[Source: Flickr image "Language of the Birds San Francisco" by davidyuweb.]
Today is the first of October 2012 and we are officially in the final quarter of calendar year 2012 or third quarter of financial year 2012 (starting 1 April to 31 March of following year).
Assuming no major change to my portfolio, I am on track to end calendar year 2012 with a 3.90% realised returns. This just kept up with the 3.9% consumer price index in August 2012 [Source: Singstat] which means my portfolio achieved what reservists or NSmen affectionately call, “hentak-kaki” or marching on the spot.
But even as my portfolio is barely keeping up with inflation, we need to keep our minds up to date with learning new things all the time.
Growing Your Net Worth
As I travel along this journey towards financial freedom, I realise it becomes more challenging to grow my net worth through investing. The main driver of my net worth is still savings from earned income. Living within my means allows me to accumulate savings towards my net worth. Investing it only helps to mitigate the effects of inflation on the purchasing power of my net worth.
Even as the signs from the powers-that-be are that Singapore’s economic model continues to be of growing the GDP through increased labour inputs, I realise continuing to seek out new ways to grow my means (and grow my net worth through savings) should continue to be part of my journey towards financial freedom.
Recently, I have become interested in learning a foreign language. I was inspired by Singaporeans I met or read about who could speak another foreign language besides English and their mother tongue. I was also motivated because I’ve had an interest in Japanese culture (the “otaku” sub-culture) as well as Korean culture (K-pop, K-drama, K-movies).
A famous polyglot noted that learning foreign languages can be facilitated at a faster pace if we do it for work or leisure. I think learning a foreign language allows you to access both the culture as well as opens up that country for business purposes. At the same time, having decent conversational skills in a foreign language is helpful to your resume and could potentially allow yourself to go for regional roles or roles that require fluency in language of the parent company or market that your company is doing business.
Invest in Yourself
I have talked in the past about investing in ourselves because for most of us, we are the main asset that generates income from employment or business. This is a theme that I think I should continue to pursue for the next decade.
It is an exciting time because learning new things excites the brain and helps one avoid feeling jaded and tired of the same old routine at work or at home. As more grey hairs sprout on the side of my head, I realise learning something new each time is how we avoid entropy and decay.
I am starting to learn a foreign language and think that it will help me in the long-run to enhance my resume whilst allowing me deeper enjoyment of the culture of that language. The chinese saying, “活到老学到老,” is really true. All of us will age and the key to aging gracefully is to be meaningfully engaged with life and with developing ourselves.
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Be well and prosper.