Singvestor's awakening

Where are you and where are you going?
singvestor
Posts: 157
Joined: Tue Jul 21, 2015 12:48 am

Monthly update #48: June 2019

Post by singvestor »

4 Years anniversary on the ERE forum, but still not retired :(

Looking back:


Monthly update #1, July 2015: Portfolio: SGD 62,683 (~USD 47,000)
Monthly update #48, June 2019: Portfolio: SGD 407,823 (~USD 301,000)

Total income after tax 2015: SGD 126,930
Total income after tax 2019 (est): SGD 171,000

Financially things are going into the right direction.

monthly goal review:


- 20 days no alcohol:
failed: 16 days (!) Need to pull myself together in June
- 12 times sports: achieved: 13 times

So many work events and stress.
June expense report

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Expenses were a lot more reasonable in June. I still spend way too much, but at least things are getting better. The spending is nearly all on luxuries, especially the eating out portion is insane. I had visitors for whom I bought nice meals and I also traveled a bit for fun.

ERE Scorecard

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Official saving rate in June was 61%. Did not even spend all the rest, but used it to buffer for some further expenses later.


Portfolio update

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Portfolio increased by SGD 18,745 to SGD 407,823 (~USD 301,000). Fresh investments of SGD 6,593 and a gain of SGD 12,152 countributed.

This is the first time (and probably not the last time) that my little portfolio surpasses the SGD 400k and the USD 300k mark.

Investments vs. plan


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I invested SGD 6,593 into my portfolio which was a bit more than planned (SGD 6,200).

Dividends received


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SGD 591

Hypothetical monthly income


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SGD 1,359.


Outlook

June was tough. A lot of activities planned for July - I am looking very forward. Also in July my salary increase should take effect, but better not count my chickens before they hatch.

singvestor
Posts: 157
Joined: Tue Jul 21, 2015 12:48 am

Re: Singvestor's awakening

Post by singvestor »

Thanks Bigato! Shocking to see how much I spent on eating out...

singvestor
Posts: 157
Joined: Tue Jul 21, 2015 12:48 am

Monthly update #49: July 2019

Post by singvestor »

monthly goal review:

- 20 days no alcohol: achieved: 21 days
- 12 times sports: achieved: 13 times

Finally a month where I meet my goals.

July expense report

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By Bigato’s request sorted by expense :)

July expenses were insane.

Notable points:

Yearly car tax payment was due and petrol spending was a bit higher, thanks to a long drive to a family reunion.

Spend a lot of money on gifts. Both my parents had birthdays and I gave them nice presents. Got a bigger salary payment than usual, as my employer decided to pay out my salary increase retroactively for first of Jan, so I added some funds to the savings for my godson (he is 2 and will receive the lump sum at age 18). Also donated some money.

Groceries / eating out / bars was high, because I had friends to entertain.

This should hopefully be an outlier month. Overall trend of expenses is still below last year.

ERE Scorecard

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Saving rate in July was 56%.

Portfolio update

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Portfolio increased by SGD 9,573 to SGD 417,396 (~USD 302,000). Fresh investments of SGD 10,296 were offset by a small loss of SGD 723.

Portfolio allocation:

Have been buying a few REITs for diversification. Dividends / distributions paid out in Singapore are tax free for me, thanks to a complicated expat tax scheme I am on. Thus it is an attractive option.

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Investments vs. plan

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I invested SGD 10,296 into my portfolio which was more than planned (SGD 8,500). Reason for this was my high salary for the month. Surprisingly I got a nice salary increase, which should mean that I can invest more than planned while avoiding lifestyle creep. So far I am ahead of the plan.

Dividends received

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SGD 2,383.

Hypothetical monthly income

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SGD 1,391.

Outlook

August is packed with activities and spending time with friends. Also I am getting more visitors, so strong discipline for sports program is a must!

singvestor
Posts: 157
Joined: Tue Jul 21, 2015 12:48 am

Monthly update #50: August 2019

Post by singvestor »

Oh man, so late... But I have to keep going with the journal!

monthly goal review:

- 20 days no alcohol: achieved: 21 days
- 12 times sports: achieved: 12 times

Goals met for the second time in a row - yay

August expense report

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August spending was too high.

ERE Scorecard


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Saving rate in August was 87%. The figure is artificially high, since I had some cash lying around from previous months. Decided to buy some BASF stock with it once it dipped below EUR 57.

Portfolio update


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Portfolio increased by SGD 4,456 to SGD 421,852 (~USD 305,000). Fresh investments of SGD 10,969 were offset by a loss of SGD 6,513.

Investments vs. plan

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I invested SGD 10,969 into my portfolio which was more than planned (SGD 6,300).

Dividends received


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SGD 247.

Hypothetical monthly income

SGD 1,406.

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Outlook / Life update

My Europe contract got renewed for two additional years, meaning that I can stay here until my 40th birthday March 2022 on expat terms. This of course is excellent, because of the gravy train situation.

A promotion might also happen - fingers crossed.

singvestor
Posts: 157
Joined: Tue Jul 21, 2015 12:48 am

Monthly update #51: September 2019

Post by singvestor »

monthly goal review:

- 20 days no alcohol: failed: 18 days
- 12 times sports: failed: 9 times

It was a hard month somehow. I did not manage to stick to my goals and promptly gained 1.5 kg

September expense report

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Just as depressing as my lack of sports: spent a lot of money this month. Notable spending was travel with a lot of air tickets and hotels, for family meetings and an upcoming holiday. Utilities were high, because of the semi-annual water bill. Oh man.

Had to buy some clothes, as I got feedback for dressing too casually at work.

Average spending for this year is still below last year, but this is only a small plus.

ERE Scorecard

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Saving rate in September was just 56%. Year-to-date saving rate is sitting at 65%. Not bad, but with my income, free apartment and food vouchers, a saving rate of 80% should be easily achievable.

Portfolio update

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Portfolio increased by SGD 12,256 to SGD 434,108 (~USD 314,800). Fresh investments of SGD 6,720 and gains of SGD 5,536 contributed.

Investments vs. plan

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I invested SGD 6,720 into my portfolio which was more than planned (SGD 6,300).

Dividends received

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SGD 420.

Hypothetical monthly income

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SGD 1,447.

Upcoming milestones:


SGD 1,520 = EUR 1,000
SGD 1,943 = EUR 1,280 -> This is the amount a German person would get pension when working 45 years without interruption and always earning the average German salary.

Outlook / Life update

Got the promotion, crazy. First time in my life I feel like I have a big job.

Salary review next year should lead to a good increase, feels surreal.

2Birds1Stone
Posts: 1229
Joined: Thu Nov 19, 2015 11:20 am
Location: Earth

Re: Singvestor's awakening

Post by 2Birds1Stone »

What do your colleagues consider as "too casually"? Genuinely curious how this compares vs the USA.

singvestor
Posts: 157
Joined: Tue Jul 21, 2015 12:48 am

Re: Singvestor's awakening

Post by singvestor »

Many of my colleagues wear suits.

At the minimum I am supposed to be wearing 100% wool business pants, dress shoes and business shirts.

The outfit that inspired my boss' feedback was a white tailored shirt, a pair of very dark jeans, dress shoes and a cardigan looking like this: https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com ... L1500_.jpg

The weird thing is that none of us will ever see a customer in the office. I just walk from my office to the coffee machine or to offices of my team members.

singvestor
Posts: 157
Joined: Tue Jul 21, 2015 12:48 am

Monthly update #52: October 2019

Post by singvestor »

monthly goal review:

- 20 days no alcohol: achieved: 20 days
- 12 times sports: achieved: 12 times

Not easy, but I am glad I managed.

October expense report

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Spent so much money on eating out, because of having to entertain colleagues and visitors in my free time at work. Gift spending is high, but I do not regret that at all, since it was for my parents. Also made some small donations.

Travel spending is high, since I booked a trip to South Africa in November. Found a Polish online store that sells contact lenses cheaply and bought a year’s worth of daily disposables.

Car was a money pit as usual. I drive a cheap econo hatchback paid in cash, but insurance, parking, gas is a lot. Was given a designated parking lot with my promotion and it gives me a feeling of frugal satisfaction to park my little car between all the Mercedes and BMWs.

Had a major private crisis in October and saving money was less a priority. Things have somewhat stabilized now.

ERE Scorecard

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Saving rate in October was just 59%. Year-to-date saving rate is sitting at 65%.

I could so easily save more money, have to work harder.

Portfolio update

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Portfolio increased by SGD 11,969 to SGD 446,077 (~USD 328,300). Fresh investments of SGD 8,433 and gains of SGD 3,536 contributed.

Investments vs. plan

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I invested SGD 8,433 into my portfolio which was more than planned (SGD 8,300).

I exceeded my goal for the full year already. My plan was to invest SGD 100,000 in 2019, so far I have invested SGD 101,762. Not bad.

Dividends received

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SGD 2,781. - October is always the best dividend month for me.

Hypothetical monthly income

SGD 1,487
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Outlook

Life is hard at the moment. Hard to focus on finances in the midst of all issues.

singvestor
Posts: 157
Joined: Tue Jul 21, 2015 12:48 am

Monthly update #53: November 2019

Post by singvestor »

monthly goal review:

- 20 days no alcohol: failed: 13 times
- 12 times sports: failed: 10 times

Was on a two week trip, had dinners, dinks and little sport…

November was a true nightmare for me on the personal front. October and November was horrible, but I see improvement on the horizon.

November expense report

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November was another expensive month unfortunately. Travel was not cheap, as I went on a trip with the parents.

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The yearly expenses show a deteriorating picture in the second half of the year. It shows how I lost discipline in the second half.

ERE Scorecard

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Saving rate in October was just 55%. Year-to-date saving rate is 64%.

I wasted so much money this year, but hope to come out lower than last year.

Portfolio update

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Portfolio increased by SGD 10,348 to SGD 456,425 (~USD 335,600). Fresh investments of SGD 6,464 and gains of SGD 3,884 contributed.

In Euro terms my portfolio sits at roughly EUR 303,000 so I have managed to hit DutchgirlFI levels - unfortunately without the house :)

Investments vs. plan

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I invested SGD 6,464 into my portfolio which was more than planned (SGD 6,300).

Dividends received

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SGD 222.

Hypothetical monthly income

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SGD 1,521.

Outlook

Personal life a bit in a mess, but can only get better.

Viktor K
Posts: 498
Joined: Sat Jul 30, 2016 9:45 pm
Location: Chicago
Contact:

Re: Singvestor's awakening

Post by Viktor K »

Wishing you the best Singvestor

singvestor
Posts: 157
Joined: Tue Jul 21, 2015 12:48 am

Re: Singvestor's awakening

Post by singvestor »

Thanks for the kind message Viktor!

singvestor
Posts: 157
Joined: Tue Jul 21, 2015 12:48 am

Monthly update #54: December 2019 and Full Year

Post by singvestor »

Oh man what a year...

Worst things first, December monthly review:

- 20 days no alcohol: failed 16
- 12 times sport: failed 8

Now onto the yearly review

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Investment vs. goal

At the beginning of 2019 I had decided to save up SGD 100,000 during the year. Managed it this time and invested SGD 114,686.

I am glad I did not succumb to lifestyle inflation too much and managed to save more money as my income increased.

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Dividends received

Despite the fact that quite a large part of As usual I created a waterfall chart to celebrate the end of the year.

My portfolio is in accumulating ETFs (to optimize tax), I still received quite some dividends from my Singaporean holdings. SGD 9,562 - nice.

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Where did all the money go?

These charts are my favorite ones… For years I have been tracking my finances, but 2019 finally saw some improvement. The saving rate increased from 56% to 63%. My income increased and I also managed to spend less in absolute terms.

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Development of saving rate over time:

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As shown in the chart above, the saving rate increased nicely over the years.

Tracking a whole year of spending money

Last December I had announced my goal to track spending money for a whole year. I am glad I managed! It was quite a hassle, but I am glad I did it. Here is the result:

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Monthly spending varied greatly. Best months were June and April, where I was rather disciplined.

(Figure does not tally exactly with the one above, because of exchange rate issues)

Notable points:

I spent a crazy amount on travel for my wife and myself. The amount is quite mind boggling. 28% of my total expenses! Will try to do more roadtrips in Europe this year.

Still on the bright side I spent less money than last year.

Outlook 2020

Will soon plan my goals for 2020, but one thing is clear: money is more or less on autopilot and will lead to early retirement at some point. I have to focus on relationships, health and exercise and becoming a better person.

As far as financial markets are concerned, I would not be surprised if there was a major downturn event in 2020. What do you think?

singvestor
Posts: 157
Joined: Tue Jul 21, 2015 12:48 am

Monthly update #55: January 2020

Post by singvestor »

- 20 days no alcohol: achieved: 26 times
- 12 times sports: failed: 11 times

January expense report

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In January I spent EUR 627 on stuff, including EUR 388 on clothes. This is an atypical month, as I bought clothes for the year during the winter sale period.

ERE Scorecard

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Saving rate in January was just 58%. Not exactly great, but it is bound to increase. The salary increase from my recent promotion will come soon and I am also getting back some exchange rate losses from the company.

Would be happy about a saving rate >70% in 2020.

Portfolio update

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In Janury portfolio decreased by SGD 3,533 to SGD 472,457 (~USD 337,000). Fresh investments of SGD 7,331 were offset by paper losses of SGD 10,864.

Investments vs. plan

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I invested SGD 7,331 into my portfolio which was slightly more than planned (SGD 7,200).

Dividends received

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SGD 1,375.

Hypothetical monthly income

SGD 1,575.

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Outlook


New job after promotion is challenging but exhausting. I rather have it than the drudgery before, so I cannot complain. Personal life remains a bit chaotic, but things should be better soon.

Corona virus seems pretty drastic back in Asia Pacific. I worry about my Chinese / Asian friends. Not so much because of the virus, but because of the side effects of being grounded at home and the economic implications.

singvestor
Posts: 157
Joined: Tue Jul 21, 2015 12:48 am

Monthly update #56: February 2020

Post by singvestor »

monthly goal review:

- 20 days no alcohol: failed: 19 times
- 12 times sports: failed: 11 times

It was quite close...


February expense report

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Spending remained high at SGD 4,161. Travel was the largest contributor, but also I spend too much money on eating out. I bought some more clothes, but will stop now, as the sales season is finished. The clothes were basic timeless office stuff, since I was told to dress better after my promotion. It makes no sense, as I never see customers and spend my days in the office.

ERE Scorecard

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Saving rate in February was again only 58%. Not ideal.

Portfolio update

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In February my portfolio increased slightly by SGD 1,243 to SGD 473,700 (~USD 340,000). Fresh investments of SGD 7,813 were offset by paper losses of SGD 6,570.

The last few days in February saw a steep drop in the markets because of the Corona virus.

Investments vs. plan

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I invested SGD 7,813 into my portfolio which was a lot more than planned (SGD 6,600).

This is because I received nearly EUR 2,000 to compensate for exchange rate losses last year. Seems like an overly generous policy. I did not invest all of it, but increased my emergency fund a bit. I am supposed to receive a salary increase for my promotion, but it has not been calculated yet.

Dividends received

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SGD 255

Hypothetical monthly income

SGD 1,579.


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Outlook

Year does not seem pretty. Numbers of my company are bad, but my job is secure. My personal impression is that Corona effect will be temporary, but some sectors of the European industry, e.g. German automotive still look bleak.

ertyu
Posts: 1511
Joined: Sun Nov 13, 2016 2:31 am

Re: Singvestor's awakening

Post by ertyu »

I still maintain you should count, "succeeded 1 time" instead of "failed 19 times"

Viktor K
Posts: 498
Joined: Sat Jul 30, 2016 9:45 pm
Location: Chicago
Contact:

Re: Singvestor's awakening

Post by Viktor K »

ertyu wrote:
Sun Mar 01, 2020 1:48 pm
I still maintain you should count, "succeeded 1 time" instead of "failed 19 times"
Yes, lol.

I ate out as well a lot this month. Every weekend...nearby restaurants so good.

singvestor
Posts: 157
Joined: Tue Jul 21, 2015 12:48 am

Re: Singvestor's awakening

Post by singvestor »

Ertyu and Viktor you are right!

My post is misleading. I managed 19 days no alcohol, 20 was the goal. Exercised 11 times, 12 was the goal. So not as bad as it sounds haha

singvestor
Posts: 157
Joined: Tue Jul 21, 2015 12:48 am

Monthly update #57: March 2020

Post by singvestor »

monthly goal review:

- 20 days no alcohol achieved: 21 days
- 12 times sports: achieved: 14 times

It went quite well, but things are easier when one is locked in the house, because of Covid-19.

March expense report

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Spending was down a bit at SGD 3,704. Most of the month I spent locked down at home, as our office shut down and we have to work from home without leaving the house. This resulted in higher groceries spending, since I had to buy quite a bit of food to stay at home and not eat out.

At the beginning of the month I bought a trip to Spain which I had to cancel and was cancelled anyway by the airline. Refunds are not possible as the airline refuses and is nearly bankrupt.

I guess spending will be down further in April. I do not need to buy much except groceries.

Portfolio update

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In March my portfolio heavily decreased heavily from SGD 473,700 by SGD -36,632 to SGD 434,068 (~USD 303,065). I invested SGD 7,356, but experienced huge devaluation of the portfolio by a whopping SGD -46,988.

Investments vs. plan

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I invested SGD 7,356 into my portfolio which was a lot more than planned (SGD 6,700).
Saving rate in March was 60%.

The big portfolio restructuring

In the middle of March I decided to sell down my bond holdings and dramatically reduced my cash positions. I sold around USD 50,000 to buy into stocks which I perceived to be on sale. No risk no fun :)

Portfolio allocation

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Too heavy on picked stocks, because of “bargain hunting”. More REITs as well… Future contributions will go into stock index funds and then again into bonds once the market has rebounded.

Dividends received

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SGD 323

Hypothetical monthly income

SGD 1,447.

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Outlook

Last time I wrote that my job was safe… That might have been a hasty assumption. The business is tanking fast and hard. My only hope is that we will have a V shape recovery which seems less likely every day. Possible outcomes for me include:

- Being sent back home to Singapore to end my expensive expat assignment before the end of the year (Likelihood 30%)
- Being placed on short working hours, forced leave (Likelihood 80%)
- Being made redundant with a package (Likelihood 5%)

All in all I am optimistic that I will survive, being in the head office and connected to some current projects. I am working quite hard and trying to tap into some hot topics to pretend that my work is relevant in this crisis (which it obviously isn’t)

singvestor
Posts: 157
Joined: Tue Jul 21, 2015 12:48 am

Monthly update #58: April 2020

Post by singvestor »

monthly goal review:

- 20 days no alcohol: failed 18 days
- 12 times sports: achieved: 18 times

Exceeded the sport target, but missed the no-alcohol target by two days. I feel good about the sports, which was mainly done from home - bodyweight workouts with dumbbells and so on.

April expense report

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Spending decreased further to SGD 2,653. Unfortunately I spent quite a lot of money on stuff and grocery expenses were also high, as we cooked all our meals at home. Also I bought craft beer and other expensive stuff as part of the groceries budget. The actual grocery spending was much higher, as we used our company meal vouchers as well.

Covid-19 makes money saving easy, as we cannot do anything but stay home or exercise by ourselves outside in nature, so spending is lower than last year.

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Saving rate

The Saving rate in April was 84%, because I got paid my yearly bonus which I invested.

Portfolio update

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In April my portfolio heavily increased from SGD 434,068 to SGD 485,422. I invested SGD 24,181 and capital gains of SGD 27,173 made up the rest.

The 12 month view is interesting - during the accumulation phase downturns do not have such a big effect.

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I do not understand the market, it seems crazy to me. So far my gamble to shift USD 50,000 from cash and bonds to stocks seems to be paying off, but who knows. Why the stock market is performing so well in a crumbling economy beats me… Who knows if it will go up or crash again.

The main chart shows nicely how I am crawling towards early retirement

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Investments vs. plan

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I invested SGD 24,181 into my portfolio which was less than planned (SGD 26,000).

My bonus this year was the lowest in eight years and about half of last year. Still I won’t complain, I am lucky to get a bonus at all.

Portfolio allocation

This month I bought a chunk of bonds back, as stocks are not as cheap anymore. Still I bought some more stock index funds, to get back to the target allocation.

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Am holding quite a lot of industrial and healthcare REITs. Normally I am not a big fan of REITs, but the prices mid March were very attractive to me, so I went “bargain hunting” using cash and proceeds from selling bonds.

Dividends received

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SGD 1,399

Hypothetical monthly income


SGD 1,618 - for the first time over EUR 1,000! Hooray :)

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Outlook

My employer is an old and normally financially strong company, but the business has been suffering with my division being the worst affected. I would not be surprised if some tough changes are coming.

While my life has a lot of chaos and worries, I have total peace of mind with regards to money. Can easily survive off my savings for 10 years. If things get rough, I could of course also live for 15 years without working by using a full ERE approach. My wife is still working in a hot field and will most likely not get retrenched. Feeling rather lucky overall.

User avatar
Stahlmann
Posts: 908
Joined: Fri Sep 02, 2016 6:05 pm

Re: Singvestor's awakening

Post by Stahlmann »

so we're on daycare center with tax evasion group and addiction support :-DDD ?

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