I Quit the Rat Race

In 2018, I quit the rat race. I was an associate director of a prestigious private bank, got my CFA and was earning a good 6-figure income.

In 2018, I quit the rat race.

I was an associate director of a prestigious private bank, got my CFA charterholder and was earning a good 6-figure income.

But somehow deep down inside, something was missing.

I was uncomfortable with the rigid structure and politics of banking.

And I was just tired of pouring through the endless restructuring of bankrupt companies that had lost clients so much money.

Knowing myself as a quiet worker, I realized the harder I worked, the more burnt out I got. My face would look crumpled, back shoulders tense and sometimes, I didn’t even dare look at my work phone. Some nights before I sleep, I get heart palpitations and sweaty palms.

The toughest thing about this was I loved financial markets, yet I knew I couldn’t survive the corporate world.

The truth was, I felt I was always exchanging my time away for a paycheck.

On the side, I kept saving and investing (this saved my life).

When I knew I was financially secure with a comfortable 6-figure portfolio (you don’t need $million btw), I left.

Today, I’m a full-time investor, grew a financial blog to more than 30,000 readers a month, been invited to speak at conferences (Singapore Exchange, Invest Fair, REIT Symposium), featured on news media (Channel News Asia, Yahoo! Finance, CNA938 Live, MoneyFM89.3) and became a regular radio guest host.

Along the way, I’ve also helped more than 240+ of my Diligence community members grow their portfolios (some up to $100k dividends). More importantly, I finally fulfilled my personal mission to help my mom build a retirement portfolio.

I enjoy what I do – choosing how I want to spend my life and time. And not get beholden by a big organization.

Now, I want to share 2 key lessons along the way:

  • No one looks after your money better than yourself.
  • It’s not worth exchanging your time to build other people’s work

How are you working toward your own dreams and goals? 😊

Share with me in the comments. I love to know!

Sometimes, investing can be simple. 

Willie Keng, CFA

Founder, Dividend Titan

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6 months ago

Hi DT,

Coincidentally 2018 was the year that I tendered my resignation. I remember it very clearly. I had by then worked 32 years and was financially independent. Children have grown up and working. Our passive income in that year was $177K which was more than our projected annual expense.

However my path could not be more different from yours. I was persuaded by senior management to stay on. So I stayed on and its been already 5+ years since. Time flies.

That five years of continued employment made quite a significant impact (contribution) to our networth and passive income. Suffice to say our passive income last year (2022) was $227K and this year’s passive income likely to hit $250K.

And the story gets better. I was offered and accepted a contract to extend my employment for another five years effective next year when I turn 63.

I am taking each day as it comes.

6 months ago

Thank you for being such an inspiration DT! Looking forward to more articles!

5 months ago

Hi DT,

I am in my early 40s and have been trying to build a portfolio for passive income over the past 3 years. I started small in 2020 and made a small profit. So I built up courage and went in more in 2021. It was a mistake as I was simply buying random stocks and not doing enough due diligence. Fast forward today, I am sitting on 100k net losses with a passive income of 30k for 2023. I am earning a reasonable income and aim to deploy 50k + dividend received on a yearly basis until my passive income hits 60k. After which I would consider buying a second property in Singapore.

Been reading your blog along with other financial blogs and enjoy your reading.

Thank you for all your sharing!

Mrs Wow
Mrs Wow
2 months ago

Hi Willie,
I just chanced upon your blog recently and have since read most of your articles.
Congrats on your financial success. What a journey! And kudos to you for helping others build their portfolio. I absolutely love your two key lessons!
My hubby and I officially retired in 2020 with 35X our annual expenses in income-generating assets. Life’s short and we simply don’t see ourselves working like a Trojan into our sunset years.
Early retirement has been fun and fulfilling, to say the least. We feel incredibly fortunate to have total time freedom to what we enjoy, including spending time with our loved ones and blogging about personal finance.
It’s always nice to discover new blogs and read about others’ stories. Keep inspiring and best wishes!

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