I guess this is going to be my last post for the year!

2015 has been a pretty good to me. The year end review seemed like it was done more for the benefit of myself, actually. I’m a silent reader of many blogs, and I have found that I’ve enjoyed the year-end reviews and gotten to know a lot more about the people behind the words.

Perhaps you can treat this as a get-to-know-me session then? *laughs*

The format of the review is partly inspired by a sharing session by Providend called “Finishing Well”. This is very much a work-in-progress but I have found it to be rather beneficial personally.

Enjoy!

A. Enablers

Enablers are like little helpers that give us a hand in achieving our goals and purpose in life, and I listed them below.

Health & Fitness

Fitness wise, I don’t think I have made much progress and I’m trying hard to maintain at the current status as much as possible. I passed my annual IPPT this year and earned a $200 incentive, which is a good sign. Only one MC taken this year, too.

My wife had started on this Bikini Body Guide workout and as a supportive hubby, I did it together with her. The guides might look simple. The individual exercises may seem easy.

However, I learnt that even the simplest things requires great effort when done correctly. Don’t cheat your way through the number of repetitions or incorrect body posture – you’re just shortchanging your own health and fitness! Google for this lady called Kayla Itsines and if your significant other asked you to do it with her, congratulations!

I had a tiny health scare when I blacked out once this year. I’m fine and feel as good as ever, but it ever so slightly reminds me that age catches up with everyone, sooner or later. It also reminded me of the importance of having adequate insurance and the fact that the unlikely can happen to anyone.

Emphasis on health and fitness is a must in order to go the distance. And more sleep, too!

Personal Development & Passion

I think I have learnt to cook better this year. Watching cooking shows like MasterChef and Three Meals a Day on TV has unexpectedly allowed me to pick up a few tips here and there. I can whip up delicious Korean chilli paste fried rice now! Watch Korean chef Baek Jong-Won for a start if you’re absolutely clueless about cooking.

Since I started working, I have continued to travel twice a year without fail. This year, I clocked trips to Australia and Thailand and travelling has continued to make me a better person while gaining more appreciation for what we have in our little country.

Let’s continue doing the things I love, I suppose!

Building Wealth & Investing

I have gained and improved my understanding on many things as a direct result of writing and sharing on this blog. This will go a long way towards my wealth building journey.

Increased portfolio value? Yes.

Even though this is a finance-centric blog, I’m actually not a fan of sharing the value of my portfolio and I don’t believe I have ever done it before. I felt that if I write sensible stuff, people will understand and appreciate it.

Other than this, I have also begun to think and plan about creating other sources of income as a supplement to my monthly paycheck and dividends from investments. Of course, this must not be at the expense of work-life balance.

Onward!

B. Five Pillars Of Life

With our enablers in place, we set out to build a strong foundation for our five pillars of life. Everyone has a different focus in life and inevitably, some pillars will turn out to be stronger and taller than others.

Family

I used to work really long hours at times – starting work before 9am and ending past 10pm days were common. Compared to the past, I have made an adjustment and now, I am able to spend much more time with my loved ones. Of course, this comes at a price and if I were to make an guess, it would probably be in the region of a 25% or 30% pay cut. Worth it? To me, yes.

My wife and I make it a point to visit our parents and join them for a meal regularly. Sometimes, all they want is a simple chat with us to see how we’re doing. Of course, and to cook our favourite dishes for us. We have a simple 3-week plan that goes like this : Weekend #1 for a lunch with my parents. Weekend #2 for a meal with my in-laws. Weekend #3 for our private pak-tor time.

Rinse and repeat. We find this to be a simple system that works for us. Time waits for no one. While we can, let’s spend more time doing the things we want instead of putting it off.

Spiritual

Even though my “official” religion is Buddhism, I don’t exactly consider myself a very religious person. However, I have found the idea of Mindfulness to be extremely powerful and refreshing. I hope to spend more time to learn more about it.

Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy.

Professional

Getting out of my comfort zone is perhaps one of the hardest thing I have had to do. A job change last year and the transition period presented a lot of challenges which I relished. No matter what I do, I always believe in putting in my best effort. If not, why bother?

Many lessons were learnt at the workplace this year. Two of the better ones are this –

If you pay peanuts, you get monkeys.

– and this :

When a task cannot be partitioned due to sequential constraints,  the application of more effort has no effect on the schedule. The bearing of a child takes nine months, no matter how many women are assigned.

Along the way, I picked up one of those employee of the xxx award but honestly, it didn’t really mean that much to me nowadays. At the same time, I’m afraid the feeling of comfort and complacency is beginning to grow its roots. Is there a lack of drive? This will require some attention real soon.

Social

Work and family takes up a lot of our time. However, I felt that it was necessary to make the effort to keep in contact with friends, ex-classmates and ex-colleagues even though it might just be a dinner or two every year.

This year, I have also had plenty of fun meeting up with some bloggers, which sort of expanded my social circle a little bit. Hopefully, the healthy trend will continue in 2016 as well.

Community

I did something that I normally would not have done. I started an index investing Facebook group on a whim without thinking too much of the consequences. Later on, I had to get my hands dirty with a little bit of administrative aspect but all is good now.

At that point in time, I wasn’t aware of any particular groups that was focused on index investing in Singapore context. I created my own! I simply felt that it would benefit like-minded individuals to have a friendly place where they could ask questions, share ideas or throw out their thoughts for discussion.

One of the most fun aspects of running a blog is when I see a new message in my inbox – “New Message From The Turtle Investor – Talk To Me!” I’ve had short chats and long discussions with extremely awesome readers who are very kind with their words. Some offered a quick word of thanks, while others wanted to clear their doubts.

No other plans in the near future except to keep these two channels up and running.

Happy New Year Everyone

Looking forward to a better, healthier, wealthier and purposeful 2016. Happy New Year, Happy 2016!

More Than Index Investing

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