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What can we learn from the news of Sulli (f(x) member)’s death?

This was indeed a tragedy, and many kpop stars have expressed their feelings about her suicide; and the relation to both mental illness and the effect of cyber-bullying on people’s health.

Sulli was only 25 when she died, which makes it even more tragic as she’s the youngest kpop star to die pre-maturely since the death of Eunbi and RiSe (of Ladie’s Code) in a car accident back in Sept 2014. I wept at both funerals.

Here’s my take on this:

Firstly, mental illness is a huge problem in Korea especially. Korea is a very socially conservative country, where depression and mental illness isn’t properly treated and is instead shamed. There is a stigma against expressing yourself in Korea. This leads to many Koreans who feel ‘답답하다’ – feeling that they are keeping feelings bottled inside them and can’t let it out – long term, this is bad for mental health and manifests in either violence (drunken fights, domestic violence etc) or depression (suicide) – Korea has the highest suicide rate out of all OECD countries. This is an issue with Korean society that cannot change until Korean society becomes more open minded and progressive and less judging of others – the very fabric of what makes Korea society what it is today.

Secondly, online bullying is a real problem with not just Korea but every country. It’s especially pronounced in Korea though because of how judgmental people are in that country. Does it make sense to judge someone for showing their a bit of skin on top when Korean women can walk around in incredibly short skirts or shorts with no one saying a thing? That’s one of the ironies of Korean society. It’s conservative in some ways – and yet it’s not in other ways. You have churches surrounded by motels and adult shops. You have porn banned but you have hundreds of movies with bed scenes in them. The society is very contradictory.

And I have my own experience that I can relate to  – with both depression and netizens – what you really have to know is that social media really brings out the worst in people. Because they are hidden behind the safety of their own monitor, they feel like they can just say stupid, harsh, ridiculous or ignorant things without any repercussions.
Last year 2018 was really the worst year of my life. I wasn’t enjoying my job at my previous company. I wasn’t able to maintain the long distance relationship I had with my (ex) gf (partly due to my previous company which wouldn’t allow me to take any vacation time to visit my gf in Korea) which led to a messy breakup. I had broken my friendship with one of my closest friends. I had lost one third of my net worth in bad crypto investments. And to top it all off – I was forced to sell my apartment to pay off my loans, move to a place (Vancouver) where I didn’t know anyone and I lost the rest of my money from a scam, trying to move it back to Canada from the US (I was trying to avoid fees from bank commission by using a crypto exchange to move my money back – the CEO suddenly died and it was revealed that it was a ponzi scheme right when I was trying to withdraw my money ). I suffered from deep anxiety and depression because of all of this (losing 90%+ of your net worth in one year and breaking up with a girl you thought you would marry does that to you).
After I got scammed, a few articles popped online about it – and several threads were created on reddit to mock the fact that I had lost all of my money. People saw my Youtube videos online and insulted me, chided me for being an idiot for taking such a huge risk and accused me of being a money launderer. Some netizens even encouraged me to take my own life, saying that ‘stupid people like this deserve to lose their money and shouldn’t be allowed to reproduce’.

Did I contemplate suicide? Of course I did. But I also tried to talk to my friends and family more. Out of this I have to thank my family + friends for providing me support in my darkest times and giving me a reason to live. I realized that money was not everything and that I can always make it back. I realized that people online shouldn’t be taken seriously and that the only people you should take seriously are the people who are closest to you. “People who mind, don’t matter – and the people who matter, don’t mind“.

Sorry my story is kind of a tangent, but the point to hit on is this; We can’t pray for easy lives. Because life isn’t easy. We have to pray to be stronger people. We have to re-assess what is our true purpose in life and what we are living for. Who are the people who care about us? These are the things we should think about before we can decide to suicide or take our own life.
I can’t pretend to know what was on Sulli’s mind when she decided to take her own life – perhaps if I was in her shoes in the constricting Korean society with all its pressures and being only 25 years young my mind would have been the same as hers – but what we can learn from it is that perhaps Korean society should take mental health more seriously, Korean entertainment companies could treat its stars better, perhaps netizens could think more about the real-life implications of their comments and perhaps before doing something like taking our own lives we can think about other people that care about us – in a way suicide is an act of selfishness – because Sulli surely had a lot more people that loved her than hated her. I wish she would have re-thought things more before she did what she did – but it always takes a tragedy for human society to progress I feel.

Categories
General

2018: Year in Review

Every year, I do a year in review, with highlights and lowlights and a summary so this is my year in review for 2018.

Highlights

-spent more time with my best SF friend Tony this year, went on  Lake Tahoe trip
-Sold my SF apartment for a profit. Bought for $515k, sold for $835k ($748k after fees) for a 45% profit in 5 years.
-Took 3 months break to travel Korea and Asia for a much needed rest
-I broke up a toxic relationship I had with a friend who was never really a friend. see here

Lowlights

2018 lost money:
-$60 phone broke after shipped to customer
-$80 stocking fee for watch
-$80 extra for sony blu ray player
-$75 DVD/VHS player doesn’t work from ebay
-$40 for free watches that I never used
-$80 for Lyx Pro that I threw out
-$300 for defective Klipsch earphones
-$70 for coolermaster keyboard that I gave away to ebay customer
-$40 extra shipping for OQO model 2
-$150 for ebay fees that I shouldn’t have paid
-$2300 for screwing up a chanel bag usps delivery. Chose first class instead of priority – tracking number doesn’t go into Canada – package got lost – forced to refund.
-$1100 for lost Sony A600 camera + lens
-$100 for broken Hendrix statue
-$80 for extra airplane baggage fee
-$800 due to missing kickstarter items

36 wire transfers x 30 = $1300
First Republic service fee x 4 years = $1200
Crypto Insiders payment = $700
origination fee + loan interest + CC fees = approx $7500
Credit card interest = $1000
Parking space = $1400
repairs + fixes = $1250
Renovation = $8000

QuadrigaCX becoming bankrupt took away $405k of my money – almost all my savings.

-$16k of my money was lost (above) due to financial issues
-$10.6k in renovations and repairs were needed to sell my apartment
-$15k of fake ‘masternode’ ponzi coins and $8.5k worth of fake ICOs were scammed from me
-Lost a third of my net worth this year due to the crypto crash including the majority of the 3 loans I had taken out to dump into crypto (stupid I know).
-the rest of the my net worth was wiped out due to QuadrigaCX becoming insolvent as a result of the CEO suddenly dying. Really bad luck, I know.
-Korean gf broke up with me partly as a result of my financial setbacks and thus being unable to visit to visit her in korea.
-suffered through bouts of anxiety and depression this year as a result of both those financial setbacks and the breakup.
-forced to sell my SF apartment to pay off the loans
-Most of my good friends left SF
-Was sick even when I took a break to travel
-My main phone died in Korea AND my replacement phone was lost leading to no data plan or phone number as of end of 2018 right now

Summary

This was easily my worst year in recent memory. If 2017 was the year I doubled my net worth, this was the year when I felt I lost it all. Financially it was horrible. At the beginning of the year, I had over $80k in profit from crypto and had the opportunity to send it to my gf’s Korean crypto account to make an additional 40% in profit at that time. I didn’t do it. When one of the ICOs I invested in last year debuted in Feb, I could have sold it for $30k profit. I didn’t do it. I instead took out personal loans and dumped it into altcoins in late Jan. I lost almost everything. I was selfish, and greedy and FOMO got me too much. I could have had over $100k if I had taken all that profit. But instead, I went down $150k. That’s a swing of over $250k!

On top of that, I though the rest of my net worth was safe right ? I had apartment but I was forced to sell it to pay off the crypto loans. I hurriedly tried to transfer my money back to Canada because I wanted to buy an apartment in Vancouver and take advantage of the USD-CAD exchange rate. Unfortunately I chose the wrong exchange at the wrong time. I chose to use QuadrigaCX which was Canada’s oldest bitcoin exchange but unfortunately their CEO suddenly died on his honeymoon months after I transferred my money over (and still waiting for withdrawal) and he was the only one who had the keys to the bitcoin wallet they were using which resulted in the company becoming insolvent, therefore losing the rest of my money (over $405k gone). I am obviously going to try to get as much of it back as I can, but nothing is certain.

That was enough to make me depressed and give me anxiety attacks for the rest of the year. I was on anti-depressants for a few months. In addition, my company didn’t let me take any vacation at the beginning of the year because they lied to me about our work getting ‘busy’ when really we were not busy at all! Instead I was doing the same monotonous tasks and most of the time didn’t really have anything to do. I spent my days surfing Quora when I was at work. Due to the combination of the crypto crash taking out most of my savings + my company not letting me take vacation, my gf got really impatient about me, and we starting having lots of fights, finally resulting in us breaking up. I am still broken because of it. I really thought she was the right person. I thought I had found my Korean wife at last. It turns out, I still had a lot of searching to do. I’m no closer to finding another gf this year, and that dream of marrying a Korean girl still seems as out of reach and as impossible as ever.

Most of my good friends (except for Tony) had moved out of the SF Bay Area, either to LA or back to Japan/Korea/China/Canada. For most of the year I was stuck living in a place where I had no friends, no opportunities to meet friends, at a job that I wasn’t doing anything at, and every paycheck going to paying off those 3 stupid loans I had gotten at the beginning of the year, and my savings were all devastated from the crypto crash. There were times this year I wanted to kill myself it was so bad. It’s hard to imagine a year being worse than this, but at the very least I can say that I’m still alive, and my family and friends were still doing well, it seems.

The root cause of most of this year’s troubles really was that crypto crash that started on Jan 10, 2018. Before that, I was riding high. $100k in profits. A beautiful sweet loving Korean gf. A beautiful SF apartment. All of it destroyed in less than a year. God really had it in for me this year, but hopefully next year I can come back stronger and wiser than ever. I learned a lot of valuable lessons this year. At least they were better learned early than later, I suppose. I am now starting over fresh, except getting a US job is more difficult due to me having lots of TN visas on my record, and I’m 30 years old instead of 23…

So in short here’s the breakdown of what happened this year:

-lost 1/3rd of my net worth due to taking out 3 loans and dumping them in crypto and subsequently crypto crashing
-most of my SF friends moved out of the city
-broke up with my gf because I was unable to visit her in Korea because I had to keep working to pay down the loans
-forced to sell my apartment to pay off the loan debt
-got hit by anxiety attacks constantly throughtout the year due to the crypto crash. Sometimes these would wake me up in the middle of the night giving me nightsweats, resembling a heart attack. I had to take anti-depressants for most of the year.
-Got rejected by pretty much every girl I tried to talk to in the bars, clubs and events in Korea that year. No girl I talked to wanted anything to do with me. Even the meetup organizer insulted me by saying ‘if you want a Korean girl, you should dress better’ which was a little bit strange to me because I got my hair permed and dyed, and wore a suit + tie pretty much every time I went outside that year – plus all the usual skin cream + conditioner and toner and stuff – so I thought I *was* dressy but I guess not?
-My phone died as soon as I got to Busan. I subsequently came down sick with the flu and was bedridden for 2 weeks. I ordered a replacement phone from eBay and it arrived, but I lost that phone in a taxi less than 2 days after I got it. I had to ask my friend to set me up to get me another replacement phone the day before I had to leave to go on my Asia trip
-I was ok when I was in Osaka but once I reached Shanghai, I fell sick again and couldn’t really go out. By the time I reached Hong Kong, I had full on bronchitis and couldn’t go anywhere without coughing up a storm.
-To top the cherry off, the year ended off with me transferring the rest of my life savings from my stock investments and remaining bank account funds over to QuadrigaCX, a Canadian crypto currency exchange which filed for bankruptcy with $215M in debt less than a month after I made the transaction – I transferred this money because I wanted to move my money from the US to Canada without paying the bank commission fees – I lost the rest of my life savings just like that, in the blink of an eye. I literally went from $700k in net worth (counting for crypto profits) at the beginning of 2018 to less than $30k at the end of it. And that closed the worst year of my life off.

Categories
General

Worst Financial year ever

Everything I touch turned to dust this year. I’m still on my anti-depressant medication because otherwise I would have killed myself by now. Seriously. Let’s count the ways.

-in Jan, Korea had the crypto premium at 40%. I didn’t make use of the crypto account my gf made for me, and the premium is now completely gone.
-In Jan, I had a gain of 50k on my crypto. I didn’t sell or take profits. Now I’m down 170k. That’s a swing of 220k. +50 to -170.
-In Feb, the only ICO I invested in last year at $1.10 each debuted at $4 each. I could have sold right then and there and took $30k profit but of course I didn’t. I kept holding, and now this month I sold it at $0.90 each. Yup, I lost $2k when I could have been up $30k.
-In Jan/Feb I invested in a lot of stupid risky ICOs – over 20 of them. I thought if even ONE of them did a 10x I could make up for the other ones. Nope, turned out ALL of them except two went down 80-90% and the two that made me money only went up 50%. That hardly makes up for my losses. I’m down 37 ETH on that.
-In Jan/Feb I took out 3 loans to average down for a total of 85k + 5k in origination fees/interest. And… the market went down 70% since then. So yeah, that was stupid as well.
-I sold off all my stocks at the beginning of the year to put all into crypto. The AMZN/TSLA/NVDA stocks I sold subsequently went up 50%+ and crypto went down 70%. FML.
-In Apr/May I got scammed 1.5ETH by people pretending to be admins on telegram.
-In Apr I lost $2300 shipping a package because I didn’t use the USPS Priority mail and it didn’t have tracking to Canada. Buyer complained, I had to pay it back since I had no way of proving it was delivered.
-Worst timing ever. I sell EOS and ETC, a few days later it goes up 20%. I sell BITG literally the next day it jumps up by 50%. Why? why does this happen to me?
-In June I put a lot of my money into masternode coins to try and stabilize. I sold off a lot of coins at the bottom because I wanted to make some stable income. Well guess what, those coins are up 30-40% now, and my masternode coins are down 70%. Of course. One of them even went down 90%. I lost over 2 BTC on those. Even when I am trying to stabilize I end up losing money.
-In June when I was trying to get my place renovated, the movers lost my $1000 camera. Seriously, wtf? I can’t even get something as simple as moving my items done without losing money???

So yeah (and don’t forget my gf broke up with me early in the year, my job gets more and more tedious and I’m on meds now) this is easily the most horrible year I’ve had in recent memory. Please, please let this year end soon. Last year was boring but I was at least steadily gaining money. This year, 1/3rd of my net worth is gone, and everything I try to do to get it back only loses me more money. What is happening to me? I must be the anti-Midas touch. I even lost my friends money as I got them into the same masternode coins. My only saving grace is I really hope my apartment sells for above market value to at least make back for some of my losses…