What is life like after financial freedom? How can one live a fulfilling life?

central asia travelling trader

After 3 years of not being able to travel due to Covid, I am now ready to embark on my next adventure!

In fact, I have also sold my house, so I’m not sure how long I will be on the road. (Until property prices come back down lol)

This trip will bring my total country tally to 70+ countries, let’s see how many I can hit by the end of the year.

As per usual, I will continue to provide market updates, as long as I have an internet connection.

Let’s all build up our warchest and get ready for the big sale!

penthouse birthday

Every birthday, I like to take a day off to reflect and give thanks for the previous year, and brainstorm what I would like to focus on in the upcoming years. I like to think of it as constant realignment of my priorities in life.

Here are some things I would like to focus on for the next few years:

  • Continue exercising and eating healthy consistently
  • Spend more time on friendships and relationships
  • Read more about psychology, philosophy, mental models
  • Try some new things like cooking, Salsa, art, wine appreciation, etc
  • Travel more (aim for 100 countries before 40)
  • Embrace minimalism, to focus time and attention on things which are important
  • Becoming better at mindfulness, empathy, gratitude, self-esteem, and showing love & kindness
  • Continue to create more educational and inspiring content on my blog and various channels to help others
  • Find new ways/careers/volunteer work that can make a difference in people’s lives

Once again, a big thanks to everyone who has supported me all these years, and to those who have put in the extra effort to make my 36th birthday a memorable one! 😃

 

 

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The 10 Biggest Life Decisions Each Person Has to Make

Life Decisions

If you look back at your own life, or look through the biographies of famous people, you will notice that quite often the trajectory of life boils down to a handful of major decision points.

In fact, the average person has to make roughly 10 good decisions in their life.

And these major decisions will ultimately determine your happiness, wealth, and overall life satisfaction.

infographic The 10 Biggest Life Decisions Each Person Has to Make

1. Education

Before turning of age, most major decisions are made on behalf of you by your parents or care-givers.

Most likely, the first major decision you make will be related to your education.

Depending on how much freedom you get, you will have to decide on your primary school, your secondary school, your tertiary education and beyond.

The choice of your schools will determine the people you hang out with, and these people could likely end up as your lifelong closest friends.

For tertiary education, should you choose to do it, the major choice is where to study and what to study.

Your topic of study or specialisation would likely determine where you start off your career.

2. Industry

The next big decision you will need to make is what industry or market you want to start your career in.

For example, the past 10+ years have been very lucrative for those who went into the technology sector.

Of course, anyone can do well in any industry they choose to, but you will have an extra tailwind propelling you forward if the industry you pick is also trending upwards.

Ideally, you should also pick something that you are passionate about, and since jobs are getting more and more specialised, it will not be hard to find a niche that aligns with your passion within your chosen industry.

3. Niche

Next, as previously, mentioned, you need to find your niche within the industry.

This means deciding your responsibilities, day-to-days tasks, the company you work for, etc.

All these will determine the role you play within your niche.

Try to find roles that are multi-disciplinary, so that your skillsets do not become too narrow.

4. Marriage

The previous 3 decisions mainly focused on your career trajectory, while the next 2 have to do with your relationships.

The fourth big life decision is choosing your life partner. You will need to decide who to marry.

You will need to know yourself very well by this time, so that you can find someone who is compatible.

This is someone who you will be spending the most time with, so it will affect all other areas of your life.

Pick correctly and you’ll always be happy. Pick incorrectly and you’re destined for a life of misery.

5. Children

The next big relationship decision is whether to have children.

You will need to decide how many kids, when to have them, how to look after them, what parenting style to adopt, etc

This could affect your relationship with your life partner, and your life will tend to revolve around the kids, especially at the start.

Children are dependent on you. They’ll dictate how you spend your time, energy, money, resources, which could also affect your location, career, and your focus in life.

Do it right and it is incredibly rewarding. Know what you’re optimizing for.

6. Location

The next big life decision is where you are going to live.

With globalization connecting everyone around the world, it is not a stretch to say that you can choose to work and life in any country, state, city or town.

There are many factors to consider of course, such as your job, your parents, your community, your friends, your kids, etc.

The place you choose is the lifestyle you choose.

Realistically, many people who do have kids usually place more emphasis on finding a good and safe place to raise their kids.

7. Investments

The seventh big decision is how and where you invest your money.

If you do it correctly, you will achieve financial security which gives a peace of mind, after covering all the basic needs like shelter, food, transport, education, medical care, etc.

This gives you the freedom of time to pursue the activities you enjoy instead of having to slave at a job you may not like just to make a living.

Many great investors make the bulk of their money from a handful of 10-bagger investments.

Look for those great opportunities (you only need a handful in a lifetime!), diversify your investments, start early to allow more compounding, and don’t be greedy.

8. Contribution

After meeting all your basic needs and achieving financial abundance, the next focus is how you can contribute and give back to help others.

With your free time and resources, the possibilities are endless.

Volunteer with orphans? Rally for climate change? Build a foundation?

According to psychology, dedicating yourself to a cause or purpose larger than yourself to help others, ends up bringing you happiness.

Kindness is free. Choose to be a net giver & you’ll eternally be happy. Big life hack here.

9. Legacy

Next, you want to think about your legacy, basically what you will leave behind once you are gone.

For many people, their main legacy is their children.

This means raising kids who are physically and emotionally healthy, self-sufficient, equipped with knowledge and wisdom, and most importantly imbued with good ethics, morals, and values.

Besides children, we may also want to leave behind a useful invention/discovery, books or art works, foundation for philanthropy, basically anything which leaves a mark and contributes to the progression of humanity after we are gone.

10. Living to the Fullest

If you have made good life decisions so far, you would already be much happier and better off than 90% of people.

With an excess of resources, and support, you can proceed to curate the life experiences you want.

However, since time is not infinite, you will still have to deal with trade-offs. You will need to decide what experiences and activities will give you the most joy and satisfaction.

My motto in life is to try as many new things as possible, so that I can minimize any regrets of missing out on anything.

And after trying things out once, you can then decide whether you want to commit more time to it.

 “Never be afraid to try something new because life gets boring when you stay within the limits of what you already know.”

 

thumbnail an unofficial guide to living our best life beyond financial freedom

If you are excited to get more life hacks, also check out: “Beyond Financial Freedom: An Unofficial Guide to Living Your Best Life”

 

trading journey thumbnail

Many people have been asking me about my trading journey, of how I basically started from almost nothing, and steadily built my way to financial freedom.

It has taken me quite a while to document my whole journey, but I know it’s worth the effort if it can inspire others to do the same.

Well, here goes!

 

Broke College Student

When I first started my trading journey, I did not come from a well-to-do family, and I had to work several part-time jobs to pay my way through college.

I knew that if i wanted to succeed, I had to work hard, study hard, and learn the correct financial skills which would help me transform my life.

At first, I thought the most direct way would be to get a formal degree, because that would get me a high-paying job in the bank. So I worked my ass off to get into the best high school, and then to one of the best business universities in Singapore.

Basically, I was a straight-A student for every single subject, and I scored in the top 2-4% for my SAT scores. And on the side, I also became a nationally-ranked (7th) chess player.

My Trading Journeystudent score report

 

In college, I pursued double degrees in Accounting (B.Acc) and Business Finance (B.BM), to equip myself with the foundational and research skills to understand the markets.

management university

management university 2

Heck, I even got onto the Dean’s list and won some awards.

smu

smu 2

But I soon realised that even though bankers are paid pretty decent, you kinda have to sell your soul to the job, and you won’t get any chance to enjoy that money. This is pretty much the same for any corporate job.

Determined not to get stuck in the rat race, I decided that instead of working for the bank, I would tackle the financial markets myself.

 

Learning from Books

So I read hundreds of books on trading and investing, spent over 10,000 hours studying the markets and looking at charts, while backtesting almost every strategy, indicator and system I could get my hands on. My research was thorough and almost obsessive.

Learning from Books

Snapshot of my Goodreads account where I record all my readings. https://www.goodreads.com/iamrecneps

 

Getting Certified

I even became a globally accredited Certified Financial Technician (CFTe), which would normally require months/years of study just to pass the tests.Getting CertifiedI was also offered a scholarship by the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Institute, but after clearing level 1 of the exams, I decided not to continue, as I was very close to completing my ultimate trading system.cfa

These scores are considered top percentile scores for the CFA exams.

 

Creating My Trading System

And finally…

After countless hours of studying, trading, testing, and tweaking, I finally completed my “15-Minute System”, which was special to me because it had a couple of very unique features:

  • It only requires 15 minutes a day to trade – allowing me to utilise my spare pockets of free time throughout the day.
  • It can work on any market, including stocks, forex, futures, commodities, crypto, etc.
  • I only need a mobile phone to receive the signals and execute the trades – allowing me to trade anytime and anywhere!
  • I do not need to spend any time monitoring the market – no wasting of time and totally stress-free.
  • It is based on predictive price action and behavioral analysis, instead of lagging indicators.
  • It works by capturing medium-term movements by using my 4 proprietary price action strategies.
  • Short-term movements are dominated by computer algorithms, while long-term movements are dominated by fund managers, so the medium-term movements are perfect for retail traders.
  • It is easy to use and apply – even a complete beginner will be able to use it.

Creating My Trading System

 

The next few years were unbelievable.

 

Trading & Travelling the World

Armed with my mobile phone and an internet connection, I realised I could crank out profits 24/7, wherever and whenever I wanted.

Hence, I decided to fulfill my long-time dream of travelling around the world. And travel I did.

I travelled to 70+ countries and hundreds of cities across 6 continents, at the same time still spending 15 minutes a day “working” and “trading for a living”.

I also compiled all my travel photos and adventures into this travel log here, so feel free to check it out if you are looking for travel ideas.

Trading & Travelling the World Trading & Travelling the World 2 travels europe Trading & Travelling the World 4 Trading & Travelling the World 5 Trading & Travelling the World 6

 

Building Passive Income

At the same time, I started funneling my trading profits into other long-term investments, to build up my portfolio of multiple sources of passive income.

I invested my monthly cashflow of profits into a mix of fixed income, ETFs, tech stocks, REITs, properties, cryptocurrencies, etc. I also started actively buying and selling many local start-ups and businesses, including a cafe, a pub, and many promising tech startups.

I also started investing in properties, including a multi-million dollar penthouse which I use to host events. For my 30th birthday, I hosted a private party on a luxury yacht for my close friends and family.

Building Passive Income

Building Passive Income 2

Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not here to brag. I’m just showing you what is possible if you are willing to put in the hard work.

Having come from a humble background and working my ass off to earn every penny, I have no intention of squandering my hard-earned trading profits just to show off.

I spend my money on practical investments, or splurge occasionally on experiences (to share the joy with my friends and family), but I have no interest in wasting my money on flashy cars or branded goods.

In fact, I do not even own a car or any luxury watches or clothes or accessories. I am happy travelling the world in just my jeans and sneakers.

Building Passive Income 3

 

Media Interviews & Events

But soon, the media outlets started picking up on my financial success.

The requests for interviews started pouring in, but due to my travelling schedule, I only had time to do about 20 media features.

You can check out the full list of media interviews and events which I have compiled.

Media Interviews & Events

Media Interviews & Events 2Media Interviews & Events 3

 

“Spencer has developed his own way of reading charts to understand markets” – The Business Times

“To date, the company [Synapse Trading] has provided financial education to over a million people worldwide through its articles, videos and seminars.” – ABC News, CBS News, NBC, FOX News

 

I even did a rare home interview with Societe General Bank, giving my market forecast and some trading tips.

Media Interviews & Events 4

 

Guest Speaker & Trainings

Verified by media features and interviews, I started getting headhunted by many professional funds and financial institutions (such as the Singapore Stock Exchange) to share my strategies, trade for them, and to provide training for their staff.

Guest Speaker & Trainings

Guest Speaker & Trainings 2

Guest Speaker & Trainings 3

Guest Speaker & Trainings 4

I tried being a “professional trader” for 1-2 years, and it was very profitable, but in the end I preferred the freedom of trading my own accounts, and not being desk-bound in an office.

But I found that I really enjoyed the training part, and I thought it would be very beneficial to retail traders and investors if I could share with them the same level of training which was given to funds and financial institutions.

Hence I embarked on my global speaking tour, doing workshops, seminars and full-weekend trainings to share my strategies to thousands of people worldwide, while at the same time trying to fit as many guest speaking invitations I could into my travelling schedule.

For such events, I used to charge up to 5-6 figures for my trainings or speaking engagements, and the events were always packed to the brim. Some events even had crowds of up to thousands of live audiences.

Guest Speaker & Trainings 5

Guest Speaker & Trainings 6

Sharing the Stage with Famous Speakers

On many of my speaking tours, I got to share the stage with many other famous speakers, some of whom you might find familiar:

  • Chris Gardner – The guy who went from broke and living in the streets to a multi-millionaire stock broker, and was the inspiration behind the movie “The Pursuit of Happyness”
  • Jim Rogers – Co-founder of the Quantum Fund and Soros Fund Management
  • Jay Abraham – One of the top 5 Executive Business Consultants in the World (Forbes 2000)
  • Brian Tracy – Legendary speaker and trainer, and author of over 70 books
  • Mike Bellafiore –  Proprietary Trading Fund Manager

 

Sharing the Stage with Famous Speakers Sharing the Stage with Famous Speakers 2 Sharing the Stage with Famous Speakers 3

 

In 2015, I was also selected to speak at the National Achiever’s Congress, the largest of such events in Singapore, with a live audience of more than 2,500 people. It was a wildly awesome experience with such a success-hungry and energetic crowd.

 

My New Mission

Fast forward to today, after several years of teaching and training, and countless batches of success stories and grateful students, I have decided to take a break and “retire temporarily” from guest speaking and events.

But my mission to reach out to help more people on a global scale has not changed.

By taking a step back to consolidate all my teachings, I have now made them available worldwide to anyone who is willing to invest the time and effort to learn this valuable lifelong skill.

I have compiled all that I know into comprehensive free guides and training programs to make it access to anyone who wants to make the effort to learn this valuable skill.

Which means that no matter where you are living, you can now have full access to all my trainings and benefit from my full trading system which I used to build all my wealth and success.

The only question is…

Are you ready to embark on your own journey?

 

thumbnail an unofficial guide to living our best life beyond financial freedom

If you are excited to get more life hacks, also check out: “Beyond Financial Freedom: An Unofficial Guide to Living Your Best Life”

2021 07 03 18.16.19 scaled

As I slowly edge towards my mid-life crisis (just joking!), I want to thank all my friends and family who have always been there for me as my pillar of support.

BIRTHDAY WISHES!

With no opportunities to travel this year, i have had more time to reflect on life, and here are some of my musings:

  • Finding a life partner has been the top of my priority, and though it hasn’t been easy or successful, I have learnt quite a lot in a short period of time. In this area, it is useful to talk to people who have successful relationships and to learn from them.
  • Many people tend to neglect sleep, but optimising it can improve all areas of your life, by boosting your energy, mood, etc. Aim for a consistent sleep cycle of 6-10 hours, depending on each individual. Invest in stuff to make your sleep better, such as mattresses, pillows, diffuser, blackout curtains, white noise, etc.
  • Meditate daily to improve concentration, clear your mind, enhance your focus, and enjoy many more health benefits. Start with 5 minutes a day, and slowly increase to 1 hour a day. If it feels like a waste of time, think of it as sharpening your axe instead of using a blunt axe to chop a tree.
  • Do not neglect your health as well. The main areas of focus are physical exercise, stamina (cardio), flexibility, and most importantly, nutrition/diet. Aim to eat healthy, and take note of caloric surplus/deficit if you want to increase/decrease your weight.
  • Learn useful skills, and take up fun/creative hobbies, for example driving, cooking, dancing, learning a new language, coding, etc.
  • Read widely. The more I read, the more I realise I do not know. Stay humble, stay hungry. This year, I have focused my readings on relationships, philosophy, and psychology. for less serious reads, I also enjoy science fiction.
    • Philosophy helps one ponder the meaning of existence, and sheds some light on the fabric of reality. Most people blindly accept what has been spoon-fed to them, and do not stop to think for themselves and question whether it is indeed true.
    • Psychology helps one understand other people, and more importantly oneself.
  • When people near the end of their life, the thing they cherish most are relationships. These should be cultivated throughout your life. Learn to listen and help others, and be present. There are many levels to relationships – learn to connect with people on a deeper level.
  • The only way to be content is to embrace gratitude. Instead of wanting more, learn to give and contribute. Life is not a competition, there is no prize for struggling to reach the top in everything. The journey matters more.

Once again, thanks for all the birthday treats and gifts, and I will compile them below:

 

 

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thumbnail an unofficial guide to living our best life beyond financial freedom

If you are excited to get more life hacks, also check out: “Beyond Financial Freedom: An Unofficial Guide to Living Your Best Life”