As people bid each other christmas greetings and happy new year, I know that 2011 is finally drawing to a close.
2011 is a rather mixed bag for a lot of people around the world, rich and poor, weak and powerful alike. To recap some of the events in 2011.
-Uprising across the Middle East region against long-term dictator and despot specifically in country like Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Bahrain and finally Syria.
-Across the Mediterranean water, we seen old European masters in deep trouble following severe austerity plans in countries like Greece, Ireland, Spain and Portugal with unemployment as high as 40%.
-USA is still having its enormous debt over its head and a relatively high unemployment although its corporation has done relatively well so far.
-Last but not least, lets not forget about the shockingly awful disasters and the sheer frequency by which they have hit this year, it is truly unprecedented. We have the Queensland flood the size of france and germany combined, followed by Cyclone Yasi, a Cat 5 cyclone. Then over the water Christchurch was hit by a powerful earthquake. A month later Japan had the double whammy of quake and tsunami, decimating many coastal towns in north-eastern Japan and a prolonged radiation problem. We also had the Thailand and Philippines flood that shut down industry and claimed many lives.
-We had riots everywhere across the world and in cyberspace, with Anonymous and the Occupy movement, as well as the London riot.
-Finally, for the rich of the world, the financial market has taken a serious beating this year after the strong recovery in 2010 with major blue chips down between 8-15%.
Personally for me, 2011 was still a relatively decent year, i did really well in university, and towards the end, got myself a Monash Marketing Excellence Award, which i am rather proud of. I have been in the care of truly inspirational university staff and i am eternally thankful for their help and contribution in my journey of learning.
I have also made some really wonderful friends and acquaintances along my journey in Monash, and i will strive to do my best to keep those friendship for as long as possible.
However, my performance at the university was somewhat shadowed by the fact that I once again graduated in a time where the economies around the world are showing lackluster performance, and may put off hiring as the forecast are not very bright for 2012.
Many people still said to me that i am still young. My advice to younger people though, being young is not a reason to be foolish and stupid. Even if you are young, take your early life seriously, as these are your shaping years and the decision you made today will be amplified in the future. If you make the right choices now, you will reap bountiful rewards in the future and if your choices are wrong, it would be very hard to come back up.
I have always dreamed of building an empire of my own someday, even though until today i have yet to attain the real world experience of how to run even one small business on my own. Nevertheless, i would rather die than commit to a life of endless 9-5 labor, unless the company i worked for are truly a great company that rewards well not only monetarily, but also through career advancement.
If anything, i know that dreaming up something big in my life is always going to be an uphill task. But life would be very sad for those who never dared to dream what they have always wanted. A word of advice from a fund manager i saw not too long ago is, take your risk, but manage it well.
That in essence is how you should run your life, take risk, but diversify. Draft up a risk management plan for yourself, and take insurance wherever possible. In times of uncertainty, risk management has never been so important.
And of course, be daring to dream, take a leap of faith in yourself. Always.