Sunday 30 October 2022

Getting a pay raise | Sharing my pay raise experience

I haven’t had a proper pay raise process (eg performance review etc) before as I was always a contract staff since I started work in 2018. It was only last year Dec when I was officially converted into a permanent staff after entering a new job for about 9 months. This job has been amazing so far although I feel like I low-balled myself when I started as I had to reveal my previous salary and did not ask for a huge increment to match whatever I feel is the market rate. In hindsight, lots of regret but I believe in time to come, I can still ask for pay raises although it might be tough.

First job as a contract employee and getting my second job

Previously, being a contract staff, renewals of the new contract period doesn’t guarantee a pay raise and it definitely was a little difficult to negotiate as it was an entry-level role and budget was already set aside for it. Of course, being my first job which I worked at for about 3 years meant that I had really low increments over the 3 years and it was to be honest tough, having to worry if I will be extended every time my contract ends.

After about 3 years, which was great as I learned so much and people at my previous company was amazing. I made some of the best connections there as I entered as a fresh graduate and connected with so many different people there. I decided to leave as I wanted somewhere that could pay me more and we know that nowadays loyalty doesn’t guarantee it. Armed with my knowledge and skills, I went through numerous interviews and it was difficult handling rejections especially when it got frequent.

Read more: Millennials want to leave their job by age 50 | You will have to save at least 50% of your income

However I managed to find a similar position in a tech company (not the huge tech company with great snacks and pantries that I can post TikToks of) although still a contract role, the manager did assure me that they were expanding and if I performed well, converting to a perm role would be no issue. I took it as I just felt that it was a chance considering that I did fail many interviews before that. I didn’t really negotiate for a good pay as I felt ‘paiseh’ then which I regret right now.

To make me feel better, when I switched, I had about a 14% increment and then another 14% when I was converted which was within the same year. I do feel that I am still slightly underpaid compared to my fellow colleagues as my starting pay was pretty low and increments were very small in amount during my first 3 years.

Read more: How to save money on a low income (my first salary was $2700) | Saving is the foundation to managing your finances

Just most recently, I had a 11% increment, I would say this is a unique amount of increment as there is more workload coming my way and so my manager did also say compared to the normal increment, this is a one-time higher increment provided. I am happy with the amount as more is always better but grateful for the increment. Greed is there and I will always feel that I can or should get more when comparing but just happy to get an increment and still hold a job at this time.

Trouble with getting an out of the usual increment

My manager did mention that normally a lower increment is given so this was an acknowledgement of my work so far and of course, more work to come. I am very appreciative of this double digit percentage increment but having an out of usual increment does make me wonder if I am underpaid compared to my peers.

It’s crazy how the mind works as I just keep wanting more. No matter what I am grateful to have an increment and in spite how the market and world is, I am still having a job which is of utmost importance at the moment. There is a lot to learn in terms of furthering your career or how communications with your superior should go. There is a lot of learning up ahead for me and definitely hoping to be able to put myself out there to learn and connect with others.

Read more: Your Career Is Just One-Eighth of Your Life | Why I need to explore and find hobbies outside of work

We shall see how things go and I do find the need to be learning and doing more as I don’t see myself at the current role in my 30s and 40s. Hoping to be able to go into a managerial role or some thing more communicative where the skills will not be taken over by a robot or be automated in the future. In the meantime, investing as much as I can and saving while enjoying life in Singapore where I have taken so many things for granted. Year end is here soon so how are your increments and bonuses looking?

You can also find me on

► Where I Buy my Cryptocurrencies:
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►Use my referral link https://crypto.com/app/evwynu4g57 or code: evwynu4g57 to sign up for Crypto.com and we both get $25 USD :)
► Where I buy my stocks
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Wednesday 26 October 2022

Millennials want to leave their job by age 50 | You will have to save at least 50% of your income

I saw this article published in Straits Times mentioning that many millennials wants to retire in their 50s or as you always hear, to FIRE in their 50s, not get fired. In the article, a certified financial advisor evaluated the goals of the millennials and said it is tough as they will need to save around 50% to 60% of their salary which is rather difficult in times of rising costs.

 The article highlights that millennials will need to tighten their belts in order to reach their financial goals, giving up vacations or restaurants visits as saving 50% to 60% of their salary is a big feat. These are the aspirations and expectations to be able to retire by 50 but in reality, a retirement consultant and financial well-being leader points out that it is impossible for most millennials as they found that 36% save less than 5% of their salary and 26% have taken a loan against their state pension fund.

Another insights survey done in 2022 by Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association of America showed that a huge proportion of millennials are confident in their ability to plan for retirement with 31% of individuals aged 30 to 39 suggesting they have an above-average level of confidence in their ability to plan for retirement. Young millennials, those 25 to 29, are the most assured: 40 per cent said they had an above-average level of confidence in their ability to plan. But the experts say that their savings rate don’t match up😟

Will I be able to retire by 50?

I don’t plan to retiring early but I am aiming to be financially free by a certain age. I am within the age range of 25 to 30 and have to admit that I am so far confident in my ability to plan for retirement. Retiring at 50 years old is definitely not easy I would say, in that it is just about 20 plus years away for me and definitely commitments would build up during this 20 plus years.

However I would say that I feel confident because currently I do not have much commitments and am saving/investing a portion of my salary although not 50%. If I were to have a mortgage or more commitments in future coupled with the lower stability of having a job as I grow older, I would be less confident about my retirement and whether I can take it easy when I am older.

Thinking about the future can bring anxiety as it is uncertain and there are so many possibilities. I do have a goal in mind but I know it will take time and effort, definitely requires luck as well.

Mindset shift for Millennials and Gen Z

For our parents, early retirement was never seen to be an option as work helped provided for their family and they would like to work for as long as possible, even for some, financially free was not even thought of as they were living pay-check to pay-check to provide for their kids and to pay the bills. They worked tirelessly mostly till their 60s or until they are no longer able to.

Millennials and Gen Z are not looking at that, most of us are lucky enough to have sufficient allowances from our parents when we were studying and after working, we are earning salaries that allow us to save and invest which is a huge privilege in today’s world. Even more so if your parents managed to save or build up a retirement nest that means you do not need to be their retirement plan.

But even so, with high costs of living and great uncertainty for the future, it is tough to have kids and at the same time get a property and be able to FIRE at 50 unless your income is higher than average and you manage your finances well. Millennials and Gen Z are placing more emphasis on their mental well-being with many forgoing children or even getting attached so we don’t really know how the future will be but it is good to have goals and aim to achieve them.

You can also find me on

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►Use my referral link https://crypto.com/app/evwynu4g57 or code: evwynu4g57 to sign up for Crypto.com and we both get $25 USD :)
► Where I buy my stocks
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Sunday 23 October 2022

FIRE-ing with a purpose | How extreme are you in trying to attain it?

FIRE has been a huge topic recently and I am sure you have seen an article about FIRE as it was reported on the main media outlets in Singapore with many reaction follow ups from financial bloggers.

 Many articles have brought up that more are trying to attain FIRE whether to have more options in life or to chase after their dreams. So then why the title of today’s article? I came across a video from Techlead sharing why he thinks FIRE doesn’t work and his problem with FIRE. Also I caught up with other videos on why they have stopped chasing FIRE and sharing the flipside of chasing after FIRE.

Read more: Q3 2022 Portfolio Updates | πŸ’Ž πŸ™Œ 🐻

What is FIRE and is it what we want and how well do we want to live.

FIRE as we all know means Financial Independence Retire Early. There were many things Techlead mentioned in his video on why he thinks FIRE doesn't really work as it is just sold to you as a product. Investments like stocks, crypto and properties are sold to us and we buy them because we know or based on past results that they will eventually be worth more than it’s current value. We tend to trim down our usage of money to be closer to obtaining FIRE and channel the remaining money to investing.

Most of us can already lean fire just by surviving on beans and staying with your parents. It is not whether we can survive but how much we want and how good we want our lives to be. To him, our lives are more than just the amount of money in our bank accounts, of course, if you know Techlead, he is most famous for his title (as a millionaire) series so we know he is rich however he is divorced and his wife actually does not allow him to see his son if you have seen his recent vlogs so he is pretty unhappy in that sense although he is rich as a millionaire.

Read more: How to save money on a low income (my first salary was $2700) | Saving is the foundation to managing your finances

He also mentioned that experiences are accessible everywhere, renting or booking a hotel or restaurants without having to achieve FIRE before enjoying life and that there is no need to own expensive stuff. If lazing at the beach is your purpose in FIRE-ing then you can also achieve that by going to South East Asia and rest along the many beaches there. All in all, in my opinion, he is trying to emhasize the “why” are you trying to achieve FIRE? If it is the lure of passive income and lots of disposable cash to invest then he feels that there is a limit as once you reach a certain amount, you start to shift your money around property and stocks hoping to optimise them which he then asks how much are you actually really spending to be happy?

I would say the part of the video I really agree with is the part where he mentioned that individuals who worked super hard, skimp and went through tough times in their youth to attain FIRE and then ending up having anxiety and in old age found out that they have missed out a lot in their golden years is sad and not what you expect especially when you become rich or attain FIRE status.

To him, reaching FIRE means laying flat after that and playing games while some wants to chase after their dreams after reaching FIRE but you can actually chase after it right now. What you should do is to enjoy the journey and FIRE is a by-product of success or planning. Similarly, the other videos also highlight the part of slogging and putting extra hours in while you are young and regretting it when you are older on why you did not spend more time with your family but actually you were trying to earn more to do that, the irony.

Read more: Your Career Is Just One-Eighth of Your Life | Why I need to explore and find hobbies outside of work

Beside chasing after attaining FIRE, it is important to stop and spend time with your loved ones. This might involve spending money for experiences to do together or having a break from the hectic lives that everyone is leading. Chasing after your dreams while trying to attain FI is also possible. 

Having that financial security is better than not having it

In a competitive society and expensive environment, the idea of FIRE is attractive and I believe most would want to pursue it or at least be FI, financially independent as the constant pressure of having to think of retirement and financial commitments can be draining. Knowing that you have a cushion feels better and as quoted by Norman Vincent Peale, “Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you'll land among the stars.”

In tough times or emergency, you would thank yourself for saving or building up a financial security net for yourself or the ones close to you. How extreme you would go to shorten the process or relax the process depends on the individual.

Aiming for FIRE but finding purpose in your life and process

Just like what I mentioned about aiming for FIRE, we can still enjoy the process and find purpose in our life. To be honest, the millennials and Gen Zs pay much more attention to our mental health as compared to the older generations. Work life balance matters but of course to a certain extent, finances are also crucial in today’s world especially so when costs for everything are going up worldwide.

It is a balance and the process of setting a goal, trying to achieve it, how you implement it and whether you finally attain it or not is important as you can find out more about yourself and learn more about what you actually want. All in all, I think it is good to have a goal like FIRE to aim towards but you definitely need to know when to relax eg taking a short trip with friends or families or spending within your means for special occasions. You don’t want to miss out on the precious moments of your life while trying to achieve FIRE which in itself is to also be able to spend more time with your loved ones.

You can also find me on

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►FTX app: Use my referral code and get a free coin when you trade $10 worth. https://link.blockfolio.com/9dzp/u4qfrox2 
►Use my referral link https://crypto.com/app/evwynu4g57 or code: evwynu4g57 to sign up for Crypto.com and we both get $25 USD :)
► Where I buy my stocks
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Wednesday 19 October 2022

Why do people lose money buying stocks?

A lot of people must feel horrible looking at their portfolio during this period including myself. Every month there has been lots of tensions among the countries and no one really knows when the situation will improve. With investing, the macro-environment and various news can affect our portfolio which can range from different products.

Some people who invests advocates long term investing and knowing that market works in cycles and eventually goes up, you are most likely predicted to be in profit over the long run of at least 10-20 years although it also depends on what you have invested in. However there are definitely many who lose money in the market. I am going to sharing why and how you can avoid them.

Not looking at investing as long term

One of the reason is not looking at investing as a long term thing. If you bought maybe a few months ago in 2022 or earlier in 2021, your portfolio might not be looking green with profits and I guess everyone’s portfolio has been hit as asset prices have been dropping.

Some might have got into investing in 2020 or 2021 hearing the short term gains that many were sharing as it was an uptrend market and whatever you bought would turn green the next day. However, to be in the market for the short term means that you have to be agile, have substantial capital for trading to cover the cost and effort for monitoring but does it mean that you will definitely profit by trading?

It is not easy to predict the market in the short term and I am sure it is tedious to be monitoring consistently. If you are interested in investing, you would know that companies will need time to grow or if they give dividends, would also need time to compound to allow a substantial growth.

When we start investing, we don’t usually go in with a lump sum as we would test the water with a smaller amount and also because we are looking to grow and build it up over time so then this would require discipline to be consistently adding or allowing that amount to snowball in the long run. Know that the market will be choppy in the short term but rewarding in the long term although past results does not mean future results.

Read more: How to save money on a low income (my first salary was $2700) | Saving is the foundation to managing your finances

Hearing from people and buying due to hype

I think this happens more often in a bull market. And I have seen this and experienced it myself. During a bull market, almost everything and anything would be going up so many people would speculate and try to find out what can give them the best returns. But not every stock would be able to do that over the long term and once the hype is over, the stock would drop and everyone will panic sell it.

Sometimes, even after you have done your research, the results might not be reflected on the stock performance. Of course, if you have done your research and is convicted then position sizing is also important depending on various factors (eg. risk and portfolio allocation). During the good times in 2020 and 2021, everyone around me was asking and talking about buying stocks and crypto, many of my friends were putting money in and they were telling me how much profits they had.

It is important to have your own plan and not buy whatever people are mentioning unless it is something that you have researched and want to initiate a position in. If you were to buy everything that was suggested to you, your portfolio will look super messy and the main thing is that you wouldn’t even follow up on all the counters over time. Consider an index ETF if you are not interested in researching individual companies.

Read more: Inflation seems to stay and countries wants closer & more stable supply sources | Leaders are important and foresight is crucial

Letting your emotions get the better of you

If you see a stock price drop every single day as it is right now, some people tend to panic and sell especially when they see others selling however the current situation is that the whole market is reacting to news and almost everything is down. As long as the business has no major changes that is detrimental to it’s growth or business direction or the drop is due to macro environment then there is no need to sell but instead to slowly add on.

If you want to take profits or cut your losses then that is definitely ok. The thing is not to panic sell and having to enter again at a higher level. This can also happen in the opposite side where you are recklessly buying as the market goes up. Keeping your emotions out of investing is good and hence automating and DCA will work for most including me.

Have a plan and stick to it though be flexible

Keep to the plan and know why you started investing in the beginning. The lure of suddenly striking it rich in a short time sounds amazing but investing is long term, slow and steady wins the race.

Plans can change but do try to stick to it and adjust accordingly when you have build up the foundations or have went through it for some time. Some times, changes are needed along the way and you can decide accordingly.

I have been allocating my pay-check in terms of savings, investing, expenditures and make sure that the amount goes to the relevant accounts to ensure they serve their purpose. In the beginning, I tend to tweak the amount as I monitor my spending habits but once you have a comfortable amount, fix it and continue with the allocations. For most of us working a 9-5 job, our income is fixed and so automating it should not be a huge problem.

Even "experts" lose money

No one knows where the stock market is really headed and even the experts can only make a prediction based on data or what usually happens due to a certain event however it is not 100% right all the time.

Learning from your mistakes along the way will help and that is why many advocate to start investing early so that your runway is long and you can afford making mistakes when your initial capital is not that huge. We might be in unprecedented times but hopefully the world can recover and we will be on track to reaching new ATHs again. But that will take time and in the meantime, accumulating and building up your skills as well as assets will prove to be valuable.

You can also find me on

► Where I Buy my Cryptocurrencies:
►FTX: https://ftx.com/#a=41877278
►FTX app: Use my referral code and get a free coin when you trade $10 worth. https://link.blockfolio.com/9dzp/u4qfrox2 
►Use my referral link https://crypto.com/app/evwynu4g57 or code: evwynu4g57 to sign up for Crypto.com and we both get $25 USD :)
► Where I buy my stocks
FSMone Referral: P0364886
Tiger Brokers (Free stock and commission free trades, check out more here
Interactive Brokers (Open an account today and start earning up to $1000 of IBKR Stock for free!*Terms and Conditions apply)
► Google Pay: v89ph61
►Syfe Trade Referral Code: https://www.syfe.com/invite/trade/SRPSL8MGX
►Syfe Wealth Referral Link: https://www.syfe.com/invite/wealth/SRPSL8MGXE

Thursday 13 October 2022

Do you give allowances to your parents | Why I give & is it really necessary?

After starting work, most of us would want to bring our parents out for a good meal and for some, maybe start giving them a monthly allowance. Of course, this differs as every family and individual is different, let’s talk about why Asian or maybe Singaporeans feel a need to give allowances to their parents.

Singapore VS around the world, proportion of children living with parents

In Singapore, I would say a good proportion of children do stay with their parents unless they have a significant other to apply for a BTO or have enough finances to buy a private property before age 35 to move out.

To get public housing as a single in Singapore, you have to be 35 years old and above unless there are some special conditions but for private property, there is no age criteria. For most individuals who are single in their 20s and 30s, the best solution to save more is to stay with their parents, Singapore is also a relatively small country where we work at most at Jurong where we stay at Pasir Ris which can still be covered by public transport unlike USA or China where people from the different cities can go to Beijing, Shanghai in China and New York or San Francisco for the USA. That will mean they have no choice but to rent a place to stay. However, we are seeing a rise in children staying with their parents especially after the pandemic that worsen a lot of people’s financial situation.

Why I give a monthly allowance

My mum has always told us that we are part of her retirement plan besides her savings and CPF payouts which she isn’t eligible yet cos she is younger than 65 years old. So we know that once we start working, we do have a contribute a portion to her. She isn’t demanding about the amount and she explains that she just wants us to know that we give an amount to her like showing appreciation and at the same time supplement her savings as well.

I don’t mind giving my mum an allowance because she doesn’t dictate the amount but leaves it up to us and whatever we are comfortable with, it’s okay especially when we first started.

I believe we are also giving allowances as we currently live “rent-free” with my mum and she cooks for us as well as doing our laundry which I have to say I am grateful for. Not all is rosy, she does nag and we understand as we all do things differently.

Is it necessary?

I think it really depends, some give allowance in a different way. Your parents might not need an allowance from you but spending time with them, having meals with them or just talking and checking in with them even after you have started working is as important or even more important than giving an allowance.

Saying that, some parents rely on their children as their retirement plan and I believe there are definitely situations where you might need to fork out money for them. The Woke Salaryman released an article on this before which is pretty comprehensive.

Each family is different as is with each individual, I would say only you know best what can help your parents. Giving an allowance can be our way of saying thanks but if you are not able to for example low pay or tight finances, you can give it in another way.

You can also find me on

► Where I Buy my Cryptocurrencies:
►FTX: https://ftx.com/#a=41877278
►FTX app: Use my referral code and get a free coin when you trade $10 worth. https://link.blockfolio.com/9dzp/u4qfrox2 
►Use my referral link https://crypto.com/app/evwynu4g57 or code: evwynu4g57 to sign up for Crypto.com and we both get $25 USD :)
► Where I buy my stocks
FSMone Referral: P0364886
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► Google Pay: v89ph61
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►Syfe Wealth Referral Link: https://www.syfe.com/invite/wealth/SRPSL8MGXE

Sunday 9 October 2022

How to save money on a low income (my first salary was $2700) | Saving is the foundation to managing your finances

Inflation has been crazy however wages in generally has not matched inflation (if your increment matches then congratulations) but for me, my salary has not matched up to the inflation level we have been seeing from the start of 2022.

Of course, even individuals with a high income have mentioned that they have been cutting down on expenses in order to save or to pay the bills as prices increases on petrol and cars.

This is not to say that the lower income earners are not as affected as daily necessities like food, drinks and groceries have been increasing at a scary rate. Every time I visit the hawker centre, the prices all have a sticker over it and shows a new price, I understand the hawkers or food establishments as raw ingredients have gone up quite substantially too.

We will have to live with it while working to increase our income

In the meantime, spending money on necessities and paying our bills are a need and we have to do that to survive. How then can we survive and even save money while on a low income?

Read more: How do you feel about your current financial status? | HOW MUCH SAVINGS DO PEOPLE IN THEIR 20s HAVE?

It has been really tough looking at my investments nowadays so just skipping that and letting my automated purchases do the job, on the other hand, I have more time to occupy myself and write more.

How to then save money on a low income? Or to save money generally

  • Manage the number of times you eat at a restaurant or cafe

Restaurants and cafe prices are high and on average can easily go beyond $20 per pax and even more after accounting for GST, service charge and if you get a drink along with your mains. If you are able to manage the number of times you go to a restaurant or cafe per week/month, this can really help in your finances.

There was the cafe fever awhile back and everyone was having a good brunch during the weekends or even weekdays but you are able to assemble a nice breakfast at a much lower price at home. Alternatively, there are affordable options that you can opt for rather than cafes.

Of course, the occasional indulgence is all right especially if you can afford and enjoy it but you can limit it to twice per week and maybe visit restaurants only on special occasions. Cooking at home is also great especially if you have a family, although groceries have increased in prices, it is still much more affordable than visiting a restaurant for meals every weekend.

  • Cut taxis or ride-hailing services

This is a huge factor in saving money as taxis/ride-hailing services will become a habit once you get too comfortable. What’s worse is that you would be subjected to the peak hour surcharges if you work 9-5 and the mornings and evenings are when the surcharges are high.

My family has always practiced using public transport and in most cases plan our day with public transport meaning to leave home earlier if needed and to search for public transport routes. Ride-hailing has made things so convenient especially so when you can just input your credit card details in and payment is made without you noticing hence it can build up easily.

The pandemic has also made ride-hailing the preferred choice as you reduce exposure to the people that you meet but the costs is really high and it doesn’t make sense to ride a taxi every single day unless you have a lot of disposable cash (eg. did not buy a car) but I am sure the money can be put to better use.

  • Less shopping or buying

Similar to the first 2 point, it is a choice of wants or needs. It is all right to get clothes once in awhile to ensure you look presentable but make choices on outfits that can be used more often and in your daily life.

I have to admit that my fashion sense sucks and I don’t pay much attention to what I wear and I know certain jobs require a good closet but choose items that can be worn more frequently and are comfortable.

Similar to buying clothes, buying other stuff might seem essential at the moment but always give it some time and you might realise you do not need it actually. Sale and promotion might look attractive but it doesn’t mean you have to get it just because it is on sale.

Get started and if you feel uncomfortable investing as you want to save a sum to keep aside first then do so but remember to start investing once you have saved enough. Of course, most of us have to start saving first eg building up emergency funds or have a bucket of spending money. Saving is easy for some but might be tough for others.

It is important to cultivate the habit of saving as it is the foundation to building wealth, after saving then would you look at making your remaining money work for you. Did you also know that putting aside $27.40 aside everyday for a year will get you $10,000. $10,000 is a substantial amount if you just started working and I can still remember my excitement when I first managed to achieve that. I even went to my mum and proudly told her about it. Once you have cultivated the habit, it gets easier over time.

Read more: Millennials around the world are becoming huge savers but is saving sufficient?

  • Budget your salary and follow through

I have mentioned this in my previous article, do take a look at it if you are interested.

Tough to live on a tight budget for a prolonged period, let loose once in awhile but not too crazy and ultimately, you have to learn to increase your income

Being able to save is a privilege especially so if you are young with no huge commitments and am earning a comfortable amount where you can put aside a sum. It might be tough in the beginning when you start, my first starting salary was $2700 (gross) and took home about $2160. It was covering my basic expenses but my savings amount was small, it slowly build up as my income increased the past few years. Increasing your income helps a lot as you realise you can expand your savings or investments with the additional amount. So it is also important to try to increase your income if you find that the amount is limited for you to save. Hope this has been helpful to you, see you in the next one!

You can also find me on

► Where I Buy my Cryptocurrencies:
►FTX: https://ftx.com/#a=41877278
►FTX app: Use my referral code and get a free coin when you trade $10 worth. https://link.blockfolio.com/9dzp/u4qfrox2 
►Use my referral link https://crypto.com/app/evwynu4g57 or code: evwynu4g57 to sign up for Crypto.com and we both get $25 USD :)
► Where I buy my stocks
FSMone Referral: P0364886
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Wednesday 5 October 2022

Q3 2022 Portfolio Updates | πŸ’Ž πŸ™Œ 🐻

This year has been a crazy year as daily news are not positive and we seem to be living in bad news. I am grateful to be in Singapore where we are so far not as badly affected as the others but many have suffered and I do hope for the best and recovery. China has broaden it’s lockdowns and the energy crisis is affecting Europe as well as China as hydropower in China is not working as expected due to a drought. Extreme weather conditions are also affecting countries as floods, droughts and heatwaves made headlines.

Ending Q3 means we will be entering winter in Europe and other parts of the world, winter means that more energy will be needed to keep warm so demand is definitely going to be up but the supply might not be able to keep up. The stock and crypto markets have also been affected as macro-environment is having so many bad news with inflation still high and the FED being aggressive with rate hikes. People do want to have more cash on hand to pay bills and make sure that they have sufficient funds.

We do also see a number of tech layoffs although job reports are still pretty strong in numbers but a number of companies have cut head-counts and are looking to reduce hiring. I think even the bonus at my company looks to be low as we expect revenue to drop substantially. Of course, certain industries are more affected than others. Let’s dive into my portfolio review.

I record the holdings in my stocks portfolio, Syfe REIT+ and cryptocurrency holdings.

Portfolio

As we see stock markets drop with earnings for Q2 not being impressive, the crypto markets are performing badly too although there was in ETH merge in Sep 2022 but price fluctuation was within a small range. My overall portfolio value has dropped but I did add positions and am still DCA-ing monthly. I have reduce my crypto investments as I increase my DCA-ing towards stocks.

I can really see and feel a lower interest in cryptocurrencies as my Twitter feed has less shilling and less information although it could be the people that I am following. I also see many crypto enthusiast taking a break and just lowering their screen time.

Stocks

Across the portfolio, stocks and cryptocurrencies have experienced a drop in prices even the SGD against USD although I would say that SGD is still holding on pretty well. Stocks have experienced quite a pretty substantial drop in prices as interest rates are rising and we all know that the FED is trying to bring assets prices down to curb inflation.

Tesla had the 3 for 1 stock split in August and it is the largest positions in my portfolio having about 60%. I am trying to lower the proportion by allocating more of my DCA-ing amount towards ETFs, mainly QQQ and VOO. I still very much believe in the innovation and growth of Tesla but I think I want to balance up my portfolio to reduce volatility. Nothing really much to add as I am just DCA-ing into index ETFs.

Cryptocurrencies

For cryptocurrencies, it crazy how the drop for BTC and ETH was horrid and disgusting in that it was a nosedive from $60,000 for BTC and $4000 for ETH to current levels. The volatility is crazy high and when it becomes a slight green day, it seems such a happy moment as we are finally become slightly positive.

We do see a little recovery for BTC as we see fiat currencies around the world drop from Euros and British pounds. I do believe people are seeing BTC as a store of value although they might be in with small amounts first. The ethereum merge happened and it was interesting watching the live and how the community was so happy for it and the amount of hard work everyone did.

I am adding in small amounts as I think my proportion of 0.14 BTC and 5 ETH is good and I want to focus on building up my stocks.

Starting a Syfe REIT+ Portfolio for cashflow (Reinvesting dividends all the way till old or when needed)

I am also starting a Syfe REIT+ portfolio injecting about $300 in monthly. I was first interested in it after I read a few articles from Turtleinvestor. I would say that I was deciding between buying CSOP iEdge SREIT ETF (SRT) or into Syfe REIT+ firstly is that I will be buying in only $350 per month so the constant buying in can incur pretty substantial cost depending on the brokerage I use.

CSOP iEdge SREIT ETF (SRT) charges a management fee of 0.80% while for Syfe REIT+ it charges a tiered fee system where the lowest tier is charging 0.65% per year. Another thing is that the payouts are quarterly for Syfe REIT+ as compared to semi-annually for CSOP iEdge SREIT ETF.

I have started with $1300 for the month of September (added in one day before the FED raise rates and showed their aggressiveness to fight inflation and so REITs went downhill from there) and planning to add around $300 per month to it, this is mainly building up for retirement and at some point, I will not input anymore fresh capital and instead just reinvest the dividends. Of course, this is not really fixed and the amount I am putting in will fluctuate. You can take a look at the video where I show the google sheet showing my future contributions to Syfe REIT+ and how it will slowly build up. It is a really rough calculation as I calculated the dividends received based on the 4.8% rate and also presumed that it will be paid monthly which it will not.

Portfolio record for Q3 2022

Not expecting any miracles for 2022 and 2023 but just for record and for me to look back in future.



Worried about job security

I do have to say that I am worried about my job security at the moment as I am in an industry that has seen significant layoffs and I think it will get worse going into 2023. The FED looks determined to curb inflation and wants the general public to tighten their belts which would in turn affect some companies revenue so I think it is pretty scary thinking about the future at the moment.

I am worried but understand that I shouldn’t worry too much as there is nothing much I can do except to do my job well, update my manager on my work and if it happens, then I will need to look for a new job.

I do have emergency funds but no amount can prepare you for a loss of job as I feel you would have lost a significant chunk of cashflow and especially when you are building up your portfolio, losing your main source of income can hurt.

Going into Q4 2022

Q4 2022 will be interesting as we will see more interest hike as well as entering the festive period and we can see how it goes. End of year is usually a time to reflect as well and 2022 definitely has been a happening year and lots to reflect on. As we go forward and I become another year older, I am happy to have a plan and will stick to it unless anything happens. So how has your portfolio for Q3 2022 been? And what are your goals for the coming Q4 2022?

You can also find me on

► Where I Buy my Cryptocurrencies:
►FTX: https://ftx.com/#a=41877278
►FTX app: Use my referral code and get a free coin when you trade $10 worth. https://link.blockfolio.com/9dzp/u4qfrox2 
►Use my referral link https://crypto.com/app/evwynu4g57 or code: evwynu4g57 to sign up for Crypto.com and we both get $25 USD :)
► Where I buy my stocks
FSMone Referral: P0364886
Tiger Brokers (Free stock and commission free trades, check out more here
Interactive Brokers (Open an account today and start earning up to $1000 of IBKR Stock for free!*Terms and Conditions apply)
► Google Pay: v89ph61
►Syfe Trade Referral Code: https://www.syfe.com/invite/trade/SRPSL8MGX
►Syfe Wealth Referral Link: https://www.syfe.com/invite/wealth/SRPSL8MGXE

Sunday 2 October 2022

Your Career Is Just One-Eighth of Your Life | Why I need to explore and find hobbies outside of work

I recently came across this article from The Atlantic by Derek Thompson title,”Your Career Is Just One-Eighth of Your Life and it gave some advice on what your career should be like and how you can optimise it. It is a short and interesting article. I will write about some points of the article that I found interesting and provide a summarised version. Also, I will share my own personal thoughts as well. So to read the original article, do go to here.

With so many tiktoks and social media post explaining why you shouldn’t give your all to work (eg, quiet quitting), we can see a lot of generalised advice being given out and most being pretty brutal to working hard at building a career. The author works hard in his career and in his view, to give a fresh graduate advice that a career is gonna suck even before they start is useless. So here are some pointer he saw which he hopes can be helpful in some way.

1. Your career is not your life

My views are that the pandemic has accelerated this and definitely so for those who are able to work from home. Our career is not our life even if we spend majority of our time working. This is because most of us are exchanging our time and effort for our salary but working from home enable us to reduce a lot of time that was previously used to commute or having meals and even just to spend time in office fulfilling the standard 9-5 hours.

We will retire eventually and that will be the time when we have a larger amount of time available as we no longer need to work our corporate jobs and can take on more exciting ventures. So it is important to not place all emphasis on your career and making sure you have interests or “life” outside of work.

2. Explore and then exploit

The author found that job-hopping is the best way to ensure that you increase your income fast compared to staying at the 1 same company as pay increments usually does not match the offer when you job hop. Job hopping also allows you to switch and find the best fit for yourself. Even though the author believes in switching to find the best fit, he doesn’t job hop and has held to his current job for about 8 years.

In explaining, “Explore and then exploit”, the author read a paper that found the conclusion below.

In a deep analysis of the careers of scientists and artists, he found that their “hot streaks” tended to be periods of focused and narrow work following a spell of broader experimentation. This is sometimes called the “explore-exploit” sequence. The idea is that many successful people are like good oil scouts: They spend a lot of time searching for their space, and then they drill deep when they find the right niche.

The author goes onto point out that even if you are like him where you have stayed in a job for a long period, you can get out of your comfort zones like switches jobs where you change the things you are expected to do eg take on a new project or suggest something that is new and can benefit the team to your manager.

3. Don’t do the job you want to tell other people you do. Do the job you want to do.

This really relates to me as I find there are so many factors that you need to consider before taking up a job than to just look at the title or salary or just benefits. You need to look at it as an overall as well as the company culture and industry.

The author had previously considered a job offer because of the amazing job title that came with it, however after consulting with a fellow colleague, he realised that he was considering the job as he like the title but wouldn’t like the work so he rejected it.

At times, we would choose a job that is further or maybe more stressful just because it pays $100 more however, we don’t factor in the time or exhaustion that will come with it. It is a fine balance to be able to find the “perfect fit” but just know that no one factor should be the deciding factor unless the work really attracts you and it is what you want.

4. Be ruthlessly honest with yourself about what you value—and how much professional success matters to you.

My mum always tells me that she could have advanced more in her career however she didn’t like working overtime or stay in the office to leave after her boss. She told us that she like starting her day early, completing the required work and just going back home to spend time with us or to catch up on her dramas.

There are some people who enjoy working like siao and feel like achieving success in their career is what they want while some value family time and time to unwind so unnecessary OT is uncalled for unless needed. No one is wrong as we all value different things. The author compared this to his love for a certain kind of wine and if others don’t enjoy it, it is all right as it is personal taste. Ambition is similar as it is not for everyone and if you are ambitious, GO FOR IT! Otherwise, it is all right.

5. Flow comes from voluntary, difficult, and worthwhile work.

When I start writing on a certain topic or article, I love the feeling of completing it. It gives me a sense of accomplishment and I think this point summarised what work/career you should do depending on how you feel when you are doing your work. If it is something assigned and you just don’t want to do it, it is difficult to get into the flow but most of us would complete it for fear of getting fired.

Why I need to explore and find hobbies outside of work

I do see many of my friends exploring hobbies like pottery or yoga outside of work and it is interesting to see them being busy with it for a period of time before changing it. For me, I prefer activities that are in-house for example writing to share my thoughts or reading up on finance related articles and watching videos.

The activities are all quite individual where it can be done with just me alone. I do wonder if I should be out socialising more but it’s tough. I will need to explore what activities that can be done outside and maybe be more active in my lifestyle. I, for sure, know that my career is not my life. What about you?

You can also find me on

► Where I Buy my Cryptocurrencies:
►FTX: https://ftx.com/#a=41877278
►FTX app: Use my referral code and get a free coin when you trade $10 worth. https://link.blockfolio.com/9dzp/u4qfrox2 
►Use my referral link https://crypto.com/app/evwynu4g57 or code: evwynu4g57 to sign up for Crypto.com and we both get $25 USD :)
► Where I buy my stocks
FSMone Referral: P0364886
Tiger Brokers (Free stock and commission free trades, check out more here
Interactive Brokers (Open an account today and start earning up to $1000 of IBKR Stock for free!*Terms and Conditions apply)
► Google Pay: v89ph61
►Syfe Trade Referral Code: https://www.syfe.com/invite/trade/SRPSL8MGX
►Syfe Wealth Referral Link: https://www.syfe.com/invite/wealth/SRPSL8MGXE