One possible reason why I turned to the FIRE movement was that I was never the star employee of the department. I do ok at work and get decent ratings, but someone else will always take pole position. FIRE was a way of creating something which I am good at. While my increments were lower than top-rated colleagues in my 20s, it would be quite hard to beat my income if you account for salary, overtime pay and dividend payouts.
One powerful way of reframing anything in Singapore is to see it as status games. In the book The Status Game, Will Storr discusses and illustrates with examples how jockeying for status is something really fundamental that human beings really do. If you think about it, the field of financial advice is basically taking folks with minimum A-level qualifications and bestowing upon them high-status labels like MDRT, COT or TOT and then convincing them that their wonderful advice is