Tuesday 29 April 2014

Content Of Women's Magazines

I love women.

But sometimes I think women are their own worst enemies....

Men can be bald, spot a paunch, with beer in hand, and a cigarette hanging on to our lips, yet we are able to look into the mirror and say to ourselves: "You sexy thing!" 


P.S.  Perhaps that's why women make better investors?

Saturday 26 April 2014

Million Dollar Trader - Reality TV

Below are 3 x 60 minutes long videos on reality TV show in Britain where they take 8 complete newbies off the street and train them to be hedge fund traders.

I  find it quite interesting as in recognising some of the traits of these newbie traders in me.

Some thing to do this weekend if you have 3 hours to spare.

To make it more fun, let's have a game:

1) After watching the first video, see if you can pick the top 3 traders that will survive till the end. 

2) Can you tell apart which traders are trading to escape and which are trading to achieve?

3) What's 32 x 32? (shit, that means no institution will hire me...)

Were the top 3 traders that survived a surprise to you?

Recognise some of the traits that work against us in trading? 

Institutions will mercilessly weed out those who have no aptitude for trading; contrast that to the world of retail trading where brokers and snake oil trainers will sell the dream of everyone and anyone can do it - with proven XX strategies and YY trading setups! 

What do you do when you suck at trading?

You become an "investor"!


Tuesday 22 April 2014

My Pace

When I was studying at Gan Eng Seng School Anson Road, I had the good fortune of learning Geography (Sec 2) from a wonderful teacher Mdm Foo. She is still teaching at Gan Eng Seng by the way.

I remember fondly what she told us "slower" students:

"If others need 10 minutes to understand and you need 8 hours, so be it. Once you understand, there's no difference."

Goal setting is fine provided you have the wisdom to use it as a tool to support you; not as a rope to hang ourselves.

I'll use running a marathon as an example.

Finishing a marathon is a great achievement by itself. How many people around you have ran a marathon? (X amount)

To some, that is not good enough. 

We must complete it within 6 hours (Y time). Then got certificate to show others mah! No certificate, no papers, no consider "success".

Would you rather be the one who finished a marathon in 12 hours or the one who always tell others (and yourself) I will run a marathon... one day...

Not everyone who starts a marathon will reach the finishing line.

1.  Some never trained for it:

Can swim 50 laps in the pool does not make you automatically a long distance runner.

Chanting if I think I can I can ain't going to help much. No amount of positive thinking will overcome our lack of preparations.

2.   Shit happens

We may get injured or fall sick during the run.

3.  Paradigm shift

Those who jog or walk regularly will know that exercise is a great stress reliever. It calms our minds. In this "meditative" state of mind, sometimes we can get glimpses of our true heart.

It's a bit like in the movie where Forest Gump decides he no longer needs to run from coast to coast anymore. 

No reason; no explanation. We just know.

Why you want to complete a marathon?

A few weeks back, there was an idiot runner who cheated in a Singapore race. He even got the cheek to claim the first prize award before the very surprised organiser found out the truth.

Sometimes it is not about completing or not completing a marathon.

It's always good to ask ourselves why the hell we want to run a marathon in the first place?

If we just want a certificate to brag to others or to fit in, "buying" it from someone who has completed a marathon can be a better use of our time.

And that's the saddest pitfall of bad goal setting - running other people's race.


Tuesday 15 April 2014

Want Fish or Fishing Skill?

When you take up a course to learn something, be it cooking or new language, the desired outcome is that you have learnt a new skill after the course right?

If we don't start preparing some dishes of our own, or use the new language learnt, guess what? We soon forget what we've learnt.

It simply shows we were not that really into cooking or the new language in the first place. It's just another one of our "3 minute heat temperature" passion thing... 

I take back that "passion" word. It's more a phase or a fad thing. 

You just want fish; not how to fish.

Before signing up for any investing or trading courses, you may want to be clear whether you want fish or to improve your fishing skill.

If you just want fish, might as well skip the course and sign up straight for that investing newsletter or trading subscription service, etc. 

You know, that "after sales support service" you have to pay even after you have complete a course on "how to fish"!!!??? 

If you only want fishing skill, you have to ask yourself why you still need someone to tell you what to buy, when to buy, when to sell? What was the purpose of you taking up the course again?

Don't get me wrong. Some of these newsletter and subscription service providers are brilliant!
If I am following their "advice" to the letter, would it not be better for me to hand over my money to them to invest or trade on my behalf?

Why buy a dog and do the barking ourselves? 


Saturday 12 April 2014

Success is an iceberg

There's a Chinese saying: 

Success on stage for 3 minutes; 10 years sweat and toil backstage.


Living in our instant noodle fast food environment nowadays, like black-hearted China mainland food suppliers, we try to cut corners here, skip some testings there, add some additives here...

All in the name of quicker, faster, sooner!

Life is not just study hard and work hard. 

Sometimes don't listen to what others say; observe what "successful" people (in your eyes) do - see Success Indicator.

Thursday 10 April 2014

Spring or Autumn in STI?

Do take a look at our trees next time you walk or drive by the road.

Flowers are blooming like crazy no?

It's not the same as cherry blossoms in Japan, but hey!

Still a pretty sight no?

Ah! Spring time in Singapore....

Picture taken outside Queenstown community centre

Enjoy while we can.

The flowers are wilting fast too!

With the fallen flowers on the ground, it looks like Autumn in Singapore?

So is it Spring or Autumn?

It's a bit like our STI market right?

Some see Spring; some see Autumn.


Monday 7 April 2014

Difference between Knowledge and Wisdom

Knowledge is knowing the answers to questions.

Wisdom is knowing when to act blur; and when to apply what you know.

Married couples or those living-in-sin together quickly learn the difference.

Knowledge is knowing you are right and your significant other is idiot and irrational.

Wisdom is agreeing with him/her. 

Many veteran investors and traders are knowledgeable; a few are wise.

Knowledge is only buy shares if their prices can go up. If they don't, we don't buy.

Wisdom is knowing that's an April fool kind of joke!

I shall leave you with one mind-fxxking Eastern philosophical quote for you to contemplate:

“To attain knowledge, add things everyday. To attain wisdom, remove things every day.” - Lao Tsu

Wednesday 2 April 2014

The Wind Rises

I watched Hayao Miyazaki's farewell anime movie "The Wind Rises" yesterday afternoon.

Tuesday is my movie watching day. I've got this Golden Village free membership card that allows me to watch movies on Tuesdays for a very reasonable charge of $6.50 per movie.

This is one of those rare movies that would appeal to both engineering (those who aspire to design and build) and liberal arts "students".

It's an inspiration to those who wish to create and craft something that we can call our own - whether it's a prototype car, a musical play, painting, or flower arrangement.

I was immensely impressed with Hayao Miyazaki's story telling technique. How he skillfully interwoved the major events of the 20th century as metaphors and conveyed his anti-war pacifist stance without being too much in your face.

There is a reason for reminding the audience Japan was once a poor and backward country; and how the resources poured into the technological catch-up with the West could have fed many of the poor and displaced... (Singapore engineers and civil servants after the separation in 1965 may identify with this ethos. There is a higher social mission than worrying about financial freedom or angst about others are earning more than you.) 

For liberal arts students, can you feel the "creative destruction" impulse depicted in the Great Kanto Earthquake of 1923? It's very comforting to build-on and borrow-with-pride the styles of our idols and mentors. But in our hearts of hearts, we know that to have our own "voice" or "mark", we need to break from our pasts and reach deep inside. And that's frightening! What if there's nothing inside? Tell me about it! I've been prone to self-doubt too...

If your dream is to design and build the "perfect" plane, would you act on your dream never mind the product of your dream can be used as a weapon of destruction?

For investors who shy away from "sin" stocks like casinos or tobacco & liquour stocks, that's too easy. Look again at the counters you owned. There is always some tradeoffs and exploitations somewhere. Something to think about next time you sit on your high horse...

I went out of the cinema a bit red-eyed. 

It's a warm feeling that somewhere out there, another kindred spirit has similar thoughts and ideas, and would understand. 

A friend like wind

If I have one wish

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