About Me

Hi, I am Thomas (a.k.a. Mr 15HWW).

I have received this during countless Icebreakers & X’Mas parties

Very happily married (very strong emphasis here)I am the co-writer behind this blog. The other permanent writer is my wife Jasmine who has written two blog post so far (good luck searching for it here). But well, her contribution goes far and deep since she thinks she is actually the mastermind behind the rest of the other posts…

Instead of declaring that I am a value investor or income investor and offending hordes of people who go by those aliases, let’s just say that I am a Personal Finance Geek (PFG). Yeah, The PFG*. 

valueinvestor

Nah Warren… I dare not…

Here’s a list of my …ahem… achievements?:

  • At 16, I started devouring the“Ask Dr Money” column in this local tabloid, The New Paper
  • At 20, I was the cheapskate prowling around the Investing & Personal Finance sections of KinoKuniya
  • At 24, I had accumulated $50,000 from part-time work, bursaries and scholarships
  • By 27, I got married, held “the wedding banquet“, got the keys to my BTO, spent an astronomical sum on the renovation, had set aside $100,000 and most importantly, started this blog.
  • At 29, I shamelessly and unabashedly declared my wife and I quarter-retired

Thanks Rose, but you forgot that milestones consist of moments too!

So there you go. With a decade of experience gobbling up information on personal finance and investments and 3 years working in a social security organisation (there’s just 1 in Singapore), I might be somewhat disillusioned in thinking that I have something extra to offer on the subject of personal finance.

But what’s indisputable are the benefits I have received after writing this blog. Over the past 3 years, I actually gained the courage and conviction to:

  1. Quit a good-paying job
  2. Quit a better but lousy-paying job
  3. Be no longer interested in jobs

I really believe the above might not have materialised without this blog.

lion

The lion within me…RRarrr!

I have successfully (I presume) transitioned from an employee to a full-time tutor and a freelance writer.

I really enjoy my work these days and my 25 hour work week has been ramped up so much that it’s hovering nearer to 35 hours these days. I am always glad to be able to help more students.

So yes, I am no longer so hung up about reducing my work hours to a 15 Hour Work Week

addction

All right… I exaggerate…

Don’t get me wrong. Habits would retain, saving rates would be maintained and investing would still continue. However, achieving financial independence is more about having the option to wind down than actually doing it.

Afterall, if Douglas Rushkoff is right, a shorter work week could soon be imposed on us. Yeah, even in my new roles as a tutor and writer, I could become obsolete within a decade. Although I really really really really hope not.


Thanks for reading all the way till the end. I hope you have both enjoyed and benefited from this introduction. As you have most probably observed, I became more and more serious as the introduction went on but really, you shouldn’t be taking my writing too seriously (pls read Disclaimer).

*To all aspiring financial writers, a quick check shows that ThePFG.com is available! But before you plunge in, let me just reassure you that there isn’t much money to be made on the blogosphere. Unless you really enjoy writing and sharing about these topics intrinsically, the effort/reward ratio is rarely worth it. You really need to give alot more at the start before you start receiving anything, if you receive at all.

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    20 thoughts on “About Me

    1. Jared Seah

      Hello 🙂

      You have a very smart wife! LOL!

      I started my 16 hour work week last week. Work 2 x 8 hours shift on the weekends.

      At the pace you are going, you would start your own 15 hour work week in your 30s. Have fun!

      I learned a new euphemism today – chatting with wife… It puts new meaning to “let’s chat” 😉

      Cheers!
      SMOL

      1. My 15 HWW Post author

        Hi SMOL,

        First of all, a warm welcome and I do read your amazing blog too.

        What you have there is a really nice work week. To be honest, I prefer to have two weekdays free instead of the weekends. And it’s really a no-brainer to trade the weekend for 5 weekdays. Hopefully, I will be able to do something similar by 35.

        Glad that you managed to learn something new from my blog. My wife and I understand that good communication is the foundation of a strong marriage. 😉

    2. momoeagle

      Hello!

      I lost count of how much I work, because I teach tuition full time now at my centre 🙂

      You are married early! I’m only getting married next year, 31 by then 😡

      1. My 15 HWW Post author

        Hi momoeagle,

        Thanks for dropping by. I have a lot to learn from you as seen from many of your ambitious goals in the past. =)

        Coincidentally, after having a long break from giving tuition, I just started some lessons for my wife’s nephew last week. The time passed so fast, especially when we were going through math problem sums. Guess you need not count how much you work when you are building your own business and enjoying the work.

        And congrats on your marriage/wedding next year! If I am not wrong, your place should be ready soon too!

    3. Musicwhiz

      Hi there,

      Quite an inspirational intro; I remember how I used to work hard and save up in order to invest as well. Giving tuition part time was also something I did for about ten years in a row. Now that I’ve built up some passive income from my portfolio, it does free up my time for other pursuits.

      Just curious though – why would you want to buy a car? Seeing how expensive prices are currently, perhaps sticking to public transport for now would help you to save more?

      Thanks,

      Musicwhiz

      1. My 15 HWW Post author

        Hi Musicwhiz,

        Thanks for dropping by. I really learnt a lot from your articles over the past few years and you are the true inspiration!

        After stopping tuition for almost 2 years, I realised that I actually enjoyed doing it. Previously, I was harping on the 20% that was unpleasant (i.e. overdemanding parents, students with very very bad attitude, the travelling). Now, I am reminiscing the 80% which includes job satisfaction, smile on students’ faces when their marks improve and flexible work hours.

        Perhaps I didn’t make it clear enough in the page but buying a car was a thought I had more than 5 years ago. COE was low, I had some good income and most importantly, I also didn’t had a girlfriend then. Get it? LOL.

        Previously, besides delaying gratification (the good), I was also looking at amplifying gratification (the bad) from the savings and investments I had. However, my philosophy has changed drastically since then. If I were to strike Toto tomorrow (not that I buy any), I would still likely not buy a car because I really see little value in it at this point in time.

    4. hyom

      Hi 15HWW,

      Recently stumbled onto your blog and I think it is worth reading. I can see you put a lot of effort in writing the articles. I particularly like your articles on savings. Saving has been my preferred way of managing money compared to investing. Saving a dollar is equivalent to earning a dollar without incurring risks, unlike investing.

      I see you are using John Maynard Keynes as your Avatar? Are you an Economics student?

      1. My 15 HWW Post author

        Hi hyom,

        Thanks for dropping by and I really do appreciate your commendations. It’s true that I do spend quite a bit of time on this blog. Not reaching anywhere near 10,000 hours yet but already well past 100?

        I agree with your views on saving money. One has more control over his/her own expenditure compared to investments.

        Yes, I was an Econs student and it’s true I am more of a Keynesian. But he’s the avatar because he predicted that we should all be working 15 hour work weeks by now!

    5. Pok Chow

      Hi,

      I really like your story! It’s really relatable and rather encouraging for a fellow “young” person like myself. Attaining financial freedom where we can work less e.g. 15HWW is really a goal many are striking towards including myself in this very materialistic world we live in.Sometimes I wonder why I can’t go hunting for a living like a caveman did in the past…
      Oh well

      That was a good read!

      Thanks
      Pok Chow

      1. My 15 HWW Post author

        Hi Pok Chow,

        Thanks for dropping by and wow, you are really young!

        Considering my current fitness and abilities, I would probably not last long as a hunter…oops. So I am still quite far away from being able to denounce our materialistic world. But I do believe that it isn’t that hard to just use 30-40% of our monies to purchase those goods that provide us with the most value? Pareto’s Principle, anyone?

    6. John

      Hi

      Just chanced upon your blog, so are you a full time tutor who only teaches 15 hours per week?
      What is your average income and expenditure per month if you don’t mind sharing?

      Thanks

      1. My 15 HWW Post author

        Hi John,

        I am not a full-time tutor, at least not yet. So no income on that to share with you.

        The 15 hour work week remains a goal (hopefully not too long away).

        As for my expenses, they are well-documented throughout the blog since I have monthly expenditure updates. =)

    7. georgecloney

      hi 15ww, i just stumbled on your blog today. your background and forward-looking philosophy really resonate with me, and i appreciate a good many of the articles from you i’ve managed to read.

      keep up the good fight, and i look forward to reading more articles from you in the days to come.

      cheers.

      1. My 15 HWW Post author

        Hi georgecloney,

        Thanks for your encouragement and I hope I won’t disappoint both you and myself in the coming months. =)

    8. bb

      reading your blog makes me happpppy! why so? coz reading how young people like yourself are working hard, saving well, investing smart and all gives me hope about the future of singapore…. coz there’s so much bad news these days, and the stuff on stomp and some other (feels almost like anti-singapore) sites are making me lose hope sometimes.

      and i like your writing style! will be back often! keep bloggin’!

      1. My 15 HWW Post author

        Hi bb,

        Thanks for the kind comment. Didn’t know this humble blog can make someone happy but your comment did make my day. =p

        Regarding those negative stuff, I guess there’s just too many complaints out there nowadays. Most of these epople just need to learn to be more grateful of what they have and leverage on their strengths for a better future.

        And don’t lose hope because I am sure there are many others like me (or even better and younger).

      1. My 15 HWW Post author

        Hi Living Free,

        I really don’t know whether we can be considered a couple who “saves aggressively”. Probably yes if you compare us with the average Singaporean but no in the financial blogosphere.

        We don’t actively save, it’s more a result of certain ingrained habits that makes sure we don’t wantonly splurge on our earnings.

        A combination of factors such as a decent starting income, working during our undergrad years and purchasing a BTO helps a lot!

    9. Ms.K

      A very down to earth feel about your writing, I love it! Inspired that you are living a life of design, which is something close to our hearts. New to the blogging space with a 1 month old blog to document our journey to financial independence!

      So pleased to have chanced upon your blog, will definitely be a frequent visitor.

      1. My 15 HWW Post author

        Hi Ms.K,

        I think if you read the first few posts, I actually might come across as “irritating” and “arrogant”. Or that’s what many readers told me. =p

        You have a very interesting blog going over there and keep it up!

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