This is a story on how I started my investment journey.

To start off, I wasn’t really even interested in money, or even investment. I was just a kid, filled with dreams and hopes, until one fine day, my dad bought a copy of Capitalism Plus as a gift for me when he returned from the US on one of his work trips.

This is a computer game, very much in the likes of SimCity 2000, only that this game simulates running your own business, economic cycles, and even the stock market!

As a 10-year old primary school kid at that time, I didn’t really know how to play this game, and it took me a couple of years to understand how to play this game before I finally managed to “win” the game. By the time I learnt the basics, I was already in secondary school.

Fast-forward to my final year of polytechnic. I was had a choice of two elective modules – I forgot what was the other one, but I picked the one which was a lot more interesting to me – investing in the stock market. While it may be a dip on the shallow end of the pool, it is nonetheless one of the important catalysts that helped me to start investing.

At the age of 21, halfway through my National Service, I opened an account with DBSVickers, and along with it, my CDP account. It was then that I learnt the importance of saving up my allowance monthly in order to afford one lot on the stock market. Thus, while my platoonmates where having their nights out partying and/or eating, I was spending my time either in camp or at home in order to save money. However, what I lacked was market and business news in order for me to make good decisions, as most of my time was devoted to service to the nation, and made a few losses.

When I started working, I kept mostly my habits from NS – saving up as much as I could afford to, and playing the market without much information. Local newspapers could only help so much, but at least it was better than nothing.

In the first two years of playing the market, I made a loss of $5000 due to contra and stocks which I bought got delisted. It was only then that I decided to stop focusing on speculation to make big capital gains, and instead find out stocks which are value for money, and counters which had good dividend payouts yearly. It was just in time for the global financial crisis of 2008/2009 to happen, and I managed to scoop up a few blue chips at discount pricing.

Presently, I am still maintaining this strategy, until as such I find a better one for me. And that $5000 loss ballooned into $6000, but it was quite alright, because when I averaged out my losses, I am roughly losing $50 a month, and it goes lower as time goes by, as I started very early – almost 10 years ago!

So, that’s my story for you, dear readers. I hope you enjoyed it, and inspired you to start thinking about how to invest.