Author: Growing your tree of prosperity

The Art of the Good Life #39 : The Maximum Point of Deliberation

As you think or rationalise your way through a problem, the point by which further contemplation no longer adds value to the decision you have to make, tends to be reached quickly. More thinking and research will reach diminishing returns.  At that point of time, the author suggests that you act because by interacting with the problem more directly, you get more insight on the situation that cannot be gained by thinking or by reading manuals. One of the considerations I make when planning my workshop is to address the mistake I made when I was in my mid-twenties....

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Safe Channels for Personal Development

Thought I would share something that is possibly novel in the personal development. This comes after thinking about my own hobbies or interests which played a majored role in many of my personal successes today. I define a Safe Channel for personal development as some means to develop skills and competencies away from society’s judgmental eyes. This can come in the form of a hobby or personal interest. There are three components to having a safe channel. The channel must develop some kind of useful skill through a regime of deliberate practice.  The second component is that no external...

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How to interpret salaries and lifestyle decisions of fellow Singaporeans

One of the few things I learned while creating my workshop are interesting statistics on Singapore families. Of the new things incorporated into my training materials, two statistics stand out in terms of usefulness. a) Median Household Expense Information  The median household expense information is about $4,699 per month. This number is only useful after we adjust for inflation since the figures were collected in 2013. Inflation has been quite mild for the past 5 years, so after applying a 2% increase, a household spends around $4,792. Now, the median household size is around 3.2. So dividing expenses by...

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The Art of the Good Life #38 : Mental Subtraction.

The concept of mental subtraction is not all that hard. If you are feeling depressed, imagine what life would be life if you lost the use of your limbs followed by the loss of your senses like sight, smell and hearing. Compared to your current life, these scenarios would be truly depressing so naturally, after performing this exercise, you become a lot happier. The actual reality is different from this mental exercise because we acclimatise ourselves to our good fortune and misfortune. Disabled folks rapidly become as happy as their non-disabled selves. Folks who win the lottery often find...

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The Art of the Good Life #37 : The Dogma Trap.

Today I got called to the Bar. So it is a happy day for me. But I can’t seem to stop being a magnet for weirdoes. At the Supreme Court, my mother asked me why is there a strange looking flap at the back of my barrister’s gown. I said I don’t know. It looked like a gun holster, so initially  thought that perhaps it contained some kind of weapon in the medieval era. Then this strange person whom I will designate as Tiger Mum, overheard my conversation with my mum, brutally interrupted me, and said,” If you don’t...

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More on Quitting the System…

Ok, this is not going to be long post. The hits on the last article was absolutely crazy ! There is a chance it might crack top 5 of my most popular blog posts of all time here. Here’s more interesting developments : a) Ruffled some feathers in the blogosphere A Millenial blogger reached out to me in private conversation because it seemed to her that my article was referring to her specifically. Regardless of whether I was actually referring to her ( I read many Millenial bloggers because I want to figure out how to have more Millenial...

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Why I sometimes think about quitting Singapore.

I think I am doing relatively ok in Singapore. My work planning for the next workshop is proceeding quickly, markets are doing quite well in spite of an impending trade war and my passive income is edging higher this quarter. Recently, I had a conversation with a friend who is now taking concrete steps to resettle himself in Australia. The complaint about Singapore is typical fare – Society has become more unequal, flats will be taken back after 99 years, and the CPF board seems unwilling to allow folks to ever see their hard earned money. I’ve done my...

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After Action Review : Unstructured sharing session with young people.

There is good news that banks are changing their engagement strategy with Millenials. They are moving away from the hard sell strategies that turned off an entire generation of consumers in the past and are now experimenting with alternative approaches of engagement that focuses on having more candour and authenticity with the public. As part of this experiment, sometimes financial bloggers are brought in to engage with younger consumers. This is a very new thing and I am honoured to be chosen for this experiment. Yesterday’s sharing session would have been rather challenging if not for my stint in...

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The Art of the Good Life #36 : Read less, but twice.

[ I’d really like to thank the regulars of this blog who gave me huge pop in yesterday’s course previews so much so that my first class is confirmed. The number of sign-ups have reached a new high, proving once and for all that life as a freelance trainer is possible.  We only have just one more preview left before the class starts in September. For those who missed yesterday’s session, write to me one more time and I will see if I can secure a seat for you. ] We’re back to our regular programming. Chapter 36 is...

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After Action Review : Financial Independence, REITs and Leverage talk.

Here are some thoughts on yesterday’s talks : a) General Performance My first rule for free talks is that the Sponsor must succeed commercially for future talks to take place. As this is a talk sponsored by Maybank Kim Eng, what is important to me is that they find sponsoring not just me, but other financial bloggers, worthwhile. As the talk is free, we have a 45% rate of folks showing up based on sign-ups which was about average for the industry but we have a decent number of folks opening accounts on that day so I am very...

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The Art of the Good Life #35 : The Focus Trap

[ I’ll catch you guys later for my talk on Financial Independence, REITs and use of the leverage. Unfortunately, my voice is not 100% as I’ve had some sort of bacterial or viral infection for the past 2 weeks. But I can talk and may need some pauses to get a drink to carry on. I may also get hoarse as the talk goes on as I’m expected to speak for about an hour.  ] We’re a little behind on this series so we have some catching up to do. The second article this week is about focus. According...

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The Art of the Good Life #34 : Mental Relief Work

As we get older, I find that some of my friends are starting to become cranky old men. A friend who drives for Grab would tell tales of his life and talk about how horrible young people are today and why he feels like punching some of them to show them the error of their ways. I would always tell them that we’re too old to right all the wrongs in this world. At the broad level, a lot of us find themselves complaining, whining and bitching about the injustices of the world. This is often about the events...

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My next talk #1 – REITs, Leverage and Financial Independence

I’m not too sure whether it would be productive promote my next talk. Without any substantive marketing, I was told that 80% of the tickets have already been taken up. The registrants have already exceeded the number of seats available but as the talk is free, a substantial number of registrants would not show up. Nevertheless,  if you do not mind the risk of standing through out my talk, you can still register for the talk here : https://www.eventbrite.sg/e/accumulate-for-financial-independence-with-reits-tickets-48204881097 I thought perhaps I should talk about some of the heftier concepts of leverage over the next few blog posts...

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Help, I am becoming a D&D character !

When the directors of BIGScribe wanted to have a meet-up to plan the next event (click here if you want to attend my next talk which is free), I told Kyith that I’m always free because I was am still currently an “unemployed hobo”. Kyith then went onto the urban dictionary to get a formal definition of the word “Hobo” which I reproduce here : ” A hobo is an itinerant worker, a career which sprang up during the depression. A hobo, unlike a bum or a tramp, is more than willing to work, but mostly for a short duration, as their main impetus is travel, the...

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The Art of the Good Life #32 : Prevention

This chapter begins by asking ourselves what is wisdom ? This is a difficult question made more so if you play a lot of Dungeons and Dragons. In D&D, characters are defined by attributes in both Intelligence and Wisdom. Intelligence is a trait favoured by Wizards and governs language and skills acquisition ( in the appropriate edition ) whereas Wisdom, favoured by clerics,  determined your ability to resist spells that affect your emotions. Occasionally, a D&D player can end up with a character that has high Intelligence but low Wisdom and vice versa and it would be quite difficult...

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