I am Munesvaran and This is How I Invest (and Insure)

Published 13 Jan 2022

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By Fi Life Team
  1. What’s your day job?

    I manage my own SME outfit supplying medical disposable items to hospitals. Had a successful stint working for someone in the same industry where I learnt the ropes – gained valuable experience, learnt weaknesses and strength about the business. As the company divested, I gathered enough courage, used my savings and ventured on my own. And now 15 years later, I am very happy with my returns.

  2. What’s your best investment?

    Tried my hands on property and unit trust and turned out I am pretty good in making judgement calls when it comes to property. Today, I would readily admit that my best investment has been the property market. What started as an investment for self- stay, I got myself actively investing in properties when I realised profits from this platform could be a crucial support system to expand my medical business. Demands are unpredictable in the medical industry and I always need to have cash reserves because my overseas suppliers need payment upfront. So, when my reserves deplete, I sell one of my properties (most of them are fully paid up). I also realised that this can be my fall back towards financial independence if my business collapses.

  3. What was your worst investment?

    Got a little bit ambitious and ventured into the Indonesian market with my products. At that point in time, I confess I made decisions without giving myself enough time to do research and arming myself with adequate knowledge about local business culture and ethics. Did a joint venture with a local company which went wrong mainly because we were not reading the competition fast enough. Plus, I was relying solely on my partners for feedback and decisions.

  4. What was your first-ever investment (and how did that go)?

    My first investment was fixed deposit. Coming from a simple family background, security was more important than returns, kept all my money, no matter how small, in FDs. Returns were low and flat but consistent. Over time, though I divested my investment portfolio, I still maintain a decent FD balance because it gives me a sense of security for rainy days.

  5. Any investment no-nos?

    I would say stay away from any types of investments that ‘promises’ you high returns. I received a lot of requests to invest in highly suspicious schemes offering more than 10% returns. Stay away.

  6. What are you investing for?

    My kids are definitely the main reason why I invest to grow my wealth. Being a single parent, I am responsible for their future and they have a long way to go. So it is really important that my investments cater to their wellbeing and mine of course.

  7. What’s your investment philosophy/approach?

    Since I am not a risk taker and I was not in a hurry to make my first million, my approach has always been not to get greedy. My friends think I am too careful but my approach has worked out really well for me. I would say to anyone, please do not get greedy. Whether it’s stocks or property or forex, play safe and know what you are getting yourself into.

  8. What about insurance? When do you think is the best time to buy insurance, what type of insurance, and why?

    Buy a policy yesterday! I am not kidding, my advice, do not wait. I am big believer in insurance. In my line of business, I meet many doctors on a daily basis and hear many horror stories about patients not being able to afford treatment and some even losing their lives because they either do not have insurance or have inadequate coverage or some without critical illness policies. So, I made sure me and my 2 little boys have sufficient medical and life insurance. And I have taken more than sufficient life policies without investment links (Editor's Note: just like Fi Life's) that will make sure my 2 sons are well taken care off financially if something happens to me.

  9. What would you do differently finance-wise if you could turn back time?

    Well, If I can go back in time, I would have taken more time to study the Indonesian market and avoided the losses that I incurred. Till today, I still wonder how I made that mistake because I know I am always careful with my investments and yet I let this happen. Lesson learnt, do not jump with your eyes closed no matter how greener the pastures may look.

About “This is How I Invest” - As Fi Life’s motto is “Buy Term (Term Life Insurance) & Invest the Rest”, this series features how different personalities “Invest the Rest.”

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