Tuesday, July 01, 2014

Six months without work ! Whoa !

Today has been quite a fine day. It's my wife's birthday and my seventh wedding anniversary. We spent the day just hanging out with my daughter after bringing her back from school.

Otherwise, I've reached the sixth month of my retirement. If I did not have Law School lined up in August, I might possibly be insane by now for not being productively making any money for 6 months in a row. 

Anyway, here's an update :

a) Portfolio experienced my first downturn in finances.

Predictably, as soccer season begins, I begin to experience my first month on month loss in portfolio. As I was up by quite a but since taking on my last pay-check, I take it in stride. My portfolio size will grow smaller as I need to make room for a year of fees and start  to buy the furniture and appliances for my new condominium. So I should not expect good news from my finances anymore - the best I can hope for is that my net worth stays constant throughout my days as an SMU student.

Nevertheless, I expect liquidity to return once Brazil/Germany lifts the World Cup trophy...

b) Completed my first Specialization track on Data Science !

Otherwise on the personal learning front, I've completed my first data science specialization track, that's nine Coursera classes in 3 months. I've not only learn some R programming, I can now deploy HTML 5 presentations on the web ( Slidify ) and launch my first web app ( Shiny ). So far only 6 courses were marked and I got 5/6 distinctions. I did not manage a royal flush all thanks to the Statistics module. 

My journey continues and I am currently doing a course on British Common Law - should be able to land in SMU with at least one case summary under my belt if everything goes well. 

I doubt I will ever stop having a class in Coursera, unlike our local universities, Law modules taught online can cover other jurisdictions and may come in useful as I study Conflict of Laws locally in the near future. Just need to make sure I don't 走火入魔.

c) Attended a value investing class, gave a talk and met awesome folks.

It was a great honor to meet BigFatPurse and 15WW in his value investing class. In CNAV, I picked up a new form of investing which complements my yield methodology perfectly.  I also followed up quickly by giving a talk for Hackers on attaining financial independence. 

As I always loved public speaking, having spent over a decade with the Toastmasters. Sadly, I eventually stopped after all the speeches started sounded the same and became too motherhood for me - there is only so much room in my head for speeches which talk about conquering fear and living a life of passion. 

Since leaving Toastmasters, I yearned to speak on things which really mattered to people and solved problems that they face. Speaking in public on personal finance gave me the self-actualization which eluded me during those bad old days. 

I will continue to find avenues to talk about leaving the rat-race. You can consider me the Anti-Roy Ngerng, someone who will show the way for people to meet their financial goals without putting the blame on authorities. 

d) Books to be read

I am currently reading The Good Psychopath's Guide to Success by Kevin Dutton and Andy McnabRock Break Scissors by William Poundstone and Make it Stick by Peter Brown. 

All three books are interesting. The first is actually just some self help which emphasizes assertiveness and self-confidence, the second is on winning games of chance and the last is an update on how to study given all the latest research findings in Psychology. 

e) Dungeons & Dragons returns with 5th Edition !

The news every geek is waiting for is that Dungeons and Dragons will be back in 3 days time ! The Basic Set will be launched for free and I have already gathered my old group for a game this weekend. 

In addition to my interests in IT, Finance and Law, I will have to add RPGs back into the mix. It has been too long since I played D&D since I stopped playing the horribly mechanistic 4th Edition, I expect to not only play but to DM at least one campaign. I am also looking forward to get back to creating RPG supplements once the new OGL is launched. 

My best work, which sells regularly in Amazon, is a role-playing game I wrote a couple of years ago. Cracks me up every-time I make $0.30 on a sale. 


  1. I think you should change your title to "Wow , six months no need to work !" Hahhaha

    Anyway, seems like you've achieved a lot within the short 6 months... Keep it up and all the best for your law study..

  2. Hi there,

    You never fail to amaze me. Didn't know you got the flair for public speaking and is a Toastmaster member.
    I am sure you will go on to contribute a lot to the local community. Singapore needs more people like you!

    SG Wealth Builder

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