Author: cheerful.egg

Going Off The Grid

Heya! I hope you enjoyed the series about how to get practical advice from the Bible as I did writing it. As you can tell, I’ve been moving away from personal finance towards spirituality in recent months. I still enjoy reading and talking about personal finance, but after 8 years of writing, there’s only so many ways you can spin the (pretty superficial) topic of money. Once you’ve set up a saving and investing system, the importance of money simply fades into the background, as it rightly should. Money should be an enabler for our lives, not the goal....

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3 Tough Negotiation Lessons From Jesus

I attended a negotiation course recently. It was the toughest course I’d ever attended. Here’s some context: The nature of my work is to form partnerships with external companies. Most of my partnerships are pleasant: Both parties are excited to work with each other, and everyone tries their best to make things work. The “negotiations” are easy, they’re safe, and everyone walks away feeling great.  But during my negotiation course, we had to do several role-plays which were deliberately structured for tension and conflict. I was challenged to make ridiculous demands. Or I would have to control my emotions while the...

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Why You Shouldn’t Believe In Yourself

Sometimes, my friends will see an interesting job on LinkedIn and ask me if they should apply for it. When I ask, “Why not?” They’ll say, “Because the JD asks for 5 years of experience, and I only have 3 years”, or “I think I’m not confident enough to take on a management role”, etc. Then they’ll sigh, close the window, and go back to the same old jobs that they hate. How many of us do this? I call this The Curse of Believing In Yourself. “Believing in yourself” is usually associated with life-coachey advice, like “You just...

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What Abraham Can Teach Us About Investing

2018 was a pretty meh year for investing.  Stock markets around the world are in the red for the year. As I’m writing this, the S&P 500 is down 7%, the FTSE is down 12%, and Singapore’s very own STI is down 10%. What do we make of all this? If you were investing in 2018, you’re probably getting a little nervous by now. You’re probably asking: Did I make the right choice? Is this all is massive scam? Should I just give up now and cut my losses? It’s interesting, because there’s a character in the Bible who...

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The Subversive, Revolutionary Story of Christmas

Everybody loves Christmas.  During this time of the year, we stream Love Actually on Netflix, play Leona Lewis’ One More Sleep on repeat, look at the peaceful nativity scene and go, “Aww, that’s nice!” Many people see Christmas as a chance to take a break, feel sentimental for a couple of weeks, and then get back on the same hamster wheel of life. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. However, if we reduce Christmas to just sentimental feelings, we also lose a tremendous opportunity to transform ourselves for the new year. As a recap, we’re in a midst of a series...

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What Adam Can Teach You About Finding Your Dream Job

What would your dream job be if you didn’t have to worry about money? Ask someone that question, and you might get vague answers like “I want to make a difference”, or “I want to do something I enjoy”. Okaaaaay, that’s like saying, “I want to breathe oxygen”. That doesn’t really mean anything. Last week, I kicked off a series exploring how we might find some practical advice from the Bible. The Bible is thousands of years old, and its wisdom has survived kingdoms, wars, persecutions and empires. Even if you’re not Christian, there’s a good chance that you might...

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Why The Bible Can Give You Practical Advice (Even If You’re Not Christian)

I remember the first time I picked up The Four-Hour Work Week by Tim Ferris. I was in Kinokuniya during the summer of 2008. For those of you who’ve heard of it, you’ll know that it inspired a whole generation of millennials to aspire towards becoming a “digital nomad”: Having optimised schedules, successful businesses, and a hunger for the YOLO lifestyle of “experiences over stuff”. After reading it, I got so excited that I convinced a few of my friends to start an online T-shirt business together. (I know, I’m cringing as I write this). It was a doomed venture...

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What A Mexican Tour Taught Me About Experiences

So I’m on the last leg of my 2-week holiday in Mexico. To answer the FAQs: 1) It’s absolutely safe as long as you don’t wander into sketchy places, 2) Food is cheap and DELICIOUS, 3) You can get around with a few basic Spanish phrases (e.g. “donde esta el bano?“) While travelling through Mexico, I visited Palenque: A bunch of pyramid-like ruins deep in the heart of the jungle. We visited the site without a guide, armed with just a Lonely Planet guidebook. But 45 minutes into the visit, we got a little bored and tired – we’d...

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Crazy Rich Asians And The Meaning Of True Love

(Quick note before we start: I know, I know, it’s been 2 months since I published anything. Between family, church and my new job, I’ve had very little time to blog. But I’m on holiday right now with 8 hours to kill at a cafe, so I can finally write about something I’ve been meaning to for awhile. It’s quite different from my usual topics, but it’s something close to my heart. Let me know what you think.) Like all my friends, I loved Crazy Rich Asians. I loved watching the ridiculous excesses of the Young family, the hilarious performances...

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What Hugh Jackman Can Teach You About Negotiation

Okay, I admit it: I love The Greatest Showman. Folks are talking about Crazy Rich Asians right now, but my Spotify list is still playing tracks from The Greatest Showman like “Come Alive” and “Rewrite the Stars”. I may or may not have jammed out to them while doing housework on several occasions (To my neighbours: Sorry you had to see that). One of my favourite songs in the album is “The Other Side”. It’s not just a catchy song – if you look closely at the lyrics, it showcases some pretty good negotiation tactics. If you haven’t seen it...

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Bitcoin And The Ideology Bias

There are some things in life that you never want to admit doing: Being really good at Dance Dance Revolution Asking for a 2nd helping of dinner while flying on Economy Class Buying bitcoin I am very proud to say that I’ve done all three. Wait. Lionel Yeo – Champion of Index Investing, Advocate of Boring Routines, Merciless Critic of BS Marketing – has finally caved in and bought crypto? What the heck is going on? Is the world coming to and end? Ruuuh-lax. I bought some Bitcoin, but not for the reasons that you might think. I’ve Never...

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Pascal’s Wager and Strategic Betting

It’s 1.30pm and you’re just stepping out of the office for lunch. You’re slightly annoyed at yourself for scheduling a 12pm meeting. In the last 20 minutes, you had to clear your throat every 5 minutes to mask the increasingly audible noises coming from your stomach. You normally have lunch at your usual fish soup place that’s a 10-minute walk away. But today, you notice a new fish soup stall which has just opened right next to your office building, and it’s way cheaper than your usual place. However, you have no idea if this new stall is any good....

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How To Talk To Anyone Without Feeling Awkward

So you’ve probably noticed that I haven’t written regularly for the past 6 months or so. There were yuuuuge changes in my personal and professional life that consumed all my energy and attention for the past 6 months. One of those changes is simple: I started a new job. (Well, before that, there was also the researching, networking, applying, preparing, multiple rounds of interviewing, negotiation, tying up loose ends at the old job, doing a bit of travelling, catching up with old friends, etc. You can see why I didn’t really have the energy to blog these past 6 months)....

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Your Financial GPS – A Whiskey-Inspired Review

This is a sponsored post done in collaboration with DBS. I very rarely accept sponsored posts, and only do so when I already use or like the product. All opinions are my own. You get the best insights over whiskey and KFC. I had some time to kill yesterday, so I hung out with Alvin and Jon from Dr Wealth at their office, kicking back over some excellent Hibiki whiskey and a KFC Dip ’N Share Bucket. Nothing gets the brain going faster than single-malt whiskey and greasy food. About 3 hours in, a slightly inebriated Jon started drawing...

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Why Pre-Paying Your Home Loan Could Be Awesome

Sometimes, I wish I were a 4th-century king in medieval England. I would spend all day sitting on my throne, deep in thought, slowly sharpening my broadsword and staring out into the abyss. My subjects, fearful of breaking my concentration, would whisper amongst themselves. “Perhaps His Majesty is coming up with a way to reduce taxes? Maybe he’s planning an invasion of France?” And then I would suddenly stand up, skewer an unsuspecting roast pig, and roar, “YES! IT TOTALLY MAKES SENSE TO PREPAY YOUR HOME LOAN!!!!” Then I would sit back, smile, and tuck into my meal. Peace...

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