Thursday, December 30, 2021
Monday, December 27, 2021
One useful mental model to have for readers of the blog is the OCEAN personality model, where we can describe a person's personality by 5 axes. This is the Rolls Royce of personality models and psychologists are able to map each factor into an actual biological brain function:
- O - Openness to New Experiences measures how much you prefer novelty over the familiar
- C - Conscientiousness measures how neat, orderly and dependable you are.
- E - Extroversion measures how outgoing and sociable you are.
- A - Agreeableness measures how trusting you are and how much you get along with others.
- N - Neuroticism measures how vulnerable you are when faced with emotional disturbances.
Once you are armed with the OCEAN personality model, you can begin to enjoy reading articles on psychology and a friend forwarded me this gem on an article that explains why some folks are single (link)
Single folks fall into two categories :
a) BBFA - Bui Bui Forever Alone
The first category is the much-celebrated personality that you can find in Hardwarezone's EDMW forums. While it is used to describe the kind of keyboard warriors who hide behind their anonymity, I think the real insight is that these folks are highly introverted.
A large part of the single population is like this because they are highly introverted and find crowds and interacting with other people quite draining. And this is what feedback I receive from folks who go SDN gatherings and tinder dates. Some dates are really unpleasant because the other party is too quiet.
The reason I find a link between trying for Financial Independence (FI) and being Forever Alone (FA) is that the FI movement has strong participation from Introverts with Reddit surveys claiming a majority of FIRErs being INTJ.
Does this explain why some objectively rich folks remain single? I think there's a valid reason to tie FI and FA together if this were the case. Nevertheless, the article suggests that singlehood is not a permanent affair and folks do eventually find someone.
It's not difficult to detect an introvert. Invite them to a party and watch it slowly drain them of personal energy. Then, if they are not hot enough for you, you can send them back and possibly never date them again.
b) KKKFA - Kah Kwee Kwee Forever Alone
But that's not the most important insight. Apparently, BBFA only covers a portion of singles.
It was found that a high openness to new experiences is also a precursor to singlehood, which is why I coined a new KKKFA moniker. I am very excited about this insight because I always felt that I had a higher openness to new experiences compared to peers my age.
The logic is extremely sound. Folks who like variety in their lives find it hard to settle down with one person, which explains why Wang Lee Hom wanted to avoid marriage in the first place.
I actually believe that some men remain single because they are attracted to women with high openness to new experiences and they can't overcome the singlehood hurdle. I told some of my friends that in targetting some attractive women, they are actually not competing against other men - they are competing against singlehood which comes with travel and fewer personal obligations.
One way of figuring out whether you are doomed to waste your time on someone with high openness to new experiences is to examine the books, music and artefacts in their homes. Folks with a high O-score have a varied taste in music and books. You are highly likely to find World Music CDs, books from around the world with an eclectic mix of genres and artefacts from different continents.
It would be interesting for single readers to ask themselves whether they are BBFA or KKKFA.
For the rest, you should acquaint yourself with this model because I'll be doing some heavy research on personality types and investment performance for the Dr Wealth blog pretty soon.
Saturday, December 25, 2021
Thursday, December 23, 2021
I'm two days away from my birthday, so it's time to slow down and talk about hobbies and interests. I have not been doing very much this holiday season even though I see a lot of folks going on staycations and travels via VTL. Also, my family has decided to stay put.
Personally, I'm betting that things will get much better once the Pfizer pill gets deployed in Singapore. We basically have a way of not overtaxing our medical facilities and the opening will accelerate faster by then. Even now, we're seeing better numbers every day although Omicron may start to hit us hard in January 2022.
I only have two things to share with the readers as we come to a close this year.
a) Session Zero - A D&D-themed theatre production
Generally speaking, I will not support the local Arts scene because I don't want my money to flow to woke people, but I really have to make an exception when a local production channels my favourite hobby Dungeons & Dragons. My fear is that the reception falls flat and someone loses money - then no one will support productions with D&D references in the future.
For my first attempt to watch a play, I made sure that my party had the skills to navigate the scene, so I was accompanied by not one but two English Literature teachers, and it really helped me with appreciating the experience. The best bits I picked up is the team behind the production and how the professor thinks when improving the script. I was obviously more interested in whether the play can break even financially and the teachers explained to me that selling out is often not enough and rents still need to be paid. We estimated one full house session to bring in about 20 x $35 or $700 and rental of the premises may be several hundred a day. And there are many mouths to feed.
Still, I don't need an expert to tell me that the acting was way better than Mediacorp and the two actors did a fantastic job. Sadly the fairly brutal and real story of a disintegrating marriage was somewhat wasted on someone like me who prefer stories set in the MCU replete with pop culture references. The script really does hit really close to home and as a D&D fanboy, I felt it hit the number of requisite RPG references.
Maybe it's just me, but 75% of the fun is talking about the event after the fact in the ice-cream parlour. It would have made a nice dating event and I was somewhat dismayed at the lack of, in woke-speak, (cis-het) couples attending the event. I'm trying my hand currently at match-making some of my friends and I must say that plays and theatre is a good choice of venue.
Now I know that Gen-Z is gently castrating themselves our population is doomed!
b) Hikes with random friends
In two days time, I'm going to be 47. There will come a time when my fluid intelligence drops, I lose my open-mindedness to new experiences, and I will become a cranky old man. I think the struggle is to continue to be relevant and fun. Fortunately, exposure to law school where I get to work with folks half my age has helped.
Here's the thing that is interesting: For now, all the folks who invited me to walk with them are younger than me, some more than a decade younger.
Maybe I'm using them to stay young, but hanging with Gen X really does not appeal to me ever since I graduated from SMU. Even though I cracked the finance puzzle, I'm not really interested in mortgage payments, cars to buy, Manchester United, or the real estate market. With younger folks, I can talk about cryptocurrency, robo-advisors, Wang Lee Hom's sex life, Fei Yuqing rumoured sado-masochism, crafting potions on Skyrim and Roblox.
I might be interested in talking to Gen X about my kids, but that may actually offend my peers because I fully intend to experiment with creating trust-fund kids and my latest crazy idea is called Polytechnic Insurance. I think I'm the opposite of a good parent my peers aspire to be.
To find out more, you need to stay tuned to future articles.
Monday, December 20, 2021
The second part of my video under My Two Cents is out, you can follow this link to access it :
I let the video speak for itself. I'm particularly proud of Kopi Tilok arbitrage.
As we had to brainstorm more unconventional ideas compared to how much we actually deploy, not all of my ideas made the cut, so I will list out the rejected ideas on this blog :
a) Don't believe in asset decumulation
In financial planning circles, a lot of care is taken to consider decumulation which is the process an older person begins to spend down his asset class before he dies. To dividends investors with a portfolio of decent size above $3M who also have children, this is totally optional.
It is entirely possible to limit spending to investment income and pass along capital to your children after you pass away. Wealthy people do not believe in decumulation anyway as spending all that capital may even inflict harm on your well-being.
How many bowls of sharks fin can a person eat anyway?
This idea was not included in the video probably because most viewers are unaware of what decumulation even is.
b) Don't believe in consumption smoothing
Another idea in financial planning circles is that ideally, a person should smoothen his consumption over time. This means being liable for some debt to increase their spending when they are younger and have lower pay and to be able to save more when they receive a higher salary when they are older.
This is always puzzling to me as the key is to be able to save more and work harder when younger to generate compound interest and then build up your savings to live on investments as early as they can. It is not understood why consumption is so important in life as we’re likely trying to buy something to impress someone we don’t even like.
This idea was not included in the video probably because most viewers are unaware of what consumption smoothing is. In advanced societies where fee advice is the norm, consumers are taught this term from financial advisors.
In Singapore, commissioned FAs are too busy taking Instagram photos with their European cars and selling ILPs.
Friday, December 17, 2021
Saturday, December 11, 2021
For the past few weeks, I have been collaborating with iFast TV on this series called My 2 Cents. You can watch the video by following this link.
Some readers will be wondering about some details of my collaboration with iFast. I'm happy to share that I actually did everything without financial remuneration as I have the means of monetising these eyeballs through my course offerings. The upside is that there is a stronger degree of control and I get exposure to what media broadcast is like. Naturally, I ended up having a great deal of respect for actors and the logistics required to create even a short video like this.
A lot of discussions I have of late is about choosing between Money or Passion which is actually a false dichotomy - you can choose both. But the reason why this remains a hot topic is that a lot of young people feel trapped in jobs that they pay and actually switching to job that they love would result in a serious pay cut.
In this video, I made two pertinent points that should be useful to the reader :
a) Understanding Job B matters
As a society we're too obsessed with Job A, a high-paying we take to pay the bills, and advance in society, that we often dislike, and can't wait to get out of. This can be a job as a Legal Senior associate while counting the days to a junior partnership.
But equally important is the idea of Job B - a job we enjoy, we can sustain but may not pay as well.
My rationale is for everyone to know what is their Job B so that they can decide how long they can sustain Job A before they give it up for a better life. This knowledge is valuable because Job B with some passive income can be the equivalent of Job A.
So my stand is to meditate on what Job B is and how much it pays, I tell lawyers that for them it's generally becoming a GP tutor in a private tuition agency.
b) Three S's in picking professions.
If you want to survive this new world where tech obsolesces becomes a way of life, you need to be guided by the three S's. A job has to be Surprising - no SOP can contain instructions on how you do your task because it can be automated. The job should be Scarce, not everyone can do the job. One litmus test is to see whether there is a licensing regime to perform the task or there is a guild to protect the interest of these professional groups. Finally, the job should be Social - a strong element of personal interaction should exist because it is harder to outsource actual human connections.
I will summarise my points in later videos, but I hope you will watch them to find out what my colleagues have to say about the matter as well
Tuesday, December 07, 2021
We will be conducting a community event for my Early Retirement Masterclass alumni on 16th December 2021 7.30pm.
In this event, I will be describing my nascent efforts to invest in cryptocurrency in a manner that is more consistent for ERM alumni. My students have already been invited to send me some questions so the slides will address them over the next few days.
Members of the public are invited to attend this event. At the moment, I'm not positioning myself as an expert, I see myself as more like a fellow explorer so expect the material to be somewhat basic for now.
"Whether Skeptics and Conservative investors have room in their portfolios for cryptocurrencies?".
Items of discussion include :
- Some cryptocurrency basics.
- Why conservative investors should take a closer look at stable-coins.
- How a beginning crypto investor's environment and tools can look like.
- Two interesting ideas investment ideas for Early Retirement.
- A quick tour of the Metaverse and what's trending in this space.
Please register by following this link: