What is money?
In my view, money is not an object. Yes, it is the currency that we use. But more importantly, to me, it is a concept. In my line, I help people be financially successful. This means helping them make more money passively.
But money is a concept, not an object. Not for its material value, but its personal representation
Money is Trust
When you buy something, you buy the trust and in faith that your purchase can help you solve a problem, or make life for you. You buy a notebook with hopes you can use the notebook how you want to use it. You trust it will function well. Take that notebook, will you buy one with a brand infamous for its glitches, breakdowns and poor customer service? No way!
You don’t buy something unless you trust it, don’t you?
Your money, then, shows of your trust and confidence in a certain provider. As a financial product agent, you park you money with me because you trust me. You are confident in my competency. You believe that, when things go wrong, I’ll be here. You want me to be there for you after you trust your money with me – three, five, ten and even fifty years down the road. You trust the company that I represent and the team behind you portfolio.
And where money and financial products are concerned, you want to trust someone who lets you sleep well each night.
Money is Hope
No, I am not asking you to change who you worship, or do not worship. But with money, in today’s world, you create your hopes and dreams.
You want to own a home – or pay it off faster. You want to drive that Audi TT or the Perodua MyVi. In fifteen years, you want to send your daughters to a good university. When hospitalised, you want someone to take care of the bills for you.
All these are hope in the solutions.
Many people fantasise on owning the perfect mansion. But we settle for a just-nice home for the family. And that just-nice is your hope. It only goes as far as your earning ability allows you. And that means how much money you have.
When the stock market crashed in ‘86, ‘97, ‘01, ‘08 and ‘11, many hopes and dreams were also shattered. Men and women who laboured across the decades saw their pensions and savings wiped out. Those who still have it cannot retire with it. Money is not enough. Now many men and women in their 50s, 60s, 70s and 80s – people in their golden years – who are forced to work just to live.
Money is Emotional
Money is an emotional subject. During our road show, there was a slight debate. An agent was not happy I quoted the conservative 8% ~ 10% per annum. In her words, I was “over promising prospects; 6% is good enough”. In my defence, that is what the company prescribes us to cite, exactly 8% ~ 10%.
Here, financial product specialists are debating about the philosophy behind the figures! Why? Because money is an emotional subject!
We buy things we feel safe with. We avoid losing the benefits because of the pain it may bring. Our fear, or excitement, does not have to be materialised; it only needs to be present to be real. Justified or not.
In the 1997 Financial Crisis, the Kuala Lumpur Composite Index (KLCI), fell from over 1,200 points to under 600 points. This wasn’t a fall; the market plunged! Many got scarred. Housewives and working parents were wounded. Today the KLCI, known as the FTSE Bursa Malaysia, is above the 1,800 points mark. It’s almost 20 years, but the scars remain.
While I was in the retail line, I have seen customers got turned red over 5sen. RM0.05. When the cashier couldn’t return a 5-sen coin, or the bill is 5-sen more, the customer was furious! Personally I wouldn’t blink over 5-sen, 10-sen, or even 50-sen. But the higher the denominator, the more emotional people will be.
Money is the Prospect’s Life
This final point, to me, is the most important. Money is a person’s life – or a large bulk of it.
An average worker works a 40-hour week. In twenty five days a month – plus-minus. At the end of the month, she is paid the salary. Here, she trades her time, energy and effort for the salary, wages and bonus. Our worker sacrificed those moments she could spend with her boyfriend. A single mother had to separate from her two kids to earn a living.
So the money she turns to me for safekeeping are all those hours she laboured. Stresses she had to go through each and every day – day in, day out. It is her time converted to currency that she is handing over. In the cash, she surrenders her dreams and her hopes for a better future to me to grow and safe keep.
Does she have a right to be mad when she doesn’t get her money’s worth? Yes, she does! Because to her it has been wasted. Should she be cautious? Of course she does!
So money is not just money. It is not the material paper and coin that we handle each day. Attached to the money are hopes and dreams, blood, sweat and tears, and – more importantly – a person’s sacrifice. I don’t care if your investment is RM100 or RM100,000 or RM100,000,000. It matters to you. So it matters to me.
As a financial product specialist – a unit trust consultant – it is my duty to properly advise you so we can realise your dreams. And I sincerely believe that I must know more than you. I must experience more than you. And I my appreciate more than you. When the time comes, I will be there to assure you or advise you actively. That is what 14 years of reading, experimenting, observing, learning and experiencing means.
Now I am here to help you be financially successful. So you have enjoy life and do what you do best. I am here as your friend.