30 Mar 2021
I'm planning to use firstrade to buy US growth stocks and DBS Vickers to buy SG dividend stocks. I'm still thinking if I should include any ETFs, currently I'm looking at the STI ETF. Would love to hear your thoughts on this, thank you!
Hey fellow uni student, congratulations on planning to DIY your own investments!
1) Brokerage Account
Your plan to use Firstrade and DBS Vickers for the US and SG market respectively looks good. I understand that Firstrade offers commission-free trading which is pretty attractive, but I personally use Tiger Brokers which charges $1.99 USD per trade because of their fast approval and deposits as well as awesome user interface and user experience. For DBS Vickers, be sure to choose to Cash Upfront option (S$10) instead of the usual one (S$25). I would also suggest opening an FSMOne account and link it to your CDP account should you wish to sell your SG stocks in the future. This is because DBS Vickers doesn't have a Cash Upfront option for selling, so if you were to use DBS Vickers to sell your SG stocks, you'll have to pay the usual charges (S$25), whereas FSMOne only charges S$10. The benefit of using DBS Vickers to buy is that your stocks will be credited to your CDP account, but if that's not a dealbreaker to you then you can just use FSMOne (custodian account) for both buying and selling (~S$10).
2) US growth stocks vs SG dividend stocks
An important consideration here is the amount of capital you have on hand. Firstly, when you trade in the US market, you can just buy 1 unit of shares as compared to the SG market, where you will need to buy at least 100 units of shares. Secondly, in order for you to get a decent and juicy amount of dividends, you'll need a relatively huge capital as well otherwise the dividends would be quite insignificant, in my opinion. For me, I would focus on US (growth) stocks and/or ETFs at this point in time, where my main goal is to grow my capital instead of getting passive income from dividends.
If you can't decide which stock to pick then it'll be good to go with an ETF for diversification. Some ETFs that you can consider are ARKK, VTI, and QQQ. Personally, I wouldn't recommend the STI ETF as it's not really diversified (only 30 companies with a significant allocation to financials) and due to its poor growth prospects (decent dividends though). While one may argue that the current price is a steal since it usually trades above S$3 pre-COVID, it's important to consider the opportunity cost as well. If you can possibly get higher returns with another ETF such as one that tracks the S&P500, why not? There are many articles online on why you should invest in the S&P500 instead of STI, do check it out!
Hope this helps & all the best!
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I recently wrote an article sharing my portfolio as a 21 year old dude. Been investing for 3 years, my portfolio strategy has evolved very much and I am pleased to share that majority of my holdings are in blue chip growth stocks and DBS as my dividend cum capital appreciation stock. You may take a look at the article.
I think having ETF in your portfolio is great as you can get hold of the overall market while still picking your highest conviction growth stocks. However, I would not choose STI ETF as the ETF but instead will choose S&P 500 ETF, based on past performance.
My advice is to concentrate on career until you have 50k. This amt will make sure you have the right...
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