We are back in Singapore after a 2 week trip to West Coast US. The holiday was a lot better than I expected given it was our first time there. We have been to different parts of Europe a few times and never really considered US as a travel destination until recently. Didn’t think US would be as interesting and I was pleasantly surprised to find out there’s so many fun things to do there. We would definitely consider visiting the East Coast US in the future.
I’m not going into a full on description of what we did at each city/place we were in. However, I will provide a summary just for kicks.
San Francisco: Very liveable city and reminds me of Melbourne. But it’s more expensive due to the thriving technology sector. Nice city sights with good day trip destinations.
Yosemite Valley: Probably the most beautiful scenic place I have been to so far. The waterfalls, rock formations and views are just amazing.
Las Vegas: It’s really an entertainment and party city. I realised neither my wife nor I are gamblers because we weren’t drawn to the tables at all. Instead, we watched a few shows and went shopping.
Los Angeles: Went to Universal Studios Hollywood and did a few studio tours.
Even though it was a 2 week trip, I know I haven’t posted in 3 weeks. It’s nice to take a break from personal finance sometimes without having to think about our savings, investments and net worth progress. I got back into it this morning to update some stuff and realised a number of things:
- Markets have gone up since my sale transactions in Mar 2017. Missed out on some gains, which is always annoying. But that’s what investing is like when you are trying to time the market. You will almost never be able to maximise the profits because it is difficult to make the right calls on the entry and exit prices.
- Automatic purchase transactions for May 2017 have gone ahead even though I was away from Singapore for 2 weeks and couldn’t make any manual transactions. This will continue to be the way to go for me going forward as I intend to spend less time working on our investments.
- New updates on the robo-advisor scene. 2 options (Smartly and StashAway) for consideration now that should be launching soon. Will be interesting to see what the take-up is like among the personal finance bloggers in Singapore. I am a big fan of robo-advisors and will definitely be setting up a portfolio with either of them.
- Credit card and cash spending have gone through the roof due to the holiday expenses. Travel is a luxury we are willing to spend on and will continue to allocate funds to it even if we have a family in the future. We enjoy vacationing a lot more now that we live in a country/city like Singapore that doesn’t have as much to do but is well-connected to other countries/cities.
- Getting paid while on annual leave is a good thing. It’s probably the next biggest corporate benefit after the salary. Especially when you have been in an organisation for a long time that offers decent annual leave and allows you to roll them forward. Let’s not forget family and childcare leave as well.
- Net worth has gone up despite the increased spending due to the run up in equity markets and us receiving our monthly salaries. I know people like to criticise the corporate career but it can be a powerful driver of wealth when utilised well.
The new work week is about to start and we slept in to rest & recharge. But we are out now for our personal care appointments and grocery shopping before having dinner later with my wife’s family. Will take a while to adjust back to our weekly routine and we are still feeling quite tired. But it should get better over time.