Tuesday, August 14, 2012

2.5 months after resigning from employment...

I realised I didn't do anything much....






Actually I took a short break (that's important!). It's time to restart the hard work I did to build up my portfolio again. Goal 2013 seems a little impossible to reach at this rate that I am moving, so I will need to buck up and gear towards it.

With the time freed up, I will be looking into a few areas of my life.

1) Health
I actually failed my IPPT. When I both working as a full-time engineer and teaching tuition, I had very little time to exercise. In fact, I reached a stage where I just didn't have enough sleep, so I had cut down on exercise to get more rest.

Subsequently, body fitness declined substantially. Failing the IPPT is a wake up call, and I'm making use of the RT now to kick start my fitness program again. I'm also watching my diet by taking in more oats than before, now that my mornings are spent at home. Also, I have probably reduced lots of my sleep debt over the past year the past 2 months :)

Investments in health is more important than in equities :)

2) Education
Having rested a little, I have decided I will attempt to apply for a sponsored PhD. There will be some monetary allowance too :)

While it may have been better to study immediately after graduation, I have to serve my scholarship bond, which I did.

Crossing my fingers now. If successful, studies begin in Aug 2013. Looking forward to being busy again!

3) Business / Work
I took some cash and invested in a 50% stake in a tuition centre. Currently, my work is teaching in the centre, as well as looking to grow it.

I learned many things that I wouldn't have if I stayed an engineer all my life.

1) Business opportunities typically could appear out of nowhere, but employees usually don't get much benefit from that.
2) Govt has lots of initiatives to help SMEs, which means only SMEs could take advantages of the monetary help.

Seriously, I have not regretted yet to resign and attempt to strike out on my own. Not all things went as planned, but most did.

Lots of time is saved because things are done when necessary, and not as a show to any upper management. However, lots of discipline are needed. While there's no fixed working hours (I take afternoon naps sometimes), I could  be working after dinner or late at night, whenever I have the inspiration (authoring, making and updating study materials for students, advertising and marketing). It's wrong to say there's no one to answer to as a self-employed, because one has to answer to oneself!

Also, I have learned that one must have lots of patience when things do not go well initially, as well as lots of conviction that one is good. There will often be trying times, but perseverance will usually pay off well.

There's still a lot more to learn, and a lot more things to do.

4) Finance Management
The market has risen significantly. I have taken profit of half my holdings in GLP, and letting the remaining to run. I'm looking further to sell some counters I have that have low dividend yield but some capital gain.

At the same time, I'm monitoring Ascendas H Trust and waiting for it to reach at or below NAV before making a first purchase. The yield is quite attractive, although it is in the hospitality sector, with the majority in Australia. It is a sector that is very highly dependent on tourism.

Looking through the REITs I have, I don't have one on hospitality, so I may consider some when the price is right.

From the time I have started out investing in late 2008, my portfolio has shifted to one focused on sustainable dividends. I now have SingPost and SGX as well.

5) Enjoyment and relaxation
Enjoyment and relaxation is a necessity of life. While I do like giving tuition, sometimes mental breaks are needed. Well, I have much much more of that now. At least I have much more time and energy to sit down, think and ponder about events.... for now :)


  1. Hi JW

    It takes great courage to quit the full-time employment to become a self-employed. Just wonder whether you had made this decision in advance?


    1. Not really. But it sort of move into this path, because I don't really see much growth prospects in my engineering job.

      I used to tell my supervisor that the things to be done were too simple and repetitive

  2. Hi

    Congrats. Have been following your post and glad to see that you had gone on a venture of self-employment. I think by reading from your previous post, you had a rather stable income from tuition alone.

    1. Hi,

      thanks for your reply. Actually tuition income is never stable. I would say it is seasonal, and seriously depends on one's ability.

  3. I am also on the borderline between going from regular job to self-employed - its' scary to think about.

    1. 3 months into it, and I am feeling more comfortable about it. It's always scary to make a large transition in life :)

  4. Hi,

    I admire your courage. In fact, I believe that I am in a transition from a employee to a business owner.

    Kind of scary but I thought that I will feel better when I know there is someone have gone through the same phrase.

    Meanwhile all the best to both of us!

    1. All the best to you!!!

      I still have lots to learn, and I am trying to learn via networking with many people with similar interests. :)

  5. Hi TJW.

    May I know which company is sponsoring ur PHD?


    1. Bro, I will reply you privately via email. Don't think I should be sharing here online.

  6. Was busy and also at reservist... Will reply everyone

  7. How many folks are their out their that would like to leave one job for another. But its a lack of confidence that keeps them in their current job. Your confidence in your ability to find another job quickly and easly is really an important element in your success.


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