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Wednesday, 27 February 2013

How to amass a small fortune?



Start with a big fortune.


This way, if you mess up, fall for scams, or the global economy implodes, you may still end up with at least a small fortune. And that's if you are lucky!


Now who says size does not matter?


Sarcasm aside, there is a message between the lines.


Just look at those who started with almost nothing and ended with a fortune - never mind small or big. What did they do?


Walk away from free lunches.  
 



Sunday, 24 February 2013

One way to prevent comment spam in your blog

In recent months, the spam comments in my blog have gotten to the level of ridiculous.

Of course the standard way is to turn on the "word verification" at the blog settings.

But it's a bit of a pain in the ass as I have found out when commenting at other blogs.

If I don't turn this "word verification" feature on, I have to manually delete or mark as not spam those spam comments that are "missed" or "caught" by blogger's automatic spam detection.


By playing around (that's how I broke lots of things), I've found an alternative way. 

Under blogger's comments settings "who can comment", I just uncheck "Anyone - includes Anonymous Users" and check " " instead.

It's been 6 weeks now and not a single spam comment has appeared at the spam comments holding area. Cool! 


Of course this trick only works if, like my blog, you hardly have anonymous commenters ;)


      



Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Don’t forget number 1



I had a Taiwanese colleague who is the “unofficial” leader in the office in Taiwan. We call her “Da Jie” (Big Sister).

At that time, all the official heads of our offices in Asia Pacific were either a Swede or a Dane. You know how it is when we worked in a European MNC. (It has since changed with more diversity. And don’t you believe this “tapping the local talent” crap… It’s all about dollars and cents.)

This Taiwanese colleague got posted to Shanghai 9 months before me. She was I guess 5-8 years older than me (never ask a lady her age)? And I believe she had been in the company 10 years longer.

Long story short. She was fired during my 2nd year in Shanghai. One reason I like working for this company is that we have many cases of someone getting fired in one division or office, and weeks or months later the same fired person will be reemployed elsewhere in another organisation in the same company!? I don’t think it can happen in an Asian or American company.

Suffice to say she was offered a job at the Head Office by her previous Swedish boss who has returned backed to Sweden. She turned down the offer and returned to Taiwan instead. So it’s more a matter of “differences in opinions” between her and her present Shanghai boss. 
  
I met this Taiwanese colleague in Taiwan during one of my business trips and over dinner, she shared with me her regrets and offered this advice to me – Don’t forget number 1. 


Assumptions and plans

She had planned to work until retirement with our present company. She loved the job, worked hard with the late nights and weekends burnt. In reciprocate, the company encouraged and motivated her efforts with promotions and overseas posting.

She had prioritised her career over love. She is single. She thought work can replace her emotional needs. She bought into the men’s war cry: “Work is my life!” 

She assumed doing a job she loves will take care of her forever.

It’s all a lie. An illusion. A mirage. 


Regrets

Not getting a property when prices were low. She mistakenly thought since company is paying for accommodation and/or since living with parents, no need to get tied down to a place. She got a rude shock upon returning to Taiwan. 

Her contemporaries who were below her in the career ladder were much better off financially in net asset terms just by owning their own homes – especially if they had bought during the 97 Asian financial crisis or during the aftermath of the dot.com bubble bust in 2002 to 2003.   

She also regretted not getting herself financially literate all these years. She has some money stashed away and is not exactly what you call poor. 

She has no problem making decisions using other people’s money when working for someone. Where to source a product - from which country and supplier - is not exactly involving peanuts. 

But now using her own money, she shared it’s difficult to squeeze the trigger on her own investments. Something she has only recently got acquainted with…  (I used the word acquainted to differentiate people who out of the blue declare they want to invest/trade for a living after losing their job from those who are passionately investing/trading on the side with a day job and naturally transitioned to fulltime when “it’s time”. Same same but different!)   

Her biggest regret is not thinking what she really wanted all these years. She had been too busy “working”.  

(I’ll leave out the emotional regret parts out. It’s a bit personal. Just a hint that’s the biggest regret above.)  


Interesting new developments in Taiwan


Although it does not affect my ex-Taiwan colleague directly, I think it's relevant to this post.


Don't forget number 1

Although I’ve not said a single word on what’s “Don’t forget number 1”, I believe when you are receptive to hear your own inner voice, you know what it is.



 


Thursday, 14 February 2013

It's better with foreplay



In this instant gratification world today, we often want things now.

Not tomorrow; not the day after - N_O_W!

I remember saving for months so that I can afford that watch I’ve been eyeing.  I can still remember the feeling of expectation as I stopped by the shop as I looked on longingly at that watch.  Saying to myself I just needed a few more months. 

Patience.

I so remember the feeling of joy and contentment as I held that watch I had finally purchased a few months later. 

I don’t get that same feeling nowadays when I buy a new watch or most “stuffs”.
Isn’t it ironic? Now that I can practice – I see; I like; I buy – I’ve lost that special feeling…
Do you have similar experiences?
 
It’s the same with relationships. The morning after experience is totally different. The “easy” one you can’t wait for her to shower and leave the apartment, and be gone.  The one you have spent months and years pining for you are still holding her in your arms. And you never want to let her go.
 
Don’t get me wrong. I got buy Toto. I do want to get lucky instantly too! But I know getting one million through luck is not the same as “earning” my first one million.   

Which do you remember more fondly? Is it your first promotion or your most recent one? Feels like your first kiss right?

I am now enjoying the pleasure of foreplay in my investment journey. I’ve not got a 10 bagger with concentrated size yet. It’s not a goal or KPI; it’ more a bitter sweet feeling of longing.

It’s one of those little ironies or paradoxes in life. Once you have climaxed with something the first time, the next time will not be the same
 
It’s indeed better with foreplay. Patience.



Sunday, 3 February 2013

あなただけを & 流水年華






To my similar generational friend coconut! 

Here is the original singer of the song we both like..

Yes, many of the monster hits and our favourite songs from the 70s and 80s were in fact cover versions from the land of the rising sun.

Must hand it to the Japanese. Not only were they strong technologically and economically during that era, their arts and music  culture were powderful too!

To break into the lucrative Japanese market was the dream of many singers of that era: Teresa Teng, Judy Ong, Ouyang Fei Fei, etc.

Come to think of it, it's the same with the K-pop groups today too. I've read that 1 month touring in Japan rakes in more revenue than 1 year of activities in Korea for these Korean idol groups
 
Ah! The wonderful 80s. Disco, Canto and J-pop! Era of my teenage years. 

I so miss the annual Japanese red and white song contests that were shown on TV during CNY!

It's a bitter sweet feeling listening to these "oldies". It's a bit weird, as to me, "oldies" are songs from the 50s and 60s era.  Can't help but to notice that youth as passed me by...

It doesn't help that the idols and singers I've grown up with are living us one by one.


For those who remember the tune but can't recognise which mandarin song, below is my favourite mandarin cover version.





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