Author: Growing your tree of prosperity

Crowdfunding : The next frontier in yield investing.

Thanks to the fact that Moolahsense makes all bids to lend money transparent, some readers should be aware that I started participating in peer-to-peer lending. In fact, for folks who have been following, I was able to lend $1,000 of my own money successfully to Leap Networks at about 8-9% interest rate about a week ago. The decision to start investing in crowdfunding platform was not a financial one. There are higher yielding investments in the local stock-market like shipping trusts. Getting into crowdfunding was an academic decision. I was doing a subject called Legal Issues in E-Commerce and...

Read More

Are you wiser than an ITE student ?

Was attending a wedding last week and was very honoured to have a conversation with an ITE Life-skills lecturer so naturally I became very curious about her work. I wanted to know what would constitute life skills because it would potentially benefit readers of this blog. I was quite impressed when I was told that ITE employed the DISC personality profile system. Having a knowing one’s personality is quite crucial in the working world because it helps a person decide on a vocation. The ITE lecturer also shared with me that ITE uses personality profiling to detect whether a...

Read More

If Budgetbabe can save $100,000, what’s your excuse ?

Budgetbabe recently wrote a concise blog article on how easy it is to save $100,000 before age 30. I thought I wanted to join in the fun, so I asked my FB what’s their excuse for not being able to save $100,000 before age 30. The results were quite predictable, some friend carefully crafted a life situation which was intelligently distinguished from my life situation or some other financial blogger which was well-argued even from a legal perspective. It’s all fine and good, I don’t really judge my friends these days. At age 40, a balanced scorecard matters more...

Read More

Quick and dirty mental filters when confronted with new ideas.

Just a story to set the tone for this discussion. If you had known me 20 years ago, I was not exactly a charming specimen of the male gender. I’m soft of like Ted, but not cute. A female undergrad once asked me to carry her bag for her. I told her no, “Because scarly I fall down how ?” During my NUS days, I struggled to get a date, then I normally screw up my chances for a second date because I am a troll. I can’t really help it – Gen X girls are so self-contradictory about...

Read More

Masterclass in Skepticism.

I noticed that a large number of readers or folks who are interested in passive income or personal finance are also very susceptible to messages from self-help gurus. Some folks I have spoken to have shared personal stories of putting money into the wrong Internet Marketing programs or have been roped into MLM at a certain stage in their lives, others have paid possibly thousands attending some seminar on forex trading or real estate flipping. The older ones even went to bucket shops. Readers and other financial bloggers have this problem : How do we tell the difference between...

Read More

Time as an asset class.

Initially the title of my blog post today was supposed to be about RGS and billionaires, but fortunately (or unfortunately),  a series of events has allowed me to interrupt my article planning for something which is more useful to readers. ( Although I think many readers want to know what I think about the assortative mating between RGS and Billionaires as well… ) Two events serve as a catalyst for this post. Just today, I had a great honour of having breakfast with a reader John Smith, we spoke about many things but one idea stood-out and I felt...

Read More

Why Kim Jong-Un would approve of my insurance planning ?

I spend about $120 a month on AVIVA SAF group term life insurance which gives me about $1,000,000 of protection, this is the only insurance I have. Everything else is taken care by my passive income flow. This is the essence of buy term and invest the rest. Today, I received a letter telling me that I have just received a $570 rebate. I have received this amount last year which has effectively reduced my insurance expenses by a further 40%. Why is my insurance so cost effective ? Simple. I refuse to have an agent. No one can...

Read More

Mad Max shows us how the Singaporean Dream can become a Singaporean Nightmare.

I think by now most readers would have watched this face-melting action movie so it’s time to write an article on this action flick. Why is Mad Max a teachable moment for the investor capitalist ? The reason is this…. …If you follow my advice, work hard, save a large chunk of your earnings and learn the arts of investment well, you would be just like Immortan Joe, the villain of the movie ! I just can’t relate to the two heroes of the movie. Instead, I found myself cheering for Immortan Joe, a self-made leader who carved a...

Read More

What kind of prata does your job resemble ?

The Thosai article has attracted quite a lot of attention so I’d thought I’d follow up with a similar article about career management. This framework is inspired by Robert Reich’s The Work of Nations has been explained before in my previous books but I have updated my ideas to include some new insights from Law School. a) Mechanical jobs resemble Roti Kosong I think by now, people agree that many jobs are dead end jobs in Singapore. If you are manufacturing worker who performs mechanical work, you are probably already jobless in this country. Even in China, automation is...

Read More

Why hanker for a safety net or a trampoline when you can have a jet pack ?

Singapore is really lucky, we had a one in a million chance of being ruled by Lee Kuan Yew and after he passed away, we continue to come under the able administration of Tharman Shanmugaratnam. ( I’m not PAP IB, I like Low Thia Kiang’s brand of constructive politics as well and actually think that WP will survive the AHPETC scandal. ) Lately Tharman’s interview with the BBC at the Gallen Symposium has impressed almost everyone. When cornered about Singapore’s unwillingness to provide safety nets, Tharman executed an awesome rhetorical manoeuvre saying that Singapore’s approach is to provide a...

Read More

What kind of thosai does your degree resemble ?

For this weekend, I wanted to write an article on treating a degree as an investment just like a portfolio of stock and bonds. Fortunately for everyone, I was also ordering my thosai while thinking about this idea so I thought I could write an article on choosing degrees and eating thosai. Let’s start with some fundamentals. Degrees serve two purposes : a) Equipping you with the skills to take on the modern workplace. Skills are a degree’s secondary purpose, in spite of what a minister tells you. If degrees genuinely equip someone with actual skills, then the university...

Read More

On IDA, fake degrees, and investing in human capital.

It looks like a previous employer of mine is unable to get itself out of the limelight. First it was Alan Ramos, then xenophobes decided to take issue with the Deputy Chairman’s FT status and now there’s an issue with IDA hiring folks with dubious qualifications. As Singaporeans, we need to be fair to IDA. Thanks to IDA, we have relatively fast internet connections, just try logging in in parts of the US if you do not believe me. As a foot soldier when the hackers attacked government websites, I was proud of the defence we made. I am...

Read More

Of course, most folks do not care about personal financial planning !

The financial blogosphere is suddenly abuzz when Cheerful Egg wrote about the indifferent attitude to personal finance.  Upon reading the article. I wanted to throw my hat into the ring as the article may become quite viral over the next few days. I have only one real point to make. Why is this a bad thing ? Almost all value and yield investors know that the profits they extract come either from collecting rentals or exploiting inefficiencies of the market. The reason why we have a comfortable lifestyle without needing to report to a horrible boss or defer to a...

Read More

Happiness is a Strategy !

I thought I share some of my thoughts with reader John Smith on my views on happiness as he has commented that I seem happy even though I have a fairly busy schedule. a) Positive Psychology guides Happiness For a start, I think I have gone beyond subjective notions and feelings towards happiness, Folks bandy about terms like YOLO and “I just wanna be happy.” don’t seem to just cut it on the happiness front for me. The same goes for the food and travel photographers who are really good at creating this impression of a happy and carefree...

Read More

What can we learn from Albert, Bernard and Cheryl ?

By now, most readers would have heard of the maths problem which went viral two weeks ago. You can access the information about the original problem here. This blog article is not about the mathematics behind the problem but about the behaviours of the folks who attempted to tackle the problem on social media which I think can teach us a thing or two about failure and living lives of mediocrity. I’d like to address two behaviours in this article : a) The behaviour of blaming the folks who set the question. The first behaviour is that some folks...

Read More

Like us on Facebook

Follow us on Twitter