Friday, November 14, 2014

If you were to choose only one - Passion or Money?

Based on the research studies, almost 90% of the people carves their career for the sake of money, not passion. I am not too surprised by the statistic to be honest. Look around your circle of friends and you can see evidently who works for passion or who works for the sake of bringing food home to the table. Obviously, being an employee makes it harder to work for passion and we will see later how we can possibly integrate passion into our lifestyle. But before we do that, maybe we can take a step back to define what passion is.


What is Passion to me?

In my definition, Passion is about doing something which drives your enthusiasm compelling enough to sustain your action without the need for higher compensation. In other words, you know when you're passionate about something when you are doing things happy.

I was passionate about making my money works and increasing my returns since the age of 12. I will not call them investing at that time because as you will see later, investing is about coming up with a plan and use it on proper asset classes, which is not the case when I was much younger.

I started with collecting limited edition cards and selling to classmates at a higher price. I come up with a calculated risk return plan to bet in sports betting which can yield me higher returns. I devised a permutation and combination strategy to increase the probability of hitting the numbers for a toto system. The bottomline is I put my brain and cells into thinking where I could find an opportunity to increase my returns. which unfortunately did not work well for me at times as you can see now that the house always win because of the system they have put in place. I was ignorant back then, but I was passionate into finding a strategy to make my money works.

Problem with Passion?

The problem with passion, as you can see from my example above, is that the money does not always compensate the amount of effort or passion I have.

Take the workforce for instance, employers pay for skills and efforts, not passion. You can be passionate about being a digital marketing manager, but if you know nuts about how the digital world operates and how you can benefit the company, then you are out of the door the next moment.

Passion vs Money Dilemma?

There are many students in college or university or even as early as the streaming course in Secondary 3 who had dilemmas over the course they should be taking to study. There are a few that follows their passion, but there are many more who are more pragmatic in choosing courses that can lead to finding easier and better paying jobs when they graduate. Accounting and Engineering quickly came to mind. Passion is everything but counts for nothing if you are not able to secure a job in high cost living countries like Singapore.




I was in the same dilemma when I had to choose a major and I chose Accounting at the end for reasons that I was interested in numbers and the prospect for better job opportunities. Having been in the accounting line for at least 7 years now, I must say they are 99% pain and 1% fun. In fact, where work is concerned, there are always the pain-ass factor you will encounter. Having said that, there are plenty of transferable skills I can use to pursue my passion in investing, for example, understanding annual report, financial statements, cash flow statement etc.

For those who are facing the same dilemmas, choose a major or job that closely match your passion and use the skills to drive the activities you are passionate about outside.

We live to realize our dream and we work to drive our passion. Dilemmas are abound. The choice is yours.


26 comments:

  1. Hi B,

    Accounting is not bad since it can help you analyse financial statements better? And maybe after landing a job in a REIT, you understand them better than most of us?

    Guess that's the silver lining. Unless value investing is more about the results rather than the process for you?

    For some people, they first focused on their passion and then the money flowed. Alot of respect for them. You can say it's luck, but I believe it's more about persistence. But of course, not everybody's circumstance allows for that.

    Anyway, I am really curious. What sort of system did you devise to improve the TOTO odds?!

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    1. Hi 15hww

      I must agree with you that there are plenty of transferable skills there that helps how I analyze things.

      The thing about passion first then money is that the theory is right there and we know how true can that be, but many times people are afraid to take the plunge into unchartered territory and so go with where the money is safe and stable, ignoring passion over time.

      Hahaha regarding the toto system, my friends and I once came up with how we use.about $46 to increase the probability of winning group 4 prize to 0.03, which is still very small but with slightly higher chance of hitting and who knows the higher winner is up for grabs too.

      Maybe I will show you if we meet again next time ;)

      Delete
  2. Hi B,

    I chose passion in my school days. Most likely my life will be different if I picked that courses that I was good at then. Haha.

    I learned of a toto scheme before, but I found out that in the long run, the house always win.

    Cheers,
    Farmer.

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    1. Hi PIF

      I am curious which course were you passionate about when you were in school but never pursued them? Was it physics? :)

      I think looking back there is always some form of regrets of things we dont really try to attempt. But im sure the path you have chosen has been well benefecial for you in recent years so I hope you are still pursuing your passion in other activites in your life ;)

      Delete
  3. Hi B,

    Passion is infinite. Money is finite.

    If I still have a long life to go, then I will choose passion, because if use correctly it can lead to money and sustained happiness.

    Money being finite will be depleted eventually and happiness can be temporary only.

    Passion + perseverance + patience + practical = money earned in delayed gratification form.

    Just my two cents thought!

    Rolf

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    1. Hi Rolf

      That's a real good equation out there. The key word is practical.

      I can be passionate about becoming the next David Beckham but if I don't have the looks neither can I bend it like Beckham then it becomes just not practical and it is called dreaming.

      Delete
    2. Yes. You can.

      You can become David Beckham in your inter-office soccer match or inter town council soccer match?

      :-)

      Delete
  4. Have a high 5 up top for the paragraph about limited edition cards. I started my career in trading when I dealt Pokemon cards among friends. Then I realised years later exchanges existed and then I could trade actual financial products that the world needs.

    I think we have been programmed to believe excessive wealth is to be desired. If you are no longer struggling to put food on the table and a roof over your head, then basic necessities aside it is better to pursue a calling of the soul. Read enough regrets of the dying and you can see they would all wish they chased money less and lived a little more!!

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    1. Hi Ladykiller

      Couldn't agree more there.

      There has been many deathbed stories about how one regrets about not doing something and rarely one goes about talking about the money involved. They are just paper trades needed to make our life easier but not paramount to anything else.

      Thanks for visiting.

      Cheers.

      Delete
  5. ToTo. Sianz!

    Me. Highest prize won is 4 numbers! Super sianz.

    But still hoping. LOL!

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    1. i understand some country when the G wants to start a "Lottery System", the religious groups' leaders of the country protested so strongly that till today there is no "Lottery System" in that country. i wonder if it is still true or not?
      Of course if there is a "Lottery System" in a country, guess who got "TAX" the most?
      The Rich?
      The Middle Class?
      Or
      The (Poor) Working Class?
      Now we have 2 Casinos besides the what not "Big Sweep",
      "4 D", "ToTo". etc...
      4D started only available for 2 days now is 3 days/week.
      i joked with my brother-in-law our G will soon increase it to "everyday"/week. He said, "Why not? Malaysia already has everyday/week for 4D betting. True?
      i feel sorry for man-in-street as this is their only " Get Rich Dearest Dream", that will make them even poorer first and faster than anything .

      Delete
    2. Hi Uncle CW

      I think you don't need to win the first prize la. You should have more than enough in your warchest to last you a lifetime :) Too much money is also a headache. The 9pm show in channel 8 is a good example.

      Delete
    3. Hi Uncle Temperament

      I hope Spools will not OT to the extent that they have to do the draws everyday. I think the government have sufficient surplus in their reserve so this move will probably not happen as they might receive some backlash.

      Delete
  6. I think passion and money are tie at the hip. I think if you're passionate about something then you'll eventually be good at it over time. Those skills can handsomely be rewarded if your passionate provides tremendous value to people.

    Great post as always!

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    1. Hi Henry

      Thanks for visiting.

      Passion is followed with money, not the other way round. But not often always the case. The skills as you said will be tremendously polished because of the passion but sometimes the money just does not compensate the effort you have put in.

      It's always a perfect scenario we have in our mind, which unfortunately just did not happen to everyone.

      Cheers.

      Delete
  7. Hi B,

    Great post! My personal motto regarding passion is this, "Do it for free, do it so well that people would pay you to do it." I realise if money is the only driving force, then you won't enjoy work.

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    1. Hi Aloysius

      Thanks for your comment. Appreciate your visit.

      That's a great motto you have out there for yourself. To not linked your goal directly to money is one way of shaking the financial motive out of the way and focus on the real tangible project you have at hand. Hopefully, the money is kind enough to follow you.

      Great motto there.

      Delete
  8. Hi B,

    I am lucky that my passion allow me a job that put food on the table.

    Since young, I always believe work for a living first, then interest.

    Although I always wanted to teach since a kid, I sign up for engineering course during university.

    The idea is, engineering is more technical and hence more valuable. I can always get my engineering degree, tried it out and if I do not like, then apply to get to teaching again.

    In the late 90s, there is a shortage of teachers, and they are giving out many attractive contracts/ scholarships to entice people to sign up.

    It is during the second year of my NS, that my dad need an operation then I decided to "sign on" as a teacher, my degree fees will be free and they give "A" level salary for my first 2 years of my studies and allowance for my reminding 2-3 years if my results are good. I need no more money from my family and I ask my dad to go ahead for the operation.

    I remembered many saying I am siao, because I am actually "struck" for 8 years, 4 years study + 4 years bond.

    I have no regrets. In fact, I am very happy I sold my "option" of a possible engineer degree ( no sure pass hor) for a free degree and a enjoyable university experince, and thereafter a very satisfying career.

    Not that it is a bed of roses, but the teaching part is really self-energizing. The "Ying Chou" is very sianz thou

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Hi Sillyinvestor

      That's a great story you have there. Thanks for sharing your story with us. I think you have something in common with LP :)

      I think being a teacher, which goes along with your passion, is the greatest thing to do. The money is not as significant as a banker but when everything is combined, that's a real value you can get out there when you look back one day as you did right now.

      I don't quite understand why so many people in Singapore are quite against teaching and the bonds thing. Teaching is a noble job and the bonds thing mean that you probably need to be responsible for your own action rather than walking out on your students just like that.

      I do have a passion in teaching and will one day pursue them should the opportunities arise. I don't want to look back regretting I don't even try to attempt doing what I wanted to do.

      Delete
  9. Hi B,

    For me, money first. I've bills to pay and a lifestyle to maintain. But a series of accidents and incidents landed me as a tutor, which is something I enjoyed tremendously.

    Sometimes I don't know if it's passion that brings me the money or the money that brings me the passion. I suspect it's both. if you're making good money and the job you're doing satisfies a few other hierarchies of needs (self actualization, like more self autonomy, control etc), you're likely to be more passionate about it as well. Likewise, if you are truly passionate but the job you're doing doesn't bring in the money, you'll run out of passion too.

    I think passion and money feeds each other.

    I always tell my students that if they do not know what they want to do in life, go towards the path that pays the most first. If that job does not stir your heart, at least it pays the bills and allows you to find happiness and self actualization elsewhere. Finding a job that marries both passion and money is rare. I happen to be in one, but that doesn't mean others will land on one too.

    Most didn't, I'm sure.

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    1. Hi LP

      Thanks for sharing.

      I'm glad that you have the exact same thoughts as I did. A lot of students are contemplating which course they should take. My advise to them, just like you did, was to choose the path which ensures stability and income, and if one day they decide to pursue other things, at least the bills are settled and they can choose to pursue it outside.

      I agree both passion and money are extremely rare, more so if you are an entrepreneur but as an employee, I rarely see that is happening among our people here.

      For your case, I think tuition came about becoming what you really love to do, having came to it unexpectedly. Sometimes, it is the different moment in life that landed us to the unchartered territories that we have never thought of, only to realize that everything is just fine, they will be just fine.

      Delete
  10. Hi B,

    I think for most people, we do not know which course to choose in uni as we do not know our passion! Even if we know what we like, we do not know which course to get in that will ultimately lead to the job that we like. That's why I also ended up in engineering =.=

    Anyway, I believe there are different routes that can lead to the same destination. I have always like to travel but being an air stewardess was not well received by my family. Thus, I ended up travelling for sales.. still figuring out what's my passion though.

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  11. Hi Jes

    Judging from your posts, your passion is definitely traveling. Hahahaha

    Yes I agree with you that the road to rome has many paths and one can choose different mode of transport and get to the same destination.

    ReplyDelete
  12. B,

    I believe you should find a combination of both passion and money that works for you. When I started my first year of university, for example, I chose Dutch and English literature and linguistics. I loved that programme, but you won't make any money with it when you graduate. That's why I made sure I could tack on two other master degrees in more lucrative fields before starting my first year. I got to do what I enjoy and now I have a well-paying job: win-win.

    It doesn't always turn out that way though... I'm very passionate about my blog, but I'll never make any decent money off of it! :)

    Best wishes,
    NMW

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    1. Hi NMW

      That's a mature thought you have at that age.

      It's really not that easy to find something that you really like but yet give you not much financial compensation that makes you doubt about it. I guess you really make the cut there with the win win situation.

      I guess you are just starting out on your blog this year with the 50th post. The money will come slowly :)

      Delete
  13. Hi B

    Teaching is definitely a noble job. The reason why people are against teaching is because of the higher ups who are always into KPI and all sorts of crap without thinking about what is actually good for the students. Furthermore, there are the nothing better to do parents who keep on disturbing the teacher. Finally, some kids just are not keen to learn which really kills off a lot of teacher's enthusiasm when they first started out.

    ReplyDelete

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