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.


  1. If you are in to investing make sure not to invest too heavily on the risky side. This is the risk most people associate with investing. Obviously, investing in investments that are too risky could lead to the loss of a person's hard earned money.

  2. Learn to Invest Money,
    How should i interpret your 'risky side'??
    It will be better if you advise them to buy index funds.

    Mr. 8%, I totally concur with your words. If we are going to achieve something in our life, we must be deadly serious towards it and put in great effort.

    I never attend those costly seminar because i think only i can help myself. Another reason is i don't have that kind of money.^^
    But i also believe that if i can find a mentor in this vast investing world, this will be the happiest thing in my life. Although i haven't found one..I am turning 21 this year so i am looking forward to meeting a mentor.
    This is my so called 'Hope' Haha

    'The two things that will kill an investor are Taxes and Fees.'

  3. Hi Jay,

    I concur. I think these people knows that there are plenty of free platforms where they can learn about investing but everyone wants to make a killing at the quickest possible time and with the least amount of effort. Not all paid seminars are bad, but one has to go in with the correct mind set that there is no easy way out, luck can only get you that far but effort will bring you the real rewards.


  4. Well I had developed a system that I had used for my forex trading. It is not 100% success rate but it has much more wins than losses.

    Dont just believe my words, see my website: http://www.forexandbinary.com/. I update my trades in my website, its my trading journal. The trades details are time stamped, so there is no manipulation allowed.

    If anyone is interested to know more about my system, send an email to me at metal.commodity@gmail.com. Its free but some conditions apply.

  5. Hi all,

    I always like to believe that hard work brings the result you want. Though not always at the time you want it or the magnitude you want it.

    Not all seminars are bad, it's always about price, I guess. If I pay $20 for a 2hr session and get 1 or 2 bits of useful info. I think that's fair. But if I pay $5000 for 2 day trading course, learn the same bit of info and a trading system that guarantee to work but didn't. Hmmm, that's not quite value-for-money.

  6. Hi Brendan,

    I am sure your system works. You put hard work in developing it and tested it, and now benefit from that. Kudos to you.

    Are you sharing it for free? :)

    The problem with the seminars again lies with the price. One of the most famous: turtle trading system can be downloaded for free on the internet. So why are some charging $5000 for it? And make claims like 100% profit in 2 days etc.

    The original turtle traders have said that the system is near perfect. There may be brief periods
    when it doesn't work. But usually, it doesn't work bcos the traders violate the trading rules.

    So trading system works. There is more than 1 way to make money. I don't think value investing is the only way. But you need to put in the effort to make it work. The turtle traders may have to spend years training themselves to use the system, just like value investors.

    It is a mistake to believe that paying $5000 for a course, and then do nothing will help you make money.

    What I am saying is that, you can actually, pay zero, source for the same knowledge on internet or otherwise, put in the effort and make money. Isn't that ideal? :)

  7. Yes I am willing to share my system for free, condition applies. My email address is metal.commodity@gmail.com.

    Internet has lots of information, but also full of junks. If a person can develop a system from the information in the internet, it will be good.

    A few steps to develop a system:
    Step 1 form an assumption or hypothesis.
    Step 2 create a model based on the assumption.
    Step 3 back-test the model.
    Step 4 forward-test the model.
    If it does not pass the back-test or forward-test, go back to step 1 again.

  8. Currently I am also trying to perfect my system for trading commodities and futures.

    The success rate is only about 50%, certainly needs more improvement.

    Again dont just believe what I said, see my trading journal yourself:

  9. hm, if success rate is only about 50%, isn't it like random? Prices can only go up or down...confused.
    I thought systems should at least have >50% chance of getting it right.

  10. Ricky, I said "certainly needs more improvement" for my commodities trading website.

    My forex website has about 75% success rate.

    Today I had shorted USDJPY and bought EURAUD, you can monitor if they make money.

  11. This post seems quite popular, Congrats.


    You are generous to share your hard work with us, hopes that you can learn even more and achieve great success from sharing.

    Thanks for your offer, but i am love Company and Stocks.

    Mr. 8%,

    I am applying your ideal way of learning.. even books such as Security Analysis and Intelligent Investor are borrowed from Uni or Polytechnic's library through my friends. But i will definitely buy it in the near term. (i can't afford to buy many expensive books currently.)

    I agree that there is more than one way to make money from stocks, forex, future and others instrument. In fact, the 10 greatest investors in this world all apply different techniques. The common thing is they all put in extraordinary and consistent efforts.
    (Please refer to

  12. Hi all,

    Great to see more than 10 comments on a post, a record for this blog. Hehe.

    Brendan, thanks for sharing your system. Would like to take a look when I have the time. Great blog you have, good work!

    Sechai, the road is long, treacherous, but also fun and rewarding. In the first few years, if you make money, more likely than not, you are simply lucky. Sorry, no offence here, but that's life actually.

    I know people who made a fortune from stock market during the IT bubble, simply bcos they were lucky. Got in early, cash out at the right time. That's it.

    There are those that got in late, got stuck, and never believe in stock markets again.

    These time round, same thing. Some got in early, some made money and cash out, some did not, some got in late, got stuck etc.

    If you consistently made money over a few cycles (ie prob 10 yrs or more), then you can be sure you are really good. But more imptly, don't give up, and make sure you can lose what you can afford to lose.

    I am sure you can see rewards at the end of 10+ yrs, if you keep accumulating knowledge and develop investment strategies, style etc. But that's a time frame too long for a lot of people. I hope I can stay focus for that long as well, hehe.

  13. Yup, thanks for your advice, i will always bear in mind.

    Cheers! 10 yrs!