Paulo Coelho is a famous and successful Brazilian novelist. His best novel “The Alchemist” has translated into 81 languages. Washington Post once claimed that Paulo has sold more than 350 million books, made him the all-time best selling Portuguese-language author.
Certainly, a successful author like him will always produce a lot of wisdom quotes and beautiful story. Personally, I like “The Story of Pencil” (2006) because it is a perfect story to sum-up Sucorinvest Asset Management outstanding performance last year. I will further explain my thoughts on the next page.
2016 is another challenging year, world financial market started the journey with continuous RMB depreciation in January 2016 after The Federal Reserve raised U.S interest rate by 25 bps (0,25% to 0,5%) for the very first time since 2006. Not long after that, commodities take another hit with crude oil price fell to USD 26 / barrel, coal price sank to around USD 40 / tons. At that time, it looked like 2016 would be 2015 all over again. Not mention the strong rally in USD index (DXY), creating panic selling in emerging market by foreign investors.
We at Sucorinvest Asset Management know that “a smooth sea never made a skillful sailor” , so we prepared a lot of things to sail the storm and this is our story, inspired by “The Story of Pencil” by Paulo Coelho.
A boy was watching his grandmother write a letter. At one point he asked:
‘Are you writing a story about what we’ve done? Is it a story about me?’
His grandmother stopped writing her letter and said to her grandson:
I am writing about you, actually, but more important than the words is the pencil I’m using. I hope you will be like this pencil when you grow up.’
Intrigued, the boy looked at the pencil. It didn’t seem very special.
‘But it’s just like any other pencil I’ve ever seen!’
‘That depends on how you look at things. It has 5 QUALITIES which, if you manage to hang on them, will make you a person who is always at peace with the world.’
‘First quality: you are capable of great things, but you must never forget that there is a hand guiding your steps. We call that hand God, and He always guides us according to His will.’
‘Second quality: now and then, I have to stop writing and use a sharpner. That makes the pencil suffer a little, but afterwards, he’s much sharper. So you, too, must learn to bear certain pains and sorrows, because they will make you a better person.
‘Third quality: the pencil always allows us to use an eraser to rub out any mistakes. This means that correcting something we did is not necessarily a bad thing; it helps to keep us on the road to justice.’
‘Fourth quality: what really matters in a pencil is not its wooden exterior, but the graphite inside. So always pay attention to what is happening inside you.’
‘Finally, the pencil’s fifth quality: it always leaves a mark. in just the same way, you should know that everything you do in life will leave a mark, so try to be conscious of that in your every action’