Ben: JR8, I read your reply after an afternoon in the pub and then vino watching the GP....it was far too deep for slightly sloshed brain!
-- Nah, I think that’s probably the best way to read my posts
B: Interesting thoughts and well captured from your perspective so thanks for your insight. I am being a bit tongue in cheek if I say I am retiring. I am giving up my current job and we've done our assumptions on me not working as we didn't want to be in a situation where we ended up struggling or stressing if I didn't find a job.
-- It can be a good way to approach it, as you start with solid in-built contingency, nothing reliant or premised upon what you *might* or might not manage to achieve within an the added burden/challenge of an alien country, where you’re not leading the family off to as the bread-winner. Your household stands on her primary income, then, if you later add to it then all the more rewarding.
After nearly 2 decades in an 'office' role and hitting the big 40 I actually fancy a change so this is pretty much the perfect opportunity to kick myself up the butt and venture outside of my comfort zone.
-- Yep understand, it’s not a gear-change we get coached for. And it often seems to be only when obliged to crystallise such longer term thoughts, that it’s only then they come together. Quite understand (remaining in the comfort zone is invariably easier – tis human nature).
I'm not discounting going back into engineering or project management but I suspect it would be a bit of a culture shock as the set up I have at the moment is pretty cushty.
I'm more thinking that I will go into business with someone or set something up. I have a few ideas and the luxury of time to explore them. For other ideas, I am going to just observe life in SG and note what I find lacking compared to UK/Europe. I'll then see if there if there is an opportunity to turn that into something.
Or, I could buy a PS4 and play video games a lot...
. And as hard as you perceive the shift in status to put you under some kind of societal duress, I’d encourage you to enjoy the transitory ‘let-off’. At least until you have had time to give it a trial period and find it’s (likely?) perhaps not wholly fulfilling. But even then it wouldn’t be a case of being under duress to $contribute, more finding how to thrive in that position.
Interesting you mention your banking history. I had the opportunity at 25 to go into the city and mulled it over as engineering graduates with a bit of experience appear to be reasonably valued. The commute and whole lifestyle put me off a bit so I'm glad I stuck with engineering to be honest. And, actually, after spending an evening in a city bar full of young city types....I would hate myself if I was part of that set. Obnoxious doesn't even begin to cover it. Of course, I'm sure they aren't all like that at that age but when some random stranger comes up to you, starts banging on about your watch and how he's going to buy one like that with his next bonus you do wonder...
-- Yeah, that’s around when I started +/- a few years, c86.
Coincidentally a couple of the most ‘decent’ traders I worked with were a ‘mech-eng’ who’d started off as a graduate trainee in Ford Europe, and an Oxbridge PhD 2nd career (late 20s) PhD in Astro.... er, not astrology Smile.... building satellites or something. I think what we all shared was abandoning an externally assumed/imposed career (‘mothers expectations’), throwing it away and going for an unstable unknown.
Those engineer guys were the easiest going, but yet usually the most day in/day out successful. There was varying and apparently no limit to the drama and histrionics from the wildly cyclical 20+ other egos I dealt with each morning on the floor. I don’t know, maybe the discipline that draws one to engineering is closer to trading than might meet the eye? The logical thought-out pragmatic approach is perhaps common...
Yes the commute to the City is usually a bummer. Esp if you’re older and need more space hence out of town. The hours are brutal (and you have to compete, or face getting spat out). So in some respects you need to really feel either a calling to it, or, be fool enough to consider it easy money. I’m not sure why else you’d wager upon such a risky gamble.
I don’t agree with the ‘snobby city types clique’ stereotype; no more than birds of a feather tend to flock together. Friday night after work is almost a ritualistic off-gassing after work, and tribal. Same same as after work down at Boat Quay after work on a Friday. Either way early/mid careerists are inherently competitive. Lawyers as a clique are completely insufferable IME (even to a ‘’’banker’’’
). So are many other professions. I think ‘the banker thing’ in the UK it crystallises around many things, envy, no one knows what they do for it, assuming it’s easy money from which they’re denied, etc., assuming *all* bankers earns shedloads, don’t deserve it, and are all arrogant tw*ts.... none of which are even alone true IME. The trader I mentioned above, [‘Rich’] who’d interned at Ford Europe, he was mid-20’s, working class, earned $2mm/pa (that’s 20 years ago!) and then still drove a 10 year old Ford Escort/XR3. One of the most level-headed colleagues I’ve known.
The other really grounded easy to deal with other ones, example: Andy, (really lovely bloke and super successful) started out as a valet parker at the Dorchester Hotel (so, as it was, figured out how he one day he too might own a Ferrari, and he did, and then later, late 20s, about 6-8 IIRC. He came from being a virtual '''shoe-shine boy''' - and he would be the first to remind you of that).
Some do that and bank it, some go nuts spend it and end up losing it all. For Rich and Andy, there were 3200 others earning less (ie. everyone else). Take out 10 top traders, board level, and I doubt the average salary was above £30-50k/pa. But the ‘’’articles in the Daily Mail’’’ never mention the 90% majority do they... [so the conveniently angry myth continues?]. Meanwhile we the 90% strived to get on within the meritocracy.
Anyway, I've always fancied a dabble in the markets but I'm acutely aware that if people with plenty of experience (such as yourself) can get horribly burned, then it's not a game. I have some colleagues here who day trade on the side and are pretty successful. I just haven't had the time to devote to studying the markets. I'd like to think I would use my data analysis skills and completely rational and non-emotional decision making abilities to good use. We shall see though, I intend to use a bit of spare cash (that can afford to be lost) to invest and see what comes of it.
Or I could stick to the PS4...
I’m glad you’re thinking that way. Not because I wish to put you off or ‘scare you’. But I think these days there are several channels promoting how easy it is; and it’s not. If I can encourage proceeding with thought, research etc then great.
I wouldn’t advocate day trading. The shorter term the horizons the closer you have to be to the market to hope to beat it. Most don’t, most won’t admit they had no hope of doing so, and didn’t. Perhaps most don’t even know that themselves or accept it.
Study the markets. As you would now, more than you will have to in future if seeking a living from it. Keep your powder dry until then
Taking 6-12 months standing back observing and learning might be time well spent...
I suspect with your ‘Eng’ rigour, + a logical approach you will click. Consider it, test it for a while on paper. As an engineer you’ll stress-test it too (good!).... then when happy and ready, set sail