Sunday 29 March 2020

March 2020 Portfolio and Dividends Update

March 2020 has been a horrible month, with Covid-19 continuing it's damages, my portfolio dropped by 25%. With no extra funds this month due to the payment of my saving plan, only the FSMone regular savings plan is in place.

I am pretty glad that I started this regular savings plan end of last year, as it ensures I am still buying in when it is low. Without this, I might not even be doing any buying.

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

March is my and my mum's birthday month but my mum had to spend her birthday at home as my brother fufills his 14 days SHN and we try to minimise contact with outside. I do feel pretty sad because I wanted to bring my mum out for a good meal on her birthday and I even took leave on 27 Mar, although now there is no need to as we will spend the day together too but at home.

In the end, yesterday, we ordered delivery and had a good meal at home. It was quite nice and even my mum's friend ordered delivery to surprise her so we have a surplus of food.

Read more: Turning 25 - Milestones and what's to come? - Part 1

There is a lot of adjusting due to the Covid-19, we haven't been to our grandmother's place for almost 3 weeks and we do intend to not go there anytime soon. My uncle and aunties do still regularly visit them.

For coming April, I will slightly increase the amount for the RSP although not much, I still want to take the opportunity to buy more units while the prices are still considerably low.

For my FSMone portfolio in March, 52 units of SPDR STI ETF was bought at a price of $2.8250 and 2.9911 units of Vanguard Total World Stock ETF was bought at a price of USD 69.85



This month, I received dividends from Tai Sin Electric, First REIT and Far East Hospitality Trust totalling about $80.85.

Its nice seeing my dividends increase and I hope continue it.

Final Wrap-up for the month:  

Today, another death from Covid-19 was announced and to be honest, I think it's really a tough time with so many uncertainties, it is very difficult to be happy as news hits everyday about the numbers and how others countries like US and Italy is not able to contain the virus.

I do hope that life can be back to normal and I guess it's really at times like these when you realise how the simple things in life like going out shopping was taken for granted last time.

Even to meet up with friends and families, I do think twice as I know that the more people I meet during this time, the more harm I could be doing because even though we might be healthy, we could still be having the virus in us as we could be asymptomatic. Of course, during this period as my brother is serving his SHN, I haven't met up with any friends or other family members.

I guess working from home has also drained me over the past 2 weeks, I seem to feel more burned out because I work past the timing and taking up a side project in my work is showing the incompetence of me as the other members of my team are able to analyse and do their work at a much faster pace.  

Monday 23 March 2020

COVID-19 Updates

It was inevitable, the first 2 deaths from COVID-19 has happened. Singapore has been well-prepared for all of what was happening but the virus is really scary in that it spreads fasts and symptoms are not easily detectable as it is quite similar to flu symptoms. Even more so for those with underlying health issues.

The government has now put in place stricter controls where all short term visitors are barred from entering and even transiting in Singapore effective on 23 March 2020, 1159pm. This is due to more imported cases as cases around the world increase in numbers.

For work pass holders, only those who work in essential services like healthcare and transport will be allowed to return. This really means that companies will need to adjust accordingly to the news and be aware of what is being implemented.

The government is very strict on those who do not follow the measures as seen in a recent article where 89 workers are sent back for breaching entry approvals and stay home notices (SHN).

I think what the government has done really serves as a warning to those especially for those who were supposed to be serving their 14 days SHN but went back to work instead. They might think that they are healthy at the moment but because the symptoms does not show up hence they might still be spreading to those who are in close contact to them.

Although we don't know whether the employers told them to report to work or they chose to showed up at work, the government had to do something as a warning. 

I do feel that they might be afraid of not being able to work and their jobs might be jeopardized. But even so, being socially responsible is also something important at this moment.

With the additional measure of barring short term visit passes from entering Singapore, this might help in the overall containment of the virus however with students and Singaporeans coming back from Europe and US the next couple of weeks could mean a higher number of imported cases.

All in all, I am glad our government has done a pretty good job so far in their fight against Covid-19. Stay safe and take care, it will all pass and we will be stronger as one after it ends!

*Update: There have been much more updates today where entertainment venues, bars and enrichment centres will be closed. Imported cases takes up a huge number of the daily numbers so there will also be precautions where UK and US returning Singaporeans will be directly transported to hotels starting from 25 March 2020. 

References: Coronavirus: All short-term visitors barred from entering or transiting in Singapore from Monday, 11.59pm

Covid-19: MOM revokes work passes of 89 workers for breaching entry approval and stay-home notice

Returning Singapore residents from UK, US to serve stay-home notices at hotels

Coronavirus: All entertainment venues in Singapore to close, gatherings outside work and school limited to 10 people

Sunday 22 March 2020

Working from Home for 14 days

I have been working from home since the start of this week and will continue to work from home till end of March 2020 before I get back to work on 1 April.

I am working from home because my brother came back from UK as his school moved all his lessons online. Even his exams will be done online. My brother is pretty upset as his exams turning online means it will be tougher and cheating can happen easily.

Since he needs to serve a 14 days SHN, my company has informed me to work from home to prevent too much contact.

My brother though upset about the lessons and tests being online, he understands the situation and is glad that he can come back to Singapore which he feels is a safer option than staying in London.

I think to work from home you start to appreciate a lot of things that you take for granted previously.

For example, my colleagues whom I meet everyday, they are all very funny and nice on a daily basis and with me still kinda like a newbie, they are always willing to provide advice. Working from home means that I lose the access of meeting them face to face physically and having our daily conversations about work and our lives. Having a huge part of my social aspect gone.

Another thing is that there really is no set boundaries between you and your work. Your laptop could be on the whole day and because it is at easy access to you, you tend to just do your work beyond the working hours. A sudden realization that you forgot to do something and you will just work through it because your laptop is just right there.

However, working from home also has a few good points, first being that I have saved quite a bit cos I do not go out and my mum cooks daily.

You also save so much more time cos not much travelling is needed and lunch money can be saved especially if you have someone to cook for you, although delivery services could make you spend more.

Also, you face much lesser interruptions as not many of your colleagues will find you directly and you can focus better on your work. But definitely, other distractions at home include your bed and entertainment like Netflix.

Overall, I do find that working from home requires a lot of discipline and there are pros and cons to it. So far, I find it a good break from the office environment and another week to go. Take care and stay safe everyone!

Thursday 12 March 2020

First Stock Market Decline/Drop Experience!

Ever since I entered the stock market in 2017, I have to admit that this is the greatest market decline I have seen and I am like shocked by it.

With STI at 2,960.98 on Friday, 6 March 2020, my portfolio has taken a hit as almost all my stock holdings have dropped in price. 

As my time in the market has not being long, only approximately 2 years now, the hit is pretty bad as my dividends return is not long to act as a buffer. So my losses are really quite a lot. 

Of course, they always say you haven't profit or loss until you sell your stock. I am not planning to let go any of my stock at the moment and I don't have a huge warchest to start buying as well but I am still continuing my RSP buying SPDR STI ETF and Vanguard Total World Stock ETF. 

With this amount set aside, I do hope that I can purchase more units now that the market is going down. 

Looking at my portfolio right now just reinforces the concept of having money set aside as my emergency fund. I have an emergency fund set aside which can cover my expenses of 6 months. With this buffer, I have to admit that I feel more at ease even though my portfolio is in red. 

Everything is happening at a rapid and unpredictable speed, just today, 10 March 2020, the US stock market was temporarily halted after a 7% fall due to a variety of negative reasons like oil prices being slashed, covid-19 and panic from people. 

This kinda feels surreal because I haven't been through such a crazy period in the markets. And I have heard numerous stories about the 2008 global financial crisis but only now am I really experiencing what you can call a bear market and no one knows what will happen next. 

The whole of Italy is in lockdown meaning restrictions on social gatherings, bars, clubs and restaurants, which means movement is really restricted and limited as most people are encouraged to stay home.

What can really change the whole situation around is if we can control covid-19. What's to come? No one knows, we can only make sure we are ready should anything drastic happens. 

Update: The Singapore markets have since slightly recovered and we are seeing more green. 

Tuesday 10 March 2020

Turning 25 - Milestones and what's to come? - Part 1

Today is my birthday and I am 25 years old 🙋🙋🙋 To be honest I still feel like I am a kid. 25 is a huge number for me because I mean it's quarter of a century. HAHA, of course, I know 25 is still young for some but I do feel that I am holding more responsibilities and will be reaching 30 in just 5 years.

I think a huge thing for me is that I have completed my formal education, it is a rather long process especially since I took a gap year. Having worked for about 1 year 4 months full-time, I can understand the different kind of problems faced in the working world.

Money is a huge part which means salary and work is like the one thing most people my age are most concerned about. To be honest, everyone around me is doing fairly well and it gets me anxious at times.

Being 25, my friend has almost double my pay and it gets me at times. Everyone is just so caught up with achieving more (not that it's bad, at our age, we should chiong more) and to do better that when you realize you are lagging behind, it just feels awful.

So far, I have achieved some milestones in my life and of course hope to achieve much more. 

Ok, I am sounding rather depressed when this post should be about my birthday thoughts. Anyway, I do have a few goals for the year.
  1. Achieve at least $20 000 in my portfolio by the end of the year.
  2. Have savings of about $20 000
  3. Achieve at least a 5% dividend yield for portfolio
  4. Find a new job that pays 20% more.  
Birthday celebrations have always been simple for me and this year, I will be having a meal with my mum and also a few gatherings with my friends over the month.

I am glad that I have found a few low maintenance friends who really don't mind having cheap and good food as we catch up on each other's life. So it will be a month of good food and gatherings, looking forward to it all.

There will be a part 2 coming up for the elaboration on the goals I mentioned above. 

    Sunday 8 March 2020

    Different starting points in life can mean a huge difference in your financial future

    My colleague was sharing with me about her family and that her parents are both currently not working so in her case, she is the only one working.

    As her family has a few small private properties that was purchased by her Dad when he was still working, they are currently renting them out but would need a small amount to cover the mortgages.

    To her, her family is in debt because they are living on her paycheck and not much money can be saved. So for her, saving is a priority but she is not able to save much as she needs to provide allowances for her parents and give them a larger sum.

    Both of us talked about how everyone really starts on a different footing. There are people who starts with a $0 in their bank account, those who starts with $100 000 and even those who start with a deficit.

    The different starting points can make a person's financial journey so much more different or difficult.

    Of course, life is unfair, beside having a different starting point, everyone also goes through a different process and will have a different ending point as well.

    For me, I am lucky to not start on a deficit, my mum paid for my studies and I didn't need to take any study loans. It was good and I did not have to feel the pressure of paying back once I have started working. I am already super fortunate as it is.

    I do know of cases where people who took study loans having to quickly find a job once they have graduated so that they can start paying off their debts. A different starting point can mean you would need to work a lot harder just to make sure you are on par with others.

    But after a while, I start to realise that the constant comparison really doesn't help as everyone has their own pace. And this below really made me understand that I should work on improving the today me and not to constantly compare with others.

    Sunday 1 March 2020

    February 2020 Portfolio and Dividend Update

    February has been a very CRAZY month as covid-19 spreads to many more countries. Especially in South Korea and Iran where the numbers increase rapidly each day.

    With Covid-19 making it's impact around the world, it has also affect the markets. Singapore's STI closed on Friday at 3,011.08 and S&P 500 tumbled for the 7th consecutive day.

    I still am continuing my RSP with FSMone in the meantime. I am considering to buy some stocks as well but due to my NTUC savings plan annual premium next month and definitely not wanting to use my savings means I will need to wait for 1 or 2 months before going in.

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

    Of course, waiting for 1 or 2 months wouldn't hurt, prices could go down more or maybe it would recover. You just never know.

    For February 2020, under my FSMone ETF RSP, I bought 62 units of STI ETF (ES3) at $3.20 each and 3.123 units of Vanguard Total World Stock ETF at USD 83.26 each.

    Read more: Recession Coming Our Way?


    For the month of Feb, dividends were received from SGX which amount to $15 and STI ETF $33. Total is $48.


    Stocks that I am looking at are SIA, OCBC, Capitaland Mall Trust and Comfortdelgro. However, as I mentioned earlier, my annual premium for my NTUC savings plan is next month and I definitely do not want to use my savings so for the mean time, I will not be purchasing anything.

    Time flies and we are into the 3rd month of 2020. It has been a crazy year as so many things are happening, covid-19 and politics in Malaysia. But I am glad Singapore is managing well in this situation so far.