Saturday, February 28, 2015

Inspirational Story by Real People - Grandma Ira

Grandma Ira passed away on 28th Feb 2015 (yesterday), and this was her story.

“Life is hard, but we must persevere”

Grandma Ira was 74 years old when I first met her. She looked older than her age, because all the hardship she had to endure in her life. She was a single parent and used to own a successful textile factory in Tangerang. 

The May 1998 riot in Indonesia turned her life upside down. Her factory and home was burnt by the rioters. Her only son, who was studying to be a doctor, experienced a serious mental disturbance. He couldn't finish his study because of the mental stress.

Despite losing everything she had, Grandma Ira took full responsibility of her employees’ welfare. She sold the land she had left to pay for their salary. The rest was used to pay for her son’s treatment. Unfortunately the son’s condition deteriorated further and he eventually passed away.

In her darkest moment, she met a pastor who brought her to a shelter house in Senen. There, she had her faith and spirit restored. She managed to get herself back on her feet after one year.

Life outside the shelter was no heaven. She got cheated many times. She had her possession forfeited by landlords and the door to her room locked, because she wasn't able to pay the room rental. There were so many difficult and sad things she had to face. However she also witnessed how God’s never ending providence for her.

When she had no money, God sent her angles in various forms.  Helps from students of Atmajaya to get her possession back by paying her rental, orders for hand phone or coin pouches (handmade by grandma Ira) from kind-hearted folks, flowed continuously. At times she only got 5000 Rupiahs (about 50 Singapore cents - Yaruzi) in a day, but she was grateful and she never complained.

Last Saturday, I happened to sit next to her in the bus stop. Grandma Ira saw Giza, my little daughter, and spoke to us. She gave Giza a nice hairpin and a small bag. We ended chatting a lot about her, and that’s how I first knew her.

In her old age, she was still optimistic, full of hope, and always grateful for whatever God provided. I prayed that she would be blessed with perfect health, better life, and spirit. Amen. 

This was originally written by: Titi Atmojo based on her encounter with Grandma Ira.

Oma Ira had no family or relatives when she passed away. Her funeral and final sent-off was arranged by a group of volunteers. Some of the volunteers are my personal friends and one of them is my sister.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Yaruzi Wish You a Happy Lunar New Year 2015

“The Lord bless you and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you,
And be gracious to you;
The Lord lift up His countenance upon you,
And give you peace.” Numbers 6:24-26

Friday, February 13, 2015

I'm Officially A Convert

I came across the book "Millionaire Teacher" when I was in Kinokuniya last week. Either the glossy cover or the author's name "Andrew Hallam" that attracted me to it. I ended up buying and reading the book.

To me, it's not a book that teach us how to be a millionaire, instead it's a book about a teacher who becomes a millionaire. This book basically says that everybody can be a millionaire, despite being just an average salary man.

I won't divulge much in my blog, but I think it's a good read and it's a must read. Everybody who is serious about achieving success in their personal investing journey must read the book. Even my boss already told me that he would borrow mine after I finished reading.

After reading this book, I'm determined to tweak my investing style. No more bearing with the platform fee nonsense. No further contribution into my unit trust portfolio. New contribution will be directed towards a new low cost index portfolio. Gradually, I'll shift my portfolio from the "expensive" unit trusts to low cost index. Period. Good bye blood sucker.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Q&A with Fellow Investor in FSM Forum

Hi Yaruzi,

I m Prince MK from Kuala Lumpur invested via FMS Sg. I m also invested in Allianz US High Yield AM Dis H2-SGD(SGD) too and the dividend rate is 6 cents. What do you think of others Fixed Income funds? Would you consider abt United Asian High Yield Bond Fund? I see the dividend rate is quite attractive too. How long you keep the United SGD Fund ?? Mind to share ?

Besides that, I also see Allianz Income and Growth is giving a very attractive dividend rate too. Any comments?


Hi Prince MK,

Nice to know you through this forum.

To answer your questions:

1. In regards to Asian High Yield Bond fund, I prefer Fidelity over UOBAM because of bigger fund size, lower cost ratio, and longer track record. I just bought an initial position in Fidelity Asian High Yield in January after taking profit on some of my equity funds and gold mining funds. Check my blog for my portfolio allocation as of 30 Jan 2015.

2. In regards to United SGD Fund, I have invested in it ever since I started investing in FSM two and a half year ago. I have added to this fund gradually with my monthly contribution. This will be the fund that hold most of my allocation, when I don't see good buying opportunity. I will always hold some allocation in this fund and will use it to buy when a crisis strike or major correction happens.
Fullerton Short Term Int Rt C S$ is also a good short duration bond fund, but unfortunately it is not receiving fresh fund at the moment as it has reached the fund max capacity. Also geographically it invested globally as opposed to just Singapore focus (better diversification).

3. Allianz Income and Growth does offer a very attractive income yield, however it's not a pure fixed income fund. It has 1/3rd of it's asset invested in equity, and geographically it's focusing on US only. With US market priced higher relative Asia and Europe, I'm concerned upside may be limited and income yield is not sustainable. Short track record is also a major concern for me to consider this as a core income fund in my portfolio.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Goal Review in January 2015

1. Read 2 chapters of bible every day.
Reading bible enriched me with wisdom to live my life. It also gave me strength when I was going through rough patch. Most of the time I read more than 2 chapters a day, however there were days where I didn't read any. For this I gave my self an 80% mark, which to say I have room to improve.

2. Exercise 4 x 45 minutes every week.
I managed to maintain the discipline to excerise 4x45 minutes a week. There was time when I almost skipped a session or 2 due to hectic schedule in the office and with the family. I marked myself a good 100% on this.

3. Reduce my weight by 5 kg, from 78.5 kg to 73.5 kg.
In the beginning of the year, I told myself to get healthier and lost that extra weight. My target was to lose 5 kg a year or an average 0.4-05 kg a month. I managed to lost 1 kg in January alone, so I was pretty happy with the result. I gave myself a 100% mark on weight loss.

4. Save $90K, and use the fund to grow my investment portfolio from $265K to $355K.
I contributed a fresh fund of $5,000 in January into my unit trust investment portfolio. I still have 11 months to meet the targeted $90K total savings to be invested. As it stood in January, I only fulfilled 5.56% of the total target.

5. Achieve 4% return on my investment on average weighted basis.
January was a good month with the total profit in January alone exceed the whole 2014 profit. Assume the portfolio grows at this rate for the whole of 2015, I will achieve 20.94% return by end of 2015. However I don't think that will be realistic, because there will be up and down. I marked the performance of the portfolio a perfect 100% in January.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Jan 2015 - Unit Trust Portfolio Update

"The LORD's blessing enriches, and struggle adds nothing to it." - Proverbs 10:22

January 2015 was a good month for me. My portfolio increased by $4,574.16 in January (20.94% annualized return), with $4,112.43 came from capital appreciation and $461.73 came from cash dividend that yet to be re-invested. I think it would be tough to repeat the same performance in the months ahead.

I sold 37.5% of my position in United Gold & General Fund, 40% of Aberdeen China Opportunities, and 100% of Blackrock European Eqty Income A6 SGD-H.

I bought some Allianz US High Yield AM Dis H2-SGD, and initiate a position in Fidelity Asian HY AMDIST SGD Hedged. The weaknesses in high yield bond made their dividend yield attractive. I'm positioning myself as defensive as possible, as I'm anticipating further volatility in the equity funds.

Unit Trust Portfolio Monthly Performance in 2015

Link to Yaruzi's unit trust portfolio allocation as of Jan 2015