A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.

Mine started when I knew that I won’t be going back to my hustle routine anytime soon and money isn’t growing in its pot. We are all struck with a sense of anxiety or even panic when we lose jobs or source of income and the fear that we feel will be slowly replaced by the desire to find a honey pot.

Napoleon Hill in his book Think and Grow Rich has greatly emphasized the role of desire in the journeys of great men he has studied. Indeed desire and fear goes hand and hand masking one for the other and catapults us into action. Desire in its all-consuming flame engulfs us with a sense of urgency to find things that we have not yet put into words but has always known and felt of what should be and what could be. Life as we Filipinos mostly know it, is a highway of our own defined rat race to beat poverty as fast as we could and of the life we don’t want to experience again, whatever that may be. As I read through the book Traders Empire, I have come to understand the motive of the writer upon scratching her head on how to better relay her message about the stock market and all I see is the theme of failure.

Miss Guillen or The Empress has failed in her endeavors as an OFW and as an investor. For the years she has spent abroad all that is left is her wit and grit. Her story is not unique and I believe (thank you) that is true to most Filipino Overseas Workers. Her yearnings for a better life and her misplaced trust were once ours too (I’ll explain my motives later just bear with me). Hence the (DRUM ROLL PLEASE).

The proliferation of networking bizkits, and the promise of guaranteed rags to riches glory that we will soon be reunited with our loved ones and our dear country. But it comes with a catch, you must first sell their products which promises a long and healthy life. The rags to riches glory of the networking bizkit has always the same thought, yayaman kana healthy kapa (bwahahahahah sometimes pang diet pa). But for the love of God I am not a good sales person for health products neither do I have the network of people who can be my downline, with all due honesty I am a very shy person. Networking is not yet in the range of my capacity. At home my mom is a fan of health products sold by networking companies, she simply loves them for their so-called health benefits, on the contrary I don’t believe in so many of them and again I’M NOT A FAN OF NETWORKING. I have nothing against them it’s just that I am not a fan. So we have that I will fail at networking. All because my mind is not open to the possibility of recruiting people to again recruit people to put up a considerable amount of money for products that they themselves will not use. Networking is no can do for me, what could be a good venture that requires little amount of money?

With the desire burning up inside, I told myself to ask better questions.

I started to look for start-up ideas and asked several friends for hypothetical questions; All of the ideas that were supplied has two major drawbacks. First is that it will require a large amount of money that I am not yet ready to be responsible of and Second I would need to be in the Philippines for a long period of time. These two reasons to me is like the elephant in the room; Deep inside me is a voice that says I must once again leave the country and be with my friends. I went back to asking better questions, and that is what? (Ano ba talaga?) Why did the word what came out instead of the word why?

As I drive around the city in the heat of the afternoon sun, I saw new cars and they all seem cold inside, in awe I let myself make plans and dream of owning one, BUT I would not like to rush into buying an object that would give way to personal financial crisis. The eerie shadow of regret hovered as I too recalled my years of hustle abroad and yet I am without the things I have always dreamed of. Suddenly I felt the whole world is judging me for the events in my life that has occurred and has lead me into this jobless state, my confidence started to waver when I think of going into job market, in my age I should’ve completed my master’s degree to at the very least be a notch higher than fresh graduates. Then the question formed in my head, What do these rich people know that I don’t know? The desire I felt turned into a feeling of failure and then again to desire. A desire to look for a knowledge that is out there but not yet in my scope.

What do they know that I don’t know? Is it Investment? I have my share of investments but it’s not enough. These people are not lucky by chance, they know something that I am yet to discover and they are doing something that I too must be acquainted off.

I need new eyes to view the world as the rich sees it.

It’s no longer about how frugally I spend, that is not enough! The ancient advice of earn and work more but spend less is not what is needed right now. The search for knowledge grew and grew and that is when the universe conspired to help me in my search for knowledge (credits to Paulo Coelho and his book The Alchemist). In a stroke of luck an old advice came into mind and it was about Jollibee (that fat red bee :D), it was an unsolicited advice from a friend about buying shares of Jollibee but he didn’t explain it well and another thought came, it was an invitation to a seminar about the stock market. I could not put one with the other to conclude it was about trading in the stock market. All I heard about it area hearsays that people were earning money and it was buying a share of a company. So I asked my friend which I have not spoken for a long time, I hesitated in asking such a complex question that is also unclear in my own head.

My introduction to the stock market scene started with a statement, “People say about buying shares of Jollibee for 5 thousand pesos and I don’t know where to buy (noob moment) and how to buy)” then the single step to my thousands if not millions of miles journey begun with, “Can you tell me how?” that question was the muscle I pulled in my brain to start walking and learning. I am fortunate to have a very patient friend who explained to me what the stock market is all about despite asking more stupid questions. Well, I am very proud to say that my friend is a professional of high caliber, ipso facto, he entertained my stupid questions: we all should be like him and have a friend like him. To answer my questions better he lent me two books one of which was….. DRUM ROLL…. TRADERS EMPIRE and he gave me a name to follow on Facebook.

When I saw the author’s name on Facebook I had to double and triple check if I got the right person. My expectations were not met, I was expecting a middle aged woman with an aura of a school principal dressed in black blazer and white polo shirt. Intrigue piqued as I effortlessly scanned the author’s profile prior to reading the book and there it was the glorious cover of the TRADERS EMPIRE. Thus my introduction to nose bleed inducing Tagalog explanation of the stock market, gladly it was opened with a star wars reference of Yoda’s speech pattern with a must at the end. “Study Hard, harder you must.” Right then I know I got the right person on Facebook.

The perilous journey to the Stock Market has started and boy the first post I saw is about its technical difficulty and concluded with a moronic quote about going home and planting KAMOTE.

Part 2 next time. I want to drink coffee.

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  • Very nice article S! It’s intellectually igniting people’s curiosity. But, it’s makin’ me mad and surely every person who would spend time reading this would feel the same as I do. It’s leavin’ me hangin’! You should have taken drinkin’ coffee some other time and spent it writing instead. It was overall worth-reading!

  • Thank you po Mam sa nakaka inspire nyong blog aaralin ko po ang mga tinuturo nyo pra maging investor at soon maging trader. Mag 10yrs n po akong OFW dito sa Riyadh at tulad ng iba resibo lang ang naiipon. Maraming maraming po sanay wag po kayong magsawang magturo at makainspire sa amin n gustong makapasok o naguumpisa palang magstock. God bless po! Sanay lalo kayong bless

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