I lost $1 Million in an investment
More than a year ago, I have accumulated a considerable sum of capital and would like to put it in an asset that will generate consistent, stable passive income. After much research and homework, I decided to invest in company bond because the bond is known to be a safer financial product than stocks.
Originally I didn’t want to put all the egg ($1million) in the same basket. However, the bond is backed by property assets and the director’s personal guarantee, which gave me additional comfort and security in investing.
In addition, the investor relations officer negotiated a better rate of return for me given my investment amount is generally higher than other individuals. I was offered 3% more. The bond product gives an 8% interest, with the 3% additional, I calculated that I will earn 11% per annum, which is, to be honest a decent return for my money.
Moreover, the interest of this bond product is payable monthly, which means that it is a great monthly passive income source. The monthly distribution is also one of the criteria I place emphasis on because it denotes good financial standing and high standard cash-flow management of a company.
All in all, I decided to grab the opportunity when it presented itself and go for it — and invested my $1 million.
Three months later
I felt wonderful when I received my 1st and 2nd-month interest. It feels good to have a strong, stable passive income source that comes in every month regardless of whether I work or not. I smell freedom.
The interest didn’t come in on time in the third month. I contacted the investor relations officer immediately and were told that the accounts department is sorting out some banking issues. After 3 days of delay, I received my interest. I saw this as an ad hoc issue and put the blame on the bank.
The interest didn’t arrive on time in the fourth month. I contacted the investor relations officer again but this time there were no replies. I chased again and my heart started pounding …. something seemed wrong.
After a month of chasing and worrying, I received news that the company is going bankrupt…and its sole direction is being charged of drunk driving (and probably going into prison).
The darkest hours
I still remember the frustration, helplessness, disappointment, and anger that I felt at that time. I could not believe my (bad) luck.
I did my homework before investing but still…. I don’t know who to blame. I blame myself, I blame the company, I blame the investor relations officer, I blame the monitoring authority, I blame god….
It was the darkest period in my life to know that my $1 million could hardly ever come back to my account. I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t’ think I will have the courage or strength to start again. I felt like my life is doomed.
The administrators advised that it will take a long time before they sort out the remaining assets of the company and see whether there will be anything left for the bondholders. The property asset security and the director’s personal guarantees now sounded like a marketing gimmick to me.
How I stand back up
It took me 6 months to realize that this is actually happening and I did take time to accept the fact that all my money is gone.
But something happened when I became broke — I didn’t dare to tell my family about this. And they treat me the same. They care for me the same. They love me the same.
At least I still have them, my loved ones.
If I have to choose between a million dollars and any one of my loved ones, I would without any hesitation give up the money (even though it is all of it).
When I was broke, I didn’t buy anything. I wore my old clothes and same old shoes. I ate Mcdonald’s rather than going to fancy restaurants, but other than that, life is still bearable. I am still surviving, breathing, living.
Time is still passing, the sun is still rising. It seems that nothing has changed in the world except the number in my bank account.
And for a moment, I realized that I am blessed.
I am blessed that I am still surviving.
I am blessed that I am age 28 when this happened and I still have time.
I am blessed that I am healthy.
I am blessed that I have my loved ones who love me the same.
I am blessed that I still have food to eat and clothes to wear.
I am blessed that I can live with my parents and don’t need to pay mortgages.
I am blessed that I am still working actively and have income coming in.
I am blessed to see with clarity what’s really important in life.
I am blessed that this opportunity forces me to explore new ways of saving money and making money — which exposes me to a new experiences of self-expression and a deeper understanding of who I am.
And life goes on.
I’m not sure whether I have learned anything about investment other than that sometimes losses are unpreventable and uncontrollable, even with the safest product.
Yet, my world seems bigger and my vision seems broader. Money seems to be less of an intention and less of a priority.
I set myself free of this financial loss and setback.
I choose to believe that every event, including this one, is an act of god. Everything happens for a reason.
And regardless of whether I live in anger and frustration, or enjoying each day, life keeps going. So why should I keep punishing myself for the same loss? I surrender this loss and allow this event to be part of my past and nothing more.