Author: Finance Smiths

StashAway Re-Optimization

Just one point to note before I go into this topic on the recent StashAway Re-Optimization event. The previous post on my mum starting to receive her monthly CPF Life payout had the most number of views since I started my blog. It seems like CPF continues to remain a popular topic to write and read about. In any case, if you are wondering where I stand with CPF, I’m For and Not Against CPF. It’s probably not a good retirement model if that what’s you are relying on it for. While the monthly CPF Life payout can cover...

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Monthly CPF Life Payout for Mum

The first week of work at my new job role was okay and I hope things continue to be fine. I reckon it would require a few months for me to properly settle in and that’s my plan until the end of the year. When I can take my 2 weeks of paid paternity leave and probably clear 1 week of paid annual leave since I can’t carry forward all of them to the next year. My wife is doing what she can to ensure her team continues to remain functional when she goes off. The issue is that...

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Last week of work

It’s my last week of work before transferring to my new job role to a subsidiary within the same banking group that I work in. Things got significantly better since May 2019 after returning from my holiday to Greece and informing my bosses about the decision. I even had more help and resources then but it was a matter of too little too late. Trust, once lost, takes a long time to be regained and I’m not giving them the opportunity to do it this time round. I have one guiding principle to working at a job and that is I...

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What to do when your wife is expecting

This is the big news I have been waiting to announce for a while now. My wife is expecting! Haha, it’s life-changing stuff and I’m sure everything is going to be different by the end of the year. In fact, things are already changing and moving along fast. We found out in Apr 2019 and have been going for prenatal scans and tests with a gynae at Mount Elizabeth Orchard. The average cost of each visit (including purchase of supplements) so far is about S$250. The Harmony blood test was about S$700. We are about midway through the 2nd...

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Allocated Astrea V Bonds and Stopped Maybank Kim Eng MIP

There’s been a lot of online commentary about the Astrea V 3.85% Private Equity Bonds so I’m not going to be analysing them here. Last year in Jun 2018, I subscribed to and was allocated S$4,000 of Astrea IV 4.35% Private Equity Bonds. Since the interest rate is lower this time round, I only subscribed to and was allocated S$2,000 of Astrea V 3.85% Private Equity Bonds. This is an interesting investment type and I reckon it’s worth allocating some funds to it. Besides, the fixed income investment proportion of my portfolio is low so I generally try to...

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Back in Singapore and more

I’m back in Singapore from my holiday to Greece (Europe). It was fun, exciting and probably the last long trip I will be on for a while. There’s a personal update on this but I’m just going to hold out on this for now. At least until I sort out my work situation. Actually, I have an update on that too. While on the last leg of my trip, I had a job alert on LinkedIn for a role in a subsidiary within my banking group. The scope involves 50% of what I am currently doing and the other...

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2 weeks of block leave and robo investing

I will be off from work on block leave from today for 2 weeks. Will be flying off to Greece tonight for a holiday. I have been looking forward to this for a while and hope it gives me time to clear my mind. And figure out what I want to do with my current work situation. Although additional resources have not been diverted into my team to help out, the situation remains dire. Let’s see if it improves when I’m not there. The threat of new tariffs has escalated the trade war between the US and China. Consequently,...

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Having a tough time at work

Work has been weighing on me for the past few weeks. It was already a difficult time leading up to getting my bonus and pay rise in March. After that, things have gotten even worse and each week has been tougher to get through. I know the reason for this. It’s because I’m being developed and pushed upward for a more senior position eventually. While I can logically understand the basis of my suffering at work from an objective perspective. I’m not going to lie. I feel like quitting. It seems like my learning curve has gotten even steeper...

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Lowering the amount we invest per month

This is a short update on my reaction to the equity markets climbing significantly in the recent weeks. I have lowered the amount we invest per month into the following: Maybank Kim Eng Monthly Investment Plan – S$700 OCBC Blue Chip Investment Plan – S$600 POSB Invest Saver – S$300 StashAway – S$600 Smartly – S$300 It adds up to S$2,500 now and used to be about S$4,500. While I practise Dollar-Cost Averaging (DCA) – no market timing, I also apply Value Averaging (VA) – some market timing. I can always increase the amount we invest per month when...

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Got my letter this week

This is perhaps one of the most exciting things to look forward to for a corporate employee. The time when you have completed your performance review for the previous year and are waiting for your remuneration outcome in the current year i.e. percentage increase in annual salary and number of months of bonus. This can vary widely across different industries and between jobs in the same industry. It really depends on what your role is within the organisation. In my case, I work in a support function within a local bank. While the hours and workload are more manageable,...

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Housing loan interest rate upward adjustment

We received a letter from our bank informing us of an upcoming upward interest rate adjustment of our housing loan from 1.8% to 2.5%. Our monthly home loan instalment should be going up from S$3,300 to S$3,500. We took out a housing loan of S$750,000 about 8 years ago and the mortgage has gone down to S$585,000 currently. It’s a quick snapshot of our debt situation. While I’m not going to justify our decision to purchase a Private Condo over an Exec Condo, Resale Flat and BTO Flat, the high level of debt we carry has been a persistent...

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Why do we invest with robo-advisors

I have a younger colleague who started investing with Smartly and StashAway (Singapore robo-advisors) about the same time as my wife and I back in 2017. She invested a lump sum of about S$1,000 with each of them and didn’t contribute any further cash funds into her accounts. To date, my colleague’s account returns are negative and she doesn’t understand why that’s the case. She’s now turned off investing with Singapore robo-advisors and recommends against them with our other colleagues. I have another older colleague who heard about Smartly and StashAway but didn’t invest with these Singapore robo-advisors because...

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Refocus on Smartly and StashAway

Given how much my wife and I are investing into our Smartly and StashAway Singapore Robo-Advisor Accounts, I’m surprised by how little I write about their performance. And I don’t show a summary of our Smartly and StashAway portfolio values on my blog as well. I try to include the values of the US ETFs purchased in our Smartly and StashAway accounts in the StocksCafe Portfolio. Which is actually shown on one of my blog pages. But I guess it’s better for me to start having dedicated blog pages to Smartly and StashAway since I have always been a...

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Happy CNY 2019

Happy CNY 2019 to everyone! It’s a time of celebration and I’m looking forward to the public holidays next Tues & Wed it’s a half day for me tomorrow. It’s nice to have some time off from work. I’m just in a cruising mood now as my performance review is finishing and I will be waiting for my remuneration outcome to be released in Mar 2019. To be honest, I have been thinking about leaving my current job role at the bank. Either to try another job role at the same bank or to go elsewhere to a...

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Investing my wife’s bonus and more

My wife’s annual performance bonus was credited this month and it was just in time for the recent market dip. The fall in equity markets has been significant and this is what we have been waiting for. Which is why we should be investing the entire amount of my wife’s bonus (maybe more) into the equity markets. This is in the form of bigger manual investments in the Vanguard LSE-listed ETFs on our Stan Chart Online Equity Trading Platforms and increased automatic investments in bank/brokerage monthly investment plans & Smartly & StashAway robo-advisors. Especially in the past week and...

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