Author: Growing your tree of prosperity

In Law School, sociopaths are a feature and not a bug.

The JD alumni gathering in SMU was quite a blast. I had the privilege of meeting some juniors, some who actually read this blog. So kudos to the current administration for a job well done ! When members of different cohorts meet together to have conversations, one element that consistently bonded all of us who graduated from the JD programwas the sheer amount of shit we had to put up with our fellow classmates in group projects. During this gathering, we had an animated (and extremely therapeutic) conversation about our horrible experiences with classmates who are so notorious, a...

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What is your Samuelson Number ?

Since we are in the topic of the Kelly Criterion and leveraged portfolios can be justified, let’s about Samuelson numbers. In the book Lifecycle Investing by Barry Nalebuff and Ian Ayres, one controversial concept they spoke about is called the Samuelson Number named after Paul Samuelson, the first American to win the Nobel Prize for Economics. In this book, the book asks the following question to its readers : If you would already be retired or financially independent today, how much worth of equities would you have. For some people, it might be, say,  $1,200,000 worth of equities. Nalebuff...

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The Art of the Good Life #20 : Your Two Selves

[ My pal 15 Hour Work Week has also started a regular series on this Rolf Dobelli book as well ! I read his blog here because he has a different take on this book and I read it to revise its concepts. ] You have two selves. The first self is the experiencing self. This is part of the consciousness that is in the present, taking in all sensory perceptions real-time. This part of the self has to sift through millions of data points just to retain a few of it for storage in long term memory. Which...

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Applying the Kelly Criterion as a middle ground between a War-Chest and a Leveraged Portfolio.

This week has been really rough for tech manufacturing and income stocks. But what really saved my portfolio was my margin account which held up while the rest of my portfolio got battered. I really look forward to creating another back-tested equity portfolio in time before my talk. Anyway, one possible middle ground between the war-chest and the leveraged portfolio is the Kelly Criterion. If you have heard about the casino antics of Ed Thorpe, you will know that he was one of the first to come up with a practical approach towards making bets using the Kelly Formula....

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Cryptocurrencies are DOOMED !

Given that cryptocurrencies are going through a minor recovery of sorts, it is time to have an update on cryptocurrency investing. April 2018 is a very fortunate month for folks who are interested in this asset class. This is because Barclays Bank has devoted most of their Equity Gilt Study 2018 report to technological disruption and cryptocurrencies. While I do not have the actual report, the Economist has summarised what it had to say about the state of cryptocurrency investment world. The basic gist of the study is that cryptocurrencies have peaked. There will no longer be another upside...

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You can choose your reality.

When I was single, I thought of wanting to join SDU, so I consulted an engineering classmate who frequently attended these SDU events, hoping that he can give me some  dating advice. I was a desperado and wanted to know what were my chances of finding a significant other when I joined these events. My friend understood my 20-something self very well so he wanted me to be less of a jerk than already was then. I remember we were riding on the north-south line and he told me that in order to succeed in SDU, I must get...

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The Art of the Good Life #19 : The Smaller Meaning of Life

The larger meaning of life are questions relating to what you re are and how you fit in into the Grand Scheme of the Universe. These are questions that are hard to answer and require a lot of introspection. The smaller meaning of life is a lot easier to attain because all you need is to understand your goals and ambitions. The book talks about research done on children. Those kids who consider money as something indispensable had a higher income later in life and are generally happier than those who did not value money as much. Of course,...

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Managing your Attentional Capital or Focus

Today I went over to Starhub to re-contract my mobile phone into a SIM only contract. By doing that I resolve a painful problem I have been facing since I started work in a law firm – I have two devices that employ mobile data that I bring to work, a mobile phone and a tablet. For months, I have been exceeding my data usage by 4Gb and have been spending $200+ on telco expenses every month. So today was the expiration of my contract so I rushed over to switch to a SIM only plan with 16Gb of...

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Hacking your own Millionaire Mindset.

I think that we may have gone too far telling everyone what a Millionaire Mindset is not. The Millionaire Mindset is not about affirmations. Generating wealth is also not about sharing the quotable quotes of billionaires – although running a business selling motivational posters might actually work. Now it’s time for me to propose a generalized procedure for someone to develop a genuine Millionaire Mindset that puts him within a reasonable striking distance of landing a million bucks. Now in order for this to work, you need to read a lot. If you cannot accept this rule, then my...

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The Art of the Good Life #18 : The "End of History" Illusion

I said recently on social media that an intelligent woman is like a magical sword. If you are not capable enough as a guy to wield this weapon, you can get yourself hurt really really badly. A very intelligent and capable lady once bragged to me that her husband/boyfriend is a lucky guy because she is smart enough to say the right things to motivate him so that he can become very successful in life. She will push him to become an alpha male, a leader of men that commands respect. Someone suitable enough for a daughter of a...

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Personal Update

This might be a great time to just give a personal update. a) Training Contract At this stage, I’ve reached half-time for my training contract. I’ve learnt quite a bit of from the past 3 months although for the sake of confidentiality, it is best that I do not provide too many details about my work. Most of the learnings I have derived from my work is how to manage our lives so as to avoid legal problems much later on. Sometime the most innocent moves like treating some of your children better than the others can have huge...

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Is finance gendered ?

Let’s imagine a finance seminar for men ( and men only ) that is relevant to you regardless of whether you are an alpha male or a BBFA. a) It will focus on lifelong learning and address the issue why boys are not doing too well in school compared to women. b) It will talk about earnings of blue-collar men who are not getting increments based on inflation rates. c) It will discuss strategies of saving money by bingeing on Netflix, cutting cable and playing computer games all day. Even discuss the most optimal car to own. d) It...

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The Art of the Good Life #17 : The prison of a good reputation.

This chapter begins by asking the question of who would you rather be : a) You are the best lover in the world but everyone thinks that you’re the worst lover in the world. b) You are the worst lover in the world but everyone thinks that you’re the best lover in the world. Most folks would choose (b). The chapter however goes on to show that being obsessed with how people see you can be bad for your mental health. After all, all thanks to social media, we have all become managers of our personal brand. I am...

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A Millionaire mindset is a Low SES mindset !

The genesis of this post came from an anecdote from a friend who attended a financial talk over a decade ago. This financial talk was conducted by a famous options trading guru ( who has since had a very disappointing day in court and is no longer giving talks on options trading today ). Halfway during the talk, my friend was either so bored or so offended by the presentation that he abruptly stood up along with his friends to leave the lecture hall and the speaker then pointed out to my friend’s group and proclaimed that ” These...

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The Art of the Good Life #16 : Tyranny of a calling

“Few people are as unhappy as those with a talent no one cares about.” – John Gray. The lesson in this chapter is that chasing after a calling is a recipe for a miserable life. Having an over-inflated expectation that we need a particular vocation that stems from something deep inside is a loser’s game. The chapter provides the example of writer John Kennedy Toole, who had his conviction about being a successful writer shaken to the core after numerous rejections from major publishers,  committed suicide by carbon monoxide poisoning. After his death, A Confederacy of Dunces sold millions...

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