What 2020 has taught me

What 2020 has taught me?

As we reach the end of 2020, we should all give a pat on the back to ourselves for getting through it. It’s been a year of change to the way we work, hang out and even the way we live. Even though 2020 is coming to an end, we know that things are not going to be changing much at the strike of 12am on 1 Jan 2021. 2021 will be the year we are all still adjusting to the new normal. 2020 has taught me many things as we all slow down and start to realize what really matters in our life.

Today, I invited a young Singaporean blogger with a 9 to 5 job, Shan to share more on her thoughts about 2020 with regards to wealth management, family, work and everything else. Thank you Shan for your contributions. Happy reading!

What 2020 has taught me

What 2020 has taught me

Family

My family definitely has spend a lot more time together in 2020. With my brother coming back from UK in March 2020 due to the pandemic, we have been spending more time together. Without travelling this year, we have managed to save a little more but have been spending it after circuit breaker as we are out for nicer meals once in awhile.

On the other hand, my mum has been cooking more often with on weekdays. She has also started new hobbies like gardening to help her pass time at home. I realised that just the simple evening talks and walks make me so happy on a daily basis. As my brother will be going back to study overseas in 2021, I definitely will miss the time we spent together since March 2020 when he came back.

 

Work

Work has been a huge learning journey due to the restructure in our roles and also expansion of duties. I am happy to be able to learn more after the restructure but the main thing is that people in the team has been leaving and the workload is getting heavier. This makes the remaining team members having to shoulder the work and it is not easy.

On the other hand, I am glad that my contract got extended, even though I was not offered a permanent, full-time role but a small increment was given so I am grateful for that. 2020 has been a really tough year for fresh graduates, from job searching to entering a role with a lower starting pay, no one wants to have it this way when they graduate. Wealthdojo has an article outlining the 3 Money Beliefs That Will Destroy Your Life with one of it being “If you work harder, you’ll be able to earn more”

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“If you work harder, you’ll be able to earn more” is really something to ponder upon, there are many people who are willing to work hard and long but does it guarantee them the equal rewards as the effort they have put in? Not necessary and this is why it is important to look out for trends and to know your strengths to put them to good use at the right areas. Working smart is also very important.

The future of work looks to be very different as digitalization, data and technology looks poised to be the future. Even work in my department seems to be going towards digitalization for technology to do it and once done, no human touch will be needed as it can be done by a robot and data easily tracked. It is as though the future jobs will be taken over by technology as I can see the shift towards that and jobs that will be still be in demand will definitely be those maintaining the technology.

With a shift of jobs being automated, it sets me thinking on whether will I be replaced eventually, judging by the large administrative stuff that I do currently, I can see my job being automated in the near future considering that the pandemic has increased the pace of it. I wasn’t imagining this outlook when I started work as everyone was still thinking about automation but the pandemic has really gotten everyone to hasten the speed of digitalization.

 

Finances and Portfolio

2020 taught me that investing is really volatile but rewarding if you stay invested and invest in companies that you have done sufficient research. No one can predict the markets and this was so evidently shown this year. Many expected 2020 to be a bad year for the markets but if you were investing consistently in 2020, almost all assets are in the green. Particularly US stocks and also cryptocurrencies where Bitcoin recently crossed the US$23,000 mark as more institutions put money into it. 2020 has pushed my portfolio into the the green for the first time as I enter the US market, buying VT, VOO, Tesla and LMND which are all currently in the green. I have managed to save much more and has really made me a few steps closer to my financial goals.

Read more: Ending 2020 with a $30,000 portfolio and dividends collected revealed! | Tesla stock price crashed like soufflé?

Conclusion

2020 has taught me about resilience and that being financially prepared is important to ensure that in times of crisis, you are not going to be struggling and worrying about your expenses. At the same time, it has revealed to me the vulnerabilities of working for others where you can be made redundant due to the economic conditions or because the company is cutting costs. There really is no iron rice bowl and the only way to secure your future is to keep up-skilling and re-skilling. Your skills will determine your employability. Wishing everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year as we move into Phase 3 and 2021!

More about SingaporeanTalksMoney

She is in her 20s working in a salaried 9 to 5 job like many other Singaporeans. To her, money is a form of freedom as it will allow her to spend more time with her family and also to do things that she likes. As she embarks on her journey towards financial independence, she hopes to document it down and share her journey with everyone particularly for herself as well to reflect on it.

Find out more about her: SingaporeanTalksMoney

 

Final Thoughts By Wealthdojo

I’m a big fan of reflections. One of my favourite quote comes from John C Maxwell.

It is said that a wise person learns from his mistakes. A wiser one learns from other’s mistake. But the wisest person of all learns from other’s success.

I’m on a mission to collect mistakes and success from various gurus and financial bloggers in Singapore. Let’s all learn from each other’s mistakes and successes and be the wisest one of them all.

Join my Telegram Channel for a tip a day! In Wealthdojo, we dedicate a small amount of time daily for learning new things. Continuous learning is one of the greatest secrets of success.

For those of you who want to turbocharge your journey, contact me at chengkokoh@gmail.com. I would like to hear from you what your experiences are currently and from there, we develop a plan specially catered just for your journey.

We wish you all the best! Stay Safe and Take Care!

Chengkok, Sensei of Wealthdojo.

The Year of Impact 2020 What did it teach us

The Year of Impact 2020: What did it teach us?

2020 has been an exciting year. Words like “WFH”, “Zoom”, “COVID19”, “Essential workers” that made no sense in 2019 has became buzz words. Everyone has been affected. I believe it will be good to look at this year and see what we can learn from this (this is what I have learnt in 2019). I have invited the best financial bloggers in Singapore to share about what kind of impact 2020 has on them. Let us know in the comments if this resonates with you.

The Year of Impact 2020 What did it teach us

The Year of Impact 2020 What did it teach us?

 

#1: Wealthdojo says… “Life Goes On”

On 7 April 2020, the Singapore Government announced the implementation of the circuit breaker. It wasn’t pretty. It caused a huge uproar in my company. The financial services industry is one that we need to meet people face to face. My colleagues were worried that our consultancy business will be affected. Almost all of us are anxious to know how we can conduct our business when we cannot meet our clients or prospects. How can we help our clients claim for their critical illness bills if we cannot go out to get their original receipts? Will this be the end of financial services?

In one week, all these questions were resolved. Though, it felt like ages.

In one week, I changed my business processes. I have conducted business meeting with my clients and prospects over zoom. I quickly adjusted to the new norm while learning new skills. I have also helped my clients transit into the new norm with a special message for them.

Life Goes On.

Those that didn’t adapt into the new norm were left irrelevant quickly. We shouldn’t be complacent thinking that things will remain the same. Business trips fell almost 100%, there is huge transition into E-Commerce, we are primarily working from home. I believe many things will change over the years. 2020 just accelerated many changes.

Keep Relevant. Life Goes On. 

For those of you who are new, check me out at 6 Levels Wealth Karate.

 

#2: Frugal Youth Invest says… “Slow down pace of life”

If not the circuit breaker, we would have continued to focus on our work or self and overlooked our closed ones. Circuit Breaker has forced us to slow down our pace of life, spend quality time while fighting the pandemic together. 2020 has taught me the importance of work life balance and how we can fall back on our closed one for support, something that we have always overlooked because of our busy schedule.

Check Weiming out at Frugal Youth Invest.

 

#3 Life Finance says… “Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose

The more things change, the more they stay the same.

The year started on a high note – stocks kept soaring to new heights, brushing aside the snippets of bad news which popped up every now and then. And then everything went belly-up – markets crashed, economies faltered, and oil prices slumped. In response, interest rates were cut to zero, but still nothing could stop the bleeding. In the chaos, financial pundits opined that the world had changed irreversibly, and buy-and-hold was a fool’s mantra. Instead, they proclaimed, now was the time for selling first to buy back lower when the true crash came, buying alternative investments instead of stocks, day-trade and be nimble. Sell options. Anything but staid and boring buy-and-hold, or even buy-on-the-dips. Fast forward almost a year later, stocks, markets and economies are emerging from the rubble, and the old school buy-and-hold and buy-on-the-dip investors have seen their investments recover, and maybe come out a little ahead, while half the pundits have vanished.

Sounds familiar? But that’s not about 2020. That’s the story of 2008.

Check Life Finance out at LifeFinance.

 

#4: Rachel says… “Struggles happen in your life for a reason”

2020 taught me that I can get through anything. Whenever you’re struggling, it can seem like the struggle will never end. But struggles happen in your life for a reason. They teach you how to be resilient and maintain faith in yourself to get through it. I’m grateful for the tough times that 2020 has brought into my life because I’ve learned a lot about myself in the process.

Check Rachel out at heyitsrachel.

 

#5: Jocelyn says… “Regain some work life balance”

2020 will probably go down in memory as the year of upheavals and change. I count myself among the lucky ones to have been able to keep my job and health during this trying year. I picked up a new craft during circuit breaker out of interest and a desire to fill my time. That has grown into an online business selling handmade crochet items! It is not easy to juggle a full time job with a side business selling time-intensive handmade items but it has been incredibly fulfilling 🙂
On the investing side of things, I made a good call to pivot away from our local shores in search of better growth opportunities. Cloudflare, Alibaba and Tencent are some of my frontrunners of the year. Looking ahead to 2021, I hope to regain some work life balance and continue growing my portfolio!

Check Jocelyn out at Financial Freedom by 40

 

#6 Marc says… “Focus & Prioritising”

For many, 2020 has been the age of information overload & massive overwhelm. While it’s great that many of us have been making full use of the time in lockdown to learn, upgrade and upskill ourselves, many of us have been caught up with watching too many programs, participating in too many workshops and learning from too many online courses. Because of that, lots of us are stuck, paralysed, and have not progressed as much as we would like. And so, I realised that instead of just absorbing new information into our lives, taking action, aka “implementation”, plays a huge part if we want to grow too. As our time and attention is limited, this also means Focus & Prioritising is extremely important too – and if not, we will just be trying to sign up for every webinar or Facebook Live and just hopping from 1 topic to another (potentially wasting thousands of dollars & countless hours of our precious time & money in the process.

Check Marc out at Master Implementers.

 

#7 The Moss Piglet says… “Reflect and to identify the mistakes you have made”

2020 is the year I learnt to appreciate everything I have.

This has been a long year. I am convinced that 2020 had more than 12 months. The first quarter was going great for me. Projects were moving smoothly, stocks that I bought were going up. Those months are now a distant memory and it sure feels like they happened in a different year.

Then Covid-19 hit and it all became a blur. First off, I hope that everyone that was directly affected by the virus is doing okay. I found myself having more time to spend with my wife and 1 year old kid, this I truly appreciate. I also found out that it was near impossible to work at home while taking care of your restless child. Others were not so fortunate, my poor workers were locked up in their dormitory rooms for 4 months. Each of them were so afraid of getting tested positive of the virus. From them I learnt to appreciate what I have and the importance of extending your care and concern for others’ well-being.

It is an important time to reflect and to identify the mistakes you have made. After every storm comes a rainbow. I am sure that there will be a lot of opportunities post Covid-19 and we must prepare ourselves to capitalise on that.

On a final note, I would like to wish all Wealthdojo readers a brand new 2021 with happiness and good health. Cheers.

Check YeeSiang out at The Moss Piglet.

 

Final Thoughts By Wealthdojo

Wishing you guys the best! It is less than 30 days before 2021. It is a time to reflect on what happened in the previous months and see what we can learn from this year. Don’t let it go to waste!

Write down your reflection in the comments below! I look forward to see your comments.

Special thanks to Weiming, LF, Rachel, Jocelyn, Marc and Yeesiang for your contributions and wishing you a great 2021 ahead!

 

Join my Telegram Channel for a tip a day! In Wealthdojo, we dedicate a small amount of time daily for learning new things. Continuous learning is one of the greatest secrets of success.

For those of you who want to turbocharge your journey, contact me at chengkokoh@gmail.com. I would like to hear from you what your experiences are currently and from there, we develop a plan specially catered just for your journey.

We wish you all the best! Stay Safe and Take Care!

Chengkok, Sensei of Wealthdojo.

5 Ways Tony Hsieh Changed The World Quote

5 Ways Tony Hsieh Changed The World

This post is dedicated to Tony Hsieh. He died on 27 Nov in a house fire. He is well known to be the CEO of Zappos which was later sold to Amazon for USD$1.2Billion. In his years, he made many impact to the world and these are the some I’m personally thankful for.

This is a non personal finance post. However, I believe we can learn from the actions and the values that he had. Here are 5 ways Tony Hsieh changed the world.

5 Ways Tony Hsieh Changed The World Quote

5 Ways Tony Hsieh Changed The World Quote

 

The Fore-Runner For E-Commerce

People would have agreed that Alibaba, Lazada, Shopee or even Amazon to be the success icon for e-commerce. To put things into perspective, Amazon started in 1994, Alibaba started in 1999 but only found success years later. Zappos started in 1999 and found resounding success by doing something that people thought was crazy then.

They sold shoes online and offered free 60-day shipping AND returns policy. In 2003, Zappos decided to give customers 365 days to return the shoes, as long as they were in “like new” condition and in the original box.

In 1999, this was a crazy idea. It was a time people bought shoes from stores because people could actually try them to see if it fits. Mind you, there was barely any online shopping and a lot of distrust buying things online. Many people also thought that the return policy would kill their financials as it was expensive then.

Fast forward 20 years later, you can buy almost anything online and return policies are a norm. They were certainly way ahead of their time. Do you have an idea that people thing is crazy?

 

The Focus on Customer Service

In an era in which we demand cheaper and better products, Tony focused on customer service. Many businesses become so focused on the product or service that they end up forgetting the most important factor that ensure their business prosper: their customer. Tony did not.

In 2004, Zappos’ customer loyalty team embarked their 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year shift. In a world where customer service is a cost center, Zappos employed 25% of their staffs (2004) as customer services. There are no scripts and no time limits on phone calls. It was just a full time job making sure their customers were happy.

Fast forward 20 years later, your business’s reviews online can make or break your reputation. Just look at how Lemonade is focusing on customer satisfaction now. Have you gave a good review to someone recently? Maybe you can do so for me =)

 

Quirky Corporate Culture

After Amazon bought Zappos over, the employees in Zappos was afraid that the corporate culture in Zappos would change. Amazon was known to have an intense corporate structure as compared to Zappos experimental, fun and quirky culture.

Tony maintained the culture and Amazon has been keeping a hand-off approach for Zappos.

In the famous CEO statement, Tony titled his speech “Zappos And Amazon Sitting In A Tree” and assured the culture will remain the same or better. It is one of the best CEO statement I have ever read. In it, he reassured that his employees will still have a job and the leaders will continue running the company. Please have a read.

Personally, I related to this strongly. I’m working in the Financial Services Industry where our performance are measured with sales. It is not a secret that the company I work for is profit driven (just like most companies). However, I’m blessed to be in a District (aka sales team) where we measure success differently. As a result, the culture of the district is one that focuses on delivering the best value to our clients in terms of strategic planning and also claim experiences. I’m very thankful as I don’t think it will be easy to find a company that is accepting of a culture like ours. It is much easier to focus on my client needs in such a very supportive culture. Does your company have a supporting culture?

 

Relationships

When asked what was his greatest achievement, he mentioned:

“The relationships and friendships. We focus a lot on company culture, so these are not just co-worker relationships but true friendships, where people choose to hang out with each other after work or go on trips together. [That also applies to] the relationships with our vendors and other business partners.”

In an age where we are more connected digitally but disconnected physically and emotionally, his focus on relationship struck a chord in my heart. I have friends (whom I don’t hang out much anymore) who were constantly on their phones, checking their emails/Facebook notification/ Instagram notification during the time we were having lunch/dinner. Connecting with them was a struggle as they will be distracted every 3 seconds looking at their phone. The relationship that we have now are conveyed through a “like” on Facebook and it disturbs me greatly. I do treasure the Facetime I have with people now.

Tony’s focus on relationship (you can have the same with wealth) inspires me and I hope that it will be my greatest achievement in my life too. When was the last time you sat down with someone and look into him/her in the eye and talk?

 

Happiness

5 Ways Tony Hsieh Changed The World Delivering Happiness

5 Ways Tony Hsieh Changed The World Delivering Happiness

One buzzword for the younger generation would be “Happiness”. Although his book is on business lessons, it is applicable to many life lessons. One of my favourite is “Go with your heart”. This statement is easy to say but not easy to practice. Sometimes, it would mean breaking expectations that has been subconsciously imposed on us.

In the world’s culture asking us to do more, earn more, it is not easy to go with your heart. I dare say that most parents want their children to be an engineer, doctor or a managerial job that is “stable”. It took me great courage to go with my heart by venturing into the financial services industry and also the investment industry. There were many heartaches, my parents felt it was a waste for a University Graduate to be an insurance agent, , many times they asked me to find a “real” job, many times I felt like giving up. Nevertheless, in every leg of the journey where I followed my heart, I learnt more about myself. It wasn’t easy but then again life never was.

Are you following your heart? What is your heart saying?

 

Final Thoughts By Wealthdojo

Things are never really the end. It is the start. Because of Tony, I believe many people have believed things are possible and we are living in their version of the world that they have dreamt up.

What’s your vision of the world? Are you participating in your vision or are you letting people fill it up for you? Are you the educated poor? If today is the last day you are living, what would you be doing?

Look forward to see your comments.

 

Join my Telegram Channel for a tip a day! In Wealthdojo, we dedicate a small amount of time daily for learning new things. Continuous learning is one of the greatest secrets of success.

For those of you who want to turbocharge your journey, contact me at chengkokoh@gmail.com. I would like to hear from you what your experiences are currently and from there, we develop a plan specially catered just for your journey.

We wish you all the best! Stay Safe and Take Care!

Chengkok, Sensei of Wealthdojo.