6 Mental Drills SAF taught me to be a better investor

Last updated on January 2nd, 2017

Didnt think I would come down to say this myself.. But I think SAF have taught me these mental drills to be a better investor.

Barely a quarter completed serving the country (damn 🙁 ), I have already learned several lessons that could be implemented in my life. Positive thinking being always part of me, I might be partially blinded by some (if not many 😎 ) things that National Service stopped youngsters from doing, such as setting up a startup or trying out freelancing around the world when they are still young.
These two years might be their golden key to their dreams. Because when you are young and have an idea, you just take the plunge and giving all you’ve got to turn into reality. Unfortunately after decades of education, follow the rules stuffs and working day after day, most of us taught to hate risks and told to never stand out from the crowd. We were taught that you can only make a living by your man-hours. We are programmed to just work and save up in order to retire well. But is that all about life to you?

But let me go back to the topic of the day, you can return the the paragraph above for motivation again later on. The six thinkings drilled into my brain:

1. Swift and decisive

Once Armour Always Armour! Kidding. SAF taught us that the side that makes the fastest decision and action will almost always win a war. Same goes for trading and investment. So if your signal comes true, trust it and execute. If you even doubt for a second if you’ll be right, you have already lost. Always believe in your trading system. There is a reason why you created this strategy. You just have to take action; let the market do the lifting.

2. Eliminate emotion

Emotions are blockage to thinking rationally, both in war times and in trading.

Emotional trading kills. Period.
“It’s finally rallying after months of waiting, I got to join in or I’ll miss the train!”
“It’s just a retracement, I’ll just widen my stop loss a little to continue holding this position for long term..”
“Definitely a recession coming! Time for me to withdraw.. I will enter at the bottom of the market later and triple my investment!”
“It’s nearing to a previous strong resistance and news say Singapore is coming to a recession soon. Time for me to take what I can and wait for the bottom!”
‘BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM! Beep! Out! Next!’, said Mr.Market with a smile visible even from Pulau Tekong.


3. Stay professional

The discipline of a soldier is no more solid than the discipline of a successful trader. It takes time and hard work to nurture discipline but once it’s there, habit will take over and it will be a one’s second nature. Treat investing like your career and stay professional. Because it really pays.

4. Do for a higher purpose

There is always a reason for every line of Code of Conduct, General Orders and procedures to follow. When in war time, it is not the Generals who determine the winning of the war, it is the will and belief of each and every soldier that brings down an empire. Same goes for trading, don’t invest or trade for the quick cash, fame or greed of money. Invest to attain financial freedom, beat inflation and prove to others that you know how a business or economy works.

5. Always prepared

Singapore Armed Forces is Always Ready, Ready to Strike (another pun intended). An investor must always have at least a contingency plan- Plan B. This includes having logical Stop Loss, calculated Take Profit, or even an ‘if else’ execution rule setup. Anything could happen when you blink your eyes. I heard that a bullet can hit you as fast as a market plunge..  😮

6. Safety first

Lastly, never plan for no emergencies. Before you do it, know it. Before you know it, you got to learn it. Safety have to be your number one priority in battle or you’ll just be a burden to your platoon. Heck, a burden and blanket party always stick together.. For investment matters, always always have an emergency stash set aside in somewhere accessible anytime. Only trade with money you do not require in short term and always have a Stop Loss/Exit Strategy. Yes, we hear it hundreds of times but still, Safety is the most neglected part of a rising investor, pushing him back to the start line.

So is National Service really a good thing? It’s your call and how you see it that will convey your two years journey I guess..


Just for fun, how does those wayangs, siao ons and chao kengs link to investment?

Wayang and Siao on

These people will always try hard and overtrade, over-analyze, buy/market all products and services of the companies they vested in. They will spend cash dividends received to put up advertisements and buy even more products of the company. These people are important in the economy cycle because we do not need to do anything. We can just put our money on the stock and let the stock prices rise while the wayangs market.

Chao Keng

These are people who invest in a stock without much analysis and homework done on the company, in hopes of a money bagger. They invested just because they ‘heard’ it will be the money bagger for the year. This is no better than gambling. Buy $12 Million CNY TOTO Grand Draw sua?  😆


Do you know anyone who is one of them? Share and tag them in! Hahaha

The Independent Abecedarian

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