Archives for category: Singapore

With one stroke of the pen, Singapore academic and occasional socio-economic commentator, Donald Low* made a substantial number of people feel poor. Donald Low’s comments (as reported in this article) were in response to an article by Singapore’s favourite has-been-tabloid turned free broadsheet about a family of five with a five-figure monthly income whose purse strings feel a little tight.

Basically, using statistics from the Singapore Department of Statistics (SingStat), Donald Low showed that a family of five with a five-figure income could indeed feel middle class. This is given the fact that the average and median household incomes in 2017 were S$12,027 and S$9,023 respectively. Given that this family had a larger than average family size**, it’s no wonder that they are considered middle-income from a statistical point of view.

I get the point about people saying that the lady interviewed needs to get her priorities right – such as not needing the private sailing classed for her kid, but the data also shows that that family is highly likely to be representative of the middle-class. And we all know that it is the middle-class that tends to have the most frivolous spending. I can just imagine how many of them spend so to show that they aren’t in the lower-income bracket and because of the aspirational lure of keeping up with their peers who may be upper middle or in the wealthy group.

By the way, those looking at solving our birthrate problem need to tackle this issue. It’s probably the biggest reason why younger couples aren’t having kids. Imagine a young couple, both working in median paying jobs that pay equally well and therefore, as a household, they are right at the median. Adding a kid to the household presents them with two scenarios: one, do they have someone to outsource the childcare to and live with a 33% fall in their per-capita household income? Or two, does one of them (usually the wife) stop or reduce the amount of work in order to take care of the child. Notice that either scenario reduces their household income on a per-capita basis. The first scenario puts them more or less at the median in terms of per-capita household income while the second puts them below the median.

That’s just having one kid. And you wonder why we have problems replacing ourselves. Having said that, my bigger concern is that many of the middle-class (with one or two kids) in Singapore are spending so much of their income on housing and the occasional affordable luxury that retirement is going to be an issue for them.***

Notes:

*While there has been some controversy over the things Donald Low has said in the part, he is the kind of academic that we need in Singapore. Not many people are able to/aware of the data that’s out there, much less interpret it. Also, some of the other academics that get featured or interviewed regularly either say something that reinforces the government’s view or is trivial.

**The Average household family size for Singapore in 2017 was 3.3 members.

***I suspect the issue will be with housing more than the affordable luxury although that $300/month private sailing class adds up to a lot once you consider the opportunity cost of not investing it. $300 a month for five years and then compounded at 5% (CPF can do this easily) for the parent’s entire working lifetime (say it’s 25 years after those 5 years) comes up to be $5613.53. Who knows what other things these people are spending on?

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I tend to find extremely religious people annoying. In Singapore, there’s a particular religiosity surrounding people who have children still in primary school who believe that all married couples should have children.

The immediate boss was going around the office on the eve of the lunar new year with the usual congratulatory greetings for CNY and he wished my colleague 早生贵子. This basically translates to wishing that someone will have children soon. Said colleague then diverted the attention to me because I’ve been married for a longer period of time but I still don’t have any children. I joked and said that I have a cat so that counts.

The boss then asked if I had any plans to have children, to which I replied, “If it happens, it happens.”

Not the first time the boss has heard that from me and being the pro-family person he is, he started telling said colleague and me about the joys of having a family. His main thrust was that we have to reproduce or we’ll go extinct. By the way, he has two kids and I think his world (3/4, at least) revolves around them.

I replied that there are no worries about that because birth rates in developing countries are high enough that the world population is growing so going extinct due to a lack of kids isn’t looking like a possibility in my lifetime. Then the boss clarified that his idea of extinct was confined to Singaporeans but to be honest, I felt that he was trying to tell us that having kids is a joy that we’re missing out on and therefore we should work towards that.

I don’t deny that having kids could bring some people joy and it may be the most meaningful thing in their lives but at the same time, I think the joy of having kids is highly overstated. The problem with people who have been raising children for the last 10 years or so is that they’ve forgotten what it’s like to NOT have kids. It’s almost like believing in the dogma of one religion that you don’t realise that other religions are probably/could be just as good for you.

Personally, I don’t think adding more humans to this planet is that much of a good thing from an ecological perspective. From the perspective of the economy and, therefore, financial markets, population growth is definitely a good thing. So all in, I’m neutral from a broad macro view.

From an individual point of view, there’s definitely a lot of work in raising kids. For a good part of their life, kids are basically dependent on you for everything. And as a teacher, I’ve seen so many examples of screwed up parenting- from parents that spoil the kids to parents who neglect their kids. Either way, the kid turns out a little wonky and becomes a net negative to society because they impose a cost either through an added burden on the legal or the healthcare system.

Then, there’s the environment. Singapore’s education system is a pressure-cooker environment where parents who don’t know any better compare their kids against their friends’ kids*. Many parents won’t be enlightened enough to encourage their children to simply explore or to pursue things they may be good at if the things that they are good at areas that defy conventional wisdom. I know of more than a few people that feel like moving overseas only because it’s tough to raise kids here.

Once again, I’m not saying that having kids is bad.

All I’m saying is that the people who believe in the religion of having kids need to be aware that there are downsides to having kids and that some people could easily be happy without having kids.

The wisest parents I know are those who live their lives to their fullest and become the role model that their kids need. The kids are just one part (a big one) of the couple’s lives but certainly not the only one. The couple still has their own social life, hobbies, and interests which the kids can then emulate should they also take an interest in it.

On the other hand, some of the worst parents I know of are those where their entire day revolves around the kids – working in a job they can’t stand because they have to bring home the bacon, fetching the kids to all sorts of classes in order not to ‘lose out’ to other kids, going on holidays as a reward for kids’ performance in tests/exams. These helicopter parents are going to turn their kids into pieces of junk.

All in, horny people who don’t want/forget to use protection shouldn’t be under the illusion that having kids is always a net positive. There’s really no need to try and convince people without kids about the joys of having kids** when all you really want is some validation that your irreversible choice is right.***

Notes:

*With friends like these, who needs enemies?

**We’ll figure it out on our own.

***By the way, the joke’s on these people when their kids turn into angsty, pimply teenagers who eventually fly the coop. The sweet kid you know maybe someone that you suddenly don’t understand and after a few more years, when the kid is busying with his/her own life, what are you going to do? Start doing stuff you wished you could have done instead of sending them to tuition classes?

PS: I think my parents didn’t get me when I was in my teens. But they were wise enough to let me explore and do (mildly) stupid things that didn’t kill me. I learned valuable lessons on my own and some of those lessons still serve me well to this day.

 

Lunar New Year or Chinese New Year (CNY) as it’s commonly known in Singapore isn’t one of my favourite holidays. As a kid, I looked forward to it because of a few reasons. One, it’s one of longest public holidays you get as a student. No other public holiday in Singapore gives you two full days off. Of course, as a kid, I always hoped that CNY would fall on a Thursday so that we had four days in a row without school.

Two, CNY as a kid means getting money. For a kid, it’s that one time of the year where you get extra cash. As an adult, the closest thing I can think of is the bonuses that companies pay out at the end of their financial year. Those, of course, are not guaranteed. Furthermore, CNY is usually a time where people gamble, so that’s an extra chance to make more cash. I was pretty good at the blackjack tables so that usually meant another week’s allowance.

Three, the snacks are awesome. In Singapore, food is generally delicious, to begin with, but the snacks at CNY are on a whole different level. From pineapple tarts to love letters to kueh bahulu to bak kwa.

However, once you get older, CNY starts to become a pain-in-the-ass. First, you keep meeting the same old people that you only meet once a year during CNY. Singapore’s a really small place so if there are people that you only see once a year, it probably means you don’t really want/have to meet them unless you really have to. Furthermore, because you only see them once a year, conversations tend to be awkward and naturally border on the mundane. Conversations get even worse with the older folk that you don’t normally meet because they only start to ask questions that annoy you. e.g. “How are your results?”, “When are you getting married?”, “Do you have a girlfriend/boyfriend?”, “When are you going to have kids?” etc.

So, it’s no surprise that many people head abroad to avoid CNY. After all, two days of public holiday means less leave you have to use. Tickets are now cheap thanks to low-cost carriers. Also, the fact that so many Chinese are celebrating CNY means that you have a lot fewer tourists to contend with in another country. All in, it’s a good time to travel.

The only positive I see in Singapore is that families are getting smaller. This means less visiting of distant relatives as celebrations are mostly within 3 generations. This also means more free time to enjoy the holidays which means more businesses that cater to the retail crowd remain open. In Singapore, most cinemas remain open throughout the period as we also have a good 30% of our population that doesn’t celebrate CNY. All in, it means that CNY is getting to be a more cosy affair with the people that really matter. And I think that’s really what CNY should be about- spending time with those you consider family.

 

I’ve mentioned a few times about how a senior colleague of mine has been waiting on the sidelines for almost two whole years. He’s been almost 100% in cash or some fixed-income investments that pay little to nothing, and had to experience the pain of missing out on last year’s run-up in the market. He’s also missed on the additional yield provided by equities.

I’ve also moved more from equities to cash/bonds but that’s largely a function of how markets have run up and I’m definitely nowhere near 100% in cash. As my time horizon is VERY long, I suspect my average allocation will be 80/20 cash/bonds with room to move to 100/0 or 70/30 at market extremes.

Kyith over at Investment Moats has a fantastic post on how being too cautious has costs too.* Of course, one does what one needs to do to sleep well but the costs of trying to time the market can be costly and investors will do well to recognise this cost.

 

Notes:

*In Econ 101, this is what we call opportunity cost.

So, equity markets around the world were hit pretty bad on Monday and Tuesday. Even the cryptocurrencies were hit pretty bad*. As I write this, the STI is down about 6.5% from its most recent peak.

However, a colleague of mine who’s been on the sidelines, and totally missed the upward march in the stock market, got really excited. His worry will be that markets don’t go down far enough for him to get completely in.

I’m not out of the markets because I believe timing it is a futile exercise but I moved more money to cash/bonds as valuations got higher. In fact, I stopped buying anything after Feb last year.

Key point now is: What would you do if the markets really present a buying opportunity?

For me, the plan would be something like this:

  1. Split the money you have to invest** into 10 portions.
  2. When the market goes down 10%, invest 1 portion into whatever’s on your watchlist. To keep things simple, I’ll assume it’s the STI ETF.***
  3. If it goes down another 10% (relative the peak), invest 2 portions.
  4. If it goes down another 10% (relative to the peak), invest 3 portions.
  5. If it goes down another 10% (relative to the peak), invest 4 portions. By this time, that sum of money you had will be fully invested.

You could swap the 10% down criteria for months. i.e. Wait 2-3 months instead of seeing whether it goes down 10%. Either way, I don’t think you’ll do very badly in the long run by following such a plan.

My main point is: You need a plan to get through a fall in the markets. Some people panic or they don’t have deep pockets and are forced to sell. This is the kind of opportunity for long-term investors to get in and have their money compound at 10% per year. If you get in when markets are expensive, it’s pretty likely you’ll end up compounding at a rate lower than the average rates.****

Plus, most bear markets don’t go down more than 50%. The times that it did, the run-up in valuations were much more extreme. Even the S&P 500’s CAPE ratio is half that of the dot-com bubble. This time, you don’t hear stories of the financial system being over-leveraged or major players being over-extended. For Singapore, you could even argue that markets were not richly valued by a long shot before Monday. Personally, my money is on a correction or a bear that is extremely short-lived.

Notes:

*My joke is that cryptos fell because some colleagues and I had to give a presentation to other colleagues. When you have civil servants interested in something, you know it’s time is up.

**This sum should be something you don’t have any urgent need for. You shouldn’t be using money that you need to use to pay the bills or something that you’ll need in the foreseeable future. If you struggle to pay the bills, you shouldn’t even be investing. Get your spending in order first.

***For most people, stock picking isn’t something they should be doing anyway.

****If average rates of return for the STI are 8% a year (which they have been), then buying at low valuations should help you compound above that rate (e.g. 10-12% p.a.) while buying at high valuations will cause you to compound at a rate much lower (e.g. 4-6% p.a.).

STI Close: 3,529.82
PE10: 14.38x

The run-up in the STI has really caused valuations to jump quite a bit. With the PE10 at 14.38x, the earnings yield is now below 7%. Furthermore, a spike in the 10-yr bond means that difference in yield between the PE10 and 10-yr Singapore Bond has fallen significantly below 5% for the first time since August 2015.

Given the pullback in US and EU markets on Friday, I suspect we’ll see a much weaker STI on Monday. Anyway, at this level, things aren’t looking attractive. I’ll consider loading up on more equities if the STI goes down to 3,200 or less.

Meanwhile, sit tight and hang on for the ride!

I met a friend for lunch and he shared with me that he was thinking of retiring early. Not super early but earlier than official retirement age kind of early. Given that the official retirement in Singapore is 67, he was looking at something like 60. His wife also brought up the possibility of reducing the number of hours of work or stopping work altogether in order to spend more time with their young children.

Some background first

My friend is also a colleague. He’s a very dedicated and hard worker, wife and he are in their 30s, they have two young children and are basically, in terms of income, are what Singaporeans would call middle or upper-middle class. After all, when they got married, he was forced to buy a property from the resale market as their combined income already exceeded the cap that qualified people to buy a subsidised apartment from the government.

In my opinion, that’s a big handicap for him as far as retirement is concerned as he has a 20-30 year (the typical length of a mortgage in Singapore) mortgage to pay off on his property. If he plans to keep staying in Singapore, that’s money that he’ll have to pay off as he’s working towards gathering more assets that can replace the income he receives from work.

He also has two young children. That’s an additional financial burden for roughly the next 20 years of his life. The burden should ease somewhat as his children move into primary school as formal schooling in Singapore is heavily subsidised but as far as living expenses as concerned, that’s going to be another anchor tied to his feet. But given the circumstances, it’s no wonder we Singaporeans aren’t producing enough babies to replace ourselves.

The path to early retirement

He then shared that he came across a roadshow from our national pension system, the Central Providend Fund (CPF) and was seriously considering moving more funds into his Special Account (SA) as it earned a much higher interest rate (4% as of writing) as compared to the Ordinary Account (OA) which only pays 2.5% (once again, as of writing).* He also felt that CPF Life scheme, which is basically an annuity that pays you a certain amount each month for as long as you live, was promising. He also shared that he thought about moving abroad in later years as each dollar could be stretched much more in other countries.**

Unfortunately for my friend, his housing loan will probably mean that not much is going to accumulate in his CPF account. I suspect he’ll be lucky to have about $100,000 in his CPF accounts (OA plus SA) by the time his housing loan is paid off.

I don’t envy my friend’s position. He and his wife may belong to the upper-middle strata of society if we go by household income but the fact that he has a huge housing loan on a private property and two young children to take care of means that even something like retirement may be a concern for him.

My reply

So what I told my friend must have been a paradigm shift for him because I told him that I wasn’t going to wait until I was anywhere near 60 years old. I was going to stop work as soon as I hit my target net worth that would generate enough income to allow me to live a life near my current standard of living. By my estimates, this will take me another 5-10 years. I’m pretty sure I’m an outlier because very few people in Singapore are planning to retire in their 40s.

The sad thing about us having that conservation is that if we, middle to upper-middle class Singaporeans are having this conversation, then people who fall below the middle in terms of household income better hope that their bodies and mind never give way until the day they die because they’ll probably be working for the rest of their lives.

Personally, my plan hasn’t changed. If you can figure out how much you need each month, multiply it by 33 (if you’re conservative) or 25 (if you’re less conservative) and you’ll know how much you need in order to retire. If you want to be more precise, I’ve written about this before.

The other key to this is to be able to generate at least 3-4% return per year (not difficult) on your assets which will provide the income to replace the income from work. The other concern is inflation which means that the ideal rate of return is not 3-4% but more like 6-7% per year (still doable even without leverage).

An example

Just for illustration, let’s suppose that someone in Singapore needs $1,500 per month in order to survive. Assuming $250 a month for utilities, internet and phone bills, conservancy charges and transportation, that leaves our hypothetical Joe with about $40/day for entertainment and food. Food is pretty cheap if you don’t eat out at expensive restaurants every single day.

So given the above estimate, hypothetical Joe will need anywhere from $450,000 – $600,000 (depending on whether you use a 3 or 4% withdrawal rate) in order to generate the income needed for survival.

I guess a good rule of thumb would then be that if you have double the survival amount, you would be living decently and if you have double that, you would be able to live pretty luxuriously.

In short:

Standard of Living      Wealth Needed                 Income Generated (Monthly)

Survival                        $450,000 – $600,000          $1,500
Decent                           $900,000 – $1,200,000       $3,000
Luxury                          $1,800,000 – $2,400,000    $6,000

Next steps

I know that those sums above look ridiculously huge but if you plan to retire without worries, that would be the kind of sums I would aim to have to retire with a peace of mind.

Of course, if you can cut your expenditure down to much less (e.g. through growing and cooking your own food, spending much less on discretionary items such as cars and holidays, spending less on medication and healthcare by keeping yourself healthy), then I guess it’s possible to retire with much less. The other alternative would be to continue working in some form (i.e. reduced hours or reduced workloads) or to generate income from other some venture.*** But think about how much less of a burden it would be knowing that you’re not working in your job because you have to.

 

Notes:

* I know the CPF pays an extra percentage point on the first $60,000 of the sum in your CPF but in the larger scheme of things, that’s negligible.

**This, I agree. Unfortunately, it also means quite a bit of lifestyle changes. No more 24-hour prata joints, McDonalds’ and Mustafa, if that’s your sort of thing. Or no more eating cheap and good food like Chicken Rice, Nasi Lemak and Mee Goreng unless you plan to move to Malaysia. But that presents other concerns, like safety.

***It’s ironic how some people who stopped working early actually ended up making more money sharing their experience with early retirement as compared to their previous jobs.

I’m a fan of what the Motley Fool (MF) puts out but some of the things that they put out are, for obvious reasons, click-bait-ish or downright simplistic. In this article, it’s worse. It’s downright dangerous.

So in this article (link here), the MF writer looks at three stocks on the STI that are near their 52-week low. To be fair, that is a promising way to fish out stocks that may have been beaten down more than deserved.

Most of the article is a pure description of the latest corporate activities in the respective stock. This is fair but the point of the MF article isn’t to report the news but to make some analysis of the events. So, issue one, the article doesn’t make any sense of the recent developments and the subsequent impact on the stock’s financials.

Right near the bottom, the MF writer goes into the downright dangerous territory by recommending that SingTel is worth a look (and the other two aren’t) just because SingTel’s dividend yield is higher than the STI’s overall dividend yield.

This is dangerous because it doesn’t explore whether SingTel’s yield is sustainable. One, it could have been high because of special dividends the previous year. Two, the current yield may not be sustainable and shareholders may experience a cut in dividends which will eventually bring the yield down.

Now, I don’t know if any of the above will happen as I haven’t gone to take a look at SingTel’s financials but the fact that the MF article recommends SingTel based on its dividend yield and the stock being near its 52-week low is just a bad recommendation.

I wonder how many people will read the MF article and be able to point the same things that I just did. If you could, then good for you. You’re probably financially-savvy.

So, just the other day I heard some shocking news.

An acquaintance of ours passed away and it turned out that she had been suffering from depression and took her own life. We didn’t know her very well but it was a shock because, from the brief time we knew her, she was very bubbly and cheerful. I don’t know if she was already suffering from depression when we knew her but it was also unthinkable that someone that appeared so positive could be suffering in silence.

The other shock was that she was EXACTLY my age. Right down to the day she was born. Someone my age passing away is a rare event, especially in a country like Singapore where life expectancy is high. But it happens. And in this case, it happened to someone that felt like life was troublesome than death.

And it’s a real shame because she had a gift. She helped my wife and I capture the memories of our wedding, which is one of the happiest moments of our lives. No doubt, she helped many others in the same way too and could have continued to help many more people do the same.

Dancing with darkness is seductive. It’s like a dance with a good-looking stranger dressed in black at a ball. The problem with life is that you can’t and shouldn’t keep revisiting that moment in the past. Doing so keeps your mind, and subsequently, your entire being captured in the memory of that moment while the entire world passes you by.

If you know anyone who’s suffering from depression, please get them some help.

This is for anyone residing in Singapore:
Samaritans of Singapore contact details
24 hours hotline: 1800-221 4444
Email (replies within 48hrs): pat@sos.org.sg

2017 has been a hell of a ride.

I don’t have any documentary prove but basically, I was invested quite heavily (~80% of my portfolio) in equities when Trump got elected. After the immediate sell-down caused by Trump’s election, I started buying into the market as I thought that markets usually overreact to political events. The buying was confined to the STI ETF as I wanted to go heavy on the banks. Given that the banks have a heavy weighting in the STI (~40%), it’s a pretty good proxy.

The reason for buying banks is simple. The fed had just embarked on their major rate hike cycle. As the Fed raises rates, we should expect banks to earn more from existing loans.* Add to that the fact that the banking sector was the proximate cause of the Global Financial Crisis, it makes good sense that the banking stocks would have been beaten down the hardest and therefore, far from the highs of 2007.

I was pretty much right on this. What I got wrong (or failed to expect) was blue-chips such as the telcos and SPH getting beat down really hard. Keppel and Sembcorp had already been beaten down quite bad so, in fact, buying the STI ETF helped me gain some exposure there. However, news of a fourth telco, SPH’s continued downtrend in its core business and the impact of ride-sharing on Comfort Delgro caused the STI’s performance to be less than ideal. Overall, the STI still returned about 20% (including dividends) for the year. This isn’t something to sneeze at. Most people will be happy to get 10% per annum (p.a.). Of course, I wasn’t just in the STI ETF. Holdings of some other stocks amassed over the years also brought portfolio returns down.

Investment Returns (capital gains and dividends)

This year, the portfolio returned 8.18%. This is sad as the STI returned roughly 20% including dividends. The drag on my performance has been the huge cash holdings I had as well as the drop in blue-chip names like SPH and Keppel Corp. I was even a little too early in M1. Basically, nothing went right as far as timing was concerned.

Of course, returns were still positive for the year so I’ll take it as a win.

Total Growth

The better news is that the portfolio still managed to hit all-time highs despite the less than stellar performance. This is largely due to my highly aggressive rate of savings.

 

navVSwealthDec2017

Getting wealthy exhibit 1: Savings vs. Investing alone

If I were to count on investing alone, me being no Warren Buffett would have only turned $1 into about $1.70 after seven years. However, by aggressively saving, the total amount “grew” from $1 to $3.50.

I know it sounds like I’m cheating. After all, it’s not like I’m some had some special skill as a farmer to grow more apples from the same tree. What I did was basically acting like a farmer who acquired more land and planted more seeds so that I have more fruit trees than ever before.

But think about it this way. Assuming that you need $30,000 to survive in Singapore and that a safe withdrawal rate is 3%, someone who wants to live off his/her portfolio will need a million dollars in the portfolio in order to generate $30,000 every year. The most important thing is getting a million dollars right? Who cares whether I get there through investment returns (i.e. capital and dividend gains) alone or through savings?

Savings is the thing that will turbo-charge your returns. You can read through why this works in an earlier post I wrote.

 

Gameplan going forward

Wasn’t my best year. As usual, I was a little too cautious when I should have been bold. Going forward, I need to tweak my portfolio so that I’ll be invested pretty much most of the time. Only at times of extremely high valuations will I move to cash. At times where the market isn’t cheap, I’ll just focus on holding my positions and let my cash build up through dividends as well as my usual practice of socking away about 25% of my take-home pay**.

Furthermore, my job is pretty much immune from market cycles and therefore, acts as a bond. Basically, I will be the least likely person out of a job and my earnings are highly unlikely to fluctuate from year to year unlike bankers or people in highly cyclical industries. (Read more on human capital in an earlier post)

Also, my time horizon is pretty much longer than most people. I am relatively young and personally, I don’t believe in investing for X number of years and then subsequently drawing all of it down to fund living arrangements for the rest of my human life. I view investing as accumulating and growing a pot indefinitely. Even long after I’m gone, this pot of gold should go on benefiting this world.

Given all of the above (high rate of accumulation of cash, bond-like job, and long-term horizon), I really ought to be more aggressive in pursuing higher returns.

Outlook 2018

Despite my gameplan, next year doesn’t seem to be the best year for that. Valuations are high in major markets. The various components of the STI that still look cheap (e.g. SPH, Comfort Delgro, Singtel, and Starhub) and offer close to or above 5% dividend yields are cheap for plausible reasons (i.e. competition from upstarts that threaten their monopoly).

Furthermore, the same doom and gloom-ers in late 2016 and early 2017***  aren’t that gloomy anymore. Economic growth in Singapore (which we know is, at best, a coincident indicator) came in strong. This suggests that we may be at the end of the upturn in the economic cycle. Will we continue to peak or will we see a drop? Who knows. All I know is that things aren’t as cheap as they were a year to a year and a half ago.

I think that it’s going to be harder to make money from the broader market going into 2018. This is probably a year for turning over rocks and if we’re lucky, we’ll get a drop of between 15-20% that will make things start looking cheap again.

Good Luck for 2018!

Notes:

*Last I checked, most people are paying floating rates on their mortgages in Singapore.

**I would totally sock away more but, as it is, 23% goes into my CPF account. This basically means that my savings rate is about 42% of my total pay package. 42% is high but unfortunately, some of the money in the CPF account goes towards paying off my mortgage. CPF is Singapore’s National Savings/Pension Scheme.

***Who by the way called it completely wrong with respect to the economy and markets.