SEPTEMBER 6 — I spend a lot more time on Reddit than X these days.
It's easier to get advice or learn new things on it though you won't get the quick dopamine fix of instant replies.
What I wish I could do was block threads or entire sub-Reddits especially the /MalaysiaPF one that is about personal finance tips.
I hate it because 8/10 of the questions on it can be summarised “How can I make a lot of money, preferably quickly?”
One Reddit poster asked how they could increase a given amount of money by two to three times in as little time as possible.
Then we had this one person who planned to emigrate overseas, had over RM100,000 in savings, owned a house back in Malaysia and wanted to refinance said house to pay for a degree.
That person's long-term plan was to get an IT degree because they were attracted to stories of “lucrative remote jobs” in the sector.
As an IT graduate, I would say the person would probably be better off setting their house on fire.
The sector isn't one you go into for the money. Sure there are a lot of openings but most are in software development, with long hours and barely survivable pay.
Lucrative jobs in the tech sector are either in very specialised skill sets that could be vulnerable to obsolescence or in sales and management.
Bill Gates didn't get rich by coding software; he got rich from selling it to individuals and corporations.
All those people telling other people to “learn to code” probably can see by now that it wasn't great advice, considering the heavy layoffs in the IT sector with lucrative startup salaries now a thing of the past.
Well-paying remote jobs are the dream, but a dream with many competitors.
First World countries outsource overseas because they can pay low-to-medium wages for higher skill sets at a discount thanks to currency exchange rates.
To jobseekers I would just say ― don't go into a field just because of the money because frankly your aptitude will matter more than your attitude and aspirations.
Chasing money shouldn't be your whole life or the only thing that drives you; it should just be what you need to achieve certain things ― whether to travel the world, own your own house or pursue other dreams. — Bernama pic
Figure out early what you're good at, in what environments you will thrive in and accept that not everyone is cut out for the big bucks.
Sometimes it is just plain luck ― I knew a friend who made good money during the dotcom boom but stupidly put it into a high-risk investment fund and lost it all.
It worries me sometimes seeing people obsessed with investments and passive income, or the FIRE or Financial Independence, Retire Early dream.
Don't get me wrong; I like money. You can do really cool things with money and there are few things that feel as soul-crushing as to be without it.
Chasing money shouldn't be your whole life or the only thing that drives you; it should just be what you need to achieve certain things ― whether to travel the world, own your own house or pursue other dreams.
The house I grew up in was the only one in our area without grilles on the windows.
It was because in our area, houses were built far too close together and due to many other factors (poor infrastructure, too much flammable brush etc), fires were commonplace.
Stories of people burning alive in their houses, locked in by metal grilles, came out frequently in the papers and my father was resolved for that to never happen to us.
“I can replace things, but I can't replace my children,” was how he reasoned.
It made me sad growing up when I saw people generally didn't think the way he did, putting grilles on windows without thinking how people would get them open in fires or even having exits in case of catastrophes.
A lot of things wrong with the world is people treating money as the goal and not the means to an end.
Life is short, kids. Earn money because you need it and not because you think it will be a buttress against pain, suffering or ill-health because nothing is sadder than a life lived for money.
* This is the personal opinion of the columnist.