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Brain dead!

I am finally back in Singapore after 2 weeks of business travel. I hope i am done with business trips for the rest of the year having flown to 4 cities in the last 10 days.

I think my brain is suffering from the lack of oxygen from all the high altitude, not to mention all the irregular food intakes due to different time zones. I have almost finished the entire library of in flight movies (or at least those I find worth watching) that I watched a documentary on my last flight. 

Yarsagumba - Himalayan Gold

The documentary talks about a Nepalese man and his 12 year old son who for the first time follows him to hunt for Yarsagumba during the season in the Himalayan. 

Yarsagumba is more commonly known as Cordyceps or 冬虫夏草. It is a worm in winter and after consuming mushroom spores, exploded and died in the ground.  The mushroom spores continue to grow within the body of the worm and the plant exploded out through the head above the ground. 

How it was first discovered?

Anyway, the medicine effects was first noticed by herdsmen in Himalayan who discovered that its herd of animals that ate Cordyceps recovered faster than those who don't. This little potent worm was used in Chinese medicine for Emperors since ancient times! Maybe it is the Chinese version of Viagra. This is an interesting article on whether Cordyceps is worth its weight in cold. 

Himalayan Gold

The price of this worm has increased by 1000% over the last 10 years such that it is said to be more expensive than gold. The villagers can earn a year's wages in 2 months. As a result the entire Himalayan is filled with many worm hunters camping out in tents during the season. 

Learning about financial planning from
this documentary film

Expand into other trade - Diversify

I thought the more "clever" villagers expanded into other business. Instead of joining the thousands of hunters (increasing each year) and the decline in the number of wild Cordyseps due to over harvesting in unsustainable manner, some set up "restaurants" tents at base camps where the hunters can eat in comfort and pay using either cash or "worm gold". Hmmm. That is really quite smart and cash flow generative and has less risk than hunting for the worms since there is no guarantee if one can find sufficient "worms". 

Sounds like a similar investment strategy where you invest around the oil and gas sector (such as those providing services to it) without taking commodity or exploration risk. 

Don't cultivate bad habits - Gambling

The documentary showed the man gambling away the worms which he and his son has gathered in a simple dice game. Many weeks of hard work has gone down the drain due to the temptation for a quick buck. Similar to our pursuit for financial freedom, don't cultivate bad habits and gamble the future away. 

Always be alert - one misstep can be costly

Imaging crawling on all fours at 5000 ft, one mis step and your life is gone. Similarly, we should plan our financial freedom. One wrong move may not kill you but may set you back by a good number of years. So don't over leverage yourself or trade beyond your means. 

On the other hand, you cannot be too cautious as well until you are "immobilized". In the documentary, the man and his son moved higher to a new unexplored area when the area they were originally searching in has an influx of migrant hunters. The new area yielded much reward for them. 

Watch out for unscrupulous hunters!

Some hunters insert metal strips into the worms to boost up the weight to cheat others. Similarly, watch out for unscrupulous management of companies  who may just want your hard earned money without any intention of paying back to you!

YouTube movie

You can search for the movie on YouTube. May not be the same as the one I watched but definitely worth to spend a lazy Sunday afternoon watching it. 

Maybe a little Cordyceps in my chicken soup can help revive my dead brain and helped inspire some investment ideas?! ^_^

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