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Five Years.

I joined Providend exactly five years ago on this day with Bryan, with whom I currently work. For some reason, I tend to think that we are closer to the people who came in together. I observe this when I was working with my old employer as well.

Five years for some feels like too long to stay in one place. If you stay too long, your income stagnates or doesn’t jump 10 to 20%, and that would not be too helpful if you had financial goals to pursue.

But that is probably what happen to a few of us. The three of us who came in that year of 2019 are still around. Those that came in slightly earlier (Kang Hui, Cindy, Vivien) are still around as well.

I would like to think that there are reasons for most that wanted to stay for such a long time. You have to ask them to find out.

Most likely, the whole batch of us came in for different functions, not knowing what to expect.

I came in with a vague idea about what I would be involved in.

I came in… thinking I would work on something in finance, write some papers about investing or financial planning.

I think I wrote zero papers during my time.

Over the last three years, I felt more like an IT engineer than anything.

There are many positives.

Co-workers become more like friends.

I have a front-row seat to how:

  1. Sound financial planning is proposed and executed.
  2. How to shepherd the $1.18 billion worth of investments of more than 800 clients.
  3. The challenging supply chain constraints of supporting an advisory business.

I think the biggest positive for me was that I won’t feel uneasy recommending the services to readers and friends who need the service because something doesn’t feel “sound or right” since I know what they put in the soup. This is probably the biggest worry when the option was presented.

Then there are the challenges of which I think is better to keep it under wraps for now.

I probably spend more time then I should thinking about the work here then in my previous work place. I wonder if that is normal. I used to come home with enough bandwidth to think about other stuff. The first two years, I don’t even want to think about writing most of the time.

I don’t see this as something abnormal. There are some folks that feels more connected with their work. It is just that… there are more people that doesn’t connect with their work and see it more as a way to get the free cash flow for what they want to achieve.

I been pulling back more instead of thinking about work stuff.

It may make more sense to create an identity that is not tied so much to work. This is what people call “Tang Ping”.

If you are connected to certain milestones, time can pass so fast. Since most of us serve the advisory team, our view of things are inevitably linked to the AUM targets. On top of that, my personal targets are project deadlines.

Before I know it, five years went by.

When Bryan wished me Happy Five Years, I was pretty shocked time went by just like that.

I wonder what the next five years will hold.


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