“On my 10th birthday, my dad gave me $100 and said I could use that money to buy shares. That was the first time I realised you could put money into a company and see it grow. Even at a young age, the concept resonated with me. That’s how I became interested in investing.
My dad always told me to start early, so I started setting aside money every month. I even had my own little black book to keep track of my investments. I kept up this habit through my teens, and by the time I started my career, I was already well-versed in the world of finance.
I’m originally from Hong Kong but moved to Singapore for a secondment with Schroders, an asset manager. I worked as an Investment Communications Specialist and I really enjoyed the lifestyle here. I saw my future in Singapore, so I married my girlfriend and we’ve been here for five years.
It’s been quite the journey. I actually studied history in university. It’s not super related to finance, but I’ve always found learning from the past and how it shapes future trends – and the future itself – really interesting. There are some really good lessons within investing.
Like the iPhone we own or Netflix shows that we watch every day. They’re all listed companies that shape the world we live in today. But what kind of companies will shape the world in five to 10 years? Those are the companies that I’m interested in studying and want to invest in.
Today, I’m Head of Content at ProsperUs. It’s a digital investment service targeted at Millennials. I produce educational content and also host webinars to get the young to be more interested in investing. We don’t do 5,000 charts in two hours. We keep it short and fun with memes and GIFs thrown in.
I think what is lacking for a lot of Millennials right now is information that’s accessible and relatable. So part of my job is to create content that people will find interesting and compelling. I want to teach them investment habits that will stay with them for a lifetime.
SingSaver just did a survey last year with about 1,000 Millennial and Gen Z investors. Around 85% of Gen Zs said they started saving before the age of 22, compared to 41% of Millennials aged between 24 and 39. They’re saving a lot but don’t know what to do with that money.
Knowledge is important because money is part of our lives. I don’t think it should rule our lives, but if you want to live your life to the fullest and not have the burden of worrying about money when you’re older and about to retire, then you need to be informed about investing.
The last thing you want to think about when you’re 70 or 80 is where your next meal is coming from or where are you gonna live for the next 20 years. That’s one of the reasons why I enjoy doing what I do. I want to educate young people and be that voice of reason.
Interview by: Arman Shah
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Everyone has an incredible and inspiring story to share. These are such stories by the everyday people in Singapore. #everydaypeoplesg