Everyone makes mistakes and collectively they become important experiences that helps us make better decisions.

Albert Einstein said:

The only source of knowledge is experience


I’ve always drawn inspiration from the experiences of many people and mentors. In fact, that is the best way I know for us to shortcut our learning curve. These success stories illustrate this point:

Colonel Sanders (Kentucky Fried Chicken) was turned down 1009 times before his chicken was accepted once!

Steve Jobs was booted out of the company (Apple) he founded but returned a second time to make it the company we all know today. Check out his Stanford commencement speech which happens to be one of my favourite inspirational speech. He advised people to “stay hungry stay foolish” and continue to learn from experiences.

There are 2 aspects to experiences:

  • Those that you gained by experimenting and failing. As the saying goes, don’t make the same mistake twice.
  • Learning from the experiences of others, especially your mentors. This will short cut your learning curve significantly.

I am a big fan of learning from the experiences of others. Personally, I enrolled for many investment courses to enrich my own knowledge and learn from mentors who are among the best in the field. As a result, I gained insights into investment methods and trading systems from them. By learning from the gurus, I managed to short cut my learning curve in Technical Analysis, Value Investing, Options trading strategies and many more. Some people may argue that one can pick up these skills and knowledge by reading books. I can assure you it is a completely different experience.

If you are keen to improve your investing, seriously consider getting yourself a mentor or learning from others who have walked the journey earlier. Some of the common myths are:

I can trial and error myself

Yes you can. However, you can easily avoid the many pitfalls and learn from others who have been there and done that. People have tried many times and know what works well. You don’t need to fail 1009 times trying like Colonel Sanders.

It is expensive. I can just learn from books

Theories in books can be very different from real world applications. In fact, after I attended an Options Masterclass, I wished my university professor had taught me the applications rather than the theoretical models. I could have fast tracked my financial freedom journey by a decade!

The money you invest in the courses can be used as tax relief.

Always remember that your investments in yourself can never be taken away from you.

These are get-rich quick sessions

I don’t deny that there are some out there that fall into this category. Be discerning and choose your mentors carefully. Check around with the past students and look at the reviews.

If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Remember that Rome wasn’t built in a day. You need time and experiences to get to the end state you want.

Follow the right mentors and continue to hone your skills and knowledge.

These will not work on me

How many times have we heard of such limiting beliefs? If you are not willing to take the first step to learn, how can you progress? For example, recently I tried to relearn how to run better without injury by consulting a friend who did a marathon. I cannot imagine that i need to unlearn and relearn a simple thing like running which I had been doing since I was a child.

Investing is a skill that everyone can learn, regardless of your background. It doesn’t matter whether you are a nurse or finance professional. As long as you are willing to learn from the experienced people, you will be able to reach your financial goals much faster.

We should always have an open mind and allow ourselves to unlearn and relearn things, even things we are very familiar with.


Learning from the experiences of others greatly enhances your learning journey. One should not be afraid to try and make mistakes as these will become important experiences that help us make better decisions.

Yao Wen

Yao Wen

Dad, Investor & Treasury professional

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