Making The Right Investment

by Patrick Liew on October 9, 2011

“Real estate investment is the worst investment.”

These strong words were spoken to me by one of the foremost experts in financial investments. In fact, he once ran one of the largest fund management companies in the world.

Legend has it that between him and his partner, they almost brought England to her knees. They almost did the same for Malaysia during the Asian Crisis.

At that point in time, we were both invited to the Parliament House by a local politician. We were treated to a presentation about social enterprise and a nice dinner.

I approached him because I have always enjoyed welcoming a foreign guest to our beautiful shore.

I did not know who he was at that point in time.

It’s hard to believe but the above mentioned statement was one of the first few words that this prominent  and obviously, a very intelligent man said to me.

I have learned long ago that the best way to win an argument is not to come across as superior and to cause a loss of face.

One of the ways to achieve it is to put them on a defence by asking seemingly innocent questions.

On this occasion, I simply responded by saying, “You have what I believe is a cultural gap challenge.”

He stared at me in puzzlement. I looked at him with relaxed expectation.

When I talk to a smart person, I sometimes say things that they don’t understand – even I don’t understand.  🙂

Finally, he broke the silence. He asked me, “What do you mean by having a cultural gap challenge?”

I told him, “Please correct me if I’m wrong. In your country, most people will look for a job after their graduation.

“When they have saved enough money and their career is stable, they will then buy a property.

“In Singapore, we are born with a key on the tongue.”

I stopped and looked at him.

He stared at me, obviously lost in trying to understand me. I was relishing the moment.

Again, he broke the silence.

“What do you mean you guys are born with a key in the tongue?”

I waited for a pleasurable moment before I responded.

“Ask the children in Singapore, Do you want to have your own property?

“Almost everyone of them  will tell you when they grow up, they want to own their house.

“Herein lies the difference in consumer sentiment for property.”


I was told that this man who initially had no desire to own brick and mortar has gone ahead to purchase a property.

I’m not sure if my two-cent worth of comment had made any impression on him. My point in sharing the story is this – you are the best person to manage your own investment.

You must find the investment to capitalize for your own requirements.

The best instrument of investment is the one that you can excel in, one that you are passionate about, and competent enough to achieve the best results.

While others can give you the necessary inputs, only you can make the right investment work in the right way for you.


I hope this message will find a place in your heart.

By the way, I have also recorded other reflections.

Please go to ‘Notes’ found below my profile picture.

Visit my Transformation blog at

Visit my Inspiration blog at

Please read them and continue to teach me.

Life is FUNtastic!


Question: How can we make the right investments?


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