Author: Growing your tree of prosperity

Happy Year of the Rat 2020 to all Readers.

I will be Malaysia in Chinese New Year so I thought I’d wish everyone earlier this year as I continue to find ways to use up the Ringgit I failed to spend in Kuala Lumpur last week. a) What I will be doing Very likely I will go to Kulai tomorrow in the afternoon on the second day, my in laws will take a 2-3 hour drive to visit relatives in Kluang region. I will be relying on 1 Gb of Starhub data unless someone can sell me a SIM card when I am in Malaysia. b) Financial Markets...

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MBA in a Nutshell #21 – Accounting and Finance : The Income Statement

Today we will meditate upon the Income Statement. The most important relationship within an income statement is simply : Gross income – Total expenses = Net Profit (loss) It is obviously not so simple : Operating income = Sales – Expenses, expenses being cost of goods sold, sales and general expenses and depreciation.Income before taxes = Operating income – interest chargesNet income (loss) = income before taxes – provision for taxes From an internal management perspective, this is a precious data on how to improve the bottom line : Can we improve sales by marketing harder ?Is the rise...

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On my latest trip to KL…

I just came back recently from KL. The objective of my trip was to accompany my mum to visit relatives, do some shopping and eat local food. My mum observed 100 days from my dad’s passing so this is the first time she can unwind and relax after close to a decade of being my father’s caregiver. Here are some highlights of my trip : a) Went to an Avant Garde arts event and hated every moment of it On the first day when my cousin brought me around, he asked whether I’d be willing to attend an Art...

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Personal Update

It’s time for another personal update. a) No classes until end-March 2020. My next ERM is quite a while away on 28 March. This is to have a short break for Chinese New Year but I will be keeping myself  busy. At the top of my agenda is to create an alternative preview for my course to keep things fresh for myself as well as for folks who need another preview to make up their minds. This year we are going to push the envelope further and one of the things I want to disrupt is the idea that ...

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My first dumb trading move in 2020…

Occasionally, I do something that is so dumb that it’s worth putting up a blog article to warn readers not to do the same thing as I did. I am currently in the process of cleaning out my father’s portfolio and slowly removing his less promising investments from the family portfolio. One of the items I was eager to get rid of is 80,000 shares in Neratel. So two days ago, I put a sell position on 80,000 of Neratel and cycled the position into an equivalent amount of Netlink trust – I needed my mum to get dependable...

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MBA in a Nutshell #20 – Accounting and Finance : The Balance Sheet

Interesting the section on balance sheet is only two pages long. In a nutshell, a balance sheet is a snap-shot that summarizes everything the company owns (assets) and owes (liabilities). The difference between what the company owns and owe belongs to shareholders and this is called equity. The following equation must hold for all balance sheet Assets = Liabilities + EquityBeyond this very simple discussion on the balance are some items investors need to be aware of.Assets minus Liabilities is also known as a company’s Book Value. Dividing the market capitalization of the stock by the total book value...

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Letter to Batch 11 of the Early Retirement Masterclass

Dear Students of Batch 11, It’s been a great honour and privilege to be able to conduct a 2-Day Early Retirement Workshop for you. One of my worst fears came true when teaching this class. I fell sick and was running a high fever throughout Day 1. Because I previously had a flu vaccine, the symptoms were so minor that I was able to use Panadol to still get away with a decent program run over the weekend. The lesson I would think we can learn from this is to get a flu jab wherever possible – A $30...

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MBA in a Nutshell #19 – Accounting and Finance : Risk management

We’re opening a new year to discuss Chapter 2 of the book MBA in a Nutshell. As it turns out the accounting and finance section of most MBA sections are structured very differently from the CFA syllabus. CFA charter-holders assess an investment as an outsider looking in whereas MBAs use their knowledge to manage a company from an insider’s perspective. The author also disclaims that the book focuses on the managerial aspects of accounting and not the financial aspects of accounting that focuses more on compliance. The chapter opens with the most important tasks performed by Chief Financial Officers...

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Readers need to stop doing this in this new decade !

With 2020 in full swing and anti-goals being in vogue, maybe it is time readers of this blog stop doing the following : a) Gawk at the CPF interests earned by other bloggers. Incidentally, Brian Halim was the first to call people out on this. I think it is a great practice to check your CPF statement first thing in the new year. If we emerge from a bear market, your CPF will be the only account that will give you something to smile about. But waving your CPF statement on the Internet like it is your big giant...

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My talk on the Seedly Personal Finance Festival 2020

Time and date of event: 7 March 2020, 10AM-6PMThe venue of the event: Suntec Hall 405 & 406The following topics will be explored in this event : This time round, I have been invited to speak on FIRE during the Seedly Personal Finance event this year. As you can see the working title is still a little generic at the moment as I have yet to start planning my presentation. I expect the final material to be totally new and different from my usual course previews. Maybe one way of predicting the material I will present is to read this blog...

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A brand new decade – Happy New 2020 !

This wishes to congratulate all readers on reaching a new decade. Here are some personal thoughts this new year. a) 2019 is about a rare successful personal transformation The hardest part about a FIRE journey is to transform your identity post-retirement. Can you accept your personal identity without your pre-FIRE career ? Compared to even other FIRE aspirants, I managed to pull a once in a lifetime transformation to  freelancer/businessman. Although I don’t really believe that this is something many financial independent folks should attempt (because they might just want to find more meaningful and relaxed employment for someone...

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Changing one’s approach to life to create more opportunities

I had a discussion with a friend on why are there so many failures today who see themselves as polymaths  – folks with wide knowledge or learning. It was suggested that these people should not be labelled polymaths, but dilettantes – folks who cultivate a little bit everything without making a real commitment to develop knowledge or skill in a field. As I’ve always feared becoming a dilettante myself because I have both legal and engineering degrees but never really did any serious legal or engineering work, so I thought it be better to read the latest book that...

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Which Financial Martial Arts Manual is the best ?

The financial blogosphere is very much like a Wu Lin. Different investors practice different forms of investing and, now that I have a dojo of my own, like Ip Man, there is always the risk that someone will come and pick fights with you. While I did not study my Kung Fu from a specific master, I spent more time doing degree programs and certifications to pick up my financial knowledge. If you had done formal study, you’ll understand how difficult it is to bring your investment knowledge into the jurisdiction of your choice. Another words, how to the...

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Thoughts on my 45th Birthday.

I arrived at age 45 a little sad as it is my first birthday without my dad being around. It feels a little strange to think that I managed to reach the mid-point of my 40s. That means that my first CPF payout is expected within 10 years. This also means that a voluntary contribution to CPF would make a whole lot more sense than buying a 10 year bond as 2.5% is nothing to laugh at. Instead of making resolutions, 2020 should be about creating new systems : a) Some personal hobbies can make a come-back in 2020...

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MBA in a Nutshell #18 – Marketing : How to know how well you are doing ?

[ Today also marks the 100th day anniversary of my father’s passing. My father would like me and my mother to move on with our lives. In 2020, I will be looking forward to travelling with my mother after today. ] It took 18 articles to complete the section on Marketing. This is a broad subject that can allow a person to sustain a career for an entire lifetime. Let us now summarise at a strategic level, what a marketer would need to do to measure his performance : a) How does the organization deal with inquiries? The marketer...

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