Friday 3 March 2023

First Quarter 2023 Dividend of S$23.8K and Personal Updates.

With the announcement of 2022 results by the last major REIT (United Hampshire US REIT) in my investment portfolio, the total expected dividends for this quarter will be S$23.8K. Given that most of my stock holdings gave out dividends only twice per annum as well as netting off interest expense cost for the margin portfolio maintenance, I think net passive income from my investment this year should approach S$50K which is approximately S$4K per month. This unfortunately is still not enough for me to coast financial independence given the dire mid-life career crisis that I am currently facing at workplace which I should share in my personal updates below:

1. Personal Updates
Major changes occurred in my workplace towards the 2nd half of last year (2022). Those who have read "About Me" will know that I am an Accountant by profession.

1. My entire Singapore sales team got retrenched by our Corporate Office back at HQ due to poor performance and the Group CEO decided that we should just concentrate on running daily operations to keep existing clients happy and there is no need to do sales. Sales will be referred in by my Headoffice and overseas office.

2. Our General Manager of Operations was also asked to retire and given a golden handshake of 6 figures- very cool I wish I was the recipient party and the boss would give me that 6 figures goodbye package. 

3. Another strange development was that my local Director and Head of Singapore Business was offered a 50% cut to his monthly salary and allowances by HQ. Of course, my local director is not stupid (in fact one of the smartest and most intellectual bosses I ever worked for) and he fought back vigorously to defend his position. Since there was disagreement over the remuneration package, the headoffice exercised their rights to terminate the senior management contract and hence this is not a retrenchment with severance package. I am glad that my local Director is a good negotiator and he managed to fight for a few months of ex-gratia payments for his past contributions. 

In a strange twist of fate, my Group CFO told me that he has discussed with our Group CEO and there will be no replacement for the Director of Singapore Business. He also asked me to step up to lead the Singapore business and this is something that the CFO said should not be an issue as I have been with the group for over 10-11 years. I was to take on a General Manager role while retaining all my duties as Head of Finance with a 20% pay rise. So now commercially, everyone is also looking for me for commercial decision making and accountability. Statutory wise, I am also forced to be nominated as a nominee director for the Singapore entity as Singapore law requires a local resident staying here. There were many "congratulations" sent out from various local and overseas senior personnel to me. By the way, I am not trying to "show off" here- this is actually not a career progress or good fortune but rather more of a punishment meted out to me which I should further elaborate below.

2. Career Progression or Other Plots By the HQ?
As alluded to the above, in case you folks think that this is a wonderful career progression, my workload suddenly increased 100% to 200% at the beginning of the new year and I am super stressed out as I am also expected to do entertaining of overseas visitors to our Singapore office to build up relationships. 

The Group CEO also visited my Singapore office at the beginning of the year to inform me that there will be no bonus or increment for all staff this year due to a lack of new sales generated by our local business albeit being profitable. Deep in my heart, I was wondering, so how does my boss expect me to retain good staff given the acute shortages of staff and competition for talent in the labour market?

Worse still, the new management team in Singapore would also be expected to do business development to get in new customers of a few millions for the Group else our performance would be deemed mediocre (hmm, this is somewhat different from what the Group CFO conveyed to me initially). Again, my first thoughts were that with the HQ retrenching all our sales team personnel last year, and then now, doing a turnaround suddenly expecting us to develop new businesses without Business Development resources? The current predicament that I found myself needing to double/triple hat of roles to also look for million dollar deals. 

Also, if I can get a few million dollar new business in every year, then probably I would be at other bigger MNCs working as a Sales Director instead of being an accountant for many years right?

Parting thoughts
Well simply put, I am currently stuck in a sh*t-hole given the recent developments. Also, I have seen the health of my parents deteriorate over the past 2 years with various health scares and mobility issues- I would like to spend more time with my family members instead of being stuck in the rat race. Nevertheless, for now, I think I will just have to hang on for the sake of building up my capital base further to get more passive investment income and play along with my HQ adoption of the "Silence of the Lambs" script. 


  1. Hi Blade Knight, I am saddened to see this personal development of yours. Seems like the company is doing a lot of restructuring and wants you to quit on your own so as to avoid providing severance benefits... They win either way: You quit or you do all the heavy lifting and make the painful decisions. Minimal ill will targeted towards them. Just my opinion, but I think with your experience and capability, you should negotiate for commensurate compensation... or "quiet quit" and hope they eventually pay you severance, then find a better job that can appreciate your talents more. All the best and good luck!