What’s the Book About?

It details an account of Mark’s transformative banking career, from a credit card salesperson to becoming a Senior Vice President (SVP) at age 33 and possessing a multi-million real estate portfolio. 

Who Should Read? 

I find that this book is perfect for corporate executives who wish to: 

  • Get promoted. 
  • Ask for a raise. 
  • Progress in their respective careers. 
  • Build a sizable property portfolio with their rise in active income. 

Core Message: 

Mark’s book is unique for he has attributed his success as a property investor to his success as a banking professional. To him, career success is a vital ingredient to investment success. The more one makes, the more debt he could borrow to invest and build a real estate portfolio. This is why the content of Mark’s book is split into two parts: “career building and property investing” in four key phases: 

  • The Genesis 
  • The Caterpillar 
  • The Chrysalis
  • The Butterfly 

The Genesis

It refers to a period when he started off as a credit card salesperson who makes little income and has little savings. In his book, Mark shared his struggles where he had to decide his focus between: 

  • Looking rich vs Becoming rich. 
  • Cut expenses vs Increase income. 

Such decisions determined how fast Mark raised capital for his first property. 

In a nutshell, I believe what Mark did is still workable for one who is still making below RM 5k a month presently. They include: 

  • Improve technical skills at work. 
  • Obtain a professional qualification. 
  • Learn about personal finance and investing. 

The Caterpillar

Two years later, Mark found a job as a financial analyst. At this phase, he placed more emphasis in developing a system known as “Property Investment Matrix”, building a healthy credit score and implementing tenant management practices to build a portfolio of high-rise properties. As a reader, I’m positive that you will enjoy this section of his book if your primary focus is on real estate investing. 

The Chrysalis 

Previously, Mark wrote briefly on his career progression but he has remained as an individual performer. He started as a financial analyst. But, he chose to move onto learning about other functions within a bank such as sales, marketing, and so on and so forth. Mark became multidimensional, shifting from a specialist to becoming a generalist, a technical worker to being good with people relations. 

Such is helpful in making the shift to become a manager. 

With a rise in income, Mark expanded his portfolio to landed properties. Out of which, Mark shared the concept of “Pairing” in his book where high-rises which generate cash inflows could offset cash outflows of landed houses that can lead to substantial capital appreciation in the future. 

The Butterfly 

At this stage, there is still one more career shift that Mark makes and that is the shift from a manager to becoming a SVP (leader). In his book, Mark had written about the differences between managing and leading and how knowing to lead would propel one’s career to the next level. 

With millions in property portfolio, Mark ended his book with some pointers on emerging trends in the property market in the Klang Valley. 


I find that Mark’s book is a good read for anyone regardless of the current stage in their career, finances and investment portfolio. It offers practical strategies to help one progress to the next level and thus, elevating their financial status. 

For instance, if you are in: 

1. The Genesis: 

  • Work on your technical skills 
  • Obtain professional qualifications. 
  • Learn about personal finance and investments. 

2. The Caterpillar: 

  • Develop a property investment system. 
  • Start with smaller property deals. 
  • Understand different roles & functions within a business. 

3. The Chrysalis: 

  • Move from specialist to generalist. 
  • Use financial resources to get into bigger property deals. 

4. The Butterfly 

  • Move from a manager to becoming a leader. 
  • Pursuing a passion like “writing a book”. 

Who Says You Can’t Be Rich Working a 9 to 5 Job?

Ian Tai
Ian Tai

Financial Content Machine. Dividend Investor. Produced 500+ Financial Articles featured in KCLau.com in Malaysia and the Fifth Person, Value Invest Asia, and Small Cap Asia in Singapore. Regular Host and Presenter of a Weekly Financial Webinar with KCLau.com. Co-Founded DividendVault.com, an online membership site that empowers retail investors to build a stock portfolio that pays rising dividends year after year in Malaysia and Singapore.

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