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As someone who works in sales at DollarsAndSense, I have always appreciated the importance of investing. Yet, unlike my more knowledgeable colleagues who write and breathe finance, I am comparatively less experienced than them. However, as part of my 2022 New Year’s resolution, I decided that I was going to make investing a regular habit.
Before anyone can start investing, we first need a brokerage account. A brokerage account is an account that allows us to buy and sell stocks and it’s in this brokerage account that our stocks are kept, since we can’t physically hold on to our stocks.
The main thing to take note of if you are opening a brokerage account is that you preferably want a brokerage account that will charge you a low commission and can give you access to different stock exchanges that you want to invest in. Like some of my colleagues, I choose to trade with Futu Singapore via the moomoo trading platform.
It took me less than 5 minutes to open a Futu Singapore account. You can read this step-by-step guide on how you can open a Singapore Futu account.
Even though it says that the application will be processed in 1-3 business days, I got the confirmation within 10 minutes of applying for my account.
Accessing The Moomoo App
Many investors I know prefer using desktop/laptop browsers to trade stocks. I think part of the reason is that it’s easier for them to analyse charts. For me, however, the app on Google Play seems easy enough and convenient enough to use, not unlike shopping using apps on my phone.
Topping Up My Futu Singapore Account
Once I have successfully opened my Futu Singapore Securities account, it’s time to trade!
The first thing I need to do is to top up my FUTU Singapore Securities account. For me, I choose to top-up $2,700 so that I qualify for the free Apple share!
There are two ways to deposit funds into our Futu Singapore Securities account – Instant Deposit via DDA (Direct Debit Authorisation) or Bank Transfer. DDA is only available with a DBS/POSB account.
I choose Instant Deposit via DDA. I was directed to link my selected DBS/POSB account to my Futu Singapore account. Thereafter, I could input the amount I wish to deposit into my Futu Singapore Securities account.
Within 15 mins, I received an update that my first deposit is completed and I can start investing through the moomoo app.
Once the funds are in, this is also reflected in my Futu Singapore Securities account.
Investing In US Stocks For The First Time
With the moomoo platform, we can invest in 4 main markets – US, Hong Kong, Singapore and China.
In the world we live in today, investing in overseas markets such as the US isn’t actually as foreign as we may think. For example, companies like Apple, Alphabet (Google), Microsoft and Netflix that we are all familiar with are listed on US exchanges.
To buy US stocks, I first need US Dollars (USD). On the moomoo platform, I can convert my Singapore Dollar (SGD) to USD. Tap on the Currency Exchange button.
There are for which currency I wish to convert from and into. For me, it’s SGD to USD. There is an indicative rate for how much I will get in terms of USD.
One thing I realised is that if we think the SGD/USD rate is favourable, we can do the currency conversion in advance without having to invest yet. It’s like going to the moneychanger in advance if we think the conversion rate is good even though we may not be travelling yet. All these can be done digitally so we don’t actually need to physically hold the foreign currency.
Once I have the USD I need, it’s time to start looking at some stocks. I decided that I wanted to add more shares to my current 1 Apple share position. At a trading price of US$170.70, 2 more shares will cost me US$341.40.
There will be a confirmation page of the order. Always review to confirm the details are correct before proceeding to confirm.
In addition, upon advice from my husband, I also decided to invest in the Invesco QQQ (NASDAQ: QQQ), an ETF that tracks the NASDAQ-100 index, and in his/my opinion, suitable for first-time investors. The ETF invests in companies like Apple, Microsoft, Amazon, Tesla and Alphabet so it provides diversification. Basically, it’s like buying a bundle of well-known stocks instead of a single company.
3 shares cost US$1058.19. As I have the 180-day free trade voucher from moomoo, I don’t need to pay any commission charges. Do note, however, that there is a small platform fee to be paid for trades.
Disclaimer: I’m not an expert so what I buy isn’t a recommendation. Please do not follow me!
My Experience As A First-Time US Stock Investor
Of course, only time will tell if my first and subsequent investments will pan out. I also took the advice of ensuring that I invest money that I can afford to lose, and wouldn’t need anytime soon. And while spending money on stocks doesn’t bring me any instant gratification, as compared to going out for a restaurant meal or travelling overseas, the aim here is to invest today so that we grow our money for the future. It is probably the best time to start is now while I’m still working and earning a regular income.
Overall, the user experience has been very beginner-friendly. The news tab allows me to follow specific topics and pick up interesting market trends instantaneously. It encourages me to do look up further and do my own research as well, rather than to rely on the same source of information to widen my investing knowledge.
Also, once I invest in a stock, there is an option to automatically add it to my watchlist. That’s great because I can easily follow the performance of the companies I invest in.
moomoo Review. Will I Invest More?
Will I invest more using the moomoo app? I think the simple answer to the question is yes. For any first-time investor, it can be intimidating to decide what to invest, and to possibly see losses in our portfolio in the future. And while there is still a million more things I probably need to learn about investing before I can become confident, every journey starts from somewhere and for me, this is the start of a long and, hopefully, successful investment journey.
There is currently a promotion that gives us one free Apple Share (worth about S$240) if we deposit and maintain an account balance of S$2,700 for at least 30 days. In addition, there are also other perks such as a cashback of SGD40, commission-free trading for 180 days and US level 2 real-time market data.
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