A Message to Those Who Are Still Lucky Enough to Receive Ang Pows | Personal Success | Success tips and life stories from Adam Khoo, Asia's top success coach.

A Message to Those Who Are Still Lucky Enough to Receive Ang Pows

A very happy and prosperous new year to all the Chinese friends out there. And to all the non-Chinese, a very happy super long holiday! As I was giving out hundreds of dollars in ang pow money to friends and relatives (luckily I got two daughters to bring back some revenue and help reduce the losses…just kidding), I remembered how important the ang pow money I received over the years has helped me build up my seed money to start all my business ventures as a kid.

I used to collect about $600-$800 a year (I had lots and lots of relatives who were pretty generous) in red packet revenue and by the time I was 15, I had close to $20,000. All this would not have been possible if I did not save every last cent and put it into a fixed deposit account and allowed the money to compound. This was back in the good old 1970’s-80’s when interest rates from banks were 5%-7%!

However, I was pretty sad and shocked to see how some of the older unmarried folks happily gambled their money away. Their mindset was probably that it was bonus money that they did not have to work hard for so they did not mind losing it. Then, I heard some of my nephews bragging that they will blow their money on games and new gadgets. I guess this is why not many people become millionaires!

So, for those of you who are lucky enough to receive ang pows, remember you HAVE A CHOICE. You could choose to spend the money and feel happy for a couple of hours. or you could delay your gratification and invest that money in something that will make your wealth grow in the the future. Those two dollar bills you hold in your hand may seem small, but they are like the money seeds that could grow into huge money trees that eventually grow into millions of dollars.

So, what am I going to do with all the ang pows I am collecting for my two children? Well, knowing the power of investing and compound returns, my goal is to invest it for them so that at age 21, they will have $1 million each. They receive about $800+ per year as well. So, if I top up another $1,000, that will be $1,800 per year. By investing that $1,800 a year for the 21 years at about 25% return (easy, with the techniques I know), that would be about $1 million by the time they are 21.

Of course, the important thing is…THEY CANNOT KNOW THIS. Once kids know that there is a security net or money to be inherited, they will become super spoilt and lazy. They will have no more hunger and fire to build their wealth. So, this money will be kept top secret. By the time they are old enough, I will have to delete this BLOG entry. They will only receieve the money IF they achieve a high level of success ON THEIR OWN. I was inspired by a friend of mine who is a MULTI MULTI MILLIONAIRE. However, he has a rule (he also put it in his will), that his children must first make their own million dollars and strat their own successful biz for 5 years, BEFORE he releases a single cent to them. In other words, they must prove that they deserve the money.

Hmmm…Sound like a plan to me


12 Comments so far

  1. Samuel Sim on February 19th, 2007

    Great sharing Adam!

    Especially for the younger generations now. I think they are getting worse by time. Even kids 10-12 years old now carry mobile phones around like it’s no one’s business.

    Man, how lucky they are… But they never appreciate it, and they keep wanting for more. The kids nowadays are all spoiled brats. I was watching Oprah the other day when their parents kept spoiling their children and don’t even know how to say NO when their kids ask them for things they want…My God!

    Anyway, hope this message goes out to all the younger generation out there and make them realize how important it is to manage money wisely.

    Maybe they should subscribe to my newsletter and get your book haha…


  2. Conrad on February 19th, 2007

    Alas, the reality of the current mindset comes to the fore. And I thought I was being old and frumpy when I grumbled that kids these days (Including the young adults) don’t save and treasure the little things that come free.

    There are only two types of people who will appreciate this advise from Adam;
    1. Those who are currently practising good money management.
    2. Those who learned the hard lesson about not practising good money management.

    Everybody else will (sadly) pass this info on as-a-matter-of-fact and not take action until its too late. And these are the same people who will complain that their kids are too rude and spoilt. Go figure.

    If you want to know if your children fall into the wrong category of savers vs spenders, simply ask them what they would do with the ang-pow money if given a free choice. Their answer will tell you if you’re bringing them up with the proper mind set. How you react to their answer is a reflection of your life’s pattern.

    You have the power to choose or change. Your family’s future starts with this small step.

  3. Michelle on February 19th, 2007

    Hie Adam [ Uncle Adam ] !

    I’m one of the participants in the IAG Camp during December 11-14 2006. I totally agree with what you said. Everyone have a choice; whether to spend or save their money. I’m really fortunate to have read your entries. In this way, i can know your experiences and apply them in my life. Err i’m not really sure if i can comment on your entries.. because i’m still young.. but i hope you won’t mind.. ^^

    After reading what you wrote, i decided to keep my ang pow moneys instead! Thank you for sharing! [ and i thank myself for reading ^^ ]

  4. Samuel Sim on February 19th, 2007


    There’s no limits to whether you are young or old. No matter what
    age group are you you always have the right and chance to voice
    out your opinions and suggestions.

    Nothing wrong with that…. If you say you’re not qualified to speak
    just because you’re young, does that mean people are only allowed
    to be millionaires after a certain age limit?

    No, it’s not like that… Just say what you feel like saying and stand out
    against the others… Be strong! Prove to the rest you can do it!

    Yaaahhhh!! That’s what I call POWER! I love it…

    Tell you something about a boy called Tony Hawks… He became a
    millionaire at the age of 17, playing skateboards!!! Man, he was
    not even old enough to buy a house under his own name. Google
    him and see that anyone can succeed in life, young or old….

    Cheers and have a great time!

    Happy New Year!

  5. Calvin on February 20th, 2007

    Hi Adam,

    Yup I do cherish my ang pow money.. As I do not come from a well to do family and I still have to support myself through university currently, the ang pow money that I received will definitely be put into good use.

    Your Secrets of Self Made Millionaires has certainly opened my mind to proper money management and how the rich manage their cash flow. Hence, I intend to use the money to invest in my online business.

    Your children are really lucky to have such a wonderful father! I will definitely do the same for my children in the future!

    Thanks adam,


  6. Kang on February 20th, 2007

    Hey Adam,
    Great advice here 😉

    My parents made me save up my past 20 odd years of angpow money too, and I used to think they were keeping it for themselves, lol.

    I think it’s important for parents to stand their grounds and believe in what they know is right.. Because “popular” decisions are not always the most sound.

    But still.. Being millionaires at 21 having not done anything to earn it.. Yeah, you BETTER keep it from them 😉

  7. Thomas on February 20th, 2007

    Hi Adam,

    Great insights! However I do have one consideration. Is it really worth saving ALL the money for future use? What about investing it in a form of education, such as learning to play a musical instrument or something for intellectual development. How do you draw the line?

  8. Felicia on February 21st, 2007

    I agree, Adam!

    Like a kid, I love cny bcos that’s the ONLY time I get money for nothing!
    Not really nothing though if you count travelling here & there fr the west to north or east or south! Exhausting! That’s why I always saved up my “hard-earned” angbaos money since I was a kid, asking my mum to save them in the bank, even though at that time I had no idea what a FD was!

    Ur kids are so fortunate to have such a doting daddy like U!
    Having a walk around ur house this afternoon really gave me the special warm feeling of your house being really a hOme for ur 2 little adorable kids! (Kelly looks so much like you!!!) Ur home is like a huge playground if you ask me! Cosy & spacious! ^o* tks for inviting us coaches!

    And It’s true! Kids/humans don’t appreciate things that come free or easy to them, so they need to earn their keep too! To be tough enough to meet those challenges, isn’t it?

    HappY New Year!

  9. theresa on February 21st, 2007

    good! nothing beats the satidfaction of deserving a better life because you worked it out. your children are blessed to have a parent like you. keep on bloggin good principles!

  10. Adam on February 22nd, 2007

    In fact, using the money for intellctual development (e.g. buying a book on investing, attending a seminar, learning a new language, taking an MBA, learning a musical instrument) is one of the best investments you can ever make. When you invest in your most important asset (your mind), your returns will not be 10%-20% (like in Stocks/ property), but it will be 1000% returns!

  11. vc on February 26th, 2007

    Hi Adam, it sounds like a great plan to me.

    I’ve just started working for a couple of months and I have always been interested in investments. However, often times i find the math of investment mind-boggling, even the simplest ones. Can you show me how did you arrive at the total of $1mil after 21 years?

    Plus, is there any other resources such as websites which contains such calculations for financial planning, financial statement analysis etc?

  12. Christopher on July 19th, 2007

    Hi vc
    just multiply the sum of money with 1,25% each year, and add an additional $1800 per year. It will reach about $966.782 after 21 year.

    but since there will be around 10% inflation each year, and it will reach about 7,4 times inflation after 21 years.
    so the amount 1 million in 21 years in the future is the same as 1000.000/7,4 this year which is $135.135
    with total investment of 1800 * 21 = $37.800. the amount multiplied to about 3,6 times.
    I wonder if that is much of a leap. I hope I don’t miscalculate

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