Year end reflections 2021

It's the routine year end reflection time again. This post turned out to be longer than I intended.

Investment and Trading


Mr market has once again sank into lackluster mode since news of the Omicron spread. I think it's still too early to buy the dips as threats that Omicron poses to countries' economy re-opening remains to be seen. Although we see some glimmers of hope with the new COVID-19 treatment pills in pipeline. 

With FED's bond purchase tapering, "hot money" flow will decrease which might deflate a bit of the Mandrake's tent and rising interest rates might lessen indiscriminate spending. But will inflation of staples due to supply chain disruptions get readily resolved with less money printing? Hmm...


Crypto

I began to read up and learn crypto stuff seriously only this year - a late awakening. I started on crypto platforms like Gemini, Crypto.com, FTX and Celsius, finally ventured out to the once-elusive Defi world and dipped my toes into tokens other than BTC and ETH. Crypto (stablecoins included) formed about 20% of my investment portfolio. You can read more on my crypto adventures here

My gut feel is that the crypto market is "crabbing" or "wintering" currently in tune with the broad market sentiment. The value of crypto still has much room for growth in terms of dApp developments and real-world utility, but for those investing as "project punters", the risk/reward is no longer as favorably skewed after the mega price run up from the start of this year. It's also a spectacular uprising year for "Ethereum killers" - new blockchains and ledger-keeping technologies popping up like it's easy business. dApps are also liberally forked everywhere. I can't help wondering what's the point of having so many DEXes on a particular chain when they are all "copy-pasta" with nothing interesting to offer. Defi 2.0, on the other hand, is much more interesting.

Anyway, I will continue to stay vested in the space as it matures. To sum up my crypto investment, I have made about the same capital gain as I did in 10 years of stocks investing.


Tradfi

I have signed up for Endowus and Autowealth this year as planned. Have been investing on Endowus since March, but my Autowealth account is still empty. I did DCA into a pure US equity fund quite late into the year, which is expectedly at negative return. On the other hand, the global funds portfolio which I started in April did well. So overall it's a net gain, thankfully. Cash smart enhanced inched up, whereas Cash smart ultra inched down.

I have also signed up for a Futu Moomoo trading account to reap the sign up bonus of free Apple share. Hey who doesn't like some free cash? In terms of commission, it is really more competitive than SAXO. Its platform also provides a power suite of data analytics. A small flip side is that it has packed so many features into its tiny mobile interface it may seem a little intimidating to use at first, but you will get used to it eventually. There's also message boards, paper trading and quiz features which made the platform pretty fun to use. Do check out my referral right at the bottom if you are interested to sign up.

My SG stocks portfolio was basking in green - until last week and is currently slightly in the red. Time to patiently wait to buy in some dividend stocks on dip.

My trading of US stocks didn't do well this year. 水能载舟也能覆舟 - that is totally apt in describing Options which I forayed into this year. The 老鼠屎 in my porridge is Twitter - a Put option sold got exercised and failure to stop loss has cratered my account. As some of you might have followed, Twitter's share price has halved from its ATH this year. Position not properly hedged.

Mistake made, lesson learnt.

Networth


My net worth is nothing to shout about. It's up in spite of the change in my work and dropped in earned income. I could have done better if I have been more prudent in my investment and trading decisions. (Hind-sight wisdom beckoning its hand at me again.)

Compared to the years before, I have cut down a lot on my expenses this year. It's done through shaving away the non-necessities and making adjustments in my 衣食住行.

I am well aware that having more of my net worth in volatile and risky assets such as equities and crypto would subject it to major draw-down in a market downturn. Income streams from such investment vehicles are also not predictable eg. many corporations revised their dividends downward in line with earnings drop. So I would likely not add on to these investments now, unless met with a compelling market meltdown situation where everything goes on sale. *Touch wood*

Personal updates


For outsiders looking at my life now, they would probably shake their heads - all gloomy and downright depressing.

For me, I would say it is not as bad as it looks. Surely I cannot describe my current state as happy nor blissful, but I am getting on fine. When not at work, half the time I will be home - chilling. The other half half of the time is fulfilling my caregiving duties. Outsiders would advise me to go back to full-time work and hire a maid instead to care for the two debilitated. However, I chose not to. Not having to work full-time's long hours also cleared up my complexion and bestowed me less white hair.

Like everything else, I see it as a life phase that would come to pass. Everybody with parents will have to go through it someday. Just that some chose to shirk their responsibility / escape - throw to siblings, throw to maid, throw to spouse and wherever else possible. As a counter argument, they don't want their life held back by this responsibility, or perhaps bringing back the bacon to remunerate the caregiver makes better sense when there are other equally important liabilities to consider. Again, outsiders might not see the full picture.


For personal development wise, I have been thinking to pick up a commercially useful skill via proper certification. I have considered programming, so that maybe I can do some API thingy for trading or understand blockchain better but my reservations are my lack of computing background and whether it would be practical to try and understand a fast-evolving technology at such level. Furthermore, programming is very broad and for real application I would probably need to focus on one aspect in-depth. I have also considered some finance-related courses like accounting or risk management.


A small personal achievement that I am proud of this year is my blog rebranding. It's something I didn't plan for but panned out well. With the layout refurbishing, I have tidied up my Labels (under Topics in the sidebar) and RSS feeds. The Google Adsense's sensors seemed to have reset after my domain change and revenue took a dip before rebounding. To my dearest readers, really appreciate your valuable support here by giving comments, clicking the ads and using my referrals.


I recalled writing about improving my cooking skills in 2019 but laziness got the better of me. Most of the time I just stuck with cooking stuff I already know and am good at, because it saves time (usually ready in less than 30 minutes and I wasn't cooking instant noodles hor). Experimenting often requires much time spent in the kitchen, even for something seemingly simple. Just yesterday, I was inspired by this video and decided to try the luncheon meat dish which seemed simple enough. Much as I wanted to get the meat out of its can in the cool Youtube style (there's one video which the cook shook it out in 1 second), but no matter how hard I pressed the can it just refused to budge. Eventually it landed on my chopping board in ugly broken pieces and my dish didn't turn out looking anything like what's shown on the video. That's a fine example of how social media contents disconnect with reality.


Next, not a personal development but a disciplinary improvement - I have cut down much time spent on social media (eg. Facebook and Twitter) this year. Because I don't find the contents conferring much value to my life; in the case of Twitter CT, my investment decisions. They are still good for keeping up with news and promotions, so I do browse occasionally. Anything beyond that are just noises. (Just like people won't care what I cooked or ate, nor care where I have been to, why should I care?) Similarly for blogs and vlogs, only those that gives idea which can better my life will be followed.


With regards to relationships, I have been dating but not in a serious relationship (yes still~). The problem with modern blind dating remains largely the same, regardless of going for events or using app - superficial interactions as such are hard to progress into meaningful relationships. Not to mention, ghosting in communication is also very common. Encounters, as fleeting as they are, often involve much judging and red flags catching.

I also come to realize that as we grow older, seen more good / bad of people, experienced life's ups / down, seen marriages of people fell about, we tend to be more on guard (hiding our vulnerabilities, better at catching red flags) and more picky on our choices when it comes to settling. Ironically, there are also lesser single ladies / guys for us to choose from as we grow older. Yet, we do not wish to compromise.

For someone to be a suitable life-long companion, he/she got to have the same communication wavelength, shares similar life outlook, morals, values, no irksome habits, has decent character and look... The list could go to the moon. We can perhaps construct something like the Ikigai venn diagram with these criteria and rename it "The Perfect Spouse" venn diagram. Tell me what's the chances of ever hitting the bull's eye on it?

Actually, if we have a bigger network of friends or get to work with more people it would increase our chances of getting close to "the bull's eye". (Hitting the bull's eyes here is a fantasy [Youtube: Why You Will Marry the Wrong Person^], just like getting to "ikigai" is.) It is through putting genuine effort in getting to know a person and working with a person that we can discover his/ her strengths and weaknesses, the commonalities shared, whether he/ she is someone who can handle problems amicably together with and not too prickly. Unfortunately, I do not have that luxury. Pandemic has just made things worse and now I am at home more than ever.

Take consolation that if I can't meet someone suitable, it's better to have a happy unburdened single life than compromise for an unhappy burdened marriage life.


^ Quoting from the video - "compromise is a noble achievement in love life". We love therefore we compromise makes more sense than we compromise therefore love.

Moving forward


In 2022, I shall continue to improve me and my family's life, hone my cooking and trading skills, pick up a course (use my Skillsfuture credits) and continue finding my lost soul mate.

That pretty much summed up my plans for the coming year. Need efforts to meet with luck.

I am not planning too long ahead. 既来之,则安之。


"It's not about the awareness nor the intention that makes us a better person, it's the doing." 
- Xandria Ooi (motivational author / speaker)
 


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Comments

  1. Rainbow girl,

    From one caregiver to another, fighting!!!

    I'm luckier as I have 2 other siblings to share the load. And dad is still holding strong despite high cholesterol, high blood pressure...


    I guess you have your "crash got sound" experience on the No.1 reason why most traders lost money - weak money/risk management....

    Never let a mistake go to waste. That's how we veterans survived.

    Now you may understand why I use Stop-Loss orders despite 70-80% of the time, if I had held on to these losing trades, eventually they will make money one day...

    Its to prevent those 20-30% of the time if I didn't get out, they would have wiped out my trading account!!!

    But that's my experience. You have to work out your own money/risk management strategies to survive losing trades/investments. And rest assured, we'll have them!

    There are lots of other hedging methods if one don't like to use Stop-loss orders - for eg, Peter Lynch don't use Stop-loss orders. He got his 10 baggers to dilute out the losses ;)


    You reminded of me during my wilderness days trying to figure out what to do.... I was jumping from one job to another, feeling a bit lost...

    Nope. There were no plans or goals... But when I happened to stumble into IKEA, I knew I can do well there as they were able to appreciate me "flying" under water instead of in the air ;)

    I hope you'll stumble into your "IKEA" - be it what you want to do or a soul mate!

    Jia You!



    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi SMOL,

      Thank you for your words of encouragement!


      Every year there's bound to be mistakes made, every year there has to be something learnt. My belief - never try, never know. :)

      I could have bought a Put option to hedge if I don't want to liquidate my position yet. Didn't expect the price slide to be so drastic and was kind of caught off-guard.


      To find "IKEA", I need more drive and motivations. However, now I feel like I just want to 躺平. Your quote of "why stand when you can sit, why sit when you can lie down" resonates.

      Sometimes I wonder if what I am going through now is the so-called mid-life crisis. A bit early for that? Haha

      Delete
  2. Chanced upon your blog. A refreshing way of blogging. Agree with you on the dating part. Dating is also an investment. A sour investment can dent our wealth temporary but a sour marriage can dent our life considersbly. And like investment, there are many factors to consider.

    I dont really dwell with crypto so i cant comment. I am more into options now which i am still experimenting. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi floorfilla,

      Thanks for dropping by my humble blog!

      Dating, to me, is more like experiment.

      Marrying is investment - a long term committed investment that can come with a heavy price if not careful.


      I am quite new to options. Do you have any opinion to share about options trading?

      Delete
  3. Hi RainbowOnFi,

    It is tough to be care-giver to 2 family members. Recently, I had to bring a loved one to see the doctor on a weekly basis and it is mentally straining to worry about what's wrong. I can only imagine how hard it is to take care of two debilitated single-handedly. I respect you for your sacrifices made.

    Finding the right companion is mostly a matter of luck. If a lady is unable to find her Mr Right, often times it is not her fault. For example, I would expect an attractive celebrity like Anita Mui to easily settle down with a partner, yet she could not till her last day despite wanting to do so badly. In the last song of her last concert when she was suffering cancer, she appeared in a wedding gown. She deeply wanted to find her Mr Right. Unfortunately, life often doesn't work out that way. There are some things in life which seem easily reachable to others, yet so elusive.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WmbHja-Xrbg

    While a highly attractive woman like Anita Mui was unable to find her Mr Right, a less attractive person like me managed to find my Mrs Right. Luck played a big part. What I had to do was to be myself during dating. This way, I'll get rejected by the wrong women and if I managed to finally meet the right person and she accepts me, the chances of the relationship working out will be much higher. She already knows my faults and what she'll be getting before marriage.

    If you're interested in trying out programming, a good project for crypto enthusiasts would be CCXT (CryptoCurrency eXchange Trading Library). You can download historical price quotes of cryptocurrencies as well as specific data from your crypto exchange data to keep track of your own crypto investments. I have written some software using this library for personal use. It is quite easy to learn and there are good examples as reference.

    https://github.com/ccxt/ccxt

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi hyom,

      Thanks for your comments and sharing.

      Yeah luck does play a big role in finding the right person. I would say your Mrs is lucky to have met someone like you who's truly being yourself during dating - no pretention, mask or hidden agendas.

      Perhaps the WHERE and WHEN also matter in what kind of people we will meet. I did some curious reading on late Anita Mui's love encounters and it seemed that she either met the wrong persons or met the right ones but at wrong timing. If effort can't out win luck and fate, 那我就只能听天由命吧。

      In life, "acceptance" and "letting go" are the key ingredients to happiness. When you are constantly in pursuit of things you can't have, then you can never be happy.


      Happy new year 2022 to you!

      Delete

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