Updated: Sep 28
A Personal Review on Seedly’s Finance Festival by Money Maverick
Like almost a thousand people (sold out at 1200, so could be plus/minus) yesterday, Money Maverick was at Seedly’s Finance Festival.
There’s something incredibly interesting about meeting the people whose names you’ve been seeing pop up on the screen of your computer for the last two years. I arrived just in time (early 9-ish) to miss the starting quiz (so sad!) but was thrilled to see people I knew compete for the prizes available.
It was enjoyable knowing that the people who I argue, debate and befriend on a regular basis were somewhere in the huge crowd.
It is a great testament to the success of Seedly’s community and movement (whether I agree or like it is a whole other thing) that it was not only sold out, but so many young people arrived earlier than me. Getting a young person to do anything this early on a weekend is hard enough.
Getting a thousand young people to wake up early to attend talks on finance is a statistical miracle.
So congrats again to Kenneth and the rest of the Seedly team, as well as presumably Shopback, the affiliated partners, speakers and sponsors, etc. I think we can all agree it was a good event and we had a pretty good time and learning experience.
The Crowd: Despite being, well, a Maverick – I’m actually very, very fond of a lot of the people on Seedly in the same manner that I’ve been very displeased with some others.
I thoroughly enjoyed meeting many of the regulars and hearing their stories. What inspired them, where they came from and where they hope to go.
It is very encouraging and reassuring to meet groups of like-minded, responsible people who are trying to make their lives better. The hardest client for a financial consultant like myself, but simultaneously the most ideal.
The Partners: I have always made it a point to interrogate – I mean, talk to, the partners involved in such events. This included FSM, PhilipCapital, Funding Societies and an especially nice woman from Etiqa who seemed to take pity on the fact that I was one lone person making the rounds.
I was extremely impressed by their knowledge and sense of affiliation with the companies they work for.
I believe that the action takers of yesterday will have a decent headstart even if I would prefer to work with said action takers myself, due to all the nuances involved that the marketers, researchers and other personnel can’t get involved in.
I will also painfully admit that my industry needs more work, if the standard is so high on other platforms.
The Talks [MrFinanceSavvy, Dr Wealth]:
1) When I was reading up on technical analysis in both books and online, it was very hard for me to consolidate my information. It’s really a huge overload.
Obviously being a technical investor himself, Joel would occasionally mention some of these common problems.
It’s always very nice to have something like technical analysis explained to you in spoken word and pictures. And to me, this shows that despite his expertise he certainly remembers, and makes allowances for the people trying to follow him in his presentation.
As a result, that was my favorite talk by far.
I’m a bit embarrassed to admit that I subscribed to his Facebook page without knowing that he was the writer or that it was even a blog’s Facebook page. I just thought the articles and articles contributed were interesting.
Even the MC thought your talk was very dry, which I laughed at.
... Tough life, Joel.
2) Alvin Chow did a good job as usual, but a little predictable. Like both Christophers.
The net-net rule I think, would be the most useful and applicable rule for beginners and I am both pleased and impressed that Dr Wealth willingly gives out these extremely valuable tips very freely. For those of you who missed it, here it is.
In fact, I’ve realized after consolidating my book list that Money Maverick has been a closet Dr Wealth fan for a very long time, even unbeknownst to myself. Especially after I slammed his organization.
I’ve read two of his books which are available online via PDF [No B.S Guide to REITs, Value Investing The Extensive Guide], which I printed and read between appointments – as well as his two printed feature books – the Trading Secrets of Gurus and Modern Portfolio one [Alvin, your SEO needs a bit of work on these because I forgot the titles and tried to find them online rather than digging them out of my cupboard – they aren’t easy to find].
That’s 4 - the most from any one author in my list of about 40+ books, though some listed above are kind of short and easy to read. They're very well written.
Booth Systems Practicality:
Speaking as a former consultant for businesses - I felt pretty sorry for the partners.
They spent vast, vast periods completely unengaged and when it was time for said engagement people were rushing off to go home or to eat.
The few they could engage with came in too huge batches, so people who got tired of waiting to ask their questions would leave.
These are digital platforms with significant weight on DIY, which means they spend more time and money marketing rather than sales and go for scaling. If you’re a sponsor for such an event, you’d want results over time, and I don’t think they got them.
Naturally, when it comes to actionable interest, there is a significantly lower chance of people from the festival taking up things with these digital platforms.
To be fair, it was Seedly’s first huge event and it was a highly ambitious one. They will have plenty of opportunities to get it right, like some kind of rotating system or an entire part of the program devoted to that interaction.
It is easy to criticize and hard to come up with solutions. I don't have any concrete ones for this. So I will acknowledge this particular criticism, though necessary, is not the most useful.
Lack of a Discussion and Interactive Opportunity:
Talking with the others was certainly one of the highlights. Unfortunately, I really only got to do this for a short time before and towards the end of the lunch break.
People generally love to discuss what they’ve talked about, and many of the questions will not get answered. Yes, many of them will be answered on the Seedly platform, which also seems to be part of the purpose, but you lose engagement across time. It is also beneficial for people to discuss amongst themselves, especially in real life and in the moment. Actionable interest.
Any salesperson knows this. That's why I'm writing this today, not for Wednesday's article.
While it can be good to claim lack of bias (ha!) and no selling (double ha!), there’s actually a really obvious benefit to consistent engagement. This can be easily achieved by a short break in between speakers, and the opportunity to even meet them to ask them questions personally.
If they are swamped, it shows early commitment and they deserve to be prioritized anyway, so fear of said swarming is not an excuse as long as it doesn’t disrupt the program.
The Talks [Christopher Tan, Loo Cheng Chuan]:
1) Christopher Tan's talks are extremely predictable. I didn’t walk out per se, but I thought it was more productive and engaging to talk to the business partners after a while.
To be fair, he was talking on an extremely general basis, which he had no choice to do with the limited time and wider general audience.
It’s also one thing to be predictable and another thing to be wrong. I’ve written several responses over online forums about BTIR so I won’t elaborate too much, and it’s generally very hard to take serious advice from a business owner who could make double or triple in upfront fees per encompassed financial planning person, then I would from my allegedly biased back-ended commission structure.
2) Loo Cheng Chuan has also annoyed me a lot recently because he doesn’t give me a good or adequate answer on some of my questions. Not that I’m such an entitled millennial that I DESERVE to get such answers catered to me personally, but I was asking much more as a millennial than I was as a Financial Advisor and the answers lacked substance.
Naturally, his talk on CPF’s structural risk was also woefully inadequate. If he had been a Financial Advisor, he would be penalized or sacked. I’ve written on it a couple of times, like this one.
Mind you, it is an absolute fact that as of present,
1) The best yielding annuity AND
2) The best risk-adjusted annuity in the market is CPF.
As of present, this is not a contestable fact. Any insurance agent who claims to challenge these two categories with a private annuity is lying to you. So it’s actually very, very good.
But it is not perfect. At least know the risks. Again, please read here.
For those of you, especially the fact that you’re young and significantly younger than he is - who follow the movement blindly - do enjoy your 3M100 and your first reach at 75 years old, or something. Who knows. Loo will not be around for you to scream at or blame, unlike me or Financial Consultants.
Is this critical of the government?
Not at all. You just don’t know if it’ll become like this, I don’t know, and Loo doesn’t know either. It’s a really tough life.
Ice Cream and Prizes:
There was a point where Shopback briefly ran out of specific ice cream flavors. I was very upset. Also, I did not win any prizes, including the ice cream pillow and Nintendo switch.
…my sense of humor is fairly poor, but I hope people know this last part is satire.
The...Ugly? [What could have been done better]
I love Panels, and I’d love to be on one.
Hint, Kenneth. Hint.
I think the panelists did a good job answering questions. They are generally competent and give generally good advice.
What could have been done better is to fully explore the range of that competence, which wasn’t as successfully done as it could have been.
So for example, Joel, Victor and Alvin Chow were all on one panel together. And while they are extremely competent, their fields are also extremely similar. So they ended up agreeing with each other and maybe topping up a little on the answers.
That’s it. There’s nothing more boring than that, and it might not even be the answer of the best quality.
It would have been a bit more fun to have something like the 1st panel, where Funding Societies and AutoWealth have to answer a question on ‘what should be your first investment’. Let them both make their case, and the range of potential clients out there with different risk profiles would be able to get the PoV from the people who literally RUN these kinds of companies.
That would have provided better diversity in answers, for an already fairly diversified crowd (millennial's have a range too).
Not a lot of the Seedly Festival was mid-range (ugly?), surprisingly. It was either pretty good or pretty meh.
The Talks (Tree of Prosperity, Money Maverick):
1) Chris, I think you didn’t emphasize as much as you could not to use outsourced financial professionals to help you manage your money. While that was daring already, you may want to do that a bit more on the next talk.
I’ll be waiting.
2) You didn't have me.
The credibility a stage lends you is pretty high, and yesterday there was no bigger stage than Seedly's Personal Finance Festival. I would advice recognizing that broad advice is not always applicable, and not everything was even accurate.
If you like to take actionable interest in some of the matters you’ve learnt from the Finance Festival, why not consult a licensed professional for quality clarification?