An Interview with Mr. Mark So of Forex Club Asia
This article is posted under In Focus, Inspirations and Motivations.
A couple of months ago, I was going through some of my old stuff when I saw the program souvenir for the Money Summit and Wealth Expo 2010 in one of my boxes.
I fondly remembered the event and how I was able to meet and network with a lot of people during that time.
One of the speakers whom I briefly met that day was Mr. Mark So who talked about forex trading during the summit and invited everyone to become members of Forex Club Asia.
Two years passed and it was only just a few weeks ago, when I saw that program souvenir again, that I decided to finally say “Yes” to his invitation and invest my time in learning about forex trading.
I signed up to be a member of Forex Club Asia and enrolled myself in Mark’s classes. Interestingly, I did not only discover the world of currencies, but more importantly, got to know Mark better and learned about his inspirational life story.
That’s why for today, I’m sharing with you my interview with him, which I hope you will find great value in; specially at the entrepreneurial lessons he learned from making mistakes and not giving up on his dreams.
Please tell us about your background. What were you doing before you became an entrepreneur?
Before I became a full time entrepreneur, I worked, believe it or not, as a Telephone Technician installing antennas on roof tops. I did this before I passed my board exam to be a licensed E.C.E. (Electronic and Communications Engineer) which I never renewed.
Then, I “created” my own position at Islacom as their first “marketing analyst” for the mobile division. It’s a long story which you can read in full here.
After that, I moved on to Tech Pacific as a Product Manager. I was marketing, managing, and selling Motorola, APC, Intel, 3-Com and other IT and networking products to various distributors and dealers in the Philippines.
And finally my last corporate job was at Lucent Technologies where I handled Technical Marketing for South East Asia. I designed communication systems and pre-sold our solutions to telecom companies such as NTT Docomo (Japan), PT Satelindo (Indonesia), Reliance Telecom (India), PLDT / Smart /Sun / Digitel/ Globe (Philippines) etc.
Then, when Lucent started retrenching, I took the opportunity to finally start and go full time with my business ventures making lots and lots of mistakes in the process.
I came to know you through Businessmaker Academy. Can you tell us the story of how this company started? Why did you choose to put up an education center instead of pursuing other business ventures that’s more related to your field of study and work experience?
Businessmaker Academy is actually my second business, my first one was a glorious failure.
The company was Buona Vita Corporation and was in events management. Buona Vita was actually already existing during my work at Lucent, so when I took my retrenchment pay, I went full time with it.
Needless to say, I used whatever capital I had gotten from my Lucent retrenchment and plunked it into this venture. I was losing close to a million pesos by the eight month.
I did everything wrong in that business. I got the wrong people, I abdicated instead of delegated, I spent first and just hoped that my “investment” would return to me, got an office in Makati even if no client of ours would ever need to set foot in our office.
I did all the things that I thought a business should be but really had no clue on what I was doing.
Then I met my wife, a natural and street-smart entrepreneur. With her help, I turned Buona Vita around, from losing a million, to actually recovering it all back wihin 6 months after we did some drastic changes.
I realized then that whatever savvy I thought I had as a businessman was absolute fantasy, I realized that starting a business was and is no joke especially if you come from the corporate world.
And because of these realizations, me and my wife started a mission to teach people (like me) who wanted to venture into business on how to actually do it properly, and to do that we needed a training center, hence Businessmaker Academy was born on March 7, 2003 and proud to say still growing today.
You are also the founder and chief trainer of Monsterpips Forex, LLC. Can you give us a background about this company? What is Forex Club Asia?
Monsterpips Forex L.L.C. is a US-based company of mine. It was born in 2007 when a student of mine approached me asking for my advice on a forex trading system he stumbled upon called “freedom rocks”.
This system, which was part forex trading, part MLM was making a lot of “noise” in the market so he wanted me to check it out and tell him if the system was okay to invest in. I obliged and studied it.
I then realized that although the trading part of the system had a lot of potential, there was a fatal flaw in that system that if not corrected could lead to massive losses. That flaw was about proper timing on when to enter and exit the trades.
I created a video on how to correct this mistake and it sold like crazy allowing me to generate purchases and students from the US and Canada. So after robust sales, I created Monsterpips L.L.C. based in Delaware to legitimize my operations.
Then later on when the market conditions changed and the freedom rocks system crashed and burned (because the company would not accept my solution) I started migrating and teaching my Monsterpips clients to traditional or what we call directional forex trading which I branded as “Forex Club Manila.”
Eventually and because my membership grew faster than I had anticipated, and to make the non-Manila members more comfortable, I upgraded the club and re-branded it as Forex Club Asia which is where we are today. As of this writing Forex Club Asia has 2,600 + members.
What got you interested in forex trading? What are your reasons for choosing it over other opportunities such as the stock market or real estate investing?
Although I am primarily focused on Forex as an investment, I am also invested in stocks and real estate. My wife and I have mutual funds with stocks as part of the blend. We also have real estate holdings that we continuously invest in every chance we get.
To me, it is about “sequencing” my investments in terms of effort. I have to be actively involved in forex trading as it is an “active” investment vehicle. But I do not have to be, nor do I have the excess time yet to be “actively” involved in stock trading, so I chose to passively invest in mutual funds, and rental income properties.
But focusing now on forex and answering why I prioritized being more active in forex over stocks, here’s the reason:
From the very beginning, I was already very interested in currencies. I started buying the USD physically back in 1998 when it was trading at P32. When it appreciated to 36 and sold it, it felt really good, so when I started buying and selling it for profit, it became more of an obsession.
But back in the late nineties it took a while before currencies would appreciate or let alone make a decent profit through the banks which was primarily how I traded it.
I didn’t engage in online trading then because the capital requirement to enter forex at that time was huge ($100,000 upwards). Plus the internet was very unreliable still with just dial-up access.
And it was also during that time when I was wrestling with fixing up and making a comeback for Buona Vita Corporation with my wife so it took me a few years to get back to trading and really enjoying forex.
In 2004, when Businessmaker was close to a year old, I went back to my currency obsession. This time, DSL provided more stable internet connections and the capital requirement has already gone down drastically to $300 instead of hundreds of thousands.
As an entrepreneur and educator, how would you answer if someone approaches you and asks, “How do I become rich?”
Nothing can ever beat real life experience. And to get experience you have to persistently try new things, fail a lot, and never give up pursuing what you want in life.
There will be many teachers and mentors in your life, some of them will teach you incorrect things, because they never really experienced it and they just tell you stuff they read from a book.
Learn how to discern the fake advice from those that are backed up by experience.
Only take advice from people who have been there and done that, try it out in your life, fall and get hurt, get up and try again, and before you know it, your real life experiences have accumulated, and before you know it, you are already rich, or at the very least already have the means to be rich.
I wholeheartedly agree with everything he said, specially on the last part on how we should persistently try new things and never be afraid to fail; how we should always be willing to get back up and try again and again, until we achieve our dreams.
Thank you for reading this post because I know it’s quite long, but I do hope you found it worth reading.
Lastly, I’d like to inform everyone that for those who would like to learn more about forex trading, Mark has graciously offered all subscribers of Ready To Be Rich a special discount on his Forex Orientation Seminar.
If you’d like to learn how to trade forex, and join me as a member of Forex Club Asia, then kindly VISIT THIS LINK or follow the banner below:
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