Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Evening with Pamela Chng from Bettr Barista

It's with 50 other persons at Young NTUC, Crossroads last night lah!

And I never say no to free dinner if you are wondering why.

2 takeaways from last night's talk I would like to share with you:

Learning again

From working in the corporate world (SPH) to co-founding her own boutique web consultancy, and to starting Bettr Barista, it has been a journey of small transformational changes and personal growth each step of the way.

There was no one single momentous mind flip moment or epiphany.

For those of you who have left school more than 5 years ago, have you learned anything new since leaving school?

Not learning a new word or discovering a new cafe has popped up in your neighbourhood kind. But something to add to your personal growth? 

How about those who have been trading/investing for more than 5 years now?

Yes. You know what I am after,

She looks better in real life

Mastery of a craft and self esteem

To transform underprivileged women and youth-a-risk into skilled baristas, the 12 weeks course would break the trainees physically and emotionally down before rebuilding their confidence and self-esteem back through mastery of this barista skill. (I personally would prefer the word craft)

Men who went through Basic Military Training would understand. They break us down as individuals and rebuild us up as a unit. Going in we swore and cursed. But at passing out parade, there's a bit of pride that we made it through, didn't we?

What I'm impressed with is Pamela shared 80% of the trainees pass this course. 

If something anyone and everyone can do, what's the point again?

It shows the training at Bettr Barista's Coffee Academy is vigorous.

For those who are not motivated with your day job, you may blame the pay, your boss, your back stabbing colleagues, big daddy, and god knows what!?

Do take a step back and reflect. 

Maybe all the unhappiness is due to lack of self-esteem or confidence?

Can it be due to the lack of mastery in your craft?

I noticed some readers are trapped by words. Can't seem to read beyond words. Mention the word craft they will have mental picture of workshops, yellow hard hats, etc. 

What lawyers and doctors do is also a "craft".
If we see what we do do as a craft, only then can we appreciate "Kaizen" - continuous improvement.

And the inner peace and happiness that comes from mastery of what we do.

Now you know why I say some invest/trade to escape; some invest/trade to achieve.

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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