Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Gold bar at an inflated value

My friend asked me about investing in gold bars 3 months ago. I advised him to avoid it, as I do not understand how it worked. He had already invested, but did not tell me at that time. He told me today that the company that promoted the label "TGL" did not honor their promise to buy back the gold bar at the invested value and had since ceased operation.

He is now stuck with the gold bar which has depreciated by about 15% in value, compared to his original investment. He had since learned that he had paid for for the gold bar at a price that was higher that its market value. The person who had sold the gold bar to him, being a friend, was also not aware about the inflated price and had also invested a lot of her own money.

I recall another case about a lady who was quite keen to invest in 2 kg of gold bar at $140,000. She sought my advice, I asked her to calculate the value of the gold bar by converting from kg to ounces, apply the world price expressed in USD in ounce and convert to SGD. She found that she would have lost nearly 20% of the invested sum, as the gold bar was priced at an inflated price. She decided not to invest in the gold bar. I must have saved her at least $20,000, by avoiding this bad investment.

I had asked her to make a donation to FISCA in return for my advice, if she found it to be valuable. Perhaps, she felt that my advice was not worth while so she did not make any donation. I am not able to recall who she was.

Tan Kin Lian

Here are my past blogs on investing in gold bars:


Wealth Journey said...

Kudos to you for helping as many "uneducated" folks as you can.

Even though it can be the most thankless task(not that you are expecting to be thanks), the woman you mentioned obviously have no sense of gratitude.

In general, I find a common linkage among all those investment "schemes" -> "investors" who are lazy and don't do research and blinded by greed.

silverybay said...

I have been approached numerous times by different people on this gold investment program. I simply direct them to UOB bullion counter and ask them to find out for themselves how much I can save buying directly from UOB.

All of them were dumb founded when they realised the same gold bar is available at UOB at almost 20% cheaper.

A quick poll amongst my friends showed that almost everyone of them have no idea where they can buy gold bar other than from gold jewelry shop.

And that is why this gold investment program is able to attract so many unsuspecting investors.

Good thing they shut down before more people lose their money.

Spur said...

That's why nowadays whenever people ask me if they should invest in something or buy wholelife or endowment or buy property etc, I simply tell them to go ahead.

I've reached the point where I'm just so blasé about the financial outcomes for people, and I would love to see an exponential rise in asset bubbles. Those who know how to read market and business cycles know that the potential for supranormal profits and catastrophic losses both exist in irrational exuberance.

So those of you here who see me telling people to buy buy buy, know that I'm being 50% facetious and 50% serious in hoping for a massive bubble and a massive crash to profit in.

Singapore Man of Leisure said...

I am a big believer of no free lunch. Maybe next time you could charge a token fee upfront and say it will be donated to FISCA.

Why would people invest in their own financial literacy when they can easily get "free" advice.

Sometimes tough love is the kindest love of all.

Falcon said...

Gold prices are easy to check as it is readily available. The reason why these people pay a higher premium is because they were greedy about the interest they can get from buying from those companies. It is just like why more people buy wholelife instead of term because even if they were exposed to both plans is because the human psyche is such that they think that for wholelife they can get back money while for term they get back nothing.
In this knowledge economy, knowledge will be the factor that differentiates success or failure. Gold has been on an uptrend for some years now. I have been telling all my friends to buy gold and silver since when gold was around US$700. It has doubled since then.
UOB is still not the cheapest place to buy your goldbar. There are other places that you can get your goldcoin or goldbar for at least 7% less.
It is now relatively easy to goggle for information that it is no excuse for those who spent hundreds of thousand of dollars on investment yet do not spend an hour researching on their investment.

yujuan said...

@ Spurs.
Actually I want to keep this view in private, but since this writer brought it up, I must confess I am waiting for all these blur people to get themselves burnt, so that I could move in for the kill.
Love this "irrational exuberance",
a term coined by the Americans, to play itself out.

zhummmeng said...

Check the gold bars you have.They may be tungsten disguised in gold.
You will be even more devastated if below the glitter is actually tungsten.
Today, every financial product is disguised or buried deep below a heap of rubbish. They may be gold, wholelife, endwoment or some retirement crap product recently launched by a social enterprise.
Even the sellers or the salesmen are disguised. They call themselves financial consultants but they are called passionately sale champions by their ceo. Their ceo is right .They are salesmen at best. But how can salesmen plan your retirement? Come on , these salesmen are planning their own retirement and you are a sucker to beleive them, right.
Please tear off the facade or mask to see what is below before jumping in. Everybody has forgotten the magic stone conjob. Don't trust salesmen. Salesmen and conmen are no different. Both get the trust of the victims first and then con them alive.

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