Saturday 25 February 2012

You can’t out run the bear!

2 Greek friends were having beer one evening in the local taverna.

“How about coming with me to the rekcus forest this weekend? I know a spot where there are lots of wild Saffron flowers!” Dimitris asked Yiannis excitedly.

Now Saffron is one of the most expensive spice in the world… Why would Dimitris share this good fortune with me? Yiannis thinks to himself… And then he smiled.

Yiannis looked at Dimitris in the eye and asked accusingly, “I thought we were friends? You do this to me? I know about the man-eating brown bear that lives in rekcus forest.”

Dimitris’ eyes open wide in mock protest, but he couldn’t press down his thunderous laughter that followed, “So you admit I am a better runner than you! Ha ha ha!”

Now Yiannis is very much interested in the Saffron mind you. But he knew going with Dimitris would put him in harm’s way should they stumble on the brown bear.

Just then, the local school teacher walked into the taverna.

Yiannis took his bottle of ouzo and glass and walked towards the school teacher. In between drinks of ouzo and nodding of the heads , Yiannis returned to Dimitris with a wide grin.

“I’ve invited our learned friend along for our little walk in the woods,” said Yiannis.

“But he has little knowledge of nature and what’s it like in the forest. All he knows are his books and theories. Wouldn’t he slow us down?” queried Dimitris.

“Precisely!” said Yiannis beaming with confidence.

“Oh you are so nasty!” exclaimed Dimitris, patting his heavy hand on Yiannis’ shoulder.

The 2 friends were full of song and laughter that evening.

1) Do you know anyone or groups of people who remind you of:

a) Dimitris

b) Yiannis

c) The school teacher?

2) What's the moral of the story from your perspective?


  1. trust no one but yourself (trading and investing). unfortunately we are every one of the three.

    good post.

    1. Thanks Coconut!

      Yes, sometimes we are like Dimitris - whether intentional or unintentional.

      I am lucky that I started in retail sales when I was 16. Therefore I have this early awareness never to "sell" anything to my family, relatives, and close friends when I am still learning. It's better to test my half-baked ideas on "strangers".

      Imagine someone new to the Financial Advisory, insurance, MLM, etc; who do you make your first sales "victims"?

      By the time you finally understood what you are doing and no longer a "L plate" driver, you find you are giving better advice to strangers than to your own family and close friends when starting out...

      Disgruntled, upset, angry customers can be written off as part of learning lesson; try saying sorry to family and close friends...

    2. i can never be a salesman. i'll say "you sure you want it? very sure? think twice before you buy, don't later come and fu.k around!"

      i'll never close a sale haha.

      luckily i'm always on the other side. talk so much for what? just wrap it up and give my change quickly. so slow, ah forget the change.

    3. believe me or not, i'm probably one of the fastest shopper in the supermark. if i can't get out within 5 minutes, i won't bother to step in.

    4. my wife will always ask, wheres my staff? oh ntuc is very "crowded", shop n save "no" parking lots, cold storage traffic "jam". "forget it, i'll get it myself" haha.

    5. LOL!

      That's a good one! You very de good. Wriggle out of grocery shopping ;)

      Naughty naughty.

    6. don't get me wrong, i'll still get them if my wife can wait. i wouln't do it if i know i'll get frastrated in doing it.

      the problem is most of the time she can't wait. just like speculation, isn't it not? you get when the "market" let you get, not when you want to get them.

  2. Funny story, if a bit "evil"...

    For me, the takeaway is that if someone tries to sell you a story that is too good to be true, it probably is!

    1. Hello talesteller,

      Glad you saw the funny side of the story!

      Believe me you, I've been the school teacher myself. LOL!

      I've been invited to "seminars" and "talks" by colleagues and acquaintances who are ever so eager to share the "good news" to me. Ha ha!

      I attend such "talks" once in a while to get myself "inoculated" and update to the latest "spin" techniques.

  3. Why did two traders like Jesse Lauriston Livermore and Richard Dennis ended up broke?

    They failed to become teacher by making a living by teaching lots of Yiannis by collecting fees. Small fees finally add up!

    You can't learn from real experts by paying them a small fee as they earn much more than collecting small fee or too busy to make small fee. Then who will prefer collecting small fee? Think for yourself if you are looking for a teacher?

    1. And today in the Sunday Times, I saw something new instead of the usual a dime a dozen get rich by Internet Marketing, Forex, Property, Stocks, etc. advertisements.

      Make millions by writing iPhone apps! Zero knowledge programming needed some more. Now that's cool!

      Although I am wondering why are the IT students in schools learning programming, and what are the seasoned programers doing working for someone else?

      Haven't they heard the good news!?

    2. One of the featured programmer picks up his daughter from school everyday just like me. While waiting for our kids to be dismissed from class, I have a feeling that he is always peeking at what I am playing on my iphone. Now I see.

    3. learning trading is like learning golf. yes there are very experience professional golf teacher who even play in the tour in the past. but can he turn you to be a great player? absolutely not.

      if you are above 18 years old no chance. even your teacher is jack nicklaus. if you are below 14, there is a very good chance to be a pro if you have high interest even without a teacher.

      so it is what you got inside, not external forces.

    4. trading and teaching should be a way of life, not a way to make money. we all like to teach, just like Dimitris.

      if it ends up to be a means of income, then it will disrupt its true meaning (of trading and teaching).

      i just can't understand why people say they are contributing or sacrfying but on the other side collect fees or salary.

      we can say we are part of the system but we certainly not a contributor.

    5. the reason why learning golf has to be young cos the body (structure) is still growing. but when it is more or less fix in adulthood, no way you can swing the golf club at ease.

      in trading, fortunately our mind are very flexible staff and can be condition to adjust even in adulthood, unless you are very sturborn.

    6. Thank goodness for that!

      I am relying on this mental exercise (speculation) to keep my mind clear and lucid (like mahjong) till my end of days!

      Much more fun than playing Sudoku ;)

    7. yes, one great player is K.J.Choy from korea. he loves golf when he is very young, and he learn all by himself. playing at the farm and beach, not golf courses. his family all against it.

  4. No risk no gain, but must be smart. If you can't out run someone, then climb up a tree or run in a different direction lah. The risk will be halved as the bear need to choose who to go after. There are always good deals around but we must be smart so that we do not get hurt.

    However, do not be like Yiannis or Dimitris and plot to get others into trouble for personal gain. There is retribution, you know.

    1. True YJ72,

      Unless we are a one man outfit, we sometimes act like Dimitris and Yiannis without realizing it.

      Like you've said. Our risks will be halved if there's another companion to make the bear choose.

      When I speculate and buy on a stock, I would like to think I am Yiannis since this is where I am in the information food chain.

      When I sell, I doubt I would be selling to Dimitris...

      And if I made a loss, the nasty bear has got it's paws on me! Hey! I'm the patsy!

      Karma. What goes around comes around.

      I am trying to lessen my past guilt by ringing my little bell. Ring-a-ding-a-ling!

  5. Sucker forest?


  6. Hi SMOL

    My takeaway from the story is that, "If it sounds too good to be true, it IS too good to be true."

    Be well and prosper.

    1. We are all make differently. i always pity people who are made "naturally" like the school teacher. i know some of my relatives are like the school teacher---always holding or given the wrong end of the sticks by people who always looking out to take advantage of people. Me? i may let you but not much or second time.

    2. Temperament,

      Your feedback makes me think of chicken pox.

      I notice some "savvy" parents will expose their children to other kids with chicken pox.

      It's better to get it out of system when young.

      Compared to parents who like to "shield" their kids, imagine getting chick-pox in our 50s or 60s? We risk more severe complications later on...


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