Archive for the 'finance' Category

last of the 20s

What I did in the past 365 days! Overall 2016 was a relatively good year, though of course I hope next year will be much better! (Text in italics were the goals I had set for this year at the end of the last.)

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revising my goal

Since I am now 29, but am not anywhere near my 1000k by 28 goal yet, I am hereby revising it to: 1000k by 29!!! 

looking back on the year

An analysis what I did in 2015……!!! (Text in italics were the goals I had set for this year at the end of the last.)

Tried to go out every weekend instead cooping up at home. Ate at at least one new place every month (usually alone). Initiated meetups with friends whenever possible. Held a couple of gatherings for the members of a personal finance Whatsapp group I am in. (Mostly guys and quite a fun bunch!) Had resigned myself to being an eternal inviter and never an invitee, but lo and behold! In November, Gabriel invited me to a cookout lunch at his place. He and his co-organizer truly have an eclectic group of friends indeed!

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revising my goal

Since I am now 27 years and 11 months old, but am not anywhere near my 1000k by 27 goal yet, I am hereby revising it to: 1000k by 28!!! Hopefully the new adventure that I just started will help me achieve it……

muddy waters

Have been reading about the US investment research firm Muddy Waters in the news lately (like here), and kept wondering why anyone would ever give their company such a name. ‘Muddy Waters’ 给人一种水摸鱼、同流合污的感觉! (Translation: ‘Muddy Waters’ gives one the feeling of hun shui mo yu [fishing in troubled, or muddied, waters] and tong liu he wu [evil flowing with evil]!)

So I went to check out its website, and realized with the greatest amusement, that it was indeed named after the Chinese idiom 水摸鱼 (hun shui mo yu). To quote:

The Chinese have an old proverb, “浑水摸鱼” (muddy waters make it easy to catch fish). In other words, opacity creates opportunities to make money. This way of thinking has unfortunately become endemic in global capital markets.

buying my first official lot (online)

So yesterday afternoon I placed a buy order for OCBC on the Phillip POEMS online platform, but alas, it was not fulfilled by the end of the trading day and hence cancelled. So after work, I immediately made another order for OCBC for the following day. But I decided to set it at a slightly lower price, even though I thought that I was unlikely to get it.

Then at 9.12 am this morning, I received an email informing me that my order had been executed completely at the price I had requested! And thus I officially bought my first online lot! (Had officially bought my very first lot, via broker assistance, last month!)

And with this purchase, I have finally collected the full set of all three local banks. Felt a bit like queuing up at McDonald’s for Hello Kitties. Gotta catch ’em all! :D

you learn something new every day

I was looking at the designs of the hongbaos that I received this year, and noticed that one with blossoms (peach? cherry? plum? they all look alike!) was from Citibank – which is called 花旗银行 in Chinese!

buying my first official lot (broker-assisted)

Early this month, I (temporarily) deactivated my Phillip Share Builders Plan. Then yesterday afternoon, sometime after 1 pm, I noticed that one of the share counters I was looking at, DBS, had dropped to a reasonable price. So I called one of my brokers and purchased one lot. It was a swift but exciting affair! And now, I’m looking forward to buying my first lot on my own via one of the online platforms!

exciting times ahead

The Singapore Exchange will reduce the minimum board lot size from 1000 to 100 shares from today onwards! Exciting times ahead!!! :D

looking back on the year

A review of what I did in 2014……!!! (Text in italics were the aims I had set for this year at the end of the last.)

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Terminated my first fixed deposit, from OCBC, way back in July. My second one, from DBS, finally matured today, after six months! Earned the princely sum of $69.95!!! :D

saving $100k by 30

On 7 July last year, the Straits Times published an article titled ‘Is it possible to have $100k by 30?‘ As I was pursuing my 100k by 26 goal at that time, the headline immediately piqued my interest to read on. In his report, journalist Jonathan Kwok made a few assumptions and calculations and declared that it was completely possible. I recall reading plenty of sceptical and cynical responses to his piece online.

Some time later, I stumbled upon two local finance bloggers who also wrote about Kwok’s article (Cheerfulegg and Investment Moats). Each proposed their own set of assumptions and calculations, and also concluded that saving $100k by 30 was indeed possible.

(Incidentally, I recently came across a rather interesting post at Singapore 2B – on how to save $400 000 in 60 years.)

And as for my take on this……

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achievement unlocked

Have never been prouder or gladder to say…… as of 31 August, 100K BY 26: ACHIEVEMENT UNLOCKED!!!!!!!

As previously mentioned, shortly after I started my working life in December 2010, I set myself three financial goals:

10k by 24
100k by 25
1000k by 26

To make them more challenging, I decided that I would not be counting my CPF monies.

The first goal was reasonably simple to realize. All I did was save close to 60% of my monthly salary (after the 20% CPF deduction) and stay home every weekend. (My mum actually asked me a couple of times why I didn’t go out.) And seven months later, in July 2011, I turned 24 and hit $10k.

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my very first dividend

Just checked my Phillip POEMS portfolio, and realized that my modest holdings in a Straits Times ETF just earned a dividend…… the princely sum of $9.55 (after deducting a dividend charge of $1.07)!!!

(Incidentally, dividends will be reinvested automatically – that’s one good thing about Phillip’s Share Builders Plan.)

Wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee…… This is really exciting! My very first dividend! And hopefully there will be many more to come!!! :D

first foray into investing

After to-ing and fro-ing with Phillip Securities (and the Singapore Exchange, to a lesser extent) for about one and a half months, I finally got my CDP and POEMS accounts successfully set up. And so, my Share Builders Plan, tagged to my POEMS account, finally made its first purchase of two blue chips on the 18th of last month.

Like most other newbie investors, I would check my portfolio religiously – every other day or so. And I would feel a frisson of pleasure when the prices had risen, which meant that I was sitting on a small (although unrealized) amount of profit.

Two Wednesdays ago (6 August), I signed into my account and saw, for the very first time ever, that the prices of both stocks had fallen. My portfolio was worth less than what I had originally invested in it! Although it was merely a slight paper loss, I still felt a twinge of panic, before recovering quickly.

Well, this is the nature of investing…… There may be price fluctuations in the short term, but hopefully, a stock’s value will go up and up and up in the long run. And I need to develop the right mindset to deal with these situations.

All right, back to reading financial websites. :)

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