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Meet Vincent Ha, A FinTech Entrepreneur Who Not Only Spends His Time (And Money) Building Companies, But Also To Invest In The Financial Markets

Being a well-informed investor isn’t just useful to earn investment returns. You can also use the knowledge you have gain from the financial markets to be a better entrepreneur.


This article was written in collaboration with Tiger Brokers Singapore. All views expressed in this article are the independent opinion of DollarsAndSense.sg based on our research. DollarsAndSense.sg is not liable for any financial losses that may arise from any transactions and readers are encouraged to do their own due diligence. You can view our full editorial policy here.

When we think about how entrepreneurs spend their time and money on, we typically think about the businesses that they are building. This makes sense. After all, many entrepreneurs ventured into their own business because they believe in the value proposition of their ideas, and desire to transform them into viable businesses.

It is an understatement to say that building a successful business is difficult, when in fact, it is an extremely risky journey that comes with many trade-offs. Building a successful business takes time. It’s akin to running a marathon. While the pace of business building can be quite fast, the duration for how long it takes entrepreneurs to build a successful business can be very long as well. The journey to building a business can take years, or decades, before it pays off. Entrepreneurs would also expect to encounter multiple setbacks along the way and being mentally prepared for the possibility of failure.

One Singaporean who understands the challenges of starting and expanding businesses is Vincent Ha, CEO and co-founder of local FinTech firm Lyte Ventures. Lyte Ventures is a company that provides financing solutions to freelancers and SMEs around the world. Prior to starting Lyte Ventures, Vincent was the co-founder of Gushcloud, a digital talent and entertainment company that he started shortly after graduating from university.

A father of three, Vincent has been involved in business building ever since he graduated from SMU in 2009.

Given his deep roots in entrepreneurship, one may think that Vincent is someone who will spend his time and money investing and building in start-ups. While that is true to a certain extent, startups are not the only investments that Vincent has. Since his university days, Vincent has been an avid investor and trader in the financial markets.

In this article, we chat with Vincent on how it’s like juggling between his role as a CEO and co-founder of Lyte Ventures, taking on the appointment of non-executive Chairman of Gushcloud International, as well as other important responsibilities that he has in his lives including being a father to three young kids, a board member of a non-profit organisation and investing in the financial markets.

Read Also: The Everyday Student Investor: How This Full-Time University Student Finds Time To Study, Work, Invest & Go To The Gym Regularly

Timothy Ho (Timothy): Most people think of entrepreneurs as individuals that devote all their time, energy, and sometimes even, money, to their own business. At the same time, it’s not just startups that they spend time and money on. Many entrepreneurs, including yourself, are also avid investors who invest in the financial market. From an investment point of view, why do you think it makes sense for entrepreneurs to invest beyond just their personal business?

Vincent Ha (Vincent): How we invest depends largely on our world’s view. Personally, I enjoy understanding the trends that are going on in the world and what the future holds, as well as to make small investments in areas that I believe will pay off. Being an entrepreneur comes with enough risks on its own so I make it a point to only invest in what I can afford to lose, or what I can afford not to touch for a long time.

Vincent and the team at Lyte Ventures celebrating Chinese New Year in 2020

Timothy: When did your interest in investing started?

Vincent: I dabbled in investing when I was in university. I took a university course in investments and trading for fun in 2008, while studying on exchange in San Francisco. Through the course work, I learnt and implemented trend-following concepts like turtle trader and learnt about how to think of my trades in terms of risk and position.

 Vincent during his exchange programme at San Francisco

As it happened, it was the start of the financial crisis and many stocks dropped within a week. While it felt like a discount day, it also felt like the end of the financial world. I bought automotive and bank stocks, betting that there would be a government bailout. I also bought a few Apple shares then. Unfortunately, I didn’t have the patience to hold my positions and sold them when I came back to Singapore.

Timothy: Could you share with us any notable investment mistakes that you made over the years and what you learned from them?  

Vincent: Plenty. Not having the patience to buy and hold stocks in 2008 and missing on the greatest bull run in decades. Selling a significant bit of cryptocurrency near the market bottom last year, as I capitulated and needed to liquidate some holdings to pay for renovations. The key lesson in both was that having the patience to buy and hold could be the simplest and best strategy compared to timing the market. The second thing I’ve learnt was that it’s important to separate my trading and investment portfolios. You want to be clear on what are your short-term trades and long-term investments.

Timothy: As an entrepreneur running your own startup and also a father of three young children, I can imagine time is a valuable commodity for you. How do you find the time to balance between your business, your family and other important areas in life such as your investment portfolio?

Vincent: Time is what you make of it. I try to be intentional and undistracted about blocks of time with my family. I try to mix activities that can run in parallel as much as possible. For example, exercising is a time where I can learn and reflect. I use it to listen to podcasts, think through issues and write down my notes.

Vincent and his running buddies enjoying runs during pre-COVID days to keep themselves fit

Before the pandemic, I used to read books while commuting. As for my investment portfolio, I try to come up with simple rules and triggers so that I don’t have to spend too much time thinking about it unless I’m trying to learn something new.

Timothy: Any advice for fellow entrepreneurs who are looking to get started on their investment journey? In particular, those who feel that they don’t have the time, money or knowledge to invest in the financial markets, and would rather pour all the energy and money into their business?

Vincent: I think entrepreneurs cannot stop learning. For me, investing can be a productive excuse to learn about and understand the world today and tomorrow. When we invest, we have to do our homework to understand how an industry and a company work, and that teaches us a lot about business. It doesn’t have to be about getting rich, but simply exposing yourself to new things. If anything, it’s helpful in business to have a view on all matters. Find a few investments that interest you and dollar cost average over a long period, with money you can afford to lose or wait for.

Investing Is One Way To Learn About The World Around Us

As an entrepreneur, it’s important for Vincent to learn about the always-evolving trends that are happening around the world. By doing so, Vincent not only better understands some of the business opportunities that exist but is also able to position his company to capitalise on some of these opportunities.

In many ways, by being an investor, in both stocks and cryptocurrencies, Vincent has had to educate himself on the sectors and asset classes that he invests in. This is also part of his belief of being a lifelong learner – something he stresses all entrepreneurs have to be as well in order to stay relevant in the business world.

Whether you are an entrepreneur who wants to invest in the sectors that you are passionate about, a new investor who is starting your investment journey and trying to understand the various sectors and companies, or a veteran investor looking for new sectors to generate higher returns than the market, Tiger Broker is one of the platforms that Singapore investors can use to gain access to the Singapore Exchange (SGX) and other exchanges such as Hong Kong and the U.S. Most recently, Tiger Broker has also added access to China A-shares and Australian stocks on their platform for Singapore investors.

With Tiger Brokers, commission and platform rates are kept at an extremely low fee of just 0.01 USD/share (minimum of USD1.99/order) for the U.S. market, 0.06% of trade value (minimum of HKD 15) for the Hong Kong market, and 0.08% of trade value (no minimum commission currently) for the Singapore market. So, if we invest $3,000 in a Singapore stock, we only pay commission of about $2.40, similar to what it costs to take a train ride. This makes Tiger Brokers very suitable for investors like Vincent who not only make long-term investments, but also shorter-term trades. You can find out more details on their commission fees here.

For busy investors who are always on the go, what we like about Tiger Broker is that it offers an intuitive Tiger Trade mobile app that you can download from the App Store or Google Play. With this, you can trade anytime you want, without having to be on your desktop or laptop at home.

Besides allowing us to trade, the Tiger Trade mobile app also provides investors with other useful functions such as exploring new stocks through its Discover feature. The Discover feature has a calendar section that shows major events, earning results and IPO calendar so that you don’t miss any important event. The Tiger app also provides an investment community where you can interact with like-minded investors, share investing strategies and follow stock market-related news. You can read our review on the Tiger Broker mobile app here.

Read Also: Step-By-Step Guide To Opening An Account With Tiger Brokers Singapore

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