I grew up focusing a lot about money, pessimism of life and as a result fell into a rat race. An unforgettable experience changed my life - As the saying goes, there is only one type of rice but people are extremely different.
I enjoy personal finance but really just an amateur in these. There are no many tools and information out there to read or to hear about. There is something that you can always learn about.
It isn't easy to pick up and be good at something but passion and being persistent brings resilience out of a person. It takes more than just an interest to learn about stuff. It is always easy to say I don't know but there isn't really an excuse to do that. The time value of being young will pass one day and we have to always look forward.
That said, money is important but the journey of life is equally important. My philosophy of life is a balance between money and how you want to lead your life. There are stuffs that are more important than money. Be it your hobbies, interests, family, kids, religion, friends, etc...It is important to not be a slave to money.
Afterall, it is a tool to allow you to do more and live comfortably. You can't bring what you have for eternity so always remember the quality of life is equally important.
Life is very different for everyone. Every nook and cranny is different for each one of us. Eventually, that moulded all of us very differently. (i.e. How do we react to certain situations? How we seemingly lose common sense at certain things. With those things in mind, we can then empathise with others in their situation. While we may focus on how others are lacking, in the same sense we also need to be patient with others.
It is very easy to fall into the trap of looking at others and as always the grass is greener on the other side. (Until you reach the other side) Let me just sum it up. Only a small proportion of people get it lucky, they get the best of both worlds – What is rosy is also what is the true portrayal of their lives. The rest of them is living the beautiful lie (It doesn’t always come easy)
I can only speak from my own experience and while things were rosy. I had the opportunity to enjoy work and make good money while doing so. So, many times I try to look toward others with more empathy. Managing your own expectations is the hardest and because we all have our own aspirations, it often leads to less than expected results. However, we should always hold our heads high. Bite the bullet and move on. Sometimes pacing, slowing down before searing forward again. Easier said than done.
All of us are different and I do implore that no one look at other portfolios at 1 million, 500k or 250k at an envious level. Rather, look at things from a goal perspective and practicality. After all, everyone’s starting point is different. Look toward the end goal. Never give up and remember it is never too late to start.
One have to manage yourself as well as manage your own expectation. Every situation is different. Sometimes just purely managing time and break is not sufficient. We are built this way, some stronger than the other but lacking in other atrributes. Similar to thr concept of there are no perfect systems, there are no perfect human being. Behind the scenes, do you not think that those who seem fine has it easy too?
It is very similar to investing where everyone’s starting point is different. Today, I am lucky to have additional funds to explore and invest. Some may have just start while others may be struggling with debts or even many other issues.
I am glad I had basic financial knowledge and I understand some thing better than others.
Don’t see it as a hind or head start. It always start with an idea or a dollar. Be confident, no one else should tell you how you should be.
Remember you are not alone. Find support and community that are of like-mindedness
Covid has change the way I approach many things at work. In the past, I would force myself to go attend at least one networking event at least once a month, meet new people or even try to get to know someone new anywhere.
Lunch was a common period to network and attend events. There were plently of opportunity and too many events (free or paid) but the choice is really one to choose.
Fasr foward three years, working from home. Having a new structure, cancelled events and reduce social interactions slowly back tracked into what I fall into. That is to become introverted.
Lunch seems to always be an extra meal for me. When you start breakfast from 9.30 onwards, 12 is too early for lunch and 3pm is too late. Yet, it is good to find a time for a logical break and get out of the space for an extended period of time.
Depending on your own company culture. Arranging lunch used to be one of my dail affairs. At the same time, lunch buddies are hard to find. However, today I really cant be bothered. I prefer to just have some me time and settle lunch somewhere. I dont mind company but if there isn’t any, it is really fine for me.
I dont know much about how many of you out there enjoy lunch. I certainly dont quite fancy it. I prefer to get the work done and then head back earlier to beat the crowd. Everywhere on the roads or public transport is just slow traffic. 2 hours of commute is really quite a waste of time. However, to a certain extent, some kind of work doesn’t have the luxury to work from home.
It does seem like readers like to understand and know more of the struggles and discussion about personal life instead of new products, promotions or deals.
Thanks for reading. Covid made me start this blog which I have put off for at least 5 years. I wasn’t sure if anyone wants to read what I pen down and if my content would attract any. At the end of the day, I also realise that penning down my thoughts through the years also let me bookmark some of the financial decisions I made previously.
Eventually, if there is an opportunity to monetise the content, I would not miss it. Writing and managing a blog is not as easy as I thought it would be but it is manageable. At least it isn’t as time consuming as editing and shooting a youtube video.
Thanks again for hearing me rant. I rant from time to time to vent mt frustrations and express some of my personal opinion. While I may not be correct, it is just my way of de-stressing.
The fact that the pandemic has brought about a series of issues is indeed appaling. At a time where I felt that I would probably not experience something of thisnin nature
However, I was so wrong. Mental health and how you tackle it can come in different forms. It can be in the form of family issues or work related. It can appear in multiples or a singular variation.
For myself, it only came to light that I had a mental breakdown only when I faced with multiple angles of reprimand, sacarsm and belittling sense of blame. I also attribute it to multiple modes and causes. It could have been comparison and the realisation that one is beneath everyone else. In that sense, there will be cracks in whatever one approaches and struggle to find peace.
For me, what seemed like reflections and resetting mindset eventually brought about plently of negativity. The feeling of failure to do anything became apparent. The loss of confidence to have a level of faith slowly fades away. This is quinessential when dealing with personal life as well as professional life. How do one deal with things when your own confidence take a hit.
Perhaps some will say that one’s mind is not strong enough. Or it will not happen to me. Trust me, I’ve been there and the moment it hits you, it is like an exponential smack on your head. You have no response time and might eventually sink deeper into a sinkhole
Do you ever fear about every single message you receive from someone? Do you get a panic attack from every single meeting? Do you feel like you are the only person who was unable to deliver?
There are actions to be taken for your own sanity. Mental health is not a joke. Just remember that by the time you realised it, it is going take an even longer time to heal. Thes best part however is, it will end once you take actions to stop the bleed.
I pray for all of you who experienced it one way or another. You are not alone. Reach out and protect yourself. Rid the naysayers. We are all built different and function the best in different mode
Webull has been around in Singapore for some time now and is the cheapest brokerage firm to use at the moment because it is Free to trade with them. No commission fees and zero platform fees. Of course, normal fees still apply (such as GST, clearing fee, individual country’s fees and other miscellaneous fees) – Usually, quite a small amount.
There have been a number of brokerages to date and all of them are funded by big names. Most likely to get people onboard.
In terms of its background, Webull was founded by ex-Alibaba employee Wang Anquan, and its parent company is Fumi Technology – a Chinese holding company with financial backing from Xiaomi, Shunwei Capital, and other private equity investors in China
As part of their sign-up offer, you can now get up to USD 130 worth of Tesla shares when you register and trade with Webull.
Keep in mind that the welcome offers change periodically, so be sure to check for their latest promotion before you sign up. (I believe this will end by 14 October 2022 so fastest fingers first)
Now, you have to do the following:
Register for a Webull account first here: Webull sign-up link You will receive a 1-month level 2 US Market Data Subscription
You need to make initial funding of SGD 2000 and execute 1 stock or ETF buy Trade on the USD Market within 30 days. You will receive USD 100 of Tesla fractional shares
If you execute at least 1 option buy trade on the USD market within the same 30 days, you get an additional USD 30 of Tesla fractional shares.
More of a reason to use Webull is their ability to do fractional trading at a minimum about of USD 5. Fractional trading is fractional share is a portion of an equity stock that is less than one full share. As I have always preached about starting to invest early. This is probably the fastest and easiest way to do so by trading in small sums if you are not so confident or if you do not have a lot to start with.
Of course, you still need to do your own diligence but if you have a strategy to collect certain counters, you can certainly do so at a lower quantum now.
A little additional perk is that you can now open and grab your GRAB Vouchers (S$10) once you sign up. I believe this is probably an additional bonus perk just for signing up.
It is just to keep lights running for my blog and domain if you like reading content from me. Do comment below on any stuff or topic that you would like to know more about and I will try my best to bring it to you.
Thank you in advance!
Please note that this is affiliate marketing and I do get a referral from recommending this product. However, I have used this and I quite like their platform which is easy to use. So this is a quick and easy way to make about SGD 140 – USD 190 just simply taking about 30 mins or an hour to do the following steps.
It is pretty sad to see the grab reward items slowly cutting away the perks and double dipping. Understandably, all good things must come to an end and all business have to be concern about their bottom line.
From 14 Oct 2022, everything will change. In short, there’s nothing much to look forward to except:
Using the Amex Cashback Card, UOB Absolut Card and Singapore Airlines Business Credit Card to top up your grab wallet and using the funds to pay for items that does not usually give you any rewards in the first instance. Better than nothing I suppose but even if you don’t do it, I don’t think you will miss out much on the small “rebate”.
What are the changes?
From 14 October 2022, you will only get up to 1.2 per cent back in GrabRewards points for every $1 spent on:
Online GrabPay Wallet transactions at Grab’s merchant partners and Grab services or Paylater transactions by Grab.
You will no longer get the rate of 1.2 per cent back per dollar spent. Instead, each in-store GrabPay Wallet transaction at Grab’s merchant partners will grant you a chance to win up to 25,000 GrabRewards points. So much for a lottery chance.
Then to put the icing on the cake, you will get 0.3% back in GrabRewards points for every $1 spent on GrabPay Card Food & Beverages (F&B) transactions with the following MCC:
It is not unexpected but I must say I have been spoilt by what could be done during the initial phases where Grab was trying out. Now that they met the targeted crowd, it is time to tighten their belts. Someone has got to tell them that if they expect some form of stickiness after a long time of being entrenched into the ecosystem, they are probably not getting it.
Perhaps their data tells a different story but I’m not tell them how to run a business.
So, I was missing in action for a few months because of a new job. But this new job takes a toll on me, on my life, my mental state of health and takes away everything that I liked. It just means that, I stopped liking or wanting to do anything at all because of the job. After 2 months, I can’t help but just say that I really hated my job. As much as I hated it, it brought me a humble experience. I realise how much I did not know and understand about things. It also taught me to think thrice about doing something that I’m not very well versed.
At the end of the day, I attributed it to a lack of communication and a vary of too versatile flow of the business. In summary, anything and everything can happen under the sun. There’s only 24 hours to a day, 5 hours of sleep, 3 hours of family (If lucky) and the rest of the 16 hours is just slogging and slogging of work. Working for what? What are we working for? I still could not find the answer.
Maybe I’m just not smart enough, quick enough or maybe I am just not suitable. I spent many days of reflection until my own confidence took a hit. That was tragic, I knew that once it hit me there I’m going to crumble and will take some time to recover from this.
My solution was to resign without a job because I am unable to perform to the best of what I feel I can do. This would only bring me more sunken and depressed feeling. I still have some time left with the company. I can’t say much except that it is best for us to part early. For my own mental wellness and for their own good. After all, no one is indispensable.
Looking forward to the day I can make further blog updates and think about what is next.
Indeed in our world today, in this small island of affluent rich Singaporeans. Money is everything. It puts not just food in your mouth but also entertainment all day, all night long. What would you do without money? Cryptocurrency has taken a big fall along with traditional investments and the biggest news in town isn’t Bitcoin crashing down from it’s ATH (all time high lingo)
I also dabble in Cryptocurrency and at one point it made up about 20-30% of my entire portfolio. Which was amazing to be honest. It just raked on and on but I didn’t not take any profits. Instead I sink more into the ecosystem and punted for the 100x goal. Did I buy Luna? Did I do UST? No, I did not. Why didn’t I? I wasn’t too sure as well as I was playing MM.Finance and Dark Crypto Defi.
The Terra Luna Conspiracy
At one point I even pondered why didn’t I joined in the party at Terra Luna. But I had 0 holdings and I was wondering what did I miss out. Again, the 100x token. Unfortunately, things goes off in a snap this is part of the world and liquidity spiraled down to a level of pure single death tone. I’m not too sure how many people were hit locally but I do know there were plenty of suicidal comments online.
I read in many spaces that talked about having an asset allocation of not more than 5%-10% in your investment portfolio. But in that part of the space in my memory, it is just a 100% allocation into crpyto. I can’t help but feel sad to see it is down more than 50% but at least those were the profits that I ploughed in during the good times. Perhaps it is just time lost and research wasted.
In any case, It really brings back to the initial launch of why I started to note down my financial and blogging journey.
a. Don’t put in everything you can’t afford to lose when you invest. (Naysayers will say they took all the risk and became rich and that’s fine too if you made it) But I’m adverse. I have 2 young kids to feed, a mortgage and a car loan that is about to be paid up in a few years.
b. I’ve always been a bit skeptical about the all-in concept. How am I going to pay my bills for the next 6-12 months? Perhaps I’ve experienced this twice in my life. The first when I was in Secondary School where I had only $100 bucks in my bank account because I did not keep track of my spending. Needless to say, my parent’s scholarship eventually made up the bank book when I went to Tertiary.
This just proves that at a young age, it is hard to grasp the concept of personal finance. Especially when you can reach out and ask for money from your parents. This is non-existent in the World called America and Europe. Only Asian Parents do such things to spoon feed their previous child. (Laughing to myself – Who am I to say this as I also have 2 lovely girls)
My second experience of wiping out wasn’t exactly scary. It was when I got married and bought a house. Expenses were really tight and for a while, I scrimped really hard and saved on every little item.
My third experience was when I lost my job when I was 35. I had been living paycheck to paycheck. Bills, mortgage, expenses were what i needed but I lost my job. That made me think a lot. I was out of things for almost 18 months and I even tried to do a small business which put me in further financial disarray by the time I decided to pull out of it. Did I feel suicidal? I can’t deny it but I felt my existent in this world was worthless. But that thought didn’t stay long. So, for those guys who lost it all in Terra Luna, I can only say i feel you but money can’t buy you happiness.
Suicidal is an easy way out. Living is tougher. You can always rebuild but when you are gone, your loved ones will be distraught. Hence, the idea of depression can be really detrimental.
Cheers guys. I’m having a break today from work. Afternoon beer is a luxury – I understand that. My last few years were one of the greatest in a company whom emphasis is on getting things right and proper. Budget were never a budget issue. Everyone will have their day so keep on living. Don’t ever give up.
Health is Wealth guys. Don’t read it literally – Life is beyond just the money. Money gives you the capability and option to do many things. But life is beyond what you think it is. I can’t stress enough that when you think positive, you will get vibes and when you think you are young, you will be young.
I’m not sure how many people do read this or follow me but if what I say matters to you, it tingles with you. This is human psychology. There isn’t a need to be connected physically. When things resonate, it doesn’t need to be reasonable. You just need to know it.
It is not literal. This post isn’t about money or referral or personal finance. I feel you and many of us experienced that at least once in our lives. Just make sure that it is a lesson you learned and it doesn’t deter you from exploring options. Because, you really cannot say never to something you have not tried.
Living is more important than dying. Easier said than done but get over it and restart again. With support, it will be easier but without it will just take longer.
In my previous post about Ez-link Trival here Ez-link deal , they have upped one more level by allowing Mastercard in their Ez-link payment option.
You can now earn an easy S$10 just by logging into their app, there will be an option to use Mastercard to pay for items via Google Pay.
EZ-Link and Mastercard have partnered to launch a new feature called Pay by Wallet.
This would add virtual Mastercard functionality to your EZ-Link Wallet (Google Pay). You can then spend these at more than 80 million Mastercard online and in-store merchants worldwide. Unfortunately, it is only available for Android users for now.
As like any new players in the market, the launch of Pay by Wallet, EZ-Link is offering an instant S$5 credit to users who activate Pay by Wallet on the EZ-Link App.
Do note that you will get an additional S$5 cashback will be credited to you when you make a minimum spend of S$10 within 30 days of signing up. The promotion is not unlimited, please take note.
Should you be interested to sign up for this, do download the Ez Link App and key in my Referral code: 3197B5C
Some Pointers to note
a. This campaign is limited to the first S$100,000 of cashback or the first 10,000 new EZ-Link Pay by Wallet user sign-ups, whichever comes first
b. Next, note that certain transactions are not valid here at T&Cs such as donations, education, government services, hospitals, utilities and AXS. (Standard Stuff)
c. Additional perks:
For every successful Pay by Wallet transaction of at least S$80 made by 31 July 2022, earns you one entry into a lucky draw with the following prizes. (All prize winners will be contacted latest by 30 September 2022):
1N staycation at Equarius Hotel or Hotel Michael with breakfast for two (3x winners)
A pair of Universal Studios Singapore tickets (80x winners)
Again, nothing much to shout about. To make more value for your buck, something to play around with if you have some time.
This is not a sponsored post. This is purely my own opinion after using their service and/or products. If you like what you are seeing, do remember to check out my referral links.
The opening up of Singapore seemed to be a cheer so far with the most recent news seemingly as a positive sign as all business would eventually open up to the rest of the world. Nonetheless, everyone have to still stay vigilant and not fall into the trap of Covid lockdown once more. It has been an experience with Covid and no one would wish that something like that will happen once again.
KrisShopper – Loyalty Programme
With these Krisflyer seemed to have extensively opened up and aggressively fronting their marketing dollars in Krisflyer shopping (KrisPlus or Kris+). Krisflyer launched their own loyalty programme called KrisShopper. The first 30,000 members who link their KrisFlyer accounts to KrisShopper will receive 1,000 miles, and the first 5,000 will receive additional SGD$20 to spend on KrisShop.
What do you need to do:
Link KrisFlyer to KrisShopper
Subscribe to news & promotions while linking accounts
Link before 30th June 2022
If you are eligible and done the correct steps, both miles and voucher will be credited within 10 business days after 30th June 2020.
Kris+ Couponmania (Co-brand/Partnership with Sqkii)
If you do not know what is Sqkii by now, you can check them out on their facebook or webpage. They first started out by letting people do the typical hide and seek treasure hunt for prize money by giving clues on a daily basis. How Kris+ is partnering with them is that they have created a game that allows anyone with a Kris+ account to merge coupon boxes. It is definitely not going to be easy as this is similar to the 2048 game that you play on your mobile. Each merging gets you a bigger coupon or prize which seems to be random. There’s also no guarantee that you will get the top prize which a a Nintendo switch or a Oven set.
You would also get a mini coupon prize to start off once you have signed up. Additionally, if you sync your Kris+ account, you get a speed up ticket that gives you a faster distribution per token. Once that is used up, you need to start referring more friends.
Remember not to skip the referral portion and also syncing your Kris+ account.
Everyone probably need referral to open up to more spaces to collect the coupons to merge the coupons. It takes 7 mins to be loaded with the level 1 coupon so 10 spaces means it will be full in 70 mins. Mindblown? haha.
If you do not have a Kris+ Account or App
If you don’t have a Kris+ account, you can download it via IOS or Google Play.
Money Owl has been the regular investing strategy monthly for about close to 2 years. While the amount is nothing to be shout about. It is just regularly fixing something so that I can save and invest at the same time.
This is really a small part of my portfolio at $100 monthly RSP for around two years for now. I Probably will stick with MO for now just to compare them versus Endowus. I like the management team, honest and no conflict of interest. Maybe I add on other investment strategies on their platform if the timing is right.
Who is Money Owl?
MoneyOwl is an initative from NTUC Social Enterprise. They are a Robo-advisor coupled with a suite of wealth planning tools such as will writing and insurance solutions. What really attracted me is their rather simple way of investing and using Dimension Funds as part of their portfolio construction
As a retail investor, you will most likely not be able to access such funds (Dimension Funds). When the market tanked sometime in Feb 2020, I picked a few Robo-advisor to invest into and look into performance a few months later.
One of the reasons I went into MoneyOwl and Endowus initially was because of the Dimensional Fund. These are not readily available to retail investors but the investing landscape has changed. Retail is kind of king now.
My MoneyOwl Portfolio is one that does not hold a lot. It isn’t my main Robo Portfolio but they kind of become slightly more trusted over the last few months. At the same time, for folk who have just started the investment journey, S$100 is definitely doable for a long long term portfolio. The whole idea of this blog is to also show that it does not take a lot to start building your own retirement pot. I still envy folks who are in the twenties and build their portfolio early.
However, when you are young – Money is a limited resource. As usual, personal finance also have to revolve around each individual situation and understand the situation will determine what is required.
On top of the asset that we acquire, there is a need to tweak the insurance coverage due to a new child and an increased mortgage. Should there be any issues that happen to any one of us, at least the full liabilities are covered.
Mar 2022 performance (Day One Deposit)
In portfolio terms, it is up +8.56% and compared to my last review in Aug 2021 which was at +18.30% on 2 Sep 2021, it has dipped quite a bit in terms of percentage points. The portfolio size isn’t something great. Just a net deposit of $3,200. I kept the regular investing of $100 per month and it’s looking rather slow. I might increase this monthly amount to build the base up a little more. 2022 has not been kind to the markets and will continue to do so. So far, the defensive nature is what I have seen as a plus point.
If we look at Time Weighted Returns, it is the more accurate to account of deposit and withdrawals at +24.63%. Again, this return is just for reference. At the end of the day, what you originally invest in and the final amount will be the absolute profit.
In terms of the portfolio allocation, there is no change and it is at 60% equities and 40% fixed income. The portfolio consists of 4 different funds. Everything will be on Dimensional Funds. I kind of wished that I had a small cap fund in there. But I guess, as long as my main robo has that exposure that would be good as well on an overall basis.
Personally, I like the allocation % because it is just widely diversified for equities and widely disperse in terms of investment grade.
In the details on the profit and loss sheet:
a. The Global Core Equity Fund will be the largest allocation and makes up most of the returns to date and continues to do well.
b. The Emerging Market Large Cap Fund will be the lowest allocation and makes the least of the returns to date. I don’t mind some EM exposure at this point in time.
c. The Global Core Fixed Income Fund will be my main steady income Fund and finally.
d. The Global Short Term Fixed Income Fund will be the last stabiliser in my portfolio.
e. The government bonds remains to be on the downside which is expected though it recovered a little as compared to the previous month. The impact is negligible.
f. Recently, the russia exposure was mentioned to investors that it was removed and likely due to the sanctions.
A few months ago, MoneyOwl announced that they have lowered their investment advisory fees as well as absorbing the platform fees due to the pandemic.
a. For asset under management S$100,000 and below, there will be a 0.6% p.a. management fee and 0.5% p.a. for amounts above S$100,000. This amount will be rebated back in the portfolio. So take note that only Cash investments (Wise Income will also incur management fees), the cash management accounts do not have these in place and your total portfolio value has to be above S$50.
b. There is an introduction fee of S$99 which is worth about S$535 for a comprehensive Financial Planning. Money Owl’s advisors will sit down with you to review your portfolio. The review is expected to contain detailed report and recommendations (It is estimated to be around 2 hours).
c. Additionally, they are introducing free financial resilience workshops to focus on cash flow management and debt management. Likely through Webinars and anyone can join in.
It is nice to see that as a partner to our national social enterprise, they are making moves to help Singaporeans. The reduced fees on investments which is one of the key points in long term investments. The more fees you pay, the more it affects your long term goals.
If you would like to give MoneyOwl a try do remember to use my referral code: 1JIC-91CM
Both of us with get S$20 worth of GrabFood Vouchers for every product or service that you sign up so that means that both of us will get up to S$60 worth of GrabFood Vouchers. (Total of 3 services/products)
Personally, I think that they are decent. A very conservative bunch.
This is not a sponsored post. This is purely my own opinion after using their service and/or products. If you like what you are seeing, do remember to check they out and do your diligence. There is no one size fits all investment strategy.
If you would like to give MoneyOwl a try do remember to use my referral code: 1JIC-91CM