Many people ask me for investment advice. 99% of the times, I will tell them that it depends on their situation. Usually, this leads to me asking lots of questions and not just giving an answer.

However, I can understand why that might be an annoying response, especially if you are younger and need some guidance. While I cannot tell you how to invest your money, here are my thoughts. It’s hoped that it will give you some ideas to help you start your investing journey.

It’s too public for me to share exact dollar amounts. Here are percentages of the investments I have made. I am also a big believer in principle-based reasoning so I will briefly mention investing principles that I believe in.

This article is not intended to be a recommendation. This is not the way I recommend you invest your money. However, it has worked for me.

Personal Situation

To give you more context, I would like to share some of my personal circumstances. So you can see where I am at in my life and where I’m going. Here’s the deal:

This year, I turn 36. I have a full-time job that I enjoy, which is hard but rewarding. I also spend approximately 12 hours a week on this blog. Before I was 32, I had paid off my student loans. My home loan is the only financial obligation I have at present. I drive a second-hand vehicle that I bought in cash. I am blessed to have no other costly health-related or family-related obligations.

My hobbies aren’t too expensive, and I’m a bit introverted. I find it tiring to engage in social activities more than once a week. So I prefer reading and writing at my home. I am not a huge success in any one area but I do take pride in living a balanced life.

My wife and I got married recently. She also has a steady full-time income. We are planning to have children in the near future.

Financially, we are financially secure but far from financial independence.

10 investing principles I believe in

This article is finished with a list containing investing principles. This section is probably best left for a future article, but this is a teaser.

Here are my beliefs when I invest my own money.

  • Reduce your expenses as much as possible. While I am frugal in many aspects, I do enjoy spending money on the things that bring me joy.
  • Do your best work. Promotions at my job have been the key to all of my major income increases. Investments are more rewarding when you have high income and low expenses.
  • Invest your funds in SAFE assets such as e.g. EPF with LOW fees (e.g. robo-advisor ETFs). This protects against capital loss.
  • You should allocate a little to high-risk assets with high returns. Asymmetric opportunities are those where I stand to gain more than I risk losing. Bitcoin
  • Never borrow money to invest.
  • Usually, passive investing is better than active investing.
  • Automate as much of your work as possible. You don’t have the time or energy to do it all. Automatic salary deductions are used to remove common human weaknesses.
  • Technology can make your life easier. Nearly all of my investments are made online.
  • Invest for your retirement. You can invest for retirement.
  • Never stop learning. Today’s investment strategy is quite different than it was five years ago. In the next five years, it will likely change again.

Remember, it is personal!

Would I recommend my investing principles to anyone? These principles are good for someone who enjoys their job and has a steady income. They also allow for time for friends, family and hobbies.

The 80-20 (safety vs risky), split is what I consider Nassim Taleb’s take on barbell investing. A financial advisor might recommend a traditional 60-40 stocks-bonds mix. The idea of long-term balance is what you want. It allows you to rest well at night and wake up 25 years later saying “Wow, I don’t think I’ll ever struggle with money again.”

You’ll need to have different goals, such as a goal to achieve financial independence and early retirement, or a career in stock market trading.

No matter what your investment goals may be, I hope that you will think deeply about them. You will be able to make an informed decision about what works best for you.

Investing can be a difficult open-ended question. But, like all meaningful things in life it’s rewarding when you find the right answer.

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