Monday, June 29, 2015

Don't Succumb to Peer Pressure or Keeping up with the Jones(Tans).

Q: What's the most extravagant thing you have bought?
A Chanel bag for myself as a Mother's Day present "from my one-year-old daughter" (laughs). It was really because of peer pressure. For instance, at my office there was a lady whose bag collection could have probably bought a small HDB flat.
They would talk about what kind of bag and how many of those you should have after working in the industry for six to seven years, for instance. But I found the Chanel bag not practical and it's too small.
I learnt a life lesson - the consequences of buying something because of peer pressure. In my case it was a bag, but for my peers, it could have been an Audi, Ferrari or a house.
- See more at:

Well said. Too many people succumbed to peer pressure or having to have face. If you can afford a Ferrari and is within your means, please go ahead and do so, POWER TO YOU! :) But for the rest who have to stretch to buy that Ferrari, please think twice. It's only a car that brings you places literally. Bring you place metaphorically can only be done if you really have the substance to carry thru' , if not, that first step will always be at the doorstep and that's it.

I can afford a Ferrari, but I choose to drive a Hyundai. What about you?

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Knowing how much is enough.

Touching farewell memo from Google CFO.

The CFO in the story knew when the question came from his wife and that was the trigger.

in our case, it could be something as drastic as a life-changing event in the form of a stroke or a major accident. Or it could simply be like the CFO, a loved one telling you a simple truth or a simple question.

For my ex-colleague who was flying frequently as a regional sales, he recounted to me the following moment that triggered that question and thought process.

His moment came when his 2year old daughter was down with high fever but he had to go off that day for a business trip. So, he decided after the trip to seek a lower-paying job without regional sales included. He did not want to have the regret of not being there when it matters the most for the family and he certainly do not want to miss the chance of seeing his daughter grew up.

OF course he did not retire completely, but the message in the CFO message was not asking you to retire, it was asking you to have a work/life balance. Your work will always be there for you, but your loved ones might not and growing up moments can never be recaptured.
I remember telling Tamar a typical prudent CFO type response- I would love to keep going, but we have to go back. It's not time yet, There is still so much to do at Google, with my career, so many people counting on me/us - Boards, Non Profits, etc
But then she asked the killer question: So when is it going to be time? Our time? My time? The questions just hung there in the cold morning African air.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Views from a seasoned Property Investor

The investor has done the heavy lifting for us on the historical property returns from peak to peak, trough to peak and peak to trough. I share the same view and suggest waiting if you are not in need of a home.

Though I would opine HDB BTOs are always a good buy for a 1st home :)

p/s : He sells courses and I don't get referral fees from him. So don't be mistaken  :)