20 things I realised in 2017

1) To achieve where I hope to be in my semi-retirement stage in 10 years’ time, I have adopted a more aggressive growth portfolio starting Q2 this year.

2) Looks like my portfolio XIRR improves from past year. The reason is because I have sold off my reits and some of my shares profitably (i.e. as compared to staying idle). I hope to consistently maintain XIRR of at least 20%.

3) There needs to be at least one-to-two “killer stocks” in my portfolio. “Killer stocks” in my definition means multi-bagger or public-listed equities that are able to reap me at least 60% capital gains. (without dividends)

4) 2017 has been a year of cryptocurrencies, electric vehicles and cyber theft. I foresee there will be more resources allocated for cyber security. Meaning, more lucrative jobs for white hats!

5) Interestingly, facial recognition features have been accepted more than before. It isn’t just for national security but for unlocking your smartphone too. I think this will continue to thrive in 2018.

6) Diversified into private equities, though it’s risky - but the journey of being an active investor, to help advice the leadership team and to learn from their specific expertise is something immensely satisfying. I hope to be involved in more new businesses (especially FMCG), SMEs and start-ups moving forward. Guiding them in strategic regional business development and market penetration have always been my forte. Technology has indeed opened up new opportunities in Asia and the world.

7) Interacting with senior management in diverse industries does give me another realm of knowledge not commonly found in my dictionary. Always happy to have an open mind; engage in mutually-beneficial conversations with like-minded people.

8) I have learn in-depth about technology (yes, simple python language and the wonders of the artificial intelligence!) and the technical aspects of the funding ecosystem. It’s good to understand from the lens of the start-up founders, as well as the Venture Capitalists (VCs).

9) It’s time to design a structured nutrition program and regular fitness workout at the gym. I didn’t have a proper schedule this year, a little guilty though.

10) Sometimes, it’s better to put aside things that drain you emotionally. You can’t change or persuade people; it’s a matter of deep understanding and empathy. There is so much we can do.

11) But if folks have broadened horizons and able to accept possible game-changers, I think its worth to explore further together – positively and of course realistically.

12) Generally, I am a positive and optimistic person. Any negative influences have to be cast aside. It’s always helpful to be surrounded by positive thinkers, positive strategists and “can-do” doers.

13) Although it’s human nature to experience the “downs”, my solution is always to seek nature which can be therapeutic. Helps me mentally, recharge me to my full battery. This can be a cycling trip around PCN. What’s yours?

14) The trip to Cambodia has always been fulfilling. The little ones’ smiles and innocent outlook, with their gentle touches warm my heart. I think this will be a long-term project worth planning out.

15) I read 8 books this year. My target is 12. It’s time to step a gear up next year.

16) The difference between a passion and a like? If you like something, you will try it out. But it’s not strong enough to keep you going to the advanced level. If it’s a passion, you will go all out to do it, regardless the outcome.

17) I have a friend in Maryland, America who is already in his senior age and having some health problems. Every year, he writes to me via email. I am always thrilled to hear his travelling stories despite his illness, including his extended family escapades. I thought for a moment – whatever circumstances thrown at us – how about trying to think positively, age gracefully and happily?

18) In the past, I did 8-12 days land tours with groups of unknown folks (mostly retirees from Europe, maybe I am getting older?). I don’t know why, I just did it. Thinking back in 2017, the information shared through drinks in the evening is something worth remembering, especially the invisible cultural barriers - taken down completely! From the experiences, I grasp about the various dimension of life and how people are readily adapting across the globe; as far as from South Africa. Amazing!

19) Creating unforgettable experiences with my wife such as travelling to Kirkenes Norway, a historic tour in Poland or even a short hike in MacRitchie reservoir has taught me about how life can be exciting one moment and fragile the next. I do look forward to reinvent ourselves, re-create more new cultural and historical learnings for both of us.  This will be our memory bank till old.

20) Watching movies on Netflix at home has brought my wife and me fond memories of discussing story plots together. This has helped to forge a closer bond between us. From Marvel Heroes to documentaries such as the wonders of Latin America (we took up Spanish, ha!). Life needs to add a little color, a little beauty to make things spicier.


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