Special Blog: Theory Of Appropriate Salary Thresholds by Xavier Lo, FIA, FRM, MBA

I know its not a Saturday today, but since a lot of people have recently received bonuses [花紅], I’m getting a lot of questions about whether you should change jobs [轉工]. Given the urgency, I think it’s a good time to just tell you about a theory that will most likely help with your decision.

The Theory Of Appropriate Salary Thresholds (TOAST) basically tells us how much salary increase you should at least ask for before you decide to change jobs. Obviously, this would depend on the country and the standards of living [生活水平]. To give you a reference, in Hong Kong this would be exactly HKD 21k per month. In other words, if you were considering a new job in Hong Kong, just see if it will pay HKD 21k higher per month than your current job. If so, you’ve got a winner!

I know a lot of people probably tell you that money isn’t everything. There are lots of other factors to consider too, such as the location of the office [公司地區], the career progression [事業發展], the company size [公司規模], the role, your boss – and probably a lot more. However, the great thing about TOAST is that it basically summarises all of the above factors into monetary terms, and tells you how much money is required for you to change to a new role.

If you would like to know your reference salary threshold for your own country, feel free to DM me. Alternatively, as you must have learnt already through reading my blogs, you can try to make your own adjustments. You could consider my Inflation [通脹] blog, or stay tuned for my upcoming blog in a few weeks which may help. However, please spread TOAST around your office and your communities – everyone you know will thank you!

Xavier Lo, FIA, FRM, MBA
Qualified fellow actuary (in UK and Hong Kong), Financial Risk Manager, and MBA graduate (listed on the Dean's List) with a passion for insurance, data science, and analytics. Experienced in a broad range of insurance roles (pricing, capital modelling, reserving, ERM), along with a touch of knowledge in banking. Member of the General Insurance Committee (2021), Actuarial Innovation Committee (2019 - 2021) in ASHK.
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