Author: Growing your tree of prosperity

MBA in a Nutshell #10 – Marketing : Marketing Mix – Product – IP Protection

Beyond product design and differentiation IP protection is important to protect your product. As I never really wanted to AVOID being stereotyped as an IP Lawyer (because a lot of engineers who become lawyers do end up in IP law), so I did not take the full complement of IP law modules so I can’t really do a decent article on this topic. The book distinguishes three forms of IP protection in its marketing chapter: a) Trademark Trademarks distinguishes your product and service from others. You can follow the steps to register a trademark here, otherwise you can seek...

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Real issues in retirement and how to deal with them.

Most financial bloggers deal with only the financial aspects of retirement. Even my course, as it attempts to build a generation of early retirees to dot the commercial landscape in Singapore, requires a laser-like focus on personal finance so that a person can get out of the rat race which is going is still good in the workplace. If you are an actual retiree, however, you will soon find that retirement is a game of multiple dimensions and you will to play all of these aspects of the life game well to enjoy a great life in your personal...

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MBA in a Nutshell #9 – Marketing : Marketing Mix – Product – Differentiation

We’re heading into the marketing mix taught to most MBAs which is the 4Ps of  Product, Price, Place and Promotion. Interestingly the author claims that in HK and Singapore, “people selling” and “physical evidence” would extend the marketing model into the 6Ps. We will only be taking a short while to talk about product differentiation. A great example of product differentiation in the book is Haagen-Daaz  that added more butterfat and pumped less air to build a new category called premium ice-cream. I was shocked to discover that Haagen Daaz actually came from New York, hardly the kind of...

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Personal Update

Right now, I’m blogging from Festive Hotel in Sentosa. We decided that we needed a short break so my wife got us a 3D2N stay in Sentosa so that my mum can head to the Casino, my kids can get to Universal Studios, and I can get more work done in my hotel room. For the past few weeks, I am resolving my father’s matters and have been shuttling to and fro my family lawyer’s offices. When it comes to such matters, it’s ok to be slow and steady but the most important thing is to be accurate so...

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Lessons from my Dad #1 : Never let anyone count your abacus ( 打算盘 )

Right now my biggest priority in my life is to resolve my father’s probate matters so that me and mother can move on in our lives. Naturally, it is going to take me a while to unpack all the lessons my father has imparted to me from an investment perspective so over the next few weeks or even months, I will share whatever I can about my father’s very large influence on me as an investor. One of the lessons I learnt maybe even as a primary school kid is that my father hated folks who “beat his abacus”....

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MBA in a Nutshell #8 – Marketing : Product Positioning

Product position can potentially be an offensive blog post, so I will not go all out to share my real thinking behind where I stand vis-a-vis my competitors. This is something between me an my business partners and can be work in progress as the competitive landscape in investment training changes. To create a product positioning map, we will first need to build a 2 x 2 matrix. The axes are arbitrary but one common way to differentiate between different training providers is price. I would not say that my program is expensive, but for the past two previews,...

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Letter to Batch 8 of the Early Retirement Masterclass.

Dear Students of Batch 8,It’s been a great honour and privilege to be able to conduct a 2-Day Early Retirement Workshop for you. We’re seeing some really interesting twists and turns for this particular batch of students ever since I decided to make the course more democratic and gave students the chance to select the strategy to perform the screening on. The hallmark of a good DIY investor is autonomy – the ability to make your own decisions to invest in something regardless of what was taught. In this batch, you were presented with two possible strategies for REIT...

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MBA in a Nutshell #7 – Marketing : Market Strategy

From the last article, I have only advanced one page of text. Marketing strategies are surprisingly simple consisting only of three basic strategies which I share below : a) Concentrated strategy When you apply a concentrated strategy, you have an intimate understanding of the customer and can produce a product that caters only to this target market. As trainers, we can do more of this and yet not fall into the trap of competing for every soul out there in the market. Sadly we don’t do this well enough in this industry yet. One example outside my expertise is...

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Building better Personal Finance online communities.

So here are some of the changes in the way I do my blog articles. This blog, which has a small and dedicated readership will become more “meta”, focusing on thoughts on my evolution as a trainer as well as snippets on my personal life. For the folks who want to read about my politically incorrect theories about dating, that’s going to remain here. For the more advanced investing articles, I will be posting on Dr Wealth.  The reason is that Dr Wealth has a much wider reach and have the SEO chops that brings more exposure for folks...

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Dealing with Maid Problems…

One the same day we buried my dad at sea, my mum and myself went over to the police station to make a police report. This is first time in my life that I had to do so and it was an interesting experience. We fired our maid after she racked up $800 in phone bills using my father’s phone while he was on his deathbed. The following month Singtel sent us a bigger bombshell – a $2,000 bill for the calls made to Myanmar as well as paid apps installed on my father’s phone ! My first objective...

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How should FAs sell their insurance products ?

First of all, calm the fuck down. [ Note that this post was removed from the Seedly discussion group because of my use of the four lettered word. Moderators wrote to me to explain their stance. There is no hard feelings but this reflects how much FAs fear articles like this on the web. They rather censor me than debate earnestly on this topic. Do spread it around because the context behind my use of ‘fuck’ is not meant as a cuss word. ] I’m not here to bash Financial Advisors today. I am teaching myself how to sell better...

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MBA in a Nutshell #6 – Marketing : Market Segmentation

[ Thank you for the well wishes. It is time for this blog and myself to move on. We will be slowly getting back to our regular programming. ] Market segmentation used to be easy when I was reading about it for fun. When I actually do it as part of running a business it becomes very hard. This is because when you have a business running, market segmentation is an empirical exercise. You need data to understand the customers paying for your service offering. Old school approaches to guessing the profile of your customers can lead to sub-optimal...

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How I arranged for my father’s wake.

A good friend reminded me that I have to undergo six stages of grief. Right now, I have no idea which stage I am – I still feel sad and would tear a little when I think of my dad, but the best way forward would be to keep writing and sharing. In fact, I will be back at working on my next preview tomorrow. I am very grateful for the well wishers who were very supportive of this blog as well as social media presence. Right now I would just like to explain some thoughts regarding how I...

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Eulogy to my father, Kenneth Ng Fook San (1942 – 2019)

[ This eulogy was never delivered during my father’s wake. I was too distraught and cried throughout both attempts to finish this write-up. Before my father was cremated, I wished my families well and told them that my speech would be completed on my blog. ]  My father Ng Fook San passed away on 14th September 2019 3am. The doctors deemed that he died  due to an infection that got him onto the hospital bed for 3 months, but I believe that it was probably because he could no longer cope with an added dosage of antibiotics that was...

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A meaningful gift.

One of my students gave me a very meaningful gift last weekend along with a touching hand-written note. Perhaps I share a little bit of background of this gift while keeping the student’s identity secret. My student is, objectively, a very successful man by local standards – richer and way more successful than me  to he point whereby I asked him whether he has a class that I can attend. He attained his wealth the hard way without family support and is much younger than me. You might want to ask why he would even bother attending my investment...

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