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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...


  1. Good morning Jared.
    It brings to mind the question. If my dad was rich and owned a big business and handed it to me, would I be someone who rejects overconsumption or consumes less.

    Aiyoo so cheem, used the words "agnostic", I don't hear people say that much. LOL

    1. When we have choice to enjoy more and worry less; who don't want? Of course; I love fishing on a yacht rather than on jetty. We find reasons to make ourselves better.; otherwise we will go crazy or underachieved.

      In career; those who have Goals and ambitions are likely to rise higher up to the rank of top management or business owners. I have seen too many real life examples. Going with flow it will end up in lake , river or sea.

    2. ERSG,

      Good morning from raining Singapore!

      That's a circle you have to square yourself ;)

      But that's a very interesting moot question!

      Is the REAL me dependant on my external environment? Or am I WHO I am from the day I were born?

      Thanks! Something to chew on during my staring at ceiling paint days ;)

      OK lor! Don't like agnostic I'll substitute it with, "I don't know."


    3. CW,

      Everything you say one ;)

      "Yalor. Those damn corporate KPIs imposed on them so can't slow down without becoming liabilities to the team or bosses. Only those few lucky fellows where bosses can close one eyes while they slow down to enjoy the job."

      KPIs were imposed by landowners onto shepherds, and shepherds in turn use them on sheep.

      Carrot and stick to leverage on Other Poeple's Time/Talent (OPT).

      Older generation with less papers will say those with more papers will climb the corporate ladder faster. Hence they brain-wash their children just study hard and everything else will be solved!

      Now the majority are tertiary educated, and?

      How difficult is it to set goals and declare your ambitions?

      If I set my goal to be financially free by 35, I'll be more likely to achieve it?


      Gee. I wonder why so many are seeking financial freedom to escape or not doing well at work?

      Maybe they need to take a refresher course on "How to set Goals"?

  2. Squaring the circle?

    Just cut corners lorr ... sure can fit thru afterwards LOL!!

    i.e. don't sweat the small stuff :)

    PS I'm finally forced off Internet Explorer after 23+ years ... coz that one can't submit comments on your blog!

    1. Spur,

      Wait. I try...

      You're right! Cannot!?

      Must be some compatibility issue with Blogger...

      I "have to" use Internet Explorer as my broker's platform only supports Internet Explorer! LOL!

      Else, I've migrated to MS Edge ;)

      It must be great to live as a free spirit as you!


  3. Wah Jared, you're the more "successful" salesman. You're so capable with words :-). I felt very honoured to share the same view as you.

    1. Yaruzi,

      No, no. The pleasure is mine.

      I'm just the clown. The imposter ;)


      That's the unifying thin red line that connects both believer and non-believer ;)

  4. Earn more camp, Save more camp. Just like the white and black area.

    I belief in the grey area tho - To save more and using that to earn more :)

    50 steps laughing at 100 steps? Those at 100 are too laughing at those who're at 200 steps!

    How about a triangle in the circle now?

    But unfortunately, I'm just a little rat in this community learning from the various snakes and dragon too :(

    1. sleepydevil,

      The little rodent who thinks for himself, tries things out personally before making an opinion, and don't just join the queue just because others are queuing - well, he may grow up to be his own shepherd ;)

      And who knows? May even have his own farm to be land owner!

      So says the cat.


      The cat is bemused. Should I just bite into this innocent rodent who does not know cats eat rats?

      Or should I let the rat be since I already have enough?


  5. Like i say before if U can manage to learn not to idolise anything in this World, U are can already, no matter what.

    1. temperament,

      No lah. But you are right. The good book got say don't "idolise". So I don't!

      I just find it quite amusing to discover a non-believer in me can be more "God fearing" (I got respect Lady Luck) than one day a week believers ;)


      I love this joke:

      How to make God laugh?

      Tell him about your plans.


    2. haha, remminds me of my favourate cosmology quote:

      "god does not play dice" say einstein

      "stop telling god what to do!" was the reply.

    3. coconut,

      Next time we "prayed", write it down and have a look in black and white. You'll be surprised!

      It would likely be like what you've said. Telling heavens what to do!?

      Either that, it would be "negotiating" with heavens - if you do this and this for me, I'll do that and that in return.

      Got to be careful here. Don't let it turn out to be a "bribe" to heavens. Especially those who tithe with "expectations"...


      I would think that would get lots of demerit points :(

  6. That's why if you a real believer U have to learn to surrender your life completely to GOD.

    You have to accept anythings that happened and going to happen in future.

    But being human, we will remit to trying to control our own life.

    We think we do this and this, surely we will get that and that.

    If we think in human terms, surely we can do it lol.
    (Like how we fly to the moon?)

    Excuse me, make no mistakes that any religion that ask U to throw away your thinking cap, is it a religion or a cult?

    1. temperament,


      Those who have real faith "he will provide" will not parrot meaningless soundbites like:

      "If you fail to plan; you plan to fail."


      Ar ber then? That's why I like to poke those investing/trading strategies that do not require us to think ;)

    2. AH.........

      MY US PORTFOLIO must fall under your "Look Ma! no brains, no hands investing?"

      Just let it "DRIP, DRIP, ....

      Eh! U do need to steel your nerves and a lot of patience over the years, monitoring, monitoring and not tempted to sell like right now.

    3. temperament,

      My poke is not about your buy-and-gift to next generation, its about 1 US stock you say "US porfolio" ;)

      Don't hit the face!

  7. Smol,

    I think that people tend to compare the portfolio with one another. The one with lesser portfolio tend to have the tendency to feel disheartled and may give up on investing. I admit that I was one such person during the earlier days. I come to the realisation that such comparison is totally unnecessary. The most important thing is that one has started investing and continue to do so regardless of the circumstance. It does not matter how much the portfolio is at any point of time. I have started my investment journey many years back and resolve to continue doing so. I should be glad.


    1. Ben,

      Its natural. We are brainedwashed to do benchmarking all the time...

      Why your grades not as good as your older sibling?

      Why can't you earn as much as your classmates?

      Compare, compare, compare.

      Some when looking at other people's portfolio, may exclaim they are so inspired! Really? Copy say copy lah!

      But then, like what you've said, some may get demoralised as they are too far behind...

      We start out by craving outside "inspirations" to motivate us. We are reptiles who need the sun.

      Over time, those who can think for themselves, may discover that we are warm blooded mammals after all!!! Hello!

      We don't need outside "inspirations"; we can generate our own "inspirations" from within ;)

    2. Smol,

      Totally agree. I choose to be selective in reading the type of blog going forward. Your blog is one of the few which I definitely visit and make comments when the feel comes. A blog with no bias and free-spirit is the way which I prefer and communicate (when the urge comes).



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