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In my short career in the finance industry, I have been blessed. As a young advisor, I serve affluent and high networth individuals to be #GameOn in their Finances and in Life, while managing 7-figures of investment portfolio. I’m also among the top 5% of advisors globally, while being on track to retire by age 50 with a 5-figure monthly passive income.
However, up to my early 20s, I’ve observed that I’ve made many poor financial decisions. And one of it almost cost me $250,000 at one point. This was me being #GameOff in life and finances.
I still recall when I was 17 years old, my grandmother gave me a cash gift of $10,000! But within 6 months, I spent it all – camera gear, latest fashion trends, living a café hopping lifestyle… I still recall, I had only $200 left in my bank account, and I still spent it all on a jacket. I wore it twice before getting bored of it. It was a #GameOff decision because I wanted to look posh to be accepted by my peers. Unfortunately, trying to “look rich” was a poor financial decision.
I began my career as a photographer’s assistant, earning $1800/mth, which did not leave much for savings after my fixed expenses. I was not good at my job and my boss extended my probation twice and I was later downgraded to be a coffee-boy during photography shoots. In spite of this, I would still cling on to this job as I did not know what else to do apart from what I was trained in. I was also afraid to explore because I spent years telling myself that I would make it as a Photographer. Instead, my passion for photography came to a point where the last thing I wanted to pick up in my free time was the camera. Uninspired, I started dragging my feet to work, and in days there were no shoots, I would hide in the storeroom and wait for time to pass. Evidently, these led to me never seeing any hope to get promoted and to receive a pay-raise. This was another #GameOff example as staying in a place of comfortable fear was a poor life decision.
A few years later, while preparing financially for my wedding and house downpayment, I attended an investment course and learnt a skill in Options-Trading which could double my money consistently in a matter of 3 years. It looked so easy! I was just thinking of the possibilities and the life-changing impact it would be to my finances. Immediately, if I could set it in motion, I would have enough to afford a more lavish wedding. With a few good months of returns, my confidence grew and was blind-sided by greed; I started to make bigger bets. Just 3 months away from my wedding, the market crashed one night. I remembered logging into my investment account and saw a negative balance of US$250,000 and this knocked the wind out of my lungs. I didn’t know how to pay this debt. I didn’t know how to tell my fiancée and my family. I even thought of cancelling my wedding. My greed and poor assessment of the risks resulted in me making this bad financial decision. I was tired of making #GameOff financial decisions that almost jeopardised me and my family.
However, I am grateful for 2 people who saved my life.
My Wife, Faith Tan. Through our courtship, she earned 3 times more than I did, while my career seemed to be directionless. I recall telling her I would understand if she left me for not feeling financially secure. However, she didn’t judge me on that. She saw my value even when I didn’t.
My Mentor, Joanne Lai, who is ranked the Top 1% of FAs in the world. I remembered a time where I was given an opportunity to speak to a group of some 50 young adults on financial planning. At that moment, I had many doubts about my ability to deliver such a presentation and was very close to giving it up when she told me that this is something I have to overcome to grow. She walked a similar path and overcame it. Seeing how far she has come to achieve her present day success, she made me realise that it did not mean I was not a good fit or worthless, but I just had to learn to overcome it. She saw the value in me before I saw it on myself and this inspired me to #GameOn in my life and finances.
Since then, I realised that there are 3 steps #GameOn in Life and Finances.
The First step is to see my Value. When I saw myself without Value, I was crippled by Fear, Hopelessness and Lack. But when I began to see my Value, I saw opportunities, I became bold, I had a positive outlook towards life. Knowing my Value resulted in me making great decisions so I could #GameOn in Life and Finances.
The Second step is the ability to Grow Money.
Previously, I had a wrong mindset towards investments; I wanted quick gains and took unnecessary risk to achieve it, and most of the time ended up disappointing myself and losing money. Today, I adopt a goals based approach for my investments and focus on improving myself so that I can experience income growth. Doing this has set me on track with great certainty to retire by age 50 with a 5-figure retirement income.
The Final step is the ability to Keep Money.
As my income grew, so did the ability to live a comfortable lifestyle.
Previously, I bought finer things to impress people I didn’t care about. Now, I treat myself and my loved ones to finer things because I’ve learnt how to be #GameOn in my finances; I made smarter financial decisions by making sure to only afford it out of the excess after first setting aside money towards savings/investments.
#GameOn to me is about making Great Life and Financial Decisions.
I realised that because I was living a #GameOff Life, therefore I was #GameOff with Money. But when I decided to #GameOn in Life, I started to #GameOn in Money.
Because of being #Gameon, today
– I am on track to retire by 50 with a 5-figure monthly income
– My wife is able to stop work to focus on the family
– I am making decisions such as investing towards my newborn’s Tertiary Education, rather than simply paying it via my future savings
After going through this journey in life, I’m privileged to now serve Affluent & HNW clients to be #Gameon as well.
#GameOn is not simply about buying insurance or to invest aggressively. Anyone can do that.
Being #GameOn is a pattern of making Great financial decisions.
My clients engage me to #GameOn in Finance and Life.
No matter where you are in life, or what needs you may have, I am committed to helping you craft a personalised and effective financial journey that is best suited for you.
With no ties to any one insurer, it is my promise that my advice will always remain professional and in your best interest.
Designing a personalised and professional plan that is meant to fit your risk appetites and meet your financial goals:
⁍ Regular savings plan
⁍ Portfolio monitoring, rebalancing, and optimisation
⁍ Investment selection
⁍ Risk exposure and mitigation techniques
⁍ Strategic and tactical asset allocation
Comprehensive advice regarding your legacy, including the following aspects:
⁍ Wills *
⁍ Property ownership
* IPP Financial Advisers Pte Ltd is not affiliated, associated, authorised, endorsed by, or in any way officially connected with SimplyWills Pte Ltd, or any of its subsidiaries or its affiliates. Will planning advice & services are not provided by IPP Financial Advisers Pte Ltd and is not part of the Financial Advisory Services provided by IPP Financial Advisers Pte Ltd. The official SimplyWills Pte Ltd website can be found at simplywills.com.sg.
⁍ Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC/S)
⁍ Accredited Wills Planner by SimplyWills Pte Ltd
⁍ Million Dollar Round Table (MDRT)
⁍ Company Producers’ Club Achiever
⁍ Financial Planner of the Year 2020 (FPAS) – Finalist
⁍ Has been regularly invited as a speaker in his own capacity for more than 30 companies, to achieve a personal goal of raising financial literacy
⁍ Tailoring professional, unique and effective financial plans for each individual
⁍ Going the extra mile to ensure that my advice is always appropriate, and sustainable
⁍ Using financial tools that have been time-tested, and refined for more than a decade
⁍ Strongly believes in the importance of trust and confidence built through a commitment to high principles and integrity
Joshua was thorough in his analysis, gave me clarity and assurance about my current financial situation and customised for me a holistic portfolio which includes feasible solutions so I can achieve my objective and accelerate my Retirement.
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