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Tuesday, 30 January 2018

It's OK










Sunday, 28 January 2018

Why you strive so hard?


Some of my competitor promoters don't like me.

They knew as a part-timer, I'm paid an hourly rate; no sales commissions.

Quite a few are baffled why I'm so "energetic and robust" when it comes to serving customers?

Why I just don't let the sales go to those who depend on commissions instead? 

Sounds familiar? That's why socialism should not be taken to the extreme where people don't take responsibility for themselves anymore...


Some of the "weaker" and "low ethics" ones, seeing I'm good at what I do, even offer me "private commissions" if I sell their products or brands! (They share part of their sales commissions to me)

Travel or food bloggers anyone? Just sponsor my rooms and meals and I'll sing and dance for you!

(Wait. That includes me! I'll do anything for a drink, remember?)


Let's just say I belong to the upper band of promoters who can sell.

Yes, there's a pecking order in your company. Don't pretend! And in school too! Its everywhere!

I've a 2 years sales record to back it up. Its not self delusional "ah Q" me pretending.

You'll be surprised how many people think they are No.1, but to their peers, bosses, and HR, that's another story... Some just don't have self awareness on themselves.


There's this younger 30 plus male promoter in my product category. He is at best "average". Nice guy though. I like him. So where I can help, I help - without telling him what to do.

He knew I don't need the money. So why do I still want to risk "upsetting" other full time promoters who can't stand the sight of a part-timer beating them? 

I told him:


Thoughts lead to actions

Action lead to habits

Habits become your character

Character determines destiny



How much he can absorb its up to him. 

Like many "average" performers out there, he is using the "excuse" of being agreeable to avoid striving to live up to his full potential.

Of course the other promoters don't give him grief. He's not a threat; not a competitor. He's almost transparent.

Big tree attract wind.






Friday, 26 January 2018

不要想太多










Tuesday, 23 January 2018

Everyone must invest! Really?



Sounds like a person who only knows how to use a hammer right?

Its the same sort of "well meaning" advice to study hard and work hard right? How did that work out for you?

The classic misreading is Rich Dad Poor Dad.

Many will say this book was - the inspiration, the catalyst - for them to begin their journeys towards financial freedom.

But isn't the whole book was about the benefits of being a Business Owner?

Everyone knows to be fabulously rich you must start our own business and be your own boss. So why didn't you start your own business?

Sorry, what did you just murmur to yourself?

Not everyone can be an entrepreneur...


Exactly!

Why then do you assume anyone and everyone can be an investor?

No offense, but those jobs where anyone and everyone can do, you know how much they are paid right?

And if you job pays well, you know its precisely NOT anyone and everyone can do it!



Sorry, I can't tell you what other paths are good for you. Only you know which would suit you best!

I not you; you not me.

What I know is if you ask a hammer for advice, they will treat you as nail - hammer you down patronizingly.

And if you ask a screwdriver, they'll screw with you!






Sunday, 21 January 2018

Chiang Mai Jan 2018 - Reflections


The world is getting smaller.

Morning I am in Chiang Mai, afternoon I would be back in Singapore.

Back at work yesterday, it felt as if I've not left Singapore Monday to Friday...


My first time in Chiang Mai.

I've always been curious why so many Westerners like to "retire" there.


Now I know - from first hand verification for myself.


5 days 4 nights is too short, but first impression is still first impression.

You know what?

I prefer Bangkok.

LOL!


Its another confirmation I'm a cityboy. 

And not just any city...

My favourite city outside of Singapore is Hong Kong. 

Shanghai and Tokyo would come pretty close next.

Yup, I do prefer cosmopolitan cities!

Modern, crowded, and expensive.


Short term stays at laidback villages or 2nd tier cities could be interesting... You know, to relax and recalibrate. 

However, if you asked me to stay for more than 1 month, then it would no longer feel like holiday... More like banishment or exile!?


Oh well... 

Its good to know in advance. 

Although I have a citizen of the world mindset, the idea of me arbitraging on the lower cost of living standards between Singapore and other cities would be pretty slim...

All things being equal, I would probably have to pay more if and when I relocate!








Friday, 19 January 2018

Chiang Mai Jan 2018 - My Favourite Pic


Taking candid shots of people involve both skill and luck.

Got skill, no luck - no candid shots.

Got luck, no skill - the moment would pass as you fumble with the technical aspects...


This is my favourite shot for the trip!





There's a technique called "bracketing" in photography.

Veteran traders out there will know what I mean. Wink.






Thursday, 18 January 2018

Chiang Mai Jan 2018 - Colours and Patterns


Since I paint with light, here's a sample of my catch so far:













Wednesday, 17 January 2018

Chiang Mai Jan 2018 - This what big daddy don't want in Singapore






I feel for the common folk who wanted to buy an economical Honda cub in Singapore for work... I mean the COE as a percentage of the total cost is ridiculous!

The irony is the professional who buys a Harley for aspirational reasons just looks at the COE price tag with a shrug.

Once you have visited Taipei, Ho Chin Minh City, and most South East Asian cities, you would understand why.

I have no complaints here.


For the sake of consistency, I don't know about you, but I do hope we don't let the idiot rental bikes get out of hand in Singapore... I mean its such an eye sore with all that indiscriminate parking. 






Talking about rental bikes, I was so surprised to see them here in Chiang Mai!

Don't worry. They are a completely failure here when we can rent a scooter for a song!  

And just when I was going to write that I've yet to see anyone riding the above bikes, I just saw 2 Mainland Chinese girls riding them...  

Want to make a bet where you think these 2 girls will leave the bikes?

Thankfully for the residents of Chiang Mai, these 2 Mainland Chinese girls are the outliers.





Tuesday, 16 January 2018

Chiang Mai Jan 2018 - Roadside Eating


Arrived at Chiang Mai, Thailand last evening around 5:00 pm.

Staying at this hostel near the old Southern City gate:




Yes, I got a bunk bed in a 12 people room. In case you were wondering, 300 baht is around SGD12.00 per night. 





The "bosses" are all so young!? This one is the elder brother who runs the restaurant outside the hostel. The younger brother is handling the hostel check-in, check-out.

Must be a family business thingy.



I staying on the 2nd level. 




Went out for a stroll and to dinner.

Raise hand how many of you young enough to remember Singapore had telephone wires above ground just outside your HDB flats like the picture above?

We take it from granted. I was amazed advanced cities like Taipei and Tokyo still have these wires all over some of their residence areas...






What luck! Stumbled onto a night market selling roadside food!












Its been ages since I've eaten by the roadside. Of course at night can't see the car fumes so easier to pretend and forget. The locals come in their scooters to "da bao" and zoomed away. 





Nice colours of dusk. I pretend its a phoenix; not a man that farts jet fumes out of his....




I do miss roadside eating in Singapore. Last time young did that a lot in Chinatown before it was "sanitised".

Now I can only think of two roadside eating places in Singapore:

1) Satay club at the Lau Pa Sat. Have not eaten there though...

2) The artificial eating street at Chinatown that's aimed at tourists? How many locals you find eating there? Who ate there before? 


I have a standing joke with my elder sibling. We noticed at the old Chinatown roadside eating places, the pushcart hawkers only have 2 wash basins to wash the dirty dishes - one for lather and the other filled with clear water to wash away the suds.

Eh...

Don't ask, don't see, don't think about it.

LOL!





Sunday, 14 January 2018

Why do we travel?



Indeed. Why do we travel at all?


Let's for a moment leave out travelling due to work or medical reasons. 

Just focus on travelling for leisure.



1.  Do we travel overseas just to share how much we've saved?



2.  Or snap pictures of famous landmarks as part of a pre-planned itinerary that we monkey see, monkey do from others?

Hey! You even snap the same food others have eaten before! 

And of course you never fail to remind others you never followed those organised tours where you were herded like sheep; yours is a DIY trip OK?

Wait. Something seems off...



3.  How about shopping and eating? But then you discover when you back those stuffs and food you have purchased overseas are also available in Singapore...

But hey! They were "cheaper" overseas!

Of course. Just as long you leave out the plane tickets and hotel costs... Wink.



4.  Actually you don't enjoy or feel like travelling. You travel because of you "have to". Your significant other has been bugging you for donkey years...



5.  Eh... Because everyone has done it? Its a ritual thing? Every school holidays we travel out as a family; if not do what? 






Noticed all the above were activities?

I've some interesting conversations with friends over coffee who shared the reasons why they travelled:


a)  Due to a heartbreak. A breakoff. A divorce. They just want to get away from people they know.


b)  Because of extreme loneliness. 


c)  Sadness over a loss...


d)  To have sex. If your girlfriend says yes to travelling overseas with you as a couple, its a "yes" right? 

(Its a bit like instead of asking her to marry you, you ask whether want to apply a BTO together?)


e)  Celebrate a joyful event outside the prying eyes of others. Just you and her. Others don't matter for now...


f)  No reason at all. Just too free nothing to do. 






Friday, 12 January 2018

有四季多好。。。



这几天天气很凉,非常舒服。有点像秋天的感觉。

很怀念在上海和雅典的四季。。。

春夏秋冬。

春风,夏日,秋雨·,冬月·。



新加坡是很热情。有时候还很过火。

还好到处都有冷气。热到不行时就去看场电影。

背心,热裤; 美眉爱穿。

哥哥,大叔;也爱看!



人生起起浮浮才有情趣。

平平淡淡不是不好,就是少了什么。。。

没有低谷,那来高潮?

有四季那会有多好。。。






Wednesday, 10 January 2018

Regret is Stronger than Gratitude










Monday, 8 January 2018

Squaring the Circle


In most cultures and spiritualities, the single-minded pursuit and obsession with money is considered crass.

It does not matter whether we are in the Earn More or Save More camps - we know in our hearts we are merely telling little lies to ourselves...

We admonish others for coveting material possessions, yet isn't it the same when we covet income producing assets and financial wealth?

Is it not just 50 steps laughing at 100 steps? The pot calling the kettle black?



Although I'm agnostic, I'm quite influenced by Oriental philosophies like Zen and Taoism.

Which does not make things easy with concepts like "letting go", "non action", "non attachment", and what not...

How do you embark on your journey towards financial freedom with anchor weights like these?

No wonder some gravitate towards the prosperity gospel... 



I've resolved my cognitive dissonance by focusing on what I can control and influence - the mastery of my chosen craft - be it for career or trading.

This way, money is just a by-product; a way of keeping score. 

For eg, in Trading, I've only goals (mostly grey and murky qualitative ones at that) for my entries and exits; there're no monetary goals like X $ amounts in Y years. 

I'll take what the Markets are willing to give me. (As if I had a choice!)



The benefit of blogging is getting to know the various snakes and dragons in our community.

Some are a lot of "hot air" (like me); while some are so low-keyed you'll miss these dragons if you only pay attention to the blinding neon lights and booming loud speakers of snake oils.

Its quite refreshing to to discover someone on the Abrahamic path has a similar outlook as mine - even though we are on different paths...




Thursday, 4 January 2018

Focus On Our Strengths


Men have a lot to learn from women!


Women intuitively know how to focus on their strengths:

Got hair; toss their hair back or slide their hair with finger behind back of ear.  

Got shoulders; show shoulders with halter tops or spaghetti straps.

Got bosoms; reveal cleavage or wear T-shirts meant for kids.

Got wasp waists; skinny jeans and tube tops.

Got miles of legs; short skirts and hot pants.


What do men do?

Comb overs. I mean you are drawing even more unwanted attention to your bald patch... Who's kidding who?

And when I were in Secondary 2, there's a male history teacher who wore platforms (3 inches high) and covered them with bell bottoms that were practically sweeping the floor... Yes, he appeared taller, but he looked ridiculous too!


Next time you're bored on the MRT and your smartphone's battery went dead, just have a bit of fun with people watching. Verify what I've said is true or not.


But there's one arena where men are as good as women when it comes to peacocking their strengths. Wink.

Yup, its the so called "financial freedom seeking" community.  

Here, its got percentages show percentages. Got money in 7 digits show the full 7 digits.


And where people who can't afford property investing (yet) gather. (Ouch!)

Yes, property investing here meant 2nd or more investment/rental properties other than the one you living in.






Monday, 1 January 2018

My First Down Year Since Turning "Pro"...



I've always taken a bit of pride in being "different" from the mainstream herd.

Me being left-handed, right-brained, and likes to play the role of the 2 dots in the Tao symbol and all that jazz...

Others lip-sync the tools shepherds impose on their flock like goals and KPIs; I sing the visions and dreams of land owners.  

That worked fine until today.


Everyone seems to be doing very well for 2017. All made money!

Idiot! 

And I have to be the only blogger to make trading losses for 2017?


I'm not really sure about the "pro" part, but what do you call a person who starts to trade full-time since the beginning of 2013?

Amateur full-time? Weird right?

I did self-appoint myself as a nano hedge fund manager didn't I?

So "pro" it shall be then.

LOL!

From $12 in 4 years, its now back down to $11 in 5 years.

I lost $1 for 2017.

Or -8% for those who prefer to count in percentages.



3 main reasons for my sub-par trading performance:


1)  Tailwind; headwind  

Last year, the USD unexpectedly strengthen after Triump's win. End 2016, USD/SGD was $1.40; now it has weakened back down to $1.34.

80% of my trading account is denominated in USD since I trade mainly futures nowadays; while 20% is in SGD for my Simsci hedges.

Last year got tailwind boost super! This year's headwind not so fun...



2)  Hedging costs money

This is the moment of truth to test my trading conviction for 2018.

If I've bought travel insurance for all my overseas travels in 2017, and I've came back safely, does that mean I'm flushing money down the toilet?

So should I continue to flush money down the toilet in 2018 with hedges?

Hmm...



3)  I traded poorly

You know what? Cut the bullshit! 

The 2 abolve reasons are merely contributing factors...

The main reason I lost money this year is I've traded badly. Period.

Cannot always blame the RNG (Random Number Generator) gods right? (Its a gamer lingo)

That's the advantage where client is me, receptionist is me, trader is me, buy side anaylst  is me, and nano hedge fund manager also me! 

I can spot my own bullshit as a client! 

Since my trading account didn't earn money, its a given there's no 20% performance bonus this year!

As for the 2% annual fee, I think I'll go bang table and ask the idiot fund manager to waive off this 2% fee for poor performance! Never make money still got cheek to charge me!?



Reflection

I've spotted something interesting. 

If this had been end 2013, by losing $1 during my first trading year, it would mean I've busted my trading account like 90% of the traders out there!!!

You can't remove the element of "luck" in trading.

See if you can relate my reflection to this old post of mine:









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