Apologies (to myself especially) for the lack of update. I have been tardy in writing.
December 2018 had been an eventful month for me. Near the end of last year, my father passed away and I had been busy handling the funeral and the ritual duties as the eldest son.
Money-wise, a significant portion of my savings was drained to pay the premium for my younger son's endowment policy. My wife and I had chosen Tokio Marine (TM) KidStart, where we opted to pay the annual premium for first five years (about $19,000 per year) and let the sum roll till my boy enters university. (If you are keen, more information can be found on TM website.)
As planned, I added $7,000 to my CPF Special Account under the CPF Retirement Sum Topping-up (RSTU) Scheme. I also contributed to my SRS account. Both were done for the purpose of income tax relief.
The year ended with the stock market in turbulence. Volatility is a two-edged sword - it generates heartaches and buying opportunities at the same time. Happy for those folks who have taken the chance to load up on some good stocks. I did not participate at all, being wary of the decline in my savings.
January 2019 came and went by. It is amazing how fast the stock market rebounded. A slew of positive earnings reports buoyed investor confidence and prices headed up again.
Wifey had asked me whether it was time to sell CapitaMall Trust. She had bought the stock at $1.90 a few years back. I told her the trend suggests it can go higher. Nonetheless, she was happy to take profit at $2.30. A week later, the stock climbed to $2.40.
My IFA (independent financial adviser) alerted me to China Taiping Insurance 3-Year 2.38% endowment plan. But the yield didn't sound too appetizing, given Singapore Savings Bond (SSB) was offering 2.22% p.a. at that time. Moreover, I was out of 'ammunition' to plow into the plan.
Speaking on SSB, it was welcoming news that we are now allowed to invest to a maximum cap of $200,000 (instead of $100,000) starting February 2019. We are allowed to invest our SRS monies too. I view SSBs as a safe and secure fixed income element of my investments. The return may be low compared to stock dividend yields, but at least there is no drama. (I am still grieving over my Hyflux perpetual bond.)
Talking about the devil, Hyflux organized a second town hall meeting for its noteholders and shareholders on January 18 evening. (Of all days, why do it on a Friday evening?) I didn't attend, but from what I read, there wasn't much useful information disseminated. I think it might be time to write off my perp bond holding. Lesson learnt - trust your analysis and don't get tempted by junk bond grade yields.
January 2019 also saw another big outflow due to my older son's NTUC Income RevoSecure savings policy. Like the TM Kidstart policy, we opted to pay the annual premium for first five years (about $14,000 per year) and let the sum roll till tertiary fees come knocking.
After seeing the cash outflows over the past two months, I have been asking myself one question - How BADLY do I want to build my stock portfolio?
I know the answer inside, but I have never proactively worked on it.
It is time to focus on the plan again.