Sunday, September 29, 2013

Article: Ray Dalio Explains the Economy

Ray Dalio would like to explain the economy to you.

Mr. Dalio, the founder of Bridgewater Associates and whose $13 billion net wealth placed him 31st on the Forbes 400 list, produced the following half-hour video. He explains debt cycles, booms, busts, bubbles, recessions, deleveraging, and how the economy gets itself into trouble. This take on the economy, Mr. Dalio tells us, is what he uses to help guide his investment decisions.

Seeing as Bridgewater is the biggest hedge fund out there, with roughly $150 billion in assets under management, this is quite the insight into what makes it tick. He put it up on YouTube for all the world to see:


Financial education is so under-rated in our education system. Lotsa things I learnt in school & university (science & engineering background) are pretty much useless. I got to learn about financial and investment 1 year after my graduation and I am hooked to it. I regretted that I started late, but at least, I found what I enjoy. 

This video is concise and simple to understand. It is a very good use of your 30 mins. 

Monday, September 23, 2013

Embrace:the gift of life

Last week was busy (meeting ex-colleague, working late in office, attending conference, sending parents to airport, mid-autumn festival), but the most meaningful event was my volunteer work at Patient Care Center (for HIV & AIDS patients) at Tan Tock Seng Hospital. 

After the visit, I was feeling a bit sad and down, as I saw one of the patients getting weaker and thinner. He was suffering from bad diarrhea (wearing adult diaper) and was frustrated with his doctors/nurses/children etc... He was suffering and very unhappy. As volunteer, there is nothing I could do, but to lend a listening ear. 

I received a text from a fellow volunteer below:

A record of his conversation with other patient.

I am happy to know that our insignificant work could bring comfort and joy to the patients. HIV and AIDS patients are highly stigmatized. For cancer patients, their photos could be posted and received tremendous support from the society, but for HIV/AIDS patients, they had to suffer in silence & in shame. To protect them, I can't post their photos online. There are many stories behind these silent sufferers, and who are we to judge. Everybody makes mistakes.

The theme of the Charity Dinner that I attended on Saturday for Patient Care Center. Indeed, a lot of patients need acceptance from their family, friends and the society. 

We need a more compassionate society.


Below are news article about PCC and volunteers:

"click to enlarge"

Sunday, September 15, 2013

“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a harder battle.” ― Plato

Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a harder battle.” 
― Plato

Last 2 weeks when I met up with my friends, I realized that different people is fighting different battles. There are so many problems like marriage, health, career, money... so much fear, unhappiness, stress, sadness, hurt, losses, uncertainties... 

Be kind to people.
Be kind to yourself.
There are just too much sufferings.

Personally, one of my stock investments plunged 50% within 2 hours and halt from trading due to fraud accusation. I could potentially lose all the money. I was unhappy for the first few days - thinking what went wrong, where did I analyze wrongly, how this money could be used (ie. traveling around the world for 1 year), how long will it take for me to earn back this money etc. I felt even worse when I recommended my parents to invest in this stock. It was stressful.

I found the root of my suffering (ie. stress, unhappiness).
It is my attachment to my possession (ie. my money).
I know the antidote to my suffering (ie. letting go of my attachment).

It was hard to let go.
Time is a wonderful thing.
At the end of the week, I was mentally prepared to write-off the whole investment.
There is nothing better I could do, but to remember the lesson. 
I felt more balanced and at ease.

Fortunately,  a week later, the stock price rebounded when it started trading.
I made a small profit instead of losing the whole investment.


Life will never be easy.
There will be more challenges in the future.
It is my attachment to the world that bring so much sufferings.

If I am attached to my money, I would be unhappy if I lose money.
If I am attached to my health, I would be unhappy if I lose health.
If I am attached to my relationship, I would be unhappy if I lose relationship.
If I am attached to my possession, I would be unhappy if I lose possession.
If I am attached to my EGO, I would be unhappy if someone hurt my EGO.

It is not easy, but the antidote is letting go.
Why learn to let go?
Life is Impermanent.
This is the Truth.

I am still learning...
For the time being, I choose to kind and grateful before I bid farewell to everything.

Below is one of my favourite quotes:

“Remembering that I'll be dead soon is the most important tool I've ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life.

Almost everything--all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure--these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. 

Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart. 

No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don't want to die to get there. And yet, death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it, and that is how it should be, because death is very likely the single best invention of life. It's life's change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new.”

― Steve Jobs (1955-2011)