Education Over Emphasised

Recently, there are a lot of discussion over whether is tuition becoming a necessity for our students in Singapore. For the benefit of readers who are unfamiliar with the term tuition, it actually refers to the extra private lessons enrolled by parents for his children to attend out of school curriculum time. To me I always like the analogy of using work – To put it simply is to ‘volunteer’ your kid to do OT ( overtime ) after office hours. I always look at those kids waiting for their tuition to start in tuition centre with a sense of sorry for them, especially on weekend mornings. Oh my, imagine yourself doing OT for all days including weekend!

Do I have OT pay for doing extra lesson after school hours????
img source: http://www.oprah.com/relationships/Stress-Busting-Tips-for-Kids

This has again not been a new discovery and has been around since decades. Just when you thought that perhaps tuition classes only apply those who scored poorly for their grades then you are so wrong! From the recent news, it was reported that even students scoring an A grade choose to have tuition so that they could maintain their academic performance. Hence it is not to my surprise that the tuition industry has actually contributed about $200 over million to the Singapore’s GDP.

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Maybe I should consider to be a tuition teacher too!

However this got me thinking that are we over-emphasing education that parents are resorting to chip in their very last cent into their child’s tuition fee. Is it really a necessity for all student to have tuition? Aren’t there should be anything much more they could do to enrich their childhood so to better prepare themselves for adulthood?

Education is necessary

Yes, as a young adult who has worked for 2 years, I must agree that a graduate certificate do provide you with an ‘ENTRY TICKET’ to many job opportunities in Singapore. It definitely able to pave a way to your desired career especially what you studied in school is actually what you wanted to do upon graduation. At the very least, school do equipped students with the essentials such as literacy and numeracy. My friends and I even joked about school has done an excellent job in training our memory skills as we are often being expected to memorise tons of facts and equations before stepping into the examination hall.

Education is not about all

If you have been reading carefully, I mentioned above that education is just an entry ticket. It has NO GUARANTEE on what your future will be like. Doesn’t mean you are a first class honours graduate you will always be the top performer of your organisation. Likewise, having just pass your grades doesn’t mean you will be the worst performer in your organisation. It largely depend on your PERFORMANCE as an individual or team player to what you or your team has been tasked.  So for scholars out there, please do not be complacent and continue to keep up the good work of striking personal excellence in your workplace!

Then what completes the picture?

In short I would say is your soft skills! According to forbes.com: Top Five Personality Traits Employers Hire Most, the qualities that a future employer seeking out for are:

1. Professionalism

2. High Energy

3. Confidence

4. Self Monitoring

5. Intellectual Curiosity

I would like to add in having great interpersonal skills to the above list and I believe the list could go on and on…

Conclusion

So.. dear readers, as you can see that education although vital, it requires one’s traits or soft skills to complement. Especially in the highly competitive society that we are living in, almost everyone have the chance of receiving formal education, hence it would be your soft skills and experience that set you apart from other job candidates. Hence, I hope Singapore parents could spare a thought for their kids, giving them a chance to develop other skills sets such as creativity and interpersonal skills in their growing years.

I would definitely think twice before sending my kids to tuition classes unless they are deemed necessary for him or her to cope and catch up with his/her peers. If not, I would rather let him/her do their own playing or get engage in their hobbies so as to learn important skill sets along the way. If really have to attend some classes, I recommend parents to send him/her for enriching workshop/classes instead. For example public speaking workshop or music literacy rather just drilling and drilling on school subjects.

Setting The Investing Theme

This will be my first entry on sharing my thoughts on Investing. I kept contemplating on choosing a topic to begin with, as it pretty much need to give you, my dear reader,  a good setting on what kind of investor I am.

I felt that majority regard themselves as an investor by simply buying shares from a stock exchange. However that doesn’t qualify you for doing investing. Some ‘players’ could be just speculating the market or simply put – punting shares. There is a clear difference between trading and investing.

I am a strong advocator in investing especially the more commonly known term – value investing. Value investing to me is like a process of discovering unpolished gems waiting for the rightful owner to realise its value. It require some research and one’s common sense to make a proper judgement.

Yes! you never hear me wrongly. Investing should not involve intricate mathematics that requires  a PhD in Mathematics or Economics to make sense out of it. In fact it should be as simple as common sense, so that everyone can have a chance to be a successful investor. As what Warren Buffett said, if investing requires complex mathematics, he could be still be delivering newspaper.

I hope this article could at least let my fellow reader who is currently in his foray into investing a boost of confidence and assurance that with the correct mind set and appropriate amount of effort, we can all achieve our financial goals.

For now stay tuned to Spectra of Life – Investing section, as I will be regularly update some thoughts and methodology on how we can get started with unravelling the hidden gems in the market.

Are You Hungry For Success?

You want to successful! You want to earn big bucks!

But have you ask yourself this question before: how EAGER are you in achieving your goals? Apparently, there is a huge difference between one being WANT to be successful with NEED to be successful.

There is a story that a young man who seek for guidance from a guru on how he manage to reap multi-million of income every year, and wanted to be  just like him. The guru then brought him to a beach and ask him to walk into the water. Although the young man don’t really understand the rationale, he followed his instruction and walk deeper and deeper till the water was about his chest level. The guru then shouted to him, move on, don’t stop. That moment the young man starts to turn impatient and yelled back, ” What has this got to do with getting rich and successful?” Without answering his question, the guru hastily charged toward him and out of a sudden, with a forceful push, he submerged the young man head into the water, letting him gasping for air.

After about 30 seconds, he lifted the young man up and asked him, what was he thinking when he was in the water. The young man still in a state of shock and bewildered at what the guru had just did to him bellowed, “I thought of nothing but just needed to breathe to stay alive!” ” That is what how exactly I wanted you to experience.” The guru said. “To achieve success, you will have to convince yourself that you NEED it DESPERATELY. It should comes with your every breath and you cannot think of other insignificant things such as hanging out. No time shall be wasted and you must FOCUS on achieving what you are aiming for.”

So dear readers, are you really feeling you NEED or merely just want to be successful? Ask yourself are you putting enough effort and time? Just like what Thomas Edison had been through when inventing the light bulb. He is a good role model of what I called the CAN DO spirit!

“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”

-Thomas A. Edison

Be Careful On How You Post A Job Advert

I truely applaud our goverment to emphasise the notion to remove discrimination in seeking future employees. This came about when there is great displeasure exist in Singapore who felt that PMET (Professional, Managers, Engineers and Technical) jobs are being filled by foreigners who most of them expect a much lower salary than what we expect. In addition, there are also arguments on Singaporean being very choosy and tend to shun away from menial jobs which resulted employer has no choice but to request for more permits to allow them to engage foreigners,

Nonetheless, I still felt that any chance of employability bias should be avoided. But sadly, not all companies in the world practise equal employability for all job seekers. They will have tendency to have certain preference toward certain group of people with no justification by the job nature.

For example, you can’t be employing a person who can’t speak Chinese to be teaching Chinese language right? but you are being bias if you specify that only chinese can apply for the job. A guideline is of what is acceptable and what is not is as below:

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img source: CNA

However, I think there is another aspect to employability, which is having yourself to stay competitive and having relevant skills sets that employers are looking for. I felt that there is so much a government can do to help us by ensure a fair system is set up for us to fight for ourself.

Maybe you might disagree with what I have said, hence feel free to drop in your comments. 🙂

Wealthy People Tend to Break the Law?

According to a research paper published by University of California, Berkeley, that rich people has a higher probability to break the law, including stealing and cheating!! Isn’t it interesting?

I know I know….To quench your curiosity, you can view the video presentation @ (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IuqGrz-Y_Lc#t=112/)

This actually reminded me on the few top civil officer being investigated for corrupted cases in Singapore. These cases actually shocked the citizen as we always regard ourselves having an effective system of governance in place. In fact, Singapore is being ranked as 5th for being the least corruption free country by Transparency International Organisation. (http://cpi.transparency.org/cpi2012/results/)

So I asked myself, what is motivation behind these top earners conceding to greed? Aren’t they suppose to be satisfied with their at least 150k and above annual salary and should be focusing on pursuing other important aspect of life such as happiness, health and relationship? This can be traced to the very fundamental question of asking “Do money make us happy?”

I guess the answer from me now is that “Having money is important – to have sufficient to build our nest, to plan for some major milestone in life such as getting married, having a baby and so on. However having more money than sufficient will only drives up unhappiness. For example, wealthy people tend to get paranoid on whether friends and family are after their family, they tend to realised that money can’t really buy them everything.

Maybe you have better answer please feel free to drop in the comment or drop me an email! Will be glad if you could share your ideas with the other Spectra of Life reader!

I will end this post by quoting what Myanmar’s opposition leader and Nobel Peace Prize laureate, Aung San Suu Kyi, described our Singapore’s education system in her recent visit:

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img source: Ang Yong Guan’s facebook

Maybe we should really start to think beyond “producing” talented pools of people for the industry but also how could we nurture the future generation to be responsible, grateful and most importantly happy adults.

Be Wise In Where You Invest Your Time

“Time is your most precious gift because you only have a set amount of it. You can make more money, but you can’t make more time. When you give someone your time, you are giving them a portion of your life that you’ll never get back. Your time is your life. That is why the greatest gift you can give someone is your time.
It is not enough to just say relationships are important; we must prove it by investing time in them.
― Rick Warren, The Purpose Driven Life

Cool-Wall-Clocks

Time waits for no man
img source – http://www.pouted.com

My First Post!!

Hey There!

Maybe you are doing some random surfing or just seeking for life inspiration, I would like to express a BIG warm welcome! 🙂 🙂

This fast-paced world that we are living in can be quite daunting at times. As a young adult, I must confess that it is NOT EASY to be an adult! There are just too much things that are clamouring out for our attention.

In our daily lives, everyone seemed to be chasing against the datelines to be met, hitting quota or feeling weary to be squeezed in a forever-crowded train.

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Living in this world is like living in tomato sauce, packed like sardines

For our financial woes, we are all concern if we will be able to retire comfortably after working for decades. Will we have enough for our children, our parents and ourselves?

To relate more deeply to your inner-self, do you at times feeling lost, and start asking yourself what’s your purpose in life? Do you ask yourself should you be achieving much more than what you are having?

With so much troubles that we are facing, no doubt most of us chose to “sleep walk” our life through, hoping things will go well eventually. I truly hope that Spectra of Life could re-ignite the fire in you, to be a friend who constantly remind you to STAY AWAKE!

This blog, of course will not be able to answer all the questions that you had in life. Instead, I hope that by sharing what I feels about life and my journey into exploring investment, I could at least provide you with an insight to all your questions  *hopefully*.

So guys and girls, once again I welcome YOU and hope YOU will enjoy your stay in Spectra of Life! Do come back often as I promise I will post regularly to thank YOU for your generous support!

Let me end this post by quoting a phase by Oscar Wilde:

“To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all.” 
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