Few years ago, my wife and me were invited to a “money-making” investment presentation at Sago St. in Chinatown, as a young adult and have been working for some time, we thought to give it a go and listen to what the presenter had to offer.

The office was pretty well furbished, whole place smelled of the expensive oil scent, agar wood oil! “IT’S THE IN-THING”!!! We thought. And a lot of our friends, our friend’s friends, some people that we knew had invested in this investment. We heard quite a lot back then. And we were told it was a very good investment WITH very good return!!!! We were really EXCITED!!! An opportunity to make more money!!! Making your money work harder for you!!!

We were given some food and drinks while the sales lady showed us some videos of their farms back in Malaysia, Thailand, of the trees they had planted with the 1st few batches of their investors who supposedly made some money the dividends paid out from the sale of the agar wood oil. It really got me excited.

So my wife and I sat down to listen to the in-depth information about ‘how to make more money’…. She explained to the plantation methods, how they extract the oil and how we “paid” after the sale of the oil.

Everything seemed nice, and I started to question that who is the governing body? What is your license number? And also, the credentials of their company.

The sales lady wasn’t able to answer any of my questions. Thinking that she didn’t catch my questions, I asked again. Are they MAS regulated? What is their Standard and Poor rating? And your license number please… Again, she couldn’t produce any of those questions.

As a Financial Consultant, I knew something wasn’t right. And, I know what is good for me.

1 of the rules of investing is to invest into a company/ something that you are familiar with. We left their presentation halfway, giving up the opportunity of having a ‘higher investment return’. But then again, how could I trust someone without credentials and license to deal with my money????

So with the money that we supposed to invest with the tree investment, my wife and I had into a few safe endowments and lump sum equity investments. Steadily 5% per annum for the endowments and about 15% return per annum for the equity investments. Not good returns to some aggressive investors but I’m happy with it, having positive returns rather than not growing my money or losing money.

For those, without much exposure to investments, I would advice to invest in a reputable company through a licensed person by MAS, than pumping your hard earned money to some investments which seem pretty good on the surface.

P.S.: These are just my personal views and may differs from yours.

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