Like many other personal finance bloggers, I’m planning to rely solely on passive income in my early retirement. I expect this passive income to be derived mainly from dividends from stocks and bonds, as well as a little bit of interest from high interest-yielding bank accounts.
My goal is to generate passive income of between $30,000 to $33,000 a year (in Singapore dollars) when I eventually retire early at age 41. That’s about 14 years from now.
As such, I thought it would be interesting to chart my yearly progress towards this goal.
I started dipping my toes into the stock market back in 2015, which was when I first started working (part-time, since I was still in university). However, I was young then and wasn’t really in it for the long haul. After selling whatever stocks I had, I watched with envy as the stock market reached new highs.
After educating myself a little, I got back into the stock market in late-2017. This time, for good, and for the long haul, of at least a few decades.
This meant that 2018 was my first year of seeing real passive income.
Unfortunately, I was a personal finance newbie then (still am, actually), and did very little tracking of my financial growth. To write this post, I trawled through old records, and had to make some estimations when I couldn’t find any. Just something to keep in mind.
And with that out of the way, let’s get into the good stuff.
Sources of Passive Income – An Overview
In 2018, I enjoyed passive income from:
- The Singapore stock ETF;
- The Singapore bond ETF;
- Cash in high interest-yielding bank accounts; and
- My retirement accounts.
My passive income amounted to $1,360 from stocks, bonds and cash, excluding retirement accounts. Including retirement accounts, my passive income amounted to $1,958. This entire post is in Singapore dollars, and the breakdown has been provided below.
|Passive Income Source||Amount (S$)|
Dividend Income from Stocks
Throughout 2018, I held stocks only in the Singapore Stock ETF. I knew nothing of high dividend-yielding stocks, nor of international exposure.
When the twice-yearly dividends were distributed in February and August, I didn’t have many holdings in the market. I started throwing more money into the market only nearer the end of the year, in a bid to increase my dividend income more significantly for the next year.
As such, dividends from stocks for 2018 totalled $639.
Dividend Income from Bonds
Throughout 2018, I held bonds only in the Singapore Bond ETF. This was advice I obtained from a book called Millionaire Teacher, by Andrew Hallam.
As dividends are typically paid out at the beginning of the year in January, I didn’t have much then. I started accumulating my bond holdings only after the dividends had been paid out.
Dividends from bonds for 2018 totalled $26.
Interest Income from Cash
2018 was the year that I discovered high interest-yielding bank accounts. I opened my first one in March 2018, and never looked back.
For much of 2018, I held a lot of cash in my bank accounts, as I had been afraid to invest. Total interest income for 2018 came in at $695.
Interest Income from Retirement Accounts
A portion of my monthly pay checks are mandatorily shuffled over to my various retirement accounts, much against my will.
In 2018, I received a total of $598 in interest income from my retirement accounts, courtesy of the Singapore government.
Progress on Passive Income Goals
Since I’m aiming for passive income of at least $30,000 a year, excluding retirement accounts, my passive income of $1,360 from stocks, bonds and cash puts me at just 4.5% completion of my goal. That means I have another 95.5% to go.
But since 2018 is my first real year of passive income, I’d say that the progress I made is decent 🙂
And that’s it for my first year of real passive income. Thanks for reading!