Click here for what does H2F3 (Health, Hobbies, Family, Finance and Friends) means. Refer here for my last H2F3 update in 2019Q2.
Time flies, my last H2F3 post is nine months ago. My first 2020 update as follows.
2020 will be known as the year where Corona Virus wreak havoc causing the world to shut down. We are social beings, but now “social distancing” is enforced. We talk about globalisation and a borderless society, but now countries are shutting borders and restricting air travels. Singapore is in partial locked down from 7 Apr to 1 June. Our government call it “Circuit Breaker (CB)”. Streets are empty, schools are closed and everyone is told to stay at home! What a 2020 it has been so far!
Thank God. All my family members are healthy in 2020. My health is reasonably good except for sinus which is still manageable.
Up until CB, my weekly exercise routine includes at least 3-4 times of table tennis, gym and swimming / jogging. Since CB, all facilities are closed. You can still go jogging, but I prefer not to go often, because of the crowd. Instead, I enjoy working out at home with my kids. My favourite workout youtube channel is “Anabolic aliens”.
It is not easy to resist food because you are staying at home all the time. Netflix with potato chips and all sorts of junk food. Simply irresistible, but I also try hard to ensure smaller amount. So far it is still good. Meanwhile, lots of home cooked food during this period, thanks to my in law staying with us.
My weight was 81-82 kg at one point until recently. Good news is I lost a bit of weight lately. Not ideal but still decent. BMI ~24.5, standing 1.78 m at 78 kg, but I prefer BMI of 23-24. Still need to work hard to “flatten the curve” shaving off 2 kg at least.
Multi-vitamins, fish oil and Glucosamine for joints because my table tennis session is usually quite intense and last year my joints started to hurt. Age is catching up. Gone were the days where I am fast and agile with quick body recovery.
Blame myself for not devoting as much time. While we pray regularly, the intensity of bible fades. Although we have family house church occasionally, it wasn’t as much as before. One positive news is my maid is reading bible daily before she sleep.
First and foremost, we are more than thankful to be with our family. I personally know friends who are locked down in foreign land alone. Our heartfelt and sincere prayers for them to be reunited with their loved ones soon.
Stay home bonding
Since the beginning of 2020, I have been traveling frequently. My last trip home is mid-March, just before Singapore implement travel restrictions/regulations. To be honest, the CB maybe a blessing in disguise for me. Now, I can spend precious time for family bonding.
Without doubt, it is tough working from home when schools are closed. Home-based-learning plus few young kids running, screaming and crying can drive you nuts. Yet, their adorable smiles and laughter quickly eclipsed the frustrations. On a very positive note, our eldest are being very sensible and caring to her younger siblings. Overall family relationships is fantastic under the circumstances.
Table Tennis family time
Table tennis is a family affair for us. Since mid-2018, I had been my family’s personal coach. No charges! Last year, I handled most part of the responsibility to the professional coaches. Below is a video clip showing my daughter’s progress in the sports.
Sports has many benefits. I place a lot of emphasis for my kids to remember why sports is so important. They have to keep in mind on the below benefits that I wanted them to memorize. Sports is good for: 1) Health and Fitness 2) Focus, Discipline and Perseverance 3) Friends and Fun
Things are not bright for my company. Group in the Western hemisphere is facing financial crunch even before this crisis. With the current global downturn, most companies will have gone under already. Nevertheless, we are very lucky to be kept afloat. And soon we will have a strong group of investors as our new owners with debts wrote off. Maybe the company’s >300 years history helps? Also, we are market leader in our field.
On the contrary, business in Singapore responsible for APAC is still “ok”. We have no debts with strong cash and orderbook that can possibly last us through for the next 1.5-2 year. My “prudent and prepare the worst mindset” has possibly assimilated well into bringing the company to its current situation. A pat on my own back…*blushed*!
Tend to do well during Crisis
It is not the first time that I tend to do better during crises. This year, my increment is one of the highest since I started in the company. Similarly, during the Financial and Oil Crises in 2008-09 and 2015-16 respectively, I also had my career promotions. This blessing must have come from a higher power.
Portfolio wise, I saw a rise in my portfolio despite the market onslaught. This is due to profits from the partial sale of gold and crypto, as well as double bagger for Keppel DC REIT.
My cash position was bolstered further with sale of partial corporate bond at face value. I then use a part of the cash to purchased stocks cheapy. (STI, Exxon Mobil and few REITs.). Sounds clever right! It’s definitely not a pack of lies. You can refer to my previous H2F3 updates or many other posts to verify my portfolio position and my mindset of non-stock investments in the past years.
Excluding properties and CPF and jewelleries;
· Prior to the crash, I am 39% Cash, 37% metals, 6 % crypto, 9% shares, 9% bonds.
· Currently, I am 51% Cash, 28% metals, 15% shares, 5% bonds, 1% crypto.
Forgive me if you are thinking I am bragging about how good I am or my exceptional foresight.
I just hope to share what I learnt in the last few years and hopefully can bring some beneficial insight to the readers. In 2015 and before, I probably had over 30 stocks with a sizeable equity portfolio. Then there seems to have this invisible energy which is driving me to delve deeply into the truth of our global financial system, which unveils the flaws and wickedness of the system itself. Thereafter, I became sceptical about the market rally after GFC, believing that it was driven by the excess liquidity from QE (money printing), rather than a fundamentally strong economy. My equity portfolio was pared down, and I increase my cash and precious metal’s position.
Reduce a hefty lumpsum of my mortgage loan using cash and CPF recently for the refinancing of my mortgage. My loan amount is now below 30% of the market value of my freehold apartment. Loan of 9 years, but my target is to clear mortgage within the next 5 years if possible.
Teaching syllabus for kids
Spend lots of time last year on my PPT Teaching Syllabus for my kids. Did not progress any further since 2019Q2. Simply too busy with too many things. Hectic work with frequent travels, heavy responsibility both at work and at home, kids’ education, enrichment, training etc. Just too many things.
Committed to World Vision’s child sponsorships last year. Currently supporting several kids in poverty across South-East-Asia. For just $45 a month per kid, you can really improve their lives. For those interested, please visit www.worldvision.org.sg . At the same time, I continue to made regular contributions to support a good friend and his family who had contributed greatly for their neighbours and community. My niece also took monthly overseas education expenses from me.
Friends including relatives are very important to me. Before CB this year, I always had almost bi-weekly gatherings with friends whose kids are also my kids’ good friends. During this locked down, I also stay closely in touch with my friends via whatsapp, lest not forget my friends from foreign countries too. A good friend from China even sent me 10 packs of masks knowing that the Covid situation has worsened. I am so touched by his kindness!
Beside friends, relationships with my superiors, colleagues are also extremely good with almost no conflicts. The earlier part of 2020 also seen lots of relatives gathering on top of CNY.
My hobbies are also what I do for my health to stay fit, like workout, table tennis and swimming. It also overlapped with family. I love the efficiency of Health, Family and Hobbies. On average 2-3 times a week, I will play table tennis with different groups of friends at different places, which also helped me to widen my contacts. I love reading and writing. Aside from bible, news articles, reading of books kind of stop for me. My last book is read half-way. It is biography of Jack Ma. And yes, I am also blogging.
Health – Good but not great due to sinus. Progress in weight loss.
Family – Great. We are staying at home!
Financial – Great. Job seems pretty secured under the circumstances. Excited that backup exit plan from Corporate career is also looking good.
Friends – Great. Up to CB, still catch up regularly. Good relationships with colleagues.
Hobbies – Great. Regular workout and table tennis with family makes me happy.
Nobody expected this Crisis! Hence, it is important that we not always take things at face value. What seems very good now may not be always be good in future. Likewise what seems like pretty “shitty” situation now, when one day we look back will always be a good learning experience. Always inculcate the mindset of prepare for the worst. Once you have that mindset, stay positive, joyful and always extend the helping hand to those we are called, to help.
My prayers to those who are away from families during this unprecedented time.