Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Hopes and Dreams

Flipping through the newspaper everyday, I see so many dreams asking us to fork out top dollars to make them come true. Proprietary trading systems to help you trade and earn big money, ways to become millionaires, weight loss to a perfect figure, teaching methods to make your kid a genius, and many more others. Most of the time, they don't work, bcos if they did, they won't need these advertisements, people will just flock to their shops by the truckloads.

But the sad truth is, people still pay top dollars to go through these useless programs bcos they are buying a hope, hoping that somehow these programs will make their dreams come true. Humans are given the gift of hope such that in the most desperate of times, we can mentally survive bcos we know things could be better. In prehistoric times, cavemen needed hope to tide through winter, our grandparents needed hope to survive the wars. Today, this has become a marketing tool to entice people to buy hope that their dreams will come true.

Alas, you reap what you sow. How can you expect to lose weight by just paying money while you continue your 3,000 calories diet every day? How is it possible that your investment will make you money if you don't devote time to study what kind of investment you bought? We live in a world of cause and effect. One has to put in the right effort in order to get the desired results. So even if someone told you that the programs did work, it is more bcos they themselves put in the effort to cause the change. Or they may be just lucky.

To make money from investment is just about that: putting in the effort to learn, to think and then execute, ie buy the right securities. Most of it is free. The learning can be found all over the internet and needless to say, on this blog! The thinking is up to you, whether you like mental workout or just let your brain rot. Like most of us let our bodies rot by slouching in front of the TV after a hard day's work. The execution, well, competition among the brokers have brought commission down. So it's not expensive anymore. Unless of course you get some relationship managers or private bankers to service you and you actually get enticed to buy their high cost, high commission investment products. Then sorry lah, you might be paying 5% or even more of your capital for buying stocks or other securities.

The bottom line is this: don't pay top dollars for investment seminars, brokerage services, private banking services, don't pay top dollar for trading systems, learning to invest or any other programs for that matter. The great lessons in life are usually free.
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