Category Archives: Straight talk

5 Things to do ahead of the expected recession

  • Build up an Emergency Fund
    With unemployment expected to rise, and massive layoffs in many major companies recently. It makes it obvious to have money stashed away for emergencies (e.g., Losing your job, medical emergencies and so on). This is not money tied up in the stock market or in property, it is purely cash, the most liquid asset! This could be something along the lines of 3-6 months of living expenses for people currently employed full time and if you’re self-employed, 6 months for living expenses and 6 months of business expenses. This will give you that piece of mind during the period where cost of living is increasing.
  • Avoid high interest borrowing
    Interest rates are rising, and the cost of borrowing continues to increase. So, it’s important now to be paying down on your existing debt. Weather its car loans or credit cards, now is the time to be paying down these outstanding loans. You’ll be getting a guaranteed return on your investment; you’ll be saving on the interest that you no longer need to pay!
  • Don’t realise them losses
    The stock market is quite unstable and has dropped considerably since 2021 in numerous sectors. It hurts waking up and noticing the investments going from Green to Red and it’s tempting to wanting to end it all and cash out before it gets even lower.
    But do not panic sell! I’ve seen smart, talented people in Finance succumb to this, when the times are tough – all logic goes out the window.
    If you’re investing money that you don’t need and have a good emergency fund, it makes sense to have those diamond hands. Look at March 2020, those who sold when we had the first lockdown dip are regretting their choices. Markets came roaring back and history has shown us time and time again that after a dip and stagnant period, the market corrects itself and improves over the long run. Look at the 1979 crash, the dot com bubble, the GFC and so on, they were all overcome. It’s all about time in the market, not timing the market.
  • Buy now
    In conjunction with the last point, when quality stocks are discounted, you should go in and buy up. See it as a sale. I look back at some of my recent gains, and the biggest capital gains I achieved were from stocks I bought during 2020 when the world was in panic mode.
  • Diversify income streams
    It’s always handy to have a few side hustles that you can attain some income from. Weather its selling digital content or monetising a hobby – having fall back options and diversity in income helps when times are uncertain and can help provide you some piece of mind in the event you lose your day job.

Have you made these mistakes before? Don’t sweat it. Don’t dwell on the negative. Don’t spend too much time thinking about past mistakes, you learnt from them. He who clings to the past has no present, and compromises his future.

Hypergamy for Men

There’s often talk of hypergamy for women, marrying a higher status male to elevate herself in the sexual marketplace, but what about for men?

I recently was thinking about this. There’s the common saying of a man “Batting above his average” when he is with a girl that is often more beautiful than he is handsome, but everyone whose reading this would know that a man’s sexual market value (SMV) is generally derived more from factors besides looks. His social status, wealth, demeanour and confidence all play a part, and a man scoring highly on those areas will not have much of a problem nabbing a worthy girl.

However, there’s also another lens which gets overlooked rather often these days. The value of a girl with innocence who hasn’t been cock carouselled like the vast majority. Being chaste isn’t rewarded as a man, but is as a woman. Any player can bang and commit to a carousel rider that’s ridden an array of dudes after hitting puberty but girls who actually value their hymen are few and far between and less likely to spread for a guy with a massive notch count.

It would be rare seeing a guy with a solid triple digit notch count with a virgin, or a low notch girl, but if that is a metric which means something to the player and that goal is achieved a part of me sees that as almost hypergamous for the male. As documented, there are numerous benefits of having a low or no notch partner, and in a world where everyone fucks everyone, a hint of innocence is refreshing.

The references to past experiences, the emotional damage from exes, the uncontrollable comparisons to guys from the past – these are all things that women often do without realising and make it harder for them to bond to a man after they’ve had their fill of “fun” so to speak. So it makes total sense for a guy to want someone whose not going to have a large spectrum of experiences. “My ex” this and “My ex” that conversations should come up briefly in the beginning once you get to know one another but having those as a constant feature throughout a relationship is simply toxic and avoiding the risk of that is always going to be more desirable.

I’ve always held firm that “Men lie, women lie, notches don’t” when it comes to desirability in the sexual marketplace and I truly can’t believe if a girl is perpetually used by dozens of guys that she’ll have a personality, warmth or femininity left in her to be as desirable as she once was. Setting that hard boundary on what you can accept as a man is a trait most guys these days don’t have anymore, either through constant societal pressures or thirst.

Do people really change?

Think about all the things that made you who you are. The years of character building experiences. The way you were raised. The way people treated you. The way you perceive yourself. These all culminate into creating who you are now.

I always wonder if people do change.

Do they?

Well, I think sometimes you have life altering experiences or trauma that can change you permanently. Weather its a near-death experience, or something like a loss of someone close to you, these can leave you a different person.

But what about character “Flaws”.

Well, these are a bit harder, the deeper you get into your life, the harder it becomes to change. You get more in-tune with yourself and more stubborn. It’s a lot harder to change a 40 year old than a 18 year old.

I was thinking the other day, have I changed much?

Yes, I’ve lived around the globe and experienced so much, but who I am as a person, that’s still fundamentally in-tact. I know of this girl I used to date way back, we always used to fight, always. Ultimately, she was raised in a family where she had absent parents and constantly needed attention. I was early in my Banking career and was fairly focused on work. It was just mayhem, despite her being in University whilst I was working 70-80 hour weeks regularly, the nagging would not stop, literally, never.

Oh, you bought me a gift? But your handwriting on the card looks messy.
You worked 3 80 hour weeks back to back didn’t organise three dates this week? You don’t care!
You didn’t drive 45 kms from the other end of the city in the opposite direction to your house in peak hour traffic to pick me up from my workplace? You selfish prick!

And that for me was a pretty pathetic relationship, besides the constant bangs, there was nothing in it for me. A leftover skank that had ridden the carousel, with a naggy attitude. So I wore that out, dumped a ton of creampies into her, and discarded her like the 20 odd guys before me.

Then a few years later, whilst abroad, another invisible child. Parents are an ATM machine that give no love. And here comes the problems, nag about this and that and so on. I knew this was one of those so I cut my losses and ended it fast.

It got easier and easier to identify the ones that I would have problems with, I just spoke a different love language, wasn’t into neediness and had expectations. They unfortunately never met them, so no hard feelings.

But did I change much? No, I noticed I just struggle with girls that weren’t raised by loving parents who gave them attention. The expectations of their partner seemed excessive, and of course I got heaps of attention when I was younger so it felt unnatural to me to be that missing “father figure” to them. Some people love it (See them creeper old dudes pulling off their ddlg kink for example).

With experience, I got to know myself better.

But did I change, in what works for me? Definitely not.

Hoarders Haven

I was doing some cleaning the other day and throwing away old clothes that I haven’t worn in years. I realised how much more stuff I had bought whilst living in Australia compared to other places.

It could potentially be seen as me having more space to store them or a more “permanent” home there. But also, I realised a lot of this was to kill time, given there’s generally not much going on on weekdays in Melbourne, especially after the years of lockdown, the tendency would be to buy stuff online.
Compared to living in Asia and Europe where people would often be out after work and have the option to actually be out and do things, you simply don’t have the time to be couped up in your room watching Netflix after dinner most week nights, since there are other options to spend your time.

On top of that, there’s this culture that exists in Australia, similar to the US, of just constantly buying the latest and greatest to fill out space. Latest gadgets? Check. Latest furniture? Check. A new Weber Barbeque? Check. A new road bike with a custom seat? You bet.
I’m sure most people who have worked a Corporate gig in Australia realise that the water cooler banter revolves heavily around purchases and boasting about the latest one.

A “Bunnings run” and a “Kmart run” is now rivaling similar levels of popularity to the famous “Maccas run”.

Yet despite living in a culture of constant consumerism and material purchases, the environment and sustainability are key political topics for most Australians as we saw in the recent elections. I hope we see a change in trends and behaviour rather than be riddled with hypocrisy. But in all honesty, I’d expect nothing less in Melbourne.

Career Choices: Health Vs. Wealth

Ambition and Safety are the two opposites that factor into many career choices. Given the stage of your career and life, answers to which one you should prioritise will differ.

Ambition (Wealth):
Say you’ve just graduated from University or are in that 1–5-year range of commencing your first full-time role, you most likely have all the motivation in the world as the corporate grind hasn’t worn you down just yet. The corporate “perks” still seem like a novelty and furthering yourself through “learning and development opportunities” and “growing your CV” are probably factors that feature high up on your career agenda.

For this stage, ambition is perfect, go on, slave out that role in Investment Banking for a few years, do the equivalent of 8 years of work in 4 years and leverage those skills to find a “cushier” job once you’re ready, or ride up the ladder and stick it out until you no longer want to.

I’ve also come across people who choked hard after university then managed to cover it up with some better roles a few years in, most of these types had a major chip on their shoulder as they struggled to land anything decent straight out the gate and felt the need to prove themselves, so they did, just years later compared to everyone else.

Upsides:

  • You’re wanted and in demand in many more companies across different geographies and industries.
  • Financially you’ll likely be able to command much better remuneration, if not already, then in the future.
  • Pivoting into less demanding roles and industries is much easier than vice-versa, you’ll have a solid work ethic and your expectations of yourself will be a lot higher compared to those around you if you decide to take a step back.
  • The network you build will be with some of the most accomplished people you know. This becomes much more important later as you can get a lot of “favours” from the right people.

Downsides:

  • You will work like a dog and potentially lose some of the best years of your life slaving away late into the night and working weekends.
  • All that stress will very likely impact your health, especially considering you’ll struggle to sleep well and wake up in the middle of the night thinking of work.
  • Aging is a real tragedy when you work a job that you always need to be “switched on” for.
  • Work becoming such a huge part of your life will take a toll on your personal life, many relationships die because one or both parties aren’t able to put in the time, effort, and commitment required to maintain them.

Safety (Health):

Perhaps you’ve done your years slaving it out in Banking, Consulting, or in a top-tier Technology company where you’ve made a bit of bank and cashed out your stock options. The burn it took on your health started to add up and you’re looking for a more cruisey role so you can at least enjoy some time outside of work or focus on relationships/family/hobbies. It would make perfect sense at this stage to prioritise Safety.

However, some people, finish university and do this from the start, sometimes by choice, other times through necessity. There’s nothing wrong with this at all, but to coast from Day 1, when you could do so much more, one must wonder where all that extra energy goes?

The upsides and downsides are basically the opposite of what was written earlier. Less money, more time, better health, lazier network, harder to pivot careers/move abroad, and potential for better social and personal life.

I remember coming across this quote from the Dalai Lama which I feel is relevant to this discussion:

The Dalai Lama, when asked what surprised him most about humanity, answered “Man! Because he sacrifices his health in order to make money. Then he sacrifices money to recuperate his health. And then he is so anxious about the future that he does not enjoy the present; the result being that he does not live in the present or the future; he lives as if he is never going to die, and then dies having never really lived.”

So consider wisely..

Advice I would give to students today

It’s been a while since I finished school and university, and in that time things have changed drastically. We’ve gone to just about every school using personal laptops, we’ve been forced to adapt to remote learning due to the pandemic, and what used to be abnormal, is now normalised.

Here are a few pieces of advice in no particular order I’d give to students today.

  • Don’t just rock up to class and leave
    • Don’t be like everyone else that just simply turns up to class, zones out, then leaves. If you really care about topics, make that time to speak to teachers, tutors and do some background research and express your views on the findings.
  • Balance out useful subjects with easy electives
    • Everyone knows breadth/elective subjects are largely a joke. I’d recommend taking easy subjects when you have semesters that you know that will have a tough time, but also don’t be afraid to put in the time to take on something useful when you’re able to. Some of the skills you’ll pick up might actually come in handy in the future. I’ve had a few friends take coding subjects as electives and now the type of work they do is more focused on that rather than what they actually majored in.
  • Embrace the student life
    • As someone that blazed through a 3 year undergraduate degree and ended up in the world of banking and consulting, I do look back at the whirlwind that was University. It’s a great space of time in your life where you’ll have the time to pursue hobbies, build great friends and learn. Enjoy it, it probably won’t come around in the same form again.
  • Keep in touch with people after graduating
    • Friendships and networks are like plants, they need watering and maintenence for them to keep growing. So instead of slowly losing touch with everyone once you hit the real world, make the effort to maintain connections with people. Go on that coffee catch up or lunch meet up. Don’t be afraid of being the person to follow up on unreplied messages. I can assure you that there’s been so many times where someone I know has ended up introducing me to other people that have been really beneficial for me both on a personal, profesional or social level.
  • Don’t be afraid of the real world
    • So many students (Commerce students in particular..) are so fearful that they will not find a job after University. There’s no real need to be afraid. People I know that struggled after university and did basic jobs for a year or so managed to find something more meaningful and climb the ladder just as fast as someone that got straight into a graduate program. Everyone has their own pace, so don’t be afraid to struggle at the beginning because there’s many paths to achieveing success.

Although the above is not an exhaustive list. I would encourage students to take some of these tips onboard. Hindsight is a valuable tool so always be open to hearing other peoples advice and making the choice as to weather you would think it would be beneficial for you to adopt.

Generation Lockdown

I was doing a bit of mentoring work with a group of students over the past few months. I thought it would be a nice way to learn more about the challenges that students face these days and give back the things I’ve learnt through experience over the years.

Here are a few things I noticed in my interactions with them:

  • Everyone is hyper PC these days

Now I know as society moves further and further to the left this is expected, but honestly it felt like these students were so careful about the words they used, weather it be LGTBQ+, or discussion the “traditional owners of the land” or a comment around darker skin colours.

Now I get it, we’re all only allowed to express opinions when it complies with the social norms of society and there’s no safe space to speak openly about how you truly feel unless its to very close people whom you trust but I felt for these guys. I’m sure the thicker skin my generation developed is being well eroded into the more herbified final product of today.

  • The sacrifices of lockdown

Everyone hated morning lectures, or last minute all nighters to get assignments done, but those experience coupled with the campus where you bumped into people and made excellent friends for life, they were the bits of University life most people remember. The COVID generation are instead going into Zoom lectures, dozing off and becoming social recluses through no fault of their own.

The social experience of university being heavily compromised sucks, and I’m sure many will use that FOMO and potentially travel or stretch their degrees out to get a “complete” social experience of being a student.

  • The fear amongst students regarding the future

COVID showed us how quickly the economy can crash then restart. One day its doom then slowly the market regains confidence and booms. Now with migration largely on hold until 2022 many graduating students will be going into a job market which will have fewer international students and low-level workers to compete with. For more experienced workers, this has been a godsend where they have been able to find more lucrative roles and negotiate salaries that they probably wouldn’t have been offered without the pandemic.

However, as with most students, there’s a fear of graduating and not finding appropriate work. Everyone has that, and it’s a valid concern. Although in hindsight, I think most individuals that continually push themselves, upskill and try, will be offered the opportunities to succeed in a place like Australia, most of these younger folk – they simply struggle with that idea.

So, what do they do? They go hard and try to overcompensate. The number of times I’ve had first year students asking me to review their CV has been rather surprising, especially when they can’t even apply for vacation work for another year.

I do honestly think things will improve, and return to some level of normality. A good comparison would be to the generation that graduated into the GFC. They eventually turned out alright in most cases..

Dream On

I noticed the other day; I was thinking back to thoughts that I had as a teenager in High School. So many ambitions, so many goals, I always dared to dream.

But in the back of my mind, those were just dreams, I always knew that they required a lot of hard work. I regularly doubted if I was good enough to achieve them but my fear of failure was the drive that I needed to keep myself going. Was it the best fuel for goals? Probably not, but it worked for me, at the expense of other areas of course.

Now with the value of hindsight, I can look back and comfortably say that all those larger goals I had back then, I’ve been able to tick off.

The teenage version of me would be proud, but the version of me that exists today, it has adjusted in a manner where it becomes almost expected. But I look at my targets for the future and hope that I can reach those in a similar manner. Because those for me are even more challenging than the ones I have achieved thus far, but the only difference now is that I stopped and looked back and gained the confidence in knowing that I have a track record of achievement.

It’s funny how the treadmill of life works sometimes.

Does it matter which University you attend?

I swear, I hear this question so much, especially amongst high school and university students.

In short, the answer is: Yes.

But the caveat to it is: It varies.

I take this from a Bachelor of Commerce perspective, since that is what I studied.

First of all, there should not be any reason why you should not aim to get the best High school results possible and aim to get into your first preference. But however, life doesn’t always go that way.

Does that mean your life is over?

No, not at all.

Can you still work in competitive fields like Consulting or Investment Banking? Yeah, it’s possible still, but harder.

Why harder? Generally, with any type of mass recruitment at junior levels, the first round of culling usually depends on how well well-rounded application you submit. Well rounded? Well, that’s one with solid grades and strong extracurriculars. Since thousands of students are applying, it’s usually the students from the top universities that make it through since they are often the ones that put in the time and energy to research the roles, and craft an application that stands out.

So, getting through that first round, I think it helps to go to a Top educational institution. If you didn’t get into one, you can always work hard and transfer into one after doing a year at another university.

But also, I’ve seen numerous lateral hires into top tier consulting and banking roles, some of them went to “less respected” Universities, worked themselves up and ended up being laterally hired into more senior roles. So, it’s definitely possible, but regardless, both approaches require a lot of hard work.

There are always numerous routes to get to an end goal, and just because the first route didn’t work out doesn’t necessarily mean you should give up. You could even work a few years, then do a Masters program at a more prestigious university either locally or abroad and then try your luck, I’ve had many acquaintances go down this path and achieve great success.

So tl;dr – Does it matter which University you attend?  As a Commerce undergraduate student, Yes, it matters to a degree for certain professions. But there are other options to get to your goal. All options require hard work.

For other degrees like IT, or Health related ones, it matters less. Generally, as there’s demand and growth in those sectors.

How to lose a guy?

Girls, sit down.

Class is in session.

First, take out a sheet of paper and write 100 times:

My flaws are never clearer to a man than after the first time he has sex with me.
My flaws are never clearer to a man than after the first time he has sex with me.
My flaws are never clearer to a man than after the first time he has sex with me.

Men don’t want it to be this way. A guy doesn’t choose to be less attracted to a girl. That doesn’t matter.

See, before sex a man thinks with his dick.

He is thinking of all your positive qualities and why he wants to fuck you.

He is conquest driven.

He doesn’t consciously acknowledge or think of your flaws.

After that first sweet sexual release, a man is forced to use his brain to evaluate you for the first time. Without a hard dick in his way, a man can more easily see a girl’s flaws.

Understanding this one thing about men’s sex drives could save women a ton of heart break: You are always more beautiful and interesting BEFORE we have sex with you.

Girls, your silver lining? Well, the dick has a short attention span. The longer a guy has to wait to have sex with you, the more he is forced to evaluate you using his brain and not his dick.

Guys who would ditch you after that first sex will ditch you just the same if forced to wait long enough. Successful, efficient players even admit to this as a strategy. It’s the three-date rule.

This is tough for women to truly grasp, since that first sex is likely to make them more attracted to the man. Then there’s a lot of waiting by the phone, jumping at every text message and being disappointed when its from your sister. It doesn’t have to be that way.

Of course, girls won’t really take this advice because its the attractive guys who won’t wait, but I’m putting it out there anyway.

HOWEVER, once a guy has seen a girl’s beauty fade over post-coital glow a few too many times, he learns two things

  1. Raise your standards. There is less post-sex attraction drop with hotter girls.
  2. Enjoy, don’t just tolerate, the time you spend with a woman before the first time you guys do it. Its the most you will ever desire her and its the most interesting she’ll ever be to you. Cherish it.