Thursday 11 October 2012

Are you a sportsperson? (Why it’s a great foundation for investing and trading)

I am glad I played table-tennis for our school team during my secondary school days. 

I played the doubles and act as a sparring partner to the "star" singles players. That’s where I learnt how to contribute to a team as the supporting cast…

Big corporations, when doing recruitment, do look at the extra-curricular achievements of their candidates – especially when identifying potentials for leadership grooming.

Those we have worked a few years may already have noticed this phenomenon. If you unsure, try buying your HR (preferable not underling) lunch and find out what they look for in “elite” candidates. It could save years of heartache and detours if you think academic success is all they look for… You think why MOE changed tack recently? Kiasu parents may want to take note (but no forcing your sports dreams on them OK?).

It can apply to the Arts like ballet, playing the piano or violin, chess, painting, calligraphy, etc.

You think it's due to luck?

Playing sports allows us to learn lots about ourselves (and about others quickly – yes, you are being judged when your boss ask you out for a game of golf or tennis)  

  1. Some of us are bad sore losers. Ouch! Quick, can you name a few friends who are like that? You want such people on your team? And you wonder why nobody picks you… Give you opportunities…

  1. Some are gracious winners/losers and great hosts. They ensure everyone have a great time playing. Good candidates for HR and public relations work? Team building facilitators?

  1. Some are super competitive. Hate to lose! They are great for sales jobs! CEO potential? Merger and acquisitions shark? Super trader anyone?

  1. Some focus on the equipment; believing buying and wearing the best helps their game. Don’t laugh! We all have been guilty of it! We often find amateurs dress more stylo than the pros. LOL! That’s why people are willing to pay thousands for a trading course… And they probably do more research on a holiday package than checking-out the true credentials of the snake charmer… How about that trading newbie that starts with 6 screens trading setup? Power!

  1. Some cheat to win. I don’t play golf, but I’ve heard a lot about cheating on your handicap. Some take performance enhancing drugs… OK, can come in useful if you need someone to do “financial engineering” for you; but all things being equal, you don’t want someone who cheats anyway near your money, or do you?

Why doing well in sports or the arts is a great foundation for investing and trading
Our initial wide-eyed enthusiasm for the sport will quickly crash down to earth. We soon realised it’s a lot of bloody hard work to do well. It’s practice, practice, practice. There’s a direct correlation between how many hours we train and how good we play.

If we have not already given up due to “time-constraints” (that’s a great excuse, no?), we now get frustrated that no matter how much you train, some fellow athletes always move ahead faster than you. You realise their “natural endowments” are better than yours.

What? You haven’t given up yet? 

Ah! I see you are now playing to your strengths. You have adopted a playing style that best suits you – instead of blindly mimicking your idol’s style of play. You start to specialise. Adapt and internalise. You have your own style of play now.
If you play well and win, you move up the table rankings and may even move up to a higher league (position/contract size). If you play badly, it’s OK to be relegated to a lower league. It’s when we play outside our league where we get clobbered big time!

We have experienced the joy of victory and the agony of defeat. And that’s no spectator can understand until they too have gone through the same blood, sweat, and pain.

Behind every victory (however small), we had to overcome and endure countless humiliating and morale sapping defeats to get here.

Whiners are spectators.

I would rather be the athlete that came in last. At least I participated. 


  1. Hmm... same like fishermen.

    Some focus on the equipment; believing buying and wearing the best helps their fishing.


    1. i hate to lose.

      That's why i don't like casino or among-friends gambling; which i think is even worse than casino's.Friends should remain friends.

      i hate to lose
      The reason is i always feel with the money i lost in gambling, i can do magic with it. Why makes the "LIM's" family of Malaysia richer and richer.

      But why am i in stock market?
      Is it gambling?
      Is it investment?
      Or is it gambling and investment simultaneously?

      i really don't know?
      i only can say i dislike very much in losing my money but not in sport or most of the things in life.
      Is this a contradiction of myself?
      Of course i think no one likes to lose their money one way or another.
      Ha! Ha!

    2. I always treat trading in stock market as gambling. However, I view reits as an investment for dividends. If the price goes up, it is a additional bonus

    3. YJ72,

      My sentiments exactly - although I find investing and trading both the same - it's a bet all the same; only the time frame is different ;)

  2. temperament,

    It reminds me of a line in A Dream of Red Chamber in the opening:

    The jade in the box wishes to fetch a good price; the needle in hand wishes to soar up high.

    I think all of us feel that way (overtly or secretly). The damn thing is we also want to project humility, modesty, and generosity!

    I'm a barbie boy, in a barbie world. Life in plastic, it's fantastic!

    (Anyone remember this one hit wonder by Aqua? LOL!)

    The reason I am in the markets? It's to make money! Pure and simple. (It's definitely not for world peace and make the world a better place. Girls, you got to get some new lines!)

  3. CW,

    You should see when I first played tennis. Wear all white maciam go Wimbledon.

    Strut and peacock (my pants a bit tight, that's why) to the baseline. Bounce the ball on the ground and then serve underhand. LOL!

    Face palm moment or what!? LOL!

  4. Hi SMOL,
    i have a problem posting in CW8888,s website or any other website that needs me to verify i am not robot posting.
    Even i type the "words" correctly ten times, it still think i am a robot posting.
    i have searched Google's site for solution but can't find any. i have feed-backed to Google but no response.
    So i have not posted at CW8888's website for very long already.
    Anyone reading this can help if you have come across this problem.

    1. Hi Temperament,

      I turned it off.

    2. 1) That was quick CW!

      2) temperament, I had the same problem. The last comment I entered at CW's blog took me 4 attempts. I thought I had near-sightedness!? LOL!

      3) For new fellow bloggers, if you wonder why so few comments at your blog, you may want to try turning off the verification feature.

      I've got lots of spam comments; but Blogger is able to catch them before they appear in our posts. I just delete them once in a while.

      That verification feature is really a pain in the you know where.

    3. Thanks CW8888 & SMOL.
      Now i will try again at CW8888's website.
      It's always good to pick each other's brains for better thoughts or ideas or for..... anything you can imagine. Ha! Ha!

  5. SMOL,

    haha, i also used to play table tennis, but cannot make it one...then when i go sec sch, i joined calligraphy but thought i was missing out on some sports. So, in JC, I went air rifle, get into sch team and all and took me all the way to university as well. But the only thing I wouldn't join is uniform group. I think between joining a sports group and uniform, i'll go for the former. Don't like to group think haha :)

    I turned off my verification too...very very irritating. I just go and remove the spammers every now and then when they turn up :)

    1. Ah!

      LP, I think we have some similarities here.

      I joined the Art club in secondary and was more into abstract art (easier to bluff people) and sculpture (3D crap I also boleh!).

      I've never joined a uniform group too. Like the scene in the "Dead Poet Society" movie, I don't think I very good with marching in step ;)

      Looking at your life choices and mine, I got to respect you! You are more honest to yourself.

      I guess it's a case of better late than never for me :) Thank goodness for mid-life epiphany!

      P.S. It's interesting we can draw parallels between our current life choices from the experiences of our childhood and youth ;)

  6. Hi SMOL,

    Nothing is coincidental. We are what we did in the past, and what we will be is what we do now :)

    1. Hi la papillion & SMOL,

      True, true.
      But part of what we are now is also because of our DNA.
      Can we then put some blame on someone if we are not happy with what we are now?
      Or really you are what you are just like you said?
      How about why you are not born a prince in a royal family?

    2. Hi temperament,

      I don't like to blame others or circumstances, because it's like robbing yourself of the power to change. DNA, family background and circumstances are things that I'm born into. I cannot control that. But what I can do is to control the things that I can change, like attitude, like determination, like hunger for success.

      While I might not be a prince in a royal family, I could be the king to start a royal family. We all have to start off somewhere, don't we? :)

    3. temperament,

      LP is much younger than me but he won my respect when I found out 2 years ago that he was a scholar who listened to the beat of his own heart by walking the path less travelled. (Honestly, if you son is a scholar, would you flip if he tells you he is not interested to work for the govt or in a MNC? Not even for MOE!)

      One day when I have this and that; I will... That's little lies we tell ourselves. I waited too long before I finally stopped "moving my goal posts" last year.

      Of course DNA and family resources do come in handy - but that's blessings we should say thanks for; not "entitlements" that we use as "clutches" or whine if there are lacking.

      Sometimes I do wallow in self-pity and wished I am more numerate and can understand "numbers" better. But I snapped back realising that while others can only see "trees", I can feel it's the work of ...

      And that's why I am agnostic; not an atheist :)

    4. i suppose we can conclude whatever cards you are dealt in life , you have to make the best use of it.
      Nobody can be somebody without having a "busybody".
      You have to worked to be somebody.
      i think i still have a lot of work to do.

  7. Haha I am a school sportsman too :-) and I agree that it builds character. The sacrifice made during the hols and term time to train 4x a week...

    1. Hello Mr. IPO!

      Thanks for dropping by :)

      The joy of achieving what you want through our own perseverance is different from getting it from a lottery ;)

      Although I wouldn't mind some pure dumb luck along the way. I'm a sell-out!


  8. I think once a person finds his true calling, he will become a man of leisure because work becomes a joy. hahaha :)

    Actually MOL, the easiest way to judge a person is how he or she behaves when they lose at the Mahjong table. hahaha :P

    1. Indeed.

      I understand what you mean although I don't play mahjong :)

  9. Haha me also haven't play MJ for more than 10 years Liao.

  10. Table tennis are for softies, they will be eaten live by the financials sharks.

    For me, I'm an amateur bodybuilder, I work my ass out 5 days a week. I seldom lose in trading after I pick up bodybuilding. There are many guys in the gym who like to pick on me to post their soft puffy arms but I always can out post them with my hardness and definitions.

    The ideal sports for trading is bodybuilding because it is just the same as building up an account. You started out poor or skinny and then work your ass out till you become big and strong.

    1. Anon 2:44,

      I am happy you have found a metaphor in amateur building to apply to your present day trading.

      Perhaps intentional, perhaps clueless; your opening line is similar to the behaviour of those gym guys who picked on you ;)

      The essence of my post is not about having to join the school team or about winning gold medals (I never won any) or table-tennis, or "beating" others.

      I do hope if you see a bald middle-age guy with a paunch, skinny arms and legs in a gym, please don't pick on him. I am in the gym to build my self-confidence and esteem; I am not there to build my muscles ;)

      Be gentle.

    2. Hi SMOL,

      Thanks for the kind words :)

      Coincidentally, I've been gng to the gym these days too. Been at it for close to 2-3 months. My intention of going to the gym is to be healthy and also to tire my body out so that I can sleep deeper at night), never mind the muscle building. To me, it's good to have, but not necessary. Because I'm not well built at all (to top it up, I'm also skinny), one or two of the regulars will stare at me. It's feels a little intimidating at first, but heck care lah...they do their own routine, I do mine. I always start off with a run, then I'll do some weights and I'm good. I think 99% of the guys will just do their weights and end there.

      Different goals, different outcome. They happy, I'm happy. They not happy, I'm also happy, because after every gym session, I'll sleep like a baby, hahaha :)

    3. Ah! Beautiful peaceful sleep!

      No dreams, no nightmares. No tossing, no turning.

      Better a tired body than a tired mind.

      He who sleeps well is content and happy.

      A new day beckons!


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