Opportunities Come if You Asked More
We got this cooperative program in the institution I’m working for that offers health insurance and other employee benefits. I didn’t opt for a membership because the perks didn’t seem attractive enough compared to the options I had during the time I was introduced to it. In comes the time where the program gives out dividends because there was a side investment attached to the deal which I didn’t know.
Had I invested around 20$ per year, I’d get around more than thrice the amount I paid in subscription. This isn’t some Ponzi scheme to my surprise. The news that was happening while I recall opting not to bother last year had me reviewing where I screwed up in missing this opportunity.
The initial reason why I turned down the membership offer was the sales pitch I got from a co-worker saying being a member gets me a small amount of health insurance and other miscellaneous employee benefits. I read the values proposed and it was underwhelming compared to the current alternatives I got available during that time. The benefits were not much compared to the other 4 existing life/health insurances I’m paying that time. Had that co-worker mentioned I was also entitled to get some shares, I’d probably would have asked for more details.
I can’t really blame my co-worker for the lack of information there, it’s not like they were into financial things to notice and just took the value proposition limited to only the insurance part. I never understood the program nor got enticed to know further. This was where I failed in hindsight. Information is the life blood of merchants.
This was before I appreciated the lesson of becoming the group's fool opens up to less room for errors as group. You know that scene where the teacher asks their students if they really understood the lesson and everyone just went silent cause nobody wants to be the fool but everyone knows a lot didn't get the lesson? Students will continue the silence for fear of being judged as a fool for not knowing. Everybody is checking everyone out.
This is the game stage of G.H. Mead's theory where everyone is anticipating everyone else's movements. Now imagine at the executive level of the company where idea proposals are made in a meeting and everyone just assumed someone else got the idea when nobody didn't in the room just to save face. Pretending to know while in a position of power can screw up an entire organization. Had I knew the terms of the program, I would have shared it with my co-workers what it meant but I didn't and it was an opportunity cost.
Now trying to come into terms with the missed opportunity and reexamining how much the past year’s decision costed me potential gains, it was definitely a hard pill to swallow until I asked my co-worker if they knew this was a regular thing. It turns out they knew but weren’t particular about how much they were gaining in their bank account.
Another layer of context about my working environment is that my job really pays me well, but for some irresponsible financial decisions in between, I decided to not track how much I’m getting because I had this mindset that I’m not going to live like a wage slave for the rest of my life. I spent my student days working multiple part time jobs even when we’re doing well socioeconomically. Brought by more than half a year working for free and relying on surviving with less money since graduation, life experience just warped me enough to get my financial management shit together. This is the reason why I never checked what’s on my bank account for the past 4 months for a challenge (still ongoing at the time of this writing) soon ending because I’m now at my limit.
My co-workers often check and celebrate once the paycheck arrives, I can’t share their enthusiasm because I’m already in a tranquil state of not be moved by the good news. Turns out this was a common thing but they don’t really mind the quantity and sources of the money flowing into their bank account. We got multiple sources of income on top of the base salary minus taxes and there are occasions when there would be surprise extra incentives in the form of night differentials, hazard pays, shares from the hospital, government support and etc.
So in this regard, they’re also not tracking their sources of income which explains why the sales pitch to the call of membership last year was underwhelming. Had they knew this piece of info prior, they could have relayed it to me and I don’t think there was any malice behind keeping the information, they just didn’t know about the financial benefits well. I was mentally processing the news in a 5 min span and came to the conclusion that yep, I missed the boat and I can’t be moved to care about it afterwards because it’s done.
I don’t know the right words to articulate the experience but if I was someone that didn’t have my financial literacy up and got my expectations leveled like years back, I’d probably not be able to sleep for a couple of days for the missed opportunity. The only lesson I picked up here was opting for membership was worth the money and that’s it.
I don’t feel bad about the money I could’ve earned there because that’s just a psychological effect of perceived loss and opportunity cost. In relation to this, I recall a book called “Think, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman”
The book also references the Prospect Theory which is one of the heavily cited theories existing about behavioral economics. So in a botched personal version of the lessons I picked up:
Would you rather?
- I give you 25$, then offer you a 50% chance to double it or win 0$?
- I give you 50$, then lose 25?
- I give you 12.5$ but there’s a 99% chance to double it on a bet?
- I would have given you 100$ if you read number 4 first but since you’re already reading this far, the offer is only 25$ now.
It’s not the best example but the thought is there. They’re the same thing when it comes to getting 25$ but it’s only a matter of presentation. If you received these messages at different times than a bucket list, I’m sure the reception would have been different but this is how I see things when it comes to financial opportunities and I apply it to my trading mindset.
Even if I won 50 and lost 5, that 5 is going to haunt me for a few hours because I’d back test and try to figure out where I went wrong so as not to repeat the mistake. Applying the story above to the lesson, yeah, had I had more information about the program, I’d probably feel better not missing the boat and made the right choice. But I was functioning on limited information and the other options available during that time were already good enough.
Like missing out the pumps and dumps happening recently on Hive, there’s no way of telling when these things happen unless you’re part of the inner group that conducts them. The only thing you can do is stack up some HBD or liquid Hive to be ready for them as these have been shown as a regular occurrence. It’s only opportunity cost when you had the means to grab the opportunity but chose to suck your thumb when it presented instead of grabbing it.
And in that 5-minute span from hearing the news and reflecting on the situation, I’ve got over it and felt good at how fast it done hence this shitpost.
If you made it this far reading, thank you for your time.
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