Monday, February 19, 2018

Reflections - What if I had started my investment journey earlier (Age 21/22)?

Yo folks, hope you have enjoyed the Lunar New Year!

At times, I look back at decisions I have made or things I have done and wondered how would things be different if I had done otherwise. I enjoy thinking about things that might have happened in a parallel universe. Reflections are wonderful sources of learning and on occasion, fun to think about. Among one of those things is investing.

I recall, back in 2009-2010 at the age of 21/22 (while I was still doing my Full-Time National Service), I was getting to know more about developing secondary sources of incomes, having thoughts such as opening up an e-store or doing surveys, and achieving financial freedom (having the commitment or knowledge to take my steps towards it was another story. Oops.). It was then when I came across and purchased Adam Khoo's Secrets of Self-Made Millionaires. I suppose that was the very first time I just started to know a little about investing in stocks (e.g. I learnt about blue chips). However, the idea was forgotten as spontaneously as it came. (Again, oops) :P.

At least I gained knowledge in other things that would deeply contribute to this day, such as the concept of expense management and other vehicles for developing secondary sources of income. It is also because of this book that I also managed to influence my friend, whose family was in the lower-income group and unfortunately, not financially educated, to kick-start his financial education so as to bring him and his family out of the hole.

Looking back, in some sense, I have actually indeed done investing back then - I invested in myself by purchasing that book, learning about secondary sources of income and expense management.

In terms of investing in stocks however, I wondered what would have happened if that was the path I had taken instead.

The Pros
  • Global Financial Crisis had just occurred recently - I may had been able to take advantage of the drastic dip in stock prices to pick up.
  • This might have motivated me to save up properly during my NS years to enter the market back then. I did not really have the discipline to save back then.
The Cons
  • I would probably not have the maturity and diligence to properly educate myself in investing in stocks.
  • I would probably also lack the financial muscle to pick up stocks either.
  • I was not educated regarding the stock market so probably will still make big costly blunders that would cause me not to sleep soundly at night.
  If I could travel back in time, I would want to coach my past self on investing in the stock market and becoming more mature.

What would you have done if you could travel back in time where there was an opportunity for you to start learning about investing in the stock market earlier? How would it have changed your status today?


  1. If you started early in late 2006; different story.

    1. Hi Uncle CW, thanks for dropping by!

      Indeed it will be a different story if I put in my money in late 2006. Looking at STI, I imagine I would have been swallowed by the crisis during 2008-2009, haha.