Diversify, but not too much (a.k.a. sniper vs. shotgun dilemma)

Sniper vs. shotgun

I’m currently reading a book on swing trading and the heading of one of the chapters reads: “Diversify, but not too much“. Which, of course, totally makes sense – on the one hand, you want to diversify your portfolio in order to reduce the risk (of losing money if any single company goes bust) and on the other hand you want to concentrate your resources (trading budget) on only a few stocks in order to be able to get some serious gains. Because, if you stretch your budget across a thousand stocks, you’ll probably be waiting for a long, long time until you see any noteworthy returns.

Now, I’ve been struggling with above topic a lot in the past. Albeit in a completely different sphere of life (before I even knew that investing or swing trading existed).

If you followed me on Instagram (@newlifeguru), you would have noticed that I don’t seem to be a very focused guy I have so many different fields of interest. Currently I’m into learning jazz guitar, self-improvement, yoga, spirituality, motivational quotes, entrepreneurship, stock markets, personal finance, investing and trading, taekwondo, fitness and learning Chinese. Oh, and healthy food & nutrition, too. Hm… and Buddhism. And recording audio books. And songwriting. Huh. Ok, I guess that about rounds it up. 😊 You see? A lot.

Oh, wait! Recently I also started learning Scratch 3 (but gave it up after realising that I’m fighting on too many battlefields already). And did I mention calligraphy? And Excel/VBA? No? Hm… add that to the above list, as well.

And here comes the sniper vs. shotgun dilemma: me being a “shotgun” type of person (many projectiles flying all over the place) – I figured that being a “sniper” type would have helped me achieve more in life. You know, focus on one thing and streamline all the energy and ressources into achieving that one “thing”, that one goal.

Sniper fires only one projectile, but it shoots very precisely and has a far reach. Chance of a sniper shot hitting bulls eye is huge. Aim. Fire. Bam!

A shotgun on the other hand spreads many projectiles in various directions: jazz guitar, learning Chinese, yoga, fitness, trading, calligraphy… You get to learn and enjoy so many things. Of course, it comes with a price tag attached: none of the shots has the impact of the sniper shot. I mean, each day has only so many hours and each of us has only a finite amount of money and energy. Therefore, if you channel all your efforts in a single endeavour, you’re more likely to succeed in that one endeavour. But… you have to chose one goal which implies that you must get rid of the rest. Yeah, that’s a real bummer, I know. And this is my biggest problem, too.

Getting rid of stuff and adopting a minimalist lifestyle was not very hard for me. The really hard part is getting rid of things you want to do in life, new things you want to learn, new experiences etc. I want all of the above mentioned. 😊 But I’m slowly realising I can’t have it all, at least not right now. And this is where my investing guru, my idol, my fellow investor, Mr. Warren Buffett steps in…

Warren Buffett’s 5/25 Rule

Dudes and dudettes (I’m addressing those of you who are like me, more of a “shotgun type”) – I think I found a solution for all of us: there is a strategy called 5/25 (which the Internet community attributes to Warren Buffett). This strategy is very simple, one just needs to follow these three steps:

1. List 25 important things you wish to do, experience, accomplish, learn in your life.

2. Now circle the 5 most important ones.

3. Focus all your ressources on those 5 and forget the rest (for the moment, at least).

Cool, no? I haven’t implemented it yet. But I’ll make sure to do so very soon! I’ll keep you posted.


Today I woke up around 6 AM, free as a bird. My quarantine days are over – yesterday was the last day. Quickly got up, put on my clothes and went out for a walk in this beautiful sunny morning. Took a breath of the early morning Berliner air… What a feeling! Indescribable.


Freedom is so precious, dudes and dudettes. Most of us don’t even realise this and most people take it for granted, along with good health, clean food and running water.

My foundation: alive, healthy and free. Everything else comes on top. Of course, each of us decides for themselves how many storeys they wish to build on top of the foundation and how they wish to build it: having a family, being rich, being famous, being spiritual, being the best mathematician in the world, having the best looking athletic body, etc…

So, sorry Janis, I love your music but this time I prefer to put it the other way around: Freedom’s not another word for “nothing left to lose” but “from here you start to gain”.

Be thankful, my friends. Appreciate what you already have!

Addicted to protein bars

Protein bars – my staple food

Dudes and dudettes, I’m addicted to protein bars. And then some. I’ve been locked in this Covid-19 home-quarantine of mine for so many days already, so naturally at some point I ran out of protein bars… And that’s a big problem. Uhm. Yep. It is.

So I had to order another big batch online, via Amzn. You know I adore Amzn and I even co-owned this company for a while (I mean the one single share which I bought and then sold prematurely 😊). But this time they failed miserably. Instead of the promissed overnight delivery, I received an email which says: “…cannot be delivered…” WTF? Where is this world heading to, if even Amzn overnight delivery is not functioning properly. Oh, man. Anyways…

Today, when the door bell rang, I ran to open the door. Hm. Oh, well… It was a delivery all right, but the parcel was for the neighbour who was not at home at the moment. Duh.

Few hours later – the door bell rang again and for the moment I felt how saliva almost spilled over my bottom lip… I ran to the door. Yep. Delivery. For me. Oh, boy. I ripped the box open and I probably ate 5 or 6 of those protein bars. At the very least. 😳 Binge eating protein bars. How crazy is that? I mean, I do want to have that Spiderman physique, but I guess soon I could be leaving the quarantine looking more like Hulk…


I started learning Chinese a few months ago. Again. After ca. 18 years. And honestly, I’m amazed at how much of it stayed with me over the years. Back in 2002 we were living in Taipei (and BTW, I wish we stayed there πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ) and for me to get the visa extended, I had to attend a language course. Every day – from 9 AM to 1:30 PM. I thoroughly enjoyed it, it was really fun.

Right now I’m learning Mandarin Chinese, simplified (characters have fewer strokes and are somewhat easier to remember). Back in Taiwan we also learned Mandarin, only with traditional characters (mucho complicated).

Today, if you wish to (or need to) learn a foreign language you really have no excuses: free Youtube videos, free apps (such as Duo***go), you name it… All it takes is some willpower, a few spare minutes a day and an Internet connection. No excuses. Really. 😊

再见! [zΓ i jiΓ n] = Good bye!

* The blog post title reads: “Teacher Lee is not happy today.

Greetings from the quarantine

Last two weeks I spent in Belgrade, on a mission I named “Wisdom tooth”. And… Mission accomplished! I don’t have any wisdom teeth left in my jaw. Yay! All four are out now. I know you’re dying to know more about it, so I’ll make sure to write about this in a separate blog post. πŸ˜€And… guess what – all of this is just a part of a much bigger mission: “Hollywood teeth” (orthodontic therapy). Yeah, I know, I should have written about it, too. I promise I’ll make it up to you.

But… what’s with the “greetings from the quarantine”, you’re asking? Oh, well… let me tell ya…

Home sweet home (well, sort of…)

I came back to Germany yesterday, after two weeks spent in Belgrade (spent mostly in bed, recovering from the surgery, chasing lady luck i.e. business ideas on the Internet and learning about the working of stock markets). As naive as I am, I honestly thought that it would be an easy thing to do – fly from Berlin to Belgrade, get things done and fly right back to Berlin amid ongoing pandemic. Serbian news were all about the “summer season opening” and “easing of COVID-19 restrictions“, so I was totally optimistic about the whole endeavour. In addition, travellers from Serbia were one of the few (outside the EU, of course) to be allowed unrestricted entry in the EU zone during the pandemic.

I was supposed to have the wisdom tooth surgery done back in March, but then the whole world suddenly came to a halt because of the Corona virus and unfortunately it had to be postponed to a later date. The moment air traffic was re-established, I rebooked the tickets and hoped for the best.

Flying to Belgrade was really easy-peasy, everything seemed to have came back to normal after months of Covid restrictions: getting to the airport went really smooth, check-in also went totally smooth, security control, passport control, boarding… everything worked like a charm. Just like the good old days. If it weren’t for the bloody mask. From the moment you enter city transportation in Berlin until the moment you exit the airport building in Belgrade – you’re obliged to wear a mask covering your mouth and nose. But, ok. That’s really no biggie and something that’s relatively easy to get used to.

On the way back I had a totally different story: red eye flight in the early morning hours. Airport Belgrade recommends all passengers to be at the airport three hours ahead of the scheduled departure due to COVID-19 restrictions. In my case this meant being at the airport at ca. 4 AM. Oh, man. But me, a smartass, I thought: I’ll check-in online and then I wouldn’t have to be at the airport three hours before departure… I mean, c’mon. Three hours for a short haul flight? That’s crazy. Something went wrong with the online check-in, so I called the customer service: “Due to current situation and travel restrictions, you can check-in online only if you are holding the passport of the EU country you’re flying to“. Duh. OK, never mind… I guess I’ll be getting up in the middle of the night then…

Arrived at the airport. Some Greek guy in front of me has been questioned by the check-in staff as if he was some kind of a criminal suspect: “Where are you flying to?” “Why?” “Do you live in Germany?” “Do you have a registration certificate showing that you live in Germany?” “Show me any other proof that you reside in Germany.” Poor guy was just shrugging his shoulders and turning to his travel companion, as if he was desparately asking for an answer or support. Under normal circumstances, EU citizens can travell accross EU countries without any restrictions, so this treatment must have been quite a surprise for the poor guy.

And then it was my turn… I approached the check-in desk and immediately started taking out all kinds of documents which I had on me, which would prove that I actually live in Germany. The young lady at the check-in then said: “Sir, there is no need for you to act like that. Please wait a moment”. And then she called her boss. Normally I’m an optimistic person, but at that moment, at that airport I felt like “this must be the place where optimism comes to die”.

Luckily, check-in supervisor decided that I presented enough evidence of my living in Germany and she had her young colleague check me in.

I immediately went upstairs to the passport control area… Dudes, you’ve never seen such a dystopic scene: the whole floor was literally empty. Empty. Not a soul. Just two young ladies standing in front of the long passport control queue, who would normally be steering hundreds of passengers, one for business passengers and one for economy. Other than those two and myself there were no passengers, no employees, no one. Everything was so quiet. Pripyat mode. I’ve never cleared passport control that quickly. Five seconds all together: “Good morning”. Check. Stamp. “Have a nice flight”. Crazy shit…

Welcome to Bundesrepublik Deutschland

Upon arrival I was getting ready to rush through the passport control and head right home. But unfortunately that was not the case. Again, two young (police-)women and a bunch of questions: “Where are you coming from?” “What is the purpose of your visit to Germany?” etc. Oh, man. Ladies. I live here. This is my “home”.

I’ve been away, now I’m returning “home”. “Please show me your registration certificate”, she asked. But I didn’t have the bloody registration certificate on me. I mean, who in the world would be carrying on them a document printed on an A4 paper? Who? “Many travellers have this document on them. Please write down your home address here and we’ll check” …and she handed me a ballpen and her official notebook with the light blue cover and lettering “Bundespolizei”. What? Now she’ll have my address written in her police notebook, as if I was some kind of criminal case?

“Here lady… you see…” again I took out all of my documents: my German driver’s licence, my German health insurance card, my German Mastercard, my… uh… Dudes. Let me tell you one thing: if you find yourself in situations where you feel like you’re on candid camera too often, most probably you’re doing something wrong. I think of this everytime I get this feeling… ah, never mind… you know what happened then? The moment I wrote down the address and handed back the notebook, the other policewoman hung up the phone and turned to her colleague: “It’s ok. You can let him in”.

“Sir, before you go… please take these documents and study them carefully” said the policewoman.

“Ok, I will. Thank you. Have a nice day!” I replied and went to catch the bus…

Once I was sitting in the bus I read the heading of the documents I just received at the border control: “Regulation for persons entering Germany in connection with the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2“. Oh, no… Dear travellers, … blabla bla… if you’ve spent any time within 14 days prior to entering Germany in a country which is designated as risk area by Robert Koch Instituteproceed directly to… quarantine… and remain there exclusively for a period of 14 days. Moreover, you are required to contact the local health office without delay and inform the latter of your entry into the country.

So I contacted local “Gesundheitsamt” (health office) upon arrival and now I’ll be sitting at home for the next two weeks. Perfect chance to make some money on the stock exchange… haha πŸ€‘