I am Ong Joo Parn, I am…
Currently a Malaysian working in Singapore. Like most people, I am working in the corporate world, having a 9 to 6 job. Putting this aside, I am a passionate investor. I spend a huge chunk of my time self-learning and reading stuff related to science, technology, gadgets, food technology and many other subjects. I also spend time going through annual reports of (both listed and unlisted) companies from around the world.
Sometime during the month of August in 2019, my partner and I decided to start an investing-centric website called Kaya Plus. We want to share our thesis, rationale and knowledge with the public since we feel that there is a major lack of appreciation when it comes to investing and investment literacy.
I guess I am also a writer now. I write for Kaya Plus and as a paid content contributor to other investing websites as well!
1. What is your best investment and worst investment?
I was thinking whether to answer this figuratively or literally. But I think it is best to approach this figuratively haha! My best investment would be my time. Time is an asset that all of us have in equal amounts. Whether we choose to waste it, capitalise on it is our own personal choice.
But that does not mean I am the most efficient and time conscious person out there. I just think that relatively, I put in more time to self learn and read, which gives me an edge when looking at potential investment opportunities out there.
To sum it up, my best investment is in myself, investing my time to obtain more knowledge and information so that I can invest better!
My worst investment would probably be the first few stocks I bought when I was very new in the market. I knew nuts about investing and put a chunk of my hard-earned money into the stock market thinking that what I learned during a course was all I needed to succeed. Things did not end well. A portion of it still sits in my portfolio as a key reminder to never, ever buy something that you have not put in time to study.
2. What was your first-ever investment (and how did that go)?
My first investment was a shares trading course around RM 3,000. Took me a few lessons to realise that trading is not all about patterns and charts. There is more than what meets the eye. Judging from the vigor and principles behind trading, I knew it did not suit my personal preference.
I always picture myself being free from checking screens and all sorts of charts when I am an old man. I value the skills and keen eye to be able to look at a company’s business and have an eureka moment. So, my first investment in a trading course showed me that trading is not my cup of tea. And that’s where I started my never-ending journey into the world of learning and investing.
3. Your investment no-nos (why not and what happened)
Thinking that investing is just for financial freedom is a no-no! Too many people are engrossed with getting rich through investing, they value the end results too much and sometimes want to cut corners.
There is no such thing as low risk high return. Even if there is, chances are that someone providing you this opportunity might be getting a LOWER risk and HIGHER return by selling you that idea.
Building wealth is just like learning how to run when we are still a kid. You go through the stages of crawling, standing up, walking and then only you will learn how to run. Yearning to run when you haven’t even learned to crawl, or pushing yourself to run too soon can be disastrous.
It is good to stay focused on the end results. However the general sentiment I get is that, while people know what they want for their financial freedom, they are not willing to sacrifice time and effort to learn what is needed to help them achieve their goals.
Guess this could be the reason why unscrupulous get rich quick schemes will always resurface and some of us will somehow get snared by their lucrative return promises.
4. What are you investing for?
I believe investing in literacy and spreading knowledge as the key for everyone to further improve themselves. Whether we like it or not, we are living in a world where capitalism rules. You do not need to be the boss of a listed company to bring your wealth to the next level. You just need to ride on it even with a small step at a time and grow with the current pace of inflation and expansion.
I invest because I know that savings alone will never be enough for me to enjoy the life I want. I invest because I know I can always put my knowledge, patience, and tenacity into good use to compound my wealth and savings to bring me closer to who I want to be.
My dad told me, in life there are only 3 things you need to do to be happy. Being able to take care of yourself, being able to take care of your family, and being able to contribute to society. As of now, investing is my calling. And I want to make investing the center of my strategy to first fulfill myself, my loved ones, and the people around me.
5. Joo Parn’s investment philosophy and approach
Invest globally for sustainability. When we talk about going for a vacation, we always like to look beyond our own country, opting for a getaway outside of Malaysia. But when it comes to investing, we cower and stay put within our motherland.
Investing globally is just like picking out nice destinations to visit, or to try the best cuisine from a particular country. Going on an overseas vacation gives me the same thrill as investing globally. I get to learn and see everything from a much bigger perspective, rather than staying within my comfort zone.
Another key aspect is sustainability. Your game plan when it comes to investing should be a strategy that will bear fruits when you eventually retire. It must be something that is foolproof, ever growing, preserving and compounding.
In simple words, your investments should be nurtured and tended well. If you take good care of it during your prime, it will take care of you when the time comes. So, it has to be a sustainable game plan!
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