A good read : A Gift to My Children by Jim Rogers

If you know or heard of Jim Rogers, you would be surprise to find out that this book is a different style from what we expect of what he usually writes about. This book is about life and investing. As a father, he writes for his 2 daughters, Happy and Baby Bee. He hopes that this book will be able to provide life lessons as they grow up.

What attracted me to this book is that this book is written out from a fatherly love. It really amazing to read from a perspective from a “kid” getting lessons from your “dad” and somehow these lessons tend to stick in head.

This book is light read. No complex ideas or formula on life and investing. Although simple, they are important to have and have them in practise. Below I will fish out a few ideas from the chapters in this wonderful book:

1.  Swim Your Own Races

You will need to rely on your intelligence in making important decision in life. You will realise people around you will be spontaneously pouring you with advices but is your own life, you decide for yourself what is important to you. And if anybody laughs at your idea, you can view it as a sign of potential success. Although it can be no easy task to swim against the current,  you will just have to learn to be bold to be original.

2. Focus On What You Like

Don’t allow anything to stop you from doing what you like, including your age. There is never too young when you are passionate about a goal. Life is short, you will need to dedicate yourself to what you feel passionate about. Don’t be in the other group, which contain the least happy people who are stuck in jobs they don’t love.

3. Good Habits for Life and Investing

You will need to be self starter, self motivator. “There is always something you can be doing” . Take initiative! Also pay attention to details as this separates success and failure. When making decision be it investing or in life, you must do research as it will gives you a distinct advantage over your competitors.

You will need to live your life with a dream. Although when you begin something, you may not always have a concrete picture if the future, but if you continue to be passionate and work hard, you will find that dream.

4. Common Sense? Not So Common

You will learn that the most perceived wisdom is a misconception. In life, you will come across conventional wisdom – accepted “truth” on how we should behave, what to study or how to invest, but you must never blindly accept what you hear or read, no matter how many people believe in it. Always seek alternative interpretation  You will be surprise how wrong we can be at times.

 5. Let The World Be a Part of Your Perspective

You love reading but do not just rely on books, go and see the world. You will broaden your perspective many times over. Hence, keep an open mind, be open to people who are different from you while exploring the world.

Personally I like the idea that if you want to know yourself and your country, you will have to first understand others. What you might think is important to you now, might be hold after you have a better understanding of the world.

6. Learn Philosophy; Learn to “Think”

Philosophy will teach you how to think for yourself. To think outside of the established framework to examine things independently. This ability to seek explanation and to think around corners will serve you well.

The two ways of thinking can help you to understand the world a little better: Drawing conclusion from your observations and proceed solely on the basis of logic.

7. Learn History

History always repeat itself. Hence learning history will help you to understand the big picture of how the world works and has always worked. Hence always connect your knowledge of history with your travel. By understanding the arts and history of a country you will bring back a far richer experience.

8. Learn Languages

People who can speak or read other languages have a great advantage over those who don’t. And make Mandarin to be part of it. In the coming generation, Mandarin and English will be the most important languages in the world.

9. It Is The Century Of China

China is gaining economic, political, cultural strength and will become an even more significant player internationally. You must be aware of such development not only as an investor but as a world citizen.

10. Know Thyself

You need to know yourself. Look at yourself in the mirror and ask what drives you. Observe how you react to mistakes so that you can respond more constructively the next time things go wrong. By knowing yourself, you are less likely to be hit by mob psychology. When market or life goes out of your way, do not panic, learn the psychology behind and act rationally.

11. Recognise Change and Embrace It

Everything changes, hence to understand what is likely to happen in the future, you have to be able to understand current events the changes happening currently. Embrace change as it can be a catalyst for growth, thus adapt according and you will benefit.

12. Look To The Future

In this chapter, he gives his take into the future. Some of it includes many countries will come apart and the women’s era is approaching.

13. Lady Luck Smiles on Those Who Continue in Their Efforts

Do your homework or you will end up with a glass bead. He shared with you a story of his own to prompt you to have to know what you are doing and do be humble as the arrogant are blind to the truth. If you allow vanity and self-importance take over, you will lose all that you have achieved, fast. Hence study hard and the more you learn, the more you will realise how little you know.

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