To help our readers know us better, we will be writing some posts about our backgrounds. This is Part 5 of 6 of Christina’s life story. For a complete story, please go to the “Our Story” tab on the homepage of our blog.
The cold realisation that I had no retirement plan dawned on me after I moved out. I had always expected that I will be provided for in my old age by my ex-husband’s sizable property inheritance. As he inherited this property before we got married, it was not part of the marital assets in our divorce settlement. Financially, I had to start from scratch at the age of 39. I was very fortunate to get a good start in rebuilding myself financially by getting a well paying job with IBM, with the help of one of my friends from my Arthur Andersen Alumni network. She hired me to help her start up the e-learning consultancy service at IBM. As e-learning was a very new service area, there was not a lot of work initially so I was also trained as a Organisational Change Management (OCM) consultant so I could work in that service area as well. I really enjoyed my OCM work as it involved using communications and training to support users through change brought upon by the implementation of new IT systems. Although I loved working as an OCM consultant, it involved a lot of travel and long hours and it affected my family negatively. When my oldest daughter entered her difficult teen years, I had to give up consulting to take up a back office job so I could spend more time at home with my kids.
During this period of my life, I was also introduced to the AMWAY business. Although I did not really like the multi-level marketing business, I learned a lot from their personal development programs. I starting reading books like “Rich Dad Poor Dad” by Robert Kiyosaki and began to realise the difference between active and passive income. All my life I had only earned active income by exchanging time for money. When I had time, I had no money and when I had money, I had no time. As I had a limited amount of time per day, my income would also be limited and the day I stop working, I would not have any more income. Although I did not succeed in the AMWAY business, it taught me a lot about the principles of wealth creation and the importance of building passive income through business and investments.
The best thing that happened for me at IBM was not job related. I met Kingsley when we both started work in IBM on the same day in February 2000. We became good friends and started dating after his troubled marriage ended in 2002. Kingsley left Malaysia in 2004 to return to Melbourne for family reasons. When the relationship got serious, I agreed to move my family to Melbourne so we could be together. As a Change Management consultant, I knew moving to a new country and living with a new stepdad/husband would be a big change for the kids and myself. Kingsley and I agreed that ideally I should be able to work from home so I could help the kids settle into their new life. We also knew we wanted a business/investment vehicle which could produce unlimited passive income which is location independent so I could start the business in Malaysia and continue building it when I move to Australia.
We had both attended a short introductory course on trading US options in April 2004 and felt it had the potential to be the vehicle that we were looking for. It was a business that could be done anywhere in the world as long as you have a computer with internet connection. With my IT background, I was very comfortable with using computers. I enjoy doing analysis so it was easy for me to understand fundamental and technical analysis. I always had a fascination with the world of business and finance from a young age and I wanted the opportunity to learn more about financial markets and various investment/trading instruments and methods. We made a decision to make an investment in me and signed up for a comprehensive distance learning course in options trading with a training company in the US. In January 2005, I took a leave of absence from IBM to focus on learning the skills needed to run a successful options trading business. My last job ended when I resigned from IBM in September 2005, after my application to migrate to Australia was approved and I began my new life as an independent options trader.