Since my article came out in AsiaOne, I've been subject to quite a hefty amount of criticism from readers. You can find the article and comments here :
I will attempt to address the address the criticisms here :
a) I am a scrooge.
My dividends currently afford me a lifestyle like a fresh graduate professional who spends all his income. While lower than the typical median income earner, I can hardly call it a scrooge lifestyle. I am very possibly a scrooge during my single days because I simply did not have expensive hobbies and kept my full expenses to about $1,100 every month after giving my mum an allowance. As a married man, my dividends provide a modest stipend for my wife, I continue to give some money to my parents and I have enough left to take public transport and feed myself.
b) My parents are rich.
That's a relative term. My parents bought landed property and paid off the loan in the 70s. In the 80s they ran a pet shop. Revenues were variable but rents were fixed. The business folded in the early 90s. My dad took up work as a production operator and my mum washed dishes in a canteen. Life was hard but only in that sense and I apologize if this statement was misinterpreted. People who think that success can only be bestowed upon people who spent their childhood without water and electricity may be disappointed that I do not fit that mold. We were hardly rich.
c) How I funded my way through university.
I borrowed from my dad's CPF and paid back every cent. I started out $22K in debt, paid everything off in 2 years and then I could not just build a portfolio, I could even pay for my Masters degree course as well.
d) I do not enjoy life.
Well I do enjoy life. But there is no way I can prove it.
What I cannot apologize for:
a) I do not have a balanced life.
Guilthy as charged. I'm a son and husband, hold a full time job, author books, manage a portfolio and have to constantly upgrade by getting Microsoft certifications and some financial credentials. I remember taking 21 exams in 2001, some IT, some finance, had to even read two languages French and Japanese to remain competitive.
b) I am an only child and will stand to inherit landed property.
I am not responsible for my parent's family planning style. I have inherited nothing yet and my dad can always sell off the house in the future. I fail to see how this can be an advantage in the field of investments.
c) I live with my parents.
They are not getting any younger. Who is going to look after them in the future?
A minor note on the numbers and skepticism regarding my stock strategy :
a) To accept that you can have $24,000 annually from a $250,000 portfolio, you have to believe that some stocks give can give about 10% a year. There is'nt a lot of stocks which do this but they exist.
b) The payout is generated by a few key stocks which yield more than 10% and a smaller proportion which yield less than 10% for diversification purposes. This portfolio may not be well-diversified even if I have about 20 stocks in my portfolio.
c) I am aware of the high risk of the strategy and is currently diversifying with stock which yield 6-8% but have better growth opportunities.