Author: Growing your tree of prosperity

MBA in a Nutshell #8 – Marketing : Product Positioning

Product position can potentially be an offensive blog post, so I will not go all out to share my real thinking behind where I stand vis-a-vis my competitors. This is something between me an my business partners and can be work in progress as the competitive landscape in investment training changes. To create a product positioning map, we will first need to build a 2 x 2 matrix. The axes are arbitrary but one common way to differentiate between different training providers is price. I would not say that my program is expensive, but for the past two previews,...

Read More

Letter to Batch 8 of the Early Retirement Masterclass.

Dear Students of Batch 8,It’s been a great honour and privilege to be able to conduct a 2-Day Early Retirement Workshop for you. We’re seeing some really interesting twists and turns for this particular batch of students ever since I decided to make the course more democratic and gave students the chance to select the strategy to perform the screening on. The hallmark of a good DIY investor is autonomy – the ability to make your own decisions to invest in something regardless of what was taught. In this batch, you were presented with two possible strategies for REIT...

Read More

MBA in a Nutshell #7 – Marketing : Market Strategy

From the last article, I have only advanced one page of text. Marketing strategies are surprisingly simple consisting only of three basic strategies which I share below : a) Concentrated strategy When you apply a concentrated strategy, you have an intimate understanding of the customer and can produce a product that caters only to this target market. As trainers, we can do more of this and yet not fall into the trap of competing for every soul out there in the market. Sadly we don’t do this well enough in this industry yet. One example outside my expertise is...

Read More

Building better Personal Finance online communities.

So here are some of the changes in the way I do my blog articles. This blog, which has a small and dedicated readership will become more “meta”, focusing on thoughts on my evolution as a trainer as well as snippets on my personal life. For the folks who want to read about my politically incorrect theories about dating, that’s going to remain here. For the more advanced investing articles, I will be posting on Dr Wealth.  The reason is that Dr Wealth has a much wider reach and have the SEO chops that brings more exposure for folks...

Read More

Dealing with Maid Problems…

One the same day we buried my dad at sea, my mum and myself went over to the police station to make a police report. This is first time in my life that I had to do so and it was an interesting experience. We fired our maid after she racked up $800 in phone bills using my father’s phone while he was on his deathbed. The following month Singtel sent us a bigger bombshell – a $2,000 bill for the calls made to Myanmar as well as paid apps installed on my father’s phone ! My first objective...

Read More

How should FAs sell their insurance products ?

First of all, calm the fuck down. [ Note that this post was removed from the Seedly discussion group because of my use of the four lettered word. Moderators wrote to me to explain their stance. There is no hard feelings but this reflects how much FAs fear articles like this on the web. They rather censor me than debate earnestly on this topic. Do spread it around because the context behind my use of ‘fuck’ is not meant as a cuss word. ] I’m not here to bash Financial Advisors today. I am teaching myself how to sell better...

Read More

MBA in a Nutshell #6 – Marketing : Market Segmentation

[ Thank you for the well wishes. It is time for this blog and myself to move on. We will be slowly getting back to our regular programming. ] Market segmentation used to be easy when I was reading about it for fun. When I actually do it as part of running a business it becomes very hard. This is because when you have a business running, market segmentation is an empirical exercise. You need data to understand the customers paying for your service offering. Old school approaches to guessing the profile of your customers can lead to sub-optimal...

Read More

How I arranged for my father’s wake.

A good friend reminded me that I have to undergo six stages of grief. Right now, I have no idea which stage I am – I still feel sad and would tear a little when I think of my dad, but the best way forward would be to keep writing and sharing. In fact, I will be back at working on my next preview tomorrow. I am very grateful for the well wishers who were very supportive of this blog as well as social media presence. Right now I would just like to explain some thoughts regarding how I...

Read More

Eulogy to my father, Kenneth Ng Fook San (1942 – 2019)

[ This eulogy was never delivered during my father’s wake. I was too distraught and cried throughout both attempts to finish this write-up. Before my father was cremated, I wished my families well and told them that my speech would be completed on my blog. ]  My father Ng Fook San passed away on 14th September 2019 3am. The doctors deemed that he died  due to an infection that got him onto the hospital bed for 3 months, but I believe that it was probably because he could no longer cope with an added dosage of antibiotics that was...

Read More

A meaningful gift.

One of my students gave me a very meaningful gift last weekend along with a touching hand-written note. Perhaps I share a little bit of background of this gift while keeping the student’s identity secret. My student is, objectively, a very successful man by local standards – richer and way more successful than meĀ  to he point whereby I asked him whether he has a class that I can attend. He attained his wealth the hard way without family support and is much younger than me. You might want to ask why he would even bother attending my investment...

Read More

MBA in a Nutshell #5 – Marketing : Miscellaneous considerations

When marketing to a customer, there are a series of extra considerations that has to be made. a) Other participants in the buying process Sometimes, it may seem that one party may be the key decision maker but another party exerts a very strong influence in the decision making process. When buying my EC, I let my wife be a primary decision maker, I just make sure that the final decision is within my financial budget. Fortunately, almost all my customers for the training program show up for my previews alone and there is only one key decision maker...

Read More

Letter to Batch 7 of Early Retirement Masterclass students

Dear Students of Batch 7,It’s been a great honour and privilege to be able to conduct a 2-Day Early Retirement Workshop for you. This particular class is distinguished by its active class participation. The Q&A for this session is so intense that we finished both days at around 6pm. What I really like about this batch is that some questions shared are quite novel and learned a lot from everyone. I think the question that left the biggest impression on me is the concern that investment class participants being permanently tied to the trainer via an “umbilical cord”.  Having...

Read More

Sorry ! You can never escape being part of the Sandwich Generation.

I’d just like to take the opportunity to provide a personal update on this post and take the opportunity to point out to everyone NTUC Income’s fairly viral advertisement on retirement planning that forms the theme of my personal update today. The conclusion I’d like readers to accept is this : There is no escape from being part of the Sandwich Generation. Managing your finances well can, at most,  mitigate the negative effects of being part of it. a) Training business and marketing First of all, if you are familiar with the going on in the Finance Blogosphere Wu Lin,...

Read More

MBA in a Nutshell #4 – Marketing : Dimensions of Buyer Perception

Dimensions of buyer perception is a very practical framework that forces an executive to think really hard about his product offering. This is a very useful checklist for marketers to ask themselves whether their products tick all the boxes and where areas of improvement can be made. Let’s look at the primary dimensions of my own product offering, the ERM Masterclass : a) Perceived Risk – How can this product harm me ? It is impossible to avoid self-harm in DIY investing. The trick is to manage the harm when it does occur. Being one of the few instructors...

Read More

How to think about the value of a Master’s qualification

I thought I’d follow up on this excellent but fundamentally flawed article on Rice Media. The article was excellent because the author was the first to admit that our financial blogs are  canonical literature in Singapore fueling my fantasies of becoming Singapore’s very own William Shakespeare and having my rants about our Polytechnic students and BBFAs studied intensely as the equivalent of the A levels in 400 years time. The article was fundamentally flawed because the author showcased too many examples of folks who took Masters Degrees in Arts or Social Sciences, and only had one example from someone...

Read More