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Friday, 21 November 2014

The Wolf and the Goat

A wolf, who was out searching for a meal, saw a goat feeding on grass on top of a high cliff. Wishing to get the goat to climb down from the rock and into his grasp, he called out to her.

"Excuse me, dear Goat," he said in a friendly voice, "It is very dangerous for you to be at such a height. Do come down before you injure yourself. Besides, the grass is much greener and thicker down here. Take my advice, and please come down from that high cliff."

But the goat knew too well of the wolf's intent.

"You don't care if I injure myself or not. You don't care if I eat good grass or bad. What you care about is eating me."


Another tale from Aesop's fables.

Many of us have known the bitter price of "advice" from acquaintances, ex-classmates, distant relatives, ex-NS mates, colleagues, etc.

Then it dawned on me!

Can I recognise a wolf when I see one?



  1. Snake oil men equally dangerous too

    1. CW,

      1) Sadly, quite a few Singaporean "investors" have lost millions every year to scams promising excellent returns with minimal risks. You wonder they never read newspapers or what?

      History just repeats itself every other year. Short memories...

      2) The wolf is the snake oil salesman.

      Non worse than spiritual snake oil salespersons. It broke my heart when that abbot took money....

      Life is about balance.

      I don't want to cynical; I still believe in the goodness of people.

      So must poke and verify! Like buying fish or oranges in the wet market ;)

    2. Poke and verify?

      My home CEO went to buy mangosteens,

      She press (poke) and verify.

      Mangosteen uncle said ludly: "You press again! I am not going sell you! You can never press mangosteens like that"


    3. Why blame the Snake Oil man when many willingly follow the music?

      Did snake Oil man force them?

      No what.

    4. CW,

      Where in my post or comments did I put the blame on the snake oil salesman?

      " Then it dawned on me!

      Can I recognise a wolf when I see one?"

      I am all about taking personal responsibility ;)

  2. Hi SMOL,

    Real life wolves look just like goats. It's not wolves in goats' skin. It's more like goats with wolfs' hearts.

    You asked the right questions - how do we know who are the wolves among the goats? Experience loh. How to gain experience? Make mistake loh. But more importantly, learn from them :)

    1. Red alert trigger word: PASSIONATE and GIVING BACK!

      When Goats say they are very PASSIONATE and GIVING BACK to herd of goats, sheep, pigs and cows; we must watch what they DO instead listening to their talk and do rough calculation on our mobile phone's calculator to check how much NET they are actually TAKING back.

      Give but take back more?

      Goats with wolfs' hearts?


    2. LP,

      Have I been let down? Yes!

      Lucky I got some snake-oil in me so it was not a total waste of time listening to that MLM talk my "colleague" brought me to many moons ago. I was busy taking notes on what "trigger" words the wolf heart was using to get the goats in a trance ;)

      That's why I start with colleagues, classmates, etc. Those refer a friend schemes can be the most damaging.,,. The no.1 choice of distribution by scams (and cults too).

      It's true. Making mistakes and learning from them is the secret.

      Provided we survive that experience ;)

    3. CW,

      You are spot on!

      I cringe each time I hear those words. Can't they come up with something else?

      Those words are like "World Peace" uttered in beauty pageants... You just want to put a finger in your mouth...

      Here's a fun exercise for those who call themselves fundamental or value investors.

      Next time you are in a restaurant, retail shop, or seminar workshop/talk, try to guesstimate how much money they are making/or losing.

      It's the litmus test of whether you understand "business", how to get financial information on a unlisted business, and whether you see things from an "entrepreneurial" eye ;)

      Of course have to watch we don't 走火入魔!


  3. On 19 Nov, I attended a free seminar by a "star trader" (https://www.facebook.com/jeffsunh?fref=photo) at 6 Battery Rd, 20th floor.

    This guy has a book titled "High Probability Trading" to his name.

    I walked out halfway through the 3 hrs seminar when he asked me if I am challenging him when I debated with him on two of his statements - that "trading profits are not taxable in Singapore" and "all professional traders use Technical Analysis"".

    1. What is the debate on "Trading profits are not taxable"?

    2. Just like the Mangosteen seller you cannot poke and verify.

      You poke. I don't sell to you.


    3. I paid taxes on my futures trading profits That was my feedback to the speaker who told the audience that trading profits are not taxable in Singapore.

    4. You trade for a living. It is taxable under Other Income.

      May be most of his income come from course fees so it is not taxable.

      Since he is not taxed by IRAS, we can assume his trading income is not too much to attract the attention of IRAS.


    5. When I buy mangosteen, I always poke/press each one with my thumb before I buy. If I cannot do that, I don't buy. I select the soft ones and avoid the hard ones.

    6. Jac,

      These "salespersons" are targeting "retail" traders.

      Those wiser and more exposed in the audience will know what he said is not the "whole truth".

      1) Trading profits are taxable. Of course you have to meet certain conditions set by IRAS. Just ask any dealer or remisier we will know.

      Some professional traders I know (like Fat) even have registered trading companies to pay taxes under corporate tax rate instead of under personal individual rates.

      I wonder how many in the audience will notice the irony in taking advice from someone who doesn't pay taxes in trading!?

      Retail leading retail?

      The advantage of being a tax paying professional trader is you get preferential trading commissions, rebates by exchanges, etc.

      Like CW has said, you need to trade with SIZE to make it all worthwhile.

      2) That's a big statement to make - ALL traders use Technical Analysis???

      It's so ludicrous it shouldn't warrant a retort.

      I guess the best way is to laugh it off!

      Ha ha ha.

    7. Big time hawkers also pay taxes.

      When IRAS is keeping an eye on those are supposed to pay taxes to ensure that they pay taxes is an indication that they are earning high income from their "trades".

      The reverse is true too.


    8. CW,

      Well, I hope through our bantering, readers now know one poke and verification if they interested to be led by pros rather than one of their own:

      1) Do you pay taxes on your trading?

      If the answer is yes,

      2) Which share of taxes paid is higher? "Passion and Giving back" or trading?

      Of course we don't know for sure since it's based on trust (what he says).

      We make our judgement through his body language ;)

  4. Hi SMOL,

    It is similar to finding true friends. It is so difficult. It takes years to realise many friends are not really true friends?

    Just read an article a friend sent earlier.


    Guess it takes years, experiences and exposures to identify goat or wolf also.

    1. Friend-wolf may be difficult to identify.

      But commercial friendly wolves are easy to identify. The only problem is that many choose to ignore the obvious signs and behave like Little Red Riding Hood.


    2. Rolf,

      In our younger days, we try to fit in, wish to be included, to be accepted.

      As we mature, we realise:

      Those who matter don't mind;

      those who mind don't matter.

      And it's OK to say "No" :)

  5. To defense against the wolf?

    Most of the times i find i can't fit in a group till now. Because i don't know how or don't want to practise, "You stroke my back and i will stroke yours". Even to my bosses when i was working. i let it comes naturally leh. If it ever comes. And usually it doesn't come loh. Funny but i always try be friendlier to hawkers. We eat out all the time.
    Any way what the heck and who cares is my 1st "defence" for staying sane and "happy" lol.
    If i try to mould myself into everyone's ideas how i should be, i think i will go mad in no time.
    i just want to be me and nobody else.
    For better or for worse, it's me, myself.
    What's your take?
    What you want to be?
    Do you want to be like WB, Peter Lynch or G. Soro?
    Or somebody else?
    Or just yourself?
    Or you also want to join the Wolf?

    1. temperament,

      You know your own face; that takes fortitude.

      I wore a mask to fit in the corporate world.

      Now that I finally can see my own face.

      Oh what joy I don't have to pretend to be an ant anymore ;)


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