Thursday, 5 May 2016

Go away! Doors slammed in my face in our community of bloggers.

Let me share with you some of my experiences visiting other people's blogs:

1.  Some are just as chatty like me. We don't post comments, we have a conversation ;)

2.  Some turn off the comments in their blogs. These bloggers are not interested to have a discussion. It's "wah kali gong" or I tell you so!

3.  Then there are those who cannot "tahan" my poking comments. So they basically ignore me while they only reply to their "ya lor ya lor" readers. These bloggers are telling me to talk to the "hand". LOL!

4.  Then there are bloggers that restrict access to their blogs to a limited number of "approved" readers. They post comments in my blog, but when I click their nick back to their blogs - access denied. Hey!


So you see, for every reader that wants to engage with me, there could be 99 others who are totally turned off my me.

This is the same if you want to ask a girl out on dates. Unless you look like Andy Lau, you'll probably go through 99 rejections before hubba, hubba! Wink, wink!
How to find a 10 bagger? You'll more likely discover 99 stocks that aren't first!

A bit of rejections, a dash of doors slammed in our face, and a sprinkle of people spitting on what we write - that's par for the course for blogging.

If you can't stand the heat, don't stay in the kitchen.

By the way, some of the most interesting new friends I've met in blogosphere are those I have the most "vigorous" conversations with. Chinese call it "No fight; no know you".

Please hor! I not telling you to go round arguing with everyone you meet. Don't be an idiot!

Friday, 29 April 2016

Do what you like; like what you do

I've always envied others who knew what they wanted to do when they grew up.

Me? I've no clue except I know I don't like a desk bound kind of job. 

My career was a series of job hopping until I found the right fit (see my story). Its more a "crash got sound" way of finding out what I liked; what I hated.

I think the more "educated" way of saying is "Learn By Doing"?

So I'm probably the last person to give you any career advice.

Just would like to share with you a story from my past.

During my secondary school days at Gan Eng Seng School during the early 80s, I think I was in Sec 2 (1981), the Army came to our school during one assembly to do a sales pitch for the SAF Boys' School.

Basically its to sell to those of us who are not academically inclined to join them. We can earn a small allowance while we "study"! How cool is that!

Further more, we can have a head start if we sign on to the Army!

While our peers are recruits, we are already NCOs lording over them during NS. Wink.

Interestingly, the SAF Boys' School closed in 1984. (You pause and reflect for a moment)

Fast forward to my NS time at 9 RITC Taman Jurong Camp. 4/5 of the store IC sergeants were from the now defunct SAF Boys' School.

Let's say all except one managed to renew their contracts when they hit 28 years old.

When I bumped into them in civilian life, they were now either storemen or despatch riders...

What do you do when you have a shortage of NCOs?

What do you do when you no longer have a shortage?

What do you do when you now need thinking soldiers who can operate computers and complex equipment? (You prefer Poly graduates )

Do you still care about those words written on water that you have uttered when you were doing your snake charming to impressionable 14 years olds?

Don't get me wrong. There will always be those ex-SAF Boys' School who had successful long military careers as warrant offices, and when they left the Army, became well to do business owners.

They will wax lyrically how they would probably end up as gang members, and if without the early discipline in their lives, they won't be where they are today. Sob, sob. Can you pass the tissue? 

There will always be a bell-shaped distribution curve thingy... How about the majority that fell through the cracks? 

Remember when we had a shortage of teachers?

What did they do?

How's the attrition rate and morale of teachers today?

Now we worry we may have a shortage of engineers.

What did they do again?

If you wanted to have a military career, be a teacher, or an engineer, you would do it even if the pay or the prospects suck. Anything more is a bonus! That's knowing what you want!

If you no clue what to do (like me), well, nothing wrong with "tikam tikam", try try. That's the Thomas Edison's "crash got sound" way of discovering what element to use for the light bulb's filament.

Now you know one profession you either like or hate! 

But if you go in knowing in your heart that's NOT what you like; you are just in it for the money. Well, you deserve it, doesn't it?

There's a name we call those who do it just for the money.


P.S.  Welcome to the club. Although I call myself a man-whore when it comes to investing and trading, somehow, I don't think we have much in common...

Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Heuristics - short cut or blind following the blind?

When we chit-chat or do bantering at our neighbourhood coffee shop, it's OK to do a bit of talk "male chicken" here and there.

You are welcomed to do it here at this watering hole too.

But when it comes to putting your own money on the line, you may want to do a few more verification questions before you swallow what others say hook, line, and sinker...

Let me share some examples where blindly relying on other people's heuristics may do more harm than good:

Top floor no good; too hot

Often we hear this urban myth shared by parrots who heard it from a friend of a friend or from their ah ma.

Not that their friend or ah ma were wrong, mind you.

Problem lies with you. Did you verify the context and perspective of their feedback?

The 4th storey of 4 storey walk-up apartment is "top floor".

My current HDB flat's top floor is 10 storey.

Contrast it with the newer HDB BTOs where top floor can be 47 storeys!

How about the 2nd level of a 2 storey landed bungalow? Is it "top floor" too?

Feeling sheepish now?

Blue chip stocks are safer

Eh? What exactly is a blue chip stock?

Are NOL, Chartered Semiconductor, Standard Chartered Bank, and Olam considered blue chip stocks? They big daddy owned you know? 

How's that working out for you?

Do you know the differences between a stalwart blue chip and a cyclical blue chip?

I didn't think so.

Warren Buffett says we should do passive index investing

There is a difference between buying into low cost index funds and ETFs. If you can name the differences, it shows you know what you are getting into. Superb!

Some US proponents of low cost indexing have found the S&P 500 too "narrow focused" and have recommended the Wilshire 5000 instead.

And some passive indexing gurus have even warned their US followers not to commit to a single country focus and seek greater diversification by having a global low cost index fund. 

Now what do you think of our STI ETF of 30 component stocks as a passive indexing strategy?

You sure this was what Warren Buffett had in mind?

I wanted fish ball noodles, but can't find; so I bought bak chor mee...

Please don't say bak chor mee is fish ball noodles OK?

Develop your own heuristics

One man's meat is another man's poison.

A mentor will facilitate his mentee to become his own man.

A snake oil shepherd will encourage his followers to become part of his flock.

Cats can't be herded.


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