Thursday, August 19, 2021

Shifting mindset from extreme saving to increasing income and investing

Saving money was my mantra all along in this financial journey. In my younger days when I started this blog, I wrote various articles about the importance of saving money for financial freedom and even wrote about why extreme savings is more important than investing. As I grow older pass my 30s and approaching my mid 30s, I realised my mindset have to shift away from just saving money. I am no longer just a young chap who is single, no commitments and my parents are getting older. I realised I have more responsibilities and I need to earn more money to survive life. 

Another part of me is tired of the frugal life. I have been questioning myself what's the point of saving so much money and in the end not being able to enjoy the finest things of life. 

Don't get me wrong. Saving money is still important if you're young. In fact, that's the only time we have to save a significant sum of money because as we grow older, we have more commitments and will definitely not be able to accumulate high savings rate anymore. 

Nevertheless, after saving money for the past 10 years, I've decided to shift my mindset to increasing income and investing to grow my money. This is a more sustainable way to live at this stage of my life. 

Increasing income is somewhat more difficult than saving money alone. I've been trying to increase my income for the past few years too and definitely its hard work. To get that promotion, I rack my brains to do many projects that will shine and devise a plan to let my bosses see my effort. I suffered burn out as a result of that even though I got what I wanted. Along with that, I still continue mortgage consultancy work, blogging and investing. Late at night, I'm still reading financial reports to plan what other stocks to invest in. 

I realised I'm not alone in this journey to earn more income. I know of people who have side business on top of their full time job and people who trade the US markets till the wee hours of 4am and wake up at 7am the next day for work. This is the sacrifice to take to increase income. 

I would think I have a comfortable income now to live my daily life but if I were to spend all my income to live this comfortable life, I would not have enough for retirement.  Increasing income and investing is thus important to live a comfortable life now and still have enough for retirement. 

I have my own financial spreadsheet which forecast how much one would have in xx number of years. The below forecast assumes a person with $300K savings, earns an income of about $5000 per month, spends about $3000 per month and invest with returns of 5% annually.

This is how the chart looks like if one does not invest the money. It'll take 22 years just to save up $1 million.



This is how the chart looks like if the money is invested with a 5% yearly investment return. It now takes just 15 years to save up $1 million. 




Now, when I combine the 2 charts, here's what you see. The difference is more noticeable as the years go by due to the power of compound interest.  



I can't emphasize the importance of investing your money but in order for investment to be a significant part of our financial plan, we need to have a substantial sum of savings first (300K for the example above). 

Saving money then becomes not so important once we reach this stage, which is somewhat the stage which I'm in now. Its time for me to shift my mindset but its never easy after saving money for so long and growing up in an environment where I was taught to be thrifty all my life. 

The next steps is to continue increasing my income and be patient with my investments, not giving in to greed which can wipe out any savings I can have in an instant. There are people who indeed lose millions of dollars in the stock market. 

Nevertheless, life is never a smooth sailing one. Having a sum of money and more income will enable us to be more prepared for rainy days such as a financial crisis and also if the needs arise (eg for family healthcare needs). While in this midst of struggle, I should remind myself to enjoy life a little and not be so hard on myself. This is how I should live my life forward. 

Its been awhile since I blogged but definitely I've not forgotten the existence of this blog. I hope all of you are doing well in life and thank you for your support if you've read till the end here. Till the next article we meet again. 


Wednesday, August 11, 2021

INVEST Fair 2021 - Growth story to invest in for the next 10 years

INVEST Fair is back in 2021. I first attended INVEST Fair many years back when I just started investing. I remembered they held the fairs at Suntec city convention hall and MBS and I've went for all before. As a young investor, it was eye opening to hear all the talks as it opened me up to the world of investing. Due to the pandemic, they are not able to hold a live event this year. However, they are back with their first virtual INVEST Fair from 21 to 22 Aug 2021. The 2-days event will bring about discussions and exchanging of ideas on 6 upcoming investment trends in the next 10 years.


Highlights from the first Virtual INVEST Fair

Live Sessions

The usual live sessions which we see at the conference halls will be brought online where you can listen at the comfort of your home. Here are the topics:

  • Wealth In China
  • Digital Transformation & Cyber Security
  • Gems in Small and Mid Caps
  • Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG)
  • Trends driven by Millennials
  • Asset & Portfolio Management
I'm particularly interested in wealth in China, digital transformation & cyber security and trends driven by millennials. These topics seems to be very much forward looking to give us some ideas on what we can invest in for our portfolio growth in the next 10 years. 

We all know that China is fast becoming a powerful economic powerhouse. They have companies such as Alibaba, the ecommerce giant which owns Taobao and Lazada, Meituan Dianping, the king of delivery services in China, Tencent, a world-leading internet and technology company and many other up and coming companies such as from the electric vehicle space and artificial intelligence. The wealth in China topic will be of interest to you if you're looking to invest in the next growth story in China. 

Digital transformation is another area of growth which is definitely happening in the next decade. COVID-19 has accelerated the implementation of digital transformation for many industries and companies. Companies dealing with robotics, sensors, AI, digitisation will be the next growth story. I'm quite sure with 5G coming in the next 2-3 years for many countries, devices will be more connected and possibilities of technological growth will be limitless then. With that, cyber security becomes even more important so companies in this space will do well also moving forward. 

Finally, trends driven by millennials is another topic of interest. Trends have changed over the past 8 years since I started blogging. Mainstream media was popular many years ago when internet was not so easily accessible. Then came smart phone which made internet so easily accessible and mainstream media becoming not so popular while new media such as blogs, internet sites such as mothership became the alternative choice of content for millennials back then. Facebook was hugely popular and is still popular now but I can see trends shifting towards Instagram, YouTube and now the latest craze is on TikTok. TV channels were once popular but now people have shifted to watch on demand content such as Netflix and Disney+. Retail shopping was once the norm but this has shifted to online shopping now. 

From all these trends driven by millennials, we can already decipher some great stocks to invest in. If we had invested in Netflix 5 years ago, we would have gained a 500% return, Facebook (which own Facebook & Instagram) would have returned 300%, Alphabet (which owns YouTube) would have returned 300% and lastly SEA (which owns Shopee) would have returned 1700% all in just 5 years. I will be interested to find out what is the next big growth story based on the new trends going forward. 

There will be a Q&A segment for all sessions, where attendees can post questions to each
speaker/panel. Digital Transformation & Cyber Security and Trends driven by Millennials will be panel discussion moderated by the guys from Seedly while the rest will be presented by individual speakers. 

Virtual Booth

ShareInvestor, along with 4 Gold Sponsors will each have a virtual booth where attendees can visit
virtually to join in the live webinars, promotions, and activities across 2 days.

e-Goodie bag

Just by registering for the fair will get you an e-goodie bag with research reports and freebies from shareinvestor's partners.

The research report will cover topics on:
  • Top 5 Asset Management Funds and their Holdings
  • Investment Trend for the Next 10 years
  • A definitive Guide to ESG Investing
  • 2 Undervalued small and mid caps companies for your watchlist
Sign up now for free to get your e-goodie bag. 

Lucky Draw

There will even be a lucky draw consisting of 8 prizes, ranging from $88 to $388 cash. Just login on that day to stand a chance to win the lucky draw. 

The first virtual INVEST Fair is happening from 21 to 22 Aug 2021, 930am to 1pm. Join in for an insightful 2 days of learning at the comfort of your home. You might get some ideas to really grow your portfolio in the next decade. 

Register for free below:


This post is sponsored by ShareInvestor but all views are of my own

Sunday, June 13, 2021

Is Air Travel Coming Back Soon?

Its been 1.5 years since COVID-19 struck us. Air travel had completely come to a halt when many countries announced border closures. Airports were left empty and airlines had to cut flights and retrenched staff as a result. 

However, things seem to changed recently with higher rates of people being vaccinated. In the US, their government have started to relax measures and air travel is definitely back in the United States. Their airports are full again and flights are also full.



This is a stark contract from last year where airports are empty and flights were relatively empty too. Studies have shown that higher vaccination rates reduces COVID-19 infection rates significantly as seen in the chart below.

Minister Lawrence Wong has also said that "With a higher vaccination rate, compliance with social distancing and safe management measures, regular testing, and faster and more comprehensive contact tracing, Singapore will ease restrictions and gradually restore "our normal lives, both within Singapore and at our borders", said Mr Wong, who is co-chair of the multi-ministry task force tackling Covid-19. Mr Wong said: "As we progress through these stages (of reopening), we will ease our restrictions and gradually restore our normal lives, both within Singapore and at our borders. Then we will move to phase three, and even beyond phase three, to a new normal phase of living with endemic Covid."" This was reported in the Straits Times article here. We have a chance of going into endemic mode once we achieve vaccination rates of above 75% in October, which is the target set by the government. 

Shares of US airlines such as Delta Airlines and United Airlines have went up steadily in the past 1 year. It may still have some run up over the next 1 year as air travel progressively resumes. 



Here's a video on the situation of US airports and its airlines where we can see clearly how packed and crowded it is currently:


Elsewhere in Singapore and Asia, it doesn't seem that air travel is resuming soon as COVID-19 infection rates is still high in countries such as Malaysia. But, as vaccination rates pick up, more air travel bubbles will be formed in the next few months and we will see some form of air travel and tourism back in action. 

As an investor, it may probably be a good time to accumulate some travel related stocks such as Hospitality REITs. Their prices are still depressed and those who are early in the game may be able to reap some rewards in the future. We shall see how situation develops from here on. 

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