The Apprentice Asia

One Befuddled Nash; One Distrusted Sam; And Winners and Losers.


Team Swop!

Starting off with a swop of teams, the contestants embark on what might just be their most challenging task yet – as summed up by Tony Fernandes at the beginning of the episode, “To be my Apprentice, you need a high level of business acumen, and that includes managing risks, and making sound investment decisions, often under tremendous pressure.”

Apex’s members are now: Alex, Sam, Celina and Nik.
The Mavericks’ members are now: Jon, Nash, Andrea and Dian.

Celina was happy about the shuffle, saying, “I think men are much more driven. They spend less time talking and go straight to the point.” (Ironic, given how much she herself talks!)

This week, teams were tasked with online trading, using US$20,000 of virtual money. Over 24 hours, the team with bigger profits would win.

Each team had to split into 2 sub-teams:

1)     Trading team:

  • Places trades on the online trading platform.
  • Begins trading first, while the Research Team meets experts.

2)     Research team:

  • Meets trading experts, and does market analysis.
  • Produces one 60-second video containing advice for trading team.
  • Later in the day, they join the Trading Team to offer advice.

The Mavericks: Nobody Really Knows What They’re Doing

Nash is a financial coach, and so he volunteered to be The Mavericks’ project manager. Andrea and Dian were assigned to the Research Team. But as they went out to gather information from experts, they became more and more confused. Eventually, their 60-second broadcast video contained shockingly little advice, and Nash and Jon had to rely on online sources of information instead!

Back in the trading room, things weren’t going much better. “There’s an element of panic going on in the room,” one of the experts noted.

Nash seemed totally befuddled. He didn’t know how to use the trading platform (even after training), and was indecisive about trades. In many cases, Jon had to make the call. As Andrea noted with dismay, “I’m not sure Nash had any strategy at all.”

Nash DID have a strategy though – and it was to be extremely conservative. He even closed all trades a few hours ahead of day two’s 5pm deadline, to avoid making losses!

Apex: Sam vs. His Team, Again

For the first time, no one wanted the role of Apex’s project manager! Sam eventually volunteered, since he had some basic experience with investing.

Nik suggested that Sam join the Market Research team, so that he could ask the right questions. Sam agreed – much to Tony’s disapproval. He thought Sam would have been more valuable in the Trading Team. Celina joined Sam in the Research Team, while Alex and Nik were assigned to the Trading Team.

Meeting with experts, Sam impressed both Kathleen and the experts with a focused, insightful and strategic line of questioning. But when Alex and Nik received Sam and Celina’s information, they were dismayed. Nik complained, “Most of the research data contradicts completely with the technical data!”

When Sam joined them much later in the day, the tension increased. Sam insisted on making Alex and Nik understand the research process – but Nik thought it was a waste of precious trading time. Alex also complained that Sam was reacting emotionally to the experts’ advice, and he was making decisions that both Nik and Alex were against.

By the end of day one, Apex had made a huge loss of US$17,945!

The Results

Apex: Lost US$7,759. Finally leveraging on their learnings to utilise both research and the technicals, Apex actually clawed back more than US$10,000 on Day 2! Turns out, Sam made the right calls after all. But it was too little too late, and turned out to be a valuable lesson for Apex.

Nash’s conservative strategy saved the team. Mavericks: Lost US$3,628. They won the week.

He Said, She Said.

“The team did not follow our advice,” Sam accused. Nik completely disagreed. She insisted that they followed it to the letter, but that they were given, in Tony’s words, “Rubbish information.”

Sam also said they took too much time for calculations – an accusation that elicited derisive laughter from Nik and AlexAlex insisted that they were only taking 20 seconds per decision. Nik and Alex accused Sam of not heeding technical data, while Sam thought that Alex and Nik were “intoxicated by what they learnt” and didn’t feel the market.

Accusations flew back and forth, while Celina maintained a low profile.


Sam brought Alex and Nik back for elimination. Eventually, Tony’s decision was not based on this task alone. Instead, he fired the person whom he thought was the weakest candidate.

Nik was fired.


Leave your comment about the show here!

Check out the preview of Episode 6 here!