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Anonymous

Asked 2w ago

How should I go about learning how to invest as an undergraduate?

I'm a 22 year old undergraduate, and I'm hoping to start investing in the near future. There are a lot of resources online and I don't know how to start learning. How can I start learning to invest (maybe reading books, etc)? Also, is it wise to start a robo-advisor account as I learn about investing? Thanks a lot!

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Frankie Rappaport
Frankie Rappaport
Top Contributor

Top Contributor (Jun)

Level 9. God of Wisdom
Answered 2w ago

Hi, dear anon,

excellent idea to start. And yes, it is very overwhelming with so many questions:

Do the finance professionals give advice free of conflicts of interest?

What are the risks, can I loose everything?

Which broker to use and how make a broker selection?

Should I buy and sell or buy and hold?

Single stocks versus Mutual Funds versus passive index ETF investing?

What books to read?

Is it wise to invest into bonds, or gold?

and many more.

I have written a text which gives (my) answer to some of these questions. As nobody knows the truth, you will find on this Seedly Q&A board diverging answers, which is normal, but bemusing.

One strategy could be to experiment in the beginning with different strategies, acknowledging that it takes time (some years) to really judge whether your performances are good.

https://seedly.sg/questions/what-is-your-general-investing-philosophy-strategy

Within this text is a link to an excellent german language book (the best on investing I believe!), You could tranlate excerpts with Google Translate.

For a beginner good concrete advice

to investing could be to start with a global passive ETF like MSCI ACWI or MSCI World; or U.S. focused with an SP500 ETF like VUSD on an europe stock exchange.

Then my own dogma in 1 sentence would be:

Invest 5-10% of your money into physical gold and the 90-95% majority only into well diversified stock ETFs and part of it into REIT ETFs via ultra-longterm Buy & Hold with periodically scheduled buying intervals using the cheapest available reliable online broker and reducing ETF and brokerage fees & charges to the minimum.

2 comments

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Question Poster

2w ago

Hi Frankie, thanks for the recommendations, I will definitely take a look at the link😊 I do intend to look at ETFs and REITs in the future! Thanks a lot
Frankie Rappaport
Frankie Rappaport

2w ago

Yes, ETFs !!! avoid Unit Trusts and high fees, then everything will work out fine. GOOD LUCK 🍀
Junior
Junior
Level 4. Prodigy
Answered 2w ago

I recommend you start reading books and start with an easy one! Here are some I have read in order from easiest to hardest.

  • Millionaire Teacher

  • Get Rich By Retirement (SG Context)

  • A Random Walk Down Wall Street

  • The Little Book that Still Beats the Market (Magic Formula - Basic form of value investing)

Meanwhile, you can also start a robo-advisor account. Relatively fuss-free for Stashaway. The one that I personally used. Although I have stopped it because I believe the fees are a bit too high and I do not have the control to choose what funds I want to invest in.

I personally use FSMOne ETF RSP. The VT fund is a 1 stop fund to globally diversify into all equity funds. VOO is also commonly recommended as well as STI ETF.

I personally buy VT because of its diversified equities. I am planning to buy QQQ in the future to further increase my weightage on US equities.

I personally do not like the STI ETF as much because its performance is rather lacklustre. Moreover, it is heavily weighted in Singapore's financial sector. Also, SGX does not do some stocks justice. Their valuations, as compared to NYSE or NASDAQ, are relatively poor.

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Junior
Junior

2w ago

The woke salaryman created a nice article comparing roboadvisors and explaining why they are not as safe as you think. Personally, I havent used Syfe before. Their REIT portfolio seems decent. I used Stashaway before when I first started out but decided to withdraw my funds from it because I was running out of the 6 months promotional period and I feel that the fees are a bit too high to justify index fund passive investing.
Question Poster

2w ago

Hi Junior, I went to look at the article by the woke salaryman and it was really good at pointing out some of the potential problems with roboadvisors. I do not think it is entirely risk-free (especially since they would ask for a person's risk appetite), but I think it would be better in making more informed choices for me when I'm still trying to build my knowledge. Thanks for the article, I'll compare some of the roboadvisors to see which suits me best!😊
Gerald Ong
Gerald Ong
Level 4. Prodigy
Updated 2w ago

Dude, I can coach you if you promise to let me publish it on my YouTube channel here. (PM me in Instagram and I'll lend u a hand)

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCRJTXOvcpLIo4rh7jBrlOMA?sub_confirmation=1

I need to make content anyways so might as well help you while I'm at it. I'm from SMU btw haha!

Hold off the robo-advisor investing first. You might get tempted. The last thing you want is to lose tens of thousands of money you spent every weekend working for the past two years, aka me.

I've been investing for about half a decade, read a TON of books on investing (initially I wanted to be a securities analyst that's why!) And had small wins of my own like https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l2EuKbpJdr0&t=307s

It depends on whether you're a nerd like me or not haha!

Not a nerd Start with investing for dummies. I think it provides a GREAT idea of the TRAPS because losing 2k when you only have 2k, is much more painful than the joy of earning an extra 2k, trust me the risk isn't worth it.

Nerd that wants to win in investing

I'd recommend learning from the best investor, which is Warren Buffett, but he doesn't teach in depth, but refers to his mentor Benjamin Graham, that wrote a masters level textbook that is still relevant today!

Intelligent Investor, then Securities Analysis (Read the newer version, older version is written in an old english and is SUPER dry). I can lend you the books if you need, or just borrow from the lib haha.

If you don't want to read and want to passively invest, then invest in US S&P500 index fund monthly! Index investing has been proven to be one of THE best investing techniques, and usually, active investing calls for at least 5% premium to be worth the time (I recall Ben Graham said that somewhere!) and you gotta ask yourself, the extra 5% of your own money worth it or not? If not, go work and earn more money and save like buffet when he was young, and like me right now.

P.S If this is helpful, please show some love cause my livelihood depends on it ;) https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCRJTXOvcpLIo4rh7jBrlOMA?sub_confirmation=1​​​

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Gideon Ng
Gideon Ng
Level 5. Genius
Answered 2w ago

Hi Anon, there's tons of resources out there that you can consider, depending on what medium suits you best.

The things that I use to improve my knowledge are books, webinars, YouTube videos, blog posts and podcasts.

I really like podcasts as you can listen to them on the go when you're on public transport etc.

For a full list of resources, you can check out my site.

Robos are great to learn about investing as they have a really barrier to entry, you can start investing with StashAway and Syfe with any initial sum.

So you can have a look at their investing strategies, see what they invest in and try to understand how the different ETFs work!

1 comment

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Question Poster

2w ago

Hi Gideon, thanks a lot for the list of resources, I will be sure to look at them! I do watch YouTube videos and listen to podcasts as well, and perhaps I'll add your recommendations to my list 😊
Sharon
Sharon
Level 6. Master
Answered 2w ago

If books are not your cup of tea, watching a video explaining the summary of a book may help. It saves time and it is also easier to understand with the visuals.

I like this channel called The Swedish Investor. He does an excellent job.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCAeAB8ABXGoGMbXuYPmiu2A

You can also start by reading more financial blogs. Here are some of my favourites:

• Dr Wealth

• Investment Moats

• Financial Horse

• New Academy of Finance

• The Invest Quest

Also, joining financial groups on Facebook (e.g. Seedly, Financial Horse's Singapore Stock, REITs and Bond Investments) will help in enhancing your knowledge as we learn from one another.

And...If you are willing to pay to accelerate your learning, you can attend courses where fellow investors teach what they know and are good at.

So far, I attended:

• The Fifth Person - Dividend Machines (Only 1 enrollment per year)

• Dr Wealth - Early Retirement Masterclass

• The Asia Report - Singapore Banks

• The Smart Investor - All Stars Portfolio

You can definitely invest with a robo-advisor as you learn. In fact, as you research, you might pick up some useful knowledge along the way.

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Lin Weiyuan
Lin Weiyuan

2w ago

Hi Sharon, out of the many classes you have attended, which one do you think is the most useful?
Sharon
Sharon

2w ago

It depends on what you want to achieve. The Fifth Person - Dividend Machines is my second course after I went for Dr Wealth's ERM. It's an enhancement for me because I find there's some gap in my knowledge in REITs. Dr Wealth's ERM is quite advanced in my opinion. If you simply just want to start somewhere, the Dividend Machines is great for beginner to intermediate levels. Also, I find the course is reasonably priced at S$488 (this year's rate - not sure about next year liao...), as compared to some courses out there in thousands. Checklists for the steps are provided and you can watch & review the videos at your own time. If you need help in your own analysis, they're there to assist too. Check out the reviews here: https://seedly.sg/reviews/investment-courses/the-fifth-person Not sure about your investment objective (dividends / growth). If you want, you can consider The Investment Quadrant. They're going to start the enrollment soon (also only once a year admission). It's a course to teach you how to identify good value-growth companies to invest in. According to Risk N Returns blog, the course fee in 2019 is USD 347. Likely to have a price increase this year.
Lok Yang Teng
Lok Yang Teng
Top Contributor

Top Contributor (Jun)

Level 9. God of Wisdom
Answered 2w ago

What you are currently studying in university and your level of commitment (time) for investing would the options.

If you are currently pursuing a degree in business or finance, then in-depth knowledge of investments is (generally) required. You could start learning about one investment instrument first (e.g. bond), how it works, how investors profit, and what are the calculations involved. Once you are confident, you can move on to the next, stocks, and repeat the process until you reach derivatives or alternative investments. Investopedia is a good place to start learning about the mechanics of them. It is good to be able to read financial statements and balance sheets and to derive insights and projections from there.

If you are not studying in a finance-related field, in-depth knowledge is (generally) not required unless you want to invest in Specified Investment Products which are complex retail investment products. There are many books recommended to read before investing which can include The Intelligent Investor, A Random Walk Down Wall Street and Rich Dad Poor Dad. For the local context, I feel Simply Invest by Goh Yang Chye is quite good. At the minimum, you need to know what the investment product is, how you can profit from it and the risks involved. Before you start investing, you should also learn about insurance and be sufficiently covered in case of unexpected circumstances.

If you want to dedicate a significant amount of time to invest, you could spend more time learning about the various investment products. Once you have a build a solid or a comfortable level of foundation, you can start building up your own investment portfolio based on your investment objective, risk appetite and investment horizon.

If, however, you do not want to spend that much time into investing as time spent on studying/working could generate more returns, you could look into passive investments. You can choose to invest in index funds with a passive investing approach that tracks the performance of a basket of securities (stocks/bonds/precious metal/commodities/funds). There are many options available such as roboadvisors like StashAway, AutoWealth and Endowus, and Regular Savings Plan like DBS Invest Saver, OCBC BCIP and FSMOne RSP. There are many articles available about them individually and their respective differences. Do research more about them before you start.

All the best!

1 comment

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Question Poster

2w ago

Thanks a lot Yang Teng! I'm not studying in any finance-related field, but I agree it would be good to understand the workings of each instruments. Nonetheless, thanks for recommending the books, I'll be sure to take a look!

Here's an unpopular opinon, I would avoid reading books at the start. First, it's extremely boring. Second, it's teaches only the basics. For example trying to read The Intelligent Investor was actually torturous to me. But it would be easier if I had a prior knowledge in investing.

Instead, I started learning about investing from live people:

i) YouTube: Start from YouTubers like Graham Stephan, Andrei Jikh, any Singaporean investing channel like Fifth Person or even my channel (www.youtube.com/ahvin2020)

ii) Go through InvestingNote.com. Learn from the community about their thoughts on real Singapore stocks.

RoboAdvisor is a good place to start. You won't learn about investing there though, but at least you still get to grow your money. Then once you invest for real, you can get a potentially much higher return than a roboadvisor.​​​

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Question Poster

2w ago

Hi Kelvin, thanks for the recommendations😊 I started reading the Intelligent Investor and it was really draggy and so I gave up🤣 I'll be sure to take a look at the YouTube accounts (including yours) and the link!
Frankie Rappaport
Frankie Rappaport

2w ago

Instead of loosing time, anyway doubtful, for analyzing dingle stocks, investing into ETFs just saves you time, no calculations, just selecting the right ETFs once
Question Poster

2w ago

Hi CH, thanks a lot for the book recommendations, I'll be sure to take a look!