Wednesday, December 20, 2017

A Letter To My 20 Year Old Self 10 Years Later

Soon, I'll be turning 30 in 2018. I'm growing older each day with this blog even though its still called SG Young Investment. This blog will always stay young and continue to inspire the next generation of young people even as I grow older.

There are many decisions which I have made in the past 10 years, some good while some not so good. This is a letter which I would write to my 20 plus year old self which shows my life journey and also what I've learnt so far. Hopefully through this letter, you would be able to learn from some of the decisions I made and if you're in your early 20s or younger, this letter will hopefully let you make wiser decisions and motivate you in your life.

Dear 20 year old,

Life is always a roller coaster. It is also an unknown what will happen 10 years later. But one thing for sure is the decisions we make in life will somehow determine our future. However, fate still determines some key milestones in our life.

At the age of 20, you will go through a major milestone in every Singaporean boy's life, that is serving national service. The experience will show you that life can be pushed to the limits even when we think we can't do it. If we persevere on, we will see results. The spirit of never give up is born in the army.

It is also during this time when you will start to get serious about your life. What shall I do in my life is the question? There were actually few choices left since your polytechnic results were not that fantastic to get into a university. You also did not know what to really further your studies on. The decision was made to just work in the same field which you studied for your diploma. Through scrimping and saving, you managed to save your first 5 figure savings of only $10,000 at the age of 21.

Money was the focus after you came out of army. Receiving just a salary of $1700 was the largest amount you have ever earned a month since you were born. Yes you had worked several part time jobs in the past but this was the first full time job. Not knowing what to expect is always on your mind before the first day of work. Through working, your savings manage to increase and because of the frugal lifestyle, you could even save $20,000 a year.

Stepping into the working world wasn't a bad experience. The colleagues were nice, the boss was nice and the working culture was good too. You were the youngest in the company and people took care of you and often giving you advise of life. Some were about your father's age and listening to them gave you some perspective of life from different people, their regrets and their achievements which they were proud of. You listened attentively day in and out and got some really good lessons from some of these older and wiser people.

Many people regretted staying too long in the company and always advised you to further your studies and advance in your career. After much consideration and deliberation, you decided to take up a degree course of economics which was completely different from the engineering which you studied before and what you are working as. It was a very tough choice coupled with having to balance both work and studies at the same time. The few years, no doubt were tough, but also the most fulfilling time of your life. Even as you studied part time and worked full time, this blog was born because you found the passion for financial stuff. You met more like minded people, made new friends, did stuff which you never thought you could do such as public speaking, attending conferences and events and talking to successful people at the top. You graduated with the degree eventually and never regretted the decision you made.

Even though you reminded yourself not to stay in the company for too long, you still did. After graduation, you continued staying in the company for another 2 years. Was it a wrong decision? It is really very hard to tell. Getting out of the company earlier will allow you to advance your career faster but you may not have met some people or have done some stuff if you had left earlier. But really who knows what really would have happened if you had made a different decision.

Still, staying in the same company after graduation seemed to allow you more time to focus on life beyond work. You met your girlfriend during this time and life changed after that. Fortunately or unfortunately, as a guy in the relationship, your expenses increased. This motivated you to think about increasing your income instead of just trying to save money. I could spend lesser alone but I don't want to save on my partner. So, the journey to embark on increasing income started from then on. Fortunately, opportunities presented itself even when you did not really look for it. The goals were mainly focused on savings beforehand but it changed to creating income thereafter and things just worked out accordingly somehow.

On investing, you tried all sorts of style and attended lessons outside but mostly did not work out at the start. Investing only worked when you found the style that suits you and never think of making money. Its a psychological game of greed and fear afterall. Once these 2 are removed, investing is much more easier.

Through this life, you learnt that people matter in your life. It is the people around you which make life interesting or sad. So, it is important to surround yourself with the right people in your life. The right people will motivate you while the wrong people will drag you down. The rest of the plans such as setting goals are but a road map on the destination which you want to reach. In the end, its the journey that matters. Just like planning for a holiday, we do not focus on reaching the destination only but enjoying the journey to the destination as well. The time spent with the people along this journey, the experience experienced goes a long way in our memories. Therefore, enjoy the journey while reaching your goals.

Are there any regrets in life? Most probably yes but I think everything happens for a reason. Instead of regretting, focus on the future and get back on the path which you set out initially. Sometimes, we may have gone off course but there is always time to get back on track. To my 20 year old self, there is still a long road ahead. Life will be good as long as we believe it. Never give up on your goals.

Yours truly,
From the 10 years later you

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  1. Hi SGYI,

    First time commenting here. Beautiful reflections :D

    1. Hi Unintelligent nerd,

      Welcome to my blog! Thank you :D

  2. Hey There. I found your blog using msn. This is an extremely well written article.
    I'll make sure to bookmark it and return to read more of your
    useful info. Thanks for the post. I will certainly comeback.

  3. Hi SGYI,

    Nice reflections you’ve got there. As this is very near to my current age, I find it rather motivational and it looked like some sort of road ahead of me from the resemblence it bears (ie. National service, University, first job etc.)

    Perhaps, in time soon. I will write about the reverse. A letter for my 30 year old self, 10 year later.

    1. Hi Sleepydevil,

      Glad it inspired you. Yes next time will be your turn to write a letter to yourself :)

  4. "Fortunately or unfortunately, as a guy in the relationship, your expenses increased... I could spend lesser alone but I don't want to save on my partner."

    I can totally relate with this statement! Sounds like you had a great 10 years!