Author: Growing your tree of prosperity

You can choose your reality.

When I was single, I thought of wanting to join SDU, so I consulted an engineering classmate who frequently attended these SDU events, hoping that he can give me some  dating advice. I was a desperado and wanted to know what were my chances of finding a significant other when I joined these events. My friend understood my 20-something self very well so he wanted me to be less of a jerk than already was then. I remember we were riding on the north-south line and he told me that in order to succeed in SDU, I must get...

Read More

The Art of the Good Life #19 : The Smaller Meaning of Life

The larger meaning of life are questions relating to what you re are and how you fit in into the Grand Scheme of the Universe. These are questions that are hard to answer and require a lot of introspection. The smaller meaning of life is a lot easier to attain because all you need is to understand your goals and ambitions. The book talks about research done on children. Those kids who consider money as something indispensable had a higher income later in life and are generally happier than those who did not value money as much. Of course,...

Read More

Managing your Attentional Capital or Focus

Today I went over to Starhub to re-contract my mobile phone into a SIM only contract. By doing that I resolve a painful problem I have been facing since I started work in a law firm – I have two devices that employ mobile data that I bring to work, a mobile phone and a tablet. For months, I have been exceeding my data usage by 4Gb and have been spending $200+ on telco expenses every month. So today was the expiration of my contract so I rushed over to switch to a SIM only plan with 16Gb of...

Read More

Hacking your own Millionaire Mindset.

I think that we may have gone too far telling everyone what a Millionaire Mindset is not. The Millionaire Mindset is not about affirmations. Generating wealth is also not about sharing the quotable quotes of billionaires – although running a business selling motivational posters might actually work. Now it’s time for me to propose a generalized procedure for someone to develop a genuine Millionaire Mindset that puts him within a reasonable striking distance of landing a million bucks. Now in order for this to work, you need to read a lot. If you cannot accept this rule, then my...

Read More

The Art of the Good Life #18 : The "End of History" Illusion

I said recently on social media that an intelligent woman is like a magical sword. If you are not capable enough as a guy to wield this weapon, you can get yourself hurt really really badly. A very intelligent and capable lady once bragged to me that her husband/boyfriend is a lucky guy because she is smart enough to say the right things to motivate him so that he can become very successful in life. She will push him to become an alpha male, a leader of men that commands respect. Someone suitable enough for a daughter of a...

Read More

Personal Update

This might be a great time to just give a personal update. a) Training Contract At this stage, I’ve reached half-time for my training contract. I’ve learnt quite a bit of from the past 3 months although for the sake of confidentiality, it is best that I do not provide too many details about my work. Most of the learnings I have derived from my work is how to manage our lives so as to avoid legal problems much later on. Sometime the most innocent moves like treating some of your children better than the others can have huge...

Read More

Is finance gendered ?

Let’s imagine a finance seminar for men ( and men only ) that is relevant to you regardless of whether you are an alpha male or a BBFA. a) It will focus on lifelong learning and address the issue why boys are not doing too well in school compared to women. b) It will talk about earnings of blue-collar men who are not getting increments based on inflation rates. c) It will discuss strategies of saving money by bingeing on Netflix, cutting cable and playing computer games all day. Even discuss the most optimal car to own. d) It...

Read More

The Art of the Good Life #17 : The prison of a good reputation.

This chapter begins by asking the question of who would you rather be : a) You are the best lover in the world but everyone thinks that you’re the worst lover in the world. b) You are the worst lover in the world but everyone thinks that you’re the best lover in the world. Most folks would choose (b). The chapter however goes on to show that being obsessed with how people see you can be bad for your mental health. After all, all thanks to social media, we have all become managers of our personal brand. I am...

Read More

A Millionaire mindset is a Low SES mindset !

The genesis of this post came from an anecdote from a friend who attended a financial talk over a decade ago. This financial talk was conducted by a famous options trading guru ( who has since had a very disappointing day in court and is no longer giving talks on options trading today ). Halfway during the talk, my friend was either so bored or so offended by the presentation that he abruptly stood up along with his friends to leave the lecture hall and the speaker then pointed out to my friend’s group and proclaimed that ” These...

Read More

The Art of the Good Life #16 : Tyranny of a calling

“Few people are as unhappy as those with a talent no one cares about.” – John Gray. The lesson in this chapter is that chasing after a calling is a recipe for a miserable life. Having an over-inflated expectation that we need a particular vocation that stems from something deep inside is a loser’s game. The chapter provides the example of writer John Kennedy Toole, who had his conviction about being a successful writer shaken to the core after numerous rejections from major publishers,  committed suicide by carbon monoxide poisoning. After his death, A Confederacy of Dunces sold millions...

Read More

On the hypocrisy surrounding War-chests and Leverage investing

Not everyone is a big fan of leverage investing using a margin the account. It is probably not coincidental that some of these detractors of margin financing also tend to employ a war-chest when describing their investing strategy. In my opinion, margin investing and the employment of a war-chest are two extremes in investing. Much like Law and Chaos in Michael Moorcock fantasy novels. When you invest using leverage, you are trying to magnify your returns by borrowing money. If the cost of borrowing runs below the rate of return of the unleveraged portfolio, you are likely to succeed...

Read More

The Art of the Good Life #15 : The Secret of Persistence

Old age and treachery will always overcome youth and speed. This chapter is about persistence. The secret to success is about taking steps to sustain your smaller successes and have them compound over time. This is why Warren Buffett is always used as some paragon of compound interest in many personal development books even though we ignored his earlier tactic of buying up cheap companies and forcing management to unlock value by board control. There is some quantitative backing to Warren’s slow and steady form of wealth accumulation, the Sharpe ratio of Berkshire Hathaway was known to be between...

Read More

Thoughts on yesterday’s Computation Law and Blockchain Event

There is nothing that a seasoned IT professional despises more than a lawyer who obstructs his projects in the corporate world. I should know, because I hated these corporate lawyers so much, I became one of them just to figure out how to prevent them from cock-blocking me at work. After a week of training, the last thing most trainees want to do was to attend a full-day seminar with other legal professionals but this event is not just any ordinary event. This is a small tribe that I feel I really can relate to over the longer term,...

Read More

On Nicholas Taleb, leverage and ruin

Skin in the Game by Nicholas Taleb is not finance book per se but some of its ideas are interesting enough to challenge some of my ideas of leverage. I think Taleb’s ideas are worth grappling with because they can potentially change your approach towards personal finance. One particular idea is that ensemble probability is very different from time probability. If the model reflects the ruin of a few participants out of many, it is conceptually very different from the reality where there’s only one participant who has to stop permanently the moment he is ruined by the markets....

Read More

The Art of the Good Life #14 : Circle of Competence

The last chapter was easy to read because Fuck You money agrees with me so much. This week’s chapter is the opposite because it really exposes just how dumb my latest career moves are. The harsh truth is this  – Most of us have a really small circle of competence and this chapter reminds us that we should really just stick to it. If we know what we’re good at, we should just focus on it and build a career around our personal strengths. I think in the absence of passive income, this is something which I would have...

Read More

Like us on Facebook

Follow us on Twitter