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STE's story: Personal finance.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

There are many savvy investors in Singapore and the majority of them are not in the public eye. They could be our neighbours, our colleagues or even our relatives and we might not even know that they are actually millionaires from their investment efforts.

Recently, a reader, STE, contacted me to share his story to show how common working people could become millionaires without being entrepreneurs. His story shows how hard work, frugality, investment savvy, patience and luck are the ingredients to financial freedom.

He sent me a lot of information and I am thankful for his trust in me. However, I have exercised much discretion as to what is to be published. I think it will be more than enough to inspire.

Don't ever say that common people cannot achieve financial freedom. It is simply not true.


My wife and I came from Malaysia. My family is quite big and I have 7 siblings. I am the youngest. We were poor and most of my siblings didn't even have a chance to complete primary school education. I was lucky as I had the opportunity to go to the university on a Malaysian government scholarship.

My wife came to Singapore after her "O" levels and I joined her in Singapore 5 years later. When we first came to Singapore, we worked very hard and even held part time jobs although we had full time jobs in the day. We worked on Sundays and even public holidays.

We keep our money separate but most of the investment decisions are made by me. She is a good wife, very hardworking and takes good care of our family. We have two daughters.

As we were not born with silver spoons, we had to work hard in order to have money for investments. Saving money is very important as how much we save is more important than how much we earn. If we earn $10k a month but spend $11k, we are in the negative.

We were very frugal and, for example, a few years ago, a friend laughed at us because we still did not have a flat screen TV although it was already a common thing. I thought that as my TV, then 9 years old, was still good, there was no reason to change. At that time, I was also still using "dial-up" for internet access while most of my friends had broadband.

Only very recently, we decided to enjoy the fruits of our labour and our family went on a holiday to Alaska two months ago. Although I take the MRT daily to work, I do have a car but a weekend car. This is for the convenience of going back to Malaysia for social visits.

Read part 2 of the story in:
STE's story: Investment strategy.

Related post:
The very first step to becoming richer.


SGYI said...

Hi AK,

Looking forward to the next post on this story.

I'm always inspired by how ordinary people can achieve what they have now. It's a motivation for me and i want to learn how ordinary people did it. Thanks for sharing. :)

AK71 said...

Hi SG Young Investment,

I will publish it tomorrow. :)

Very nice of STE to share his story with all of us.

I am only the messenger. ;p

SGYI said...

Hi AK,

Help me thank STE too :)

AK71 said...

Hi SG Young Investment,

I am sure he will be reading the comments here. :)

AhJohn said...

Nice sharing! Thanks AK and STE.

AK71 said...

Hi AhJohn,

You are welcome. Come back for the second half tomorrow. :)

Bluepore said...

Hi AK, I am a new investor and chanced upon your blog. Thank you for the wealth of information here you are sharing with us; I spent nearly 3 hours reading through your archived posts and learned a lot from your experience.

Gary said...

Looking forward to the next story.... =)

AK71 said...

Hi Bluepore,

Welcome to my blog. :)

If you have found some of my blog posts useful, I am glad. :)

AK71 said...

Hi Gary,

Just some finishing touches left. Tomorrow, I promise. ;)

Kim said...

Now already tomorrow...heehee..(kidding).
Thanks for sharing and have a happy holiday

AK71 said...

Hi Kim,

Alamak! You are right!

Aiyoh! Stress... -.-"

Majulah Singapura! Happy National Day! :D

Unknown said...


you said tomorrow at 12.01AM so I guess you have 1 more day to complete part 2

AK71 said...

Hi Matthew,

I can always count on your mathematical exactitude. Kamsiah you hor. ;)

The Sun said...

Hi Ak,

Perhaps there are many Millionaires Next Door in Singapore as well!

Look forward to part 2 of this blog post. Cheers!

AK71 said...

Hi Sun,

Haha.. You just reminded me of a book (on purpose, probably). ;)

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