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My best and worst "investments"?

A reader who follows my monthly articles at einvesthub made a rather unusual request. He asked if I could write about my best and worse investments in my lifetime.

Initially, I was a bit reluctant to kind of öpen up" my life - but then - here it is:

Worse investment ever - US$5,000 in a Pakistan closed-end fund that was listed in a United States stock exchange - only got about $100 back when the managers decided to close the fund.

Best investment ever (from my heart as still don't know what the returns are exactly yet) - as one of the executive producers (investors) of the movie Ilo Ilo, which has won 27 international awards to date.

Worst emotionally stressed investing experience - Had a call in the middle of the night that all my dollar/yen forex positions would be closed out (margin breached) as there was a sudden huge surge in the Yen. Although I was half asleep - I fortunately had the presence of mind to plead that my position be liquidated one lot at a time - luckily the dollar did recover somewhat and I lost US$59,000 in one night (my biggest one day loss ever in investing).

Most illogical investment goal - I traded forex until i made back the U$59,000 I lost. I never touched forex trading after that!

Most funny investment - I was in London with nothing much to do and researched (after listening to a BBC radio programme) and bought a British lordship for about 5,000 pounds in 1995 (I'm the Lord of Newsham, North Yorkshire - title goes back to the time of William the Conqueror in 1066 - at one time in history owned by the inventor of the cotton wheel) - but the marketable title never appreciated in price I believe - with frequent talk about discontinuing hereditary titles in the United Kingdom.

Most "never gave it a thought" investment - bought 2 unit trust funds in Jamaica in 1998 when I was the honorary consul of Jamaica to Singapore - they have performed quite well in US$ terms - think about 6% per annum 

Best long term investment - the house I'm staying in was pirchased by my late father in 1955 for $15,000. I have been told that it is now worth over 300 times after 59 years. Over the years, quite a lot of people have suggested selling to cash out, tear down and build 2 houses, etc - but I guess if you are confortable staying in a home - why sell? Life is not all about money right?

Worse "leisure" investment - 2 country club memberships that eventually became worthless

Worse "holiday"investment - $6,000 for a one week a year timeshare for 30 years which I gave up after about 15 years (have to be very flexible to travel wherever and whenever it was available) - had some very interesting travelling experiences like staying in a castle in the United Kingdom though, but as an investment it turned out to be a dud (or at least that was what the timeshare salesman said)!

Most interesting investment-related experience - hosted a weekly one hour money radio talkshow for 3 plus years. 
Most "blur" investing-related experience - had a daily column in a Chinese newspaper - I can't read or write Chinese - can only talk to the journalist in my broken Chinese!

Best thing that I never "invested" in - failed my highway code in my 20s - so, never had a driving license. I estimated I may have saved about $1.4 million already ($1,000 compounded at 6% for 35 years from age 25 to my age now (60).

 
Robin Han
Leong Sze Hian

Dr Leong Sze Hian is the Past President of the Society of Financial Service Professionals, an alumnus of Harvard University, has authored 4 books, quoted over 1500 times in the media , has been host of a money radio show, a daily newspaper column, Wharton Fellow, SEACeM Fellow, acting managing editor and columnist for theonlinecitizen, columnist for Malaysiakini, a Member on the CIFA International Advisory Board, executive  producer of the movie Ilo Ilo (8 international awards), treasurer of Maruah, and invited to speak more than 100 times in more than 25 countries on 5 continents. He has served as Honorary Consul of Jamaica and founding advisor to the Financial Planning Associations of Brunei and Indonesia. He has 3 Masters, 2 Bachelors degrees and 13 professional  qualifications.