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The very first step to becoming richer.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Singaporeans have a reputation for being very good at complaining. This is not a bad thing per se. 

After all, if some things are really bad and in urgent need of correction, we should complain. 


How else would the relevant authorities know about the problems and to take action? 

I draw the line at taking videos and photos of minor incidents and posting it on Stomp!






However, what I really find unacceptable is perfectly healthy and whole people complaining about how they do not make enough money. 


I have blogged about this before and I must say this again: If we feel that we are not making enough money, ask ourselves if we are being shortchanged.

Are we being paid fairly? 


If others in similar position are being paid more, hey, we got a raw deal! Negotiate with our employer. 

If we are really good workers, our employers would want to keep us and give us a much deserved raise. 

If we are sub-par workers, we should keep quiet if we want to keep our job (and, hey, stop complaining). 




We have a choice if we want to do better or to remain sub-par, of course.

Would you believe me if I were to tell you that it is always harder to keep really good workers in any company? 

Sometimes, even with above market rate compensation, it could be difficult to retain really good workers. Why? 

They keep improving themselves and would try to look for better paying positions which could even be in a totally different industry. Jobs could even come looking for them! 

These people are dynamic and driven. It is not surprising that they are usually able to earn higher incomes. One day, they could even strike out on their own and run their own businesses.




Very few things in life are free. 

To earn money, we must give something in exchange. 

To make more money, we must give more in exchange or give what few could give as it would be more highly valued. 

If we have a relatively low income and would like to have a higher income, complaining is unlikely to help make us more money.




Now, I always say that we are all made differently and some of us are just comfortable enough doing what we are doing, feeling that there is no reason to change. 

Is there anything wrong with this? 

Well, if by keeping the status quo, we become wage slaves, yes, it is wrong, very wrong.



The last thing we want to be is to be a burden to people we love or, indeed, to society as a whole. 

Well, I could be generalising too much but common decency would require that we think this way. 

Taking affirmative action to plan for self-sufficiency, avoiding dependency, is not only financially prudent, it is the responsible thing to do.





Think of our lives like how we would think of a business. 

Healthy personal finances would require us to, firstly, increase our revenue and, secondly, to keep our expenses prudent. 

OK, not necessarily in this order.

If we feel that we do not make enough money, look at our revenue and expenses. Something must be wrong with one or both. 

Unless we are severely disadvantaged in some way, there is no reason why we cannot do something about one or both.




With such people who are always complaining they do not have enough money, naturally, I would not even talk to them about investing in the stock market. 

They have to seek freedom from their mental shackles first. Otherwise, they are just wasting everyone's time.


Do you know of anyone like that? 

If you do, try reaching out to them. 

You would be doing them a big favour.

Related posts:
1. Do you want to be richer?
2. Wage slaves should be fearful.
3. Money management: Needs and wants.
4. A common piece of advice on saving.

60 comments:

Kyran Tan said...

Hi AK, I have always thought that I would be less dependent on people if I am able to earn 10k a mth. I know everyone's benchmark is different, for me this will be an optimum amount. I am halfway there but I believe that the momentary stagnancy does not equate to forever. I will get my breakthrough. Thats besides the point. I want to say that I would eventually want to have 4k passive income to make up this 10k so that i won't be worried about losing my job. This can be achieved if one has an entire Condo to rent out or HDB + stocks dividends. So I am working towards this goal.

B said...

Hi AK

I've not known personally of people like that but just going to the yahoo.sg news alone we would see hundreds and thousands of comments complaining about the government and almost anything and everything else.

I come from a non-Singaporean background but having lived in Singapore now for more than 10 years. Again, it's not that bad as they think. They have not seen or experience how it is worse in other countries.

AK71 said...

Hi Kyran,

How much a person needs to make a month depends on his lifestyle and the kind of commitments he has. For some, it could be just $3k a month and for some it could be $100k a month.

What is important is for people to take action to work towards having a monthly income which they feel is enough. Complaining will not make this happen.

Your positive thinking and action plan are all markers that you are on the right track. You will achieve your goal in good time. :)

AK71 said...

Hi B,

You know what they say about birds of a feather flocking together. Like will attract like. These people could end up having drinks at some coffee place, drinking $6 coffee and complaining about life in Singapore.

I was invited by a friend for a session like this and that meeting inspired this blog post. I did not enjoy the outing and I probably would decline future invitations.

Singaporeans are a privileged bunch. For sure, the government has not been 100% but I believe there are many more good things about Singapore than bad.

Those Singaporeans who complain about everything here just have to work/live elsewhere for a year or two and they might become more appreciative of what they have here.

Of course, everyone is different and there are people who have migrated to Australia, for example, who genuinely think that it is better there. I also know of poeple who have migrated to Australia who have regretted. It depends on what we are after.

Wherever we go, however, it makes good sense to be self-reliant, doesn't it?

Derek said...

Hi AK,

Well said. I read about a Buddhist teaching to reflect upon ‘I’ (yourself).

We are usually quick to enjoy the rewards (I) and quick to push the blame on others (they). Hence the quality of life really depends on you yourself and not on the people around you.

I'm fortunate that my friends do not complain about the materialistic things in life but rather superficial things like the weather is too hot, why queue so long etc.

I'm no saint myself and I do complain (typical Singaporean la) but I'll try to remind myself to be content and they will always be someone worse off.

Earning $2K is too low? There are many families living below this line. MRT is too crowded? There are old auntie and uncle walking several hours just to see a doctor. The restaurant is not up to par? There are people surviving on food vouchers.

If we are really unhappy with the way things are now, we should take action. A little complaint can spur us but too much becomes a degenerating force.

Cheers!

Ben said...

Hi all

People have different expectations. Some of the complaints can result from peer pressure. When the people cannot achieve the desired results, they complain so as to vent their frustration.

Like what AK has mentioned on the coffee session, I have also been at such session and do not enjoy the session. Perhaps the topics discussed during the session do not interest me and so I decided not to attend subsequent sessions any more. To me, I think that it is better to do things as accordingly to my preference.

In brief, I think that it's better not to compare oneself with others. By having comparisons, it will lead to frustration. We only live once. There is no need to make life miserable by been frustrated and worried on the shortfalls.

The motto: Be happy everyday and take things easy no matter how difficult the challenge pose to us.

Ben

coconut said...

ak, i thought it is a short and striaght forward post cos you say "first step" means one step.

very long le haha.

INVS 2.0 said...

Hi Ak71,

Well, I find those who complained are people who don't get complacent. After all, this is their country and being citizens, they are entitled to their voices.

Nowadays, I find many govt mistakes and arguments are very illogical even by third world standards. Civil service is becoming increasingly complacent, absent-minded and to some point, arrogant and forgetting that they are serving the people, not themselves. Having knowledge in Chinese history, this is a first symptom of a nation in decline.

Yes, we are better compared to third worlds like Malaysia but no, we are worse off than first worlds like Denmark, Netherlands, Swiss and Finland (my preferable 4 first world benchmarks). Anyway, no point comparing with third worlds when we are already a first world. Do you compare to the top student in your class or the last student, when you have already progressed to the top 5? If we want to be on par with Swiss, the govt needs to really give itself a hard kick to chase the standards of Swiss (as promised by GCT in the past).

Singaporeans too, those who complained alot, need to put their words into actions and do something for the country, or at the very least, do vote wisely in the upcoming election.

Those who are doing well, do spare a thought for those who haven't made it quite well due to careless policies.

Btw, I don't get contended easily because I believe there are always better-performing ones out there to improve myself. Satisfaction is a form of complacency. The govt should likewise, do the same and see what it can learn from successful examples not only in this era but also those existed far back in history (eg. Venice and Tang Dynasty).

INVS 2.0 said...

...continued

I find that who followed the herd mentality of getting a continental car like Volkswagen, BMW, Mercedes-Benz despite the high COEs, are not getting any richer.

If they paid in cash, they have incurred massive opportunity costs where they can invest the money elsewhere instead of a liability that depreciates in value over time. If they paid by loan, they are locked in debt.

As much as I want a premium continental, it is not financially wise to own a car at this point of time. Buying assets like stocks is a wiser thing to do. :)

Temperament said...

For me, the very first step to becoming richer is never get into debt unless "can't be help" like going into business. The rest they say is history-"Money & Life Management".

Lilian said...

Whenever I start to wallow in self-pity, that is when I try to wake myself up. just like worrying is useless, I always tell myself to act instead. and yes, I hate going to those type of sessions too. such a waste of time. I would rather go take a class to learn something new!

Kyran Tan said...

Hi AK, maybe we have been well taken care of in our early life and pampered by our parents. Thus when it is time to be on our own, the work stress and the stress of comparing against our peers resulted in complaints about life in general. It's part of the whole competitive culture that we are set up to be in Singapore.

SnOOpy168 said...

Living with means is a matter of self discipline and self awareness.

If these people channelled their noise energy (a.k.a complains) towards self-improvements like a night class, upgrade courses, or even just get out their ivory towers and see the world a little bit. They will find that Singapore is really an ideal place to be. Of course, freedom of speeches and political freedom blah blah, doesn't fill a hungry stomach at the end of the day.


Howyuan said...

"Those Singaporeans who complain about everything here just have to work/live elsewhere for a year or two and they might become more appreciative of what they have here."

Good idea AK, Pappy should do this to non-supporters.

:P


ron said...

The comparisons with another country's work environment, earnings do not go down well.

We are always be told:

" other country worse, you know!"

From a young age, we are conditioned to this line of thinking. Jerome is better, the Tans are better, the Rodigues are better.

We compare schools.

Far more useful if we focus on what we want.
If a $100 more is what you want, go get it!
Work on it, plan for it, provide contingencies for it.

If you are upset that the Gov taxes you on your income, work on it! plan to pay less tax or read up and discover loop holes and take advantage of it.

People are lazy to solve problems and they grumble. They actually want others to solve it for them.
They witness others complaining, and they see no solution, they add more complaints.

Stay focus on your personal goals
Accept failure, try a new way.
Integrate with positive people more.

AK71 said...

Hi Derek,

Sometimes, we complain about some insignificant things to make small talk especially if we are just warming up in a social setting. It beats an awkward silence, doesn't it?

I really believe that we should count our blessings in life and Singaporeans have a lot of counting to do. Honestly, I feel that Singaporeans are rather spoilt.

When I was in university, I used to walk 15 minutes to the nearest MRT station to commute to Clementi interchange and switched to a feeder bus. These days, if people have to walk 10 minutest to the nearest MRT station, they complain that it is too far away, for example...

AK71 said...

Hi Ben,

Indeed, being happy sounds like a simple thing but it is, in reality, a challenge for many people as they keep comparing with others and wants are never ending.

More importantly, know what really matters to us and act to obtain and safeguard what really matters. :)

AK71 said...

Hi coconut,

I believe that the honour of having the shortest blog post by a local personal finance blogger goes to SMOL. ;p

AK71 said...

Hi INVS 2.0,

Ah, more comparisons. While we are doing this, have you compared the tax rates in those four countries to the rates we have in Singapore? ;)

I think we have to give credit where it is due. Our government has done a lot of good without having to tax our people heavily. This is the honest truth. :)

AK71 said...

Hi Temperament,

I am inclined to agree with you but the proponents of good debt would disagree with old-schoolers like us and, of course, you would remember that I recently blogged about this. ;p

AK71 said...

Hi Lilian,

Absolutely. What could sipping coffee and complaining to one another do to improve our lives?

If we are unhappy with something, do something about it. Take action and not act like the world owe us a living.

meesiam said...

Tobe a bit sarcastic. If Singapore is not the place, why not just walk out and open up another door and experience it urself. Not for those tourist stuff but live in it.

AK71 said...

Hi Kyran,

I believe that you are right. To extend on what you have said, I believe the government has also been so good at taking care of its people that any mistake it makes is not tolerated. We expect them to be perfect.

Singapore is very competitive. Competitiion is in every aspect of life here. This is never going away.

I don't like it but I accept it as being part and parcel of life here.

If we want something, compete for it. Be better than average and our chances are higher. If we stay average, then, our chances are average. If we choose to be average, don't complain. ;)

AK71 said...

Hi SnOOpy168,

Yes, I agree with you totally. Do something positive and make improvements to our lives. Why waste energy lamenting on the shortfalls?

AK71 said...

Hi Howyuan,

Wah! Exile? Aiyoh, don't want lah. Some of my friends and family members would be affected too. Ooops... ;p

AK71 said...

Hi Ron,

I agree with all that you have said.

Everyone's circumstances are different. It is more meaningful to set and work towards personal goals. See if we could better our own achievements time and time again.

AK71 said...

Hi meesiam,

I felt like saying that to a few people before...

To me, Singapore is home. It is not perfect but does a perfect home exist?

Let us continue to make it better and everyone has a responsibility here. Don't push everything to the government.

To make living here a more gracious experience, for example, how many people clear their trays at fast food outlets?

I always make it a point to clear my tray and I won't be wrong to say that most do not. I have managed to influence some friends and they clear their trays now (or at least they do when I am with them). I am really saddened when I see school kids not doing it. They are our future...

INVS 2.0 said...

Hi Ak71,

This is only a honest "half" truth, well. :(

Although their tax rates are higher, they compensate this by an even higher pay. I should call it net pay (gross pay - tax) or net income. Our low-skilled workers, compared to those 4 examples, are exploited and paid cheap wages. To these people aka blue collars, the tax rates here are heavy in comparison with higher-skilled workers like yourself (white-collar).

Alot to say, but you can read what Singapore can learn from Europe at this link:

http://sghardtruth.com/2012/05/19/what-singapore-can-learn-from-europe-by-tommy-koh/

INVS 2.0 said...

...continued

End of the day, if want to survive well in Singapore, you have to be rich (well, you are rich in my opinion, hey!). Well, you may not agree but this is coming from my opinion as a young Gen Y person.

Your generation has benefited alot from the good old times in the 80s and 90s (I was too young to benefit in that era, very sad). :(

Happy Pork Belly said...

Hi AK,

I can understand those kind of sessions. It’s not the complaining that piss one off, but the complaining and doing nothing. No country or job is perfect, but one should be willing to try them out.

I may be labeled by friends as someone going against the government, but I make it a point to give practical feedback and reasoning directly to them rather than ranting on Yahoo or the like. Even people around me get it from me once in a while. One day I will be left on my own hahaha. Here’s an edited version of a story which I think applies to a lot of Singaporeans.

“A guilty man was sentenced to life imprisonment. Things went wrong on the first day he stepped into his cell. The soup spoon he used had holes. The fish he ate had a trap that poked his jaw. The chair he sat on had knives that hurt him, and when he fell down, the floor was full of nails. Many other traps hurt him faster than he could react. Soon, he realised that this is not a cell, but a torture chamber.

Then, he saw an opening on the wall, and began to dig till it was large enough to crawl through. Outside lay a large green pasture with flowers and a clear blue sky. The man wanted to get out, but was very worried. What if there is a chopper on the other side of the wall that will chop his head off when he crawls out? So for the next 50 years, he just sat at his cell every day, looking out to the green pastures and the clear blue sky.”

AK71 said...

Hi INVS 2.0,

Much has been said about Gen X and Gen Y. If you ask me, the Singapore of today is more comfortable than the Singapore 20 years ago when I was your age.

I do not know what you mean by my generation having enjoyed a lot of benefits from the good old times of the 1980s and 1990s. My family almost went bankrupt in the 80s. I was in Primary 6, I remember.

In the Asian Financial Crisis of the late 90s, my friend's mother had to go to the wet market and asked for bits and pieces which the hawkers could not sell.

There will be challenges no matter whether we are Gen X or Gen Y now and in the future. What is required is a positive attitude, a can-do attitude. This is the attitude that built Singapore.

As for me having what I have today, it has taken me 16 long years after graduation to have what I have today and it is a modest achievement. There are many more successful people in my age group.

I like the idea of "workfare" instead of "welfare". I believe in helping people to help themselves. This is also a good reason for keeping my blog going. :)

Therefore, I cannot agree to unlocking the national reserves to distribute the money to the people, for example. Nicole Seah impressed me until the moment she shouted "Whose money is it anyway?!" in the last GE.

As for exploitation, all of us are exploited as long as we are employed. We are all being paid less than what we can make for our employers, are we not?

Low wage workers are paid lower wages because they are less productive. If they want to be paid more, they have to move up the value chain.

Businesses will move to wherever is best for doing business and the cost of doing business is a big consideration. It is only normal.

If people want a better life, work towards it. There are plenty of examples of people from humble backgrounds who have made it good in life.

No one owes us a living. There is no free lunch in this world.

AK71 said...

Hi Happy Pork Belly,

I like the story. Thanks for sharing it here. :)

I am not a pro PAP government person. I am pro reason. I readily admit that the PAP government made some mistakes and some rather glaring ones too.

However, I am definitely not sympathetic towards people who are always blaming the government for their "hard" lives.

I know a couple who did not do any planning before they tied the knot. They got themselves a new 5 room flat and a new car. The wife immediately got impregnated after wedding and then again the following year. They would say that it is not cheap to pay for all these. They are practically living from hand to mouth. Why did they not plan in advance? Blame the government. Easy.

There are many more examples but I have enough negativity in my life right now which is why I have not been blogging as frequently and why I have not been very prompt in replying to comments here. So, I shall not list other examples.

I am trying hard to stay positive but it is difficult when the problems involve another person, a very difficult person.

INVS 2.0 said...

Hi Ak71,

I like the Singapore of the 80s and 90s where national identity, the sense of belonging and less people to crowd around. Well, you had a hard life in the past but being progressive, we can't stop going forward simply because our life today is better than the past. What about tomorrow?

Your days had cheaper houses (eg. $30000 for a 3-room flat in a new estate) and a nationalised TIBS (fewer problems) and other national companies that shouted "efficiency" and "service to the people first", not today's public-listed profit-first things. You can say income was much lower but today isn't better. For eg, a 1980 Uni graduate earned $600/mth vs $30000 flat, and a 2012 Uni graduate earned $3000/mth vs $200k for a 3-room flat in NEW estate like Punggol. The ratio is more unfavourable for my gen. :(

Yes, it's the attitude that builds Singapore but our younger politicians and civil servants are lacking such attitude nowadays compared to the likes of Goh Keng Swee, Toh Chin Chye, LKY and other pioneers. And powerful nations rose and fell due to complacency in the civil service first. Thus, I am critical of any hints of slackness in the civil service. Rising counts of complacent mistakes aren't impressing me these days.

Well, on your point on exploitation and low-wage workers, I have an article to recommend for reading. Sorry, not to promote TOC but this article is well-written about low-wage workers vs productivitiy that I can't skip it simply because it is TOC.

http://theonlinecitizen.com/2012/04/stop-rhetoric-and-add-value-to-lower-jobs/

The hotel doorman is a good example.

Yes, no free lunch in the world. But I believe a small part of your success today is achieved by being single, doesn't own an overinflated house or a high-COE car. Your cash flow is very impressive. Maybe you want to check with those who have family, their own house and car, etc.

My 2 cents opinion. Hope you don't have a hard feeling. :)


INVS 2.0 said...

...continued

Notice that I came down hard on the complacency part, which is the pivot step of a declining nation. I don't blame the govt for minor things, especially when things are caused by individials themselves. But I expect more from them in terms of responsibilities and efficiency since they are paid so much.

Hope you don't have the idea that I am a whiner, loser, etc. I am concerned for this country's future after reading many case examples of nations going up and down in history in the same old pattern. :)

AK71 said...

Hi INVS 2.0,

It is interesting how people have, of late, been saying how university graduates of yesteryears in Singapore could have paid completely for their homes in fewer years compared to graduates today.

I feel that it should also be noted that there were fewer graduates in the past. There are more graduates now. They are not as rare or as hard to come by.

In the past, to have a good life, being a graduate would almost guarantee that. My grandparents were always impressed by people who went to universities and graduated.

These days, being a graduate is not good enough. We have to try to stand out from the sea of graduates.

Things evolve. This is reality. Life is more competitive. No one can deny this.

The world is more competitive. If we want to stay ahead in the game, we have to stay competitive. Otherwise, leave the game.

Being a graduate today is probably a similar achievement to being a HSC holder during my parents' generation. Graduates are a dime a dozen now. No big deal.

As for what I have achieved, I did say before that it is not amazing. Many in my generation are more successful and some have a wife and children (plus a car and a flat). However, many are also less successful.

What does this say? We make choices in life. We live with the consequences. Nothing profound.

In an email to a reader, I said that it is precisely because I think what I have achieved is nothing really amazing that I believe that anyone who puts his mind to it can do it.

One of my university professors got married only much later in life and that was one reason why he didn't have to worry about money as he became a father in his 50s, I believe. Whether he planned it that way or not, I don't know.

This could be another example of delayed gratification which I keep saying is a good thing.

I do know of people who just want to get married and form a family as soon as possible. Many, later on, regret. Why?

If I were to get married today and have children, I would not have financial issues. I am not the only person who is like this.

There is someone younger than me who planned his life in such a way that before he got married, he was able to put aside $100K each for the two children he planned on having after marriage. He only got married after he fulfilled that condition he set for himself.

So, I don't have to check with people of my age who have kids, a mortgage and a car what it is like. I have seen good and bad examples of both.

I am a person who does not like stress and I do not have the dexterity to be a juggler. So, I chose the easier way in life but that does not mean I had it easy.

Some told me I am wrong. I don't think so. I have options. Many don't. Well, they did but not anymore.

As for our government, yes, I expect them to be fully accountable for what they have done, both right and wrong. No arguments there.

I simply do not like it when people take things for granted. It does not matter if they are ordinary Singaporeans or those in leadership positions. :)

INVS 2.0 said...

Hi Ak71,

That explains why we have low TFR, isn't it? Perhaps this is a blessing in disguise actually for people who are planning ahead. Of course a taboo for nation-building. It's a viscious cycle. But I am staying single for financial pragmatism. No expensive girlfriend or a BMW for me until I have far exceeded the costs needed to keep these "toys" from my passive income. :)

Oh well, on the downside, there is no one to take care of me in my old age. Sigh.

You have the mindset of an entrepreneur, really. Why not give it a try? At least be a part-time motivational or a financial speaker to help many others who are still hanging and drifting in the seas of competition. :D

AK71 said...

Hi INVS 2.0,

From the exchanges we have had so far, I have the impression that you are a very motivated and intelligent individual. I believe you have what it takes to achieve what you want in life.

Well, like I said, we all make choices in life and we have to live with the consequences. Can't have our cake and eat it too. ;)

Anyway, I would rather depend on myself to take care of me in my old age than to depend on anyone else. I am fully prepared to check myself into a nursing home when the time comes.

The mindset of an entrepreneur? What is that like?

I have helped to manage businesses and tried to hit sales targets for years now. I am not sure I want to have businesses of my own. Being a boss is very stressful and I dislike stress.

A motivational speaker? I have a speech impediment and I value my privacy too much.

Of course, if people do not mind a speaker who wears a brown paper bag over his head and speaks with an occasional stutter, I guess I could do it. Hahaha.. ;p

I think blogging is still the best way for me to share with people who might be interested.

Even if only 1 person per month makes some positive changes to his personal finances because of coming into contact with my blog, that would be enough for me. :)

INVS 2.0 said...

Hi Ak71,

Not only you are contributing positive changes to my personal finances. In fact, studying a finance course right now in my University, you are helping, though a small part, in my modules too. Examples are like what is a ETF, stock, bond, portfolio diversification, calculating dividends and ratios, and many more. :D

I am also a speech stammerer since age 18. I may want to join toastmaster's club to practise my speaking skills until my mind is confident enough to speak without pausing uncontrollably. Perhaps you want to consider this? :)

AK71 said...

Hi INVS 2.0,

By the time you are done with your course, you might want to consider being a guest writer for my blog. Hey, why not? Or, perhaps, you could contribute some of your academic essays which you think might interest readers here. :)

As for my speech impediment, it only manifests itself in informal settings. I have no problem usually in formal settings. It is very strange, isn't it?

I was actually named "Best Speaker" in a debating contest back in school. Can you believe that? ;p

I was also an actor and stage performer for 4 years in school. In those instances where my lines were memorised and rehearsed, I had absolutely no issues either.

I am a strange one...

INVS 2.0 said...

Hi Ak71,

Will consider your offer. :)

I think your speech impediment is the same as mine. It's a psychological speech stammering, when you are not in the right state of mind, the speech impediment will begin, especially so during lunch talks or phone talks.

Speech blocks are even more terrible because I can't utter the word that I wanted to say, let alone of stammering it halfway through.

It really takes the urgency and the right state of mind during formal events to kick in and remove the blocks and stammers. :)

AK71 said...

Hi INVS 2.0,

Is that what it is? Pyschological speech stammering... Hmmm... From what you have described, it does seem like this is what I suffer from.

Speech blocks sound nasty! I don't have this problem, thankfully.

I just have to be more conscious of my speech and try to be a bit more deliberate. Unfortunately, most of the time, I am rather casual.

I hope your toastmaster's club sessions will be useful to you. :)

Ray said...

AK, you stutter?
I thought you're in sales or something like that. Always thought of you as an articulated person. :)

Yes, choices choices. Single or married, each choice comes with pros and cons. It all depends on the values of the person making that choice.

Same goes for investing, working, or start business. Each of them comes with pros and cons, risks and rewards. Obviously higher risks will (must) come with higher rewards (to justify the risks). Working longer hours must be justified with more pay (or better off not working so hard, right?) and starting businesses must be justified with lots of income (else, better off working as a white collar, IMO).

I dont know where my rambling will lead me so I shall sign off here. LOL

AK71 said...

Hi Ray,

Yes, a mild speech impediment. It is embarrassing when it shows itself. :(

I like to impress my customers with my knowledge and sincere advice. They appreciate my honesty and how I am not out to rip them off. I doubt that they buy from me because of my oratorical skills. ;p

I have retired from doing frontline sales now and I don't have to talk as much as before, thank goodness. However, I remain quite talkative or so I have been told.

Yes, we have to make choices in life and each choice has pros and cons. There is rarely a perfect choice.

I would usually just shrug and say we are all different. If we are happy with the choices we have made and could live with the consequences well, we have not done too badly. :)

Ben said...

Hi all

Everyone is different in their own style. Some want to get married early, some opt to get married late, some prefer to remain single. etc....

As long as the concerned party does not regret his/her decision, I think that he/she should be given the due respect. We only live once. The best is to live life to the fullest and without regret.

There is no right or wrong decision.

Ben

AK71 said...

Hi Ben,

Indeed, to each his own. :)

We can only make what we think is the best decision for ourselves. Whether it is right or wrong in someone else's eyes shouldn't matter, ideally.

Objectively, however, if our decisions result in negative consequences which bring suffering to ourselves and the people around us, those decisions cannot be right. Whether we regret them or not does not matter.

So, although I would respect the rights and decisions of individuals, we should recognise bad decisions for what they are. :)

RayNg said...

Hi Ben,

Yes, it is a personal decision.

However, the personal decision for having fewer baby become a national issue. If we can't replace ourselves then someone will, as a result we will have a different Singapore culture in years to come.

Kyran Tan said...

Recently I heard some wise words that I would like to share." Making mistakes is part and parcel of life. The only mistake that one can make is when one tries to hide a mistake. "

AK71 said...

Hi Kyran,

These are wise words indeed. Thanks for sharing them with us. :)

Ray said...

I actually think the biggest mistake a person can make is not learning from his mistakes!

AK71 said...

Hi Ray,

So, hiding a mistake is OK as long as we learn from it? Hahaha... Can also. ;p

Kyran Tan said...

haha, I am not a perfectionist, so I won't place too much premium on making mistakes...otherwise i will get so upset, affects my mood and ends up in a lose lose situation. So nowadays, i really believe in it being part and parcel of life.

Hiding a mistake is an integrity issue, so it really do prick my conscience sometimes...i say sometimes because i have to admit i tend to believe it is ok to not blow up an issue out of something small....

AK71 said...

Hi Kyran,

I understand what you are saying.

If a mistake I have made affects only myself, just learn from it and move on. However, I make it a point to correct the mistake if possible or even apologise if appropriate if it affects others as well.

In my younger days, my pride got in the way of doing what is right far too often. Over the years, it has become easier to admit my wrongs and to accept that I cannot always be right.

Lille said...

Of course everyone wants to be richer but for me what I would like to have is passive income without having to worry when I become older. That's why I am always a keen advocate of owning 1 house for home own stay and another one for rental income

AK71 said...

Hi Lille,

Having a rental property is a great idea but we have to be realistic about how there could be times when it might be hard to find tenants or to get a reasonably good rent. The property market is cyclical, after all. :)

Ray said...

Besides, there are alot of often ignored costs involved for the landlord too. Such as refurnishing the house, repairing damages such as leaks. Intangible costs come in the form of stress when managing errant tenants or those who simply do not take care of the house.

Renovating the house is probably a must after renting out to errant tenants.

AK71 said...

Hi Ray,

Rental income is not really passive income, you are right. Well, we could hire someone to manage our rental property, of course. ;p

Ray said...

But that will involve more cost and make the investment less attractive. Maybe it's just sour grapes for me... lol coz i can only afford one good old HDB.

AK71 said...

Hi Ray,

It was a tongue in cheek comment from me. ;p

Unless we have a big portfolio of rental properties, it doesn't make sense to pay someone to manage for us, of course. :)

AK71 said...

Many people are sharing this blog post on Facebook which I used as a foundation blog post for a comment I made:

The constant call by Roy and his friends for handouts of $300 or $500 a month to the elderly and the retirees is mind boggling. I see many asking "Where is the money going to come from?" and "Who is going to pay for this?". Good on you, Singaporeans!

Then, the call by some for the implementation of a minimum wage in Singapore sounds very attractive on the face of it but those of us who have studied Economics would know that it is really not that good an idea. There are people who seem bent to bend the rules of Economics.

The way to ensure low income workers get better jobs with better pay is to upgrade their skills so that employers are willing to pay them higher salaries because they create more value for the business. The PAP got this right.

For those who might be attracted to the idea of a minimum wage policy, think again:

"Wages are the price for labor. They are the compensation workers require for their time and efforts. As with any price, regulatory controls—whether a price ceiling or a price floor—distort the market, creating either a shortage or a surplus.

"...businesses cannot spend more on wages than they earn in revenue. And of course, not every type of labor is the same—some jobs simply aren’t worth paying someone $X an hour to complete.

"The result: Fewer jobs and permanent unemployment for those unable to produce more than $X worth of goods for their employers. Hardly a means to help the working class.

"Despite the good intentions of its modern-day propagators, minimum wage is a questionable policy that should raise eyebrows for anyone concerned with the plight of the poor."
- Nicholas Freiling

AK71 said...

Very few things in life are free and complaining is unlikely to help make us more money.

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