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27 Feb 2024

General Investing

How much should one have and at what age should one start investing?


How much should one have as capital to start investing? or at what age should one start investing?

Background info:

I'm currently studying in Uni, no fixed income, 6mth emergency funds saved (from bursary funds), would like to start investing or making my idle/liquidable funds to work for me. E.g. T-Bills, SSB, FDs, Cash Management Funds, etc.

How much should I try to invest per month to start off small? And which platform has the least risk to lost my capital funds?

Discussion (23)

What are your thoughts?

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There is no fixed capital to start with. Most importantly, cultivate the habits required

As the saying goes, the best time to invest was yesterday and the second best time is today. The earlier you start investing, the sooner you can tap on the wonders of compound interest and reap greater returns. However, this advice may not be the best for you if you can’t afford to invest just yet.

Ideally before you even invest, you should:

  • Have a stable monthly income
  • Have an emergency fund of at least six months of your expenses NOT for investment. Use this Emergency Fund Calculator to work out your required amount.
  • Have basic insurance protection (life insurance, income protection, disability insurance, integrated shield & critical illness)

Still, If you start investing with a small amount, and consistently do so over time, you can harness the power of dollar-cost averaging (DCA). DCA is an investment strategy of putting in an amount of money regularly (e.g. monthly or quarterly), instead of investing a lump sum of money. This strategy can be adopted for a short period of less than a year, or even for a longer term goal like retirement.

I'd say even a small amount is better than nothing when starting out. As a student, maybe $50-100 per month could be a good starting point to get experience without putting your emergency fund at risk.

Platforms like Endowus or Syfe are good low-cost options to choose diversified ETFs or robo-advisors with minimal fees. That way even a small amount can start earning over time.

As for age, the earlier the better to let investments compound over decades. But it's never too late - you're already ahead by educating yourself now. Keep learning and investing what you can spare each month. It'll add up before you know it.

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I also have this question.. but i guess it depends on individual... i started investing only a few y...

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