If you ever had that feeling that everyone else is more successful than you, try being Leonardo Da Vinci. Here is a two-part series on our distorted view of creativity and success.

"Create your life’s story the way they write movies. Decide how you would like it to evolve and then create every scene that would lead up to it."

A Guideline for Investing

I want to provide you a concise draft of my understanding of successful investing:

1. Understand Basic Accounting

Build an interest in basic accounting so that you can read annual reports easily. In fact, they can be requested free of charge from any investor relations department of a publicly traded company. Order a few reports of companies you have interest in and read them (especially the first half up until the financial statements section). Having this foundation is of great benefit to manage your own company, or understanding the company you wish to invest in.

2. Circle of Competence

Move within your circle of competence. I know that my own circle of competence is rather limited, thus I only want to deal with two types of businesses which I can understand inside out: Companies which I have either created myself, or companies which I wished I had created myself. You can buy shares of stock for the latter ones and piggy-back on their growth.

3. Predictability

There has to be a degree of predictability to every investment opportunity with regards to future cash-flows. You also need to have certainty that the cash-flows have growth potential. If a positive income does not appear to be foreseeable in the near future, look elsewhere.

4. Return on Investment

A return on investment has to make economic sense. If it is too marginal, you risk a loss for a given period if extrinsic conditions affect the company adversely. There needs to be a playground for growth instead of getting stifled by too tight budgets in the first place.

5. Allocating Money

Invest within your means. It is wise to retain some capital at all times to be ready for a new investment once an opportunity arises.

Going Forward

After turning 30 today, I am starting this blog to document my entrepreneurial journey with Silvan.

I co-founded Silvan Pictures with my beloved girlfriend last year (August 2013) to establish a foundation for all our YouTube productions. It is currently producing the cooking show Nyonya Cooking for which we are eagerly creating an episode each week. Witnessing growth of its monthly income is indeed motivating, not to mention the encouraging feedback we receive from viewers from all over the world. Besides that, Silvan Pictures is also producing travel documentaries for Grace Moments.

Going forward, I would love to see Silvan Pictures morph into a reputable documentary film production company for the YouTube platform, and even try a few narrated short stories. To do so, I will start my first attempts at filmmaking if my girlfriend plays along, and at the same time, approach bloggers or up-and-coming YouTubers for collaboration.

Let’s see how far I can push it.