Wednesday, December 24, 2014

About to begin my fifth decade....

Tomorrow, I will celebrate my 40th birthday.

Just some thoughts and reflections on the last decade of my life and what's in store for me in my next decade.

It has been a very productive decade leading to my 40th birthday. On the family front, I started dating, got married and became a dad within this time. More interesting, this is probably the most prosperous decade I would ever experience in my lifetime as I was able to accumulate a portfolio size which gives me a higher drawn income higher than my previously held job, which then opened up a host of opportunities which would be closed to many other folks who are busy getting house in order, including getting into SMU Law School and gaining access to an entire host of "forbidden knowledge" which is only available for a very high fee.

Looking back, I can't say that I've made entirely good moves for my career. I was doing well in the private sector and made some moves which I soon grew to regret as I mistakenly thought that I would be happier and better off with more work life balance, which is where my biggest career mistakes were made. As I lost interest in IT work in my later jobs outside the private sector, I count my lucky stars that my financial knowledge allowed me to get a second chance in the legal industry.

This was something I had to do upon gaining financial independence, a lot of work frustration over my 15 years in IT was due to legal related matters, it could be clauses in a outsourcing contract, procurement or some terms and conditions for a software competition. Each engagement with legal professionals was, unfortunately for me, extremely unpleasant and I came off feeling very stupid every-time, I've always felt legal advice too dubious and clouded in . Law school is vindication. It's not enough to get a degree, I need to convince myself that I can make an above average lawyer.

I guess it's my fault that I'm too much of an engineer and geek at heart - I don't trust the so-called "experts" and had some success making financial decisions on my own and being from the outsourcing industry, I've always believed that insourcing is best.

I think a man's fifth decade would be the darkest decade in his lifetime. His parents will not be getting younger and the bulk of the most productive period of his time is over but the mortgages and liabilities would still be there. As for me, I have the dubious position of rebooting my career as a legal professional which I would have make a sincere attempt to build.

As I prepare to get back to the workforce in my mid-forties, I have articulated two major financial goals over the next ten years. The first would be to generate 5 digits worth of average dividends every month over a year. This is attainable very quickly if I can get a job as a lawyer as I can start saving my current dividends beginning 2016. The bigger challenge after reaching that income threshold is to rapidly pay off my 36 year condo mortgage over 3-4 years just to get to get rid of that big albatross around my neck. This needs to happen fast and before I hit my 50s as the Fed may raise interest rates soon.

This year is shaping up considerably well taking into account as to how fiscally challenging it was for me. I've accumulated almost a full year of unemployment, paid the highest income tax expense I ever had, moved into my new condo, bought all the furnitures and appliances, paid two semesters worth of fees, carried on servicing my mortgages and living expenses and I still managed solely using investment income.

Still, I had towards my 40th birthday on a new high.

My results were good enough that SMU has given me an award to shave off a couple of thousand bucks from my next round of school fees. It was probably more luck than skill as I've done better for my team projects and class participation than my written exams, this is not likely to repeat itself in future semesters.

There are still two more months before the adverse year of Horse ends. I'm cautiously optimistic for my luck in  the year of the Goat but I'm not holding the hard work for the next semester.

Catch you guys on the New Year  and Merry Christmas !


  1. Five digits worth of dividends every month! That's just like a well paying 2nd job working for you! May I ask what's te capital outlay to get that 5 digit dividends per month?

  2. I'm guessing about $1.5-1.7M as my next target.

    1. U r targeting 9-7% pa! Very ambitious... wish you well in your achieving yr target.

  3. Hi Christopher,

    Happy Birthday and may your tree of prosperity continue to grow in the coming year.

  4. Happy Birthday to you, Christopher.

    May I know the reason of your decision to purchase the condo?

    I believe that the condo will cost more and add to your liability as compared to the resale flat which will cost less in some area.


  5. Christopher : happy birthday (once again) and wish u have many amazing decades to come. Also, do take care of the other important area which is health! Cheers!

  6. The condo is my wife's idea, but more importantly it's an EC so it becomes a private condominium only after 10 years.

  7. Happy Birthday, Christopher.

    Hope you'll attain your dream at the end of the next decade. 5-digit dividends per month is an impressive goal.

  8. Hi Christopher

    I am about one decade behind you and you are an inspiration! Hope I can get where you are when I'm 40!

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