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Monday, 20 November 2017

Gullible customers I meet every weekend

"Which brand is the most popular?"

"Can you recommend a good brand to me?"

Now that's an easy tell! 

It's like flashing a big neon sign above their heads, "I'm a bei kambing. Come fleece and milk me!"

They are probably the same customers who judge which hawker food to try by the length of the queue in front of the stall. Wink. 

If you were lucky, you'll meet a snake oil like me who wears the white hat. Then I'll try to salvage the situation with consultative selling.

But it'll only work if the customer is willing to make a decision for themselves. 

Its no secret I have little patience for stupid people. So I'll let these "need to be told what to think, what to do" white little lambs go...

Knowing full well they're the favourite prey of choice for my other promoter peers who wear the black hat...

What to do?

I must keep my competitor promoters "busy" and satiated so they'll "release" those "diffcult" (intelligent and/or street smart) customers to me mah!

Its more intellectually stimulating serving customers who know what they want and have done their prior homework.

I do enjoy the 15-20 minutes of "foreplay" the most!

Especially when customers (who are shepherds or landowners themselves) challenge me and I help them discover their blindspots...  

Now that's work satisfaction!

In the investing and trading arena, we get the same:

"What stocks to buy?"

"At this price can enter or not?"

If you're lucky, you get a bleeding heart who will patiently explain and coddle you; but leaves the final decision making to you - which leaves you frustrated as there's no clear, concrete, black and white answer.

So you go to the snake oil who is ever so helpful - tells you what stock to buy, at what price to buy and at what precise price to sell.

See? It wasn't so hard right? All for a small fee in wool and milk only...

If all you do is to follow the backsides of other zebras (inside joke to regular readers who have heard my zebra story), do you think after 10 years you'll be still asking others what stocks to buy and at what price to enter?

Like that might as well hire shepherds to invest (mutual and hedge funds) or trade (managed accounts) for you?

Or adopt passive investing (cough, cough)?

Won't this free up your time for other more interesting pursuits in life?

Its quite evident you are not into the craftsmanship of investing/trading anyway...

Why ownself bluff ownself?


  1. Walau. For two food stalls selling same food, one long got long queue and one no queue. You go for no queue stall. I must give you absolute respect!

    1. CW,

      To decide which food stall sells better tasting food, I'll only know AFTER tasting it for myself FIRST.

      I'm just pointing out your "good" food finding style is no different from other "bei kambing" investors - relying on the herd or group... What's good the for majority must be good for me too! LOL!

      Its like meeting DIY backpackers during my hostel stays, and noticing they follow a guide book or blog for their itineraries completely!?

      Like that what's the differnce from taking a guided tour?

      True DIY backpackers or foodie will try things out for themselves and write about their experiences for others to "follow them" ;)

      When was the last time you heard famous food bloggers say they tried this so and so eating place due to some other food critic's recommendation and they liked it too?

      People generally don't like to try new things and experiences. Or do the work themselves. Risk adverse and lazy.

      Hence they need "shepherds" to guide them. Some even to the extent of asking what size shoes they should wear!? Don't laugh!

      Shepherds are the ones who try new eateries, walk off the trodden path, discover lots of lemons and bad experiences, but once in while, they'll discover hidden gems ;)

      Remember what we tell bei kambings how to discover 10 baggers?

      By discovering 99 other stocks that aren't!


      P.S. Is your multiple taps solution one you have developed and custom-built over several market cycles yourself, or you just simply copy paste from some books/blogs you've read?

      Hee, hee.

    2. Hehehe. At times, I recommend "certain eateries". Food very delicious lah!

    3. Unintellifent Nerd,

      That makes you an Opinion Leader ;)

      Sometimes I laugh at Singaporeans who queue up at Michelin star hawker food stalls.

      I mean for foreign tourists that didn't know better, that's one thing. But in our own backyard we need "ang moh" to tell us which hawker stalls are good???

      Face-palm fail.

    4. On a contrary, I'd actually love to try the food myself. And realize that there is actually a hidden gem here!

      I may love this taste whereas, when I recommend it to others, they may not feel the same way :)

      Given another choice, I'd prefer to cook myself. In that case, I'll be able to choose what I'd love to eat, cook what I love to eat. The 2 best part is - I'd get to agar what flavor, how spicy how salty the food will go today. And, the satisfaction of it, is priceless.

    5. sleepydevil,

      What's stopping you from trying hawker stalls anywhere in Singapore without the Michelin stars yourself?

      You not confident enough to recommend less well known hawker stall gems to others without the "backing" of a Michelin star?

      Who says this hawker stall is good?

      Not I say one hor!

      Michelin star says so!

      Every well known hawker stall has to start from unknown until some famous food critic or blogger says so ;)

      Some "prostitute" food critics/bloggers will say something ncie just as long they are paid to.

      Those food critics/bloggers with honour and respect their craft simply just love trying every new hawker stall they come across.

      No try how to know?

    6. There are some differences between picking food stalls and picking stocks. When picking food stalls, I will follow CW and choose the long-queue stall. The price of the char kuey tiao will remain at $2.50 for the first person in the queue as well as for the last one. For stocks, the first person in the queue will get a much cheaper price than the last one in the queue. When choosing stocks, it pays to be contrarian. When choosing food stalls, I'd prefer to play safe and defer to the wisdom of the crowd.

      No matter what, I must thank heroes like Jared who insist on trying out the no-queue food store. If you get stomach ache because the food is not fresh or dirty, please warn us. Thank you very much! LOL.

      Of course, I hope you will uncover gems thanks to your bravery. As for me, I'd take risks with money but not stuff that I put inside my mouth.

    7. hyom hyom,

      Ah! You are the smarter one!

      You don't sweat the small stuffs.

      You reserve your brain power for things that truely matters!

      I think I lose money like mad...

      Bloody hell, my comments are longer than my orignal blog post.

      Maybe I should monkey see monkey do and recycle my comments into new blog posts?


      Idiot! And I'm thirsty after talking so much :(

    8. Hi Jared,

      I have seen many 100-line blog posts with zero comments. However, there is only one blog that can do 1-liner blog post but generate more than 100 comments.

      Your dessert is much more and taste better than the main course. You've got unique style!

    9. hyom hyom,

      That was fun! Wasn't it?

      I like to experiment with different writing styles and techniques :)

      Some posts bomb big time! But some turned out to be total surprises!

      Like the recent 97% Will Fail This Test post ;)

      I guess being unique and different can come mighty handy at times :)

  2. "Which brand is the most popular?"

    "Can you recommend me a good brand to me?"


    No absolute hoh.

    If i am going to buy a 4K TV now(don't forget i am a technical person) i will ask the sale personal who specialised on TV too.

    But most probably at least i have done some home work on the INT.

    Still nothing can compare to seeing the real comparisons of the TVs on the spot. It's very difficult to compare by words or even your memorised pictures.

    And the inputs of the sale-man is very important.

    Of course being a techie myself, i will know whether the sale-man is talking "male chicken" or not.

    But U can always trust "What U See Is What U Get".

    The only problem is what u are willing to pay for U see or not?

    So in investments it's also good to have a view different from us because of our "Confirmation Bias."

    In fact, if i am interested in a IPO, i will read as many people's views as possible.

    Then for better for worse, i come to my own conclusion,to subscribe or not.

    Not every Bei Kaming ask with their ears and eyes closed U know.

    1. temperament,

      You do your homework firt, use the salesman's input as part of your fact finding process, and come to your own conclusion.

      Well, you're the type of customer I prefer to serve ;)

      So what's the issue here?


      "Salesman" input is very important?

      You mean you give extra weight to sell-side analysts reports?

      Gee. I wonder why mutual and hedge funds hire their own buy-side analysts for what? When they can get "free" research from their brokers!?

      You have technical background but never mix with your sales colleagues?

      1. Do you know the majority of "sales staff" at major electronics and home appliances retailers are promoters provided by the vendors?

      When you ask what brands to buy to a sales staff (whom you thought is neutral) but is hired by Brand X, what do you think he'll say? LOL!

      2. "What U See Is What U Get"? You really didn't know the dirty tricks used by promoters selling TVs in the past?

      OK, I share the past illegal tricks that are no longer practiced so I won't get into trouble with current peers:

      If a customer comes in and enquire about Brand X, and I want to "wash" you into buying Brand Y, its just a simple matter of using 2 different video tapes/VCD/DVD/video or sound cables - wah la!

      Brand X colours will look muted, less clear, and sound no oomph. Brand Y what you think?

      Sim Lim prices are cheaper. Of course great if we know what we are buying and ignore the salesperson's input.

      Bei kambings go there and ask what shoud they buy will sure get fleeced one! Hence the many complaints.

      I always tell my less IT savvy overseas colleagues visiting Singapore to shop at the former Funan instead. Pay a bit more but at least they won't get cheated so hard...


    2. Ha! Ha!

      U have just forget i say i am a TECH too.

      Also some Bei Kambings with common-sense or presence of mind will know U must compare apple to apple and never apple to orange leh, anytime of the day, anywhere.

      Really like i say not all Bei Kamings are the same even though they might ask U the same questions.

    3. temperament,

      I am glad you are playing your 相声 part ;)

      The gist or essence of my post is HOW we arrive at our buying decisions.

      Your bone to pick is, "Cannot ask what brands to buy meh?"


      P.S. You know I like you right? If you thirty and in the Queenstown area, just jio me out for coffee. I'll buy!

    4. It's the same as U said U must taste the food 1st before coming to conclusion as one's man meat is another poison.

      But i bet 10 to 1 U most probably will taste the food where there is a long queue because the crowd is actually right most of the time.

      Same as the stock markets.

      The crowd (the market) is right most of the time except during the time of Fat tails.

    5. Don't entice me with your free KOPI.

      i am not what U think i am(KK)

      i am afraid i can not think as fast U on the spot.

      By face to face U may be disappointed lol.

      Besides by remaining anonymous, i feel i am more free to express myself, anytime.

    6. Never says never lol in anything as our experiences in the stock market conditioned us.

      U are just like my wife's younger sister can make friend with anyone on the spot.

      Me U know lah, not so easy from young.

      Now Lau Kwai Wok already.

      And my friends are just like me - Kwai Kwai one.

    7. temperament,

      You have just lost your bet. So sorry. Coffee is back on you then! 10 cups OK?


      I hate waiting in line to pay for anything. I never join the long queues at hawker centres.

      I just buy from the one with the no queue :)

      No good next time don't buy. Good I'll buy again. Crash got sound :)

      Eh, its just hawker food lah!

      When it comes to my few core stocks holdings, I am glad they are very different from the many bloggers out there. Phew!

      There's a reason why readers like to read blog posts on stock holdings, recent buys and sells from their favourite bloggers.

      And you know why it is.

      Hence I don't do it ;)


      There's a reason why I respect passive investors like Andy and Kevin, even though I find passive investing an insult to me!

      I'm doing investing full time remember? Where got people do passive investing full time!!!??? LOL!

      Contrast this to the many so called part time "DIY" active retail investors who are merely more into monkey see, monkey do...

      I wonder why Andy and Kevin still comment here even though I'll poke passive investing every chance I got?

      Maybe I'm an acquired taste?

      You so very de rude!

      Lump me together with "others"...

      I don't friend you liao!

      Ha ha!

    8. temperament,

      Don't worry. I respect your privacy. We are all different ;)

      The reason you are still here despite my poking at you is testament we don't take what we say too seriously at this watering hole.

      We are who we are. No one is changing anyone over here.

      If we can laugh at ourselves, that's a sign we are confident and proud of who we are, where we came from. We have no emotional baggage to hide.

      Anyone who crumbles at the first poke or disagreement, well, that will be the last we'll see of them :)

      Someone did commented that I poke my readers a lot. Even those who agreed with me!? LOL!

      Well, how else to grow stronger myself?

      I don't think mixing exclusively with those weaker than me will help...

      So please don't hit the face!

  3. Smol,

    I know u doing a metaphor. But I am
    A happy bei kamping. I ask those questions u said. Within my budget, and service friendly, I buy.

    It’s ok I pay 10-20% more. Bite me.


    1. Sillyinvestor!

      Who knew the person whom I've poked the most viciously in cybespace understood me crystal!?

      Those customers who appreciate my services are willing to pay FULL retail prices.

      They understand the concept of TIP - To Insure Performance. That's why I hinted "shepherds" and "land owners".

      Do that! Like you, I rather pay for performance than nickle and dime every purchase I make.

      The next time we go back we enjoy the VIP treatment we get ;)

      Its nice when salespersos remember our names, isn't it?

      Of course, TIP is different from getting fleeced or having our carrot heads chopped!

    2. Aiyo this SI ah. Heng this watering hole no vampire. Always "bite me", "bite me."

      If got vampire, I sell you my silver bullion okay? :P

    3. Unintelligent Nerd,

      He trying to bait "suckers" into biting him ;)

      Hey! We all got our own fetishes.

      I'm into leather and lace; so I won't judge ;)

      But as a teacher, won't it be embarassing showing up in class with all the love bite marks?

  4. I hate to queue for food too. When I queue, it’s because I am fulfilling orders for others.

    When my friends queue, I ask, can buy for me too? Muahahha

    I am a pest.

    1. Sillyinvestor,

      I think you, LP, and me count costs in "time" ;)

      Eh? I often tell my colleagues I don't buy lunch for others. I'm immune to "pests" like you!

      I anti-social or what!?

      But I know some of my colleagues wished they had my courage to say no to pests like you too!


    2. You don't buy lunch?

      You can buy kopi?

    3. CW,

      I don't "da bao" lunch for others. All of sudden pretend not to understand Singlish?

      As I recall, each time we met, I'm the one who "bought" kopi ;)

      I where got dare ask senior citizen to pay?


  5. Eh... the catch is whether the guru that recommend stall-very-popular (purported to have long lunch queue) got go and queue there himself or not. Haha.

    1. Rainbow girl,

      The "food blogger/critic" that recommends a stall that already well known with long queues is more probably a "parrot" or wannabe...

      There will always be the "first" blogger/critic that started the ball rolling by recommending a stall that's well known by patrons staying in the area but "unknown" to others staying outside ;)

      We all have our favourite Chicken rice stall that we patronise often.

      I can bet its not that famous one at Maxell Road. That's for tourists.

      When we have overseas friends who wanted to try our famous Chicken rice, what do we do?

      Those minority who are confident and self assured in their own taste buds will bring their overseas friend to their favourite Chicken rice stall - never mind if the stall is relatively "unknown".

      The majority without convictions will simply bring their overseas friends to Maxell market. Well, other people say that popular stall good mah!

      And that's the behaviour of most retail investors...

      Same same when it comes to fashion for girls ;)


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