Investing is one of the keys to achieving financial security.
Relying on your salary and savings to become financially secure might not bring the results that you are looking for. Also the earlier you start, the better it is.
However, the problem is that investment is not easy to learn.
It takes time, effort and money to figure out and it would be best for you to find some help when it comes to understanding the basics of investment.
[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.
What is SGX Academy?
Their aim is to give a solid foundation in the basics of investment to those who would like to try it for the first time and also enhance the skills and knowledge professional investors.
SGX Academy is a Centre of Excellence when it comes to investor education in Asia. The training programs under it have been specifically designed to match the need of each would-be and professional investor that would go through one of its programs.
The SGX Academy is under the Singapore Exchange, which is one of the leading market infrastructure in Asia and is, by far, the most multi-asset exchange in Asia.
SGX Academy uses various delivery formats for their programmes, including:
The participants can choose the format that they prefer so they can make progress. There are three classifications for the programmes:
SGX Academy provide a hassle-free learning platform for those who want to learn more about investment.
7 Reasons Why You Should Consider Investing As Part Of Your Financial Education
Unfortunately, investing is not really taught in schools. You can graduate from university and be trained in a professional field without being educated about how you can properly invest your money.
Financial Literacy although important, has never really been emphasized during our formal education. And this can lead to many problems down the road.
This lack of education is the reason why the programmes offered by SGX Academy are so important.
If you’re still thinking about getting a proper investment education, here are some things that you should think about:
1. Most Investment Advice Can Be Half-Truths
You cannot rely on the advice of so called financial experts that you find on the internet. You might notice how these experts fail to agree on certain things. One expert might tell you to pay all your debts, while another one will tell you that you can leverage your income with good debt.
What’s the truth?
There is no one right answer and once you know more about finances and investments, you will appreciate that even more. The advice that experts are giving are only partially true in certain situations and when you have educated yourself properly, you would not have to depend on the tips offered by experts.
2. You Need to Find What Works for You
There are financial gurus offering seminars and courses that you can take which would cost thousands of dollars. They promise to teach you the "secrets" of investment so you can make money.
There are no secrets to investment. The programmes offered by SGX Academy are not to teach you secret investment practices. These programmes are meant to teach you well-established practices which will help you determine the best investment choices for you.
There is no one investment path that would work for everyone. You need to find the one that would work best for you.
3. You Need to Protect Your Interest
There would always be a conflict of interests when dealing investments. The only person who will really be looking out for your money when you start investing is yourself. Everyone else is out to protect their own interests.
The way to protect your money and your investment is to become educated and understand how the system works.
4. It Is Your Responsibility
Sure, you can let your financial planner or adviser be the one to handle important financial decisions for you. You can do that but you’re not doing yourself a favour if you do. It is your responsibility to know about your retirement, college savings for your kids, and wealth planning.
You might delegate the tasks relating to those matters but it is still your responsibility to know about them.
5. You Must Grow Your Financial Intelligence
It is not just your investment portfolio which should grow over time but your financial intelligence as well.
Imagine if you must make investment decisions involving millions of dollars based on the knowledge that you have when you are just getting started with investment. It is likely that you wouldn’t be able to make the most out of your investments then.
6. It’s An Investment
You should look at financial education as a kind of one-time investment that will earn you money for the rest of your life. The knowledge that you will get from the right kind of investment education and training will help you to make even more money in the future.
7. It’s A Must For You To Be Truly Independent
Financial education is a necessity if you want to be truly independent. How can you be truly free when you need others to make the financial decisions on your behalf? You need to reach the point where you can make investment decisions without having to depend on the opinions of other people. That does not mean you wouldn’t need the advice of others, it just means that you’re the one who will be making the final decision.
These are the reasons why getting a financial and investment education is very important today, especially the kind provided by SGX Academy. Singapore tops the Asia-Pacific region when it comes to financial literacy, thanks in part to programmes like the ones being offered by SGX Academy.
SGX Academy Programmes
Whether you are just planning on becoming an investor or you’re already a seasoned trader, SGX Academy has a programme for you.
1. Beginner Investor Programmes
These are the types of programmes that you should look into if you are seeking to understand the basics of investment, its importance, and the basic techniques that you need to learn.
Under the Beginner Investor Programmes of SGX Academy, you will learn the fundamentals that you need to master to understand investing. You will also learn the basic investing techniques and how you can get started.
These are some of the Beginner Programmes that they offer:
- Make Trading Your Source of Income
- A Guide to Derivatives Trading
- The Basics of Investing
- A Guide to Financial Statements
- Getting Started in Bond Investments
2. Intermediate Investor Programmes
If you have some experience when it comes to investments and you have already built your portfolio, then the intermediate programmes are for you. Under these courses, you will acquire a better understanding of the various methods of investment and the different instruments used in it.
These are some of the Intermediate Investor Programmes they are offering:
- Analysing Financial Statements
- Financial Analysis Techniques
- Strategic and Tactical Asset Allocation
- Futures, Pricing & Hedging
3. Professional Investor Programmes
These are the programmes intended for those planning to trade professionally. These programmes focus on the techniques and instruments that are used by professionals.
These are some of the Professional Investor Programmes they are offering:
- The Art of Trading: Trading to Win
- Short Term Trading Strategies
- Mastering Structured Warrants through LRMM
- Essentials of Professional Futures Trading with TA
These various programs are developed in partnership with academic institutions and industry players to produce specialised content that can deliver high impact learning. With the E-training platform provided by SGX Academy, you can learn anytime, anywhere.
It’s also easy to keep track of your progress because of event history and the reminders provided by the platform.
How Much Does It Cost?
The different programmes that are available in SGX Academy have various prices. The prices of the programmes range from free of charge to a fee of $2400.
Most of the Beginner Investor Programmes are available for free, you just have to register. Even the ones that require a fee would only charge a low amount, like S$35.
All the Intermediate Investor Programmes require a fee. The prices of these programs range from S$100 to S$1,000. For example, the Analysing Financial Statements has a S$549 fee.
The Professional Investor Programmes are the most expensive programmes offered by SGX Academy. The Essentials of Professional Futures Trading with TA programme will cost S$2,400.
That’s a very steep price to pay and you might think that you don’t need it at all. But remember that the knowledge and information which you can learn from there will allow you to earn more as a professional investor.
What You Can Learn
Are the programmes worth your time and, in the cases of the paid ones, your money?
To answer that, it would be best to look at the content of one or two of these programmes. What are the things that are offered under these courses and who would be teaching it?
We’ll take a look at the Basics of Investing which is one of the Beginner Investor Programmes offered by SGX Academy. Let’s check out what is in store for you should choose to study under this programme.
The Basics of Investing is one of the programmes that is provided free of charge. This program is specially designed for new investors who are seeking to build their first portfolio. When you look at the overview of the programme, you can see that it covers some of the most basic things that you need to know about investing.
It includes but is not limited to the following topics:
- Investment Goals
- Investment Products
- First Portfolio
The speaker for the program is also very crucial. The speaker should be an authority in the topics that will be discussed. For the Basics of Investing, the speaker is Benjamin Goh, CFA. He’s a Senior Lecturer at the Singapore Institute of Technology and he worked for Credit Suisse, Deloitte Consulting, CIMB Group, JPMorgan, and Hewlett Packard in the past.
Now, let’s take a look at the Art of Trading: Trading to Win programme which is one of the Professional Investor Programmes offered by SGX Academy. This course takes a close look at the mindset of a trader. It identifies the rules that keep a trader winning with each trade that they make.
Some of the things that you will learn under this courses
- Identifying the kind of trader that you are.
- Knowing and avoiding the fatal flaws of trading.
- Constructing a trading plan.
- Exercising practical trading ideas.
Before you take this course, you must have several years of experience in investing so you can make the most out of it. The speaker for this course, Nicholas Teo, has 25 years of experience in the finance industry.
The best way that you can become financially independent is to get into investments but it’s not going to be real independence if you will be relying on other people to manage your money and your portfolio. While you may get a financial planner to manage your portfolio, it is crucial that you understand how it all works or you could just end up losing money unnecessarily. Remember, no one cares more about your own money than you do.
SGX Academy is one way to get a financial education and training in Singapore. Their courses are designed to match your level of experience and proficiency with investing so you can move on to the next level.
Taking the courses offered by SGX Academy will not guarantee that you will become a good investor. There will always be the risk of losing money even after you have gone through the courses but that would be minimised because the decisions you will be making will be based on sound principles and not guesswork.