Sunday 23 February 2020

Building Up An Automation System and Full Breakdown of my Salary

I have always heard of automation of your finances so that you can save more time and reduce all that brain work.

I did not start automating my finances only until end of last year as I felt that transferring manually was easy as banks nowadays have online apps.

But after I started all the automation, life became much easier. I do not automate my bills as I want to see my spending and if any extra charges are being charged. I only automate the splitting of my monthly salary.

How do I do that? I am sure most of the people reading this would know it but I was surprised that most of my friends do not know about it. I use standing instructions to make sure a certain amount goes to somewhere that I want.

A standing instruction is an instruction a bank account holder gives to the bank to set aside an amount at regular intervals to another account. For me, when my salary goes into my bank account,
  • $600 goes into my Standard Chartered Jumpstart Account (Savings)
  • $400 to my Mum for her allowances
  • $300 to my FSMone for the ETF regular savings plan
  • $300 set aside for my NTUC savings plan (Annual payment, 2 more years to go with 1 payment in Mar 2020)
  • Rest of my salary for my spending and bills payment

Read more: Savings plan - Yes or No

I have standing instructions for my savings, FSMone and allowances for my mum so it kinda relieves me from having to personally go into the app and transfer the amount.

Read more: Switching from POSB Invest Saver to FSMone ETF RSP

So far, the automation system has been working well for me. And hope more people can find out more about it because it really makes you life a a lot easier.


Wednesday 19 February 2020

Food Insecurity

Recently, I saw a video by CNA on food insecurity in Singapore. I am interested in this topic because in a way, it can affect anyone and everyone. For example, in my case, I am the only person working in my family currently as my mum recently just retired and my brother is still studying.

So if anything were to happen to me (Touch Wood!), we would lose a steady income and would then need to rely on our savings for medical and all. I feel like life can change in a split second especially when you are healthy one moment but you could be sick at the next moment.

From the video, most of the families had low income and also had many family members to feed or had debts to clear. I find myself lucky as hunger was not a thing I had to deal with when I was young however, Katie, a 8 year old girl in the video has to deal with hunger on a daily basis.

With one meal provided in school at about 9am, the rest of her meals remain in ambiguity as there is nothing at home that she can eat. This really can affect her in the long term as she doesn't have good nutritious food to help her grow.

Another case was on Shanger, a polytechnic student whose parents both have medical conditions that makes them unable to go out to work. They went through a very tough period of time but things are looking better for them now as Shanger has an internship and also part-time work which means he brings home about $1200 per month.

However, with the capacity to afford proper food also brings about another problem, Shanger tends to over order when he eats and his portions are really huge. This means he suffers from gastrointestinal disorder, even so, he finds it tough to regulate his food intake as he has been 'starved' for too long and is very glad he can eat so much food now.

This is really a problem worth looking into because the effects of low income encompasses a huge range of problems and not just money can be able to help them though it would reduce some kind of burden on them.

You can watch the video below from CNA.

Sunday 16 February 2020

Recession Coming Our Way?

Retail, F&B and almost every other business has been hit by the Covid-19 as people are less willing to leave their home and venture out. Meaning that people are spending less and the economy growth will slow down.

Changi Airport has been badly hit as most people will avoid going to the airport because that is where the tourist will land first.Also, as the number of flights coming to Singapore drops, there will be a decrease in people shopping and eating in the airport.

Jewel Changi Airport will be offering a 50% rebate on rents for months of Feb and MAr which I think is a really good initiative. The crowd there has definitely decrease and it will take awhile before things get back to normal.  

With PM Lee mentioning that the impact of Covid-19 already exceeds that of SARS means that everyone should really brace themselves for what's to come. This is because China has grown to be such a huge market and many countries really rely on them for tourism as they are spending much more than they did in the 2003 SARS period.

Cathay Pacific has had to preserve their cash and as a result, they have informed employees to take 3 weeks of unpaid leave starting from 1 March to June. Cathay Pacific has been facing hard times as well, from the Hong Kong protests to the Covid-19, flights have been dropping in numbers and so they have had to suggest to employees though not compulsory to take unpaid leave.

It will be tough and difficult year for some to recover for some as earnings take a hit. I do feel to a certain extent that the true impact will be felt maybe one or few months later when whether or not the virus continues or it will disappear. Even if some businesses can survive, it will be awhile later to see if they can sustain.

Jobs will be tough to keep if some companies have to cut cost. We will have to see how it all pans out.In the meantime, we can all take care of ourselves and try not to be too affected by the news even though almost every news is about the Covid-19.

References: Cathay Pacific set to offer unpaid leave to staff as Hong Kong protests and boycott by mainland Chinese customers take toll

Covid-19's impact on Singapore economy already exceeds Sars, recession possible: PM Lee
‘Big collapse’ of F&B businesses looms; landlords should slash rent like Jewel Changi Airport, say industry players

Wednesday 12 February 2020

Addiction to Youtube videos and Social Media

Recently after work, I have been spending most of my time on my phone scrolling through Instagram or watching YouTube videos. 

After scrolling for awhile, I start to realise that time flies and it is soon late and I am tired. This then means that my evenings are cut short by doing something that kinda waste my time. 

Especially scrolling through Instagram can get me hooked. It has gotten worse in recent times as I got a new iPhone 11 and so I can see things in clearer resolution and the battery lasts so much longer. 

Not saying that I need to always be doing something productive but I do feel that my weekday evenings have nothing special.

I actually want to have a set routine for weekday evenings especially to add in some form of exercise in and maybe some form of reading or prepping for the next day of work. 

So of course, talking is easy and action is tough. I will see how it goes starting next week. 

YouTube can be educational, for example, I do watch Graham Stephan and Andrei Jikh both of which I enjoy and learn something from. 

I think what I really want to minimise is the pointless scrolling and watching which is not in anyway beneficial. 

Here is a video on digital minimalism: 

Sunday 9 February 2020

Coronavirus - How it will affects my Work, Portfolio and Every Other Thing

Yesterday, the DORSCON (Disease Outbreak Response System Condition) level was raised to Orange. This means that the disease is severe and spreads easily from person to person but not widely spread and is being contained. 

This means that more actions will be implemented like temperature screenings and more quarantine if required especially if you feel unwell and shows symptoms. 

At Work:

Since the level has turned orange, we are now all required to be ready to work remotely from home and so we need to bring our laptops home everyday. 

This also means that we have 2 teams within each department just in case anyone is affected by it. 

Reporting has also increased and we are encouraged to postpone our trips if possible. 

I think it good to have things in place so that work can still go on smoothly just in case another happens. 

I do worry a little as I am on a contract position meaning that I am very vulnerable if the company decides to reduce headcount.

I will be continuing my monthly RSP with FSMone. But I will not be buying individual stocks for awhile as I want to build up my cash.

Read more: Switching from POSB Invest Saver to FSMone ETF RSP


My portfolio is decreased slightly in value due to the Coronavirus. As I have a number of holdings in retail and hospitality. For example, Far East Hospitality which owns Village Hotel and CapitaRetail China Trust which owns shopping centres in China. 

You can see my portfolio here: Current Portfolio

Overall, my portfolio is down 5.5% which is still okay as I know most of the losses are due to Design Studio. My largest holding, Nikko AM STI ETF has also dropped below my average buying price and is currently at $3.26. 

But I am glad that if I were to include dividends, my portfolio still has a gain.That's my consolation for now. 


People have been stocking up on food (instant noodles and canned food) and toilet paper due to the DORSCON level being orange. It's pretty scary how people can be influenced as they see other hoard, I went to supermarket after work with my mum on Friday night. 

We just wanted to get some essentials like eggs and bread as we were running out however, the supermarket was packed with people buying rice, toilet paper and instant noodles. 

Queues were very long and I guess my mum also kinda panic as she saw the scene of people stocking up. She added a few more things to our basket but I think she knew that there was no need to panic and buy so much. 

I guess it can affect you as you see the people around you fear and worry. And even if the situation gets any worse, it would be best to stay calm and not rush. Take care everyone and hope everyone stays healthy.

Wednesday 5 February 2020

Getting into investing

My colleagues at work are always finding the best savings account to put their money in.

Of course, some might say that should not be the case as you should work more to increase your income and not to worry over such minute matters like interest rates on your savings especially when you are a fresh grad.

Read more on why your shouldn't be worrying so much on bank interest but on increasing your income: The Single Mistake Everyone Makes In Their 20s Trying To Build Wealth

One of my colleagues who know that I do invest my money was asking me whether she should start the regular saving plan (RSP) under POSB invest saver for her to hit a higher interest rate for her DBS multiplier account.

Read more: DBS Multiplier changes and what might be my next action

I think it is a rather good initiative to start investing through a RSP because it is automated and allows you to invest with a lower commission.

But what I told my colleague was that eventually, what you are buying is stocks and it will be fluctuating in price an so your capital is not guaranteed at the end when you want to cash out.

I think this is really important to know because most people invest thinking that they will be able to earn money or even huge amount over a short period of time but in reality, it takes time and doesn't necessary mean that your capital will grow.

Definitely, I know once my colleague starts the RSP, she will observe the prices daily as she is the type to keep up with her money.

Of course, when I first started investing, I was also obsessed with checking the prices frequently but after awhile, you realise that you can leave your investments alone without having to check them everyday.

Getting into investing can be good as it is how you make you money work for more money. And especially with how easily accessible investing tools are nowadays, starting young can allow your money and for you to take on more risk.

Read more:  January 2020 Portfolio, Purchase and Dividends Updates
January 2020 has passed and time really flies. With CNY almost over, it is time to be on focus with my work, haha Jan was like a dream with New Year then CNY, work seemed secondary as celebrations were in place. 

Sunday 2 February 2020

January 2020 Portfolio, Purchase and Dividends Updates

January passed in a blink of an eye, this month's dividends were not bad and I also made a purchase besides my RSP with FSMone.

One mistake I made for my RSP with FSMone is that I forgot to convert my SGD to USD so no purchase was made for Vanguard Total World Stock ETF (VT) and only 39 units of SPDR STI ETF was made. 

I will remember to convert my SGD to USD before the purchase date so that it will be purchased. 


Overall my portfolio value has dropped over the past few days. However, I am not too concerned about it yet as the deop is not too extreme and with my RSP with FSMone, I can purchase more units of ES3. 

I bought 1700 units of Far East Orchard (O10) at a price of $1.17 each in early Jan. I like the dividend yield on this stock and although it is not a REIT, the dividend payout has been consistent. 

With a dividend yield of 5%, it can help contribute to my portfolio.  It has a price to book of 0.4 and P/E of 17.

The price of O10 also rarely fluctuates as Far East Organization holds about 61% of the shares. Due to the coronavirus outbreak, it has since dropped to $1.14.


January is a pretty good month with Nikko AM STI ETF paying out $58.66 and Singtel paying $34 so I received about $92.66 this month. 

I really like that my dividends are increasing and hope to pump more into my portfolio so that they can continue to increase. Nikko AM STI ETF is one of my biggest holdings as I previously bought it using the DBS POSB invest-saver. 

I have since terminated it but am holding onto the units as I switch to FSMone to buy SPDR STI ETF instead. 

Read more: Switching from POSB Invest Saver to FSMone ETF RSP