Author: Growing your tree of prosperity

Should I invest in my excess cash into my start-up or use it build up my stock portfolio ?

A friend who attended my talk was having a discussion with me yesterday, he mentioned in passing that one of the Zopim founders actually attended my session and actually interacted with me on my talk. And I was going WOW ! It was such a great honour that someone who is part of an exit of such historical scale would be able to attend my session. Anyway, my friend also expressed disappointment that in the Temple of Startup Capitalism, no one asked me a challenging question which we sort of “prepared” in case someone were to raise it during...

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What games can tell us about success ?

Recently, psychologists have dealt a resounding blow against Malcolm Gladwell’s idea that in order to succeed in a field, you will need 10,000 hours of deliberate practice. Of course, the scientific evidence cannot deal a killing blow to the theory because it’s very hard to suss out practice that is actually deliberate in nature. Practice that is deliberate means that its difficulty is designed to always match the capability of the person, something which is harder to establish in a research experiment. All Malcolm Gladwell has to do is to say that most practice is not deliberate in nature,...

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Term Life Insurance and the Brutal Realities of Modern Living.

While I do not buy the argument that concludes that Singapore is a winner-takes-all or a No-U-turn society, many of you may have met someone who experienced the following : a) Someone does not perform well enough to get into a local University. This person has to pay a lot more to attend a private university. Making matters worse,  this person runs a risk of studying for a degree from a shady degree supplier who may close shop and cannot use his parent’s CPF money for assistance. The degree, when finally awarded, is also not accorded the same treatment...

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Six months without work ! Whoa !

Today has been quite a fine day. It’s my wife’s birthday and my seventh wedding anniversary. We spent the day just hanging out with my daughter after bringing her back from school. Otherwise, I’ve reached the sixth month of my retirement. If I did not have Law School lined up in August, I might possibly be insane by now for not being productively making any money for 6 months in a row. Anyway, here’s an update : a) Portfolio experienced my first downturn in finances. Predictably, as soccer season begins, I begin to experience my first month on month...

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Buay Kan Buay Tua Han as a methodology for success.

Translated from Hokkien to English “Buay Kan Buay Tua Han” means that you can’t grow up unless you get fucked first. It alludes to phenomenon that many of us do not experience growth without going through a period of pain first. I think that there is a sufficient evidence that this is a very credible success methodology. Most folks simply do not have the willpower or conscientiousness to perform feats like lose weight or to save money. Pain can thus become a useful ally in such endeavours. Personally, I experienced successful weight loss when I used a blood test...

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Some thoughts after today’s talk…

I felt that the talk that was given today in Block 71 was great because of the audience who was very interactive and kept me on my toes. Money can sometimes be an emotional subject, so interaction can be very engaging and lively for everyone involved. Here are some random points which I thought would be interesting for the regulars here who could not attend my talk at Block 71 just now : a) Projection of 8% yield can be controversial idea for most audiences. I think the biggest elephant in the room for my presentation is the idea...

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Back-testing a CNAV-like portfolio using local stocks.

As a continuation to my Value Investing Master Class given to me free of charge by BigFatPurse, I spent some time in the National Library Bloomberg Terminals yesterday to see if a similar strategy may yield superior returns when applied to the local stock-market over the past 10 years. As I’m a beneficiary of a good deed, I have to find a roundabout way to return the favor to BigFatPurse but would still benefit my readers, so I won’t replicate the exact strategy shared as it would affect their business negatively, I think readers who are impressed can invest...

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Talk this week : Escape the Rat-race – Hacker’s edition.

The Hacker and Painter’s movement has expressed an interest in my approach towards attaining financial independence, as such, I will be giving a free talk at the following time and venue this coming Friday, 27th June 2014 : Time : 12pm – 1pm. Venue : Plugin@Blk71 – Blk 71, Ayer Rajah Crescent, #02-18, S(139951) It will be a very simple 45-minute talk on attaining financial independence with some discussion on how I figured out a way to retire before age 40. The IT guys might be in on a special treat as I will be showcasing some of the...

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Attended my first investment seminar on Value Investing.

Yesterday, I was invited to attend BigFatPurse’s Value Investing Mastery Course along with 15WW. It was a great course. I would like to encourage readers to give this course a try for the following reasons : a) It’s a great way to learn about investing for beginners. When I first started out, I really did not know what I was doing with my money. I made myself go through about 3 years of intense study to get a Masters in Applied Finance and pass 3 levels of the CFA. My logic then was that I was’nt allowed to drive...

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If you want to rich, be a bigger asshole !

Here’s a conversation I had with a colleague some time ago : Me : If are walking along Orchard Road, an insurance agent and a snake approaches you. You have a gun with two bullets, what do you do ? Friend : I shoot the snake and the insurance agent. Me : Wrong, you should shoot the insurance agent twice, just to make sure he’s dead. Friend : Actually, I disagree, if you’re lucky the snake will bite the agent and kill him for you. So you save two bullets. Me : Nah, if the snake bites the agent,...

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Some random updates.

I do not have a major insight to share this week as I have been hard at work writing programming code in R and also preparing to be Emcee for a friend’s wedding tomorrow. Here’s what’s been happening in my life : a) A nice book review from BigFatPurse. You can find a review of my book here : http://www.bigfatpurse.com/ The reviewers have been very kind to provide quite a favorable review of my first book.which was the only piece of work which broke even financially after accounting for my costs. It is also a book which I was...

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To succeed – Do more of this, do less of that.

To accumulate wealth and attain financial independence, the most important thing you need to do is to earn more and spend less. This will increase your savings so that your portfolio can grow as large as possible. A lot of people make the mistake of thinking that it all boils down into investment ability, but squeezing 1% out of a small $10,000 portfolio can only take you this far. In a similar vein, if your objective is to lose weight and lower your blood sugar, you would have to eat less and exercise more. My friends have a lot...

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Thoughts after 5 months of retirement.

Time really flies. It’s been 5 months since my mini-retirement and now given that I’ve got a seat in the SMU JD program, there is at least some finality to my life plans. There is now some hope for an interesting career beyond financial independence. Here are some of my current thoughts : a) Portfolio financial performance has been very strong for the past 5 months. Most investors will no doubt have enjoyed the upturn in the markets lately. The market for yield counters have been really spectacular. Capital gains and income gains, even after my living expenses exceeded 15 months...

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The April Fool’s Portfolio : The End.

I’m stopping the April’s Fool portfolio. All stocks were liquidated last Friday. There are two issues with a Current Net Assets Value portfolio : a) It has a “J-curve” characteristic. The experience from folks who employ this strategy often experience a slight dip before it starts rocketing ahead. I felt that the wait will be substantial and have to prepare my funds for law school, so it does not make sense to continue with this portfolio. b) You need more stocks for this to work. I would expect a 20 stock portfolio to be more successful. This strategy is...

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