Investors must stop blaming others for their own mistakes

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 20 November, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 20 November, 2008, 12:00am

I refer to the letter by Ng Hoi-yiu ('Financial crisis made worse by selfish bankers', November 18).

While one may blame the bankers for creating structured products that damaged their industry and the economy, I do not agree that the bankers and the government must take all the blame. Investors are also responsible for their own losses.

Certain products were mis-sold to a portion of the public, but can we rule out the fact that other people were driven by greed when they bought the structured products?

It is irresponsible of your correspondent to place all the blame on the government and the banks. This kind of mentality should be discouraged in our society.

As a child, my parents taught me to be a responsible person. I was told that instead of pointing fingers, I must face the consequences of all my decisions. I was taught that if I got into trouble I had only myself to blame. As an investor I asked every possible question and read all the material provided before I invested.

I learned that even though certain stocks or products are perceived to be low risk, there is always a risk that I will lose all my principal. It is not difficult to understand that if you invest in a blue chip company, no matter how solid the company is, there is always the possibility that it will go bust.

I am not denying that some investors were misled by the banks and I am not trying to say that all minibond investors deserve to lose all their money, I only wish to point out that we should all learn to be responsible adults, admit the mistakes we make and accept the full consequences. Our next generation should be taught this so they can become better people and ensure Hong Kong is a better place to live and work.

I think your correspondent was wrong to blame banks for lending money in a bull market and not lending money in a bear market.

It is important that regulators and banks should all learn from this Lehman minibonds saga.

It is equally important that the general public in Hong Kong (including myself) should educate itself more when it comes to investment.

Yiu Yuk-chun, Happy Valley