How Much Money Is Enough? feat. Julian Ng | EZ On The Money #1
Play • 54 min

Determined to transform his relationship with money, Ezra begins the conversation about personal finance. With Julian Ng, co-founder of robo-advisor Akru, they discuss how much money is enough for you to have a life you love, now and in the future? What conscious choices can you make to improve your station in life? Also, the merits of passive investing.


Julian Ng has 20 years’ experience in the investment banking and fund management industries with companies such as CIMB, J.P. Morgan and Public Mutual. As a producer and presenter on BFM89.9, he covered business issues and financial stories and how it impacted ordinary folks.

In his time as a portfolio manager, he became uncomfortable with the ideology that fund houses were expected to consistently outperform the market. This led him to co-found Akru, a digital platform that provides automated, algorithm-driven financial planning services with little to no human supervision.

Julian Ng: Linkedin, Blog, Twitter

Episode Structure

  • 0:00 - A conversation about money, with myself 
  • 3:00 - Resetting/reconfiguring the relationship with money 
  • 5:41 - Julian's childhood anxieties about money 
  • 10:32 - "will we be on the streets if we run out of money?" 
  • 15:58 - Pivotal moments: Julian quits  his job as a fund manager 
  • 19:05 - Ezra's experience: How policies impact individuals and society 
  • 23:30 - The narrative of the financial media 
  • 26:22 - It shouldn't be down to you gambling in the stock market to put food on the table 
  • 32:26 - What can we do to be financially secure and happy? 
  • 33:21 - The role of passive investing 
  • 39:23 - Role of technology forces us to ask: what do we want in life? 
  • 45:00 - Reading John Bogle and how it impacted Julian 
  • 52:09 - Outro and credits 
  • 52:57 - TEZP theme song debut 


Julian Ng interviews his hero, John Bogle
Vanguard — John Bogle’s fund manager/investing company
Barbell Investment Strategy by Nassim Nicholas Talebs
New Economic Policy (NEP) in Malaysia
Lemonade Day — inspiring kids to start a business and build something that will change the world regardless of how large or small their ambition is.

Book Recommendations

The Little Book of Common Sense Investing by John Bogle


Assets — an asset is a resource with economic value that an individual, corporation, or country owns or controls with the expectation that it will provide a future benefit.

Cryptocurrency — a digital currency in which transactions are verified and records maintained by a decentralized system using cryptography, rather than by a centralized authority. (ex. Bitcoin uses cryptocurrency)

Exchange Traded Fund (ETF) — an exchange traded fund (ETF) is a type of security that involves a collection of securities—such as stocks—that often tracks an underlying index, although they can invest in any number of industry sectors or use various strategies. ETFs are in many ways similar to mutual funds; however, they are listed on exchanges and ETF shares trade throughout the day just like ordinary stock.

Index Funds — an index fund is a type of mutual fund or exchange-traded fund (ETF) with a portfolio constructed to match or track the components of a financial market index, such as the Standard & Poor's 500 Index (S&P 500). An index mutual fund is said to provide broad market exposure, low operating expenses, and low portfolio turnover. These funds follow their benchmark index regardless of the state of the markets.

Robo-advisor — Robo-advisor/roboadvisor are digital platforms that provide automated, algorithm-driven financial planning services with little to no human supervision. A typical robo-advisor collects information from clients about their financial situation and future goals through an online survey and then uses the data to offer advice and automatically invest client assets. 

Return — A return, also known as a financial return, in its simplest terms, is the money made or lost on an investment over some period of time.

Stock Market — The stock market refers to the collection of markets and exchanges where regular activities of buying, selling, and issuance of shares of publicly-held companies take place.

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