I have been getting an influx of queries with regards to how to get started with investment since my interview with Money Digest. Check out the article below if you are interested to read the interview.
I have decided to compile a set of Getting Started with Investment Q&A. I hope to regularly update this Q&A moving forward.
I would like to start learning about investment. Where and how should I get started ?
1. You may want to first set a financial goal for yourself (short term and long term). Read the book “Rich Dad, Poor Dad”.
2. Analyze your current net worth and your spending habits.
3. Determine your investment risk profile. Start reading a couple of investment books that documents different style of investment (e.g. warren buffett etc). Understand the difference between trading vs investing and the risk/reward tied to them.
4. Check out the financial blogs available in Singapore. There are many financial bloggers out there that shares fantastic knowledge and insight.
5. Watch CNBC to get into the vibes of the market jargons but please take it with a pinch of salt when they ask you to buy or sell something. BTW, I love the mobile stock tracking tool by CNBC that tracks the US market.
6. Read the Analyst and Companies Annual Reports to get an understanding of how they report and evaluate businesses. Please also take it with a pinch of salt when the analyst share with you their target price, or ask you to buy or sell something.
7. Find an investment model that resonates with you most before you proceed to set up a trading account.
8. You may want to practice with a simulation trading program first e.g. Trade Hero.
9. Set up a small sum “investment tuition” fund to learn the market. This fund should be money you are prepared to lose to learn the market.
10. PLEASE do not start until you know what you are getting yourself into. Never buy based on other people’s recommendation or what you don’t understand. Do your own due diligence.
Can you recommend a Broker ?
I don’t have any broker to recommend, Personally, I am using DBS Vickers. The only reason I am using them is because I started with them and didn’t have the time to explore new options. I am not too impressed with their tools, I am only using their portfolio management tool that I am showing every month on this blog.
This site has done a comparison of the local brokers, you may be keen to check it out. You should look out for the commission that they charge as well as the markets (e.g. Singapore, HK, US etc) they support, finally whether they have good analytic tools to offer.
If you are going for US stocks, you may want to check out some US based broker that offer much cheaper commission but local brokers typically also support US and HK markets. These articles might be useful for you. Note : Don’t just go for cheapest rates, make sure these brokers have a credible background.
What are the sites that provides Stock History ?
To get the history of the stocks, there are two sites that you can bookmark.
1) SGX – Singapore Market
2) Yahoo Finance – Global Market
Should I start with the US or SG stock market ?
I would typically recommend people to start with the SG market first to learn before venturing into US. This is because it is always good to start learning from the market you are familiar with. What we call the circle of competence. Also, there are a couple of things you need to be aware of when trading in the US market. You are taxed 30% on dividends but you don’t get taxed for capital gain. However, you need to send a tax declaration form that will be provided by the broker every year to declare that you are a non-US citizen. Also, you need to take care of currency fluctuations.
Any books to recommend ?
You may want to check out these books that I have personally read and found useful. You may want to read in the following sequence.
1) Robert Kyosaki – Rich Dad Poor Dad
It’s a must read book. Very insightful. You need to understand why you need an alternative source of income. I will re-read this book every couple of years as I get different insights as years goes by.
2) Any book that provides insight into Warren Buffet ways of investing.
There are so many out there. To be honest. I haven’t found the best one so far but I have personally read the following :
– The Warren Buffett Way – Robert G. HagStrom
– Warren Buffett Wealth – Robert P. Miles
3) Adam Khoo – Winning the Game of Stocks
It is a good and simple book for beginners. I particularly liked how he listed down the different options available and how one builds up a portfolio. Please don’t get overly excited or worried over Chapter 3 and 10.
4) Bobby Jayaraman – Building Wealth Through Reits
Reits is all about real estates. If you want to delve deeper into local Reits, this book has the local relevance.
5) Andrew Hallam – The Millionaire Teacher
This guy is an advocate of index investing. I haven’t dabbled in it but I am getting curious that maybe index investing needs to form part of my portfolio as well. The story goes that Andrew used to invest in stocks and was doing very well. One day, he got cancer and he wondered how he is going to pass his portfolio to his family. That’s where he started index investing.
You can check out these books on the Amazon widget on the right to read some of the reviews. I have also included some of my other favorites.
Since Valentines is near, let’s have a “Book a Valentine Date Special”. All single boys and girls out there, if you have the book that I am recommending above and don’t mind lending or giving up the book to someone else who needs it. Please leave a comment on this page with your gender, book title, and your contact email. Those interested, just connect with them directly. I will not be doing the match-making. In return, the person borrowing the book or getting the book for free has to buy this person a meal or a drink. Deal ? :-).
For experienced investors out there, please help fine tune the Q&A with your knowledge and experience to help our newbie’s out there ! Thank you so much.