Trouble has been brewing. Slowly.
The water flowing out of my kitchen mixer has gradually reduced to a pathetic stream. I knew what the problem was, more or less. Tiny pieces of stones would be stuck inside the faucet over time. I just lack the tools to open it up to clear it, like what I did for my bathrooms. Well, this – I can endure.
However, the drainage proved to be a bigger problem. Ten years’ worth of sticky gunk has embedded itself in the pipes and choked the sink. No choice but to call in the plumber, who took one hour to clear the pipes with the help of a little machine.
Lucky for us, I got hold of a good plumber who responded promptly and solved the problem.
Obviously, I couldn’t have predicted that this would happen on a Saturday just before I was about to prepare a meal. Nevertheless, considering ten years of usage? I knew it was only a matter of time before plumbing, electrical and air-con issues etc crop up.
Being prepared for the rainy days
It rained A LOT yesterday and the intensity was crazy. I was well prepared and kept cosy at home.
An old study – many Singaporeans do not have enough savings to sustain their current lifestyle for more than six months if they were to lose their job. Covid put the focus back on this issue. Even with the help of Resilience Package, many jobs were ultimately lost. Many do not have even the emergency funds to handle adhoc emergencies.
In this instance, money wasn’t much of an issue for me since I have got a sinking fund budgeted for “home maintenance” issues. Every month, I’d put aside a fixed amount of money and deposit it into this “home maintenance” bucket.
Just two months ago, it was another issue with the air-conditioning that made me dip into this bucket as well. Early last year, the handle to my metal gate fell off. I did what I had to do – no sweat.
Literacy in personal finance isn’t just about the fanciful and glamourous stuff.
The basics matter even more, in order to allow us to enjoy a life with less stress.
Sooner or later, it will rain – but when?
Markets will pump, and markets will dump
The situation yesterday illustrated this perfectly. I didn’t bother to do a single thing even when Bitcoin tanked 15% or alt-coins dropped 30%.
The crypto situation in past six months has been a life-changing opportunity for the blessed and brave ones who were willing to take the plunge.
Crypto has changed many lives in the past, and it will continue to change the lives of many in the future.
Every single day, I remind myself to stay level-headed. The basics matter, even more so when faced with enormous temptations.
To me, life isn’t only a choice between black or white. I’m happy to straddle the grey areas. As institutional money and retail money keep piling into crypto, I’m gradually headed in the opposite direction.
I’m de-risking by putting money into traditional portfolios.
I’m de-risking by putting money into savings portfolios.
I’m de-risking by putting money into savings accounts.
I’m de-risking by doing a lot more.
At this point, it’s all about risk management even as a large chunk of my portfolio remains in crypto-related assets. At the end of the day, even if the entire crypto market cap tanks 70% or 80% overnight (which is a much better option compared to tanking over three years haha), I will still be able to sleep soundly at night. And that’s my personal stress test – anything that affects my sleep needs to be addressed.
In my net worth blog post at the start of the year, I mentioned that my focus is starting to pivot from net worth growth to the generation of alternative income i.e. income that isn’t generated directly from my full-time employment.
Right now, my portfolio and alternative income are sufficiently diversified across enough asset classes to cushion any blow. Well, at the very least I can continue to enjoy my economy rice (i.e. “cai png”) lifestyle – with or without work.
Sooner or later, the market will pump (or dump) – but when?
Some cakes are better than others
Just because a store has a F&B license (usually we see the ABCs but grade ‘D’ can still operate? thankfully no grade ‘E’ or ‘F’, but it doesn’t matter what ‘I’ think) doesn’t guarantee that you won’t get food poisoning. What if one component of a cake inexplicably goes bad – can you even eat the cake at all?
On a side note, have you ever wondered whether crab sticks actually contain any crab meat?
So yeah, don’t eat the wrong cake.
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Hello! I’m Kevin, Turtle Investor
At the age of 30, I am the Personal Finance Blogger who laid claim to a negative net worth of minus $25,755 – and decided to turn things around.
- Seven years later in 2019, I hit CPF Full Retirement Sum (FRS) of $176,000 without making a single cent of CPF top-up.
- In eight years, I added $453,000 to my net worth (excluding the value of my HDB apartment).
- I made over $12,000 in alternative income in 2020 (and $20,000 in one month) in addition to my full-time job.
I am married to a lovely wife and that means dual income with no kids. In my free time, I chase miles so that we can fly in business class. My hobby is making pocket change off this blog and sharing everything I know with you!
Supporting My Family Who Is Impacted by Covid-19