Author: Growing your tree of prosperity

What to think about when thinking about Billionaires.

In Singapore, the fastest and most convenient way to one-up a millionaire when you are not even one is to cite a billionaire. A common thing to hear about these days is Jack Ma telling his son that he does not need to be a top student to succeed in life. What Jack Ma meant was that if your dad is Jack Ma, you probably will not need to top your classes. The problem is that most of us are not fortunate enough to be Jack Ma’s son. The bigger problem is that that ordinary people do not study...

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How to lead a life without a Financial Advisor.

It has been a relatively tough week for me this week because I have just started my internship. I have to acclimatise myself again to a 6-hour sleep cycle. One perk of being a student was that I get plenty of sleep although the readings takes up almost all of your waking hours. I’m going to go light on myself this week. I just want to build up on Budget Babe’s post that a lifestyle blogger has complained about the substandard advice she has gotten from an insurance agent. I never had a financial advisor. Generally, I’m not a...

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Personal Finance Lessons from eating KL Murtabak

I have just ended my second trip to Malaysia and will embark on my third trip tonight. Just wanted to share a really delicious picture of KL Lamb Murtabak with all of you readers to remind you that 1 SGD is almost 3 MYR as we speak and going into Malaysia to enjoy some fruits of currency arbitrage might not be a bad idea at this time of the year. ( Just do it with more sensitivity as Malaysians do consider most Singaporeans arrogant and proud.  ) But more importantly, if you ever visit Malaysia over the holidays you...

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Quick Update on my life.

Just a quick update on my life… I have spent the past few days trying to arbitrate the the SGDMYR exchange rate… No lah… These two weeks are the only two weeks of leisure that I have. Beginning mid-June, I will start 6 weeks of internships and my semester will open 2 weeks earlier than my peers if I get selected for International Moots. This means that I may not have a break until December beginning next Monday. I will be off to KL for the next 3 days and then will enter Malaysia again before the week ends....

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A different way to think about Lifelong Learning.

Just the other day, I had the privilege of meeting members of the NTUC Social Media team, we had a good, long discussion on the possible issues face by the workforce of the future. NTUC is interested in collaborating with bloggers to come up with content. As I wanted to preserve to my unique voice, I opted to blog for information instead of remuneration. I promised that if any data on the labour movement were shared with me, I would be able come up with some unique insights into work and human capital in Singapore. This gives me the...

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Is Grit Overrated ?

Bully the Bear has a great article on finding meaning in suffering. I’d thought I would build on this idea by critically examining its ancestral concept of Grit because grit has become the buzzword of the day. Grit is the ability to take punishment and roll with the punches. People with grit find ways to persist through hardship and self-help literature claimed that gritty people become more successful in life. Because of very persuasive speakers like Angela Duckworth, grit is slowly creeping into the public narrative and it is certainly expected that the best bloggers do talk about grit...

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Before you eschew kiasuism…

I was having breakfast with the folks of BigFatPurse and Jon complimented that I would never take the risk of running a business because it’s just not something a guy like me would do. Jon is right. I would take enough risk to generate the returns I desire but not more than necessary to become financially free. My family’s well-being is at stake. If there is no need to take any more risk, I would prefer to farm my excess funds into the most consistent form of arbitrage that I know of – that of knowledge arbitrage. The cheapest...

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Discussion on my China Merchants Pacific Holdings Maneuver…

This year, I have been making great judgment calls with other people’s money but not my own. The markets have been very bitter-sweet of late with offers being made to take a staple yield counter China Merchant Pacific Holdings private at $1.02 per share. Unfortunately, I did not own this share in my private portfolio as I am still struggling to sock away savings without an earned income as of late in the face of multiple personal emergencies. I had initially wanted to get into China Merchants in a serious sort of way at the end of May when...

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Smart Beta – Learn about a future investment strategy today.

Singapore investors are are very much behind the curve when it comes to better investment products in the market. The aim of this article is to look at this very modern buzzword called Smart Beta and start everyone thinking about how to react when this this new trend arrives in Singapore. Smart Beta is the next evolution of the ETF. It employs a formula or algorithm to determine the composition of a portfolio and transfer cost savings to the investor. What Smart Beta tries to achieve is to create a new range of offerings which simulate how a fund...

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Planning a talk on funding a child’s education.

I’m currently working with WDA to give a talk at the Lifelong Education centre on 14th July 12.30pm. Right now the details are still quite sketchy, but I thought that blog readers should be able to pitch in and suggest what they want to hear. The working title is “Finding your child’s university education”. Here’s what I have so far. Paying for Education is about increasing a child’s human capital as opposed to financial capital. It should be treated like an investment. Why is it naive to see a university experience purely from the viewpoint of a love for...

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Cherish the slackers in your life !

Yesterday, my network of law students and lawyer friends are spreading news about the suicide of a legal trainee who was recently not retained by a reputable law firm and dumped by his girlfriend. Beyond this piece of news, I am unable to verify the information further because if it were true, it should have been all over the mainstream media by now. One question I ask myself about my law school experience in SMU is that why is it so different from my time in NUS Engineering and Business school. In Engineering school, we were generally left alone...

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Why IT engineers are similar to cleaners in Singapore ?

Do not let the title distract you from the central message which I will bring to you today – There is no better time for a A level graduate to go for an engineering degree with the recent reforms announced by the government. Before I get to that, I will first answer the question as to why IT engineers and cleaners have quite a bit in common. If you read the article in Labourbeat by MP Zainal Sapari, one of the key reasons cleaners did not enjoy an increment for a decade was due to outsourcing. Outsourcing was then...

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Introducing BigScribe and the Crowdfunding e-book.

As a single personal finance author and blogger, my capabilities are limited. However, as a coalition of financial bloggers in Singapore, our potential is limitless. A few of us financial bloggers have pooled our expertise, effort, and a small amount of capital together to form BigScribe Pte Ltd. The aim is to create products of higher quality for the Singapore investing public and find modest means of revenue through advertising. Our next product is on crowdfunding which has taken the financial world by storm. Through crowdfunding platforms, regular investors can invest small amounts of money money to SMEs which...

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Personal update and short break from blogging.

Here’s a personal update from me just before I begin exam preparations. a) Financial markets I think my financial situation is much better than a couple of months ago. Markets have recovered a bit, but may dip downwards over the short term. The end of March would see a round of dividends coming in which would be applied to my next three months of living expenses, with all the medical emergencies behind me, I should be able to park some money back into the markets. But the better news for folks with home mortgages is that SIBOR is flat....

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How to think about a basic income in Singapore.

Some societies are starting to think about implementing a basic income. A basic income is a form of unconditional welfare that gives everyone a basic salary to live regardless of whether he has a job or not. This idea is attractive to both sides of the political spectrum. The left obviously want some more ways to narrow the rich-poor gap. The political right thinks that it is a form of welfare which does not require a lot of social workers so it keeps the government lean and mean – everyone gets a small wage so long as he is...

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