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Saturday, 4 April 2015

How do you wish to finish a Marathon?

There are black and white people - some call them one-track minds - who will immediately think of running a marathon, and/or focus more on the competitive sport of benchmarking who have the better times.

But I didn't ask about running or how fast to run a marathon; I only asked how do you wish to finish a marathon.

Think about it for a moment.

Finishing a marathon is not so daunting now, is it?


It may take much longer, unless you are too young, old or ill, most abled people can finish a marathon by walking without too much training and preparations. 

We just need a pair of comfortable walking shoes, a water-bottle, and frequent rest stops during the walk.


Steve Jobs alerted me to the fact that when a man is on a bicycle, he becomes the most energy efficient animal from getting from point A to point B.

Don't believe? Next time you are at East Coast, try renting the bicycle for 2 hours. You don't feel tired even after riding for 2 hours right? OK, the bum may sore; but that's from tiny triangle bicycle seat....

I guess women enjoy bicycle seats more than men.


OK, some like to drive. I've met colleagues in Sweden and China who simply love driving. They always volunteer to drive. 

I prefer to be chauffeured.

I can't afford the Diving Miss Daisy kind, but I can afford the Comfort Delgro bus and taxi kind.


OK, I think I'll stop here. You can have your own fun thinking up other ways to finish a marathon. 

And if you want to try this exercise with your investtor/trading friends, just change the post heading to:

How do you wish to finish your financial freedom journey?



  1. There is an English idiom that goes 'All roads lead to Rome'. I guess we have to find the most suitable way to reach our destinations in life.

    1. The Sun,

      Our Chinese equivalent is: 八仙过海,各显神通.

      The problem is once we mention marathon, most immediately think of running...

      Welcome and hope to see you again :)

  2. Walau!

    You can't walk a public marathon. The organizers will need to pack up and go home and can't patiently wait for tortoises to reach the Finishing Line.

    Want to walk the marathon?

    Go and do your personal and private marathon at your own time and own target
    Got person and private marathon?

    Think it is called walkatron?

    1. CW,

      Of course we can walk a public marathon! Only thing is that if we take more than 6 hours, no certificate :(

      It depends on the reason WHY you want to run a marathon:

      1) Some do it for social needs - friends run, you run. You want to fit in. To belong. You enjoy the company of fellow enthusiastic joggers.

      2) Some do if for esteem needs - you want to finish to a cheering crowd. You draw your power from basking in the accolades of others by sharing with friends you have ran a marathon... Certification and ranking matters a lot to you. You seek the approval of others.

      3) Some do it for self-actualisation - no one knows also doesn't matter. Finish also don't need to share with others. You ran because you ran. You walked because you walked. You cycled because you cycled.

      No prizes on what you seek ;)

    2. Before we run, walk or cycle a marathon, we better equip ourselves with basic knowledge what is a marathon. At every marathon, we can see a few injured.

      Same like in the stock market, some will try to run, walk or cycle in the stock market without acquiring the basic knowledge and then get themselves injured.

      Some thing cannot play play, try try and later find out it from injury.

      We need some basic knowledge to know:

      When we need to run. We run.

      When we need to walk. We walk.

      When we need to cycle. We cycle.

      Cannot suka suka run, walk or cycle a marathon.

    3. CW,

      A baby comes to this world with little knowledge or preparation.

      Cries when it wants to cry.

      Pee when it wants to pee.

      Shit when it wants to shit.

      Then have to fxxxed it up by learning man made rules and customs.

      And so off he goes on his quest when he reaches adulthood, to seek the freedom he once knew...

  3. How you finish your real life marathon is really not up to you. i think the Cantonese saying, "Be very careful of your last few years(or breathe) on Earth" , still if you take heed, you can not do much about it.
    i am always watching and wondering how each one of us leave this Earth differently. It's a mystery to me.
    Do you think about it?

    1. temperament,

      Ah! Trust a spiritual person to see "marathon" in its widest meaning ;)

      That's why I have a field day poking fun at superficial "spiritual" people who set life goals as if they are "masters of their own fate". Whatever happened to prayer?

      Of course I contemplate a lot on my entry and exit:

      Why am I here?

      Where would I go?

      I guess the first caveman must have asked the same questions looking up at the stars while lying on his back - after a full meal and satisfying copulation...

  4. Hi SMOL,

    I'll walk or run, take a bus/mrt or drive, sometimes alone but preferably with my wife, and take as long as it takes to cover the distance, chatting and laughing along the way. Sometimes, good friends might tag along and travel the distance together for a few years, but it seems like one day their paths will diverge and then they will have to go off their separate paths. It's a little sad, but I'll remember the good memories we'd shared. There will be times when the going is too tough and I'll stop, totally discouraged. Hopefully someone will come along and encourage me to plod on. I'll do that to others too, say a few words of encouragement to them and pace them along the way before continuing my own path.

    There'll come a time when me and my wife will have to go our separate ways. Maybe it's me first or maybe it'll be her first. Whatever the case, I'll look back at the distance that we've traveled together, marvel at all the little milestones that we've passed, kiss her goodbye and perhaps we might journey together again.

    1. LP,

      Your comment reads like a movie ;)

      Sour, sweet, bitter, spicy - without them, isn't it a bit bland?

      Cheers! A toast to a life without regrets!

  5. Hi SMOL

    Now I feel so much more relieved.

    As long as im walking in the right direction, I guess im ready to take it through my own pace, whatever it is fast or slow.

    I am still awaiting for my young son to walk on his own, no pressure its all his to come.

    1. B,

      All in good time ;)

      It's own time own target.

      My pace.

  6. HI SMOL,

    This is one post where the unspoken words are loud and clear.

    How do you prepare for Marathon?

    Chio chio friend to do it.

    Just do it through willpower.

    Train everyday.

    A combination of the above make it easier to start and finish.

    BTW, I never attempt a marathon before, but I did a half-marathon during my NS days. I can't walk properly over the next 2-3 days LOL

    1. Sillyinvestor,


  7. Hi SMOL,

    Marathon is horrendously long, first I need to understand myself, my health. I am not those who can run all the way. Not fit enough... key : understand myself!

    I walk walk, run run, jog jog, then walk walk so on so forth. Got car lagi better.. Guess same in life you have to know when to accelerate, decelerate or even stop when nec.

    Guess eventually crossing the finishing line may not be all important for me nowadays. For the end point of the marathon, will set start another one maybe..

    Hence note importantly is to know reasons of participating the marathon. And the family and friends who run together with me supporting each other during the marathon. Tough but warmth and happy.

    We can come last in the race, we are the champion deep within!

    1. Rolf,

      Yes! Know why we want to participate in a marathon!!!

      Using another metaphor, don't climb the ladder to the top and then realise our ladder is leaning against the "wrong" wall!

  8. It's still ok if you finish the climbing early. Say early 30s. Still have time to switch. And probably seen more and have time to climb down.. The worst is you are still climbing when you are late 50s... and not knowing you are at the wrong side...

    1. Rolf,

      I see more mid-career switches nowadays (including yours truly).

      It means most of us today don't have to worry about food on table and roof over our heads issues. We can focus on what we really want in life.

      In some other countries, there aren't even walls; never mind about ladders...

    2. This is really a good point. I been to India many times and pass by the slumps. Life is just tough. Or do they have lives?

      "What do they know of England who only England know?"

      Change job = change career? Maybe diff.

      In my definition of career path switch, it means switching to entirely new industry or job scope. Actually I still stay within same industry and even pretty much same range of product/services. So maybe that is called change job.

      I had been an oily man since first day outside school... Hahaha sometimes snake oil as u always say.

    3. Rolf,

      What's wrong with oily man? It's infinitely more respectable than snake oil me ;)

      Got oil water means got $ mah!

      First time I went to Mumbai, I can't look out the car window after a while... I turned quiet and reflective. So much so that my Indian colleagues were worried that I'm not feeling well...

  9. In my younger days, I used to do a lot of marathons, trekking, mountaineering etc... To challenge myself physically and mentally but i can never forget the peace I felt at the top of the mountains ;)

    1. Joyce,

      Hey! You're an active girl!

      I took the other route - meditation - to experience what you felt.


      Funny how we go in opposite directions yet still meet at the same place - like 2 travellers, 1 go East, 1 went West; but because the Earth is round, we will still meet at the starting point again one day...

  10. Slowly but surely we will reached our destination
    Err.. Why women like bicycle seat more than men?

    1. Jimmy L,

      Slowly but surely is one way; I prefer to be chauffeured (leverage on other people's time and other people's money).

      I was going to say ask your mom; but upon further thinking, better don't!

      Wait she'll give you that weird look...

      I see you do not have much experience with women yet. No worries. All in good time.

      Once you have reached 3rd base with your girlfriend, you can ask her ;)
      (Don't you dare ask this question on your first date! Kenna slap don't look for me!)

    2. are u a fund manager?

      just kidding u abt the bicycle seat

    3. Jimmy L,

      After I came back from Athens after being away for 7 years, I decided to hire myself as a nano hedge fund manager. Must find something to do mah!

      I like cosplay...er I meant role-play... that's why I am also the buy-side analyst there; and since every hedge fund needs a trader to do the actual executions, I am a trader too!

      You very bad!

      I was scratching my bald head as I thought the majority of our teenagers already have sexual experiences before 18... I was thinking you must be the odd Cherry Boy still unpicked!?


  11. There are many more important things in our life than thinking of financial freedom or finishing that marathon. It is a pity that too much attention and resource are spent finishing top in the marathon or financial freedom. Have you actually won?

    1. Money Honey,

      Funny how 2 insects, without collusion or prior planning, have 不约而同 become the counter-balance to extreme financial freedom seeking...

      The butterfly has found what he loves to do - do we still need financial freedom to escape? From what? 乐在其中。

      The grasshopper is not going to survive the next Winter; better do what I want to achieve today. What's the point of setting goals and plans for next Spring? 空手来, 空手去。

    2. May be some of us can learn from my colleague. He is already in financial freedom mode with lhis ow costs lifestyle. Anyone?

      Read? Save more than 60%. No need to invest??? (3)

      Whether we need to achieve some degree of financial abundance will greatly depend on how we want to spend our free time.

      If I want to dig up worm for fishing at Serangoon river or Punggol sea, I also no need to spend much money on fishing too. But my fishing trip will cost me $XXX to X,XXX. You can see even the cost of fishing can can vary much for the same leisure.

    3. CW,

      Our parent's generation may have 3-7 young mouths to feed with 1 bread-winner and 1 stay at home mom. The young of today envy this generation and say our parents were "lucky" when we comparing the property prices our parents have paid. (Of course conveniently forget the British pullout and Indonesia Confrontation impact on our economy)

      Now young married executives with double-income no kids feel they are even more stressed (than previous generations) with ever increasing property and car prices. At most have 1 kid and say they will focus and give this kid the best of the best. Yet in denial of the fact that this lone kid has to shoulder the parent's old age in times of sickness, and if married, the in-laws too...

      Agree with you, the "cost" of fishing varies between individuals.

      Money is just a tool. It's our lifestyle choices.

  12. marathon again?

    there is a study saying that the number of heart beat is fix throughout our lives. the faster it beat the shorter your life will be!

    don't mix it with other factor that will affact your lives, i'm only talking about the heart and heart only.

    1. if you die of heart attack, sorry my friend, its not the heart problem thats cause the problem, its something else.

    2. with market going like this, i think i can go vacation and come back next year! #^))*$%!!

    3. coconut,

      Perhaps that's why our Oriental Yoga, Zen, Taoist gurus practice meditation to slow down our breathing and heart beats? Now that's X-treme non-action!

      While Western exercise fanatics stress their hearts and lungs out. Pain is good!

      Interesting contrast no?

      Lucky the currencies and energy markets still have volatility ;)

      STI is really boring. No wonder the low trading volumes.

      Myanmar story fizzled out; O&G got hammered by low crude prices, commodity plays got snookered by ninja short-sellers with their hit and run "koyok" research reports, income play by REITs is pretty long in the tooth (now almost every Peter, Muthu, and Ahmad know about them)...

      What's next? China plays? I think the syndicates are hopping Singaporean speculators have short memories and big hearts - all is forgotten, all is forgiven.

      When all else fails, there is always RETRO!


    4. if you eat too much like most singaporean do, better don't do meditation instead do more exercise like the westerner.

      meditation is for those who don't eat too much. but if you eat too much you need to exercise to burn it off hence increase your heart beat.

      therefore its best not to eat too much if you want to stay on earth slightly longer.

    5. eat less you will no need to exercise to balance your system, your heart beat stay low and theorically you will live slightly longer.

      there is another theory (may be its mine haha) that the total food and air that we take in are also fix!

      so eat less and breath less also haha...no kidding!

    6. coconut,

      You got me there. I eat too much...

      The southern transmission buddhist monks don't eat past noon - I snigger whenever I see a fat monk.

      We lay person take shallow breaths. Yoga practitioners take deep and slow breaths with the diaphragm (stomach).

      So less breath is correct if you meant deep breathing ;)

      And eating till 3/4 full is healthy. But damn hard to practice!!! So some switch to small portions; frequent meals.

      Looking at my paunch, I know the theory, never practice :(

      But then, I can go for the Maitreya (大肚佛) look!

    7. bigger or more is not better if you look at the universe. balance is the key word. and that includes trading.

      we can't change our physical structure, thats fix but we can certainly find the balancing point where we can get the most out of it, long term wise.

    8. everything are relative not absolute so if you start comparing with other things or human, the first thing that is throw out of balance is your brain, then your physical and last your pocket book.

    9. coconut,

      1. Bigger or more not better - fine. I practice small is beautiful.

      2. Find balancing point - no sweat as I'm into the middle path thing.

      3. Everything is relative; not absolute - check. I a space techie too.

      4. Throw out... Wait! What? You lost me here. Some readers say I cheem? Now compared to you I'm just like water on a plate - shallow.

      Run that by me again?

    10. ok make it simple, the primary function of our brain is to keep us balance so we can survive physically.

      if we keep input things that will throw the brain into lop sided, then it will react that unbalance by instructing you to do mostly stupid things, hence
      hurt you physically and lastly your pocket as well.

    11. look at you, are you fear that a tiger will jump on you? no right? where got tiger?? you have no fear at all, thats a false assumption, a sense of no danger.

      eat all we can, do whatever we want and as we like, there are no danger around. thats the kind of mentality we now have. no sense of danger around us, good luck!

    12. oh 4 words can describe what i say.....

    13. coconut,

      Very few cultures have this 4 words idiom thing.

      Not only can describe what we want to express succinctly, if we learn how the usage came about, we can even tell a whole historical story from these 4 words!!!

      How to tell a Mandarin speaker who has never been to school (since Mandarin is their mother tongue like Teochew is to me); test them on Chinese idioms ;)

  13. Hi SMOL,

    I don't like to pay for any marathons... very expensive haha. Just run and time on my own is better. Although I have to admit that I train harder after signing up and when I have a goal in mind... same as my financial journey =)

    1. Jes,

      I was once with my ex-shopping at Shanghai for 6 hours straight with no sitting down or resting. My legs almost gave way. She trained me well. Next time I just gave her money and I stayed home.... LOL!

      OK, 6 hours of walking/window shopping is not a marathon; but its quite close to 1/3 to 1/2 a marathon!!!

      I can relate to the goal in mind thing,

      However, I think you may also have done certain things repeatedly without any goals or knowing the reasons why?

      We are not even conscious of them until someone pointed it out to us ;)


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