Can Bitcoin price go up to $950K with adoption and government regulation?

Disclaimer: crypto is volatile and there are lots of scams out there – you can make a lot or you can lose a lot (or everything). Do your own research – this is not financial advice. I’m just showing what I’m doing, and I’m taking risks on my end too. I’ve been both right and wrong before, so do your research.

How I started in crypto

I entered crypto speculation in late 2017 when my best friend introduced me to it, and of course I was freaking skeptical when I first saw it. I was very cautious of it being a scam as I hadnt really heard of bitcoin or crypto before that (I’m in the offline physical therapy world).

I pored over whitepapers, got involved with different crypto and blockchain projects.

Of course, I definitely got rugpulled a number of times across different projects (the highest risks are with new projects with lots of hype and fluff and promises of high returns).

At the end of 2018, there was a massive crash (or correction?) as bitcoin went I sat on a paper loss of 80%++ – I was so sad and guilty when I told my wife, but I stayed for both the tech and adoption, which I believe will increase the price.

True enough, in 2021, my speculations in crypto sits currently at 300%+ of my original investment amount, and I’m sensing that it should have another good run as governments and regulations on board and after it gets regulated, the returns should be “normal like financial markets”.

Note #:1 regulations usually means that financial institutions, sovereign/wealth funds, pension plans etc will have more exposure to crypto as a whole.

I chanced upon some videos/articles and wanted to share this with you:

  1. Kevin O’Leary: Crypto Will Be the 12th Sector of the S&P https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gSPSRVDN8l4
  2. Kevin O’Leary: 20% of my portfolio is in cryptocurrencies https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vqkC_XcxxJg
  3. Kevin O’Leary: Buy The Dip And Chill For 1 Year – They Want To Fool You, Don’t Listen To Them https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FKqEOFwTO2A
  4. Kevin O’Leary: This Is Your Last Chance To Become Millionaire – My Most Sincere Advice To You https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5_cyE10Ljms&t=5s
  5. BlackRock, Fidelity and others to invest $400M in USDC stablecoin issuer Circle https://techcrunch.com/2022/04/12/blackrock-fidelity-and-others-to-invest-400m-in-usdc-stablecoin-issuer-circle/
  6. Coin Gecko https://www.coingecko.com/
  7. 2021 financial market value https://www.statista.com/statistics/421060/global-financial-institutions-assets/

I believe that crypto including bitcoin, ethereum, solana, ripple and other crypto/blockchain projects would be regulated soon enough, and that itself will lead to a global increase of crypto market cap value as a whole.

No dang crystal ball

Of course, I dont have a crystal ball though that’d be nice lol, but I am ready to hodl my crypto speculations for a good 5-10+ years and longer. Why this is the case is as crypto becomes mainstream, it’d become “normal” to have, own and use crypto as methods of making and receiving payment =)

Note #2 I made a mistake – I thought the global financial market is worth 105M (see link #7), but it’s actually closer to $460 trillion in 2021. And I hadnt factored in other types of investments such as real estate.

For reference, crypto market cap April 2022 is $1.9T. That’s a conservative 230X comparatively.

What you can consider

For those who want to dip their toes / speculate into crypto but unsure, you can consider

  1. speculating into the top 10 / 50 / 100 of listed coins on coingecko
  2. ask your employer/side hustle jobs to pay you in crypto/btc
  3. invest into companies that have crypto exposure such as Tesla, MicroStrategy, NVidia etc

Remember, direct crypto speculation can be very volatile though is an emerging asset class – do your research and assume you can lose your invested amounts.

I’ll be holding onto my crypto and 5-10 years plus and equally as important, is to cash out (take out principal invested and profits) regularly – makes me sleep like a baby because my loss-related stress levels go down significantly =)

As Kevin o’Leary said in one of his videos: buy the dip and chill.

How To Save $1000+ This Month (and every month)

My preferred way to saving $1000 a month is the “pre-paid expenses” (including investments FIRST) ie I will set aside $1K and chuck that into investments, and then pay bills/mortgage/utilities/necessities, and then just use the rest without guilt.

Because I’ve “sorted” the core financial work and stuff that I want done.

But if you wanna squeeze out $1K or more for an upcoming large expense, or to invest more, here are 4 simple tactics you can do:

#1 Retire unused or under-used monthly subscriptions

Such as streaming media such as NetFlix, Disney+, Hulu, Spotify – there are just so many streaming services out there. Kill off the ones you use least/lesser. This can save you around $20-$50+ depending on how much you have.

#2 Slice your underused phone and internet bills.

For your phone bills, you can make more whatsapp/messenger calls (calls over internet), change carriers and even downgrade your plan if you find that you’re not using as much data/voice/SMS.

The same goes for your internet bills.

#3 Plan your meals**

This is one of the biggest movers in terms of savings.

An average meal in US is $20+, so if you can eat home or pack meals during workdays (assuming 5 workdays a week), that’s a saving of $20 x 3 meals a day x 5 weekdays per week x 4 weeks a month = $1200 (if you eat 2 meals a day, that’s a savings of $800 a month).

Of course, have your social meals on weekends with family and friends too (which becomes more special when it’s weekends out eheh) =)

#4 Plan and limit your “silly spending”

We all have impulse purchases and silly spendings, so instead of buying impulse stuff on an as-when basis, which has no limits, why not set aside a budget and a day a month to spend on “silly buying”, without guilt or grief?

This makes me look forward to these silly spending days.

These are just 4 tactics as part of your financial education and money saving tactics that you can do this month to save $1K or more, based on reducing expenses that you dont use in the first place. Explore which expenses are unnecessary to you, and adapt accordingly.

What to do with the $1K savings?

Invest it in safe investments, and set aside a portion to upgrade yourself with more skills and maybe open a business too.

Or treat yourself or your loved ones to a holiday – whatever rocks your boat.

How to get money to finance your passive income goals (and dreams)

How To Get Money To Finance Your Passive Income Goals

Sometimes when I share my story where I started from zero to build up a 7-figure portfolio, people dismiss and summarize my wealth journey as fluke, that i’m somehow a lucky bastard.
Some think I was born rich because I look rich lol
But bros…I was born in a middle-class-to-poor family, and I have lots of memories of how we grow up pretty broke, some examples:
  • standing at the glass window of KFC and my embarrassed mother shoo-ing us away
  • returning cash gifts to my parents to “recycle” and give back
  • I ate a LOT of bean sprouts and eggs and carbs
  • oh the carbs – we would bulk buy plain biscuits and noodles from MAKRO, no longer around, and had lots of oatmeal, rice, porridge (oats or rice)

I really, really, really worked, learnt, saved, learnt some more to get to where I want to go, this was the typical life I had last 8+ years:

  1. Grind/worked 16-hour days, 7 days a week for 8 years after graduating (still working tho)
  2. Reinvesting every dollar, living very frugally
  3. …whilst people around me go on holidays, parties and buying whatever they liked

Is it easy to build passive income and retire early? Hell no!

It’s bloody tough and hard….if it’s easy, everyone would have lots of money, six pack abs and look forever 16 right (ehehe).
Of course I do it because it’s worth it – to me it means a lot to get streams of passive income as early as you can in life, ideally before 45 – so you can spend the next 45 years of your life playing and doing shit that’s important to you.

Ben Settle’s Gran Torino Story (from a movie) and what the movie taught me

I got an email from Ben Settle, and it summarizes how I began building my wealth and passive income journey. I figured it’s a good sharing story too.
Let me tell you the story told in Ben’s email:
==== Snippet from Ben’s email ====
So the snippet from the “Gran Torino” screenplay.
In the scene the old grouchy main character Walt — played by Clint Eastwood — is talking to the young loner teen Tao who he befriends about the valuable tool set in his garage, and how he got it.
TAO: I can’t afford to buy all this stuff.
WALT: I didn’t buy all this stuff at once, blockhead. I’ve lived here for fifty years. A man stays in one place long enough he tends to attract a decent set of tools.
TAO: Yeah, but…
WALT: Look, kid, I think I know where you’re going with this. You don’t need everything to maintain a house. I’m going to let you in on a little secret.
[Walt slaps down THREE items in quick succession.]
WALT: This is for you. Roll of duct tape, can of WD-40, and a pair of vise-grips. Any man who’s worth a shit can do half his household jobs with these three things. In the odd chance that doesn’t work out, you can borrow something.
And so the script goes…
==== End snippet from Ben’s email ====

2 points I picked up from Gran Torino story:

#1 – Start wherever you are, and start now.
Maybe it’s saving and investing $100 a month first. Or less or more, I don’t care.
Just start and keep going.
#2 – Keep it simple basic when you’re starting out
  1. Roll of duct tape = earn more / side hustle
  2. Can of WD-40 = stop buying shit that don’t advance your passive income goals
  3. Pair of vise-grips = investing and reinvesting into safe and reliable defensive assets

You just start where you are

You dont need a million dollars to start the ball rolling.

You dont need the best phones or computers or softwares or people.

Just start where you are and keep going.

I chose to freelance, and increased my base salary by at least 100%.

Entrepreneurship to earn more

So, I mentioned that I have / had some skills right? I’m a trained and license occupational therapist, so I can do related work in nursing homes, house calls etc.

I contacted an agency and secured a freelance job, which within first month increased my take home from $2000 before bonus to $4800 net.

Now before people start mentioning that I’m “luckier than some” because I had these skills and parents that funded my studies, I will agree. And I will add that you start where you are. Some of you will have skills and some dont. Some will have debt and some dont.

Whatever it is, start where you are.

It is waaaaaaay more important that you start and keep going, rather than having perfect line-up in your situation

I had no money when I started, so I spent what I had: time. I read blogs, books from libraries, met people and asked questions. As we earned more, we invested everything into growing the company. I went for classes and bought books and attended seminars on sales, money, management, marketing etc to improve my skills.

Made so many mistakes by upsetting clients or vendors, all the mistakes in the book.

We undercharged so much, and made little.

I was shit at negotiating, fearing that clients wont be happy.

I read and re-read all the marketing blogs and seminar materials I paid for.

And continued serving.

70% were happy, and 30% weren’t.

These got me experience dealing with realities of money, business and clients. It also got word of mouth going. The 70% referred me more clients.

Whenever possible, we took out some money to pay down our home so that we lived without debt.

I continued learning from the lessons and the processes on money, business and clients. I’m still learning and growing today, since I started my first business when I was 20 years old. I’m 40 years old today.

I continued to apply as I learned, and we grew the business more and more, and it was eventually acquired for a tidy 7-figure sum. I took that money and put some in real estate, and somehow, much went into crypto.

I’m going for classes to learn how to build an online business as well as use the money generated from crypto to live on where I pay for taxi, meals, grocery, even my power, water and gas bills!

So on and so forth.

Repeat until done

You may start your passive income and early retirement journey in debt or from zero, but as you stick with it long enough, keeping unnecessary costs low, earning more with side hustling and investing/reinvesting, you will find that your portfolio will grow and compound with time and continued investment.

You dont need to start out with a huge amount.

If you’re like me, starting out from zero, then you only need the retire early equivalent of duct tape, WD40 and vise-grips. My answer and conclusion is to start and keep going. Even if it’s $100 a month. Start there, keep at it. Pickup a side hustle, earn a couple hundred or more and chuck that into Vanguard. As you earn more, invest more and more

Work, save, invest, reinvest.

Do this again and again, over time.

Until you reach your portfolio target and ideal take home from investments.

Then you’re done, and onto the next.

Crypto com USDC Stablecoin Earn Versus Binance USDC Flex Earn – Which is better?

So I wanted to compare between Crypto.com’s flexible USDC earn program versus Binance’s flexible USDC earn program (as crypto.com is an upcoming contender to binance), and I found some nice nuggets:

Binance earn flexible USDC program is documented at 1.2% but it’s actually a blended of:

  • First $75,000 USDC : 1.20%
  • Above $75,000 USDC : 0.30%

So if you put $100,000 USDC earn in Binance you will get

  • First $75,000 @ 1.20% pa = $900
  • Next $25,000 @ 0.3% = $75
  • Total = $975 end of 12 months ~ 0.00975%

Compare that to Crypto.com’s flexible USDC earn problem:

Firstly, crypto.com’s earn program is 1.5%, so $100,000 is $1,500 per annum, an easy win comparatively…but we’re not gonna be satisfied with that right?

I speak for myself at least (eheh) – what I want to know i:

how do we earn more on binance and crypto.com earn?

3) If you’re good with USDT, Binance flexible earn documents a 10% per annum…

but it’s a blended percentage of

  • First $2,000 USDT : 10.00%
  • $2,000-$75,000 USDT : 3.00%
  • More than $75,000 USDT : 1.00%

This means that it’s NOT a pure 10%, but a blended, mixed.

A clearer illustration, so $100,000 in binance USDT earn =

  • First $2,000 @ 10% = $200
  • $2,000 – $75,000 ($73,000) @ 3% = $2190
  • Last $25,000 @ 1% = $250
  • Total $2640 ~ 2.64% — much better than a blended 1% of USDC flexible earn in Binance.

Better than crypto.com’s $100K in USDC flex earn too (but USDT versus USDC…different).

How to earn more % USDC on crypto.com

  • Stake more cro (go up in tiers) – but of course this requires more cash (buying CRO coins and getting their higher tier card, the higher the tier the better the rates, but min Obsidian Jade / Indigo will give you best Earn rates)
  • Stake fixed 3-month term (more than USD 30K will be half the rates but the rates are higher anyway)* (This is key).

The best terms are based on 3-month earn program, which can net you up 6% for the first $30,000 and 3% above $30,000.

That’d mean if you put in $100,000 for 3 months with 400 or less CRO staked, your USDC earn rates are:

  • First $30,000 @ 6% = $1,800
  • Next $70,000 @ 6% x 0.5 = $2,100
  • Total $3,900 ~ 3.9%

Let me know what you’re doing with your crypto.com earn.

Don’t Settle And Don’t Sell Yourself Short

Silver lining of COVID-19 is that it shook everything and turned many things upside down.

I hate that people suffered health-wise, and many died due to this pandemic. There is nothing that can change this fact and pain.

On the small upside, this pandemic forced to change.

We had to stay home, stay safe, and not surprisingly, we had many downtimes.

It’s in the silence of the downtime that we can usually hear ourselves and our thoughts, and I think the common question is that “is this it?”

As in, is this the kind of life we want?

Comfortable, Peaceful Living?

I live in peaceful, safe and stable Singapore.

Women and children can walk outside at 3 AM in the morning and they’d be 99.9% safe.

I run a business called Phoenix Rehab, a physical therapy, hand therapy , TCM and massage business.

I sleep well at night (other than my newborn waking me up) – I’m alive.

I thought this was okay.

I thought it was okay to be living a quiet-ish life where I

  • mind my own business (and dont bother others)
  • have food and water
  • and enough, money’s okay (we’re doing not bad as physical therapists)

And that running my business would be enough.

But i’m starting to ask myself if i’m shortchanging myself.

As in, am I wasting my own time?

My abilities?

Am I settling?

In 2022, I’m 40 years old.

As I mentioned earlier, for a hand therapist with a physio wife, we did (and do) pretty okay with growing a business, selling our first business for 7-figures.

My wife then went on to start a business and I even got an 18 month sabbatical before I decided to help her out.

We’ve a wonderful team and business as well as 3 beautiful kids.

I’m grateful but also uncertain

Like there’s a nagging sensation or sense…

like a spider-sense eh

As I started off earlier, one of the key benefits of the pandemic is that it turned almost everything on its head. In 2020, Singapore goverment got most of us to stay home for a good 1-2ish months.

It was uncertain times, and many of my competitors and people were very vocal about how dissatisfied they were yada yada…but I felt at home because of my 18 months sabbatical, and I could be more with my kids and wife.

I like(d) it.

The downtime gave me a reminder and question if the life we’ve been living is the one we want to keep doing.

Hey it’s not just me, it’s many.

Like many others, I too question.

It seems that it’s a movement where people are taking action en masse, see some examples:

We’re talking millions of people quitting jobs as they pivot.

No longer willing to settle, or maybe they’re just tired of lockdowns.

Then again, there are many bullshit jobs out there –

bullshit jobs are jobs you dont care for that you do to pay the bills…the kind of jobs where you dread Mondays and look forward for end of day on Fridays.

Bullshit jobs…have bad negative effects.

The highest problem is that they make you sad. They make people sad…but ironically, many people will do their level best to NOT lose their bullshit jobs.

Why?

Cos it pays the bills, and it’s pretty easy to “coast”. It’s easier in big companies where there are many layers of people that support other layers of people and more.

Ew, typing that was painful reminder as to why I stay an entrepreneur, cos I’ve met many bullshit individuals in corporates and even competitors.

If you love your job, you’re the top 15% lucky ones.

According to Gallup’s State of The Workplace Report, 85% of Americans are extremely disengaged at work and 81% are actively looking for new jobs.

85% and in my book, that’s majority of people have bullshit jobs they dislike or gasp, hate.

And that’s where the pandemic are shaking things up.

People are quitting bullshit jobs to find one that either

  • makes more money for them
  • provides more flexibility
  • more meaningful

There are more taking up entrepreneurship too:

A whopping 5.4 million new businesses registered in 2021!

Bloody good if you ask me – it’s easier and easier in the history of mankind to launch your own business and make money on your own terms. It takes lots of passion, gusto, and work.

Problem: It’s easy to hide.

I see this everywhere I go.

In fact, I’ve also faced individuals and corporations who daringly do blatantly wrong things…because they likely wont get caught. These guys and gals? Fuck them, I dont care.

But those I care about, the everyday people, who reach out and tell me that they feel stuck.

I reach back and tell them that they usually know it in their sense and intuition.

And then they write back that they’re scared (behind multiple layers of fears and what-ifs).

I empathize.

I’ve been there, and in some levels, I am still there.

I’ve been stuck many times.

Sometimes it takes months for me to overcome, sometimes its longer for it to “click” or for me to just give it a go.

Let me tell you something about intuition – your intuition is one of the most powerful sensors and inner compasses that you can have. The more I use it and hone it and trust it, the better and better it becomes.

…and the more it works for me.

Recently my intuition has been saying that I’ve been playing and thinking too small.

That I’ve been playing it “safe”.

I’m paying attention and putting my senses to writing, on paper.

One thing I realize is that my intuition is pretty spot on, and the more I resist it, the worse I usually get.

Upset I mean.

No, upset is not the word.

It’s really like tingling spider-senses which gets stronger and stronger, and eventually I cannot ignore it.

And when I do it, it’s like

Why did I take so long to do that?

Usually it leads to growth

Why I ignore these “spider-sense tingling” is because there is change and effort…which means it can lead to

  • failure
  • confrontations
  • changes
  • growth
  • insight

I like growing and learning – this is so “sexy” on paper.

Just that real learning and growth sometimes the process is painful and annoying, ugh.

I look back at my 20 year old self and my Lord, I wouldn’t recognize him.

And neither would he recognize me – I was a sucky, lumpy idiot back then.

Less of an idiot today, and I’ve grown so much too.

It’s easy to settle…but it’s costly

Coasting and settling is easy…but it’s very very costly.

Not in terms of just money (which we can count easily), but moreso in terms of opportunity cost.

No one lies in their death bed asking themselves:

I wished I earn $2M more, ah I could die better now.

Of course not.

On our deathbeds, I imagine we regret all the opportunities we do not take.

AKA settling.

We settle cos we’re scared.

We settle when we dont know what else to do.

We settle when it’s just easier to stay status quo or do nothing as compared to thinking hard and doing and failing again and again to figure out and course correct what we actually want to do.

When you’re doing well, everyone will tell you to keep doing what you’re doing.

You see, capitalism runs on that – doing X gets Y, and if we want more Y, do more X. Model that, and do it again and again. Squeeze processes and things and stuff and sometimes people.

Rinse and repeat.

Knowing yourself is the beginning.

I know I dont need $1B.

Heck, I dont even aim for $100M.

I dont even want to run a big company, or take a company public, or become a celebrity or politician.

All I want is…to be free, healthy and happy.

And that remains the same.

Alright back to my intuition: I’m starting to sense that I am on the cusp of something.

That I cannot play small or safe any more.

Like I need to go deeper, double or triple down.

Stop wasting time.

Make a bigger impact as I live and leave the world.

What about you?

Are you shortchanging yourself?

3 Key Lessons From Rich Dad Poor Dad Book That Changed My Personal Finance

In this video I’m going to share with you the three key important lessons that i got from this book.

It’s called Rich Dad Poor Dad, and it’s authored by Robert Kiyosaki.

To me, it is my first book that opened my eyes and mind to the world of personal financial education – my parents never spoke to me about money and I just observed lots of weird money habits of borrowing but never about making more.

This book was so easy to read and understand, and I remember that I’ll pick it up every now and then to re-read it all over again.

Robert Kiyosaki Brief Background

If you read his books, you’d know that Robert is a successful entrepreneur and real estate investor, but he didnt start off that way. Robert’s story is a familiar-sounding rags to riches entrepreneur story.

His father is a school teacher, who didnt learn about money, and continued to go to school to get more degrees to earn more…who lost it all when he tried to enter politics and got smashed out. He then took his hard earn savings and tried his hand in a franchise…and then truly lost it all.

On the other hand, he has a very close friend who has a very very wealthy dad, and Robert soon realized that he could compare the money practices between his friend’s “rich dad” and his own “poor dad”, and that’s how the book came about later.

Robert started by being a fighter pilot in the air force, before going into doing sales at fuji xerox and then saving money into starting his first company: a nylon velcro wallet company in 1970s. It was a hit initially, with a lot of merchandizing deals but it eventually fell apart due to piracy and overseas competition, and he became a bankrupt.

He had a few other business but eventually succeeded in the business of financial education and personal growth. He gave seminars and taught around US and the world, until he published the book Rich Dad Poor Dad, together with the gamification of financial education with his tabletop learning tool, and that’s when his business took off

The 3 Key Lessons I Learnt From Rich Dad Poor Dad

#1 Make Your Money Work Harder For You

As an employee, most of the time, you get paid for your time.

Sometimes a little more.

And that’s pretty much it.

No work = no income.

The rich, on the other hand, though they work hard, they have a purpose and focus, which is to either raise money or provide cashflow to build or buy assets that make more money for them.

#2 Assets Put Money In Your Pockets and Bank Accounts

You got to know the difference between assets and liabilities – assets puts more money into your pocket, liabilities take the money away from you. Robert explains that rich people acquire assets such as investments and securities whereas poor people acquire liabilities such as commitments, obligations and shit that make them poorer.

I thought Robert was kidding…but over the years, this is true even till today. I see people making money for expensive cars and watches but shun away from investing.

Assets are anything that makes more money for you.

This can include

  • stocks which are mainly public listed businesses on stock exchanges
  • venture capital or angel investing
  • cryptocurrency
  • real estate

Let me give you an example, if you buy stock of a good business at the right time, you’re probably gonna make a positive return. Say you put in $1000. After 5 years, if you bought it at a good entry price, your stock would have grown positively and you can sell it for a good profit.

This is fundamental to investing. Put in X amount and get back more than X amount, ideally 2X or more.

See how that works about investing into assets?

Basically you need money, then pick the right investment, enter at good-ish time and do nothing but hold (or hodl?) and watch your money grow. After a while, you then can sell it for a good profit. Of course we’re not gonna just “all-in” into 1 investment right, that’s too risky, that’s why we have to have more than 3-5+ of these, depending on your budget, risk appetite and growth desire.

#3 Reduce Spending As Brutally As Possibly In The Short Term

Expenses are something that you can have more control over as compared to controlling market forces or share price (man if i could control those 2, i’d be a billionaire by now lol ehehe).

Aggressively kill off your unnecessary spendings and debts, and the purpose of this is by doing this, there is 2 very direct benefits

  • you need lesser to retire and become financially independent
  • you free up more money to buy more assets that make more money for you

Thank you for watching The Book That Changed My Financial and Business Life – 3 Key Lessons From Robert Kiyosaki’s Rich Dad Poor Dad

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Your Side Hustle Is Your Biggest Early Retirement Accelerator

I tell this to my family, friends and even employees/contractors all the time: keep your day job BUT start a side hustle during your free time.

Your day job is to put a roof over your head, food and drinks on the table and some savings.

Your side hustle?

It will change your financial future and will likely be your biggest early retirement accelerator, waaaaay more than ability to save and be frugal.

Not to mean that ability to save and spend wisely isn’t good, it’s a good start but if you truly want to retire early and be financially independent, then you need to consider starting a side hustle.

Entrepreneurship may sound overwhelming, but to me there’s nothing more exciting than a person who wants to take care of their own financial future, pursue their passions and dreams and start their own business.

There are so many what-ifs around entrepreneurhship that makes business overwhelming, which stops so many would-be entrepreneurs from starting – and that’s why I recommend keeping your day job, your full time job, and dip your toes in the water with a side hustle.

The Long Term Problem Of Inflation and Time

Free inflation Images & Pictures | Royalty-Free | FreeImages

Inflation is eating away the value of our money, and though banks are saying that the national inflation is low, say 2-ish percent…but the real inflation is when you go out to the marketplace and buy stuff for yourself.

United States February 2022 states that the inflation rates are 7.5%, highest since 1982. In Singapore, the petrol prices just went up 3-4x in a span of weeks in March 2022.

And we hadnt even touched on passive investment income and time.

Worse is “stagflation” where cost of living goes up, but wages dont catch up with the increase in costs.

So What Can You Do?

If you want to get out of the rat race, the very rat race that takes up most of your days and energy, then you need to change the way you think about making money in the first place.

After all, that is what that separates entrepreneurs from employees.

Employees tend to associate active work = income, which isn’t wrong. It’s called active income, and the only issue with this is that it’s finite and linked to your time.

Work equals income, no work equals no income.

As an entrepreneur, I dissociate time from earning, and instead, I build systems where I can help both clients and employees / contractors (or technology), whilst making a profit in between. This allows me to scale my business and profits beyond my two hands and my personal energy.

I made the decision a long time ago to not get too upset about how unfair or rigged the system is, and instead, to learn, to adapt and use the very same system to my advantage without hurting anyone.

Side Hustle Ideas

If you’re not sure about what side businesses to start, and this is especially if your true calling isn’t clear, then you can consider being a

  1. Consultant — Being a consultant is suitable for people who love the work they do but not the company. So instead of reinventing the wheel, you take your expertise, experience and skills you already process into part time consulting gigs. I do this with my main physical therapy business. Companies are eager to work with you because you have hands on experience and you may like it cos it’s a low cost start up…maybe all you need is to turn up or work from home with a laptop.
  2. Sales Agent — There are some agency work such as being selling properties (realtor), insurance, watches and cars. There are many other stuff that one can sell, these four examples are pretty common. property or realty agents, or insurance agents and the like, where you can sell other people’s products and get a commission, some are big ticket some are recurring commissions.
  3. Multi-level marketing / Network Marketing — I dont recommend this to start off, but they do provide great sales training…BUT you must do your research. The products must be solid and have strong track record (be careful, many pyramid schemes out there) and commit to growing your business, your business will grow.
  4. Turn your interests and hobbies into cash — There are interests that are monetizable, such as photography, woodworking, heck even knitting! You can build a business in your own community and start off by helping neighbours and people you know. Over time, effort, you will get more word-of-mouth referrals…getting paid to do shit you like. An extension of this is to start an online business sharing tips and information about stuff you care about, from knitting to teaching dog tricks to teaching babies to poop in toilet bowls. Learn how you can build an online business here (affiliate link and free to create account)
  5. Sharing economy — Such as AirBNB (room/home-sharing); Grab/Uber/Lyft for to deliver passengers or food and even parcels.

What You Can Do With The Side Hustle Profits

As you earn more and more in your side hustle, you can consider investing a portion of profits into

  1. dividend paying stocks or rental properties
  2. hiring more employees / contractors to scale your business
  3. creating products to sell and service your clients
  4. quit your job, retire or work part time if you so desire
  5. take more holidays
  6. be more generous with your loved ones and friends
  7. and more

All in all, the most important thing about starting a side hustle…is to give yourself more life and financial options and opportunities in life, that you otherwise wont have if you’re stuck.

Choose to retire and get financially independent as early as you can for you to enjoy more of life

You got to choose to retire and financially independent as early as possible; to free yourself up to do shit you care about for as long as you can.

Today’s episode is a short and sweet one – my third kid baby Josh sits with me as I share about the rebranding and focus to Retire Early with Nigel.

Retiring early is directly linked to financial independence (that’s why there was / is a big FIRE movement a couple of years back; and frankly, that has been in the center of all I do since 27 years old (40 years old this year).

My message that drives me forward, day after day, since 27, is “to get money out of the way of my life so I can focus on shit that matters.”

Today, 13 years later, the message remains the same, and clearer than ever, amidst COVID-19, Russia-Ukraine war/conflict, work from home etc.

Life is really too short to work till 60 or 70+ then stop and then die.

Hell no.

I want (and will) retire by 45 while I’m still strong and active, to spend meaningful time with my wife and kids and pursue projects and stuff I care about.

NOT wait and mope around wondering where all the time went if I retire at 60s and 70s, no way.

Come, let’s get financially independent and be able to shit we want.

Boy and girls, ladies and gentlemen, I present to you: Retire Early with Nigel.

The three core pillars that I focus on that helps to achieve and maintain this are:

  1. Earning (more). I need to earn money which helps me to pay for daily living, and allows me to invest for passive portfolio income.
  2. Saving (more). Without the ability to save and optimize spending, however amount one earns will never be enough. Every dollar counts BUT i cant live like a miserly scrooge.
  3. Invest for passive income. This is third and final leg of the trinity of retiring early. The goal is to invest for enough passive income that our portfolio and investment passive income can sustain for our living expenses and more.

And then we’re free.

Selling our resale HDB…should we buy a new HDB or upgrade to freehold property?

So Louise and myself decided to sell our resale HDB (government public housing) that we bought back in 2009; and now mulling and cracking my brain if we should

  1. buy a new HDB BTO/balance of sales flats OR
  2. upgrade to a freehold apartment

The challenges are

  1. HDB is wonderful with 1 main bugbear: 99 year lease decay. Freehold properties dont have this same issue – but of course the price is more than 250% more PSF wise which I’ll have to liquidate most of my investments to enter, which will take me out of baristaFIRE
  2. I dont want to wipe out my investments and liquidate them to upgrade to freehold apartment. Though the idea of freehold to preserve capital will be good, but that will possibly mean I have to retire later than 50 (aim for 45). I like the peace of mind and heart to make sound decisions and have more time with my loved ones
  3. I want to get my boy to try to enter St Andrews Junior in 2 years time. If we get in, then we’d be staying in potong pasir / woodleigh / bidadari area for a good 5+ years

I have 3 investments to spread out and stack my chances of increasing and growing value, but they will take time to grow tremendously with small chance of failure. At least 5 years to be conservative.

Current decision / conclusion

  1. continue renting until 18 months time when I find out if my boy can enter St Andrews Junior (Primary) or not, if yes I’ll be stuck within 1 KM of here ie potong pasir, toa payoh, woodleigh and bidadari area; if not we are free to move anywhere
  2. purchase a new HDB with 99 years lease after 5 years of Minimum Occupancy (MOP) period, we can either continue staying and let our investments continue to grow as portfolio; or sell HDB with capital gains if the investments do well later to purchase the freehold apartment and preserve the investment portfolio

Tomorrow I’m consulting one of my wealth manager to see if my conclusion is the best one, or if there is a better decision.

HDB or freehold apartment, depends on so many reasons – cash on hand, CPF, salary drawn, investment style/risk, preference for property etc.

You have to decide what suits you, and dont overstretch to purchase large properties and big mortgages if it means that it locks you into work and unable to enjoy it (cos you need to pay the mortgage) or retire early (which is important to enjoy your life, relationships, hobbies, travel etc).

If cash no issue, then no issue la ehehe. But if push comes to shove, I prefer simpler enjoyable life than to have to keep working to pay for something I dont need so big for.

Retire Early To Take care Of People You Love

I got a call the other day from one of my friends, and he shared with me very sad news of how his loved one had a fall during a vacation and now is bedbound and needs full time care.

Oh, the sting in my heart, it hurts.

One of the reasons why I speak again and again on getting our finances sorted out, including insurance and retiring as early as possible, is not just to retire and move to another country and chill out, but…also where need be, we can take care of those we love if they’re ill, sick or hurt.

Can be for

  • parents / in-laws
  • spouses
  • fiance / fiancee
  • girlfriend / boyfriend
  • pets
  • ourselves

***

Deep breath.

This was one of the harder calls of my life, and I choked a few times thinking about it, and it reminded me heavily on “living and traveling light” ie

  • not taking unnecessary loan or mortgage burdens
  • not taking / agreeing to commitments that are long term unnecessarily

The key operative word here is “long term commitments that are unnecessary” as time is a very important finite resource that I will deeply respect and not waste wherever possible.

It doesnt make sense to take on a commitment I dont care about that will lock me in terms of time, energy and effort for longer than I need to.