Author: cheerful.egg

SMART Goals Are Sooooo 2016

Ugh, I swear if I read another life-coach blogpost talking about “SMART goals”, I’m going to stab myself in the eye with a plateful of ikan bilis.  Today, SMART is THE cliche of the personal development world. It’s the equivalent of a student ending his essay with, “…And then he realised it was just a dream.” It makes us all roll out eyes. All my life, I’ve been setting SMART goals like “Get a six-pack by the time I graduate” or “Get promoted by the end of this year.” Sometimes my readers email me with questions on their SMART goals like, “How do I grow my portfolio by...

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New Talk: Money Or Love?

Check out this NUSWhispers post from a girl who’s torn between two guys: Guy A: A rich gentleman who drives a BMW and wines and dines her at restaurants Guy B: Her boyfriend who’s serving his NS and takes her to Swensens and Ajisen On the surface, it’s easy to judge the girl for even thinking of leaving her current boyfriend. How ungrateful! He’s doing his best to save money now to afford a BTO! But if we dig a little deeper, maybe it’s not as straightforward as it seems. In fact, money plays a bigger role in our relationships than we’d like to...

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The Ultimate Guide To Achieving An IPPT Gold

It started with a T-shirt. While trying on T-shirts at Uniqlo, I realised that not a single M-sized shirt could hide my proudly protruding belly. Aren’t these changing room mirrors supposed to make you look more attractive than you actually are? Ugh. It was time to do something about it. I didn’t want to do the usual “join a gym, pay lots of money, fall of the treadmill (literally)” cycle that plagues so many people today. No. If I wanted to overcome this belly-crisis, I needed something concrete. Something motivating. Something like… Getting an IPPT Gold. Ah, IPPT: The Bane of NS Men...

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What A Hip-Hop Dance Group Taught Me About Rejection

A friend randomly texted me this week saying that he watched Jia Jiang’s TED talk “What I Learned From 100 Days of Rejection” and he thought of me: (If you haven’t seen it yet, it’s about this introverted Asian guy who wanted to inoculate himself against rejection. So he did an experiment where he filmed himself asking ridiculous requests from random people for 100 days). It just so happened that at that moment, I was reading a book written by the exact same guy: Obviously, this was a sign that I should write about rejection this week. Ahhhh rejection. Most...

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Maybe You Don’t Have To Be Number 1

So part of my new Sunday housework routine (#marriedlife) is that I listen to podcasts while mopping the floor and washing the toilets. Last Sunday, I came across this excellent 3-hour+ episode of the Tim Ferriss Show with David Heinemeier Hansson (DHH). Who? His name may not be immediately familiar to you, but he created the programming language Ruby On Rails, is the founder of collaboration software Basecamp, and is a Le Mans class-winning racing driver. (As if being a friggin’ programmer wasn’t enough, right?) I got really excited by this episode when he started talking about his philosophy of skill acquisition...

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The Power Of Enthusiasm (Or Why Aunties Make The Best Promoters)

So the wifey and I were at the supermarket this weekend (because that’s what married Singaporean couples do on weekends, amirite?). As you know, I’m fascinated by the psychology of sales. So while we were shopping, I started to observe the promoters who were scattered around the supermarket. You know the ones I’m talking about: Those earnest-looking folks who have a little pop-up stand next to the aisle, hired to give out free samples and convince passing aunties to buy a particular brand or product. I’d never paid much attention to them before, but today, I started wondering: What’s their job...

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How To Fly First Or Business Class At A Fraction Of The Cost

What are some of your most deep-seated assumptions? You know, stuff that you’d never even think about questioning. Like: “You need a college degree to be successful” “Investing is about how well you pick stocks” “Donald Trump will never win the election” How about this one: “Credit card fees are a waste of money” Are they really? Let’s think about this for a sec. Sure, no one likes paying annual fees, but what if I told you that it could help you travel on First and Business Class at a fraction of what other people are paying? In this post, I’ll show...

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Your Investments Will Survive Donald Trump

I’m not going to talk about Trump. You’ve heard enough from the news, Facebook, the Simpsons, and all your friends who transformed into political analysts overnight. If you’re still disappointed / worried / depressed like many of my friends are, read this excellent post from Wait But Why. It’ll help put things in perspective. Also, it reminds us that life goes on. The world didn’t end with Lehman Brothers, it didn’t end with Brexit, and it sure isn’t going to end with Trump. Your investments will be fine. Compared to last month, the STI today is like 2% lower. Pffftttt. That’s nothing. I...

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Ambition Or Gratitude – Which Should You Choose?

The crappy thing about the Internet is that it often sends you conflicting messages: On one hand, you’ve got articles that emphasise the value of “more”. Steve Jobs says, “Don’t settle.” A new study on LinkedIn proclaims, “Acquire multiple skills to rise to the top.” And if your full-time job isn’t enough, you should definitely start a side business. But the Internet also says that life isn’t all about achievement. Billionaires enjoy the same can of Coke as everyone else. Gratitude provides you with the biggest boost to your happiness. If you’re going crazy with stress, remember: It’s just a job. So which perspective...

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The Difference Between Pitching And Presenting

(Short post today because I’m travelling again this week) I have to do a lot of pitches in my line of work. In the past, I used to equate pitches with presentations. I’d prepare a huge deck of slides, rehearse the important points until I could confidently rattle them off, and then sit back and wait for the magic to happen. There was just one problem: It didn’t seem to work. The presentation would go seemingly flawlessly. The flow would be seamless, I’d have all the facts and figures at my fingertips, and when the presentation ended we’d all...

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A Couple Of Reading Hacks

I love, love, love reading. There’s no other learning medium in the world that lets you: Sneak a peak into someone else’s brain Have years and years of research all packaged up for you Potentially use it to level up your money/career/relationships – one chapter could literally change your life Learn a couple of fun stories along the way … All for the price of a movie ticket (or less)! Cool Books I’ve Read In The Past 2 Months Never Split the Difference by Chris Voss – One of the best negotiating books I’ve read in a long while. The...

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Would You Like To Buy A Porche For Your Hedge Fund Manager?

Is there a celebrity you’ve always wanted to meet? Justin Timberlake, President Obama, Steve Jobs, Justin Bieber (so you can punch him in the face)? For a geek like me, I’ve always wanted to meet the “celebrities” in the investing world. Not many people know who they are, but they’ve changed the lives of millions of people by teaching them how to invest the right way. So when bestselling author Lars Kroijer contacted me saying that his team had found my blog and he liked it, I was kinda like this McDonald’s drive-through lady meeting Selena Gomez. Totally getting hot and sweaty here. Okay, but...

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The Carousell Miles Strategy: How To Evaluate Mileage Deals

Last week, I wrote a post about how my wife and I redeemed Singapore Airlines Suites tickets with our KrisFlyer miles. The next thing I knew, I was receiving tonnes of queries asking, “EH WHICH CARD YOU USE AH? I ALSO WANT TO FLY SUITES LEH.” Okay, okay. Ruh-lax. First of all, assuming that you can redeem a Suites ticket with just one credit card is like saying you can marry someone with a single pick-up line. It’s not that simple. Sadly, there’s simply no magic bullet that will give you a lifetime of free First Class travel without any...

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How To Get The Most Out Of Your KrisFlyer Miles

Since last year, I’ve been fascinated by the wonderful world of travel hacking. I’m still a novice at this game, but after doing some research and optimising our spending this year, it paid off: My wife and I used the miles we earned to redeem a ticket on the fabled Singapore Airlines Suites – something we’ve never flown before – for our honeymoon in Europe next year. The cost? A mere $280.60 for the taxes and fees: That same ticket would have cost us over $8,500 (one way) if we had paid for it in cash: If you know...

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My Favourite Savings Account In Singapore

Note: This ISN’T a sponsored post. Sometimes I just like sharing cool stuff I use. Whenever my friends find out that I blog about money, they invariably come up to me and ask, “Sooooooo… which savings account is the best, ah?” Gah. Do all my friends think that I spend my weekends meticulously comparing bank interest rates? Most people automatically assume that the best savings account = the one with the highest interest rate. WRONG. High interest rates are nice, but they don’t matter as much as you think. They’re nice to have, but not absolutely essential – Kinda like the new wireless...

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