Thursday, July 18, 2024

My Stocks Portfolio crossed USD1,000,000!

Wow!

So ever since my stocks portfolio crossed SGD 1,000,000 back in 2021, I have been wondering when it will cross the USD 1,000,000 milestone:

https://financeopti.blogspot.com/2021/02/my-stocks-portfolio-crossed-1000000.html 

Over time I have been withdrawing from this portfolio, moving funds from one stock/ETF to another, and also putting some of my salary in. 

I have also been patiently putting in money through DCA (dollar-cost averaging).

Essentially, I have been watering this army with tender loving care to make it grow.

Recently it crossed USD 1,000,000 on Jul 11!


This is because the market is anticipating a high chance of a Fed Rate cut in Sep 2024,  since inflation is coming under control. Fed has also indicated they need not wait for inflation to fall back to 2% (their target) before cutting rates. Depending on what you read, the Sep rate cut seems almost certain:

According to the latest data from the CME Fedwatch tool, the probability of a Federal Reserve interest rate cut in September has jumped to nearly 100%.
https://finance.yahoo.com/video/september-rate-cut-odds-latest-180608167.html

In fact, just on Jul 18, my portfolio reached an all-time high:



It has fallen back now due to a pull-back in the nice run-up in the US market. 

Here's the nice chart of the SP500 as a record, breaking the 5600 barrier:


Straits Times Index has also reached a 5-year high:



Not sure if my portfolio will ever cross the SGD 2,000,000 milestone, we will see 😉. 

Enjoying it while it lasts.

Definitely worth a post. 


Monday, July 15, 2024

Financial Fine-turning: Unlocking my Deposit Account Efficiency Part 3

I realized there was an inefficiency in the way my $$$ army was allocated amongst my banks in my previous post, thanks to a comment by a reader:

https://financeopti.blogspot.com/2024/05/re-optimizing-my-deposit-accounts.html

The problems were that I assumed:

  1. The max deposit for bonus interest amongst the banks is only 100k

  2. UOB bonus interest for spend can only be earned with a credit card

It turns out the above is not true. 

For 1, the max deposit UOB allows to earn bonus interest is 150k instead of 100k for most other banks.

For 2, it turns out UOB allows bonus interest for spend to be earned on a debit card as well! See below:


As such, I re-calculated the interest I would get from my banks:



It turns out UOB now gives highest interest of $498.96, followed by Trust which is $437.50. This is $60 more per months if I put my money in UOB compared to Trust. 

For all my other spare money outside of the $150k, I will put it in SCB to enjoy this promotion:




This promotion ends on 31 July 2024, and is only applicable to 'fresh funds'. So I will need to fine-tune again after 31 July 2024, let's see. 


Friday, July 12, 2024

Dividends for Jun 2024 - Towards 5k a month

Here are my dividends for Jun 2024:

                                    

So I collected $1,306.87 in dividends for this month.
 
In case you are wondering, some stocks are repeated because I have 2 brokerage accounts.

Here are my monthly dividends over the last 6 years:

                               

June is a slow month typically.

The next few months are typically the months where I collect the highest dividends, all the way till Sep.

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

                            


Interestingly, in 3 years, I have already surpassed my total yearly dividends in 2021. 

For the year 2024, my average monthly dividends per month is now $2,291.02. 

Here is the progress of my average monthly dividends over the years:


I plan to first receive $2500, then finally $5000 in dividends every month on average.

Additionally, I share the interest I received from the various banks for the deposits in this month:

                            


So I collected $518.37 in interest payments this month.

There will be a change in strategy for my deposits starting from July onwards. Will do a post on it soon. Stay tuned!

Onwards!   




 








Friday, July 5, 2024

Wrapping up my 13th month of Financial Independence

I just finished my 13th month of FI (Financial Independence) in June 2024.

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

Eating


Looks good but OK only.

Egg & Spinach lagsana dish. Step 1: Add eggs and spinach (self-grown).

Egg & Spinach lagsana dish. Step 1: Add cherry tomatoes.

Egg & Spinach lagsana dish. Step 3: Add ham and cheese.

Egg & Spinach lagsana dish. Step 4: Bake and done!

Dim Sum! @ Changman Dim Sum Gelang Patah, Malaysia. 

Ah Ma Teochew Kuih. In a class of its own. @Gelang Patah, Malaysia.

Ah Ma Teochew Kuih. In a class of its own. @Gelang Patah, Malaysia.

Restoran Uncle Pou Wok @Gelang Patah, Malaysia.

Restoran Uncle Pou Wok @Gelang Patah, Malaysia.

Restoran Uncle Pou Wok @Gelang Patah, Malaysia. This one don't have wok hei unfortunately.

Kwong Wah Ais Kacang @ Petaling Jaya, Malaysia.

Kwong Wah Ais Kacang @ Petaling Jaya, Malaysia.

Kwong Wah Ais Kacang @ Petaling Jaya, Malaysia.

Back to my usual home-cook prata wrap with avocado after the gastronomic journey.




Fun


Cycled around this park. I have always felt rejuvenated by nature and Malaysia has so much to offer.

Cycled around this park. I have always felt rejuvenated by nature and Malaysia has so much to offer.

Visited a cow farm.

Visited a cow farm.

Infamous Forest City. Actually, it is quite a serene place to visit. 




Expenses


In terms of expenses, I busted some budgets this month but still manageable. 
 
Eating Out Target: $650
Eating Out Actual: $569.69 

Household Target: $600
Household Actual: $133.45

Travel Target: $100
Travel Actual: $82.66

Entertainment Target: $50
Entertainment Actual: $89.33 (June holidays, so some entertainment for the kids - jungle gym, ice skating)

Personal Target: $250
Personal Actual: $453.21 (did a medical check-up and dental 💪)

Onwards to the next month of FI!   

Saturday, June 29, 2024

Portfolio Allocation - Jun 2024

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

This will be presented in a doughnut chart.

This year again I have maintained equal weightage on both my Local and US stocks. 

I also have a smaller position in cash compared to 2023, due to expenses and transferring a portion to bonds. 

MMF (money-market fund) proportion has also decreased, because I believe when interest rates eventually falls, the returns from MMF will also fall. So I took my money out of MMF.

The good thing is that the proportion of bonds increased as intended, and it will continue to increase. I try to increase my bond proportion because I want less volatility in my portfolio. 

My 2024 Portfolio.

Here's the portfolio for the previous year (2023) for comparison:

My 2023 Portfolio for comparison.

P2P lending is now insignificant in my portfolio. I urge everyone not to indulge in P2P lending. It is a loss-making investment, based on my unfortunate experience. 

Finally here's a comparison of 2023 and 2024 in the same chart:


You can see that cash proportion fell from 2023, bond proportion increased from 2023. 



Friday, June 21, 2024

Portfolio Returns for Jun 2024 - Holding the Course

I felt it would be good to track the returns regularly since they fluctuate occasionally depending on the stock market.

Here are the movements for this month. USA and SPY funds provide the strongest returns as usual.

                                


For the Robo-Advisors, most reached all-time highs. Syfe Reit unfortunately crashed again.

                                

Additionally, I think it will be interesting to see the breakdown of my portfolios in percentages (below). There is a component 'X' which I do not want to disclose for now. The concentration of 'X' over the last month has dropped from 15.8% to now 15.6% but is still too high. 


                                    



Market events over the last month: 

Fed maintains interest rates and sees only one rate cut (drop from three earlier) in 2024. This is despite an acknowledgment of "modest further progress" towards its 2 per cent inflation target. 

Thursday, June 13, 2024

Dividends for May 2024 - Towards 5k a Month

Here are my dividends for May 2024:


So I collected $2,691.58 in dividends for this month.
 
In case you are wondering, some stocks are repeated because I have 2 brokerage accounts.

Here are my monthly dividends over the last 6 years:





The next few months are typically the months where I collect the highest dividends, all the way till Sep.

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



Interestingly, in 3 years, I have already surpassed my total yearly dividends in 2021. And it is only May!

I plan to first receive $2500, then finally $5000 in dividends every month on average.

Additionally, I share the interest I received from the various banks for the deposits in this month:

                            

So I collected $519.05 in interest payments this month.

Onwards!   





Saturday, June 8, 2024

Wrapping up my Twelve Month of Financial Independence

I just finished my twelve month of FI (Financial Independence) in May 2024.

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

Eating


Not a big fan of mala but this is not bad. Not sure if I will go back to eat again though. 

Been eating these home-cooked prata wraps with egg, tomatoes, avocado for a few lunches. Delicious and healthy. Here's the rough damage: Avocado $1, 2 prata $1.20, Cherry tomatoes $0.90, altogether $3.10.

Nasi Padang. No meat to save on costs. 

Tried a kebab and hummus stall near my place. Nothing much.

Prata tomato egg with avocado wrap.

Prata tomato egg with avocado wrap.

Naan tomato egg with avocado wrap.

Naan tomato egg with avocado wrap.



Fun






Harvested bayam.

Harvested Chinese Mustard.



Expenses


In terms of expenses, I busted some budgets this month but still manageable. 
 
Eating Out Target: $650
Eating Out Actual: $672.43 (mother's day meals)

Household Target: $600
Household Actual: $184.53

Travel Target: $100
Travel Actual: $189.33 

Entertainment Target: $50
Entertainment Actual: $4

Personal Target: $250
Personal Actual: $21.55

Onwards to the next month of FI!