I’ve been a subscriber for years. And the truth is, just never found the time to read / hear through everything. An error on my part, yes.
After years of trying to figure it all out on my own, the more I realized that I can’t. What I do know however, is that I’m in dire need of help hence, the reason for this letter.
I’ll try to keep this as brief as possible for the fear of boring you to death. I’m in my mid 40’s now, happily married and together, we have 3 wonderful children. I didn’t finish school and therefore started working at a tender age of 17. And since parents had no money, you name it, I’ve probably done it. From street selling to baking bread to garden maintenance, just to name a few. None of these were anything to shout about except that it brought warm food back to the table. As far as only about 10 years back (early 30’s), I was still heavily indebted with a car loan I didn’t need and a whole load of credit card bills that was somehow chalked up, irresponsibly if I may add.
It was only by God’s grace, that I got out unscathed. Somewhere in between that timeline my income grew and I made a point to clear off my debts (about RM80,000 in total) and have since stayed relatively debt free. It was also then that I started for the first time ever, thinking about how one can ‘grow’ their savings. Did some reading here, did some asking around there. Unfortunately it was all just groping around in the dark.
I can still clearly remember the day when I first achieved RM100,000 in savings. As you might suspect, I leaped for joy! Never thought a ‘poor’ boy like me would ever be able to save half a dollar, let alone a hundred grand. I lived frugally and with prudence with nothing expensive to my name. Some said to buy this stock and I put my first RM10,000 in Dialog @ RM1.02 at that time and a whole lot of others later on. Some said to buy some Public Mutual fund so I did just that. Later I heard others say to buy into Unit Trust via FSM and so I did that too. Everything was done blindly with zero knowledge, all the while continuing to earn and save.
By the time I hit the RM300,000 savings mark, I went to see a “certified financial planner”. The initial meeting was great and I was sold. She sounded so wise and sure about what and where my money should be. It was also then that I parted with some consultation fee and RM200,000 – 75% into another unit trust and 25% into a PMA (Private Managed Account) to which I still hold to this day. Guess what? Nothing happens after that. We met again twice I think, with her rehashing what she’s already said to which I realized it was all just a feel good speech with hardly any substance.
I felt “cheated” if you can call it that. I told myself never to turn to a “professional” again. Over the course of the next many years, as I continue to earn and save more, I’m left with a handful of bad stocks, some good funds and a portfolio that is equally as good as putting the cash in a biscuit tin and hiding it under my bed.
Sorry, I know I said I would keep this short but I had to share my experience in the best way I know how. I don’t want to go back to zero before I seek help. Been there, done that and it ain’t pretty. By the time I was 41, I amassed RM1,000,000 with no debt. With a “millionaire’s” pride, I patted myself on the back. Yes, I don’t own a property (fear of debt – stupid, I know) and my vehicles are fully paid for. Alas and unfortunately, it was also at that same time, my business crashed and I stopped working for 2 whole years. I wanted to rest and recalibrate. Thankfully, without much of a commitment other than the usual necessities, I came out of it with RM860,000 +/-. During MCO last year, I started a little food business (very small capital injection) and it has grown to a point where we’re making money and I’m once again in the green and back on track with my saving journey. Yay! RM40,000 saved in the last 6 months so now I’m back at RM900,000. Not too shabby if you ask me especially for a time such as this.
So the real question is – What do I do now? Rebalance everything? Sell off all bad positions and reinvest? Stashaway? Dump all my spare cash on Glove stocks? We all know money in the FD is shit, for the lack of a better word and I have a ton of it in there! The only good thing is the queue jump and free parking spot in the bank.
Ok, I’m going to stop right about now. Sorry again for being so long winded. Truth is, I am VERY apprehensive in “asking” for help. You can say that it was bad experience, as mentioned above. But I am also certain that a real professional can probably direct me to the right path. I need a friend (even if for a fee) that cares and not just another salesman. Are you really that guy?
Thanks for sharing your stories – the ups and downs. And I am glad that you turn out alright, doing pretty well indeed compared to the majority.
Your next step is on how to invest prudently to see your wealth grow sustainably. There are many ways to do it. But I would go with the simple way – accumulate wonderful assets. To me, it is mainly just two asset class: properties and stocks.
Properties is not yielding superb return without mortgage leverage.
Since you dislike debts, stock will be a more suitable asset for you to accumulate.
I always recommend to do value investing, for the long term. In short, it is about buying good quality shares, and keep it for a long time, preferably 5 years and above. And the strategy is to buy it when the price is right, and not overpaying too much.
You can check out how we do it in these two webinars:
#1. https://BursaMethod.com/webinar – this webinar, I talk about the valuation method and how our trainer Peter Lim does it.
#2. https://DividendVault.com/webinar – Dividend Vault is a program run by Ian Tai, who invest for dividends and consistent cash flow. You will discover how he does it.
We have paid programs for both methods above. If you are interested, you will get a chance to join the paid program if that suits you, when you go through the online session.
Hope this helps.