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Thursday, 5 June 2014

Journey to Achieve versus Journey to Escape

Why do most retail investors embark on their journey towards Financial Freedom?

Don't look at others, look at yourself. Yeah, you!

What was the catalyst? The key motivator?

It's "to escape" right?

It's hard not to let these "escape" and "achieve" words colour your answers or judgement.

Maybe it's best I start with myself before everyone gets defensive:

1) I trade to escape the boredom and unbearable lightness of being.

2) I invest to escape a regular day job and to pay for my days of leisure.

If I were to say I invest or trade to achieve, I would not be clinging to a day job while investing/trading part-time in hope.

With single-mindedness, I would fight tooth and claw to muscle myself into the financial industry. I'll take any entry-level job be it a dealer, remisier, sell-side analyst, etc. Even office boy or data-entry clerk also can!

There will be no X amounts in Y years goals as money is not my objective. I just want to get my foot into the door and work my way up to what I aim to achieve - either to be a buy side money manager.or a institutional prop trader. I just want to invest or trade. Period.

We are not after titles or glamour; getting paid well for doing what we love is just a bonus!

And there's no such thing as "retirement" - we will do it forever and ever. Like that guy from Omaha? Is George Soros and Jim Rogers still doing what they do?

Can you see the difference between investing/trading to escape and to achieve?

One is just a vehicle; the other is our ikigai (reason for being).

There's another way of telling the difference.

When we journey to escape, there is usually a "I'll show them!" element.

The motivation may come from a moribund career, girlfriend leaving you for richer guy, unhappy family life, mid-life hormonal changes, etc.

We seek to compensate what we did not get from our regular life. Hence you can see a lot of affirmation seeking behaviours from financial bloggers and regulars at forums.

No, I'm not going to spell it out. You have fun spotting them yourself. Wink.

See? Serve you right for dropping Literature lah!

If we journey to achieve, we can be a little bit self-centred, a little bit selfish, a little bit egoistic. We only see ourselves in our eyes. We only care about how we feel and what we want.

Hence we don't really care about the approvals of others; we fear more about letting ourselves down...

Just make a wild guess whether it would be fun to work with Steve Jobs?


  1. Agreed.

    To get out of Rat Race!

    Hope not to end up as another Rat in another race. Still a Rat.

    Oh no!

  2. For me , i am always fascinated by the business and investment world. i observe why the economy is up, the stock market booms, many people makes a lot of money, me just may be a little more annual bonus or pay increment. But when the economy is down and the stock market tanks, my livelihood is threatened - job retrenchment is on the card.
    So i just think i must learn to invest in stock markets too. i didn't think of anything except that i just want to do it as i like the business world.
    So at that times, i think it's neither for escape nor achievement.
    Now i think i do it more for escape (from boredom) and a little for achievement (See how far i can go lol).
    Funny, the same thing you do but at different times of your life, it means different thing.

    1. temperament,

      That's what makes living so interesting!

      What's the point of living till 80 if it's merely 1 year times 80? Every year same old same old?

      " i must learn to invest"

      "i just want to do it "

      Notice your life changed when you stop being "passive"?

      Passive income is a lie told by snake-oil peddlers - there is no free lunch.

      Unless we got sugar daddy and mommy to feed us forever and ever!

      Now that's passive for you ;)

  3. My journey for an option to escape... But I think there might be no escape in the end... Hahahaha

    No option might not be a bad option

    1. sillyinvestor,

      Then it's bliss.

      We just do.

      Thinking too much is the cause of our unhappiness anyway ;)

  4. Not fame.
    No X amount in Y number of years.

    I want to know ...

    1.Will l still be around during super bear?

    2.How long more can l continue with money donations with profits from my realized cash stock holdings?

    3.is there any truth in news or events are affecting investors/traders e.g. "sell in May and go away"; year end rally; etc etc

    4.to keep my mind active

    5.is there any truth in seller's remorse; buyer's remorse; letting the profits run (next, in my to-do list); etc etc


  5. continuing ...

    6.is stock investing or trading are all about winnings?

    7.will l have enough to continue paying for big expenses - my kids high tuition fee; insurance, my son's polytechnic school fee, etc etc

    8.as a just in case income if l lose my office desk-bound work one day

    9.to fund my annual srs contribution

    10.to showcase life can continue as usual when there are lots of investment paper losses; nothing to be ashame of really

    -end, really.-

    1. Money Honey,

      I see you are into comedy too ;)

      If there are more people with lists of their top 10 questions, I think I will ditch my weekend job and go set up a stall outside the Kwan Yin Ma temple at Waterloo Street.

      I'll call myself the Flower Monk that can answer all questions!

      Not free OK? Must give red packet one hor!

  6. Replies
    1. Ya. Journey to the West to find the Book of Investment/Trading

    2. Small Time Investor and CW,

      Journey to Achieve is to seek answers within.

      Journey to Escape is to seek answers without - hence we get Feng Shui experts, Fortune-Tellers, Shamans, Bomohs, Gurus, Consultants, Occupation Therapists, Snake-oil Salespersons, etc; all ready to provide the answers to all our questions ;)

      If I have a stall at Waterloo Street, come support?

  7. Most times, the answer is not totally within and not totally without. Its a very dynamic interaction between oneself and the outside world.

    As I grow older, I begin to ponder on the great chinese wisdom of the past - 中庸之道。

    1. pf,

      Yes of course. The Middle path.

      You are right. There is Ying in Yang, and there is Yang in Ying.

      The Tao symbol is a great representation of the Oriental wisdom of our past. We wrote the first binary code! (Follow through was lacking though...)

      Have you noticed it too? For any modern Western management idea or thought, I can find the equivalent in our Chinese idioms or folk sayings :)

  8. Hi SMOL,

    A critical assessment of the local financial blogsphere!

    From my observation, 98% want to escape and I wish them all the best!

    1. L Young,

      I am not critical; I am naturally curious.

      A curious engineer is interested in how things work.

      I'm interested in what makes people tick ;)


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