You should really need to be a novice investor just once

Getting to #Beyond.Novice

"It is costly to be and remain a novice investor. Everyone should be a novice just once.  #beyond.novice is a movement to eradicate financial illiteracy, uncover hard truths, busting false belief and empower you to take charge of your investment journey."

We have all been a novice at one time or another. It depends on what activities you are embarking on. Right now, as I am writing this, I am embarking on the path to be a Tai Ji Master. I brag a little about the "Master" part. The truth is I have been practising for over three years now, and I am still a novice. I wish I have started earlier because some of the moves that ought to have been effortless now seem impossible. My teacher told me that this is an exercise that can take you a lifetime to figure out. Also, she advises that I shouldn't pick a fight with anyone using Tai Ji, especially MFA fighters. Watch this video, and you will know what I mean.

Learning Tai Ji is quite similar to learning investing in many ways. For one, it is an endeavour that can take you a lifetime to figure out. We are all novice investor one time or another. But some people remain a novice their entire life, never moving beyond the novice phase. Beyond novice doesn't mean that you achieve expert status. That is really hard. Not everyone can be a Warren Buffett, or a Jim Rogers. Beyond novice means that you are financially literate enough to decipher what is happening in the investment marketplace, it means that you can make your own independent financial decision, it means you can decide on what you should invest in, it means you can defend against unsavoury characters in the investment industry. 

I believe everyone can reach this level of financial literacy. 

Novice Define:

Does any of the following sound familiar?

» Buying high and selling low. You got into equities when the market was exciting and got out when the market was scary. This hurts your performance terribly.

» Overconfidence. You thought you could discover a "secret formula" that thousands of trading pros around the world weren't already exploiting.

» Individual security selection. You convinced yourself you could use your opinions to pick stocks that would soar.

» Believing well-dressed experts. You paid advisers large fees for results that were worse than mediocre.

» Loading up on risk. You sought lottery-like wins and cranked up the riskiness of your holdings, thinking this would somehow capture more gains.

» Ultraconservatism (the reverse of risk-seeking). Once you'd been burned, you pulled your funds out of growth assets and let your money earn little or nothing sitting in cash.

Welcome to the world of novice investing. The sooner you recognise yourself as one, the easier it is for you to transform yourself and the less costly it is going to be for your investment portfolio.

The #Beyond.Novice Movement

#Beyond.Novice is a stage that every investor can reach. Whether you go by the practice theory of excellence or the talent theory of expertise, it is a stage that can be attained if one puts his/her heart to it. But it is not an expert stage. It is more like an imposter stage. I contemplated using the word "imposter" a long time, especially when "imposter symptoms" is such a widespread condition for all creators alike. But after thinking for months and months, I think it is an appropriate term for use in learning how to invest. Just look around you, there are so many imposters everywhere, in print, on stage, blog and podcast everywhere. 

After almost three decades in the business, there are still so much to learn. As I mentioned in ...It Takes More Than 10,000 hours and There are no experts, investing is a field that has rules and environment that is unstable unlike games like chess or tennis where you have a fixed playing area and stable rules. Therefore, reaching an imposter level is not too bad after all. You see, to be an imposter, you have to look confident and convincing. To look convinced and believable, you need to have some knowledge to fall back on. You can't expect to wink it every time. But you can pretend to be like Warren Buffett.

It is not easy being a Warren Buffett, the ardent fan would tell you that. To preach his philosophy of investing, you probably have to put in 10,000 hours just to read the materials that he put out there, and read materials that others have written about Warren Buffett. Many writers have written books and blog posts about Warren Buffett than the Sage himself has. I am resigned to the fact that most are just an imposter. But the reason I rant so much about this is that it is not so bad a stage to aim for. I am not asking you to be an imposter. You can, of course, share what you learn. Many have started courses or blogs about investment. 

Winning the loser's game

Have you ever play a game where you can't win at all? You have no ideas about what the rules are. Everyone is saying different things and giving you different advice on what to invest.

Before you invest, you must first understand some sneaky tricks Wall Street might throw at you. Don't play games you can't win. For some reason, brokerages usually emphasise all of their tips and tricks and forget to mention how the game really works.

Playing games you can't win, or thinking you're some trading genius, is a big mistake.

It is better for you to comprehend the rules, the playing areas and the language used before you play the game.

Many investors try to "figure out" the market. Surely, they think, there must be some secret formula that will predict which assets are going to go up the most.

This drives the popularity of "indicators." An indicator is a ratio of two or more market metrics.

Here's some bad news for the engineering-minded: The market cannot be reduced to a simple equation. It's a lot more complicated than that.

That doesn't stop people from trying. The more things you test, the more likely it is that one indicator or another will seem to work the best, completely by random chance.

As they say on Wall Street, "If you torture the data long enough, it will tell you what you want to hear."

The "Better Awareness - Better Choices - Better Results" Model

The "Awareness precedes choice and choice precedes results." quote, I learn it from Robin Sharma, my real superhero. I read about it in the book "The 5 am Club". The basic idea is this. When you start to learn anything, you start with the unaware stage. You are an outsider. You have no idea what is happening. Like why the market behaves in a certain manner or why you keep losing money in investing. Then you start to become aware. You become aware of things like how the market works, about return and risks and the language spoken. Suddenly, many choices seem available. With more choices or options available, you can then make an informed decision which will lead to better results.

When you become more aware, that is when you can start busting beliefs and empower yourself to finally take charge of your financial journey.

After gaining awareness, you want to learn about how to translate them into actionable choices, and that is what Equitiespedia is about. 

My mission in creating Equitiespedia is to help novice investors reach the stage of #Beyond.Novice.

If you stumble on this site, somehow through serendipity, I welcome you. Faith must have it that our path must cross.

This site is all about developing the ability to do your own thinking, make your own independent decision, validate claims and manage your own investment portfolio. 

If you are just starting to learn about investing, I would recommend that you go on our path of Go Beyond The Numbers — Basic (Free), Intermediated and Advance and Six Numbers Every Investor Must Know. These courses are foundational.

If you are already at #Beyond.Novice and wants to beat the market, I suggest joining us in our validate claims class at Validate 101 using Python. 

If you are perfectly comfortable with beating your neighbour, explore Smart Portfolio 101.

Finally, if you still insist on picking stocks, The Search for Value and The Applied Value Investing Workshop will be the path.

Our Mission: Enriching Life, Fulfilling Dreams through serving the investment communities and bridging the gap between novice and #beyond.novice. We believe that having financial literacy skills is important to living an enriching and fulfilling life.

If this resonates with you, stick around. So glad that you have stopped by. It means the world to me.

Look around our blog. See if what we have is for you. Reach out and say "Hey" anytime. I reply to most message whether it is via email, LinkedIn, Facebook, or WhatsApp. 

If you are enrolled in the journey and care about making the leap towards #Beyond.novice, we are here to serve you!


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Soon Lim

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