Students are becoming increasingly switched on about finance and the risks and rewards of investing if a lively seminar staged by The Straits Times yesterday is anything to go by.
The questions came thick and fast from the 350-strong audience, from asking how to set up a brokerage account to whether it is too risky to invest in your own own start-up.
The Straits Times Young and Savvy talk on personal finance and investing at the Shaw Foundation Alumni House auditorium of the National University of Singapore (NUS) was the first in a series of five that will be held over the next few months.
One of the speakers, Mr Vasu Menon, head of content and research for wealth management at OCBC Bank, noted during the event that students have become "a lot more savvy and sophisticated".
"The fact that you're thinking about this, and the fact that you realise that interest rates are low, that amazes me," he added.
Straits Times senior correspondent Goh Eng Yeow and Straits Times journalist Cheryl Ong also spoke at the 2 1/2- hour-long seminar.
As well as stressing the need to invest in your career, to achieving financial independence, the speakers emphasised that it was important for students to get the fundamental principles of finance right, such as saving more than you spend, before thinking about how to invest.
Students posed a wide-ranging variety of questions during a panel discussion moderated by Straits Times Money editor Lee Su Shyan. Dr Fong Wai Mun, associate professor at the NUS Business School's department of finance, was also a panellist.
Some students wanted to know how to pick an investment out of the variety of options being offered, while one asked the panellists for their opinions on making voluntary contributions to the Central Provident Fund.
Students also had the chance to speak with the panellists during a networking session after the talk. One student from the NUS Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences asked about how she should start narrowing the type of stocks to invest in, while one from the NUS Faculty of Engineering asked how she should take steps to fulfil her ambition of becoming a stock analyst.
"There were many practical tips that are implementable," said Mr Cheong Hao Ming, 25, a fourth-year student at the NUS Business School. "I've gained some knowledge on how to accumulate wealth and that you must know about what you're investing in."
Participants at the talks get a goodie bag and have increased chances to win a lucky draw prize of $10,000 for entering a financial literacy contest. The prize is sponsored by OCBC.
The Young and Savvy series of talks is organised by The Straits Times with presenting sponsor, Frank by OCBC.
For more Young & Savvy stories, visit http://www.straitstimes.com/youngnsavvy