Terrible June for Stock Market

arrow-down.jpgLet’s be thankful that it’s the 4th of July and the market can take a break from tumbling. The terrible June has left everyone staring at some bloody red balance sheets. Hopefully the market fares better in the 2nd half of the year.

I do not look forward to calculating my networth for June. Oh well.

Now is even more critical to be reminded once again of the important idea of investing long term, instead of dumping the all the stocks and funds at huge loss. As long as you maintain the idea of finding solid investment that provide modest gain and not some get-rich-quick-thingie, whether you went with index fund or not, you should be alright in the long term and hence, best to stay put.

Keyword being “should” because let us not forget that buying into the market does not guarantee return. Even if you buy index funds. Even if you diversify. There is always systemic risk. Perhaps a major catastrophe causes the downfall of the sector of your funds, or the Wall Street somehow disappears, or the global market gets destroyed all together ,or our money system simply disintegrates! Give me your best guess. These are not likely scenario but who knows. Pessimistic? Perhaps. But I am just reminding you that no form of investment guarantees return. It is not a privilege.

Actually, the results of the above-stated disasters may not be that bad. First of all, people are screwed all together in those cases, and as result, we may live in better harmony supporting each other. Yeah, I can be a dreamer sometimes. On another thought, the idea of money may disappear and could return people to the true state of living. Or we may return to an age of the survival of the fittest, which will force people to be physically healthy and capable. Alright, I digress. I am done exercising my imagination.

The current market is a mangled pile of mess that is the result of people desiring unsustainable amount of growth in a short period of time and many of these so-called growth are a result of manual fabrication through layers and layers of abstraction (ie. CDOs). A dozen drunken monkeys in a room probably cause less chaos that that. My opinion is that it will take awhile for it all to untangle. It may even take the next 2-3 years during which we see little to no growth, if no losses, in our investment. But like I said again, we should be looking long-term.

Speaking of long-term, people always quote that the market returns somehwere between 10-12%. I don’t really like that. Past pattern does not predict future, especially the future of a speculative market that is a projection of the ficklest human minds. And when you really think about it, a few decades of data is not even that big of a sample either. People just love pulling statistics out of their donkeys to justify arguments.

Here is the thing, I took a look at the Vanguard Wellington fund that has been around since 1929 and Vanguard’s website said the average return is 8.3%. That gives me some idea and helps set my expectation. I do my diligence in investing — studying, carefully selecting, diversify a good chunk through funs — and I shall be happy if I get a 5-8% return in the long run.

I am in no rush to become rich. The journey is the fun part.

Originally posted 2008-07-03 23:19:44. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Questions to Ask When You Think about Buying Items

With the over exposure to advertising these days, it is hard to avoid having the urge to buy things. The current inflating prices do not help either. I am a sucker for gadgets and electronics, though I have learned better control myself now. So how do I keep myself from overspending? And how can you curb that urge to fork over the greens to the marketeers? How about asking yourself some of the following questions…

How much enjoyment will I get? Will it be long- or short-lived?
This one can be phrased as, how much will the item adds to your values in life now and/or in the future? For more on this, read Every Spending is an Investment.

How versatile will it be?
Consder how many situations and under how many conditions you can use the items. For example, like a set of computer speakers, there are ones you can get that even satisfy a home theater purpose. Or like an mp3 player, besides using it casually, is it suitable to bring to the gym? or with you jogging or running? So essentially, the more cases you can make use of it, the more valuable it is.

How long will it likely last? And maintenance issues?
Look for warranty and double check reviews for the item’s quality are musts. Plus, the more you have to maintain or fix something, the more it owns you.

Does the cost justify the answers for the quesiton above?
You will have to consider the price, against all the pluses and minuses from the answers for the questions above. Buy what is truly valuable to you, without overspending of course.

Originally posted 2008-06-12 22:19:22. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Life is a Process

In life, we move from one goal to the next. We are told that we need to set goals and to reach these goals is success. So in between goals, our focus is solely on the goals. It becomes all about reaching the end.

Let me ask you, “Are you always in a hurry to ‘get some where’ in life?”

I must say, I’m not so sure if it’s such a good idea anymore. I wonder how many moments we lost by living like that. But the fact that everyone is in a hurry in life, so fixated on the “end”, helps to explain why people are so distracted in everyday life. Their happiness is solely dependent on reaching goals. I’m not sure if I like this either. I am even amazed at how much people enjoy the dramas, both good and bad ones, in between also, but I digress.

People are 100% immersed in this little world of “goals”. They allow the emotions and thoughts that arouse from succeeding or failing at these goals dictate them. In other words, reaching goals and success and emotions and thoughts control them. This explains why people genuinely not give a crap about each other also. They are ready to step on another’s toes to cross the road.

My conclusion for now is that everything in life or more specifially, growth in any areas like physical strength, piano, singing, etc. (what I do) is like climbing a mountain. Just when you think you have gone so far, you realize how much farther you can go. No end in sight. It’s a relentless pursuit. What would happen if you base your happiness on these endless pursuits?

It is great to celebrate when a goal is reached. But it’s so enjoyable also realize in between, that you are travelling because you care to expand the effort, and you possess the perserverance, endurance of pain, acceptance of loneliness, and willingness to change. The moments in between goals are important. It is also extraordinarily enjoyable as I am training in many different areas, and by savoring the moments, I discovered so much about myself and the world, both physically and psychologically.

Essentially, the moment is all we have. To find happiness means you treat the moment sincerely. To have faith in the moment is to have peace. To have peace allows you to do things sincerely. To do things sincerely allows for quality.

It is foolish to take life in a completely goal-oriented way. Not that goal is bad. But reaching for goal as extremety is bad. Not only because you are wasting the moments of yourlife, but also because you will ignore the process. Like the economic crisis, we can say it happened because of greed. However, we can also say that it happened because people wnat this arbitrary end of “enormous wealth” and they want to bypass process to get there. It is the same reason why people take steroids to look big and not for medical purpose. We had a economy spiked on steroids and now we reap the side effects.

In a way, I guess I want to say that modern life is a constant struggle to get to these “ends”. But I am writing this to also remind myself to not get sucked into the incessant chasing, to not be in such a hurry. It is important to stop and rest. I like to stay in the moment. And like I said, it’s a struggle sometimes living in this modern world.

Finally, to not treat life as a one integral process is also the cause of the biggest downfall for many people. Why? Examples would be people who diet/exercise for some deadlines, only to turn into Ms./Mrs./Mr. Dunkin Donuts afterward. Or people who enslave themselves with yet another loan after they paid off the previous one.

To think that you “get there” and you can stop is the stupidest thing people can think in life. To stop is to become rigid and therefore allows no change and that means death. To be alive is to be fluid and ready to accept changes to go with the flow in life. Life is a process.

Originally posted 2008-11-02 23:08:05. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Nothing is Free, Causality, Karma

The concepts of Nothing is Free, Causality, and Karma mean the same thing to me.

By the law of physics, one cannot create something out of nothing. And indeed, nothing in this world is free, ever. When you get this concept into your head, the way you make decision will forever change.

In every action and decision we make…
There are always upside and downside.
There are always costs and benefits.
There are always cause and effect.

In everything we do, we gain something and we lose something at the same time.
None of us can receive something without first giving something.

You cannot do amazing by doing ordinary.
You cannot reach greatness by doing what everyone else does.

If you seem not able to see this and grasp the concept, I dare say your perception is shallow.

Originally posted 2008-07-17 19:33:17. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Pages: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 ... 87 88 89 Next

Subscribe using Email

Get notified of new posts by email.