Wednesday, 27 January 2016

First Things First - Invest In Yourself

Calm down now.

I can see you are full of excitement with that $20,000 of yours.

Can't wait to put money to work is it?

Come. Sit down here with me.

Have a cup of coffee and a char shao bao. Eat!

Allow me to ask you a few questions... 

1.  Know yourself

Think of a skill or competence, where you can crush most of your peers hands down. It can be a hobby, sports, or what you do at school or work. Anything! 

Why is this so?

Did you have to spend any time and effort securing this skill or competence?

Or was it because of some natural attributes that you were born with?

Maybe a bit of both?

Have you travelled on a packaged group tour before?

If no, take some of the $20,000 and go on one! Enjoy yourself!

If yes, have you planned and taken a DIY tour all by yourself? With no travelling companions? Just you and you alone? 

No? Try it! 

If you really timid kind of person and have never done things alone all by yourself ever, I can recommend Hong Kong or Malaysia. Still cannot? It's OK. Don't force it. But take note of the fears and emotions that's keeping you back.

OK, now that you have both first hand experiences of travelling on a packaged group tour and a DIY solo trip, which one would you prefer for your next trip?



2.  Choose your poison

Do you know the common investment vehicles available to retail?

Yes! Oh! You've studied Business Finance at Uni/Poly; and you are very familiar with the different asset classes.


So of all the asset classes, why you zeroed in to equities only? 


Hey! Who am I to judge what you like what you don't like? Equities it is then.

Are you familiar with Fundamental Analysis and/or Technical Analysis?

Yes! Good, good.

No? Can you tell me why you've chosen equities as your preferred investment vehicle again?

Do you want another char shao bao? Sure? Don't be shy! 

3.  Motivation

Why did you choose your course of study at school?

You heard this course once graduated can earn a lot of money?

No reason? You just interested in the subject matter? You never thought of how you'll get a job or how much the starting pay?

No choice? All other courses you cannot get in. So you just grab what's available...

Your mother told you to do so?

You don't say! 

4.  You buy me lunch?

What? Why so generous?

I haven't given you my expert advice yet!!!

No need?

Want more coffee?


  1. I contributed this article for an e-book by some fellow bloggers.

    Well, cannot always be a freeloader and eat and drink for free, can I?

    OK, feedback needed.

    Do you understand what I've written?

  2. Hi SMOL, my friend

    Always enjoy your witty post. You're right, my multibagger is not my "investment portfolio". It's the piece of paper called "bachelor degree" :-).

    1. Yaruzi,

      Ah! Good, good ;)

      Glad for you!

      I cannot say the same for me :(

      Lucky for me, I got Toto!

      Buy $1 quick-pick, hit 3 numbers, win $10 - instant 10 bagger! Easy!


  3. Hi Jared,

    I am always captivated by blog article of famous blogger that is somehow related to my nick name! LOL

    But as I read on, I am tickled by "Sit down Char Siew Bao and drink tea" reminds me of Stephen chow!" Haha...

    U At least have free lunch.

    I often have friends/juniors who ask me out only want to consult/learn things that I am good in, and eventually ended up I still have to treat the free meal..

    How I wish the reason of asking someone out for a meal is "just to catch up because it's been so long"

    1. Rolf,

      Of course I've stolen it with pride from Stephen Chow ;)

      Coaching is not intuitive to most of us. Its so much easier to tell others what to do - even though we know full well we are not them; and they are not us.

      Eh! You don't spoil market OK!?

      I already cheaper than Desker Road - I'll do anything for a drink.

      Here you come along and undercut me by "blanjah" (treating) others!?

      Give chance!

  4. Hi Jared,

    I read the e book and your article is one of the few that I enjoyed. Makes sense for it to be the first article :)

    1. Joyce,

      Thanks :)

      I tell you.

      Give free speech they put me as the first speaker.

      Write free article they put me as first chapter.

      I think the subliminal message is I only good for warm up opening act foreplay - never the main event.

      Always the bridesmaid; never the bride :(

      Oh well, at least I got some free food and drinks out of it ;)

  5. These days 20k not enough to get a degree hor. But if just upgrade some skills can la...
    I like the gist of the article - know thyself, learn by self and... er sorry what's it about buying you lunch? Can get more expert advice then? :P

    1. Rainbow girl,

      No need lunch. A drink will do!

      I'll do anything; except telling you what to do :)

      Which means you may have to get used to the idea of you asking me a question, I reply by asking you a question back ;)

  6. Hi SMOL,

    It's very you! Asking people to search for the answers themselves.

    Because rightfully, only our own answers can be right for ourselves.

    Your answer, who can say wrong

    1. Sillyinvestor,

      For a person who have been battered and raped by the markets - the more he invests, the more he loses - whole life policies; voluntary contributions to CPF; focusing on savings; and so forth may make a lot of sense. Especially after his capitulation and coming to his senses.

      But to an investor who is competent in buying low and selling high, that's pretty dumb to do the above. Buy term and invest the rest! Seek alpha performance returns! Especially when its backed up by a personal track record; not excel sheet extrapolations.

      To an executive who is busy winning promotions and chasing big bonuses, passive indexing can be a good fit.

      But to someone who is stuck at a dead end job he doesn't like with lots of time to skive and idle, active investing can be the opiate to dull his misery...

  7. $20k - $2m, I will still invest on the same - my family. Only if I have more than $2m, then I will consider spending the "excess" in different way.

    1. Frugal Daddy,

      Then I wish you never have more than $2 million to invest ;)

      You know what they say about men with money... Just joking!

    2. Different things mean additional wants like extra properties, car, or more commercialised lifestyle. Not the skirts - I know hard to resist.

    3. Those additional wants are babes magnets ;)

      Must keep chanting: See no touch. See no touch.


  8. My favorite article on the e-book!!!

    1. It's much easier to understand than that zebra story. You know which one I'm talking about hor? :D

    2. B,

      Looks like I'll have to match the competition and buy you coffee!

      Thanks ;)

      So embaraasing! I totally misread the audience.

      I was too quick to reveal my cleavage...

      On hindsight and upon reflection, I should start with revealing my shoulders first ;)


  9. Hi SMOL,

    I'm quite late into this party haha

    I think the first point - Know yourself - is already very hard. The key thing is to know how you react and perform under duress. And the hard part is mimicking the stress that is faced when you actually face the real situation when you are in fact just practising. I've a lot of students who are all A student when doing homework but C student when performing in exams.

    So how to practise the real thing without actually doing the real thing? Not so easy haha

    1. LP,

      Ahem. That's why sometimes we need a mentor/coach/buddy to help "jolt" us out of the little lies we often tell ourselves.

      Not by nagging or telling us what to do; but just asking some provoking questions for us to answer on our own ;)

      What you've describe for your students can apply to most working adults - in school excellent; outside in society meh...

      Can't help recalling the joke about A students reporting to B students; and B students working for C students who founded the companies they all work in ;)

    2. Ya that's true. I think most bright scholars who thought they are king in the classroom must have had a rude shock when faced with pple who are less bright academically but very good at the uncertainties and negotiations you need in the real world.

      Coming from me sounds a bit deceitful though are the lion in the real world jungle, not the domestic cat pretending in a classroom jungle ;)

    3. Btw, do you know that as readers, I can see your numerous corrections when replying to a blog comment? I don't know if anyone told you this, but we can actually see what you corrected. Sometimes it's amusing to see you change a little statement here, a little emoticon there to adjust the nuances of the sentence.

      I think you're the only word who did that lol

    4. LP,


      My problem is that my mind writes faster than my fingers.

      Somehow, I can't do "proof reading" BEFORE I press the publish comment.

      It's a bad habit :(

      I prefer to read my comments AFTER and make changes just to get the nuance "right".

      I found out I can delete my own comments in Blogger and I have been "abusing" this function ever since.

      Thanks for the feedback!

    5. LP, SMOL respect you so much that he need to make it right.

      Where to see? How come I cannot see his corrections? hehe...

    6. Frugal Daddy,

      It's a bad habit of mine. Can't do the delete and correction when I comment at other people's blogs - there will be a "comment deleted by author" trail...

      That's where you see all the bad grammar and misspellings of mine :(

      I suspect LP is also the few who subscribe to "Post Comments" or "Notify me" when he makes a comment here.

      Oh shit!

      I also like to make amendments to my posts AFTER I've published them.. That means those who subscribed to get new postings by email will be flooded with junk emails from me!

      To those affected, sorli sorli.

    7. Ya, I do check on 'notify me' whenever I make a comment, if that option is available. I thought it'll be responsible to read and reply if necessary the replies to my reply, haha


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...