Po is back with for his 3rd installment as Kung Fu Panda.  This time (as usual), we get to see Po elevate himself to the next level of kung fu mastery and defeat an even stronger enemy.  There – we have given the plot away (sorry!).  One thing great about this movie is that it always try to bring across positive messages, and this time we actually could relate some of the messages to stock market investing.  So before you read on, be warned that there are minor spoilers ahead, and be assured that we think you will still enjoy the movie after reading this piece.

There is no secret ingredient

Before we talk about the lessons from KFP3 – it’s worth recalling the point we learned from KFP1 (because it is related).  You recall that in the very first installment, Po was fatefully chosen as the Dragon Warrior by Master Oogway and hence received the Dragon Scroll – believed to contain the secret to ultimate kung fu mastery.  When Po first opened the Dragon Scroll, everyone was greatly disappointed as it reveals nothing but a blank reflective surface.  As Tai Lung – the antagonist from KFP1 came to confront Shifu, the then distraught Po finds his father who, in an attempt to console him, reveals that the long-kept secret to this famous “secret ingredient soup” is NOTHING.  He went further to explain that things become special if they are believed to be.  Po realized that this concept is the “secret” contained in the Dragon Scroll and went back to defeat Tai Lung.

Time and time again we meet people who came to us and ask “What’s your secret?  What I have learned wasn’t working out.”  Like Po, they have probably learned from the masters but still could not achieve the victory they wanted.  And so they thought they need look for another guru, use more indicators on their charts etc.  Seldom do people look within themselves and ask “have I done what I need to do to make this work?”.  It is important to learn well and put your strategies into practice (Master Shifu had no magic wand to wave on Po, Po had to sweat through the training sessions).  After that, your success will depend heavily on whether you have the discipline, commitment and all the right mindset to follow through.

And one of the sad truth is that – many investors don’t even believe deep down that they can be successful.  What beliefs do you have about investing?

Do what you are (or can be) good at

Investing - Do what you are good at. Lessons from Kung Fu Panda 3
Image source: Dreamworks.com

Fast forward to KFP3, Po and the gang was in a dire situation where he needs to defend a village full of pandas from a great adversary Kai with super natural powers.  Po had no chance against Kai and his warriors by himself so he had to teach a village of pandas from all ages with no fighting skills.  Po realized that there is no use teaching them the way of the Dragon Warrior, but instead he taught them to make use of their everyday activities as their asset and develop a strategy.  And so he turned Mei Mei the ribbon dancer into the nunchuck princess and the kids into dumpling cannon ball spitters and so on..

Over many years of teaching we also realize that everyone needs to find their own strength and style of investing.  There is no one-size-fit-all strategy because you are unique.  You will need to find something that suits your financial goals, your availability of time and effort, and most importantly – your character.  Learn as much as you can, seek to know yourself and through your investing journey you will find something that suits you the best.

Find your “style”

There are many ways to invest or trade in the market.  You can be a long term investor, mid term swing trader or momentum trader, or you can be a very short term intraday trader, just to name a few.

Image copyright belongs to Dreamworks.com
Image copyright belongs to Dreamworks.com

Much like the viper cannot fight like the monkey and the mantis cannot use the crane’s style – you need to find an investing or trading style that suits your personality and character.

“What if I am new to this? How do I find out what suits be best?” you may ask.  Self discovery is a journey that you have to go through… yourself.  To go through this journey faster, get a good mentor and learn as much as you can, and practice what you have learned.

And remember the best quote from Master Shifu in KFP3:

“If you only do what you can do, you will never be more than you are now.”


If you are new to investing, get yourself a complete education that not only focus on the strategy but emphasize on risk management plus the psychology and the discipline of a successful investor.

If you have been investing in the market for sometime without consistent success, ask yourself these 4 questions:
1. Is what I learned already complete enough for me to succeed?
2. Do I know what it takes to be a successful investor?
3. Am I doing what it takes consistently?
4. Am I doing something that fits my strength and commitment level?


This article is contributed by the coaching team of Beyond Insights.  Beyond Insights provides the most complete education in stock market investing and was voted the Most Preferred Financial Educator in Invest Fair Malaysia 2015 and 2014.  Kathlyn Toh, the Chief Trainer of Beyond Insights shares her success formula a few times a year in cities across this region, find out the latest schedule here.

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