First, I like to welcome 8 new subscribers to my blog since the start of this year. This brings the total subscribers to 35. Thank you everyone for your confidence. I am now even more motivated to put up quality blogs to meet your expectations. I also welcome your feedback greatly to help me improve.
Two investment weeks just went past within a blink of an eye. How’s your first 2 weeks of the year?
Mine was a hectic one but I was not busy with investment actions. My first week was unfortunately packed with medical issues and concerns related to family members and friends. I had to make 2 visits to the A&E with 2 different family members. Fortunately, one has recovered fully. However, the other was found to have medical issues that would require long term treatment. Furthermore, I learned of a younger friend at work who has just been diagnosed with cancer. I hope she will stay positive and will fight it off successfully.
It is events like these that made you feel very vulnerable with life.
Life can easily surprise us at an unexpected moment and hit us hard. That is why many financial planners advocate us to have an emergency fund available for that “Just-in-Case”. Without a doubt, it is not without opportunity cost as we have to keep such fund always available and liquid (i.e. holding it at very low or zero interest yield). However, the cost of not having it when you need it is especially painful and can easily drain your finances fully in a very short time. There is a pretty good post made by Brian that describes how one should view and establish one’s emergency fund for oneself. You can find that post in his blog “A Path to Forever Financial Freedom (3Fs) – “Debunking The Rule of Thumb About Emergency Funds”
I always remembered this incident that one of my friends had to take overdraft from his credit cards to pay for his mother’s medical bills and then it was a long and difficult financial recovery journey for him. Hence, an adequate medical/hospitalisation insurance is the number one insurance we should all get. For Singaporeans and PR, we have to thank our government for making MediShieldlife available for everyone even if the person has pre-existing conditions. There is also an option to enhance this medical insurance to an integrated shield plan. If you are interested to learn more, you can find more information here: https://blog.moneysmart.sg/health-insurance/how-to-choose-integrated-shield-plans/
Adding to these woes, there were also unexpected issues at work that caused me much personal sadness and heartache … sign … so, it was some tough first two weeks for me.
However, from time to time, we also get reminded that adversity toughens us up. Just 2 days ago, I came across this article that discussed “Why hard times are the key to a happy life”. It is worth a read if you are feeling down with setbacks in life now.
In the midst of all these, I also got some good doses of positivism as well that I was thankful for. The sickness of one family member did not get escalated and he has fully recovered. For the other family member, we were pleasantly surprised that the government subsidy and the Medisave could literally pay for all the medical bills so far and he is in the good hands of competent doctors of NUH.
On the stock market front, STI continued to surge forward by 2.59% in the last 2 weeks. I have been selling into this strength and taking profits on some of the counters. The main purpose was to take profit and reduce my debts on my margin account. I started a margin account in Q4 last year and bought some shares on margin. However, I decided that I should not hold on to them much longer as I felt some of them have been “over-bought” with RSI approaching 70%. So, it has been a flurry of sell, sell and sell activities. But having said that, I did buy some bond ETF to balance up the bond portion of my Index Portfolio.
I was also happy to receive the first dividends of 2018 from Singtel in cash and confirmed the dividend distribution from ABF SG Bond ETF and SPH Reit. The ability of a company to pay regular dividend continuously is a major consideration for me in my investment decisions. In my portfolio, only one company – Noble – is not paying dividend. And I don’t think it will for the foreseeable future. In fact, I have written off my full investment in Noble painfully. 😓
If you are not convinced of the importance of dividend, you may want to read this article by my good friend, Miss Niao “The importance of dividend”. You will be convinced.
Last but not least, based on the experience of Miss Niao and other financial bloggers, I like to share that I have signed up with StocksCafe. To my pleasant surprise, it is a great platform that you can use to track and analyse the performance of your portfolio. It even allows analysis of different sets of portfolios. It will track dividend announcements, ex-dividend dates and record the dividends that you have earned as they are declared, exercised and paid.
I will strongly encourage you to give it a try if you have not experience it yet. Beware, you may get “addicted” … LOL
Just a word about the founder and owner of the site – Evan. He does a fantastic job to maintain and upgrade his website engines. And I cannot believe he doesn’t do it fulltime. And the best of all, it is free if you do not want to contribute to his “maintenance” cost and get more services from it. Even if you are so impressed and want to contribute to his efforts, the cost is really affordable – its $3.90 per month. I think it is great value for money.
Looking forward to next week … I hope ESR, First Reit, Soilbuild Reit and Cache do not pose any negative surprises. Business as usual is good! 😊
Till then, take care,