My Dad’s Stories

I am grateful to have my dad. He is the coolest dad in the world!

My grandpa passed away when he was 6. Though my dad was the youngest son in the family, he was not grandpa’s favorite. Just before grandpa’s last breath, he said to my dad, “You are a dumb boy.” Even though my dad didn’t say much about this, I know this must be a big impact to him.

After grandpa passed away, the family, supported only my grandma, was in great poverty. My dad won the ‘hopping string’ contest (a very traditional Chinese sport for children) in elementary school. Unfortunately, his championship was given to the first runner up because grandma could not afford the tuition. That was the last day of formal education for my dad.

He started working at grandma’s ‘booth’ on the street selling fruits when he was 7. The family of 5+ lived in a rental room of no more then 400 sq ft in one of the poorest area in Hong Kong. Kids around my dad were gangsters smoking and swearing all the time. After certain amount of time hanging out with them, my dad made a choice to stop smoking and stop swearing because he knew these were habits of the uneducated’s.

Growing up in the worst area in town, my dad worked very hard and got accepted into a community college studying to get a Form 5 graduation diploma. He was very weak in English, and he magically passed the Form 5 HKCEE exam! He then got a job offer in a decent company, mid-to-large-size corporate. He got promoted very fast, and soon got a big team and gained a lot of responsibilities at work, which was where he met my mom. My mom was not the first girl who caught his eyes. He had dates with a few girls but none of them impressed him. He finally went out with my mom, was certain that she was the one, and they got married happy ever after.

My dad soon realized it was not his interest to work for other people. He became an entrepreneur and started his own business doing wholeselling of small electronic appliances. He and my mom worked very hard in the business. I remembered when I woke up to go to school, my dad was still in bed; and when he got home, we were already in bed. He sold many different appliances, and it was branding and wholeselling karaoke machines in China that gave him his first bucket of gold. At that time, there were a lot of opportunities in Hong Kong’s stock market. He started transitioning to become a part-time investor, and beginning to earn majority of his income through the stock market. After a while, he realized earning money from the stock market allowed him to have a much better life style; therefore, he transitioned again to a full time investor. When he looked back from now, he always says, “If I were to put more energy in his business instead, he might have been much more successful than now. He just made the choice to focus on stocks.” His advise for me is to focus on what I am doing at the moment and be successful in it. This will give me more satisfaction and sense of achievement than earning money from the stock market. Regardless, he emphasizes long-term investing is still very very important, and he is just against speculators like day traders.

My dad retired at his 40’s and we all immigrated to Vancouver, Canada. He did not have to ever work again, and he had got enough passive money to sustain the whole family since then. We were never a super wealthy family. I often hear mom saying we do not have enough money for this and that. However, somehow my dad always earns enough money in the stock market and has enough passive income to sustain our comfortable life. I would say they are just savers, and wants to train us to be savers too. It is funny that I go to seminars all the time now learning how to become financially free. I did not even realize my dad became financially free at his 40’s! I have a mentor so close to me.

My dad has many cool attributes. He is humorous and he always makes people around him laugh. He likes to travel, he is spontaneous, and he likes exploring new things. He used to bring us to the country side every weekend when my sister and I were little. I grew up as a happy kid, having fun playing in the mountains and on the beaches. Though he was forced to drop out from elementary school, he read a LOT of books. By a lot of books, I mean a LOT. The books in his collection are usually around history and non-fiction. He always says that he learns so much from the success and failures of people in the past via reading the history. There was one time he met an educated person for the first time during a lunch appointment, and that person was amazed by his knowledge and asked him, “Are you a professor at university?” Hahaa, think about it more, I think my dad is really like a history professor or teacher.

Sometimes I think if my dad was e.g. Warren Buffet, I would have been a different person. Yes, perhaps. However, I am really content and very grateful to have my dad to be my dad. I love him and I think he is the coolest dad in the world!


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