Of Losses and Gains

November 07, 2022

I usually don't have regrets because of my might as well life mantra, but one thing that I have been kicking myself in the bum for was not being more diligent with personal finance earlier. 

Photo taken on June 4, 2018 on my first day at work in Thomson Reuters at Science Park Drive, Singapore. 

Back in June this year (2022), I celebrated my 4th year anniversary with the same company called Thomson Reuters. Pictured in the hero image above are two photos I took during my first day at work in our Singapore office, where I used to live. 

This moment was sentimental because I had just "exited" my AppDev career after 8 years. From a completely technical career, I career-switched into the industry of enterprise tech sales as a Presales Consultant or Solutions Consultant.

But this is not a career post. 

It is also, yet again, another personal finance post as these are topics that seem to be effortless for me to write these days.

I have been a casual retail investor for more than 8 years now. The one thing I regret is not getting on the company Employee Shares Purchase Plan or ESPP back in June 2018. Back then the $TRI stock was worth $44. With the ESPP perk, there would be an employee discount so that purchase price would be even lower had I signed up to allocate a portion of my salary into buying into my employer's stock.

Today, $TRI is worth $105 a pop. 

It would have been a 138% investment growth. Pretty impressive stock performance despite the pandemic and all other macroeconomic factors that has happened in the past 4 years.

Of course it's one of those shoulda, coulda, woulda moments but so I can feel better about this, I tell myself that this is a clear example of why investing is much better than saving the money in a bank. Investment growth is what can fight the rough effects of inflation head-on.

Furthermore, there is so much that can be said about companies that are running marathons and not sprints. While Big Tech companies like Twitter, Meta, etc are currently laying off employees at an astounding rate, Thomson Reuters on the other hand has been consistently, but slowly growing. 

From our Q3 2022 results, the company is now on a 3rd consecutive quarter of 7% recurring revenue growth, total organic revenue is up 6%, and the company repurchased $855 million worth of company.

Four years ago, I heavily questioned if I was doing the wrong thing by moving into a non-technical role. I was scared and went home crying from anxiety before I signed my job offer. (I was literally sobbing while walking in my neighbourhood from the subway into my apartment) So far, if we are going to look at how my life has progressed, I wouldn't do it any other way. 

So while I "lost" at the opportunity of gaining a 3-digit percentage growth, I choose to look at joining a good, resilient company as an overall "gain."

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