|David Webb wrote this on his website today (8 June 2020) and we have taken the liberty to republish it, so it reaches a wider audience of investors. If nothing else, this article brings home the truth that "health is wealth". David is a stock investor and former investment banker but he is best-known as an activist in the stock market in Hong Kong.
Dear friends, readers and fellow HK citizens,
Forgive this rather impersonal approach, but there are just so many people I need to reach with this news here and around the world that this is the most efficient means to do so.
Webb-site.com will now begin a more sporadic, semi-dormant phase. It's been a blast, but like all good things and life itself, it has to end sooner or later. I firmly believe you only get one shot at life - indeed, the self-aware "you" emerges from your brain's neural network and is just a product of biology, chemistry and physics - you are your life. There is no afterlife or reincarnation. Having been born with a good brain and the fortuitous circumstances of being adopted as a baby into a loving family in a first-world country, I have seized every opportunity and lived life to its fullest so that I will have no regrets at the end of it, however long or short it may be.
On 12-May-2020, I went to see an orthopaedic surgeon about what I thought was a trapped nerve or a slipped disc, causing some arm pain which had started in my left hand and appeared until then to be nothing more than a bit of carpal tunnel syndrome from decades of computer keyboard use. He sent me for an MRI of my spine. The arm pain went away, but 4 days later, I learned that I had tumours along the length of my spine. Numerous further scans and a biopsy have determined that I have metastatic prostate cancer all over my skeleton, but thankfully a brain MRI shows nothing (except a brain).
Cancer all over skeleton
“I learned that I had tumours along the length of my spine. Numerous further scans and a biopsy have determined that I have metastatic prostate cancer all over my skeleton, but thankfully a brain MRI shows nothing (except a brain)."
I've been up a rapid learning curve on this illness over the last few weeks. While nobody would want this, there's never been a better time to get prostate cancer, with breakthroughs in life-extending combination therapies and new drugs having been discovered in the last 10 years or so, with more in ongoing trials.
Like every battle I've fought for corporate and economic governance in HK, I will fight this will full vigour, and hope to beat it for several years as new treatments emerge, staying at least one step ahead.
I still have a lot to live for, including a beloved, supportive wife and our two wonderful children whom I hope to see graduate and start their adult lives.
Prostate cancer normally strikes much later in life and many older men die with it rather than from it. It doesn't shorten their lives. But at the age of 54, my life expectancy has suddenly been rather drastically reduced, so you will understand that I now need to reprioritise and give less time to the public good. There will probably be no more time-consuming, in-depth investigations of crooked corporate networks like Enigma, and fewer articles overall. I will have to be more economical with my time, but I will continue to write and speak out on the big issues where I feel it can make a difference, so don't count me out yet!
The 22-year archive of content on Governmental and regulatory policy errors will serve its purpose - fellow journalists and campaigners should dig deep and often, because most of the issues are unresolved. Keep the pressure up. I will try to find a new permanent home for the maintenance and update of the Webb-site Who's Who database, which is widely used by journalists and researchers. This would hopefully outlive me with continued free public access, perhaps housed in a university faculty or other non-profit organisation.
For those who follow my disclosed long-term investments in HK-listed small-caps, don't worry. I will continue to manage my own portfolio for as long as I am able, and when the time comes I, or if the clock stops prematurely, my estate, will hand it over to professional asset managers. My illness means nothing in terms of my propensity to invest or divest - indeed many of these stocks are cheaper on fundamentals than they have been in a decade.
One of the side effects of minor celebrity in HK is that as I move around town I often get recognised. That's usually a pleasant experience, but it also means I've been recognised by people in cancer clinics and hospitals, so one of the reasons for going public with this news is to reassure fellow investors, as the news would get out sooner or later.
I won't be launching a health journal or giving rolling updates, so that's all I wish to say on this subject. If you're shocked, then sorry, but so was I.
Carpe diem, and Ga Yau!
David M Webb