First up, a disclaimer: I am in no way an expert in trading/investing, and I will never consider myself as one; because to me, trading/investing is a never-ending journey of learning, taking steps to improve your trading/investing plan, evaluating the outcome, and back to more learning to further improve myself.
Most of the years, I will spend this very day overseas. But this year, because of the Covid-19 outbreak, I am “stuck” in Singapore, and not only that, I’m also not able to drive out to window shop in the retail malls (as a huge majority of them are shut due to the “circuit breaker” measures implemented by the Singapore government to curb the community spread of the virus), nor can I dine in my favourite F&B outlets (as many of them are temporarily closed as well.)
Since I’m pretty much stuck at home today, I shall make use of the start of my day to write a post to share something about myself – particular my journey as a full-time retail investor, with hope that I can inspire those who are sitting on the fence to make the leap over and get started.
In case you’re wondering:
- Business and Mathematics used to be my worst subjects in school.
- I was a graduate in the area of Information Technology (where my forte is in programming.)
- I have zero knowledge in the area of finance and accounting.
- In the past, I have absolutely no interest in the stock market (my dad have asked me in a couple of occasions to help him read charts and all but as I had zero interest in the stock market back then, I have rejected him time and time again.)
- I only started learning about trading/investing when I was 37.
You can say that my dad’s passing, and my role thereafter in executing his will was a turning point for me. I was in a way, “made” to pick up the ropes about trading/investing, so that I have the know-how to handle the portfolio he left behind.
I’m not going to lie and say that picking up everything there is to know to get started in trading/investing is a breeze, because it is everything but.
I still remember the very first book I read about trading/investing was Adam Khoo’s “Secrets of Millionaire Investors”, along with the now-defunct “Motley Fool Singapore” (I even signed up for their paid membership service “Stock Advisor Singapore” to learn about how to analyse companies in deeper details, and modelled some of them in my company write-ups in this site), where I spent a couple of months to read through each and every published article.
As I had zero financial background, many of the financial jargons within were alien to me. But thankfully for me, my wife is an accountant, and she was able to guide me through by explaining some of those financial jargons I’ve encountered along the way. After pelting her with numerous questions everyday for a fair bit of time, I finally know how to make sense of a company’s income statement, balance sheet, and cash flow statement, and slowly began my analysis of companies.
Apart from learning from the various trading/investment-related books and websites, I also paid my fair share of “school fees” in the stock market. Just like anyone who are new to trading/investing, it is inevitable one makes mistakes and end up losing money as a result. When I was just getting started, I felt the pinch with every single loss I made, but over time, I came to terms with it – with each and every losing trade I make, I looked for lessons to be had (as the saying goes, we learn much more when we lose than when we win.)
Fast forward to today, where I have about 3 years of experience in the area of trading/investing, and looking back, while the journey had been a really tough one, but each and every day I spent in trading/investing was a fulfilling one. Looking ahead, I look forward to even more learning from more books, investment websites, as well as from fellow investors and traders in Investingnote (many of them with so much more experience than me.) At the same time, I’m also looking to impart my knowledge and experience with others in a form of more writeups in The Singaporean Investor.
Speaking about this website, I am really encouraged, and deeply humbled by all the wonderful compliments, including the site being included as one of the Top 75 Investment Blogs for Singaporean Investors (I’m totally wow-ed by this as the site was barely under a year old when it was included in this list.) A very big thank you to each and every one of you for your support and your feedback (on how I can further improve the site.)
Quite a number have even asked if I have any plans to write books, conduct courses on trading/investing, or a one-on-one coaching. Thank you for thinking so highly of me so much so that you want to learn from me. As I am operating The Singaporean Investor alone currently, and due to the amount of work involved in maintaining the site, on top of my work involved everyday to study companies and do short-term trading, I will need some time to think about how I can implement all these. You will definitely hear about it in due course should I have any plans to do all of the above (writing a book, developing a training course, or doing one-on-one coaching.)
With that, I have come to the end of my post for today, and I hope that whatever I have shared above will help set your expectations right (in that you need to first spend a fair bit of time to learn everything you need to know before you start trading/investing), and that it is inspiring enough to have you leap over the fence (for those of you who are sitting on it) to get started – If someone like me can do it, I’m sure all of you can do it as well!
If you have any questions, you’re most welcome to let me know here. While I cannot guarantee that I have all the answers (as my experience is still pretty much limited in my personal opinion), but I will definitely do my best to answer each and every one of them to the best of my ability.
Last but not least (this may sound lame), happy birthday to myself. My agenda for today: other than spending some time to study market movements (like I do everyday), I’ll be driving out to a hairdressing salon to have my hair properly cut (its in a huge mess right now!) Cheers!
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