According to the Cashflow quadrants by Robert Kiyosaki, I will need to switch to either a business owner or an investor to become wealthy. If I were to choose the path as an investor, I realized that there are certain responsibilities that I need to fulfill.
What are the responsibilities?
To answer this question, let use the example of Investing in mutual funds.
As we all know, fund managers managed mutual funds. They are expert and more qualified than the average investor in stock investment. Thus they are in a better position to make money from the Stock Market.
Another advantage of mutual funds is that there is diversification to reduce risk. The amount of money is pooled to invest in different stocks, thus achieving diversification. These are the two selling points of investing in Mutual Funds.
When I initially started to invest in mutual funds, I never do any detailed research. Like most people, I simply invest in a mutual fund that I think it will make money. The decision is usually purely based on the information presented by the sale persons. Happily, I invested and forget about it. I felt that since the expert fund manager is managing my investment, I had nothing to worry about. And I never really monitor the performance of the mutual funds.
This did not just happen to mutual funds investment. I did that to other kind of investments as well. I felt that I wanted to spend as little time as possible and leave everything to the experts. I was lazy to learn and manage my own investments actively.
Later, I learned from the Rich Dad’s series by Robert Kiyosaki that financial education is essential. Since I always desire to be wealthy, I have decided to gain financial literacy. After studying for a few years, I have learned a lot of things and that really open my open eyes.
As an investor, I am responsible for the outcome of my investments. No one else is responsible for the result of my investments. This is the part where most people missed out. They thought that they could leave things to the expert and do nothing.
Firstly, I have the responsibility of selecting the expert to manage my investments. I need to select expert based on their track records. In the case of mutual funds investment, I need to select the fund manager who has track records to increase my odds of winning.
Secondly, I have the responsibility of monitoring my investments regularly. If things are not in order, I should consider cutting loss and get out of the investments. In the case of mutual funds investment, if I have invested in a particular sector, I need to check that there are no bad news regarding the sector that may affect my investments. If the sector is expected to perform badly for the next few years, then my mutual funds investment will definitely perform badly. Then, I should consider cutting loss.
Thirdly, I have the responsibility of choosing the correct investment company. If an investment company has financial problems, then I face the risk of losing money if the company were to liquidate. In the case of mutual funds investment, if the fund house had financial woes, I would be asking for trouble by investing my money with them.
Next, I have the responsibility of choosing the right investment product. If I choose the wrong investment products, I am almost guaranteed to loss money. In case of mutual funds investment, if I had chosen a dotcom fund just after the dotcom bubble had burst, I would definitely be losing money.
Then, I have the responsibility of getting the cheapest investment cost. If I have choose an investment with high investment cost, then it simply means that my investment return needs to perform better than the high investment cost before I can make money. In the case of mutual funds investment, I should look out for ways to reduce sales charge, expensive ratio, fund management fees and so on.
Lastly, I have the responsibility of planning for my investment. Like what I have learned from the Rich Dad’s series by Robert Kiyosaki, investment is a plan. In the case of mutual funds investment, I should time my entry and my exit properly. The performance of the mutual funds goes up and down over the years. If I had not set any profit target for my mutual funds investment, then I would be holding on to the funds indefinitely. I would end up not selling my mutual funds when there is a reasonable profit. If I needed my money when the market had dropped, then I would be losing money by cashing out at the wrong time.
The above are just some responsibilities as an investor. They are by no means complete. I believe when I learn more, the list of responsibilities will grow. In short, one need to be responsible for one’s investments.