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Financial freedom and a long break from public appearances. (Give me F.I.R.E.)

Saturday, November 24, 2018


Financial Freedom and Retiring Early.

This is something many people want.

The good news is that it is possible.

How do we achieve this?

There are probably many ways to achieve this and my way is only one of many.

I like to think that my approach is a holistic one that most average Singaporean workers would find practicable.

There is no hocus pocus nor are there promises of fast money.

It is about understanding how to make our limited financial resources work better for us.

It is about building a resilient investment portfolio.

This also means not taking on too much risk (i.e. limiting speculative positions).

This means being able to stomach some volatility with the help of risk free and volatility free CPF.

The journey to financial freedom is probably daunting for many of us but if we don't want to work until the day we die because we have to, it is a journey we should make as soon as possible.

While on the journey, we have to be financially secure every step of the way and that means not throwing caution to the wind.

Unless we are very rich, all of us need an emergency fund.

Unless we are very rich, all of us need insurance.

Understand our own circumstances and do not bite off more than we can chew no matter how delicious it looks or we might choke and some do choke to death.

Be aware of our mortality.

We are not invincible.

We have to remember that no one cares more about our money than we do and do not ask barbers if we need a haircut.

Be prudent.

Be pragmatic.

Be patient.

Yes, if AK can do it, so can you.

If we ever feel discouraged and we sometimes will, remember that many others have walked this path before and achieved F.I.R.E.

If WE can do it, so can YOU!

Now, what is this about a long break from public appearances?

If you are a reader who enjoys chatting with me in person, please don't be upset but there will not be another "Evening with AK and friends" in the next one year or two (or three).


I can imagine some of you protesting now.


Please, no screaming.


Yikes, did someone throw a shoe at me?


Hey, "Evening with AK and friends" really isn't that big a deal.

It isn't a big loss.

I didn't say this before "Evening with AK and friends 2018" because I was afraid of the outcry from readers interested in the event but did not manage to get a ticket. 

Yes, the event sold out in a day although we more than doubled the seating capacity (>300 seats) with a bigger venue.

This year's "Evening with AK and friends" was the largest ever.

It was epic!

Again, it isn't a big loss.

"Evening with AK and friends 2018" was just like past events.

It was an off the cuff chit chat session of epic proportions.

However, it was mainly an event to give as many readers as possible a chance to take a selfie with me.


You didn't know that the main purpose was to take selfies with AK and you did not do it?


Hanor, if you did learn something useful regarding investment or money matters from the event, you were lucky.

Some readers who have been following my blog for a long time would say that AK is lazy and growing lazier.

Discounting the fact that I am a pretty hardworking MMORPGer, that is mostly true.



Bad AK! Bad AK!

Honestly, another important reason is that I have become rather reclusive with age.

OK, rather more reclusive.

In the local financial blogging community, I suspect I probably have a reputation for being rather aloof.

I don't mix around much.

This is true.

However, unlike Russell Lee who has vanished from his sphere of influence, AK will still be around in his for quite a while more.

Yes, like it or not, I am a social media influencer or so I was told by an old friend some time back.

To be quite honest, I started blogging out of curiosity and boredom so many years ago.

I did not start a blog with the aim of becoming an influencer.

I did not even know there was such a thing.

Anyway, don't fret.

I will not disappear from the blogosphere (yet).

I will continue to blog from time to time but I will shun public appearances for at least a couple of years.

I hope all of you will give me your blessings.

Finally, a big "THANK YOU" to everyone who came to "Evening with AK and friends 2018".

Of course, a super big "THANK YOU" to Kenji, Victor and Rusmin from The Fifth Person  for making the event possible.

Kamsiah you all plenty plenty and wishing all of you good health, prosperity and plenty of happiness.

Give me freedom. 

Give me F.I.R.E.

If you haven't listened to the song, listen, there is a hidden message.

Related post:
My holistic approach!


AK71 said...

Peter Somtam says...

You deserve a break and do what you like.

You had shared and still sharing time to time to bring awareness to people who had read your blog.

If a person is patient, the present and past information given in your web is more than enough to practise and taking the journey to FIRE.

AK71 said...

Adeline Low says...

Thank you AK for the sharing session.

I have learnt a lot today regarding stocks and your jokes are funny as usual.


Wishing you good health and happiness too! 🤩

AK71 said...

Wong Yao Keng says...

Most so called social influencers I read about pitch/sell products.

I would say you are some kind of pseudo (not psycho!) influencer who don't sell products (except neverwinter) who talks about how to live your life prudently and be financially free 😉

Buying all resilient stocks on Monday!

AK71 said...

Reader says...

Wah! Ak, u just did a super big event!

Do a big big one and then retire. Hahaha.

So u r going up mountain Liao??

AK71 said...

Reader says...
Hi AK, it has been a long time since i messaged you, what with work commitments and all that (the irony!)

but i just wanted to say a big thank you once again for the past few years of getting to know (about) you

over the years your readership has changed, and even at AK and friends meeting, your audience has evolved

i was there last night again, and i noticed how the q&a has evolved into one- or two-word questions like "Accordia?""Singpost?"🤣🤣🤣

but you still patiently answered every question, and so willingly shared your wisdom with us even though you had nothing to gain. even though some people flame you for your views sometimes

once again, thank you for changing my life!

AK71 said...

AK says...

Allo Allo: Series 1 Rene & The Onion Festival (BBC Comedy)

For the young ones in the audience who didn't know what I was talking about. :p

AK71 said...

Siokkian Tan says...

Thanks AK, it has been a valuable 3 years journey always looking out for your new blog each day and at times waiting up to a stretch of a week.

AK71 said...

Reader says...

Alamak if i know next 2 yr dont have evening with ak...

i shld selfie with u yesterday haha

AK71 said...

Reader says...

Hi Ak, grateful for your time and insights about the various stocks you’re holding.

We learnt a lot from your sharing. Appreciate it.

AK71 said...

How's it haha..

1st time.
Really informative.
The 3 of them shared their analysis framework which helps a lot

that's good!
Who are the speakers

Rusmin, Victor from the Fifth Person, and AK!
Rusmin and Victor came in only at the 2nd part for the Q&A, but AK started the evening off

good bunch

WTK said...

Hi AK,

You made the right choice in making the recluse retreat with occasional appearance in blog at times on your own terms and preference.

Low profile is the way to go in enjoying the life to the maximum as per your preference.


AK71 said...

Hi Ben,

Thanks for understanding my position in this. :)

AK71 said...

Irene Peh says...

Thank you teacher AK.

Have an enjoyable “ALWAYSSUMMER”. 😄

AK71 said...

Reader says...

Dear AK, thanks for your selfless sharing on your blog and also over the event last evening.

It has been an amazing evening for me listening to you in person.

It is unfortunate that you will not be having such events in the near future, but I will look forward to the next time you hold a similar event for charity again!

In the meantime, do continue to keep blogging!

AK71 said...

Reader says...

Hi AK, thanks for the great sharing session yday.

I know I have gotten back my $35 worth in the first 15 mins when u shared on APTT.

Furthermore it’s for good cause! 👍

AK71 said...

Reader says...

I suppose u will be flooded with PMs today but I just hv a qn to get off my chest.

You mentioned several times that u r scaling back your reits investment.

I thought reits were like your backbone of your investment?

Is it cuz of the increasing int rate environment?

Or the rest of the stocks are simply becoming more attractive?

AK says...

I got into REITs in a big way during the GFC.

They were severely undervalued then.

Many had double digit yields with pretty good balance sheets.

There is no such thing today.

We have to ask if we can get a 5% dividend yield from a decent blue chip with a lower payout ratio, why would we settle for a 5% yield from a REIT today?

laurence said...

Wah, Grandmaster AK going for 三年闭关修炼.
When finally emerge from the cave will become 天下无敌!

AK71 said...

Hi Laurence,

How you know?

I hope to be 天下无敌 in Neverwinter by then. ;p

AK71 said...

Ah John says...

Actually I learned a lot by attending this event, even after I read every blog.

First, the logic behind APTT buying, that really inspires me to think more to support my own decisions;

Second, some reminding for basic concepts, eg. Payout ratio & yield;

Third, some view from Victor & Rusmin, don’t go for cyclical industry.

Sometimes, listening is much powerful than reading. Although the content is the same.

AK71 said...

Jing Quan says...

love the annual evening affair.

wanted to come up and say hi but i saw you were swamped and busy.

Was yet another good evening :) thanks AK!

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