Thursday, February 18, 2021

So, which am I? A monk, shaman or wizard?

In the last 3 posts (here, here and here), I've shared what my thoughts are on different ways to reach financial freedom. I've done nothing new, as there are other more prominent bloggers who shared similar ideas that I've copied proudly with some of my own inputs. Essentially, one can be financially free by either reducing expenses (monk's path), earning a lot of income (shaman's path) and lastly by being a good investor (wizard's path). Let's explore that a little more.  I'll also share which of the 3 types I am most aligned to in this follow-up post.


One doesn't need to be a pure class to win the rat's race. In fact, I think being a pure class will be a much harder journey. I think we can all aim to be above average in just 2 out of the 3 types and we can still nudge the odds in our favour enough to reach financial freedom. Someone asked me which is the best way out of the three. I think that's the wrong question to ask. Rather, you should ask which way is the best based on your own personality type and temperament. At a certain life stage, it's better to play to our strengths instead of improving our weakness, because it'll give us the best reward with minimum effort. 


After investing/trading for so long, I slowly came to the realisation that I'm just, at best, an average wizard. Current abilities aside, the more important question is if I am willing to invest more time and effort to improve my wizardry skills. I think honestly, it's a flat no. There was a time when I've read the entire library worth of investing books and I think that time had passed for me. As it is, I have more and more projects that require my time and commitment, and that I've found it more meaningful to do. So, I can safely rule out being a wizard now. That's also one of the reasons why I'm moving towards Endowus to manage an increasingly larger and larger part of my portfolio so that I can concentrate on the things that I do best. Moving forward, I should have a small trading portfolio, a med sized SG portfolio (with good dividend-yielding stocks and REITs) and a large invest-the-world portfolio using Endowus. The trading portfolio is to curb my gambling instincts, while the SG portfolio is to generate passive income to supplement my active income. The main mover of networth should be the Endowus portfolio.


After tracking my networth for many years, I realised that the main contributor to my networth is still my active income. Investing gains/dividends is not the main contributor. What took me so long to realise that? I guess it's just stubbornness plus inertia. From my expense tracking, I know that I don't spend a lot of money as well. Hence, I must be a hybrid monk/shaman. Being a monk is natural for me, so much so that I have to reverse some of the natural inclination to save money to have a bit more quality of life. Does a bird have to think to fly, a fish to swim? No, it comes naturally to it. I guess being a monk is the same thing for me. 



At the same time, being a shaman doesn't mean I'm a super high-income earner. I am self-employed, yes, but far from being a business owner. But the hybrid class of shaman combined with monk means that I don't have to earn a crazily high CEO level kind of pay to reach financial freedom. The special power of this hybrid class is that I have a naturally high base savings rate. It's easy for me, and I don't have to suffer at all to maintain it. And that's the only way to do this. Because if you suffer too much over a long period of time, spending precious willpower every day for like 20 to 30 years, chances are that you will give up.


As I grow older, I realised more and more that there is some money that is not meant for me. The wise ones say this: when young, experiment; when old, specialise. When I'm younger, I'll dabble in all sorts of ways to see which is suitable for me. But when I'm older, time is increasingly becoming a precious commodity. And energy. I just don't have that drive to suffer as much as when I'm younger. I think it's natural because as we get closer and closer to financial freedom, the ability to take hardship reduces.  So, I'll do more of what I've shown to be good at, with less experimentation, especially those that requires too much effort. If it's not a hell yes, then it's a straight no.


I'm going to make the second part of my journey towards financial freedom a happier and a more balanced one. The ideal situation is that I don't even need to worry if I am going to reach financial freedom or not because I'm already living the kind of life I've envisioned after reaching it. The destination should become less and less important, with more and more importance placed on the journey itself.


Live long and prosper.

7 comments :

Gohawaypapa said...

I feel exactly the same! Monk/shaman. So I've been trying to shift away to stashaway and maintain a simple portfolio of etfs focusing on geography, sectors and themes. Then keep a small amount just for dabbling with stock picks or trading.

So much so that I've started a blog with a section intended for finance but have not written anything about it. Too many financial bloggers around.

Focusing more on thought pieces and parenting (motivated after reading your post competitive edge in parenting)

la papillion said...

Hi gohawaypapa,

Just start writing, haha! Do you write for yourself or for others? And don't worry that others had already wrote about it before. Nobody will write the same way you do, esp when you have found your writing voice. Will be glad to see more post on parenting by involved fathers. I feel that space is not represented enough haha

Let's do our part to light on this space!

Gohawaypapa said...

Supposedly write for myself, but I buah paiseh, I think some of the ideas are worth sharing. So give me input on how I can improve!

It's also good for me when I look back on the year at the end of the year.

At some point I'll just copy and paste my reply about the best CCA also.

Also, if u like fantasy fiction, consider the passage trilogy by Justin cronin and the golem and the djinni by Helen wrecker I think. These r the 2 most recent that I've read and thoroughly enjoyed.

la papillion said...

Hi gohawaypapa,

I'll add your blog in my link :)

Sure, I'll check out the book recommendations :)

temperament said...

To be a monk is not really difficult if U are not or cannot be a shaman. No talents to earn a high pay lah.

Since U are not a shaman that only choice left is try be a wizard by hook or by crook;(Cantonese saying "Pok Yat Pok lol. Ng Pok' Kan shi Teng")

The choice we make is more or less predetermined by who we are make of - Partly by DNA partly by experiences.

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