Monday, December 27, 2021

How trying to be Financially Independent can leave you Forever Alone

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.


  1. Kah Kwee Kwee=看开开?Sorry but I never hear of this Hokkien term before. What does it exactly mean?

    1. Open your leg. Kah = leg. Kwee Kwee = opening it up.

    2. Thanks. Hahaha.

  2. I love the way the question gets answered before I can even read the question.