Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Networth Update for Mar 09

Added Pengrowth Energy Trust

Updating my passive income portfolio.
PenWest Energy Trust had a dividend cut to US$0.15 per unit. Also added Pengrowth Energy Trust into my portfolio. It gives US$0.10 per unit.

My updated portfolio for passive income for 31 Mar 2009 is as such:

1. 12,000 x Ascott REITs (DPU = 4.28 per half) = $85.60 per month (decrease in DPU)
2. 17,000 x First REITs (DPU = 1.94 per qtr) = $109.93 per month (increase in DPU)
3. 1000 x Suntec REITs (DPU = 2.858 qtr) = $9.52 per month
4. 3000 x NOL (estimate 8 cents per year*) = $20.00 per month
5. Maybank iSavvy Deposit = $8 per month
6. 50 x PenWest Energy Trust = $11.00 per month
7. 100 x Pengrowth Energy Trust = $15.00 per month

Total avg monthly passive income = $259.05 (Mar 09)

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Financial updates for March

This is a short post.

Just to remind myself that I added 6000 x Hongguo at $777.73 to my existing share portfolio.

In addition, opened a Citibank step up interest account to earn up to 1% interest for my deposits. Will take 12 months to step up to that 1% interest though.

Making an effort to update my monthly income and expenditure to this blog too.

My income for Mar 09 inclusive of bonuses and CPF contributions = $16, 381.

Hope to update my expenditure for the month of Mar 09 too.

Friday, March 27, 2009

First US Stock for my Dividends Portfolio

Updating my passive income portfolio

My updated portfolio for passive income for Mar 2009 is as such:

1. 12,000 x Ascott REITs (DPU = 4.28 per half) = $85.60 per month (decrease in DPU)
2. 17,000 x First REITs (DPU = 1.94 per qtr) = $109.93 per month (increase in DPU)
3. 1000 x Suntec REITs (DPU = 2.858 qtr) = $9.52 per month
4. 3000 x NOL (estimate 8 cents per year*) = $20.00 per month
5. Maybank iSavvy Deposit = $8 per month
6. 50 x PenWest Energy Trust = $13.50 per month

Total avg monthly passive income = $246.55 (Mar 09) versus $224.59 (Oct 08)

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Thoughts on Financial Freedom, Success and Happiness

Of Financial Freedom

I started this blog in August 2008. The main purpose of this blog then was to chronicle my journey towards financial freedom. After much thought on deciding what financial freedom meant to different people, I decided that financial freedom for me would be simply to allow my monthly passive income to exceed my monthly expenditures.

However, I have come to realise that while this might mean financial freedom in the pure income and expenditure department, it does not necessarily mean that I will become financially "free".

What do I mean?

It means that I could actually have passive income that is greater than my monthly expenditure but still not be contented with what I have. Thus in that sense, financial freedom will become an endless pursuit, a chasing after the wind, where I will just crave for more and more money.

Financial freedom is thus also about the state of my mind. Am I contented with what I have today? Will i be contented when my monthly passive income exceeds my monthly expenditure?

Only when one is contented can one then achieve financial freedom in the true sense of the word.

Of Success

What is success to me? Is it driving a nice big car? Living in a bungalow?

I have decided that true success is being able to contribute back to society - to be able to use one's labour for the benefit of others.

True success is also about not being bothered by how others view you. Why try so hard to impress people you don't like?

Of Happiness

One can be rich and still be not happy. Thus, riches is not the path to happiness.

Instead, happiness is found in having the basic necessities, having close friends and family, and having the freedom to do what you want when you want and not be bogged down by deadlines/meetings/last minute work assignments.

Conclusion

March 2009 marks a turning point in my life as I have become much clearer about what it means to be financially free; and also what success and happiness is all about. Previously I had a vague idea in my head what all these was about but I guess that the more I conversed with people, the clearer my thoughts on this matters became.

This breakthrough in my thinking was only made possible by deep reflection, talking to close friends and also preparing to switch my job.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Singapore Inflation for 2008 is 6.5%

So Singapore's Consumer Price Index (CPI) for 2008 climbed to its highest in 28 years. That is a whopping 6.5% !

What this means is that my money in the bank is basically being wiped out by inflation.

With a paltry < 1% bank deposit rate, the bank deposit rates are simply not sufficient to combat this high inflation.

But in reality, what are the prices that have truly gone up for my household?

I will say one word "Petrol". The prices of petrol has simply gone up so much.

Pumping a 95 octane fuel cost almost $1.40++ per litre. If I remember correctly, the highest grade of petrol used to be that price like 7 years back when I first started driving.

Other than petrol, I don't think my household has seen a significant increase in any other item.

Electricity bills did go up a bit during the end of the year but we managed to cut down on our air-con usage and stuff.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Bills to Pay

The bills have arrived once again.

Credit card bills - $645.52
Road Tax - $380.50
Singtel Broadband - $33.87
Starhub Cable - $25.68
Starhub Ltd - $51.93

I really need to find ways to increase my passive income especially with my pending job switch

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Spent $215 Servicing My Car

My car a Mitsubishi Lancer 1.6A was way overdue for servicing so I brought it to a workshop for servicing today.

It is still way under 80,000km and is only around 2.5 years old so rightfully I should have brought it back to the original distribute (Cycle & Carriage) for repairs/servicing as the 3 year warranty would be void if I went elsewhere.

Problem is: Cycle and Carriage servicing is abit slow and tends to be quite expensive.

So after asking around abit, I decided to go to one of the workshops which my friend uses. He said it was pretty cheap.

The total cost was $215 all inclusive and it took about 1.5 hrs. The works included:

1. Replacing engine oil - Voltronic semi synthetic oil 10W40
2. Replacing air filter
3. Replacing spark plugs - volker iridium (last for 2 years/160,000km)
4. A minor improvement to the dent on my bonnet. He tried "sucking" the dent out 3 times but it only got slightly better

Was it worth it?

Sunday, March 15, 2009

$1588 for a MacBook

Thinking of buying a MacBook but it costs $1588. Not too sure whether it is too much money to pay for just the Apple brand? I actually took a walk at Wheelock's Place to the Apple store that was on the 2nd floor.

I had to ask myself: " Is this a WANT? Or is this a NEED?"

I then realised that a MacBook is a want. I want a MacBook. But in actual fact, I don't need it.
Perhaps I will just buy an ACER laptop which is much cheaper. It really takes a lot of discipline not to spend money unnecessarily.

Simple logic.

"NO" to buying a $1588 Macbook for myself.

I can buy a much cheaper laptop and save the rest of the money.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

I have Resigned from my Job

I have resigned from my job and am looking forward to working at my new place =)

People keep asking me to delay my resignation as times are bad now. Duh.. as if I do not know.

The point is this : I simply do not enjoy working at my current job. I am NOT happy no matter how hard I try.

Yes of course i might not be happy at my new place but at least I have given it a shot. I do not want to spend the rest of my life wondering about "what ifs". You only live through life once.

Well as part of my learning process, I think I have learnt alot about myself in this current job. Some of my weaknesses which I am trying to overcome are as follows:

1. To speak up more. Do not be afraid of stating my opinions.
2. Smile more. Talk to others more
3. Be more proactive. Don't be too reactive. Sometimes when we have too much work to do, we tend to "shun" other "extra" work.

I hope to be able to strengthen my weak points even as I embark on my new job.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

$1071.98 in Passive Income for February 2009

Looked at my bank account today and was pleasantly surprised to discover that I have received quite a bit of passive income for the month of Feb 09.

Total amount was $1071.98 and comprised dividends from First REITs, Ascott REITs and SUNTEC REITs as well as the $200 Goods and Services Tax Credits that I received. Details as follows:

27 Feb 2009 GC S$200.00

27 Feb 2009 CDP CDP-FIRST RE S$266.90

27 Feb 2009 CDP CDP-FIRST RE S$30.60

27 Feb 2009 CDP CDP-FIRST RE S$32.30

27 Feb 2009 CDP CDP-ASCOTTRE S$313.20

27 Feb 2009 CDP CDP-ASCOTTRE S$51.60

27 Feb 2009 CDP CDP-ASCOTTRE S$148.80

27 Feb 2009 CDP CDP-SUNTECRE S$0.81

27 Feb 2009 CDP CDP-SUNTECRE S$19.17

27 Feb 2009 CDP CDP-SUNTECRE S$6.13

27 Feb 2009 CDP CDP-SUNTECRE S$2.47

In my blogging efforts, I managed a paltry US$8.29 from Google's Adsense. But I am not including that into my passive income yet since it is money I will not receive for sometime.

Busy now with filling my tax returns and trying to see what are the tax reliefs and tax rebates I can get.

In these depressive and uncertain times, I have posted some funny videos here to cheer everyone up =)

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Feeling Sick Again Looking at My Stock Portfolio

Feeling totally sick when I just look at my stock portfolio. It is down by more than 50% and the losses are huge.

With the money I have lost, I would have been able to buy a brand new car...

Was I wrong to invest my money into the stock market? Sigh..

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