Grand Opening of Hustle Cafe – Awesome Brunch & Craft Beer!

After months of hard work and preparation, we finally launched Hustle Cafe, a brand new concept providing awesome brunch and 12 taps of craft beer (and cider).

But that is just the tip of the iceberg. 😀

Hustle Cafe occupies level 1 of the building, and on level 2, we have a co-working space for like-minded individuals to network and create synergies with their business.

And finally, on level 3, we have a training room, where classes on entrepreneurship, business growth and social media are conducted, and with that our whole business functions as a closely-knit business incubator community.

Do drop by when you are free, and have a chat with the friendly staff to find out more. See you there!

P.S. My favourite is the Carbonara pasta and Salmon Rosti, and for drinks I like number 3 and number 9. 😀

P.S.S. I will be having a workshop on trading and investing, and if you are keen to find out more about angel investing and why I invest in businesses such as this, do drop by to have a chat!
Check availability: http://synapsetrading.com/trading-foundation-workshop-2/

 

Grand opening on 21st July! Can’t wait! 😋 #hustlecafe

A post shared by Spencer Li 🇸🇬 Synapse Trading (@iamrecneps) on

Chilling at my new cafe and making some trades. 😎 #hustleco

A post shared by Spencer Li 🇸🇬 Synapse Trading (@iamrecneps) on

How Much Must You Save to Have $1M at Retirement? (The Answer is Surprisingly Low!)

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These days, $1M seems to be the golden figure that everyone aims to attain before retiring. I know there is this great debate about whether $1M is enough, but hey, $1M can get you by for many, many months.

Here’s a table summarizing exactly how much you need to save (or rather, invest) every month, in order to retire with $1M. Using some formulas from my finance 101 class in university,

tableThere you go. I tabulated the figures for easy reference.
Source: MS Excel

It’s one thing to know how much to save monthly, but the real challenge is to get down to doing it.

Here’s 3 tips I have to help you guys attain your own financial goals. They are simple, but you might be surprised how hard they are to actually follow-through with!

 

TIP 1: SAVE MONEY, REALLY.

Yes, save money. This is so easy to say, but difficult to do.

I remember that in my younger days, after receiving my first paycheck, I went out and quickly spent half of my salary on a ‘gift’ to myself, as a reward for seeing the first stack of cash come into my bank account. I quickly learnt that I did not actually need that gift, and that saving money was very, very difficult, especially since you know that your income is certain!

If there was one piece of advice on how to actually save money, it is this: PAY YOURSELF FIRST! It is surprisingly difficult to get yourself to do this, but you must learn to pay yourself first. Paying yourself first doesn’t mean buying something for yourself; it means moving money out from your paycheck into a savings account or investment account on a regular basis.

Perhaps its tough for the first few months, but new habits take time to form and when you actually get down to it, you see that it is a very useful habit to have. In fact, if you have children, it would be good to start teaching them this from a young age. “Pay yourself first, and then spend what you have left” is a good way to instill financial discipline in the younger generation.

Before you ask “How much do I need to save?”, why don’t we just get down to the first step, which is to actually start saving money?

Once you get in the habit of saving, it because second-nature. After doing so for some time, we can move on to the next tip:

TIP 2: BUILD A TRULY DIVERSIFIED PORTFOLIO

Generally speaking, there are two kinds of investing strategies:

FAST money: trading income, bringing in quick gains.

Trading is the way to quickly build up a portfolio and invest in dividend-yielding counters or REITs. Once you’ve stuck to a simple trading strategy, repeating it over time is bound to yield significant profits, much faster than you would in a fixed deposit or by holding the stock index for 5-10 years.

SLOW money: passive income, bringing in smaller but consistent gains.

For those with lots of money, they can allocate much of their portfolio to more stable assets, like dividend stocks, the stock index (it brings a dividend as well!), or other longer-term bonds.

Most people want to use fast money  all through their life, but it is unrealistic. As we age, we have less and less energy and time to continually engage the markets, so the goal is always to have a large war chest that brings in true passive income.

You might be surprised how few people understand the true meaning of a portfolio. Sometimes, the word ‘portfolio’ brings in the idea that you can only buy 5-10 stocks and hold them over 20-30 years. I beg to differ; in a portfolio, one must be truly diversified across…

  • All asset classes (forex, bonds, stocks, REITs, ETFs, commodities)
  • Time horizons (fixed deposits / buy-and-hold dividend stocks VS trading income)

Learning to do so requires some dedication and bumping your head in the wrong places at first. That’s why I always recommend that beginners take up forex trading; they’ll be exposed to market volatility, intra-day and longer-term trading, and also different asset classes by trading oil, gold, wheat, the stock indices, and bonds. Furthermore, you need as little as $500 to start with, and the cost of failure is very low.

 

TIP 3: STAY CONSISTENT

It is remarkably difficult to do something simple over and over again.

Want to lose weight? Exercise and eat healthy. But how many people actually keep to this?

Want to become better at socialising? Spend more time with people rather than with your phone or computer. But how many people actually keep to this?

Want to learn to trade? Stick to 1-2 trade setups, and repeat these trades week after week. But how many people actually keep to this?

It is very, very difficult to do what is simple and boring. In fact, it is the boredom that kills most traders!

One thing that experienced traders fail to do that knocks them out of the game is this: they fail to keep reading, reflecting, and honing their craft.

Continuous learning has to be part of your investing plan. After all, most people only want to invest money, but don’t want to invest the time to learn how to be profitable.

How much returns is good returns?

Well, that depends on your goals. There is a trading strategy for every level of returns. A conservative 10-20% returns as a trader is possible and you generally take a lot less risk than someone who wants 100-200% returns a year.

Depending on when you want to retire, you need to find out how much % returns you need a year, and look for a strategy that gets you there.

 

IT’S BORING, BUT YOU NEED TO TRACK YOUR PROGRESS!

how-muchWith a Google search, I found a useful table to track your progress, credits to businessinsider.sg! Source: BusinessInsider.sg

Suppose you want to save $1M, it’s extremely important to track if you are on target, and see if you need to allocate more funds to fast money or slow money.

If you are proficient with MS Excel, you should be able to come up with a table for your income, expenses, savings, investment returns, and projected net worth by whatever year that you are aiming to retire by.

I hope this article brings you to your feet and gets you started on your quest for financial freedom. Maybe for you, the first step is to actually start saving money! Starting where you are is all you need to do. With every step you take, you’ll be one step closer to your goals.

Cheers! 🙂

RESEARCH SOURCES & REFERENCES

businessinsider.sg/compound-interest-monthly-investment-2014-3/
businessinsider.com/retirement-savings-guide-2014-3?_ga=1.199140719.1988080035.1478087095

 

Monthly Portfolio Update for October 2016 – Acquired New REIT ETF

In time of uncertainty, it pays to be like the tortoise – Slow but Steady. Especially if you are serious about building passive income for the long run instead of short-term gains.

For October, the biggest change in my portfolio was the purchase of this new REIT ETF:
http://synapsetrading.com/2016/10/singapores-first-reit-etf-should-i-add-some-to-my-portfolio/

I also removed the real estate component of my portfolio, as I felt that a residential property (of which the owner resides) is technically not a cash-generating asset, and it distorts the portfolio. You will notice that the portfolio looks a lot neater now.

Baby Hermann's Tortoise (Testudo hermanni), 18 months old

I was overseas much of October, travelling to Iceland, Ireland, and UK for a 2.5 week holiday, while letting my money work hard instead. You can check out my travelling photos here: https://www.instagram.com/iamrecneps/

monthly-portfolio-updates-october-2016-1

For my current allocation, my cash, my trading accounts and my fixed income investments remain the bulk of my portfolio, at 25%, 22% and 25% respectively. This is in line with my defensive strategy, since I only have 11% in Stocks and REITs, which allows me more room to increase the holdings when the market has a significant correction.

For October, we had pretty decent trading gains for stocks and for forex, which we withdrew and added to our warchest of cash reserves. This is in line with our strategy to keep a fixed trading capital base, since we only need a fixed capital base to consistently generate monthly returns.

REVEALED: FULL PORTFOLIO HOLDINGS!

Here are my current holdings as at the end of October 2016:
(Click on any of these buttons below to unlock; for mobile device users, please click twice)

For more insights into my portfolio construction, and how you can create your own customized portfolio, I will be touching more on it during my “Trading Foundation Workshop”, where I will cover all the essentials to kickstart your trading & investing journey. Check availability: http://synapsetrading.com/trading-foundation-workshop/

Good luck! 😀

Monthly Portfolio Update for Septmeber 2016 – Holding Steady & Waiting

This month, there wasn’t much change in the markets, hence the allocation hasn’t changed much, but going forward the Deutsche Bank fiasco might have far-reaching effects which could trigger a market correct in the upcoming months. Hopefully this is not the start of the chain of dominoes.

deutsche-bank

I will be travelling overseas much of October, and I will be keeping an eye on the news as well, just in case there is any opportunity to deploy some of the capital in my bloated warchest. 😀

monthly-portfolio-updates-september-2016-1

For my current allocation, cash and real estate (allocation budget) still remains the bulk of my portfolio, at 24% and 38% respectively. Fixed income consists of 11%, which is very close to the target allocation of 15%. Our Gold holdings also remain constant at 3% of our portfolio.

For September, we had pretty decent trading gains for stocks and for forex, which we withdrew and added to our warchest of cash reserves. This is in line with our strategy to keep a fixed trading capital base, since we only need a fixed capital base to consistently generate monthly returns.

REVEALED: FULL PORTFOLIO HOLDINGS!

Here are my current holdings as at the end of September 2016:
(Click on any of these buttons below to unlock; for mobile device users, please click twice)

For more insights into my portfolio construction, and how you can create your own customized portfolio, I will be touching more on it during my “Trading Foundation Workshop”, where I will cover all the essentials to kickstart your trading & investing journey. Check availability: http://synapsetrading.com/trading-foundation-workshop/

Good luck! 😀

Monthly Portfolio Update for August 2016 – Dividend Payout from STI ETF!

This month, we received a nice juicy dividend payout from our holdings of the STI ETF, which is a basket of 30 STI Component blue-chip stocks.

This is a core of our long-term passive income strategy, and we will continue to add to these holdings, as it naturally provides good diversification, and allows us to focus on being in sync with the market cycles, instead of having to spend a crazy amount of time trying to read financial statements and analyst reports to find the “best stocks” to buy.

monthly portfolio updates 020916 2

For my current allocation, cash and real estate (allocation budget) still remains the bulk of my portfolio, at 30% and 36% respectively. Fixed income consists of 13%, which is very close to the target allocation of 15%. Our Gold holdings increased to 3% during to appreciation of Gold prices, adding to the portfolio gains for this month.

For August, we had pretty decent trading gains for the month, which we withdrew and added to our warchest of cash reserves. This is in line with our strategy to keep a fixed trading capital base, since we only need a fixed capital base to consistently generate monthly returns.

REVEALED: FULL PORTFOLIO HOLDINGS!

Here are my current holdings as at the end of August 2016:
(Click on any of these buttons below to unlock; for mobile device users, please click twice)

For more insights into my portfolio construction, and how you can create your own customized portfolio, I will be touching more on it during my “Trading Foundation Workshop”, where I will cover all the essentials to kickstart your trading & investing journey. Check availability: http://synapsetrading.com/trading-foundation-workshop/

Good luck! 😀