How Important is Money to Warren Buffett?

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How Important is Money to Warren Buffett?

Postby Dennis Ng » Sat Mar 19, 2011 4:30 pm

An interview with Warren Buffett.

If you attended my "How to Save and Accumulate One Million Dollars Seminar", you would realise that one main concept I shared is that as you pursue your passion ie. what you're good at doing and love doing, then it is just a matter of time that you would have achieved both Success and Wealth.

That doing what you love doing is the KEY, instead of money.

How important is money to you? What is your answer? Warren Buffett was asked this question and many other questions, and below are the questions and his replies.

Cheers!

Dennis Ng, http://www.MasterYourFinance.com


JOACHIM SCHWASS
How important is money to you?

WARREN BUFFET
Well, it is nice to have all you need. But I have had all I've needed since I was in my mid-twenties. I mean, you know, I have got everything in life that somebody could want – but I have had that all… I've got a job I love, I work around people that I love, and they like me; I get to do what I want to do every day; I've got my own canvas to paint on. So that makes me rich.

Now, I also want to be able to eat well, and sleep in a house that is warm in the winter and cool in the summer, and go to some football games and things like that; but I don't have any great desire to build a tomb that rivals that of the pharaohs, for example, either when I am dead or when I'm alive! I don't want a fleet of yachts or anything of the sort. To me, standard of living does not equate with cost of living. Up to a point it does; and then when you leave that point… you know, I don't want to own a baseball team so that my name is in the paper every day, you know, as the owner of the team; and I don't want to… I am not that interested in art, you know – I am not knocking anybody else for this – but I don't want to have the world's greatest art collection just because rich people frequently do. I want to enjoy my… I want to be around my friends, I want to do what I love to do. Fortunately I get to do it!

JOACHIM SCHWASS
And you are planning to give everything away to charity.

WARREN BUFFETT
All my Berkshire shares will go to charity. But that doesn't involve one bit of sacrifice on my part – I mean, they are just a bunch of certificates in a safe deposit box. I have got everything I need in the one percent that is outside of Berkshire to take care of me in every way that any normal human being could ever hope to be taken care of; and the rest can go back to society - because society has enabled me to do what I do.

JOACHIM SCHWASS
What have you passed on to your children? You have three children.

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What I told my kids is exactly what my dad told me: "Anything you do (as long as it's legal!), I'm behind you, I'll back you. You don't have to be me – you have to be you!". And my dad gave me in effect unconditional love in that respect. And both my wife and I have said the same thing to our three children.
WARREN BUFFETT
I have got three children, and each one I… after seeing how they have handled themselves in life, I have contributed to a foundation that each one runs individually. So they are able to participate in this society in their own way; not only with money, but with their own energy and time – because that is a big part of it too. But what I told my kids is exactly what my dad told me, and it was wonderful; my dad said to me that "Anything you do (as long as it's legal!)"; he said "Anything you do, I'm behind you, I'll back you. You don't have to be me – you have to be you!". And my dad gave me in effect unconditional love in that respect. And both my wife and I have said the same thing to our three children; that what they do is just as important as what I do. I may get paid better than they do, but what they do is absolutely as important as what I do – and maybe more important. And they ought to follow their own compass; they ought to follow their own passion. And if they turned out to be… whatever aspect of society they elect to join, if they do it well, help out other human beings at the same time, we are going to admire them every bit as much as if they were the world's greatest golfer or the world's richest person or whatever the hell it may be – they are all of equal value.

JOACHIM SCHWASS
We have just spent a bit of time with the IMD MBA students, and one MBA student asked the question "What is your own personal definition of success?".

WARREN BUFFETT
Well, I will tell a story first: there is a woman in Omaha, she is in her 80s, she is a Polish Jew. She is a wonderful person, she is a friend of mine. And when she was a young teen I guess, she was at Auschwitz with other members of the family, not all of whom came out. And she says, she has told me "When I look at someone, I am slow to make friends because in the back of my mind the question always is 'Would they hide me?' ". Now, I would say this: if you get to be 60 or 70, or my own age – 77 – and you have a lot of people who would hide you, you are a success. And if you don't have anyone that would hide you, no matter how rich you are, no matter how many honorary degrees you have been given, no matter what hospitals are named after you – you are a failure. It is another way of saying "How many people love you?" basically. And I have never seen anyone who has the love of dozens of people as they get older who is not a success, and who doesn't feel like a success. And I have seen a number of people who have all the trappings of success, by the world's measurements – who are rich, who have their names in the paper – and there isn't a person on earth that loves them. And they can't be a success. So if you have lots of people that love you when you are 60 or 70, you are a very, very successful person.

PAUL HUNTER
That is a very touching definition of success; and clearly you have been successful by your own standards and by many other people's standards as well. When you look back over the last – you have been playing this game for the best part of 66 years now; I think you traded your first stock when you were 11…

WARREN BUFFETT
I started late!

PAUL HUNTER
Where does that passion and energy come from? It is very obvious today – and I am sure it is obvious to our viewers. Where does that come from?

WARREN BUFFETT
Well, I was lucky in terms of the parents I had. And frankly, I was lucky to have been born in the United States – even though I am broadcasting from Europe! - but I had all kinds of opportunities. I mean, I had a good education, I was wired in a way that enabled me to profit far beyond what you might expect from just being able to allocate capital; and I was very lucky in that I found what I liked to do when I was very young – and that was partly accident. But I have been able to play in the game I wanted to play virtually my entire life. I have never had to compromise in terms of doing something I really didn't want to do because my kids were hungry. So I have been lucky in so many ways. And the most important thing, actually, I tell the students (well the most important thing may be who your parents are but you can't do anything about that); the most important thing, though, is picking the right spouse. If you have the right spouse, a lot of good things are going to happen. If you have the wrong spouse, a lot of things are going to happen too! But I was very, very lucky in that respect.

JOACHIM SCHWASS
Do we have any questions coming in?

PAUL HUNTER
Yes we certainly do. Eitan, I have a question that I must ask you. There was a quote in an article that I read recently where you said "Warren Buffett is the perfect balance between heart and pocket and mind". What were your first impressions of Warren Buffett, those first five minutes?

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I saw a very modest man. A very modest man. I was shocked; no guard, no chauffeur, no nothing there. And my fist impression is a man that I want to work with.
EITAN WERTHEIMER
The first time I met Warren physically was on the 25th October 2005 in Omaha. It was 9 o'clock. I saw a very modest man. A very modest man. I was shocked; no guard, no chauffeur, no nothing there. And my fist impression is a man that I want to work with. I knew it from the first second. And I also had a little hint from Warren before I left; he gave me the annual report of Berkshire Hathaway, and I asked if him he was willing to sign and write something; and he wrote to me "To Eitan, with whom I will share a long journey". So I got the signal also very clear. And it was love at first sight. It was love at first sight; I knew from the first minute it was what I was looking for. And today I have basically two fathers: my old father and a new father.

WARREN BUFFETT
Actually I'm his grandfather!

EITAN WERTHEIMER
You're too young for that!

PAUL HUNTER
And Mr. Buffett, that was a two-way process. Now, you had that same feeling straight away. Do you always have that feeling when you are making a deal with an organization? Does that feeling have to be there?

WARREN BUFFETT
It is usually there. Sometimes there will be a situation – maybe I am dealing with an estate even, you know, so it is hard to get that strong a feeling in those cases! But I love the people that we are associated with. I have passed on deals where I have thought that the person who was in charge would cause my stomach to churn. I don't need my stomach churning! I mean, that should be one advantage of being rich – that you don't have to put yourself in situations where your stomach is going to churn! So we have a group of managers, and I am a good friend with many of them. Not all of them – some of them I don't have that much contact with; but the ones I have got… I mean, I have really added enormously to my life – if there wasn't any financial implication at all – by the people I have been able to associate myself with.

Image
And I have never seen anyone who has the love of dozens of people as they get older who is not a success, and who doesn't feel like a success. And I have seen a number of people who have all the trappings of success – and there isn't a person on earth that loves them. And they can't be a success. So if you have lots of people that love you when you are 60 or 70, you are a very, very successful person.
PAUL
OK. We are getting a lot of questions in from around the world; and Joachim mentioned earlier you have got seventy-six companies in Berkshire Hathaway – a pretty eclectic mix of companies. A question that has come in from one of our viewers is "Is there a key management or leadership style that you are looking for, or does every company manage in a different way?".

WARREN BUFFET
They have very different styles. Some of them have been… a good many are MBAs. But plenty of them did not go beyond high school; a few of them dropped out of grade school. They have very different styles. They are leaders in their own way; people like to follow them. But I am always amazed at just the different shapes and forms that they come in. I mean, if I had brought them all here today, you would have a very different-looking group - but they all would have a passion for their business, and they all would have qualities that cause other people to want to follow them over the next mountain. They have people that believe in them. They can't see beyond the next mountain; maybe the individuals can't – but they believe that the person that they are following can. But it comes in a lot of different ways. They do love their businesses, though.

PAUL
OK. So that passion has got to be there.

WARREN BUFFETT
Passion is the key.

PAUL
OK. Another question – and a lot of viewers have picked up on what you mentioned before about philanthropy; and I think you are donating almost eighty-five percent of your fortune to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation; and they are very active in what is going on today in China, what is going on in Burma. A common thread in some of the questions is "How do you strike that balance? How do you become… how do you move from being purely a business person to a philanthropist? And what advice could you give to people who might be looking for that balance?"

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L to R: Hunter, Prof Schwass, Buffett and Wertheimer.

WARREN BUFFETT
Well, I think it depends very much on the situation of the individual. Some people are in a position to participate actively in philanthropy, and others aren't - and they shouldn't feel shameful of the fact that they can't; I mean, they may be having plenty of trouble feeding their family and taking care of family illnesses and that sort of thing. But when you have an enormous surplus that comes about in a very, very large part because I was born in the right place, at the right time, to the right parents, with a talent for something that pays off enormously in a market system – I mean, if I had been in a different economy, this ability to allocate capital would have meant nothing; but in a market system, the rewards are outsized. Which is fine - I happily accept them! But in the end I think you want to figure out, once you have taken care of your own needs and your family's needs, I think one way or another you should go back to society. And I had planned originally that my first wife… the two of us planned, when we were in our twenties (because I did tell her "We are going to get rich!"); I said… and she said – we both agreed on this – that there would be a foundation that would basically get all my money; that we should leave our kids enough so that they could do anything, but not enough so that they could do nothing. And we followed that.

She died before, while I was alive; which I did not expect – she was younger and women live longer – so then I had to make a decision as to what the best position was of the share. And I looked at the various options. I have left significant foundations each a ???; and there is another family foundation that is a little bit larger. But I have watched the Gates Foundation operate for a number of years; I have seen two very, very, very bright, extraordinarily well-intended people, who had a common objective with me: who did not believe that… they do believe that every individual's life is as important as anyone else's – regardless of gender, regardless of geography, regardless of color – and they were going about the process of trying to affect as many people's lives for the better per dollar spent as could be done. And the chance to join them, have them work for nothing – I was like that! and carry out a part of what I had already seen in action made my job enormously easy! I mean, I get to do what I love and I hand over a bunch of certificates, stock certificates, and they get to do something important with it. And that is the best solution I can come up with.

PAUL
OK, great. A lot of people know from looking in the press and TV coverage today, you are spending most of this week in Europe; you were in Germany yesterday, Switzerland today; I believe you are moving on to Spain and Italy between now and the end of the week. You mentioned in your shareholders' meeting a few months ago that you felt that Berkshire Hathaway were nowhere near as prominent as they should be in Europe. Why Europe? Why now? Particularly as people may think that with the weak dollar this may not be opportune timing. What has been your reasoning and thinking behind that?

WARREN BUFFETT
Well the answer is I should have done it earlier! But I haven't, and I am correcting one of my previous errors! But it is an important error to correct. And we should be on the radar screen - not only in Europe but in Asia; possibly in larger countries, because we need larger companies. But we do have something to offer certain businesses – not all businesses. And it may not be important today – I mean, if you have a great family business, keep it! I mean, the best thing you can do is own it! But there comes a time when a change may be necessary. And I wanted to be, Berkshire Hathaway, to be on the radar screen so that when that time came, people thought of calling us. Now, Eitan thought of getting in touch with us – but not everybody does. And I think we have been particularly weak outside the United States, and that is why I am over here trying to correct that.

PAUL
You mentioned that Berkshire Hathaway have a lot to offer companies. Eitan there was a quote from you recently where you said "What we have got from Berkshire Hathaway is a lot more than money"; that Warren Buffett has a lot more than that to bring. What is Berkshire Hathaway bringing to the table that perhaps other organisations may not be doing?

EITAN WERTHEIMER
Freedom to work, freedom to do your… sing your song. That is what we wanted, and that is what we got. And to be part of something much bigger. And to prepare for the future – I mean, what can I ask for more? Tomorrow, today – and love.

WARREN BUFFETT
They hand us their stock certificate, and the next day they are still the owner in every way except that stock certificate. They get rid of any need for any bankers, any presentations to Wall Street, any need to please; constituencies that they don't really care about that much perhaps. What they get a chance to do is to do even better what they have been doing before, and they have someone who very much appreciates that applauding for them; and to know that that situation will continue for decades and decades and decades. And that they are not just… it is not like Gin Rummy, you know, where you pick up one card and discard another - we don't do that in Berkshire; we keep picking up cards but we keep them all in the hand! And there really aren't many… we don't have many competitors.

PAUL HUNTER
We are getting a lot of questions in today, not just from Europe but also from Asia. We have had a question in from James Dane of ???.com; and he is asking "Is Asia an area of interest to you?"; he is saying that stock, you know, price multiple earnings now have really been drifting down quite significantly in Asia – are you looking for bargains there? Is that part of your global strategy?

WARREN BUFFETT
Well, we are always interested in businesses as long as they meet our size requirements. And certainly there are some in Asia that would – many in Asia, perhaps – and we would love to hear from those people just like we would love to hear from people in Europe. In terms of stocks, moving to marketable securities, I look all the time every place. We had a big investment in PetroChina a few years back, and we have interests in various European countries, and we have a big interest in Pasko, the Korean steel company. So I will look all over the world for marketable securities. And I will hope people all over the world will think of Berkshire in terms of getting in touch with us on operating businesses, control businesses.

Image
IMD campus in Switzerland. Photo courtesy of IMD



PAUL HUNTER
We have anothe question in - perhaps a more targeted question.....

WARREN BUFFETT
"What are you buying today?".

PAUL HUNTER
Well, we've had a lot of those, but we are trying to filter those! But a targeted question in terms of education; one of our viewers is asking "Are you interested in investing in education? And why not buy a business school like IMD?".

WARREN BUFFETT
Well, in the philanthropic area, about a third of the money in the Gates' Foundation is directed toward education. And starting next year the Gates' Foundation might give ??? some full-term in terms of their spending behavior. So they will be spending maybe four billion dollars or something like that, and something like a third – maybe a little less- will go towards education. But in terms of educational businesses, there aren't many that are in the 75 million and up dollar category. And we have not had any offered to us that meet our criteria.

PAUL HUNTER
An interesting question has come in from someone saying "Thanks for your definition of success", which they appreciated; "What is your definition of luck?".

WARREN BUFFETT
Luck? Well, something I've had a lot of! Well, I mean, obviously, as I mentioned, I was born in the right place, at the right time, to the right parents – now, how much did I have to do with that? I call that the "ovarian lottery"! I mean, I won the ovarian lottery! And that is a pretty important lottery to win! I mean, you know, the tickets you get in life… I was born in 1930 - if I had been born female, I would have had the same chances I have had; if I had been born black I would not have had the same chances I have had; if I had been born in many parts of the world, I would not have had the same chances. So I won the ovarian lottery! I didn't have a thing to do with that, obviously! So just chalk all that up to luck and, you know, that is a huge part of my life.

PAUL HUNTER
OK. So a lot of luck, a lot of success. Let's look at some of the numbers as well: you have had an average return on investment of 21 percent since 1965, which is pretty staggering. Is there a particular secret to how you choose your stocks and how you choose the companies you invest in?

WARREN BUFFETT
Well, I've tried to stick with things I understand. And I don't… you know, I look at the Stock Market as a way to buy businesses; not to buy little things that jig, go up and down and that have charts attached to them and all that sort of thing. So I have a very fundamental approach which I was lucky enough to learn when I was nineteen years of age by reading the right book; a book called "The Intelligent Investor" by Ben Graham. That was luck. I mean, picking up that book changed my life in a very, very, very big way. I don't do anything extraordinary; I don't have any great insights about the world, you know, ten years or twenty years from now – I really just look for things that are obvious. And I have been doing that a long time. And there are a few more things… I learned a few things over the years; but I had the right framework from Ben Graham.

Buffett_quote
PAUL HUNTER
So that is a framework you have stuck with…

WARREN BUFFETT
All the way!

PAUL HUNTER… for the last number of years.

WARREN BUFFETT
Yes. It still works!

PAUL HUNTER
You are a very influential figure, and I know that people who are influential like yourself sometimes can get sucked into the political arena. I know that you yourself have been involved in fundraising activities for both Hilary Clinton and Barack Obama. How often do you find yourself being asked to comment on political issues? And is that something you feel comfortable with?

WARREN BUFFETT
Well I have got some views on certain political issues like tax policy and all that. But it is true, I have worked for both Hilary and Barack, and I believe they would both make wonderful Presidents. The main thing that happens when you volunteer to work in politics is you get another call asking you to volunteer again! But it is enormously important, who leads the country. We have got a – I am talking about the United States now – but we have a country that survives quite well even when we don't get the best; but it is better to have the best, by a significant margin. And so I think people should be involved in politics. I mean, you should care who your leaders are and you should work for them if you get the chance. And because I am in the position I am in, I can raise money perhaps better than other people can. But no matter how you work at it, I do believe in people being involved in politics.

PAUL HUNTER
You have been very outspoken on US politics. Do you feel that the policies in place today are still weakening the strength of the dollar?

WARREN BUFFETT
Yes I do. Sure. Yes, we are doing pretty much what we have been doing in recent years; and when you do something over and over again and expect to get a different result, that is insanity!

PAUL HUNTER
OK. We are running rapidly out of time here; we are going to have to wrap up shortly. Joachim, I would like to bring you in at this stage. You have seen this relationship growing up and have done a lot of research and even a case study on what has been going on between Berkshire Hathaway and Iscar. What do you believe makes this particular relationship remarkable? And what are the lessons that family business can learn from them?

JOACHIM SCHWASS
I think this all started with the Wertheimer family – you, your dad, your wife – attending our "Leading a Family Business" Progam a number of years back. And I think what a number of family businesses can learn from your particular case is the effort you took to educate yourself about family businesses; how they function, learning from others, looking at family business from a very structured viewpoint. And asking that key question: "Will, in future, will we as a family still be the best possible owners for the business?" And obviously you went through this analysis; you came up with a response to this, and you found a solution. And I think this is, for me, the incredibly strong part of this particular case: selling a family business does not really mean a loss. It is a value-added and win-win situation for many parties involved in this. Plus it creates a future for the business itself. So I think this is probably the key lesson we would want people to take away from this particular case, from this particular example. Once families are confronted with the situation of wanting or having to sell, there are opportunities out there – and opportunities which are good for the family, good for the ownership and good for the business.

PAUL HUNTER
Mr. Wertheimer, you have found a soul mate through this process; Mr. Buffett, you have found a very interesting company to invest in. Are there any last words that you want to leave with the viewers? You mentioned to our MBAs before that you considered your life as an "unfinished painting". What are the brushstrokes that you see applying to the canopy in the next few years?

WARREN BUFFETT
Well what is exciting about the painting is I don't know what the brushstrokes will be tomorrow. I know in general what they will be – but one thing I know is I love having that paintbrush in my hand!

PAUL HUNTER
So you are in control of what is going on - and let's see where that takes you.

WARREN BUFFETT
Well, I get to keep painting, and that is a lot of fun!

PAUL HUNTER
Fantastic. Mr. Wertheimer, Mr. Buffett, Professor Schwass, many thanks indeed for taking time today. For all of our viewers, thank you very much for joining us. Unfortunately we only scratched the surface of your questions; we didn’t manage to get to all of them. But thank you for your interest, and there will be plenty of information about all that is going on at IMD with Mr. Buffett and Mr. Wertheimer up on our website; so if you want to go to www.imd.ch, then you are very welcome to get some information there. So from everybody here at IMD, thank you very much for joining us today. Bye-bye.
Cheers!

Dennis Ng - When You Master Your Finances, You Master Your Destiny

Note: I'm just sharing my personal comments, not giving you investment advice nor stock investment tips.
Dennis Ng
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Postby daringd » Sat Mar 19, 2011 4:36 pm

Thanks for sharing again, Dennis!

BTW, how did you discover your passion/purpose in life? Was it an "immediate" realization or a process throughout your life? How did you know for sure when you find it?

Thx in adv!
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Postby Ax » Mon Mar 21, 2011 10:27 pm

Dennis,

I definitely agree with what Warren Buffet has said..

However, I have some stuff I would like to share.

I think most of us(if you have been pondering how/what it takes to be successful/to be rich).. Or for whatever reason it might be. You might be in this forum because you wish to be financially free.... or some sort.. to be a millionaire..

A lot of successful people suggest we follow our passion.... you will be successful one day.... doing what you love.

Some people on the other hand, ask the question.. "what if what you do, doesnt really allow you to make money?" I guess living in a modern society, we cannot do w/o money. afterall, we are not monks living in temples.

Of course, people will say.."you will be able to find a way to make money doing something you love.."

What do you all think?

Frankly speaking, earning a fixed income every month... its really hard to be financially free... Being frugal has its limits. The next step would be "increasing your paycheck"? or starting your own biz? What about what you love doing?

Just some thoughts I have...
Ax
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Postby Dennis Ng » Tue Mar 22, 2011 12:18 am

daringd wrote:Thanks for sharing again, Dennis!

BTW, how did you discover your passion/purpose in life? Was it an "immediate" realization or a process throughout your life? How did you know for sure when you find it?

Thx in adv!


Hi daringd,
It was a process, I have searched for answer and when I read the book entitled "Notes from a Friend" by Anthony Robbins, by answering the questions in the book, I discovered my Passion and Mission.

ie. I was interested to learn about Personal Finance and I want to learn to master my own finances to become Financially Free, and when I reached Financial Freedom, I want to teach others how they can master their finances and become financially free as well.

I finally reached Financial Freedom in year 2008 when I reached my first million dollars (largely through Growing my Savings through investing into Stocks and Property)...

Why S$1 million enough? Well, if I can get an annual yield of 5% on S$1 million, that works out to S$50,000 a year and sufficient to pay for all my expenses.

So I started preparing my first book and in May 2009, I started the 2nd phase: ie. teaching others How to Master Your Finances and reach Financial Freedom...

In Apr 2009, I relaunched www.MasterYourFinance.com a website I actually set up in year 2001 but discontinued (dormant) for a few years.

On 23 May 2009, I started the First "How to Save and Accumulate One Million Dollars Seminar....the response was overwhelming, we had close to 200 people registered that we did the 2nd session on 31 May 2009...

On 29 May 2009, I launched my first book, also the First Bilingual Book on Personal Finance "Mastering Your Personal Finance" at the World Book Fair in Suntec City...

At that point, I didn't plan the Stock and Property Seminar, this came from popular request that the seminar graduates told me they want to learn details of How to Invest into Stocks and Property...and the first "Secrets to Making Money in Stocks and Property Seminar" was held on 15, 16 and 22 Aug 2009...

and the rest is history...
Cheers!

Dennis Ng - When You Master Your Finances, You Master Your Destiny

Note: I'm just sharing my personal comments, not giving you investment advice nor stock investment tips.
Dennis Ng
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Posts: 9781
Joined: Tue Nov 29, 2005 7:16 am
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Postby Dennis Ng » Tue Mar 22, 2011 12:30 am

Ax wrote:Dennis,

I definitely agree with what Warren Buffet has said..

However, I have some stuff I would like to share.

I think most of us(if you have been pondering how/what it takes to be successful/to be rich).. Or for whatever reason it might be. You might be in this forum because you wish to be financially free.... or some sort.. to be a millionaire..

A lot of successful people suggest we follow our passion.... you will be successful one day.... doing what you love.

Some people on the other hand, ask the question.. "what if what you do, doesnt really allow you to make money?" I guess living in a modern society, we cannot do w/o money. afterall, we are not monks living in temples.

Of course, people will say.."you will be able to find a way to make money doing something you love.."

What do you all think?

Frankly speaking, earning a fixed income every month... its really hard to be financially free... Being frugal has its limits. The next step would be "increasing your paycheck"? or starting your own biz? What about what you love doing?

Just some thoughts I have...


Hi Ax,
for most of what we love to do, it is possible to find a way to make money doing this thing we love to do.

Of course, in the meantime, becos of circumstances, you might only be able to do this thing "after work"...

In 1998, I started doing Insurance part-time while working in the Bank, and after 2 years of working part-time and discovered that I enjoyed helping people to plan their Finances, I resigned from the bank in year 2000...

At that time, I already have a wife, a son, a HDB flat to pay monthly Housing Loan instalment, but I saved enough money so that even if I earn zero income, I have enough money set aside to pay for 2 years of my expenses, including my share of household expenses, including the Housing Loan instalment.

Of course, without the Support of my wife, I would NOT be able to pursue my Passion. But we did it after prolonged discussion, due consideration and Financial Preparation.

I hope by sharing my Personal Journey can inspire and encourage some people out there NOT to give up on your Passion or Dream.

Of course, there are sacrifices to be made to pursue your Passion. In year 2001, my income dropped from over S$6,000 when I was working in the bank to S$2,500 (first year as Financial Planner)...

P.S. The good news is I did NOT earn Zero Income, so in the end, I did NOT have to touch the savings I set aside, and this savings became my additional Capital for investing into Stocks.

And I only managed to increase my income to about S$6,000 a month (my last drawn salary in year 2000) in year 2007...
Cheers!

Dennis Ng - When You Master Your Finances, You Master Your Destiny

Note: I'm just sharing my personal comments, not giving you investment advice nor stock investment tips.
Dennis Ng
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Postby daringd » Tue Mar 22, 2011 1:36 am

Dennis Ng wrote:
Hi daringd,
It was a process, I have searched for answer and when I read the book entitled "Notes from a Friend" by Anthony Robbins, by answering the questions in the book, I discovered my Passion and Mission.

ie. I was interested to learn about Personal Finance and I want to learn to master my own finances to become Financially Free, and when I reached Financial Freedom, I want to teach others how they can master their finances and become financially free as well.

...

and the rest is history...


Thanks for sharing, Dennis! It's really inspirational! Guess I am still in the process of learning and discovering ... will CBA it eventually :)
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Postby Ax » Tue Mar 22, 2011 7:28 am

An article I hope to share.....

its taken from http://nerdgap.com/paid-to-eat-pancakes-the-truth-about-passions/ by a guy called brett kelly...

-------------------------------


It’s hard to spend more than a few minutes reading blogs centered around life improvement without stumbling onto a post describing how you can totally make a very comfortable living doing what you love (your “passion”), no matter what that thing is. Instead of grinding away at your soul-sucking day job at the accounting firm, you could pull down six figures if you only pursued your true passions of photographing slaughterhouses and playing competitive Parcheesi. Perhaps I’m jaded, but I think a good portion of what’s said in this arena is, frankly, a huge load of crap.

First of all, let’s take a closer look at the word “passion”. The Dictionary application on my Mac offers this as the first definition:

strong and barely controllable emotion

Yes, there are other definitions, but this one is pretty telling about our misuse of this word. I have no problem with your really enjoying making candles or hand-sewing your own undergarments, but let’s pump the brakes a bit before we start calling these things “passions.”

I obviously can’t say this for sure, but when I hear somebody talking about being passionate about composting, I don’t think I’m being unreasonable in thinking that, maybe, they’re overstating it a smidge. In recent years, people have gotten into the habit of using “passion” as a drop-in substitute for “thing I like doing on a Saturday afternoon while I have my Mint Julep.” Passion implies (rather heavily) the idea of pants-on-head, might need a grown up diaper obsession, not enthusiastic enjoyment.

If you wake up in the middle of the night sweating bullets and thinking about turning your family’s garbage into nutrient-rich dirt, then yes, perhaps you are passionate about composting. I’d be willing to bet that’s true of almost nobody.

Now, before you pick up the knitting needles you whittled from used cafeteria trays (now available on Etsy!) and try to open up my throat, just hear me out. I’m not saying that it’s impossible to earn a living doing something you really enjoy — clearly it’s very possible to do that. Hell, I earn a living doing something I really enjoy. The thing is, it depends a great deal on what it is you enjoy. If you really enjoy reading 19th century Russian literature, eating pancakes and slamming Irish Car Bombs during sporting events, your time would probably be best spent looking into making the literature thing your source of income because –and this does make me a little sad– I’ve never been handed a business card by a professional pancake consumer.

In other words, for you to earn money doing something, there must necessarily exist a contingent of people who are willing to pay money to a person in exchange for doing (or teaching them how to do) that thing. It doesn’t matter how awesome you are at accurately estimating the number of chocolate chips in a sealed bag from 20 yards away – it’s unlikely you’re going to find somebody to pay you to do that, even if the Internet has convinced you to call it a “passion.”

Me? My “passions” are few: my family, my religion, and to a much lesser extent, writing and programming. The first two because, well, that’s how I’m wired. The last two because I could chew on your ear for hours about either one and I feel noticeably out of balance if I avoid either for an extended period of time. The thought of stopping either one makes me uncomfortable.

Do I love coffee? Absolutely. Beer and scotch? Big time. Reading? You betcha. Are any of these things passions of mine? Not by a long shot.

If I really wanted to, I could probably come up with some clever ways to make money doing something related to coffee, for example. There are others that already do and I’m honestly happy for them. Trouble is, most people don’t care about coffee as much as those people do — I know I don’t.

So, the next time you download that free eBook on how to turn your passion into a bazillion dollars, remember that it’s going to require two things: that you’re actually, legitimately passionate about something and there exists a market of people who will be willing to give you their beer money in exchange for your angle on that thing.

And don’t misunderstand me here – I’m not calling the “passion = dollars” people out or anything, but make sure that when anybody starts throwing around the word “passion”, realize that their definition is in all likelihood, inflated and inaccurate. Before you spectacularly quit your job to go off and eat pancakes for a living, make sure you’ve really thought it through and that the money you hope to earn is actually out there in the pockets of people who are actually willing to give it.

Now, you yell at me..

--------------------------

I hope you will find this useful in your life journey....
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Postby Dennis Ng » Tue Mar 22, 2011 8:36 am

Hi Ax,

on the above article, there is a difference between Enjoy and Passion.

I enjoy playing football, ever even dreamed of becoming the Next Fandi Ahmad when I was young...but can I ever be? I lack the aptitude.

I enjoy singing, ever even dreamed of becoming the next Super star such as Jacky Cheung...again I lack the aptitude.

I enjoy eating durian; enjoy eating beancurd; eating chocolate; eating ice cream.

But I'm not really passionate about above things.

There is a difference between Enjoy and Passion.

it's really up to you.

As Henry Ford says:"Whether you think you can, or you cannot, you're right.

In Life, one important thing is to learn from the Right people. Warren Buffett, Jim Rogers and myself are doing what we love and getting Rich.

There are many more Real Life Examples out there.

Of course, we might be a minority.

The FACT is most people just drift through life, without Purpose or Passion.

They just make a living.

Think about it, if there is only one life, how you want to live your life?

Just making a living?

There are 1,001 ways to earn money and make a living.

Instead of doing something you don't like, why NOT do something you're Passionate about?

Ok, let's examine what I did on 21 Mar 2011 to see whether I truly do what I'm passionate about.

If it's not for passion, why would I spend 3 hours researching, before going on News Radio 93.8 FM at 7 pm to 8 pm, answering listeners' questions on Japan Disaster and its impact.

Then if not for passion, why next I rushed down to Park Mall to guide/share with Wealth Educators in the monthly meeting?

If not for passion, why when I reached home after 11 pm, I don't go to sleep but visit this forum to answer/reply questions? I spent over 1 hour replying to you and daringd on this topic, sharing with everyone my personal Life Journey from 1998 till now.

There are many people who drift through life, this might be the people who would then tell others it is Bullshit to talk about Passion, talk about Dreams, that just making a living is a constant struggle...

Frankly, if you have NOT done so, I encourage you to read the book "Your Greatest Power", then you would probably realise, people who say such things are of course not correct, and if we want to be blunt about it, they are LOSERS.

And they will remain mediocre, since they don't put in their 100% in their daily work, they don't put in their heart and soul in their work, they just Appear, they just go through the motions...they go through their daily work with a Frown on their face, and wonder why their boss does NOT give them a Raise or Promotion...

They will blame their luck, blame their boss, blame the economy, blame the government, they will blame everyone but themselves...

So frankly, if these people are NOT called Losers, I don't know what should they be called.

Anyone reading what I wrote, if you feel offended, I don't mean to offend.

Truth hurts.

Let's turn to something inspirational again, let me share a quote I always remind myself:

If it is to be, it is up to me.
Cheers!

Dennis Ng - When You Master Your Finances, You Master Your Destiny

Note: I'm just sharing my personal comments, not giving you investment advice nor stock investment tips.
Dennis Ng
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About investing

Postby ongbilly » Tue Mar 22, 2011 10:05 pm

Hi Dennis,
After attending the courses you have conducted which I feel my time and money well spent and invested.

In fact I will not hesitate to recommend anyone to attend your courses.

What have take me years to understand about investing and no doubt still learning everyday,finally it makes sense to me after attending your coures and the forum I read daily is a very invaluable tool for a lay person like me.Its like a jig saw puzzle out there finally make some sense to me.

Your sincerity in parting and sharing knowledge with us,I am sure there are many out there like me appreciate the good work you have done

Keep it up and thanks.
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Postby Ax » Tue Mar 22, 2011 10:53 pm

Dennis,

Thanks for sharing your thoughts about the article that I have posted. Now I understand better on the topic of passion...

I do look at the article from another point of view. The author just wants to tell with us that it is important to realize when pursuing a passion... you still need to take a look at the "monetary" side of things.. Something I think worth considering....

However, I do feel you need not apologize for what you have said in your post. Because the truth really does hurts. I think everyone should take responsibility and accountability with their own lives, including myself.

Thank you once again.
Ax
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Postby Dennis Ng » Wed Mar 23, 2011 12:05 am

Ax wrote:Dennis,

Thanks for sharing your thoughts about the article that I have posted. Now I understand better on the topic of passion...

I do look at the article from another point of view. The author just wants to tell with us that it is important to realize when pursuing a passion... you still need to take a look at the "monetary" side of things.. Something I think worth considering....

However, I do feel you need not apologize for what you have said in your post. Because the truth really does hurts. I think everyone should take responsibility and accountability with their own lives, including myself.

Thank you once again.


if a person wants to be Super Rich from pursuing his/her passion, of course a person needs to consider the Market Size and Market Potential of what he/she wants to pursue.

However, if it is just about Making Enough money, I think MOST things people want to do can achieve this.

Imagine even a person prepare beancurd well can become Rich. Even a the cousin of a friend of mine, who liked to sew when he was young, now became one of most sought after Designer of wedding dress in Singapore....so there are many things one can do and to make a Reasonably comfortable Living.

And if choosing between pursuing a Passion that can make a comfortable Living and making more money doing something a person does NOT like, which would you choose?

The final choice and decision is very much up to the individual and there is NO right or wrong.

But one thing I can share is that during the 7 years from year 2000 to year 2007 when I earned much less than what I earned while I was working in the Bank, I was definitely happier doing what I enjoy doing than when I worked in the bank....and to me, that might be part of the reason why I never thought of Giving up and going back to the bank to work in a job during those Lean years.
Cheers!

Dennis Ng - When You Master Your Finances, You Master Your Destiny

Note: I'm just sharing my personal comments, not giving you investment advice nor stock investment tips.
Dennis Ng
Site Admin
 
Posts: 9781
Joined: Tue Nov 29, 2005 7:16 am
Location: Singapore

Re: About investing

Postby Dennis Ng » Wed Mar 23, 2011 12:15 am

ongbilly wrote:Hi Dennis,
After attending the courses you have conducted which I feel my time and money well spent and invested.

In fact I will not hesitate to recommend anyone to attend your courses.

What have take me years to understand about investing and no doubt still learning everyday,finally it makes sense to me after attending your coures and the forum I read daily is a very invaluable tool for a lay person like me.Its like a jig saw puzzle out there finally make some sense to me.

Your sincerity in parting and sharing knowledge with us,I am sure there are many out there like me appreciate the good work you have done

Keep it up and thanks.


Hi ongbilly,
thanks alot. It is such words of encouragement that keep me going.

Sometimes my wife wonders why I'm still awake and typing on the computer past midnight...I told her I replying to questions in my discussion forum....lucky she can verify the time of my postings to know this is the truth.
Cheers!

Dennis Ng - When You Master Your Finances, You Master Your Destiny

Note: I'm just sharing my personal comments, not giving you investment advice nor stock investment tips.
Dennis Ng
Site Admin
 
Posts: 9781
Joined: Tue Nov 29, 2005 7:16 am
Location: Singapore

Postby daringd » Wed Mar 23, 2011 12:28 am

Really appreciate what you are doing, Dennis! :) You are so accessible and real and that itself make a very great inspiration for many of us. And the fact I knew you since 2000/1 and really knew how far you have come, it's really an honour to me. :) Thanks for taking the time to replying! Say sorry to your wife for taking you away from her for few hours. :p
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Postby Dennis Ng » Wed Mar 23, 2011 7:54 am

daringd wrote:Really appreciate what you are doing, Dennis! :) You are so accessible and real and that itself make a very great inspiration for many of us. And the fact I knew you since 2000/1 and really knew how far you have come, it's really an honour to me. :) Thanks for taking the time to replying! Say sorry to your wife for taking you away from her for few hours. :p


Hi daringd,
yes, since you know me in year 2000/1 when I first started on my journey to Financial Freedom, when we learned Cashflow Game from Mr Bellum Tan and his wife Doreen.....and thereafter for 2 years, I organised Cashflow Game sessions for the public to teach concepts shared in the game...

You would know that everything I shared about myself (how I was earning low income then) is True...and that will be an even more encouraging to you since you know that all this is possible....that it is possible for a person with average income to reach a million dollars by age 39.

It's ok, actually my wife gave me lots of precious support, though sometimes I go overboard.

For example, last Sunday, I conducted a talk at Bras Basah Complex, the talk ends at 6.30 pm..so they were waiting for me to have dinner at Jack's place...but in the end, there was the crowd queuing for my autograph..thereafter there were some who stayed behind to ask me questions...and I was happily answering their questions till I forgot the time...by the time I finished, it was 7.30 pm.....and my wife and children went from excitedly waiting for me to wondered why I was late by 1 hour...

I have to say that in year 2009, I made a Conscious Decision to step up my efforts to educate the public by launching full-day seminars...and even then I knew that it would lead to me sacrificing most of my precious weekends with my family...but it is something I feel is so important to do, and I cannot assume others would do what I do (they don't, since I started my seminars becos I reached the point I could not stand some of these seminars conducted out there)...

So whatever I shared about "Do you have a purpose or personal mission or passion?"

Are you willing to do almost everything, including dying to achieve your mission?

I have asked myself these 2 questions and I have to say my answers to both questions are affirmative.

It's not just enjoying...it's a Passion, Passion is much more deeper, more intense than mere enjoyment.

Again I hope that through sharing my personal life journey so far shows and prove to people that it is indeed possible to pursue one's Passion and Mission and to achieve Happiness, Fulfillment and Financial Success...

Actually if we think about it, if a person is Passionate about what he/she does, it is likely he/she will put in extra effort/hours into what he/she does and over a period of time, it is likely he/she will get so good in what he/she does that he/she will stand out in whatever field he/she chooses...and the very best in each field, regardless of what field we choose, typically the person will also be paid the most.

Somehow now I believe that each and everyone is born in this world with a purpose, it is up to us to find out what this purpose is, and once we found the answer and Live to fulfill our purpose, we will experience Joy, Fulfillment, and most of the time, money will also come, but it is NOT the main reason or focus at all.
Cheers!

Dennis Ng - When You Master Your Finances, You Master Your Destiny

Note: I'm just sharing my personal comments, not giving you investment advice nor stock investment tips.
Dennis Ng
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Posts: 9781
Joined: Tue Nov 29, 2005 7:16 am
Location: Singapore

Postby yuanli » Fri May 06, 2011 12:41 am

Dennis Ng wrote:Hi Ax,

on the above article, there is a difference between Enjoy and Passion.

I enjoy playing football, ever even dreamed of becoming the Next Fandi Ahmad when I was young...but can I ever be? I lack the aptitude.

I enjoy singing, ever even dreamed of becoming the next Super star such as Jacky Cheung...again I lack the aptitude.

I enjoy eating durian; enjoy eating beancurd; eating chocolate; eating ice cream.

But I'm not really passionate about above things.

There is a difference between Enjoy and Passion.

it's really up to you.

As Henry Ford says:"Whether you think you can, or you cannot, you're right.

In Life, one important thing is to learn from the Right people. Warren Buffett, Jim Rogers and myself are doing what we love and getting Rich.

There are many more Real Life Examples out there.

Of course, we might be a minority.

The FACT is most people just drift through life, without Purpose or Passion.

They just make a living.

Think about it, if there is only one life, how you want to live your life?

Just making a living?

There are 1,001 ways to earn money and make a living.

Instead of doing something you don't like, why NOT do something you're Passionate about?

Ok, let's examine what I did on 21 Mar 2011 to see whether I truly do what I'm passionate about.

If it's not for passion, why would I spend 3 hours researching, before going on News Radio 93.8 FM at 7 pm to 8 pm, answering listeners' questions on Japan Disaster and its impact.

Then if not for passion, why next I rushed down to Park Mall to guide/share with Wealth Educators in the monthly meeting?

If not for passion, why when I reached home after 11 pm, I don't go to sleep but visit this forum to answer/reply questions? I spent over 1 hour replying to you and daringd on this topic, sharing with everyone my personal Life Journey from 1998 till now.

There are many people who drift through life, this might be the people who would then tell others it is Bullshit to talk about Passion, talk about Dreams, that just making a living is a constant struggle...

Frankly, if you have NOT done so, I encourage you to read the book "Your Greatest Power", then you would probably realise, people who say such things are of course not correct, and if we want to be blunt about it, they are LOSERS.

And they will remain mediocre, since they don't put in their 100% in their daily work, they don't put in their heart and soul in their work, they just Appear, they just go through the motions...they go through their daily work with a Frown on their face, and wonder why their boss does NOT give them a Raise or Promotion...

They will blame their luck, blame their boss, blame the economy, blame the government, they will blame everyone but themselves...

So frankly, if these people are NOT called Losers, I don't know what should they be called.

Anyone reading what I wrote, if you feel offended, I don't mean to offend.

Truth hurts.

Let's turn to something inspirational again, let me share a quote I always remind myself:

If it is to be, it is up to me.



Hi Dennis,

attended your course on the Monday that just passed.

yes, the power lies within us.


and people with a sense of mission is strong! with a sense of purpose can go very far
Let's be multi-millionaires and help the poor!
yuanli
 
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