Monday 31 January 2022

Month of January 2022

The most fun thing I did this month was to go on holiday. It was at the request of the son whose birthday was round the corner. So on a Friday afternoon when school ended, we picked up the kids and headed straight to Sentosa Shangri La. After a quick swim, dinner was in room dining, again at the kids' request. It was one of the best experience I had with hotel food. No kidding, all the dishes tasted at a high level and I don't think it's because of my lowered expectations. Saturday was full workout day mostly spent at Adventure Cove followed by kayaking. Checked out on Sunday with lunch at Trapizza before heading home. It might not be the conventional holiday but just seeing the luggage utilized and staying in the hotel room made us feel relaxed and temporarily forget about work.

Barely 2 weeks after I thought the markets would be calm, it turned out to be super volatile when the Fed announced impending rate hikes and stopping quantitative easing. For a few days, I observed the Dow futures on IG from afternoon till midnight. The swings were violent. One night, I woke at 0330H and saw negative 700, went back to sleep thinking it was a bad night, then woke up at 0630H to see it return into positive territory. Super amazing turnaround although it was probably heart stopping for traders.

It's Chinese New Year period and time to fight to stay in shape! Been focused on clocking at least 40000 steps a week. To achieve this, I did the usual jog on some mornings, went hiking with friends and just generally walking as much as possible. All because the pineapple tart is waiting at the end of it.

Tip: Chateau La Grangere 2001, shades of cherry, rhubarb and plum, drink now

Wednesday 19 January 2022

Start Small, Reap Big

This book was given to me as a birthday present by my wife. It took six months to complete.

To be fair, the author wrote it in an engaging way to attend to multi aspects of the reader who could be a single, grandparent, office worker, sportsman, business person etc. Basically, he broke down the nuances of how a habit is formed and can be described in a loop process of cue, craving, response and reward. It is about stacking up the little actions and reinforcing day by day. Humans invariably loath tough task but if you break it down into small winnable pieces, this forms the foundation upon which you can build on towards solving or mastering an issue. To succeed, one has to learn how to overcome the boredom of repeating actions. That's why professional athletes are different from regular exercise goers with their focus and dedication to their craft being a standout. 

Tip: Kamonishiki Funabakumi Junmai Daigingo, uplifting aromas, slightly fruity and well balanced

Saturday 15 January 2022

Finance Investment Movement 17

It seems the US Fed did a good job to manage market expectations about interest rate rise and balance sheet adjustment. How they did it is a good lesson in public relations that many businesses employ professionals to do. I sum it as "address what the people are concerned without promising anything". The markets reacted calmly with optimism in the air. But the real deal comes when earnings begin to appear next month.

Whatever happens, it's commonly known that one of the key ways to grow your wealth is to pay yourself first. With the new Medisave cap raised to $66000, I took the opportunity to top up $3000 after receiving my bonus. It's the start of a new year, I aim to grow my passive income through dividends, interest bearing instruments and cashback mechanisms.

Tip: Joel Gott Barrel Aged Chardonnay 2019, vanilla oak with nice body and red apple on the nose

Monday 10 January 2022

First Observation Of 2022

This year will be a very important one for me. Not that I'm planning something significant for myself but rather for my son who is going to take his PSLE. The first thing to resolve was to get his Covid vaccination out of the way. So the first shot is now taken and thankfully there were no side effects. I saw many parents at the community centre where the jab was available and could imagine the high take up rate in the days to come. The process throughout was smooth, just like when I took mine. However, the experience was slightly tainted by a mid 40s father sitting in the waiting area with me. His daughter called him when ready to leave, he tried to find a way out of the place and began making remarks about the complicated directions and spouting vulgarities towards her. I mean, what kind of father does that and it's no fault of hers in the first place.

In the immediate period, the twin challenge of rising interest rate and Omicron variant will dominate market mood. For the former, I think it's inevitable to happen sooner rather than later. Only hoping that the pace of increase is spread out longer over the year. Financials, commodities and bonds will be the flavors over the next few months. As for Covid, my view is the fatalities are not as bad as seasonal flu. With high vaccination rate, Singapore should open up further to improve economic activities with masks in place. It doesn't make sense to keep people to groups of 5 since areas of congregation eg offices and eateries only serves to keep people apart temporarily. Interaction still goes on and people split up to go home or meet others. I'm sure this limitation does not stop creative ways to skirt the rule, after all you can't stop human socializing. Well, I had dinner with two of my best friends from college and we concluded Covid has taught us to appreciate those who you care about.

Tip: Dewar's Double Double 21, slight peach with sherry, overall smooth and decent