Recently, I received an email from a reader who shared his heart-breaking story with me. There is a very motivating reason behind to accumulate a big lump sum of money, that is supposed to maintain the living expenses of his daughter who has learning disability. Here is what “MoneyNotEnough” (pseudonym) wrote:

Firstly I salute you and your team for educating the public on many aspects of financial /business matters. Here’s my storey:

I’m in my early 60’s.In my early years my investments were mainly in fixed deposits and share investments/unit trust. Equity investment mostly based on tips from friends and the media. Won some lost some but overall lost money(in the 100s thousands).

Got fed up, switched over to unit trusts in the nineties with one lump sum in equity fund. That was one year before 1997 financial crisis. When the crash came, got panicky. Agent ( a friend of mine,a graduate and a high ranking one) didn’t even contact me. I opined that my agent friend was irresponsible

1. didn’t assess my risk profile,
2. shouldn’t encourage me to in one lump sum,
3. should have recommended a balanced portfolio and dollar averaging method.

Fed up with Bursa, fed up with unit trust, became a seminar junkie – going through long hours of buttock aching and back breaking sessions trying to obtain info/solutions to my investment needs. Eventually participated in several workshops – options trading, property investment, online business etc. When training ended, so did my motivation and my money burnt.

Four years ago in my late 50s when the “goldmine” was depleting and with high inflation impending my investment strategy turned aggressive –

1.invested in land banking with W(20% return,simple interest, from 2nd to 6th year; no return so far),
2.invested in an oversea public-listed IPO (acquired by an investment club of which I am a member- share price lost 33% in less than a year and illiquid).

3.invested. in a property in Johor 4 years ago, launching anytime now (with DIBS and zero down payment then).I was thinking of flipping this deal.

But now all have gone awry. Everything in a jam now.

Worse still, I am facing cash flow problem depending on personal loan from bank. KC I invested aggressively beside the two reasons indicated was mainly because I have a 24 year old daughter who has learning disability and I am trying to build a fund for her to survive her lifetime. I appreciate your altruism in helping the public.

by “moneynotenough”

He has a very strong reason to accumulate enough money, not for his own retirement, but for his child who needs more. This is how a parent shows tremendous love towards his child. As a loving father, he would do anything to support his daughter.

From this case, you can see the importance of learning up investing skills at a young age. He invested without much knowledge before retirement. And when he already has some nest egg at age 50s and 60s, he just realized that he has been investing the wrong way all these times. Then he went to many seminars and workshop. The problem is that all these workshop is going to pull you to different direction.

If you want to do stocks, there are already so many different kind of investing styles. You can get exposed to all but what is important is to know which one suits you the best. Which method picks your interest? Which investment are you passionate about? Then just stick to one and master it.

I think the biggest problem MoneyNotEnough faces now is the lack of time. He is over sixties and there is no capital left for him to try. But you must realize that although it is true that with money, you can make more money, you can also make money out of other things you already possess. For example, your network, your experience, your ideas etc. If you know how to sell, you can still make tons of money and recoup all the loss incurred in the past.

Wish you all the best ahead! For the readers here, kindly post some encouraging and motivating words in the comment section. Let “MoneyNotEnough” knows that he is not alone. And with perseverance, he can do better!


Personal finance author and trainer

    2 replies to "Reader’s Story: Chasing High Return"

    • Liew

      Hi Mr. KC Lau

      Could you write about those caveat advertisement about property which claimed to put a higher selling price. the purpose is to enable the buyer to apply for a higher amount of loan from the bank, then when come to step-by-step completion of the apartment, the loan releases from the bank to the developer a partial amount will go back to the buyer.



      • KCLau

        That happens nowadays, a strategy for developers to sell projects during this slow market condition.

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