It can be a pretty daunting challenge to start investing. With so many different products, all with their own risks and rates of return, it might seem easier to just leave things in the hands of a professional portfolio manager.
But if you're the kind of person who likes to take a hands-on approach to life, there can be a lot of value to handling your investments yourself. Here are some of the benefits of DIY investing, along with a few things to watch out for.
1. Researching products has become easier
It can be a little overwhelming when you first see the huge number of different investment products we offer. But you no longer need to rely on the local library for investment research or to read up on financial journals. The internet has made it a lot easier to understand these different products and all of their risk factors. There are hundreds of websites dedicated to compiling and analysing all the data, research and insights you need to make your own investment decisions without having to devote all your spare time to studying the market.
2. Buy, sell or trade, all on the go
So you've done your research. Now what? There's no need to call a broker or email a salesperson. You can make almost all of the transactions yourself, either on your computer or using one of our handy apps. Found a certain stock you like? Or you think now is the right time to sell? Just get online and put your order through.
You can do all of this on the HSBC Wealth Dashboard, our online service that lets you manage and keep track of your wealth and investments. It shows all of your wealth holdings in one place, and makes it easy for you to buy and sell unit trusts and securities.
Prefer using a mobile app to do some investing? We've got you covered, especially when it comes to foreign exchange. HSBC Singapore QuickFX even lets you set things up ahead of time, and your money will automatically be converted as soon as the rate hits your target.
3. Stay within your risk
Because you're the one making the decisions, you can deal exclusively with products you feel comfortable with. Once you've completed a Risk Profiling Questionnaire, you'll know which products are suitable for your risk appetite.
And as you gain more experience and maturity in the market, you can always adjust your risk appetite by going to the HSBC Wealth Dashboard document centre. It's one of our online banking features, so you can update your information from anywhere, any time of the day or night.
4. Keep your costs low
You don't need a portfolio manager to start investing. Handling your own investments gives you more freedom to time your transactions when there are deals available, such as our special unit trust sales charge, currently at 0% for regular savings plans and 1% for a lump sum investment. Plus, you can access preferential brokerage fees just for online transactions. These savings, as well as the option to make small transactions and grow your wealth bit by bit, can add up over the long term.
5. Start with small decisions
You don't have to jump right into playing the stock market, researching which companies to buy shares in. All you need is a general idea of what type of company you want to invest in. It might be a certain industry, a specific country/region, or even a focus on companies that are eco-friendly and socially responsible.
You can do this by investing in a unit trust, where a professional fund manager carefully chooses shares from many different companies and bundles them together according to a theme. This allows you to own small pieces of a lot of different companies, which is an important part of portfolio diversification. You decide how much you want to invest and for how long, and the fund manager takes care of the rest.
Now that you know how easy it is to get started, doing your own investing doesn't seem so scary anymore, does it? If you're ready to take the plunge and do things yourself, we're always here to help.