My wife has completed her 2017 annual performance review and she just received her remuneration outcome – higher basic salary and a bonus. This is a better result than 2016, where she received no basic salary increase and a smaller bonus. That’s to be expected given that 2017 is a better year for the economy and bank compared to 2016.
I’m happy for my wife. She stepped up to fill in for a higher level role and worked hard to perform well. Even though she became busier with work, she improved her time-management skills to squeeze in personal training and gym sessions. I can see her evolving in so many ways to be better and I’m pleased.
The longer we work in Singapore, the more we start to expect a year-end bonus for our efforts. It’s our 4th year working here and we still can’t get over how big a consideration the year-end bonus is. We worked for 4 years in Australia and only my wife ever got some form of annual bonus at the bank while I have never received an annual bonus at the accounting firm.
Not that we are complaining over getting more money at the end of a work year in Singapore. But it does become something we have to consider after the bonus is confirmed. What to do with it? We are getting better with practice since it’s our 4th round. Since our financial and personal circumstances have changed every year since 2014, we usually end up using her bonus quite differently each time.
I mean, what her bonus gets allocated to is the same – savings, investments and spending. But the proportions differ depending on the markets and economic performance as well as other factors (e.g. level of retrenchment risk). This time round, we are unlikely to inject more cash funds from the bonus into the equity markets since we are in a bull run. Other than the existing monthly Dollar-Cost Averaging (DCA) of ETFs and contributions to robo-advisors accounts that come from our salary income. No need for adjustments yet.
We should be tapping into her bonus to pay for the ski holiday to Austria in Feb 2018. After all, it’s a big year for my wife as she turns 30 in Apr 2018. Let’s go all out and celebrate it! This should use up some of her bonus and we will leave the remaining bit as savings. I’m only going to let the cash funds of this savings portion flow through to our net worth Google Sheet. Not the spending portion since it has already been set aside.
Now that we have got the plans for her bonus out of the way. Just a few things to take note of for me. My wife’s last parcel of employee bank shares (allocated and dividend reinvestment) from working in Australia are about to vest in Dec 2017. I can finally move all of them out to her brokerage account and potentially sell it in one transaction to minimise trading commission costs. Besides, with the ASX on a high, this might be a good time to consider selling it. It’s not much as the net sale proceeds may only come up to about A$4,500. If this happens, I will no longer have direct exposure to the ASX i.e. no more Australian share portfolio.
Lastly, my own annual performance review is coming up. It’s my first one at a bank and I’m hoping the outcome is better than what I got at the accounting firm previously. I will have to be patient since the entire process can take a few months. I always knew out-earning my wife in the corporate was going to be a challenge. But I’m fine to keep myself close enough so I don’t lag behind by too much. Here goes nothing!