Well, the topic for today is "Investment" and (as I commented in earlier post) investment is any form of instrument that make $ work for you and NOT you work to get $. The most simple form of investment is also known as "Ownership Investment" where we own something in order to generate a return for us be it in capital gain (e.g. profits from sale of stocks, unit trusts, options, futures, etc) or regular income (e.g. rental income from investment property, interest from bonds, etc).
What I'll be highlighting today are the key features which makes an investment suitable for whatever goals we have in mind.
1) Initial Capital;
2) Liquidity or ease of disposal with available ready buyer
3) Physical and mental effort involved
4) Time horizon
5) passive income
To further illustrate this, let's have a look at the table as below:
Let's assume we start investing at the early age of 20+. We just started working, we don't have a lot of money, and we have loads of things that will be going on with our lives which requires more money (e.g. further studies, get married, buy house, support our families, etc). So what we should be looking at is 'stocks, shares, unit trusts, mutual funds' as they requires relatively low capital (range from S$500 to S$5000 depending on investment) and minimal effort (pick something we can understand and stick with instead of something that's in the trend) and more importantly can be dispose off easily when we need the $.
Next, we go to our 30s and 40s... We are probably happily married with kids and wanna save for their education and at the same time start thinking about our dream retirement. We would have accumulated a bit of cash and also some good investing knowledge over the years. So if the spare cash is enough, we may wanna invest in some properties(this way, we get regular passive income) but at the same time leaving just enough still in shares, unit trust, or bonds for liquidity convenience. With good contacts or networking, we may also found some good business opportunities which we venture in n be our own boss. ;p
As we reach our 50s n 60s... we look back in time to our accomplishments n at the same time look forward to our retirement. Most of our $ will be in some form of investment and what we really want is some form of pure passive income which will pay for our regular expenses when we retire. Ideally the passive income will be more than our expenses so that the capital will in fact appreciates over time and leave a legacy for our next generation.
Wow.... such a perfectly "happy ever after story". Are your story gonna be the same? Or are you still struggling to take the first step? Let me assure you that it's never too late to start be it you are in your 20s or 50s. But it is crucial to note that there is no one perfect investment solutions. There may be some slight variation or even lowering in expectation. However, what we want to avoid at all cost is... "I'm 70 and I'm still working because I don't have enough $$$ to pay for the food, water n electricity." Neither do we wanna say "Gosh!!! If only I had so n so shares or properties back then my $$$ would have been ten-folded now."
So what are you waiting for? Start thinking, planning, evaluate options, implementing and most importantly setup review as nothing stay the same forever. And if you feel the work is just too much, get someone like me to help you out. ;p