New Technology - I follow
Nowadays, with the advent of technology, things have accelerated so quickly that it's becoming tougher to keep up with new inventions. Instead of rigid investment into one particular stock or product, there are many options available. As mentioned before, I have not touched unit trust since the first try. When robo-advisors came about, I had some hesitation since the concept sounded similar to unit trust. Yet I was convinced to give this at shot through Syfe. Two reasons are the much lesser management fee and execution via an algorithm instead of human intervention.
Finally, I would like to offer some dessert in addition to the stories shared. In the years before any investment took place, I wanted to earn some extra cash and so applied for a part time job as an account admin. I vaguely remembered the job interview took place in an office at Beach Road. It was quite dim and packed with people. Busy voices and many strips of papers were being passed around. I was ushered into a room table filled with other job applicants. The interviewer then told us to take a piece of paper and do some calculations. This was an aptitude test. The mathematical questions were related to the trades that the people outside wrote on the paper strips. The company was in commodities trading and I remembered my question involved pork loins. After getting the correct answer to the profit made for my question, the interviewer began sharing we can achieve this together if we put in our money. So if we want a job, that would be the first criteria. I walked out of the office after the sales pitch ended, pausing to look at the people at the desk talking animatedly over the phone and scribbling away quickly. Poor things, this is such a sham. What a waste of my time. Years later, I learnt that such trading actually happens for real, under the OTC exchange. Still, I think that company is a con job.
Another memorable incident happened when an ex colleague excitedly wanted to showcase his products that he sold part time. Again, I went to a shady looking office, this time with some friends. The moment we entered, one can hear the ambience noise level went up by many notches. There were salespeople bringing clients around the place, some were seated like in a seminar and some were chanting slogans. They were clapping enthusiastically and saying "NOP, NOP, NOP". This company's name was Number One Product. It sold vitamins, car related equipment, bracelets and to me, the most interesting was magnetic beds. Simply a ridiculous experience. It was amazing how the staff were all brainwashed, engaged in pressure sale tactics and spoke such glowing product reviews. While I did not scold this colleague for bringing me, I ought to thank him for exposing me to such an environment. It made me even more cautious of the odd investments that came later in life. Oil pods and land banking come to mind. I am glad to write that he did quit this job but not before struggling for years and ended up as a pilot!
Tip: Coke with salt