If you dropped or found 10 cents on the floor, would you pick up? Many people won’t, but Warren Buffett, the world’s richest person, certainly does.


His concept is, with each penny you pick up, thousands of dollars will come to you in the future.

I personally notice a lot of people do not bother to pick up money that they dropped by accident. Maybe they feel undignified to pick up such a small amount, or they think it was not meant to be theirs.

In my previous post “You could be richer than you think” , I mentioned $68.3 million worth of unclaimed shares and dividends are still sitting in SGX.

Today I will demystify why people are not interested in getting back their own money.

Pinnacle Notes, 1/3 people want their money back, 2/3 want none

I am sure you hear of the collapse of Lehman Brothers, but you may not be aware of the subsequent events. During global financial crisis, millions of Singaporeans’ money were wiped out by Credit Linked Notes.

In layman’s term, the “notes” are products guaranteed by the bank to deliver certain returns based on underlying assumptions. Such products sold in Singapore are Minibonds, High Notes or Pinnacle Notes,etc.

pinnacle-notesWhen the banks failed, the promises were broken. Not only the returns cannot be materialize, investors were at risk to loss all their capitals.

After years of legal battles with the financial institutions, Pinnacle Notes investors can finally get back “28 US cents for every US$1 invested, before fees and expenses are deducted”, “for a cut of a US$20 million (S$26.6 million) settlement struck with American bank Morgan Stanley”.

If someone owes you money and decides to pay you back, you must be rushing to collect it right? Not for Pinnacle Notes investors.

It was reported yesterday that out of 3,000 Singaporeans invested in the “doomed” Pinnacle Notes, only ONE THIRD have filed the claims. The deadline to file such claim is on June 2, which is around the corner.

Why people don’t want their money back

I always believe one dollar today is a seed of a million dollars tomorrow. By law of attraction, if you do not treasure or respect the small amount of wealth, money will slip away from you.

Although all of us are working hard to pursue wealth, do you distance wealth or embrace wealth?

Most people can achieve financial freedom if they do something for themselves, but the irony is that most people don’t believe this. Even if they dream to win Toto one day, they don’t think they eventually deserve million-dollar wealth. If you think in this way, you will be the first one to pull back if you face any obstacle in your life.

He who loses money, loses much; He who loses faith, loses all. – Eleanor Roosevelt

In the race to achieve our financial goals, sometimes we may make mistakes and fall flat on our faces, just like you may have bought Pinnacle Notes or some stocks right before the company collapsed.

But what you do after the failure is most important. Did you give up? Did you say, “I can’t do this, this is not for me, I will never make money more than I deserve”?

After all, it is much easier to be a victim of an “accident” or “fate” than fighting it back. I have seen many people giving up when they lose money in their first attempt to invest. I guess it is the same for those Pinnacle Notes investors and people who don’t bother to collect their stock dividends. It may be a scar that they do not want to think about any more.

What should you do if you fall flat on your face

One of the traits of all rich people is that they believe wealth is NOT a Privilege, but a Right.

Never give up. Today is hard, tomorrow will be worse, but the day after tomorrow will be sunshine. – Jack Ma

You may think you are not leading the race and you won’t stand a chance to make it to the top. You may think by saving a bit more or the return of your investments won’t make a difference in your financial future.

The truth is that nearly no one starts a race at the 1st position!

the-zero-theoremI recently watched a movie called “The Zero Theorem“. It was about a hugely talented but socially isolated computer operator tasked by Management to prove the Zero Theorem: that the universe ends as nothing, rendering life meaningless. But meaning is what he already craves.

I really love the lines when the operator was trying to give up and saying: this is what “life happens to me”. A young boy replied,

Oh come on, life happens to everybody!

It is a right for you to win, not a privilege of others.

Just watch What Heather Dorniden did in 2008 Big10 Indoor Track Championships and you will know what I mean.

What would you do if you fall flat on your face financially?

Do you believe every step you take moves you one step closer to the finishing line?

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About the Author

Ivan Guan is the author of the popular book "FIRE Your Retirement". He is an independent financial adviser with more than a decade of knowledge and experience in providing financial advisory services to both individuals and businesses. He specializes in investment planning and portfolio management for early retirement. His blog provides practical financial tips, strategies and resources to help people achieve financial freedom. Follow his Telegram Channel to join the FIRE community.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author. This does not reflect the official position of any agency, organization, employer or company. Refer to full disclaimers here.

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