4 Reasons Why You Should Invest

Still on the fence about whether to invest? In this article, I will make the case of why investing is essential, and perhaps even necessary for most of us.

The first reason why you should invest is because earning and saving is only half of the equation to building wealth over the long term. When we work, we are “exchanging” our time for money. As we only have 24 hours a day, there is a limit to how much we can work and how much money we can earn using our time. If we want to maximise our earned income by working more hours, we will eventually have to work at the expense of having less time to rest or to do things that brings us joy. Worst still, our mental health will deteriorate and we may become at risk of burning out. Personally, I view investing as making your money work for you, even when you are asleep. As your income from investing increases, it can supplement your main income stream and this means it will free up more time for you to do the things you love such as pursuing your hobbies or spending time with family and friends.

This brings me to my next point, which is that investing can help diversify your sources of income. Diversification one’s sources of income is a topic that is not talked about enough. One only needs to look back at the past year and a half to see why diversifying our income streams is necessary. As Covid-19 ravaged the world and forced many economies into lockdown, many people lost their jobs. If our day job is our only source of income, losing it means having to survive on stimulus checks an watching our savings whittle down. During the same period, the stock market has continued to chug along, rewarding those who remain invested. Thus, a second source of income via investing could potentially help tide us over in a time of crisis. Furthermore, research has shown that generally, the more sources of income you have, the more income you tend to make. With dividends and capital gains being the most common income streams after earned income, investing in equities is a good place to begin.

Next, I view investing as a way to protect your savings against inflation, the silent killer. Today, cash sitting in the bank earns an interest of 0.05%, essentially nothing. Imagine that you saved up a respectable sum of $50,000 by the time you are 30 years old. If you were to leave this sum in the bank, it will be worth less than $33,400 in real terms by the time you reach 50 years old (assuming an average inflation of 2%). Essentially, you would have lost over $16,600 by simply doing nothing. Investing, on the other hand, allows us to earn a return greater than the inflation rate. This grows our savings in real terms, protecting them from being eroded by inflation. Inflation is so deadly because it lurks in the shadows and goes largely unnoticed. By the time people feel its effects, it is often too late. Thus, the sense of assurance we feel when we have loads of cash in our bank account is a false one. If you are not convinced about the threat of inflation, just ask your parents how much a cup of coffee or a bowl of noodles cost when they were a student! Thus, while returns on investing in stocks are not guaranteed, leaving your retirement savings in the bank is a sure way to have your savings eroded.

Lastly, being able to retire on savings alone is a luxury. For someone who earns the median wage of $4,500 in Singapore from 25 years old to 60 years old, being able to save $1 million dollars for retirement seems like an impossible uphill task. They would need to save $2,380 a month, more than 50% of their income, in order to hit this goal. If the same person were to dollar cost average into an ETF that has an 8% annual return on average, he will only need to contribute $465 each month to achieve the goal within the same time period of 35 years. Now that is a much more achievable goal! While I admit that this is a theoretical example, the 8% return is a rather conservative one given that the S&P500 has a historical average return of 10% annually. Furthermore, by saving and investing more than the $465 there will be more leeway for any potential setbacks.

I hope that this post has convinced you about the importance of investing in order to achieve achieve our financial goals more easily. While there are indeed risks involved, as with most things, avoidance is not the solution. Instead, we should recognise the risks involved and understand that successful investing can be achieved with the right strategy and mindset. Thankfully, these are well within our control. If you would like to learn more about investing, check out my other posts on how to invest here. Additionally, I will be sharing which ETFs I personally DCA into monthly so click here to join The Dollar Sapling telegram channel and stay tuned!

Resources I Use to Improve My Financial Literacy

In today’s digital age, there is a wealth of free information online, available to everyone who has an internet connection. This makes it possible to learn almost anything on the internet. As a firm believer in independent lifelong learning, I will be sharing about the resources I used to improve my financial literacy in this post. These are all resources that I have used and have proved beneficial to me. I will never recommend anything that I have not tried or do not believe in.

Before we begin, I would like to share a little bit about how I improved my financial literacy. Personal finance is not something we can finish learning overnight. It takes time for knowledge to build up and compound. It is through continuous exposure to educational content that we accumulate knowledge. By learning bits and pieces everyday, we slowly piece together a more complete picture. For instance, we may occasionally come across articles on the CPF and through these we may learn about the CPF accounts, their interest rates and their use. On other occasions, we may learn about roboinvestors and ETFs. There will also be other times when we come across articles on credit cards and loans. These information collectively will allow us to make more informed decisions on spending, saving and investing. Thus, for those who wish to improve their financial literacy, I recommend that you start by exposing yourselves to educational content on personal finance (such as this website and my telegram!). This post serves to provide some great avenues to increase our exposure to such content.

For all websites and YouTube channels, I have included links to the respective pages at the names to save you the hassle. I would like to emphasise that it is not necessary for you to use all these resources, just pick those that you think will be useful. For instance, there is no need to read the resources on stock picking if you prefer to adopt a passive strategy. Instead, there are other resources that have very useful content regarding basic personal finance that will be applicable to everyone, such as housing, CPF, Credit Cards, saving and many more topics. Additionally, this is by no means a comprehensive list. Thus, if u come across something useful please share too! You can contact me here and I will share it on The Dollar Sapling Telegram channel.

Resources for improving financial literacy


This is an extremely useful platform to learn about everything related to personal finance. This platform consists of blog articles, opinions and also a forum where you can ask and answer questions. This is the perfect starting point to build up your financial knowledge. Just download the application on your phone and browse during your little pockets of time. They have a very warm community and the moderators are very friendly as well. If you find yourself struggling to make a financial decision such as buying insurance or how to fund your first home, simply search it up on Seedly or post a question on the forum! They also have an Instagram page where you can receive updates.

This is one of my favourite platforms and I am on it everyday. I enjoy reading their articles and interacting with people on the forum. You may be able to catch me answering questions with the handle CTKS.

The Woke Salaryman

This is another platform that I use to learn about personal finance. They also talk about basically everything related to personal finance in Singapore (HDB, CPF, side hustles). However, their differentiating factor to me is that they have very unique content on topics such as workplace harassment, upskilling and how to stay relevant without coding. Their opinions and articles are very insightful. Their philosophy is to work on increasing their earning power and adopt a passive investment strategy, perfect for the layman!

Personally, I follow their Instagram page and simply just browse their feed and story. Occasionally, they will have Q&As as well where you can ask questions as well.

The Psychology Of Money” by Morgan Housel

This is a book that I will recommend to everyone who wants to learn how to manage their money. In an ideal world, people make rational decisions that are based on mathematical calculations, data and formulae that tell us what to do. However, this is not the case in reality. We, Humans, are beings of emotion and we make decision based on our personal experience, views of the world, ego, pride, marketing and many other factors. This book sheds some light on how people think about money and distils lessons on how to better make sense of life’s most important matters.

Resources for all investors (active and passive)

The Intelligent Investor” by Benjamin Graham

This book by the founding father of value investing and Warren Buffet’s mentor, Benjamin Graham, has been seen as a stock market bible ever since its publication in 1949. While some content and data may be outdated, the lessons and philosophies here are timeless and will prove useful to anyone who wishes to be a successful investor. I will recommend this book to any beginner who wishes to learn more about investing. Do take note that the language used here is very classical and can be hard to understand at times.

Resources for those passive investors

The Little Book of Common Sense Investing” by Jack C. Bogle

The Little Book of Common Sense Investing is the classic guide to getting smart about the market. John C. Bogle reveals his secret to getting more out of investing: low-cost index funds. Bogle describes the simplest and most effective investment strategy for building wealth over the long term: buy and hold, at very low cost, a mutual fund that tracks a broad stock market Index such as the S&P 500 (these are called index funds).

In essence, this book talks about passive investing in index funds to achieve results close to the market average (which are not so average because 90% of investors fail to beat the market). If you’ve read my other post, you know why I am a huge proponent of ETFs (I understand that ETFs are not the same as index funds but I find it a suitable substitute). He also originated the 3 fund portfolio, which is a simple portfolio consisting of 3 funds (US stocks, international stocks and US bonds) designed to provide average returns. However, I have adapted that idea to the Singapore context which you can read more about here.

Resources for active investors

5 Rules For Successful Stock Investing” by Pat Dorsey

This is one of the first books I read and remains one of my favourite books on stock picking. It consists of the basics of how to read financial statements, how to value different companies, as well as understanding the driving forces behind different industries. In my opinion, it is perfect for starters.

The Fifth Person

These are the people whom I first learnt how to invest from, they produce excellent content. While their courses are paid, they have a website with free content such as guides on how to start investing and many articles about investing and personal finance.

They also have a YouTube channel where they have discussions about stocks and investing. Some of their older videos also talk about how to invest, read financial reports and more. Occasionally, they also have free webinars. Click here to join my telegram group if you’d like to receive more updates on such free lobang!

Learn To Invest

This You Tuber is very honest and informative. His channel is very educational and he explains the concepts very well, making his content easy to absorb. I learnt a lot of the technical aspects of investing from him such as reading financial statements and calculating intrinsic value of a company.


The Swedish Investor

If you are lazy to read books or want a sneak peak about what a book is exactly about before reading it, you can check out his YouTube channel. He makes excellent book summaries. His channel has summaries of most of the books I mentioned and more.

To end this post, I would like to urge everyone not to procrastinate. Many will close this page and comfort themselves by saying they’ll do all this when the time is right. However, we all know the odds of that happening is close to none as you will simply forget all about this post. So, do not procrastinate! Join my telegram, follow the Instagram pages and download the Seedly application and start exposing yourself to more educational personal finance content today!