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Thursday, 21 December 2017

How you know you no longer Bei Kambing?

In Singapore's context, most people will immediately think of certifications, diplomas, awards, etc.

My tavern master recent wrote this interesting reflection:

"Learning the different roads and how to drive from one place to another is like learning a language. If your family do not have a car when you are a child, you can learn to drive in your adulthood, but you will never be able to know how to go from A to B without a GPS."

The words jump right out to me.

We can read his statement on 2 levels.

Less start with the easier one. How to know you no longer a bei kambing?

If you have ever bought furniture from IKEA for the first time, what you do? Read the assembly instructions word for word, line by line right, picture by picture. No?

Even so, you may still give up trying to assemble IKEA furniture yourself! You can't understand the cartoon instructions!!! You pay someone to do it. The assemblers came and put everything together without taking a single glance at the assembly instructions right?

Same with your ah ma who cooks. Can you remember the last time she looked at a recipe book? Even when watching cooking shows on TV, if she sees an new recipe or new cooking procedure, she doesn't rush to write down the recipe flashed on TV right? Ah ma will experiment it on her own and come out with her own interpretation. She makes the new recipe her own!

Yup. This is easy. You know you no longer a bei kambing in whatever task you do when you don't need "for idiots and dummies" GPS support. Wink.

Before you want to argue back, ask yourself how Master of the Universe you feel when a machine tells you to turn right, you turn right? Good boy! Well done! Pat on the head. Woof, woof!

LP is probably smiling as he knew where I'm going next.

Same applies for those who can read between the lines, or 听弦外之音。

That's the reason why "enlightened" parents expose their children early to soft skills (grey and fuzzy) that may have more impact to their future happiness than academic or technical skills (precision up to 2 decimal places).

These soft skills are more intuitive when its part of "play and fun"; less effective if they were for a SMART goal... How the hell you measure happiness!?

For eg, everyone knows children can pickup new languages super fast. Without taking proper lessons some more! They just pick it up on the playground!?

Just look how you envy your colleagues when they can speak a third or fouth language during that business trip to Europe? Yeah, you boss took notice too.

How about drama and dance? If one has no problem acting, singing, and dancing on stage, do you think you child will have a problem with public speaking as an adult? Or making presentations to boss and clients?

On MRT rides, I often like to spot which women had ballet lessons from the way they sit or stand on the train. Elegance and grace.

Same goes with love for reading. If the child reads because he enjoys reading, it will extend to adulthood. Those who track and record how many books they've read in a month or year... How sustainable is it when the focus is on achieving the (meaningless) goal than deriving pleasure from reading?

Then there's appreciation of the Arts and Culture. Of course there the when Limpeh gets rich Limpeh can "buy" Art and Culture nouveau riche way; and there's the smile on our faces when we discover our dates for the evening were not brought up in a cultural desert.

And of course sports! OK, not everyone can be captain of the football or basketball team. Even if we don't talk about out early exposure to leadership skills, there's this thing called getting along and working in a team. I've noticed quite a lot of grown ups have this difficulty... (Those seeking financial freedom to quit?)

If you are reading and taking courses on how to improve EQ as an adult, I think you are missing the point. Its like taking courses on entrepreneurship...

Then its back to the recent discussion about whether trading and investing can be taught?

Of course can! Just like the GPS, people tell you to turn left, you turn left. Easy! But whether having a GPS will make you a competent driver? Hmm...

Let's see how many years of driving before LP will share with us in his annual reflections that he no longer has any need for the GPS!

On this note. I'll put down my naughty pen.

Wishing everyone Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas!

P.S. I think I'll take the opportunity to share with newer readers that quite a few veteran bloggers who started blogging 5 years or more ago were spin-offs from having begun as regualr readers at LP's tavern.

I drink water never forget source one OK?

Any yes, I started from "stealing with pride" too!


  1. I everyday use Google Map and Maps.me. Why? Everyday got new locations and new bus stops. No use GPS can meh. Who memorise all bus stops in Singapore ah?

    1. In fact, for certain locations I have to use two maps to confirm the shorter route.

  2. Hi SMOL,

    To ans your q, probably I will always use GPS haha! But there's a small section in Singapore that I don't have to use gps at all. Even my wife is surprised at how come I know the twist and turns. It's near the place where I stayed! I've taken enough buses and walks to know the different roads inside those private estates, so I don't use a GPS for that :)

    1. LP,

      I think so too!

      You lucky fellow you!

      My travelling time from the point I step out of my home to when I step into my weekend place of work is 1 hour :(


      Its from the Master bedroom to your "study"...

      Not even 1 minute?

      You win liao lor!

      However, since success if what you have to sacrifice to achieve it, the moment you drive out from your estate, you'll be "lost" like blur spider ;)


    2. CW,

      If its a new place we have never been to, of course must use Google maps or ask people the old fashion way.

      But I am sure if you are at your home ground or near your former place of work, you already have "Google maps" in your head!

      I think you new gig suits you! Can exercise and roam around Singapore doing what you enjoy. And getting paid for it is a bonus!

      Now your Ya Kun coffee is "free"!


  3. Hmm... let me try another way...Smol

    U know u no longer Bei Kambing, when u are listen to what people say or do without affecting u. Your boss can be talking down to u, and of course u dun feel happy, but u know she is bullshitting or whether u should reflect. There is inherent confidence that come with beliefs that are not easily shaken.

    Many “elders” can point me to the “better way”, I will listen attentively by decide on my own what I want regardless of their reactions.

    It’s personal mastery..?

    The flip side of it, sometimes it can be bordering cynicism when u see too clearly. U know someone as just a parrot, u know someone as exploiting sheeps who are willingly getting slaughtered, but I am not sure if I should keep quiet or explain (especially if that someone is not close to me, I always let it be)

    1. Sillyinvestor,

      I will quote Shakespeare's Hamlet:

      To be, or not to be - that is the question:
      Whether its nobler in the mind to suffer
      the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune.
      Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,
      and by opposing end them?

      This is why I'm not a bleeding heart; not a bodhisattva...

      I'm an "arhat". The best I can do is point to the exit door.

      Sometimes the best answer is to remain quiet.

      I can't tell dad to stop smoking; I can't tell mom to eat less since she is already so overweight...

      Why? Because I know it does not work. Its like others telling me I "should" get married with the best of intentions. Its still nagging to the person listening :(

      We all have our own karma.

      The best I can do is to keep myself fit and healthy. If people that matter come to me for help, only then can I be of use.

    2. Hi SMOL,

      Wah! Hamlet! Let me join in for festivities’ sake:

      Is this for real? Is this just fantasy? Caught up in cap gains, dilemma in reality.

      Open your eyes, look up to the skies and see, I’m just a nooblet, I need no sympathy, because I’m easy come, easy go, little high, little low, anyway the wind blows doesn’t really matter to me.

      Mama, just locked profits, sold my best golden goose, pulled the trigger and now he’s dead. Mama, life had just begun, but now I’ve gone and thrown my xirr all away.

      Mama, oooh, didn’t mean to make you cry, if I’m not back again this time tomorrow, carry on carry on, as if nothing really matters.

      Too late, I miss the bull, sends shivers down my spine, facepalming all the time. Goodbye, everybody, I’ve got to go, gotta leave you all behind, so sia suay lor.

      Mama, oooh (any way the wind blows), I don’t wanna die, I sometimes wish get bank interest can oredi!

      I see a little silhouetto of a man, Mister Ang*, Mister Ang, will you teach me huat now? Stock market up down very, very frightening me. Mister Ang, Mister Ang, Mister Ang, Mister Ang, Mister Ang really so magnifico

      I’m just a poor noob, market no love me. He’s just a poor noob, from a noob family, spare him his life from this volatility.

      Easy come, easy go, will you let me go?
      Bismillah! No, we will not let you go. (Let him go!)
      Bismillah! We will not let you go. (Let him go!)
      Bismillah! We will not let you go. (Let me go!)
      Will not let you go. (Let me go!)
      Never let you go (Never, never, never, never let me go)
      Oh oh oh oh
      No, no, no, no, no, no, no
      Oh, mama mia, mama mia (Mama mia, let me go.)
      Mammon has greeeeeedd put inside for me, for me, for me.

      So you think you can post xirr and one-up my xirr?
      So you think I dunno how to lock profits and end up go die?
      Oh, baby, can't do this to me, baby,
      Just gotta get out, just gotta get right outta here.

      (Ooooh, ooh yeah, ooh yeah)

      Nothing really matters,
      Anyone can see,
      Nothing really matters,
      Nothing really matters to me.

      Any way the wind blows.

      *Someone once commented that the bleeding heart is like Doraemon. I commented on his blog and asked whether is he surnamed Ang since Doraemon's theme song goes "Ang Ang Ang." XD

    3. Unintelligent Nerd,

      My Goodness!

      Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody masterpiece!?

      I wonder how many of your peers know this song!!!

      Come to think of it, I not even sure most of my peers know this song too!


      Good, good. There's music in your soul.

      Girls dig that sort of thing ;)

      You don't anyhow poke the bleeding heart. His fan boys and girls are legion!

  4. When u know the difference between trying to rationalize failures/what cannot be done and wise acceptance, u no longer kambing

    1. Sillyinvestor,

      And move!

      If the nail you sitting on hurts enough ;)

  5. Hello SMOL,

    No more a bei kambing because fur is dirty and weathered or kena fleeced until skin pink pink show up? :P

    I agree with SI on the quiet confidence part. There is also the non-chalance about what's in, what's hot. No style icon will look into fashion magazines or people's blogs to tell them how to dress. Neither will they ask:

    'Dress like that pretty or not huh?'

    'Can you tell me how to do clash prints? I ownself try, end up like auntie!'

    'Show me your capsule wardrobe can? I want to copy leh.'

    'I've a lot of clothes that like don't quite suit me. What to do huh? Get rid of them like very sayang leh. Maybe one day they become fashionable again. So how? So how?'

    The non-bei kambings will roll eyes and the bei kambings will nod nod nod and put up the hand, me also me also!


    1. Endrene,

      Tell me about it... My hair on top mostly worned out already...

      The price I paid for crashing into too many walls :(

      Pink? The colour of a girl blushing? A girl's pink pink xxxxxxx?

      Konk! A frying pan over my head! Me and my hentai fantasies...

      You lah! Early in the morning say erotic stuff!

      We two Sagittarius are too alike ;)

      We make horrible clique members.

      But we are good company with clique leaders ;)

  6. I may never know if I'm no longer a kambing. The moment I think I'm a wolf...I'd better watch the shadows for a lurking tiger.

    1. Hey! Sipping Coconuts!

      Welcome to this watering hole :)

      I'm guessing you are Mr C, and not Mrs K?

      Free jio her here also?

      I got talk about chick stuffs like emotions and feelings one. Right-brained topics ;)

      Like her, I don't like to talk about numbers... Unless they are 36, 24, 36 ;)

      When it comes to investing and trading, I'm no longer a bei kambing; I'm old mutton ;)

      But I'm bei kambing when it comes to IT stuffs like smart phones, mobile payments, social media like twitter and instagram that sort of thing... Hence I rather pay a bit more at the old Funan than risk getting fleeced at Sim Lim...

      And I'm snake oil myself; yet I'm still intimidated! The snake oils over there are tigers! LOL!

      You and your missus do provide a wonderful counterbalance to our community of old fogeys who are climbing down the mountain.

      Your wife is already ahead of her plans and retired at 32!? Wow!

      You I not so clear... I remember you "plan" to retire at 35 in around 2020ish?

      Look. Its a lot easier for me as a single. Its even "easier" if one spouse works and the other "retires".

      But to have BOTH couples take sabbaticals from work at 35, AND with 2 young children in tow, now that's something else!

      You and your missus are definitely not bei kambings ;)

      I tip my hat towards you both.

    2. Haha, yes I'm Mr.C. Pretty obvious eh?

      Indeed the plan is to retire in the next two years (2019) but depending on the situation at the time, we'll see if another year of work is required.

      Retiring with two kids isn't the easiest. But it's just an additional factor that we'll need to account for. Anyway it balances out with the double earning power vs singles, so as usual you 'win" some and you "lose" some.

    3. Sipping Coconuts,

      Ah! Fantastic!

      Have fun in your journye with family!

      By the way, compliments to your naming of your blog ;)

      "Sipping Coconuts" - the imagery says it all!

      Not bad for a Chartered Accountant ;)

  7. Ya after surviving 3 to 5 BULL/BEAR cycles and thinking this time is difference, U better watch your back.

    Worst then this is if U somehow have become luke warm in the market, but still not willing or can't bear to let go, U maybe worst than BEI KAMING then.

    i am not sure if i am now in this stage.

    Or i am too greedy or too protective of my capital or i want to be a Bei Kaming once more in market. Even in life.

    It can be fun learning all over again.

    Tell me what am i now?

    Bei Kaming, Wolf,or any other animal?

    1. temperament,

      Old mutton?

      LOL! Just kidding!

      The older we get, the smaller our bxxxs become. That's why old men leverage on the talents and time of youths.

      Let youths do the running and fighting for us! For they do not know what cannot be done! (Hence fearless)

      Eh! Not teling you to be a pedophile hor!!!

      To recapture that feeling of "bei kambing", you think why I went back for Conversational Malay lessons and Zen Drumming? Its good to reminded I'm an idiot again!

      Not everything we do must have dollars and cents attached to it ;)

      It's also fun to go out with 18 year olds again, but I'm not sure whether your wife would approve :(


  8. Imagine growing up in a community where every family don't have a car growing up. All your peers drive with gps. Not only you can't drive without gps, you won't even know it's possible until one day you ventured way out of your community, by accident or by choice, and see it done nonchalantly. That mental shock is priceless.

    As for bei kambing...I agree that at some point cycnicyism/quiet confidence seems to creep in as one ages. Don't really care...white sheep black sheep, wolf tiger or shark. Don't matter. You see that bald ahpek in singlet, checker shorts and "japanese slippers" sipping coffee at his favorite stall, he's quietly confident in his fashion sense.

    1. krz md,

      That same ah peck with "holey" singlet may walk into the Mercedes showroom and just buy the latest coupe model for his favourite grandson with cash!

      And pay in full! Who needs instalment?

      I've been humbled and embarrased for "looking customers no up" before.

      It does take effort and much cultivation to not judge a person through outer appearances...

      I still have much that work remains to be done in this area...

    2. SMOL,

      Life is full of surprise. The seemingly resembled poor chap is actually a rich man. It pays not to judge a book by its cover.


    3. Ben,

      Yes, I'm working on it...

      Not easy to see beyond appearances :(

  9. Hmm.. hmmm

    The day I charge $x,XXX for people to come and happily listen to what I say. I am no bei kambing. 100% confident

    1. CW,

      Then you definitely not bei kambing or old mutton!

      Tigers and lions I have lots of respect. They've already show hand. Its more a case of willing buyer; willing seller.

      Wolves in sheepskins I've zero respect. Pretend to be sheep's friend and neighbour, then go milk and fleece them. Shame!

      But they are not the worst.

      The worst are those bei kambings that know a little but think they know everything just because they made a little money...

      Go recruit their love ones and friends. When shit hits the fan, they cry they didn't know!

      Hokkiens say smart can oredi; no need to fake smart...

  10. Halo... Bei kambing report here!!!

    Merry Christmas to all here :)

  11. In trading/investing, my idea of someone who has progressed beyond Bei Kambing will be able to take in inputs from sincere experts, integrate the parts that what works for him personally and reject the parts that works for others but not for him. He will be able to smell who are the sincere, genuine experts and those who merely talk like experts but are actually suckers to Mr Market. A dead giveaway of a Bei Kambing is someone who asks directly for stock tips on what to buy and when to sell. It may work sometimes if he is lucky but he is better off with passive investing in index ETFs/funds over the long-term.

    Merry Christmas!

    1. hyom hyom,

      We can be both old mutton and bei kambing at the same time

      Someone skilled in investing in stocks can be super blur when it comes to bitcoins...

      And that's me!

      Knowing I'm bei kambing when it comes to cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology, I'll stay clear of those "everything you need to know about bitcoins in 1 minute" kind of dumbing down articles...

      Especially summaries on summaries on summaries kind!

      Its counter-intuitive.

      Its like reading a "finance for dummies" book and thinking you know as much as those who studied business finance for 3-4 years in uni!?

      Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas!

  12. Hi Jared,

    If a person is a bei kambing and knows he is a bei kambing in certain products, that is enlightenment. In trading/investing, that is a big time saver and money saver.

    To be honest, I do not have the balls to trade bitcoin. It can fall 20% within a day. Imagine someone trading leveraged bitcoin futures last week. Futures keep halting due to limit-down. Even popular bitcoin exchanges like coinbase halted trading due to massive panic selling. The wait to get out will be a torture. Don't say only I scared. I think even the broker will be scared.

    1. hyom hyom,

      With "conservative" 10:1 leverage in futures, a mere 10% decline in prices will wipe out our trading accounts.

      Game over in a day? Well, that escalated quickly!

      But if the reverse happened, then a mere 10% increase in price will result in us doubling our trading accounts :)

      2 bagger in one day. Power!

      How many got REAL conviction in bitcoins to show hand with hundreds of thousands in?

      A lot I see are sexy in percentages. But in money terms? Its just a few thousands here, a few thousands there. And they don't use leverage.

      Some old fogeys with millions in CPF will already beat that in money terms.

      Its Christams!

      After poking old fogeys, must sayang sayang them a bit lah!


      (Psst. I still side with youths)


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