Today’s emotional disaster came courtesy of some shoes I bought a couple of years ago.
I was in Seattle on a business trip, perusing REI’s discount racks, when I found a pair of purple sandals a couple of sizes bigger than the ones La Serpiente was wearing at that time. So I bought them, and then she failed to contnue to grow exponentially and so we kept them on the shelf until today.
Today was the day she finally got to wear them, and she was elated.
Destroyer less so, enviously demanding new shoes for herself and then getting upset when her demand wasn’t met. While La Serpiente skipped to school with joy in her heart, Destroyer stumbled, facing the ground, a downtrodden mess. Even when I carried her the last 100 yards to school her spirits didn’t lift, and she was hard to persuade to open her mouth for her daily health check.
So that was not a great start to the day, especially as I was trying to get to the office on time for an 9 am call, followed by a 10 am and an 11 am with no breaks in between. For the first call I could use my phone to dial in, but I’d unpaired my Bluetooth headphones so I was taking a call on the speaker while rushing from bus stop to office. Hardly the consummate professional.
I ducked out of my 11 o’clock call early, because it was rather irrelevant and I had to go see my financial adviser afterwards.
He gave me good news. Back in 2009 I made a bad investment decision, signing up for a regular investment plan where there was a long lock in, and substantial penalties if you stopped paying into it early, or if you tried to withdraw your money. The other penalty was that it didn’t do anything to stop the salesman who sold it to me from advising me to take the highest commision, lowest yielding fund choices available, so when I left Hong Kong in 2012, the fund was (on face value) worth substantially less than what I’d put in, and 50% less than that if I’d actually tried to get any money out.
Thankfully, I found a more reliable financial advisor here in Singapore, and with some work from him, we got to a point where the fund was worth no less than what had gone in. And, after a sustained period of growth since the 2008 crash, where all around were seeing gains, after 10 years the fund was worth 10% more than when I’d started. So much for money on deposit losing value over time…
Joyously, it turns out that after 10 years, there’s no redemption penalty, so I’m finally shot of the damn thing and can go and do something sensible with the money. Although given my investment decisions in the past, it seems taking the lot and putting it on a horse would be the least worst choice. (Correction: maybe not. Perhaps the damn thing has me locked in for another 15 years…)
Still, with a spring in my step I went back to the office, and was fairly productive all afternoon, then went to retrieve a $200 refund from a climbing class La Serpiente missed out on, and then put the kids to bed after letting them watch a MotoGP race. So all in all, its been a pretty good day.