Friday, February 16, 2018

Personal Update - Happy Chinese New Year of the Dogg !

I had an inkling that the Year of the Earth Dog is going to be a fairly good year for me. Based on the stem and branch Chinese horoscope system. Earth has always been an element that I am deficient in. And a Feng Shui master hired by my boss confirms that I will have a great 2018.

Of course, 2018 is a culmination of years of hard work as I try to enter into a completely new industry. Here's a quick update :

a) Legal Training Contract

I have spent 2 months on my training contract working on a few financially complex divorce cases and some smaller corporate law disputes. I'm still grappling with the lifestyle of a litigator and cannot really judge whether I am suited for this lifestyle. My largest struggle is with the amount of attention to detail required to do the job and the little autonomy I have if I decide to pursue this as a lifelong career. The intellectual challenge and strategic planning component of my work is fun but remains too small a component of my day.  Most of my life is dotting every "i" and crossing every "t" - something a guy is not really proficient at doing.

One of concerns is that it may take a decade so as not to suck as a litigator, and as a mid-career hire I might not have that luxury of time. Kudos to the 20-something year olds who qualify to do this kind of work, it's a craft that they have decades to hone, and something people will pay top dollar to.

b) Financial markets are shaping up ok and I got a "performance" bonus for my work.

As it has been a fantastic year for the financial markets, I was able to expand my father's portfolio by quite a decent amount by strategically shifting into Tech over the past 2 years. Now I'm shifting gears and moving the portfolio into counters that benefit from higher interest rates. As the portfolio is sufficiently large, there is no longer any sense of urgency to put the money into higher yielding counters anymore so I can be more thematic with my investment approach.

I also felt quite good to get a "performance bonus" for my work on the family portfolio which would be farmed into my personal margin account. With any luck, I would be able to shift back into growing my main portfolio once I re-establish an earned income which I have missed for the past 4 years.

Perhaps we're due for a major recession, and it's best be employed to farm 100% of my salary into the markets when that happens !

c) Fresh new initiatives with BIGSCribe.

I am really excited to talk about our latest initiative with BIGScribe.

In the past, BIGScribe has always been paid seminars with bloggers talking about whichever topic is hot on the minds of the readers and fans. This year, we managed to get an opportunity with an major education institution to establish our first flagship product - a regular workshop that focuses on Financial Independence. This can potentially plug our biggest weakness as a company - we need a regular source of business that people will be willing to pay us for.

Right now, we're not even done with fleshing the outline of our work but I am already picking up a lot of new stuff that I was previously unaware of. As far as I am concerned, designing the curriculum and exercises would have honed my money making skills with company revenues as an added bonus.

I expect this program to be the most erudite and well-researched product in personal finance in Singapore. We remain unbiased and focused on helping our clients achieve financial independence at a much younger age than our statutory retirement age. And this will be conducted by folks who have actually attained financial independence themselves.

The Year of the Dog is where good things must happen for me. it is time to harvest from all the hard back-breaking work I've been putting on the table.

Wang wang !

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