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Guide to Investing in Singapore (2022)

01 Jul 2021

How to start investing in Singapore | VI College

Investing is not something you’re born to do. It’s something you learn (and choose) to do.

If Covid-19 and the uncertainties that came with it have pushed you to think about investing in Singapore, you’re not alone.

Since the first quarter of 2020, more and more Singaporeans have been exploring ways to invest their hard-earned money.

Despite the pandemic's unfortunate effect on businesses, inflation, and supply chains, a lot of us hold on to the silver lining of this pandemic. For many, today is a ripe time to invest in Singapore, a country teeming with opportunities to grow money.

Can you invest with $100?

Some hesitate to invest thinking they need a ridiculously large amount of money to start.

In reality, investing in Singapore, even if it's a first-world country with a high cost of living, doesn’t require huge capital. So perhaps your next question is this: How much do I need to start investing?

You can start with what you have. If your money allocated to investing is a modest $100 or $500, you can already use it to jumpstart your investing journey. You can even start by allocating as little as S$10 a day (finish reading and we'll let you know how to do this)!

But don't straight away think you can just buy and sell with the $100 in your pocket. It's a must to review your finances first and decide whether or not you have enough "spare" money to invest. What do we mean by this?

Investors should always set aside an emergency fund before allocating money to invest. A lot of greedy investors have suffered from ignoring this advice, so we hope you'll know better. Having money for the rainy days, which is ideally equivalent to 6 months of your expenses, is like a cushion so that you don't get hurt in case you lose money from investing.

And losing money by investing in stocks is not fiction. This is because the stock market is so volatile that no one can really know what the next direction of the market will be. So better gear up and know the risks before you get involved.

Investment options in Singapore

Some get scared to invest because of the risks involved with investing in Singapore. Frankly, everything has risks. No investment comes without risks. If you ever hear someone boast about a “risk-free” investment, run away because it is likely a scam.

Each of us has a different risk appetite (you can assess yours through several online questionnaires). Depending on how low or high your risk tolerance is, you can choose the best investment option to put your money in.

Good thing is that there is a bunch of great investment ideas in Singapore you can choose from. Everyone can, therefore, invest as long as you are confident in what you’re doing.

The key to becoming a confident investor is first knowing what options are available to you. Where should you put your money? What’s the risk? Why should you choose stocks over real estate or ETFs over fixed deposits?

Here we list the different ways to invest your money in Singapore, plus their pros and cons to help you gauge your alternatives and make an informed decision.

Financial Investment Options

Investment Option




Fixed Deposit or CD (Certificate of Deposit)

A deposit you make in the bank, but with a specified date of maturity (or the date when you can withdraw the funds without having to pay penalties)

  • Easy to understand
  • Safest investment option
  • Guaranteed return on capital
  • The longer and higher your deposit, the higher the interest
  • Not too liquid (meaning you can’t withdraw the cash in times of emergency without having to pay some fines)
  • Not too high returns
  • The interest rate depends on banks

SSB (Singapore Saving Bonds)

These work as if you are lending money to the Singapore government. The interest will be your "returns" over time.

  • Safe because the government backs it
  • Interest increases over time
  • Can withdraw funds when you need them
  • Lower rate of return compared to when you invest in stocks

Mutual Funds

Pooled money from several investors which is then distributed across stocks, bonds, and securities

  • Managed by portfolio managers, hence, experts
  • Don’t require a huge amount to invest
  • Give you a diversified investment portfolio
  • Highly liquid, all you need is to notify your fund manager when you want to withdraw funds
  • Charge annual fees, usually 1-3%, to pay portfolio managers
  • You have no control over your funds

ETFs (Exchange Traded Funds)

Similar to mutual funds but can be traded on the stock exchange and are valued throughout the day (unlike mutual funds which are valued at the end of the day)

  • Flexible, meaning can be bought and sold on a trading day
  • Cheaper and more liquid than mutual funds
  • Lower management fees versus mutual funds
  • Often have lower dividends than mutual funds
  • Lesser diversification of stock portfolio
  • Higher investment cost versus investing in stocks


Investments that make you become a shareholder or part-owner of listed companies

  • Easy to start doing
  • Liquid, you can withdraw your funds easily at any time
  • Offers great returns provided you know how to evaluate a company’s value
  • Picking stocks can be difficult for beginners, especially without proper knowledge of the stock market

REITs (Real Estate Investment Trust)

Like a mutual fund for real estate, meaning you can be a part-landlord of a commercial or residential property

  • Returns depend on several factors, i.e., movement restrictions and the status of the property market
  • Difficult to get high returns during today’s crisis
  • Property taxes could suddenly rise

Non-Financial Investment Options

Real Estate

Same as REITs, but this means you buy properties directly (i.e., owning HDB apartments, condominiums, or landed houses)

  • Property value appreciates over time
  • Can be a stable income source, i.e., rentals
  • Requires high capital and high maintenance cost/effort
  • Not liquid

Precious Metals

Can be gold or silver (bought as jewellery, bars, or coins) or paper gold (traded through ETFs)

  • Considered safe investments as they don’t lose value even in unfortunate market conditions
  • Safe from rising inflation rates
  • Highly valuable
  • Require high capital
  • Require top-notch safekeeping

Art and Collectables

Artworks like paintings and sculptures or collectables like specially designed coins

  • Can be sold for profit as the value of art and collectables can easily appreciate over time
  • Not all art pieces are authentic, hence, may not appreciate in value

Now that we’ve presented you with various investing ideas you have in Singapore, it’s up to you to weigh the pros and cons. You may also visit our articles on asset classes and alternative assets to know more about investment options on where to invest your hard-earned money. Remember to understand the risks while contemplating the benefits of each investment vehicle.

How beginners can start investing in Singapore

How to buy stocks in Singapore | VI College

As you know, having the initiative to start is the first step. But actually starting can be difficult if you don't have a clear picture of the subsequent steps.

The first few steps are already covered in the earlier part of this article, e.g., setting aside an emergency fund, allocating a budget for investing, and choosing an investment vehicle that suits your risk tolerance level and budget.

For most investment options, the next step is easy -- just go ahead and buy that asset. But if you wish to invest in stocks, you'll need to do a couple more steps.

One is to open your CDP and broker account. These are non-negotiables for investing in Singapore. These two are necessary for you to place your trades, meaning when you buy and sell shares in the stock market.

Brokers abound in Singapore -- some even offer first-time investors free shares, so better do your research about each one before deciding on the best brokerage platform for you.

Still, it doesn't end with just opening your account. You need to fund it. Be reminded though that majority of brokers in Singapore require you to fund a minimum amount before you can start trading, so you have to consider this as well, especially if you only have $100 to invest right now.

Once you have your account funded, you can start analysing the stocks you want to buy. There are things you must consider when choosing the best stocks for beginners, but we'll give you tips pro bono (yes, for free!) in the link below!

From time to time, you'll need to review your portfolio. Note that this should not be daily! It's not advisable to look at your investments every day once the market opens, but you'll know more about that once you attend our complimentary investment course.

So before you go, we want to gift you an opportunity to prepare yourself better before you invest in the stock market. Here's your special link to come to our investing bootcamp where we teach you how to evaluate stocks, how to manage your portfolio, and how to leverage technology for smarter stock analyses.


This article and its contents are provided for information purposes only and do not constitute a recommendation to purchase or sell securities of any of the companies or investments herein described. It is not intended to amount to financial advice on which you should rely.

No representations, warranties, or guarantees, whether expressed or implied, made to the contents in the article is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. Past performance is not indicative nor a guarantee of future returns.

We, 8VI Global Pte Ltd, disclaim any responsibility for any liability, loss, or risk or otherwise, which is incurred as a consequence, directly or indirectly, from the use and application of any of the contents of the article.