Friday, September 13, 2019

A meaningful gift.

One of my students gave me a very meaningful gift last weekend along with a touching hand-written note.

Perhaps I share a little bit of background of this gift while keeping the student's identity secret.

My student is, objectively, a very successful man by local standards - richer and way more successful than me  to he point whereby I asked him whether he has a class that I can attend. He attained his wealth the hard way without family support and is much younger than me. You might want to ask why he would even bother attending my investment class. I will only say that his wealth was made through illiquid investments and he wants to pick up some DIY investing skills to avoid the hassle of dealing with them.

Privately, I told him that my course cannot address his biggest issue, which is transmitting the right values to his children and then, somehow, the conversation veered into our favorite brands.

I vaguely recall that we had a conversation about the Rolex Daytona and how much we don't really aspire to owning a Rolex but his eyes lit up when I told him how much I loved shopping at Decathlon.

The conversation about Decathlon is what sales people call the "Show Hand" moment. I was not making a sale, but I was just inadvertently signalling and demonstrating to someone that we hold a very similar philosophy in life. Sometimes a sale is not made on the merits of a product, a salesmen may have actually be a vintage car geek like the customer. I once told a potential customer how to buy a revision guide to study for a Project Management qualification and he ended up paying for my course. Salesman then complained to me that this guy was different to get around until I started talking about IT Project management with them.

I have a few $3.90 T-shirts from Decathlon although my wife and mum really hate it when I wear them in town. Until my mum got fed up and got me a pair of Skechers, I wore a pair of $15 sandals everywhere I went with my signature Mr Greedy Uniqlo T-shirt.

My student was telling me that he bought $9.90 bermudas in bulk. At first I did not believe him because I would have seen that deal when I visited. After class I conferred with another Decathlon fan about bermudas and he had to use Google to extract information on it.

Anyway, I really loved my gift. I'm the kind of guy that pumps my trainer fees into student's investment ideas - I can wear what my students give me. In fact, I wore it three days non-stop and even had a key meeting with a brokerage house where I met a team, including senior managers, to discuss future areas of cooperation.

So thanks to my student, I found my future corporate look !

Anyway, Decathlon is opening their first outlet on Orchard Road and I expect it to be in Centrepoint.

It's really poetic justice as Centre-Point kids of the 1980s are probably Decathlon biggest customers today.

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