When things don't go as planned - with the pandemic, stock market and in general...
In my last post 2 months ago, I was pretty sure about what I wanted to do with my life after 17 years in IT, but things don't always go as planned.
Top of my list was an initiative to be a familiar face to the elderly and sick in Penang, but that had to be put on hold when Penang was placed under a four-week CMCO (Conditional Movement Control Order) a month ago. And even though the order was lifted a couple of days ago, the COVID-19 cases in Penang remain high and my family and I have decided to continue staying home as much as possible until we return to being a green state.
2 months ago, I had also decided to start trading stocks in the U.S. market as a means of income to provide for my family. Being totally new to the stock market, I made a couple of very bad decisions based on rookie assumptions:
I had bought Netflix on October 16 at $540 believing that this would be the ultimate stay-at-home stock that would continue to grow exponentially during this global pandemic, which in turn would increase the stock price. Indeed, Netflix hit its Q3 revenue goals and analyst revenue expectations in their earnings report on October 21. However, after the earnings report, the stock went down to $489, and continued going down to $463 in November. Thankfully, it had climbed back up to $498 last week but I am still down by 8%.
Didn't quite learn from my mistake and bought Nio at $51 on November 30 and $47 on December 1. Even though the company hit a new monthly record for deliveries of its electric vehicles in November, the stocks went as low as $38, but did rise to $43 last week - still a 12% loss for me.
Luckily, I did make some good investments with PayPal, Apple and AMD that had offset these losses and provided some gains.
So what do you do when things don't go as planned? It's pretty natural for the feelings of anxiety, worry and stress to set in. For me, it was confusion - I felt really confused about what my next steps should be.
A friend of mine shared a bible verse with me many years ago, which I've kept close to my heart and also by my bedside: "Trust in the Lord with all your heart." - Proverbs 3:5
Don't get me wrong - I am not suggesting to sit back and not do anything, and rely solely on God to "make things right" when things don't go as planned. We should, however, definitely put our trust in Him instead of our understanding and ask for His guidance.
What did I do?
As I won't be making home visits to the elderly and sick during this pandemic, I figured there are other ways to help make lives better for the sick. With my 17 years of sales & marketing experience, I decided to help raise awareness around palliative care with Charis Hospice. Believing that no one should journey alone through illness, Charis Hospice offers FREE palliative home care services for patients with cancer and other advanced critical illnesses in Penang island. The goal is simple: To ensure those who are sick, their family & friends, all know what palliative care is and that Charis Hospice has a team of doctors, nurses and volunteers providing this service free. Please support me, this cause and Charis Hospice by following us on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/charis-hospice-penang/
To avoid making irrational & emotional decisions in the stock market, I have signed up for a course to learn how to use technical analysis for better stock trading
By God's grace, I was engaged by a leading US cybersecurity company and an Asian IT distributor for marketing consultancy services
With the CMCO, we had the opportunity to spend more time (quality and quantity) as a family at home watching movies, playing mahjong and enjoying homecooked meals
There is always a silver lining. Seek and you shall find!
Many times, we are so focused on what we consider as ‘problems’ or 'obstacles' that we forget that God is in control. God is never surprised by what happens in our lives. So if He allows it, there’s a reason. Whenever you’re tempted to think the worst about life’s change of directions, I encourage you to look to God, hold fast to His truths, not yours or the world’s. Learn what God is trying to teach you at that moment and be patient with God and with yourself.
Proverbs 3:5-6 (New International Version)
"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight."