Throughout her growing up years, Desserie Yap never had to worry about her finances. She also concedes that she did not use to give much thought about money.
“I was fortunate that my parents helped to finance my overseas education too, so I didn’t have to work part-time to supplement my living expenses while I was studying abroad.”
It was only a few years back when she realised that she should not continue to rely on her parents’ financial support, as she started earning her keep.
“I felt the need to pay back and also to start planning for my future”, says the medical practitioner, who started investing with RealVantage about a year ago.
RealVantage delves deeper in conversation with this budding real estate investor to learn more about her investment journey:
RV: What made you start to invest?
DY: Before I started working, I had never thought much about investing, as I wasn’t drawing a regular salary at that time and didn’t have any personal savings to initiate any investment. Four years on, with six months of my salary stashed aside for rainy days, I thought it would be a good time to start strategising for my future goals.
I have high aspirations; I want the freedom to buy the things that I like, indulge in hobbies that give me pleasure, travel the world and live the lifestyle I so desire. I definitely won’t be able to tick any of these boxes if I don’t invest and make my money work harder.
If I were to conscientiously follow the path of a medical practitioner, I probably could only grow my wealth at a slow pace, while earning a safe income which is unlikely to grow exponentially. Before I hit 30 years old, I want to take the first step towards achieving financial freedom. I don’t want to regret not having properly planned my finances earlier to prevent any financial remorse in the future.
RV: Who is your source of inspiration for investing and why?
DY: I grew up in an environment where my loved ones were avid investors. They always discussed and bounced off investment ideas with one another about the stocks to invest in the market, what’s in trend, when to buy what, and when’s the best time to exit, so on and so forth.
My mother and brother, in particular, played an integral role in shaping my perspective on investing and instilled in me the importance of growing my money to build and create wealth over time.
My brother started investing in stocks at a young age. He conducts extensive research by studying stock market trends and invests in what he thinks is the next big thing. My mother, on the other hand, invests in a combination of stocks and real estate. She firmly believes that property investments should not be only targeting capital appreciation, but also rental yield.Sign Up at RealVantage
RV: What have you invested in so far?
DY: I’ve been investing with robo advisory platforms. These are automated investment platforms that offer a cost-efficient investment option for budding investors like myself. So far, I have had positive experiences with them and I will continue doing so. What I find most attractive about these investment platforms is that I can actually use my CPF to invest in unit trusts!
I have also started investing in a property with RealVantage about a year ago. This is my first step towards owning physical properties and I’m really happy that my investment is in good hands with a highly professional and proficient team.
"I have started investing in a property with RealVantage about a year ago. This is my first step towards owning physical properties and I’m really happy that my investment is in good hands with a highly professional and proficient team."
RV: Do you currently own any other physical real estate?
DY: Not now, but I definitely aspire to own a property not too distant in the future. In my opinion, owning a property in Singapore is just too expensive! For now, I don’t wish to be tied down with a mortgage or a long-term housing loan. I’m a free-spirited person and I want to enjoy my work and travel around the world at the same time. That said, if there’s an opportunity for me to migrate within the next few years, I may consider buying a property abroad — perhaps one that is located near a university campus, either to live in or rent out.
As I grow older, perhaps in my late 30s, I would most likely buy a centrally located property in a thriving metropolis, one which is in high demand and easy to rent out. My preferred cities to invest in properties would be Sydney, Melbourne, Vancouver, or even Tokyo.
RV: What matters to you most when you are selecting an investment?
DY: Although safety and security rank high on my list of investment criteria, growth and returns are also important. As I’m not that sort of person who monitors my investments regularly due to my irregular work hours, I need to have the assurance that my investments are not too volatile, while they provide me with consistent returns.
RV: What percentage of your salary would you set aside for investing?
DY: I consider myself to be a typical salaried worker who wants to stretch my money to its fullest potential and invest in a way that I can generate passive income in the future. Furthermore, I don’t subscribe to the idea of leaving my money in the bank, earning meagre returns that cannot even match the rate of inflation.
"I consider myself to be a typical salaried worker who wants to stretch my money to its fullest potential and invest in a way that I can generate passive income in the future."
I am happy to allocate 30% to 50% of my salary to invest in a mix of higher- and lower-risk investments. I am willing to allocate up to a maximum of 30% of my investment portfolio to medium- and high-risk investments, while the remaining 70% would comprise low-risk investments.
One of my main criteria for investing is the ability to easily withdraw my capital when there is a need to do so.
RV: Share with us your investment portfolio
DY: Currently, I own the shares of almost all the Singapore banks. I would categorise these stocks as safe investments and I generally park my funds there, and that’s it! I don’t have to think much about it thereafter, and just have to wait to collect dividends every few months.
I also invest in the shares of companies that own brands that I support. These include Lululemon, a healthy lifestyle-inspired athletic apparel company renowned for its fastest-drying Everlux fabric and thoughtful, functional designs. Over the years, my interest and love for Lululemon inspired me to conduct extensive research to build up my knowledge of this brand and ultimately, invest in this stock, Of course, I don’t deny that this was also the reason I cave in to my shopping temptations, as I’ve splurged on countless Lululemon apparel and accessories!
RV: How did you come to know about RealVantage?
DY: A close relative shared with me in depth how RealVantage could provide me with the opportunity to gain access to institutional-grade property investments through fractional ownership and build a diversified property investment portfolio.
Where else can I own a piece of real estate under my name, and have my capital returned to me at the end of the investment period, along with the investment returns I am due to receive?
I also love the investment platform, which is very user-friendly and easy to navigate. But it would be great if we could have a RealVantage app, so that I can monitor my investments and receive updates on the go, on my mobile device.
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Disclaimer: The information and/or documents contained in this article does not constitute financial advice and is meant for educational purposes. Please consult your financial advisor, accountant, and/or attorney before proceeding with any financial/real estate investments.