Author: Growing your tree of prosperity

Notes from my last interview at Kiss 92 FM on retirement.

I think I was a lot more nervous in this round of the interviews because some of the questions veered away from what I was prepared for, apologies if there are more time fillers if you are a Toastmaster. Nevertheless, it was a good session. I want to clarify some points I made and highlight some questions I addressed when I was off-line with the deejays, a) REITs are not everything. The DJ’s couched the questions from the position of a rent collector which was how the conversation veered towards a discussion on REITs. While REITs are a mainstay...

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Write your own manifesto ! Rekindle the Singapore Dream !

The concept of a manifesto has become more interesting in the upcoming elections. For a party which is not likely to form a government, a manifesto is of little use to the electorate but serves a purpose similar to that of marketing collateral. You see that these parties would come up with the best manifestos that have the effect of transferring a bulk of the reserves into the pockets of Singaporean. For a party that is very likely to form a government after the elections, a manifesto becomes almost contractually binding because the electorate would remind the party of...

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Before you vote on Sep 11 : How to make your own minimum wage and unemployment insurance.

I was actually quite apathetic to this year’s elections, that is until I came upon snippets of the Worker’s Party manifesto on their proposal for minimum wages and unemployment insurance which warrants some gentle intervention from a finance blogger. But first of all, I don’t want this article to lobby for any political party. Just because I think that WP’s ideas on minimum wages and unemployment insurance are wrong does not mean that the reader is being asked to support the PAP. This is because WP will not be able to execute on their manifesto even if gain two...

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How to seek financial knowledge ?

Budget Babe was the first blogger to respond to the POSB advertisement which exhorts Millennials to surrender their financial futures to financial adviser. You can find the posting here. I’m going to post the next logical step which would take the reader towards building a basic foundation in personal finance. Here are the bare basics before you even start on reading a financial book : a) You run your life like a business. A good way of framing your financial life is that you are running a business regardless of what kind of vocation you are in. Your salary...

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What about Engineers ?

If you want a study for a degree which is likely to see you in a bank doing Operations, you should study engineering. However, if you want to study for a degree which would land you into a job managing a hipster cafe or baking cupcakes, a Law degree is your surest bet. If I can start my life all over again, I would still take Engineering as my first degree, the only change is that I will aggressively study software engineering, ignore electronics/hardware and try to slant my electives towards Data Analytics. However, I would still not become...

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What to do in this market downturn ?

Yesterday, everyone seemed to be having a reaction when the STI started on a free-fall which led it being 4% down. Some of the folks had a “I told you so” episode, brazenly declaring that they have won because the market bear is upon us which is stupid because a savvy investor knows that bull markets don’t last forever. A least one person I know even went as far to declare that the Chinese Yuan would depreciate 10% and that this downturn was just the beginning. I checked into Yahoo finance, a 10% depreciation would mean that the USDRMB...

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Technology disruption, marriage and the New Age bachelor.

I think new technology developments warrant a fresh look into marriage and bachelorhood in Singapore. It started during the summer holidays when I was asked by my professor what is the most important app which was developed over the past 12 months. My answer was Tinder. I was unable to really come up with a strong argument for the app because I was not a user of the app and had to rely on articles from other folks who could not stop raving about it. My only argument was that Gen-X guys in general struggled hard to get hitched...

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Should you panic with the STI below 3000 ?

A lot of folks are talking about the crash of the STI index and started contacting me out of the blue about what I plan to do so I thought I’d write a short post on this. First off, local markets are down. At this point of time, most investors would have a suffered massive losses. I lost the school fees of my entire JD degree over the past week. This means that I would have been better off had I sold my entire stake before going into Law School and just ate my cash holdings. But am I...

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Recording of my my interview on Kiss 92.

As a League of Extraordinary Financial Bloggers, the community have really come pretty far and we are now getting some informal support for each other to promote our own independent form of financial planning for the masses who cannot bring themselves to trust commissioned agents. This gig would not have been possible if not for cheerful.egg’s  Lionel’s introduction. Lionel is also the man of the week and has appeared in last weekend’s Me and My Money. Richard Ng of Invest Openly has managed to create a recording on my interview on Kiss 92 FM. Clearly this is not the work of one individual...

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Raffles is not a Bumiputra institution !

Only three courses have ever rejected me in my life. The first institution which I applied to which dinged me was Massachusetts Institute of Technology. But who am I kidding to think that I even stood a chance. I thought a rejection letter from MIT was actually quite cool. At least they bothered to send me one. The second program to reject me was NUS’ Diploma Program in Arbitration by their faculty of Law when I attempted to sneak myself into its first intake because I thought that an IT guy who can arbitrate outsourcing disputes might put me...

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What is your money personality ?

Of late, some blogs have written some articles on a Money Personalities. I thought I wanted to throw my hat into the ring and highlight some interesting findings from psychological research. When social scientists conduct surveys, statistical models are used to cluster answers together so that we will have a better idea of what kind of money personalities exist. The downside is that you will not have very comprehensive personality frameworks like the MBTI or DISC models. This is based on  a paper called The Love of Money, Satisfaction and the Protestant Work Ethic : Money Profiles Among University...

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Wongamania – A new offering on my retail page.

Careful observers would have noticed that there is a new product on my retail page. Wongamania It’s not easy to design and market a game. I tried this myself and I still have a role-playing game on sale on Amazon. Achieving a large print-run can cost tens of thousands of dollars even with the support from government agencies. Being in the gaming community, I know a friends who tried with different degrees of personal success. Wongamania, a brainchild of Xeo Lye whose blog can be found here,  is an investment game where the aim is to achieve financial independence...

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Interview at Kiss 92 FM – Talk on Pocket Money.

All, My interview with Kiss 92 FM was quite a blast this morning. I was asked to talk about pocket money and parenting. Some readers may be directed to this blog from the Kiss 92 FM Facebook page so I am sharing my research notes for those who want to get more information on what was shared today. The only question I was not directly prepared for is whether parents should “bribe” their kids to do well in exams. My answer is that external rewards like exam bribes drive out the intrinsic motivation to be curious about the world...

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Hard truths about entrepreneurship !

A careful reader of my books will realise that I get very self-conscious when writing about entrepreneurship and starting businesses. The reason is obvious – since I do not have start-up experience, I feel unqualified to advice business people.   My confidence has grown of late. I dare say that if I every publish a fourth book, I should be able to speak quite authoritatively about running businesses.  Law school has made be used to the idea of reading research journals and my previous engineering and finance studies has always allowed me to be very comfortable dealing with statistics....

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Why being an entrepreneur is risky business for a Singaporean !

An opinion piece has been circulated around in social media lately. The author of this piece asserts that a mindset change is required on entrepreneurship as Singapore would suffer if everyone stops taking risks. I feel that it is important that I write  a counter-opinion to this article as when it comes to risk aversion, dividends investors are many times more conservative than workers who only want to work for MNCs. This is because the ultimate aim of dividends investing is to work for anyone we want based on work which we find gratifying. In a place like Singapore where...

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