Friday, March 08, 2013

The Gold Guarantee

Mr. Tan
t is Sunday Times feature of the founder of The founder of Gold Guarantee. Just proves one more what poor disservice The Straits Times does to the public in advertising examples of fake successes bordering on fraud.

The Straits Times
Jan 15, 2012
He plans to give millions to charity

Businessman aims to achieve net worth of $200m and give away 90% of his money

By Joyce Teo 

Business owner Lee Song Teck, 33, is a goal-oriented person who cannot sit still. Just four months ago, he started a gold trading business, and is now preparing to start three more businesses. 

Still, his agenda is not as daunting as it might seem at first sight. 'Over the years, I have learnt to delegate, and to create a system that allows the business to run on its own within a shorter period of three months, instead of two years,' he said.

What spurs him to work hard is his drive to contribute to society.

Eventually, he aims to give away 90 per cent of his wealth to charity. Money does allow you to enjoy life, but the happiness you gain from material possessions is short-lived, he said.

He has sponsored more than a dozen children through World Vision, an international humanitarian organisation, and at his new firm, The Gold Guarantee, he involves his staff in charity work. 

Mr Lee took over the family business in animal pharmaceutical products when he was 20. Two years later, he went to Sydney for undergraduate studies, and to explore living a holistic lifestyle that involved yoga, meditation and martial arts.

Since his return to Singapore, the bachelor has tried his hands at being a property agent, and running a fitness centre and a property investment seminar business. He has also invested in property and gold.

Q: Are you a spender or saver?

I would say I've been a saver in the past 10 years, but my mother would say otherwise. Since I turned 23, I have realised the importance of becoming financially free and creating wealth for the sake of giving back. This is why I save and invest most of my money.

I would say that I spend just about 10 per cent of my earnings. I invest most of my money because I believe saving alone will not help me achieve the financial goals I set when I was 24. 

I was very aggressive in spending on my personal education, in areas such as investment, wealth creation, business, marketing, sales and health. I must have spent more than $200,000 on attending seminars on these topics - more than 30 over the past 10 years.

I invest most of my money in my businesses. I do not smoke, drink or gamble, and I am not into fine dining. The only luxury items I spend on are spa packages for me and my friends. I also buy presents for my friends. It feels nice to be able to buy things for the people I love.

Q: How much do you charge to your credit cards every month?

I charge around $10,000 to my credit card a month. It's a mix of work and personal expenses. I do not carry any credit card debt. In terms of cash, I withdraw a few thousand dollars a week from the bank.

Q: What financial planning have you done for yourself?

I believe in only real estate and gold, which I can see and touch, and which have real value. 

My gold investment portfolio is now worth $30 million.

I have achieved average returns of 200 per cent a year from my property investments and some of my businesses. I plan to achieve a net worth of $200 million; when that happens, I intend to pledge 90 per cent to charity. 

Q: Moneywise, what were your growing-up years like?

I am an only child, and I lived on a pig farm until I was eight. Our farm seemed huge, but we were one of the few poor pig farmers at the time. 

My father set up the animal pharmaceutical wholesale business while running the farm, and my mother helped him with the accounts.

However, we were quite poor until about 10 years ago because my father, who died when I was 17, was a gambler. My parents used to tell me I must never gamble. 

Q: How did you get interested in investing?

It was after I attended personal development seminars. I also read many wealth creation books, which led me to decide on real estate as my investment vehicle.

Since turning 24, I have made sure that whatever path I took would lead me in the direction of becoming a real estate investor.

My first real estate investment was in a rundown basement shop at Golden Mile Complex, which I bought for $250,000 five to six years ago. I sold it three weeks later for $320,000. I put up only $2,500 in cash for the purchase - for the 1 per cent option on the property - as I had managed to negotiate an option period of one month.

Q: What property do you own?

I co-own a highway and a commercial building in Tianjin, China, with my father's best friend, who is a billionaire in Malaysia.

I also have a 12-unit apartment block in Central London and 16 commercial units in Kuala Lumpur. My aim is to spread my property portfolio over five countries to reduce the risks. 

In the past two years, I have sold my properties here, including a shophouse in Chai Chee and a Belmont Green condo unit, as I was anticipating a price correction. 

The market fell in 2008 after I bought the Belmont Green unit, so I had to hold it for three years. I made half-a-million dollars in profit. 

Q: What's the most extravagant thing you have bought?

I recently bought a new Bentley Supersports for $1 million. It's my dream car.

Q: What's your retirement plan?

I have no retirement plan. I feel very fulfilled because I wake up every morning knowing I'm serving thousands of people. 

A year ago, I went to five fortune-tellers, and they all said I was meant to be a teacher. It was the first time I had had my fortune read, and I didn't understand then.

I thought my calling was to make $200 million and leave it to charity. Now, after having set up my gold trading business, I finally understand what they meant. 

As I make my money, I am also inspiring people around me. Anything is possible as long as you believe you can do it. But if you don't believe you can do it, you have already succeeded in failing.

I think I would need a passive income of $100,000 to be able to spend fairly freely. I became financially free a year after I went into the budget hotel business.

When I reach 35, I will spend less time on my businesses and focus more on my spiritual side. I want to set up a non-profit martial arts studio.

Q: Home is now...

A corner terraced house in Hougang, where I live with my mother. It is opposite our animal pharmaceutical business shop, so we store some of the products in our living room.

The house sits on 4,000 sq ft of land and has built-in space of 6,000 sq ft. My mother bought it for $1.2 million eight years ago and spent $1 million rebuilding it. It is now worth about $4.5 million. 

Q: I drive...

A white Bentley Supersports and a white BMW 5 series model.


yujuan said...

More creditable for ST to put out articles on the success of the middle class in climbing the economic ladder from previous lower class status.
SPH is elitish enough, dun have to add more to public perception.

Sunflower said...

It is always better to check the credentials before doing a writeup. How would we know if this guy is truly selling real gold bars or just a certificate? There is no FAQ on the website on how the transaction is done, etc..

Renu Choudhary said...

They should also investigate another offshore trust company with a distributor called I.T. selling ponzi scheme like investment placements.

Kentlim Leong said...

im a very sad victim. the gold gurantee is the biggest pozi scam in singapore. tgg has crook n pozi scam more then 500 millions sgd out of sg. alot pple was caught n lost a very huge sum of money. sg is a scam very very careful where u place yr money. laws are completely useless to crooks scam n pozi. no caned and no hang punishment. so they have run, what can a cad do?

Anonymous said...

CAD Investigation 12Mar13

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