Adam Khoo

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Adam Khoo
Adam Khoo
Born Adam Khoo Yean Ann
(1974-04-08) 8 April 1974 (age 44)
Education Bachelor of Business Administration (Honours) (1998)
Licensed Master Practitioner and Trainer in Neuro-linguistic programming (1997)
Alma mater National University of Singapore (1995–1998)
Occupation Co-founder, executive chairman, chief master trainer, Director, author, entrepreneur, Professional Stocks & FX Trader
Website Adam Khoo's Blog
Piranha Profits

Adam Khoo Yean Ann is a Singaporean entrepreneur, author, trainer and a stocks and FX trader. Khoo is the Executive chairman and Chief Master Trainer of Adam Khoo Learning Technologies Group, one of Asia's largest private educational institutions, which runs educational seminars for over 80,000 people annually in 7 countries. His business interests include advertising, corporate training and professional investing.

In 2008, Khoo was ranked among the top 25 richest Singaporeans under age 40 by The Executive magazine. In the same year, he was conferred the NUS Business School Eminent Business Alumni Award.

Khoo is the director of seven other private companies. He was also a director of the Singapore Health Promotion Board (HPB) from 2009 to 2010. He is a member of the Singapore Chapter of the Young Presidents' Organization,[1][2] whose membership is available only to business owners below age 50, who run businesses with a minimum annual turnover of US$9 million.

Background and education[edit]


Khoo was born Adam Khoo Yean Ann on 8 April 1974, to Vince Khoo and Betty L. Khoo-Kingsley. At age eight, Khoo was expelled from St Stephen's Primary School[2] for misbehavior, partly due to poor academic results.[3] His parents hunted for a primary school willing to accept him and finally found Ngee Ann Primary School.[2] Due to his poor results at the Primary School Leaving Examination (PSLE), he did not qualify to enter any of the six secondary schools his parents had chosen.[3] He eventually enrolled in a government school, Ping Yi Secondary School, where he passed only five out of eight academic subjects[3] and finished 156th out of 160 Secondary 1 Express Stream students.[4][2]

Khoo's parents and teachers described him back then as capable but lazy, indifferent and addicted to television.[2][5] He described himself as being totally uninterested in learning (he was frustrated as he felt he could not learn),[5] extremely unmotivated,[6] physically weak and mentally lethargic.[3] His stepsister was a straight-As student in the Gifted Education Programme at Raffles Girls' School[2] while cousins from his close-knit extended family were from the best schools in Singapore.[3] He had poor social skills,[3] did not enjoy reading anything but comics[6] and was addicted to arcade games and TV programs.[3] He tried to join the Scout Movement, but was thrown out six months later for not passing the basic qualifying test, the 'Scout Standard', as he did not bother to try.[3]

Turning point in education[edit]

In 1987, when Khoo was 13, his parents enrolled their "under-achiever" son for a five-day residential program at Ladyhill Hotel called Super-Teen Camp.[4][2][7] The man responsible for spotting Khoo's "gifted talent" in Super-Teen was Dr. Ernest Wong, founder, principal consultant and master teacher of Ernesco, the Centre for Motivational Language Learning based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia[7] (the Super-Teen Camp is now under Learning Mastery Pte. Ltd.) Dr. Wong's teaching tools incorporated and adapted an American-developed learning technology called neuro-linguistic programming (NLP), as well as whole-brain learning.[7] This was the beginning of Khoo's interest and journey in mastering motivational techniques,[7] which formed the foundation of many of his books and seminars.

Within three months of the program, Khoo climbed to among the top 18 in his secondary school.[7] He went on to rank among the top 10 in Ping Yi Secondary within a year,[3] topped his school in the GCE 'O' Level examinations with the lowest scoring aggregate, and was the first in Ping Yi Secondary to qualify for the then-top junior college in Singapore, Victoria Junior College.[4][3][7] At Victoria Junior College, he was president of the Economics Society[5] and scored three A's for his GCE 'A' Level examinations.[5][7] He entered the business administration faculty at the National University of Singapore (NUS) and continued his notable academic achievements by making it to the dean's list every year,[4] ranked among the top 1 percent of academic achievers[3] and became a pioneer in the university's Talent Development Programme (TDP), the tertiary equivalent of the gifted education programme for secondary schools.[4] He graduated with an honours degree in business administration from NUS.


At age 15, Khoo was devouring books on Warren Buffett's books on investment techniques.[6] While still in secondary school, he formed a mobile disco company with his friends, using his grandmother's house to re-create a disco and charged teenagers who attended a fee. He even took over the job of the deejay that he hired, after studying him.[2] At 16, he began investing most of his time and money to read and undergo training sessions in NLP[7] in the United States. At 17, he became a freelance motivational trainer by visiting schools in Singapore, making the bold proposition of turning the worst students around for no charge in the beginning. Eventually, he started charging S$25 per student for half a day's training.[6]

After completing National Service in the Republic of Singapore Air Force at age 21, Khoo went into partnership with three NUS friends and registered an event management company, Creatsoul Entertainment.[5] The company organised hops, jams and other entertainment activities[2] for clients like individuals, companies and organisations at NUS and Nanyang Technological University (NTU).[5] This was later re-registered as Event Gurus Pte Ltd, an event management company.

At 23, Khoo obtained his licence in NLP in Seattle, Washington.[7] At 24, he became a trainer at SuperTeen,[4] conducting courses for organisations like the Chinese Development Assistance Council (CDAC), Association of Muslim Professionals (AMP), Nanyang Girls' High School and the Universitas Pelita Harapan (UPH) in Jakarta.[5] At 25, Khoo was coaching top insurance agents and marketing managers twice his age on how to boost sales.[4] At this time, his father, Vince Khoo, who owned the advertising agency Adcom, bought out all partners and offered the younger Khoo the opportunity to run it.[4] Within three months, he turned it around from making losses in 1998–1999 to clinching a pitching rate of 80 percent[4] with the first monthly profit, and went on to increase margins by 30%.[8] Their clients have included AIA, Dumex, Mobil (lost during the Exxon merger), Phillip Wain slimming centres, Sobe Fresh Soya Milk, Tabasco, Heinz, Sinsin, Night Safari, Singapore and MobileOne (M1).[4][9]

At 26, Khoo earned his first million, from giving motivational training at schools and companies (the most lucrative, earning him up to S$1000 an hour), his entertainment company and shrewd investments in equities, unit trusts and property.[2]



Inspired by the book Buffettology, he started dabbling in the stock market while in the army.[10]

As a conservative and long-term investor,[10] Khoo goes for investments with very low risk and high returns,[6] favouring cash-rich companies with low debts and the potential to consistently increase their earnings.[10] He prefers investing in stocks and options, using a variety of investing strategies including momentum and value investing.[6]


Khoo's portfolio consists of property that he rents out. In 1998, he bought a condominium in East Coast for S$480,000 and rented it out for about S$3,000. He sold it for S$650,000 in 2004. Other properties he owns include a house in East Coast and a condominium at Robertson Quay.[10]


Khoo does not believe in taking on consumer debt and prefers starting businesses with zero capital, paying freelance fees or stocks in the beginning until profit is generated.[6]


  • I Am Gifted, So Are You! (first published by Oxford University Press, ISBN 978-9812324276).[7]
  • How to Multiply Your Child's Intelligence (Pearson Education, ISBN 978-0131013551)
  • Clueless in Starting a Business (Pearson Education, ISBN 978-9812445070).
  • Master Your Mind, Design Your Destiny (Adam Khoo Learning Technologies Group, ISBN 978-9810508562)
  • Secrets of Self-Made Millionaires (Adam Khoo Learning Technologies Group, ISBN 978-9810552848)
  • Secrets of Millionaire Investors (Adam Khoo Learning Technologies Group, ISBN 978-9810581954)
  • Secrets of Building Multi-Million Dollar Businesses (Adam Khoo Learning Technologies Group, ISBN 978-9810814786)
  • Nurturing the Winner & Genius in Your Child (Adam Khoo Learning Technologies Group, ISBN 978-9810596835)
  • Secrets of Successful Teens (Adam Khoo Learning Technologies Group, ISBN 978-9810837174)
  • Profit from the Panic (Adam Khoo Learning Technologies Group, ISBN 978-9810820879)
  • Profit from the Asian Recovery (Adam Khoo Learning Technologies Group, ISBN 978-9810857783)
  • Winning the Game of Life! (Adam Khoo Learning Technologies Group, ISBN 978-9810700812)
  • Winning the Game of Stocks! (Adam Khoo Learning Technologies Group, ISBN 978-9810756154)


  1. ^ "Young millionaire Khoo to address seminar," The Business Times, January 2002 (no date provided)
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "He made his first million at 26", The New Paper, 27 September 2001
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Khoo, Adam; Tan, Stuart (2004). Master Your Mind, Design Your Destiny. Adam Khoo Learning Technologies Group Pte Ltd. p. 348. ISBN 978-9810508562.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "I want to be a millionaire by 26", The Sunday Times, 21 October 2001
  5. ^ a b c d e f g "Lousy at learning? Take heart", The Straits Times LIFE!, 6 August 1998
  6. ^ a b c d e f g "From underachiever to millionaire", The Edge Singapore, 18 December 2006
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "I Am Gifted So Are You", Bizad, no date provided
  8. ^ "Driving Ambition" by James Lee Archived 12 September 2010 at the Wayback Machine.
  9. ^ "Following father's footsteps to take a leap forward"[permanent dead link]
  10. ^ a b c d "Big investor but frugal spender", Me & Money, The Straits Times, 22 February 2009 [1]