Author: Growing your tree of prosperity

Lessen the psychological impact of a home mortgage though asset/liability matching.

I just ended hell week. Two paper submissions this week and a team presentation has made me lose sleep over the last few days. My body still aches after having a nap and I wonder if I am actually falling sick. Today I will talk about home mortgages and psychological strain I have been receiving from my home loan for the past two years. The current state is that I pay my home mortgage with my CPF-OA and I have enough to do this for another 4 years at the current SIBOR rate. But this is psychologically straining because...

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Personal Update – Meaningless Holiday just ended meaninglessly.

Ok, time for another personal update. a) Law School I am so demotivated right now, I should actually be vetting my research papers instead of updating this blog. Right now, I am going through the process of hunting for internships and Training Contracts and made quite a number of number of applications, some rejections have already starting trickling in and I am still shocked at how competitive this game has become ! I am praying for an interview in March. Rejections as a rule leave a bad taste in my mouth because, to be fair, it seldom happens to...

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Before you jump into the Engineering bandwagon…

Readers might think that I have very reason to be cynical. Graduating in 1999 with an engineering degree would have been great if not for the actions by the Government to welcoming foreign engineers into our economy which kept all engineers on a low salary scale. As a consequence of that, Engineering departments in local universities became dumping grounds with better engineering students aspiring to succeed as bankers instead of joining the technology field. The SMRT breakdowns are a symptom of at least a decade of prioritising services over operations. The government timing to refocus on engineering could not...

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Not a good day to be part of the JD programme.

I had to stop studying to write this article because my class was greeted with shock one day to find out that one of our classmates has been given a two month jail sentence for hacking into a Professor’s account and deleting our property law examination scripts. My script was one of those deleted. You can reference the newspaper article here. As we speak, journalists are trying to contact my classmates to ask about this JD programme and I wanted to steal a march from the mainstream media to write an article clarifying some aspects of the JD experience....

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Microagressions – The breakfast of champions !

This is a very special Chinese New Year for me. For the first time, Millenials have come together to crowdsource the micro-aggressions that were thrown their way for this New Year. I think this is a very useful dataset which should excite any armchair social scientist like myself. You can access it here. I want to assert that micro-aggressions are the breakfast of champions ! Micro-aggressions encapsulate all the dreams and nightmares of Ethnic Chinese families in Singapore. Once you create a taxonomy around these micro-aggressions,  you will be able to find the Singapore Dream and the Singaporean Nightmare...

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Year of the Monkey – Unbent, unbowed and unbroken…

First off, a Happy Lunar New Year to all the readers of this blog. Regulars might know that the previous year of the Goat had been a bitter-sweet experience. My mother was diagnosed with breast cancer but I was also blessed with the birth of my son. I was hyper alert during the last few days of the year of the Goat because somehow I felt vulnerable after everything which happened to my family. A consequence of that was I pre-poned work on my research paper in anticipation that troubles would not allow me to finish them in March....

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#1 Peak Prosperity – The Poverty Simulation angle.

Sometimes, getting an article for this blog is so easy it is as if the Gods conspire to help you with your next posting. This week, news started to spread about Singapore Island Country Club members conducting a poverty simulation for their members. Of course the news attracted a fair share of brickbats and I’m not going to go about making things worse. My stand is that a poverty simulation is good thing even though there might be a better way to go about doing it. It can be argued that my life as a law student is some...

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[Prologue] Peak Prosperity : How do we know that Singapore is in decline ?

I’ve got less than an hour before my lectures begin so this is going to be a short post. Right now I am in the process of researching the concept which has the working title of “Peak Prosperity” which sounds so interesting, it may warrant a new book from me in the future. In my previous books, I would pull out bad news and events from thin air to conclude that the Singapore Dream is being threatened by external forces. This time round, I hope to be more methodical so I would have to read more deeply before forming...

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Thoughts on being a father a second time.

Last night, my son Durendal Ng Mun Khoi, was born. It was a happy day for me and my missus and right now, mother and son are doing well. There is some excitement over why I chose such a strange name for my son. Durendal from what I gathered from the web is also a card in some collectible card game. If it is spelled Durandal, it’s  the name of a kind of bomb which is used to penetrate airport runways. So on first inspection, it’s quite a ferocious name. For our case, Durendal is named after a holy...

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Personal Update : Two years have passed since my last paycheck !

It’s time for a another update. It’s been two years since I had a pay-check, if this were a disaster recovery exercise, I would say that it has been rather successful so far as I still did not draw upon my capital. a) My son is not here yet. At the personal level, I am waiting for the birth of my son. It can happen any day now. Right now I am more afraid than my wife who seems to be quite calm. b) Financial markets For all the doom and gloom, the markets did not faze me at...

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Does nobody really owe you a living ?

Mr. Chan Chun Sing, in my humble opinion, may well be the best Secretary General in NTUC we would ever have. He gave a talk in NTUC while I was still an IT Assistant Director there and to get the ball rolling, I tried to corner him with a tough question on social mobility. I felt he handled the question well and from a rhetorical perspective, balanced logos with pathos. He had to bridge the elite-union gap which was not easily done. On the whole,  he was logical but also connected with the union leaders and explained assortative mating...

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Net Present Value of Suffering.

This post is inspired by the large number of articles in response to the release of the O level results. Well meaning educators start to assist readers in choosing between a Polytechnic and a JC. One of the ideas which has been around since I was 16 years old is the idea that if a person is academically inclined, he should go JC and if he is practically oriented, he should go to a Polytechnic. Throughout the 90s, the same argument was used to help A level students choose between NUS and NTU. Before I begin, I’d like to...

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Singaporeans want an Australian Singapore, not a Singaporean Singapore.

G’Day readers ! If you really think about it, these days Singaporeans want an Australian Singapore, not a Singaporean Singapore. The story in the public is that these days is that Singaporeans are clamouring for more work life balance – what is thought to be abundant in Australia. New workers joining the work force are starting to engage the HR departments differently than the Gen-X workers in the past. Gen-X workers like myself want rapid progress and pay escalation, they just want to claw their way up the ladder. The Millenials tend to be more balanced and want to...

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The $5 latte solution is not as radical as it sounds ! [ Yayy ! Got featured on the Business Times. ]

Today is a great day ! My classmate came up to me and told me that I am featured in the Business Times today. Naturally, I bought a copy and as it turns out, I was mentioned in one paragraph on page 12 of the Business Times in the BT-Citibank Young Investor’s Forum in an article titled The $5-latte problem and a radically conservative solution by Cai Haoxiang. The context of the article is to talk about the feasibility of a salaried worker becoming financially independent if one starts saving at a younger age. I thought perhaps I put...

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New free E-Book from all of us financial bloggers !

The folks at BigFatPurse took on the Herculean task to organise us financial bloggers to write a book on investing your first $20,000. I don’t wish to take too much credit for this as I have only contributed one article, so please download this from BigFatPurse website here. I am grateful that in spite of a busy year juggling law school and my family life, I am able to at least contribute to a new publication in 2015. The article I wrote targets intermediate investors and mentions five steps to the setting up a personal portfolio which is as...

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