Adam at home
|Born||Adam Khoo Yean Ann
April 8, 1974
|Education||Bachelor of Business Administration (Honors) (1998)
Licensed Master Practitioner and Trainer in Neuro-Linguistic Programming (1997)
|Alma mater||Ping Yi Secondary School
Victoria Junior College
National University of Singapore (1995–1998)
|Occupation||Founder, Master Trainer, Director, Author, Entrepreneur|
|Spouse(s)||Sally Khoo-Ong (m. 2000)|
|Children||Kelly Khoo (b. 2004)
Samantha Khoo (b. 2005)
|Parent(s)||VInce Khoo (1944–present)
Betty L. Khoo-Kingsley
|Website||Adam Khoo's blog
Adam Khoo Learning Technologies Group
AKLTG's Schools Division
Adam Khoo Learning Centre
Adam Khoo Yean Ann (born April, 8, 1974) is a Singaporean entrepreneur, best-selling author and peak performance trainer. A self-made millionaire by the age of 26, he is one of the youngest millionaires in Singapore, and owns and runs several businesses in education, training, event management and advertising, all with a combined annual turnover of S$30 million.
He is the Executive Chairman and Chief Master Trainer of Adam Khoo Learning Technologies Group Pte Ltd and Director of seven other private companies. Khoo is also a director of the Singapore Health Promotion Board (HPB). He was a member of the Singapore Chapter of the Entrepreneurs' Organization (formerly YEO), whose membership is only available to business owners below 40 years of age, who run businesses with minimum annual turnover of US$1 million. Khoo was also conferred the NUS Business School Eminent Business Alumni Award 2008 for being one of Singapore's most successful and prominent business leaders.
- 1 Career
- 2 Background and Education
- 3 Portfolio
- 4 Personal Life
- 5 In the Media
- 6 References
He is the best-selling author of ten books including I Am Gifted, So Are You! (first published by Oxford University Press) that was ranked MPH #1 Best-Seller in 1998 and 1999. His second and third books are How to Multiply Your Child’s Intelligence (publisher, Pearson Education) and Clueless in Starting a Business (publisher, Pearson Education).
His fourth book Master Your Mind, Design Your Destiny, which was the second-highest selling book in Singapore in 2004, was on the best-sellers’ list for 36 consecutive weeks. His fifth and sixth book, Secrets Of Self-Made Millionaires and Secrets of Millionaire Investors, have both stayed at the Number One spot on The Straits Times Bestsellers List for more than 52 weeks. His seventh book Nurturing the Winner & Genius in Your Child was launched in April 2008 (Ranked #3, The Straits Times Bestsellers List 2008) and his eight book, Secrets of Building Multi-Million Dollar Businesses was launched in October 2008. His ninth book, Profit from the Panic (Ranked #3, The Straits Times Bestsellers List 2009) was launched in January 2009. His latest book Secrets of Successful Teens will be launched in Sept 2009.
Khoo is known as one of the most dynamic and powerful speakers in Asia, having motivated and trained over 355,000 students, teachers, professionals, executives and business owners in areas like Entrepreneurship, Strategic Marketing and Sales, Motivation, Presentation and Communication Skills and Accelerated Learning Techniques and Behavioral Change Technologies, among other areas, to tap their personal power and achieve excellence in their various fields. He has worked with hundreds of multinational corporations, schools and non-profit organizations in Singapore and around the region.
Over the last 15 years, Khoo has also consulted and trained over 120 SMEs and MNCs in various fields, such as Leadership, Team Building, Personal Motivation and many more. Some of his corporate clients include Singapore Technologies (ST) Engineering, Accenture, Singapore Police Force, F&N Coca-Cola, Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA), Ministry of Defence, AIA, Prudential Assurance, Ernst & Young, Exxon Mobil, Unilever, Citibank, UOB, ABN AMRO, NETS, Great Eastern Life, Hewlett-Packard, Sun Microsystems, Texas Instruments, MediaCorp, etc.
Background and Education
Khoo was expelled from St Stephen’s Primary School at the age of eight for misbehavior, partly due to poor academic results. His parents hunted for a primary school willing to accept him and finally found Ngee Ann Primary School. 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. Eventually he went to a government school Ping Yi Secondary, where he passed only four out of eight subjects and finished 156th out of 160 Secondary 1 Express Stream students.
His parents and teachers described him back then as capable but lazy, indifferent and addicted to television. Khoo described himself as being totally uninterested in learning (he was frustrated as he felt he could not learn), extremely unmotivated, physically weak and mentally lethargic. His stepsister was an A-student in the Gifted Programme at Raffles Girls’ Secondary while cousins from his close-knit extended family were from the best schools in Singapore. He had very poor social skills, did not enjoy reading anything but comics and was addicted to arcade games and moronic TV programs. 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.
Turning Point in Education
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. The man responsible for spotting Khoo’s “gifted talent” in Super-Teen was Ernest Wong, Founder, Principal Consultant and Master Teacher of Ernesco, the Centre for Motivational Language Learning based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia(the Super-Teen Camp is now under Learning Mastery Pte. Ltd.) His teaching tools incorporated and adapted an American-developed learning technology called Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP), as well as Whole-Brain Learning. This was the beginning of Adam Khoo’s interest and journey in mastering motivational techniques, which formed the foundation of many of his best-selling books and seminars.
Within three months of the program, Khoo climbed to among the top 18 in his secondary school. He went on to rank among the top 10 in Ping Yi Secondary for the GCE ‘O’ Level examinations with 7 distinctions, qualifying for the then-top junior college in Singapore, Victoria Junior College. At Victoria Junior College, he was President of the Economics Society and scored three ‘As’ for his GCE ‘A’ Level examinations. 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 since his first year, ranked among the top 1 percent of academic achievers and became a pioneer in the university’s Talent Development Programme (TDP), the tertiary equivalent of the Gifted Education Programme for secondary schools. He holds an honors degree in Business Administration from NUS.
Millionaire in the Making
At age 15, Khoo was devouring books on “how to make money” like Donald Trump’s business books and Warren Buffett’s books on investment techniques. 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. At 16, he began investing most of his time and money to read and undergo training sessions in NLP 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.
After completing National Service in the Republic of Singapore Air Force at age 21, he went into partnership with three NUS friends and registered an event management company, Creatsoul Entertainment. The company organized hops, jams and other entertainment activities for clients like individuals, companies and organizations at NUS and Nanyang Technological University (NTU). This was later re-registered as Event Gurus Pte Ltd, an event management company. Today Event Gurus runs major events like The New Paper Big Walk and the President’s Charity Challenge’s Project Y.
At 23, he obtained his license in NLP in Seattle, Washington. At 24, he became a trainer at SuperTeen, conducting courses for organizations like the Chinese Development Assistance Council (CDAC), Association of Muslim Professionals (AMP), Nanyang Girls' High School and the Universitas Pelita Harapan (UPH) in Jakarta. At 25, he was coaching top insurance agents and marketing managers twice his age on how to boost sales. At this time, his father, Vince Khoo, who owned advertising agency Adcom, bought out all partners and offered the younger Khoo the opportunity to run it. Within three months, he turned it around from making losses in 1998–1999 to clinching a pitching rate of 80 percent with the first monthly profit, and went on to increase margins by 30%. Their clients have included AIA, Dumex, Mobil (lost during the Exxon merger), Phillip Wain slimming centers, Sobe Fresh Soya Milk, Tabasco, Heinz, Sinsin, Night Safari and MobileOne (M1).
At 26, he 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.
Khoo’s first taste of investing came from his grandfather, who would give him Lunar New Year red packets with Malaysian share lots like Genting, Kuantan Flour Mill and HICOM. Inspired by Warren Buffett’s book Buffettology, he started dabbling in shares in the army.
A conservative and long-term investor, Khoo goes for investments with very low risk and high returns, favoring cash-rich companies with low debts and the potential to consistently increase their earnings. He prefers investing in stocks and options, using a variety of investing strategies including momentum and value investing.
Khoo's portfolio consists of property that he rents out, private businesses, Singapore stocks, US stocks and exchange-traded funds (ETFs), generating an average return of over 20 percent per annum. In 1998, he bought a 1,300 sq ft 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. In early 2008, he bought a 900 sq ft condo at Robertson Quay for S$1.3 million, renting it out at S$4,000.
Adam Khoo Learning Technologies Group Pte Ltd
Adam Khoo Learning Centre Pte Ltd
P.T. Adam Khoo Learning Technologies Group
Adam Khoo Learning Technologies Group Sdn Bhd
Adam Khoo Education Group Co, Ltd (Thailand)
Adam Khoo Learning Company Pte Ltd
Adam Khoo Life Skills Company Pte Ltd
Adam Khoo Outdoor Company Pte Ltd
Adam Khoo Core Programmes Pte Ltd
Quantum Profits Pte Ltd
Adcom (S) Pte Ltd
Khoo is married to Ms. Sally Ong, four years his senior, whom he had been with since 1994. She was a property and insurance agent(with AIA) but is currently a [[[Managing director|director]] at one of Khoo’s firms. His elder daughter, Kelly, was born in 2004, and his younger daughter, Samantha, was born in 2005. The family lives in a 5000 sq ft semi-detached house in East Coast, Singapore, which he bought in 2005 for S$1.3 million. He drives a S$230,000 red Lotus Elise (bought in October 2008), and a red BMW convertible.
He came from a wealthy family, whose uncles and father were savvy business people and investors. An only child, his father started Adcom, an advertising firm in 1972, and his mother, Betty Khoo-Kingsley, was the former editor of Her World magazine with 25 years of experience in writing. His mother was divorced from his father and used to live in Darwin, Australia. His stepmother’s name is Joanne.
Despite his indulgence in cars, Khoo is well-known for his frugal lifestyle and spending habits, crediting his father for this influence in his growing years. In 2001–2002, he was quoted as saying that his personal expenditure per month was less than S$2000. In 2009, he told The Straits Times that he charged about S$2,000–S$3,000 every month to his credit cards for personal expenditure. He personally believes in living well below one’s means, saving at least 50% of his income, and investing about 80% of his money.
Passion and Hobbies
Khoo's hobbies include watching movies, playing basketball, golf, and PlayStation games. What drives him to work every day is his passion for helping other underachievers to benefit from NLP, his love for teaching and entertaining others, to be the best in his field, create new companies, and bring new services to people, and investing.
In the Media
His success and achievements have been featured in regional media like The Straits Times, The Business Times (Singapore), The New Paper, Lianhe Wanbao, Channel NewsAsia (CNA), MediaCorp Channel U and Channel 8, MediaCorp 938LIVE (formerly NewsRadio 938) and Capital 95.8FM, The Hindu, The Star and The Sun Malaysian newspapers, The Executive Magazine, Asian Business the Magazine for Entrepreneurs, Prestige, Her World Magazine, Calibre Magazine and many more. In 2007, he was ranked among the top 25 richest Singaporeans under the age of 40 by The Executive Magazine.
- “I want to be a millionaire by 26”, The Sunday Times, 21 October 2001
- “Young millionaire Khoo to address seminar,” The Business Times, January 2002 (no date provided)
- “I Am Gifted So Are You”, Bizad, no date provided
- “He made his first million at 26”, The New Paper, 27 September 2001
- Khoo, Adam with Tan, Stuart (2004), Master Your Mind, Design Your Destiny, Adam Khoo Learning Technologies Group Pte Ltd, ISBN: 8888096802317
- “Lousy at learning? Take heart”, The Straits Times LIFE!, 6 August 1998
- “From underachiever to millionaire”, The Edge Singapore, 18 Dec 2006
- “Driving Ambition” by James Lee
- “Following father's footsteps to take a leap forward”
- “Big investor but frugal spender”, Me & Money, The Straits Times, 22 Feb 2009
- “Rich & Frugal”, STREATS, 9 January 2002