Saturday, 15 November 2014

SGX musings

I have always found investing in stock markets fascinating. My first ever stock purchase was of Tata Power via ShareKhan, I think it was in 2002.

I remember I bought 13 shares and they were around Rupees 100 (my memory might be wrong) on the NSE. ShareKhan was a client of the organisation I was working for at the time, Synapse, and the online trading phenomenon had just hit India.

I remembering choosing Tata Power because I had read a newspaper article about it. I found the fact it was a private power company supplying the whole of Bombay (Mumbai) with electricity and doing a good job of it. I felt its monopoly status as power supplier to India's commercial hub is a good bet to make. I told all 13 shares sometime in 2004 for Rupees 400 (approximately).

In 2007, it hit Rupees 1640.

Fascinating, isn't' it? I work very close to the Singapore Stock Exchange (SGX) centre on Shenton Way and for months been pondering whether to get into the action. Earlier this year, June, I decided to take the plunge. I set aside a four figure starting amount (it's not much but my main aim was to see if I can understand the market).

First thing you need to do is get an online platform to trade. Of all the platforms out there, I chose Standard Charted. It's the cheapest, easy setup, no minimum amount and no monthly fee. It lets you trade in variety of stock markets but I stick to SGX. There are high charges for trading in US, European and other markets, plus the time difference doesn't help. Especially when you are playing with small amounts, it doesn't make sense to buy overseas.

Here is recently launched documentary by SGX.



It has been three months now. I am happy with the returns. I made some quick profit on Tiger Airways. It had dropped to $0.270 and then went up to $0.330 in a matter of a few days.
Singapore Post was a good buy, I regularly buy and sell that stock.

I did try some penny stock trades, XPRESS Holding was one such company, bought it at $0.008 (that's sell than a cent) and sold it at $0.01, that a 25% gain in a day. I was lucky with that, I don't think I will ever invest in penny stock again, the risk is too high.

I now look for interesting local companies and read their annual reports. Currently I have invested in Banyan Tree and Cogent Holdings. Google Finance is a great tool to do research and keep track, you can create your portfolio and keep track of transactions.

The SC platform let's you do this as well but it is slow. The sad part is Google doesn't have a app for Google Finance, so for on-the-move, I use Bloomberg App. The SGX website is pretty sad too, it looks like that are stuck in 2005.

I will try to post regular updates on companies I find interesting.