This is Kenny Ng.
Engineer. Banker. Investor. Thinker. Builder. Writer. Illustrator. Programmer. Troubleshooter. Light Bulb Fixer.
Challenging conventional wisdom.
One of life's biggest ironies is that we usually don't end up working in what we study.
I was trained as an engineer in university. Contrary to most of my peers, the world of finance and banking didn't come to me as a graduation gift. I had to constantly challenge the conventional wisdom inherited from 'elders' and 'seniors' in order to get my way and justify my existence and relevance in a corporate finance role.
In the last 17 years, I am grateful to have the opportunity to leverage my knowledge in engineering, and synthesise this with my work in investment banking. [Read my cover letter from 2006]
The process of learning does not stop at the point of graduation. It is something that should be consistently acquired long even after we leave school.
The classroom setting (and other institutionalised learning methods) provides a somewhat safe and systematic way of acquiring knowledge in those formative years.
Yet, many important personality traits and lifelong survival skills such as emotional intelligence, grit and problem solving, that are picked up in the professional setting are instrumental in shaping our abilities in the real world.
A STEM-based education.
I studied computer engineering in university with no prior background or knowledge in programming. The learning curve had been steep and I was consistently 'outdone' by my peers in school. After struggling through most parts of my 'freshmen' year, I decided to cast aside the pursuit for grades and take the subjects that really interest me: software engineering, computer networks, cybercrime and artificial intelligence.
My STEM-based education has played a significant part in how I look at the business and finance world. Logic, mathematical reasoning and problem solving are at the core of it. This became one of the more unique features that has enabled me to stand out from the rest of my accounting, finance (and of course engineering)-schooled peers.
Having the privilege of working alongside many senior professionals and business owners from the investment and banking landscape in Asia, I had also cultivated an extremely practical towards business valuation and financial modelling.
Business valuation, capital markets and mechanics of the world.
I teach working professionals financial modelling and business valuation in an adjunct capacity, adding an incredibly practical touch to the delivery of my courses. For example, I constantly disregard the intricate calculations of the WACC when it comes to valuation, and choosing to focus more on dissecting free cash flows.
My periodic involvement in teaching working professionals also forces me to consolidate what I have learned and stay up-to-date with the real world.
Traditional finance and economic theories have been in existence for many years and built on “old world” practices. The conventional understanding of the way capital markets work today needs to be adjusted and even “updated” to be aligned with the modern world setting - which has been largely influenced by technology and social media, ultimately driving the speed of information.
The way investors approach Asia and China also dynamically influences the way we approach valuation. So, part of this site was dedicated to continuing my professional interests and summarising these learnings. You can find some of these here.
I currently reside in Hong Kong. Under better circumstances, I shuttle between home (in Singapore) and rest of the world. I've been told that I sleep very little, travel too much and sometimes try to do too many things at the same time. I do not totally disagree. I also used to chronicle my personal struggles and journey here during my earlier corporate finance days. Nowadays, I try to write a bit more professionally.
Challenge conventional wisdom.
[updated as at 2022]
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