Saturday, 29 June 2019

Retrenchment and the 25% pay increase that I did not ask for

  Posted at  June 29, 2019 12 comments


I have finally confirmed that I secured new employment and by a fantastic twist of events, I got into a better situation than before. Thank God for opening doors when one was being closed. In short, I received a tidy sum of severance while my annual package increased by 25% (probably because I'm underpaid at current employment, but I won't complain)

It took me 84 days before I secured the offer that I wanted. In total, I sent out a fair bit of applications to which I landed 4 interviews and had 3 offers. I also met a few very nice potential future employers. One of them even held the position open for me for a while despite me rejecting them because I made a pretty strong impression with the boss.

For tips on interviews/career planning, refer to my previous posts:
Interview process cycle: How to increase your interview rates
Investing in our Career (Taking care of the goose) (Constantly upgrade while making plan Bs)
Why we should keep our Resume updated, always. (And dealing with interview preparation)

84 days Job Hunt Timeline
3rd April  - Announcement of retrenchment of my department (Blogged 9/4/2019)
17th April - Attended 1st interview in 1.5 years and screwed it up so bad they didn't contact me
23rd April - Attended 2nd interview (Part sales/Technical role) Offered but rejected
6th May - Attended 3rd interview (Business Support/Technical role) Eventually accepted
31st May - 4th Interview pre- video interview
7th June - Attended 4th Interview (Lab Exec role with School) Offered but rejected

As can be seen, my interview hit-rate is not very good. It is about 1 interview every 21 days or almost 1 on average per month. According to Jobstreet, my total applications was 39. I went for quality instead of quantity in doing and sending out one or two tailored good resume/cover letter per day. I also applied a few through other platforms but not much. One of the interviews that came was from being contacted by a headhunter from LinkedIn (which would become my eventual job). There were also other recruiters that contacted me but it did not materialise into anything.

Breakdown of numbers:
Assuming 45 applications made,
Returns rate of interviews for applications made = 4 / 45 = 8.9%
Offer rate  = 3/4 x 8.9% = 6.7%

From experience, the success rate based on the number of good applications made is around 5%. Alot of it was down to luck and opportunity to secure a ticket to interview. The main difficulty encountered was that my current company bogged down my job hunt with job responsibilities that I was obligated to complete. There were pros and cons to this (allowed me to look for another job while still getting paid until June 30). I was prepared to continue this numbers game if I had no offer on the table until eventually I exhausted all options. Thankfully it did not come to that.


Interesting Interview Experiences:
My first interview in 1.5 years was a total disaster. On the back drop of being retrenched, desperation, fear and unpreparedness caught me off guard. I was even ridiculed by the interviewer for even "daring to apply for their position". In the end, I said a few wrong things and gave a pretty bad impression. It is actually very normal to screw up your first interview in a while. I was sad and frustrated for a day or two over my performance but quickly moved on from it.

The second interview was a pretty memorable one. I guess I will let a screen shot with the recruiter in charge do the talking.

An offer from a reputable company listed in Singapore

After 2 years of Insurance, 2 years as a Lab analyst and now almost 1.5 years as a Chemist, I have developed quite a keen business sense despite being in the Technical side of things. As a testament and vote of confidence for my interview/rapport skills, the HR at this company also mentioned that :"Past candidates usually only get 15 - 20 minutes but you are the first that managed to chat with the Boss for 1 hour plus." I managed to add this Boss to my connections of friends after this as well.

I do think that getting relaxed and being oneself helps one to outperform during interviews (assuming you crunched the interview questions and internalised them). My third interview and fourth ones went pretty well as I looked to be comfortable and display a positive attitude to learn. In actual fact, I "failed" my third interview for the position I was being interviewed for. However, I made sure I had made a strong impression and they offered me an alternative role which was lower but had the opportunity to learn new things. This became my eventual offer that I took up (I left the headhunter to negotiate my package while giving a lowest amount I was prepared to take. They offered me better and the rest was history)

The fourth one was pretty straightforward. It also matched the offer from the third interview in terms of remuneration but it was likely to be a stagnant job going forward.

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Final thoughts
Overall, retrenchment could have ended badly. But it didn't, and it doesn't have to. Perhaps I am still young. Perhaps being positive and taking action helped create my own luck. But perhaps there will be a time in future when I get older and retrenchment might be more fatal.

But hey, that's why we are planning early to invest and hopefully be self-sufficient one day. Last but not least, I'M BACK. And I can start looking at investments once again.

If you are looking for a job, don't give up. It is a numbers game.

Until Next Time,

K.C.
If you like this post, you might like our facebook page as well. I'm also on Investing Note.



Disclaimer: The views expressed, opinion and information in this article are strictly for informational purposes to encourage educational discussions only. It is important to conduct your own analysis before making any investment decisions based on your own personal circumstances. You should take reasonable measures such as seeking independent financial advice from professionals and/or independently research and verify the information that you find on "30 Year Old Investor" before undertaking any important investment decisions. No content on this site constitutes - or should be understood as constituting - a recommendation to enter any securities transactions or to engage in any of the investment strategies presented in our site content. We do not provide personalised recommendations or views as to whether a particular stock or investment approach is suitable to the financial needs of a specific individual. No representation or warranty expressed or implied is made as to, and no reliance shall be placed on, the fairness, accuracy, completeness or correctness of the information or opinions contained on this website. "30 Year Old Investor" shall not be liable whatsoever for loss or damages of any kind arising from the result of any use, reliance or distribution of the articles or its contents from information contained on this website. 

Sunday, 9 June 2019

June 2019 mid-year review: Lessons in my journey so far

  Posted at  June 09, 2019 No comments


I started this investment journey with $1467.37 almost 1 Year, 3 Months and 21 days counting. As they always say, expect the unexpected.

Learn to Count Your Blessings
Recently, I have learnt to count my blessings and try to be more thankful despite my circumstances. Readers who have been following my blog would probably know that I recently have been informed of my retrenchment back in April.

Initially I was feeling under the weather but as I calmed down in my search for new employment,  I realised that this "disaster" could turn out to be a blessing in disguise. How so?

Firstly, I was getting complacent at my current role. It is a 8-5 role where I can get to leave on the dot. And it pays a rather decent and stable salary. But, there was no opening for opportunities for promotion not any pay raise.

With this retrenchment exercise, I not only had a legitimate reason to go for job hunting (for a pay increase, hurray!) and I also will be entitled to receive a small tidy sum of severance payment from my current employment. I am currently waiting 2 offers which I am told I will receive by 3rd week of June. I will explore my options and the career pathways it leads before making my choice.

If all goes well, retrenchment might have been the BEST thing that happened to me this year. I am so looking forward to securing a better job with career advancement prospects and also a better pay package.

I guess as they say, good or bad, hard to say. After all, it gave me a big kick in the butt for being complacent and got me off my comfort zone to be more intentional in my career path planning and also to being actively upgrading skills and updating resumes.

Portfolio Projection Review

As listed on my Portfolio Update page, my yearly target for this year is to hit $24,600 in portfolio value. I have not added much positions and purely relied on savings and so far I have hit $23,130.92. It seems that my goal setting is a little too easy to achieve and I will need to review my target amount at the end of the year.

I'm still on schedule to hit my goals for this year. Given the severance, I will be well over my target but this would likely be a one-off and unrepeatable.

Based on projections:
- Assuming I manage to save only $1,000 per month, (I should save more per month!)
- With no salary growth whatsoever
- Portfolio has to gain overall 6% per year
- Dividends reinvested
- Retiring for $2k/month (expected to reach by age 60)
(I will likely need to re-adjust this as seasoned readers and investors have told me this is likely too low a target to live/survive on)

------------------------------------
Projections (as of 9/6/2019):


Road to Financial Independence
PROJECTIONACTUAL FIGURES
YearAgePortfolio
Projected 2%/yr
Current capital
injection Rate/yr
Estimated
Dividend 3%
Actual Portfolio
at end of yr
Actual Capital
Injection/yr
Actual
Dividends
201831$12,000.00$12,000.00$360.00$15,941.59$16,928.40513.25
201932$24,600.00$12,000.00$738.00$23,130.92
(till date)
$5388.4
(till date)
$325.45
(till date)
202033$37,830.00$12,000.00$1,134.90
202134$51,721.50$12,000.00$1,551.65
202235$66,307.58$12,000.00$1,989.23

(cut short, for full projection, see the portfolio update)


204659$747,872.54$12,000.00$22,436.18
204760$797,266.17$12,000.00$23,917.99
204861$849,129.48$12,000.00$25,473.88
Total$849,129.48$372,000.00$311,751.57
----------------------------------

Portfolio Holdings so far: 


Stock nameCodeEntry priceSharesPrice% AllocationType
1FCOTND8U1.467410001467.376.54Base
2FLTBUOU1.071225002677.8811.93Base
3SingtelZ743.318210003318.1614.78Base
4APTTS7OU0.1631100001631.47.27Speculative
5VicomV016.03405003016.9913.44Base
6SSBJust for reference1.0000200020028.92Base
7
8Cash$8,330.9237.12Cash
Total Amount$22,444.72100.00

Again according to Stocks Cafe,
Time-weighted returns = -3.16%, (all time)
Xirr = 0.62% (all time)

Time-weighted returns = 10.62%, (2019 till date)
Xirr = 24.33% (2019 till date)

I have not added any more positions due to the fact that I am being retrenched at the moment and the invested capital stays around $14k in securities. The portfolio just recently broke even. I lost money mainly on short term speculative positions and my dividend generating positions have so far covered my back. I am now ever more convinced that I should be doing what works (adding long term positions) and cutting down on what doesn't.  (short term speculation with more commission fees paid and lost as a result a double whammy if I made a loss)

Personal Growth
(in terms of investment knowledge)

I absolutely love the Kindle App (can be used on mobile, ipad and computer) and I am trying to read more widely and so far I have read a simple book titled: "The richest man in Babylon". Kindle books are really great because they allow me to carry many books on the go, and they are especially useful during the morning journey to work. 


This book is a collection of parables and stories of how the richest man in Babylon came to be and what are some of the principles to draw from these relatable and easy to understand short stories such as "paying yourself first" (but 10% is too low. For people who starting out it ought to be more than 50% but it is a good principle) and "making the money work for you" to which I can identify with when I blogged previously https://30yearoldinvestor.blogspot.com/2018/07/if-you-spend-what-you-earn-you-need-to.html where one needs to keep a portion of what we earn first. Without spoiling the book too much, here is a summary video of one of the short stories:




I am also starting to read a classic in The Intelligent Investor (which is a recommended read by many forumers on Investing Note) and also one other book that intrigues me alot which is the book titled :"Stock Market Investing for Beginners" If you are just starting out, these two books would no doubt anchor you well in terms of sound knowledge.

I didn't always have the luxury of access to information when I first started with $1467.37. But one always have to start somewhere. The good news is that we can always accumulate knowledge over time. I will be looking forward to share my thoughts and also if possible try to adapt some of the shared illustrations these books have to some Singapore examples. So, do watch this space!


Market Outlook
I am still adopting a defensive strategy towards my holdings. I will still only go for dividend generating REITs or dividend generating stocks on the Singapore market. With the current trade war ongoing, and the hype over whether interest rates will be cut by the FED has sent the market into a whirl. REITs have gone up probably due to the hype that rates will be cut. Fundamentally, things have not changed at all and I believe that I should not be buying on speculation of the rate cuts because they have sent the REITs higher. Many stocks on the other hand are being punished at the moment due to the trade war manifesting itself since that fateful Trump tweet in May about adding more tariffs on China.

Dow Jones index looks to be on the rebound and STI index seems to be following suit.

STI Index have fallen and the mantra "Sell in May and go away" seems to be in motion.



I might be waiting for a market crash that isn't coming given that June is seeing a bit of rebound but that is fine by me for now as I look to keep more cash on hand given my situation and to see if Mr. Market presents good opportunities that I think I cannot pass up.

I have also since come to learn that P/B ratio isn't a very good gauge for whether a REIT is undervalued or overvalued. As challenged by a fellow blogger to dig deeper into the numbers, a better gauge is DPU consistency and growth. Some good REITs might have a high P/B leading us to believe that they are always overvalued. But they never present a chance to buy because they will always be going up (if you just rely on P/B). A good REIT will have such a good track record of their management team being able to deliver growth.

-----------------------------------------

In all, I would like to wish everyone success in your own journey and thank you for reaching out to me and sharing with me your nuggets of wisdom especially in this transition period of my life. I am grateful to have you guys journeying with me so far in my fledgling investing journey.


Until Next Time,

K.C.
If you like this post, you might like our facebook page as well. I'm also on Investing Note.



Disclaimer: The views expressed, opinion and information in this article are strictly for informational purposes to encourage educational discussions only. It is important to conduct your own analysis before making any investment decisions based on your own personal circumstances. You should take reasonable measures such as seeking independent financial advice from professionals and/or independently research and verify the information that you find on "30 Year Old Investor" before undertaking any important investment decisions. No content on this site constitutes - or should be understood as constituting - a recommendation to enter any securities transactions or to engage in any of the investment strategies presented in our site content. We do not provide personalised recommendations or views as to whether a particular stock or investment approach is suitable to the financial needs of a specific individual. No representation or warranty expressed or implied is made as to, and no reliance shall be placed on, the fairness, accuracy, completeness or correctness of the information or opinions contained on this website. "30 Year Old Investor" shall not be liable whatsoever for loss or damages of any kind arising from the result of any use, reliance or distribution of the articles or its contents from information contained on this website. 
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You don't need to pay anyone/company to have a plan of your own and work towards achieving Financial Independence. Only we alone have no conflict of interest with our own money. "30 Year Old Investor" is a personal blog about a Singaporean's savings and investing journey.


Being the average Singaporean, K.C. is also interested in good food, a little bit of politics and a good slice of humour.

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Disclaimer

Disclaimer: The views expressed, opinion and information in this article are strictly for informational purposes to encourage educational discussions only.

No content on this site constitutes - or should be understood as constituting - a recommendation to enter any securities transactions or to engage in any of the investment strategies presented in our site content. We do not provide personalised recommendations or views as to whether a particular stock or investment approach is suitable to the financial needs of a specific individual. No representation or warranty expressed or implied is made as to, and no reliance shall be placed on, the fairness, accuracy, completeness or correctness of the information or opinions contained on this website.

"30 Year Old Investor" shall not be liable whatsoever for loss or damages of any kind arising from the result of any use, reliance or distribution of the articles or its contents from information contained on this website.

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