Friday, September 17, 2021

I took up a side hustle!

 GrabFood delivery!

And believe it or not, it has worked out so unexpectedly well I had to write a post. 

Here's what I enjoy about it:

  • Exercise my legs - After a long day of sitting in front of the computer, it feels really good to be able to go out to get some fresh air and exercise my legs, and at the same time get paid while doing it

  • Rest my eyes - If I stay at home I will be staring at more screens (TV/mobile/laptop)

  • Explore new restaurants - For example, I discovered 2 new Acai shops which are really popular (and really expensive)

  • Explore new areas - For example, I found a nice shortcut path between 2 areas in my town, which I previously thought had no accessibility between them

  • I have always been interested in work where there is a direct and obvious link between effort and reward. Most office jobs are not like this, where you can put in a lot of effort at work, but see no increase in performance bonus when the time comes. For jobs like delivery, the more hardworking you are, the higher reward is guaranteed 100%. 
I know there is some stigma associated with food delivery, for example, rude customers and all, but the experience so far has been really positive. Everyone has been really polite, though I did encounter the occasional security guard that is really fussy about where to park your bike even when raining but that's about it. 

Having said that I need to add that I am not doing this for a living, this is more for fun. I only do 1-2 trips at night after my kids' bedtime. I also have the choice of not doing it if I am tired or when it is too hot/too rainy. I understand that doing this job for continuous full days can be very tiring and unpleasant. 

Otherwise, it is a great way to exercise and earn some money at the same time!

My earnings from 1 Aug till now are shown below:

Saturday, June 26, 2021

Portfolio allocation - Jun 2021

 The time has come for my once-a-year portfolio allocation breakdown.

Unlike the boring table form I do every year, this year I will do a doughnut chart.

Overweight on US stocks. 

Friday, June 4, 2021

Was expecting a bigger dip...

 Was expecting a bigger dip in the STI with the announcement of the return to phase 2... but the downturn in the middle of May now looks like just a small correction.

Saturday, May 15, 2021

Playing the Circuit Breaker Lite 2021


With the introduction of the new Covid-19 measures (some call it Circuit Breaker Lite) on 16 May 2021, it introduces another buying opportunity for long-term investors.

Back in 2020, Covid-19 caused the STI to drop 31% over a span of 1.5 months. This drop took about 1 year to recover (see chart above).

With this introduction of Circuit Breaker Lite, how far the market will fall remains to be seen. If the previous drop is any indication, the full drop will take a while to play out. So now is probably too early to buy. 

But I believe this fall will not be as steep as the first one (ie. < 31%). Many reasons for this, primarily because now Singapore has vaccines and our supply chains remain resilient. 

Time will tell as always. Readying my ammo!

Friday, May 14, 2021

My Portfolio took a Beating...

 With the new Covid-19 clusters (TTS hospital and Changi Airport) in Singapore, my SGP Portfolio came off its highs. Now everyone is talking about the possibility of a second circuit breaker. 

Over in the US, tech stocks took a beating as there were indications of rising inflation. Rising inflation is due to a decrease in the price of money. One way to curb this is to increase interest rates, which will make lending more difficult, and decrease the demand for money, which in turn increases the price of money. And the trend in the US market is whenever there is a slight indication there could be a possible increase in interest rates, the market will fall. 

It is a timely reminder that whatever goes up will eventually come down...and whatever comes down will eventually go up again. 

My SGP portfolio:

One-fourth Portfolio:

USA Portfolio:

Monday, May 3, 2021

Search Inside Yourself


This book is not directly related to investing/personal finance, but I believe the overall goal is the same ie. to teach you how to find happiness and achieve inner peace.

After reading the book, I find some gems in the book worth remembering:

On managing anger:
"If you are really angry at somebody and then examine that anger with mindfulness, you may find that the anger is not constant from moment to moment; it is constantly waxing or waning subtly. You may also find your mind constantly feeding the anger by retelling one or more stories to yourself over and over. If you then stop telling the stories, you may find the anger dissipating for the lack of fuel. Anger Monster needs to feed on your angry stories. With no stories to eat, Anger Monster gets hungry and sometimes goes away. By not feeding Anger Monster, you save mental energy and Anger Monster may leave you alone to play elsewhere. Anger Monster knows people are giving away plenty of anger food elsewhere. Not feeding monsters is very good economics."

On happiness at work:

"Tony has great insights in the process of happiness in the context of work. He describes three types of happiness: pleasure, passion, and higher purpose. 

1. Pleasure: This type of happiness is about always chasing the next high. It is the rock-star type of happiness because it is very hard to maintain unless you are living the lifestyle of a rock star.

2. Passion: Also known as 'flow', where peak performance meets peak engagement, and time flies by.

3. Higher Purpose: This is about being part of something bigger than yourself that has meaning to you."

 On motivation:

"Pink uses fifty years of research in behavioral science to argue that external rewards like money are not the best motivator of high performance; instead, the best motivators are what he calls "intrinsic motivators" - motivation we find within ourselves. The three elements of true motivation are:

1. Autonomy: The urge to direct our own lives

2. Mastery: The desrire to get better and better at something that matters

3. Purpose: The yearning to do what we do in service of something larger than ourselves"

On moving towards your ideal future:

"The second important benefit is the more you talk to people about your ideal future, the more likely you can find people to help you. This is especially true if your aspiration for the future is altruistic in nature because people will rush to help you...When you are genuinely moved to help others, you inspire people with you altruism, and when you inspire them, they want to help you." 

 On happiness:

"Think of happiness as a deep ocean. The surface may be choppy, but the bottom is always clam. Similarly, there are days when a deeply happy person may feel sad - for example, he sees people suffering - but underneath that sadness, there is a large depth of unwavering happiness."

On optimism:

"The first step to learning optimism is becoming aware of our own strong negative experiential bias. It is entirely possible, even likely, that we have much more success than failure in our lives, yet it does not seem that way because we pay too much attention to our failures and too little attention to our successes. Just understanding this can change how you see yourself."

On how to manage fights:

"Whenever I have a fight with my wife or a co-worker, I go to another room to calm down and after a few minutes of calming down, I do this exercise in stealth. I visualize the other person in the next room, I remind myself that this person is just like me, wants to be free from suffering just like me, wants to be happy just like me, and so on. And then I wish that person wellness, happiness, freedom from suffering, and so on. After just a few minutes of doing this, I feel much better about myself, about the other person, and about the whole situation. A large part of my anger dissipates immediately."

On praising:

 "Some students were praised for their intelligence ("person praise": "You must be smart at these problems"), some were praised for their effort ("process praise": "You must have worked hard at these problems")...Later, on a subsequent set of harder problems, those praised for being smart performed significantly worse than the other groups, while those praised for their effort significantly outperformed the other groups. Being praised for being smart is bad for you.

The explanation offered by researchers in these and related studies is that when a person is given person praise, it reinforces a "fixed mind-set," or the belief that our success is due to fixed traits that are a given. People in this mind-set worry about their traits. They also worry about how adequate or inadequate they might be. When they fail, they attribute it to personal inadequacy. They are afraid to take risks when failure may show them to be inadequate. In contrast, when a person is given process praise, it reinforces a "growth mind-set," or the belief that our qualities can be developed through dedication and effort, and therefore that success comes from dedication and effort. This creates a love of learning and resilience that is essential for great accomplishment." 


Check it out if you have not! 

Friday, April 23, 2021

My Thoughts on Work Life

 After being in the workforce for 15 years, I have some thoughts about Work-Life:

  1. Your boss is up there because he can take more shit than you. Yes, the higher you climb, the more shit you are expected to endure. 
  2. Some people choose to work in a mundane office job because they don't know what to do if not working ie. they come to work to pass time.

  3. Most people are in their jobs because the meaning of their life/purpose in society is defined by their job

  4. There are some people who already have enough to retire, but they continue working because they have no idea how much they need to retire. They have no idea how much they need to retire because they never calculated it.

  5. Blessed are the ones who can align their interest (don't even talk about passion) with their job

  6. With the WFH option, some people still choose to return to the office because they enjoy small-talk and camaraderie with the team - these are the extroverts