Beyond second skilling…

Thought I should share with everyone my view on NTUC PME's drive to promote second skilling amongst PMEs in Singapore. Second-skilling is a straight forward concept. It encourages Singaporeans to develop hobbies which can be monetized. A manager in manufacturing plant can develop a hobby in photography and eventually gains a degree of protection against job loss when he starts taking … [Read more...]

Pushing the Delay of Gratification to its logical extreme.

I'll start with a personal update. I'm almost with my first week of school in SMU's Doctor of Jurisprudence or JD program. This is, by far, the hardest course I've ever taken in my life considering that I have done NUS engineering school, NUS's Masters in Applied Finance and passed all three CFA exams. Prior to the start of the semester, we would have already completed reading about 30 … [Read more...]

The Problem of Envy.

A key concept which I should have explored more in my books is the Problem of Envy. A friend recently shared a personal problem with me. He has a very successful ex-classmate who works in Oil & Gas who enjoys rubbing his success in my friend's face. I think this is a common problem in Singapore: It is not our absolute wealth that determines our life satisfaction, but our wealth relative to … [Read more...]

Decision making in postgraduate education.

Unlike the past, when a degree is required to get ahead, a lot of professionals are faced with the question on what kind of post-graduate qualifications to obtain. As I've gone through this process twice, here's my two cents worth based on what I've gone through : i)  CFA or MBA ? An MBA is especially attractive if you have only 2 years of experience in the working world. For technical … [Read more...]

Calm before the Storm – Countdown to formal classes.

Ok, just because I stop updating my retirement does not mean that this blog is dead. I will keep posting but my new academic life will undeniably affect this blog. Here is what's going on in my life : Yesterday I got my matriculation card, this grants me full access to university facilities. My first priorities are to ensure that my lifestyle can comfortably match an undergraduate in SMU. … [Read more...]

Last Retirement Post !

It's been 7 months since I retired from active work. This is my last update on my mini-retirement because it will be all over next Monday. Next week, I will be going over to SMU to get my matriculation card, and for the next three years I will be busy getting Law qualification. Here is my update : a) Financial Performance was relatively good. Even if you account for the Argentinian … [Read more...]

Hedgehog or the Fox ?

If you are a hedgehog, you know one thing really well. If you are a fox, you know many little things.This question has many many applications in the area of career management, after you stabilize career, do you take steps to specialize in something or do you pick up more skills as a generalist ? I asked this question on FB and observed that most tech professionals would rather be a hedgehogs. … [Read more...]

Using models to explain life, success and the assholes around you.

This article might be a little "cheem" since I have just completed all 20 lectures of the Model Thinking course conducted by the University of Michigan, I think that of all the courses taught, this is probably the best one so far. The central thesis of this lesson is that when it comes to prediction, we are much better having more models so that we have more tools to explain a certain … [Read more...]

When Insurance Agents attack…

Sometimes, when I get a great day, a friend who believes in insurance writes a passionate message to me to take issue with my ideas on insurance planning. This inevitably strengthens my position, since insurance agents seldom want to talk to me anymore, it updates me on their various tactics which I share with there readers. Let me summarize my idea on insurance. I believe in "Buy term and … [Read more...]

Some change in my thoughts regarding the $100,000 challenge.

There has been some calls to poll my opinion on what should someone do with $100,000. There has also been queries as to whether some of the things I wrote on Growing Your Tree of Prosperity is still valid with the market today. Growing Your Tree of Prosperity is a lot more than just about investing in unit trusts, it puts readers in their first attempt to pony up $100,000 - something which is … [Read more...]

Should I invest in my excess cash into my start-up or use it build up my stock portfolio ?

A friend who attended my talk was having a discussion with me yesterday, he mentioned in passing that one of the Zopim founders actually attended my session and actually interacted with me on my talk. And I was going WOW ! It was such a great honour that someone who is part of an exit of such historical scale would be able to attend my session. Anyway, my friend also expressed disappointment … [Read more...]

What games can tell us about success ?

Recently, psychologists have dealt a resounding blow against Malcolm Gladwell's idea that in order to succeed in a field, you will need 10,000 hours of deliberate practice. Of course, the scientific evidence cannot deal a killing blow to the theory because it's very hard to suss out practice that is actually deliberate in nature. Practice that is deliberate means that its difficulty is designed to … [Read more...]

Term Life Insurance and the Brutal Realities of Modern Living.

While I do not buy the argument that concludes that Singapore is a winner-takes-all or a No-U-turn society, many of you may have met someone who experienced the following : a) Someone does not perform well enough to get into a local University. This person has to pay a lot more to attend a private university. Making matters worse,  this person runs a risk of studying for a degree from a shady … [Read more...]

Six months without work ! Whoa !

Today has been quite a fine day. It's my wife's birthday and my seventh wedding anniversary. We spent the day just hanging out with my daughter after bringing her back from school. Otherwise, I've reached the sixth month of my retirement. If I did not have Law School lined up in August, I might possibly be insane by now for not being productively making any money for 6 months in a … [Read more...]

Buay Kan Buay Tua Han as a methodology for success.

Translated from Hokkien to English "Buay Kan Buay Tua Han" means that you can't grow up unless you get fucked first. It alludes to phenomenon that many of us do not experience growth without going through a period of pain first. I think that there is a sufficient evidence that this is a very credible success methodology. Most folks simply do not have the willpower or conscientiousness to … [Read more...]

Some thoughts after today’s talk…

I felt that the talk that was given today in Block 71 was great because of the audience who was very interactive and kept me on my toes. Money can sometimes be an emotional subject, so interaction can be very engaging and lively for everyone involved. Here are some random points which I thought would be interesting for the regulars here who could not attend my talk at Block 71 just now : a) … [Read more...]

Back-testing a CNAV-like portfolio using local stocks.

As a continuation to my Value Investing Master Class given to me free of charge by BigFatPurse, I spent some time in the National Library Bloomberg Terminals yesterday to see if a similar strategy may yield superior returns when applied to the local stock-market over the past 10 years. As I'm a beneficiary of a good deed, I have to find a roundabout way to return the favor to BigFatPurse but … [Read more...]

Talk this week : Escape the Rat-race – Hacker’s edition.

The Hacker and Painter's movement has expressed an interest in my approach towards attaining financial independence, as such, I will be giving a free talk at the following time and venue this coming Friday, 27th June 2014 : Time : 12pm - 1pm. Venue : Plugin@Blk71 - Blk 71, Ayer Rajah Crescent, #02-18, S(139951) It will be a very simple 45-minute talk on attaining financial independence with … [Read more...]

Attended my first investment seminar on Value Investing.

Yesterday, I was invited to attend BigFatPurse's Value Investing Mastery Course along with 15WW. It was a great course. I would like to encourage readers to give this course a try for the following reasons : a) It's a great way to learn about investing for beginners. When I first started out, I really did not know what I was doing with my money. I made myself go through about 3 years of … [Read more...]

If you want to rich, be a bigger asshole !

Here's a conversation I had with a colleague some time ago : Me : If are walking along Orchard Road, an insurance agent and a snake approaches you. You have a gun with two bullets, what do you do ? Friend : I shoot the snake and the insurance agent. Me : Wrong, you should shoot the insurance agent twice, just to make sure he's dead. Friend : Actually, I disagree, if you're lucky the snake … [Read more...]