Sunday, March 29, 2015

The Day Heaven Cries

"The days of our lives are seventy years;
And if by reason of strength they are eighty years,
Yet their boast is only labor and sorrow;
For it is soon cut off, and we fly away." Psalm 90:10 NKJV

"So teach us to number our days,
That we may gain a heart of wisdom." Psalm 90:12 NKJV

Rain poured from the sky as if it was crying to bid the final farewell to Singapore founding father, Lee Kuan Yew. Without him, most of us won't be blogging today. Most of us will be occupied with survival, let alone achieving financial independence.

I have a lot of respect for you, Mr. Lee Kuan Yew and I hope I can live my life being useful for the people, the country, and the nation. So with a heavy heart, I bid my farewell to you, Sir. May your good soul finds a peaceful rest in the hand of God. I'll also pray that your family and the people of Singapore be given strength to continue your legacy. Amen.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

A Trip to Taiwan

"Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature? 

'So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?

Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble." - Matthew 6:26-34 NKJV

I was on a trip to Taiwan to visit my 80 year-old grand-aunt, who lives in Taipei. It was such an enriching trip and I would have to say Taiwan is much more advance in elderly care. People there seemed to be very respectful to their elders.  

Singapore, in contrast, was not as gracious towards their elder generation. An ungrateful, under-aged student was being investigated recently for posting hoax about Lee Kuan Yew, who is the founding father of modern Singapore. What a spoiled brat !! I hope he reflected on his idiotic act and become a better and useful person one day.

My grand-aunt is eligible to receive monthly handouts from the government, as she doesn't have children or own a home herself. Her husband passed away about 4 years ago. She has 1 stepson and 1 step daughter, but both are not close to her. She has some savings she accumulated when she was working during her younger days, and a little bit of passive income. She has no debt. She leads a simple and frugal life, living in the senior folk home. Her income is more than what she needs to pay for her daily expense.

Her day is full with activities like exercise, computer training, church activities or just meeting with friends. Do you believe that she even uses LINES to communicate? :-) ... Well, I'm happy to see her. I wish her a healthy and happy life.

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Goal Review in February 2015

1. Read 2 chapters of bible every day.
I managed to read 2 chapters of bible almost every day. There was 1 day I missed, so I gave myself a 96% for this month. I learnt a lot reading the Book of Kings and Chronicles. The bible taught me the valuable lessons from the Israel and Judah kings' life that led to their rise and fall.

2. Exercise 4 x 45 minutes every week.
I wasn't able to keep up my exercise routine during the Chinese New Year holiday. Nevertheless, I didn't regret as I was spending quality time with my mum and my family. This month I only kept my 80% of my exercise target.

3. Reduce my weight by 5 kg, from 78.5 kg to 73.5 kg.
My weight was going up and down like a yoyo. With less exercise and lot of temptation (Chinese New Year snack, bak kwa, etc), I was gaining some weight back. Fortunately I managed to end February weighing at 77.1 kg, reducing another 0.4 kg compared to January. I gave myself 80% for this goal achievement in February.

4. Save $90K, and use the fund to grow my investment portfolio from $265K to $355K.
I spent more than what I earned. With all the gifts and ang paos for relatives, and a trip planned to visit my 80+ year old grand auntie in Taiwan in March, I was expecting negative savings for January and February.

I didn't expect myself to be able to save and make new contribution to my investment portfolio until late March or early April, My next contribution will be channeled to build a new portfolio consisting of low cost index and dividend stocks.

YTD, I only fulfilled 5.56% of the total target for new contributions, no changes from January.

5. Achieve 4% return on my investment on average weighted basis.
I really didn't expect to repeat the January performance in February. But alas, I was wrong and February turned to be another good month. My portfolio returned 3.28% YTD (20.67% annualized).
Because I'm still on track to achieve 4% return for this year, I gave myself 100% for this goal.

While equity market was bullish in February, I took the opportunity to reduce my equity funds and re-balanced it to bond, high yield, and short duration bond funds. On a hindsight, this was probably the right move with Dow losing almost 300 points last week. It felt "shiok" seeing blood with only 20% of the portfolio in equity.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

February 2015 - Unit Trust Portfolio Update

My portfolio continued to perform well in February despite a short month. Portfolio value increased by $4,159.84 (20.67% annualized) compared to January, with $4,006.6 from capital appreciation and $153.35 from cash dividend. Cumulative YTD profit was $8,734.11.

I used the bullish sentiment in equity markets to further take some profit and reduced my equity holdings. I reduced my holdings in HGIF Russia Eqty SGD Cl AD(SGD), sell the remaining of Aberdeen China Opportunities(SGD), and cut loss on Threadneedle (Lux) Enh Comm Cl ASH SGD(SGD). 

At the same time I add some Blackrock World Energy Fund A2 SGD-H(SGD), because it seemed oil may had found some interim bottom. I also and my bond holdings in United Emerging Markets Bond Fund(SGD), and United Asian Bond Fund Class SGD(SGD).

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