Finance Sharing

31 May 2024
The dry season has arrived early. Most days, I felt sweat beads forming over the body, causing a constant drenched shirt. So I have been looking for indoor cafes to hide inside. Whether for work or not, these places are just crowded, even during off peak hours. Students to retirees hog each space with laptop or newspaper in hand. Everyone seemed to be in a happy state, a latte and small bite as a default presence. Seemingly, the economy must be doing well but when I spoke to several business owners, the consensus says otherwise. Customers are still around but overall spending per person has decreased. I checked this against my colleagues' views and they are watching their expenses tightly. It appears people are finding it hard to save. Me too, until a recent salary increment, coming two years after the last one. Therefore, after mostly paying annual insurance premium, road tax and income tax for past few months, I'm hopeful to start saving again. In a nutshell, my portfolio value is flat as compared to last month. I will stay calm, keep to investment goals and trade carefully.

30 April 2024
Tax season is here again and I'm paying more than last year. To be able to do so is a privilege. For the remainder of the year, it's to work towards rebuilding cash reserves and continue improving portfolio value. It doesn't matter whether there will be interest rate cuts or not. The earnings reports are almost ending and my verdict is there's good resilience in many places especially in technology and healthcare. While the current environment doesn't favour Reits, I thought it would be good to accumulate slowly.

31 March 2024
The anticipated secret is out; US Fed decided to keep interest rates steady while BOJ brought its target to 0%. What has the market impact been? Nothing. That's because there really wasn't much to deviate from as the world had settled into a "comfortable" zone of moderate inflation. Currencies remained steady and various indicators pointed to a familiar trend of quite resilient economies. This was what the policymakers wanted, a soft landing. My only gripe is the great price increase across everything is likely to stay the same into the future. Imagine a just retired couple who had worked towards a certain budget, they now require 30% more just to maintain their purchasing power. For those still in the workforce, the challenge is to stay employed and hope for salary raise but companies generally won't match 1:1 with inflation rates. Therefore, I try to achieve a high savings rate and investment outcome. The jump in my cash portfolio was a result of bonus received. Other parts remained status quo. Next month would be interesting as I look to put some cash to work.

29 February 2024
The STI earnings report generally felt like a mixed bag of sweets. Some were pleasant and their results showed good resilience while keeping dividends payout stable eg banks. Some were sour and likely to be downbeat for a while eg Reits and properties. My stock portfolio movement in the past month was negligible. The only gains came from cryptos which jumped massively as investor sentiments were positive, especially since the Bitcoin halving event is about to happen in two months. Cash dipped a little as I topped up CPF and SRS for tax savings. 

31 January 2024
Last year, I kept track of my asset movements closely which in turn gave good insights into the cashflow situation and investment allocation plus returns. Majority of funds went to SSB, T-bill and fixed deposit. A fine example of the most conservative form of investment. About S$10k of interest/coupon income was achieved. This was a result of active management as the funds were moved around to capture yields especially when there were promotions. While I'm pleased with the overall gains, I feel the need to move a little faster to riskier assets. For the first quarter, I will not do much portfolio tweaks. Thereafter, the plan is to accumulate Reits and global equities. This could be in managed funds or other means. To give myself a push, I'm setting an ambitious target to achieve 20% portfolio increase. Good luck to me!