Kok Koon
62 upvotes received
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FI-ing via the S Quadrant
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  • Asked by Anonymous

    Kok Koon
    Kok Koon
    18 Answers, 62 Upvotes
    Answered 4d ago
    Do you have any expectations for his career choice? And what does he want? I was given a slot for accounting in NTU and had 2 years during NS to make a switch. It was my 3rd choice. I was toying with the idea of applying for my other preferred area of study. Accounting wasn't my choice. My sister simply said, "you can take history/geography (any other subject interest) in your free time while taking accountancy (as a professional degree) but not the other way." And that one can achieve an honors, professional degree from a renowed business schools in 3 years sealed the deal. I wanted to get out of school, as fast as possible with the lowest (time and monetary) cost - fulfil my job as a good Singaporean son, take the photo and then carry on with my (real) life. I didn't do well in school but graduated anyway. I was trying different things from online marketing to selling flowers on V day at Orchard Road. Benjamin Loh, a local accounting grad and fellow Seedly community member, shares his experience: https://blog.smu.edu.sg/undergraduate/what-learnt-after-getting-cs-and-ds-during-university/ A few key considerations: 1. Accounting is a professional degree (like lawyers and doctors, we are guided by Accounting Laws and Code of Conduct/Ethics). One cannot be an accountant (CPA/CA) without a formal degree + working experience. On the other hand, the things computer science degree can achieve, one can do on their own time without risking staying in school. Quite honestly, I'm not sure our locals can code as well or fast as the Chinese and Indian undergrads that take the 1st and 2nd class honors in our local unis. My friend entered uni 2 years ahead of me graduated at the same time as he dabao (repeated) 2 sems worth of modules. Suffice to say, a structured program may bring out the best in him in the shortest time - if he has a good computer science degree AND has side projects with many users, he can be a great programmer with Google with 6-figure annual salary in the first year. And I don't know many accounting grads who are paid as well in google as their computing engineers. 2. The value of uni education For me, the value of uni education is not the knowledge but in the building of the analytical mind, collaboration with others, project management, rigour in arguments, being professionally critical. Being in a business school and specifically in accounting does mean that at some point, my friends will become partners in accounting firms, CFOs/CEOs, financial controllers with regional roles - some already are. The alumni link, network, all have value. If I need insights of the job market, internship opportunity for a relative - it's a phone call away. This however, is not confined to accounting. Computer science have their own illustrious alumni, seniors, power connectors that can bring your child to Silicon Valley in double quick time. Why not right? 3. He will be bearing the consequences of his decisions, not you. I guess the fact that you are asking on Seedly (age group 24-35 - mostly) shows your willingness to hear us out. To be honest, no one can give you answers. That's why I started the answers with questions. Your role in the entire conversation is to help him get clarity. Communicate your pride, confidence and support for him through the way you talk to him (focus not the outcome, but the process). Have confidence that having guided him well thus far, he will figure his own path - even if he might take a while. I didn't pursue the lucrative career in accounting. But when I connected the dots backwards, my own interests, natural talents and inclinations are converging in my 30s. I'm not hitting where i think my potential is but I am grateful that I stayed my own course. Some will only realise they are in the wrong place in their 40s, 50s. Not impossible. but will be harder to change then. We have much to learn about parenting ourselves. You are almost done getting your kid to adult. It's something worth looking forward to. Jia you jia you!
  • Asked by Anonymous

    Kok Koon
    Kok Koon
    18 Answers, 62 Upvotes
    Answered 3w ago
    I can't tell you what to do, I can only tell you what I did. I did accounting degree too and my passion is in digital marketing. Didn't do the Big Four route cos I couldn't see myself pass 12months, let alone 36months to get my CA. At 24, I dreaded my corporate work and after working 14 months + pay back all my study loan. Quit my job to start a business. Learn lots from the first business but eventually parted ways and build my side hustle with focus. The OMO served me well but I was evaluating my choice when I saw my friends rising up their corporate ladder. At 29, I had to decide if I want to stay self-employed or go back and start from the bottom of the ladder and work my way up. So I took a #yolo trip to #findmysoul - i intended it 6 months but with an ongoing project I took 2 weeks. In that 2 weeks of travel, i realised what I had was a firstworld problem. I was doing ok and I want to jettison everything for something uncerta I also remembered why I dread a corporate job - I even filmed the dreadful CBD crowd marching towards their offices in the morning and watch it on my phone when i was talking a 5-day professional course to be reintroduced to corporate life. That drive kept me out of a corporate career. So, my journey is somewhat similar, questions and questions before the big 30. If you have financial commitments/liabilities, make sure your decision is risk-calibrated/managed. Otherwise, experiment fast. One thing I've learned so far about career/work choices: Few know exactly what they are meant to do/their true north/ikigai. For me, i learn to strike out quickly what I hate doing and keep trying new things. Once I find something/a community I like, I dig deep. Kiss many frogs, one might become a prince. Date the prince. If it's a good fit, marry it with the rest of your life and make the most out of it. Carpe diem!
  • Asked by Anonymous

    Kok Koon
    Kok Koon
    18 Answers, 62 Upvotes
    Answered on 11 Nov 2018
    Questions for you: 1) What is your current salary and if you stay long in the industry without a degree - on mere experience alone - can your salary go up multifold? 2) Do you have any side hustles? 3) Can you qualify for local uni? 4) Are you a hustler, resourceful and heavy networker? 5) Do you have a strong why to make it work regardless? ======= Considerations for each question: 1) Some jobs pay very well regardless of your education qualifications. Deliver the results and you get paid handsomely 2) If your side hustles can potentially get you out of a 9-5, or you know how to trade, you can look at using that as your safety net. But mind you - trading for income (or side hustle) with a stable job and without have very different effects on your psychology. 3) Until its proven in the HR world (pulbic and private), local unis are more recognised and much more heavy subisidized. 4) Asking for help/mentorship, being likeable and helping others can get you through tough times. If you are introvert and dont plug yourself into a community actively, investing and 2) is a very lonely process. 5) if your reason to succeed is not strong, you cannot last through tough times. If it's just money and returns on investments, remember 80/20. 80 percent of the results are borne by the top 20 percent of the pple. Closing thoughts: the best returns are the investments made to yourself. A degree (from a good school), not only give you academic knowledge but a good network, crticial thinking and skills to navigate globally. Although i did not use it for a corporate career myself, ive seen many of my peers using it to launch of careers that has salaries jump multifold and now poached for CFO, CEO roles in bigger SMEs. And they invest. Maybe think 'how can I do both?' vs 'this or that?' All the best!
  • Asked by Anonymous

    Kok Koon
    Kok Koon
    18 Answers, 62 Upvotes
    Answered on 07 Nov 2018
    I'm 34 and only maxed out my SA after the housing is settled. Speaking from personal experience (got our resale in July last year), we did ours in this sequence: - Check housing budget and overall cash buffer combined with le-spouse/fiance - Decide on choice of housing (BTO/Resale/EC/Condo - these were the options we were exploring then) - Signed the OTP for resale with keys scheduled to be collected in 5 months (mutual agreement) - Got the HDB housing grants via CPF - THEN got both of us to transfer all the OA to SA. - Service the downpayment and bank loan with cash. One can argue the "opportunity cost" lost in not transferring OA to SA from as young as 25 but I didn't know what was our final housing choice then. So although I'm a proponent of maxing SA as young as possible, I think common sense must reign. A bird in hand is better than 2 in the bush. If you are getting married soon, please make sure you are not financially stressed and do it in the right sequence. Liquidity is very important for a stress-free living. Good sleep is better than any returns.
  • Asked by Anonymous

    Kok Koon
    Kok Koon
    18 Answers, 62 Upvotes
    Answered on 02 Nov 2018
    Sleeveless to sleeveless in 3 generations. Fu Bu Guo San Dai Truism is dime a dozen. There's 2 sides to a coin. You will always be able to find evidence for the argument you are already convinced of. So what are you going to do about it for your own PF?
  • Asked by Anonymous

    Kok Koon
    Kok Koon
    18 Answers, 62 Upvotes
    Answered on 31 Oct 2018
    "And when your child asks you for money, you may want to say, "Write me a list of ten different things that you can do, legally and morally, so that you can affordwhat you want without asking me for the money" - Robert Kiyosaki, Rich Kid Smart Kid, pg 55. Tons of gems when you deep dive financial literacy for children. Borrow the books from the library. I recommend using the following materials: http://www.richkidsmartkid.com/grownUps.html https://www.coolmathgames.com/0-lemonade-stand https://www.capitalgainsgroup.com/bananaeconomy - Accounting educator + interest in personal finance for students 14-18
  • Asked by Kenneth Lou

    Kok Koon
    Kok Koon
    18 Answers, 62 Upvotes
    Answered on 26 Oct 2018
    Breaking News: CPF Goes Bankrupt Thanks @Gabriel Tham. ;)
  • Asked by Kenneth Lou

    Kok Koon
    Kok Koon
    18 Answers, 62 Upvotes
    Answered on 26 Oct 2018
    Breaking News: CPF Goes Bankrupt Thanks @Gabriel Tham. ;)
  • Asked by Anonymous

    Kok Koon
    Kok Koon
    18 Answers, 62 Upvotes
    Answered on 01 Oct 2018
    Heyo QP! Fellow self-employed here: Leaving you a video comment as typing it out will take way too much time: Video link: = https://cl.ly/8be3f3c7785e IRAS Calculator: https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=2&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=2ahUKEwjys3cpOTdAhWLrI8KHZbRCGcQFjABegQIBxAC&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.iras.gov.sg%2Firashome%2FuploadedFiles%2FIRASHome%2FIndividuals%2FTax%2520Calculator%2520-%2520ResidentsYA17.xls&usg=AOvVaw36RaJQAX74G-15QyTe7KJt
  • Asked by Anonymous

    Kok Koon
    Kok Koon
    18 Answers, 62 Upvotes
    Answered on 20 Sep 2018
    Adapted from another answer on savings I graduated at 24. Worked for 14 months to pay off $11k student loan before going on my own at 26. Cos if bankrupt student loan still need to pay. For your consideration, I benchmark my peers who are climbing the corporate ladder. Just monetarily, my calculation was using the median income of my friends at $X,000. I would need $X,000 x 12 months ( + 2 months bonus ) x 1.17 (additional 17% in CPF from employer) x 1.2 (20% Risk premium for selfemployment) to make sense for me to stay in business. Otherwise, I should go back to my corporate career. in your case, find out your industry's median and compute accordingly. Edit: What you'd miss in MNCs: Medical/Dental benefits, Learning and Development budgets (all-paid conferences, seminars, industry workshops and skills training), expensive database subscriptions for insituitions. Other subscriptions that will cost a lot more per utility as an individual. === Non-monetarity but still worth considering is the effective dollar per hour value of your time. If you make the same amount as your peers annually but you work 4 hours per day vs 8 hrs cos of efficiency, outsourcing and commute time saved, your pay is effectively x 2 of your peers. You also spend lesser hours in meetings, buying office wear and wasting time in office gossips and politics. Convert these time into products and scale. You are in a super good niche. Can scale by your reputation. Treat your work as a business. You are good to go.
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