Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The Obligatory End Of The Year Post

I'll keep it short and sweet.


A lot has happened since Ma Ying-Jeou was elected, but I, like many others, feel that the worst is yet to come for Taiwan in terms of its sovereignty, freedoms, and economy. Perhaps a glimpse of what is to come, Hu Jintao (Communist leader of China) held a speech outlining China's policy towards Taiwan. The key quotes and what they actually mean:
  • "As long as the 'one China' principle is recognised by both sides.... we can discuss anything," (Read: As long as you admit Taiwan is a part of China, of course we can talk about trade agreements and international space, but that doesn't gurantee anything)
  • If Taiwan's opposition Democratic Progressive Party gives up "splittist activities" and "changes its attitude," it would elicit a "positive response," (Read: We hope your party dies, once we take over Taiwan, your party will cease to exist; if you happen to give up your splittist activites, then maybe we won't kill you when we takeover the island- just place you in jail)
  • "We understand the Taiwan people's feelings on participating in international activities, and we attach great importance to related issues on this," (Read: Blah blah blah, fluff fluff fluff)
  • "...We can have realistic negotiations to reach a reasonable approach for the issue of Taiwan participating in the activities of international organisations on the premise of not causing one China, one Taiwan." (Read: Again, we can negotiate participation in international organizations if you admit Taiwan is a part of China; that does not gurantee anything)
A few articles mentioned some sort of armistice or peace accord. That is exactly what I described a few months ago as one of the signs that Taiwan is falling into the grasp of China. The sad part is that the 50-60% of Taiwanese who support 'status quo,' are too afraid or actually think that what is happening is still, 'status quo.' By the time the 'status quo' actually changes, it'll be too late.

The Markets

Over the past couple years I've read many books on investing and trading. One key theme throughout all the books (it seems like), is similar to what Dwight Schrute said in the television show, The Office:
Mr. Brown: Great, well, what is a hero to you?
Dwight Schrute: A hero kills people, people that wish him harm. A hero is part human and part supernatural. A hero is born out of a childhood trauma, or out of a disaster, that must be avenged.
Most notably, the last sentence. One theme throughout those books was that they "saw the light" or became "great" at what they did, only after going through a crash, or losing it all once, or something like that.

Like a hero born out of a disaster

Those who were in the markets for 2008 should be able to claim this year as a disastorous year. Perhaps it is as it is, that only after something like this year, can we truly become a great investor/trader.

Earlier this year my account was at an all time high. At the time, since it's inception in December 2006, my account was up somewhere between 350%-400%. Sometime between then and now, my account value ended up really close to where it was 2 years ago. No I did not lose everything, but all those gains that I never realized when my account value was at an all time high, evaporated in just a few months.

Looking back, I easily thought I knew what I was doing when I was up 300%+. I mean, who does 300% ROI in their first year trading? This year has been a tough year, but I'm glad I learned what I learned in my first 2 years of trading- better now then later as they always say.

Here's to those who survived this year: May we become true heroes.

No comments: