Saturday, 25 August 2018

Singapore Dividends for Financial Freedom - My Story 1

Dividends = Freedom

I've been investing in the SGX since 2015, but blogging is a new found love. Over the last few years I've taken pleasure in reading Singaporean blogs from the likes of

to name a few and I've always admired their succinct and no nonsense approach to stock investing.

Before 2015, I knew nothing about investing. For me, investing was something for the wealthy: poor people bet on horses, rich people bet on stocks. This I muttered silently to myself whenever the topic of shares etc. came up in casual conversation. However, in this year I started reading Jason Fieber's former blog, For some reason unknown to me Jason distanced himself from this blog and set up another called Both of these focus on value dividend investing and financial frugality.

Jason used to be a car salesman in the USA and built up a size-able portfolio of dividend paying stocks with the aim of retiring young and being able to peruse other interests. This he has done and he now resides in Chiang Mai, Thailand, and appears to have achieved his dream of living of dividend goodness. Fair play to him. I urge you to check out his blog and follow his Facebook page. He offers lots of interesting insights and tips on how he manages his spending and evaluates equities. Good on you Jason!

Inspired by Jason, I started reading about investing. Having a background in political science and English literature, I found this tough going. I was more use to deconstructing James Joyce rather than evaluating P/E ratios, but eventually, after much nail biting, the mist began to clear.

I read tons of Buffet's letter to Berkshire shareholders as well as The Intelligent Investor by B Graham and tried to get a grip on what it was these investors had in common. What did they know that I needed to know? What nuggets of knowledge could I extract and apply to my own investing?

I'm sure most of you have read the above so I won't even begin to patronize you will details, but all I can say is that if you are new to the equities game, read Buffet and Graham. In fact, once you have read them, read them again, and then repeat once year for the rest of your life.

Another inspiration for me in the early days was The Motley Fool Money Podcast These straight-talking Yanks made the world of stock investing sparkle with their incessant chatter about the US blue chips. For a while I was tempted to start investing in the S&P 500 until I found out about the 30% tax of dividends in the US. My goodness that news pierced me like a knife to the heart and made my head spin.

I knew by this stage I wanted to invest for income. Growth investing didn't tick enough boxes for me. Namely,  the idea of getting older, nearing retirement and being wiped out by a market crash gave me the fear. Thus, the idea of building up a income paying portfolio bit by bit, diligently reinvesting all money back into the the portfolio and letting compound interest work its magic appealed to me. What could be cooler than sitting back and watching your wealth grow passively? I'm lazy by nature, so I'd found exactly what I'd been looking for all those years: an opportunity to retire younger and secure an income to pursue free time activities.

Anyway, I'll leave it there for today. I look forward to blogging more. I plan to write one every Sunday morning and hopefully I can produce something that's worth reading. Anyway all for now.

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