Nowadays, birthdays are one of the best opportunities to catch up with your friends and loved ones, since most people have to work.

Grateful for all the meetups and birthday treats in the last week, and the insightful life conversations with people that I have known for more than 10, and even 25 years.

At a certain age, people start to dread birthdays (hmm.. what did I achieve with my life since last year?), and for me it is the mid-point in the year, so I usually review my goals that I set at the start of the year.

“And in the end it’s not the years in your life that count; it’s the life in your years. ”

As I grappled with the arrival fallacy for the last few years and struggled to find purpose in life, I have placed much less emphasis on career and financial success, and focused more on other aspects of life, such as:

  • Growth and contribution (reading, blogging, volunteer work)
  • Relationships (quality time with quality friends, settling down)
  • Healthy living (8 hours of sleep, eat healthy, eat more)
  • Hobbies (trying out new stuff to challenge myself)
  • Travelling (seeing all the safe countries in the world)
  • Spiritual growth (mindfulness, meditation, gardening)

Looking forward to the remaining 60% of my life. 💪🙂🔥

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

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


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. 😀

This year, we are off to a great start for our trading accounts, which means it is time to get ready to start planning our travel adventures for the year! 😀

A typical tour (if you’re going without a guide) normally involves planting yourself at a city, and then using it as a base to get to where you want. That’s fine if you want a normal, touristy tour. But getting off the normal road is a lot more rewarding (and a lot more fun!)

Unlike what the image below shows, we’re not going to London, Ney York, Paris, or the Taj Mahal (been there, done that!).


Here are 5 places you must visit if you really consider yourself a travel junkie:

  1. Wales
  2. Kenya
  3. Sri Lanka
  4. Albania
  5. Romania



Wales is home to one of the most beautiful highland regions of the world. Picturesque and yet not cliche, the natural beauty and variety of the mountainous region is sure to dazzle. Of course, how can we talk about Wales without an obligatory picture of a railway train?

waAh, yes. The obligatory railway train photograph.

History buffs would love the endless menu of castles, museums & churches. Picture the Harry Potter castle – Alnwick Castle of Northumberland in England – you get much more than that. Caenarfon, Conwy, Harlech, Carfiff, and Pembroke castle are some of the more interesting ones.

In the southwest, Pembrokeshire offers unparalleled coastal adventures and sight-seeing. Here, a snapshot of what it looks like in Pembrokeshire national park.

walesCoastal beauty is the norm here at Pembrokeshire, Wales.


Beautiful white sandy beaches, national parks, bustling metropolitan cities, luxury hotels… you probably won’t associate these with Kenya, but they sure do exist there. African nations are starting to ramp up on their visitor-friendly image, and while safety is a concern on many travellers’ minds, Kenya is a largely unexplored territory that would yield great dividends, if you know where to look.

asNairobi at night sure doesn’t look like the stereotypical Africa.

Another interesting attraction is its rich tribal culture, and Kenya wears this as a badge of honour. Bomas of Kenya is a wonderful museum where visitors can live in a recreated village, and learn about the music, culture, and lifestyle of each tribe (along with cultural performances!)

aCultural Performance at the Bomas of Kenya
Source: @fetchstix on Pinterest


Sri Lanka is often not thought of as a tourist destination. However, Sri Lanka offers majestic beaches:

111A beautiful pavilion along Bentota Beach, Sri Lanka

111111Sri Lanka is often not thought of as a beach destination.
Source: Sri Journeys

…and an epic-looking rock.

lionNot just another rock; the rock, named ‘Sigiraya’ (lion rock) is an ancient rock fortress of nearly 200m in height.
Source: Ceylon Private Tours

Marco Polo described this island as ‘the finest island of its size in the world’, and many adventurers continue to flock to its beaches and beautiful shores. Elephants, Indian culture, rare spices, and precious stones make it a legendary place for natural beauty. While the place experienced civil wars in the past, the peace it now has brings optimism to its people, and great times are ahead for this humble location.


This humble nation of about 3 million Albanians has a very deep and rich history. While watching people lead their horses out on the street, you may find it fascinating that this nation was totally isolated because of its paranoid communist dictator.

asAn Albanian leads his horse out on the streets in Cosovo.

As a result of the dictator’s communist rule, there are many strange little concrete domes (750,000 of them!) to defend the country. These gigantic grey mushrooms are all over the country.

There are some obvious problems with designing a military strategy around hundreds of thousands of bunkers. How long could one defender hold out alone in a bunker? How could all the disparate, scattered positions be resupplied? How would they communicate?

bunkerIt’s actually quite common to see bunkers in random places. In front of homes, cemeteries, and even malls.

Shopping is great in Albania, and the languages spoken are rich and diverse. Definitely somewhere to visit if you’re into history and it’s incredible how a nation survived world war 2, nazi germany, and communism all in one century.


romCool-looking houses dot the landscape amidst lush greenery here in Romania.
Source: LonelyPlanet

Romania is beautiful city with colourful cobblestoned towns painted to perfection. Aside from its quiet, just-humming-along mood, the Buconiva’s painted monasteries offer an epic adventure into the war against the Ottoman empire.

aBiblical stories painted onto the monasteries’ walls.

Most buildings are painted inside, but these are also painted on the outside. The buildings clearly deserve its UNESCO World Heritage status. History buffs would love this and the place is just surreal.

The famous Danube Delta is located in Romania. Hiking, exploring, travelling by boat, and just being in awe of wildlife is a wonderful treat for travellers who are adventurous enough to spend a few days here.

deltaAn aerial view of the Danube Delta, Romania.

baA beautiful shot of the delta from a boat.

Now that I’ve pointed out these 5 places, I’m sure you are amped to get yourself creative on your next trip.

Feel free to leave a comment if you have other suggestions, and I might just add it to my next travelling destination.

Cheers, and a great week ahead! 🙂


P.S. For my full travel photo log and list of countries travelled, please visit:



Last Sunday, I finally concluded my 20s and ventured into the big 3-0. 😀

And just one month ago, Synapse Trading turned 3! #achievementunlocked

To celebrate this joyous occasion, I took a little boat trip with my friends and some of my students.

Thanks everyone for this surprise! ? #30isthenew20 #mynewboat

A photo posted by Spencer Li (@iamrecneps) on

I love the caption and the synapsetrading logo! ? Thanks for the cake! #matcha #bakersbrewstudio #synapsetrading

A photo posted by Spencer Li (@iamrecneps) on

Double birthday celebrations! What are the odds haha. ??? #sameday #boatparty #sentosa

A photo posted by Spencer Li (@iamrecneps) on

Because trading on land is so mainstream ? #tradingforliving #extremetrading #norisknogain

A photo posted by Spencer Li (@iamrecneps) on

Thank you everyone for making this an awesome day! 😀

Also, I want to thank everyone who has supported us all these years, from an unknown blog to an established training firm with hundreds of succesful graduates trading real accounts and making real money.

We have a lot more exciting stuff planned for the next few weeks (and also the next few years), so stay tuned, because we are going to transform the trading and training industry by raising the bar! 😀

This morning, after glancing at the charts to check on my USD/JPY long positions and to take a new AUD/CAD short position, I had to rush off to make it in time for my weekly massage session.

After that, it was a sumptuous lunch treat by my broker (thanks!), and some exciting new trade ideas (which I will share in my next weekly updates), and finally it was off to see the IPTL!

From 4.00pm all the way to 10.30pm, it was an amazing display of skill and exciting plays by the best players and legends, including the likes of Ana Ivanovic, Fabrice Santoro, Daniel Nestor, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Serena Williams, Andre Agassi, Lleyton Hewitt, and Nick Kyrgios!

When I got back, I found that my USD/JPY position has gone up another 100+ pips (ka-ching!) and my AUD/CAD was slightly in the money by 20+ pips. What an eventful day! 😀

DBS Mascots - Guess who the main sponsor is?

DBS Mascots – Guess who the main sponsor is?

Ana Ivanovic - Hot Serve :D

Ana Ivanovic – Hot Serve 😀

Half-time models shaking it to the beats

Half-time models shaking it to the beats



Top view of the tennis court

Top view of the tennis court

Andre Agassi - The Return Specialist!

Andre Agassi – The Return Specialist!

Tsonga receiving serve

Tsonga receiving serve

Panoramic views

Panoramic views

Tsonga victorious!

Tsonga victorious!

Serena Willaims serving

Serena Willaims serving

Looks like a trashing :(

Looks like a trashing 🙁

Andre Agassi autographing the giant tennis balls

Andre Agassi autographing the giant tennis balls


P.S. For my full travel photo log and list of countries travelled, please visit: