Saturday, October 25, 2014

The first SGD 100,000 is the toughest

Most of you would have probably read this article about achieving SGD 100,000 by 30 years old and wrote or commented on it before. I I am not going to rehash the article. Instead, I want to point out some of people on the internet that have achieved this amount by that 30 years old milestone. This is motivated largely because I realise that my Singapore equity portfolio has struggled to cross that mark.

You can click through the links and I counted about 6 of them at least, who have accomplished 100 by 30, based on  trawling through the sginvestbloggers link:

I follow some of the bloggers and for those I am not familiar with, I went through some of the older posts. Granted that n=40 would be a better sample, I found some interesting points from the 6:

  • 5 out of 6 were male
  • All 6 were born around 1980
  • 5 of them possibly had slightly above-average income benchmark against graduates of their time (insufficient data for "lady").
  • The same 5 had technical degrees most likely, engineering.
Finance blogs in Singapore's are really dominated by male but I do notice that when women blog about investments, they tend to be of much higher net worth, such as ladyyoucanbefree. I think that men like to blog about finances because that is probably the only acceptable topic to blog about part from food. And very often, when the stock market tanks, some of the finance bloggers disappear, and I suspect that these are what I term "ego bloggers", bloggers who just need a platform to prove they are god-like.

Having a slightly above-average income than your peers help in reaching the 100 by 30 milestone simply because you would be able to save more of your disposable income. However, I think that because of their technical background, they were able to articulate clear solutions to solving the the problem of financial freedom. Goals were set out, clearly defined and the correct processes put in place. These goals were also reviewed annually. As an abstract thinking social science student, I do spend more time thinking about the purpose of financial freedom, than laying out steps to achieve. I tend to digress and regress into short-termism as well, but this is not the result of my education.

On reflection, the journey for me reaching the 100 by 30 was not easy initially because I took a below-average salary for the first two years, despite being afforded better paying opportunities. I also spent a decent amount on furthering my knowledge, attempting the CFA program (I'm considering retaking Level 2) and obtaining my Masters (which i did this year). It got easier over the past two years because of me moving jobs.

The next milestone would be settling down, having a family and achieving the 700 by 55 concurrently. Hopefully, everything I have read about wealth sustaining and growing wealth is true.


  1. Sg Stock Picker,

    Wealthjourney is a guy ;)

    Hey! Don't ask me! Maybe he likes pics of beautiful girls?

    I see you are attempting to engage in Causation vs Correlation discussion.

    Have fun!

    1. I have edited that part already. Thanks for the heads up. I always assume that based on display photo.

    2. WTFfffff SMOL!
      I could have been on his list you know! It's like being nominated for oscars! It was my road to fame! :p
      Why you jealous of my beautiful face and body ah! :(

  2. agree that the first 100k is the hardest. not that after 1000k will be much easier. any mistakes might cause it to remain at that level or back to square one 100k again.
    strategy will be different for 100k and for 1000k also. imo

  3. The first milestone is the toughest. Can be any number.

    Once we can cross that first milestone we will know that our system or process or whatever is working well and in place for us to cross the next milestone.

    1. Ha! Ha!
      "Boh How Seow". "Boh Bey Chow".
      A veteran in the market speaks is a Veteran, is a Veteran.
      Alas, how many CW or SMOL we can have here. i doubt any.
      We can have a lot more market veterans but none will be like CW or SMOL.

    2. temperament,

      Don't put me in the same sentence with CW lah! We are opposite sides of the same coin.

      Of course there can be only one CW and one SMOL. Just like there is only one temperament.

      Let's rejoice in our own individuality!

      It's when we try to be someone else that the sky becomes a bit grey....

    3. I think due to connectivity brought about by the internet (hence so many 1980 kids), the "younger" people thought that 100 k would be a quicker milestone to reach than 1 million. Perhaps pre-internet, someone would have blogged about achieving the 5Cs. haha

  4. Hi Sg Stock Picker,

    Thanks for mentioning my blog (thegameplan). I think alot boils down to having the discipline and developing your own investment style. Starting early definitely helps as well. I see alot of bloggers starting investing in their early 20s..mighty impressive. Hopefully the investing commmunity can inspire each other along this journey.


    1. I agree on the part on discipline but will is not sufficient without the means! I see many young bloggers but some of them lose steam. Perhaps it is just that the current generation prefers to use another online platform, such as instagram and twitter. blogging is for old people in their thirties :P

  5. i have a feeling all are above average income

    1. Based on my reading of the five guys, i think
      Kyith - Engineer?
      gameplan - NA
      wealthbuch - Engineer turned tutor
      musicwhiz - Engineer
      Dividends warrior - NA
      Ryan - Lecturer

      I think most of them had slightly above-average income compared to graduates of their year because I know people in some of the fields. Above average would be those making 100 k a year as banker/sales. Back in 2007-8, I know that SMEs were willing to pay only 2,000-2,400 for fresh graduates when most public sector jobs paid 3,000. Engineers outside semi conductor industry probably got 3,000. That difference would mean a lot in terms of savings rate.

    2. Ha! Ha!
      MusicWhiz is an accountant (IIRC). Who can analyse companies in detail.

  6. You see, technical degrees that require a lot of discipline!

  7. Actually.. having $100k in your CPF OA account by 30yrs old is not all that impossible.
    I worked 5yrs in a GLC and had a salary of avg $3,100 excluding bonuses(which could come up to 3-4months).
    End of the 5yrs at 30yrs old, I saw $100k in my CPF OA.

    To save $100k in cash, i think it is also quite achievable if you just commit to putting $1k every month and putting majority of your bonuses into the bank account.

  8. anony,

    can i ask when did you start working at the glc?

    i think unlike you, some people worked in jobs without a decent bonus or AWS. my first two years was like that in fact.