The Experience With Invest Fair 2017 At Suntec
The annual Invest Fair 2017 was quite an informative experience especially for beginners to investing. With some financial knowledge from school, this fair might be slightly repetitive with the experts flashing basic finance 101 slides at you. It feels like going to school again, or rather a finance refresher course.
Along with my “partner in crime”, we headed to the fair on the second day, 6th August. To my surprise, it was not too crowded, with quite many silver-haired folks streaming in from time to time. The entire convention hall was segmented into seminar rooms and booths.
Expert in 30S – REITs Talk
It was about time for the REITs talk to start so we went into the seminar room to get a good seat. There were relatively pockets of empty seats everywhere for such a talk, which was named “Expert in 30s – REITS”. The name of the talk gave me the impression that there would be insights shared for me to learn how to become an “expert” in REITS investing, what do you think? So there I went, happily settled down, waiting for the speaker to impart his knowledge to me. Five minutes into the talk… Ten minutes into the talk… There was nothing meaty that I did not already know which was shared. This talk was not to let you become an expert, it was supposed to introduce you to REITS! Things shared were like what is DPU, how much dividends could you get from REITs, what are REITS etc. I was utterly disappointed so before the talk ended, I spotted another more interesting talk to jump to – Finding the hidden value in trendlines and its medical, agricultural and technology portfolio. Sounds interesting eh?
The Trendlines Talk
I made my way to the SGX Pavilion (a section of the hall). Along the way, I was stopped by a few financial advisors here and there who introduced me to certain investment schemes that sounded a little shady so I continued to sway to my destination. From the looks of it, this talk looks more legit, with almost the whole place being filled up. The speaker went ahead to share about some companies that Trendlines invested in. Trendlines is a listed company that provides incubation to medical and agricultural technology start ups. It sounded extremely enticing and fresh because I did not even know such a company could be listed. I mean investment company yeah there are plenty but incubators? To invest in start ups takes a whole lot of risks due to unestablished theories or proof of market demand. Furthermore, being in medical and agricultural technology obviously requires immense capital costs for the licenses, patents, equipment etc. He shared more about the various companies, including one who came up with a smart technology to correct scoliosis and showed us the returns for the past 5 years – not bad! At the end of the talk, there was a Q&A session for which a gentleman raised a question. “ You really tell a good story about the company with the entire portfolio and returns. However, the stock price is not moving!” I suppose he should be a stock holder of this company because he seemed a little annoyed when he asked. The speaker did not answer his question directly but implied that the price goes according to market demand and even their company could not have pushed the stock price up or whatsoever. Well, a part of it is pretty true. Just like a guy, even if the guy has all the good traits – responsible, humorous, honest etc, it will not be of use if nobody sees market value in him because there will not be any market demand. Overall, this was an informative talk. My purpose there was not to see the value in Trendlines, but actually to learn more about the medical technology which this talk fulfilled my wish.
After those talks, it was free and easy time. I roamed around the booths and one particular booth caught my eye – Algomerchant. They claimed to make use of an algorithm to trade. By combining technical analysis, fundamental analysis and macroeconomics, they came up with bots that helped you to trade and even predict prices. I was introduced to a chat bot, Oracle, which predicts the probability that your stock would reach that preferred price of yours. Everything sounds so perfect that I could not really bring myself to believe. Hence, I tried to ask for a free trial to test out the bot. Apparently, there was no trial offered at all and you would have to pay a few hundred bucks upfront for a six month period usage. This point made me even more skeptical about this company. People were really keen to try the bots out but they have to pay an upfront fee, which the inertia is too high. But still, an eye opener for me to be able to ask more questions about it rather than hearing about algo-trading on the news.
All in all, I would recommend Invest Fair to all the beginners starting out as it is really informative and equips you with the basic knowledge required, especially if you are clueless about how to get started. My partner in crime is the perfect example. Coming from an IT background, he does not know anything about investments so he was starting to learn about it. This fair made him see investments and US stock market in a different light, as well as learning about risk diversification.
Lastly, the Invest Fair 2017 had quite a lot of sign on deals for brokerages accounts so if you are looking to open up one, the Invest Fair was a good opportunity.