It’s not easy to change a habit. Really! This blog was born because I started to adopt a new habit. It’s been almost eight years now since I started to take investing seriously. And I’m still learning till now. It would have been a more fruitful journey had I documented my logic and thought process when making every investing decision. Anyway, it’s better late than never. So here it is. This blog will serve as my virtual journal to keep track and record.
Back in March 2009, I still remembered how I stepped inside the Phillips Investor Center in Toa Payoh Central. It all started from a spark of curiosity and a desire of improving my personal finance situation.
If I could turn back time, here are the top three advice I would tell my old-self:
- Never let others to be in charge of your finances – Somehow after reading so many books on finance and investing, I decided that one way to improve my finances is by taking it into my own control. It’s my money anyway. I work hard for it. Why trust it to others? I used to have a portfolio of unit trusts managed by an independent financial adviser. But apparently, their interests are not always aligned to yours. I suggested to take profit, but he suggested to hold. It was January 2007. The peak of the market. After then, huge losses came in and I had no choice but to liquidate back then. Looking back, I could have just sit still and let the portfolio rebound. But I was not enlightened enough back then.
- Always seek to learn – Learn new knowledge. It can be from books, from a mentor, or from a community. With the internet era like now, it’s even getting easier to obtain information. I found that certain websites such as ValueBuddies has a collection of quality posts and ideas.
- Try not to lose a huge sum of money along the way – Your capital seed is limited. It’ll take a 100% gain in order to compensate a 50% loss of our portfolio. Never make huge risky bets with a substantial amount of your portfolio. Try to limit risky bets up to 10% of the portfolio. Here comes the important lesson of portfolio allocation. If your bet turns out to be a bad one (you never know Chris!), you won’t lose big time.
I am sure that there are other crucial tips for beginners who’re just about to embark on their journey. Will share them along the way.