Millionaire Chef

Millionaire Chef: Saving with a Robo-Advisor

Photo Courtesy of Reggie Soang

Hi, my name is Reggie. I am a chef who carried student loans and credit card debts for a decade. Through help from some of my friends, I paid off my debts and started saving and investing. I am here to backtrack my steps and share my experiences with you. I have made do with what I earn, which wasn’t much at some point, and you can too.

My story starts with me carrying massive debts in my 20’s. I did not have a good habit of saving and did not have the knowledge to invest and earn passive income. 

One of my closest friends eventually took me under his wings and guided me to pay off my debts. I went from 5-figure in the negative to having close to 6-figure in net asset in 5 years. I am also on my way to become a millionaire by the time I want to retire.

Working towards becoming a millionaire is not about being superficially rich and flashy. Working towards becoming a millionaire is about having great financial habits that enable me to live a stable and happy life, provide for myself and others. 

I want to take this opportunity to share my tips with my fellow colleagues in hospitality and everyone else who is interested in achieving financial freedom. I am not here to brag or preach. I want to share real tips in saving money and having a healthy approach to personal finance. 

We all have lived paycheck to paycheck and worked for minimum wage. However, with a bit of diligence and discipline, we could build a personal wealth that would allow us to retire comfortably. 

My first tool in saving money is using an app called Acorns. I use Acorns to save money in 2 ways. First, I automated my app to put away 5 to 10 dollars a day from my checking account. Secondly, Acorns “rounds up” the spare change to the next dollar on all purchases. Once the roundups reach $5, it withdraws the money and invests in a personalized stock portfolio. Your stock portfolio can be as conservative or aggressive according to your risk tolerance. 

Acorns also shows you the projection of your saving by the time you want to retire. You could use this tool to set your goal and automate your daily savings for as long as you want. Acorns is a robo-advisor that automates your savings and investments. Automate my saving and investment give me a peace of mind and allows me to focus on living.

Opening Journal

Opening Journal 12.29.2020

Started writing shift notes with my sous chef. I e-mail him with my notes, and then he replies with his, in a MS Word document. Shift notes should be concise, and feedback should be constructive.

We implemented “shift note” to gather information on food prep and cooks’ performance and issues arose from delivery or a piece of broken equipment. We then use shift notes to gauge our own performance in managing the restaurant as well as to anticipate any future problems.

Shift notes are non-negotiable for me. Restaurant operation is a chain reaction; a clear and concise communication saves time and helps avoid roadblocks. For example: if any menu item is low on inventory, relate this information in the shift to help prioritize the next day’s prep list.

Opening Journal

Opening Journal 12/28/2020

First official day off in a while, finally catching up on some reading. Don’t have resolutions made for 2020 (and neither have I made any in the past), just want to work on my reading comprehension and give myself the liberal art education that I traded in for a math degree in college.

Opening Journal

Opening Journal 12/2/2020

Have to drink more water.

Opening Journal

Opening Journal 11/26/2020

There is a fine line between copying others and learning others’ strengths. The former might lend a short-term success, while the latter gives a substantial return on investment in the long run.

Opening Journal

Opening Journal 11/24/2020

Happiness is the by-product of hard work and humility.

Hard work is the by-product of trust in the process.

Humility grounds my own ego to trust the process and work hard.

I don’t deserve happiness if I don’t work hard and have humility.

Opening Journal

Opening Journal 11/23/2020

Sleep deprivation leads me to crave certain things:

  • spicy Chinese food
  • fried rice
  • glass of pinot noir or Barolo
  • ice cream: pistachio, vanilla, coffee
Opening Journal

Opening Journal 11/22/2020

Encourage others with my own passion. If it doesn’t work, at least I’ve tried.

Opening Journal

Opening Journal 11/21/2020

Learn his or her aspiration and set him or her up for success in that direction.

Opening Journal

Opening Journal 11/19/2020

Here’s an idea: a voice recognition system for food delivery

Why?: “swiping” is not effective and practical when you have grease hands (rub your hands with EVOO and then try using Tinder…let me know how it goes), and most of the delivery platform wants the kitchen staff to swipe a tablet when an order is complete.

How it works: Using voice recognition in placing an order through our app, and the kitchen will use voice recognition to confirm for a pickup.

Here’s a simple script:

  1. Ms. Lee speaks into our app on her phone: hi, I’d like a plain pizza, a coke, and a side of garlic knot. My address is —–, my credit card is —–, good bye.
  2. Kitchen prepares the meal and then tells our POS system: Ms. Lee’s order is ready. Voice recognized by our POS and signals for a courier to show up.
  3. The courier shows up and delivers the food.

We already have the technology to make this happen. Our friend, Siri, and a distant cousin, Alexa, are ready to help out.

Not convinced “swiping” is here to stay.