Author: Taking Care Of My Own Business

Ponder-worthy stuff I read last week

The best way to talk to people about money … is keeping the phrases, “What do you want to do?” or “Whatever works for you,” loaded and ready to fire. You can explain to other people the history of what works and what hasn’t while acknowledging their preference to sleep well at night over your definition of “winning.” – Morgan Housel Always be prepared … “Invest in things that have never happened before, hedge for regression to the mean, and plan for the unimaginable.” – John Burbank a Hedge Fund Manager Stick to your principles … “It’s easier to...

Read More

Have you ever been wrong?

If your answer is yes, you are an honest chap.  If your answer is no, either you are lying to yourself or your name must be Nobody (“Nobody is perfect”).  Or you are a candidate running for president—the best any country ever had.  I would like to meet you. Being wrong is not really a subject we like to talk about.  The truth is that when we talk about mistakes, they are usually in reference to others, rather than ourselves. At least that’s what I like to do – and like to change as of today. Maybe a look into the mirror could help...

Read More

I am so skillful, I am the greatest

An interesting week we are going through right now. The stock markets are finally providing a bit more entertainment value. Giving us a good test on another (nasty) bias that makes us do dumb things with our money: Illusion of skills. All of us have limited access to the workings of our minds and as a result, we know less about ourselves than we feel we do; still, we are not the only ones that might be suffering from this. An entire industry that largely appears to be built on the illusion of skills is the Investment Industry; particularly, those self-proclaimed “stock-picking-experts”. Often, millions of...

Read More

Profound Question

I had lunch with an ex-colleague from my corporate-duty-days yesterday. She asked me how was it possible (sic!) to achieve financial freedom by the age of 44? Hmm, that made me think. I was not able to come up with a simple straightforward answer that could be fit into one crisp sentence that could be comprehended while munching on a bowl of uncooperative Pasta Carbonara. So afterward, I started to list down some factors that worked in my case (individual results may vary): Sleep (not too much, but regular sleep of at least 6 hours) Not smoking (not even...

Read More

Working to Live or Living to Work?

How was your weekend? Was it full of memorable moments? How many days of annual leave do you have left carried over from 2017?  What kind of experiences are you going to exchange them for? Need some encouragement? Have a listen to this super talented spoken word artist Prince Ea:   “Be present. Everybody’s walking with their eyes fixed on a gadget. They never look up. And it’s like, if your head is in your phone, the scenery never changes. So don’t worry about documenting the moment. Experience the moment. Look who you are speaking to. Get your face out...

Read More

Edge

Are you a stock picker? May I ask why? What makes you think that you can outsmart full-day traders and the professionals? What is your edge over them? You might no longer have an edge in calculating ratios or analysing stocks based on old data (financial statements are the rear-view mirror of a company’s progress). Computers are much better at it. You might have had that edge in the last millennium. But nowadays that edge is arbitra-edged away – excuse that PUN. By the way, has it occurred to you that with the growth in passive investment vehicles like...

Read More

Here we go again and I was right – again

Don’t waste your time reading all those stock market forecasts! Unless it is for pure entertainment. At the beginning of each year, there are many pundits, experts, self-proclaimed gurus, and other suspicious characters who’d like to sell you stuff predicting the directions of the Stock Markets. They are all wrong. As I personally have ample years of experience in the Stock Markets (and thus know for sure what’s going on),  I did get it right again. My predictions for 2017 were rather accurate (in my humble opinion). So here we go again with my high probability forecast for 2018: In...

Read More

You’ve got a minute …?

Even if you do, it would be better if you do not (ever) admit to having any “spare time” as our culture still revolves around one’s ability to stay focused for hours or days on end and being busy—all the time. Because, unlike most addictions, workaholism is still very often admired, encouraged, and materially well-rewarded. But why is this, when it has already been proven that “putting in the hours” does not make sense since it is not very productive and even risks health and lives? And, frankly, I have observed that all those extra hours clocked in—working for somebody else—would no longer be recognized, nor would it be adequately appreciated, once it becomes habitual....

Read More

Are you ‘kiasu’ enough on being lazy?

There are many merits of being lazy. Come on, don’t be lazy, be a bit kiasu* and read on. Laziness is the road to progress, but only when it is combined with intelligent thought and high ambition. For example, lazy and intelligent managers achieve exceptional results and make the best bosses. Because let’s face it, all successful business careers flow from a few critical decisions, made infrequently. Don’t think it comes easy though. The best lazy managers have acquired their laziness by working at it for years.  I myself tried hard to become more lazy throughout my life … but...

Read More

The 3 numbers that can – no – will make a real difference in your life

Number 1: The age you start saving The younger you are the larger your crucial asset. That asset is called time. And I bet you have more of it left than me. I certainly do have more Christmas days behind me than in front of me. Time is the coin of your life. It is the only coin you have, and only you can determine how it will be spent. One idea is to spend time in the market. Because it is your greatest natural advantage and makes all the difference in making money work for you (the generally...

Read More

My 10 Golden Rules: If I were 22, I’d wish that someone would have taught me

1) How to succeed? The education system you just went through has planted some seeds into you.  Now it is up to you—and only you—to make them grow. Go the extra mile, and see how good you can be at something. The harder you work, the less crowded a road you’ll find – fewer people than you think embrace work as a central path to self-worth. Success is more about contribution than it is about achievement. There are no short-cuts to success. None.  So suck it up, stop whining, work smart, find your niche and be great at it....

Read More

Herd Behavior or Herding or Lazy Thinking

Mostly, our herd conformity is a good thing and it’s one of the reasons that societies are able to function (legal system, driving, etc).  Nevertheless, watch out for what you step into when you follow the herd. Herd behavior occurs when investors follow the behavior of a larger group, even in situations which may be difficult to rationally justify the decisions of the group. A classic example of herd behavior occurred in the late 1990s.  Investors poured huge assets into stocks of young fresh Internet companies, even though many of them didn’t have any profit and were unlikely to generate significant revenues in the foreseeable future. As this example is...

Read More

What the age-experienced know and we don’t

Or maybe we actually do know it and just fail in doing what we know we should do. To know and not to do is really not to know yet. Some timeless advice I’ve heard from the age-experienced over the years:  time is more important than money  almost everything in life is a trade-off  autonomy at work is highly underrated  being nice to people is highly underrated  quit worrying so much about the past and the future; enjoy the NOW It can be difficult to think this way in the heat of the moment. I know that’s true for me....

Read More

Use your money to buy happiness

The younger you are, the more likely you are to believe that more money is the key to happiness. This is why, in my experience, many confident 20-year-old college boy wants to go into investment banking. And it’s why we work like machines or hamsters in a wheel in our 30s and 40s. Readers of my blog do know that I like to check in with those age-experienced to “fast-forward” my learning on what is really important in life. Because there certainly is a gap between what we think our goals are when we’re young and what we wish our...

Read More

Success is here – it all depends on the second letter

I ended my previous post with the question “How will you measure your life?” Another way to put it would be to ask “How do U define your success?” Do you have a vivid picture in your mind what success and what being successful looks like for you? Success must be “seen” into life through forming images. Because you can’t hit a target you can’t see. It has been shown that people who do have written goals tend to develop a system to live up to them. Those who don’t, drift. Without goals success is impossible. Otherwise how would...

Read More

Like us on Facebook

Follow us on Twitter