Monday, January 02, 2017

Reflection of year 2016

I think it's important to take stock of what had happened in 2016 and then reflect on the various pillars that make up my life. Let's have a look:

1. Finance

As a financial blogger, this naturally comes first. I'll break it up into two parts, personal finance and portfolio. In 2016, I pushed through my limit of how much I can work in a day. I didn't exactly plan to make a record breaking year, but things just happened this way. As a result, I worked in excess of 45 to 50 hours a week, and that's just the normal non peak hours. This included a 14 hours work on sat that takes me from 8am to 11pm (1 hr for lunch + dinner). I'm glad it's over, but because of the huge amount of work hours, my savings for this year also hit a record high of 70k+. No pain no gain I guess? With regards to expenses, nothing much had changed, except that now there is a new category of expenses labelled under 'Baby'. I think this will take front center stage for expenses in 2017. We shall see.

Portfolio is doing well. Since I started using sgxcafe, I've been tracking my XIRR through their site (I don't calculate xirr on my own). Here's my result:

2016 is an okay year I guess. I'll do more of what I do in 2014 to 2016 and less of what I did in my earliest years. I realised that as long as I don't have negative xirr (or too many negatives), I'll do fine. I think that's why Warren Buffett must be talking about when he says we shouldn't lose our capital. But enough of that, that's another story another time. Portfolio size increase to an all time high this year, with an estimated $700+ dividend income per month in 2017. It looks like my goal of reaching $1k per month dividend income is coming nearer.

Verdict: 5/5

2. Mind

If food is the nourishment for the body, then books must be the nourishment for the mind. I read 40 books this year, a little short of the usual 52 books a year target. I know it's not because of a lack of time - I can definitely squeeze in the time if I wanted to. I'm a little pre-occupied by games in 2016, so that is the true time waster. If I have to justify for this lack of reading in 2016, it's likely because of the long hours of work, so I'm doing something else to take my mind off it. I guess the last thing I want to do after dealing with mental work is to do more mental work by reading.

I bought the Koss Porta pro classic ($74.10) right at the start of the year. I wanted to get it because my speakers back then are failing and I need a pair of headphones to compensate. But my speakers did fail eventually, and I had to get the Logitech Z623 speaker system ($188.90) to totally replace the system. After that, I stopped using the Koss porta classic headphone. It seems trivial and that's how life is like. If you don't solve the issue, and find temporary solutions to solve it, eventually you'll waste more time and effort and you have to solve the initial problem again. I'll bear this lesson in mind.

But I'm generally happy with how my spending is. Most are aligned with my values and I don't find myself too fixated on the monetary part of the spending. I think if my mind is not ready for financial independence, I'll never be, regardless of how my actual finance situation is like. So for me, the problem is with letting go and not controlling so much on the money aspect. I think I did well on that.

Verdict: 3/5 (3 for failing to hit target for reading)

3. Body

I started the year doing my usual pull ups / push up. It came to a point where I feel I'm pretty strong. My system is to do either 30 pushup (standard but proper form) and/or 30 pull ups in a day (I've a pull up bar at home, so I do as many as I can throughout the day until I hit it. Overgrasp, wider than shoulder width). I consistently did that until about June/July period where I was down with severe diarrhea and stomache/vomiting. It lasted for a good month or so and totally killed off my momentum. I haven't been exercising regularly since.

On the diet side, I'm eating fruits every day for breakfast and every other week or so, I'll eat fruits for lunch too. Carbs I've reduced to half the usual portion (half a bowl of rice or lesser). I'm practicing intermittent fasting also, and all my bloatiness after eating carbs is all gone. That's really fantastic. At first, after starting to eat just fruits, I felt weak but still alert. After getting used to it, it's actually quite comforting. I think I've removed one huge paradigm of thought, that we don't have to keep our stomach filled all the time. It's amazingly liberating.

I'm stopping and starting a new regime of climbing up the stairs. I live on the 22nd floor, so will be doing to 13th floor and then up the lift from there. I do it every time I go up to my home, so that's minimally twice a day. We'll see how it catches on.

Verdict: 2/5 (failed exercise routine)

4. Spirit

I stopped the meditation challenge where I meditated everyday for 100 days. It ended in early Jan in 2016 and I thought it was the most powerful act I've ever done in my life. The effects are lasting and it helped me to overcome the urge to stay in my emotional state. For example, if I'm angry with my wife, I can last for a week to a few days in the past. My mind will start having fantasy argument and if she said this, I'll say that and all. These days, I recognise the onset of a bad emotional state, and re-wire it away as soon as I can. It's like you saw the bullet coming in, then you just avoid it away, so there's no need to deal with the wound and all that. It's fantastic.

One of the highlights of 2016 is to take extreme ownership in whatever I do. It helps me to go through lessons where the student is extremely irritable to me. I'll question and rethink what I can do to make the situation better rather than resign to fate. I can always do something about it.

If 2015 is a year where I began meditation, then 2016 is the year I began fasting consciously and taking control of my food choices. I think these practices creates a lot of mental clarity and sharpens my mind.

Verdict: 5/5

Good work! Attack of Takeshi castle - SUCCESS!


AK71 said...

Hi mew ge,

Gong xi fa cai! :D

Climbing stairs will make you fit fit!

If AK can do it, so can you (and I am much older too)! Gambatte! :)

Singapore Man of Leisure said...


All these 2/5, 3/5, 5/5...

I am bemused.

One day maybe you'll discover the pleasure of:

Feel like reading, read. No need to count how many you've read.

Feel like exercising, do it. Its already your lifestyle.

Feel unhappy or angry? Be unhappy and angry. Then let it go. No baggage. (One Minute Management)

We are luckier as guys. We forget easier.

Track and measure do less damage to us.

If 弟妹 keeps a record of what you say and do, 30 years down the road she'll bring it up and use it against you!


My 15HWW said...

2/5 for your diet?

From my viewpoint, I think it should be a 5/5 for being able to curb carbs! Alot to learn from you on many fronts.

I think 2017 will be an even greater year for you!

la papillion said...

Hi AK,

Haha, I will do better! You inspired me with your stairs climbing actually ;) Time to call you shi gong now :)

la papillion said...


I think one day I'll be in such a stage, but not now, not now :) This pokemon still need some experience and time to evolve to the next stage ;)

la papillion said...

Hi 15hww,

Haha, thanks for your encouragement :) I think it's a couple kind of thing. If your wife do it, it'll be so much easier to both do it together. Hence, it must be a family culture kind of thing :) I think 2017 will definitely be interesting :)

AK71 said...

Hi mew ge,

It is a low impact exercise that we in Singapore can do easily, own time own target. Not everyone will enjoy it but, honestly, it is not very enjoyable. ;p

歩歩高升! :D

la papillion said...

Hi Ak ge,

Ya, really not enjoyable...I prefer walking lol But can't be lazy! Must follow AK ge!

Unintelligent Nerd said...


What games you playing?

la papillion said...

Hi UN,

Hmm, let me think. There's fallout shelter, grim dawn, xcom2, pillars of eternity, diablo...that's all that I can remember

Cory said...

2015 is about XIRR 34%. LP I notice 2016 is also the year your break the XIRR reverse of each year on your gains. Congratulation.

la papillion said...

Hi Cory,

haha, you noticed :) Yeah, after my earlier years of nonsense, finally can see daylight :)