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Thursday, 15 January 2015

Etiquette in Asking Questions at Seminars, Townhall meetings, etc.

You'll be surprised quite a few people don't know the etiquette in asking questions during public forums.

Graduates you have less of an excuse in not knowing. 

Unless you have never been to a talk/seminar/panel discussion from a visiting Professor or Esteem Speaker...

Remember this?

"Hello, I am Mickey Mouse, 2nd year student from Can't Make It faculty, University of Guodolongdong.

My question is addressed to that speaker with no hair.

Mumble, mumble, mumble."

Yes, do introduce:

a) who you are, 

b) say a bit of yourself, and 

c) whether your question is to the whole panel (who actually answers does not matter to you), or is it directed to a specific speaker on the panel.

Who are you?

I was going to say there's no such thing as anonymity when you're asking a question in public and in the flesh.

But then, the Oat Meal Guy has appeared on stage with his Ip Man and Blues Brother combo cosplay outfit... Like that also can!?

I guess I were wrong. 

I think it would be super awesome if some of you can come this Saturday in your cosplay outfits?

"Hello, I am Batman. I'm from Gotham City."

Now how cool is that!!!

Eh! We take a selfie together after the talk?

Say a bit of yourself

Imagine if you asked a money question to the panel this Saturday, do you think there is a difference in the replies if you introduced yourself as:

1) Newbie investor

2) Experienced investor

3) Full time/part-time investor (Retired is full-time lah! Even though you spend more time chasing after skirts at OG Chinatown. Your old lecher you!)

What do you think?

Of course it doesn't matter - that's if you are OK with one size fits all platitudes, you know those lukewarm, not painful, not itchy patronizing replies?

Question to whom?

Have you been to panel discussions where the panel speakers look at each other like blur sotongs? They give each other the "You answer can?" pleading look. That's what happens when they get difficult questions that's almost impossible to answer!

Do that if you are merely into asking rhetorical questions. And feeling smug you have just stumped the speakers in public. You huh!

But if you are interested in getting a genuine opinion to a difficult question that's vexing you for a long time, may I suggest you throw this "hot potato" to a specific speaker in the panel?

The speaker will either answer you directly, or ask for help from other panelists.

That's how you get their undivided attention without the "Taiji"!

Those coming this Saturday

Feel free to ask me any questions during the Q&A session - sex, religion, politics - anything is boleh unless its about money.

Please hor!  I'm a grasshopper, a man-whore, and some say - a snake-oil salesman! 

Your trust me with money matters?

The only money I'm interested in is how to transfer the money in your pocket to my pocket!


  1. Pre-empting the crowd? LOL :)

    Hey, my body is not there, but rest assured my mind is supporting the first speaker of the event! lol

    1. LP,

      It's called preparing the crowd ;)

      I've learnt a lot from watching late night US TV Evangelical shows in Athens.

      Thanks for the support bro!

  2. Same sentiment as LP. Is our Zen guru trying to manage (massage?) expectations here? :)

    Sadly, I cannot make it for the event. Is the organizer going to film the event and market the video for sale aptly titled "Interview with the SP Stock Market Wizards"?

    1. S-Reit System Investor,

      Well, I'm not going to sit through a 40 minutes Q&A big eyes stare small eyes. I'll be bored stiff!!!


  3. I will bring eggs in case someone started selling. LOL!

    1. CW,

      I bring tuna!

      Hope someone will bring roti.

      Who will contribute luncheon meat?

      Then we can have a picnic like we used to do at Botanic Gardens or at East Coast Beach?

      Ah! The simpler days of the 70s and 80s :)

  4. Hi SMOL,

    I will be looking forward to see how you can wiggle (ie smoke) your way out of a difficult situation in front of a massive educated crowd. I know you won't be tongue tied judging from the all the good stuff that you have written in your blog. Afterall, it is the delivery of your replies and presentation that counts.

    You seem to have the mindset of a learned person from a liberal arts background so I think you should do just fine.

    1. L Young,

      I'm not so sure about the learned part but its clear from my writings I am very right-brained and lean on the liberal arts side ;)

      For eg, when asked what is wealth? I would say "having enough" (shades of grey).

      Then some left-brained guy will come along and provide a nice cookie-cutter formula for wealth (black and white)!?

      Hello? We are talking about people! Not CNC machinery!?


  5. Hi SMOL

    Can we introduce ourselves as nick name and then let you guess who we are? Hello I am grasshopper from chinatown. That would be interesting.

    Sayang ticket already sold out.. hands too slow. Can only mentally support quietly behind the back.

    1. B,

      I think the irony will be bloggers who don't wish to be identified will use their real names (instead of on-line nicks) when asking questions!?


      Thanks for the support!

      No worries, I believe this year I will take a break from self-cultivation and pay a visit to some fellow blogging journeymen (拜码头)。

      I do better in smaller groups ;)

    2. Just identify ourselves as John, Peter or Richard

    3. CW,

      At sleazy motels in the States, we register as Smith.

      At XX hotels that charge by the hour in Singapore, we register as Tan ;)

  6. Hi SMOL and Bro8888,

    I'm sorry but all food items will be confiscated. LoL

    *I will be spying and taking notes from afar.* :P

    1. 1) CW,

      Forgot! Got ready snacks provided. So no need bring eggs. But must throw the snacks with the packaging intact OK? This way I can "da pau" them home ;)

      2) Derek,

      Don't stand too far away. You'll understand after my song and dance routine ;)

  7. ...............and now i present the most "popular blogger in "Singapore Investment Blogger", the first speaker of the night who can sell ice to the Eskimo so to speak........ Applause! Applause!

    1. temperament,

      Oh dear, this is backfiring...

      I am merely doing my bit not to be bored this Saturday :(

      Please tone down your expectations leh!

      It works better if I under promise and over deliver.

      You guys are setting me up to fail!

      Buy the rumour and sell the fact. So bad :(

  8. Good luck handling the crowd this weekend!

  9. woh! just came back from a 10days holiday and the world go up side down. so you having talks this saturday?

    good luck!

    1. Thanks coconut!

      You missed some super duper action last evening!!!

      The Swiss National Bank surprised the market and made those on the wrong side of the CHF trade bust out their accounts!!!

      It doesn't matter whether you are institutional or retail - bust is bust!

      It was my first time watching a G10 currency move more than 1,500 pips in less than 10 minutes? USD/CHF moved more than 30% at one point!

      I mean if its the ruble, rupee, rupiah, big swings are quite normal if you want action in emerging currencies; but a G10 currency pair?

      Lucky I was in the "right" currency pair as to benefit from the CHF move.
      Pure dumb luck again!?

      Tomorrow will speak with a wide grin.

    2. well i didn't exactly miss them, i bring all my tools with me! a laptop, a ipad and my iphone! and i did do some trades along the way le.

      the bigger issue was the internet connection $^@#(&_@!!

      can you immagin in the middle of a wild swing, the connection goes dead!

    3. with all my orders danling in the market....

    4. now back at home really feels like heaven, home sweet home haha...

      oh no!

      tomorrow is saturday...

    5. oh by the way on the issue on CFD, if trading shares make sure it is DMA or direct market assess.

      don't use CFD if you trade indexes or commodities, the spread will kill you evanturelly, open future accounts.

    6. coconut,

      I guess so!

      You are like Michael Steinhardt - I have a soft spot for the old school Market Wizards of the first book.

      You didn't want to go on holidays, but "bo bian"... LOL!

    7. my wife went for 4 or 5 holidays last year without me! if i absent again this time, she gonna divoice me liao so die die must go!

      actually she quite pisss i bring along my comps haha...

    8. coconut,

      The CFD part, I am merely provoking readers to think for themselves.

      Sometimes, learn by doing can be more powderful than learn by listening or reading about what others say ;)

      I still remember I am one of those early adopters when CFDs were first introduced to Singapore by one local brokerage.

      That time, got monthly expiry, and have to pay roll-over fees! Now commissions have come down and no more monthly roll-overs!?

      But I am glad for that early "training". It's a great foundation when I moved on to Simsci futures ;)

      This expiry thing can be a good discipline for those who have a habit of letting a trade turn into a long term investment.

      But then I must be joking! If putting a money cut-loss is difficult, how would putting a timing cut-loss be easier?


      During weight training, few are aware we are of stressing our muscles to the point of wear and tear - damage even. And its the body repairing and over compensating during the repair process that our muscles become stronger!

      Muscle strength definitely does not come from watching an exercise video or attending a workout seminar ;)

      We don't become a master craftsman by selecting the "Easy" mode.

      That's where you come in!

      You Hardcore trader you!!!

      Compared to you, I am still very much "soft porn"...

    9. yap, the market right now are looking for professional traders to slaugter, many will eventually ran out of business, maybe i should count my days too.

      ladykiller had a good post, cutting down position size when volatility increases. lately market action suggest to me as traders its not the time to make money but time to protect oneself.

    10. coconut,

      That's why it's great that "insiders" are blogging too :)

      So refreshing!

      You don't hear "shepherds" talking about position sizing when volatility rises, do we?

      I feel for those who get excited by SGX hundred shares lot kind of thingy, or who are using SCB.... You can't really lower your position sizing anymore....

      Sometimes if the battle scene is too chaotic, it could be a good survival strategy to just stay on the sidelines and let the intra-day knights battle it out.

      When the knights are half-dead or exhausted, we can go backstab them with our little Swiss army knives...


      Or I'll stick this tweezer up your nose!

    11. i had never experience market like this before, really scary. all fundalmental, technical, logic or whatever is going out the window. many market are now starting to dislocate, going to where it is not suppose to go or thats what we thought.

      all thanks to the policy maker.

    12. coconut,

      That's why those who started their investing/trading journeys from 2009 onwards have an edge over us ;)

      To them, equities and bond markets BOTH in bull markets are perfectly normal???

      Just buy the freaking dip!

      Central bankers have our backs!

  10. Hi SMOL,

    Nothing much, just wish u all the best in the seminar nothing.

    Even if I gotten the ticket I wouldn't be able to come, very busy with work recently. Some Saturdays will be burned, so must keep wife happy.

    Anyway, hope u share some nuggets of happening

    1. Sillyinvestor,


      Keep wife happy is GOOD! Do that!

      You have your priorities right :)

      You take care now. Pace yourself.


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