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7 Catchphrases Singaporeans Use to Sound Knowledgeable About Investing

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Joanne Poh

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If there’s one thing Singaporeans—especially Singaporeans of the uncle persuasion—like to boast about, it’s making money. And not the kind of money you have to toil 50 hours a week to earn. That’s too unglam.

No, certain Singaporeans love to shock the world with wild tales of their windfalls. Whether they just made $20,000 on the stock market or at the RWS casino, these people love nothing more than to dispense nuggets of “wisdom” with great bravado.

The next time someone is trying to divulge advice on the stock market, listen out for these seven classic kopitiam catchphrases.

 

Buy low, sell high

When people tell you to “buy low, sell high”, they act as if they’ve just revealed the meaning of life.

Then they wait for you to act impressed, since such superior knowledge is clearly proof of the millions they’ve made trading stocks/forex or flipping properties.

Sorry guys but that advice is about as useful as a PSLE certificate in the employment market. While they’re at it, why don’t they advise you to avoid bankruptcy too?

 

Follow the trend!

Some of the people I’ve heard dish out this advice have proffered the exact same gems of wisdom when talking about how to win at baccarat or roulette.

These are the people who advocate buying nonstop when stock or property prices dip, and then selling everything as prices rise.

This advice is just as bad, if not worse than the previous piece of “wisdom”. Investing is about waiting for the right time to do something, not blindly following some trend or worse, some uncle who thinks he knows all about investing.

 

You can’t invest when you have no capital

Saying you can’t invest when you have “no capital” is like saying you can’t eat if you have no money.

Sure, you can’t eat at Waku Ghin if you don’t have a few grand to drop on a meal, but most of us don’t have that kind of money and we haven’t starved to death yet.

You may need hundreds of thousands upfront to buy a condo in Singapore, but to enter the stock market you don’t need much at all, since you can now buy stocks in lots of 100.

If some guy tells you there’s no way you can invest because you’re too poor, don’t listen to him. He’s employing the same tactic the aunties at Chinese New Year are using when they ask you why you couldn’t get into NUS med school.

 

Buy and hold

The lazy investor’s classic advice is to just “buy and hold”.

Okay, we get that they’re trying to differentiate themselves from day traders and property flippers. But unless you plan to hold onto your investments until you die, this is pretty redundant advice.

Unless your only goal is to pass your assets on to your kids, it’s reasonable to assume that at some point you will choose to cash out.

 

You can never go wrong with gold

Just because towkays like wearing gold chains and gold rings doesn’t mean you should necessarily go out and spend all your hard earned cash on gold.

As with any other type of investment, buying gold has its risks and isn’t a surefire way to strike it rich.

Especially don’t go and buy into those bogus gold buyback schemes like Suisse International and Geneva Gold.

 

It’s better to be conservative and invest only in property

The people who say this are likely to have no spare cash anyway because they spent every cent on a home they couldn’t really afford, and know next to nothing about other investment vehicles like stocks or index funds, which they view as “too risky”.

Putting all of your money into any one type of investment isn’t exactly a good idea. And if your only investment is your home, you’d better be ready to downgrade when you need the cash in old age.

 

Huat ah!!!

People who say this when talking about investing probably bought the $2,000 membership at the Marina Bay Sands casino, love the “thrill” of forex trading and idolise Chow Yun Fat in the God of Gamblers movies.

Have you ever heard anyone use any of the above catchphrases when talking about investing? Tell us in the comments!

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Joanne Poh

In my previous life, I was a property lawyer who spent most of my time struggling to get out of bed or stuck in peak hour traffic. These days, as a freelance commercial writer, I work in bed, on the beach, in parks and at cafes, all while being really frugal. I like helping other people save money so they can stop living lives they don't like.