At the beginning of 2020, I decided to transition from full-time work to part-time work. This has greatly increased the amount of time I have on hand, and I’d like to channel some of it into personal development on a daily basis.
I’ve since decided to take note of the best personal finance article I read each day, along with 1 single lesson that I’ve learnt from it.
Everything I learn will be compiled into a blog post every week, so it can hopefully provide you with some value too. (Admittedly, this is also to help me, since I learn best when I write.)
If this provides any benefit to you, let me know. If you have any ideas on how to improve these round-up posts, please let me know as well.
Blog Post: A Dummies Guide to Investing in Ireland-Domiciled S&P 500 ETFs, by Seedly.
Lesson #1 – There are Ireland-domiciled ETFs where dividends are automatically reinvested back into the fund, instead of being distributed to shareholders. This will help circumvent the 30% withholding tax that Singaporeans have to pay on their dividends from these ETFs.
Many thanks to Calvin for recommending this article. I love how we are able to circumvent the withholding tax, and how Singapore doesn’t impose capital gains tax. This ensures that we are able to reap maximum investment returns after accounting for foreign exchange risks and expense ratios (which are low anyway for Vanguard ETFs).
Blog Post: How to Invest in Bitcoin? A Simple Beginner’s Guide (My Bitcoin Strategy Revealed!), by My Money Wizard.
Lesson #2 – Bitcoin’s limited supply makes it a deflationary asset (where inflation causes Bitcoin to become more valuable). As the government prints more money, leading to inflation, some of that money will most certainly be ploughed into Bitcoin by investors. This might lead to Bitcoin acting like gold, another limited commodity.
An awesome analysis on Bitcoin, and I can see the potential in investing in Bitcoin. That being said, it’s hard to put my money where my mouth is, so I’m probably not going to be investing in Bitcoin yet.
Blog Post: Is a Recession Really the Best Time to Start a Business?, by David Sax on Medium.
Lesson #3 – “There’s never a good time to start a business, just as there is never a bad time to start a business”. After all, many companies were founded during downturns, such as GE, Disney and Fedex. Starting a business is about acknowledging risks, embracing uncertainty and believing in your own ability to make things work.
The positive attitude of everyone mentioned in the article was uplifting, something we can use more of in a time like this. I feel inspired by the determination that these entrepreneurs have to make things work. I’m certain that it is indeed possible to start a business during a downturn if you keep overheads as little as possible by starting small. As time passes, you build up.
Blog Post: The Person’s Financial Ethic We Should Care Most About Is Our Own, by Becoming Minimalist.
Lesson #4 – We are often quick to judge others, usually those who have more than us, on their financial decisions. We often think that it’s wrong for others to “have that much money”, to “have that many houses”, to “not give more money away to charity”. We think of these people as greedy, or selfish, whereas what we should care about is only our own financial decisions.
Although I’ve sometimes felt this way about others who have more, I’ve never thought much about it, apart from feeling upset or angry. Ultimately, it’s not for me to say whether these people are greedy or selfish; what I should care about is my own financial decisions.
Blog Post: Is Now the Time to Convert USD to CAD?, by Modern Fimily.
Lesson #5 – The current COVID-19 crisis and the steep drop in oil prices has resulted in the steep devaluation of the Canadian dollar, so it might be a good time to buy Canadian dollars. The U.S. dollar has been holding up because there are a lack of good alternatives, and the world is dependent on the U.S. dollar.
Reading this blog post made me realise that I might be able to buy ETFs in Canadian dollars, rather than U.S. dollars. Considering that the Singapore dollar and the Canadian dollar are almost on par now, it would be a lot less “painful” to make the exchange into Canadian dollars, rather than U.S. dollars. Not sure if this is possible, but something to find out.
Blog Post: The Science of Developing Self-Control in Life, by Darius Foroux.
Lesson #6 – The basic idea of entropy is that everything inside a system usually moves toward disorder. In humans, this entropy usually occurs so slowly we don’t notice anything on a daily basis. That’s why we don’t feel any urgency to resist this entropy. Despite this, we need self-control in our daily lives. Self-control can be fostered by having a useful purpose, setting long-term goals and minimising stress.
I’ve heard about the concept of entropy before, but never really slowed down to think about the impact on my own life. I particularly enjoyed the tips to resist entropy, and I think one of them has just inspired a new blog post idea ?
Blog Post: Can Money Buy Happiness?, by Wallet Wise Guy.
Lesson #7 – Money can’t buy happiness, in the strict sense that using money to buy things won’t make you happy. But not having money is likely to lead to not having freedom, which is going to keep you from being happy.
Not having money will keep you in a job you might hate, stuck in the rat race, doing the same thing each day. So though money can’t buy things that will make you happy, you still need money to buy your own freedom.
And that’s all 7 posts for this week. I read so many wonderful ones over the week, and it was difficult choosing just 7, so I’ll just keep on reading and writing these “7 Lessons” posts. ?
Thank you for reading!