Showing posts from March, 2023

Portfolio Update Q1 2023

This month marks the end of the 1st quarter of 2023.  Thus it's definitely a good time for me to record the performance of my portfolio to track how it has been. To recap, I started my SG Dividends Portfolio in late 2017, and I began tracking the dividends and all reinvestment done starting 2018.  To date, my SG Dividends Portfolio consist of banks, REITs and defense technology.  On the other hand, I only started the US Growth Portfolio in late December 2021. Currently, my US Growth Portfolio consist of mainly big tech names, bank and exchange traded funds (ETFs). Being a relatively conservative investor, I prefer to dollar cost average (DCA) into the market to slowly build up my portfolio.  The advantages of using Interactive Brokers to buy the US shares via DCA are undoubtedly the low fees and ability to buy fractional shares of mega-cap technology shares like Alphabet and Tesla.  The latest FED meeting in March showed that the FED will unlikely pivot in 2023 because despite in

A Review of the 4 Types of FIRE Strategies In Today's High Inflation Environment

About a year ago, I have written an introductory post regarding the 4 different types of Financial Independence Retire Early (FIRE) strategies , namely Lean FIRE, Regular FIRE, Fat FIRE and Barista FIRE, where their pros and cons were being discussed.  I believe all 4 strategies have their supporters, and personally I am striving towards Barista Fire.  However, I think as the environment changes (especially now into a high inflationary environment), it will be prudent for us to relook into these 4 strategies to see how well they work and what rectifications may be required. For today's discussion, I will be using the expenses tabled by Money Smart  as per 2023 inflationary environment: 1)    Lean FIRE For Lean FIRE, sky high inflation is probably the greatest enemy.  If near term expenses increase from SGD 1,500.00 to SGD 1,670.00 per month, this 11% increase is going to deplete the portfolio faster than expected.  In my opinion, Lean FIRE, as the name suggest, has the least buffe

One Year On Into Blogging... What Has Changed?

One year ago, I published my first post on 20th March 2022.  Time flies, and its already been a year, and I have posted 63 articles sharing about my personal finances, practices, strategies, beliefs and outlook for life.  I am very thankful and grateful how this blog has accompanied myself along the way, helping myself to grow, and stay focused on track towards my Barista FIRE goal.  I am also thankful to all readers out there who are interested in my posts, communicated with me via comments to help me to realize the good and the inadequacies in my personal finances.  The interactions definitely helped me to grow and learn lots through the year. Looking back, the main purpose of this blog is to journal my journey towards Barista FIRE, making sure I keep track, and stay on track towards my goal.  Have I kept to my promises and rules I set for myself for the past year?   1)    In my first post on 20th March 2022, I wrote the following: " For Compounding Portfolio, I will tentativel

What Can I Learn From The Fall Of Silicon Valley Bank?

If you have not already known, the biggest black swan event that happened in the past week was the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) on Friday, 10th March 2023.  This was actually preceded by the fall of Silvergate Bank SGB), followed by the seizure of Signature Bank (SB) 3 days later on 13th March 2023.  In case you did not already know about it, here's a brief summary about the background of SVB, and the timeline of how SVB collapsed in a matter of just 48 hours. Background of SVB (according to Wikipedia ): " Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) was a commercial bank headquartered in Santa Clara, California.  SVB was the 16th-largest bank in the United States at the time of its failure on March 10, 2023, and was the largest bank by deposits in Silicon Valley.  It was a subsidiary of the bank holding company SVB Financial Group.  As a state-chartered bank, it was regulated by the California Department of Financial Protection and Innovation (DFPI) and was a member of the Federal Rese

Will Bangkok Be A Suitable Place For Retirement?

In an earlier post , I talked about retirement, and my reasons for wanting to retire in Malaysia.  During that time, one of the comparison I made between Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Cambodia and Taiwan was the affordability in the countries using the Big Mac Index.  Based on the Index, Thailand was positioned 3rd in terms of affordability.  So, why am I returning to this subject, and considering if Thailand, or more specifically Bangkok, be a suitable place for retirement for myself?  The main reason is because in early February, I travelled to Bangkok solo for the first time, for a 3 days 3 nights trip!  During this trip, I had the opportunity to both immerse myself in the local way of life, as well as explore the touristy areas.  Although it is the capital city, but in my opinion, it is a wonderful place that has a pleasant blend of the prosperous 'city-life' and the down-to-earth 'countryside living'.  Topping it off with the wonderful and friendly Thais is defini

Personal Prediction of the Timeline I Need to Reach My Barista Goal

How time flies!  In a blink of an eye, we are already in March 2023, the last month of the first quarter.  With the start of the new month, I would like to estimate and extrapolate how long it takes for me to compound to reach my FIRE number, based on the annual dividends I received in 2022 , and the projected dividends I can get in future (without any black swan event).  Kindly note that this is just my personal number and my personal extrapolation and do not work for everyone.  Without further ado, let's dive right in! Since 2018, I have set a Barista FIRE goal for myself.  I aimed to achieve a passive income stream of SGD 2K per month, which translate to SGD 24K per year.  Longer term, I would love to achieve a passive income stream of SGD 3K per month, translating to SGD 36K per year, for FIRE.   Different individuals will have different lifestyle and different needs, and hence a different number for FIRE.  For me, the numbers stated above, are mine, as of January 2023.  This n