Author (s): Lee Xiang Zheng, Gan Wei Han
Singapore Financial Conference | 17 March 2018 | NTUC Auditorium
Tranquility shrouded the early morning atmosphere of the Stephen Riady Auditorium. Minutes from now, committee members will come rushing in, lighting up the room with their suits and ties, making final adjustments, and checking every last detail to ensure Singapore Financial Conference (SFC) 2018 would be executed smoothly, thus paying off a full year’s hard work. Like a well-oiled machine, each and every committee member autonomously moved into their first positions, ready to welcome the eager participants of the Conference. The theme for this year’s conference is ‘The Nuts and Bolts of Investing’. This year, many highly distinguished professionals will share their experiences and knowledge of investing, mainly catering to amateur investors seeking to kick-start their investing journey. Even though the event started at 10.00a.m., there were people coming in as early as 8.45a.m., probably too excited to wait any longer. Thereafter, many more participants started to appear as well. Shortly, the registration counters were full of participants and they were guided by the helpful ushers into the auditorium. In no time at all, the seats in the auditorium were filling up fast with participants eager for the start of the event.
Once most of the participants were seated, the emcee started off the programme for the day by inviting the Guest of Honour for the event, Mr. Sarjit Singh, on stage to give his opening speech. Mr. Singh is a long-time advisor of Investment Interactive Club, as well as the Executive Chairman at Ardent Associates LLP. He was conferred two nation-wide service awards in recognition of his professional achievements and contributions to the nation. Mr. Singh’s powerful speech seemed to further ignite the participants’ interest in investing and there was a buzz of excitement from the audience.
Mr. Singh’s speech was quickly followed by the sharing sessions by our guest speakers. Mr. S K Selvan from Lion Global Investors was the first speaker of the day and he went on to share many insights and personal experiences with the attentive participants. His presentation on macroeconomic factors was filled with knowledge on the different market segments and their trends, allowing the audience to gain a wholesome understanding of how macroeconomic factors can aid them in the decision-making process when investing. Subsequently, the second speaker of the day was Mr. Stanley Lim from Value Invest Asia, whose topic on value and growth stocks gave the audience a new perspective into their own investing strategies and an alternative way to manage their portfolios. Thereafter, Mr. Mark Shmulevich from SGTech took the opportunity to give the participants his insights on the future of banking and finance and the direction the industry may be heading towards. Last but not least, Mr. Edison Chen from UOB Kay Hian spoke to the audience about his stock-picking method, emphasizing prudency in the selection process, and suggested several stocks that the audience could consider investing in.
Thereafter, Mr. Bryan Low, a Wealth Management lecturer at Nanyang Technological University, took on the role of a moderator and opened the floor for questions from participants. Many members of audience took turns to ask the guest speakers their burning questions, and the guest speakers in turn shared their thoughts and gave them their advice. One particularly interesting opinion from the panel was that they believed the stock market will not make a steep downturn in 2018, as is predicted by many due to the economic cycle. Consequently, there should be no reason not to start investing right now. Towards the end of the session, Mr. Low also asked the speakers to give some personal advice for today’s young investors, to which the audience listened to carefully and sincerely.
To express our gratitude towards all of our guest speakers, a token of appreciation was given to each of them to thank them for taking their time to share their individual insights and experiences with everyone present. To officially end the event, the Co-Chairperson of Singapore Financial Conference 2018, Mr. Cheong Keng Soon, was invited up on stage to give the closing address and conclude the conference. He expressed his gratitude towards everyone who had supported the event, the audience, and the Planning Committee for making the conference a success and conveyed the Committee’s hope that the conference has inspired people to take their first steps towards investing.
As part of our collaboration with Young NTUC, a mentorship session was also held after the conference. Members of the audience who were interested in learning about the culture or possible careers in the finance industry were able to interact directly with volunteer Financial professionals, as they shared their knowledge and expertise from a first-hand perspective.
The event ended in success, leaving many members of the audience enriched with knowledge and with new connections. Singapore Financial Conference 2018 would not have been possible with the help of many parties, such as our supportive sponsors who provided our venue and goodie bags, our dedicated guest speakers who contributed their knowledge without holding back, the dedication and enthusiasm of the Planning Committee who ensured the value and smooth execution of the conference, and finally, the wonderful audience who came with open hearts and open minds for learning. We hope that ‘The Nuts & Bolts of Investing’ has been rewarding to everyone. We look forward to seeing you again at Singapore Financial Conference 2019!