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Learnt basic accounting

I decided to learn some accounting knowledge, so as to better understand some of the investment materials and reports.
I have been looking around for online resources that can teach me accounting, and help explain to me the basics and concepts. I eventually found this online resource which I think is very helpful - Corporate Finance Institute - and started with their free Accounting Fundamentals course. The course is good in a sense that it explains the basics and goes through the different concepts in a step-by-step manner. This is very helpful for someone like me who has no accounting background at all. There are also mini exercises throughout the course to allow me to try apply the knowledge that has been taught, and I find this very useful to check my own understanding and build my confidence along the way.
Thereafter, I also took up their free course on How to Read Financial Statements. This is a shorter course compared to the Accounting Fundamentals course mentioned above, but I t…
Recent posts

Coronavirus

During this Coronavirus pandemic, I have read a number of articles and I think the following articles are the most informative and insightful. The articles cover both the scientific aspects of the virus, as well as the government policies that could be put in place to help us navigate the situation.

Why you must act now

The hammer and the dance

Out of many, one

Learning how to dance

The basic dance steps everybody can follow

How to do testing and contact tracing

Prevent seeding and spreading

The following TED-Ed videos are short and useful as well, and I think they are especially suitable for children to watch and learn about the virus.

What is a coronavirus?

Which is better: soap or hand sanitizer?

Hope you would find the above useful as well!

Sites I visit daily

To build up my knowledge on personal finance and money management, I visit the following sites daily to read one article from each site. I find Mr. Tako Escapes' article easy to read, and it's always inspiring to see how he managed to retire early and still have a family!
Mr. Tako Escapes
The Escape Artist
Mr. Money Mustache
I also visit the following YouTube channels each day and watch one video from each channel. The videos from these channels inspire me everyday and keep me focused on striving towards my goals, and also provide me knowledge on businesses and tips for navigating the professional world.
Alux.com
Business Insider
Hope the above resources would also be of value-add to your life!

Opinions

With the circuit breaker, almost all of my work meetings are now conducted via tele/video-conference. One thing that I observed from these online meetings is that relatively more people would want to say something, compared to the past when most people in a physical meeting would remain quiet unless the discussion has an impact on their work. Perhaps this is a side effect of people being stuck indoor and within their family circle for too long, and tele/video-conferences are their only outlet to engage in conversations with the wider community and other people. It could also be that it feels less intimidating to speak up when you are physically away and visually out of sight of other people (if you don't turn on your video camera).
It is a good thing that people speak their mind, especially for meetings that are trying to brainstorm ideas and/or to help identify blind spots. However, quite often, it got out of scope and exceeded the scheduled meeting duration as almost everyone wan…

My personal finance roadmap

I did the roadmap below to chart out some actions that I plan to do in my journey towards a better future. This map would help me to stay on track, especially since this journey would be a long one. To a certain extent, this exercise helped me to think through what exactly I want in life, and also helped me to better appreciate how far I have progressed -- and that I should continue to work on it and move forward.

Hope the above would inspire someone out there to also go through a small exercise to map out his/her own journey, and in the process, found new motivation and energy to work towards his/her goals!

DSLR camera

With the on-going virus outbreak, nowadays I spend more time at home and have been doing more to better organise my stuff, thinking about what I want to do in the future, and also what I can do to improve everyday.

I'm looking at buying a DSLR camera, with the hope to capture nicer photos in future and also to try photography as a new hobby. I'm not good at conversations, and maybe photography is the avenue through which I could bring across perspectives. I guess sharing with someone interesting photos that I took would perhaps be an easy way to kick-start a conversation at social events too.
I looked through the following websites for reviews on a DSLR camera that is easier for a beginner, and eventually decided that the Nikon D3500 would be something that I can start with. Would appreciate any advice from experienced hobbyist too! Digital Camera WorldtechradarDigital Photography Review After searching on Shopee and Lazada, I think the lowest price is $519 for the camera, with so…

Frasers Hospitality Trust

I was scanning through the various REITs and got interested in Frasers Hospitality Trust (FHT), and decided to read up more about it. After looking through FHT's financial statements announcement and presentation slides dated 23 Jan 2020, I managed to gain some knowledge about FHT and I understand them within the following framework that I have in mind.
Risk - Is the REIT over-leveraged? Would it face issues when interest rates increase? With these questions in mind, I looked at the following indicators which I think would help me understand the situation better.
Gearing: FHT's gearing was at 35.5%, and this is below the leverage limit of 45% imposed on REITs by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS).Cost of loan: According to FHT, their effective cost of borrowing was 2.4%.Current Ratio: Based on the data from SGX, the Current Ratio for FHT is 1.53. From FHT's presentation slides, their interest cover was 5.7 times. Value - Is it worthwhile to buy this REIT? Is there pote…

Dividends received in 2019

For the year 2019, I received a total of $1,650.85 in dividends from some shares that I have (Frasers Commercial Trust, Singtel, and Starhub). This averages out to be $137.57 per month, which is quite little but at least can help to cover a tiny part of my monthly expenditure. My total investment cost is $39,140.76 and the dividend yield works out to be 4.2%.

For this year, I aim to invest more and hope to build up a stream of income that can help to cover a larger portion of my monthly expenses. Looking forward to the days ahead!

CPF interest received in 2019

When I checked my CPF accounts today, I'm glad that I received a total of  $10,699.62 interest from my Ordinary, Special and Medisave accounts. 
My Ordinary Account (OA) balance is currently at $36,624.85, which is sufficient to cover one year and nine months of my apartment's mortgage instalments. In the event that there is disruption to my monthly cash flow, this would be a source of emergency funding to help me with my mortgage payments. This gives me a little peace of mind.

The new Full Retirement Sum (FRS) is $181,000. After having received the CPF interest earned in 2019, my Special Account (SA) balance is currently at $191,533.53. Seeing this pool of money grows makes me feel less anxious about my post-retirement financial needs. 

As the interest earned from my Medisave Account (MA) is credited to my OA (because my MA has reached the Basic Healthcare Sum [BHS]), there is no injection into my MA and it is currently at $57,200. The new BHS is set at $60,000.Hope …

Sapporo / Otaru

After a great time in Furano, we travelled to Otaru and checked-in to The Green. This used to be Smile Hotel which we stayed at last year, but it seemed like a new hotel chain has taken over this hotel and changed it. The room and toilet was still very small, but we decided to stay here in order to save on accommodation cost (it would have been more expensive if we stay in Sapporo). 
We then made our way to Sankaku Market to eat king crab. As it was just the two of us eating, the fishmonger selected the smallest one for us which was already 2.2kg. It was 19,000 Yen (SGD 230+) after the fishmonger gave some discount and rounded down to the nearest thousand. This price was inclusive of the cooking and eating at the Takeda restaurant just opposite the fishmonger's stall. We requested for it to be boiled but three of its legs to be BBQ-ed so that we could try how it would taste. The crab was boiled at the fishmonger's stall as we saw him brought in the cooked and hot crab via the e…