Investment Losses.. The Ugly Side of Humans

Singapore
November 20, 2008 1:57am CST
*Sigh* Just when I thought that I have cleared all my work, another piles up. It's a never ending chore. When will it ever ends? Now, taking a short break from work before starting on my workload again. Work has been piling up again just when I had cleared one whole stack of documents yesterday. Complaints is still a steadyflow inwards, and the outflow is never equals to the inflow.*Shakes head* When will this ever end? I doubt that the complaints from investors will ever slow down to a trickle, or even stop, especially now with the economic downturn and the market volatility. Investors have lost between 30%-100% of their portfolio, and us being just humans will want our losses back. And so, they will do whatever it takes and concoct out whatever story they could make up just to reclaim back their losses. When will people ever learn to accept the consequences of their own actions and greed? I have not seen so much complaints before in my 1 year plus of working in this company, and especially not when the economic was on a upturn, and everybody was making money. However, did these investors turn around and write in to the authorities to praise their agents, and offer their agents a cut of their profits? The answer is a resounding NO! But, when trouble comes and the market goes into a slump, and when every investor starts making losses on their portfolios, they then turn around and lodged their complaints here and there implying that their agents had misrepresented the products to them and had mis-sell the products. Majority of the complainants are just concerned about their investment portfolio and are demanding compensation from their agents. So, this is the ugly side of human nature. It really makes me think twice about joining the financial industry. The money is good only in good times, but horrible in bad times. So, to anybody out there who think that by working in a financial line will earn you big bucks, think again! It can also cause you to be faced with a possibility of a jail term through fault of yours. Would you still want to join this type of industry? Don't get me wrong. I too, has made a loss in my 3 investment portfolios, but do I blame anybody for the choices that I had made with my finances and life? It's just lucky for me that I was not greedy for profits and had pulled my investments out of the market way before the crash of Lehman Brothers, accepting the loss of about $200. If I was greedy at that point of time and chose to hang on to my investment just because I didn't want to accept that loss, I can just only imagine how much more losses I would have incurred now. So, this economic downturn is a lesson in itself to be learnt that greed is never a good thing. We should just be contended with what we have, and not risk what we have for better things if one could not accept the risks that comes with it. It's time to let go, let live and move on. The investment market is not what it was 1 year back. How about you? What do you think of investors(save for those who are vulnerable investors, not investment savvy, elderly or uneducated ) demanding their compensation of their losses?
5 people like this
7 responses
@kun2349 (23475)
• Singapore
21 Nov 08
Well well well.. Money is often the cause of all problems, and without money, there wont be so much complains like now.. But then again, we cant do without money.. It's really a headache.. ANd actually, i think it's really unfair for ple to complain and wanna reclaim their losses, just because their investments crash.. And actually nobody expects such a big company/bank to go bankrupt even though there are some tell tale signs, but still, most ple trust it, and thus they buy.. So why should investors blame agents or whoever for mis-selling, when they are the one to make the choice themselves.. And if they insist in not wanting to invest, nobody can force them.. But they are just greedy, and want more money, thus they invest blindly.. ON top of that, there isn't anything that's for sure in the world, much less for investments.. So for investors, dun they know the term, no risk no gain?? ANd if they dunno, then it's too bad.. But for those whom knows, there's no reason for them to ask for money back.. There are bound to be gains and losses in investment, and it's just their luck to lose everything, and they can only blame themselves for it.. ANd when those ple start to lose money in 4D or toto, why dun i see them asking for refunds?? lol =D Investment is just like gambling, and too bad, they just refuse to see this point and their OWN mistake.. BUt i do really agree, that the bank should only pay back to those elderly and low educated ple, as they really dun have the means and resources to find out about so much, thus they can only rely on those agents whom recommended to them..
@kun2349 (23475)
• Singapore
10 Dec 08
Yeah.. It's just too sadz that many ple failed to see their own mistakes and only wanna make use of the opportunity to pressure the government and banks for refund.. BUt i dun think that is gonna help much, because the banks are not really mis-selling. SO it's really unfair, and this thing had to be stopped before it gets worse.. SO what if those ple can get back their hard earn money, but they dun wanna spend it anymore because of this recession, wont it make the whole thing even worse?? I believe all those ple wont care so much now, but just want their money back, and start to be even more stingy than b4.. And the world's economic is gonna be brought them by them, if this is what they are gonna to do.. Thus, no matter what, they are the ones whom really caused this recession and they are also the ones who's gonna make it even worse.. U are really lucky to go thru this, and i believe u have learnt alot ^_^ That's good for u, jie jie.. lol =D
@kun2349 (23475)
• Singapore
30 Dec 08
Banks will create a false impression to their agents, and in turns, the agents will become the one mis-selling the products when they dun even know the whole truth?? I dun know about that nor very sure about the whole thing in detail.. All i know is that, both agents and banks are going thru a bad time due to that.. hehe But for all those high notes etc, what are they supposed to be?? Stocks or just paper investments?? lol =D MAybe i should not ask all these again because u have just finished all your pile of work there.. hehe ^_^ IS other banks affected too?? I thought it's only DBS, because they only reported DBS with the greatest amount of losses.. I din know that even MAybank also affected?? lol =D It's such a small bank hardly seen in singapore, and yet ple dare to buy from them?? hehe As for OCBC, i dun trust them all along even though my cousin is working with them.. haha =D Somehow or other, i feel that they are very cunning, and they are greedy.. hehe ^_^ Yeah, it's only till bad times, then we are able to see the ugly sides of humans, and i'm actually not surprised.. AFter all, everybody live for themselves, and when they are in trouble themselves, why will they bother about the others.. haha =D Too bad, that's the way life it is.. ^_^ Actually recession is not really having such a big impact on us, singaporeans.. Because all around, there are still ple spending money, and with all those sales coming up, got recession is like no recession anymore.. hehe ^_^ Thanks for the lovely pencil too ^_^
• Singapore
30 Dec 08
Glad that you understand. We have just wrapped up the last of investigations of the last batch of complainants. Hopefully, MAS would not reopen the cases again! The last few months had been a hectic period for me and I do not want to relive the entire situation all over again. *Shudders* There are actually many banks affected in this entire mess, but it's just that only DBS was the only bank that admitted to their mistake of mis-selling upon the eruption of the entire mess, and was also the only bank that offer refunds to those vulnerable investors without trying to push the blame to others. Other banks that were affected were just trying to find a scapegoat to shoulder the blame and thus leading to all the hoo-haa that was around for these past few months. That is also they are not in the news and we don't read about them in the newspaper as investigations into who is at fault and who should be the one compensating was in progress. Maybank though small in Singapore is actually quite a big bank in Malaysia and is one of the most trusted bank there together with Public Bank. But, till now, I won't say that I trust or even like it. Their entire operation side as well as their e-platform is just a mess! Who can trust a bank that cannot even organise their own staff and manage their own websites properly? Actually, I do like the savings plans offered by OCBC. I put the majority of my money into OCBC over POSB as the interest rate offered by them is definately much more attractive than what POSB has to offer. Besides that, as not many people holds an OCBC account, I don't have to queue for hours just to withdraw my money as compared to POSB. That is enough reasons for me to prefer OCBC over POSB. Why is it that you do not like OCBC?? It's true that SIngaporeans are spending money. However if the news reports are to be believed, it seems that gross sales for this year was down by 20%. Lol, not too sure if it's true or not though!
1 person likes this
@buzzmaker (631)
• India
20 Nov 08
What goes up goes down! and bounces back too! We have seen a good rally after 2000 which has come to an end. People have lost 30%-100% of their money but the same people have also made 1000% in the early 4 years. Fear and Greed are considered dangerous in stock markets. I think people just forgot or neglected putting stop losses and all the money they put went down the drain in the crash. The people who lost their money are only responsible for all their losses. One can not blame someone else for their losses. The investment/trading decisions were of the people who lost money. No one asked them to invest or if someone asked so, there was just a possibility of profit (which means possibility of loss also existed). Well, even I have lost money in the recent crash but I don't regret. I have learned my lessons, not just from books but in the markets too. Happy investing and trading. One needs to go down to the basics of stock markets and follow the rules. Thanks.
• India
10 Dec 08
You are Welcome! and thanks again Yes, the markets move in cycles, not only markets but every industry, every business..almost everything moves in cycles. Long term investments have more probability to give good returns than the short/medium term investments. Anyways, Happy investing and happy mylotting~
• Singapore
10 Dec 08
I agree that there is always the starting point, the peak and the fall and then the recovery. That's the cycle of life. Just like one would be born, grow old and eventually die. And the entire cycle repeats itself. THat's the way it is in life. If not, there would not be any continuity. I would just wait and see how long Singapore would take to recover itself from the crash of todays, and at the same time, let this lesson be a severe one to all those who let greed rule their hearts. Well, happy investing too!
1 person likes this
@cornyman (1128)
• Germany
27 Jan 09
Hello angelia, just give your discussion some new life for a restart and some more responses afterwards . I believe it's getting worse in the next 6 to 9 months and if it doesn't end with the write-downs of bad credits we will see much worse times ahead than many of us could think just now. Could it be possible that we're not only in a recession but in a big depression soon? Stock market always takes some time to adjust in the correct direction like we saw every time when it went up during the last half year, everybody thought the worst is over now more new bad news from the banks (until the next earnings announcement, 3 months later). Even in Germany they discuss already about the institution of a Bad Bank which shall buy nearly all the bad debts from the banks. They calculate for this an amount of up to 300 Billion Euro, payed by the taxpayers. That's the new method, gains we monopolized just for the shareholder and losses we socialize to everyone in our country - sounds like socialism in the past at the moment. I learned my lessons from the year 2000 and the tech bubble but you can never learn too often so that you take care much more the next time. For you it's now the first time to see a big downturn in the stock market. Take care that you will remember the events because usually after some years you'll forget it. The other thing what happens very often -like after the year 2000-Crash- you will never buy again shares, just letting your portfolio recover from their deep looses and hope you can sell them for the same price some day like you bought them in the beginning of 2008. This can make you ill, the longer you have to wait for that particular day. Have a great time in myLot and keep investing carefully!
• Singapore
18 Feb 09
Thanks for the thoughts! It's really much appreciated. =) It had been a long time since anyone had responded to my discussion ever since I dropped off from Mylot for well over 1 month due to the Lehman Brother issue once again. It's nice to see my discussions having a new lease of life once more! Hehe. Yeah~ The market will not correct itself so fast. Afterall what goes up will come down. And once the fund prices hit its peak, it will then plummet til it hits rock bottom. And from the complaints that are still pouring in daily to my company, I don't think that it is rock bottom yet. Thanks for the advice given. I must say that I was lucky to have sold off all my unit trust somewhere in June 2008 before the market crash came. That is why I managed to cut the majority of my losses. I see others who have invested in the Minibond Series under Lehman Brother as one of the Reference Entities (I am one of those investigating those cases). They are the real victims of a product that is mis represented by Merilyn. The residual value of their Minibond actually became zero when it was marketed as a safe product? That is a bit absurd. Oh well~ I will bear your advice in mind. Take care too and happy mylotting!!
@Jimeous (858)
• New Zealand
20 Nov 08
I was going to write something else but I noticed that you're talking about the investors that can afford losses, over those whom were thinking of a way to get a little bit further ahead. Personally I don't distinguish between either groups because the fault lies with over-reliance on such a fickle market such as "investments". The reality is, whether motivated by greed or hoping for a better future, the reaction to a loss is the same. It is human nature to get emotional, some even do the opposite and become emotionless.
• Singapore
10 Dec 08
Yeah. I get a bit irritated at some of the complaints that our company has received. All because these complaints came from those well educated, wealthy people who could afford the loss. But, funnily, when it come to losses, they are ones who could not handle it and is not as understanding nor as accomadating when it boils down to the resolution of their complaints. I would have to say that the fault lies in the ugly side of human nature and that is greed. Let's not even go to the part of those who are not educated and not investment savvy. In that case, it is the financial adviser's responsibility to offer sound advice to them, and not prey on their weakness of not understanding the financial market. However, for those who are investment savvy, and are educated, there is no excuse for this sort of behaviour. They are the people who had done their own investments before, had even done their own research into these products. They understand the risks better than anybody else, and had even made killings (profits) over the years in which they play with the investment market. So, I could never understand the massive reaction given by them when the market turns bad. Tsk tsk. Goes to show that when something bad happens, humans tend not to take responsibilities for their own decisions and actions, and is always looking for something or someone to blame their mistakes on. It takes real courage to be able to stand up, admit to our own mistakes and learn from it and move on. Thanks for your response! It's well thought out and I did enjoy reading it! Well, take care and happy mylottinG!!
2 people like this
@theonerm5 (365)
• United States
20 Nov 08
That definitly sounds pretty bad! Are things often like this?
• Singapore
10 Dec 08
Yes, it is really bad currently. Every single country is in recession, and the financial markets is all in the reds. To answer your question, no things are not often like this. In fact, when the markets were doing well 1 year back, everybody is happy as they were making money. But, when things goes into a slump, as of present, with everybody losing money, this happens. It's all human nature, I would say. That's all there is to it. The ugly side of human nature.
2 people like this
@Bluepatch (2480)
• Trinidad And Tobago
20 Nov 08
Everything has a risk element and when people lose they lose badly. You're going to have to expect this for some time to come. I had this friend who was an accountant and he went to a bank in the Bahamas years ago when somebody made off with all the depositors' money. They caught the guy on the French Riveira but the stories of people who lost all their money was an Enormous Headache. I know it.
• Singapore
10 Dec 08
I agree with you that everything in life comes with a risk element. It's all a matter of our own decision whether or not we want to accept the risks that comes with the things that we do in life. When people invest in something as risky as the investment market, these type of risks are bound to follow. It's all up to the individual whether or not they would want to accept that type of risks for that potential returns on their investments. Sadly to say, majority of the time, greed wins out over caution. However, when things go badly like now, people starts to point their fingers and blame anyone or anything else for the bad investment decisions that they had done, instead of doing the right thing and accept the consequence of their own decision. Like I say, when people are making profits on their own investments, how many have stepped forward and write in to compliment their financial advisers for giving good advice and offer some form of reward to them? I would say zero! When things go badly. all of a sudden, you have these same group of people writing in saying that their advisers had given bad advice and are demanding refunds for their own decisions. Talk about ironic! Sigh~ Thank for your comments! I guess I will just have to bear with it till this recession or credit crunch stabilises itself. Take care too and happy mylottinG!!
2 people like this
• India
20 Nov 08
Sorry you are having such a bad time in office; fortunately, tough times never last, only tough people do. I think I have plagiarized that line from some self-help book. Anyway, cheer up. One person who will never ever bother you about investments is ME. I simply don't understand head or tail about it. All I know is that now is a bad time to invest in anything. ;) Maybe I should write a few investment articles for a client and improve my knowledge about it. Cheers and happy mylotting
• Singapore
10 Dec 08
Lol, yeah I agree with you on that!! Only the strongest and the most determined people can survive in life. Weak people bow down to life and accept their fate. Strong people accept it and fight back. Hehe, and I happen to be one of those strong people who can never seem to accept what is given to me in life. I always want better things. My teacher used to say that I am a fighter who fights back at anything bad in life. And with this attitude, I can go far in this thing that people calls life. That's a nice line and I love it. Tough times never last, only tough people do. Thanks for plagiarising that for me! I will always try to remember this phrase whenever I am feeling discouraged or whenever I just feel like giving up. Like the fighter's spirit in me, I must fight back at whatever bad things that is thrown into my path. Investments is always a risky thing to do in anytime, regardless of whether or not the investment market is doing well, or doing badly like now. There is always a risk associated with all the products in the investment market. That is something that people must understand. With high risk comes high profits, but at the same time, it comes with big losses too. It's all a matter of fact whether or not one wants to accept the risk that comes with the losses and profits. And sadly majority of the times, people take it on though they do not have that sort of risk appetite. It all boils down to the greed of humans. As long as we are humans, we are ruled by greed. And greed soon leads to the downfall of all humans. Yeah, my friend, perhapes you could start those articles about investments. And bring awareness to people that investments is not all as rosy as it seems to be. Financial advisers and banks love to dress it up, but coming to think of it, it's all a ponzi scheme (literally speaking). Thanks for your comments, my friend! Take care and happy mylotting!
2 people like this