Mar 22, 2011

Silent millionaires

Who are silent millionaires? The silent millionaires are people who look like everyday people, who dress in very ordinary clothing, probably drive an old junk or even just a motorbike, but have big bank accounts and can afford to simply send their children to colleges or universities anywhere in the world. They can at anyone time afford branded clothing and big cars, but prefer to go without.
These people are easily overlooked and sometimes looked down on by others who don't know better. These people are usually small time businessmen, hawkers or night market traders.
When I was a mutual fund rookie agent (new in the business), I once underestimated a would be client, too.
I was at a factory canteen doing some promotional work when an interested wanna be client came up and said he was interested in investing RM10,000. I looked at him in slight disbelief. He was one of the security guards and from what I know and many people in Malaysia know, a normal security guard's salary ranged between RM600 to about RM1000 (forgive me if I am wrong)
Nevertheless, I smiled and gave him an application form and told him to bank in the money with the form and call me to let me know once he banked it in.
I did not give it another thought as I did that a few times and usually, nothing ever came out from it. Therefore when that particular client called and told me he had already banked in the investment for RM10,000, I was really stunned.
That was not all, a few weeks later, that particular client called me again and told me he wanted to top up his investment and was thinking of perhaps RM50 (or so that was what I heard over the phone). I responded quietly that the minimum to top up was RM100. However, somehow I agreed to meet up with him at one of the banks.
He arrived at the appointed time and place on a motorbike, wearing a threadbare t shirt and carrying a sling bag which was slightly torn. Bemusedly, I followed him into the bank and help fill up the form. I then asked him how much he was adding on to his investment when I was really stunned when he told me RM150,000. I quietly followed him to the counter of the bank teller, I started trembling a little when I watched dumbfounded as he took out bulks and bulks of RM50 and RM100 noted bundled together and tied with rubber bands.
To be absolutely honest, I'd never in my life seen so much money before then in cold hard cash. It was the very first time I've seen so much cash in front of me, nevermind it was someone elses.
From then on, I swore to myself never to ever underestimate anyone again.
Another silent millionaire I know is a friend of my husband who goes around wearing just a pair of khakis and a pagoda shirt and eats at roadside stalls. A very humble man, but at anytime you open his wallet, there is definitely a stack of RM50 bills there. He runs a workshop and sends his children to UK, Egypt and all for further studies, but drives an old second hand car.
These are the people who are really enjoying financial freedom by keeping low key and living a simple life, unlike a lot of people, (myself included in some ways), who dress up, carry a fancy latest phone and drive a fancy car, but who don't really have much in the bank and who probably have more loans, overdrafts and bills and such to maintain the illusion of a comfortable life.

Sent by Maxis from my BlackBerry® smartphone

8 comments:

  1. Two words came to my mind while reading: money and laundering. It's naturally weird to see "wrong people" with big cash boxes. A gangster rides like a gangster, has money like a gangster and looks like a gangster.

    Money from criminal activity needs to be washed and gullible agents are a tool for this task. But, I think I have watched too much crime documentaries. This was posted like in 2011 and probably you'd already know the truth about the customer.

    Anyways, a delighting read.

    ReplyDelete
  2. thanks so much for your comment but no, my client is not a gangster. He is a respectable family man and works full time in meda company as a security guard. =)

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