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Gladys Tan

Financial Consultant

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Conversation with Friends: Learning from Financial Mistakes

If you've followed me on Instagram, you know I share tidbits from conversations with friends from time to time.

In the most recent one I shared, I had a chat with a friend who is a mother of 3 boys.

She shared that she is very intentional in teaching her kids failure, and that things will never always go their way.

I thought this was wonderful. We often protect our loved ones so hard that we forget to share with them the realities of the world. Sure, we can assure our loved ones that they can always turn to us for comfort and soothing. But unfortunately, we won’t be here forever.

Therefore, my friend hopes that in making her children acknowledge and understand failure, it will help them be more resilient in life, and determined to get back on their feet each time life knocks them down.

I wish I was taught this way, too!

Probably would have saved myself from plenty of agony and frustration.

Reflecting on my mistakes

I took the chance to reflect on some of the mistakes I've made thus far (too many actually but also realised they became valuable lessons for me). One that I thought to share was when I paid at least $5,000 for ignorance.

Back then, I was still an undergraduate. With some extra cash I earned from tuition, I wanted to put my money to good use. After talking to an insurance agent, I bought a savings plan. I liked the idea of saving for only 15 years and then having an 'account' which I could withdraw from at any point in time.

However, after a few years, I realised investing the money would have brought me better returns on investment.

Investing was not a consideration when I first explored my options because

(i) I know nuts about investing and

(ii) no one told me about it.

Hence, because of my own ignorance, I not only lost $5k when I surrendered the policy prematurely, I also lost out on the opportunity costs.

This $5k was a huge price to pay for a university graduate. It was almost 2 months of pay for me. But hey, sometimes we win, sometimes we learn. And nothing’s stopping me (or you) from embracing mistakes in life.

After all, who don't make mistakes? What’s important is we accept it, learn from it and now, know better.

So take control of your life. Be a victor, not a victim. Take time, learn, explore and speak to someone who has your best interest at heart.

Always rooting for you,

Your friend, Gladys

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