08 July 2005

Mr Wang is a Cool Investor

So yesterday I plonked $1,000 into European equities and another $1,000 into Asian equities. Several hours later, the bombs went off in London. Down, down, down went the stock markets in Europe. And to a lesser extent, in Asia as well.

I feel quite philosophical about it. These things happen. In the first place, I don't think it would be right for me to mope too much about my money when there are people in London who are dead, dying and seriously injured as a result of the blasts. Now, those are real problems.

In the second place, risk is inherent in financial investing. An investor should not feel upset because he lost money. He should feel upset only if he lost money as a result of a bad investment decision or strategy. Loss is inevitable. The whole idea of investing is that over the long term, you make a lot more money than you lose.

I didn't make a bad decision. I didn't have a bad strategy. The two $1,000 investments were sensible moves for me, in light of my overall portfolio and my financial objectives. I couldn't have predicted the London terrorist blasts. I made a sound decision, but something random and quite unpredictable happened. Well, that's an investor's life.

I actually feel quite proud of myself, for not feeling upset. And hey, the UK market bounced back quite sharply today. That was quick. It actually shows that investors everywhere have learned to accept that terrorist attacks are, sadly, an inevitable part of life. You have to live with the possibility that they might happen anytime, anywhere. Meanwhile, the markets must go on.

"Yes, I've bombed lots of people in the past couple of years
and caused many deaths. Men, women, children, non-Americans and Americans too.
And I even believe that I'm right. God is on my side!"


Anonymous said...

The greatest investors in the world don't really give 2 shits about their money. They don't panic when their portfoilos lose $$. They don't even blink when their networth drops suddenly in the millions.

You're on the right track.

Corporate Manwhore

Anonymous said...

My guess is that Mr Wang bought unit trusts. I still have problems with that 5% sales charge - that's why they tell you UTs are for the "long term".

Unknown said...
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Gilbert Koh aka Mr Wang said...

Mr Wang works in an investment bank. Do you know what a nuisance it would be for Mr Wang to buy individual stocks and shares? He would have to make declarations and fill forms all year around, otherwise he may be accused of insider trading.

So yes, Mr Wang is a fund investor. However, 5% sales charge applies only to the less-clever people who still buy unit trusts from the brick-&-mortar banks.

Sales charges are much lower (half or less than half) if you buy the unit trusts online at http://www.finatiq.com, http://www.dollardex.com or http://www.fundsupermart.com.

Anonymous said...

Only 1k? You can buy funds with only 1k?

Gilbert Koh aka Mr Wang said...

It depends on the fund house. The minimum sum is usually either 1K or 5K.

Aberbeen, OCBC Asset Management, UOBAM funds etc usually specify 1K as their minimum.

Also you can do an RSP (regular savings plan) for many funds, and the minimum sum could be as low as $100 or $500.