Tuesday, 29 December 2020

A Lost Year


Year 2020 felt like one. A lost year. At least to me.

I guess from that perspective, I'm one of the "luckier" ones.

I'm sure we know of friends or family members that have lost their jobs, got pay cuts, or are worse off financially speaking this year.

Year 2020 is not a lost year to them. It's life changing. 

Then on the other end of the pendulum, there are those who blur blur got bumper harvests from this Wuhan virus pandemic.... 

That's if you work in the "right" industry - sell face masks, manufacture hand sanitizers, online marketing, video games, etc. 


Some dreams were shattered, some were put on hold, while some had their dreams came true earlier than thought!

Quite surreal.

Same event.

Different people; different perspectives.


  1. Counting my blessings! The year turned out OK and I was able to help out my family who were a little less lucky..

    1. Kevin,

      Yes, you brought up something that most FIRE seekers forget - its not always about ME, ME, ME...

      We can only help others when we have "enough".

      Bleeding heart "mud buddhas" are quite useless when we need to cross the river (financial emergency).

  2. Depending on which stage of our life journey; it can lost and found and better prepared for the future by aligning our priorities ahead.

    First ever after taking up fishing as hobby decades ago; no fishing and no fresh fish from the sea as food in the fridge! Never ever came to my mind; this day can happen!

    1. CW,

      Most of us just coast along in life.

      Then this happens to jolt people out of their stupor.

      Life changing can be a understatement.

      Like 20 or more years faithful loyalty also kenna let go...

      Who would imagine 95% of planes can be grounded?

      Hotels 90% empty for months on end?

      Even got reserves like emergency fund also can get depleted if this drags on and on with no end in sight...

      Who would have thought some worker bees now prefer to work from home even if this Wuhan virus pandemic is over???

      Of course some landowners have discovered, if 50% of my workforce can work from home with minimum disruption to the bottom line, that meant in future I can outsource them to...

      Yes, people will realign their priorities when they see how fragile or unpredictable life can be.

      Some may even want to start living in the moment rather than always living in the future.

      You know, the once I have achieved X, then I'll do Y planners...

      This Wuhan virus exposes to us that flexibility and adaptability can be more important over precision in setting goals and planning to 2 decimal places!

  3. Hi Jared, what an unexpected year. The whole world face the same problem, but the outcomes can turn out differently for each person. The hardship is real and my heart goes to those who lost their loved ones or going through difficulties. I wonder how our predecessors went through the previous pandemics, world wars, great recession. Some said people were resilient that they could go through all of them. I'd say Someone had mercy that humanity wasn't wiped out.

    1. Yaruzi,

      I'm descendent of old wealth, 5th generation.

      For our branch, its really 3 generation from shirtsleeves to shirtsleeves.

      By the time it passes through to my ah gong, it was pretty much gone with the wind...

      When younger that time, I did regret not being born a few generations earlier. Then its really Man of Leisure 富二代!

      But then again, I'll have to live through the great depression of the 1930s, and more scarily, WWII...


      I think I'll pass.

      Life is not so bad as a HDB heartlander Man of Leisure. Just as long I don't have to experience a war in my remaining years, I'm good!

      Its hard and frustrating, but sometimes it may be necessary to have a bit of setbacks in our lives.

      It'll shake us off the straight line extrapolation mode of thinking so favoured by planners and goal setters...

      We won't treasure it if everything came from "easy" or exactly as we've planned.

      Lucky our pioneer generation is still with us. They can still give us guidance and confidence. (Or give us a kick in the butts if we became dismayed or disheartened)

      Look, if we can survive being kicked-out of the Federation with no resources and no hinterland support, I think we can get through this Wuhan virus thingy too!

      Yes, humans are quite resilient. You see us in the cold up to North pole and around deserts in the Middle East.

      I think "paradise" must be where we are - in the tropics!?

      Although I must say its a bit hot and humid, but nothing a little air-con cannot solve ;)

  4. Smol,

    Well, this year has been both a very good & a very bad rubber-meets-the-road test for FIRE'ers. Good coz it deals a sharp drawdown & a psychological smack. Bad coz of the artificially short downturn in the markets due to immense "can kicking" pump priming.

    The surreality of Covid I think is due to the extreme discrimination involved. Unlike many other pandemics or epidemics, this disease is especially deadly to the elderly while having a relatively low mortality rate for the young.

    And the shutdowns have been particularly hard for the service industries & lower-level workers, while being rather pedestrian (or shiok) for office-based white collar types.

    At the end of the day, Covid will be remembered for exacerbating the wealth gap in many countries.

    On the other hand, rich(er) otakus will have barely noticed any difference in their worlds ... "Huh? What lockdown? Simi circuit breaker?" LOL. 😛

    I wonder how many of those hospitality workers who pivoted to healthcare mid-career switch will remain in "dirty & tough" healthcare?

    I knew an ex-air stewardess who made the switch during the SARS pandemic, but couldn't wait for her bond to finish so she could get out when the economy rebounded from 2004-2006. 🤣

    1. Spur,

      That's why I often differentiate between those who "seek to escape" from those who "seek to achieve".

      Those who pivoted to healthcare mid-career "to escape" may do the same as those who seek asylum in the civil service or teaching profession whenever we have a deep recession.

      Similarly, those who embark on FIRE "to escape" will not stick around like those who "seek to achieve" during severe bear markets.

      Veterans in investing/trading are those who stuck long enough for them to start profiting from their mistakes ;)

      Yes, we need brains (think for ourselves), but we definitely don't need to have Phds!

      This Wuhan virus thing has definitely widen the gap between those who own assets (stocks/properties) and those who own "stuffs".

      Its one for the history books.

      Real economy sucks; stocks and properties up, up, and away!

      Anyone still believe fundamentals matter when central banks will bail us out?

  5. Hi SMOL,

    2020 is pretty good for me. Everyone is safe and I still hve my job. Grateful already. Of course there are others who are making a killing in the market, but if we always have to compare with others, we'll never have enough. As I get older, I think a 'boring' year is quite a blessing; I don't need those roller coaster exciting year to drive my adrenaline up haha

    Have a great year ahead bro :)

    1. LP,

      That's good to hear! Glad things are well at your end :)

      Like you, I am grateful; I'm one of the luckier ones!

      No harm; no foul.

      Even though it felt like a "lost" year to me...

      Then again, if one can stare at the ceiling or watch grass grow - boring is good!!!

      Wishing you and family have a wonderful 2021 ;)


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...