Thursday, January 29, 2009

The mechanics of learning something new

My story into the stock market is not exactly a standard one. By standard, I mean those who saw people earning lots of money and wanted to get into it. I was never attracted by the returns of the market, and back then when I started, I was not aware of how much is a good return anyway. I was more pushed into the market then pulled by it. Why so?

When I decided for myself back in 2006 that I needed to get an insurance, since I spent a good part of my life without any to begin with. I met up with my insurance agent and was subsequently was presented to take up two policies - one a whole life policy and another an investment linked policy (ILP). Not that I know any better back then. I have no clues to the differences between a whole and a term life, much less an ILP. The story is long and I've no wish to say it here, but let's just move forward and say that in my good fortune, I only bought the whole life without the ILP.

This got me really frustrated because having being bombarded by the agent on the good returns of ILP and such, I felt really stupid not knowing anything about it. I then realised that in all my life, I've no clues as to the fundamentals of financial planning. This nusiance of not being in the know pushes me to open a trading account and to begin learning.

It was hard learning up all the jargon and technicalities of the market. There wasn't any good resource (esp in Singapore) to begin learning. I have to trip and fall all the way to be a bit more knowledgeable in this area.

It seems like recently, I'll have to repeat this whole process of learning something new again. A new phase in my life had begun this year. I've decided to find out all that I can about the property market, as I wish to have an investment property in the near future. Again, I felt the stinking feeling of not knowing anything about the property market, and I have to feel and grope my way in the darkness. However, this time there's also a few knowledgeable folks (like dream) guiding me along. Utmost gratitude to him.

I wish to pen down my goals here, to whip me more into action and to have the motivation to carry on what I'm already doing.

1. Save $50,000 by end of 31st Dec, 2009

2. Finish all the blog articles in my bookmarks

3. Have a working knowledge of all there is to know about the property market, including but not limited to mortgages, property index, tenants, contracting, prospecting properties etc.

Looks like to survive in these modern times is not easy at all. You have to be a part-time fund manager and a part-time property agent in the process. I wonder how many more 'part-timer' roles I'll have to adopt to ensure a decent life and a good retirement in the future. Let me just end this with the key to learning something new: Learn something when the nuisance of not knowing becomes too unbearable.


Anonymous said...

:) kudos!

I hope you will be able to achieve what you set out to do.

If it is any motivation, I'll be reading all the postings you made. Property is one area which i am going to study on too!

la papillion said...

Hi paul,

Haha, again, so fast :) Thks for reading my nonsense :P

Anonymous said...

Hello La Pap,

Happy Niu Year.

I hope that you will reach your goals.

One way to "compress time" is to learn from others who have gone that path instead of reinventing the wheel. This can be thro' books or friends that you meet in your life.

For eg. in real estate, I have a friend who has been in the industry for more than 10 yrs and own his own agency. If I need info and have queries, I give him a ring. Of course, all this is part of network cultivation. We meet for dinner and maintain contact thro' email.

$50K is definitely do-able. Y not set up to make another 20K from the market :), making it a HUAT HUAT YEAR :)

Good cheers,

la papillion said...

Hey mm,

Yes, you're very right. As I grow older, I realised that re-investing the wheel and trying everything myself is next to impossible if I want to achieve anything close to success. That's why reading and make the right friends are very impt.

Make from market ah? Hoho, difficult for me...not a pro. Even the 50k will have to be pure hardwork. I'm going to work on my career as well, though I didn't mention it in the article.

Be prosperous and well :)

PanzerGrenadier said...


All the best in meeting the $50k target. The power of setting targets is that it gives your conscious and subconscious mind something to work towards.

If you have no dependents, $50k is achievable with hardwork, discipline and a bit of luck.

Learning something new is how we stop our brains from rotting. A mind is truly a terrible thing to waste!

Be well and prosper.

la papillion said...

Hey PG,

Yes, I do hope I can achieve my target saving rate. I'll do a half yearly review of that goal. Things might change a bit because I'm toying on the idea of getting a car (for work) too. That will erode my savings a bit.

PanzerGrenadier said...


Always good to set a target. Was it Dale Carnegie who said,

"Aim for the stars, if you miss, you'll land on the moon!"


Be well and prosper.

la papillion said...


If I miss, I'll land on my butt! Literally and metaphorically! :)

Admin said...

Hope to read about your new gained knowledge on property investment and your learning journey.

I have a "goal" for property investment at the back of my mind too. As I have inadequate knowledge and fund, the "goal" remains a fuzzy idea and is invalid for the time being.

What is the purpose for the $50k? Have you decided on the allocation?

la papillion said...

Hi dancerene,

The 50k that I planned to save this year will contribute to the fund that I'm saving for the downpayment of the property I'm going to invest in the near future.

I've already had 50k cash, going to save another 50k this year. That will be a good sum to begin with. I'm also looking at the possibility of a joint tender for a property i.e. having a few people to own a property, so as to reduce each individual's downpayment and liabilities.

We can learn together if you're interested. In Singapore, one have to do both investment in stocks and properties to reach financial independence, unless one owns a business or have great inheritance. No choice on that matter.

Admin said...

Received this in an adv email:

Thot maybe you will be interested.