Investing In Shares For Absolute Beginners

I learned a few important things at a seminar conducted by the SGX Academy last month.

One: The person I referred to in my previous blog post about investing in shares is not a broker. He is a remisier. The term “broker” refers to the company he works for/under.

Two: There is a difference between an investor and a trader. The course I attended, Basics of Investing, teaches people, well, the basics of investing. Trading is the act of buying and selling shares, and for some people, the use of the stock market as a speculative venue based in part on chance and in part on knowledge.

Investing in stock market products, on the other hand, is the process of growing one’s assets through educated and informed purchases.

If you’re a super gorblok like me, you’d have benefited from this Dummies Guide type of course I went to on a Saturday morning at the SGX Centre. They even teach you the very basics – things you were afraid to ask, in case you were branded a super gorblok.

Opening a CDP account, appointing a broker and a remisier, opening an online trading account and investing in various instruments like bonds, shares and exchange traded funds – were all taught concisely throughout the 3 hour session.

Armed with this knowledge, attendees can graduate from the super gorblok class to further sessions either privately (groups can be arranged with the speakers) or at the SGX for more specialised fields of investment, such as, say, iron ore futures or structured warrants.

More importantly, attendees will become better able to invest their assets in shares – another interesting snippet here: stock values have increased at a higher rate than real property – and at the very least, learned about another avenue of diversifying their investments.

There were words of caution for people who attended thinking they’d learn inside tips on how to get rich quick on the stock markets: Trading in stocks is a zero sum game. Only  a small percentage of traders win consistently, and if you want to trade as opposed to invest, then you need to possess the necessary knowledge and deploy effective trading techniques.

Without proper knowledge many end up not adhering to conventional mantras like “buy low sell high”. Instead, they will “sell because many people say they are selling” or “buy because many people say must buy”.

But if you were to dip your feet in the stock market with the objective of growing your investment, you’d be looking at, for example, buying shares based on knowledge like “ok, there’s going to be high demand for agricultural products that this company is looking to sell”, and you’ll buy, and keep those shares while they grow with you.

I’ve gotten a lot more interested in looking at what else the SGX Academy has to offer – there’s already a whole slew of information available that I now can make some sense of. And if someone were to ask me, in the local vernacular – “eh, bro, you got play shares or not”? I want to be able to tell them, “No, bro. I don’t play shares. I invest in them”.

I strongly encourage anyone who’s interested in share investing but don’t know enough, to attend a talk conducted by the SGX (beginners’ ones like Basics of Investing are free of charge) and come away armed and ready to potentially outpace inflation.

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