The Fallacy of “How to be Rich” from Investing in Shares (Part 2)

This post continued from previous
Learn to invest in shares? 
Ads of
courses to be rich instantly
recent years I almost devoted most of my free time into learning more about
finance and investment. Then I realised that there are many ads from course
owners advocating the learning of investing from them so that we can be
financially freed fast and retire really early in the 30s or even 20s of age.  Very often you can see these course owners showing
their face in front of sports car, bungalow or showing holiday trips with
slogans like:
“How I retire before 30 from investing” or “How
I generate massive passive income from my investment portfolio” or “How I
generate built my 7-figure portfolio in a few years” etc.
It is
just so captivating isn’t it? 
You just hope to be like one of them too right! Who need that stupid job waking up early and coming home late with disrupted
train services? You wish you can throw that resignation letter right into the
face of your stupid boss?  
On a
milder side, there are inspiring bloggers displaying their portfolio or some shouting
aloud their unverified huge dividend income. Some have hidden agenda, some is due to man ego, but for
some, their aim is definitely NOT to brag about their success, but just to keep
track on their own progress learning to be better. This is not wrong and I respect the latter few bloggers. 
problem arises when ignorant readers, as there always will be, follow blindly
and reckon that this is the only way they can become rich! They then use
investment as an escape from work and devote all their time studying investment
instead of concentrating on developing their earning ability when young. Sounds familiar? 
You may
not know! Your idol “Warren Buffett” (not mine) actually has remarkable earning
ability even at a young age. He is a successful entrepreneur already in his
teens, not yet a successful investor then. Otherwise how to build a portfolio
big enough to generate the income? Read: To be a Successful
Investor, Start Earning First – The Warren Buffett Story
Rolf’s view today
is going to be quite direct and a little hurtful! 
Many of you can throw stones
at me, but I just want to share my honest views. Reality hurts in the short term and some of you may be angry after reading the following. However sometimes it
can really offer good reflections for us to have deep thoughts. Hopefully it can
make a difference in your lives in the long term and create a better future for Singapore
as a nation. I do not need your money from this blog, but if this article one day does improve your life, I will be extremely thankful and 
ecstatic to receive just your email. 🙂
is the reason!
being in the financial blogosphere for a while, I
concluded that most of the wealth created by the so-called “successful
bloggers” online were almost out of FRUGALITY, i.e. incredible saving prowess
or mainly reduced expenses from being single or small family to feed, rather than
them being really apt in earning money out of the stock market. So be honest,
it is still and “earnings” from a job or business giving that bigger effect rather than the actual investment return. I call this “savings compounded portfolio”!
having good investment knowledge help to grow our wealth portfolio faster, but it
requires tonnes of hard work in reading and understanding, plenty of patience,
and exceptional ability to control your own emotions by learning more about
yourself, learning philosophy, history etc. We ought to recognise that successful
investment indeed can be “Turtle” and “Boring”.
is why you have these two very good Bloggers “Turtle Investor – Kevin” and “Boring Investor – Lee Chin Wai”. You
can also read articles from veteran bloggers like “Bully the Bear”, “CW8888”, “SMOL” and new blogger like
Tacomob” etc. What they
wrote may be able to equip you with the necessary foundation to do well in
investment later in a more sustainable manner, rather than the “so call” tips of
what to buy and be rich instantly.
analytical skills, but why not earn a living out of it!
you do have to give thumbs up to the “long and impressive analytical skills”
displayed online from some bloggers. I also find it really useful. Yet, sometimes
they are just as good as the analyst reports that I received daily from my
Analyst have access to the companies and more data although they may have favouritism towards their companies.  Hmmm… maybe this is why you choose to read from bloggers who have a more balanced views. Really? 

not the same, but same same lar! 
Also one is working fulltime for the bank and being paid and the other one is
working part-time for him/herself without being paid. It is the facts in that article
that matters, not their viewpoints of buy or sell! Readers need to do the filtering. Hence the analysis from professional Analysts and Bloggers are in fact similar in nature. 
I wonder isn’t then better to quit the day job and be a full time analyst. It
is like killing two birds with one stone – stop working in that stupid job, and
find an analyst job that you can do analysis from 8am to 5pm and STILL earn, and then at night
you can have more time doing the things you want or like? Well, the problem: “It
is too late for me to change career at this age?” Hehe…..Really for some of the younger ones without family or just starting family? Then we said “I want to be financially freed early, so that I can do my own things and have my own free time? Contradicting isn’t it? 
did the initial funds come from?
We as
readers also need to ponder where in the first place the hundreds of thousands
of portfolio came from? Is it entirely compounded wealth starting from just
meagre thousands of portfolio or is it already started from day 1, a bucket of
gold made out from real estate boom or a gift from their wealthy parents, or if
it is just “hard-earn money” from down to earth working in a day job?
With all due respect, the writer is never at fault and I often respect
their devotion and unselfishness in sharing all the good information. Kudos!!! The
biggest problem lies with the followers! Yes – you, the readers! Sorry folks, if you get burnt yourself, you deserve it!  Do not blame the bloggers!
Trainer – Seriously?
there are those who go attend courses to learn about investment in the hope of
becoming rich fast. While I am one of those in the early stage too attending
courses, it is not for reason of becoming rich fast, since way before that I was already invested in the market. Instead it was because I always
want to learn more about finance, after already being equipped with Engineering
and Business skills via my education and career. Furthermore I need a new hobby
then, because I was forced to forsake another hobby due to an accident. Attending courses for beginner is extremely important and
I encourage that, because it can help us organise our thoughts much better.
we need to be mindful in overzealously idolising the trainer as investor guru.
As I understood from reliable sources, most trainers STILL need income from
their courses to finance their own personal expenses and their own investment
portfolio. Hence, remember this, unless the course
master do not need your money for their own bread and butter expenses, usually
they are just businessman rather than the mistaken visionary
investor. Sorry for being frank, but this is the truth! If they are so
good, they should just start their own fund and “compound growth like mad” and compete
against the best performing funds in the world. Do Singapore proud and not only advertise your 7-figure portfolio to earn money from the poor middle-class, who yearn to be rich each and everyday! 
said, there are still course trainers I respected, because of their passion,
knowledge and down to earth attitude. Ignore that so called 7-figure portfolio
you were shown for a second, focus on the trainer’s attitude and his knowledge.
It is not difficult to tell who will be the right mentor/trainer just from their faces and the way they talk Open your eyes and mind, do not be obscured by the self-proclaimed
instant success. My blogger friend, SMOL, Jared called them “koyo”
snake oil sellers!
good course trainer I like is Alvin of Big Fat Purse, although
I have yet to attend his course!
Do not
be mistaken, I am not saying that learning to invest from bloggers or trainers
are no good! I am just saying that we should respect
them out of their KNOWLEDGE and SHOULD NOT idolise them blindly for the size of
their portfolio or passive income.
Worst of all, readers should never
long for the tips on which stocks to invest. As for the bloggers, especially
those who are really popular, I reckon we should also be matured enough or at
least uphold the responsibility of not to mislead the readers.
put your money in Fixed Deposit
market movements can be huge in times of crisis. For e.g. during the GFC,
portfolio can be slashed by as much as 50%. And if you cannot stomach the huge
paper losses, it is better for you not to stay invested. As I mentioned in my
earlier posts here and here, sickness and longevity can
be related to our emotions/characters especially in the stock market. Not
everyone can stomach the fact to see tens or hundreds of thousands wiped off!
Even on the lips many will say no problem (ego!), but deep down many will still
feel painful. It can then also translate to worries and illness even without you
knowing sometimes.
So why pursue for that every few % extra dividend and later lose your
capital and even lose your health? Why don’t just put the money in Fixed
Deposit or Singapore Savings Bonds!
it is also due to human nature of inherent GREED deriving from all the vibes of
people trumpeting how you can get GUARANTEED or INSTANT wealth from the stock
My greatest reward of
learning investment
me, learning investing/financial markets is one of the best things that
happened to me in recent years.
It did
not make me very rich for god sake! Huh…why so stupid, you may ask? Learn
investment is to make money mah…many will say!
To me,
this is so mainstream, hence you cannot be rich if you are mainstream! 

being rich, learning investments widens my perspectives on the various types of
businesses. It also intrigued me to study about the world economy which often
gives me a bigger picture view in my life. Yes Warren Buffett does not care
about the world economy and only focus on individual business because he is already one of the richest. I care
because I am not as rich and have kids still at a young age!
learning investment, I also drill deep down into HISTORY relating to all the Wars,
Great Depression and the entire Global Monetary System of yesterday and today. And
because the further you look into the past, the further you can see the future,
this provides me with the ability to plan more prudently ahead of the rest. Via
learning investment, I also get to know MEDITATION and give me a calmer mind
when things go rough. My TEMPERAMENT improved also. All these led me to
becoming a BETTER PERSON and I am sure thereafter over LONG TERM, I will be
rewarded in my investment portfolio as well.
conclude, learning investment equipped me with knowledge to do well not just in
stock market but in career and life as well. And learning from the right mentor
is important. For beginner, it is ok to learn from master trainers/bloggers.
However once you pass that stage, you can possibly learn so much more from
books or youtube from the “True renowned visionary investors” instead! And
normally these true greats are NOT so MAINSTREAM! They go against the crowd to
reap the best results. 
guys, it is still not the end…there is going to be a “Part 3” on “The Fallacy
of How to be Rich from investing in PROPERTY due to my long windedness in this
article. I will also discuss in Part 3, in my opinion the “Truth to Real
Richness!” in life.

Stay tuned
and best of luck in your investment journey. Cheers!

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49 thoughts on “The Fallacy of “How to be Rich” from Investing in Shares (Part 2)

  1. Hi Rolf

    Read your part 1 and now part 2 of your articles and they are all good after thoughts from you disseminating what has been going on in the blogosphere and financial planning in general.

    Readers would be very lucky to have read on your experience that you share along with them. Whether or not they get something out of it will depend on their own ability and motivation to change things but you do whatever you can and not owe anything to them anymore.

    1. Hi B,

      Thanks and I always believe u will do v well in the future. It's a matter of time n experiences later "hitting" against the wall and slowly evolve over time.

      If ever one day, in our calmest mind, most people should be able to comprehend what I m saying! No hidden agenda on my part.

      But the world cannot only have buyers, sometimes they need short sellers – just like me in this instance to balance.


  2. Hi Rolf,

    Apreciate ur sharing!

    I share ur sentiment that the greatest reward of investing is the widening of perspective.

    ….urmm not because my returns are shit okay. Lol

    To many more years of fun for us. Cheers!😉

    1. Hi PassivePeon,

      Thanks and I am grateful your kind words. I trust ur returns will not be shit.

      Even if it is shit now also does not matter bcos as long as we keep improving ourselves n it's a matter of time "eunuch can also become emperor!"

      U ll not be a peon for long.

  3. Hmm…

    I wonder if the more money one has, the less money he put on stocks?

    The less one has, the more one hope for "breakthrough"?

    At least I am like that …

    Wonder when the next big one will come to test whether the balls is made of steel or something else. First time has skin in the game

    1. Hi SI

      Most people who have more money today spend more money on investing in their own business rather than other people's business. Unless of course their business is in investing just like all the big players like Ray Dalio, WB, Soros, Icahn etc

      Desire is always good. Those who have more use to have little also. But eventually they find that they have even more when they give up what they have!

      The next big one is about balls n steel, but not just that only, it's also about if we already waiting for it to come for a long time!

      Just my thoughts!

  4. Too much skin in the Game may make us go crazy! Can we test our mental strength like that?

    1. Yes agree. Too much skin in the game! Good times ok, bad times no good! I am just amplifying ur earlier post. hehe… bcos I know u more diplomatic than me!

  5. Rolf,

    Orang minyak (oily man) is not full nudity.

    Got wear underwear one.

    You har!

    Underwear also never wear running around…

    Wait kenna blanket party then you know!

    1. Jared,

      I agree with u on full nudity for others but not myself who I know myself v well.

      haha..if I afraid of blanket party, I will not go out nude!

      Bcos so far this is me, and in my life experience it has all turn out well! Bcos I have no hidden agenda and speak the truth who can benefit those who were truly in the dark!

      Having spent so much time on the streets as a boy and in adulthood outside Sg globally, there r already many times I m nude n but I not just survive but survive really well n become frds w those who wanted to blanket me!

      Maybe Sg need more people like me, dun u reckon rather than orang miniyak who wear two underwears, sometimes on the face!


    2. Rolf and CW,

      I don't know about underwear over the head, but I know in Japan there's a fetish where you put a woman's panties over your head…



    3. ahhh, now i know why nacho libre wears what he wears, on his head.
      he must have a japanese gf/wife.

      thanks SMOL for finally, unravelling one of mystery that has been bugging me for long time!

    4. No foolish chameleon.

      Thank Rolf.

      He didn't ban or delete my comments just for offering some diversity in views to spice things up 😉

  6. What to say?
    You "pow ka leow" everything for a DIY investor.
    One thing is sure that we must keep on learning through every means.
    He said we should read as wide as the ocean.
    And this was from a great Old Investor Guru.

    "Curiosity may kills the cat
    Boredom does it doubly fast"
    That's why i bother to be here.

    1. Hi temperament,

      Tks for being here. Somehow u r always like the big man or the "eye" always behind the scene for all of us bloggers here!

      Huh? me pao Ka leow?

      Yes, read as wide as the ocean! Agree n will use the same phrase n educate my kids!

    2. No lah!
      It's only natural as you get older and older, the "devil" in you get "wiser and wiser". – Chinese saying.
      i am sure you can't write like that when you are 21.
      You have not much living experiences yet.
      And you are right, i only like talking to people who shows sincerity.
      And i know, at times telling as it is may hurt some people who likes to keep things to themselves.
      Or still blur like sotong.
      i am quite sure some people think you are swimming naked.
      SMOL think you are an Orang Minyak.
      But i think it doesn't matter just be yourself.
      You can't please everybody.

      My wife mistaken your writing at times is a bit of blowing off your own trumpet.
      i think you are always trying to write with integrity and sincerity.
      See same piece of what you write can be easily interpreted differently.
      " No one reacts to thing as they are".
      (Part of a prayer by a Christian.)
      So i say it's great to be yourself.
      No one can be happier then be himself.
      i am.

  7. Wow, Rolf.

    Great part 1 and part 2. Keep them coming. I'm enjoying it. Waiting for your Part 3.
    SSB and FDs, albeit below inflation rate, are there for opportunity. Like an ambush, sitting in this low yield all ready to strike a great reward when the opportunity surfaces. It serves as an emergency fund in the meantime.
    In life, there are a few opportunities that we regret of NOT having funds to move in for the kill? A fire sale house in the coming auction or a big bank stock selling way below its NAV? Just working and saving alone won't make you a millionaire unless you live a monastic lifestyle like some bloggers tracking for every penny. Haha…man shall not live on bread alone?

    1. Hi Anonymous,

      Thanks for dropping by.

      I am extremely heartened by your compliments despite ur anonymity. I really meant it. It means a lot as a motivation.

      I tend to agree with u! A sniper just wait for one shot and one kill after ambushing for a long long time.

      Like a sequel movie, normally part 1 is excellent, part 2 so so, part 3, I worry may get sour…

      Anyway, as long as I am true n what I write here is not intended to benefit for myself for a start or at all, plus adding some "clever flavour" from life n corporate experiences, I am not so worry about the so called "blanket party"!


  8. Hello Rolf,

    You pointed out something very critical. For many of us, our salary exceeds our investment returns. And yes, I am spending significantly lower than my salary.

    For my investment return to be equal to my household income, I would need to be Warren Buffett like. I know I am not him.

    This series about fallacy about investment is a good one. Hopefully, people will realize there is a boring and simple way to generating wealth. It starts with savings and making sound investments.

    Thank you for writing.

    1. Hi Bigcatblue,

      Appreciate ur encouragement. I m really very thankful.

      Yes, as long as our income rose faster than our savings and/or debt, we r fine! So I presume u shld be doing really fine, even if u r not like WB. I m not like him either n guess many others r not like him…

      Haha… I know many think they r already like WB or somewhere near. But somehow they forget they cannot even do what WB does when he was a teenage boy which is – accelerate his earnings first!

      Yes, nod nod nod, boring n simple is good!


  9. Rolf,

    got part 4, 5, xxx anot?
    you should do one every month.
    i look forward to reading posts like this. it keeps me motivated and grounded at the same time.

    so, how would you differentiate between a koyok seller and an genuine trainer?
    and, what are the qualities of an genuine trainer?

    1. Hi FC,

      Again I am grateful for ur motivation just by this comments. Even motivation, I feel should be mutual.

      Ma lar… Hahaha.. I follow my heart to write. If my heart later feels like part 4 and 5… Hahhaa

      I doubt so…

      Hmm… I go by gut feeling to differentiate. Over the yrs, not just me realising, my wife, my Frds all tell me that I hav the knack of 6 sense in gauging if the person is true or not!

      Watch a few YouTube vids of the trainers if available, or even go attend one cheapest lesson of that guy. Look at his eyes hear him, n watch his body language. The eye is the soul. Not eye shit.. pls..

      Reading what the write writes can also somehow tell!

      Most impt, u must not let ur judgement obscure by ur own ego even if that example the trainer is saying is something u do not like to hear. Be fair on the truth!!! Cannot be obscure also by ur own selfishness to reap something out of it, u must be fair n reasonable even if that guy looks awful.

      U can somehow feel if it is the truth! Your call!

      If u r those who also want to reap fast rewards (will also disappear fast later), then normally the same birds flocked together. then cannot help u also.

  10. Hi Rolf,

    Hmm, sounds angsty these days…hope it's not your job causing you the stress?

    Peace be with you!

    1. Hi LP,

      Usually I m with u, but not this time. As usual I m not defending myself, but I just to clarify my feelings.

      No doubt I am feeling emotional abt my colleagues leaving n yet they do not know! One after another. I m only human although I know many pple dun really care as long as it is not them. Sorry I m not as selfish.

      The emotional upheaval does not derive from the stress of job, since bcos I m the lone survivor, I was promised security by the company/boss! Well… trust by lips! Also in fact on paper n by title I was promoted. I shld be happy, why stress!

      For me, it is very tough time, but most pple here who follow my blog know that I had plan n anticipate for all these long ago. So while it is tough, I m not stress at all!

      On the contrary, I m actually quite happy it happens as I tell my wife bcos it can be another turning point in my life as it happens several times before in my life that a bad situation always turn out to be the biggest reward of my life, when I look back connecting the dots!

      Therefore this post is totally independent of my job emotions. Furthermore, I do not have ur flair of writing so beautifully (my respect to u, really), this post took me many drafts over my handphone drafting when free time, re reading again n again over many days.

      And if I did that over so many days, how can it be angst!

      All I want is to point out something that what many people even if "they know" r not willing to point out to those who were truly misled!
      Maybe this is Singaporean attitude or today's society that we r so worried to be wrong or we r so diplomatic that sometimes if to be direct, we can be "quite selfish!"

      I travelled to many parts of the world met many pple. A lot of countries r not like Singapore n they will cheer for righteousness!

      Anyway remember I gave tuition in 1997-2007, so if it is job stress, at most u ll find one more competitors! And a good one I bet!


      Lastly I m quite disappointed by ur comments actually, but I believed u were emotional too after reading!

      We r all just humans!

    2. Jared,

      One thing u r wrong. LP is not naughty, he is plain caring to me, I can feel it. But he felt I am emotional bcos he doesn't really know me as all my Frds know that I m pretty tough actaully.

      If u think less from ur standpoint again, n more from others pple standpoint n re-read his comments again, u will actaully feel that it is caring, n not naughty.

      Hahaha… :p hit the truth into ur heart?

    3. Hi Rolf,

      You're right, please let me apologise for my bluntness! I may not know you as well, so I do not have a feel of your situation, but it's definitely not out of mischief that I wrote the comments haha SMOL is just jabbing us 🙂

      Now that this elephant of an issue is taken out of the way, then let me comment on your blog article:

      I like your post, but since it concerns other people's ego, it might be harder to accept. Talk about stories, talk about ourselves, talk about how we handle things, might be a more roundable and less direct way of poking others, but I think it gives pple a chance to step down gently haha!

      But if you're like me, if I care about a person, I'll talk directly. No need to beat around the bushes among like-minded people 🙂

      Meditation works wonders for me as well. I had a 100 day meditation exercise and I emerged a little more humble, a little more peaceful too.

    4. Hi LP & SMOL,

      Yes eating ice-cream now while typing. Already v chill but as what temp said " No one reacts to thing as they are".

      Tks Temperament by giving ur opinion!

      But most impt I or pple closer to me (close relatives n frds) know me well n they told me to b myself. So adding some flavour of our own often attracts diff opinions n I m fine. If not, I ll just say what the public wants to hear or scrutinize every word…

      By the way, a person in real life face to face n blogosphere can be really different! If I in real life says the exact same word to u guys as I wrote, bcos of my body language n eye contact, u may not actually think the same way u r?

      Or on the contrary there can be some who can write humbly n very skillfully in blogosphere, but in face to face they may b diff.

      The meaning of humility u may not know has actually a diff meaning, some v wise man told me before. This wise man who have wealth of experiences told me that pple who can do much more for others will often be mistaken by egoistic n loud. But he told me no issues as long as we r clear conscience n we shld not live our life solely on other pple opinions!

      Just an eg: LKY, Steve Job's character?

      So indeed today is a chilling day with rains! haha..

  11. By the way LP, u know I always respect u n ur job but not to poke u is also bcos u neglect one thing when u say meditation gives humility n inner peace etc more easily.

    Partly is also ur job dealing with kids who dun expose u n much easier to manage n also ur smaller family if u consider that. It is not nice to hear but frankly if u look at bigger picture like what CW always say "It's the truth!"

    But I do envy ur situation sometimes!

    1. Hi Rolf,

      Don't worry about poking me 🙂 We can talk all day about the weather and part our ways or we can talk in deeper issues that touches our heart.

      You're observant and absolutely right! I can do the things I do because I'm sheltered from the corporate world lol!

      But it's a conscious choice also. I had a whiff of it and I don't like it. Circumstances and choices bring me to where I am now today. No more regrets now!

    2. Hi LP,

      🙂 Look forward to the day to talk about deeper issues that touch our heart!

      Crossing swords…, I mean thoughts is great. Differences (not insults) intrigue n broaden our horizons as wide as the ocean!

      Meanwhile, I m happy for ur choice made regardless or right or wrong / with more exposures or not! It's ur choice, I respect that. Just like Smol choice of staying single too. I respect n cannot judge the choices of others n so far have never use it as a point of discussion. This is respect.

      Similarly I thought u will respect n be happy for my choice made here to share the truth for the educational benefits of fellow readers. n definitely not due to angst from the depressed oil n gas industry.

      Many others will think it is my intention to expose the "guilty" n what for being "too direct" n if there is a need to create a gentle platform for those "guilty" to dismount.

      Sorry guys, after digesting n chilling, I still beg to differ.

      Because they probably fail to see that the bigger initial intention of this post is meant more for the bigger educational benefit of the larger pool of readers rather than the undermining of the smaller pool of "guilty".

      To think that I never have any intention to smear or in any instance label anyone here, and by any means unjustly did it, I am clear conscience n probably be myself again the next time if I hear voices from the bottom of my heart telling me to do so!

      Sorry guys, different strokes for different folks! I bet u never come across another Rolf Suey in ur life. hehe…

      Cheers buddy! 🙂

  12. So a suggestion is we meet up soon face to face talk! hahaha.. should be a really happy one I felt!

    ok guys tks for all the opinions.

    I ll digest n accept it!

    Splendid weekend!

  13. Hi Rolf,

    Great post you have there.

    Financial blogs and videos talk about money. Money is a topic which is seldom talked about but always thought about. When meeting new clients, business people always leave the money discussion to the last even though $ is that thing which is closest to their hearts. 不挂在嘴里,但永远绕在心里。 When it comes to money matters, there is almost always hidden agendas. There is nothing wrong with hidden agendas. Most do, including myself, and it is fine as long as win-win situations are created. It is a warning sign when blogs or trainers have boastful content exceeds educational content. I think bloggers have a responsibility not to waste their readers' time. Each article should strive to contain something educational for the reader. My time was well-spent reading your article.

    After being in the financial blogosphere for a while, I concluded that most of the wealth created by the so-called "successful bloggers” online were almost out of FRUGALITY, i.e. incredible saving prowess or mainly reduced expenses from being single or small family to feed, rather than them being really apt in earning money out of the stock market. So be honest, it is still and "earnings" from a job or business giving that bigger effect rather than the actual investment return. I call this “savings compounded portfolio”!

    I absolutely agree with you. It is quite impossible to rely solely on investment gains to achieve financial freedom at a relatively young age of late 30s or early 40s. The capital of a young person is too small to generate an income to replace a job. Even if someone < 35 years old claims to be able to retire early through investing alone, I will be worried for him as he may be pressured to take excessive risks to generate enough income on a small capital to cover living expenses. I believe almost all who achieve financial freedom by early 40s relied mostly on their salaries and frugal living to inject sufficient capital to grow the portfolio into a meaningful size worth investing full-time.

    It is easier to sell a get-rich course by boasting about passive income that allows the audience to do what they want early in life. Harder if the seller speaks the hard truth like you did. Work hard at your day job (stop dreaming about sacking your boss and becoming your own boss, at least not in the first 10 years), save hard and be disciplined in delayed gratifications. Even after the portfolio is large enough, the person still has to question if his investment skills is good enough to quit his full-time job. This is where keeping a good record of his investment activities matter. The numbers don't lie. A 10-year investment track record will reveal whether one has got what it takes. Even if finally he has got what it takes to be a full-time investor, he has to think about what to do with the extra time. Investing is a lonely activity.

    I hope fellow Singaporeans don't be so razor-focused on achieving financial freedom and forget about living a more complete life. If they manage to find the right spouse, please go ahead and complete your life by having a few naughty babies. Have a family. Having said that, I think I'd better be responsible and reveal another hard truth. Babies will probably turn out to be loss-making projects, if one is to view them as investments. However, it is part of life. If you can, you should. In my case, if all my children turn out badly, no regrets. They are my flesh and blood.

    1. Hi Hyom Hyom,

      Always nice to have u here.

      I was pretty much blown-away and mesmerized by your comment that I read it a few times. It is the one most well written comment so far with great substance n sincerity, I ever come across in my blog.

      What I can say…you laid it out beautifully!

      I am totally aligned that as long as it is win-win n not an agenda to cause the unidirectional transfer of wealth from the readers/trainees to the writers/trainers, it is great!

      "And yes, it is so easy to sell a get-rich course by boasting rather than telling the truth." As Jack Ma mentioned he had sacked one trainer in alibaba immediately because the trainer encouraged his "salesmen to sell comb to monk!"

      I m glad to hear you as the "rare few" together with myself who cares much abt our fellow younger Singaporeans' future!

      Just like u, if I can only choose between seeing my portfolio grow or seeing my children grow, I will choose the latter without any question.

    2. Thumb up! Good comment by hyom hyom!

      Even up till now, I still strongly believe in human asset to increase earning power camp and my two adult children are already working and have some spare saving; but I didn't hurry them to invest as early as possible.

      Read? Life is short. Work harder for money?

      Like it or not. After many years of real retail investing in the stock market; I realized the real power behind retail investing is Our Account Size Really Matters!

      The truth is not what those investment bloggers who have COMMERCIAL OR SELF INTERESTS in the cyber world trying to earn more educational $$$ from the newbies, sheep, dreamers, and those retail investors who have been losing too much and believe in seeking faster improvement to recover their losses.

      These investment bloggers WILL NEVER tell them the reality and truth behind retail investing!

      What do they proclaim and shout loud?

      Start early with smaller capital and lose small to learn???

      But, with smaller account size and now with SCB no minimum commission era. Game over very fast for smaller account size.

      Once game over. What can we LEARN?

      Learn by watching at sideline without getting our hands and mind "dirty"?

      Doing paper exercise investing can really help to improve our investing skills meh?

      3Ms in investing: method; mind and money management. method can be on paper exercise. mind and money management can be effective on paper exercise?

    3. Hi Rolf and Createwealth8888,

      Thank you for your compliments.

      We read stuff like "you can't be rich as a salary worker all your life. Do you want to be a slave all your life?" Yet, when we do the numbers, the main source of wealth is still salaries for most of us. Working as a salary worker is risk-free but can be full of frustration. The financial gain as a salary worker is more or less capped but this is fair because the salary worker is not a risk-taker. If a person wants sky-is-the-limit financial profit, he should be an entrepreneur and I wish him every success.

      Investing is a good supplement for our income but many are better off not investing as well.
      So, for most people, it is better to just work hard and smart at your job. What else can I say except … Know Yourself. (Isn't this what Rolf Suey blog is about? 🙂 )

  14. Unless you have your own business, People working for People, FUGALITY & {operating your wealth machines (borrow from "Investment Moats")} is a must if you want to retire one day with assets that can generate cash flow enough to cover your daily expenses.
    And if you want to leave a Legacy, you have to live the same – FRUGALLY & Operate your Wealth Machines.
    People who work for people say they can be financial free at 30 or 40, i am not so sure.
    Unless they are one of the Mark Zuckerbergs of the World.
    How many can you find?

    For us wage earners, FRUGALITY & Wealth Machines lah!
    Even when retired financially independent.
    So you see in a way am i Financial Free?
    No lah!
    Still have to operate the Wealth Machine.
    What about Mark Zuckerberg?
    Ha! Ha!

  15. Hi CW,

    Your kids is fortunate to have a wise father.
    Imagine your children after graduation, his/her whole mind, soul and time revolves only about investment n neglect working n still think that they r smarter than anyone just bcos they write better english n have good stock returns due to the good market time n lack of long term track record!!!

    The worst is often during the best time in the market. Again contrary to what the mainstream think.

    During a bull run, one can earn so much money so easily in the market. It will lead to new graduates not only thinking they r darn good in investment, but also think why should I work for that meagre salary, or have any drives to learn new things, or gain new experiences in work, since they r gg to be the next WB or Peter Lynch.

    The young will become victims, even those in their 40s n 50s or older ll not be spared! Man ego often can be equivalent to gullibility irregardless of age! This is called GREED N MAN EGO!

    Sometimes if u cannot be even successful in work, what makes u so sure that u can be outstanding in investment? If u think u will be fabulous in investment, just make it into ur full time job then. This is especially so when if u r only in early 20s when u hav nothing to lose, n low expenses.

    To me, it will be fantastic to be aware of investment n financial literacy since young, but priority must be clear!

    When u r a student focus on ur studies diligently. When in ur early part of career, focus on accelerating ur knowledge/exposure learning from those who r more experienced than u.
    Investment should be side dish until u r ready to forsake ur job.

    Be smart, u will not only grow not just ur income but also faced difficult times which u ll overcome. In this process ur IQ, EQ n wisdom will be develop. u will also comprehend the true meaning of investment better n learn faster n be more successful.

    Yes account size matters.

    I read ur post: regrets of dying, I like point 3. I wish I'd had the courage to express my feelings!


  16. Hi Hyom Hyom,

    Yet another insightful comment.
    The distinction bet. salaried worker n entrepreneur is absolutely spot on! The tremendous pressure on entrepreneur is not what many can withstand, hence it also explains y there r lesser entrepreneurs than salaried workers.

    When I hear peers saying almost other peers who r more successful for a sustainable period "Heng" n have angst against them, it is almost certain that the former will never be Heng nor Happy for a long time unless they change.

    Yes, investment is a good supplement for our income ONLY because interest rates have been declining since 80s. That is also the reason why I have been investment to beat the crazily low interest rate environment.

    Do we know that interest rate use to hit >20% at one time in the 80s n almost hover double digit %! Do u still need to invest like that???

    So for me, the need to invest now is bcos of World central banks manipulating n causing interest rate to be abnormally low. -ve interest rate…must be joking right?

    And yes, the most important of all, hahaha… thanks. Hyom Hyom.. is Rearranging the letters of "Rolf Suey" until u truly "Know Yourself!"

  17. Agree, entrepreneurs or unless u super high income then can retire early.

    Imagine u r salaried, earn respectable average 40-50k for 10 yrs after grad… so it's 400-500k after 10 yrs. Subtracting cpf of 20%, it is 320-400k! And if u r very frugal, save 50%. This is conservative n not yet consider big lumpsum of wedding dinner, housing, or children or even illness.

    160-200k savings with incredible frugality at age 35! Now, sth is fishy, where does the big 300-400k portfolio come about ???

    Let's say u r high income earner ave. 100-150k pa, average over 10 yrs 1-1.5mil. Deduct cpf 120k n income tax 100k, take back is still 800k-1.2m at 35!

    Save 50%, not as difficult bcos of absolute figures, in fact u can even save up to 70%!

    Hence 500k portfolio easily achievable for high income earner at age 35!

    And pls dun stereo type all high income earners as big spenders! I know many high income earners born in 70s who r so frugal!!!

    And yes, wealth machine is impt in today's low interest environment as I explained earlier.

    Not many Mark Zuckerberg, but many Mark Z wanna be n yet they do not want to work hard!!!

    Definitely there r more dreamers today due to social media than those working hard on their dreams!

  18. Oops, I'm late to the party! I may not always comment but I'm lurking somewhere for sure.

    I think "good" blogs are really subjective, and it really depends on who is reading them, and what value they get out of it. That's the blogosphere for you – we get the good, bad and the ugly. Again, that depends on who you're asking we may get very different answers. The same blog can do a lot of good/harm depending on the reader.

    One thing I noticed is that we're in the finance blogs circle ultimately, and therefore the tendency is to see everything through what I call the "money-lens". Everything must apply the perspective of money? I'm not so sure if this is the best way to do it, so I always read a variety of different blogs or different genre.

    And yes, Frugality is the first of many steps of a long journey for me. Everyone has to start somewhere!

  19. Hi Kevin,

    I agree with u so I just provide the balance to be the rare few to give a diff opinion that so far I have yet to witness!l here at least.


    Normally we read articles widely with many diff views, n after sometime, we should be able to gravitate to those who share similar sentiments more. And eventually find our own direction…

    my blog is my project of compiling everything I learnt as a gift to my next generation n after.

    Anyway since birth of crist, human beings if all is true about God, is a very difficult breed. It's almost impossible to convince pple if there is no benefits of "wealth" involved.

    Money is the root of all evil as said.

    Hence, I reckon my blog will never be the most popular blog (which I dun care), but it will be a blog with my voices, sincerity n integrity.

    And pple close to me such as my family, my close Frds n relatives should be able to comprehend it better bcos of they know me for longer n as it's about the element of trust also!

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