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Have $10K? What to do? Invest or save?

Wednesday, February 1, 2023

I blog about the importance of having an emergency fund from time to time.

More importantly, we should have an adequate emergency fund.

However, there is another fund that I don't blog about as often.

The last time I blogged about it could have been many years ago.

So, unless you have been following my blogs for many years, you might not have heard of it.

I called it "convenience cash."

I like to keep cash at home which is able to cover around two months worth of routine expenses.

This is because in case I am unable to withdraw cash from my bank accounts for an extended period of time for some reason, I have some cash on hand.

Of course, things have changed a lot in the last 10 years and, especially in the last 2, so many things have gone digital.

So, is there still a need to keep so much "convenience cash?"

Now, I suppose I have to say I still do it really because I am mental.

Anyway, the amount of "convenience cash" I have at home, without me knowing, has grown to be quite a sizeable amount.

See my "convenience cash" in 2014:
Convenience cash.

I don't like going to the banks, if I can help it.

So, all the birthday and CNY red packets I received from family members and also money people paid me whenever I helped them buy stuff just got stashed in a drawer.

Today, I opened that said drawer to "deposit" my CNY red packets and I just thought of taking a tally.


I have more than $10K in cash stashed away.

With interest rates so high now, I could possibly get $400 in interest payment if I were to place the money in a 1 year fixed deposit which pays 4% p.a.

$400 can sustain my lifestyle for a week easily!

I know OCBC is offering 4.08% p.a. for 8 months FD but they need a minimum of $20K placement.

Not enough.

CIMB only needs a minimum of $10K for their FD promotion.

So, I checked CIMB for the latest rates, being the first day of a new month.


CIMB's promo rates have reduced drastically!

6 months FD now pays 3.7% p.a. instead of 4% p.a.

12 months FD now pays 3.5% p.a. instead of 4.2% p.a.


How like that?

What is a retiree like me to do?

I decided to "tikam" 6 months T-bill instead.

Hope to get a cut-off yield of at least 3.9% p.a.

Will try $5K for the T-bill closing today and another $5K for the T-bill closing on the 15th.

If you are new to my blog and wondering if you should do the same, please take note that I am doing this because I already have a significant exposure to equities.

Don't anyhow follow social media influencers.

(Hint, hint, nudge, nudge, wink, wink.)


My largest investments (4Q 2022.)

I have always said that having a meaningful exposure to fixed income is a good idea because it reduces risk and volatility in our portfolio.

However, fixed income paid relatively poorly until recently.

Fortunately, in Singapore, we have the CPF which, to me, is akin to fixed income and it offers reasonably attractive interest rates. 

So, the CPF was my preferred tool to maintain a meaningful exposure to bonds until recently.

This year is the first year I am not making voluntary contributions to my CPF account.

Money went to Singapore Savings Bonds in 4Q 2022 as they pay better than the CPF and do the same thing the CPF does for me.


SSB or CPF? No brainer?

Oh dear, I am beginning to ramble.

This is supposed to be a quick blog about my money counting adventure at home and what I plan to do with the money.

Yes, AK is an adventurer and not only in Neverwinter and Teyvat!

Anyway, I should stop.

If you want to know what I think we should do before we start investing our money, I have many related blogs on the matter.

You might want to start with this blog:

Graduating soon? First steps.

If you are more advanced, read these blogs:

Investing peace of mind.

Buy bonds but which ones?


My latest YouTube video on CPF:


The Dreamzola Traveller said...

OMG! 10k cash at home. I doubt I even got half of it in my house now. LOL.

January is a rich CPF month with all the interests adding in. :)

AK71 said...


It was definitely an OMG moment for me too. -.-"

Crazy AK strikes again! ;p

CPF? My CPF account looks very poor now. (TmT)

AK71 said...

Cut-off yield for 6 months T-bill: 3.88% p.a.

Very close to my wish for at least 3.9% p.a.

100% of non-competitive applications allotted.

Not bad. :)

Wee ee said...

Can you talk to yourself on the NTUC Income Corporatisation ?
Do you think the impending buyback will be attractive since the shares are not listed and it would be difficult to sell them openly.
Thanks and a Happy New Year !


AK71 said...

Hi Wee ee,

I am waiting for more information.

However, my inclination is to hold on to the shares as they are worth more than $10 each if we look at the NAV of NTUC Income.

Also, the dividend yield of 6% p.a. is hard to beat.

It is like CPF or SSB on steroids. ;p

Unfortunately, I don't have that many shares as I bought them donkey years ago when I was still a young man with very little disposable income.

Anyway, even if NTUC Income should issue new shares and dilute current shareholders, I doubt that it would be to an extent that destroys value on a catastrophic scale.

Will just have to wait and see for now. :)

garudadri said...

Dear AK
The temptation of fixed income options and its relative safety are beyond doubt
Nevertheless, it is becoming apparent that yields are falling and with the dovish fed talk, despite their posturing on inflation, the ten and two year yields are falling
Rates might go higher but the market has tried to be nonchalant and the current broad based recovery in US equity will spill over worldwide
The SG banks are uncharacteristically a shade lower anticipating peaking of NIM and falling CASA balances very soon, despite robust loan uptake etc etc.I will be nibbling at them as they offer a circa 5% prospective albeit risky yield option with reasonable certainty of capital appreciation in the intermediate to long term
Fixed income therefore fails to enthuse me and there is certain reinvestment risk at maturity as the rate cycle will turn down then
I do appreciate your efforts to nibble whatever flesh is left on this juicy bone though!
Warm regards and best wishes

AK71 said...

Hi Garudadri,

Yes, longer duration yields are declining.

So, staying at the front end of the curve is more rewarding which in itself isn't a bad thing especially if we are looking for a place to park some spare cash.

I am not so sure if the current recovery in US equity is the start of another bull market or if it is just a bear market rally although, at this point, I am inclined to think that it is the latter based on some quick and dirty technical analysis.

To be clear, I am not deploying much new money into fixed income but mostly money from maturing fixed deposits.

The only new money was money used to buy SSBs in 4Q 2022 and money used to top up my CPF-MA last month but this is money I set aside yearly for CPF contribution and it isn't anything new I am doing.

In this blog, I made it a point to explain to readers that I do what I do in the fixed income space because I already have a relatively significant exposure to equities.

I hope readers do not do selective eavesdropping. ;p

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