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Tuesday, 4 October 2016

How to verify "wah kali kong" advice

Proud declaration: I never practice cut-loss!

Verify: You got any 10 baggers in your portfolio before?

No? Walk away...

Smug face: I measure and track my portfolio right down to 2 decimal places.

Verify: Your portfolio in the red or black?

Red? Walk away...

Snake-oil: The future of trading is automated trading!

Verify: How many copies of your software have you sold to institutions?

Only to retail traders? Walk away...

Parrot: Buy and hold long term investing is the one and only true path!

Verify: When did you start investing?

Last month? Walk away...


  1. Speculator: I can read mind

    Verify: Why do you still write blog to promote yourself?

  2. CW and Yaruzi,

    I often hear and read we should increase the financial literacy of Singaporeans... Blah, blah, blah...

    It's my passion this, my mission in life that. Say until got dragons; got phoenixes. If we peel back the curtains, we often see a hat waiting to be passed for collections...

    All we need is to encourage people to think for themselves.

    Our own lives, our own paths, our own pace.

    1. LOL @ It's my passion this, my mission in life that. Say until got dragons; got phoenixes. If we peel back the curtains, we often see a hat waiting to be passed for collections...

      I think the fundamental issue here is that newbie retail investors are uncertain as to whether they could "get it right" on their own. Hence, they are susceptible to transferring thought ownership to "gurus."

    2. haizz of course say such niceties lor
      i want to help others etc
      say till so nice eventually will ask for small token
      part of marketing strategy ...

    3. Unintelligent Nerd,

      And that's where thinking for oneself comes in.

      How can one be a shepherd (professional manager) if you need to be told what to do?

      How can one be a landowner if you can't inspire (yang positive) or manipulate (yin negative) others to work for you?

      There's a difference between blindly following and taking counsel.

      I don't think EVERYONE is suitable to be investing or trading for their retirement.

      Hence I never exhort others to do so.

      Think of our hobbies or favourite past times. We never took any courses or seminars. Why is it we can be competent in what we do and be very knowledgeable?

      That means those newbie retail investors just want the money; not interested in the craftsmanship.

      Snake-oils know this. And they exploit it.

      If we interested in the craftsmanship of investing or trading, the questions we seek will be different ;)

    4. Jimmy,

      There are free clinics and hospitals.

      Where are the free workshops and seminars that are not course previews in disguise?

      But there's hope.

      Insurance there's big daddy "encouraged" website to buy low cost Life insurance policies online - that means policies and riders not listed there are good to have; not must have ;)

      And HDB got free workshops on how to do our own HDB resale buying and selling DIY without property agents.

      Maybe one day there will be free Coursera like online investment/trading courses? SGX, here's looking at you?

      Must say CPF doing better with its communications in recent years ;)

    5. I like your term "craftsmanship." :)

      Regarding hobbies/past times, I may have to politely disagree with you. To become better at some hobbies, it may be good to sit under the tutelage of someone experienced and learn directly from them (*Ahem*my favourite financial bloggers*ahem*). Of course this does not apply to all hobbies, but only for some.

      Not sure whether is this relevant, but on a macro scale, people are outsourcing their lives. Investment? Depend on investment guru. Insurance? Depend on insurance agent. Property? Depend on property agent. As people get further away from the tasks, they become less skilled and experienced to navigate the minutiae underlying those tasks. Then when they encounter problems, they start to point finger at the middle men -__-"

      Oh! And there are multiple investment/trading specializations on Coursera liao!! But after taking a lot of Coursera courses (for both career advancement as well as for pleasure), I realized that I have to be discerning with the courses I take.

      Maybe there could be "Coursera agents" to tell Coursera students what courses are worth taking? XD

    6. Unintelligent Nerd,

      Great! Our first disagreement ;)

      Its hard to sustain a conversation when all the other party does is, "Yalor, yalor". LOL!

      My hobbies, past times, and sports are all self taught or learn by doing.

      I guess if one has the money, we can fly ourselves to France for cooking lessons like that attas civil servant, instead of us experimenting DIY style in our own kitchens ;)

      I can write a post on outsourcing - land owners' outsourcing is not the same as sheep's outsourcing.

      That's why I said "Coursera like" ;)

      Ah! When we have reached the stage where we can DISCERN which course is good, which is bad, congratulations!

      You are no longer ranked as "Bei Kambing"!

  3. trader: i can earn big bucks trading at a holiday resort, wearing bermudas and sipping cocktail
    verify: where are you now?
    in a classroom teaching others how to trade? walk away ...

    1. Jimmy,

      Good one!

      How many Singaporeans and new graduates want to work in jobs that require shift work and working during weekends?

      Where got work/life balance you ask?

      Either the money must be so good, or their financials so bad that "gurus" have to burn their evenings and weekends in order to help you achieve your dreams...

    2. 'successful' traders painted such good pictures driving beautiful sports car, living in big houses and hugging pretty super models. it can be so sexy

      this is a very good psycho effect and people wanted to be like them but didnt know how few and how much sweat it takes to be like that or is it just an illusion only?

    3. Can you spare one cup of coffee at Ya Kun or ToastBox for investment strategy talk? Free TCM clinic style?

    4. Jimmy,

      People don't pause and think, "If they so good, why aren't they trading for Goldman Sachs or Morgan Stanley?

      Surely hedge funds and other proprietary trading houses must be looking to recruit talents into their organisations. No?

      No one made these self-styled traders offers they can't refuse?

      Go figure!

    5. CW,

      This is the 2nd time you are "begging" for kopi at my watering hole.

      Eh. Do it at your own watering hole.

      Although I'm a manwhore, I'm like big daddy - no begging in our streets!

      When I say I'll do anything for a drink, I'm saying it as a pre-condition ;)


  4. Hi SMOL,

    Grasshopper: I want to encourage others to do independent thinking!

    Verify: U got ask leading questions to lead people towards a conclusion? Got. Then walk away...


    1. LP,

      You almost had me there!

      Bloody hell. Got me worried I've been walking around naked...

      Then I looked down. I got wear underwear lah!



  5. Hahaha Smol

    Creative yet naughty, as usual, i like ;)

    In this world, 99% are illussions and lies. The rest of the 1% is what you want to believe in.

    1. B,

      Market very boring.

      So got loads of free time to do my "nonsense".

      Must exercise my mind.

      If only blogging can also burn calories!

  6. Once I trusted one "Guru" as he wrote a book on How To Make Millions; but just one close encounter with face to face and his actions. Nothing but illusion is the truth behind the smiling face on some time appearing on newspaper ads.

    Agreed: Quote "In this world, 99% are illusions and lies. The rest of the 1% is what you want to believe in."

    1. CW,

      How to make millions?

      Starting with a billion will be a good start!

      1% return on 1 billion is 10 million :)


  7. SMOL,

    Let me try. Let me try.

    Ant: To be a millionaire, you need to work hard and save harder.

    Verify: What! It is going to take a life time. Some more no one to verify. Walk away...

    1. Blursotong King,

      Orrrr! You die!

      Its safer to poke grasshoppers for we are solitary (unless you meet our cousins - the locusts) and fewer in numbers.

      Ants are LEGION.

      If they swarm you, don't say you know me!

  8. if you need to verify, then i think you probably should'nt be in this business.

    1. coconut,

      Spoken like a true veteran trader!

      Readers may think I'm "harsh".

      Compared to the eagle pros, I'm just a "dove" ;)

      Wait till you meet them in the markets; and you find them on opposite side of your trades!

    2. somehow i feel strongly i can tell by listening to that person, whether he can or cannot, true or false, especially in the field of trading, no need to verify at all!

      i know what i'm talking about, so i apply it to other field as well. trading is very very tough, if you are not an expert, you don't stand a single chance to even survive yet alone making a living out from it.

    3. coconut,

      Trading pros like you must be either shaking or laughing your heads off when you read or watch the videos of some of our self styled trading "gurus"...

      So far, there's only one local trainer who constantly tell his students that trading is HARD and not all students may make it.

      At least this one "more" genuine.

      Life is fair.

      Great traders may not be know how to coach others.

      Good trainers may not be proficient traders.

      To be a great trader and trainer, now that's a super rare combination!!!

      You think institutions won't be poaching him to train their own prop traders?

      Where got so "sad" relegated to training "retail"?

    4. Trading pros like you must be either shaking or laughing your heads off when you read or watch the videos of some of our self styled trading "gurus"...

      more like piss off, telling all the lies to the untrained eyes. trading is 10% methodlogy and 90% mental, how to teach a person brain?

      i now believe that trading cannot be taught, good trader are born with it and need to learn and work hard, bad trader however, cannot become good in a million years!

    5. Hi coconut,
      Is your definition of trading only for day and trend trading only?
      How about B & H & S & B & H & S & ......?
      Is this trading too?

      But i agree some people are not suitable to be in the stock market, no matter what.
      i have seen many of them, regardless of IQ.

    6. coconut,

      I read some of the trading pros in US hire psychologists to help them in their mental game.

      Just like Olympic sports team will engage psychologists or motivational experts to help their athletes overcome their mental barriers.

      Its a pity pro traders don't like to blog. Missed the blog posts of ladykiller and Fat...

  9. Smol,

    How do you differentiate between snake oil, and someone trying to do a sale? Or they simply overlap?

    It is true that I want to sell your something, I have to promote it. Create demand.

    Guess snake oils are not honest? But how do u sell by being honest?

    If everyone is smart, they eat grass? Even Apple need marketing, no?

    1. Sillyinvestor,

      Yes, the whole idea of consumerism is to sell combs to monks and ice to Eskimos ;)

      You tell me. Checkout our 5,000 years of collective wisdom:


      Of course they are great companies with wonderful values out there. They do treat their customers right.

      Just like investing, it is we - the consumers - that have to seek these wonderful companies out ;)

    2. Hi guys,

      I'm always debating with myself to see if I'm too manipulative in my 'sales'. Teaching is also part sales and part motivation too. After years of deliberating on this, my conclusion is that if you're a good salesman, you are manipulating opinions to benefit others. If you're a snake oil peddler, you're manipulating opinions to benefit yourself. The sales, motivation and persuasion techniques is just a tool. It's how you use the tool that differentiates you haha

    3. LP,

      To balance out the disgust with myself (yes, sometimes I can't stand my own bullshit); I'll do the Robin Hood thing ;)

  10. Snake oil sell lemons, salespersons sell real products?

    Snake oil say all cows produce waigu beef, salesperson sell beef as beef?

    Does all the variations of milk powders for baby really make a difference when compared to the increase in price? Or is all the enhanced formula for the eyes or DNa just an excuse to sell higher and parents will still buy?

    Snake oil manufacturers? Anyone?

    1. Sillyinvestor,,

      You think too much! LOL!

      It's not the product or service.

      It's the mindset of the salesperson:

      Do I treat my customers as "idiots"? Someone whom I can manipulate and profit from?

      No need to look far. Remember those "friends" who so nice to share "great opportunities" with you without telling you they make a cut of the profits if you buy or join their MLM scheme?

      Sales is hunter profession.

      Just look at the "scandals" from the banking industry in recent times.

      How about black sheep doctors who prescribe "extra" tests to unsuspecting patients?

      Never ask a fishmonger whether his fish is fresh!

      (Its better we learn to tell whether fish is fresh or not ourselves)

  11. Hi SMOL,

    As it is the World likes very much to think for you, especially the Gs and Businesses, ... etc...

    If you can really think for yourself without any outside influences, congratulations!

    If you can't think for yourself, you have no business in the stock market.

    1. temperament,

      One would think that's a given but sadly, common sense is not so common as one thought...

  12. "Great traders may not be know how to coach others.

    Good trainers may not be proficient traders.

    To be a great trader and trainer, now that's a super rare combination!!!"

    This one damn true! In university like that one:

    Professors who are good researchers may not know how to teach students.

    Professors who know how to teach students may not be good researchers.

    Rare is it that you can find one who can research and can teach and love doing both!

    1. Unintelligent Nerd,

      I must thank blogging for giving me the opportunity to engage with educated people like you and many others.

      Without this platform, how would our paths meet?

      Humbled and in gratitude; thanks for your engagement!

    2. We all learn from each other. Everyone brings their unique experiences to the table. :)


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