Thursday, July 05, 2018

Personal Update - Done with Training Contract !

To understand the changes happening to my career, it is important to understand the events that occurred months before my training contract ended.

I was out with my pals and had a rough week at work, and two friends asked me a crucial question which I had never contemplated before. The question went like this : "When will you give yourself the permission to be happy ?"

I was struck dumb by this question, but my buddies had a good point.

I had been financially independent for four years and have paid for my family expenses and mortgage without skipping a beat. I manage a fairly decent 7-digit portfolio that is enviable by modern Singapore standards. In comparison, my work frustrations are quite trivial in comparison because, like many practice trainees,  I do the work of a glorified clerical worker. ( In fact, I think it's safer to delegate work like photocopying to me because I'm not exactly the kind of guy that's good at box ticking. )

Ordinarily, I should be confident but I was not.

Just then I realised that confidence is not an intrinsic quality in a person.

Arrogance might be, but Confidence is like a case theory. You need the backing of authority and evidence to truly feel confidence.

So I took steps to increase my confidence.

I projected major expenses over the next 6 months and found ways to avoid them. I replaced my phone battery by buying a kit from China. I then took $50 off all my monthly telco expenses.Then I started expanding my circle of influence - a friend is considering some help  starting a business next year. I wrote to general Assembly and e2i to start enquiring about Data Science, I bought new textbooks. Most importantly, I also saved $4000 a month on a $1000 allowance, and farmed it into my margin account in an era of a looming trade war between US and China. I also adjusted some of my counters to make them more defensive. We're hunkering down for possibly a long winter.

I also approached the financial blogging community and told them that I wanted a way out. Do stuff which I am passionate about.

I wanted to deal with money, not broken families and warring couples. The money is good, but the work ultimately in my humble opinion, is petty.

And thankfully, the financial blogosphere was willing to lend a guy like me a hand.

My legal career will be held in abeyance.

I will proceed to be called to be the bar this August 2018. It's not high on my list of priorities, but I am on the lookout for a small law firm to "hang my practice certificate" in some sort of a locum arrangement.

I have speaking engagements booked until September this year. Thereafter, I will be designing a 2-day workshop that systematises Financial Independence with the good folks of Dr. Wealth. The aim is to build a "assembly plant" that produces financially independent professionals consistently. I want to demonstrate that a person's livelihood can be decoupled from work.

For the next six months, I will explore the concept the of doing financial workshops for a living. If that does not work out, I will see if I can do some work with a friend on his business early 2019. If things still don't work out by June 2019, there is always e2i and picking up machine learning ( which would reinforce my portfolio anyway ).

Ultimately, my greatest confidence stash came from some work Dr. Wealth had asked me to do to track my dividends to start producing a record of my passive income for marketing purposes.

I'm now pleased to say, thanks to my use of leverage, that on average, my dividends per month has finally exceeded the monthly Singaporean household income in 2017.

So I can do this.

And of you support me, there is a chance that you can do this as well.

Keep your eyeballs on this blog.  I will share my speaking schedule beyond Investor Conference 2018 soon enough.


  1. Maybe try negotiating for reassignment in another area of law? I knew an acquaintance who also made mid-career switch to law in his very early 30s. Not sure if it's ageism thing or luck but he managed to get to do biz & corporate law, where the big money is. Very long hours though --- 9pm is considered early knock off.

  2. Well I'm open minded to that if all my plans for the next 18 months fail.

  3. Hi chris,

    The grass will always appear greener on the other end. Stay focused on what is important to you. I hope you will be successful in your investments and personal pursuits / projects ahead.