The story about the man who lost most of his Central Provident Fund money made for a sobering read (Lesson from man who lost most of his CPF money, Oct 11).
Research has found that most investors would have been better off leaving their funds in their
CPF accounts. Moreover, the true cost of any investment loss has to also take into account the opportunity cost of forgoing the 2.5 per cent per annum return offered on the CPF Ordinary Account, or 4 per cent per annum in the Special Account.
When aggregated and assessed in this context, the investment losses can indeed be staggering.
From banking veteran Michael Panzner's classic Financial Armageddon: Protecting Your Future From Four Impending Catastrophes, it is clear that there are no guarantees when it comes to investments, and that none is immune to the vagaries of the financial markets.
In Australia, where I lived and worked in Melbourne for more than half a decade, retirees are facing similar challenges with their superannuation funds, with calls to be on guard against complacency.
It behoves us all, therefore, to become better informed investors and exercise supreme caution when it comes to our retirement and CPF funds.
There should be constant monitoring of investment portfolios and continued emphasis on disciplined, low-cost passive investing where our retirement and CPF funds are concerned.
Woon Wee Min