Greed or Stupidity?
Readers may remember that last year, I wrote an article "The wrong way to invest" on The Genneva Gold Trading, which also offered similar gold buyback scheme to investors at ridiculous yield rates. Many investors also lost huge sum of money in that fiasco. Prior to that, there was the Minibond case which also involved multi-million dollars investment losses. Sometimes I wondered why some Singaporeans are so stupid to fall for such silly schemes. Many years ago, a foreign politician remarked that Singaporeans are gullible, not street smart and easy to cheat. As a Singaporean, I was extremely furious that he made such insulting remarks on Singaporeans. But 20 years later, I am not so sure whether he was wrong. After all, Singapore just don't seem to learn from mistakes made by others. Bear in mind that these cases were widely publicized by local media, so there were absolutely no valid reasons for claiming ignorance on the tactics employed by these financial companies.
Prevention is better than cure
The best way to prevent yourself from being financially cheated is to educate yourself constantly. Always keep in mind that investing is a process and not an end in itself. Investors need to update themselves on the latest developments in the financial markets, local and internationally. One of the best ways is to connect with mainsteam media and the Internet. So subscrible to local financial blogs like The Finance and SG Web Reviews right away! They are free of charge anyway. So investors have nothing to lose at all. In addition, if you have elderly family members who have a lot of saving in the banks and you fear that they might be cheated of their hard-earned savings, one way is to set up a joint account with a trusted family member. This will certainly prevent a lot of potential heart pain down the road.
I received several comments from my readers for my article last year. Some of the readers emailed me and agreed that these greedy investors deserved to lose their monies. Some readers commented in my blog that I was too callous and blasted me for gloating at their misfortunes. I think each of us is entitled to our own views, so I did not attempt to reply or clarify my stand. Because by doing so, it will be against my policy of encouraging feedbacks to my blog. Ultimately, my aim is to educate Singaporeans on financial literacy and not to antagonize the local community.