–Dedicated to Francois Croteau, Luc Trahan & Richard Julien
Today is a day worth celebrating and remembering for me. It is not my birth, neither the birthday of anyone I know, nor the funeral of anyone who died of a good death! It is a day for me to enter into a new era, when I refinanced one of my properties and put the equity onto the mutual fund market about which I had the least knowledge!
It is a push for my retirement! I personally think that Financial Freedom is a better term than retirement, for we have quite a different outlook of what our later life should be after certain age. Retirement does not mean stop working, it means more to continue living better and fulfilling the dreams of our lives. Isn’t anything working better when there is a necessity, a necessity to live the life we have always been wanting? Imagine that after all the 15 years of running at triple the speed of most people who are walking, I now take a bit time to re-set my goal and re-evaluate my dreams through Salsa dancing nights in-between the sound of hammer of my renovations. I had the important action taken place quietly but surely! This important investment will return with 2 other buddies in 6-8 years! You might say that I might lose my investment. I should say that it is possible! Let’s wait and see.
We all want to be rich, retire with money and without worries! We all want to travel and write books that everyone buys! Yet, between making money and using them, there always is a significant conflict! When you make money traditionally with your one head, two hands and even 24 hours, you will never have extra time to think about how to solve the conflict: either you and your time are consumed for making money, or stopping making it, the money stops coming in! Alas, isn’t it the situation for most of us? For sure, it is!
I started to understand how to solve the puzzle by taking risks. I took unusual risks and I had some body else working for me days and nights since 1998. This some body else is no body but money itself! I borrowed an enormous 380RMB ( Chinese money ) back then from the bank and purchased 2 expensive Volkswagens and got it reimbursed within 2 years, then another 350k and got it reimbursed within 3 years. I did not stay idle watching my buddy making gold coins for me, I worked for 3 businesses at the same time: 2 “foreign companies” having 2 fixed salaries and my own little company as self-employed providing sales service for a Chinese company in Beijing ( ISO 9000 series consultation). It was like falling into a trap with all the leaves and dirt falling on me, fortunately, these leaves and dirt were made of gold! I had one cell, one fax machine and one car to serve me, while my buddy had nothing but himself. This zero-handed, one-quality and 2 sided buddy way overpassed me who worked at 3 jobs at the same time!
You may think that I am boasting about my money or career, wrong! Money is just like cards in our hands to play! We do not need much to feed ourselves, yet as human beings, we do need to grow our knowledge and expand our horizons, otherwise we die! Money serves as an important bridge, not saying that it is the only bridge, and it brings results enough surprising to take care of our older souls, so that we can afford graceful attitude and actions towards people besides ourselves. Yet, easy to say and hard to achieve! We wonder all the time how people start from the same line, but end up miles away!
Yes, I have many days that are worth celebrating and remembering. I had one day in each of 2005, 2006 & 2007 which served as this important day. For such a day, I ran back and forth, searching for months without any complaint for my buddy to give him his task, in a city and a country where I only lived for about 4 years, knowing not at all what the ” Quiet Revolution” was! I needed to play the game, the game of my mind and the game of my life by which I learn and practice what I believe in!
Any game, we should be prepared to fall face-down hard. I have been lucky all these years ( well I know “modestly” that we made our own luck!) with the wind coming my way to push my sails. But, as long as we work at the same time, not having crazy lunatic ideas of how the buddy can create miracles, we should be safe. Rotten will be our mind if we rely on our buddy only to pass our days and nights! Our buddy should be the lubricant for our machines to roll better with more grace rather than a break which stops our mind from sharpening its daggers or producing nerves that prevent us from having Alzheimer!
Till today, I understand completely that if we take no risk, we gain nothing. Even though we might make mistakes and wrong moves, we learn from them, start again and we go forward. We shall never be doubtful nor cynical. We shall never stop! One of my client invested in IT 10 years ago and lost all his 100k investment, so what, he started again and invested in real estate. He did well as of today; I received some e-mails cursing one of the mutual fund investment advisors in 2008 when the stock market went down; I heard one of my acquaintances say that he lost 60% of his RRSP investment in 2008 and he is secured now(are you really secured?). All these loss stories can only be defined as loss only if we lost our confidence and mind! Those who lost are those who do not really understand it and believe in it, or those who focus and panick on temporary loss! They backed up and made irrevocable mistakes like anyone who lost money in 2008. If they had stayed invested, the value of their investment would have been kept.
Today it is a day for me to celebrate and remember. If you know where I come from, cultural & family background where the intellectuals basically look down on money and thus have a weird attitude about money and how to manage it, then you will celebrate it together with me! My debt goes up from half a million to 1.5 million as of today! It sounds scary, isn’t it? Yet I see it as a victory! It is not the victory of me, it has always been the victory of LEVERAGE, yet it is truly the victory of my sincerity, willingness to learn and to understand, after all, to believe, to take risk and to construct!
Further modification in writing needed!