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We all need to make more money – get real and stop whining

Posted on 04 January 2011

Investing in stocks and shares is a sensible option, so long as you do your research.

By Ow Zhaohui

LET’S FACE it. Singapore is country dictated by money. That’s what drives the nation, the economy, and the infamous kiasu work ethic. From the expensive foliage dotting our well-maintained roads, to the public transport that does not break down often, one only needs to look around the region to see how truly we live above the Southeast Asian norm.

Yet this transition to a first world economy has paved way for the rise of self-proclaimed moralists that champion loudly: ‘chase your dreams!’ (seldom thinking about the consequences of getting burnt), ‘follow your passion!’ (instead of economic prerogatives) and the crowd favourite: ‘don’t do it for the money!’.

Please. We live for our dreams, but we also live in a world where we can’t do without material needs.

If you’re, like me, between the 26-30 age bracket, you’re probably wondering why your income isn’t rising nearly as quickly as the cost of living. You probably are skilled in some area and have the ability to bring home some cash at the end of the month to sustain the next month in the mill.

Faced with this scenario, you would probably be looking hard for avenues to make those numbers in your bank account go up so you can make your dreams happen.

Or you could knock your head against the wall demanding that the government makes things affordable for everyone out of ‘fairness’ and ‘equality’. Better still, you may even demand that the government do more to curb speculation (aka what most people do in the above paragraph), making it difficult for people to win big or lose big.

The 2008 recession together with the minibonds fiasco has brought a blanket of pessimism over all investments in general, as kindly espoused by a certain Mr Landon Leo:

This article IMO is already attempting to bring execution onto the table right from the start, which is extremely risky for any young investor. The phrase ‘Ways to make money’ by itself has a very strong draw on the internet (just do a google search and you will know). Yet 90% of investors/traders lose money regularly.

He’s not entirely wrong. Most people on average are more likely to fail than succeed in the stock market. But is this any reason to believe that one should therefore never take risks? Think about it – by investing, one at least has a shot with an income multiplier. By not doing anything, you are in fact, losing out in the long run.

Investment also comes in many forms, with different levels of risk mitigation. You are not entirely at the mercy of casino capital.

Besides high-risk stocks, there are bi-weekly lottery draws, the weekly turf club races, two round-the-clock casinos and the back alley dens where many can double or triple the capital amount pronto.

These options are high risk with very little way increasing one’s chances for success – not such a smart idea to place your hopes and dreams in them. Mr Landon Leo would probably be better off addressing his accusations at these gambling addicts.

A more sensible option for income multiplication would still be stocks, the foreign exchange, real estate, commodities etc. The more knowledge you have, trawled from the library, online or elsewhere, the better you can predict the behaviour of your stocks and the higher your chances of finding a winning stock option. It’s as simple as that!

Undeniably there is still a high chance that one could make losses but hey, it is measured risk. The onus is on the investor to make the best choice possible, according to his or her risk appetite.

2010 saw increases in housing prices, car prices, inflation of 3.5% and if you out there reading this have started to feel the heat, you are not alone. The cost of living is increasing and we’re fighting an uphill battle to keep our incomes multiplying as quickly as our expenditure.

I’m not trying to paint a rosy picture of the stock market but in my opinion, it surely makes much more sense taking some risk and trying to multiply one’s own income than whining about how expensive everything is when nothing much can be done!

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- who has written 268 posts on New Nation.

Joey is an intern at New Nation. He hopes to be as funny as Belmont one day and get laid at least twice a month.

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  • Landon Leo

    Excellent article to build the right mental foundation!

    A good followup read from this point would be Zurich axioms. This is in view that Singapore’s likeness when compared to Switzerland.

    I would like to make some useful comments and clarifications :

    “Investment also comes in many forms, with different levels of risk mitigation. You are not entirely at the mercy of casino capital.

    Besides high-risk stocks, there are bi-weekly lottery draws, the weekly turf club races, two round-the-clock casinos and the back alley dens where many can double or triple the capital amount pronto.

    These options are high risk with very little way increasing one’s chances for success – not such a smart idea to place your hopes and dreams in them. Mr Landon Leo would probably be better off addressing his accusations at these gambling addicts.”

    ->I would like to clarify that that it is true that we should never place our hopes onto the options stated above. The gambling arena is another different market all together. My accusations are directed on the overall system of the financial markets and its actual function/motive being hidden from the general public. Or worse, misinformed and distorted! That is what isn’t fair and isn’t morally right. Without knowing these facts in order to ‘play the game correctly’, then we are really at the mercy of casino capital. Correct knowledge is key: I will expound upon that later.

    Looking into other types of investment does not solve the real problem stated above. This is okay, since different people can tolerate different risk levels and this makes investment more accessible to the lower risk investor. But it only solves the problem of personal risk management and preferences. Its a minor comfort, but not much. This is because majority of financial market investments run under a similar foundation system/motive.

    “A more sensible option for income multiplication would still be stocks, the foreign exchange, real estate, commodities etc. The more knowledge you have, trawled from the library, online or elsewhere, the better you can predict the behaviour of your stocks and the higher your chances of finding a winning stock option. It’s as simple as that!

    Undeniably there is still a high chance that one could make losses but hey, it is measured risk. The onus is on the investor to make the best choice possible, according to his or her risk appetite.”

    ->This statement on the whole is also true, just that its ironic that more knowledge does not necessarily equate to success. I say this due to these facts :

    1-majority of the knowledge made available today regarding the markets are outdated due to changing market conditions,
    2-or skewed to trick the young and/or uninformed investor/trader
    3-or wrong application/execution of the right knowledge

    Good and rightful knowledge regarding the truth of markets and earning money out of it are hard to find. But when found and exploited correctly, are true gems! This is something that cannot be addressed easily in one article alone. I would enjoy this being addressed with upcoming future articles.

    We can do a lot regarding the market. So long we know the truth and apply it well enough with some degree of personal mastery.