Beginners clued in on investing at ST talk

IT WAS back to basics for the students at the final Straits Times' Young and Savvy talk on financial literacy and investment planning yesterday.

The 150 students attending the two-hour seminar at the Nanyang Technological University (NTU) wanted the lowdown on how to approach investing as first-timers. They asked a panel of speakers to recommend products that are safe for beginners.

ST journalist Cheryl Ong said it is more important to first set aside money for daily expenses, insurance and savings. But beginners with cash to spare could consider an exchange-traded fund which tracks the Straits Times Index. This instrument allows investors to enter the market at a lower cost and to diversify their risks, rather than sinking all their money into one stock, she said.

A student from the Nanyang Business School wanted tips on how to be less emotional when investing in the stock market.

Second-year student Chua Chung Yeow, vice-president of research and education at NTU's Investment Interactive Club, said writing a journal is one way to go.

"When I first buy an investment, I try to write down what I feel about it. And I look back to see if conditions have changed. If the thesis still holds, then I will keep the stock."

Mr Vasu Menon, head of content and research for wealth management at OCBC, joked that "investing is like watching your weight". He cautioned: "When you start listening to every piece of news that comes out, then you're no longer an investor, you're a speculator... Do your research, get it right, convince yourself you're doing the right thing, and get it at a valuation that's not too expensive."

Mr Chu Toh Chieh, senior portfolio manager at Lion Global Investors, was also part of the panel discussion which was moderated by ST money editor Lee Su Shyan.

The seminar was organised by The Straits Times with sponsor Frank by OCBC, and held in partnership with the NTU Nanyang Business School and NTU Investment Interactive Club.

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