Friday, October 24, 2014

Goal setting on things you can't control?

The old days

I remember getting poked when I submitted my first business goals and plans to my Steering Group many years back. 

During my tour of duty in Shanghai, when I became part of the Steering Group during my final years there, I had fun returning the favour back to the team leaders so eager to please and impress us - them with their bombastic goals together with shock and awe business plans...

It's so interesting to see the progress and adjustments (or none) these team leaders made during our quarterly reviews. 

Some "get it" very quickly. Some take more time. Some will never "get it". 

And that's how some names get into the "High Potentials" file, some into the "Potentials" files, and if your name is not in any file, it means you are "condemned"....

Losing weight

If you want to lose weight, there's basically 3 ways you can do it:

Eat right - diet to reduce calorie intake way.

Exercise - burn more calories way.

Eat right and exercise - why choose when you can do both?

A goal to lose 5 kg in 12 months with a corresponding plan using any one of the 3 processes is believable. 


It's because it's controllable by us. To diet or to exercise is what we can control.

The discipline to follow through with our plans is not influenced by the weather, geopolitics, or anything external with the exception of illness or accident.

Questionable goal settings

Now pause and think about the X amount in Y years financial goal settings you may have done up. Especially when they involve investing or trading in the markets.

Do you see the fly in the ointment here?

If you get it, don't have to read further. You very the good! One tiny pin poke and you see blood immediately!

Holding your hand

For those that need more time, let me ask you some verification questions like what we used to do in the Steering Group:

Can you control the markets?

Is your position so large that when you sell or buy, you can influence the market prices?

If both your answers are "No" - you can neither control nor influence the markets - pray tell how you will achieve your goals then?

Depending on pure dumb luck? 

Or is your goal setting purely an exercise in randomness?

People smarter than you

If you want to be more successful in your investing and trading journey, isn't it better to focus on what we can control?

Like in our weight loss example?

Improve your buying process - a merchandise well bought is a merchandise well sold. 

Improve your selling process - no selling means you are a "stamp collector".

Improve both your buying and selling processes - duh?

LP the butterfly guy is the only one I've read that talk about the buying and selling processes in his blog posts. I guess his engineering background helps!

If in your day job you are constantly talking about systems and processes, and you never apply it to your own investing/trading journey.... 

See that wall over there?

Yes, you can go bang your head against it.


Wednesday, October 22, 2014


I realised I have shared Mandarin, Hokkien, Cantonese, Japanese, and English songs.

But no Teochew songs? How can!?

OK, I don't listen to Teochew songs except when they were sung during getai.

I'll share this Teochew song that's hilarious.

Older Teochew readers may have heard of it. At least heard of the title. It's one of my Ah Ma's sayings to me when I was little.

Come to think of it, isn't it Trend Following for traders?

Less thinking; more 地块凉地块坐!

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