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In my previous post, one of my readers, “Jack”, wrote me a long comment. He blasted me for being callous and for gloating over Genneva victims’ plight.
Well, firstly I must apologize that his comment was inadvertently deleted today when I used my iphone to view his comment. As my policy is to publish all comments, I sincerely hope Jack can re-post his comment again in my blog for sharing purposes. With regard to his comment, I have a few issues which I think need some clarification.
SG Wealth Builder
Fools Never Learn
The objective of my previous blog is never to provoke anyone. If readers find my blog offensive, there is always a choice not to patronize my blog. Now, if you ask me again, I would still say those who lost their money in the Genneva fiasco deserved it. In fact, I hope they don’t get back a single cent at all. Why?
Because people never learn unless they are taught a painful lesson in life. In 2008, a lot of Singaporean lost their money investing in Minibonds. About 8,000 people in Singapore had sunk in S$376 million in Series 1 to 3 and 5 to 10 of the Minibond notes. They thought that they were investing in bonds and since they were sold by local financial institutes, they couldn’t go wrong.
They were dead wrong. These investors didn’t realize they were actually buying highly risky financial products instead of bonds. Eventually, some of them were lucky enough to claw back some of their monies through legal actions. Now history repeated itself over and over again. Fast forward to 2012, same thing happened again. A group of so-called “investors” lost money in dubious gold-buy back schemes promising ultra high returns of 30 to 40% per annum. They wanted to get back their monies through legal means after realizing their stupidity.
Now Jack, let me ask you, if these bunch of jokers succeed in getting back their monies, do you think they will emerge from this incident wiser? Do you think they will become a better investor and truly become a practitioner and do their homework before investing? Are we condoning this sort of reckless investment attitude – invest with no brain and expect government to step in when you lost monies?

The Blame Game
I hope Jack can cast aside his ego when he read my article. He blamed the government for not implementing measures to prevent people from being conned by such financial schemes. What sort of stupid logic is this? I mean is it fair to blame the government for everything wrong in your life? This is crazy and is so typical of a Singaporean.

The government has no part in your investment failures or successes. If you win money from stock investment, do you donate to the government? Likewise if you got conned or lost money in stock market, is it fair to blame the government for not implementing preventive measures? Stop being a loser. Stop blaming others for your failures. Learn from my blog and join me in my journey. Stop being stupid and arrogant.
Join me in my investment journey and read my financial adventures for free! Through the sharing, my vision is to improve and change people’s lives. In school, we don’t learn how to budget, manage our finances, build wealth and invest our money. Instead, we are taught useless subjects which we would never put to use most of the times during our working lives.Yet, managing our money is an important life skill that is critical to our survival in the society. Many people start to realize how it is importance of managing money only when they face the prospect of financial ruins, by then which would be too late for remedies. Thus, I started this blog to share articles on finances which I aspire to make a positive impact in others’ lives.

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  1. I suppose, I view it from a different, and more compassionate angle.

    Taking the Lehman case, it is true, many investors were “conned” by the banks, and other so called financial advisers, when they were told that it is a bond, just like those safe bonds out there, paying out 4-5%. They were never told the real truth, that it is, a complex structural products, where they can lose all their money.

    Of course, there are also many others who couldn’t care less about reading or finding out more, and blindly took it up.

    In this latest gold scam, there are probably again 2 camps, where people who are less discerning and simple minded, without knowing that a hard commodity like Gold, actually do not and never will pay interest. So the interest actually comes from the 20-30% mark up in the up front sale of the gold, and this is in turn return to the investors. So in order to sustain such a business model, the so called scammer need to time it right where the so called QE3 etc will need to push up the gold prices in order for the scheme to continue its game.

    Yes, I agree that financial education is necessary, but unfortunately it is never and not part of the school syallbus, when it should at least be a non core subject from Secondary 3-4 onwards, in JC and polytechnics and ITE.

    This at least, can teach the younger generation about the value of money, and hopefully be more discerning and with more knowledge, will be able to differentiate between what is truthful and what is probably a fake or scam.

    Yes, blaming the govt will not solve the problem, but maybe the govt can help by not allowing such scams from being operated in the first place, and making it difficult for them to have such a modus operandi.

  2. hello pal,
    Please do not blame the investors for the Minibonds case. That case was special. The products were marketed as “bonds” and all the untruthful details were hidden in tiny font and possibly not clearly explained to them. There is compelling evidence that even the sellers of the items were not entirely sure what they were selling, their job is to sell and make commission.

    IF the Minibonds were marketed under a different name like GENEVVA Funds or something like that, i do agree that we should not blame the investors, they go in with eyes open.

    Mini “bonds” was a clear cut case of cheating and many GOOD governments in the world had helped their own citizens to recoup losses. Recall, even the government itself was duped and many knowledgeable people lost money. Such is the power of their diabolical scam and advertising, how can you blame the average investor joe.

    In Singapore MAS under Heng swee Keat did nothing except to allow DBS to help its hongkong investrs recover money, not his own Singaproean suckers.

    The frustration against the PAP government is fair and reasonable. I agree that the Genneva case is not something to blame the government for. But not the Minibods case. Never. NEVER.


  3. Hi
    Enjoy reading yr article, I share the similar view with u on GENEVVA case, but
    saying `… stupid logic… …so typical of a Singaporean.’ is rather


  4. Best to avoid any investment products that promised high return but are not traded in open market.

  5. I have two friends that I know and both invested in Geneva. When they introduced this investment to me more than a year ago, I did a lot of research on the scheme because it seem to good to be true. In the end, I concluded that it was a scam and wrote a very lengthy email to my friends on why they should withdraw their investments. However, both did not heed my advice as they had made a very good return for about half a year.

    I feel that the mini bond case and Geneva are very different in nature. I was not burned by the mini bonds but was hit by a trigger event in structured note. I understood the risk and went in with eyes wide open and therefore did not blame anybody. However, I do believe that the MAS should have step in much earlier to monitor and stop the gold trading scam like Geneva, xxx and xxx. My personal advise is not to believe in similar scam and any rescue plan. It is just throwing good money after bad money.

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