Ultimate step-by-step guide to start investing in Singapore

By Beansprout • 02 May 2023 • 0 min read

Have you ever wondered how to start investing in Singapore? Here's our definitive step-by-step guide to get you started.

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Level 1 - Getting started 

a) Set up a stock brokerage account

In order to get started, you need to select an online stockbroker to open an account. This online brokerage will serve as a platform for you to buy and sell stocks. 

Essentially, the brokerage functions as the middleman between you and the stock market by providing you access to various stock exchanges.

Although there are many brokerage platforms in Singapore to choose from, it is important for investors to pick the one that best suits their needs. 

For beginners who are new to investing, it is best to look for a low-cost broker with a relatively user-friendly interface.

Find out which is the best brokerage account for trading stocks.

b) Set up a regular savings plan (RSP)

If you have always wanted to start investing but find it hard to build the habit, then a Regular Savings Plan (RSP) offers a convenient way for you to get yourself on track. 

A Regular Savings Plan (RSP) allows you to invest a fixed sum of money consistently, which makes it a really simple and smart way to start investing. 

You will be able to avoid the stress of having to find the perfect time to start investing, as your entry price would be smoothed out with time by adopting a dollar cost averaging approach. 

By dollar cost averaging, you are effectively dividing your money into equal monetary amounts to be periodically invested on a regular basis.

In addition, you will be able to avoid the hassle of making repeated manual fund transfers into your brokerage accounts, and use the time saved on doing the things you enjoy.

Learn more about how to set up a regular savings plan 

c) Set up a robo-advisor account 

If you’d like to spend minimal time managing your investments, the good news is that you can start investing with a robo-advisor in a few minutes by clicking through some questions.

It is ideal for individuals who prefer to spend their time creating or looking through TikTok but yet want to stay invested.

Investing with a robo advisor is a great way to make your money work harder even if you know nuts about Tesla or Apple and what the stock market is about.

You are effectively outsourcing your investment to a robot. Just be aware that investment risks are still present and there is still a chance of losing your money!

Learn more about a robo-advisor and whether you should use a robo-advisor 


Level 2 – Invest with an ETF

a) What is an ETF?

Exchange traded funds (ETFs) are a low-cost way for you to own a diversified basket of securities with one single trade.

By investing in a ETF, you will be able to reap the benefits from investing without having to spend significant time performing research on individual companies. 

The benefit of ETFs compared to single stocks is that by investing in a basket of companies, your investment risks are spread out. 

Lastly, ETFs have low management fees and can be easily traded on a stock exchange, making them a good long-term investment option for new investors. 

Learn more about what are ETFs

b) Which ETF should you start with?

There’re so many ETFs out there in the market. How do I know which ETF I should be buying?

Even for investors looking to take a more hands-off approach, answering this question is key to getting started on ETF investing.

If you are buying just one ETF, we believe it should be globally diversified and low cost. 

This makes the VWRA an ETF to consider for long-term investors looking to grow their wealth. The VWRA ETF invests in stocks from around the world, including developed and emerging markets. 

By investing in VWRA, you can spread your risk across a wide range of companies and countries, which can help to reduce the overall risk of your portfolio while still providing exposure to a broad range of markets and companies.

Learn more about which ETF to start with 


Level 3 – Build an ETF portfolio

There are many ETFs for you to explore if you are looking to build your portfolio in a simple way.

These ETFs also allow you to invest into a specific market or theme while spreading out your risks compared to investing in single stocks. 

a) Top Singapore REIT ETFs

Singapore REIT ETFs offer instant diversification across various industries and geographies compared to owning single REITs. 

To decide which Singapore REIT ETF is most suited for our portfolio, we would consider the dividend yield and frequency of distribution, fees, and geographical exposure of the REIT ETF.

Singapore REIT ETFs currently offer a dividend yield of 4% as of April 2023

Learn more about Singapore REIT ETFs and how to choose the best one for your portfolio. 

b) Top Singapore Bond ETFs

Singapore Bond ETFs allow you to earn a potential passive income through a diversified basket of bonds at a low cost. 

However, you may face greater capital risk compared to a similar portfolio of bonds as the ETF price may fall when interest rates go up, and a bond ETF does not have a maturity date.

To decide which Singapore bond ETF is most suited for our portfolio, we would consider the credit rating and geographical exposure of the underlying bonds, dividend yield and frequency of distribution.

Singapore bond ETFs currently offer a dividend yield of between 2.3% to 7.7% as of February 2023.

Learn more about Singapore bond ETFs and how to choose the best one for your portfolio. 

c) Top Singapore Gold ETFs

A gold ETF tracks the value of physical gold and can be purchased and sold on stock exchanges, allowing you to participate in the gold market without the need to physically own gold. 

The underlying asset of a Singapore gold ETF is the gold bullion. This means that investing in gold ETFs in Singapore can provide similar benefits to investing in physical gold.

Overall, investing in gold ETFs in Singapore is much more accessible, with lower barriers to entry, compared to physical gold investment, while still providing the advantages of investing in gold.

Learn more about Singapore bond ETFs and how to choose the best one for your portfolio. 

Take the next step

Check out our ETF Ideas Tool to find the best ETF for your portfolio. 

Ready to dive deeper into investing? Learn how you can customise your portfolio and grow your wealth. 

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