Sunday, January 24, 2016

How many weeks in a year? (And why some people get 13th month bonuses)

Well, a simple question that many people have is how many weeks are there in a year. The simple answer is there are 52 weeks in a year.

Of course, we are not trying to be exact here since we know 52 multiplied by 7 only gives you 364 days instead of 365 days.

But is there a way to remember that there are 52 weeks quickly? Well, let me teach you a way that I remember this fact.

See, in the past, people were paid daily or weekly wages and so their monthly salary was based on 4 weeks. However, being paid in this manner means you only get paid for 48 weeks of work in one year. That means you have been shortchanged by one entire month of work (or 4 weeks of work) where you are not paid. And that is where the 13th month bonus kicks in. Of course, many companies do not give out such bonuses anymore but this idea is still prevalent in places like the civil service.

So through this little nugget, you can see that a quick way to remember is that 48 weeks plus the 13th month (4 weeks) equals to 52 weeks.

So there you have it. If anyone ever asks you again how many weeks are there in a year, you can work out the answer to 52 weeks!

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Goodbye 2015, Hello 2016!

So 2015 has come and gone in almost a blink of an eye. And right now, 2016 is already upon us even as I am writing this post in a comfy cafe sipping on my ice-cold coffee and reflecting on what 2015 has meant to me.

2015 was probably a year of both ups and downs. There are definitely many things to be thankful about. Some of these include good health, advancement in career (and pay), seeing new places, enjoying new experiences, and having a great family (nevermind the occasional quarrels and fights). Indeed, I consider myself blessed. And I am still learning the art of contentment even though it still eludes me from time to time. So 2015 has really been a lot more positives than there has been negatives.

Investment-wise, 2015 probably has not been that good. A couple of my investments are losing money still and this is probably where I ought to spend more time and reflect to learn from my various mistakes. One of these mistakes is probably the blind pursuit of yield in some of my investments and that has proved detrimental since the risk was priced in but all I saw was the high yield. The lesson learnt is not to chase yield blindly especially when picking dividend stocks.

Nevertheless, despite my mediocre stock-picking skills and woeful market timing, I have seen my household networth surpass the $1 million mark. Of course this does not put me anywhere the high networth category since that is still way short of the USD$1 million in investible assets. But I know that goal should be achievable (God-willing).

Some thoughts on this is that my networth is largely tied to property so that is something to be mindful of. Also, most of this is probably not due to my efforts. Besides being a good saver and having a relatively okay salary, the rest probably boils down to being born in the correct family, having opportunities that jumped at me, etc. In fact, after much consideration (and as tempted as I am), I don't think there is any practical advice that I can offer anyone to assure them of reaching this milestone the way I did.

The negatives of 2015 probably boils down again to career decisions that need to be made and what awaits me for the future. I don't think I can say that I jump out of bed each day looking forward to the day. There are some changes that I yearn for in life (e.g. more free time and space, traveling, new experiences, etc) and I know these issues will probably need some confronting in the near future especially since I foresee a busy year ahead at work.

2016 is probably going to be a challenging year ahead. Probably not financially but emotionally. But I trust that God will see me through it.

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