I’m aware that I haven’t written anything in a while. As it turns out, it was a busy week at work and let’s just say I’m glad it’s a long weekend. You would also have noticed I removed quite a bit of personal financial information from the blog pages. After my wife raised some concerns with me about revealing too much personal and financial information on the online public space, we agreed to pull back on the amount and extent of numbers shown.
Yes, I know it’s still possible to work backwards using my previous posts to figure out the missing information. Going forward, my new posts will start to hide more identity and financial markers in the content. Looks like I will have to try a new style of writing but that’s something I can work with. After all, it’s our lives that I’m sharing information about online and there are boundaries that I should respect.
Repricing of housing loan
Before I try my hand at a new format of net worth update for August 2017, there are just a few things I wanted to highlight. We are still in the process of repricing our housing loan. Although our interest rate is expected to drop by a bit, we can’t get the repricing fee waived. Which is a ridiculous amount given how little work the bank has to do in repricing our housing loan.
I have to say that banks deserve to have their businesses eaten up by competition and technology if they continue to think such high fees for little effort are justifiable and sustainable. It’s only a matter of time before these businesses get targeted and replaced. I just hope banks can evolve and innovate fast enough to survive in this ever-changing new environment. If not, I will be out of a job sooner than I think.
DBS BYOB Promotion and PAYE Account
I have written about the DBS BYOB Promotion and PAYE Account before. I still think it’s a good deal despite the fact that I haven’t been able to understand exactly how much interest gets credited into which DBS accounts. This is the case even though I have read the Terms & Conditions and online material (including other bloggers’ posts) multiple times. I don’t think I’m a slow learner. Which means there really is a big problem with the setup of the entire structure of the DBS BYOB Promotion and PAYE Account as well as how it is explained to the public. What’s the point of a good deal if nobody understands why?
Anyway, I wouldn’t recommend only having the DBS PAYE Account. It’s good for setting aside a monthly savings amount from your salary to earn higher interest provided that’s what you were going to do with it anyway. Just a matter of putting it into a different account. You could channel some of your existing savings into the DBS PAYE Account via the monthly transfer. But the cap of S$3,000 monthly restricts your ability to utilise it efficiently and effectively. Especially when you are forced into withdrawing cash funds from the DBS PAYE Account for whatever reason.
You can consider pairing it with the UOB One Account, which doesn’t have a monthly salary crediting requirement but has credit card spending and GIRO transactions requirements. I reckon it’s a better product than the OCBC 360 Account to put your existing savings into.
New Net Worth August 2017
Cash has gone up by 1.04%. Main reason is that I have increased the automated monthly investment amount due to the addition of StashAway and Smartly robo-advisor accounts to our portfolio.
Investments has gone up by about 0.60%. Stagnating markets caused this despite us investing more cash than before.
Retirement & Medical has gone up by 1.24%. Steady Central Provident Fund (CPF) contributions with the monthly withdrawal from the Ordinary Account (OA) for the housing loan.
Net Worth has gone up by 4.39%. Due to the above plus the monthly reduction in mortgage from the housing loan payment.
Build a bigger ship and prepare it for tough times ahead
I’m looking at our Google Sheet Cash, Investments, Retirement & Medical, Net Worth and Total Assets Growth Chart now. It has largely been trending in an upward direction and it has been this way for the past few years ever since we returned to Singapore. I have always imagined our entire financial world as an ocean with us on a ship navigating through it. Helps to keep me patient and motivated when I think of it like that.
When we just graduated, we were on a sail boat. Easy enough to sail around financial storms by changing directions because we didn’t carry a lot of weight with us. Although it’s even easier to capsize with rough weather, recovery is not difficult.
We kept building a bigger boat for ourselves by working in Australia until we we were on our first ship by the time we returned to Singapore. A Frigate. Not so easy to avoid financial storms since we held more investments. It can take more damage but if it sinks, recovery is tough.
We were lucky enough to stay mostly employed the entire time we were in Australia and Singapore. Which means we could focus on upgrading our ship. Yes, sometimes we get lazy and don’t do anything with it. But more often than not, we are almost always working on it. Even if just a little at a time. I would like to think we are on a Destroyer now. A fast, maneuverable, long-endurance warship. Designed to take a hit and dish out damage.
If you are wondering what is the point of all the naval terminology, this is it. Tough times are always ahead of us. Nobody navigates an ocean and not expect to run into a storm. But you can choose what ship you are in when the storm comes. It’s calm weather now – bright and sunny with low unemployment rate, high stock and property markets levels. Take the time to improve your ship in terms of its quality and grade. I always hope I never have to face a storm but I understand that’s how captains gain experience. The time will come when my ship is tested. Would I survive or capsize?