It’s the end of the work week and the weekend is here! Going to be a busy one as we will be catching up with some ex-colleagues and friends over lunches and dinners. We are thinking of watching The Fate of the Furious, which if you are not familiar with, is the 8th instalment of The Fast and the Furious franchise. My wife still reckons it’s crazy that I have watched all of the first 7 instalments of the franchise. What can I say. It has a simple concept that works every time. Fascinating stuff!
Anyway, I got an email today about a change to the Maybank Kim Eng Monthly Investment Plan (Maybank KE MIP). The Nikko AM REIT ETF (CFA on SGX) has been added as one of the available counters I can invest in via the Maybank KE MIP. My wife has been manually investing in the Phillip APAC REIT ETF S$ (BYJ on SGX) using her Stan Chart online equities trading account. In fact, she just received her distributions in US$ and it’s a decent amount after converting to S$. I was planning to start investing in a REIT ETF but I didn’t want to go with the same one. I also didn’t want to make a significant purchase at this high price level.
This update came at the right time and I was happy to add an automatic monthly S$100 investment into the Nikko AM REIT ETF (CFA on SGX) via the Maybank KE MIP from May 2017 onwards. Slow and steady accumulation of the ETFs based on Dollar Cost Averaging (DCA) has always been our preferred approach in times like these. Keeping ourselves vested in the equity markets is key to preparing ourselves for the next big market event. Whether it shoots upwards, flattens or crashes for a sustained period of time. Setting a long investment time horizon of 10 years should help to better manage this.
Our expenses have gone up this month and will increase even further next month. As we celebrate special occasions, pay the quarterly maintenance fees for the condo, pre-book show tickets in Las Vegas and get ready to spend a lot on our 2 week holiday to West Coast USA. We like travelling and are willing to pay higher prices for better flights, accommodations, tours, shopping, transport and food. In short, we do not try to control our expenses when we are on holidays. And considering how we are trying to travel more often, it makes for a tough time reducing our expenses when it spikes every few months. Plus there are upticks every alternate month from our spending pattern.
Which is why I have been keeping a close eye on the sustainability of our salary income. It’s important for us to monitor the economy, job market, retrenchment exercises and cost-cutting measures at our banks. The good news is that the situation is starting to stabilise but the bad news is that things are not improving. Same goes for the housing market since it impacts the home equity we have built over the years. We may not include it in our net worth calculation but that doesn’t mean we like watching all the hard work and effort in making the mortgage payments so far evaporate. We just have to ride this phase out until we can restructure our expenditure levels and have a clearer idea on the direction we are headed.