“I don’t come from a rich family,” Edward said.
|Mr. Edward Lee, Chairman
I blinked hard. “For a moment there, I thought you were related to the Taipans. Sorry to say this, but you look rich.”
“Not at all,” he said, “My parents are very simple people. My mother was a school teacher and my father was an ordinary door-to-door salesman. That’s why I believe that anyone can succeed in life.”
That day, I was having lunch with the Chairman of the Board of a few mega-companies. (I never knew that this was going to be the first of many, many lunches with Mr. Edward Lee. He has now become one of my best business and life mentors.)
“I was a bad student too,” Edward said.
“No Harvard under your belt?” I asked.
“Bo, I was a failing student all my life! People called me dumb. In fact, I never finished college.”
At that moment, a nice waiter came to our table.
Suddenly, it occurred to me that the young chap serving my dish probably had a college degree! (We were eating in a really expensive restaurant.)
And here I was, seated in front of a man who had no college degree, yet was now a billionaire.
I couldn’t wait to find out…
One of the Secret Ingredients of Success
“Do you know how bad a student I was, Bo?”
“Really bad?” I asked.
“In Grade School, I was an overweight kid who always slept at the back of the class,” he said. “Because my mother was a teacher in that same school, she would silently enter the room and wake me up. Being stout, I’d sweat a lot. She’d pull me out of the classroom, wipe my back, and change my shirt. She’d then tell me to return to class. And yes, I’d go back, sit on my chair, and sleep again.”
We both laughed. “You loved sleeping.”
“I was so lazy. And I just didn’t like school. That’s why I failed most of my subjects. All the way to High School. The only reason why I never repeated a year was because of my mother. As I told you, she was a teacher in the school.”
“Must have been very difficult for your parents.”
“I gave them hell. I caused them so much heartache. They’d cry and cry and cry in front of me, saying, ‘Edward, we know you’re not dumb!’”
“They never condemned you,” I said.
“Never. Not once did they say, ‘You’re stupid,’ or ‘You’re hopeless.’ Instead, all I saw were their tears and their unconditional love for me.”
Edward continued. “So if you ask me today, ‘What was the most important ingredient for your success?’ I would have to answer, “I am who I am today because of the unconditional love of my parents.”
“Beautiful. And did you at least try to go to college?”
“Yes. My parents insisted. But I failed there too. I cut classes and played bowling instead. By age 20, I dropped out.”
“And then what happened?”
“That was when I started investing in the stock market.”
“One day, while playing bowling, I met another bowler. I was shocked to learn that he was one of my college professors! As the days went by, we became fast friends. And he was the one who taught me how to invest in the stock market.”
“So that’s what happened. You were 18?”
“Yes. On that day, I believe that God intervened in my life.”
“By the way, after 36 years, that professor is still my friend today. He now sits in the Board of Directors in one of my companies.”
“Fantastic. And you never left the Stock Market ever since?”
“Been there for 36 years. That’s how I created my wealth, Bo.”
“Edward, here’s my big question for you. Can anyone create his wealth in the Stock Market?”
“If you can save P5000 a month, yes you can.”
“P5000 a month?”
I frowned, “But Edward, isn’t the Stock Market dangerous?” (At that point, I have not yet gotten into the Stock Market.) “So many people say that they lost a lot of money in the Stock Market. I know some who curse the day they got into it.”
Are You An Investor or Trader?
Edward chuckled. “Bo, there are two kinds of people who get into the Stock Market. There’s what you call Investors and there’s what you callTraders. Investors hold their stock positions longer with the view the company’s growth will eventually carry the price. Traders take a short-term view trying to make the most out of market swings. Trading therefore is much more difficult and more prone to risk…”
“We shouldn’t trade then?” I asked.
“Don’t get me wrong,” he said. “If you know how to trade, you’ll earn much more. And yes, I can teach you to be a good Trader. But it requires time and experience to be a good one. But because you don’t have time…”
“Hmm, you know my schedule!” I laughed.
“Because you’re always busy preaching and doing your ministry, I’d rather that you be an Investor. It’s a no-brainer. I believe anyone can be an Investor in the Stock Market. And you’ll earn millions over time.”
“So when you’re an Investor, you don’t sell?”
“You do sell, but only after ten or twenty years.”