Thursday, December 29, 2005

My Investing Journey-Opening The Account 0 comments

(P.S: Sorry for any disturbances the advertisements above may have caused you)
As always this blog will be my personal rambling site so just bear with me, or more constructively (destructively) you can voice your disapproval, if you find my description of my investing journey a bit long-winded. This will probably be the first of many parts....

When I came back from my overseas studies in 1999 I had little idea about the business and finance world and how it operated. The world of knowledge revolved around engineering but I would later find that with regard to my financial well-being at least, a short optional course on Accounting that I had taken in my final year would turn out to be the most important.

Because of my financial naivete, the 1998-99 dot-com boom and all the stock market hysteria associated with it had passed me by. Occasionally I would read the news and there on the front page would be reports of Creative Technology hitting $60 per share and Richard Li's latest dealmaking sending his Pacific Century up another dollar or so (it's surreal now that a stock now trading at 20 cents was worth $40 in its heyday, albeit having gone through splits). The New Economy had arrived, so it seemed. In particular, systems integration stocks like Datacraft and SCS, and electronics stocks like Venture and JIT flourished; Internet stocks like i-One and Horizon IPOed with great fanfare and great valuations.

Soon I began to wonder what all the fuss was all about, especially when several friends left their jobs to join dot-com startups. Of course, by then it was too late: when I resolved my mind to capitalise on the rising stock market in early 2000 the bubble was about to burst. It was the curse of the millenium: one thousand years ago in 999 people were killing themselves because Doomsday was about to arrive anyway with the year 1000, instead the new year came and went safely; now in 1999 people were screaming themselves hoarse about a New Internet Age coming and instead the world came crashing down on them at the turn of the year.

Still, I went ahead and opened my first trading account. That was with Phillip Securities and I remember that I had to put up $1000 as deposit because I had to make a second trip down with my chequebook because of it. (Phillip Securities apparently still has this requirement, but other brokers don't; am I missing something or does Phillip Securities consider its customers as belonging to a higher-risk category?) Anyway, that was quite a harrowing experience because of the number of forms I had to sign: opening of CDP account, opening of trading account, linkage of trading to CDP account, linkage of ATM bank account to trading account, statement of risk acknowledgment blah blah blah. The counter staff was nice and understanding: they must have seen many wide-eyed rookie investors coming in the last few months hoping to cash in on the boom.

(To be continued...)




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