fff (非狒飞)
本文发表在 rolia.net/zh 相约加拿大网上社区枫下论坛
I have seen many discussions recently about personal financial management (insurance, mutual fund, etc.) on this forum.

My first recommendation: if you want to really learn sth. learn in English. Popular Chinese translation of financial terms is awful. For example, the translation of RESP into “教育基金” is not only wrong but also misleading. The underlying motivation is cheating, to my opinion.

A lot of discussions are full of misunderstanding of basic financial principles.
For example, about insurance: there is not one product that fits everyone. Without knowing a person’s specific situation, how can one recommend a product?

The potential danger of those discussions are: You might believe that you have learned some valuable lessons. However you would be cheated/brainwashed/lose money by applying the learned and never recognized it.

It should take at least 50~200 hours to grasp the basic knowledge of finance. I do not think you can learn through discussions on BBS. Considering the rest 60-70 years you got to live, I think it is a very good investment. It would not make you an expert. But it will teach you common sense and avoid being cheated.

Recommended book: Ho, Kwok and Robinson, Chris: Personal Financial Planning. Captus Press, Third Edition

Before you know the meaning of risk & return, discount rate, history vs. future, etc, the chances that you will be cheated or lose money is very very high.

For example, you go to a financial advisor regarding (insurance, investment, etc.) without any knowledge of basic financial rules.
First, you would pray that he/she is honest.
Second and more importantly, you should pray that he/she really understands your situation and provide suitable suggestions based on your own situation.

A simple test:
1. Do you believe 0% financing or 15% guaranteed return?
2. Do you think historical return of a mutual fund is relevant?

If your answers are yes, you had better start learning now.
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2001-12-18 -04:00
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