The fact that I can write this at work goes to show the extent of the lull I’m going through this week. It’s nice to have the break because things are going to pick up next week again. Going with the flow and riding the highs & lows of work is essential to your career. Knowing when to rest and get ready for the pick-up helps to increase your longevity and reduce the likelihood of burnout.
Anyway, it’s time for a post about the numbers for July 2017. Been writing a few introspective posts lately and I’m done with the self-examining and self-observations for now. I want to see how we have progressed in the past month.
Cash, Investments and Net Worth
Cash funds has gone up by S$8,000 to S$445,029. Salary income contributed to almost all of the increase as our passive income was only S$750. The cash savings hasn’t increased despite us clearing our credit card expenses from the US trip in May 2017. Reason being we had to pay off the condo maintenance fees for the next quarter, personal care packages expense for the next 6 months and replacement cost of a high value item that got lost.
If anything, the cash savings is going to drop this month and next month as our initial flights, accommodation and train credit card expenses for the South of France trip in October 2017 kick in. We have started reducing our dining, shopping and entertainment expenses but they seem to be offset by the increasing travel expenses. I wonder whether maintaining our cash savings rate will be seen as an achievement.
Investments has gone up by S$2,000 to S$126,682. This is mainly due to the monthly automated investments of S$1,900. The other S$100 was from rising equity markets being offset by the falls in our Telecommunication stocks. The size of our positions in poor performing Oil & Gas and Telecommunication stocks is really starting to impact us negatively even though we are in a bull market environment. Once again, we are terrible at stock picking.
With the usual monthly Central Provident Fund (CPF) retirement contributions flowing in and drop in our mortgage from the housing loan payment, our net worth increased by S$15,850 to S$257,323. A jump of 6.56%. Acceptable and consistent with the previous months.
Dividends received this month:
- Nikko AM REIT ETF (SGX:CFA) – S$2
- Nikko AM STI ETF (SGX:G3B) – S$124
- Silverlake Axis (SGX:5CP) – S$38
- Vanguard ETFs (LSE) – S$4
Total dividend income for July 2017 – S$168
Interest received this month:
- NAB and ANZ AUS bank accounts – S$150
- UOB One SG bank accounts – S$180
- OCBC 360 SG bank account – S$110
- Stan Chart Esaver Promotion SG bank account – S$120
- Other bank accounts – S$10
Total interest income for July 2017 – S$570
We expect a better performance for August 2017 with upcoming dividends from a number of our stocks and ETFs. Interest should increase slightly from an expected bond coupon payout. With the lower ETF dividend yields and re-investments in my wife’s robo-advisor accounts, I reckon it will take a long time for our dividend income to increase significantly. Instead, it might be our portfolio value that goes up more now and we should explore the capital drawdown early retirement strategy in more detail. Not likely we can rely solely on just the passive income since we are moving away from dividend stock investing.
The over reliance on salary income continues to be our biggest risk. We have yet to create a self-sustaining loop between our cash funds and investment portfolio since it’s still our cash injections that drive their growth. I’m interested to see just how long we can keep up this month-on-month growth rate of above 5% in our net worth. No point worrying about the future because we have no idea what the change will be. And whether it would be for the worse or better. Might as well focus on what we are doing now to start shaping that future instead.