First Investment Stories from Personal Finance Experts Episode Two

(Last Updated On: 06/09/2012)

Your first investment – do you still recall what it is?

When it comes to investment – everyone has his or her own preference. It does not matter what investment vehicle you prefer, but the most important thing is to start somewhere.

Another 5 personal finance bloggers from different background shared their stories with me. These  are Personal Finance Authors who have been in the financial blogosphere for longer time than me, selflessly penned down their thoughts, mistakes and journey towards the betterment of their own financial standing.  There are much wisdom to learn from them, as what they wrote are free from any conflict of interest.

Not many of them are wiling to reveal their true identities though (with the exception of Andrew) 🙂 , most probably because they are too humble to show us who is the person who made incredible returns on their investment. Ha Ha! Okay, just kidding, gentlemen!

Anyway, read First Investment Stories from Personal Finance Experts Episode 1 if you missed it previously.

Lieu Ching Foo**********

Andrew Angelo Chua, from iInvest.my, also a Chartered Accountant and Financial Planning Representative at Phillip Wealth Planners Sdn Bhd.  Andrew has an article titled The Gift of Investing in Personal Money Feb 2012 issue.

“Personally, my investments have always been focused on the stock market. I started to get interested in it mainly because my dad is an avid stock market investor. Many people have doubts about investing in shares, mainly due to perceived ‘risk’. But I prefer to view this in a different way. The so-called ‘risk’ that many people refer to is not ‘risk’ as I understand it. I believe the more correct term would be ‘volatility’. The prices of shares may go up and down, making them ‘volatile’, but that is different from the ‘risk’ that the companies you invest in will actually go bust. I believe that given time, market fluctuations will be averaged-out and we will earn a very healthy return from our share investments. My first profitable investment was in AEON CO (M) BHD some years ago. At that time, it was building several new shopping malls in my hometown Johor Bahru and the business model looked impressive. I liked the fact that in addition to their own Jusco supermarkets, they would also be receiving stable rentals from the tenants renting retail lots in their malls. It is a cash flow that is locked-in and set to increase every year. It was just a small investment of less than 3 thousand ringgit. I sold it for a slight profit within one year of my purchase. Looking back, my first ‘profitable’ investment was a huge mistake. I sold out too early. The current price of the share is almost three times my original purchase price!”

Andrew Angelo Chua

Key takeaway

See my bold highlights in Andrew’s statement?

First point – big retail malls are not going to close shop any time soon.

Second point – …this translates to stable rental income and ultimately, consistent cash flow to investors especially for stocks correlated with retail sector.

Third point – rent is only going to go up, and up as the years go by.

That’s just a no brainer.

You want even a more consistent and predictable cash flow from your retail sector correlated investment, beating inflation rate? Dividend income from retail REIT can achieve this – here’s why: What to Look For to Invest in REIT? A How-To Case Study

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ChampDog from Journey to Become Financially Independent

“My first profitable investment is myself if you can consider that as investment! This includes my education and personal growth. In fact, it is a greatest ROI until today because my biggest income comes from my salary. :)”

“If you talk about the “real” investment and not including investment to a person, I will say is the unit trust. I get started since I started to work. I did not go through any agent but walk-in directly to the office. I invest based on the minimum requirement which is the initial investment is RM1K and I also invest additional RM100 monthly by auto debit. Later on, I slowly increase the investment to either buy additional funds or top-up the existing funds. In general, the average return throughout the years is about 15% which meets my investment goal of 12%. I would encourage newbie investors to start the investment with unit trust/mutual funds because that is the most easiest and safest investment to start playing around.”

Key takeaway

Many do not realize that our tertiary education is our first and perhaps our very best investment.

And you don’t have to start big with monetary investment – just remember this Malay proverb – “sikit-sikit, lama lama jadi bukit”.

However, ensure you don’t get short-changed by your agent. Here’s why:

Be calculative of your unit trust investment return

3 basic must-ask questions to a Unit Trust Consultant

How NOT to Lose Money in Unit Trust (a case study)

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Money and Opportunities are abound – are you ready to grab it”  is the motto of Kris from KnowThyMoney

“I started investing in mutual fund. I bought in during the low cycle of the stock market and made ~30% return from my investment in 2-3 years. I started investing because my good friend had a friend who was an agent. So, I just go ahead and invest since I wanted my money to go somewhere to make more money for me, as I was busy building up my career. I did not dabble in the stock market,options or property at the beginning. And I also did not have a lot of capital then (because I just started working).”

“I like to invest because I firmly believe that you cannot just put your money into FD and hope it can sustain you when you retire. Furthermore, I am fortunate to meet a lot of friends and mentors that are heavy believers in investing (stocks, mutual funds, properties, land banking, etc) I am 100% against get rich schemes that are “promising” extraordinary returns though. That does not fit into my investing ideals.”

Key takeaway

Firstly, your Fixed Deposit will NOT make your rich and will NOT enable you to retire comfortably.

Secondly, even if you are not-financially savvy now, mingling with and learning from people who are more financially literate than you will bring you far.

Incidentally, that’s how the Millionaire Teacher, Andrew Hallam, became a debt-free millionaire by late thirties after learning some very important money lessons at 19 years old from his mentor, a frugal mechanic.  Listen to my previous interview with Andrew here.

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Owner of the 1 Million Dollar Blog

I can’t imagine that the most profitable investment can be made during the recession. At the height of 2008/2009 recession, I enter an agreement tu buy a super-link terrace in Klang-Valley area for approximately RM350,000

While, it is not easy to decide to buy, because everyone around you keep telling that recession going to get worse & house price will crash like in the USA.

The main reason I dare to risk myself to proceed was due to very attractive package offers by developer & financial institution. They are offering 12 months installment for the 10 percent down payment, zero legal free, zero payment during construction & very good financial rate. The best part was; the developer rewards you with RM10,000 in cash when the house completed.

The demands for the houses were very good. In less than a week after the promotion start, more than 50 percent of the available units were sold. At this time, I no longer wait, I talk to the sale agent & book for 1 unit.

Slightly more than 2 years later, in 2011, I was rewarded with my most profitable investment when I received the keys. The market price for the unit that I buy, soaring to RM650,000 & the developer kind enough to give me additional RM10,000 cash.

Can you imagine, with RM35,000 initial investment; it can give you RM300,000 in profit (providing that you’re going to sell the house). That’s about 760% return on investment.

The key lessons here are timing, opportunity & willing to take a risk.

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Owner of A Journey Towards Financial Freedom

My first profitable stock investment was a US Mid-Cap ETF back in2009. I started after reading books and courses on value investing and I started with just USD$400.

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Stay tuned for the third part of the exclusive First Investment Stories series at LCF on Personal Finance – Subscribe to my newsletter below so you get notified when the third part is published.

This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. Thanks for the support Champ!

  2. Thanks too here! A very good idea indeed. Keep it up! 🙂

  3. Thanks Kris!

  4. Thanks for the posting LCF 🙂 A good compilation about various financial bloggers on 1st time investing experiences.

    Keep up the good work!!

    Rgds,
    Kris of KnowThyMoney

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