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The No Stress Guide to Index Investing in Singapore – An Interview with Cheerfulegg’s Lionel Yeo

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Lionel Yeo, blogger, ramen slurper and bathroom dancer; so goes the introduction on cheerfulegg.com. The description of the man is fascinating and the same could be said for the content on the site.

We met up recently to chat about personal finance, writing a blog, and got Lionel to tell us more about his hot-off-the-press ebook: Automatic Investing – The No Stress Guide to Index Investing in Singapore.

One of the first things we discovered was that cheerfulegg is not Lionel’s first blog. His interest in finance began while he was pursuing his degree overseas. He started testing trading strategies and wrote another blog (which has since been taken private) to record his trades and share his thoughts.

It didn’t take him too long (and thankfully not too much money) before realizing that trading is not for him. Instead, he delved deeper into the world of psychology, personal finance, and index investing, and started cheerfulegg.com in 2011 on his renewed areas of focus. He shares with us the reason behind the name:

I didn’t want something too “financey” because I didn’t want to be pigeonholed into one niche. I love personal finance, but I’m also interested in psychology, economics, business, and most importantly, I love eggs. They’re one of my favorite foods! 

After laying off trading for a while, he decided that he needed a new way to invest.

I couldn’t succeed in systems trading. After testing out all these systems, I just couldn’t find a solution that worked well in the long-run. I then turned to index investing as a possible alternative strategy.

Now,  I’ve known about index investing for a long time but I wasn’t fully convinced that it worked. It was only after reading the academic research and testing it for myself that I became fully convinced that it was the right choice for the vast majority of investors, including myself.

Here at Bigfatpurse, we firmly believe that 90% of retail investors are better off adopting some form of passive investing strategy. Trading, timing the market and stock-picking is not for everyone. We are happy to have found a friend in this aspect. Here, Lionel elaborates about the advantages of Automatic Investing.

Most young people don’t want investing to take up too much of our time and focus, because we have a zillion things to worry about like our careers, families, housing, etc. Therefore, the most straightforward and least time-consuming way would be to pick simple, diversified assets like indexes, and simply hold on to them for the long-term. If we do this, there is a pretty high chance that we’ll be able to retire comfortably if we stick to it for 20-30 years.

In the meantime, we can turn our attention to other pursuits that could make us rich, like excelling in our jobs or launching our own businesses.The second reason is because most of us suffer from the behavioral bias of overconfidence: We think that we can easily beat the market. The truth is that very few active investors can do this successfully and consistently (even the pros can’t!). 

Therefore, Index investing protects us from ourselves. It protects us from making dumb mistakes, allowing us to come out profitable over the long-run if we stick to it.

Lionel also shared with us what he hoped to achieve with the book.

I didnt have grand visions for the book initially. After all, it is difficult to convince people to do something that they don’t believe in or to change their behaviour. Everyone, including myself, has his or her own biases and viewpoints. But if they are really honest with themselves and look at the research, most people will realize that Index Investing is in their best interests.

And when they do, my goal for Automatic Investing is to provide a roadmap for them to get started on it quickly in Singapore. When I first started investing in indexes in Singapore, I personally found it very complicated. Singapore has many investing regulations and brokerage rules; and there aren’t any index fund providers like Vanguard in Singapore that can simplify investing for us. 

Therefore, I wrote the book to help people who want to do it but simply don’t know how to figure this stuff out. I made the process as straightforward as I could so that my readers could read it and save months of research and trial-and-error. And when they use Automatic Investing to settle the money part of their lives, they can hopefully move on, do the things that they want to do, and be happy. 

The book is structured into four different, easy to understand sections – Think, Plan, Launch and Scale. They do exactly as they say, guiding you through the whys, hows and what’s nexts of Index Investing in Singapore.

A complete newbie to investing would benefit greatly from this step-by-step guide. One could digest it in three days, have a comprehensive portfolio in place in three weeks and be set for retirement in thirty years.

A seasoned investor looking to learn about passive investing would find concise, up to date information about the Index Investing scene in Singapore.

We wish Lionel ‘eggormous’ success with Automatic Investing. Click here to purchase the book now!

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