Welcome one and all to May. This is just the latest in my monthly articles that cover the prior month. I break things down by work, investment, and personal life.
Lockdown in Singapore – extended to June 1st
April has been a pretty sucky month, but needless to say – I am keeping everything in perspective. The Singapore government had announced wide-ranging lock-down measures, originally running through till May 4th. As mentioned in my last update, that had required us two temporarily shut down a couple of our businesses, and that’s certainly had a financial impact in the short term.
Unfortunately during the first couple of weeks of the lock-down [and continuing up to present day], we’ve seen a significant spike of COVID-19 cases within the foreign worker dormitories, which led the government to extend the current lock-down by a further 4 weeks. It took everyone a bit by surprise as the government announced it only 2 weeks into the existing 4-week stint, but I suspect it was partially intended to scare people into being a bit more subservient in following the rules.
Talking with friends, clients, and colleagues I think everyone was fine handling the initial 4-week period, but when it got extended to June 1st, that really hit people quite hard. Nevertheless, the days are ticking along and we keep positive for 1st June onwards.
Client work largely on pause now
I hadn’t really seen any slowdown in client work during May, but it finally hit in April, especially once the lock-down was extended through to June 1st. Many companies are deemed non-essential, thus their revenue has effectively dried up for the best part of 2 months. In this situation, a lot of them are just shutting up, reducing as much cost as possible, and entering hibernation until the lock-down is lifted.
In some cases its a matter of just not doing anything for a client for 1-2 months, whereas for others I am just continuing to keep things moving and offering my time for free.
I did manage to finish up and launch the legal advice portal in Malaysia at least: legalsmart.my but the pipeline of additional articles is having to reduce a touch in order to keep our costs down.
A new side project to keep me busy
I also decided to start a brand new side project given client work has slowed down and we’re basically stuck indoors. It’s a bit early to share too much about it just yet, but it’s going to be a relatively simple classified style website that focuses on a niche in Singapore that is currently poorly catered for. It’s not likely to set the world alight in terms of monthly revenue opportunity, but it’s just the kind of side project I like to work on.
Working on the designs at the moment and looking to start development in May/June.
I’m by no means an experienced trader, but I do enjoy the process of researching an organisation and investing a sensible portion of my monthly savings into stocks. I’ve also found that investing has inadvertently ensured that I keep more abreast of what’s happening around certain companies, products, and industries, which has been generally helpful in everyday conversations.
I made a few adjustments to my portfolio in April. Some of those moves worked out very well, others are very much ‘long term recovery’ options, and time will tell if I made a sensible punt or not.
- $GOOGL [Alphabet]
- $JD [JD Sports Fashion Plc]
- $CCL [Carnival Corp] – not something I plan to hold long term, but the horizon is still ‘years’
- $GILD [Gilead Sciences]
- $LVGO [Livongo Health]
- $TSLA [Tesla] – would actively buy again if it ever drops back below $600
My updated portfolio
- $MSFT – Microsoft
- $GOOGL – Alphabet
- $HEIA – Heineken
- $SAP – SAP
- $NCLH – Norweigan Cruise Line Holdings
- $JD – JD Sports Fashion Plc
- $GILD – Gilead Sciences
- $CCL – Carnival Corp
- $SAN – Sanofi
- $LVGO – Livongo Health
*The above information, and my selections in stocks are opinion only, it should not be taken as investment advice.
The whole family was pretty sick for 2-3 weeks from early April despite the fact we’d been pretty much isolated for more than a month. We had some phlegmy throat and wet cough, but no fever so we aren’t really sure what it was, but it wasn’t very pleasant. After that finally passed, I started getting back into exercising on the trainer, enjoying some races on Zwift again. That’s been a nice escape for an hour or so most days.
I also finally had to give up and turn our backroom into a temporary office to escape my kid’s clutches and get some work done. Bless her, she’s just bored, but it’s very hard to concentrate with a toddler constantly asking you questions and stealing your headset to listen to your conference calls. Here is the true reality of ‘working from home’ with a toddler 🙂
Wishing everyone a safe and happy May!