SINGAPORE: Last week, we learned more about Kelvin Tan, the YouTuber behind the Kelvin Learns Investing YouTube channel. Kelvin, who moved from Malaysia in 2007, stopped working as a programmer last year and says he’s now earning S$20,000 a month because of his finance-related content online.

Max Chernov’s interview with Kelvin was posted on Nov 2 and has since gotten 87,000 views. Kelvin talked about a number of things, including how it felt to move from Malaysia and eventually acquire Singaporean citizenship, as well as his experience leaving his corporate job to make it as an investment and financial advisor online.

Kelvin also talked about how he started his YouTube channel, which occurred right around the COVID-19 pandemic started. Like everyone else, he had an extra two hours a day because he was working from home, which allowed him to work on his online content.

“I was lucky enough that all the brokers came in at around the same time,” he said, as this helped his channel when he talked about them. Prior to the pandemic, brokers were charging $20 to $25 per trade, but during this time, they were only charging $1 per trade.

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“There was huge interest, and I was right at the place where I could tell them all, ‘Look at these brokers, here’s how you can sign up with them,” Kelvin told Max. After that, people began to recognise him and watch out for his content.

In 2022, Kelvin lost his job when his company closed down, but at that point, the income from his YouTube channel was actually higher than his day job, so he decided to give it a try and focus on it more since he had already gotten it up and running already.

If worse came to worse, he reasoned that he could always find another programming job and become an office worker again, but thankfully, he hasn’t had to and doesn’t want to.

However, the trade-off is the hard work and long hours he puts in, sometimes working 12 hours a day and another 12 on weekends. These “80-hour weeks,” he said, have not been good for his health.

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But he loves what he’s doing now, and if he were alone, he could already retire. Since he is married and has kids, however, he’s still working hard, wanting to let his wife retire or take just a part-time job, as well as ensure that his kids have generational wealth so that they don’t have to worry about money.

For now, his goal is to have S$1 million in his investment portfolio, and he says he’s about halfway there. The family lives very frugally because they have this goal in mind. This would ensure that he could have between S$3000 and S$4000 in passive income, which means he can work—and worry—less.

“I would like to take it easier in life,” he said. “Maybe instead of four videos, I will just do one video and do one course, but basically take it easier. I wouldn’t want to die young.” /TISG

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