Let’s get back to first principles. We invest money because we want financial freedom. We want to be free of work, free of drudgery. We want to be our own man and say what we think.
However, the increasing specialization today are turning us into cogs.
Kids need to go to school. They need to learn to toe the line early. They learn to deliver their homework on time, keep to their timetable, and learn to suppress themselves and learn a specialist skill. Most aspire to be power-point presenters cum marketers cum leaders earning big money. This breed of kids, which excel, and are reliable, will get good results, and will get jobs that will in turn perpetuate their genetic pool. If you are out of the system, you are dead – no jobs, no food and slow death. So you learn to fit in. Learn how to suppress the truth, learn how to suppress yourself. And you learn to FEAR.
Can you get out? Yes.
[Free Ebook] How should you invest your first $20,000?
We asked 14 Singapore finance bloggers to share what they would do if they could go back in time and invest their first $20,000. They can no longer rewind time, but you can learn from their experience and hopefully start with a better footing.
What do you need in life? Food, shelter and clothing.
Shelter – the most expensive thing. Buy a condo, take a million dollar loan, and spend 10 hours a day working. Send your kids to childcare. Send your parents to the old folks home – so that you can work hard, and pay your 30 year loan by clocking in 10 hours a day.
I was at Sapa Valley, Vietnam, trekking. The wooden house which I spend the night, took 2 years of part-time effort by the owner to build. So which is better? 2 years of part-time effort or a 30 year loan in exchange for a 99-year old shelter? The Red Indians take a week to construct a wigwam.
Let’s be realistic.
I recently saw a piece of land in Sang Lee, Raub – on the way to Fraser’s hill. It costs SGD$15,000 per acre. It is up in the hills. You can buy land with clear jungle streams running through it. Why not buy it? And build your own shelter? If you want someone to build it, a 1200 sq ft concrete house costs SGD $20,000. So total comes up to $35,000. Personally, I think its more worthwhile to spend $2000 to buy a chain-saw and harvest the timber on your land for building your home. You will feel a sense of achievement, and will be as fit as a fiddle. (Or do you prefer to do something stupid like pay $5000 for a bicycle and ride yourself senseless down the Singapore roads?)
Buying this acre includes free food as well. How about a vegetable plot, some chickens and a pair of goats for milk. A goat costs SGD1000, and supplies 6 liters of milk a day. If you work out the ROI, its amazing. (Also, pasteurized and hormone-laden low-fat milk will kill you slowly – best to drink it unprocessed).
Here you have plenty of time, fresh air, time to spent with the family, and eat from the work of your own pair of hands. A sum of SGD$50,000 can buy you and your family freedom – if you dare. Clothes are optional in this tropical weather.