Sunday, February 10, 2019

How your career is like investing in the stock market

Your career actually shares so much similarities to investing in the stock market.

It is after all, also an investment - one where you trade in your time, existing experience and skillset (capital) for your salary, networking and further growth and development of your experience and skills.

You go to school to develop your education (reading up on investing in the stock market from the basics) and mentality (what is your target for investing into the market). The next step then entails internships and/or interviews. Your internships are akin to your initial foray into the stock market. You get a taste of your first professional experience relevant to your studies (research and/or playing with demo account).

Applying for the right jobs and then preparing for your interview after being shortlisted is similarly akin to studying market returns, screening for the right stocks to shortlist and then doing further due diligence.

When you land that job? Congratulations! That's you putting your time and skillset (capital) into your new role (becoming a shareholder) with that employer (stock).

It also goes without saying that investing your time in the right company throughout your career is crucial, to ensure you are at least adequately renumerated and developed for your time and effort (making positive and decent returns from the market). Kudos to you if you are getting above average or amongst the best renumeration (outperforming the market)! As you get your monthly paycheck, your time and effort becomes your "realised gains". And as the company grows, so do you. You get your increments and promotions (growth).

For some of you, you may end up working overseas (investing in foreign stocks and/or markets).

Given the age of globalisation, staying mobile - new role or employer every few years - has become a norm and even a necessity in some instance. Moving to new employers in your career are also more likely to pay better rates than existing employers even if your career progress is keeping pace (there are exceptions). This is akin to rolling over capital from one stock to another when your research tells you that will generate you higher returns.

When the company does well, and gives you bonuses? That's your "special dividends/bonus shares" right there!

Things are not always rosy, however. Recessions, downturns or cycles do occur as well (Market crash, bear market / corrections), as do your company facing headwind (Underperformance of the stock from rightfully realised decline in fundamentals). Perhaps for some, they are not being rightfully renumerated (market manipulation causing the stock to be priced down). Worst still, you may be retrenched (the stock being suspended). From a personal side? You may face issues which causes a need to additional spending in health or otherwise. You hedge against that by developing alternate incomes (diversification) or insuring yourself  with accident plan, life insurance or hospitalisation plan (erms... shorting? 0.o).

And at the end, when you retire - that's when you draw down on your savings and investments (exactly the same in this perspective). Your professional experience as your capital is drawn down in the form of your accumulated wealth to live out your golden years.

Ok, enough rambling - time to go to bed. Haha. It's the 6th day of Chinese New Year, and I have yet to wish my readers, so happy belated Chinese New Year to you guys! Let's huat together!

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