In an industry dominated by males, women are still able to hold their own in the finance sector. With the rise of female empowerment, women in society today are keen on taking charge of their own finances and to plan for their own future.
The Future Is Female
In the first ever all-female conference held on 8th April, more than 200 females showed up for a full day of panel discussions and networking.
Throughout the day, questions raised by women in the audience pertained to issues that were previously touched on and needed further clarification. Many of the panelists shared that the biggest differences between men and women, in their opinion, when it came to investing was the confidence and amount of risk they were willing to take. In general, women are more risk-averse and conservative while men had a more “just go for it” mentality.
Panelists at the conferences included both men and women from the finance industry as well as other professionals successful in their own right. For those that missed out on the conference, here are the top few takeaways with regards to investing.
# 1 Think Long Term
The most common piece of advice that was frequently mentioned by all the panelists was to think of investing as a long journey.
Nicely put by Gillian Kwek (Portfolio Manger, Fidelity International), “It’s not about timing the market, but the time IN the market”.
Rather than focusing on the most optimal time to enter a position in the market, focus on starting young and starting early. Even for professionals in the industry, it is far too difficult to predict the perfect entrance to the market that would earn you the most gains. By starting your investing journey at a younger age, you have a longer horizon, which means a longer time period for your money to grow.
# 2 Save Habitually
Many young adults might be wary of starting their investing journey due to the lack of knowledge or lack of funds. However, saving a portion of your income each month is something anyone and everyone can start doing.
Dr Koh Noi Keng (Director, Centre for Financial Literacy), encourages all women to make it a habit to save and to manage your money wisely. Small savings each day or month compounds to a large sum with time. These savings can also go towards a small investment each month through a Regular Savings Plan (RSP) that can be made with any of the few major banks for as little as $100 a month. Through the RSP, your money is invested for you through dollar-cost-averaging. This is one way in which you can start investing even with a small amount of savings.
Read Also: How You Can Start Adopting A Saving Habit
# 3 Stick To Your Values
There is no single right investment for everyone. Everyone has different motivations, goals, personalities and values. This also results in different investment strategies, horizons, risks and time you have available to spend on the stock market.
Andy Lim (Executive Director, JL Family Office) encourages everyone not to be afraid and to stick to what you are good at while finding your market edge. Financial jargon can be confusing and intimidating.
Lynn Gaspar (Senior Vice President, Head of Intermediaries & Retail Clients at SGX) also shared similar sentiments. Lynn encouraged the audience to “invest in something that you know and love”. A personal interest in the investment is more likely to help you find out more about it and allow you to better stay in touch about what is going on.
Read Also: Female Trading Habits vs. Men
# 4 Stay Up To Date
Do not invest blindly. This has become especially salient in Singapore where advice and information regarding investing can easily be found online, be it through the news, finance websites and blogs. It is crucial to understand what is happening around you everyday to make sure that you make informed decisions.
One of the easiest ways to stay up to date is to read the news daily. Gillian suggests reading both traditional mediums such as the newspaper or online. News found online sometimes provide you with good summaries with opinions and analysis rather than just facts.
# 5 Take Charge
The first step is usually the hardest. This is especially so when you are unsure and inexperienced.
Cedric Chehab (Head of Asia Research, BMI Research) shared, “Consider investing in yourself as an investment”. By making an effort to understand investing basics through reading up on self-help guides as well as articles is a great start.
Jason Low (Senior Investment Strategist, DBS Bank) also shared that as a beginner investor it is important to read, read and read. This is also made easier with the many good investing blogs here in Singapore.
Financial freedom is yours to work towards. What’s holding you back from taking the first step? Here’s a Step-By-Step Guide on Getting Started on Investing in Singapore to help you along your investment journey.
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