Friday, June 17, 2011

Why shouldn't Singaporean women be materialistic ?

The following article has created a minor storm on my Facebook, I thought I should comment on it.

Singaporean Girls are materialistic

So far, the reactions from a lot of folks were typical. A lot of ladies got upset and said that generalizations like this should not be made. A lot of guys snicker and accuse SMU of stating the obvious.

I'm adding my two-cents worth in this argument.

a) Maybe SMU should publish an article to demonstrate that Singaporean guys go for looks.

I'm with the evolution camp and while evolution makes women go after guys with more economic resources, women are also fairly diverse in what they want. Height, Facial symmetry are also factors in mate selection. They are actually more multi-dimensional than men.

The great thing about being multi-dimensional is that women can be subject to socialization.

b) Singaporean women HAVE to be materialistic.

Now a lot of poetic beta-males fantasize about European or Scandinavian chicks because they seem so liberal and are more willing to settle for love and compatibility. I don't think its the fault for Asian women to actually have standards compared to their European counterparts if you really understand the kind of societies they come from. If you observe these European women carefully, you will find that they come from countries that tax their working citizens to provide child support.

So of course Swedish and French women can accept the guy even if he is "useless piece of shit for a guy who can't get his ass off his bed to go out to work" because the State goes really far to look after the children. The Swedes and the French like to protect their men who can serenade their women and write touching poems.

c) Ergo, you want your daughters to less materialistic, pay more taxes !

In socialist Europe, more taxes will go a long way to help families cope with children. Childcare can be free all the way to university. But I don't think my single friends will want 15% GST and 60% income taxes like those in Europe so that they can find someone to love them unconditionally.

Of course, in such societies, particular breeds of unconscientious and unreliable dudes get to go on to taint the gene pool further. Why ? Because hard-working, conscientious and productive single men are paying to feed all those babies who might from the dudes who drink beer and can't hold a decent job.

Yup. You heard it. Women are not materialistic in high-tax societies. They are free to find some testosterone filled drunkard and have his babies because he may be tall and have better facial symmetry.

You, my hardworking, nerdy and geeky friend will spend your entire life paying 60% taxes and getting cuckolded by these non-materialistic and unconditionally loving women ! They simply develop a different criteria for mate selection. They love being serenaded and want love poems from a testosterone-filled guy with a neanderthal facial features. They don't give a shit about you even if you have money.

d) Therefore I conclude that materialistic Singaporean women are a good thing for us !

If women have are not choosy, men will have no standards, society will stagnate and we will be swallowed up by Malaysia.

Yeah sure, our local Xiao Meimei are a tad more materialistic than their Yankee counterparts, but that's easy for us guys because unlike facial symmetry, height or looking good with long hair on Harley motorcycle, SOCIAL STATUS CAN BE EARNED.

It is earned by careful planning, hard-work, resilience, superior salesmanship and ability to delay gratification. These traits can be developed.

Singaporean women are just telling us boys that if we want their love, we have to fight for it !

They are realistic and cannot be easily swayed by good looks, a leather jacket or a well-played ukulele.

Tell me why is that wrong with that?

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Field testing my retirement and the World's Cheapest Guides.

Maybe I should explain just what the heck I'm trying to do. About 3 weeks ago, I left my job with a secure offer from another company. Because as a new dad, I asked for a later starting date because I wanted some time to watch my girl grow.

More interestingly, I wanted to field test the effects of early retirement.

My holiday was split into approximately 25 days, I wanted to wean myself from a day job so I gave myself three challenges :

a) Publish an e-book on Financial Independence.
b) Publish an e-book on Philosophy and move out from writing finance books.
c) Study intensively for an IT exam.

To make things more interesting, all three need to be done simultaneously and had to be complete before my IT exams finish.

My first book was published after 5 working days. My products are all designed with the same specs :

a) Targeted at International audiences.
b) Cost set at the minimum allowed by Amazon at $0.99.
c) No more than 10,000 words.
d) Facebook friends provide editing comments and proofing.

I wanted some sort of cheap alternative to a Dummies guide that contain a single idea in a Kindle e-book format. I want the series to grow with me as I develop new interest in other fields. For example, I am now aggressively reading books on Organizational behavior to glean some insight into Power and Politics in the modern office.

Anyway, my first book is on Financial Independence. It's nothing really new compared to my other writings but the investment examples had to be drawn from the US. For example, instead of business trusts, I had to write about Master Limited Partnerships.

Local readers probably don't have ready access to a Kindle, but to keep the long story short, Singapore is a dividends yields paradise. In the US, if you want fantastic yields, you gotta give Mortgage Backed securities a try.

My second book is on Life Philosophy. For a couple of years, I've been a following a good friend, Lau Kwong Fook, the founder of Singapore's first Socrates Cafe in his lessons on Philosophy. I thought it might be a good time to get into writing Philosophy to crystallize my thoughts on this interesting subject matter.

I think many of us who took professional degrees exhausted a large part of our youths to get a decent lifestyle, we never did have the time to develop a meaningful philosophy of life. My engineering background allowed me reverse engineer Ayn Rand's approach to Objectivism and rebuild it into a framework that can be used for anyone who missed out on a good liberal arts education. You can find the link again here.

The second book did not meet my deadline , but it went out the Tuesday night because Amazon needed to vet it before it goes live.

Lastly, I want to talk about retirement.

For month's I have split my earned income from my passive income and field-tested my family's ability to live on nothing but stock dividends. This is very much like a business continuity plan. Since I do it for my company, I might as well do it for myself.

Anyway, living on dividends is actually more challenging for a working man because going to work incurs costs like transport and more expensive meals in town. A retiree spends only a fraction of what a working man spends.

In the past 25 days, I lived out a life close to a being a retiree but in the end I don't think a life without working is right for me:

a) You can retire at 36, but your friends are working. Even if you can afford to do nothing and drink coffee with, who are you going to drink it with?
b) In the days where I was churning out 2000 words a day, I was very happy. There's stuff to think about. Frameworks to improve. Ideas to hack. Certainly better than idling the whole day.
c) Work provides more than pay and personal satisfaction. Work forces a person to interact with others and that interaction yield ideas that goes beyond what a person and dream out on their own. To be fair, I'm an extrovert, I'm more relaxed when I'm hanging out with other people.
d) I hate TV, my RSS feed is excellent but there are only about 1000 articles to read everyday.

Anyway, in the next few days, expect me to talk more about my guides with a focus on developing a life philosophy.


Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Launch : World's Cheapest Guides on Financial Independence and Life Philosophy.

2011 has been roller-coaster ride.

a) My family downgraded to a 5-room HDB. It was not as tough as I thought.
b) I became a new dad to my daughter Clio.
c) I'm transitioning out of the private sector to a pseudo-government organisation.

One of things I promised myself is during the 20 days break between jobs, I do the following:

a) Take and pass the CGEIT exam on IT Governance.
b) Publish 2 books.

Well it's all done and get the rest of the week off to promote my books and update my blog.

So here are the links to my books.

Over the next two or three days, I'll talk about low-cost publishing on the Kindle Development platform and what this means to someone who wishes to become an author.

I will also take some time tell you more about these two new books I wrote.