Sunday, December 31, 2023

Plotting my Investment Strategy for 2024 - 5 Pots of Gold

Now is a good time to re-think my investment strategies and plan the way forward. 

I started off by thinking about the eventual goal I want to achieve. It is clear that I would like to achieve a certain amount of dividend income every month for perpetuity.

The question is: what should this amount be to be realistic?

Let's start off with $5,000 in monthly dividend income and run some numbers.

As of the end of 2023, I am pulling in SGD 1791.39 in dividend income every month, which gives a shortfall of $3,208.61 as you see above. 

From the above, we see that to achieve $5,000 in monthly dividend income, I need to invest an additional $1,048,184.06. 

Obviously, I do not have this much amount to pump in at this moment since I am no longer earning a monthly salary. 

I figured that I could invest at most $300k, by rotating money from some of my other investments (ie. china stocks, robo-advisors, etc.). This gives me the below:

Ok, the above numbers seem more realistic! It will take me 3 years to achieve a monthly dividend income of $2500, by which I will be around my mid-forties. 

So the next question is which funds to invest in? Note that I have stopped buying individual stocks - it is difficult to get it right. Buying funds are much less risky and have a higher probability of profit. Also, there is 0 chance of the counter going to zero, unless the country collapses. I considered the below funds. Those in green are those I am already actively investing in, those in yellow I am considering whether to start. 

In the end, I decided to invest in TLT. Reasons:

  • iShares MSCI World ETF is very similar in composition to SPDR SP500 ETF, which I already own
  • QQQ Trust has the highest returns but is volatile. What is more, my goal here is to earn dividend income, for which QQQ is very low
  • TLT has a decent dividend yield. Returns are low, but I am looking for stability with a consistent income stream ie. perpetual income. Less volatility is especially important for my profile now as I do not want to sell stocks when there is a crash and lose tons of money. Further, bonds have dropped a lot in this high-interest rate environment. Bonds are expected to rise in 2024. 

It is also worth considering the various funds I am accumulating now - I call them my 'pots of gold':

The barrels you see at the bottom of the diagram are those that I am building up. The STI ETF pot is already full. The S-Reit, ABF S'pore Bond, and SP500 pots are around half-full. TLT pot will start this year. The eventual goal is to fill all of them up to the brim. 

The above is not drawn to scale. Below I created a chart that is to scale, based on my current holdings. All bars should be full in 3 years. 

What do you think? Does it make sense to you?


Saturday, December 30, 2023

How much do I have in stocks? | Financial Snapshot - Dec 2023

This is a snapshot of my finances at the end of 2023.

Naturally, I do not want to disclose too many details or my net worth, the amount I have in banks, etc. so I will just share the following:

Not included in the above are bank savings, insurance policies, CPF, SRS, etc. The above is just the amount of stocks and cash in my 3 stock brokerage accounts, the stocks in my BCIP, SRS, and Robo-advisor accounts, and the bonds I am holding at the moment. Since I worked in the US before, I also added my 401K and Wealthfront investments to the above. For completeness, cryptocurrencies are included in the Stocks portfolio (though only a small percentage). 

For 2023 my stocks increased 18.53% from last year. This is a pretty decent amount. With the current economic situation, the US market is expected to rise further. This is because the Fed has indicated they will stop raising interest rates, as inflation is cooling off. 2024 is expected to be a good year for stocks, bonds, and REITs:

Some basic rules of thumb:
  • As interest rates fall, stock prices will increase - this is because now folks can make more money by investing than putting money in banks
  • As interest rates fall, bond prices will increase. Follows the same logic as above. Also, note that long-term (10-year or more) bond yields have a positive correlation with interest rates - so if interest rates fall, bond yields fall, which means bond prices must go up
  • As interest rates fall, REITs prices will increase - this is because now REITs are easier to get financing from banks with lower interest rates ie. fewer costs on their books
  • As interest rates fall, bank stocks will fall. This is because they earn less from loans with lower interest rates. 

Clearly, the above relationships are deliberately put in a basic manner so that it is easy to understand and remember. What goes on in the backend is much more technical and complicated - not possible to remember for the long-term unless you do this as a job every day. 

Here's a visualization of the Stocks (SGD) and Bonds (SGD) over the years: 


Saturday, December 16, 2023

Portfolio Returns for Dec 2023

I felt it would be good to track the returns on a regular basis since the returns will fluctuate from time to time depending on the stock market.

Here are the movements for this month:

Portfolio returns for Dec 2023

The USA portfolio, SPY Fund, and the SGP portfolio rose. 

Cryptocurrency portfolio rose, though still heavily negative.

Here's a recap of the major market events (positive events in green and negative events in red):

Bad: The Ukraine war has no end in sight - in fact, both sides are talking of a 'stalemate'

Bad: Israel has now moved into the Gaza Strip, causing much suffering for the residents of Gaza

Friday, December 8, 2023

Wrapping up my Sixth month of FIRE

I just finished my fifth month of FIRE in Nov 2023.

Below are what I ate, what I did for fun, and a record of my expenses.


Home-made pizza

Looks good but the chicken was cold

Prefer the one below

Quite sweet

Home-made lunch. Burp!

Some buffet thing

One of the best I have tried. 


My rosella bloomed!

Brought my kids to see the Landing Ship Tank

Concert at Esplanade


I busted some of my expenses this month. All in all, I think it is reasonable. 

Eating Out Target: $650
Eating Out Actual: $387 (ate more home lunches)

Household Target: $600
Household Actual: $297.68

Travel Target: $100
Travel Actual: $22.80

Entertainment Target: $50
Entertainment Actual: $0

Personal Target: $100
Personal Actual: $131.39 (bought shoes and shirt)

I only managed to find time to do a few food deliveries this month. All in, I only managed to earn $10.70 this month.

Whats significant in this month is that I started my own business!!

Onwards to the next month of FIRE!!

Friday, December 1, 2023

Dividends for Nov 2023 [Financial Independence]

  Here are my dividends for Nov 2023:

So I collected $918.43 in dividends for Nov 2023.
In case you are wondering, some stocks are repeated because I have 2 brokerage accounts.

Here are my monthly dividends over the last 5 years:

Here are the dividends I collected every year until the current day:

Additionally, I share the interest I received from the various banks this month (referring to Nov):

So I collected $611.16 in interest payments this month.