Author: cheerful.egg

Business Lessons From A Michelin Star Restaurant

So last week, my wife convinced me to have dinner at The Clove Club, a 1-Michelin Star restaurant ranked #26 in the World’s 50 Best Restaurant Awards this year (Britain’s highest entry). Now, you must understand that unlike my wife, I have a very un-Michelin-like palate. I love Qiji nasi lemak, Soi 19 Thai wanton noodles, and the chicken and fish set from Long John Silver’s. I used to have the same dumb complaints as every clueless college kid: “Why should I pay 20X the price when I can get equally delicious food elsewhere? Why is 90% of the plate...

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The Unconventional Millennial’s Guide To Winning At CPF

Okay, quick poll: How many of you hate being called a “millennial”? I know I do. A little part of me dies every time I see a millennial commercial showing beautiful young people laughing, taking selfies and drinking hipster coffee. You see, I don’t think I fit into the typical millennial stereotypes. I hate WhatsApping, I prefer reading books over checking my Facebook feed, and I run away from stores that sell anything with the word “artisanal” in it. I recently read an article titled “Don’t Call Me A Millennial” and I was like, “YES! FINALLY someone understands me!” Some...

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Are Returns That Important?

A couple of years ago, an Army friend asked me: Index investing sounds great and all, but when you buy the index, you’re just settling for average returns. Why would you settle for average when you can get above-average returns by picking stocks? On the surface, that seems to make sense. Why would you settle for a boring 5-7% return when you can get 10-12% through value investing / forex trading / tactical asset allocation? Getting a great return is awesome. But how important are they to your overall wealth? Let’s Math This Problem Out When I was in...

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The “Hi, How’s Your Day Going?” Approach

Soooo I was lucky enough to get a short work stint in London (long story), and I’ve been here for a couple of weeks. Here are some interesting observations I had: Cyclists are basically killer ninjas on wheels who will silently assassinate you from the back if you’re not looking Go to any English pub after 4pm and there will always be a crowd of people standing outside and drinking, even though its 10 degrees outside and they’re wearing just a T-shirt The accent makes me feel like adding “ahhhhhh” to everything I say One good thing about being in...

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The Overfitting Fallacy

When I was in college, I was an obnoxious smartass. Like every ambitious, testosterone-driven Singaporean male, I believed I could trade my way towards becoming a millionaire. So I bought some trading software, some market data, several hundred dollars worth of trading books, and begin to craft my own strategy. Back then, “rules-based” technical trading was all the rage. I coded these rules into my software, making my trading model complex, layered, and sophisticated. In my backtest results, the model performed wonderfully. It was projecting a 5% returns per month, which would make me a millionaire in less than...

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Singapore Robo-Advisors: Yay Or Nay?

Soooooo a bunch of robo-advisors have launched this month in Singapore. When I first heard about them, I got REALLY EXCITED. I tried sharing my excitement with my friends, which is probably why no one invites me to parties anymore. Now that I have nothing better to do on Friday nights, I did a little bit of digging on these Singapore robo-advisors. Annnnd here are my findings. A quick caveat: I’m haven’t actually invested using any of these robo-advisors yet. All observations I make here are purely from tinkering around with their signup pages. If you spot any inaccuracies,...

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IPPT Gold In 4 Weeks – Is That Possible?

One of the biggest complaints about my blog is that I don’t write enough about “personal finance stuff”. Well whoops, because here’s yet another non-money blogpost to annoy you with. 7 months ago, I wrote The Ultimate Guide To Achieving An IPPT Gold. It went on to become one of my most searched-for posts, because hey, IPPT continues to be the thorn in the side for hundreds of thousands for suffering male Singaporeans everywhere. The message in that post was simple: 1) Train hard, 2) Track your performance, and with enough time, you’ll get your IPPT Gold. However, one...

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You Don’t Need A Miles Card To Earn Miles

Before we start: I’m experimenting with short, tactical and specific posts like these with nuggets of practical tips. They’re easier to write than my longer strategic (rambling?) posts, but may not necessarily apply to everyone. I’ll likely end up doing a mix of both, but let me know what you think! === Everyone knows that if you want to fly on Suites or Business Class without shelling out thousands of dollars, you need to earn miles. And to earn miles, you need an airmiles credit card… right? I’ve talked previously about how airmiles cards like the Citibank Premiermiles card or the...

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No One Is Naturally Good At Pitching

Lots of people downplay the amount of preparation it takes to achieve something impressive. I was first introduced to this idea by Ramit Sethi in this blog post: That behind every every impressive feat lies a HUGE amount of preparation. You only see the results, but you almost never hear about the hours and hours of grunt work: Situation: Your friend lost 10kg in 3 months and looks amazing He says: “Oh I just watched my diet and exercised more” Reality: He ate chicken breast and steamed broccoli every day, hired a personal trainer, and worked out 5X a...

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“There’s No Way I Can Save Up For That”

Don’t you just hate it when you hear lame, generic advice that everybody knows? You know what I’m talking about: “Just eat less and exercise more!” “Make sure you leave work on time!” Or my personal favourite: “Spend less than you earn!” Ohhhhh man. One of the reasons why I stopped reading personal finance books is because they all offer some version of this lame advice. They’ll tell you to cut back on lattes avocado toast, buy toothpaste in bulk, and generally put on a sackcloth and live like a homeless person so you can retire in 20 years. But...

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“There’s No Way I Can Save Up For That”

Don’t you just hate it when you hear lame, generic advice that everybody knows? You know what I’m talking about: “Just eat less and exercise more!” “Make sure you leave work on time!” Or my personal favourite: “Spend less than you earn!” Ohhhhh man. One of the reasons why I stopped reading personal finance books is because they all offer some version of this lame advice. They’ll tell you to cut back on lattes avocado toast, buy toothpaste in bulk, and generally put on a sackcloth and live like a homeless person so you can retire in 20 years. But...

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What A Priest Taught Me About The Meaning Of Work

WOW. You guys are awesome. After last week’s post “Is Your Work A Necessary Evil?”, you sent me dozens of long, well-written answers to my questions. THIS IS WHY I LOVE HAVING A BLOG. But today’s post isn’t about financial freedom. Instead, I wrote this post because I found a fascinating invisible script among some answers I received this week. See if you can spot it: “A meaningful job might not pay as well. If (I take up a meaningful job), I would have to make significant adjustments to my current lifestyle.”  “Maybe you want a fulfilling job; would you...

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What A Priest Taught Me About The Meaning Of Work

WOW. You guys are awesome. After last week’s post “Is Your Work A Necessary Evil?”, you sent me dozens of long, well-written answers to my questions. THIS IS WHY I LOVE HAVING A BLOG. But today’s post isn’t about financial freedom. Instead, I wrote this post because I found a fascinating invisible script among some answers I received this week. See if you can spot it: “A meaningful job might not pay as well. If (I take up a meaningful job), I would have to make significant adjustments to my current lifestyle.”  “Maybe you want a fulfilling job; would you...

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Is Your Work A Necessary Evil?

So I was hoping you could help me out with something. I’ve been pondering it all weekend and I just can’t figure it out. Usually, when this happens, I sit down and do a brain dump of all the thoughts swirling in my brain. Then I organise it, write several drafts, find a nice picture, and boom – we get another blogpost. But after writing all Sunday, I still couldn’t get my head around it. Maybe you can help me out. Here’s the thing: We talk a LOT about “financial freedom” these days. Specifically, financial freedom refers to the...

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Is Your Work A Necessary Evil?

So I was hoping you could help me out with something. I’ve been pondering it all weekend and I just can’t figure it out. Usually, when this happens, I sit down and do a brain dump of all the thoughts swirling in my brain. Then I organise it, write several drafts, find a nice picture, and boom – we get another blogpost. But after writing all Sunday, I still couldn’t get my head around it. Maybe you can help me out. Here’s the thing: We talk a LOT about “financial freedom” these days. Specifically, financial freedom refers to the...

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