Why investing's like running a marathon

Lion Global Investors' chief marketing officer Lim Shyong Piau (back row, third from right) believes in the importance of living a healthy lifestyle. He will be flagging off the ST Run's 3.5km category on Sept 29. The company, a subsidiary of Great E
Lion Global Investors' chief marketing officer Lim Shyong Piau (back row, third from right) believes in the importance of living a healthy lifestyle. He will be flagging off the ST Run's 3.5km category on Sept 29. The company, a subsidiary of Great Eastern Life, is ST Run's official fund house. Staff of the firm will also be taking part in the mass event.ST PHOTO: JASON QUAH

It is no secret that marathon training is a gradual process of building up endurance and stamina.

Just like how marathons are not conquered in a day, asset management company Lion Global Investors (LGI) believes that investing is also a progressive journey that requires discipline.

LGI's chief marketing officer Lim Shyong Piau said: "When running a marathon, you need to plan for it, you need to be diligent and stay focused and that's quite similar to investments. You don't suddenly wake up and decide to buy Alibaba and expect to make truckloads of money; it's not a one-off decision. Like a marathon, you just need to continually work at it."

Consistent input is something Ms Hazel Lee, 39, knows well. LGI's head of finance has been training consistently as she prepares to tackle the 18.45km category of The Straits Times Run on Sept 29.

She will be joined by 25 other employees from LGI, a subsidiary of Great Eastern Life, for this year's edition of the mass run. Staff of the company, which is the ST Run's official fund house, also took part last year.

Ms Lee began taking part in long-distance runs three years ago in a bid to lose weight after having two children, and going for three to four organised races yearly was a motivation for her to train.

"I feel better both emotionally and physically. After one race, you get somewhat addicted to it because you want to clock a better time at the next race," she said.

Her weekly regimen consists of a 7km to 8km run with colleagues, yoga and aerobic toning classes.

Apart from weekly runs for employees, LGI has a fortnightly fruits day initiative to promote healthy eating to staff.

Mr Lim, 48, who will be flagging off the ST Run's 3.5km category, noted that the importance of a healthy lifestyle is one of the reasons why the company returned for the run.

He said: "A healthy and active lifestyle is the way to go. We believe that living a healthy lifestyle is the best investment one can make and it should be a lifelong commitment."

Apart from health, he stressed that planning one's finances is equally important, although the plethora of products available may make investing seem daunting and complex for novice investors.

He advised that the best way to get into it is to start with something low risk, like unit trusts.

Once you are comfortable with it, the next step would be to get a regular investment plan where you, with the help of an adviser, set aside a portion of your salary to invest consistently over a few years.

He said: "You just need to dip your toes in the water, there's nothing that's going to be any better than just getting started with it."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on September 08, 2019, with the headline 'Why investing's like running a marathon'. Print Edition | Subscribe