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Grand Opening of Hustle Cafe – Awesome Brunch & Craft Beer!

After months of hard work and preparation, we finally launched Hustle Cafe, a brand new concept providing awesome brunch and 12 taps of craft beer (and cider).

But that is just the tip of the iceberg. 😀

Hustle Cafe occupies level 1 of the building, and on level 2, we have a co-working space for like-minded individuals to network and create synergies with their business.

And finally, on level 3, we have a training room, where classes on entrepreneurship, business growth and social media are conducted, and with that our whole business functions as a closely-knit business incubator community.

Do drop by when you are free, and have a chat with the friendly staff to find out more. See you there!

P.S. My favourite is the Carbonara pasta and Salmon Rosti, and for drinks I like number 3 and number 9. 😀

P.S.S. I will be having a workshop on trading and investing, and if you are keen to find out more about angel investing and why I invest in businesses such as this, do drop by to have a chat!
Check availability: http://synapsetrading.com/trading-foundation-workshop-2/

 

Grand opening on 21st July! Can’t wait! 😋 #hustlecafe

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Chilling at my new cafe and making some trades. 😎 #hustleco

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How to Grow a Strong Tribe Through Sound Business Principles & Integrity

Last week, I had the privilege to attend a 7-day training program in Johor to learn from Bill Allen, David Neenan, and the legendary Marshall Thurber.

It was a great time making new friends, learning (so many amazing individuals here!), and reflecting on turning 31 (on the first day of the course) this year.

Last year was an eventful year for me, in which I continued to grow my training business, bought a new house, and invested in 10+ new businesses.

During the 7 days, I also read these 3 books during my free time (in between the eating/drinking/massage sessions), which further gave me insights and clarity on how to build network by following sound business principles and sticking to my integrity. I am looking forward to many new exciting projects coming up soon.

Here is a summary of some of the key learning points from the course and the books:

  • How to position yourself as an expert in your field
  • How to develop sales funnels and build a strong “CULT-ure”
  • The story of the sea quirt – don’t stop learning!
  • Claiming responsibility gives us power over our lives.
  • Moments of hardship and difficulty are the times when we strengthen the muscle of responsibility. Only through challenge do we grow.
  • 4 options when you hit the wall: change yourself, change the system, get out, suffer.
  • When you are perturbed and aware, it means that an opportunity for a breakthrough may be at hand.
  • “Most of the best things that ever came my way seemed, at first, as if they might be the worst.”
  • Simply acquiring information is not learning – knowing vs. doing
  • Luck is what happens when preparation meets action.
  • Mistakes = great learning moments
  • A lateral thought is an innovation that takes an entirely new tack to solving a problem.
  • Lateral thought > Niche (Lag) > Leverage > Value
  • Commodity > Product > Service > Experience > Transformational offer
  • “Emergence by Emergency” – Bucky
  • Do you allow others to love and support you? support vs. propping up.
  • Values are the ideas that guide all your actions. Abundance is an attitude that shapes your reality.
  • What legacy do you want to create for this world?
  • Speed learning – learning is not time dependent, and once you get it, you get it.
  • Leadership – being able to make good predictions.
  • Hero vs. Victim mentality
  • The power of priming
  • The importance of a good network – strong connections & weak ties
  • Communication is the response I get
  • Interesting vs. Interested
  • The importance of “Essence” and “Emotions” – Go Hydra! 😀
  • Cyclical vs. Structural change
  • 2 most important things: time & attention
  • Clarity is power!
  • The law of Abundance – Sharing is having more!!! Cooperation vs. Competition.
  • “Financial freedom is having enough” – when is enough for you?
  • How to use leverage to amplify your resources
  • Ephemeralization – doing more with less
  • What business are you really in? (Hint: same for all biz)
  • Sometimes you need to slow down to get there faster
  • All decision are driven by emotions – get to the heart of the matter
  • DyVal = Quality/Investment
  • Request > Suggest > Surprise & Delight
  • The concept of Precession – always keep moving!
  • Theory > Method > Tools > Metrics
  • Network Science – how to build strong networks
  • What do you want to do in life once you have enough money?
  • Dissipative structures and Perturbation
  • How to deliver powerful presentations – the “Essence”
  • The concept of Entrainment
  • Mastery is to simplify the complex
  • Values vs. Policy – United Airlines case study
  • Client vs. Customers – how to attract more missionaries
  • Lemonade stand game – Revision of GAAP vs. IFRS accounting standards

 

Here are more photos of the event:

Photo with Bill and David, all business superstars. 😎 #7daysbizschool #futureofbusiness

A post shared by Spencer Li 🇸🇬 Synapse Trading (@iamrecneps) on

Photo with the legend himself! #marshallthurber #futureofbusiness #futureofbusinessasia

A post shared by Spencer Li 🇸🇬 Synapse Trading (@iamrecneps) on

Once again, a big thank you to all participants and organisers, and for those who are keen to join next year, please drop me whatsapp/email and I will link you up with the organisers for next year’s event.

Cheers! 😀

The Top 5 Hobbies of Millionaires & Billionaires Around the World

Recently, I came across an interesting report by Wealth-X, which conducts research about the ultra-wealthy. In this report, they revealed the hobbies, interest and passions of the world’s richest people, and some are actually very different from what we think them to be.

The top 5 hobbies are as follows:

1. Philanthropy

It’s surprising that philanthropy features top in the list of hobbies of billionaires. While giving by the rich is often ridiculed by others (“Probably giving because they feel bad”), giving is a financial discipline that keeps the rich rich, and the not-so-rich to be on the right path to success.

Some ways to give your money:

Give regularly to a cause you believe in.

There are some people who frown upon giving to the poor just because they are poor, or perhaps you don’t have a very good perception toward charity. If that’s the case, find a cause that you believe in, and give regularly to it. Some causes that are worth giving to include humanitarian aid, sponsoring budding artists, supporting the elderly in society, giving to children’s education (or even a partial scholarship).

 

Giving is good for the heart.

The act of giving brings a healthy sense of awareness of where your finances come from; the more you serve and give, the more likely it is that people treat you with respect and have a positive attitude towards you, and your business grows.

Give physical gifts instead of financial gifts.

Some charities allow people to give physical goods instead of money. Doing your research, getting the right contacts, and finding a cause you believe in (and a sustainable one too!) requires patience and some hard work on your part, but it’s a worthy exercise. Although I personally give regularly to several charities, I do not like to publicise it.

 

2. Travel

Rich people travel because… simply because they can afford it. If you do have the spare cash, it makes sense to start travelling while you are on your way to financial success. This keeps you motivated, and you can always upgrade your holidays when your financial stability improves.

But the real challenge for most people is not just the money, but also the time. Given the nature of my job (trading), I have become the go-to person whenever any of my friends want to travel, and over the past few years I have travelled to 50+ countries while still making passive income along the way.

 

Christmas tree + Cape Town Flyer + National Geographic photo frame 😄🇿🇦🎄 #Christmas #southafrica #capetown

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3. Art

Art is something that really enriches the soul, and adds flavour to life. And there is a wide range of selection to choose from, ranging from a few thousand to rare pieces that go into millions.

 

Personally, I have taken an interest in this after hunting for some pieces for my new house.

4. Fashion

I’m not much into the fashion scene, but the ultra-rich truly enjoy obtaining unique pieces of clothing.

Bespoke, boutique, and customized clothing are the rage for the ultra-rich.

While I don’t really splurge on costly apparel, I do recommend spending good money on key essentials, like a pair of decent dress shoes for men, or any other piece of clothing that you find to be something you want to pull out once in a while.

I also find that it’s a waste of money to spend on cheap clothing; it’s far more cost-effective to buy quality, reasonably priced products that can last you 5-10 years, than to buy-and-throw most of your wardrobe.

That said, I do enjoy the occasional indulgence, from quality brands like Mont Blanc, Paul Smith, AP, etc 😀

 

5. Politics

When people mention the word “rich” and “politics” together, Donald Trump is the first thing that comes to mind. Other people like Henry Ross Perot, Mitt Romney and Ronald Lauder are also rich people who forayed into the political scene, but with limited success.

 

What are your hobbies?

At end of the day, your hobbies and passion are activities that bring additional job and add colour to your life, so pick something that is fun, meaningful, and something within your means. (Not all hobbies have to be ridiculously expensive.)

On a personal note, my hobbies include hitting a gym (with my trainer), tennis (with my coach), yoga (private noob level class), reading (2-3 books a week), and not forgetting trading (15 mins a day). Oh, and travelling as well. I aim for 2-3 new countries each year. 😀

P.S. If you would like to pick up a useful hobby/skill which can provide you passive income of up to 10% returns a month (verified), do drop by for my next workshop.

Click here to register: http://bit.ly/2oXJYIL

3 Biggest Financial Regrets of Retirees in Singapore – And How to Avoid Them!

Every person has regrets, and as one gets older, it is inevitable that one would start regretting certain things. And when it comes to finances, what exactly do our seniors quip about? What decisions did they make that they regret the most? And most importantly, what crucial advice would they give to those looking to retire comfortably in the future?


REGRET #1: NOT SAVING MONEY WHEN YOUNG

This is one of the most common regrets that is universal to all seniors across the world, with older folk lamenting that they should have saved when they were younger. In fact, saving $10,000 in your twenties adds up a lot more than saving in your 40’s or 50’s. Compounding works to your favour the earlier you start. Expenses also start to rack up as you age, therefore it is much harder to save when you are older.

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Property, health spending, and raising a family take up most of your money, and saving money gets a lot harder when the children are begging for you to get the latest mobile device  for their birthdays.

Gambling and entertainment eats away at your nest egg, so stay clear of them! It’s never too late to start getting your money habits sorted out.

 

REGRET #2: NOT INVESTING TIME WELL

Back in the 1980’s, investing was a lot harder to learn without the internet. Now, it is an excuse to say that it is difficult to be financially educated. With kids these days being able to build a website from scratch (without supervision), I’m sure you will be able to find something to do that will bring you dividends in the long-run.

Most people complain about not knowing what to invest in. That is a reasonable complaint, but…

The reason why most people can’t invest money, is that they don’t even invest time to learn how to invest.

timeTime is sacred; use it wisely, and use it on what matters.

If your financial vocabulary includes any of the following:

  • buying blue-chip stocks for the long-term
  • mutual fund investments
  • investment-linked insurance policies

…you are missing out on a large chunk of the pie. A good diversified portfolio includes much more than just stocks. In fact, holding just stocks can be very risky, as seen during the 2008 financial crisis where most blue-chip stocks plunged by 60-80%.

Multi-asset class, multi-instrument investing is the norm now. If you’re not involved, it’s time to get started.

Another common misconception is that learning how to trade or invest is very time-consuming, but that is actually not true. Like any skill, it might take a while to learn it at first, but after a few weeks, you will soon get the hang of it and it will only require a few minutes a day to manage your finances and investments.


REGRET #3: SPENDING TOO MUCH ON THE CHILDREN

Many parents will look back on their days as young parents and quip that they should have spent less. Some of the bad outcomes include spoilt children, children who expect a lot but don’t contribute, and many more.

Among the many unnecessary expenses, parents could do well to reduce spending in any of these areas:

  • Extra-curricular lessons, like ballet, music, swimming (especially if the child is not enjoying them!)
  • Tuition lessons (the school system in Singapore is honestly quite robust)
  • Expensive pre-school education (they won’t remember what happened anyway)
  • Expensive holidays (we don’t remember them 1 year from now)
  • Toys that are thrown away 3 months later (we prefer iPads, honestly)
  • Expensive food at fancy restaurants (food, is still food)
  • Overseas university education (a local degree can be equally profitable for your child)
  • Expensive child-care services (reasonably priced ones will do the same)
  • A domestic helper / maid (teaching the kids to take care of the house makes more sense)

1We sometimes put too much of a premium on university education. Pay what is fair and reasonable; don’t go about spending half a million on a university degree.

Many parents have money but very little time for the children. Ask any child and you would know that he/she would much prefer spending time with their parents than having expensive holidays in Paris, Dubai, or Tokyo.

On hindsight, you would always know better. But hey, take the advice of our seniors, and spend what really matters; our time.

For what use is all these cool stuff, cool experiences, premium lessons and holidays, if we don’t get what truly matters?

WANT TO BUILD A 2ND SOURCE OF RETIREMENT INCOME?

P.S. If you are keen to start building a second source of income (besides your job) to protect yourself from the upcoming economic recession and start saving up for your retirement, I would like to invite you to join us for our next 3-hour foundation workshop, where you will learn how to generate monthly returns of 3-5% (one student has been making 10% every month for the past 15 months!) using a handful of simple strategies.

Click here to register: http://bit.ly/2nxrly7

How Much Must You Save to Have $1M at Retirement? (The Answer is Surprisingly Low!)

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These days, $1M seems to be the golden figure that everyone aims to attain before retiring. I know there is this great debate about whether $1M is enough, but hey, $1M can get you by for many, many months.

Here’s a table summarizing exactly how much you need to save (or rather, invest) every month, in order to retire with $1M. Using some formulas from my finance 101 class in university,

tableThere you go. I tabulated the figures for easy reference.
Source: MS Excel

It’s one thing to know how much to save monthly, but the real challenge is to get down to doing it.

Here’s 3 tips I have to help you guys attain your own financial goals. They are simple, but you might be surprised how hard they are to actually follow-through with!

 

TIP 1: SAVE MONEY, REALLY.

Yes, save money. This is so easy to say, but difficult to do.

I remember that in my younger days, after receiving my first paycheck, I went out and quickly spent half of my salary on a ‘gift’ to myself, as a reward for seeing the first stack of cash come into my bank account. I quickly learnt that I did not actually need that gift, and that saving money was very, very difficult, especially since you know that your income is certain!

If there was one piece of advice on how to actually save money, it is this: PAY YOURSELF FIRST! It is surprisingly difficult to get yourself to do this, but you must learn to pay yourself first. Paying yourself first doesn’t mean buying something for yourself; it means moving money out from your paycheck into a savings account or investment account on a regular basis.

Perhaps its tough for the first few months, but new habits take time to form and when you actually get down to it, you see that it is a very useful habit to have. In fact, if you have children, it would be good to start teaching them this from a young age. “Pay yourself first, and then spend what you have left” is a good way to instill financial discipline in the younger generation.

Before you ask “How much do I need to save?”, why don’t we just get down to the first step, which is to actually start saving money?

Once you get in the habit of saving, it because second-nature. After doing so for some time, we can move on to the next tip:

TIP 2: BUILD A TRULY DIVERSIFIED PORTFOLIO

Generally speaking, there are two kinds of investing strategies:

FAST money: trading income, bringing in quick gains.

Trading is the way to quickly build up a portfolio and invest in dividend-yielding counters or REITs. Once you’ve stuck to a simple trading strategy, repeating it over time is bound to yield significant profits, much faster than you would in a fixed deposit or by holding the stock index for 5-10 years.

SLOW money: passive income, bringing in smaller but consistent gains.

For those with lots of money, they can allocate much of their portfolio to more stable assets, like dividend stocks, the stock index (it brings a dividend as well!), or other longer-term bonds.

Most people want to use fast money  all through their life, but it is unrealistic. As we age, we have less and less energy and time to continually engage the markets, so the goal is always to have a large war chest that brings in true passive income.

You might be surprised how few people understand the true meaning of a portfolio. Sometimes, the word ‘portfolio’ brings in the idea that you can only buy 5-10 stocks and hold them over 20-30 years. I beg to differ; in a portfolio, one must be truly diversified across…

  • All asset classes (forex, bonds, stocks, REITs, ETFs, commodities)
  • Time horizons (fixed deposits / buy-and-hold dividend stocks VS trading income)

Learning to do so requires some dedication and bumping your head in the wrong places at first. That’s why I always recommend that beginners take up forex trading; they’ll be exposed to market volatility, intra-day and longer-term trading, and also different asset classes by trading oil, gold, wheat, the stock indices, and bonds. Furthermore, you need as little as $500 to start with, and the cost of failure is very low.

 

TIP 3: STAY CONSISTENT

It is remarkably difficult to do something simple over and over again.

Want to lose weight? Exercise and eat healthy. But how many people actually keep to this?

Want to become better at socialising? Spend more time with people rather than with your phone or computer. But how many people actually keep to this?

Want to learn to trade? Stick to 1-2 trade setups, and repeat these trades week after week. But how many people actually keep to this?

It is very, very difficult to do what is simple and boring. In fact, it is the boredom that kills most traders!

One thing that experienced traders fail to do that knocks them out of the game is this: they fail to keep reading, reflecting, and honing their craft.

Continuous learning has to be part of your investing plan. After all, most people only want to invest money, but don’t want to invest the time to learn how to be profitable.

How much returns is good returns?

Well, that depends on your goals. There is a trading strategy for every level of returns. A conservative 10-20% returns as a trader is possible and you generally take a lot less risk than someone who wants 100-200% returns a year.

Depending on when you want to retire, you need to find out how much % returns you need a year, and look for a strategy that gets you there.

 

IT’S BORING, BUT YOU NEED TO TRACK YOUR PROGRESS!

how-muchWith a Google search, I found a useful table to track your progress, credits to businessinsider.sg! Source: BusinessInsider.sg

Suppose you want to save $1M, it’s extremely important to track if you are on target, and see if you need to allocate more funds to fast money or slow money.

If you are proficient with MS Excel, you should be able to come up with a table for your income, expenses, savings, investment returns, and projected net worth by whatever year that you are aiming to retire by.

I hope this article brings you to your feet and gets you started on your quest for financial freedom. Maybe for you, the first step is to actually start saving money! Starting where you are is all you need to do. With every step you take, you’ll be one step closer to your goals.

Cheers! 🙂

RESEARCH SOURCES & REFERENCES

businessinsider.sg/compound-interest-monthly-investment-2014-3/
businessinsider.com/retirement-savings-guide-2014-3?_ga=1.199140719.1988080035.1478087095