Friday, December 07, 2007

working hard or making smart transactions

What can really make you rich is not your technical skills. It is the beneficial transactions you make. I have personally experienced this. I worked hard to pass exams while working as an actuarial assistant full time and made $40,000 a year. And then I made a bad transaction buying a small condo that I have to sell at a $40,000 loss (26.7%) when I relocate for a new job in the midst of a tough market. (Full disclosure: the condo is still not sold.) All of my hard work goes to the seller who sold it to me and the buyer who buy it from me. I have no ground to complain about any grievance. I deserve it by being stupid and not market savvy with real estate. Market is always efficient. The problem is when you are not savvy, the information asymmetry problem is working against you. You won't call it fair when you suffer such a loss. But I have only myself to blame. This is the miracle of market economy and capitalism. I learned it the hard way. Hope this personal painful story help you to avoid the same mistake I made. But you probably are much smarter than I was. So let's just see this as my personal follies, and laugh it away.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Chavez of Venezuela

Oil reserve bestowed on a nation and the high global oil price is a lottery wealth. Chavez is right on sharing the lottery wealth with the poor. If he spent the money on health care and education, making them essentially free for all, it is not a bad thing. If he spent the money on infrastructures such as utility, roads, water supply, and fiber optic cables, the country might even lay the foundation for long term growth. Socialism is wrong because it redistribute the wealth of the hard working to the poor, no matter what causes the poor to be poor. But if the wealth comes from lottery, there should be no objection to socialism.