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Journey to financial freedom needs preparation.

Monday, June 30, 2014

Often, I get emails from readers asking for advice and I would remind them that I am not allowed to give advice. I am just thinking aloud here in my blog and if my soliloquies have proven inspiring or even helpful, I guess that is a good thing.

A recurring theme in a number of emails from readers is whether having a smallish capital is good enough to start investing in stocks. So, over the last few years of blogging, I have thought aloud to myself as I looked at bits and pieces of the puzzle and more recently consolidated some of these thoughts into an "e-book" which is found in the right side bar of my blog.

I believe that getting our basics right first is more important in helping ourselves to be financially secure than investing in stocks. Of course, investing has an important part in the grand scheme of things on the journey to financial freedom but the basics will ensure a strong foundation. All in good time, as the saying goes.

To help put this point across, I had a blog post which generated quite a bit of controversy last year when it was published. I believe that the blog post's message was misconstrued by some when I questioned whether investing in stocks was suitable for everybody. For anyone who might be interested to read it or to read it again, please pay special attention to the concluding paragraph of the blog post: Is investing in stocks suitable for you?

My reply to J who wrote to me recently:

Hi J,

Welcome to my blog. :)

Firstly, I have to tell you that I am not allowed to give financial advice. I can share some knowledge and experience but you will have to decide what to do from there.

Before you start, you might want to go to my blog's right sidebar and read my "e-book" which should help lay some groundwork for you. If we do not have a large capital to invest with, just getting the basics right to give us financial security without investing in stocks would be a big step forward.

Once we have gotten the basics right, we could think of putting excess cash to work.

Not all of us are good with financial numbers. So, not all of us are good at picking stocks. Warren Buffett who is probably the most successful investor of all time makes mistakes too. So, if we don't think we are strong in this department, we might want to do some index investing. OCBC and POSB have plans to help people do this. Go to my blog and use the "search" box at the top of the blog and search for "blue chip investing". Read the related posts and comments too.

Of course, we could read up to upgrade our knowledge and skills. When we feel that we are comfortable enough to invest in individual stocks, we might want to give it a go. To this end, there are good books which could help us better ourselves. "Food for thought" in my blog's right sidebar has some recommended books.

 .... don't be discouraged. All of us have to start somewhere. :)

Best wishes,

In the email to me, J said, "I would appreciate if you can give me some advice so I can finally start my journey." I am sure all of us here want to journey towards financial freedom. 

However, we must remember that before every journey, there should be adequate preparation. Embarking on a journey without adequate preparation would be to leave too much to chance.

When we are well prepared, we will be able to embark on the journey with more confidence as we will be in a better position to handle any unforeseen circumstances along the way.

Related posts:
1. Free e-book by AK.
2. The Millionaire Next Door.
3. Take steps towards financial security.
4. Journey to financial freedom is not a race.
5. When to BUY, HOLD or SELL?


pf said...

Your self talks hv been very encouraging! :)

AK71 said...

Hi pf,

You think so? I am glad. :)

Well, to be honest, this was inspired by an actual email exchange with an actual reader, J. Haha... So, it isn't a "self talk" per se. ;p

pf said...

I mean the other posts. I sometimes re read your older posts to see if I can learn new things.

Good job!

AK71 said...

Hi pf,

Oh, thanks for letting me know. :)

Maybe, I should consider re-runs like what they do on TV for popular programs. ;p

If you like, let me know which old blog posts you found very encouraging and, maybe, let me know why. I could compile them into another "e-book" for other everyone's benefit. :)

Unknown said...

Hi AK71, I have been reading your blog for about 5 months. I really appreciate that you are so kind to share your investment experience and other stuffs with us online. I would like to ask you an question about investing in stocks that had been bothering me all this while. My questing is;

Do stock investors need to sell all their shares during major financial meltdown so that they can re-enter the stock market when it is on great sales. Or Do they hold their shares long-term thru out the crisis like Warren Buffett?? Thanks.

AK71 said...

Hi Poh Huat,

I am glad you enjoy my blog. :)

Please see my reply to your question in this blog post:
Sell stocks now and wait to buy back lower?

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