This article initially begun drafting Early December and was updated in Early January 2022
As a reader of Financial Blogs for quite a few years, I noticed every blogger does an end of year review. Since I only have two years of investment experience, I will try to catch up and review my 2020 - 2021. I'll be going over each component of my portfolio and whether it went well, and what I could have done better. I hope it will be useful to readers, especially the self-employed.
Following the last post, I had called my investment consultant Luke while he was in Thailand for my client review. Had I known that he was hanging out with our mutual friend and former escort Nana during his holiday, I might have considered going with him.
My review was to go over the many big Financial decisions I had made in the last two years. I feel like I have not really sat down the breathe.
In the last two years:
a) I bought Money Maverick and became an affiliate partner with two brokerage firms and one forex firm (which we will be launching paid promotions towards Chinese New Year) b) I invested my first $12,000 into Manulife InvestReady Wealth II and it became $45,000 (128% net return after accounting bonuses applied). This was the first equities investment I ever made. I will be writing about the ILP later in the year, as I've drafted out some thoughts the last time I was trolled.
READ ALSO: Geographical Risk - How I've Comfortably Beaten The SNP500 By Double Digits Year To Date
c) I bought my property at Canberra with my Mum, before it became mine entirely, and then rented it out. While I'm happy to own a property at the age of 26 (now 27), the whole thing led to a worse ordeal that I will write about when I have time.
d) The business I worked on less scaled to become worth 6 figures, and the business I worked on more was forced to scale down. Life is ridiculous.
e) I graduated from University and completed my 1 year probation, now working full time as an engineer in a start up.
My current net worth after about 3 years of work and 5-6 years of part-time savings presently stands at just over $405,000.
The picture above came about from when Luke and I did an exercise in early December over Zoom while he was in Thailand, to analyze and compare our net worth's.
For the purpose of simplicity, both Money Mavericks portfolios do not compromise whole life insurances, cash or any NDA business transactions. You can feel free to give me feedback on things you feel I should include.
We'll cover one thing at a time and some thoughts on it.
E-commerce business has been good the last two years.
One of my complaints was that the e-commerce business I built from scratch has not had nearly as much progress as my Amazon FBA business. But this should not surprise me anymore as Big Tech makes it easier to develop and market a business rather than trying to do the whole thing from scratch.
I won't disclose too much about what products I sell for each (maybe in a separate article), but both of them have a rather limited market and small absolute gains per sale despite having large net profit percentage. My net 'passive' income increased from my businesses increased to an average of $3400 a month in profit from $3000 last year. It's quite easy to sell an online business for about 4 and a half times the net yearly profit, hence the valuation above. I still have some anxious thoughts because I may not be able to scale these businesses up. It's partly why I got a full time job too.
Manulife Investments [GOOD]
My second round of investments hasn't gone as swimmingly as 2020 where I did about 128% net of fees at it's highest point. While I did trade out of China to India in time, I probably performed just under 12% at the end of 2021.
This is still cumulatively higher than any robo-advisor available by over 80% net of fees and that's why I've always worked with high performing specialists in their field when it comes to both my Finances and Businesses.
If you're looking to invest in a similar manner to us, you can always ask us questions here and after qualification, we will put you in touch with a competent consultant trained by Luke.
My advisor is currently on the lookout for value opportunities.
It's definitely hard to stomach compared to last year, but that brings my total Manulife portfolio to $64,700 from a capital of $24,000 across slightly under two years (after a starting bonus of $7800). I can hardly complain yet.
Rental is going well at a gross yield of almost 6.8% and so I don't have to fork out any additional money for mortgage payments. The problem is that I'm quite inexperienced as a landlord and I don't know how much of the excess I should keep on hand for maintenance or other sudden expenses. Additionally, my registered income for my work and businesses barely covers my loan. My mum initially helped me with the loan and now that's no longer the case. This makes me sweat a little. Considering the difficult circumstances under how I got my own property I would probably never want to sell it. But the property price might not go up a lot higher, or even decrease over time, so I really need to consider my options.
I'm also not completely sure I've accounted for every single fee once its off my hands.
After paying off the loan selling it at market value, it should be worth close to $90,000.
Owed Money [Bad]
If you were reading up to this point you might wonder why I included owed money of $20,000 in this picture. That's because the borrower is my Mum, so I think it will be a bit more reliable but I don't know when I will get it back.
I remember how happy I was the day I was able to buy out my mum's share of the property last year. Had I known that she would endure such a fiasco to get her own property, I might have stayed with the joint ownership for a few more years.
To be honest, I'm not even sure until today how it worked outside of how we both fell victim to a smooth talking real estate agent [where the relationship is now irreparable].
I also don't have emergency funds at the moment and am trying to save money for it as a result.
Crypto and P2P [Unsure]
I invested very early into crypto but it was only $100 in Ripple. That went well, so close to the middle of 2021 I put about $5000 in Cardano as well.
At the time of writing, the assets registered in end 2021 have fallen quite a bit, but at the time it was about $20,000. Crypto seems very much like a coinflip in 2022, so I'm holding on for long term but it's quite hard to stomach.
For my P2P bonds, the interest payments were high but I'm also a bit unsure if it will pay out my capital, given the high defaults I was seeing last year.
My other bond is with BRDGE and it doesn't look good. If anyone else is using BRDGE and has the same problem, you can let me know.
The state of my CPF is a disaster, especially since I used up every available cent I could. When I was on probation for the start up I'm working at, I agreed not to take CPF so I've only been rebuilding it the past 4 months or so after using it all for the property.
I had a surgery on my knee about 2 years ago and I didn't realize how much Medisave I had used. I imagine this year CPF will expect me to contribute quite a bit to Medisave on top of what my employer is giving me, so the numbers should improve soon, but its a bit disheartening.
Most of my assets are illiquid, highly volatile or both. I think my net worth is pretty good for my age and almost all the assets have cash flow, but there are a lot of potential risks posed. I used to believe that if I seriously made sure that every dollar was working for me, the end result would be worth the risks. But it turns out that even I feel really uncomfortable having almost no cash in my bank account.
Rebuilding that safety net will only become harder come April and my new year of taxes.
Net worth isn't the same as having money, and money let's you do many things. For example, if I sold off my business and properties, I would have the highest amount of cash from my net worth on hand: but I would also concurrently kill off crucial streams of income.
For 2022, I don't foresee myself doing any significant savings/investments else other than stacking my emergency fund and contributing to my CPF and Manulife Investment.
During the appointment, the Money Mavericks agreed to create and trade net worth's after completing the list of our assets. This is a more complete version of the article below, where only a portion of portfolio was revealed.
READ ALSO: A (Very) Small Peek Into Money Maverick's Personal Portfolio - The Problem with FIRE Pundits
One of the reasons I've always admired Luke was because of his dedication towards saving 80% or more of his income. But when we first met in 2017, his take home pay after expenses, CPF and taxes wasn't even $30,000. It's amazing how he relentlessly pursues FIRE and I think your Financial Advisor should typically emulate the level of investment dedication which they ask you to do. As we discussed our net worth's and what it took to achieve those things, it gave me a much clearer direction for what I really desired financially.
While there could be opportunity cost from not doubling down on risky assets, my goals are small enough that they don't require me to continually endure the financially and personal stress from doing so every single year, and I was relieved to have this worked out after a thorough consultation.
It's important to chase interest when time is your most valuable asset but not at the compromise of health or when it's unnecessary in achieving goals.
If 8% a year will help reach the end you're looking for, there shouldn't be a need to greedily pursue 12% if it entails taking significantly higher risks for the goals in your life.
We would be happy to recommend experienced and competent financial consultants, some of which Luke has personally trained for years.
Do feel free to drop us a message if you'd like licensed Financial Advice offered by only approved and competent consultants with integrity.