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THANKSGIVING 2022: Setbacks make better investors
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Blue chip
joined discussion11/23/2022 12:34

Thanksgiving 2022: My Greatest Setback and How It Made Me a Better Investor

The greatest setback in my investment journey was my loss of over S$500K literally overnight in a stock speculation, at a time when my newborn was barely 1 month old and my company was retrenching. The stock was suspended from trading after an accounting fraud was uncovered, and eventually delisted.

The loss was the equivalence of a typical 5-bedroom HDB flat or a small private apartment then, so it still aches me whenever I think of it. Greed had crept onto me when I tried to amass wealth rapidly via speculation, putting my principle of value investing aside. I simply jumped onto the bandwagon based on market rumours without any due diligence.

I was moody for weeks if not months, and my only happy moments then were carrying my newborn in my arms when I tried to put him to sleep.

What pulled me through was the constant reminder to myself that I have already been very fortunate with a caring mother, a loving wife and adorable kids, and the fact that the loss was well within my means without having to resort to borrowing. It helps that I've been a strong proponent of delayed gratification and the only debt I had ever taken was a study loan which I repaid upon graduation before interests started to kick in.

I learnt the time value of money and compounding of returns very early in my life, as my father abandoned the family when I was still schooling; my childhood memories were filled with my mother struggling to make ends meet for the family and raising my sister and me up single-handedly and painstakingly.

I vividly remember when I was still a toddler when my mother almost threw me out of a window before jumping down herself out of desperation, had her friend not stopped her and snatched me away in time.

Anyway, fast forward to today, I’m still in the same company and have since progressed well. With a good pay and by saving and plowing my savings through value investments and dollar-cost averaging into blue chips and other income-producing assets, I’ve managed to achieve financial independence. I look forward to an early retirement with rental and passive incomes from my savings and investments, as nothing beats spending more time with my aging mother and my kids in their formative years, and rekindling emotional intimacy with my lovely wife who has always been there for me through my ups and downs :)
Since that investment setback, I’ve learnt to never give in to temption of quick riches and would always perform all due diligence before parting with my money. Most importantly, even if all else has failed you, remember that your family will always be there for you.
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