Crash Got Sound – Management by Stumbling Along

Crash got sound is a wonderful Hokkien saying in Singapore. It never really sunk in until I started work at this wonderful previous company of mine. Let me share some of the interesting anecdotes of the company's early years that introduced me to this not so well known management concept of Management by Stumbling Along. The bloody chair is too big One evening, pioneer employee X was … [Read more...]

Blogging for Hobby versus Blogging as a Business

Most of us are blogging as a hobby. Never mind the rather "lofty" goals some of us wrote in our manifestos. Wait... Do I have a mission statement in my blog? Check here, check there. Phew! No. Good, good. No stress then. It's a hobby remember? There are also bloggers out there who are CLEARLY using their blogs as an extension of their existing businesses. Think remisiers, insurance … [Read more...]

Me and My Scooter – Revisited

This is the last of the trilogy of "peeling the onion" stories about me. Me and My Scooter This story has nothing to do with principles or outlook on life. While others prefer to quote this authority says this and that, that guru sermons so and so; this scooter story shows my love of writing in metaphors, analogies, and stories to make a point. Different strokes for different … [Read more...]

The Willow and the Oak tree – Revisited

This is the 2nd story dear to my heart: The Willow and the Oak tree Of course it's not about banging your head against the wall, or throwing yourself in front of a oncoming freight train. But there will be a time where we need to make a stand. To be counted. And not hide behind "we"; "others are doing it"; "this expert says so"; or put a brown paper bag over our head and shout with … [Read more...]

The Grasshopper and the Ant – Revisited

I've noticed that I have some new readers playing here recently. Adopting the environment friendly mantra of Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle, I would like to take the opportunity to introduce to new readers 3 old stories that I wrote ions ago. These 3 stories can best encapsulate my current philosophy and outlook on life. This way, you don't have to sieve through my 3 and half years of postings … [Read more...]

Embrace Meritocracy; Not Paper Chase

No prizes where the inspiration for this post came about. Most will focus on CPF (money, money, money); I focus on people. Let's get the bogeyman out of the way. Embracing meritocracy will not increase happiness. In fact, it may probably increase more stress, angst, and burst the illusions for those who collect paper qualifications like collecting stamps or boy scout badges. Why no … [Read more...]

Just One Thing

If your marriage is on the rocks, you feeling burned-out in your career, or you having your mid-life crisis, you may want watch this 1991 Western comedy film City Slickers starring Billy Crystal. In this movie, Billy Crystal was having his mid-life crisis - is this it? Those who are questioning their marriage, career, and purpose in life may identify with Billy Crystal's character in the … [Read more...]

The Essence of Rich Dad Poor Dad

Many people have been inspired by this book Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki. But I noticed something quite interesting. 10 people read the book, 1 or 2 will have their own interpretations - based on their own life story and personal experiences. The rest of the 8 or 9 persons will tend to gravitate towards the interpretations of others even though they have read the book … [Read more...]

What the Big Boss Man really cares about

For those young shepherds starting their corporate careers, if I ask you what are the 2 things the landowner really cares about when he hires you - do you know the answer? Put yourself in the shoes of the landowner. If you hire a shepherd, what 2 things you expect the shepherd to do for you? How much money can you make for me? How much are you making for your Big Boss Man? This is easier … [Read more...]

Lemon to Lemonade

I have a stammer. When in primary school, it's not so fun when I got teased by my classmates. Ever noticed we were at our "cruelest" when we were young? Luckily, I was able to notice I stammered whenever I get too excited (out goes my Playboy collections). So begins a lifetime journey of monitoring my breaths and being conscious of the way I speak. I've suppressed my stammer. Can't say … [Read more...]

Opportunity comes – we recognise it?

I had a lot of fun the last few days facilitating a moot question here recently. One spin-off which deserves a post by itself is this thing - If opportunity knocks, can we recognise it? When I was working on the selling floor as retail sales assistant, the dream for most of us was similar to police constables aspiring to be plainclothes CID. In retail, most of us want to be Buyers! It's … [Read more...]

Round Table Reflections on Rental Property or Dividend Stocks exercise

Thank you everyone who participated in our exercise on which we would prefer - a rental property or dividend stocks? Again I stress there is no "right" or "wrong" answers, only opinions. Who is to judge whose opinion is better? For those who have attended workshops or trainings, at the end of the session, there usually is a round the table reflections from the participants and … [Read more...]

Rental Property or Dividend Stocks?

If you only have a million $ and you are allowed only 2 choices: 1) To buy a rental property to collect rent. 2) To invest in equity to collect dividends. Which one would you choose and why? My esteemed reader temperament asked this question and I think this can be a fun exercise to see what others think. I believe most people would say: a) It depends... b) How can buy either … [Read more...]

REITs versus Brick and Mortar Properties

Yes, REITs do own property assets. They could be residential, commercial, or industrial properties; hotels, hospitals, and what have you - just as long it's a building or space where you can lease it out to tenants. Does that mean when I own REITs, I am a property investor too? You can call me Al! First of all, if it makes you happy, why should you care what others think what you call … [Read more...]

What Passive Income?

There's some emotive words out there that work very well in attracting consumer attention: Free! Half-price! Buy 2 get 1 free! Bonus pack! And for the journey towards Financial Freedom, there is this popular "Passive Income" quote that never fails to attract interest and attention. When we were young, we get an allowance from our parents. To us, this allowance is "passive … [Read more...]

Specialist versus Generalist

The panda has a specialised diet consisting almost exclusively of bamboo. So is the just as cute koala bear that survives mainly on a diet of eucalypt leaves. Now compare them to humans or bears who are omnivores. We humans eat almost everything! In some countries, humans have diets that include spiders, insects, scorpions, etc. Talk about survivability! In the Corporate world, we … [Read more...]

Running in the Maze of Life

Have you noticed this phenomenon when shopping in IKEA? Don't laugh! There's a lot of science and understanding of consumer behaviours that's gone into the design of the maze. Isn't it true pretty much of most things in Life? After going through one meaningless relationship to another, we finally realised The One for us has all along been in our midst near us. It's just that we didn't … [Read more...]

Trading is lot like the movie Edge of Tomorrow

Yesterday Tuesday afternoon, I went for my discount movie watching fix. What do you know? This Tom Cruise movie Edge of Tomorrow was surprisingly entertaining! It's Groundhog Day meets Starship Troopers. For Sci-fi buffs, it's not anything "new"; but for casual movie-goers, I heard some people mumbling what what was it all about? Didn't understand this; confuse about that - as we … [Read more...]

Blending Cash and Equity together

When you drink Chivas Regal or Johnnie Walker whiskey, do you know they are blended whiskey? Blended whiskey is the product of mixing one or more higher-quality straight or single malt whiskies with lighter spirits and water. And no, the best whiskey is not always the "pure" single malt kind. Wink. Most people only consider black or white choices. Left or right? Yes or no? When it … [Read more...]

English, Mandarin, Dialects

What a surprise! This weekend, I got a morale boost while reading the local news. I'm not that 2nd rate after all! I do speak Singlish and can talk "male chicken" as well as any other loud-mouthed Singaporean. However, when the occasion calls for it, I can switch to Standard English - the kind spoken by our Ministers. It's not fun and games if you only speak Singlish. There's a … [Read more...]