"Genius is in-born, may it never be still-born."

"Oysters, irritated by grains of sand, give birth to pearls. Brains, irritated by curiosity, give birth to ideas."

"Brainpower is the bridge to the future; it is what transports you from wishful thinking to willful doing."

"Unless you keep learning & growing, the status quo has no status."

Tuesday, August 3, 2010


What follows is just my quick list of interesting takeaways from the book, 'A Gift to My Children: 'A Father’s Lessons for Life & Investing', by American investor extraordinaire Jim Rogers, now based in Singapore, who is acknowledged by Time as 'The Indiana Jones of Finance'.

Frankly, all the stuff from the book has nothing much to do with finance &/or investing.

They are essentially pearls of wisdom from his world of "hard knocks", which Jim wants to share with his two beautiful daughters, respectively nicknamed in Chinese as 'Happy' (7) & 'Babe Bee' (2).

Swim your own races

- do not let others do your thinking for you;

- rely on your own intelligence;

- it's important to decide for yourself what's important to you and what you want before you turn to others;

- if anyone laughs at your idea, view it as a sign of potential success;

- be who you are; be original; be bold;

- above all, be ethical;

- save ~ you must avoid the trap of spending $ willy nilly simply because you can;

Focus on what you like

- Age is irrelevant when you are passionate about a goal;

- when you find something that interests you, just do it!

- The quickest way to success is to do what you like and give your best;

- Dedicate yourself to what you feel passionate about;

- Try as many things as you can, then pursue the one about which you're passionate;

Good habits for life

- Be a self-starter;

- Attention to details is what separates success from failure;

- However trivial it may seem, you must research and check each and ever piece of information you need to make a decision... Only through meticulous research will you obtain the knowledge necessary for success... it requires abundant work and diligence...

- There is no such thing as "enough". No finish line!

- Live your life with a dream;

- If you continue to be passionate and work hard at what you truly love to do, you eventually find that dream;

Uncommon Sense

- Always consider alternative interpretations;

- Seek out multiple perspectives on the same story will always help you figure out the truth;

Your education ~ Let the world be a part of your perspective PART 1

- Do not rely on books; go and see the world;

- Experience life as they do; see the world from the ground up. By observing ordinary life... you will forever be stumbling upon experiences that will raise important question in your mind ;

- Understand the significance of BRICs;

- Be open to people who are different whether at home or abroad;

- Keep an open mind and be a world citizen;

- Be eager to move if you see opportunities;

Your education ~ Learn philosophy and learn to think PART 2

- Philosophy will teach you how to think for yourself;

- You must learn to think at a profound level if you want to understand yourself and what's important to you. You must know yourself if you want to accomplish anything in life...;

- To think outside the established framework, to examine things independently this is true philosophy...;

- Draw conclusions from your observations as well as on the basis of logic;

- As an investor, look for the bull and the bear;

Your education ~ Learn history PART 3

- An interest in history, politics, and economics will help you see the world with clearer perspectives;

- Nothing is really new: what is happening now has happened before and will happen again;

Your education ~ Learn languages (make sure that Mandarin is one of them) PART 4

- Mandarin will be the next global language;

- Pay attention to the major changes taking place in the world now, especially China;

Know thyself by understanding your weaknesses and acknowledging your mistakes

- Know who you are;

- To be a successful investor you really need to understand psychology, history, and philosophy;

Recognise change and embrace it

- Everything changes. Everything;

- Embrace the principle of supply and demand;

- Change can be a catalyst;

- Adapt or die;

Look to the future

- Read the newspapers, but think differently;

- Pay attention to what everyone else neglects;

- If you are looking for success, be quick to start something new, something that no one else has tried;

- The more certain something is, the less likely it is to be profitable;

- Do not think in terms of what you wish (ergo, wishful thinking versus willful doing);

- Know when not to do anything;

Lady Luck smiles on those who continue in their efforts

- Do your homework'

- If you let vanity and self-importance (ego) take over, you will lose all that you have achieved;

- Never let yourself become arrogant. Study hard. The more you learn, the more you will realise how little you know - armed with this humility, you will never lose sight of the distance between self-confidence and self-importance;

- Do not stop when you are working towards your dream;


- The devil of life is always in the details;

- Anything that is a must-see, must-try, must-read, must almost certainly be avoided, especially if it is popular;

- Use good manners no matter where you are or whom you meet;

- Learn to do as much arithmetic and figures as possible in your head;

- Take care of yourself;

- Learn to stay calm;

- Once you do get to know and understand yourself, remember who you are and stay with it;

- Don’t be greedy;

A very entertaining read! Thanks, Jim, for sharing!

All Mums & Dads must read, especially the end part about BGR (Boy-Girl Relationship) & DOM (Dirty Old Man), on top of the foregoing. BGR & DOM do not fall under my purview of interest.

[More information about Jim Rogers is available at his personal website. The Chinese edition of his book is available at this link.]

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