Friday, June 3, 2011

Rich Dad, Poor Fool

Last week I finished an online training for stock and option investing. It was a six hour class spread out into three evenings. Most of the time I had trouble keeping up as I fell asleep during boring moments. But it was a good session when I managed to stay awake. I learned new stuff on options and technical trading. The trainer is from the Rich Dad Company of Robert Kiyosaki. Last Tuesday evening I attended a free overview on investing in foreclosed properties also from Rich Dad. It was educational although I did not decide to continue with the paid course. I also watched a DVD on purchasing homes from the library but I had to watch it twice as I feel asleep in the middle. I believe in Kiyosaki’s advice on increasing one’s financial literacy so I am always keen on attending these courses. I still need to read the three e-books I bought as part of the stock investing seminar to really complete the course.

The stock market went down this week and I took the opportunity to buy 100 shares of Bank of America at $ 11.29 per share. As the saying goes, ‘buy stocks during the dips’ is the eternal advice. I think the stock price will improve as the bank recovers it’s mojo in the next 5 to 10 years. I project the stock price to reach the $ 20 to $ 40 dollar range in the long term. Financial stocks have taken a beating and most folks are fearful of investing in them. But even in the worst scenario, these stocks will not fail because of the systemic risk and the ‘too big to fail’ scenario if these banks get into trouble. The government will just step in. I like both Citibank and Bank of America because of their services; the current depressed prices reflect the market’s opinion on short term performance. I project these companies to improve in the medium to long term after their near-death experience during the last crisis.

Yesterday I learned about the new Google certification program for AdWords. I immediately enrolled in the program and plan to achieve certification in the coming months. My blogging experience and general knowledge of the Internet will keep me in good stead to gain certification although I am not in the marketing or advertising field. I guess it’s a way to gain a new skill in case I need to switch careers. More importantly, I hope to share this knowledge to my sons and try to make money with my blogs. I have been blogging for nearly 5 years. I had hoped to earn money and also learn the new Internet landscape while developing my creative writing and technical skills. I achieved most objectives except getting rich. Being a certified Google expert will hopefully give me a better chance and solidify my credentials in the new Internet economy.

Of course, this will again delay my aspirations of being a writer as I am focusing on another area again. One cannot help but be diverted with the goal by being a Jack of All Trades but Master of None. I guess it’s covering all the bases while achieving nothing. It’s a pity as I just finished the 10 session creative writing course although I intend to participate in library’s Scribbler events and attend writing courses offered in community centers and online courses. I am one step into the game with a possible short story that I can sell. I plan to continue my book and use some of the chapters as short stories for publishing in literary journals to gain recognition until I finish my novel. I will also try to monetize my blogs with self-publishing sites like Blurb. If only I can focus on one activity at a time so I can accomplish something.

Aside from these goals, I plan to start running and join a marathon later this year or the next after being inspired by ‘Ultra Marathon Man‘ – a book I recently read about the runner Dean Karnazes. One has to have an above average physical fitness to be able to achieve all these goals. I also plan to start kayaking in the weekend at the nearby Lake Robinson. These plans follow Stephen Covey’s theory of striving for holistic growth. I read that Covey nearly had a heart attack with all his activities. I guess this is why I borrowed the books of Eckhart Tolle so I can stop myself from this onward rush to destruction possibly via a heart attack or nervous breakdown. It’s the so-called rat race wherein one has many ideas coming into mind; purchasing Internet bargains on exercise gear or sports equipment like kayaks as part of the goal towards self-actualization. But it’s really a race towards stress and anxiety.

I also have an insane desire to read the books of Thomas Pynchon, Don DeLillo, Jonathan Franzen and Cormac MacCarthy. It feels like a literary vein has been uncovered so one needs to satisfy a blood lust. Does one really need to read all these books, attend all these courses before one can write or invest? That’s the question I want answered by reading Eckhart Tolle. Perhaps meditation and relaxation techniques will help one be successful in satisfying one’s desires. But the real solution is to cut down - read fewer books, watch fewer movies and do less stuff. But the blood lust is just too strong – a desire that is the root of all suffering. Perhaps one is subconsciously waiting for an accident to happen - to wake up from this mad race. A heart attack or stroke or car accident is the only way out.

Or perhaps to start running like Dean Karnazes until a sense of freedom is reached in the open road. This reminds me to buy the new core rollers sports equipment to massage my tired muscles after running. One should not forget the life vests in kayaking as well.

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