Singvestor's awakening

Where are you and where are you going?
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singvestor
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Monthly update #20: February 2017

Post by singvestor » Sun Mar 05, 2017 12:03 am

February 2017 Goal review:
  • 21+ days without alcohol: miserably failed (only 16 times)
  • 12+ days sport: failed (9 times)
I had a lot of business dinners and visitors from Europe, but this should not be an excuse. Missing the sport goal is also unacceptable.
In February I had a business trip to Europe which was fun. I also traveled to Vietnam where I cheaply got three suits tailored that will serve me very well in my next job.

ERE Scorecard February

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Saving rate was just 30.2% as I need to buffer cash for unexpected moving costs and taxes.
This idea proved prudent, as the HR person told me in passing that the company would withhold my last salary before the move to settle taxes.

Portfolio update

My portfolio increased by SGD 4,244 or 2.3% to SGD 185,542 (= USD 131,900). This increase consisted of capital gains of SGD 1,711 and fresh investments of SGD 2,533.

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Investment vs. Plan

In January I invested SGD 2,533, just a bit shy of my SGD 2,800 goal.

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Dividends received
My holdings paid out SGD 276 in February.

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Hypothetical monthly income at 4% WR

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SGD 618.

Coast FI age

If I suddenly decided to stop investing, when would I be able to retire based on growth of current portfolio? Assumptions: 6% annual portfolio growth, 2% inflation. February result: I can retire at age 83...

Financial implications of the new assignment in Europe

I got a new job as international assignment to Europe. This has some financial implications:

Positive implications
- Higher net salary (+5%)
- Rental covered by company (savings of SGD 33,600/USD 23,800) per year
- Some cash payments and reimbursements related to the move
- Generous flight budget for home leave (which can be used for any private travel)
- Small cash payment and education budget for my partner
- Lower cost of living
- Tax equalization

Negative implications
- Need to buy a (used) car as the office is in a remote location out of town (but company will cover a good part of the depreciation when delegation ends)
- Needed to buy suits and formal clothes
- Girlfriend has to find a new job

Overall the new job is very positive for my ERE plans. A significant boost in savings rate can be expected. 50% should be easy but 60-70% would be better. Flight budget and rent free living eliminate my two biggest expenses which is nice.
The assignment will take 3 years and will be a good base for my eventual retirement.

Outlook:

I have about three weeks left in Singapore. It seems surreal, to say the least!

I will miss the weather and cheap food. Exhibit A from this morning: a huge plate of noodles with lots of goodies which the girlfriend and I shared for just USD 2.60! Apart from housing Singapore can be a cheap place to live.

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BRUTE
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Re: Singvestor's awakening

Post by BRUTE » Sun Mar 05, 2017 10:49 am

awesome, brute congratulates singvestor on the new position :) does he care to reveal what part of Europe he's going to?
taking almost $25,000 off the cost of living will be amazing. and to be honest, brute is a bit jealous of singvestor's ability to just hop over to Vietnam and get suits tailored on the cheap.

the hypothetical monthly payout is also slowly approaching numbers where many humans could actually live off of them indefinitely. maybe not in Singapore, but certainly in Thailand.

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Re: Singvestor's awakening

Post by Solvent » Sun Apr 02, 2017 8:02 am

Hi Singvestor, just read through much of your journal. I should've followed it earlier, since I feel we're similar in a few ways. I'm also an expat (but I came to Europe from the Asia-Pacific), similar age, and one of my spending weaknesses is certainly travel.

I look forward to hearing how you go readjusting back to Europe after Singapore.
I must say, the few times I've been to Singapore I've found the humidity oppressive. I'm OK with heat, I'm OK with some humidity, but the times I've been to Singapore it's been the most intense I've experienced. It's right on the equator, and all sea level, I guess.

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singvestor
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Monthly update #21: March 2017

Post by singvestor » Fri Apr 14, 2017 7:39 am

Moving to another continent has been pretty overwhelming, even though it is Europe, my original home. This is why the update is so late.

I am settling in well in the new country (will not say which for now, as it is a tiny country) and so far enjoy the experience. It feels very weird to suddenly live in a luxury apartment in the city center, even though it is paid for by the company. Work is very different from fast-paced Asia and I was surprised to see that I have 33 days of paid vacation days a year. Not bad!

The experience of a new job, intense logistics, foreign language and new lifestyle has been intense to the say the least, but also fun.

March 2017 Goal review:
  • 21+ days without alcohol: miserably failed (only 16 times)
  • 12+ days sport: achieved (12 times)
ERE Scorecard March

Image

Saving rate was negative as I spent money but did not earn any, as the company withheld my pay to settle taxes.
I have to fix this chart as soon as the final tax calculation is in.

Portfolio update
My portfolio increased by SGD 2,888 or 1.6% to SGD 188,430 (= USD 134,228).


Image

Investment vs. Plan

In March I did not invest anything. This was the first time in 26 months that I missed my target! Things should get better soon!

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Dividends received

My holdings paid out SGD 378 in March which are still waiting in my account to be reinvested.

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Hypothetical monthly income at 4% WR

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SGD 628.

Coast FI age

If I suddenly decided to stop investing, when would I be able to retire based on growth of current portfolio? Assumptions: 6% annual portfolio growth, 2% inflation. March result: I can retire at age 83...

Outlook:

April is the last month where I have to spend a lot of money, since I need to buy a car as the office is in a village out of town. Seeing the fancy German cars that my colleagues immediately bought (some even bought 2!) when landing here I must admit that for a short while I was tempted. Fortunately, I realized during a boring meeting at work that the EUR 10,000 difference between a “nice” car and a small Toyota are better invested. So a compact Toyota it is going to be!

Sport and alcohol reduction is going well, since I do not know many people and am using sport to reduce stress.

After April I can double down on my saving and investing. With fixed costs drastically reduced I can really start investing and accelerate the ERE progress.

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BRUTE
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Re: Singvestor's awakening

Post by BRUTE » Fri Apr 14, 2017 5:42 pm

how far is the office from Singvestor's home? brute heard Europe is pretty small, so maybe Singvestor could bicycle to work. if sufficiently athleticism/bicycle terminology is displayed, it can give the impression of being a disciplined athlete vs. a cheapskate ;)

net worth close to 200k, sweet! that hypothetical monthly passive income is approaching "actually able to live off of" levels.

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singvestor
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Monthly update #22: March 2017

Post by singvestor » Sun May 07, 2017 4:34 am

Let’s get it out of the way:

Monthly goal review:
  • 20+ days no alcohol: failed (19 times)
  • 12+ days sport: shamefully failed (only 6)
Life & work situation

Moving to another continent is a very effective way to turn one’s life upside down. I can recommend it for those who are feeling bored. New job: turned out to be a step down in responsibilities and interestingness compared to previous job in Asia. At the same time, it is much better paid and comes with great perks, allowing me to reach FI faster.

ERE Scorecard

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Saving rate <10%? What happened?

Currently investments are trailing the plan in a spectacular fashion. The main reason is that I had to pay for my own business class flights, rental car, temporary accommodation and many more items out of pocket, which will now be reimbursed slowly. The only bright spot in the predicament are the airline miles I can rack up on my credit card.

I have always paid the card in full after every transaction and well before the statement, as I hate the feeling of owing money. The disadvantage is that I am obviously a free financing facility for my company.

Portfolio update

In April my portfolio increased by SGD 1,437 or 0.8% to SGD 189,867 (USD 135,000). This was only a market gain since I did not invest a single cent. Hopefully things stabilize and all my claims get reimbursed soon.

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Monthly investment vs. plan

Another zero investment month, but the last one I believe.

Dividends received

In April I received SGD 855 in dividends which are waiting for re-investment.

Hypothetical monthly income

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SGD 633.

Coast FI age

If I suddenly decided to stop investing, when would I be able to retire based on growth of current portfolio? Assumptions: 6% annual portfolio growth, 2% inflation. April result: I can retire at age 81...

2017 plan re-visited

At the beginning of the year I planned to invest SGD 53,000, but had a very messy first 4 months. Now it is time to right the ship and plan how to reach this goal:

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Overall this plan should be very achievable if no major disasters occur. Right now I can see some significant upside potential, but reaching the previous goal of SGD 53,000 is the absolute minimum.

Car purchase

I bought a lightly used small car for a relatively cheap price (EUR 12,500). Owning a car is horrible and feels like a step back in mobility. I never had to have a car before and I find it to be quite a burden. Company is paying for some of the taxes and will compensate some of the depreciation once I end my contract in Europe.

The office is “only” 15-20 km away from my house so bike commuting on some days is an option. While most of my colleagues spend their money on expensive cars I have already spotted 1-2 fellow oddballs who came into work full of mud and in biking gear.
I estimate that I would be able to sell it for around EUR 7,000 in 3 years and would get about EUR 1,000 depreciation assistance from the company. That would lead to the following cost estimate over 3 years:

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Cars are a stupid means of personal transportation. In Singapore I used to pay about SGD 70 / EUR 50 a month for public transport. What annoys me the most is the fact that they are horribly inefficient and stand around unused for most of their lives. Private car ownership is a terrible waste.

Obviously the cost needs to come down as much as possible. My approach will be:

1) Take the bike to work occasionally. At least 2 times a week during summer. Added fitness and happiness bonus.
2) No short errands with the car, use bicycle and walking for those
3) Try to lower parking costs

The best option would be carpooling with my colleagues, but I am feeling very antisocial in the mornings. Stupid excuse, I know.

Outlook

Obviously the plan has many upsides for 2017. My feeling is that I will be able to save more than planned.
I have however taken some risks and bet on some opportunities. The biggest bets are non-monetary though. This week minimalist girlfriend and I will get married (visa issues accelerating our vague plans) and she will give up her job in Singapore to move to Europe with me. Her plan is to find a job, which would be an upside in my plans.

You will be pleased to hear that the “wedding” is true ERE style with costs < USD 200, but I am afraid a (cheap but stressful) party in China will be necessary in the near future.
Last edited by singvestor on Mon May 08, 2017 10:10 am, edited 1 time in total.

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BRUTE
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Re: Singvestor's awakening

Post by BRUTE » Sun May 07, 2017 11:01 am

whoa, so many changes for singvestor. or is it eurovestor now?

definitely sounds like carpooling and biking are good ideas. then again, sometimes humans need a little privacy and creature comforts or they get edgy.

Singapore probably has one of the best public transport systems in the world, at least from what brute has seen. it's also pretty small and everything's close together and brand new. so singvestor shouldn't expect to get that level of public transport anywhere else in the world.

is it possible for singvestor to get a company credit card? paying many thousands of dollars out of pocket for the company is really not common in brute's experience. singvestor can still enter his own miles reward numbers when booking flights to rack up the rewards.

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singvestor
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Monthly update #23: May 2017

Post by singvestor » Thu Jun 08, 2017 2:40 pm

Worst things first:

Monthly goal review:
  • 20+ days no alcohol: failed (17 times)
  • 12+ days sport: shamefully failed (only 6)
I finally have to reboot the sport program. Things have to improve.

Life & work situation

To be completely honest with you I feel my new job is not a good fit. But then I get paid tremendous amounts and benefits for doing really dull stuff and the colleagues/boss are friendly. I am often desperate about how little stimulation my job offers. Adjusting to working back to Europe is a struggle after a decade in Asia. I am trying to make the most of it, be in the moment and enjoy the nice parts. Adjusting to living back in Europe is a breeze. I really enjoy having a fantastic cheese selection and sitting on pavement cafes sipping beers (see also monthly alcohol target failure). So much music and other cultural offerings to take in, huge improvement over Singapore in this regard.

ERE Scorecard

In May I saved 59% of my income. Things are bound to improve now, as most startup costs of the new life are paid and I can reap the benefits of free housing etc.

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Portfolio update

In May my portfolio increased by SGD 9,922 or 5.2% to SGD 199,789 (=USD 144,627). This gain was made up of capital gains of SGD 3,930 and SGD 5,992 of fresh investments.

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Monthly investment vs. plan

I invested SGD 5,992 which is slightly higher than the updated plan.

This time I chose to buy some more bonds as stocks seemed pricy and I still had room in my asset allocation. Current yields of around 4.3% for the iShares J.P. Morgan USD Asia Credit Bond Index feel attractive.

I know that timing the market is pointless, but cannot help feeling European and US stocks are really expensive right now. I stick to my asset allocation and there is still room for a few more bonds.

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Dividends received

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In May I did not receive any dividends.

Hypothetical monthly income

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SGD 666! Next year at this time it should be in the 4 digit range.

Coast FI age

If I suddenly decided to stop investing, when would I be able to retire based on growth of current portfolio? Assumptions: 6% annual portfolio growth, 2% inflation. May result: I can retire at age 81...

Outlook

Back on track, full steam ahead.

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singvestor
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Re: Singvestor's awakening

Post by singvestor » Thu Jun 08, 2017 2:58 pm

I realise I forgot to reply to Brute's question. Company credit cards are the norm in my company as well, but unfortunately not available in my current home country/company. Very weird indeed.

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BRUTE
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Re: Singvestor's awakening

Post by BRUTE » Thu Jun 08, 2017 9:47 pm

SGD 199,789
so. close.

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Viktor K
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Re: Singvestor's awakening

Post by Viktor K » Thu Jun 08, 2017 11:36 pm

Hello fellow Commander (ENTJ) and Asianite! I have re-found your journal and am catching up. With work being a bit easier/slower, maybe a hobby is in order? Also I really dig your update format, very clear and informative

MDFIRE2024
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Re: Singvestor's awakening

Post by MDFIRE2024 » Sat Jun 17, 2017 2:36 pm

Great progress. Keep on saving! It brings you step by step toward FIRE.
What are your goals? When would you say you are FI?

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singvestor
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Re: Singvestor's awakening

Post by singvestor » Sun Jul 02, 2017 10:08 am

@Viktor, thanks for the note! Nice to find another ENTJ here. I am working quite a lot to try and tone down the negative sides of the commander personality, with some success but lots yet to do. How about you?

@MDFire2024: thanks! My retirement goal is SGD 1.2 million (EUR 765,000). My financial independence goal is SGD 750,000 (=EUR 480,000)

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singvestor
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Monthly update #24: June 2017

Post by singvestor » Sun Jul 02, 2017 11:04 am

Monthly goal review:
  • 20+ days no alcohol: failed (17 days)
  • 12+ days sport: failed (11 days)
While this is by no means a result to be proud of, I feel that I have successfully restarted the sport program. I exercised a lot in the last 2 weeks of June and really have been enjoying the purpose, relaxation and extra energy.
Also tried cycling to work, which was a full success. We have nice showers in the office and with a bit of planning it was no issue. Arrived in the office in a calm and energetic state.

ERE Scorecard

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In June I invested 51% of my income. Not really a great achievement, given the fact that my flat is fully paid for.
Overall I feel that my lifestyle is deflating during my expat assignment which is good. I did not buy a lot of stuff to fill the empty rooms in my oversized apartment and I did not go out to eat a lot. The only big ticket purchase derailing the savings rate was booking a trip to Iceland. A country that is definitely not easily compatible with frugal traveling. Small rooms in guesthouses with shared bathrooms can cost over EUR 100 per night.
July should be a better month with significantly higher savings rate.

Portfolio update

In June my portfolio increased by SGD 5,908 or 3% to SGD 205,697 (=USD 149,400). This gain was made up SGD 5,924 of fresh investments offset by a small capital loss of SGD 16. Just like everyone says, the first SGD 100k was a lot harder than the second.

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Monthly investment vs. plan

I invested SGD 5,924 which is slightly higher than the updated plan.

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I bought some more bonds.

Asset allocation

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I need to buy a few more of these overpriced stock index funds next month. I would probably not mind bonds up to 30% of the portfolio at this moment, but do not want them to be higher than that.

Dividends received

In June I got SGD 151 in dividends, which are waiting for reinvestment.

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Hypothetical monthly income

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SGD 686
The more I am thinking about it, the more I feel 4% WR is rather high… Will leave the graph intact for consistency.

Coast FI Age

If I suddenly decided to stop investing, when would I be able to retire based on growth of current portfolio? Assumptions: 6% annual portfolio growth, 2% inflation. May result: I can retire at age 80...

Outlook

Things have stabilized in my new life and I am dedicating a lot of my energy to improving my French. My goal is to have my level of French match my English, which needs a lot more classes (paid for by the company) and my own determination and effort. Job is underwhelming, but does not cost much energy, so I can focus on improving my skills.

Focus in July: learning French, meeting sport goal, saving money.
Last edited by singvestor on Sun Aug 06, 2017 11:50 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Viktor K
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Re: Singvestor's awakening

Post by Viktor K » Sun Jul 02, 2017 11:09 am

singvestor wrote:
Sun Jul 02, 2017 10:08 am
@Viktor, thanks for the note! Nice to find another ENTJ here. I am working quite a lot to try and tone down the negative sides of the commander personality, with some success but lots yet to do. How about you?
I feel this is an exercise in futility, but a worthy one at that, and of course something I too spend a lot of thought and energy on. If you're anything like me, then you struggle to reconicle your personality type's strengths with its glaring (in your own eyes) weaknesses. I think it is a curse of the ENTJ, but maybe it is me, or maybe it is a human thing. I have a girlfriend who has every strength that I lack. She is caring, compassionate, and sees the good in every person and thing. I feel we are a good match because each of her strengths is something I'm terrible at, so each is something I can respect and admire and strive to be better at. Of course, I constantly fail :lol:

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singvestor
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Monthly update #25: July 2017

Post by singvestor » Mon Aug 07, 2017 10:18 am

Monthly goal review:
  • 20+ days no alcohol: failed (18 days)
  • 12+ days sport: failed (11 days)
Less than ideal… There are always things interfering with the program, the most common being my own laziness. A 30-minute round of bodyweight exercises should normally always fit in.

ERE Scorecard

Image

In July I invested 59% of my income.

While this sounds good it also means that I spent SGD 5,280 (EUR 3,320) last month. I had very little discipline and spent too much money. As my flat is paid for by the company this is all discretionary spending on air tickets, presents, groceries and so on. I have decided to track spending more closely from now on.

Overall savings rate for the year is still improving, currently at 28%.

On the bright side I have adjusted from eating out 1-3 times a day in Singapore to just 1-2 times every two weeks in the current country. We are cooking a lot and enjoying it. Better food and improved gym routine contribute to overall better fitness level.

Portfolio update

In July my portfolio increased by SGD 10,227 or 5% to SGD 215,924 (=USD 158,700). This gain was made up SGD 7,668 of fresh investments and capital gains of SGD 2,559.

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Monthly investment vs. plan

I invested SGD 7,668 which is about SGD 2,000 higher than the updated plan.

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I bought some more bonds and also some “overpriced” (my subjective feeling) stock. Market timing is pointless, but a higher bond allocation feels safer. Still I definitely want to keep the bonds <= 30%.

Asset allocation

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Bonds slowly creeping up, currently at 28%.

Dividends received

In July I got SGD 1,473 in dividends, which I reinvested as usual. Dividends are still tax free for me, as my company successfully applied for a tax scheme where I only need to pay for income that I receive in my current country.

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Hypothetical monthly income (@4% WR)

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SGD 720. The figure is climbing a bit faster these days, thanks to my higher income and increased investments.

Coast FI Age

If I suddenly decided to stop investing, when would I be able to retire based on growth of current portfolio? Assumptions: 6% annual portfolio growth, 2% inflation. July result: I can retire at age 80...

Outlook

In August the wife (still feels weird to type that) and I will travel to Iceland. The most ridiculously priced destination in Europe where basic rooms with shared bathroom can cost EUR 100-150 and above, but we have decided to cut costs as much as possible by buying food from super markets etc.

MDFIRE2024
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Re: Monthly update #25: July 2017

Post by MDFIRE2024 » Mon Aug 07, 2017 11:36 am

singvestor wrote:
Mon Aug 07, 2017 10:18 am
Coast FI Age

If I suddenly decided to stop investing, when would I be able to retire based on growth of current portfolio? Assumptions: 6% annual portfolio growth, 2% inflation. July result: I can retire at age 80...

Outlook

In August the wife (still feels weird to type that) and I will travel to Iceland. The most ridiculously priced destination in Europe where basic rooms with shared bathroom can cost EUR 100-150 and above, but we have decided to cut costs as much as possible by buying food from super markets etc.
Hi singvestor. Great progress so far. Impressive income! I gotta read your journal from the very beginning because I am about your age and I am always interested in reading about people's lifestyles in other parts of the world.
I have been to Singapore once and I liked it there. Very structured and clean city.
Keep on saving! And I also wish you both a nice vacation in Iceland, quite the opposite of Singapore.

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singvestor
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Re: Singvestor's awakening

Post by singvestor » Sun Sep 10, 2017 6:11 am

Thanks, MDFIRE2024! :)

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singvestor
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Monthly update #26: August 2017

Post by singvestor » Sun Sep 10, 2017 6:17 am

Monthly goal review:
  • Days without alcohol: failed (17 days)
  • 12+ days sports: failed (11 times)
Less than stellar performance I must admit. During the holidays it was difficult not to have a beer here and there and my current home country is full of nice street cafes, live concerts and so on... Have to go to the gym more and to bars a lot less.

Every month I hope I will improve, but similar to weight loss, financial independence and other goals this needs lifestyle change instead of trying the same all over again.

ERE Scorecard

Image

In August I invested 55% of my income. Might have done better, but holiday in Iceland was extremely expensive. Basic hostel rooms easily cost EUR 100 per night. I gave rides to plenty of hitchhikers who managed to travel ERE style by sticking to camping grounds and hitchhiking to make the trip affordable. My wife and I had not been up for it, but we decided to just use a tent during the next trip to such an expensive place.

Re-reading Jakob's book

During my trip I re-read Jakob's book for the first time in a few years. It was quite an interesting experience. The first time I had read it more for the "recipes", to learn about financial independence, the second time I read more the philosophical pieces and the underlying concepts, which I had skimmed through the first time. I also enjoy the humor injected into the book. Parts are repetitive (e.g. the hint to read books on ship provisioning to save grocery costs appears a few times instead just of once), but it definitely inspired me again to re-evaluate priorities and challenged me to do things differently.

Portfolio update

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In August my portfolio increased by SGD 8,556 or 4% to SGD 224,480 (~ USD 165,400). This gain was made up of SGD 2,121 of capital gains and SGD 6,435 of fresh investments.

Monthly investment vs. plan

I invested SGD 6,435, which was more than the plan (SGD 5,700).

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Dividends received

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SGD 268 (which were reinvested)

Hypothetical monthly income

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It is taking forever, but at least the portfolio is growing faster these days.

Outlook

September is promising to be an unremarkable month. Let's see!

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BRUTE
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Re: Singvestor's awakening

Post by BRUTE » Sun Sep 10, 2017 1:01 pm

how's the tax situation while Singvestor is living long-term in Europe? doesn't Europe have very high taxes?

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singvestor
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Re: Singvestor's awakening

Post by singvestor » Sun Sep 10, 2017 1:24 pm

Taxes are insane at around 50%, but the company is paying everything that exceeds the amount I would have to pay in Singapore because of a hypo tax clause in my delegation contract. Thus I only know my after tax salary.

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BRUTE
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Re: Singvestor's awakening

Post by BRUTE » Sun Sep 10, 2017 1:27 pm

oh nice

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singvestor
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Monthly update #27: September 2017

Post by singvestor » Sun Oct 01, 2017 11:20 am

Worst things first:

Monthly goal review:
  • Days without alcohol: failed (17 days)
  • 12+ days sports: failed (10 times)
Terrible. Absolutely no discipline and too many social obligations.
Got a standing desk at work. Additional goal for September: stand at least 40 hours while working. Hopefully that will also help me achieve a better posture. Wife has been calling me hunchback lately.

ERE Scorecard

Image

In September I invested 53% of my income. I spent way too much money, mostly on booking various vacations. My wife is still searching for a job which is not as easy in good old Europe as it is back in Singapore/most places in Asia.
My expenses were therefore a bit higher. We cooked most our meals, but went to nice restaurants 3-4 times. This is a huge change from Singapore, where typically we would go to restaurants all the time, sometimes multiple times a day.
Still, as we are living rent free, 70% saving rate should be very comfortable.

Portfolio update

Image

In September my portfolio increased by SGD 4,587 or 2% to SGD 229,067 (~ USD 168,700). This gain was made up of SGD 6,036 of fresh investments which were offset by paper losses of SGD 1,449.

Monthly investment vs. plan

I invested SGD 6,036, which was more than the plan (SGD 5,700).

Image

Portfolio allocation

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I need to keep the bond portion constant at 30% now, but I am worried about current stock valuations. Still I am forcing myself to buy more stocks, knowing that I cannot time the market.

Dividends received

SGD 107 (which were reinvested)

Image

Hypothetical monthly income (4% WR)

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SGD 764

Outlook

Obviously I will be able to save a lot of money during my three year Europe assignment, but I do not have any good options after that. It is time to solve this dilemma, but not sure how. Additional qualifications would be good, but I have no idea what to do.

The obvious plan is to use the three year assignment to save as much as possible. With a bit of discipline I should be able to get to SGD 500,000 which is two thirds of the Lean Financial Independence target.

If my Europe assignment would be extended or (even better) I could get a follow up assignment in a different place then I could comfortably reach the lean financial independence target before the age of 40.

But what then? My dream: work 1-2 days each week or 3-4 days remotely and coast the rest, travel, read, learn more languages.
Last edited by singvestor on Sat Nov 04, 2017 11:24 am, edited 1 time in total.

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BRUTE
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Re: Singvestor's awakening

Post by BRUTE » Sun Oct 01, 2017 1:51 pm

for as long as brute remembers reading this thread, singvestor has failed his fitness goal very narrowly: the goal is always 12 and the actual is always around 10. this isn't what brute would call a failure. it's a 83.3% success rate.

long term dream sounds a lot like brute's dream :)

dagiffy
Posts: 31
Joined: Sat Jul 25, 2015 2:06 pm

Re: Singvestor's awakening

Post by dagiffy » Sun Oct 01, 2017 3:22 pm

singvestor wrote:
Tue Jul 21, 2015 10:12 pm
Nice to meet all of you!

My name is Singvestor, I am a 33 year old European guy living in Singapore. After some mad years I have been slowly awaking to the reality of my finances and it has been becoming increasingly clear: I want to be FI.

I have not admitted this to anyone before and I hope to find some good feedback and likeminded people here.

My journey so far is quite embarassing, but I want to be brutally honest.

Yearly development of income, savings and taxes

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Note: All figures are in SGD. 1 SGD = 0.75 USD.

And this is how I pissed away a quarter of a million Singapore dollars in the first five years of working.

After graduating I earned an okay salary but spent it all immediately and lived recklessly paycheck to paycheck. I had very little expenses but was struggling very much to getting used to working.

Flying to Europe over the long weekend? Why not! New DSLR? Why not? 300 Singapore dollars for a night of partying? Why not!
I wish I could punch younger self in the face.

Between 2009-mid 2011 I lost quite a bit of grip on my life, dating a very difficult person while at the same time travelling for business like a mad man.

Born as an introvert I had to adapt to being highly sociable, leading a small team, travelling all across Asia, meeting new people all the time. I powered through but after a whole day of full-on social interaction with people from various cultures I was exhausted. I had started drinking quite a lot to relax in the evenings and I had gained about 10kg since graduation. Waking up somewhere in China in a hotel room with beer cans on the floor, this type of stuff.

I present you my "table of shame"

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As you can see I had no expenses (living rent-free) and still spent all the money.

The awaking begins with some first clueless steps

Somewhere in mid 2012, I realized what had happened to me the last few years. I was fat (1.79m, 82kg) had nothing to show for 4 years of working. I had no goals, but decided to get back in shape, limit beer consumption and not live paycheck to paycheck. I moved into my own appartment which is expensive as hell in Singapore and stopped spending money aimlessly.

Early 2013, I finally made a plan and rediscovered my deep love for Excel and graphs. I decided to save SGD 100,000 which seemed like an impossibly high number at this time.

Clueless about investing I opened an online trading account and bought some shares of companies that I found promising. And had a very messy portfolio by end-2013.

Life changer: Discovering FI

End of 2013 marks a big change in my life when I finally discovered proper financial planning. It all came at once: Mr Moneymoustache, ERE, Bogleheads, A Random Walk Down Wallstreet and especially Your Money or Your Life.

I was intrigued. I started using taxis less, biked to the train station, lost the excess weight and replaced some silly expenses (SGD 1,200 / year gym) with cheaper alternatives (SGD 5 per entry gym)

Needless to say I was very pissed at younger self. Living in a low tax country with no capital gains or dividend taxes and wasting all my money. What an idiot I was.

I created a new target allocation:

Image

and moved money into index funds.

It was a painful journey, but slowly the portfolio is growing.

Image

After trucking along in 2014 and the first half of 2015 I realized that I am not badass enough. I discovered the relationship of saving-rate and speed to retirement.

I realized I need to be a lot more badass to get out of the corporate 9-5.

And so it begins! Let's get this journal started!

This is one of the greatest first posts I've ever seen. Whatever impresses Brute, even in the least, impresses the socks off of me. Well done.

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