Thoughts: Looking back on 2020
We have less than 2 weeks towards the start of another new year. In this post, I reflect upon the year 2020 and how has my progress been so far.
2020 was a challenging year for my professional life. It was the first time going through a retrenchment which I had discussed about in this emotionally driven post here (edited it to be more "professional"). Though unaffected by the restructuring, I never occurred to me that my responsibilities could change "faster than a blink of an eye", figuratively. Now it has become yet another meaningless job that not only pays fairly poor but also adds no value to my personal development.
Sorry, this was not the intended tone of this post but yeah I would sum it as not good. However, I am still in my current employment, not that I like my circumstances but because I am stuck here.
There has been a lack of job opportunities in the market particularly for traditional engineering (mechanical, electrical etc.). Either attributed by the poor economy outlook or the fact that Singapore is very finance and service centric. Manufacturing, the bread and butter for mechanical engineering, has been declining as companies look overseas to cut cost. Check out these reddit discussions and you'll know that I'm not alone with these thoughts: post1, post2 and post3.
Not forgetting that we have five local universities all churning out mech engg graduates. Supply has far exceeded demand. So, for all the young fellas out there looking to pursue a career in mech. engg., I strongly advise to reconsider or at least wait for government to resolve this situation which would take years.
Even if I'm lucky to land one, I doubt such jobs are likely to compensate well. Based on job ads, the market expects to pay 4XXX for 10 years of experience. Frankly speaking, that is a looooong time for not a lot of money. I guess that's it for my mech engg paper. Wait.. I couldn't get a job in mech engg in the first place and neither did my peers.
"But sir, got job better than no job. There are others much worse than you". Yeah you're not wrong, in this kinda economic climate one should be grateful and appreciate what they have. The job itself isn't all that bad too. While working from home, I was.. uh.. playing games or watching anime cause there wasn't much to do during circuit breaker.
Still, there is some self reflection to be done, to reevaluate what are the skills I possess and to discover what I like to do. Only then, I would be able to envision the path moving forward. So far, I have been thinking of doing the following:
either leverage on my skillset and continue the search while working
or a career switch
I'm not sure where it will take me so wish me luck.
2020 was also a difficult year for investing. Market crash in March was sharp and fast. Yet, recovery was equally fast, forming a V shape. Somehow, investors continued to pile in cash into companies with already sky high valuation or struggling businesses with bad earnings reported. Hell, even bankruptcy doesn't deter them from investing. Nothing actually makes sense in this year.
Long story short, in hindsight I should have bought the dip in March. Unfortunately, the bear got the inexperienced me as I chose to wait out for a bigger correction which didn't happen. Nevertheless, don't worry if you missed it like I did.. we're just slightly poorer.
The next thing is about my picks. Most of it were already undervalued (probably less enticing compared to tech and because it is STI) even before the crash but that didn't stop the market from selling them into oblivion. When the market recovered, everyone else recovered but mine were still underwater. It wasn't a good feeling and it certainly means that there is something wrong with my picks.
After having chanced upon senpai G's mad gains from crypto got me playing around with various DeFi protocols. Realizing how much money can be made in crypto, I went ahead to dump the losers and dived into crypto. Now, my portfolio up much more than it did last year.
So I guess the lesson here I think is don't be too married to your bags. If you think something else is gonna make you richer, go ahead and make the switch. It's much better to make money than to be right. Note: This is not a marriage advice.
I believe next year will be tough as well with its own set of uncertainties so remain cautious. Good news is that vaccines are finally available. Though, no one knows about the effectiveness of the vaccine considering COVID-19 is a fast mutating strand and what side effect does it comes with. Else, everyone's borders will have to remain close and the longer it drags the worse it gets for the global economy.
Still, I continue to hope that things will improve next year for myself and everyone. *Fingers crossed*
Disclaimer: The information listed here is strictly my personal opinion. It should not be regarded as investment advice. Please do your own due diligence.
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