Billionaire “Warren Buffett” gets rich by investing his whole life. Becoming a super-rich person may not be your dream; the truth is that we can learn from what he has been doing if we want to be financially independent.
Long-term investing is one of the only sources of wealth creation besides working. You may hope to generate adequate financial resources to live a decent life in retirement through proper investing. If you think of it as a duty for yourself, the rest are how and what to invest. Consider taking some investment courses to understand more on financial planning for the future.
In this article, you’ll learn different options for investment in Singapore for beginners and the popular investment tools available to help you reach your financial goals.
Things to Consider Before Investing
There are different investment options to choose from in Singapore. From the Singapore stock market to investing in start-ups, Singaporeans can start investing in different assets that match their investment goals.
If you don’t know your investing style, it may be tough to manage your investments. You may suffer the loss by using the wrong tools. Here are some factors to consider before you start investing:
It is crucial first to pay off your debts before you start investing. Ensure you pay to offer all your loans and high-interest debts. Some debts, including mortgages, can be an exception since they take a long time to pay off.
The rule of thumb when it comes to investing is first to pay off all your debts unless you are sure that all your investments will give you high yields and offset the interest rates of your debts. If you are starting with investing, you might not be in a position to estimate your gains accurately.
Once you pay off your debts, you can use the extra money to start investing.
2. Emergency Funds
Before investing, you should also have a solid emergency fund as a safety net in case of unforeseen circumstances. You might not know what will happen in the future that might need a large sum of money. It is essential not to invest all your savings so you can deal with any cash flow issues you might have.
Some investment tools charge penalties if you withdraw your money before maturity. This might cause you to lose out on the gained interest making your investment pointless in the first place.
We recommend storing your money in high-interest savings accounts and letting your money work better for you.
3. Insurance Coverage
Before you start investing, it is crucial to know that in case you get sick, your health expense will be well covered in case you fall ill or are diagnosed with a critical illness. Healthcare can quickly wipe out your savings.
It is essential to ensure that your insurance portfolio is sorted out before you start putting your money into any investments. Once you are well covered, you will be at peace knowing that you will not be required to tap into your investment pool in case of any illness.
4. Reasons for Investing
Like life’s purpose, you will mobilize yourself and strive to achieve your goals with one or more financial goals at heart. If you like traveling, you may hope to take a trip to a place you dream about with the money. If you don’t want to work for someone, you may have a lump sum to start your business. And children’s education and retirement are your financial goals in the next 10 to 20 years.
Properly setting up financial goals is the first step toward goals in your life. You should write them down and prioritize your goals in preferential order. Once you have done them, you can go on to the next step.
You can decide to invest in stocks or exchange traded funds from the stock market to earn capital gains from your investments. The Singapore exchange should be one of the first places to start investing and growing your investment portfolio.
5. Your Goals
After you have listed your targets, the next step is usually to determine the time frame to complete them. However, during this period, you should remember that investing takes time.
A clear time horizon guides you through different stages, from asset allocations to pragmatic adjustments. You may find it hard to reach your goals without a well-defined road map because you have no idea when reviewing and adjusting your portfolio performance. Therefore, you may probably be close to failure.
Different brokerage accounts offer different investment terms.
6. Your Risk Appetite
“The higher the risk, the higher the return.” You may think it right to put all your investments in stocks or futures, and you can maximize the returns. It’s half true! The investment market is volatile, and fluctuations are normal. If you do not know your risk appetite, you may suffer losses from gyrations caused by unpredictable events.
Financial analysis is necessary to produce your attitude and acceptance level for financial risks before making asset choices and investment strategies. You may need to know the unfinished side: “The higher the risk, the heavier the loss.”
7. Your Investment Strategy
You know the goals and the time frames to complete, and you recognize what risk you can take in investing. The final one is the assets. It is important to have a clear-cut strategy that will inform all your investment decision.
Your strategy will inform the investment product you choose for your portfolio. In addition, creating a diversified portfolio and considering market volatility when investing is important.
Top 10 Investment Options in Singapore
Since the beginning, the financial world has been evolving with new investing tools like Robo advisors or cryptocurrencies with technological advances. If you don’t know about the latest investment tools, you may make mistakes by investing in them. The fundamental investing knowledge still rules.
The following assets are popular among Singaporeans.
1. Singapore Saving Bonds (SSB) and Corporate Bonds (CB)- Best for Low-Risk Investors
Singapore Savings Bond (SSB) is a financial product that individual investors offer to grow their money. SSB is a form of government securities issued and guaranteed by the government. They are a bond where you lend money to the Singapore government.
They are a low-risk form of investment and offer low returns. SSBs have high liquidity since you can withdraw the money at any time. However, they have a limited investment amount capped at around S$200,000 for an individual, and the bonds are non-transferable.
To buy an SSB, you must apply h through OCBC, DBS/POS, UOB ATS, or OCBC’s marble application. Please note that you cannot apply for an SSB in person at a bank.
2. Unit Trusts
Unit trusts are a type of pooled investment vehicle, meaning that your money is invested alongside other people for a collective goal, including minimizing risk and maximizing returns. They are an open-ended financial tool, meaning you can redeem the units at any time, making them fairly liquid.
When you invest in unit trusts, you are investing in a portfolio of assets that will appreciate over time, leading to capital growth. Unit trusts have a trustee responsible for managing the fund. They will often be contracted by financial companies such as insurance companies and banks.
3. Structured Deposits (SD)
Structured Deposits combine deposits with investment products. This means that they depend on the performance of an underlying financial assets benchmark or products. They may include shares, interest rates, market indices, bonds, or fixed income securities.
Structured deposits provide higher returns than fixed deposits but take on more risk. They have a possibility of receiving lower returns than expected.
You will receive the principal amount of the structured deposit upon maturity, but the returns are subject to the credit risk of the bank holding the deposits. If you decide to withdraw your deposit early, you might not get 100% of the money you invested.
Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) are a pool of money from a group of investors on a portfolio of income-generating real estate assets. There are different REITs available in the market from various sectors. They are a high-yield asset class with the ability to offer to generate passive incomes.
REITs are traded on the Singapore Stock Exchange (SGX), similar to stocks. You can be purchased REITs through brokerage accounts. They are a great investment asset for most people since they do not require millions of dollars to invest in real estate.
REITs offer high liquidity compared to investing in physical properties in terms of fees, commissions, and taxes. With REITs, you can buy and sell them at any time.
Also known as equities, shares are a form of investment that is available in the stock market and gives you ownership of a listed company. Investing in stocks is a great way to ride on a firm’s future growth. In most cases, you will get great returns in the form of dividends and capital gains.
You will first need to open a CDP account to invest in Singapore stocks. A CDP account stores and keeps your Singapore equities safe. After opening a CDP account, you will need to link your Singapore bank account with your CDP for your dividends to be credited.
Once you open your CDP account, you must open a brokerage account. This is where you will be making your buy and sell trades. There is a wide range of brokerages in Singapore to choose from. Be sure to do your research beforehand so you can choose the best.
Exchange-traded Funds are a popular investment tool for both beginners and experienced investors. ETFs are baskets of securities, including bonds, dividend stocks, and commodities. They track the performance of an index such as the Straits Times Index (STI) and S&P 500, making it a great investment choice for passive income.
ETFs are listed on stock markets and offer a lower-risk option of investing in shares/stocks. ETFs allow beginners to expose themselves to different financial tools while reducing investment risk. It is also a great way to diversify your portfolio without putting all your eggs in one basket.
ETFs are an investment method called dollar cost averaging, which involves a series of periodic investments of a given schedule, making it easier to invest a small amount of money over a long period.
7. CPF Special Accounts
CPF Special Accounts are retirement accounts that allow you to earn 4% of your deposits risk-free. CPF SA takes money off your account and invests it while keeping the balance at a minimum before you reach the age of 55.
CPF Special accounts offer inflation-beating interest rates making it a great investment option since your money will never lose its value. They provide a reliable absolute return and are safe from creditors. If you go bankrupt, creditors cannot seize funds off your CPF.
8. Endowment Plans
Insurance companies now offer endowment plans and an alternative method to grow your savings. Long-term and short-term investment plans are designed to help you save up for your significant milestones.
Endowment plans are typically used to save for your child’s education, retirement, or other fixed milestones. Short-term endowment plans take 2 to 6 years to mature, while long-term endowment plans take anywhere from a decade to 25 years.
9. Fixed Deposits
Fixed deposits are low-risk savings accounts with a fixed and guaranteed interest from the money you deposited over a certain period ranging anywhere from one week to three years. Your money will earn interest with regular payout options, usually quarterly or annual.
Other than the agreed payouts, you cannot withdraw from the account before the end of the tenure unless you want to incur the penalties. If you incur the penalties, you will earn less interest on your deposit and early termination fees.
10. Robo Advisors
Risk: Low & High
Artificial intelligence (AI) advances bring investing world new products and services. A Robo advisor uses algorithm computing to invest for clients. The popular Robo investors have StashAway, Syfe, Endowus, and even household banks such as DBS, OCBC, and UOB.
A Robo advisor is an investment platform where clients choose an investment package according to a client’s financial needs. The AI machine regularly automates and rebalances a client’s portfolio. The investment packages range from low to high risks and consist of ETFs and stocks like REITs.
Robo investing is a hands-free investing service. As an investor, you choose one or more investment products and let a Robo do the rest. It is suitable for beginners or busy investors with other engagements.
An issue with Robo investing is it can handle simple investing activities according to pre-set formulae. Complicated transactions like hedging and derivatives trading are out of reach. Therefore, Robo can reduce investment costs; but it only performs simple tasks. Find out the top Robo advisors in Singapore.
Investment is a necessary part of accumulating wealth. You need it on the path towards retirement, education, or other goal-setting purposes. Before choosing the most desirable investing style, you should consider your circumstances in detail.
- Active investing suits risk-takers believing above-average returns.
- Hassle-free and long-term investors fit for passive investors.
- Dividend investing is appropriate for passive income investors.
- Speculation is for investors desiring a vast sum of money quickly.
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