Top three investment tips from speakers at The Sunday Times Invest Seminar

Investors turned up in force for The Sunday Times Invest Seminar last Saturday, to hear tips from veteran financial journalists and economic experts from DBS Bank on how to grow their money.

A record 650 investors attended the sold-out seminar, which was organised by The Straits Times Money Desk for the third year in a row. It was presented by DBS Bank and held at The Ritz-Carlton, Millenia Singapore.

The theme for this year’s seminar was “Investing in the year of the taper” – a reference to the United States Federal Reserve’s ongoing tapering of its monetary stimulus scheme, which paves the way for interest rates to start rising soon.

If you missed out on this year’s seminar, you can still get a sampling of the top tips on investments and the economic outlook that the speakers shared at the event:

1. Lim Say Boon, chief investment officer at DBS Group Wealth Management and Private Bank(a) Keep the faith with equities; it will pay off in the long run(b) Buy into developed markets but emerging markets are also becoming more attractive(c) Interest rates will rise but it will be a long time before it goes back to a level which will worry investors

2. Clifford Lee, DBS head of fixed income(a) The Singapore-dollar bond market is still fairly undeveloped, and can only deepen as banks in general will not be able to lend as much as they did before(b) Rising interest rates are certain but they have not spiked yet. The key question is how to position yourself until then(c) Look at bonds as a form of spreading out your risk and having a more balanced portfolio

3. Philip Wee, DBS Group Research senior currency economist(a) The global economic recovery will be difficult, and the process still requires a lot of global co-operation to bring the world economy back on a sustainable growth path(b) But there is reason for optimism, as Europe no longer has a huge deficit overhang(c) The Singapore dollar is expected to gradually strengthen against the US dollar this year, touching $1.20 to the greenback in the fourth quarter of the year

4. Lee Su Shyan, The Straits Times money editor(a) Go for value investing rather than growth stocks as growth rates are probably going to slow. Study the fundamentals and do your homework on companies that you plan to invest in(b) Singapore and Asia's greying population may be a challenge for policymakers but may pose opportunities for investors of healthcare stocks(c) Rising social spending and an emphasis on helping the less well-off may eventually lead to higher taxes and make it all the more imperative for us to invest

5. Dennis Chan, The Straits Times deputy money editor(a) Invest in equities to beat inflation and grow your retirement funds(b) Invest now when the Singapore market is inexpensive(c) Think long term. Invest in fundamentally strong companies and refrain from selling your shares when markets are being sold down

6. Alvin Foo, The Straits Times economics correspondent(a) Gold ETFs could prove attractive in the next one to two years for the long-term, and as a hedge in your portfolio against extreme market volatility and war risk(b) Commodity-related stocks could be worth looking at as the sector has been riding the wave of consolidation and M&A activity. European integrated oil company stocks are attractively valued(c) Mining companies are moving out of the doldrums as management improves and economic factors shift in the sector's favour

For more tips, check out our video highlights from the event in our related story here. Also keep an eye out for this weekend's Sunday Times Invest, where our correspondents and experts from DBS Bank will answer questions posed by investors at the forum.