Monday, June 16, 2014

Random thoughts: preparing for exams, preparing to invest

When I first get into university, I worked very hard. Who wouldn't, the difference in starting pay for one with honors and one without is about 5 hundred per month.

I remembered having the most notes, researching the most, memorizing the most, I read through my notes that is thicker than a dictionary so many times that I can remember most of the pointers, even the sentences. So how did I do for my first semester? Straights Cs.

Disappointed, I decided that I didn't understand the new module enough, I worked even harder, telling myself it is just 1 semester. The first year results, still straight Cs.

The second year, I work even harder, sleep less than 5 hours, wake up early to study, and eat, shit, study again. Sleep the study. Well, I got 1-2 Bs, but the rest are Cs.

I was devastated. I resigned myself to a degree with pass or merit. For the last semester of year 2, I decided to chill, work hard so that I know what the teacher is trying to teach, but I never burn the midnight oil anymore. I spent a but more time jogging and playing computer games. Surprise surprise, I score my first A!

Suddenly, it dawned on me that I might have overstudy. I read through the notes so many times that I have difficulty answering the qn directly.

It sound real stupid, but it is true. I remember the wuxia novel I read, the highest skill is to forget u had the skills.

I continue to work hard, but nearer the exam dates, I forced myself never to study. So that all that I have read, I will not remember which source it came from, I will not remember how the sentence is structured. I also make sure after I understand, after I practice once, I will not touch the notes again.

I got straight As.

In case u think I am boasting, I am not, but can't help it if u think that way.

Looking at back, I realised those stupid 1st year was not in vain, as it formed the foundation of what I learned later, I can relate to a lot of concepts and transfer concepts easily.

Looking at my investment life. I lack the mugging of the 1st year. My radar of companies too small, I understand too little industries, I read too little annual reports. Without the mugging, how to find the gem?

As for forgetting everything to remember everything. One has to forget the value of your portfolio to be able to invest emotionlessly, so that u can focus on the Path to your end goal and not get distracted.

I did get to honors class. I was thrilled. I think: how about second upper or even 1st class? My anxiety and greed cause me to make my first year mistake, I over. Prepared. Of course, given I am now seasoned in the exam game, I got Bs. I curse myself, why did I over prepare? The last semester, it was straight As again.

In investing, it is when u think u found the formula, then u will fumble again. I will keep learning. I think I will make it a point to read AR every night.


  1. In long-term investing; it is not necessary the harder you work you will make more money out of the stock market. It doesn't work that way! Neither, we can be lazy and expect to make easy money out of the stock market too.

    It is simple but not easy. Simple is NOT equal easy.

    Read? Reading this won't make you great! (3)

    Less Analyzing. More Investing - Createwealth8888

    One good example is late Uncle Chua.

    Read? Learn from late Uncle Chua??? (2)

  2. Easy need patience.

    Wait for bear market. U can put out a chart of blue chips and throw tarts at them. If u throw enough, u will make good money. In the unlikely situation whereby one or two don't make money, the rest will be multi-baggers.

    But I wish to understand the banking industry for a start. I see pockets of opportunity here and there. I want to know which can survive a downturn so that I can switch some non- dividend counters out of it.

    Plenty of time to learn, anyway.

    Buffett makes investing sound like a breeze, but not many know he actually read almost ALL companies listed inUS annual report when he is young. That is how he build his circle of competence and decide Technology is not his particular circle of competence.

    Walter, peterlynch and fisher all went through the phase of going through fire, and enjoying the fame later and make it sound so easy because they had laid their fair share foundation. Many did not see the foundation lying period and thought they can replicate their formula by reading their books. E.g not many can scuttlebutt like fisher.

    Mind, money, method. I think my mind is clearer now, I will go back to work on method until it clouds my mind again. When I clear all of them, i know it will be Ye next level up

  3. sillyinvestor,

    In our separate ways, the 3 of us have our similar epiphanies:.

    CW calls it: Less analysing; more investing.

    I call it: Collecting stardust.

    You have not come up with your own witty phrase yet, but we understand you clearly.

    Zen practitioners have similar experiences.

    The more we try to seek wisdom and enlightenment, the more they elude us.

    When we stop "chasing" and still ourselves, we realise how foolish we have been!


  4. Wow! Kudos to you for making it a point to read AR every night! But life is not only about investing, do enjoy life while in it too ;-)

  5. Haha, if u ask me, I enjoy life too much. Not much savings. Tell AK the oatmeal guy to chill a bit LOL

  6. 手中无剑 , 心中有剑 , 此乃最高境界 .

  7. Haha a fellow wuxia novel enthusiast

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