Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Carebears and a discussion on personal strengths that are useful in investments

The Carebears are an accidental creation which is something that is worthy of mention. I have some sort of mastermind group which is composed of close friends who are generally into self-improvement, financial mastery, abstract mathematics, sociology, Goatse, philosophy and other high-falutin ideas which many Singaporeans will disapprove of if they join us for a beer session in Ang Mo Kio or tea session in Tea Chapter.

The name arose from our accidental run-in with a group of competitive board-gamers who only meet when the World of Warcraft servers are down on a Tuesday. They call their meet-ups "Tuesdays with Assholes". I called for a dinner session last night calling it "Tuesdays with Carebears", carebears being a term for folks who play games for non-competitive, social or affiliative reasons, and the name somehow managed to gain traction within the group. Just hours ago, the gang started taking personality tests to figure out which carebear they most resemble them. And we're talking adult STRAIGHT men here.

So here's a toast to the power of ideas.

Ok, let's talk about personality tests.

I first learned of the Strength-finder 2.0 through Singapore's top blogger Mr.Wang. He took the test and recommended it for his readers. Being a Mr. Wang fan, I promptly bought the test and took it for myself.

My Gallup strengths are :

Analytical, Input, Intellection, Competitive and Activator.

I think these strengths lend very well into investing:

a) My Analytical inclinations forces me to see numbers before committing my money and I'm always looking for clear picture of cash flow before investing in a dividend stock.

b) Input as a strength makes it easy to read all the investment journals, take the CFA exams and absorb large amounts of boring statistical data.

c) Intellection is a strength that allows me to create internal dialogues to challenge my own investment beliefs, it also predisposes me to philosophy which introduces ideas like that of Karl Popper who taught me to come up with ways to falsify my own investment ideas actively to refine my portfolio.

d) My two other strengths of Competition and Activator gives me the motivation to become financially independent by benchmarking my status with my peers and pushes me to make snap decisions with a sense of urgency.

Over the many months I've known my fellow Carebears, I've noticed that there is a common thread in that almost all of them feel a compelling need to know more about themselves. It could be because they want to delve into the meaning of Life or wish to make a decision on whether they are in the right career path. As an amateur life-coach, I have always directed them towards using the Strengthfinder 2.0 to frame their decision based on what their Strengths are.

Right now, it's still to early to see results but I'm keeping my fingers crossed that when a person is still going through some introspection, it may be useful to look into their personal strengths and withhold judgment until they can learn more about themselves.

They may well find a trump card in their hand which can make a difference in their journey in this world.

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