Sunday, October 9, 2011

Sounds Greek to Me


People who invest and trade in the stock market, mutual funds, and UITFs, would know what I'm talking about just by the title alone.

Those who don't, can just refer to the definition of that phrase.

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It's about what's happening in the stock market lately - locally and globally.

Three years after Lehman Brothers, we now have another banking system problem, this time from Europe, with the origins coming from Greece.

According to Wikipedia, Ancient Greece is considered by most historians to be the foundational culture of Western Civilization. So, Modern Greece will now be considered as the foundation of the second crisis crippling the globe. The first one was the States just three years back.


I won't offer to conjecture further about it. There are people more qualified to give their opinion about the situation. Further, there's enough news on the web, print, and TV so I am sure you've at least a bit of an idea as to what is happening.

However, I think locally, no one - outside the financial industry / and the investing public anyway - really cares about it.

The up side of having so many domestic problems is that you don't have time to worry about issues outside your national borders. Of course, that doesn't mean we won't be affected by it.

Plus, you still have a job, so I don't think that you'd be minding the prevailing crisis that much - yet.

But, if you're someone who's been investing (or just started to), you'd be worrying about what's happening to the values of your investment holdings.

If you're someone who invests, you are doing what most financial advisors and planners would term, increasing your passive income.

Active income is the money derived from blood, sweat, and tears - i.e. your job, business, your sidelines and moonlighting, etc.

Passive income produces blood, sweat, and tears if your stocks/UITFs/mutual funds falls below your cost of investment.

Just kidding. =)

Most people would like to have a high active income in the form of big paychecks, then also spend massively. It's a vicious cycle.

Others resort to multiple sources - sell beauty products, tutor, teach, etc. - to increase the income coming in.

Of course, if you are someone who is an employee earning just above the minimum wage, you will be doing the latter example. Or, you may have opted to work on foreign shores.

Nonetheless, the precondition to going into increasing your passive income, is to have an adequate active income with spending for expenses that's just right. Unlike Greece and most other nations, you should have a personal budget surplus.

Now, where do you put this surplus in?

You must find something that makes your money grow while you work, eat, sleep, play, etc. In short, without increasing your work load, you have an instrument where your money works for you.

I would like to think that a lot more people are going into the investment bandwagon. Bank deposits are not considered an investment, but they serve a purpose because they provide liquidity AND capital protection (unless you put your money in LBC Bank).

If you would like to know what an investment is, at least to me, it is something that generates returns higher than the inflation rate. Ideally, it should not be too liquid so that you are not tempted to spend it right away. And, usually, the returns are not guaranteed.

So, until then, appreciate the risk, then appreciate the capital.

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Investor Discretion Advised.

Investments involve risks. Investor discretion is advised. Further, great lengths have been made to ensure information accuracy. However, I'm only human so if you see any mistakes, do point them out. Thanks and please come back! Remember, appreciate the capital but appreciate the risk!