I recently resolved to exercise more.
This may sound odd coming in April, compared to the traditional resolution-making period of December-January.
Being plied with Chinese New Year goodies and needing to shed a few extra kilos, I decided to (literally) take a hike.
The presence of numerous forest trails and off-road paths in Singapore was the impetus for me to explore our green Garden City.
But as I was inexperienced and only just started, this whole process had parallels with new investors who are just starting on their investment journey.
You may resolve to invest your money as you feel it has languished for too long earning poor interest that can barely beat inflation.
As a newbie, you undertake extensive research on investing to prepare yourself to park your money in strong companies, some of which pay juicy dividends.
Upping your investment performance
Unknowingly, I had picked a relatively tough terrain to hike – Macritchie’s TreeTop Walk cum the Bukit Timah Nature Reserve trail.
The path flowed uphill and contained numerous steps, making me huff and puff to catch my breath as I ascended.
Not wanting to give up, I took frequent rests and hydrated myself regularly as I ploughed on.
The same can be said for investing, too.
Although the journey may be arduous at times and you may encounter obstacles, you should persevere as you slowly improve your investment performance through practice and experience.
The path may be steep for a newbie investor as he or she encounters unwelcome earnings surprises and experiences volatility due to rising interest rates and the Russia-Ukraine war.
Reaching the pinnacle
But if you manage to get through these hardships, the reward can be spectacular.
This was the splendid view that greeted me when I reached the top of the TreeTop Walk.
Being at the pinnacle gave me a sense of achievement, knowing that my efforts had paid off handsomely.
You can enjoy a similar breath-taking “view” of your investment portfolio once you reach the pinnacle of your investment journey.
The result will be well worth the effort as you enjoy the fruits of your labour.
By honing and refining your investment expertise over time, you are one step closer to growing your pot of gold so that you can enjoy an idyllic retirement.
Setting and achieving your investment goals
This simple tale illustrates a powerful truth.
By setting out our goals and working through them, we can eventually achieve what we set out to do.
A new investor can start by buying strong blue-chip stocks such as DBS Group (SGX: D05) and Singapore Exchange Limited (SGX: S68).
He can then layer on dividend-paying REITs such as Mapletree Industrial Trust (SGX: ME8U) or Keppel DC REIT (SGX: AJBU) once he gets more comfortable with his process.
And once you’ve reached close to the summit of your knowledge, you can choose to add on high-growth US stocks such as DocuSign (NASDAQ: DOCU) or Nike (NYSE: NKE) to get that additional return.
Just as I felt the exhilaration of achieving the summit during my hike, you will also feel the excitement of building a robust, income-generating investment portfolio that satisfies your investment goals.
It is not as hard as it seems.
But what you do need is fortitude and patience.
Deciding on a course of action (i.e. to invest) is a good first step.
But you need to follow up with concrete research and action to attain those objectives.
And I promise you — when you do so, you’ll feel the same joy and sense of achievement that I felt when I was taking that photo while standing among the lush trees.
First-time investors: We’ve finally released our beginner’s guide to investing. Read it in an afternoon, follow the principles, pick an investing style and buy your first SGX stocks within the next few hours! Click here to download it for free.
Disclaimer: Royston Yang owns shares of DBS Group, SGX, Nike, Mapletree Industrial Trust and Keppel DC REIT.