Hi everyone, I'm Seth. I hope I will be better known as Money Maverick.
By now, I hope that everyone has watched the previous owner's (hopefully not) last post. If you haven't seen it yet, it's likely that editing is taking a long time.
During his recent stay at Fairmont Hotel, I popped by and insisted that he leave a message for his readers.
It is a big responsibility to look after a following that was carefully cultivated by him and I've seen how much love he pours into this personal brand. I fully intend to continue to upkeep the quality of this blog for the benefit of all readers. Out of respect for his desire to dissociate from the blog, I will be publishing it only on the Facebook Page. I will also be stating appropriate disclaimers.
Some things about me:
1) I'm a little younger than him, but not too much younger 2) I graduated recently: two years late due to my poor studies, side jobs and businesses and an overseas camp 3) I currently run a profitable e-commerce business while doing a full time job in engineering.
My background is in engineering and finance, while my sister Tina is more interesting in writing and journalism. Everything that I have written here is edited by her.
Our family is not rich. We don't live in a wealthy location and we squeezed our family and my grandmother in a 4 bedroom apartment a good distance from the city.
Both my sister and I have worked for the previous owner in 2018 and 2019 before the blog was fully sold to us, and my entire family has become his clients.
Meeting the OG Money Maverick
I met him about 4 years ago when I was still in university. At the time, I was still juggling a social services project for one of my modules.
I was speaking to one of the director's at the old folks home who was telling me about the challenging financial situation of the old folks, but also their relatives and caretakers.
The old folks home received subsidies from the government, but even the charges on the caretakers are still hard to manage.
I didn't really understand Financial Services at the time, but I had a mutual friend who had become his client recently and recommended me to him. He took the time out to explain many things to me in detail about making such costs sustainable, such as
Insurance, which should be bought before such things occur to pay for nursing homes
Investing, especially dividends which can be used to offset some of the regular payments for healthcare
The Original Money Maverick hadn't set up this blog yet, but we became fast friends as I spent quite a bit of time with him over the next few weeks with him patiently teaching me some of these concepts.
Eventually, he became the Financial Consultant for my family - especially for my mother, where he spent 1 day a week for almost 6 weeks attending to our financial needs. He saved us tens of thousands of dollars, and helped us classify all of our existing insurance.
Seeing the Original Money Maverick work left a really strong impression on me because this was the first time I could see knowledge become money.
Because he applied his knowledge effectively, he made a lot of money through helping people with that application.
I think that's the original purpose of education - to use knowledge in the service of others and be compensated for it. I want that, more than anything else.
I eventually took up my secondary major in Finance and began to read not just Money Maverick, but the other popular Financial Bloggers to learn a multitude of perspectives. I also started my ecommerce business - initially with shoes before working my way up into other lifestyle items - where it has reached a point of regular passive income with little maintenance.
Looking At 'Money Maverick' As A Business, Not Just A Brand
About 1 year later in 2018, he had become overwhelmed with work and had hired me to edit a lot of the blog posts that he had written but never got round to publishing. This meant a lot because my business hadn't taken off at the time, and we really needed the money.
I am not a polished writer like him or Tina, so I was contributing to some of the articles through Excel and Research. You may occasionally recognize some of my work from old articles, because he is very slow on Microsoft Excel. :)
I also helped him attach his whatsapp button, which you may see is inconsistently on his posts because he was too lazy to figure out how to make one each time he published a new article.
We (my sister and I) were filtering his work email when we noticed that Money Maverick really had a lot of partnership offers - or at the very least, to engage in discussions about these partnerships.
In the last year alone, some of these included:
Some Local Financial Publications
Overseas Financial Bloggers who wanted to cross-exchange articles
and many more.
The blog also had serious potential - while the Original Money Maverick was not interested in the blog analytics, the site actually has over 60,000 unique views a year. All of this is organic traction with very few to no moments of advertising. Having the opportunity to do things such as write reviews, run advertisements and set up potential partnerships with companies is a strong opportunity for the both of us to pursue a serious side hustle and to learn things about entrepreneurship, especially for Tina.
To be completely honest, I purchased the blog in the hopes that she would learn these skills and apply them as a serious side hustle at worst, or a full time job at best. I also wanted to repay him back for how he's served my family, and all the things I've learnt from him.
The SEO when looking for Money Maverick is pretty solid, while its possible to make the blog more discoverable on platforms like LinkedIn and Google when it comes to key needs and discussions in the country [e.g. insurance, CPF].
Ultimately, I would really like to take this blog in a direction that caters to a wider range of readers without compromising on the quality of his specialties as a Financial Consultant. For example, I started using Tiger Brokers earlier this year and I'd like very much to share my experience on the platform. I've also put a lot of thought into when I've been able to utilize my investment knowledge on DIY platforms, while concurrently maximizing the best use of the Original Money Maverick's service as an investment specialist. Trading is something I'd like to speak more about on this platform - my returns haven't beaten the portfolio with my Investment Advisor, but I feel much more in control of my short term finances.
I also think its important to write analyses on Robo Advisors or Bionic Advisors - it's interesting that Robo Advisors haven't been very successful in the US where they hailed from, and fees have gone up drastically after capturing market share. What's the chances of that happening here?
It could also be interesting to analyze the different ones individually compared to a broad comparison, where for example Syfe meets a REIT need not met by any other robo in the market but may not have the same success when it comes to promoting their cash portfolios - and looking at why.
I'd like to believe that taking time to look at such things would not have hampered his duties of a Financial Consultant and Investment Advisor, I actually believe that it is possible to identify which services would have been complementary for his business and to find working ties for the good of his clients, including myself.
I have always told him that I believe Money Maverick should be a collective business, rather than an individual. While Steve Jobs was the face of Apple and Elon Musk is the face of Tesla, the brands still stand independently from each other.
I think businesses need to do that - there are huge limitations to being an individual. Apple has been able to survive while still creating a legacy for Steve Jobs, rather than having the company collapse entirely.
A vision is bigger than any one individual. That's why I felt that between my close friendship with the OG Money Maverick and out of respect for his vision for the blog, I would prefer that he leave his brand in my hands.
Money Maverick for myself has the potential to be:
a) A larger and broader brand: Much like Seedly but with a higher quality of writing, controversial or otherwise. It does depend how far I would like to take this - I would likely try to see how far this could go for the next 3 years as a side project whilst building secondary e-commerce businesses.
b) Backed by professionals: I've referred much of my family and friends to the Original Money Maverick and it's really because he is the best Financial Consultant I know.
What About the Original Money Maverick, Luke Ho? (and Other Potential Partners)
Luke has stated his desire to dissociate from the blog due to stress from regulators and anonymous haters, but I owe it to him and the readers here to keep him alive. His previous articles will remain here, and any questions about them can be directed at me instead. UPDATE: As of March 2022, I will be recommending other advisors independently. I have also removed links to specific Financial Consultants. I will be looking to fill up roles for actionable Financial Advice from various specialists and even different companies.
For consultants who are interested, you can feel free to reach me at the number below. I am in the process of interviewing PA plan and hospital plan specialists, and I have spoken to a will/trust company.
This blog is NOT a lead generation platform for Financial Consultants: I fully intend to respect the readers. I will not be accepting any referral incentives from any Financial Consultants that I onboard - they will simply be the best people for the job at hand.
That being said, I'll likely still be looking out for monetization opportunities that don't compromise the readers that have followed the blog from the very beginning, but rather rewards them for it.
1) Staying True to the Spirit of the Blog:
The purpose of Money Maverick from start to finish is 'To correct Financial Misconceptions'.
In the last few years, I've really felt that there are so many conflicting views online and I haven't seen a lot of very good articles. There are some bloggers who I have respect for from the quality of their work, and others seem to just say what they like with no accountability.
Whenever I send something to the previous owner, asking him 'What do you think of this?' (e.g. Best Whole Life Insurance 2019) he always provides context for how limited a lot of the writing is and how potentially detrimental following that online advice could be.
I intend to continue writing articles that have a lot more depth and aren't always following majority views without careful thought, because a financial opinion shared by many is rarely one that can be used to become much more wealthy.
2) Choosing Anonymity, Multiple Writers
Currently the only writers are myself and my sister - who will only appear for formal business collaborations and never in person. For other writers: I'll be looking for specific writers to meet different categories that the blog did not have before, and contributing guest writers.
You will, however, be able to get to know the different writers: our styles may be moderated by my new editor to keep the tone constant: but I hope that you will become familiar with all of the different writers and guest writers who are inspired to be 'Money Maverick'. Because I wanted very much want to create strong content, I'll be having the writing vetted carefully.
3) All Opinions, No Financial Advice
The blog will hold a specific set of opinions that we would like to be transparent about. Money Maverick has always had a set of beliefs that are backed by articles, and we would continue to maintain that spirit.
That being said,
We would be happy to reply comments and emails in our capacity as people who love Finance and are also seeking out Financial Freedom.
But we are not professionally trained Financial Consultants and our opinions are not to be taken as Financial Advice. If you are seeking out the best and actionable Financial Advice, I can recommend you to some with integrity and competency. Feel free to write in an email!
Signing off for the first time,