30 days of the CB

It’s been 30 days into the CB period.

It still sucks.

Queues are everywhere. Now have to give contact details and temperature for every place visited. Go into the mall, one time. Go into the mall’s supermarket, another time. Step into another outlet, another tedious QR code. I really rather not bother, and don’t go at all.

I noticed that most of those doing the screening are young men. I wonder what they used to do. Seems pretty boring to be sitting or standing there with a thermometer or counter, not to mention dangerous. I hope it won’t be a long-term career for them.

I suspect that this contact tracing and mask-wearing will be with us long after the official CB period is over. It will raise the cost of business and living significantly. An army of enforcers and screeners doesn’t come cheap.

I’m not optimistic about Singapore’s economy, stock market, or the currency. The industries hit severely are aviation, oil, and tourism, which are pretty important for us. Unlike the USA, we don’t have a tech sector, or much of other sectors which would thrive in a pandemic situation. Our stock market is small and dominated by banks and property-related stocks, which are struggling.

There are still nearly 800 COVID-19 cases being reported, even after a month of CB. We are likely to be in recession deeper and longer than many other developed countries. I’m just glad I have most of my assets in USD- denominated equities, bonds, and cash.

A good thing about this period that I had some time reflect on what’s important to me. I’ve been spending a lot of time with my 2 year old, going onto 3. I’ve really noticed his improvement in speech and comprehension, and he’s speaking in full and complex sentences. But potty training progress has been non-existent and he’s not giving us any signs when he needs to go.

My kid was born about 2 weeks after my tumour diagnosis, and I had my operation about 2 weeks after he was born. We named him “courageous faith” in mandarin, as it was a time I really needed to be brave for myself and my family. I didn’t get to see him for his first three months, due to the hospital stays and radiotherapy. I’ve been trying to make it up by being a very involved father, and I’m the preferred parent now (much to the annoyance of my wife). It’s been tiring but gratifying.

I’ve also learned that having $700,000 dumped into my lap didn’t make much difference in my life. I still eat at hawker centres and MacDonalds. I dressed the same, sent my kid to the neighbourhood childcare, and didn’t buy a car. I’m quite happy in my 4-room HDB flat. I don’t need a lot of stuff. Having cancer and a shortened life-span made me realise having love in my life is much more important than money and status.

I resist spending because I want to give my son the financial security I didn’t have while growing up. In a lot of ways, the money feels like another responsibility, as I have to preserve it, and I hardly spend any of it on my own enjoyment. At the same time, I believe that money should work for its owner, and not be buried in the ground. That entails a lot of thinking on what is the best place to make it grow and be diversified. My investment knowledge has grown by leaps and bounds after a lot of conversations with relationship managers and actually getting my hands dirty in the stock and bond markets. This situation with the pandemic also has been a good learning experience.

But enough life lessons pls thx.

25 days more to go.

2 comments

  1. indeed, inflation is inevitable with the endless printing of money. we just need to tighten our purse strings. This CB has been a good time for me to realize that there are a lot of expenses which we can truly live without. our household expenses have gone down around 20% since.

    I wish you good health always, be positive and I’m sure you will live the same lifespan as others 🙂 I can imagine how tough it was two years ago when your child was born and you had to go through operations. trust me, i have been through similar situations and I know how it felt at least to a certain extent.

    1. Hi thanks a lot cy, I really appreciate your kind words. Hope your family will be well during this tough period too

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