Kenneth Tan is a training partner with Wealth Directions Pte Ltd, a company that helps public increase financial literacy. His educational background is in the area of Management Accounting & Finance and has 12 years of experience holding various financial positions in Brady Corp, a US listed company in Singapore.
Kenneth is also an Associated Financial Planner (AFP). Kenneth started from humble beginnings and amassed more than 20 years of investing experience, primarily focusing in Stocks and Properties. With a net worth of more than 2 million, he is the Master Trainer of the Essential Stocks Analysis as well as the trainer for Secrets to Making Money in Stocks seminars.
As a speaker, Kenneth is well sought after and have spoken to hundreds of people and conducted more than 50 workshops and courses to date. Kenneth is currently dedicating most of his time teaching other aspiring investors who wants to learn the ropes of Stock Investing. He believes that every average individual can invest wisely and achieve financial freedom.
[Free Ebook] How should you invest your first $20,000?
We asked 14 Singapore finance bloggers to share what they would do if they could go back in time and invest their first $20,000. They can no longer rewind time, but you can learn from their experience and hopefully start with a better footing.
You spent many years in accounting, what prompted you to start investing and how did you begin?
I love numbers and therefore accounting became my full time job and I loved it. I have been involved in stock investment for more than 20 years which I believed I can profit from the up and down of stock movement. But in the early years of my investments, the results were not as good as what I expected. So I took upon myself to start learning and design a systematic method where I can profit from the market in both up and down movements. This system served me well and I have profited quite a bit from the market for the past 3 years.
You have accumulated a substantial net worth of over $2 million, are you able to share how you were able to achieve that?
I gained most of my net worth from property investments. That really gave me a head start in my investment journey. However, property investment is not as attractive to me now, so I picked up stock investment to help fill the gap to allow me to continue to grow my net worth.
You train people on stocks analysis, are you able to share some of the methods you use?
I use a combination of both fundamental analysis and technical analysis. I would say it is a 70% FA and 30% TA. But that is just the initial filtering part. The real key to my success in getting double digital gain in my investment is in the understanding the value of the underlying shares. I will actually monitor, watch the company for a period of time and invest a little to learn its nature. So when the market behaves irrationally, I will go in and wait for profit.
Will you be able to illustrate some examples of successful stock investments using the methods you just mentioned?
Sure! One of my higher returns in stock investment for the past 3 years is First Solar in US. I spotted this company when their share price swing was extremely wild. The market is behaving in a matter not consistent with value I saw. So I started to invest with a small amount when price drop to US$40 (below NAV) and have invested bigger amount when price below US$12 (more than 70% discount from NAV) and I sold my last 500 shares at US$55 with an return of 110% in 18 months. The return is good but I think I can do better. I am trying to make changes to my investment strategy to improve on future investment.
How much of your income do you save annually? What do you spend on normally?
My average saving about 20% of my income. I spent a lot in travel both for work and holiday; I bring my family when I travel oversea for project.
Since you already have such a substantial net worth, you can think beyond trying to make money. What are your motivations in life currently?
This is why I start to conduct stock investment training. I was influenced by my ex-mentor, Mr. Dennis Ng. He thought us to always to find ways to give back to the society. By coming out to conduct training, I hope to impart my skills to as many fellow investors as possible. Especially the beginners, these are the group that needed more hand holding and guidance. For my course, it is unique because I designed it to offer maximum guidance to them. My course of a series of 10 classes spread out over 3 to 4 months instead of just a few days. So the students have time to absorb what was thought and come back again for live Q&A. The greatest satisfaction is to see the students and graduate earn their first profit. Plus, I organize monthly coaching session with all graduates to continue to help those with losses and to ensure everyone master what they learned.
What’s the worst investment you have ever made?
My worst investment is invest in one of the Hong Kong stock (Siberian Mining Group, HK:1142). They kept issuing rights and thus their price droped every year till zero (Suspended).
What’s the most extravagant item/service you have ever bought?
I don’t buy expensive stuff for myself but have mostly spent it on my family members. So I have bought diamond, watch and handbags for my wife. As you know, a happy wife is a happy husband!
How would you advise a person who has never invested before to begin investing?
First, learn about yourself. Ask yourself why you want to invest. The investment journey is going to take time and effort. So understand why you want to start is a very important step. Next, take time to learn about investing. Learn from someone that you trust and have gone through the investment path before. Learn not only the technique but also the motivation behind every decision. Learn how to select good stocks, monitor and wait for the right price to buy. Start from small to accumulate investment experience. Like I said, it is a journey so don’t put too much of your eggs in one big basket. Most important is to we have to enjoy the investment journal and I always stressed in my course and coaching session.