I had a good time at the gathering organized by BIGScribe last week and it was fun meeting the various financial bloggers and writers. I was late to the event and had less time interacting & getting to know the people there as a result. I got held up at work but really should make more of an effort to be there earlier at the next event. Anyway, the topics discussed were varied, interesting and useful when considering just how wide the impact of personal finance can be. I’m looking forward to being more involved and present going forward.
Work has been rather stable for me this week as I try to finish up some outstanding tasks by the end of the year. I reckon next year is going to have some changes in terms of my scope of work as I look to expand beyond my area of regulatory compliance specialization. That’s how I envision myself progressing in my career because I could get stuck doing what I’m specialized in for quite a long time. It wouldn’t be a bad situation to be in but I would prefer to be moving forward.
Change is also in store for my wife next year as she is now one step closer to a promotion she has been working hard for in the past several months. This might come with another base salary increase and would be a fantastic outcome especially when it’s right after her recent remuneration review. She just has to be patient, don’t get her hopes & expectations too high and keep doing what she has been doing. Sometimes, the hardest thing to do is nothing and just wait for the stepping stones to fall into place before you make a move.
As I do my best to support her with her transition into a management role, my belief is that it’s always going to be difficult for both the husband and wife to pursue their careers aggressively together at the same time while trying to build a family. However, it still has to be in tandem, otherwise you will risk one party getting left behind. So we have learned how to adjust the way we progress together.
When my wife takes a high risk to make a big move in her career, I stabilize my job to free up and spend more time supporting her. Likewise, when I am attempting the same move in my career, she stabilizes her end to support me. This way, we don’t run the risk of us losing our jobs at the same time, which would be disastrous. The benefit of being a dual income family is in the way you can slowly navigate your career with lower salary income dependency. Risks are a lot more calculated and measured because there is no need to make the jump for that promotion so quickly.
Actually, I realize I’m drifting off topic from what this post should be about. It’s actually a transaction update on what I did these few days. My wife’s last parcel of employee shares have vested and I sold her entire holdings of employee shares. The net proceeds is about A$5,000, which is higher than I expected, might be due to me not fully accounting for the dividend reinvestments from those employee shares. With this, we no longer hold any Australian listed shares and only have A$ cash holdings. I don’t have any plans to transfer our A$ cash funds back to Singapore and prefer to hold them in Australia. In combination with our Australia PRs, this is our overseas last resort lifeline, where we can restart a new life where necessary if things don’t work out for us in Singapore.
I cannot emphasize enough the importance of backup plans and the margin of safety they can offer. You know how they keep saying the best time to save and earn more money is when you don’t need to. It’s true. The greater the dependency link, the more restricted your options are. Which makes it difficult for you to focus on what you want to do and what you should be doing. We see this happening to the people around us and the problems exacerbate when they have kids. Not a good situation to be in.
With the recent influx of cash, I have decided to increase the investment amounts of my Monthly Investment Plans (MIPs) in addition to the setting up of my StashAway and Smartly robo-advisor accounts. I have added the following 3 x S$100 monthly investments with Maybank Kim Eng MIP:
- Nikko AM STI ETF (SGX: G3B)
- Lion Philip S REIT ETF (SGX: CLR)
- Phillip SGX APAC REIT ETF S$ (SGX: BYJ)
I know there’s a significant amount of overlap in the ETFs I’m purchasing within Maybank Kim Eng MIP and even with the rest of my portfolio. I have designed it that way for now not so much for holdings diversification but because I don’t like concentrating my holdings with a few ETFs and banks. They are funds with fund managers after all and it would be unwise to think they can’t collapse just because their passive index investment approach allows less room for mismanagement and bad investments.
This increases our total monthly automated investment amount to S$3,400 and provides a stronger investing infrastructure to more efficiently deploy our cash resources. By keeping myself vested in the markets more closely, it’s easier for me to adjust these amounts upwards when there are market dips and crashes or even to identify opportunities for manual utilization of cash funds during such times.