Why Are You Still Suck with Investing after Paying Thousands for Courses?

Have you ever attended any of those investing or trading courses out there, and yet not getting the returns you expected?

Even worse, you paid thousands, and sometimes millions for those damn courses!

Hey wait, if this is not hurtful already, those experts even promised you a ‘consistent’ return if you learn their strategies!

If that’s the case, why are you – in spite of the hope and promises (not to mention an initial burn to your pocket) – still not making any money out of what you’ve learned?


Yup, You Are not Alone

I was there.

Sometime before graduating from university, I enrolled in my first ever 3-days investing course (in thousands). Just like many paying for these courses, I thought I will be able to make damn a lot of money (read: immediately) with my initial investment into my investing education.

You bet I was wrong. Super, duper wrong.

Instead of starting to make money from the stock market, I lost money instead. What the hell?


Can you relate?

Then, after losing money with the strategies that we paid thousands to learn, we embark on the journey to look for another course that could promise us a strategy that could provide us consistent and high returns.

Sounds familiar?

The irony is, for most of us, the cycle will continue to roll, and yet we will never find the one holy grail strategy that will make us huge and consistent returns.

Seriously, why is it so? Why do we pay that bloody money and yet not getting the returns we are promised?


‘Experts’ Overpromising Is Real

If you resonate with what I’ve written so far, I bet you will find what I am going share next even more relatable:

Firstly, there will be testimonies of students making X% within 3 months after attending the course. This gives people hope (the most important element in marketing courses).

Then, there will be a pitch to for you eventually quit your job through your returns from the market. This touches the soft spot of most people nowadays.

Wait, there’s more.

How about for everything above, you only need to ‘spend 5 minutes in front of the chart every week/month’? Or ‘get a sure-win stock-pick with a click of a button’ with their trademarked proprietary investing system (or some premium strategy with macam yes bombastic name)?

“Holy sh*t, this looks like something that I could sign up to I fire my boss sometime soon!”

Sounds like something that has slipped through your mind before? Well, it certainly did for me.


Marketers Tell Stories their Customers Want to Listen

Give what you’ll be reading up next a thought:

A weight management company will NEVER market their product as something that’ll produce results slow.

A hair-loss control company will NEVER market their services as something that’ll take a long time to see any effect.

However, we all know that both weight management and hair growth doesn’t happen overnight! In fact, it takes a grueling commitment and dedication to really get the results that you want (depending on your condition too, of course).

In short, a lot of marketing materials are likely not a reflection of the real deal. Rather, those are stories that leverage consumers’ emotions and desires in order to convert them.

It could be a ‘true story’ though. But it is likely not the WHOLE story.

Now, think about how an investment ‘expert’ that is real good in marketing would market his/her expensive courses:

Would you rather sign up for a course that claims that their students make 30% return consistently?

Or would you rather sign up for a course that claims that their students make 30% return consistently, BUT you will need to put a lot of practice and time into the system?

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"Earn quick and guaranteed profit by using our system and strategy!"

‘Experts’ Marketing Stories is NOT the most important reason WHY you still lose money in investing/trading

Humans are naturally born to the desire for instant gratification.

If any, I am willing to bet that 95% of the people sign up for investment/trading courses as a means to learn how to earn money – fast.

And again, I was there as well. The idea of seeing the ‘experts’ flashing their Ferraris, luxury houses and cash is simply too irresistible in a time where most people hate or dislike their jobs.

As a result, people are more inclined to succumb to too-good-to-be-true money games and overpromising marketing ads for investment courses.

The idea of earning money easy and fast from the market touches all our desire for an easy way out.

You may not like what you have been reading so far, but you know there is certain truth to these words.

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Humans, are unfortunately born with the tendency for instant gratification - especially when it comes to quick bucks.

Investing & Trading is a Skill That Needs to be Built Over Time and Practices

Now, think about one of your biggest achievement in life thus far.

It could be your piano grades, your career in consulting or a sports achievement. Did you achieve them by just spending ‘5 minutes’ honing your skills everyday?

Hell no!

The skills that you have today, is a result of the time and effort that you put into building that particular skill. It is the practices that you’ve poured whole-heartedly into your work that led to your mastery in that particular skill.

Becoming good in piano is a skill. Mastering the art of consulting is a skill. Becoming a pro in football is a skill.

If that’s the case, what makes investing and trading any different?

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Investing & trading are both skills that need to be developed over time and effort.

There is no Holy Grail in Investing & Trading

It took me a long time, but it eventually hits on me that there is no shortcut to investing and trading mastery.

They are skills that need time, discipline and practices to develop. They require passion so that you can persevere through the steep learning curves and losing streaks.

More importantly, no one strategies taught by courses out there will bring you results unless you are patient enough to allow for your skills to catch up to what you want to achieve.

If you haven’t got it by now, there is no holy grail to quick wealth in investing or trading.

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Can you become a world-class footballer by practicing 5 minutes everyday? Now relate this back to investing & trading.

The Takeaways

There are many factors that led to us not making any money from the market, even after signing up for expensive investing or trading courses.

If there is one key problem, though, then I would say that it is unfortunate that most of us that signed up for investing or trading courses started off with a wrong mindset.

We wanted to profit from the market quickly, and we thought it was easy. Then, course marketers make it seems like it is really that easy with stories we want to listen to.

But here’s the thing:

Investing and trading are skills that need to be developed over time, practices, consistency, and discipline.

Until we can accept this fact, chances are we will still see people jumping over courses and strategies, in hope to look for the quickest way to well, lose their fortune.


Disclaimer: The article above is not by any means a suggestion to sign up (or to not sign up) for any investment courses out there. It is just a personal opinion on the stated topic and does not reflect any interest in any particular party.


Always Remember: Live Your Own Life, Walk Your Own Pace (No Money Lah’s 1st Anniversary)

Always remember: Live your own life, Walk your own pace. 

The past 1 year or so has been like a roller-coaster ride for me. As a start, No Money Lah’s growth as a passion project has been amazing. I have always like to write and share my learnings and thoughts with people, and No Money Lah allows me to do just that in my new stage of life – adulthood.

As an added bonus, No Money Lah has opened me up to various opportunities and the chance to meet many fantastic people behind the entrepreneurial and personal finance scenes.

Furthermore, my little goal to share what I know about investing also comes true. The tremendous support from the friends and readers to my Breakthrough Your Wealth – REIT Investing workshop have made all 3 workshops, so far, a fully-occupied (and fun) one.

My June 2019 Intake Group Photo :)
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That said, there are times where I just got overwhelmed with fear, doubt, and uncertainties.

The overwhelming fear that people would dislike what I write. The miserable self-doubt where I couldn’t even convey my feelings in words. The struggle against uncertainties towards, well, everything – from my career, my future, time and basically stuffs that could choke one out of breath.


Remember the Times Where You Kinda Messed Up Everything?

Can you relate?

Looking at your peers rising to the ranks in their jobs while you kept on hitting bricks. Or maybe, when you start to receive (more) wedding invitations while you are still getting your own life sorted out. How about those friends who seem like they got everything under control when you are literally losing them?

If you do not feel any of these, good for you. But I feel right about all these emotions playing in my head every now and then.

Have you ever feel like a loser in life? I do.
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At times, they come and go just in a blink. But there are times when it hits, it breaks down even the strongest mental barrier within myself. It is suffocating. Suffocating, knowing that all these efforts could be going nowhere.

But despite all circumstances, these are the times where I felt more alive than ever. Alive, knowing that I hit bricks, yet I am progressing whenever I overcome them. Alive, knowing that I feel these emotions, yet I am not running away from them. Alive, knowing that I am vulnerable, yet I do everything to pursue my beliefs regardless.

Being alive means acknowledging both the good and shitty part of the journey - and still living a kick-ass life.

Here's the thing:

We'll never be perfect in the face of norms. Any attempt to do otherwise is never a smooth journey - filled with uncertainties, fear, and self-doubt.

You are 'lagging behind' if you take a one-year gap year in between college.

You are 'too slow' if you haven't become a senior manager by 25.

You are 'too late' if you haven't get married by 30.

You are 'too old' if you decided to start your own business by 45.

Everyone is different. But norms expect us to walk the same pace in life.


It's Never About People Outrunning You (or Otherwise), It's About Discovering Your Own Pace in Life

I used to run half-marathons (21km) quite frequently (until I have some knee issues). And unless you are the top Kenyan runners, chances are you will be outpaced and outrun by people along the journey.

At first, it sucks whenever someone outpaced you. The feeling is especially real when the person is someone you know, and I experienced that first-hand when my best friends just outpaced me during the journey.

Then, I’ve come to a realization that being emotional when someone outpaced you is not just physically tiring, but even more so, mentally exhausting at the same time.

Slowly, I started to run at my own pace, being totally okay with people getting ahead of me. When I do so, I enjoyed my journey a little bit more. I made some new friends along the way. I challenged myself to outpace not anyone else but myself. Most importantly, I appreciate the fact that for each step I take, I am still moving forward towards the finishing line.

Not all paths are smooth - you just got to believe that you will eventually get to where you want to be. 

The more you run a marathon, the more you'll realize that it is not a race between you and someone else. Rather, it is a race between you and yourself - just like life.

Your Life, Your Path, Your Pace

If that’s not clear enough: Yes, I Do.

Whenever I am not mindful, I will still get overwhelmed with emotions. I will still get anxious about uncertainties. And at times, I could even mess things up.

But it is at these times that, I get to learn to acknowledge my vulnerabilities, strengthen my self-belief and intuition, outgrow myself – all at my very own pace.

And I hope you do, too.


No Money Lah is now 1 Year Old!

If you haven't realized it already, No Money Lah turned 1 last month! 

If you are reading this, I would like to extend my full gratitude to each of you. Your tremendous support has been one of my main motivations to keep writing throughout this year. Regardless of how you got to know No Money Lah, I am hopeful that my articles will keep bringing new insights and values to you, just like how your support kept me going in this amazing year.

Here are my 3 Books Recommendation to Massively Transform Your Life:

Before leaving this article, I thought of sharing with you 3 books that have transformed my life in one way or another throughout this year. If you are looking to a massive breakthrough in life, I cannot recommend these books enough for you:

From left: 

(1) The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod, (2) Atomic Habits by James Clear, (3) Grit by Angela Duckworth                  


 

 

 


Knowing WHEN to Pat Yourself on The Back is the Key to Personal Breakthrough

As a table tennis enthusiast, I have been coaching on and off since my time at university. Now, as a certified coach by the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF), my focus is mainly on coaching children during the weekends.

Having interacted with children for more than a year now, I have come to realize that acknowledgment, when done properly, could be one’s key to lasting breakthroughs.


Melvin is one of my youngest students during my weekend session. At 6 years old, Melvin has been with me since early this year.

As a relatively new coach, I have been facing one major challenge when it comes to interacting with kids:

Being pretty new with children, my initial assumption was that the more you acknowledge them, the faster they’ll improve. In turn, I have been using words like “Well done” and “Good job” too frequently during my coaching session.

As a result, I actually ‘Well-Done-d’ and ‘Good Job-ed’ Melvin way too much, even when he was only hitting 3 rallies in a row while he could already do more than 10.

In short, what followed was a series of stagnation in progress and improvement.

Praises & acknowledgment are like sweets - as much as we like them, too much of them are, well, not exactly helpful.

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Frustrated with my initial approach, I started to give fewer to none praises. I thought by being more critical, Melvin would eventually improve.

Well, as it turned out, Melvin did not achieve much progress. Even worse, he started to show less interest during the practice.

Luckily for me, I eventually found a crucial balance between when to acknowledge and provide critical feedback for Melvin.

So, knowing that Melvin could hit at least 10 rallies in a row, I set goals that are a little over Melvin’s comfort zone (eg. 11 rallies).

Then, I proceed to acknowledge him whenever he managed to achieve his goals. On the flip side, at times when he is unable to hit his goals, I will provide more constructive feedbacks rather than overpouring him with unconstructive praises.

When that happened, Melvin (along with the other kids) have been able to show steady breakthroughs and interest during the practice.

Finding the right mindset and balance between constructively critical and acknowledgment are the key to breakthroughs.

Alright, so what does that mean for us all?

You see, very much like the story of me coaching Melvin above, we tend to face similar ironies in our daily life:

As a human, we tend to be over-critical with ourselves when it comes to our goals. It could’ve been the failure to achieve your yearly goal of losing 5kg in weight, or missing an important career mark for the year.

Regardless, we tend to self-talk ourselves into thinking that we are ‘not good enough’ when we make some mistakes or fail in our attempt to achieve our goals – a.k.a. demotivating ourselves.

Being overly critical is killing our morale and motivation - don't you agree?

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On the other hand, on a daily basis, many of us are also prone to making it too easy for ourselves when it comes to the effort of pursuing our goals.

Remember the days when you tried to convince yourself that you have ‘done a good job’ for swimming 3 laps instead of the pre-planned 10? Or the times where you call it a day when you just made 1 presentation rehearsal instead of a decent 3?

In return, so many of us are denied our full potential – not by anyone else, but ourselves.  

In life, you become what you tolerate.

Now, let's face it: In life, we don't always get what we want, but we are most likely going to get what we tolerate. On the flip side, being overly critical to ourselves could also lead to demoralizing self-talks.  

Essentially, everyone's tolerance towards mediocrity and desire towards breakthrough is different. As such, we got to find a balance and the right timing on when to acknowledge our own effort – and pat ourselves on the back.

The problem is, it is easy for us to know when to acknowledge and be constructively critical to someone else. However, it is definitely not the case when it comes to ourselvesYET it is not impossible to do so:


Pat Yourself on the Back to Personal Breakthrough

  • Set realistic goals that are a little over your comfort zone

Firstly, whenever you set to start something – be very realistic with your current capability and dedication.

If you are new to running and you can only practice once a week, you cannot expect yourself to complete your first full-marathon below 4 hours, right?

That said, you could always test your capability by starting with a 5km run, followed by 10km and then 21km before really pursuing a full marathon.

Setting mini targets in line with your final goal is a great way to achieve breakthrough in stages without being overwhelmed.

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  • Strive to do your best – every single day

I consider this a mindset and attitude in living our lives. Imagine the satisfaction if you end your day knowing that you have given it everything you got – at least it feels much better than the opposite.

Regardless of the outcome of our effort throughout the day – we could have the best day ever, or we could screw up here and there, yet no one could deny us from giving our best.

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  • Keep a journal on your progress

Very important. Keep your goals in writing and your action plan towards achieving them.

On a daily basis, write down what you are on to do before starting your day, and check them out throughout the day – it is very satisfying!

Keeping a written journal will ensure your focus with your own progress – and appreciate your own effort along the way.

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  • Once you have done your best, give yourself a pat on the back!

Last but not least, give yourself a well-deserved pat on the back!

Repeat this daily, I am confident that you will achieve some form of breakthrough in terms of progress, skill or mindset real soon.


Hey Wait…

Here’s the thing:

You do not always have to be making huge progress every day. In fact, you should not expect yourself to do so.

At times, there are circumstances where things are simply against our favor regardless of our effort.

That said, doing our best is a mindset. Doing our best is our attitude towards life. Doing our best is a promise that we made to ourselves that, no matter how things turn out to be, we make it a point to not disappoint ourselves by giving everything we got.

Live up with that attitude, and you deserve a huge pat on your back – including the personal breakthrough that follows.