Five Property Investment Lessons From Brazil’s 7-1 Humiliation

Jesus Facepalm

Even if you only had a passing interest in football and the World Cup, you would have no doubt heard about the severe trashing that Brazil received in the hands of the Germans at their own backyard last week. Although almost everybody and their dog knew that Brazil would suck without their star striker Neymar and captain Thiago Silva, nobody would have predicted they would lose by conceding some seven (seven!) goals. Calling it a humiliation would be a severe understatement.

Now in the spirit of full disclosure, I had rooted for England (bagi chance lah, I went to school there), and unlike the magmanimous Germans, I have decided to publicly flaunt my schadenfraude (which is incidentally a German word!) by writing a blog post about it. 😉

GoodPlace staff laughing

And since is not my grandpappy’s property (yes, I do have investors to answer to), I will attempt to link this sob tale of epic Brazilian proportions to this website’s subject matter: property investment. So here goes – in no particular order, five property investment lessons from Brazil’s worst defeat in their football history. Enjoy!

Lesson #1: Don’t Excessively Rely On A “Star”

Brazil panicked when Neymar couldn’t make it after he got whacked in the back by the Colombian defender, and rightly so – he was the only dude on the team who could get the goals! Forget about Fred, Oscar and (the comical) Hulk – you could have replaced them with Harimau Malaya strikers and nobody would have noticed. 😉

Neymar 7up

Apart from Neymar, team captain Thiago Silva also missed the match after picking up a second yellow card in the match vs Colombia. Silva did rather well pillaring the defence in the earlier matches, and without him the fullbacks flapped around senselessly like plump chickens upon seeing Colonel Sanders with a knife. WTF?

With a laughingly impotent bunch of forwards and a disgustingly atrocious defense line, in hindsight an onslaught by the well-oiled German machinery seemed not that surprising if at all. And as somebody wise tweeted, “Brazil has Neymar. Argentina has Messi. Portugal has Ronaldo. Germany has a team!” Indeed, Germany had built a well rounded team, and clearly, Brazil had not, and they paid the ultimate price for it.

Lesson In Property Investment: Don’t place your entire fortune on a single “star” property. Build a portfolio! Only an idiot will go “all in” on a single property. Be conservative and hedge your bets!

Sidetracking just a little: if you’ve seen Thiago Silva at the end of the match – why the heck did he dress up like one of those metrosexual male models in Zoolander who got blown up frolicking at the gas station!?

Metrosexual Silva!

“We’ll go for an orange mocha frappucino!”

Lesson #2: Stick To The Plan

“Big Phil” Scolari had a plan, and it was elegant in its simplicity: (1) defenders, jaga the goalie, and (2) midfielders, pass the ball to Neymar. But with defender head honcho Silva and goal getter Neymar out of the picture, Scolari (who duly earned a new nickname Scorelagi from Malaysians)’s plan had gone from genius to chicken shit in ten seconds upon kickoff.

Case in point: David Luiz was supposed to be a centre-back, and you don’t have to be a football geek to know that it means exactly what it says on the can – a centre-back stays at the BACK, and at the CENTRE, shielding the goalkeeper from pesky forwards. Now look at this heatmap and you’ll see that he was anything but. He tried to play as a midfielder instead of the crucial stopper needed to smother the slippery German forwards.

David Luiz calling God

Now understandably, Luiz was gunning for glory after scoring two crucial goals (vs Chile and Colombia earlier), but playing out of position match after match was simply asking for trouble. The Brazilians started to break from their formation after 2-0, and from there the situation degenerated into a defense horror show where the carnage continued well beyond the point of no return.

Lesson In Property Investment: Have a plan, and stick to it! Think long-term, and stop getting distracted by temporary setbacks in the short term if any. And remember that you only need to know two things: (1) how to pick winners, and (2) know when to buy and sell. Stick to this plan, and turn a blind eye to everything else.

Lesson #3: Your Past Is Irrelevant.

Brazil won the World Cup five times (1958, 1962, 1970, 1994, 2002), but that meant nothing today. If anything, they only serve to think that you’re still good at football.

And just because you’re wearing the same jersey as the previous greats doesn’t mean that you’re guaranteed of the same success. Far from it!

Selecao - then and now

Lesson In Property Investment: Your past is irrelevant. While it’s useful to draw on past experiences, your previous wins (or losses) have no bearing on your next investment. Run your numbers regularly, and make decisions based on your current situation without getting encumbered by the past.

Lesson #4: Focus On The Process, Not The Goal.

What’s the most important in football? Surprise, surprise: it’s not the goal, but the PASS.

It’s not about fancy legwork, dribbling techniques or esoteric bullcrap like “passion” and “psychology“. Germany players understood that if they could maintain possession then the goals would come; Joachim Loew’s team avoided long balls and  instead they would pass the ball and push forward immediately into the opposing side of the field.

Watch this beautiful interplay between the Germans below – it’s the superbly executed, pinpoint passes that made the shot at the goal right at the very end seemingly trivial.

Germany's beautiful passes

In short, while Brazil seemingly focused on scoring goals and nothing else (and this manifested in the over-reliance on Neymar, and in David Luiz playing out of position), the Germans focused on the PROCESS of passing the ball and relentless pushing into the opposing side while maintaining possession.

In our previous blog article we talked about why goals are bullshit when it comes to investing in property. In the immortal words of my friend and uber investor Roger, “Goals suck. Goals are for losers! Especially in property!”

Lesson In Property Investment: The magic is in the process. Obsessing about your goals is counter productive. Master the process by having a good system and you’ll make real progress.

8. You will not immediately become good but you can almost immediately become professional. Germany leads football in nutrition, statistics, physical preparation and so on. Brazil must aim to match that.

Lesson #5: You Need A Team.

The Germans not only had kickass players, but there was also a contingent of experts working behind the curtains supporting the core team – nutritionists, statisticians, fitness hackers. Brazil seemed to be content with its “ghetto” imagery where raw talent was supposed to be sufficient to compensate for any shortcoming. However, in this day and age, a strong, technocratic support team is a true competitive advantage.

Lesson In Property Investment: You can’t do this alone. You should build up a team as you go along, or at least for starters, get a good agent to help you (click here to find out how).

Finally, for the sake of this Singaporean kid across the causeway, I hope that Germany beats Argentina in the final. 🙂

Singapore Anti Gambling Ad (FAIL!)


About Khai Yin

When I am not writing for and helping my readers find properties though the DealMatcher service, I spend time doting on my three kids: Wenyi, Qinyi and Eian. My personal stuff, some published essays and contact details can be found at

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