Saturday, July 31, 2021

Maybe Singapore does not deserve you, Joseph Schooling !

I don't have a lot to write about this weekend as I will be reserving my strength for the Dr. Wealth Blog.

What's trending now is are the merciless attacks from keyboard warriors on Joseph Schooling for losing the chance to defend his Butterfly Gold in the Tokyo Olympics and the many folks who jumped to his defence. A couple of famous folks have even commented that "victory has a thousand fathers, but defeat is an orphan".

I'm not here to motivate Joseph Schooling to keep trying for us, that's really up to him. It's not like our government gave him a lot of support before he won gold for the country. Sports is not something we'd like to emphasize as a society as compared to, say, private banking. 

Instead, my belief that is that Singapore, in general, does not deserve a sports champion like him. Singapore is too caught up with navel-gazing and envy to sincerely celebrate Joseph Schooling as a fellow countryman. The financial blogosphere is familiar with this kind of saltiness - how many bloggers who accumulated $100,000 before 30 ever escaped getting slammed on social media?

The fact is I'm also a keyboard warrior and I can't tell Joseph Schooling what to do. But I do know that most Singaporeans are hyenas who values strength and success through the Almighty dollar. 

As such, allow me a moment of hubris to say what I would do if I were in Joseph Schooling's shoes.

a) I will complete my NS

This is a good time to complete my NS. 

As the only Gold medallist in Singapore, I'm not likely to be tekaned in camp. I will likely obtain "white horse" status and can even train in sports during this time. I would focus on smaller events like winning a few medals in the SEA games. 

b) I will complete my degree if I have yet to get one. If I have a degree, I will go for an MBA

I suspect that top MBA programs will make way for an Olympic Gold medallist without a high GMAT score.

Youth and energy will fade in time but what remains are your paper qualifications that Singaporeans are obsessed with. As Singapore's only champion, you are highly likely to be able to get assistance on any local campus. The aim is not knowledge but social capital, which will be easy given your superstar status.

Hobnob with the rich, party with them, and occasionally guide their kids in the swimming pools. 

c) I will find a way to get into private banking

If I'm not wrong, DBS has some kind of arrangement with Joseph Schooling such that he will have a great post-sports career. Star power translates very well into front office work, and clients may want direct access to a local champion. Starting salaries will be many times the level of even a top-flight business graduate in Singapore. 

Maybe I can execute the James Lye manoeuvre, where I am VR Man one day and a jet setting banker dealing with UHNWI from all over the world a short moment later. 

Why be a journalist like Clark Kent? This is why VR Man is way better than Superman.

I think if Schooling were to play his cards right, he'll be a middle-aged banker who will become a regular face on the Singapore Tatler. He will probably marry extremely well and, being Eurasian, will be a great pick for politics under the PAP banner. It is very likely Singapore will not see another Olympic gold for another 30-40 years (the last guy was Tan Howe Liang).  

But to play the game right, he needs a decent NS record and a good paper qualification.

As for the bastards who mock him for drinking too much Milo, they will still be bitching on Reddit or EDMW. 

Have fun staying BBFA!



  1. Tan Howe Liang got silver la

  2. Good advice for Joseph Schooling. Well thought.

  3. how refreshing. I do think joseph schooling should follow your advice. i came from banking, and i do see some of the children from good family propel into junior leading position and groom for future leadership position. Joseph should make full use of his card, no shame in doing that.