Photography by Dennis Phan  潘家墉





Looking back at the journey I made from Vietnam to Hong Kong, I realize I had  made the biggest gamble of my life. Many boat people lost their lives at sea. Fortunately, I won the bet despite an incredible odd against me. I literally bet my life for my freedom to think and to act. Why not move one step further to achieve the financial freedom to make this land truly the land of the free?


When I was looking for a business model that fits me, I was amazed by the flexibility of my brother-in-law in terms of working hours and entertainments. He may not make the kind of money that Mr. Bill Gates or Mr. Warren Buffett are making, but he surely can do whatever he wants at whenever he wants and still maintains a good lifestyle financially. He neither tells me to get in trading business nor gives me tips about picking stock. By doing so, he is truly a professional. Whatever works for him may not work for me since each trader is unique due to trading knowledge, experience, capital invested and risk tolerance. I made up my mind to get in trading business by myself. How I train to be a trader is totally up to me. The only advice I got from him was “be cautious and decisive”. If we are cautious but not decisive, we are going nowhere in term of making trade. Conversely, if we are decisive but not cautious, we are going nowhere in term of making money. I make my trades with that golden advice in mind.


I occasionally had a dream of going back to work as an appraiser in my old bank with new ownership. Even in my dream, I still felt the intensity of job pressure and the complication of internal politics. I was literally sweating after waking up from the dream, or more appropriately, a nightmare. When the trading gets tough, I was thinking of quitting but the thought of going back to work as an appraiser in such an unfriendly environment is even scarier. 


Trading subject sometimes surfaced in casual chat between me and my friends . However, after a brief discussion, they all backed out. Their fear of losing money in trading is far greater than their desire to be financially free. They feel more comfortable with their steady and stable pay checks. However, in today economic environment, is there such thing as a “stable” job? You make the call! 


I admit I still have a long way to go before I achieve my financial freedom but I believe with each day passing by, my ultimate goal is getting nearer and nearer. The burning desire of being financially free brings me to this trading business; the fear of going back to my old job keeps me in it.




Dennis Phan   潘家墉

1971/1974 Khai Minh Doan Ket Class

12 May 2014 in Claremont, California, USA












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