Portfolio – February 2020

Portfolio

Stashaway

Global (2019) – 36% Risk

Capital: $9,500
Current: $10,125.18
Dividends: $0

Global (2020) – 36% Risk

Capital: $4,000
Current: $3,625.22
Dividends: $0

Income – 12% Risk

Capital: $6,000
Current: $5,921.39
Dividends: $19.08

Endowus (Cash)

Capital: $2,200
Current: $1,995
Dividends: $0

Autowealth

Capital: $9,500
Current: $9,993
Dividends: $2.21

Overview

Total capital invested: $31,200
Total investment made for 2020: $4,700
Total dividends collected for 2020: $34.43
Average dividends per month for 2020: $2.87

Past Performance

Portfolio – January 2020 – $28,912.03
Portfolio – February 2020 – $31,659.79

Psst. SRS, SSB Savings Bonds and POSB Invest-Savers will be omitted as I’ve not been actively tracking for the past year nor does not intend to add anymore investment to it.

Tales of a sales boss

Early last year, I made my first job switch to move out from a Multi-National Company (MNC) to a Small-Medium Enterprise (SME). It was a huge risk that I took upon as the company was based overseas and was not fully established in Singapore, hence I was their first employee. That year, I learnt the hard-way for the importance of negotiation.

As I first started work, I was hired as a junior staff as I was deemed to be of lack of experience despite joining as an experience hired. Soon, my local boss was hired and things did not go as I’ve expected. To expand and strive for success in the local market, my ideology was to work together as a team. Despite that I’ve volunteered to join-in for management meeting and chip in my thoughts for the next strategic plan for the local market, I was deliberately left out.

Days goes by, soon I’ve realised that even though it is start-up like in Singapore, MNC-management was set in place. There is no transparency oppose to the advantage of being in a start-up, such as flexibility and easy communication. There was no room for discussion but to agree with my boss.

The strategy

In order to bring in clients, my boss always over promise on the service to be rendered and quote extremely low price. Once the deal is done, he would happily grab his commission and throw the project fulfilment to the delivery team, whom often have to work on the unrealistic timeline and perform magic.

More importantly, in the eyes of the management, it would always be the delivery fault for not able to deliver to client expectation (putting aside the unreasonable ones that expects everything to be of “perfection” in their own way) when the delivery can be overwhelm with many parallel projects.

Next, instead of choosing between the maker and checker, why not both? Take upon every chance to boast his past experience and glory. However, failed to grasp the basic understanding and usage of Microsoft Words and learn new tools that help simplify workflow as these should be work down by the low worker.

Take every opportunity to expense through the company including treating his friends as a “potential” business talk. Also, always try to network around people he deem to have connection to job hop for the next better job, just in case that things did not goes well under his helm.

At work, always take the credit of your employees and push blame if anything goes wrong. Rinse and repeat all the above and surprisingly, company do are eager to hire without even trying to validate or dig a little deeper to the fluff.

When hiring, somehow people never question the validity of the 10 to 20+ years of management experience on paper (unless they have been working in the research field) when the actual technology only took off 5 years ago. I’ve no idea if this is due to the desperate need of “technical” in the market however, these definitely brings more harm than good most of the time.

Of course, not every start-up and bosses are like this. I’ve seen employees and start-up founder working together to build the company together and become core member of the firm. I’ve also met great boss that takes extra-steps to groom their employees. I still do have my respect for them.

I’ve since moved on and changed job. This was a valuable lesson learnt to choose the right boss and company. Even in a start-up/SME politics can exist even though it should be to build dream and passion. So far, I have yet to see any successful SME with MNC hierarchy and process, I would hope to surprise more in the future if I come across one.

Goodbye, Yun Nam Haircare

For years, I’ve been visiting Yun Nam Haircare to get my premature grey hair treatment that got way out of control as I studied through my university. It could be linked to genetically due to my family history and the immense stress that I’m under during that period of time.

I bought packages from Yun Nam though referral from relatives that have been customers with them for years. With that, I received slight discount but still pricy with few thousands of bucks thrown into.

Back then, when I first started out, I do find that my money was well worth, within 20+ treatment, I seen significant improvement to my hair quality and reduce in grey hair. Afterwards, I moved on to maintenance packages to make sure that premature grey hair don’t goes out of control or make a huge comebacks again.

However, as time goes, my service consultant left the branch to head for a newly setup branch at another location. As it was slightly further, i decide to just stay put with the new consultant and this is where everything goes down hill.

After she took up my case, my white hair came back significantly. I could be partly blamed by skipping some of my weekly maintenance due to tight work schedule. By the early last year, I was told that my hair got really out of control, back to the 40% ratio that I have to undergo treatment again, however instead of 20+ treatment, I am required to signup for 50+ packages to make sure that it’s fixed.

I agreed to the consultation then as I just want to get my hair problem fixed, however, I’m wrong. By the later half of the treatment, instead of focusing on treating my grey hair, they started to switch focus to my scalp issues with none of my family member is able to smell or see problem with it but Yun Nam Hair Care professional could.

They spent few session trying to coerce me on signing up another three thousand package which I finally fed up and logged an official complaint against the consultant. Then, she said that everything was just a misunderstanding, and she gift products in return as silent apology.

After the change of consultant, there have seen significant drop in their quality of service and treatment. As I first started treatment, my previous consultant explained every steps on what each product does and how it can help to reduce my grey hair overtime. However, after the change, the amount of product, such as essence, applied that was significantly lesser at the end of the session.

Also, sometimes unknown solution was applied without informing what it is unless you proactively asked. My trust level dropped significantly when they applied unknown solution to my hair/scalp and brought me to the consultation room straight after without cleaning/washing it. As one can imagine, it doesn’t look good with their machine that show detailed condition of the scalp.

When I questioned the consultant that bought me to the room why it got much worse when I have previously did another scan just few weeks back. They couldn’t provide an answer.

I was never a fussy client, so I don’t really do care who serviced me as long as the job is done right as I agreed that sometimes it hard working in a service sector. However, what I realised was that even though I always called in to book the time slot under my consultant, she never serviced me personally. Yet whenever she did, there will be problem and a trip to her consultation room (unless I cut her off while doing the treatment), and a conversation of worsen condition, to sign up package and increased in the cost of the package.

A fun fact, previously, my consultant causally mentioned that student have near to 50% discounted price, however since I’m a working professional, it would be more expensive. However, when I mentioned that I’m currently back to school, and should be able to qualified for student plan, she got stunned for a bit. By the next consultation, I checked again with her if there is student price for it, she changed her tone that my overall package price is much cheaper. 🙂

For the much cheaper package price, I’ve to pay more than five grand. Judging for no improvement in my condition and additional hair thinning complication that seems to raise, I see no reason to continue to be a carrot head. I can’t imagine to fork out the few grand every year for poor service and quality treatment.

With that price, I could properly head somewhere with professional trichology consultant and remembers my preference for warm water hair wash, perhaps the only request that I made each time.

Expenses – January 2020

Late 2019, I’ve made a switch to start tracking my expenses with Spendee that will automatically syncs with my bank to give me an overview of my financial status. So far I’m pretty much satisfied with it except for some bugs and issues when customising my transaction records.

For the first month of the year, I’ve overlooked on some of my the needs in my budgeting such as credit card fee and new clothes for work. As I’m currently using DBS Altitude card to earn points, I decide to pay for fee, even though I’ve been waived for my first year, to earn more DBS points that can be converted to miles in the future.

My transport fees has increased significantly as I’m making more trips to school via train and use grab while I’m rushing for time. I don’t often take cab and always try to use public transport instead. However, as I’ve recently changed job, being unfamiliar with the new environment, so far I’ve experienced twice for taking the wrong bus and cause me run late.

Total expenses for January is S$1,351.85. I am definitely looking to save up more and cut down unnecessary expenses next month.

Portfolio – January 2020

Portfolio

Stashaway

Global (2019) – 36% Risk

Capital: $9,000
Current: $10,462.03
Dividends: $132.76

Global (2020) – 36% Risk

Capital: $2,000
Current: $2,008.43
Dividends: $0

Income – 12% Risk

Capital: $4,500
Current: $4,511.57
Dividends: $19.08 (in Feb)

Endowus (Cash)

Funds moved over from MoneyOwl

Capital: $2,000
Current: $1,972
Dividends: $0

Autowealth

Capital: $9,000
Current: $9,958
Dividends: $158.9

Overview

Total capital invested: $26,500
Total investment made for 2020: $7,500
Total dividends collected for 2020: $19.08
Average dividends per month for 2020: $1.59

Past Performance

Portfolio – January 2020 – $28,912.03

Psst. SRS, SSB Savings Bonds and POSB Invest-Savers will be omitted as I’ve not been actively tracking for the past year nor does not intend to add anymore investment to it.

No Refash for me

Every year for spring cleaning, I would clear out old clothes from my wardrobe and have them donated to the Karung Guni. Unlike how it was in the past where the the Karung Guni will walk the blocks with his barang barang, I hardly see any of them over the years and now fliers will be distributed with the collection date for items that we’d want to have them donated or call-in for pick-ups.

For clothes that are rather new and never wore after bought as they don’t really fit, I’ll prefer to sell them off on Carousell to cut some losses. However, as it will require to take photo, bump up post, negotiate and meetup with buyers, sometimes it does takes a toll on me as I will need to rush between work and school at times.

For Refash, I have engaged with them few years ago whereby I vividly remembered that I have dropped off some of my pre-loved items at their outlet for sale. However, I couldn’t remember if I’ve received any proceeds from the sales or all items has been donated by them.

Nevertheless, I’ve decided to try out Refash once again, with two bags of clothes that I’ve hardly worn. One of the more expensive branded tops that I’ve bought cost about $80 which I’ve bought on impulse and realized that I does not fit me at all. Followed by the guidelines stated on the website, the process is simply to just bring down clothes to their stores and fill up the “cleanout application”, that’s it. Easy peasy!

To my surprise when filling up the “cleanup application” as I reach their stores to drop-off my clothes, it was stated with the terms and conditions below:

Average quotation per bag of accepted clothing will range between (but not limited to) $10-$30, depending on the quality and quantity of clothing (Offer price per accepted piece is $0.50 – $5)

Refash.sg

Taking into consideration that Refash only accepts branded/boutique clothes (e.g. Love Bonito). Any of the on sales items can be sold at at least $10.

Unfortunately, as I’m in a rush to head somewhere else that I’m unable to bring the bags and ultimately I’d have recycled them, I have decided to accept the terms & conditions. The next day, I’ve I’ve received a quotation of $25 for all the items that I’ve brought. Oh well, I’ve since accepted the offer since it doesn’t make sense for me to spend more time and effort to collect a single piece of item and I’m particularly bothered with.

The experience was seemless, however I’d appreciate that the information could be more transparent. Last but not least, I’ve also a mental note to never sell new clothes to refash as its totally not worth it. Carousell will be a better options and it does not charge further 19% of the proceeds just for listing and sales of items.

Light to Night Festival 2020

Visited the Light to Night Festival 2020 last Friday with my date to attend the a free concert performed by Arpeggione Quartet, with the theme of the Fantastic Worlds and Where to Find them. Unlike my date, I did not manage to recognize all the songs that they’ve performed but that did not prevent me from being indulge in their fantastic world.

I’ve set to learn violin and start re-practicing piano that I’ve since abandon years ago. After the watching their performance, I’m more sure that I’d want to learn it in the near future, however, instead of violin, I’m likely to dive into the world of viola than violin as I’m just so in love the the sound it produce.

Art Skins on Monuments – Light to Night 2020

As we got out of the Victoria Concert hall, we have seen arts projected onto the building bringing new look and life to the look and feel of Victoria Concert hall. Though, I’m not able to fully appreciate the different genre of arts, I do able to appreciate all the pop-up stalls that sold handmade items with food and drinks available for some relaxation. Definitely love to rest on the bean bags available if it wasn’t so popular and fully taken 😦

Floating City – Light to Night 2020

Other than the concerts, there are many highlight for the event and one that both my date and I particularly liked was the Floating City display by Nipek and KNOTS. The colour hue will constantly be changing from blue to purple vice versa. Using projectors installed at the bottom of the installed display to project lights back to the ceiling to create the lights and shapes above. A really pretty and awesome set of display.

Optical Maze – Light to Night 2020

Not to forget the Optical Maze that is displayed right outside the Padang that brings lights and vibrant to the night. Though, I’m still quite puzzled why it’s named as a “Maze”, perhaps due to the mirrored words shown on top of the display. As I’m unable to make out the words and wasn’t bothered enough to try deciphering each letter one by one, my loss to not able to find out the hidden phrase for the Optical Maze.

Game Plan 2020

Back in 2019, I’ve managed to rack my first pot of gold just few days before turning 27. Would really be thankful that my birthday is near the end of the month. However, several month went by and my total net-worth bleed heavily as I spending went crazy during the last two month of the year with 11.11, Black Friday, 12.12 and Christmas Sales combo together.

I’ve already been prepared for all the spendings, however I was still surprised by the amount of credit card bills I chalked up. My spendings literally puts my monthly savings back to $0 for the past few months. It was a wake up call for me this year that in overall, as I’ve saved slightly lesser for the year in 2019 as compared to 2018 even though my pay have increased.

This year, in 2020, I will have a change in my game plan on how I’ll have my finance be handled and strive to balance savings and my beauty or maintenance needs.

Resolution

Finance

Start of this year, opened up a few robo-advisor accounts/portfolio for namely StashAway and Endowus. I’ve also started to look into topping up CPF for tax relief and increase my cash balance for my emergency funds as a significant portion of my current emergency funds maybe used to attend to family needs.

Below is the amount that I will be looking to invest every month:

  • StashAway Index Portfolio (US) – $2000
  • StashAway Income Portfolio (SG) – $500
  • Endowus (SRS) – $1250

I used POEMS SBP for my Singapore portfolio last few years and have decided to close the account and move them to StashAway and Endowus. The amount will be split between the all 3 account. The only mistake that I’ve made was not to wait till start of 2020 when STI ETF share prices have rebounded or till getting my dividends. There’s pros and cons between the two, though I think it’s a good lesson to learn.

As a result, my monthly average dividend received dropped from about $150 to a projected of $50. The target for my this year financial plan would be to save up $60,000 for 2020 for over-all net-worth.

Personal

  • Cumulative run target for the year: 100KM
  • Date at least once a month (attempt to get out of singlehood)
  • Join a hobby or social group to expand my social circle
  • Read at least 1 book per month
  • Blog at least once a week

Education

  • At least 2 professional certification
  • At least 2 product certification
  • Complete my masters programme

My 2019 was relatively unproductive, while I attempt to code and juggle with my masters programme and I’ve nothing proud to share or reflect for the year except for several major disappointments. Nonetheless, I believe that I can make 2020 a lot better!