I suck at investing. At a ripe old age of 30, after building my 6-Figure internet business, my investing portfolio is really just the 500 books I published on Amazon.
I treat each of them like my mini-properties.
Invested thousands of dollars and countless of hours on them so that they continue to generate passive income for me for years to come.
I didn’t really become obsessed with personal finance until after graduating from university, because I had to pay back all the debt I owe to my parents and the government loan.
For almost my entire adult life, I’ve been afraid to invest. I was keenly obsessed on learning how to earn more money though.
But I also understand that I cannot earn myself to freedom.
Being brought up in a typical educated Asian family comes with its own pros and cons.
We’re typically very thrifty and we have an acute sense of cents.
So honestly, I’m not cut out on giving you any investing advice.
I do not know which stock is climbing next week.
I don’t know whether the real estate market if going to pop next year.
I’m not into any gold and silver trading.
Frankly, its my first time feeling a little bit reckless with my money.
I’ve done well financially so far as a self-publisher. Thanks to the effort and persistence I put into treating it like a Real Business.
A little backstory if you’re new here: I’m born and bred in Malaysia, but I incorporated my publishing company in Singapore. In 2011, I made the leap from being a fresh graduate to going solo at internet marketing. Armed with nothing more than an engineering degree and a student loan, I banged my head against the wall trying to convince everyone that it was doable. Read more here…
Being in a startup friendly environment and an entrepreneurial hub really helps your business to grow.
(Singapore is a good place to start your company because of the low corporate tax rate and the simple regulatory processes.)
“If you want to achieve rapid progress in building a real sustainable business online, you must start by stripping off the unnecessary bureaucratic practices that counter innovation and speed.”
There just wasn’t enough money at the beginning
My crash course in investing happened just about a month ago. As a student going to school relying on parental financial assistance and government study loans, I could only learn how to earn some money and save the remaining portion of it after spending.
Even so in my early years of my solo-preneurial journey, I was limited to figuring how I was going to repay all my debt, let alone to be able to afford buying a car or a home.
A Baby budget
I was just recovering from the trauma of my terrible mishap back in 2012 where I was splashed with acid, robbed and left to be blinded and scared for life. Read the full story here.
I realize i was running out of money. It was a year and a half into my stint as an internet entrepreneur. Nothing was working out.
So I took a crack at budgeting.
My very first budgeting plan was conservative, simple yet concise. You may laugh at it, but it helped form the foundation of my publishing business today.
Basically I knew I had X dollars left in my bank account, I formulated a plan to get the most out of it. With just about 6 months before I ran out of cash and had to start working for somebody, I calculated the nominal amount needed to outsource and publish a book each week.
With a modest goal of earning $1000/month for a start, I assumed the number of books I needed to get published was approx. 15 titles each month. That’s assuming my titles sold 1 – 5 copies each month. A very modest number.
I was extremely lucky I achieved the $1000 mark on my 7th month in publishing even before I hit 100 titles.
As I made my royalties through Amazon, I eased into the world of investing and financial planning, mostly born out of necessity.
I had student loans, and was going to have to repay a very expensive university degree. There just wasn’t enough money available for fresh graduates to experiment with entrepreneurship. At least not without a part time job initially.
So what I did was actually very dumb. To go full on into solo-entrepreneurship. I could no longer ignore my finances. That is why you hear all the news about students going bankrupt because of their degrees.
Anyway, my budget began to work itself out, as I could afford more and more items to be added to that list. It was a rudimentary system but I had more and more room to invest as the months progressed on.
Then came my first 5-Figure check
I got my first 5 figure check from Amazon at the end of my first full year in publishing. I could still remember the feeling of euphoria and excitement that my new found wealth could bring me. Oh, the possibilities!