Sunday, 24 May 2020

Investing in Hard Times

With news of COVID-19 flooding social media and headlines everyday, it is tough to stay consistent with your investments and some will also face difficulties to continue.

With my job currently being still safe for the time being, I know that the outlook for the end of the year and 2021 is not looking so good. With fresh graduates facing difficulties in finding jobs, investing is the last thing on everyone's mind unless you are an experienced investor or have enough emergency funds set aside.

However, it is actually a good time to start as prices for many companies become attractive. My colleague at work mentioned a few weeks ago to me that she was planning to buy DBS when it was at $18.00 as it was a good price.

But a few days, when I asked her how is it, she hasn't even set up a brokerage account yet, she has a CDP account as she bought some Singapore Savings Bonds previously.


Not that I was persuading her to buy but I did feel that it was a good investment and also because she told me that she has a sum of money with her that she is planning to invest and she already has an emergency fund set aside with extra savings.

Overcoming the inertia to start is one of the biggest step you can take for your investment journey. Once you have started, the rest will follow as you already have the platform to start. 

In current time, a lot of things is on the news and social media. Sometimes, we just need to cut out the noise and continue to invest. I am sure many of us have made use of the recent drop to add on more shares as we find companies that are attractive at their current price.

To invest at this also means that you should only invest what you can, an emergency fund should be set aside and should not be used to invest as the effects of COVID-19 is still not over and it might last for awhile.If you think, you need a more robust emergency savings amount, go ahead and build it up.

With this also being my first major market crash that I have been though, I did feel a little hesitant too but with my RSP set up with FSMone, I am just continuing with it and am also saving up more and will buy in once I have gathered enough cash in my war chest.


To be able to invest is a privilege and I really am very grateful to be able to set money aside every month to invest it. If we all have a chance at allowing money to compound, take the chance and invest but make doubly sure that you have holding power to be able to sleep peacefully in the night.

Happy Hari Raya Aidilfitri!

EXTRA:
I recently registered my blog in Feedspot and was pleasantly surprised that it is among the top 75 Singapore Investment Bloggers. Hope to continue to churn out articles for you guys both on my finances and also personal growth! There are really a lot more amazing people who write so much better there, do check them out and I am sure you will learn so much more from them.

Staying frequently at home and having more time on hand to write is also pretty beneficial to me as I can find something to do on the side besides watching my usual korean dramas and Netflix haha

Tuesday, 19 May 2020

Work Arrangement Changes Post Circuit Breaker

So on Monday, my boss had a meeting with my team on the arrangement for our work after the circuit breaker. For my team, one person will need to be in office everyday and the rest will be on hybrid or work from home.

As some of my colleagues do have pre existing health conditions which means they are of higher risks, they were excluded from going back to the office.


So we had to choose the ONE who would return to office everyday and guess what, it is me.

Well, I kinda volunteered for it as I know that everyone else has really adapted to working from home and I stay pretty near to the office as compared to the rest.


HAHAHAH, I mean we had to really dish out the names within that meeting so there was really an awkward silence before I volunteered myself. I didn't really think through before and after, I realised that I will need to be wearing masks everyday and travelling means expenses will be up.

Of course, it will be on rotation and the first month, I will be the one having to go to the office everyday after which, there will be a switch or maybe it will be mainly hybrid depending on the situation or feedback. 

I will get a reusable mask to use and so far, not too sure what other supplement will be provided but there will be another meeting on it.


After I volunteered myself, I know now that starting 2 June, I will need to travel daily and I am also putting my mum and bro at risk with the travelling involved.

I will need to put in proper steps from when I return home to really ensure that things are kept to a minimum exposure.

With that too, no more waking up a few minutes before work starts and also having no segregation between work and personal as I usually turn off my work laptop then proceed to on my personal one in an instant.

For now, arrangement will be as such and then we can slowly observe and see. I guess this will be the new norm until a vaccine is created. Things are uncertain right now and I am grateful to still have a job.

Sunday, 17 May 2020

Having a side / alternative income


I came across this video released by Channel News Asia on COVID-19 and how it is affecting people's jobs and income during this period.

For one of them featured in the video, he is a makeup artist and has his own company however with the circuit breaker measures and his job being deemed as a non-essential service, he will need to take a break and this means no income for him.



During the circuit breaker, he managed to do a few makeup tutorial videos through Instagram and he felt that it was important to have an alternative income to fall back on that will allow him some income if his main job is gone.

He also mentioned that he will be working to create a side gig from now.

Having a side income sounds amazing and great but you will also need to make significant sacrifices and effort for you to see the results.

The effects will not be immediate and also it will take time. For me, I am also thinking of creating alternative income beside my main 9 -5 job.

Actually, YouTube is a great alternative if you have a talent or want to create lots of visual content for your audience.

Even more so as everyone needs to stay home now, it is a great time to get started and I might really start a YouTube channel soon!


I came across a video that mentioned about the different side income sources:
  1. Collate funny TikTok or certain categories of TikTok videos and post it online

    This was something I came across recently and to be honest, channels doing this really gets lots of views. Except for videos that have copyrighted music and cannot be monetized, all the rest can be monetized or you can add your own self-sourced ads too.

    You can also do reaction videos for example, Graham Stephan has a channel where he reacts to people's video of how they spend their money monthly and he evaluates them or provides comments.

  2. Sell items online

    This is what many people do, like using Carousell or Shopee, there are many platforms available. This came to my mind recently because, my mum wanted to buy kimchi and luncheon meat from Korea, like a certain brand and she asked me if I was able to buy it online.

    I was able to find the kimchi and luncheon meat on Shopee and purchased it. When it arrived, it came to my mind that this was super cool because what the seller did was to advertise something that was really accessible in Korea and just advertised it online. When an order came in, he could just go to the nearby supermarket, purchase it and mail it.


    Maybe if you can find something uniquely Singapore and not perishable, you can list it online and when you get an order, you can purchase and send it off at a slightly higher price to earn the margins.

  3.  Blogging

    This is currently what I am doing, for me though it doesn't earn much because I am not creating much value to the community but if you are able to build up a support base and add course or newsletter plus merchandises, it can be a good side income.

    It doesn't really pay much if you rely solely on adsense unless your views are really substantial and people are clicking on the ads.

  4.  Create websites or manage social media for small businesses

    If you have prior experience or very interested in creating websites, you can earn money from setting up websites and selling them to small business who wish to scale up their business online. Your first few jobs you might not be paid high but after having a client base, you can start asking for much more.

Saturday, 9 May 2020

Strong Mental Health and a Good Mindset (How to build it)

I like to think a lot about things and I tend to think quite negatively at times. I think a lot has to do with my mindset on things. I always admired people who are very persistent in their goals and those who can endure tough times.

Because for me, I know that I will feeble and not as strong. Having a good mindset is very important as the way you communicate, put yourself across and how you deal with success and failure can be seen. It comes together with resilience.


There are definitely ways to build up your mindset on things and how you can perceive events that happen in your life, this is very important ever so in this period of thing as we face COVID-19 and the many events that follow which we might or might not have even thought about.

Below are 5 things that will help me in building a good mindset if I can improve on them.

1. Don't waste time on things you cannot control.
  • Dwelling on things that you cannot control can drain you and make you feel inferior. There are many things that you will not be able to control.
  • This can result in micromanaging, not delegating out tasks and your worries keep you occupied resulting in a waste of time and energy. Identifying your fears or stressors then creating a plan to manage them for example through exercise or meditation. 
  • Remember to then monitor your stress level and eliminate coping strategies like drinking or complaining to others. 
2. Don't worry about pleasing everyone.



  • I am guilty of this definitely, being aware of how others view you can change your behaviour and to be honest, that might not be the real you. Just be kind and who you are, you don't have to please everyone in your life.
3. Challenge yourself and not shy away from change.
  • Taking calculated risks and making sure you take up challenges can give you positive outcome especially so if you end up completing the challenge. 
  • Of course, knowing the potential downside before taking it up is necessary. 
4. Self-talk and respond positively.
  • Self-talk is like prepping yourself and in the long term, positive self-talk can boost your self-esteem. Positivity breeds positivity.
5. Don't give up after facing failure.
  •  Its easy to fell like you are not good enough after failing. But that is not the case because we always learn from failures. For example, if you failed an interview, maybe it was your interview skills or maybe it was just not a good job fit so then after you have identified the failure, you can try again and make it a success. 
It is definitely not easy to implement all the above at one go but slowly starting and doing it can make you a more positive and stronger person as a whole. It can make you handle your success and failures differently.

I am also a work in progress and even more so during this tough period where everything is so uncertain and our emotions all mixed up. We can all work towards a better us and definitely, it's ok to not be working all the time. We do need our breaks :)

To read more about me:

Wanna know more about me?
Click those links!
  1. Total Current Assets - Breaking $10 000 
  2.  Retiring Early and comfortably?- What is FIRE?
  3.  Reflection over my time in University 
  4.  My Financial Goals - Is $100 000 in 7 years possible? 
  5.  Updates on my first week at my new job - Expenses, Colleagues and Environment 
  6. My Current Insurance Coverage - What you should be getting  
  7. April 2020 Portfolio and Some Updates  

Wednesday, 6 May 2020

April 2020 Portfolio and Some Updates

April has been just staying at home and observing the number of cases everyday as we see record high being updated. Its been a crazy month as CB was announced and then the extension of it with stricter measures was also announced.

Read more: CB breaker Extended to 1 June 2020

On my portfolio side, not much buying was done unlike everyone else, I did find prices attractive and wanted to buy but with low cash on my side and my income being not that high, I just stuck to my RSP.


In April 2020, 3.117 units of Vanguard Total World Stock ETF (VT) was bought at a price of USD 67.0299 each and 76 units of STI ETF (ES3) was bought at a price of $2.5971.

$0 dividends were received this month similar to last year in April, am expecting this year's dividends to take a hit as I am holding quite a number of REITs with most in hospitality and retail.

Current Portfolio:



Dividends:




I have been watching more webinars nowadays as compared to when working in office as I have more time on hand to listen and they are easily accessible since more webinars are also being done due to the situation.

With the different webinars, you can learn a bit from everything and it is really interesting to see what other think of this current situation and how they are handling it. 
 
I am making some changes to my RSP by switching from purchasing STI ETF (ES3) to Hang Seng Index (2800).

Below are some of my previous month's updates in 2020:

- March 2020 Portfolio Updates and Dividends
- Feb 2020 Portfolio Updates and Dividends
- Jan 2020 Portfolio Updates and Dividends