My Background Story

47 years old, three teenage kids, one wife, home since 1997: Singapore

After completing my A-levels in Germany, I started on the traditional path in acquiring some skills to earn money.  I did an Industrial Apprenticeship with Siemens.  Then worked, and worked, and worked, and worked some more, moved to Singapore, and continued to work in the same company.

Back in late 2012, I decided that I’d have enough (in all aspects of that word) and declared my 24 years of corporate duty with Siemens (in Germany and in Singapore)—completed—by resigning from my position as Senior Vice-President Finance.

My local Singaporean colleagues declared me outright insane; however, my Expat colleagues congratulated me on that enviable move.

This showed me again the cultural gap between Europe and Asia, regarding attitudes towards work.  By the way, this gap will have a huge impact a few years down the road with regards to which region of the world will be the superior one.

And since 2 years, I have been focusing on Tacomob.

Firstly, I am an Entrepreneur in Financial Self-Defence, trying hard to defend my hard-earned money (from those wild beasts: inflation and taxes) to maintain the buying power.  I do that by putting my assets in asset classes that have proven to outdo inflation in the long run (ETFs, Equities, and Commodities).

wineglass makes it clear ok

I know that this is not the skyline of Singapore.  But still a nice glass.

Secondly, I am a Rational Flâneur.  But what is a rationalist in my view?

Let me use that famous glass analogy to explain:

The optimist says, “The glass is half full.”

The pessimist says, “The glass is half empty.”

The rationalist says, “The glass is twice as big as it needs to be.”

Does it make it clear as glass?

And what is a Flâneur?

It is a French word, meaning stroller or lounger.  For me, it means waking up in the morning and having the majority of my time unplanned and at my disposal.  I have the luxury to be the master of my own time.  I can decide how I  spend my time.

Sometimes, that includes sitting in a café in Singapore’s Orchard Road and just watching the people go by, or cycling at Singapore’s park connectors and just breathing in nature, absorbing nature, admiring the beauty of nature.

I consider myself very fortunate to be able to enjoy that kind of life-style already now and not only when I am 65.

Why do we all have to follow the regular path: go to school, learn a job, work hard and smart in jobs for 30 to 40 years, get tired, retire and then try to enjoy life?

Why not borrow a few years from retirement and bring them forward to mid-life when time with growing up kids is so precious? And then – once the kids stand on their own feet – go back to work and do what you love?

I do share some of the methods that I used to get there under Prosper Slowly.

Have fun exploring my blog and let me know how you feel about it.  Drop me a note.

6 Comments

  1. Hi Andy, good to know you. I am from China, I search the info about Andre Kostolany, I like this man, who is very fun and smart. then I entered your website. And when I saw you comments on Cultural gap between Asia and Europe, it reminds me of my job interview experience. I have quit the job at year 2008 and 2012 and travel around the China for 6 monthes every time. When Chinese manager saw this by my resume, including HK and Taiwan , they doubted that I should be fired or laid off, they didn’t believe A chinese quit job and had travelling. Then I was interviewed by a Swedish guy at a Swedish company, he is quited interested it. most time we talked about travelling, he didn’t intervewed me by asking difficult qeustions,and I got the job, I also work quite well at current job, Actually. Interesting.

    I like you comments on Andre as well ,hope you business goes well.

    Henry

    • Hi Henry,
      Thanks for stopping by and leaving your comment.
      When I was in my corporate life, I was always hiring for attitude. Skills can be trained. Attitude is difficult to change. Either you have the right attitude or you don’t. You see, nowadays in a job different is better than better. So your different life experiences (compared to the average Chinese who follows the herd) gives you a competitive edge.
      All the very best in your job and keep up the curiosity to explore new things and ways through life.

      • Hi Andy,

        Thanks. You posts here are really wonderful, I can get a lot of inspiration form them. I think you are a trditional gentleman, I think I learn a lot from your ideas and your experience. In my life, I just try to be more simple and enjoy the life. I will keep up the curiostiy to explore the meaningful things in my life.

      • Hi Henry,

        Thank you for your kind words. I am happy to hear that my posts are inspiring to you.
        Life could be quite simple, but leading a simple life is never easy.
        Wish you fun in exploring the meaningful things in your life.
        Highly appreciate your feedback.

  2. Please add me to your mailing list.
    Thank you.

    Fong

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