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Saturday, 23 August 2014

The Willow and the Oak tree - Revisited

This is the 2nd story dear to my heart:

The Willow and the Oak tree

Of course it's not about banging your head against the wall, or throwing yourself in front of a oncoming freight train.

But there will be a time where we need to make a stand.

To be counted.

And not hide behind "we"; "others are doing it"; "this expert says so"; or put a brown paper bag over our head and shout with a megaphone.

This post was inspired by the Occupy Raffles Place fiasco of 2011 - it seems so distant now....

But it can easily have been about investing and trading.

For eg, 

How many "value investors" are aware it takes tremendous courage and will of conviction to be one?

You buy when others are dumping and running for the hills and you sell when others are fighting hand over fists to buy....


  1. Hi SMOL

    The link to the story seems broken.

    Can you try to relink them please? Pardon if it is my computer which is the one in error.

  2. B and CW,

    Thanks for the heads-up!

    Morning blur blur never wash face never brush teeth do posting...

    Bad result!

    Problem now fixed :)

  3. Hi SMOL

    Nice second story.

    出生之犊 不畏虎
    老了变 成 纸老虎

    1. Thanks Small Time Investor!

      That 2 sentences are exactly why I cheer:

      Youth, your strength is you do not know what cannot be done!

      That's why innovations are the domain of the relative young.

      Once experienced, we have too much to lose now. Hence you see conservatism and preservation mode creep in...

  4. 树大招风, also better to 韬光养晦。

    China is willow for decades, now a assertive oak.

    I have utmost respect for the oak... But most prob live as a willow

    1. sillyinvestor,

      韬光养晦 works just as long we are consistent.

      Don't later complain why that promotion has passed us by, and why others are doing better than us, and why others are outperforming us in investing ;)

  5. Hi SMOL,

    I know a lot of oak friends. People of principles.

    Most of them can't stand the industry, which is different from what they expect.

    I am the no backbone one... I learn to speak the official language, trade my ideas for survival and security of the job.

    Bidding for my time. Now within my area of control, I can stop some nonsensical priorities. I can't stop it completely but I can make it a simple wayang. Do and let boss see, but save the real bullets for our real customers...

    But you are right, the longer we stay in the system, the closer we become part of the system and with age, the less comfortable I get with changes.

    Time files... Perhaps a decade later, I will become a real paper tiger...

    1. sillyinvestor,


      I wishes to forget, yet your sharing reminded me of a person I knew:


      Youtube has removed this video, but I found it at a Chinese website. Just click 中島美雪 - 口紅 for my favourite video of this song that comes with Chinese subtitles.

      I used to be an introvert. Now I can talk better than I can sing....

    2. Haiz...SMOL...

      You are the fortunate few who remembered how you look after taking down the mask.

      I remembered a comic, where the 死神always wear a smiling mask.

      When he as injured by 勇者,he changed into a fiery mask.

      When his head was cut off and survived, the mystery was solved, he was but a puppet, the real master is the small jester he carry on his shoulders.

      The jester was not wearing a mask, but make up but no one really noticed him anyway.

      The puppet was a nuclear bomb.


      I remembered spiderman and goblin, goblin said to him:" you are your mask"

      We wear many masks, at work even at home...

      It might be a bad thing... What happen the real you is a devil, and you are wearing a mask to play superhero, wouldn't it be good that you forget that you are a devil and continue playing superman???

      There might also be oak tree pretending to be willow and willow pretending to be oak tree? The wind can tell? What if the wind and typhoons are also pretending? Breeze trying to typhoon and typhoon sicked of destructions?

      Who we are? Is there really are we, or are we just what we do? We do, people see, we feel, we know. Do, see and feel in harmony? You lucky b** It is in harmony most of the time for me too.... I just forget about the outer circle...

      I forget everything, Me, I do as I feel, think and control how I feel. Wrong wrong right right let them be


    3. sillyinvestor,

      Anyone who can find philosophy in comics has my vote!

  6. 本质。环境。Not everything can be within one's control.

    1. pf,


      However, I find the 2 inner rings of:

      1) I can Control

      2) I can Influence

      more than enough for me to focus on.

      I have not much time for the outermost 3rd ring: I can't Control.

      P.S. Borrowed with pride from Seven Habits of Highly Successful People


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