Aside from my usual crowd (people who are already clients, other Financial Advisors) I had one message asking me where my article was. Just one.
This is the first time in many months I have actually missed posting an article, and this second time round was late (Thursday instead of Wednesday).
Not only that, but I will be likely unable to post an article next Wednesday.
For this – it’s really inexcusable. But I have to try, because even though Money Maverick is not anywhere near the level of popularity required to actually do things like this, I felt it would be worth it for just one person.
And there was one person. So this is worth it.
I have to put clients and potential clients, and some personal priorities before this blog.
That’s the disadvantage of not being a full time blogger, I suppose. But who really is?
My favorite Financial Blogger (got promoted, Chris) Tree of Prosperity recently did this, so I thought I would do so also – to really kind of explain my prolonged absence.
1) Food poisoning
I had the worst case of food poisoning that I’ve had in a while last Tuesday. The fact that I’m still complaining about it today should tell you something.
In fact, at the point that I am writing this article – the following happened –
i) I spent some time teaching a junior. In my complacency, I assumed I recovered and ate spicy food.
ii) I vomited.
iii) I fell sleepy, so I thought I’d take a quick nap.
iv) I missed my appointment.
v) I MISSED my appointment. I have NEVER overslept for an appointment. Late by a little, maybe. But I’ve never overslept past an appointment entirely. It was terrible, and I was thoroughly embarrassed.
Generally, the first few days of food poisoning were so bad that I couldn’t even spend 45 minutes in front of my computer without getting dizzy and nauseous.
I’ve actually been less sick this year compared to my first two working years, since I learnt how to manage my time better. But it’s hard to prevent external things, like food poisoning.
2) PA Claiming
Naturally, I would use my Personal Accident plan to claim for it.
Interestingly, since Personal Accident plans are not my specialty – I learnt that different PA plans from different companies can still have different definitions for claiming for things like food poisoning.
It can be more lenient, like a simple diagnosis – or it has to warrant or last a period of days.
We are actually having a special where we are offering 6 months of a free PA plan for the parent if you get another one for your child at $2 a week. Things like food poisoning and hand-foot mouth disease, as well as TCM treatments are covered. Terrifyingly cheap.
That took time as well, since I was also helping another person claim concurrently.
For those of you who are fond of TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) or Chiropractors, it was disturbingly easy to claim. O_O
I was disturbed. But it was also very cool. I will likely be abusing this in future.
3) My girlfriend has more drama than yours
A lot has happened to my girlfriend in the last few months, which may explain a little bit why some of my posts seem so soulless because I’ve seen and heard so little of her. In the last few months, the following has happened
- Damage to House, which needed repair
- Damage to Rubber Plantation, which is Father’s primary source of income. Needed to spend excessive time helping repairs and making deliveries
- Mother got hurt from it, fractured Finger.
- Mother gets subsequently retrenched from being unable to do job. New job required.
- Decide against repairing house, lose deposit
- Moves House
- Finds New school for Niece. New School Fees, new routine to get used to.
- Brother gets divorced from his wife, leaving my girlfriend on full time motherly duties. Irritating.
- Tries to make up for income shortfall by selling Mangosteens with the Rubber.
- Everything basically revolves around a lack of money at this point
- Brother’s new girlfriend gets pregnant, leaving him less time to help his father and more time required from my girlfriend.
I'm not sure how to TLDR this, someone try to help me.
There are so many lessons that can be learnt, but basically – money is really important. Making good decisions – also really important, which leads to having money, which leads to less problems.
A lot of things were ignited from the flood, which I realize is one of the things we really take for granted in Singapore – how safe we are, not just in terms of security but against natural disasters as well.
In any case, I’ve been helping her with whatever I can the last few months – both personally and even a little financially, but it’s been especially trying as things go on.
For fellow Christians, do save us a prayer, especially her.
I haven’t been putting too much effort into rebranding, but I started taking it seriously since a lot of people have become very aggressive with online advertising.
I’ve tried it once. I don’t really like it, to be honest. If I had to sponsor a post, I’d like to do what Seedly, DnS and Budget Babe have done – promote specific articles, or the page/site itself.
Because of some of the above, I haven’t had a lot of time to hang out with my team. I miss them – one has left and another is doing really well now, so…change kind of sucks, guys.
Whatever little time I’ve had with them, I cherish it a little bit more. The designs continue to be really beautiful, and I’m really looking forward to how clean and friendly the site will be for readers and clients.
5) Markets have been excellent for clients
I ran a 7 for 7 campaign last month where I basically talked about how my client portfolio’s were doing.
Here’s some idea of how well they’ve been doing specifically.
For the majority of them, any point that they invested up till April was basically dominating the SNP500 completely, let alone something that’s a bit more of a mixed asset allocation platform like Robos.
This kept me extremely busy thanks to referrals, for which I am really, genuinely grateful.
I am usually terrible at asking for referrals and was grateful for the opportunity to show results in context (e.g. making someone 6% in a 9% market is really not great).
This blog wouldn’t be this blog without my bluntness though, and I’m sure I peeved off a few people by completely undermining their low yielding investment instruments, so I’ll be a little fair about some of the other aspects that kept me busy due to excellent markets:
a) Jump in US performance: The US side has picked up in the months after May compared to some of my favorite areas, such as Asia Ex-Japan. Even though the fund would dominate its benchmark net of fees, in the last 3 months or so it would still fall a little behind the SNP500.
One of my favorite diversified funds was about 4% ahead of the SNP500 in April from January – that gap has narrowed to slightly under 2% - and obviously anyone who invested in May or later hasn’t beaten the SNP500 yet.
These are things you have to be honest about when you’re an investment specialist, and I had to spend a lot of time talking to people about why I wouldn’t invest in the SNP500 anyway. There are a few common reasons, which you can read here.
August has been the statistically worst month for the SNP500, so hopefully it affects other people more and my clients less.
(just kidding. Mostly. It would affect my tech clients too...)
I think someone recently posted it on Seedly, which reminded me to point that out - let me know, I'd love to credit you specifically since I never had an illustration for this prior research before.
b) Poor/Emotional Investment Choices: A few people have been worried about the recession when they talk to me. Because this number became fairly significant, I took on a more defensive position for them than I would have preferred.
Some of them did decently well, but we all know that bonds didn't perform as well as equities and Asian Bonds in particular have been dropping (though Singapore Bonds - a surprising outlier, hue.).
Even professionals will face very emotional decisions where you want to respect how important someone's capital is, especially if it's all they have and they're not that confident.
I kind of regret not being able to make these clients double digit yields (which you could do with a 40 - 60 portfolio in this current climate in the last 7 months), but hopefully I won't in the future.
In any case, I apologize for neglecting this blog as well as any of you who’ve not been completely jarred by my jarring personality. It is intentional, but not meant to be harmful.
…Both the missing out and the jarring thing.
I am currently in the middle of insurance season, although I am doing some investments sales – but I haven’t been excessively promoting them because a good season (for equities at least, not Asian Bonds) is a good season, so there’s not too much to talk about.
Even a monkey could invest in anything right now and make money – it’s just a matter of how much. So it's a bit of a mixed bag - some investors get overconfident, and hopefully the rest will find me.
I am going through quite a bit, especially with the girlfriend and work. But I will never neglect clients or potential clients. I hope everyone knows that.
Do continue to read this blog if it is useful for you.
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