Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Being Smart or Having Luck In Life and Investing

Is it better to be born lucky or to be born smart? Veteran banker Wee Cho Yaw said that the late former deputy prime minister Goh Keng Swee once told him that it is better to be born lucky than to be smart. This is an abstract from an article on Straits Times which I chanced upon and it really made me think about life. If you did not know, Wee Cho Yaw is the chairman of the United Overseas Bank and United Industrial Corporation in Singapore.

Some people are just lucky while some are smart. How smart we are can be practice and trained while how lucky we are is determined by fate. Is this sentence true? I beg to differ and as written by the Straits Times, it gives us some insight on how our luck can be changed for our lives once and for all.

It is better to be lucky in life

Let's dive in deeper on the topic of luck. I believe luck is a force that is created in our minds. There was a period in my life where I felt I had the worst luck. I was lost, had no opportunities and often failed in many things which I did. Be it in exams or investing, nothing seems to go well for me. Then, I decided I should do something about it to change my luck once and for all.

Did my luck change? Yes it did. Today, I feel I am lucky enough or maybe I just choose to count my blessings. Sometimes life may still not go well but I still choose to believe it is temporary. This is an important aspect for lucky people.

How to change your luck?

Studies have shown that lucky people enjoy certain common traits - thinking positively, seizing "chance opportunities", and adopting a resilient attitude when they encounter a setback. This was what was written in the Straits Times article. This resonates with me a lot especially the part on thinking positively. I realised when I changed my mind to think positively, my luck changes as well.

We've all heard about the law of attraction and how when we think bad things will happen to us, it will indeed happen in one way or another. Likewise, if we think good things will happen to us, somehow good things happen later. I believe this is more of a mindset change which allows us to seize opportunities when the time comes. When we believe that opportunities will come, we will realise when it comes and take advantage of it. But when we believe opportunities do not come to us, even if its right in-front of us, we won't even realise it. That's the difference when we have a positive mindset.

Investing requires some luck

While I do not advocate investing as gambling (which requires a lot of luck to win), however, investing requires some luck too. For investing, we have to understand the business and learn how to choose companies wisely. But, whether a company does well moving forward depends on some luck. How the share price moves depends on whether other investors or big players see the value of the stock. When the value is seen, the share price moves up when investors invest in the company. Also, some companies may just win some big contracts which increases their profits by many folds. There is some elements of luck in this as well.

Do you want to be lucky?

Luck can be changed in our lives. If you want to be luckier, start from changing your mindset. It is the crucial first step to see opportunities in your life. If you are facing setbacks now, see it as temporary. Always believe in the best can change the situation you are in right now. Lastly, think positively. This opens up your mind to take advantage when opportunities presents itself.

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  1. Couldn't agree more with you!


  2. What you've described is layman description for Positive Psychology or Cognitive Psychology, popularized by Tony Robins, and now by 100,000 other motivational & "life coaches".

    As for myself, I prefer to be just plain lucky than good any day of the week. :)

    1. Hi Spur,

      Oh, didn't know it was popularized by Tony Robbins. Yes lucky is good :)

  3. Hi SGYI,

    Would you mind doing a stock analysis on metro holding ?

    1. Hi Nicholas,

      I just saw metro holdings reported a 3.5% increase in revenue and 34.2 Million net profit compared to 1.2 Million a year ago. Seems like the results are good. At a valuation of pb ratio of 0.72, seems still quite fairly valued. Current yield is about 6%. I've not looked in depth into the business so wouldn't be investing into it at the moment.