Getting started on your investment journey
Let us help you understand the "what" to invest in
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From stocks and bonds to unit trusts, there are a wide range of investments that can get you started on your investment journey. While you may be tempted to just focus on the returns, every investment comes with its own set of risks and rewards. The value of your investment and how much you make can increase or decrease depending on many factors, like market or economic trends and geopolitical factors.

Read our article 5 things to know before you start investing to understand the “why” you need to invest.

Let’s start with a break down the different types of investments to help you understand the “what” to invest in.

Stocks

Stocks (also known as shares or equities) are perhaps the most popular types of investments. When you invest in a stock, you are essentially owning a stake in a publicly traded company.

Let’s use Apple as an example. Perhaps you’re reading this article on your iPad or Mac, and you’re eagerly awaiting the next product release from Apple. The company’s revenues increase as you and the millions of others around the world purchase their products. If you own Apple’ stock and its valuation increases, you stand to profit from it.


There are two ways to make money from stocks. One is to gain from the price increase. Another is to invest in shares that pay dividends. If you invest in a company that pays a dividend, you get rewarded for investing in the business. Typically, this is a cash payout depending on the number of shares that you own, and it is done periodically (e.g. quarterly, annually).

Stocks are subject to market fluctuations. Many factors can cause stock prices to swing in both directions, like economic, political and social uncertainties. There is also the risk of a company going bankrupt and if that happens, you may not get your money back.

Bonds

Bonds are a form of fixed income securities issued by governments or companies to raise funds. They are similar to stocks, except the company borrows money from you for a fixed period of time and pays you a regular rate of interest for the loan.

Bonds offer a regular and stable income as well as potential capital appreciation. In addition, depending on how much risk you’re willing to take on, there is a wide selection of bonds available – from high grade to high yield.

If a bond issuer (the government or the company) is unable to make their repayment, they go into default and investors may lose all or a substantial part of their money. Other factors that can impact bond prices include inflation, interest rates, credit ratings and liquidity.

Exchange trade funds (ETFs)



ETFs are open-ended investment funds that trade directly on a stock exchange. Its goal is to track the performance of an underlying index or even replicate the performance of a composition of different stocks.

There are several factors that make ETFs a compelling investment. First, these are less volatile than stocks as you are getting exposure to a basket of stocks or assets. For example, you can invest in the top tech companies in Singapore or Hong Kong, or high growth Asian Real Estate Investment Trusts or REITS.

Second, they are a great way to diversify. Third, they are affordable as they are passively managed compared to unit trusts. Finally, buying and selling your ETF is easy as it this takes place on a stock exchange during trading hours.

Similar to stocks, the downsides include market or sector risk. In addition, there is currency risk if the ETF is traded in a different currency.

Unit trusts

Unit trusts or mutual funds are a professionally managed form of collective investment that pools money from many investors. The investments could include stocks, bonds and other securities, allowing you to invest in a range of assets and earn potential returns through capital gains or payouts.

By investing in a managed fund, you can invest across a range of investment strategies like emerging markets stocks or bonds to technology and alternative energy. Such funds are managed by experienced managers, and you can access their expertise and experience - opportunities that are not always available to individual investors.

Unit trusts allow you to make regular contributions or reinvest your income and are a great way to diversify your investment portfolio. Like equities and bonds, they are also subject to market fluctuations, credit and currency risks.


Investment-linked life insurance

Investment-linked life insurance is life insurance that combines investment and protection. Part of your premium goes towards the insurance and other charges, while the rest are invested in one or more sub-funds of your choice.

There is potential for higher returns and flexibility in coverage. For example, you can move your money between sub-funds depending on when your financial needs change, top up your investments and make partial withdrawals. Such an investment also provides insurance protection in the event of death or critical illnesses and disability (if included).

The risk of such an investment is there isn’t a guaranteed return, and you may have to reduce your insurance coverage to gain a higher rate of return.

Here is the bottom-line

There is no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to investing. Whether its stocks or bonds, ETFs or unit trusts, understand the risks, returns and rewards of each investment, and whether it suits your financial situation. Avoid thinking short-term and focussing on the market uncertainties and volatility that dominate much of the financial news headlines. Focus on the long-term horizon and the potential that investing offers. And remember that with all investments, there is a degree of risk involved and you should always consider your personal circumstances before making a call.

Do you have more questions? Or are you interested to find out more about the types of investments you can invest in? Check out Baiduri Capital’s website or get in touch with us at +673 225 8588 or [email protected] to get started on your investment journey.
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