Soaring in 2018

By The Boy Who Procrastinates - February 11, 2018

The last day of January really crept up on me and my procrastinating habit kicks in again. With the New Year upon us and Lunar New Year approaching, it is timely to start 2018 on the right foot and to have a plan on what I strive to achieve, as well as a reflection of 2017. A new year, a new life! Don't be afraid to pursue your dreams, you may fall along the way but know that you may fly one day too. 

And you ask, "What if I fall?"
Oh, but my darling,
What if you fly?
According to a study conducted by Dr. Gail Matthews, a psychology professor at Dominican University in California, people are 42% more likely to achieve their goals and dreams, simply by writing them down on a regular basis. Furthermore, sharing our goals with one another is one way of holding ourselves accountable for achieving it. For effective goal setting, it has to be SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Time-Bound). Therefore, it helps to set realistic and specific goals for the New Year. I would highly recommend that you do some sort of annual review if you have not started on it. It can be a simple scribble on a paper or sticky note on your computer. 

Reflecting on the past is only good for one thing and that is to learn from it. 2017 has also been a rampant bullish year for the global markets. STI ETF has also returned a strong 21% returns which sees considerably gains in investors' portfolios. Personally, 2017 has been a year of uncertainty for me, primarily because I took a 6-month career break to have a better direction of my career path and also to align it with my underlying skills. 


  • My income for the year was halved due to the career break.
  • My time-weighted returns in 2017 is calculated to be 23.09% (Courtesy of StocksCafe) which is a mere margin compared to that of the benchmark STI ETF at 21.11%.
  • Dividend collected in 2017 stands at $833.50. That translates to approximately $69 per month.

2018 Target

  • As a starter, I strive to set a realistic goal to save at least $25,000 (excluding dividends/stock gains) this year.
  • To align with the goal for financial independence, I have intended to increase my portfolio capital flow by at least $15,000.
  • Aim to beat the benchmark STI ETF by a margin of at least 3%.
  • Achieve at least $1,500 dividend in 2018.

Book Reading

  • I have not really been much of a bookworm and would read only textbooks during my schooling days. Ever since I was a kid, I would get my hands on comics and even so, it's mainly just browsing through the artworks. 
  • Over the years, I have understood that the benefit and knowledge one can derive from reading a book is immense. Given that, it certainly comes at no surprise that many successful people such as Warren Buffett and Bill Gates have their reading routines. I have to admit that I am a natural slow reader, as I tend to read word by word and occasionally pause to understand the meaning contained in them. I have recently started adopting the reading habit in 2017 and am proud to have completed 4 books. 😅
  • One of the books that I have completed is Thinking Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman. It covers the area of cognitive biases and behavioural economics, which can be relevant and applicable in our daily financial decisions. I will be writing a book review on it, as well as sharing on the salient takeaways from the book. 

2018 Target

  • As a slow reader, I have planned to increase my book count by 1 to make it 5 completed books this year. I am currently reading Building Wealth through REITS by Bobby Jayaraman and I aim to start on The Intelligent Investor by Benjamin Graham too. 

Target for Personal Development in 2018

  • Initiate on a financial analysis project using either Python / R programming. I hope that i can brush up on my computing skills and statistical knowledge and apply it to finance.
  • Blog at least once a month. I have decided to give myself a more achievable target as I am still learning the basics of blogging, wrapping my head around HTML and juggling with other life commitments. Nevertheless, I will try to make each post a quality one.
  • Aim to whip up a new dish. Even though food comes at greater convenience now with online delivery, I still think that being able to cook is still one of the essential skills to have. 
  • Learn to play a piano piece. It has always been a childhood dream for me to learn to play the piano but due to financial constraints, I didn't have the opportunity to fulfill the dream as a kid. Until recently, I have finally decided to live out that dream and bought a digital piano, P-115 last year! In order not to let my procrastinating nature get the better of me any further, I shall aim to learn to play a new piece in 2018.

Through the process of personal goal-setting, I hope to change for the better by laying down the right habits. Our everyday habits shape our future selves. What we do today is one more action towards who we will be tomorrow. When that action is replicated over the course of days/weeks/months/years, change will eventually be significant to be noticeable. For good or bad, our habits, however insignificant, will determine who we will ultimately become. 

I hope everyone would have an awesome year ahead too. 😁

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