Feeling empowered from the knowledge gained

Retail investors who follow the Save & Invest Portfolio Series having lunch with an expert CFA Society Singapore panel and representatives from the Singapore Exchange and The Sunday Times.
Retail investors who follow the Save & Invest Portfolio Series having lunch with an expert CFA Society Singapore panel and representatives from the Singapore Exchange and The Sunday Times.PHOTO: CFAS

Retail investors say that the lessons on the importance of diversifying an investment portfolio, picked up from following the Save & Invest Portfolio Series, have empowered them to be more disciplined in their investments.

Launched in January last year, the series features the simulated portfolios of three investors. It aims to guide retail investors in investing and on how to build a portfolio in accordance with their financial objectives and risk profile.

So far, six seminars connected to the series have been held. Besides a question and answer session hosted by the expert panel from CFA Society Singapore (CFAS), seminar participants were taken through a portfolio construction exercise by the Singapore Exchange (SGX). About 500 participants attended the last seminar in January. The next seminar will be on April 22.

Recently, four readers were invited to have lunch with the CFAS panel and representatives of both the SGX and The Sunday Times.

WISDOM FOR ALL AGES

I realised that investing shouldn't just be about stock-picking but portfolio diversification (as well). I got my retiree parents to read the series. They now know they shouldn't just put their savings into whatever product the salesperson at the bank recommends.

MR SURESH SOMASAMY, on what he has learnt from the series.

At the lunch, undergraduate Tan Wei Jie said that he felt empowered to start investing after following the series.

"The best thing is that the series cuts across age groups. There's a portfolio for my age group and another for my parents'," he said.

He hopes that the expert panel will continue to provide the rationale behind what to include in the simulated portfolios and the reasons for adjustments.

Sunday Times reader Suresh Somasamy said he learnt about asset allocation and even managed to get his parents interested in the series.

"I realised that investing shouldn't just be about stock-picking but portfolio diversification (as well). I got my retiree parents to read the series. They now know they shouldn't just put their savings into whatever product the salesperson at the bank recommends."

Retail investor Seng Kok Teng said that he used to focus solely on small local listed firms. Since following the series, he is considering diversifying into other geographies through global exchange-traded funds (ETFs).

The CFAS panel noted that in recent years, globalisation has caused a high degree of synchronisation and interdependence between major economies.

"When one fails, there is a domino effect on others. This is called correlation. Our objective in building these portfolios is to bring together asset classes that have low correlation with each other, to better protect any downside," said the panel.

Lorna Tan

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on March 12, 2017, with the headline 'Feeling empowered from the knowledge gained'. Print Edition | Subscribe