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Portfolio Update for January 2023

This will be a relatively short post, just to update on the transactions for the month. For the month of January, the tables seemed to have turned.  A totally different atmosphere and sentiment overshadows the market, but in a good way.  Since the release of the December CPI data, followed by the release of earning results by the banks and big tech companies, the market has been on a propelling motion.  This is also supported by the taming PCE numbers released near the end of the month.  As of the last weekend of January, the DOW, S&P500 and NASDAQ has jumped by 2.54%, 6.44% and 11.89% respectively (Tesla alone has skyrocketed by 64.57%), just within a month!  Even the STI has climbed by 4.57%, boosted by the performance of the banks and recovery of the REITs (however, jitters returned to the markets in the last 2 days, as investors awaits FED decision on interest rates). Will this spectacular performance continue to propel the markets upwards for the rest of this year?  Sentimen

Work-Life Balance... Family Road Trip in Malaysia

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Inertia is real I supposed.  After the holiday mood in December, my work is off to a very slow start in January 2023.  Before everything begins, I am off to a long awaited 4 day 3 night road trip with my family around Malaysia!  The main purpose of this road trip is less of sight-seeing and play, but more of meeting and catching up with relatives, and of course, enjoy the good food in places like Ipoh!  Always important to remind myself familial ties is more important than endless work. Its been a couple of years since I last travelled around Malaysia.  The last time I went to Ipoh was in 2019, and Covid occurred shortly later.  Thankful that this year, at the beginning, my siblings and me have time to accompany my mum back to her hometown to visit her siblings, and of course, enjoy the great food in Ipoh!     View from Airbnb in Ipoh Food wise, I have to say, inflation has impacted every place.  Food prices in Ipoh has risen to unbelievable levels.  It's still relative cheap compa

I Should Start Doing Voluntary Top-Up to Medisave

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Central Provident Fund (CPF) is a compulsory comprehensive savings and pension plan for working Singaporeans and Permanent Residents primarily to fund their retirement, healthcare and housing needs in Singapore.  In an earlier post at the beginning of this year, I gave reasons why as a self-employed, despite having a choice, I still religiously contribute 37% of my income into my CPF accounts.  In 2022 (yes, I am probably 15 years too late), to boost the growth of my CPF balances, I started transferring accumulated amount in my Ordinary Account (OA) to my Special Account (SA) to earn the higher interest in SA compared to in OA so as to build up my retirement savings. At the beginning of the year, I started to ponder if I should also do cash top-ups to CPF to further increase my savings in CPF for retirement.  There are 2 ways to go about doing that.  One, I can top up cash to CPF SA, and hope that with compounding, I can hit Full Retirement Sum (FRS) by the time I reach 65.  Two, I ca

How My Portfolio Changed from 2022 to 2023

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Looking back at 2022, it has been a tumultuous year, full of crashes with puny bright spots.  Overall my portfolio has been in a downtrend because of the widespread negative sentiments.  With the gloomy macroeconomic environment, there were also some changes within my portfolio due to some exit strategies and some rebalancing due to 'buy the dip' actions. This post serves as a reflection for myself for the year, and hopefully, allow myself to learn from my investing journey in future. As a summary: As mentioned in all my previous portfolio posts, I only started venturing into the US market in December 2021.  Therefore, at the end of 2021, the US Growth Portfolio allocation only took up less than 7% of the entire portfolio.  With consistent dollar cost averaging (DCA) into the US market throughout the year, as the market keep crashing, it has pushed my US Growth Portfolio allocation to slightly more than 21%.  This inevitably means my SG Dividend Portfolio allocation decreased t

Why do I Contribute to All 3 CPF Accounts as a Self-Employed?

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Central Provident Fund (CPF) is a compulsory comprehensive savings and pension plan for working Singaporeans and Permanent Residents primarily to fund their retirement, healthcare and housing needs in Singapore. Accordingly to law, CPF contribution rates by employers and employees are shown in the table below from 2022. The contributions will be distributed into three accounts, namely Ordinary Account (OA), Special Account (SA) and Medisave Account (MA). As shown below, the allocation rates differs with age, with increasing allocation towards MA for medical purposes. For the self employed, it is not mandatory to contribute to all three accounts. Instead, it is only compulsory for self employed persons to contribute to MA. The contribution amount is based on the Net Trade Income, as well as the age group of the self employed person, details shown below. Based on the latest news in November 2022, workers in the gig economy (current discussions involve food delivery workers and