Going Back To Hong Kong

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After a hectic week of visiting a number of countries in South East Asia, I am now getting ready to leave Singapore for Hong Kong tonight. I have spent time with bankers and traders who I know for more than a decade. I also got the chance to meet new friends and potential clients introduced to me by my friends. It is nice to see the familiar faces while enjoying the company of my new acquaintances.

First thing I noticed is that many of my friends are now bald and some are very out of shape. Some already passed away due to sickness. It is evidence that we are getting old. Time does not care who we are indeed. The experience is giving me stronger determination than ever to keep myself healthy. The choice is there for everyone, but we must consciously make the hard choices first in order to get the long term benefit.

The retail trading scene in Singapore and other South Asia countries have not changed much. The rules and regulations in many of these countries are still too lax and unenforceable. This give rise to unethical practices by many brokerages to lure naive people into speculations on high risk financial markets without realizing that they are engaging in such activities.

Worst yet, some of these operations are just outright scams taking money from people and then disappear overnight.

I am not sure how long will it take for these countries to mature to the point for which average investors are sophisticated enough not to fall for these scams and illegal activities. It will be a long road and it takes a lot of political willpower to make the necessary changes happen.

I have more to write about my trip to these countries but I have to do that another time. I have to pack up and head to the airport soon.

Have a nice weekend all!

p.s. feature pic is the airport train for connecting the terminals of the Singapore Changi Airport

Leaving Hong Kong Soon

imageI am heading towards other Asian countries tomorrow. My schedule is jam packed and some of the countries I am going to do not provide reasonable internet access. I am not sure if I can even check email in some cases. It will be a nice break from the Net though. Like many people suggested, maybe it is a good thing to unplug from the Net once in a while.

I have notes written down on quite a number of topics that I like to write about. When I get the chance to sit down quietly on my own, I will be able to organize my thoughts and have some interesting observations to share. It looks like my decision to spilt the blog from daytradingbias.com is a very good call. It is quite unprofessional to talk trash in a site that offers professional services to traders, isn’t it?

I am hoping that I can wrap up this round within a week. After all, it is very tiring to talk like 8 to 10 hours almost everyday. I definitely need a break and what is better than spending the Christmas week with friends and family to enjoy the holidays?

The feature image is my father’s Chinese calligraphy.

Have a nice weekend everyone!

Hong Kong is Fading Away

traffic on junction in city Second week into my busy schedule meeting people here in Hong Kong, one thing that I have to deal with consistently is the time spent in between. Due to the packed environment and crazy traffic condition in Hong Kong, traffic jam is the norm. Hence much time is wasted on travel. In fact, I think I spend more time traveling in Hong Kong than in many other major cities I have been to. Killing time in leisure seems like a luxury in Hong Kong when you see all these people walking in very fast pace with serious look in many of them.

Historical Importance vs. Reality

Many Hong Kong people are very proud of their past accomplishments. As the richest city for Chinese people back in 1970s to 1990s, it is approximated that Hong Kong’s GDP was as much as one third of the whole China back then. It was really amazing how such a tiny city, due to historical reasons, being placed into the global trade route, could shine so bright. But this is exactly the problem with the people in Hong Kong – many of them do not realize the special conditions allowing the city to grow so much has been chipped away over time.

As of year 2015, Hong Kong’s GDP is less than 3% of China’s GDP. Its relative importance to the growth of China and its future is long gone. Within a decade or two, as China continue its push to modernize the rest of its coastal cities, Hong Kong will likely be less than 1% of China’s GDP. In other words, Hong Kong is going through what many Western countries were going through over the past 20 years – normalization of its economy, living standard and social structure while the developing countries like China were playing catch up.

A Highly Inefficient Place

One thing that stands out in Hong Kong is that majority of the workforce are being rushed to get things done. Everything are being pushed for completion as quickly as possible. By results, however, they are just making more mistakes and time wasted on these mistakes. At the end of the day, nothing is really accomplished efficiently this way.

Another clear problem with the city is the less than desirable education cost which reduces the competitiveness of the city over the years. Education cost is so high that starting from very young age, parents are forced to pay so much of their income just to get inferior education for their children. The high stress environment is also making the younger generation less capable to think creatively or critically. Highest priority in life for the young adults is how to get by with a better paid job.

Fading Away

Hong Kong can keep on fighting the trend of being normalized into just another major city of China but it is not likely to succeed. Hong Kong got its chance and became a very important city of the world. It has a good run just like other famous cities in the world. As the original conditions disappear, the inevitable cannot be avoided hence Hong Kong will never have the same level of importance for being the sole connection between China and the rest of the world.

For the people in Hong Kong, especially the younger generations, there are many great opportunities out there for them but they have to better equip themselves with more knowledge and analytical skills. The internet actually liberated all the knowledge human kind has accumulated so far. Unluckily, English has been a very weak spot in Hong Kong’s education system, making it very difficult for the young people there to learn from the net by themselves.

For instance, the overall investment knowledge in Hong Kong is so bad that even young professionals do not know much about financial markets. Those who are interested in the financial markets are often misled by the financial media in Hong Kong.

Settling Down After a Chaotic Week

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Flying from Toronto Canada to Hong Kong is easy. In fact, way easier than traveling to United States. First and foremost, going through US customs takes at least double the amount of time. Anyhow, my hectic schedule started the very next day after I arrived.

Jet Lag and Polyphasic Sleep

I have been asked enough times about jet lag that it is something worth mentioning here.

Ever since I trained myself to sleep in biphasic sleep, jet lag is never an issue. I always get sleepy once I have nothing to do and can fall asleep easily. When I focus my mind, I can continuously work 10 to 15 hours straight. That’s the interesting benefit of training oneself to actually sleep multiple times a day.

One thing to remember though it takes time to modify one’s sleeping pattern. If you are used to sleep at least 8 hours a day and that you cannot easily squeeze out at least 45 minutes during the day for a nap, cutting short your main sleeping time will seriously affect your brain functions.

Meditation as a Sleep Replacement

Sometimes, if actual nap is not possible, there are interesting ways to refresh our mind to peak performance through other means.

If you have practiced meditation long enough and can get yourself to the state of a cleared mind quickly, you can try to induce the sleep like function in your body where it starts to flush out the chemicals generated during the day when your brain has been working hard. Key to this technique is switching to a breathing rhythm closely resemble the one that our body normally does during our sleep.

In other words, one can consciously induce the brain cleaning function without actually going into deep sleep. Your brain will be completely refreshed after a 20 minute practice of sleep breathing under meditation. Interesting isn’t it?

Hong Kong

It is considered being cold in Hong Kong right now but for someone coming from Canada, just T-shirt and jeans are perfect for me. Obviously that attracted many curious stares wondering if this guy is insane. The picture in this post is taken from the famous place in Hong Kong where they make the roasted gooses. I chose to take a picture of the mega bridge connecting the airport to the rest of the region because it is in fact a very cool piece of architecture.

My schedule will continue to be very hectic. Instead of the expected quiet down of my meetings, many more meetings are now scheduled around my original ones. An interesting development indeed since I thought not that many people would be interested in my line of work.

Have a nice weekend all!