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Speculating or Investing? Can be both, right?

I received the usual newsletter from Public Mutual Gold the other day and there was a header banner asking if I am a speculator or am I an investor. I think everyone would like to say they are investor because speculator sounds like a negative word. By the way, I cannot safely say I am not a speculator because I still hope that I am lucky occasionally when buying shares or even a property. Let me share a story.

When I purchased my Kelana Puteri condo when I was still working in Penang, I did have a strategy. My strategy was I believe the growth in property market for Kelana Jaya will be faster than Penang. So, it was a comparison between a property in Kelana Jaya or a property in Penang island. On all counts, including rental returns, Kelana Puteri won, so I bought it without knowing that Paradigm Mall was on its way right next to the condo. One day when I arrived to view the home, I saw Paradigm Mall and when I checked the price, it had doubled. Haha. So, I was lucky, right? Anyway, do refer to the image below.

We are more of a speculator if we have these 5 traits as follows:

  1. I need LUCK
  2. I want to make quick money
  3. I focus on timing the market (Is this not one form of strategy?)
  4. I tend to ignore the product risks (ok, this is dangerous…)
  5. I’m impatient (well for liquid assets, sometimes people are impatient)
Source: Public Mutual newsletter

You are considered to be an investor if you have the following traits:

  1. I need Strategy (yes, I do have this in everything I do)
  2. I build wealth over the long term (As I am not some technopreneur, I guess it will take a long time)
  3. I understand the products features and risks before investing (yes, this one I do read even if may not be very comprehensively done)
  4. I invest regularly over the long term (ok, I have been a Public Mutual customer for the last 15 years I think. Until I reached Mutual Gold status a couple of years back)

Just remember that investing is not usually the starting point. Getting a good job and keep getting higher salary is the starting point. Stable income is a very good foundation to have. Stop believing everyone who tells you that everyone must start a business, ok? It does not work that way for most people. I know because I have been working for over 20 years and I own two Sdn Bhds and I have so many friends who have tried, become successful and many more who tried and failed. It’s not like reading ABC…

Once we get a good job, we could now start to save more money (don’t spend so much lah) and once we have saved enough emergency funds (I put this as min 3 months pay or safer would be 6 months), then additional money after that could be earmarked for investment. At the same time, regardless of age, level and investment exposure, always have protection over what we have. It may save us from huge unforeseen losses yeah. Again, I know because somehow I had an appendicitis ops in Singapore during a business trip. It was S$22,000 ok…? Here’s that KopiTalk #7 on this topic. Good watch.

Happy understanding that investment? That’s like watching the grass grow. (earlier article here) Cheers.

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Next suggested article: Investing? The first investment may not be into property, usually.

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Charles Tan The Founder The Writer Kopiandproperty
Charles Tan

Charles is Founder of He writes from his investment experience for the the past 20 years in investments including property, stock, unit trust and more as well as readings and conversations with many property gurus in the industry. is an independent property blog which is not affiliated to any media company, property developer or even real estate agencies.

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