Whenever someone finds me to be knowledgable about investing, after a while, the conversation alway revolves about what stock to buy, or where to put the money.
Recently, I must have impressed this lady with my investment know-how. So much so that she called me up at weird times to ask about local stock counters.
No smug smiles please. The lady has no dating interest in me at all. We are altogether different. The only part of me she is keen on is probably my mind.
My best advice
When we first met, we chatted about what was in our stock portfolio. She also knows my opinion about the market.
And she, like many people, had lost in stocks before. I am hardly surprised as she seemed to be more interested to make quick money. She listens to rumors and shuns fundamentals, errors common among investors.
So I gave her my best advice. I told her that due to her advanced age, and that she has enough money to last her forever, it may be best for her not to invest at all.
And if she wants thrills, she can just go to the casino.
Although I didn’t really tell her that. I didn’t want to jeopardize our new friendship.
Looking into the mirror
I remembered this investment seminar I attended. There were participants who attended to get “tips”. And they were the few peacocks who wanted to tell their success stories.
My point being, everyone has different personalities and investment backgrounds. There is no one recipe that suits all of us.
It is like the cup of tea we drink. Some like black tea, some prefer red. Others drink green tea and there are those who don’t even drink tea.
Even with the same green tea, people have varied tastes. I have friends that like Daiso green tea (100¥ for 12), and some that drink only TWG (very expensive!).
So my advice is this: understand yourself first and know what you want. Before you do serious investing, determine your risk appetite and preferred style of investing.
Often, it takes some doing before knowing. This means that you might make some mistakes or lose some money, before you understand what makes you unable to sleep well at night.
I have lost much in the markets and often enough. It hurts every single occasion. I kick myself in the ass, blame it on my stupidity and sulk for a long while.
I have even paid costly fees to attend investment classes. Property buying, trend trading, value investing, I have tried them before. Till now, I am still undecided if it was worth spending.
Drinking my cup of tea
Luckily, I learn more about myself every time. Self discovery is precious. And often, we have to pay a price for the understanding.
As the Chinese saying goes: “know yourself, know your opponents, and you will win all wars” (知己知彼,百战百胜). Knowing yourself is foremost.
So the next time you get approached, at a bank or at investment seminars, beware. Products sold are mostly one size fits all. If you do not know what you need, then you probably should not be buying anything.
Or even if you know what tea suits you, your choice can be to drink it at cafes (and pay $$$ for it), or to make it at home for a fraction of its cost.
Me? I try to drink my green tea for free.