Monday, 8 December 2014

To see a friend get Rich

“There is nothing so disturbing to one’s well-being and judgment as to see a friend get rich”

Economic historian Charles P. Kindleberger (1910-2003) wrote in Manias, Panics and Crashes: A History of Financial Crises (1978 and subsequent editions):

Don't pretend!

Very true right?

That's why you see people who many years have swore property investing is not their cup of tea "capitulates" just in time to get themselves an investment property right at the top of the property cycle...

It's hard to stick with your convictions when all you see are colleagues and relatives who have made hundreds of thousands in just a few years.

Same for those who wished they had left their money in CPF or fixed deposit accounts and not invested in REITs or other income stocks. 

The 8% yield on income stocks may look a lot sexier than 2.5%, but if you are nursing a 20% plus capital loss... All of sudden, purchasing power erosion by inflation is a lot less scarier than "your own worst enemy".

External financial missteps are painful, but they don't destroy the soul.  

The more insidious ones are those of envy and jealousy.

We don't need to look far.

We just have to look at the person in the mirror.



  1. I have 2 close friends who are rich due to capability and one who is rich due to flipping properties correctly ...

    And some point do have some low inferior complex.

    But I seldom want to follow... Perhaps "never", more urgency to find my "path" only...

    Sigh... The world of numbers ...

    1. Sillyinvestor,

      That's why friendship bonded OTHER THAN similar social standing, academic background, common interests, etc; can be more enduring.

      A bit counter-intuitive, but if we look around us, the truth may surprise us!

      A cornet player can embrace a saxophone player more easily than another trumpet player.

      Ladies know this more intuitively than men ;)

  2. 人比人气死人。
    i also met ppl who hv some achievements ahead of me and made some snide remarks to me. However, those who do this ended up having a hard fall. Thereafter, don't even dare to 正眼看我。

    Nothing is forever. Ultimately, it's about fighting a good fight and crossing the mark at the end of life.

    1. pf,

      Ah ha!

      That's what this post is all about.

      Not looking at others; but at our inner self.

      Like you, I've "gloated" over the fall of others who are better than me. I've been through that "I'll show you phase"....

      A bit meaningless, but it helps to see how far my "cultivation" has come along.

      Baby steps. There's still much work to be done.

  3. Hi SMOL,

    Haha, I've read that book - it's a very good read. I loved reading history, esp history of the stock market - always a fascinating read :)

    I rmb that was how I was lured into the stock market near the height of the bull around 2003 period. A friend and I was just newbies, just started work and had some money. We saw that there are many people making easy money out there. Those are not our friends, and they got rich easily. And that's usually enough.

    I can always say don't compare loh. But it's hard. To not give in to temptations is simply to not place yourself in such situations. I think this is better than placing yourself in situations where your'e tempted to compare and yet not compare - tremendous self control required!

    Steps to self enlightenment (at least in this respect)
    1. Don't hate your rich friends
    2. Be neutral to your rich friends
    3. Be happy for your rich friends

    I'm somewhere between 2 and 3. Lower end of 2, lol! I've still a long way to go :)

    1. LP,

      "Look at my kungfu cats, it's also worded as such to attract attention. All my certs meant that I can study, doesn't mean that I can teach haha"

      With such refreshing honesty, how not to respect you as a person?

      We need more navel gazing encouragement posts like yours!

      I am the cyclist riding behind your slipstream ;)


  4. More truth for office colleagues. Bauy tahan. That Uncle or Auntie sitting there long hours looking at his or her lap top with blinking spots. What is the boss doing?

    1. CW,


      Do same work but their pay higher than ours. So not the fair! Skiving whole day some more! Only know how to "siam" and "arrow" work to the younger colleagues...

      That's what we in our 20s or 30s will say about those "condemned" seniors in our office.

      Then "wind water alternate turn", when we are in our late 40s and 50s, we suddenly remember that's how the younger us were criticizing the older us now :(


  5. temperament,

    Yes, I've been to Istanbul for business and pleasure.

    The Evil Eye Bead or Pendant is quite popular in Athens too - Greece being under the Ottoman for 100 plus years and all.

    Hee hee. Remember the Old Testament? The 10th Commandment not to covet our neighbour's house/wife/servants/etc? That's also to ward off the Evil Eyes ;)

    This "fear" of the Evil Eye is prevalent in our Asian culture too.

    The Chinese will say not to be too ostentatious in our display of wealth or success least we incur the "red eyes" of others.

    In the West, there say green with envy. Same same; different colours only.

    We share the same common view despite our different spiritual roots - I am also aware of the distracting thoughts of envy and jealousy that arise in my mind. I don't suppress them. I just let them go when they get tired of me ;)

    Oh! Why Turkey is pre-occupied with "Evil Eyes"?

    1) Have you seen the locals wearing them? No right?

    2) Who buys them?

    3) Just visit Chinatown to see what "trinkets" we sell to tourists to ward off evil. "Ba Gua" mirrors anyone?


  6. it takes a lot to see within oneself to see value equal to them. the fact that they make snide remarks show you have something more valuable then them.

    then again you have to have a certain level of value before you comprehend that.

    1. Kyith,

      In my post, our friend who got rich never made snide remarks or said anything to belittle us.

      Can it be us "thinking too much"?

      This is super cool!

      It's like looking at ink blots :)

      You have made a very apt sharing.

      How we respond to external stimuli depends a lot on what we are made of.

      Whether we see the world from a "small man" perspective, or do we approach the world with "big open chest".

    2. not refering to your frinds situation but as in general. come again i can't remember why i made that snide remarks comment!

    3. Kyith,

      It's cool.

      The here and now can be influenced by the mood or frame of mind we are in presently.

      No man can step into the same river twice ;)

  7. I had evil eyes when I was younger but soon realized that it's way better to put those energies into improving myself. Those efforts paid off and I'm at the receiving end of evil eyes sometimes but at the end of the day, it tells you who your true friends really are.

    1. A big aloha to you Googirl Investor!

      I would have given you a big welcome hug if not for ACCICB ;)

      Not only who are true friends are, it also reveals how genuine and worthy we are to whom we call friends. We sometimes let down those whom we treasure the most.... It's a 2 way street.

      By the way, I am with you on:

      "This is just one of the lessons that we have been learning, which is to trade stocks regardless of how much future potential upside blah blah that you think it has, it's far better to have the moolah in your pocket."

      You go girl!

  8. Hi SMOL,

    Long time no comment.

    More than 10 years ago, I had my first outstation business trip in Penang. I met this client. He said, he prefer to have rich friends since his poor friends always borrow money from him!

    Can I be your friend?


    1. Rolf,

      If you be my bodyguard, I can be your long lost pal!

      Got money no money not a problem. Just as long there's music in your soul, we are good :)

    2. I am not Kevin Costner! LOL


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