Author: Growing your tree of prosperity

Why Jack Ma is wrong about education and innovation.

Jack Ma joins the list of very successful billionaires who laments about the education system he has gone through and has spoken very convincingly of why the Chinese education system must change in order for the country to make progress. This is not a new idea. Einstein himself values imagination above knowledge. Many successful business men and even our own minister talks about the value of creativity and imagination in creating a vibrant innovation driven economy. In fact, I count a large part of my academic achievements not so much by my mediocre exam taking skills but mostly through...

Read More

The Myth of the Self-Made man.

Wow ! It has been a while since I blogged. I’ve been busy on my first Law Exams which took me out for about 3 weeks, and after that, I’ve been playing Dragon Age : Inquisition and trying to move into my new condominium. It’s going to be almost a year since my last pay-check and it’s been quite a struggle maintaining my fiscal balance in 2014. I have to settle two semesters of fees and condominium furniture and appliances on a year of investment income and I’ve been barely making it with some of my counters declaring fewer...

Read More

What can we learn from hipsters ?

The days get worse and worse for everyone in my class. We survived our double-whammy Friday where two papers become due within one day and I must say that my class-mates are really amazing with many not having any sleep at all over the past 24 hours. I think the worse is over not just for my class but for the markets as well. This is the time to stock up on equities for the Capricorn effect of 2015 ! Today’s article we explore the concept of hipsters. Why ? Because I can. I can’t find any hipsters in...

Read More

Are you Superman or Batman ?

One of the privileges I have in my life is that I get a front seat to experience the struggles of myself and my fellow classmates. This 3-year reboot has allowed me to do some serious thinking about the nature of success. This is not so much an analytic exercise, but I see this as more akin to a religious experience. One phenomenon I notice in campus is the kind of quality people attribute to their personal conception of what success looks like. For folks who really are into personal development, this is very similar to Carol Dweck’s notion...

Read More

Why we should press on.

At the end of the semester, some classmates are having doubts about whether they made the right choice in coming to the SMU JD program. I promised that over the weekend, I would write something to cheer them up so that they would press on in their studies. I think that my class is a small class and the industry is large enough to absorb all of us in spite of all these changes going on to “nerf” the legal profession. For the rest of the readers, my analysis should also apply if you’ve worked damn hard to get...

Read More

Taste and Aesthetics. Being Basic and Normcore.

I think get along fairly well with my JD classmates despite a glaringly large generation gap. I actually said to a classmate that if I had a shotgun wedding when I was in JC, my kid would be her age, Maybe they treat me like a insane cousin or uncle that they can’t seem to avoid on a family gathering. I like to ask questions in class like what if two people in a contract hypothetical case are lovers or whether consent can be withdrawn halfway during sexual intercourse just prior to male orgasm. The generation gap becomes really...

Read More

"Till All Are One !" – The Mechanics of Synergy.

It was a perfect storm for my personal finances this week. First SMU decides to bring forward payment for my next semester of fees. The the markets had a series of sudden bearish moves while I lacked the funds the exploit this weakness. Then two things happened: My condominium TOP-ed and I have to write a couple of checks and  my weekend car battery failed and we have to get AA to help us out next week. Still, I spend so little money as a student these days, I’ve yet to touch my capital yet. Hope this can be...

Read More

The Shallow Search for Happiness.

I’m in the middle of my term ‘break’ in which I had to do even more work than a normal week at school. Test preparations and written papers took up almost half of it. Now I’m taking a short break to update this blog as I think I’ve done enough preparation work and will let fate decide what happens in tomorrow’s online test. This is the first time I’m getting a test where I have no idea what is to be tested. I was probably more prepared for my blood test this month which actually went really well. Turns...

Read More

What tools in the Arts and Law can be used by an investor ?

After Hell week, my class started getting bombarded by essays and more written work so I am unable to put up more postings for quite a while but today is a good day, I just finished a 2,500 draft of an essay I was supposed to submit in November so it puts me ahead, to, well… do more advanced work for my classes. One of the ideas I was obsessed with that ideas are “weaponizeable”. Ideas from disparate fields can be integrated together to solve tough problems within a domain and even provide insight to practical problems in daily...

Read More

What would I do if a start-up exit made me a multi-millionaire ?

Of recent interest is that we are starting to hear about successful start-up exits in Singapore. I really enjoyed reading about the interviews with these successful entrepreneurs so I am writing this speculative piece. I think Tech is very much on the rise here and with more talent becoming engineers, we could be hearing about a lot more success stories in the future. Of course, being a small-time finance author and university student, I don’t expect a real start-up multi-millionaire to consult me, I’m merely speculating as to what would I do if I struck such a large jackpot,...

Read More

September 2014 Update : From Retiree to Law Student.

I’ve just survived three weeks of law school, just sharing a personal update to keep in touch with readers. a) Drowning in legal cases. Right now, the largest part of my my life is tackling legal cases. In SMU, merely reading up on cases and getting a general gist of it is not enough. As we can be called upon to introduce the cases on the fly, we will need to be able to demonstrate that we understand the cases well, so reading off text is not a good idea. A large part of my current life is figuring...

Read More

Beyond second skilling…

Thought I should share with everyone my view on NTUC PME’s drive to promote second skilling amongst PMEs in Singapore. Second-skilling is a straight forward concept. It encourages Singaporeans to develop hobbies which can be monetized. A manager in manufacturing plant can develop a hobby in photography and eventually gains a degree of protection against job loss when he starts taking professional photographs. In the absence of actual data of folks monetizing their interests, I would like to share my personal experience. My biggest success with second-skilling came with teaching myself how to invest. Investing is a great secondary...

Read More

Pushing the Delay of Gratification to its logical extreme.

I’ll start with a personal update. I’m almost with my first week of school in SMU’s Doctor of Jurisprudence or JD program. This is, by far, the hardest course I’ve ever taken in my life considering that I have done NUS engineering school, NUS’s Masters in Applied Finance and passed all three CFA exams. Prior to the start of the semester, we would have already completed reading about 30 cases, done two online quizzes, and even attempted to tackle a few problems. SMU places a large emphasis on classroom participation, this means that going to a seminar with a...

Read More

The Problem of Envy.

A key concept which I should have explored more in my books is the Problem of Envy. A friend recently shared a personal problem with me. He has a very successful ex-classmate who works in Oil & Gas who enjoys rubbing his success in my friend’s face. I think this is a common problem in Singapore: It is not our absolute wealth that determines our life satisfaction, but our wealth relative to the folks around us. As our education system does not really teach us Philosophy, we fall prey to the notion that being Singaporean is, in essence, waging...

Read More

Decision making in postgraduate education.

Unlike the past, when a degree is required to get ahead, a lot of professionals are faced with the question on what kind of post-graduate qualifications to obtain. As I’ve gone through this process twice, here’s my two cents worth based on what I’ve gone through : i)  CFA or MBA ? An MBA is especially attractive if you have only 2 years of experience in the working world. For technical professionals, am MBA gives you the chance to make another attempt at a fresh career as a management associate if you dislike engineering or do not see yourself...

Read More

Like us on Facebook

Follow us on Twitter