Thursday, October 2, 2014

Sharing Of Experiences by a Young Reader

Today I have a young reader who'd like to share his views towards money and his experiences in school, business and in investing. So here goes:

"My name is Young and I am 18 years old. I have been actively trading for about 7 months now and lead as much of a frugal lifestyle as I can. I tried my hand at some sidelines to earn some money to invest and will definitely continue to do so.

Since my goal is to be worth USD 1M by age 25; I feel that starting young allows me to not just have a head start but at the same time allows me to learn more and gain valuable experience.

At 16, I got a job at a nearby German restaurant named, “Werner’s Oven” for $5.50 an hour. I worked 3 days a week. Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. I left after 8 months as my grades began to suffer.

Shortly after, I made the decision to try trading electronics and hardware. I was so desperate that I would spend hours  trying to match up a buyer and seller on forums such as HardwareZone and VR-Zone. I quickly realized how foolish I was.

Back then, I noticed that the, “Beats” brand was trending heavily. I decided to try my hand in audio. It proved profitable but with regret, I had to stop as my school had put me on academic warning status. It was, however, a thoroughly interesting experience.

In year 2, I was greeted with a very interesting timetable. Due to the fact that I had to retake several modules before, I now had 8 subjects. With much effort, I managed to pass all 8 and even achieved a B+ for one subject. It wasn't a pleasurable experience by any means of the imagination as I had no interaction with my original class (well I didn't have much friends either) and lunch was pretty much always alone. Not fun for nearly a year.

How I bought my first stock:

For a few months, I spent my time learning more about REITs and the different ones in Singapore. I began looking out for specifics in the different malls I visited. I also spent some time learning to read financial statements and annual reports despite coming from an engineering background.

I took a good look at CapitaMallsAsia’s portfolio and slowly headed to the different malls such as illuma, ION, Bedok Mall etc. I looked out for things like shopper density at differing timings.

For instance, I would compare the amount of shoppers during lunch time on weekdays against those on weekends. I would then return to the mall on weekends and check for the amount of people who came just to make sure it was more. I did this for several weeks across various malls. Each time, I would make a mental note.

I bought into CapitaMallsAsia soon after. Much to my surprise, CapitaLand decided to make an acquisition. Literally over a week, I saw a 23% ROI instantly.  Sure, I could have held on a little longer and sold at 2.35 but I was very happy with the former.

Moving forward, I now have a decently stable portfolio that I am rather contented with as my goal for the year is to achieve 10-15% and have since ventured into other endeavours. In a bid to expand the business, I collaborated with several companies but have since made no progress much to my optimism.

I now am working on a new project in the fashion and internet sector. Hope things go smoothly as I will begin my last semester in Temasek Polytechnic with 9 subjects this time. Told my course manager that I felt I had the calibre to take everything I missed out at one shot. I am now on vacation and am trying to make the best of it as I have to, “rejuvenate” myself before Oct 20th.

I thank you very much for taking the time to read and look forward to replying your questions if any and will definitely consider having a blog of my own if there is interest. Have a great day! =) "

My Thoughts: I like the drive of young people to succeed in life. I was once very aggressive too. But over the years, I've learnt to lead a more balanced life as life is not all about success or money. Ultimately, most of us will want to achieve happiness in our lives. Happiness can be experienced in the little and simple stuffs too. I wish this young reader the best for his life. 


  1. great job!

    i am 20 this year and i have just started as well, primarily focusing on FX and reits. still learning and picking up knowledge along the many seminars i attend (usually the youngest in the crowd). hope everything goes well in future for your many biz ventures. do keep us updated!

    best regards.

    1. Thank you very much, will continue to update with time! :)

  2. wow...good to know there are so many young teens are starting their investment journey...
    I am 24 this year and have started to pick up financial/investment knowledge few years back (I was the youngest in those seminar, workshops as hmm)
    I only get started putting in real money this year...yet to see double digit returns as im going for the value investing approach n may take years to see the results...
    anw, all the best and wish I can learn more from you guys ya !
    ~ tAdpOle

    1. Hello! Hahaha, I also always find myself being the youngest in seminars :P

  3. Try to watch the old movie, "It's Great to be Young".
    All of us are allowed to be real crazy at least once in life.

    1. Will definitely watch this when I can!

      Cheers! =)

  4. Hi Young, I'm positively encouraged by your drive to achieve financial independence. I'm 24 this year and also have a few REITS on hand, I know you know what you're doing but nevertheless do well in academically too.
    Earn more money through working, from there on save up and invest isn't too late also.
    Do look at Frasers too, they're developing the land in front of Interchange into a shopping hub.

    1. Thank you for your positive words!

      I have FCT on my watch list as well; will definitely keep a lookout!

      Have a good day! =)

  5. Good job bro. I am coming 25 this year. Just started my investment journey 10 months ago. I am a ex alumni from TP too.

    1. Haha! Helloe there senior!

      Thank you for your reply !

  6. Hi Young,

    If you are not a study person, after your army, choose the part time uni route if you like, save as much as possible while working full time. I am doing this right now.


    1. Hello there,

      I actually intend to apply to a bank after NS just to gain work experience.

      I'm very serious about it and am willing to accept any pay/demands

      Thank you for your reply! Have a good day! =)