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A steady approach to Life and Investing

By Gabriel Yap

A steady approach to Life and Investing

Life can be one big balancing act:  How can we strive for more and also be happy with what we have?  This may seem paradoxical as much as How do we work to reach our full potential without stressing ourselves out?

Needless to say, the middle ground should be the goal because when things are out of sync, the body and mind would not be able to function at the best optimal.  This applies very much to one’s investment decisions.

Many of us have experienced momentary lapses of balances.  Unfortunately, these imbalances, lasting for maybe just seconds, can lead to a fall or a knock on the head.  Investments are just like that – a moment of haste and the haze will haunt you for the rest of the investment period.

Ask the right questions before an investment, do the proper and detailed research, not after the investments.  In my years of teaching, I find that most investors are more the latter than the former.   Not surprisingly, they worry upon entering a position, not rejoicing in getting in at a good price.

The above skill calls for a calm and balanced approach to investments.

One way to cultivate such skills is to do co-ordination exercises like obstacle courses or partake in activities like dancing with a partner.  To me, such activities are a sea of novelty and unpredictability, a good training ground for your brain cells, the same that you use for investments.  These activities help to keep the brain engaged and balances you as your partner would probably rely on you as the anchor to execute a turn or spin.

Increasingly, I find most investors being caught up by daily news or market data that affect stock prices.  Some get very worked up by these events such that their investment decisions are determined by the tone of the day or the headlines in the news rather than the fundamentals of the companies that they invest in.

Day trading and short-term trading can be profitable, but is not game for all.  For sure and a start, you need a balanced way to Life and Investments.

Anyone for a dance?

Gabriel Yap
Gabriel Yap

Mr Gabriel Yap,CFA was an eminent stockbroker who retired from stockbroking in 2009 to devote himself to philanthropy to help the needy, poor and handicap globally. He has donated and assisted Charities Aid Foundation, Australia (CAF), a not-for-profit donor funds management business.  

Mr Yap is also Executive Chairman of GCP Global Pte Ltd, an investment firm that invest in both direct capital markets, bonds, real estate, commodities, foreign exchange and builds businesses. Mr Yap appears regularly for the TV media like Channel News Asia and Bloomberg and radio channels like FM93.8 for their various investment programs.

Previously Mr Yap has also lectured at renowned government institutions like the SEASEN Course for the Monetary Authority of Singapore and at AsianDevelopment Bank. Mr Yap has also lectured at financial institutions like the Stock Exchange of SingaporeInstitute of Banking and Finance, the Institute of Certified Public Accountants, the Singapore Institute of Management and the Securities Investors Association of Singapore.

In 2010, the venerable Reader's Digest magazine created the Money Savvy column in their magazine, helmed by Mr Yap who writes on all things finance and answers questions from the magazine's subscribers.

Mr Yap presently splits his time between Melbourne, Europe and Singapore.