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The things I say and do

Eating hotpot is great even if you are doing it alone. I do lots of things by myself, sometimes to the extent people think I’m an oddball.


Time alone is priceless and highly underrated.



Waking up at 7:00 am every day consistently regardless of whether it is a working day is not only an issue of discipline, but a conscious effort to carpe diem.


Some of my most enjoyable and productive moments take place sitting out of a quiet cafe at 8:00 am in the morning.



Nodding doesn't imply that I understand every single word that's being said in a dialogue. Some times it is simply an acknowledgement that I have been attentively listening, but more importantly it also shows a certain amount of respect to the other party.


Nevertheless I'm grateful that most people give me the benefit of that doubt.



Walking and pacing stimulates my thinking. It’s been shown that walking for 20 minutes increases brain activity and facilitates idea generation. As a result I tend to pace around a lot while on conference calls.


There was even an occasion in which I had spent an entire hour on a conference call while walking outdoors from home to the office.



Teaching is more showmanship than a demonstration of knowledge and experience. I realised this when I started giving lectures on valuation and financial modelling.


You can be the most knowledgeable and technical person at the workplace, but in a classroom setting, it is all about entertaining the audience. In the words of The Kinks: Give the people what they want.



Writing helps me consolidate and organise my learnings in a somewhat meaningful and chronological way. Unlike drafting publicity flyers, marketing materials, investment memos and work emails, I don't write to sell. I write to simply share.



Disagreeing with people is sometimes pointless and tiring for me. In most cases, I usually just indulge them. Most people cannot accept, and don't like to be told that they are wrong. Besides, there’s really no point in proving that you are right if you can’t get to "keep your money [#40]".



Investing is highly personal. Each individual's perception of risk and expectation of returns can be vastly different. For example, I trade a lot of options and also use it to hedge my long and short positions. I don’t bother explaining this to a lot of people. Half don’t know how tradable options work. The other half don’t really care because they adopt a totally different approach towards putting money to work.


Either way, it doesn't bother me because I’m not staking someone else’s capital on the table.



Walking away doesn’t always necessarily mean you are giving up. It’s simply a risk management strategy involving the elimination of uncertainty.


Morgan Housel talks about "getting the goalpost to stop moving" in his book, The Psychology of Money:

"It gets dangerous when the taste of having more—more money, more power, more prestige—increases ambition faster than satisfaction. In that case one step forward pushes the goalpost two steps ahead. You feel as if you’re falling behind, and the only way to catch up is to take greater and greater amounts of risk."

Most people experience what we commonly know as the fear of missing out (FOMO), which is exacerbated especially when others say "if only you had [done this]”. You have to remember that what works for others may not work for you because people prioritise and value things differently.


I think that one of the biggest masteries in life is not only to be at peace with the decisions you make, but also to make peace with the outcomes that follow.

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