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Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Single, Married, and Divorced






I received these pictures from a married lady friend via email. I've always loved women with a sense of humour. This one takes the cake! 

And if you can't see yourself in one of the pics, you are either hopelessly in love (envy man!) or waiting for love (Japanese: Kampatei! Korean: Fighting! Chinese: Jia You!).

Either way, you'll need lots of humour!

Now who wear the pants in the above pics? LOL!  
 


 

Thursday, 25 October 2012

Love in the City



Elizabeth gazed into the mirror as she glides her lipstick across her lips. Ah! That’s the final touch.

For a moment, her eyes caught the faint glint of loneliness behind those mascaraed eyes. She sat there staring into the pretty reflection. Although in her early 40s, she can still turn heads, and she knows it.

But here and now, she wishes James would be here by her side. To spend more time with her… 

Elizabeth married James 15 years ago when she was 28 and James 40.
James was a good catch. He has always been ambitious and driven. That’s what attracted Elizabeth to James when they first met at a party. James has successful built up a thriving OEM manufacturing company after striking out on his own at age 45. As his business has grown, he now travels 1-2 week out every month on business trips and conferences.

Elizabeth has recently bumped into her ex-boyfriend Peter - the University sweet-heart she dumped for James. Peter was with his wife and their two young children at the mall where Elizabeth had her facials. They looked like the happy family. Mid-level executive, public housing, Volkswagen car, working wife…

That could have been me… Elizabeth wistfully thought to herself. Her gazed lowered to her Tiffany diamond ring, and panned to the Rolex on her wrist.

Opps! I better get going! Grabbing her Prada bag, she slips into her Jimmy Choo and hurried out and sashayed into her BMW. As she drove out of her bungalow’s driveway, she smiles to herself. Life as a tai-tai can be lonely at times, but there are some things money can buy… 


 

James laid Linda’s head on his shoulder as he wrapped his arm round her waist. Linda had a drop too much that evening entertaining their Japanese clients in Tokyo with James tonight. Like a pair of drunken sailors, James finally reached Linda’s room. As he laid Linda down on to the bed, James paused for a moment as he straightens himself.  His eyes meandered down Linda’s face. Moving onwards to her bosom, on to her tiny waist, her hips, and now to her legs…  

Linda is James’ personal assistant. She joined James’ company fresh from her graduation from junior college. From a dorky 18 year old, Linda has turned into a young woman of 28. She was with James from day 1 – soldiering beside him as he built up the company to what it is today.

To Linda, James is more than a boss. James is her mentor, her confidant, her best friend, her… 

Linda had a personality that puts everyone at ease and you can’t help but like her bubbly character. She lights up the room with her presence. However, Linda is not what you would call pretty… 

James thoughts ran amok as he looked at Linda lying there on the bed. He can recall the stimulating conversations with Linda during the many business dinners together. And Linda was there whenever James needed someone to listen to him when he’s feeling down.

James never had that kind of conversations with Elizabeth.  But Elizabeth is beautiful.  James always wears Elizabeth’s hand proudly as he introduces his wife to his business associates. He loved the look of envy in their eyes. 

James gave a gentle pat on Linda’s forehead, turned, and walks towards the door. As the door gently closes, a tear drop silently slides down Linda’s cheek…


Alfonso is 22, comes from Malacca, and has spent the past 2 years working in Singapore as a physical trainer. He dreamt of setting up his own gym in Malacca in a few years’ time, and expanding it to a chain of gyms all over Malaysia – KL, Ipoh, Penang, etc.

First he has to make and save up the seed capital. Although the salary in Singapore is a lot higher than what he could earn in Malacca, Alfonso soon learned of a more lucrative way to earn more. 

He discovered there were quite a few rich but bored or lonely tai-tais that visit the gym where he works. These women would ask Alfonso to be their private physical trainer. It’s another kind of physical workout, if you know what I mean…

Alfonso waves at Elisabeth as her BMW draws near the curb.


Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Dr Richard Teo Keng Siang

The advantage of Facebook is I sometimes get very inspirational sharing from friends.

Here is one such story that I would like to help spread the message: Memorial of Dr Richard Teo Keng Siang


I do not know Dr Teo personally, but I guess there's a little bit of Dr Teo in all of us when we are doing well and at the peak of our career.

It's not my intention to promote a certain faith or religion. I am agnostic with a bias towards Zen as a philosophical way of life; not as a religion.

I had my own epiphany 3 years ago in Warsaw after my chance encounter with a HK man of leisure

You can say I was lucky.  I didn't have to learn it the hard way.


There is nothing wrong with pursuing wealth. I am doing it even now. But I would rather call it creating the means to allow me greater freedom of choice.

Wealth is not the goal; its just means to an end.


Thursday, 18 October 2012

A duck tries to fly?



Believe in yourself.
You may turn out to be a swan instead!

Keep walking.
Don't let others talk you into stopping.

Take a rest if you must.
Or change direction.

Just don't stop flapping those wings.
You are what you believe in!


 

Monday, 15 October 2012

Why do we take comfort in uniformity? (A shout out for Literature)



Have you ever wondered why we are so crazy about synchronised marching, swimming, and dance steps?

Why we go ooh and aah when we see perfect synchronised movement?

I suspect it has something to do with our primeval instinct to hunt as a group.

Alexandra the Great was able conquer his empire with his phalanxes; so too did the Romans with their Legions. Success depended on the movement of many - in tight formations - fighting as ONE unit.

They routed opposing armies that fought as individuals en mass instead.

Man soon found the power of men marching in unison could be applied to production during the Industrial Revolution. Workers turned out to be more efficient if they perform repetitive tasks.

Something interesting happened to education during and after the Industrial Revolution. 


Prior to this, the purpose of education was much simpler - it's to foster the development of learned men. It's this liberation of the mind that allows Man to call himself civilised or cultured.

Today, in order to feed the insatiable demands of business and industry - all in the name of progress - lots of bumble bees and worker ants need to be trained and developed.
 
What course to take is not what we intrigues us; but which faculty's graduates' got the highest median pay after graduation. Which specialty has the best career prospects... The triumph of the precision of numbers again!

I was surprised and dismayed that our local public schools have "discouraged" students in selecting Literature as a subject for O' levels!? Thank goodness we have realised we have let benchmarking gone too far to the right! 

I don't blame the educators. I salute the few brave students who can think for themselves at such a young age! Thumbs up!

Of course it's harder to score distinction for Literature compared to Maths and Science subjects ,where the answers can be more precised, more synchronised so to speak.  

There are no right or wrong answers in Literature - its more about you backing your interpretations with sound arguments. What has grades got to do anything? I thought you studied Literature because you love the language and culture?

Take a look at the video above again. Are you still impressed with the participants or the choreographer?


For investors, have you noticed most guru investors are great with words? They provide us with memorable quotes or words of wisdom; and they write witty annual letters to shareholders and publish books that turned out to be classics. 

Would their outperformance be possible if they march in unison with the rest of the markets?

Thursday, 11 October 2012

Are you a sportsperson? (Why it’s a great foundation for investing and trading)



I am glad I played table-tennis for our school team during my secondary school days. 

I played the doubles and act as a sparring partner to the "star" singles players. That’s where I learnt how to contribute to a team as the supporting cast…

Big corporations, when doing recruitment, do look at the extra-curricular achievements of their candidates – especially when identifying potentials for leadership grooming.

Those we have worked a few years may already have noticed this phenomenon. If you unsure, try buying your HR (preferable not underling) lunch and find out what they look for in “elite” candidates. It could save years of heartache and detours if you think academic success is all they look for… You think why MOE changed tack recently? Kiasu parents may want to take note (but no forcing your sports dreams on them OK?).

It can apply to the Arts like ballet, playing the piano or violin, chess, painting, calligraphy, etc.


You think it's due to luck?


Playing sports allows us to learn lots about ourselves (and about others quickly – yes, you are being judged when your boss ask you out for a game of golf or tennis)  


  1. Some of us are bad sore losers. Ouch! Quick, can you name a few friends who are like that? You want such people on your team? And you wonder why nobody picks you… Give you opportunities…

  1. Some are gracious winners/losers and great hosts. They ensure everyone have a great time playing. Good candidates for HR and public relations work? Team building facilitators?

  1. Some are super competitive. Hate to lose! They are great for sales jobs! CEO potential? Merger and acquisitions shark? Super trader anyone?

  1. Some focus on the equipment; believing buying and wearing the best helps their game. Don’t laugh! We all have been guilty of it! We often find amateurs dress more stylo than the pros. LOL! That’s why people are willing to pay thousands for a trading course… And they probably do more research on a holiday package than checking-out the true credentials of the snake charmer… How about that trading newbie that starts with 6 screens trading setup? Power!

  1. Some cheat to win. I don’t play golf, but I’ve heard a lot about cheating on your handicap. Some take performance enhancing drugs… OK, can come in useful if you need someone to do “financial engineering” for you; but all things being equal, you don’t want someone who cheats anyway near your money, or do you?

 
Why doing well in sports or the arts is a great foundation for investing and trading
 
Our initial wide-eyed enthusiasm for the sport will quickly crash down to earth. We soon realised it’s a lot of bloody hard work to do well. It’s practice, practice, practice. There’s a direct correlation between how many hours we train and how good we play.

If we have not already given up due to “time-constraints” (that’s a great excuse, no?), we now get frustrated that no matter how much you train, some fellow athletes always move ahead faster than you. You realise their “natural endowments” are better than yours.

What? You haven’t given up yet? 

Ah! I see you are now playing to your strengths. You have adopted a playing style that best suits you – instead of blindly mimicking your idol’s style of play. You start to specialise. Adapt and internalise. You have your own style of play now.
       
If you play well and win, you move up the table rankings and may even move up to a higher league (position/contract size). If you play badly, it’s OK to be relegated to a lower league. It’s when we play outside our league where we get clobbered big time!

We have experienced the joy of victory and the agony of defeat. And that’s no spectator can understand until they too have gone through the same blood, sweat, and pain.

Behind every victory (however small), we had to overcome and endure countless humiliating and morale sapping defeats to get here.

Whiners are spectators.

I would rather be the athlete that came in last. At least I participated. 



Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Reflective Mind and Listening Heart (Stop-loss)



No, this is not a religious post.


Last Friday night, I got stopped-out of my Dollar/Yen trade.

The whip-splash was so quick that the fill was at a greater loss than my stop-loss point. Ouch!

What’s worse than a loss? It’s discovering on Monday afternoon that the price action has swung back; and if I hadn’t cut-loss, my original position would now be in the money! Shssh!


Ah! But the Reflective Mind is able to calm the emotional heart:

“10 times you cut-loss, there will be 2 to 3 times where positions bounce roaring back. Now, don’t you dare say next time don’t cut-loss!

Don’t forget the 7 to 8 times where after cutting loss, you are so relieved that all you got is a paper cut - instead of a Japanese Yakuza finger cut!”

And yes, I’ve not forgotten my $40,000 Jurong Tech lesson – stocks can go to zero!


The Listening Mind nods in agreement. Focus on doing the right thing. We can’t control the outcome. 

Just like we know of people who have gone to the right schools, got the right grades, went into the right company, got married to the “right” person; and at 40, discover the outcome is not what they have expected or wanted… 

The “right” money management technique is not a 100% fool-proof solution. It’s like the house odds of a casino – but over the long term, if we adhere to it, we will come out on top. 

  
Now why is the Listening Mind sniggering?

The Listening Mind can’t help but gave the Reflective Mind a gentle kick in the you know where (not the groin lah!):

“Friend, what were you doing Monday morning till afternoon when you noticed that, instead of the price going further against you, it is slowly recovering in your favour?”

The Reflective Mind thought about it for a while and smiled:

“Touche!”

I was right to cut-loss; but I let the greater than anticipated loss shake me out of my conviction (or lack of conviction to be precise).

On reflection, two things I can improve for the future:

1)    Be more patient for a better entry price.

2)    Focus on the here and now. Yesterday is gone; while tomorrow is unknown.  

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