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2017 Lessons

Receiving the feedback from my boss and my mentor was easy - they are all very positive. Those that are not, they have been work in progress. But I'm going to push my limit further - I'm still not satisfied with where I am now. A few learning points for 2017 (which haven't ended yet - I might have an update) below, however:1) Never be afraid to speak up - be it on a new, more efficient approach on doing things (ofc, research them well first before presenting it), be it saying no and pushing things away (due to lack of capacity and inevitable compromises of quality), be it asking for help (you'll be surprised on how people are happy if you ask for their help as they feel that they're worth much more than they think of themselves). You need to speak up to get what you want. Nobody can read your mind and nobody will know what you want unless you say it out loud. 
Moving forward: Learn to be more tactful. Learn to speak with confidence in front of a few more people th…
Recent posts

Blockchain Technology

While the world is debating on Bitcoin, Partners Group had recently (2 months ago) adopt the bespoke blockchain technology behind it with the intention of streamlining operations and increasing the security of our billion-dollars transactions.

The idea is pretty simple. Instead of having the standard back-and-forth exchanges of the transaction details (in pdf, excel spreadsheet) through emails (which many have increasingly believe is insecure and prone to hackers) with the banks, PG utilizes the blockchain technology to verify these transactions and have a shared ledger 'publicly' available for the banks to further verify.


While the tangible benefits of using the technology have yet to be seen, blockgeeks mentioned how it is going to the change the landscape of finance.


As far as I'm interested to see how this initial adoption turns out, since this will be more on the Investment/Treasury side, it won't affect my team that soon.

I am more interested to know how could t…

Portfolio (2017-2018)

Right now, this is the investment portfolio plan I have in mind.

For my and Mr's retirement - Long term (8-10 years): Insurance, Alternative Investment (i.e. Bitcoin/Ethereum as extreme examples), Mutual Fund (from my current company/competitors) and Commodities/Startups 
For my parents retirement - Long term (8-10 years): Insurance, Alternative Investment (i.e. Bitcoin/Ethereum as extreme examples), Mutual Fund (from my current company/competitors) and Commodities/Startups 
- Rather long term (4-6 years): ETFs, REITs/dividend-paying stocks, Mutual Fund, Corporate Bonds 
For the future (i.e. house, future family's education and living) - Rather long term (4-6 years): ETFs, REITs/dividend-paying stocks, Mutual Fund, Corporate Bonds  - Medium term (1-2 years): Stocks (i.e. unicorns like Facebook)
For my and Mr's entertainment (i.e. travelling fund) - Rather short term (days, weeks, months): Penny stocks/other stocks in which industry I'm familiar with - Short term (1 day): FX

Not my job

"This is not my job."
I first heard that from a colleague in another jurisdiction in an email. Albeit a friendly person (never met, chit chat through the video conference), she turned down my plea without any hesitation.
Truth be told, it is uncommon to find 'unhelpful' people in my current company. Turning down a 'cry' for help seems like it's a missed opportunity to learn something new or value-add. 
Due to the specific (and sometimes rather remotely specific) skills people bring to the table, collaboration is inevitable. Everybody helps/informs each other about simply almost anything. It is rather difficult to make a decision simply based on what you know now without seeking other people's opinions/help as the company is growing at a rapid rate and roles may overlap. Despite the fact that checks and balances are in place, i.e. we have company's own news feed which is updated every day, every team has their own 'page gardener' to ensur…

SWF vs Public Pension Fund

Difference between Sovereign Wealth Funds and Public Pension Funds.

Sovereign Wealth Funds has the state as its beneficiaries, whereas Public Pension Funds has the payers as its beneficiaries.

Think of GIC as an SWF and CPF as a Public Pension Fund. 
GIC
- asset managed by Singapore (government-related) investment management company
- funded by tax payers
- purpose is to benefit Singapore as a whole (including non-tax payers) 
CPF
- asset managed by Singapore government
- funded by pensioners-to-be/tax payers (Singapore Citizens and Permanent Residents who contribute)
- purpose is to benefits only the pensioners
Easier to digest?

Portfolio: REITs

In the beginning of the year, I included REITs in my medium-to-long-term investment portfolio, on top of my Great Eastern Life and Health Insurance. 
Since REITs market in Singapore look rather healthy and seems to be the easiest asset to understand among the others in planning, I've taken the plunge investing into Viva Industrial Trust after shopping around. Since I've just started, there are a couple of key points I took note of and one main website I took as the first referral point before doing further research:
Sector. Since the investment horizon is 4-6 years, the sectors these REITs operate is a key consideration for me. Logistics-wise, industrial/manufacturing sector generally takes longer time to settle (transfer, setting up the equipment, or revamping the space to suit the business needs) at its new leasing space and their longer-term contracts meets my investment time horizon. Retail sector is less favorable in this regard - people come and go pretty quickly as the…

CAIA vs CFA

CAIA, a Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst, is the financial certification title I was after.
The choice to take up the certification didn't come easy. Having been in a situation where I was a full time student and working 2 part time jobs (while simultaneously working on an online business), it didn't make sense to wear myself out again now that I have a stable full time job. But boss was supportive on my own further personal development, so I took it.
3 things I found CAIA better than CFA is the focus of the study, levels, passing rate, and how it fits my situation right now.
The curriculum focuses on Alternative Investment (Real Asset, Hedge Funds, Private Equity, Structured Products, Portfolio and Risk Management) in comparison with the all-encompassing CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst) which many people are much more familiar with.  Also, since I'm working in Partners Group, a recently-hailed large-cap publicly-listed investment manager in the private market…