Horizontal links

Thursday, 10 September 2015

Hurting words financial bloggers say

Of all the hurting words a financial blogger or so called "financially literate" wannebe can say, none is as condescending, belittling, and patronising as this quote below:


First, I can't verify Bill Gates actually said those words. And if he did, what context and perspective those words were uttered.

But it seems that didn't stop others from freely quoting "Bill Gates" whenever they need to prove a point or win an argument...

You know someone is at their wits end when they have to hide behind someone famous, rich, or powerful. It's the typical cowardly Singaporean response, "Not I say one hor. They all say one!"


OK, there's only two context the above quote can be used in "positive" light.

The first is where you are in a motivational seminar or course where you are being sold to cheered the 'If you think you can, you can!" mantra. 

The second is where you are psyching yourself "I can do it!"

For both instances, you desperately need to buy-in to the notion that you can influence and control your own fate in life. 

The last thing you want to hear are destiny, alignment of the stars when you were born, luck, and heaven forbid, randomness!

You think you are better than others

Just like Jamie Dimon of JPMorgan Chase putting down a journalist with, "That's why I earn more than you", you feel smug about yourself telling others that if they die poor, it's their fault. 

Well,  so much for empathy...

You could be also feeling exasperated, angry, or even vindictive during a debate or argument with a "non-believer" (why must everyone be interested in financial freedom?), and in the heat of the moment, you let loose this Bill Gates quote knowing full well this would hurt.

And now you are feeling remorseful...   

Karma is a bitch

Don't give me the crap how you were poor or disadvantaged in your early days, and how you studied and worked hard to be where you are today.

That's even worse! You now twisting the bayonet and implying all those who die poor are lazy and don't apply themselves in life?

There's a Hokkien saying, "Words don't say too early."

It ain't over till the fat lady sings.

The day may come you lost everything through no fault of your own, and see how you feel some smart aleck tells it to your face, "You die poor, it's your mistake."



  1. Hi SMOL

    Since when you joined Rolf as a 性情中人? You just commented him for it. Lol. Die poor can be good. It mean you fully utilised your wealth. Bring to coffin? There is so much we would want to pass down generations

    1. Frugal Daddy,

      Hmm.. I didn't know a Man of Leisure is not 性情中人? Only now I am one? LOL!

      Your "just commented him for it" can be misconstrued if its read by a casual reader.

      Lucky I have an incestious relationship with financial bloggers and FEW casual readers.

      Those who come are probably immune to my "nonsense".

      That means readers would have read Rolf's and my previous postings and know our scintillating exchange on the philosophies of life at my previous post is not an one-off event ;)

    2. I see. Need to know more about thr bloggers

    3. Frugal Daddy,

      Read between the lines and be alert when people let slip what they are really thinking.

      For example, when a financial blogger whines about why so little people read financial blogs as opposed to Lifestyle or Food bloggers, you'll know between the lines what they are really after ;)

    4. Between the line tells me this post refers to 1 blogger. Can tell me? Haha.

    5. Frugal Daddy,

      The whining part is just an example... If you read financial blogs over the last 5 years, more than one blogger has done it.

      You are newer to my blog. I guess you don't know why I have few casual readers and the no.1 complaint against my writing style...

      Give you a tip:

      Cannot read my blog posts too literary ;)

    6. Hi SMOL

      Ok, I will try reading your post upside down next time. :)

  2. SMOL,

    wor... What happened?

    Chill... Die poor... Yeah my fault...

    I died on a hospital bed with private nurses...
    Before I passed on, I told my son: I suddenly recall...

    I wanted to tell him how I used to pull his hair for fun, and how he jumped on me for me to hug him... but I choked as I cannot breath properly...

    My son turned his eager eyes, and said: did you recall what else you did not include in your will? take your time...

    I died a poor man, I saw my wife... She was as sad as me, and she coldly said: I waited for years to tell you this, you neglect me and I forgive you, because I know you will die poor...

    Obituaries blaster over the major newspaper, showing how well I lived. My wife told me, we have only 7 days on earth, these 7 days are for us to think how we live our lives... Its is really a "conclusion" as there is nothing to write.


    A translation and adaption of a short story I read that until now,,,

    1. Sillyinvestor,

      I felt like writing, hence I wrote ;)

      I'm not poking the Emperor who thinks he is wearing clothes when he is actually naked. That's already sad enough; why twist the bayonet?

      I'm poking those who "pretend" they can see the Emperor's clothes ;)

    2. Hmm... Why dun poke the seamstress ?

    3. SMOL,

      Arr I see now... So you meet more emperors that exposed your trickery or more that...

      I wonder if there are emperors that go naked to see how far the "populace" and seamstress will go... Knowingly.

      But going back to bill gates, I do think it's inevitable that people face inner demons about wealth, or relative wealth.

      Remember I got a "tony jar jar " from u? All metals need to go through some furnace mah...

      Even that demon still raises its head.. I guess it's a legimate problem of misplaced confidence or inferior complex...

    4. Sillyinvestor,

      Interesting choice of words on your first sentence - 棉里藏针?

      Most people would have read what I‘ve said in another way... You've made me out to be more humble than I can take credit for ;)


      There may be a case for an emperor to do a 指鹿为马 to flush out which of his subjects are with him, which are against him.

      That's makes reading people so interesting!!!

      I may be thinking the emperor so stupid thinking he got clothes on, but the joke could be on me! This emperor is putting me to the test!

      Me and my big mouth and off I go to the guillotine!

  3. I agree empathy and sensitivity is necessary. I also observe no successful individual will not attribute their success to taking action no matter they are grateful for kinder fates or not. I want to highlight also 感恩and幸运are different.

    The quote I agree prob didn't come from gates. A lot of people are quoted without basis. The li ka shing 5 parts income comes to mind.

    if u notice, noninvestor rich people speaks about issues and actions. They seldom make judgemental statements. At least not the angmohs.

    the quote above was probably intended to spur people to take charge of their life but, in sensationalizing the impact, drove away the very disheartened people they sought to inspire.

    1. SMK,

      Like you, I am highly skeptical Li Ka Shing said the 5 parts income thingy.

      I belong to the camp where I don't think everyone should be involved in "investing".

      How can having "soft ears" and believing everything that others say a good attribute for investing?

      I was once upon a time involved in the business of "evangelising" or "cheerleading", if you will.

      That's why I put the hint that in a motivational setting, the same words can be UPLIFTING.

      It now has an EMPOWERING message; especially to those who have lost faith, given up, or blames bad luck for his lot in life.

      But in untrained hands, like you've said, it just drives disheartened people deeper into hurt and depression...


  4. Hi SMOL,

    The definition of poor is very subjective. You may think I am poor but I don't think it myself.

    Anyway, who offend you? Hehe.

    1. Jes,

      Obtuse people annoys me.

      Definition of obtuse:

      1. annoyingly insensitive or slow to understand.

      2. (of an angle) more than 90° and less than 180°.

      With my proficiency in math, make a wild guess which meaning I am thinking of!

  5. Hi SMOL,

    I'm also curious to know who was the one who triggered you to write this post..but don't think any names will be mentioned. Quotes are just that...quotes...but the intention of the person behind it saying that quote...that's the important bit.

    1. Joyce,

      Ah! You got the motivation behind why we say what we say spot on!

      So I'll reveal a bit more cleavage on my intention for this post to reciprocate.

      But no more questions! Anymore I'll be arrested for streaking!

      1. Women, you don't have the exclusive right to remember something that was said 10 - 20 years ago and out of the blue bring it up. LOL!

      2. Its not one person. It's a group of vested interests and their fan boys and girls. If it's one person, I have no problem kicking sand in his/her face directly.

      3. For the longest time, this group of "I have more than you" have been taking the stance only they know what's best for everyone. Their concept of diversity is probably everyone should be more like them?

      4. Well, today they can't tell others what's the "wise" thing to do. Eh? Who died and made them Indian Chiefs anyway? Others can't think for themselves?

      5. How can I let this opportunity pass?

      You can't herd cats.


    2. let it all out .... you are feeling lighter now right?

      Otherwise, run and run till you are exhausted then you will have a good night sleep. Keep away from liquor though.

    3. Money Honey,

      It felt good! I had fun!

      Other than wine, woman, and song, I don't think I have more bad habits ;)

  6. Hi SMOL,

    What an outburst! The person who trigger this outburst must be in trouble. To stir the big bro in this financial world.. how dare him.. Haha.

    Guess it's impt to focus on the objective for greater good as main dish while the side dish sometimes u can have little selfishness to protect ur ego. Hmm....

    Frankly born humble in SG if not in the 40s is still not really poor, as opportunity in this country is still plenty n affordable still. Esp on education n housing.

    While I myself comes from humble family, I am frankly happy for the fact it happens and always tell people how grateful I am for that to learn diff aspects of life. To born with silver spoon is also admirable if u can divert ur inherit assets whether "tangible or intangible" to serve the greater good.

    However the point to focus is if ur purse is not inherently big, n u r responsible for more pple, then u must be prudent n not pretend ur purse is so big. This is precisely the pt discuss in this election where Sg may have a big purse now but start emulating some Less prudent western countries in benefit disbursement, then we will face imminent threat gg fwd..

    Guess to born poor is ok, but to die "poor" which I interpret poor as not only tangible but also the intangible, then it's not ok!

    1. Rolf,

      It's a roar; not an outburst ;)

      Very self-evident we focus on what we want to comment; who wants to read what others have already commented before?

      Again, it's not about one person. It's about a group of like-minded individuals, a social class, the 5%, or elitism mentality, if you must.

      Poor or rich that's not the issue.

      It's sitting on our high horses and POINTING it out if you are poor, its YOUR fault,

      Let's move out from the economic realm to see the same effect at play at other realms.

      If I am spiritual and have found my peace, how useful is it for me to tell someone who is "lost" the reason is because he is not wise enough or not faithful enough?

      If I am happy, what good will I achieve in me explaining to an unhappy or depressed person that happiness is a state of mind - we can choose to be happy?

      Just because you are born right-handed, who gives you the right to say being left-handed is wrong? (Yup, a metaphor within a metaphor)

      This post can be read at several levels.

      I choose to use Financial Bloggers as my metaphor as it would be fun since most Financial Bloggers are in the business of telling others HOW to do xxx, WHAT to xxx, WHY we should xxx, and like to lament and feel sorry for the non-converts...

      Now when I turn the tables and ROAR at them on HOW to communicate better, if they take offense, well, now they know how the other side felt listening to their sermons.

      If they laughed WITH me, we are fellow journey companions :)

      I kick people who should know better (than me). I poke my fellow peers, and for people that are different from me?

      I take my inspirations from what the gurus DO:

      When others shun tax collectors and prostitutes, Jesus walks with them in their midst.

      Did Buddha go round asking whether his students were true blue Indian (or Nepal) born and raised? If so, priority seating arrangements!

  7. Ah!

    There is light at the end of the tunnel for Heart whisperers afterall :)

    PAP needs to change the way it talks

  8. Hi SMOL, I'm not sure if you are being sarcastic or not but unfortunately I think they are still very much focused on form rather than substance. I.e. they just want to figure out a better way to make you agree with them.

    1. Macroanalyst,

      Sarcastic would be too strong a word. I prefer the word "tease".

      Tease would indicate I am the pot calling the kettle black ;)

      I am flawed like everyone else...

      "They" understood human emotions/motivations well - Greed and Fear.

      Greed - The give me sugar and I'll call you daddy proletariat.

      Fear - The kiasu, kiasi, kiabo bourgeoisie.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...