Investment mistakes

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.
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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.
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Robert Kiyosaki

In recent months, I have been receiving requests from media and event organizers looking to promote their events on my blog, SG Wealth Builder. One of them was an event organizer who wished to promote Robert Kiyosaki’s event “The Power of Financial Education” held at Singapore Expo, June 2012.

I was approached a couple of weeks before the event was due to take place and was at first a bit skeptical. I mean my blog, SG Wealth Builder, is not even a popular investment blog in Singapore, so why would the event company chose to promote their event in it? I told my wife about it and she also found it puzzling.

Robert Kiyosaki

Anyway, both the event company and me didn’t manage to work out a deal on time and so I missed the opportunity to promote Robert Kiyosaki’s event. On hindsight, I feel that it is a compliment that someone actually approached me to help them promote their events. Even though the deal didn’t go through, I feel honored that my blog, SG Wealth Builder, was considered by Robert Kiyosaki’s event company.

For the uninitiated, Robert Kiyoski is the famous author of Rich Dad, Poor Dad, a motivational book on personal finance.

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The Bad Mood Fund

Recently I attended one financial planning courses sponsored by my company. It was a short two days course that touched on personal financial planning. In this article, I will share my views on bad mood fund.

One thing I like about the course is that the instructors focused on educating the participants rather than pushing financial products. That was why I enjoyed the course because I did not have to second guess whether the instructors was biased in his recommendations or whether he was trying to hard sell his company’s financial products.

At the end of the course, I learned quite a few things and thought that I just have to blog it down and share with my readers. One key takeaway was the “The Bad Mood Fund”.

fund

In life, there are always ups and downs. Most of us faced challenges and obstacles in our daily lives. As a result, we can sometimes ended up feeling bitter, frustrated and angry. One of the best ways to “cure” your negative feelings, whether you are a man or woman, would be retail therapy.

Nothing beats buying something to pamper yourself at the end of a miserable lousy day isn’t it? I mean we all live only once and I think it is important that we pamper ourselves every now and then.

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How to be rich in Singapore

 How to be rich? How to be rich quick in Singapore?

A few months ago, I wrote an article on how to become rich in Singapore. The articles has since garnered more than 2500 page views and remained one of my most popular postings. The article has also received several feedbacks from my readers. I suppose at the back of most Singaporeans’ mind, most of us wish to know what is the shortest route to being rich in Singapore. I shall attempt to discuss more about this topic.

I always pondered aloud, what is the defintion of being rich in Singapore? Does it mean setting a monetary target of $10 million in the bank or does it refers to the state of the mind? Just yesterday, I read an article from a local Chinese newspaper about the plight of a senior engineer who was addicted to gambling. The article stated that the engineer earned more than $10,000 every month but owed gambling debts of more than half a million. Unable to withstand the constant harassment from loan sharks, the engineer committed suicide. For most Singaporeans, a monthly salary of more than $10,000 would probably make us among the top earners in Singapore.

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Your relationship with money

Different people have different concepts on money. Some people define being financial free means not having to work or free from debt. Some people deemed being financial free as doing what you enjoy for a living.

Whatever the case is, it is important to define what your relationship with money is. Is your relationship with money based on fear, greed or ignorance? I came to realize that if we do not establish our relationship with money early on in our life, then we will forever have unfinished business with money. Allow me to elaborate.

Most people’s relationship with money is based on fear. We are socially conditioned to think that having a job provides us a secure income and that having a job is the only means of bringing food to the table to feed the family. However, ironically, very often we fear of being retrenched by the company during economic downturn.

We also fear of being sacked by the company when we reached our fifties and could not find another job to support our families. It is this sense of insecurity that most of us hold on to our job. To overcome this fear and insecurity, there is a need to internalize what your passion and aptitude are.

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Manage your emotions in your investments

In the investment circle, everyone knows the golden rule of setting targets for investments. But how many investors actually put that into practice when the crunch comes? After all, greed and fear often come into play whenever we make important financial decisions. To build wealth, you must learn how to manage your emotions in your investments

Investors often make irrational decisions, leading to losses in their investments. They sell their stock holdings when the stock market crashes and buy when the market booms. When they lost money, they blame their stock brokers, they blame the market, they blame the stock analysts. They blame the whole world except themselves. What most investors failed to realize is that the greatest investment enemy is within ourselves and that we failed solely because of our ego and fear.

investments

When I started investing as a newbie 13 years ago, I belonged to this category. I felt like a winner when I made money from my stock investments and a loser when I lost money. Over the year, my thinking changed as I read from self-improvement books, articles and magazines. I came to realize that managing your ego and fear is crucial to our decision-making and that when it comes to investing, it’s not about winning or losing the game.

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The importance of knowing your life purposes

Are you going through the motions right now? Sometimes, we need to know our life purposes. After all, we only live once. Recently one of my colleagues attended a personal finance workshop arranged by my company. I was very interested to attend because the topics seemed very relevant to me but eventually I was unable to make it due to work commitments.

Over lunch, my colleagues updated me that the workshop indeed was very useful as it touched on various money issues in the local context, like CPF, hospitalization shields, life insurance and retirement plans. The instructor also gave tips on investments and the key concept of managing personal finances (budgeting, knowing the difference between “needs” and wants”).

OK, I thought to myself. These information and tips seemed rather useful but are actually quite fundamental stuff to me. Probably it could help a person become more financially astute but probably won’t enable him to become a rich person one day. But what set me thinking was a statement that my friend told me the coach wanted the participants to remember for life and that is: Always question yourself and know what are your purposes in life.

Life purposes

Knowing our life purposes is important.

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Knowledge is key

Through interactions with some of my friends, I came to realize that no investors become wealthy through herd investing. In order to become a successful investor, we need to equip ourselves with the right knowledge. We must have a curious mind and a thirst to acquire new knowledge. After all, knowledge is key.

It is very important that you start your investment or wealth-building journey early on in your life because that will give you a head-start. But before you start splashing out money on various investment schemes, always remember to build up your knowledge first.

If you plan to invest in property, options, gold, ETF, etc, attend courses and seminars to deepen your understanding on how these investments work. Read up topics on these subjects in the magazines, books and online articles on investment strategies. Talk to people, listen to their tips and learn from their investment mistakes.

knowledge

You may also subscribe to my blog for free email notifications of new articles. Over the years, my followers and readership have been increasing. While this is flattering, I also feel the responsibility to write better content.

One of my motivations of starting this online project – SG Wealth Builder- is to raise my investment competency.

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Learn how to sell

In life, we must always learn how to sell in order to achieve success. When I just started working as a manufacturing engineer in the aerospace sector, I always thought that my department (operations) was the most important department in my company. This was because I felt that without engineers solving problems in the production lines, the company would not be able to function as per normal.

It was only years later that I realized that my thinking was flawed. The most important department in every private organization has to be the sales department. Every profit-driven company exists because of sales. Without sales, there will be no company.

How to sell

The problem with sales is that most people view it in a derogatory context, like a pushy insurance salesman or a telemarketer who interrupts your meetings. Most of us do not want to appear like those people, so we either sell passively (inform family members and hope they spread the word) or skip the selling exercise entirely. The result is half-baked effort and wasted time and money put toward building a business concept that will not come to fruition.

It is extremely hard for an inventor or entrepreneur to succeed if you do not change this mind-set because every type of business requires sales.

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Three ways to become rich in Singapore

What are the three ways to become rich in Singapore?

Many of us will agree that the cost of living is very high in Singapore. This is especially so during the last few years when the rate of inflation increased rapidly. In spite of the global economic downturn, unemployment rate remains low in Singapore.

But most Singaporeans struggle with the rising costs, as their salaries remain stagnant. Henceforth, most of us are concerned whether we would make enough money to retire comfortably in our twilight years.

Stock Market
SG Wealth Builder

Recently, me and my good friend were lamenting the rising cost of living in Singapore and pointed out that the same bowl of $2.00 noodle sold in the hawker stall now costs $2.50 or more. That would represent a 20% increase in prices and we were left wondering how an average salaried Singaporean can cope with this sort of inflation.

We came to the conclusion that to beat the inflation and get out of the rat race, we need to be rich. And there are mainly three ways to get rich [This is a premium article. The rest of the content is blocked and can be accessible by SG Wealth Builder Members only.

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