel for 2 nights and he checked in at 1130pm. This colleague is not well to do, therefore the company extended a goodwill to offset his transport and accommodation expenses. In the end, he tested positive for PCR and was conveyed to the hospital.

This incident made me realize how a good intended policy with blind spots can result in much anguish. The home recovery idea is a good one but how many households can spare a bedroom with toilet access. The stigma of cohabiting with a potential Covid person can cause even families to turn away from each other. It's further exacerbated when one is poor, old and left with no options but to find your own way out. It's heart wrenching but it's the hard reality of life.

Tip: Misha's Vineyard Impromptu Pinot Noir 2019, light strawberry fragrance and lime