Saturday, January 21, 2023

Happy Year of the Rabbit ! How I apply Chinese metaphysics to my life.


After today, I can finally end my one big year where my Chinese horoscope is governed by the Grand Duke Star, which means that 2022 was a year of tough challenges. 

In the Year of the Tiger, despite launching a new course, rising interest rates began to nibble on my revenues, and I ended up earning less than in 2021. Concerned that the Grand Duke was glaring at me, I activated my practice certificate and spent the past 2 months learning how to be an entry-level associate again while still selling my investment courses and doing media interviews. While I still have some gas left in the tank ( unlike some NZ PM who just resigned recently), I suspect I would need to wise up to my situation sometime in June this year, and some tough career choices need to be made, but the New Year should not be the occasion to make such difficult choices... yet. 

The Year of the Rabbit is supposed to be slightly better and less frustrating for Tigers, and for good measure, I took my Bazi and realised that I'm born on the Day of the Rat, and I'm heartened to note that things will improve from last year for both Tigers and Rats.

But the big question is how things can improve. At the moment, I've got four irons in the fire : 

  • One possibility is that local banks improve NIMs so much this was tantamount to me shifting my funds towards a batch of growth dividend stocks over the past few months. 
  • The other is investors realising that local interest rates are coming down and REITs get a nice boost. I already saw some good news from Sabana last week. 
  • There is a more negligible probability of investment courses doing better this year. 
  • Finally, the odds of actually being able to bring a profitable file to my law firm are even more remote. 

One big thing is already looking up. As I started to go back to work, my blood sugar readings began to improve, and all the expensive tests I took last year concerning my pancreas' health were negative. It may be how I commute: a lug of a heavy laptop to work every day and walking a reasonably long distance switching from different MRT lines. 

We really would never know whether these predictions will turn out true. 

I thought I'd share my story about why I follow what fortune tellers say on the web and TV.

About around a decade ago, I visited Taiwan with my wife and volunteered to have my fortune read. Since I had stepped into the tourist trap ( they sell expensive Bixiu figurines), I should get a reading and following the advice in good faith. The fortune teller took my details and told me quite accurately that I had a lot of near misses to the huge wins in my life, and that was true given that I narrowly missed getting into a good secondary school, getting a scholarship, joining an Olympiad Team, getting into consulting. I've basically spent my life getting silver medals. The soothsayer said in terms of talent, I had everything in place but lacked an "East Wind" alluding to Zhuge Liang's attempts to borrow the East Wind to win a war by sacrificing his life force. 

That East Wind was that I was a lone wolf and didn't like to call for help. I needed to be more open to collaboration.

Now even if you are a rational and logical person, this is great advice, even if it came from someone who understood the psychology behind Barnum statements. I verified the reading with the online Bazi portal. I confirmed that the fortune teller followed the formula in figuring out the balance of my elements, so she was not bullshitting me based on body language.

So I decided to change my approach to life. I will seek help and be more trusting of other people. 

Not long after returning, I was invited to attend an investment game by this "fringe" financial education company called BigFatPurse. Frankly, I was like many readers who thought that folks who teach investing are conmen.

But I was done being a paranoid asshole. 

There was even a miscommunication when I showed up in class, and the location was changed, but I decided to still hunt down the class venue and showed up with a gift of books. I decided that maybe, behind BigFatPurse, I would meet a benefactor.

So this explains my strange journey as an investment trainer today. BigFatPurse mooted the idea of a company to consolidate the bargaining power of financial bloggers, and the company remains profitable today. I did eight sold-out financial talks in law school thanks to our collaboration which convinced me that life as an investment trainer is possible. Even today, I drew my highest income as an investment trainer. 

To be fair, I would say that I still rate pretty highly on disagreeableness, and I still won't collaborate with everyone. Chinese Metaphysics has its limits. Where Chinese Metaphysics ends, Western pop psychology can take over - I know I work well with INTJs because of their high representation in the FIRE communities, and these days I actively seek to collaborate with them. 

Hope this answers the question as to why I only work with a select few people in the Financial Wulin.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Chris,

    Well-documented analogy. I opine that the ups and downs of life is common and normal. As long as one and his/her family are fine and has good health, this will be a great year.