Why I suck at investing
My money sits in cash in a current account with basically no interest. I've been prompted to look at investing of late to beat inflation, a worldwide symptom of economies battling COVID.
However I suck at investing, and allow me to explain why:
It's the information age and I would normally just invest in Tech stocks, but looking at:
I feel late to the game. Besides the super sale in March 2020, people acknowledge the stock market is due for a "re-adjustment".
Yes, over the long term my money is probably safe, but I don't want to buy peak!
The interface to buying stocks / funds
I've honestly tried to put some of my hard earned money into the stock market. I did my research, Interactive Brokers seems best. However the user interface is awful. My expectation was to plant 20% of my salary into some companies I like, but that's extremely challenging.
- It's a serious pain transferring money into IBKR
- It's a pain to then convert the SGD into USD as most stocks require USD to buy
- Purchasing a stock is incredibly confusing and I've got constant FOMO that I've done it incorrectly or inefficiently
- I'm always worried about some capital gains tax implications
That's not even the beginning of it. I have several accounts that I can't seem to consolidate. Support is terrible. I haven't found a sane community to converse with yet about it.
Exchange Traded Fund (ETFs) contains stock I do not want to support
For example UK centric "basket of stocks" Fundsmith invests in Microsoft
Most high profile tech companies like Oracle, Microsoft et al, I do not want to support.
Admittedly Microsoft's practices has spurred my to try Linux and get involved in the OSS community. And now you want me to invest in them? No no no
Don't want to support Corporates
Corporate culture drives me to despair. I don't want to fund something I don't like.
I would prefer to support a product or mission I believed in. Instead most IPO-ed companies appear detached from their users and employees.
I am tired of friends explaining to me that Bitcoin or some other shitcoin will "go to the moon". I was an earlier adopter of bitcoin and I did mine about 5 years ago, so don't assume I don't know or understand decentralised currency or blockchain. I'm sick of the greed. I honestly don't think the technology is fit for purpose. It's a disaster No thanks!
I've heard of companies that invest in small businesses, though none of them appear reputable / accountable to my tastes.
- Isn't this what banks should be doing?
- Many of them seem focused on the third world and make you feel like you're adopting an orphan or being charitable
I wouldn't mind putting some of my money into startups, but the risks do seem too high in Singapore and most of the bets would appear too long term to me. I know of VCs who have invested in companies and only get their money a decade later, even if the company has done miraculously well over those 10 years. There are plenty of losers like Redmart that burn.
I'm based in Singapore and ideally I'd invest in such companies with my time and expertise, but that doesn't appear to happen very much here, compared to Silicon Valley.
As a South African born guy, gold has always been "the inflation beating" store of value. However:
- Kruger coin is not legal in Singapore ... why? it's not pure enough <99.5% purity
- When you sell physical gold, you usually get hit for a evaluation fee or buyback fee which usually kills your profits
- You can only realistically expect gold to keep up with inflation, which feels like running on a treadmill
- It doesn't invest in people or a mission, i.e. make the world a better place. I don't want to lock up resources that can potentially lift people out of poverty or rob people of opportunities.
Best investment you can make is an investment in yourself said Warren Buffett
Atm, I am thinking of how to invest in myself and my family. Traditionally this would probably mean buying (or building) a house, however the housing market has spiked in these COVID times and I feel that that opportunity might have passed us by.
Another thought that has crossed my mind is to start a small business of my own like Webconverger again. I do have the cash to cover a year or two of development, but that just about covers my families costs. I know how hard it is to build a business by yourself. I am not 100% confident I can do it. The risks are high that I would essentially burn through our family savings.