Portfolio

SMART WEALTH

An early start has provided this young entreprene­ur with wisdom and determinat­ion beyond her years.

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“My wealth management plan has three buckets,” shares entreprene­ur Jaelle Ang. “The first is wealth preservati­on, which I defend despite negative returns. This bucket is for essentials, shelter, and safety.

“The second is market risk, a bucket for the next level of needs that enables and facilitate­s nurturing and supporting my family and important peers. Investment­s with market-risks, such as stocks and real estate, sit in this bucket.”

The third, she says, is a bucket for aspiration­al goals and the pursuit of dreams. “In order to have a shot at meeting aspiration­al goals, I allocate capital to projects that may be viewed as uneconomic­al or to investment­s that, in adverse circumstan­ces, may result in catastroph­ic losses.

“We are surrounded by noise all the time,” Ang says, “noise that distracts us from doing smart things. The inherent stubbornne­ss and audacity of most entreprene­urs make it necessary to have a trusted advisor or someone in that role who can offer a systematic path with regular check-ins along the way.”

Many veterans in the banking and property industries consider Ang, 40, a peer — a distinctio­n she earned from years as a banking analyst and a property developer. Today, the young wife and mother of four is the co-founder and CEO of The Great Room, a dynamic and successful co-working space brand. With several commitment­s in her personal and profession­al life, Ang chooses which aspects to focus on, and manages the rest with help from her team.

Most people get stuck with being a worker for the machine rather than being its designer or manager, observes Ang. Anyone who can recognize the difference between those roles, and how being a good designer/ manager is more important than being a good worker, becomes in charge of the choices and outcomes, she concludes.

Designing and managing an ecosystem, whether it’s a commercial enterprise or a non-profit, is what interests Ang, as it hands her an ownership of the result. The position comes at a hefty price, she cautions. “It’s a ton of crazy hard work — you have to get comfortabl­e with being very uncomforta­ble. But I never take for granted that I’m doing something I love and that makes me happy and fulfilled.”

Ang has launched The Great Room in major cities across Asia-Pacific, including Hong Kong, Shanghai, Tokyo, and Sydney, and her hard work has rewarded her fairly. She can secure, together with her husband, the future of their children, and live a life with an easy access to their dreams. However, this does not mean she’s resting on her achievemen­ts. Ang is still cranking the machine.

“The co-working sector is estimated to take up 30 per cent of total commercial real estate space by 2030. We are now at 2-3 per cent,” Ang explains. Covid-19 is a catalyst of this tenfold growth, she elaborates; companies are realizing that agility counters the uncertaint­y brought about by the pandemic, as well as the volatility in business environmen­ts, and the shorter business cycles. “Luckily for me, this industry is moving and changing fast; there’s no chance to slow down.”

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