Even during those intensive days where I was preparing for International Moots, I was able to spend an hour writing a 600 word essay on Personal Finance which can now be found here.
My primary motivation is, of course, to win the competition and enjoy the prestige of winning. But more importantly, the prize is a 2D1N stay at MBS which means that my poor family gets a short holiday away from home which I would not ordinarily spend on even if my money came from my dividends.
Ok, I just want to share the backdrop and motivation of my essay.
I needed to summarise my personal financial philosophy within 600 words.
And regular readers should know this :
My philosophy of personal finance is not a philosophy of fun and laughter. Financial planning more of an engineering problem. More akin to planning a legal defence.
I think that there is a fundamental problem with the way financial planning services are sold in Singapore.
Financial planning is primarily a sales and commissions driven exercise, as such, it is very easy for the Financial Planning Industrial Complex to emotional link financial planning with happiness, fun, variety and relaxation. For example, one major insurance firm hired actresses to jump around like drugged-up-hamsters-surrounded-by-colourful-confetti to create an impression that retirement is time to indulge in your hedonistic fantasies. Another supposed investment guru showed off pictures of his dividend checks, very possibly to hijack the emotions of their client base who will lose control when they see such ostentatious displays of wealth.
The mainstream news is not helpful either, recent articles in Me and My Money already feature the most credible guys in the financial planning industry but no one pointed to the big elephant in the room in all these personal financial plans which is crucial for all Singaporeans facing globalisation and technological disruption today :
Can your client retain his job and income when he reaches his 40s and 50s ? If not, what are your remedies ?
Retirement is not a day of fun at Uncle Ringo's.
The planning required is meticulous and delaying of gratification can be quite depressing to some people.
So I wrote an essay which is somewhat cold. It surgically details the three basic steps to stop that reliance on a pay-check before age 40.
I hope that you can vote for me.
Because in this essay, I will show you how I dealt with that elephant in the room.