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Heart disease that took yet another dad

I just received a very sad news that my investment agent Mr T had passed away suddenly from heart attack. It was a real shock to me to know that he is gone so soon. It’s even more sadder to see the photo he took with his daughter- how proud he had looked during his daughter’s graduation (probably during diploma graduation) and now he is gone forever.

Often, this becomes very hard to accept. Heart attack is really a silent killer- it comes without any signs and suddenly, the person is gone. It is also the number one killer in Malaysia.

This agent of mine was a very kind man. He used to have a corporate job but left the job after becoming disillusioned with the kind of life, politics involved. He also felt he did not want to continue working for the rest of his life, surviving from paycheck to paycheck. And he wanted to spend more time with his family. So he made the decision to venture out to become an investment agent.

Mr T was recommended to me by a good friend of mine- who herself is very well versed and experienced in finance. And she was always happy with his service because he follows up well. So if she recommends anyone, it must be good. At that point, my friend was concerned that I was just working and not investing and thus, persuaded me to just invest and introduced Mr T to me.

He has a fatherly nature and he took care of our accounts well.  He was not a born salesman and was never good at sweet-talk- but the thing that won us over was his sincerity. Unlike some agents, he was not the pushy type or someone who are in just for the commission. What he had wanted to build was long term relationship with his clients- instead of ‘hit and run’. He had offered to oversee some of his client’s investments from agents that went MIA- even though he did not earn any commision from it. He found value in what he was doing and was motivated by that vision….when previously during work, there was no such satisfaction.

Of course, investment in mutual funds are risky business. It is long term and depends on the risk appetite of the client. But so many of his clients had profited from the investment. Come to think of it, there are risks in everything in life- to put aside a little amount every month is better than wasting in gourmet dining or impulse shopping… put in fixed deposit and you would see the value of your money depreciating because the rate paid is lower than inflation rate.

I’ve never realised he had health problems until during one session of outing where I saw him to sign some documents- that he told me he had diabetes, high blood pressure and he also suspected that he had some kidney problems- because of white foam in his urine (he knew I write a health blog so we were discussing some mind-body connection and it was when he told me of his health problems).  The conditions likely begun during his corporate working life and as he pursue his own business that he felt benefited others and brings more value, the condition had been under control.

However, everything has its downside and friends of mine who are long term on this line would tell me that with everything hanging on the line, if they cannot meet the target, they cannot sleep at night.

I had gently urged him to take good care of himself- and not to stress so much as high blood pressure is triggered mainly by stress. I saw a brief shadow over his face- probably triggered by worry for his wife and children should anything happen to him. I remembered I also nagged him about the oily hokkien mee that he ordered for lunch as he should stay away from such food given his condition- as I remembered how my late dad had also loved the hokkien fried mee.

Given his demise, I know I would miss his kindness and fatherly ways.

He would have planned well for his family- as he had started investing for decades (when mutual fund prices was so low and not many people buy them yet) and the wealth have built up substantially over the years. At least his family would be able to collect the comission for another few years- and by that time, his daughter would have fully graduated.

He always had time for his family as he was the one sending and fetching his daughter from college. He could afford one of the best private college for his daughters and qualify for the yearly incentive award trips to overseas. His own business had provided him the flexibility of doing so- and he got to keep a much higher portion of what he had earned. He need not be a born salesman- he just talked to people about investment and help them and got referrals through word of mouth.

Mr T had chosen a life of quality. Given such conditions, had he chosen to work in the corporate world, if anything happened to him, his family would have not gotten much and would be left suddenly in a lurch and financial problem.

He would be sadly missed.

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