I show you the exact moment I realized that I was a complete n00b at finance

Apparently, a decision borne of simplicity and ignorance started me on my financial journey.

Several years ago, I was confronted with the option of purchasing an Investment-Linked Policy (ILP). I remember the talk I had with the financial advisor who approached me because I was trying to figure out what she was saying half the time (from what I recall, she mentioned something about unit trusts, it being good for me, me being a young investor, getting insurance AND investment, etc, etc).

Back then, my young and naive mind gathered that she was trying to sell me something that involved me paying for others to 'look after' my portfolio. It sounded good, and I would be getting a head start in investing!

I had a question, though. "So, like, I'm paying the fund manager to look after a portfolio of my choosing?"

"You could say that, yes. It's basically a two-in-one. It's a really good deal - I actually recommended this to a lot of young Singaporeans like yourself."

"...but if I manage my own portfolio, I won't need to pay anyone, and I can just buy insurance separately, right?"

A pause.

"...well, you could, but what we have is a team of experienced professionals who have been in the industry for many years. You can trust that they will advise you and take good care of your portfolio."

Another pause. I think she was starting to get a little agitated. I blink at her.

"Ahh...it's okay, I'd be hounding them left and right anyway. I...ah...I have trust issues. I prefer doing stuff on my own anyway. Thanks though!"

I do believe I wasted her time on that bright and cheery Saturday afternoon.


Two things stuck with me as I walked to meet my friends:

1) I didn't think I needed to pay others to manage a portfolio for me. I'd rather do it myself.
2) I really knew crap-all about finance. If I'm going to achieve point #1 ^, I needed to get in the game.

For a person whose knowledge of stocks came from Neopets, movies, and the occasional mention from my father, I had a long way to go.


Investopedia was my best friend for a while. I graduated to articles and shows (Suze Orman was my favourite for a while - her 'Can I Afford It' segments were always gold). 

I practised using a simulated stock market until I'd built up sufficient savings and confidence to start investing and trading. Perused forums for insight. Read analysts' comments, and learned not to follow blindly. Spoke to peers and friends who were experienced traders, and asking for opinions - the one thing that I learned was that you could never be done learning. People always had different investment strategies - always something new to take into consideration.

And now, here I am, sharing this with you, my dear reader.

If you're new to finance, and you have no idea how to buy stocks, or if you think the Forex market looks intimidating, or if you have trouble putting money aside every month, just remember that we all started somewhere. 

Finance bloggers and writers like Motley Fool, Dividend Warrior and Budget Babe inspired me to just pen my thoughts, on my financial situation, on investment choices, etc. Kudos to them, and go check out their blogs if you have time, They're worth a read.

Anyway guys, I hope you enjoy my blog. I'm currently trying to update as soon as I have free time (which usually ends up being late at night).

Until next time.


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