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It was in 2012. Back then, this wealth blog had achieved some level of success which attracted a number of companies looking for partnerships. On one occasion, I was invited by an event company to promote an investment seminar. In return, I would be given a free ticket.

Usually, I would have declined such a request but one of the speakers turned out to be Jim Rogers, my favourite investment idol. Thus, I had accepted the invitation without hesitation and attended the event with much excitement.

Jim Rogers

Jim Rogers, as we all know, is an American famous for building massive wealth from his investments. He shifted his place of residence to Singapore since 2007 because of his belief that Asia would be the best place to invest globally due to its immense potential for growth.

Ideally, he preferred China and Hong Kong to grow his wealth but because of pollution issues, he eventually settled down in Singapore.

During the seminar, Jim Rogers did not share any specific investment strategies nor disclose any stocks that he favoured or avoided. Instead, he provided very generic views and how “white-collar workers would work for farmers in the future” because no one wants to be farmers anymore. He also expressed his firm belief on the great investment potential of commodity.

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To be fair to him, after his speech, gold and oil did experience a mighty bull run that subsequently peaked in 2013. But from my perspective, I learned nothing useful from that seminar, which was held in a weekend. You can actually learn most of his insights from the internet without attending the seminar. I don’t see much value in attending the seminar. Of course, as it was a free ticket, there was no collateral damage to my pocket. But that weekend could have been spent with my family.

However, that seminar instituted a big change inside me because of something that I saw during the seminar.

Network and wealth

After his speech, there was a lunch break. Immediately, two groups of participants made a mad dash in two different directions. One group of participants stormed to the buffet table as if they found gold. The other group frenetically flew to Jim Rogers.

I was curious about why that group of people was rushing towards Jim Rogers. As it turned out, he was giving out his personal name cards like Santa Claus dishing out Christmas gifts. At that point of time, I didn’t think much and promptly left the seminar.

On my way home, I had a lot of thoughts as I drove in my car. That scenario of Jim Rogers giving out his name cards kept replaying in my mind. On hindsight, being a global top investor, Jim Rogers has a massive reputation to uphold, so obviously he would not disclose his detailed insights in any open seminars. That could be a suicidal move if his forecast turned out to be dead wrong.

But if I had a channel to reach him, there could be an opportunity to build relationship and network with him. It is not about getting the hottest tip about the next big stock to invest in. But more on expanding my network of successful people to exchange ideas and build wealth together. Being a veteran investor, there are surely a lot that investors can learn from him. To top it off, this world-class guru resides in Singapore (of all places in the world)! Where else can you find such opportunity? As years passed, I really regret missing such an opportunity.

Are you a serious wealth builder?

The world certainly doesn’t need another Jim Rogers. Thus, it is not my goal to duplicate Jim Rogers’ investment style. But the lesson that I learned is that being an investment blogger, I have the unique opportunity to create changes in other people’s lives. Through this blog, the vision is to build a network of wealth builders to share and gain knowledge in the art of wealth building.

It is my belief that the sum of parts is always greater than a solo effort. But what is more significant is that my gain would not be your loss. The stock market is not always a zero-sum game because we can always create wealth together.

Then there are critics who question the rationale for making this blog a paid membership site. They claim that I should not charge membership fee if the intent is to promote financial literacy. My argument is that this is not all about money. If the intention is to milk money out of readers, this blog would not have sustained for the past 8 years. No serious bloggers would have waited for such a long time to hatch such money-plot. In actual fact, this is all about making the right commitment.

If this blog continued to be a free access site, it is unlikely that you would remain a loyal fan and make a serious commitment to be a better wealth builder. It is only human nature to take things for granted, especially when it comes to free stuff. I used to be on that side of the fence but came to realize my folly as I grow older. To illustrate my point, I would use my office gym membership as an example.

My condominium has a gym but since moving in three months ago, I have only used it twice. Although I do pay maintenance fees every month, I consider the gym to be “free” because I did not specifically sign up for it. In my perspective, the gym is part of the condominium facility package. Even if it doesn’t exist, I would still purchase the property anyway.

On the other hand, I had signed up for a membership of a gym near my office several years ago. I had made the commitment to maintain a healthy lifestyle after a not-so-ideal health check-up report. As I have paid for the membership, there is a motivation for me to hit the gym twice a week because of the mentality of not wasting money. So I reckon you see what I am driving at? Sometimes, you need to spend a little bit of money in order to gain more money.

Don’t ever make the mistake of not investing in yourself. The price you have to pay may be great in the later stages of your life. Ignorance is never a bliss when it comes to building wealth.

A shared journey

The biggest irony in life is that we often spend at least 14 to 16 years in school striving to obtain that holy paper qualification to secure a job. But when it comes to learning how to invest or build wealth, most people expect to learn everything within a week after shelling out thousand of dollars on courses which teach people how to invest. Is such expectation realistic?

Making money is both a form of art and science which is not taught in school. It is process that requires a substantial amount of time and effort. There are simply no short-cuts. Don’t be seduced by get-rich-quick schemes that promise you explosive returns. In life, if something is too good to be true, it is.

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There are many technical courses that educate investors on how to invest in options, futures and stocks. Many of such course are probably not scams but let’s be clear on this: these experts spent years trading in the market and gained the expertise to spot opportunities or traps at the blink of the eye. Plenty of blood and sweat must had been shed to achieve their level. Whereas you may be a novice investor just started out. So even if you applied their standard procedures of trading, it is unlikely that you can achieve similar successes. In this regard, I doubt such courses are effective in imparting the skill and knowledge.

The bottom line I am driving is that you need time to gain knowledge when it comes to building wealth. This is because success is built upon experience and experience requires time. But if you can learn from others’ mistakes, the learning curve would be less steep. It is in this spirit that I started this blog, SG Wealth Builder.

Learning is a process that requires you to build the fundamental blocks of knowledge. Sometimes the journey of building wealth can be real lonely. Even if you attend those investment courses, you are basically still on your own. Without any community support, the road to financial freedom can be treacherous. If you can share your journey with others, you would probably not feel so lost and fearful. I wish you can be part of my journey. Hope you can come onboard SG Wealth Builder.

Magically yours,

SG Wealth Builder

Updated: March 21, 2018 — 1:26 pm

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