Sunday, May 24, 2020

What I'm grateful about

The days just zoom past quickly during the lockdown. The hours are long but the days are fast. We're nearing the end of the official lockdown period but it seems that even after the official period, life is pretty much the same. We still can't go out to restaurants to eat, and still can't resume life in general before covid-19. And who knows how long this will last for?

It's good to have the right mindset when dealing with things beyond your control. But before that, we need to know what we can control. I'm still shoring up my reserves in case this last longer than next year, and that means holding more cash as emergency cash. Beyond that, with regards to the stability of future income, or even dividends income, we have to let go. Or rather, let it be

There are a few things that I'm grateful for, despite the circumstances:

1. There's still work that I can do online

I can understand that there are people whose work is affected. Even if they want to do it online, they also can't. My heart goes out to them. I think in these times, you will know if your work is just merely for paying the bills or does it serve other important purposes in life, like social needs and fulfilling some meaning in your life.

Stay at home can be fun too

2. Family and friends are well and healthy

There are no major health issues with important and significant people around me. Boredom perhaps, but it's a matter of perspectives. Beyond bread and butter issues, I think people do need to worry about their mental health. No point being well-fed, sheltered but mad. Maybe being an introvert helps a lot because I find that I'm perhaps more busy and productive than usual, as I do not have to be drained of energy by going out. I'm recharged by the things that drain other more outward-looking people (like my wife) haha! Introverts, the tide has turned!

3. Relationships are better

Let me explain. I see a lot of heartwarming things that I don't see often. Neighbours bringing some groceries to our household when they have extra. We, bringing some cooked food to others to help out. I'll source out jobs offerings to others who had lost their jobs, especially in the tourism/airport sector. Some of the parents of my students lost their jobs, so I also help out by offering lower rates for my tuition services. I mean, I do what I can within my capabilities, to see if I can make someone's life better during these hard times. I'm sure many others are doing the same too. There's something good out of this whole shitty situation, isn't it?

4. The important things distil out

Sometimes life is funny, in the sense that only when shit happens then you will realise what is most important to you. To find out what is most important, you just strip off things one by one and see how it feels like. This lockdown period is the best chance to do an accounting of what's important and what's good to have. 

I like to remember these strange times as being forced to be introspective. Will I worry about income? Sure, of course. But beyond a certain level of preparation, there's nothing much else I can do, and so I'll just concentrate on the things that I can do. 

Stay strong, stay united, Singapore.

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Singlife accout or CIMB fastsaver

I recently signed up with the Singlife account. You can read about it from other blogger's reviews or from the actual site itself, but to me, it's essentially a savings account. Since I also have CIMB fast saver, I want to explore the decision tree to decide when to put extra funds into CIMB fastsaver or into Singlife account. In my analysis, I'm really going to ignore all the extras, like retrenchment benefits, insurance parts etc of the Singlife account. 

Here's the facts:

Singlife account:
First 10k - 2.5% pa
Next 90k - 1.0% pa
Thereafter - 0% pa

CIMB fast saver:
First 50k - 1.0% pa
Next 25k - 1.5% pa
Next 25k - 1.8% pa
Thereafter - 0.6% pa

Here's the calculations of the interest earned and interest % pa for both:

Singlife account:

CIMB fast saver:

I just did up the interest for the various banding. Straight away we can see that the interest we can get for CIMB is much more for greater amounts of principal put inside, but for smaller amount of principal, Singlife will be more worth it. There must be a point where if I put x amount in Singlife account and the same x amount in CIMB fastsave, the two interest will be the same. And I know x must be somewhere between 75k to 100k.

So, let x be an amount between 75k to 100k,

Amt of interest from Singlife acct: 10,000*0.025 + (x-10,000)*0.01 = 150 + 0.01x 

Amt of interest from CIMB fastsaver: 50,000*0.01 + 25,000*0.015 + (x-75,000)*0.018 = 0.018x - 475

Equating them:

150 + 0.01x = 0.018x - 475

So, x = $78,125

And thus my decision is clear:

To get the highest interest for the same amount of dollars:
I should put it in Singlife account if I have lesser than $78,125
I should put it in CIMB fast saver if I have more than $78,125

If I have exactly $78,125, then I should put it in Singlife account because of the little bit of insurance that I didn't take into account. Both have deposit insurance of up to $75k, so there should be some safety features built into this. 

Okay, now my decision flow is clearer.


How silly of me. In the pursuit of deciding either THIS or THAT is better, I forgot that the better solution is a blend of BOTH. Non-duality! Thanks to 15 hww and WGM for pointing this out to me. In light of that, the best solution is put money in both accounts, as shown:

First 10k - put in Singlife account for 2.5% pa - total interest: $250
Thereafter - put in CIMB fastsaver, preferably not more than 100k inside