Tuesday, 6 April 2021

Delayed Gratification & Nature vs Nurture


Bet its not what you expected.

Did you?

Especially all you "giam siap gui" out there! 


Sorry, sorry. I can't help trolling. 

For new readers at this watering hole, you may want to read this to know the difference between being frugal and being a miserly "giam siap gui":

Difference between being Frugal and Miserly

You can guess what's Charlie Munger's stance on whether top salespersons are born or train from the video too.

Die lor!

Kindergarten level financial literacy (what they can teach in schools) is all about savings, thrift, that sort of thing... 

Who in their right mind would dare to teach kids how to gamble invest with their money?

Unless you have a death wish to get sued by the kids' parents...

Which is ironic as the same parents who object, have no problem forking out thousands themselves to snake oils peddling, "If you think you can, you can!"

If delayed gratification is something we are either born with or born without...


  1. Hi Smol,

    A darker & seldom spoken tangent of the famous 1972 Stanford "marshmallow test" was that majority of those kids who were able to withstand grabbing the marshmallow came from middle-class or upper-middle-class backgrounds.

    PS: Stanford was also the one who conducted the infamous "Prison simulation".

    Yup, most of those who grabbed & ate the marshmallow instead of waiting to receive 2 later on came from low-income families.

    Of course!

    If your entire 5 years of existence was in an environment where you (1) barely have sufficient basic diet, (2) may or may not have 3 meals a day, (3) no or very little treats, (4) promises by parents to buy you XXX may or may not be kept, (5) likely high competition (e.g. siblings) for your needs/wants .... you WILL grab any treat in front of you ASAP ... it's survival!

    By not normalising or screening SES backgrounds, it resulted in tainted test subjects. So the subsequent follow-up reviews of how successful in life were those kids later on ... the famous conclusion of delayed gratification led to more successful life became tainted. Were their success actually due to better SES families with better support, better education, better networks?

    For delayed gratification, nurture or lived experience, plays an important role. The specific situation is crucial.

    Same with investing.

    Someone who encounters huge drawdowns or losses previously tend to subsequently adopt shorter-term investing & quicker to take profits, even if the business cycle has changed to a longer-term growth phase.

    Someone who made his fortune being bearish in a big bear tends to continue looking for short opportunities even after the bear market. Those who FIRE'd with REITs (or tech) tend to stick with them even if there is a multi-year trend change against them.

    Hmmm, nature vs nurture seems to have devolved into anchoring bias lol!

    I suppose another way of looking at it is personality vs behaviour.

    Personality tends to remain pretty stable thru life. But behaviour can change or be cultivated over time & for different situations.

    I have an elderly relative who had a successful career in sales, even though his personality is much more of the passive & studious scholar-type.

    1. Spur,

      You're well read!

      It's always a pleasure bantering with you ;)

      Like our world war 1 helmet story and world war 2 shot-up plane example, most people just read what's at hand without verifying further or thinking deeper...

      When it comes to human nature, its not binary black and white.

      I'm more into the we are born camp - our personality don't change like spots on the leopard.

      Having said that, I'm conscious the role nurture can play in "modifying" our behaviours.

      Take me as an example. I'm by nature introvert. I enjoy my me time and personal space.

      Since I'm not a writer or artist that can do my own thing, to survive in the real world, I've learnt to modify my behaviour to survive (and thrive) in sales ;)

      In my family, I'm known as the "thrifty" one. Now that's an euphemism!

      Its a CONSCIOUS effort on my part to not sweat the small stuffs, practice "tipping", say no to jumping hoops just to save a buck, and no need to eat water-melons all the way to the green bits...


      Because I noticed miserly "giam siap gui" people are less happy. The last thing I want is to be like them!

      So when I poke or troll the "giam siap gui", I doing it from the perspective of a Sith from Star Wars rejecting the Dark Force...

      I rather be a Jedi!

    2. I would be wary of people who preached " delay gratification" as an motto at the expense of calling people monkeys , that's why earning peanuts.

    3. Small Time Investor,

      I know what you mean.

      You think why I like to throw stones and call out naked "Emperors"?

      The "know-it-all" Indian Chiefs often mistake survivourship bias to conveniently reduce Life to a few simple platitudes...

      Oh! You're a failure because you fail to plan!

      Well, so much for goal setting and planning on the political event yesterday... Plan and plan for so many years, then crash got sound took over!

      You poor thing! This is how you can pull yourself out of poverty...

      Just practice delayed gratification like me! Save 50% of your salary, and voluntarily contribute to CPF to the max allowed. Simple!

      When you're 65, you'll be a millionaire!!! Easy!

      The person being patronised earns $3K gross, have stay-at-home wife, and 3 young schooling kids.

      When pointed out, more talking down...

      Poor don't have so many kids!

      No money you marry for what!?

      You win Chief!

      Others are monkeys; only you the omnipotent one.


      Am I interested to buy your DVD set on "If yo think you can, you can!"

      Sure! But my finger would like to send its regards to you first ;)


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