Founders meet Founders

Co-Founders Matching & General Assembly have a monthly session whereby founders of aspiring startups and Startup enthusiasts with core expertise in business, marketing, design, business or web development come together on the same platform for collaboration or form a team.

Back in the round-up for Nov 19, I mentioned about collaboration across FinLit / FinTech companies in Singapore to raise the Financial Literacy level in Singapore. I guess I was too myopic in this aspect. Even till today, I could be wrong on some approaches, and that is where we learn, progress and move on.

One key responsibility of a founder is to bring seemingly unrelated but indirectly relevant opportunities to the organisation. For example, hiring forms one of the biggest costs for new startups, the other possibly being office rent. You can still debate between the work-from-home concept or renting the cheapest co-working space out there. However when it comes to manpower resourcing, you want to spend more time delivering the higher value work and delegating the lower value work to your hired staff or experts.

I was having a good conversation with an entrepreneur who has startups in Singapore and Myanmar. Jeshua provides a remote-hiring service from Myanmar whereby a local company could hire accountants, designers, admin assistant and even photo and video editor for a fraction of the cost in Singapore. Don’t get me wrong — I am a firm supporter of local businesses and employment but I am also an advocate of returning good back to society. Jeshua highlighted that many of the skilled workers in Myanmar had good paper qualifications but job opportunities were not plentiful back home.

There are many money-saving apps out in the market, some with good initiatives, others being copies of the market. Sergey Nikonenko specifically targets parents saving money for their children’s future. What makes it more personal is the added valued feature of “true sense of care” — it enabled participants to not only record the acts of saving money for their children, but also congratulatory videos — even if your kids cannot watch them now, they can get tons of warm words (and love) when they grow up.

I am sold on some of these innovative ideas out there. Can we not be continued to be surprised by some of these ingenious minds out there?

Invest in yourself

Too often, we are too focused on monitoring the markets and investment instruments that we forget to invest in the most prominent body – YOURSELF.

Read Books

I devour books more than my meals. It doesn’t matter which genre they are from as long as they are relevant to your passion or interest. Even I don’t read books focused on investment only, but from basic finance and money, entrepreneurship and businesses, bringing up your kids, even self enrichment books. Reading from a wide range of books, whether bought or borrowed, allows you not only to level up pretty fast on the topic but to link and interconnect relevant topics of life.

Reading doesn’t have to be costly as well. I borrow them from the various public libraries in Singapore. I geoarbitrage by buying at a good price from Malaysia or shop online at Book Depository or Amazon. The stack of 9 books cost me about RM 400 or SGD 132, which I thought was a steal.

Join Groups

Needless to say, join groups and communities that suit your interest. If you have a question, most probably at least someone in that group will have the same question as you. Also, common problems are usually best dealt with by common folks like you and me.

I started out joining the Seedly and Dollars And Sense online community. At that time, I was also in a few stock-watch discussion group. Personal finance, savings and investment were generic enough for me to branch out to the various international communities to learn further. As of now, I am also in the US, UK, Australia groups etc for some of these interest learning. Don’t forget the power of communication groups on WhatsApp and Telegram. I learn quite a bit as well from joining the 1M65 movement group on WhatsApp.

Join Seminars

We never stop learning — we will always have burning questions in our heart for the topics that interest us. What could be better than attending events/seminars/workshops that are relevant and learning from the gurus? Eventbrite has tons of events happening on a daily basis and I am not even talking about the paid ones.

Personally, I attend 2 or 3 sessions each week if I could make it. After a few sessions, you would be wise enough to filter out the series of workshops which is useful and should continue attending.

Ask Mentors

At the same events you attend, network with the gurus directly and tap on their knowledge and experience. There is so much you can learn from a seminar to a general audience. Pluck up your courage and take the first step.

Generally, I am the more extrovert type. I am more than willing to introduce my interests and direct queries in a 1-to-1 setting. Initiating coffee sessions or after seminar short meets is also a good way to kickstart. There is another method which I have not tried before but still open to the idea, which is joining the inner circle from paid courses or workshops. This takes a bit more due diligence and fact-check on the organiser that you are dealing with.

Take Online Courses

I don’t take online courses so far, but I do participate in webinars and live event streams. This is also a good way for parents with young kids to partake, as you could care for your young ones while joining in the event at your own pace.

TRY

In the end, it still boils down to the first step — TRY.

There are so many ways to get started. You just have to find time and effort among the passion to do it. Don’t procrastinate. Learn while you are still young.

Are you constantly investing in yourself?

Top 144 Investment Blogs and Websites For Investors in 2019

So just earlier last week, I mentioned about how Feedspot maintains a list of Top 80 Singapore Investment Blogs & Websites For SG Investors (2019)? I thought I took a step back and see what I could learn from the gurus on the international level. What could be clearer than to stand on the shoulders of Giant for that perspective?

Then I saw this, under Top 144 Investment Blogs and Websites For Investors in 2019.

It may be a smaller sample size, but Theory of Constraints is proud to be recognised as part of the international listing as well. We are definitely in the right direction, the next aim would be to take on the world to inculcate financial literacy and raise the standards.

Who knows? We could very well be the next Giants for people to stand on our shoulders for support in future. Stay tuned.

Asset Class types

Very interesting question. Someone asked me if I top up $100 to the merchant (for example Starbucks) in my membership card and he gives me extra $10 bonus on top of it, is this asset class considered Fixed Income (since merchant is giving me $10 ‘interest’ for the amount that I am topping up but not using yet) or Cash? I would like to hear your comments.

I did a small write-up on a good investment journey earlier and I thought to supplement with the table below. At a basic level, people should understand what are the different examples of asset class that you may encounter during your course of Life.

Do you know the above by heart?

Top 80 Singapore Investment Blogs & Websites For SG Investors (2019)

For those of us managing our own personal finances and investment, we are constantly hungry or on the look out for useful education or reference sources. Did you know that Feedspot maintains a list of Top 80 Singapore Investment Blogs & Websites For SG Investors (2019)?

Feedspot has a team of over 25 experts whose goal is to discover and rank popular blogs, podcasts and youtube channels in several niche categories, through a thoughtful combination of both algorithmic and human editing that offers the best means of curation. Our expert editorial team reviews each blog before adding them to relevant category list and ranks them.

Besides reading accredited websites like Investopedia, joining online comunities like Seedly and Dollars And Sense, hardcopy books from the library, there was no good aggregator of investment knowledge from a local context. I was looking for real individuals, who were practising what they preach with regards to investment and personal finance — I think I have found my ‘source of wealth’.

There are BIG names and niche areas in the investment category which you should take time to go through this list and tap on their investment knowledge and experiences. This list of regular feed will let you “don’t sleep, don’t eat, don’t drink” for the whole week even if you read end-to-end. Good to be subscribed for day-to-day happenings in the financial sector from thought leaders.

Theory of Constraints is proud to be inconspicuously added into the list. I personally thought it was good to be recognised and the good work done so far and further in the future.

Personally, one of the easiest way to digest market information is to read how the gurus break it down. Absorb key takeaways and learning points from each source and form your own assessment. It is also a good way to train ourselves what is important to note and learn from others’ past successes and failures.

Stay vested in your financial knowledge.