Thursday, November 12, 2020

Republic Polytechnic Talk : After-Action Review

At 4.30pm yesterday afternoon, I gave a 1-hour talk to students of Republic Polytechnic. This talk was attended by a decent number of lecturers, adult-learners and possible a smaller cohort of actual RP students, as the talk was voluntary, numbers are not big - the audience was between 30-40 attendees. If you measure that against my previews - I often get over 100 attendees every week. 

Here are my thoughts on that event :

a) On hindsight, the material should have been more technical as I had a fairly savvy crowd

I think the idea when we came up with the program was because 50% of RP students were on financial assistance, but here is what I learnt from giving out free seminars: If attendance for the talk was made voluntary, only the most self-motivated and moneyed students will volunteer to attend, and the quality of the questions asked would be of the highest quality. 

As such, I feel bad after Q&A because I should have prepared for a more technical talk. I had very good questions on robo-advisors, derivatives and one required an in-depth discussion on why standard deviation matters in measuring portfolio performance.

If I do get a gig with Singapore Polytechnic next year, I will stop pulling punches.

b) That single best martial arts manual for Singaporeans

One question that took me off guard was which book to read to get to grips with investing in the Singapore markets. I recommend several books in my preview but I struggled to recall the title that answers the question. In fact, I think I got the author wrong in my talk yesterday. I said "a book by Ben Fok" who has a few decent book, but it should have been Fong Wai Mun. 

Anyway, the book is here :

Fong Wai Mun taught my MSc cohort in 2001 and I recall my classmates saying that his exam was quite formidable. Other than that Christopher Tan book I gushed about in this blog but was seriously outdated, Fong Wai Mun and Benedict Koh's textbook is still used in local universities. 

This is the closest thing to a beginner's manual for local investors. 

c) How to become a millionaire at 30 

My favourite question came from a plucky RP student who said that he wants to become a millionaire earlier than me at age 30 and ask me what advice I would give to him. 

He does not know that as a troll myself, I love entertaining troll questions:

I told him that I was unqualified to answer as I made the first million way after that age in my late 30s. But I told him that I have a few educated guesses. 

My first answer is to join sales. Sales is a tough job that does not rely on educational qualifications and being in the top 20% of the sales pyramid can command salaries several factors that of a degree holder. I did remind the audience during my talk that 80% sales professionals earn next to nothing so they have to be outgoing and really like interacting with people to be top 20%. My second answer is to start a business and aim to IPO or exit before his desired age. 

No, I did not ask him to sell drugs.

For members of the public who are curious about the talk I gave to RP. 

On 24th November 2020 7.30pm, I will be repeating that performance to my ERM Community. 

You can sign up on this link here.

No comments:

Post a Comment