Rogue One: Is Demo/Paper Trading a Mistake?

Imagine yourself being the manager of an airline company.

Would you allow a junior flight school student to fly a real plane for you, even though this student may have read and understood the theories on how to operate a plane?

By now, you may be thinking:

“Ridiculous, of course no!”

Hey, I figured the same too.

I’d throw this fella into multiple flight simulations and make sure that this flight school student is able to follow standards & procedures for a flight.

More importantly, I’d not want this soon-to-be pilot crashing my real planes if he/she can’t even handle landing the plane safely in a simulated environment.

Make sense, right?

I hope I have made my point of this article by now, but if not, here it goes:

Putting a junior flight school student into simulations is exactly the same as you going through the demo or paper trading phase when you first started investing or trading.

Essentially, you are doing yourself a HUGE favor by making sure that you can follow the rules and strategies consistently in a risk-free environment.

Here’s the thing:

At the beginning of your investing or trading journey, it’s not about making a lot of money. It’s not even about having a ‘feel’ with putting in real money into the market.

It’s about you having the discipline to follow the rules and processes and learn the foundation properly without additional emotional baggage.

Honestly, if you can’t land a plane safely in a simulated environment, what makes you think that you can land a real plane in reality – before crashing a few costly planes and hurting yourself (and others) badly in between?

I believe I’ve made my point clear.

p.s. Related Read: Here's What I’d Do if I Had to Start My Investing Journey All Over Again

Rogue One is a new weekly 1-min article series where I share my random thoughts and ideas.

Rogue One: The Art of Working for Yourself

A lot of people have the dream of firing their boss and start working for themselves.

There’s nothing wrong with the dream.

What’s wrong is their unrealistic expectation on this matter, especially at the start:

Sleep and wake up anytime you want.

No deadlines.

Freedom of time. 

Unfortunately, these ideals are far from the truth.

Instead, these are what’s going happen when you start working for yourself:

The constant guilt of waking up late and realizing that you have lost half of your workday.

Trying to squeeze multiple deadlines into a week, and/or feeling totally useless when you are not doing anything.

You have the FLEXIBILITY of time, not the FREEDOM of time. This means that working on weekends is totally normal.

Working for yourself is an art.

The art of self-discovery.

The art of self-discipline.

The art of finding structure when none exists. 

p.s. Art takes time.

Rogue One is a new weekly 1-min article series where I share my random thoughts and ideas.

Rogue One: "Do You Have a Plan B?"

“Do you have a Plan B if you fail in what you are doing right now?”

I often get asked this question by well-meaning friends, seniors, and relatives when I left my first full-time job to do what I am doing right now.

To be honest, I suck when it comes to forming any ‘Plan B (or C or D)’ for the important things and goals in my life.

In fact, I’d still tell you that I do not have any Plan B if you were to ask me today.  

My goal is to become a successful trader (I am not one, YET).

Whenever I hit a certain plateau in this business, I will tweak my approach, my mindset, my routine, and seek mentorship.

My passion is in sharing and words.

Whenever I feel stuck in my journey, I will adjust my perspective, ask better questions, and seek clarity.

I believe the mini little progress that I’ve been able to make today is not because I am anything better than anyone else.

It’s because I simply do not have any great ‘Plan B’ or ‘backup plan’ to fall back on if I fail.

If you put that chocolate bar in the fridge 'just in case' you get hungry at night during your diet, chances are the chocolate bar will not stay there for long.

If you pursue a goal with a well-defined backup plan in mind, you’ll almost always settle for the backup when shit happens.

In contrast, when there is nothing else to fall back on, the only way is to charge forward and make things happen.

Rogue One is a new weekly 1-min article series where I share my random thoughts and ideas.

Rogue One: Your (Boring) Journey to Mastery

If there is a sport that China held clear superiority over every other country in this world, it’s table tennis.

By winning 28 out of all 32 available gold medals in the history of the Olympics, one can only assume that there must be a secret recipe with the training & drills that China athletes undergo in their daily routine.

Last year, I traveled to train with fellow athletes at the China Table Tennis College (CTTC) in Shanghai.

To my surprise, there’s no secret recipe at all in their training.

What they did with their drills, to a big extent, are exactly the same as the ones that I see being done in the local clubs in Malaysia.

The fundamental skills like serving, looping, and footwork are still being practiced every session.

If there’s no difference in the drills, what make China’s athletes different and so exceptional?

The answer lies in the consistency and intensity of their training.

In China, athletes are required to train repetitively for 2 – 3 sessions every day. Along with the guidance from the coaches, drills are done with great attention to detail and intensity.

My journey in China has reinforced my view of mastery.

My stay at Shanghai really was really an eye-opener.

The journey to mastery is boring.

It is the work that we do consistently behind the scene when no one is watching.

It is the repetitive routine that we still try to refine every day even if we have done it 100 thousand times.

It is the fundamentals that everyone thinks is monotonous, yet we still work on intensively every single day.

The journey to mastery is boring.

That’s what makes ‘exceptional’ extremely valuable and rare in this world. 

Rogue One is a new weekly 1-min article series where I share my random thoughts and ideas.

Rogue One: We Can Still Win the 2nd Half of 2020

All the odds were against Liverpool on the 8th of May 2019.

The day was the 2nd leg of the 2019 Champions League semifinal with Liverpool hosting Barcelona.

The Reds were already down 0-3 against Barcelona in the first leg. To make things worse, the key men for the team – Salah and Firmino were not playing that night.

It seemed nearly mission impossible for the Reds to pull off a comeback.

But they still accomplished it – beating Barcelona on a 4-3 in aggregate to seal their place in the Champions League final (which, they eventually won).


Photo credit:

For many, what Liverpool has experienced during the 1st leg is a direct reflection of their 1st half of 2020 – a huge 0-3 punch to the face.

Heck, even the start of the 2nd half of 2020 is eerily similar:

Some may have lost their job while many would have experienced a huge cut in income.

Simply put, many of us are likely not in the best condition as we head into the 2nd half of 2020.

But does that matter?

Can we change the fact that we step into the 2nd half of 2020 being handicapped in one way or another?

Can we change the fact that we are forced to start 2nd half of the year unfavorably?

Did Liverpool whine, complain, and give up?

Liverpool players persisted and they won.

Now, I am not guaranteeing that all of us will stage a huge memorable comeback as Liverpool did.

But one thing I do know, for sure, is that complaining, looking for excuses and expecting that it is the responsibility of the government/parents/[insert person here] to help you is definitely not going to bring you anywhere near to a comeback.

You are 100% in charge of your life.

You can give yourself a fighting chance. 

You owe it to yourself to try.

Looking forward to seeing your comeback, wherever you are and whatever you are facing right now!

Rogue One is a new weekly 1-min article series where I share my random thoughts and ideas.

Rogue One: How to Know If You Are Improving?

Conceptually, many people know that making mistakes is part of the learning journey.

In practice, most people try to avoid it in any way possible:

You may be avoiding a leadership role because you do not want to be blamed when shit happens.

You may be looking for a high win-rate strategy in the market because you are sick of being wrong.

You may be staying away from a lifetime opportunity because you fear that it may be a wrong move.

Theoretically, we thought that improving means making fewer mistakes.

In reality, how would you know if you are actually improving?

First, you make bad mistakes.

Then, you make better mistakes.

It’s not the number of mistakes that determine the progress of our improvement. It’s the quality of mistakes that we make that decide the magnitude of our leap.

Rogue One is a new weekly 1-min article series where I share my random thoughts and ideas.

Rogue One: Being Right in The Market

I used to have a bad tendency of wanting to be right in life. Sometimes, I still do.

In a debate, I want to prove my point right – and someone else’s opinion wrong.

In the stock market, I want to be right in the market direction so badly – that being right made me happier than making returns.

But here’s the thing:

This can work both ways.

Whenever I'm proved wrong in a debate, I felt ashamed.

Whenever the market doesn’t go in my favor, I felt frustrated.

The emotional baggage that I carried from trying to prove myself right is suffocating.

Here’s a lesson that I learned the hard way:

We live in a world that makes up of different personalities & agendas.

We invest in a market that makes up of different perspectives & emotions.

In the market, your opinion doesn’t matter. The market moves however it wants. The market is always right.

The key here is not trying to be right all the time. Rather, it’s having the humility to accept the lessons from different outcomes that’ll ultimately benefit you in the long run.

Be open with being right, AND be equally open on being wrong. There is more money to be made when you embrace both sides of the coin.

Rogue One is a new weekly 1-min article series where I share my random thoughts and ideas.