The Investment Scientist

My Best Investment in 2016

Posted on: December 7, 2016


A few months ago, I stumbled upon a report about a homework essay written by a nine year old girl, Jia Jia, in rural China. The title of the essay was “If I live to be a grownup 如果我能长大.” It turns out Jia Jia suffers from thalassemia, a blood disease that requires a blood transfusion every 40 days.  Without them, she would die. Jia Jia was abandoned by her own parents because they could not afford the medical treatments, but her grandmother refuses to give up on her.

Jia Jia is  very aware of her own mortality, but she still has dreams. In the essay, she wrote how she was heartbroken to see her grandmother weep because she did not have enough money for her granddaughter’s  treatment. She also wrote  that if she lives to be a grownup, she wants to take care of her grandmother so she never has to worry about  her again; she wants to become a doctor, so she can treat those people who can’t afford medical treatments.

I was so touched by the overflow of love despite their tragic situation that I called the reporter to get the grandma’s phone number and home address.

When I travelled in China last month for my high school reunion, I gave the grandma a call to find out more about their situation. She sent me a photo of her and her granddaughter.The girl is pale and small because the disease has stunted her growth, but she smiles like an angel.

The blood transfusion that Jia Jia  needs every 40 days costs about 1000 yuan, the equivalent of $150. I sent 1000 yuan right away through WeChat Pay, which reached her account instantly.  Even though the money is only good for one treatment, I got tons of blessings and gratitude in return from Jia Jia and her grandmother and an invitation to visit them in their home.

I plan to keep sending her money for treatments. The next installment will be on Christmas Day. Since I shared the story on Facebook, two friends have already offered to donate the next two installments. For future installments, if I can’t raise the funds  from friends,  I will send them out of my own pocket.

I am very hopeful that Jia Jia will someday be cured . Her grandma mentioned to me something about a stem cell transplant, and that one of their relatives is willing to donate bone marrow.

Believe it or not, this is the best investment I’ve made this year, since it’s an investment in the life and hope of a little girl who deserves to live to be a grownup. No stock or bond can compare.

Schedule a Discovery review with me, or get my white paper for free: The Informed Investor: 5 Key Concepts for Financial Success.

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Michael Zhuang is principal of MZ Capital, a fee-only independent advisory firm based in Washington, DC.


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