Who wants to be a "Sergeant" ?

A class of problems in a modern urban city is that problem of "Who wants to be the Sergeant?" Why would a top A level student choose Engineering as a discipline when the pay of a technical professional lags a marketing or finance professional after 5 years ? Similarly, why would a medical practitioner choose to be a GP considering the gap between the salary of a GP and a specialist ? More … [Read more...]

Financial Independence as a Continuum.

Since my exams, I have been busy getting my EC ready as TOP occurred a couple of months ago. Most of my day has been spent moving my belongings from my parent's place and assembling Ikea furniture. As we spend quite a fortune on conservancy fees, I was also retooling my exercise routine to ensure that my conservancy fees will result in a healthier life which will hopefully defray medical … [Read more...]

Why Jack Ma is wrong about education and innovation.

Jack Ma joins the list of very successful billionaires who laments about the education system he has gone through and has spoken very convincingly of why the Chinese education system must change in order for the country to make progress. This is not a new idea. Einstein himself values imagination above knowledge. Many successful business men and even our own minister talks about the value of … [Read more...]

The Myth of the Self-Made man.

Wow ! It has been a while since I blogged. I've been busy on my first Law Exams which took me out for about 3 weeks, and after that, I've been playing Dragon Age : Inquisition and trying to move into my new condominium. It's going to be almost a year since my last pay-check and it's been quite a struggle maintaining my fiscal balance in 2014. I have to settle two semesters of fees and … [Read more...]

What can we learn from hipsters ?

The days get worse and worse for everyone in my class. We survived our double-whammy Friday where two papers become due within one day and I must say that my class-mates are really amazing with many not having any sleep at all over the past 24 hours. I think the worse is over not just for my class but for the markets as well. This is the time to stock up on equities for the Capricorn effect of … [Read more...]

Are you Superman or Batman ?

One of the privileges I have in my life is that I get a front seat to experience the struggles of myself and my fellow classmates. This 3-year reboot has allowed me to do some serious thinking about the nature of success. This is not so much an analytic exercise, but I see this as more akin to a religious experience. One phenomenon I notice in campus is the kind of quality people attribute to … [Read more...]

Why we should press on.

At the end of the semester, some classmates are having doubts about whether they made the right choice in coming to the SMU JD program. I promised that over the weekend, I would write something to cheer them up so that they would press on in their studies. I think that my class is a small class and the industry is large enough to absorb all of us in spite of all these changes going on to "nerf" … [Read more...]

Taste and Aesthetics. Being Basic and Normcore.

I think get along fairly well with my JD classmates despite a glaringly large generation gap. I actually said to a classmate that if I had a shotgun wedding when I was in JC, my kid would be her age, Maybe they treat me like a insane cousin or uncle that they can't seem to avoid on a family gathering. I like to ask questions in class like what if two people in a contract hypothetical case are … [Read more...]

"Till All Are One !" – The Mechanics of Synergy.

It was a perfect storm for my personal finances this week.First SMU decides to bring forward payment for my next semester of fees. The the markets had a series of sudden bearish moves while I lacked the funds the exploit this weakness. Then two things happened: My condominium TOP-ed and I have to write a couple of checks and  my weekend car battery failed and we have to get AA to help us out … [Read more...]

The Shallow Search for Happiness.

I'm in the middle of my term 'break' in which I had to do even more work than a normal week at school. Test preparations and written papers took up almost half of it. Now I'm taking a short break to update this blog as I think I've done enough preparation work and will let fate decide what happens in tomorrow's online test. This is the first time I'm getting a test where I have no idea what is … [Read more...]

What tools in the Arts and Law can be used by an investor ?

After Hell week, my class started getting bombarded by essays and more written work so I am unable to put up more postings for quite a while but today is a good day, I just finished a 2,500 draft of an essay I was supposed to submit in November so it puts me ahead, to, well... do more advanced work for my classes. One of the ideas I was obsessed with that ideas are "weaponizeable". Ideas from … [Read more...]

What would I do if a start-up exit made me a multi-millionaire ?

Of recent interest is that we are starting to hear about successful start-up exits in Singapore. I really enjoyed reading about the interviews with these successful entrepreneurs so I am writing this speculative piece. I think Tech is very much on the rise here and with more talent becoming engineers, we could be hearing about a lot more success stories in the future. Of course, being a … [Read more...]

September 2014 Update : From Retiree to Law Student.

I've just survived three weeks of law school, just sharing a personal update to keep in touch with readers. a) Drowning in legal cases. Right now, the largest part of my my life is tackling legal cases. In SMU, merely reading up on cases and getting a general gist of it is not enough. As we can be called upon to introduce the cases on the fly, we will need to be able to demonstrate that we … [Read more...]

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...]