Sunday, November 19, 2017

Working for Free/Working for Entertainment

It has been quite some time since I've last blogged. My specialist diploma programme is now underway and I'm taking a breather now that I have completed most of my project work. In the course of my studies, I came to re-confront my naivety because of something my lecturer shared with the class.

I have not really shared this in detail in my blog before. Why am I investing? Is it a means to escape the rat race?


I have always been enamoured with the life of a researcher. What joyous fun it is to spend my days theorizing, thinking up of experiments, and observing whether my hypotheses are able to stand the test of scrutiny. It is fun to read journal articles and learn how better minds think. The nuance in their thinking. The way they communicate their expertise. Their mastery over one or more fields and their octopus-like capability to draw insights from one domain to enrich their knowledge in another domain.

Well, that's how it is.

Until I realized in my undergraduate life that there are folks who are able to pursue what I want to pursue with absolute ease. These are your rich kids......and there's quite a handful of them in my field. As is often the case, their parents are public figures, business owners, or high-ranking executives.

After some time, the green-eye monster reared within me. I rationalized that because of their wealth and connections, they are easily able to go much more further than me. I rationalized that they are able to get job experience faster because of pa and ma's help. What I did actually have evidence of was that these individuals work for free in some cases. Money is of no concern to them. For some of these less-than-remarkable rich kids, a "job" is just a plaything to them. For the other group of highly-motivated, high-achieving heirs of elite parents, a "job" is an entertaining avenue for them to collect achievements and beef up their resume to the stars.

I could not recall how I stumbled onto investing. All I thought of back then was that income investing could even the odds in my favour. It seems viable. An alternative income stream, so to speak, to prop myself up if I return back to school as a full-time student, or in the worst case scenario, to work for free doing the things I liked best if enough high-achieving rich kids flood my industry and "spoil market" and work for free.

What really was drilled into my head is that I am too naive. Heirs don't flock to the social sciences only. They do open businesses that bleed cash flow. Wait! What? Well, they are passion projects with income support from their "sponsors."

Financial engineering. Much.