“My mom asked me why I can’t be more like my brother? Although he is one year older, he is earning well in a stable job, drives a car and is also planning to get a condominium soon. How did he do it? I feel like a failure.”
One of my clients confided in me the other day. There seems to be a perfect friend/sibling/peer who got it all “figured out”. The one who is constantly saving for the future and doing calculations in their perfectly structured excel sheet. The one in a stable government job – the one sector that will not go bankrupt (at least in Singapore) or a high paying investment banking job. The one who seems to be able to afford buying continental and sports cars, speculate property prices and leads a lavish retirement lifestyle.
When did this enormous knowledge gap start?
The Missing Gap
Study -> Work -> [Somehow one gets the financial literacy knowledge] -> Succeed in life financially.
You might still be living with your parents and having to worry about rent or you could be a student who is paying off your hefty tuition loans, or the responsibility of supporting your family and home is entirely on you. In any case, you are stressed. It feels like everyone has this one thing that you do not have.
This is the ultimate failure as an adult.
Just what is the missing gap that separates you from your perfect friend? You begin to wonder if you ever missed out a module in University on savings or a voluntary summer bootcamp on finance. All you know is that time is no longer on your side.
You can’t help but feel anxious. What if you can’t understand the information on Google? What if the information that you found is incorrect? You don’t want to feel stupid as you read each and every link on the first 10 pages of google suggestions. With each page that you read, you feel that it is hard to understand, the explanation is too long or written in “financing language” for people who are well-versed in finance. You can’t help but feel stress up and frustrated.
“Click here for our top 100 Money Saving Techniques”
“You have to read this or I guarantee that you will lose thousands of dollars in the stock market!”
“Here is what your financial advisor is NOT telling you”
As you plough through more and more, you can’t help but feel overwhelmed with facts and personal opinions. You don’t know which is the most suitable for you and whether those authors have a vested interest in it. It is scary and you feel that it is a gamble.
People assume that you know these things when you are “grown up”. Can you imagine the pressure when you are 40 but still don’t know how to invest? The interesting part is that no one really talks about money. Money seems to be like a taboo and sensitive topic and we don’t know why.
You Are Not Alone
If you are feeling like that, you are not alone. You are not the only (*insert age here) year-old person who doesn’t know about Wealth Management. We are all in this journey together. Coming from a humble family, I realized the importance of money and saving for rainy days at a young age. I remember the days I looked in envy when my friends ate McDonald while I had to eat at the coffee shop. I also have to give tuition to pay my own expenses.
During my free time, I spent time at the library to read thick books because I thought the answers were all in there. That was the worst decision I made then. It was a complete waste of time. The problem was I didn’t even know what was a good book to start off with and I wasted many good months figuring out what’s right. (Tip #1: Don’t start off with this book)
The Turning Point
My turning point happened in 2009 when a friend called me one night during my National Services days, He lost over USD$30,000 in the stock market that night and I still vividly recall the painful 5 words.
“Can you lend me money?”
That was it. I realised that I can either “figure this out myself” or be committed to my Wealth Management journey. In the next few years, I invested in myself. I paid for courses and paid for mentorship programs and also talked to people who specialised in finances, business, insurance, investment, estate planning, etc. I soon realised successful people have a 6 Level system which I call the 6 Level Karate System.
The 6 Level Wealth Karate System
The 6 level Karate System follows the 6 belt colours in Shinkyokushin Karate. All of us start with the white belt. We progressively move up the level by level until we reach the final level. The time taken for each individual for every level is different. It is important to work with a Sensei to help you progress through the system.
#1: Koan-Infinite Mind
Everyone starts off with a “white belt”. White is a beginner belt and signifies innocence and purity. Just like in finance, we start off our journey by readying our mind. The Koan-Infinite Mind is our level #1 where you set the right intention and expand your mind capacity for wealth. We seek to explore and overcome (and not limited to) the following questions. This is the foundation of wealth mastery.
Ask yourself what is your relationship with money? Why do some people seem to be able to attract money? What is different that they are doing but not you? Are you self-sabotaging yourself? Do you have limited beliefs towards money?
#2: Abundant Surplus Creator
We progress to the “orange belt”. Orange is a belt where students study and develop the basic karate skills and unlearn any ideas that he or she may have had previously developed about fighting. Just like in finance, we move to the most basic of wealth management:the budget. The Abundant Surplus Creator is level #2 where you create surplus consistently by understanding the your cashflow. We seek to explore and overcome (and not limited to) the following questions.
Why do some people have no money left at the end of the month? Why do some people have to borrow money so that they can tide over one more week? Why do some people able to have an incredible surplus at the end of the month? What is their secret?
#3: Return Maximizer
We progress to the “blue belt”. Students are expected to continue perfecting the basics and learn how to better control his or her body and mind. Just like in finance, we expect the basic cashflow surplus to be practiced so that you can start to maximise your returns using high interest bank accounts. This is level #3, the Return Maximizer.
Does your money disappear at the end of the month? How do you find “hidden” money? How do you maximise your returns with our flagship REV© without any commitment, products or fees?
#4: Aegis Of War
The “yellow belt” is used to highlight students who have begun to exhibit a solid understanding of the principles of karate and who have exhibited great potential to be able to advance their training. A great deal of attention is given to coordination. Level #4 is where the exciting portion begins for finance. You will create the Aegis of War as a protection and defence to your life. A strong defence sets the stage for a great offense. We seek to explore and overcome (and not limited to) the following questions.
Why do we say that it is easy to die but not easy to be sick? How can you create your Aegis of War to protect your hard-earn money in the fight against the Next War: Critical Illness.
#5: The Superfund Income
The “green belt” represents growth. Just like in finance, we want to multiply and grow wealth. You will have to understand your risk profile, your knowledge level and expectation of investment. Level #5 is The Superfund Income. You will create your own Superfund to create a stream of Income for yourself for retirement.
Why do you employ top CEO in the world to work for you? How do you create passive income through investing in management of top organisations? How do you select the right management? How to find the right investment structure for yourself?
#6: Elite Head Start
“Brown” is the belt where students begin to truly find themselves. In level #6, you will already have the skills necessary to be financially free. You may develop your own investing style during level #6. At the same time, the journey doesn’t stop here. It is a brand new beginning. You will be creating you own Elite Head Start for your next generation.
How do you give your next generation the elite superior advantage? How can your assets and cashflow create and give them a head start for their life?
When all is said is done, you would have reach the “black” belt. Congratulations!
Welcome to Wealthdojo: Your Black Belt To Financial Freedom
If this resonates with you, welcome to Wealthdojo.
We want to invite you to join us in this journey of wealth management alongside us. We recognise that financial freedom is a long journey and everyone is different. Opinionated articles online often give extreme advices without taking into consideration of your unique situation.
I met many people who try to “figure it out themselves”. In fact, I was also one of them. I have wasted a lot of money, effort and also time. Time that I could never get back and I do not want that to happen to you.
Unfortunately, you will not be able to learn Karate just by reading a book. You might get injured easily if you attempt to do a dangerous move or just have bad posture. That’s why people go to Dojo to find a Sensei. The role of the Sensei is to guide you through your Karate journey by showing you how it is done and correcting your movements.
Just like in finance, you might pay for unnecessary debts, lose your ability to work forever or lose hundreds of thousands in the stock market. I hope you won’t waste anymore money, effort and also time in this journey. That’s why I created Wealthdojo where you can start your financial journey easily and effortlessly use tailor made strategies catered just for you.
We wish you all the best! Stay Safe and Take Care!
Chengkok is a licensed Financial Services Consultant since 2012. He is an Investment and Critical Illness Specialist. Wealthdojo was created in 2019 to educate and debunk “free financial advice” that was given without context.
Feel Free To Reach Out To Share Your Thoughts.
The views and opinions expressed in this publication are those of the author and do not reflect the official policy or position of any other agency, organisation, employer or company. Assumptions made in the analysis are not reflective of the position of any entity other than the author.